Psychology Programs in Oklahoma
Jobs for psychologists in Oklahoma are projected to grow by 16% between 2016 and 2026 according to O*Net, creating a gap for qualified researchers, clinicians, and practitioners who want to enter the mental health field.
Becoming a psychologist in the state requires great dedication to education, ethics, and experience-gathering, but plenty of psychology schools in Oklahoma are ready to help you begin your journey to a meaningful role in psychological health. If psychology careers interest you but you don’t want to become a psychologist, there are plenty of careers in Oklahoma with projected job growth—as well as degree programs in Oklahoma that can get you where you want to go in the field.
How to Become a Psychologist in Oklahoma
Psychologists bear a great responsibility to serve their clients according to ethics and regulatory standards. Because of this, psychologists-in-training must go through several rigorous steps to prove their readiness for licensure. Each state sets its own requirements—in Oklahoma, the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists manages the process. If aiming to work as a licensed psychologist, prepare to walk through the steps outlined below.
- Complete a bachelor’s degree: Plenty of schools in Oklahoma offer bachelor’s degrees in psychology to help you begin the process of becoming a licensed psychologist. These exist online and on-campus and typically require four years of full-time study.
- Pursue a master’s degree: Only certain doctoral programs and psychology careers require master’s degrees in psychology, so check whether you need to complete this step. These programs take approximately two years of study and help prepare graduates for roles as school counselors, marriage and family therapists, and substance abuse counselors.
- Earn a doctoral degree: To work as a licensed psychologist, you must hold a doctoral degree. Psy.D. and Ph.D. in psychology programs exist statewide and take approximately five to seven years to complete.
- Select your specialty area: Given the expansive nature of psychology, specialty areas exist to focus your interests. Oklahoma identifies several specialties to help inform the type of work you do.
- Meet licensure requirements: The Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists sets several requirements for receiving licensure, including passing exams and meeting supervised experience mandates. We dig more into those in the next section.
Oklahoma Psychology Licensing & Exams
Whether you hope to become a school psychologist, marriage and family therapist, clinical psychologist, or professional counselor, each of these positions requires licensure in Oklahoma. The steps outlined below exist for individuals who want to work as licensed psychologists. If considering an alternate path in the world of therapy and/or counseling, requirements vary.
- Complete application: All individuals seeking licensure in Oklahoma must submit an application alongside a $400 non-refundable fee. Three letters of reference from licensed psychologists must also be included.
- Meet educational requirements: Except in a few specific circumstances, all applicants must hold a doctoral degree in psychology awarded by a school accredited via the American Psychological Association.
- Demonstrate completion of practicum and internship: Applicants must petition their alma mater to send documentation showing they completed real-world experiences that built assessment and/or treatment skills.
- Undergo supervised experience: Applicants must possess at least two years (4,000 hours) of supervised experience in their chosen specialty area.
- Pass examinations: All learners must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and a jurisprudence examination aligned to the Rules of the Board, Psychologists Licensing Act, and Code of Ethics.
Job Growth & Psychologist Salary in Oklahoma
The following table demonstrates both average salaries for psychologists in Oklahoma and how the jobs are expected to grow in the coming years. Note that this table does not highlight all professional options available in the state, so conduct additional research to find your niche role.
Mental Health Careers and Job Growth in Oklahoma
|Career||Mean Annual Salary |
|Expected Job Growth |
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||$46,480||10%|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$66,400||16%|
|Psychologists – All Other||$83,290||16%|
|Social Workers, All Other||$54,390||4%–6%|
|Marriage and Family Therapist||$65,040||28%|
|Behavioral Disorder, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Counselor||$47,510||17%|
Recognized Psychology Specializations in Oklahoma
Becoming a psychologist is, of course, not the only professional route to practice in the field of psychology. The Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists recognizes and sets licensure requirements for several specializations in the state. The specializations discussed below do not represent a comprehensive list, so check with the board to learn more about your chosen area of focus.
Oklahoma Psychology Spotlight Programs
The Sooner State plays home to dozens of universities offering psychology degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and/or doctoral levels. Whether you want to attend a public, private, secular, religious, on-campus, or online program, options exist. When looking at prospective programs, it’s important to consider accreditation.
The Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists requires those seeking to become licensed psychologists to attend a program accredited by the American Psychological Association, with few exceptions. If seeking a masters-level program, try to find one accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. If entering a bachelor’s program, look for a regionally-accredited institution. We examine some popular programs below but do your own research to find a school that meets your academic and financial needs.
Oklahoma State University (Stillwater)
Founded in 1958, the Department of Psychology at OSU offers undergraduate and graduate psychology training programs. Both a B.A. and B.S. are available at the bachelor’s level, while doctoral students can select from degrees in clinical or experimental psychology. Degree seekers at both levels can take advantage of meaningful research opportunities and several psychology associations. All courses are taught on campus at this time. Undergraduate residents pay $179 per credit while nonresidents pay $696 per credit. Graduate residents pay $230 and non-residents pay $876 per credit.
University of Oklahoma (Norman)
Founded in 1890, UO serves students near and far with psychology degrees at the bachelors and doctoral levels. Undergraduates can select from B.A. and B.S. programs while graduate students can select specializations in areas of cognitive, social, industrial-organizational, and quantitative psychology. An interdisciplinary degree in cellular and behavioral neurobiology is also available. The department tries to fund all graduate students via research and teaching assistantships. Undergraduates, meanwhile, pay $160 or $513 per credit depending on residency status. All degrees are campus-based at this time.
University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond)
A great fit for learners seeking masters-level studies, UCO offers M.A. programs with specialties in counseling, experimental, forensic, general, and school psychology. A B.A. in psychology can also be completed by students seeking foundational studies. A certification preparation program is available to those looking to become board certified behavioral analysts. The department of psychology offers a tuition waiver scholarship for full-time juniors and seniors alongside graduate students who reside in Oklahoma. Campus-based students pay $223 or $292 per credit for undergraduate and graduate studies. Non-residents pay $586 or $709 per credit depending on educational level.
Southern Nazarene University (Bethany)
SNU resides just outside Oklahoma City and serves learners seeking a private education taught in the Nazarene tradition. The institution offers a bachelor’s in psychology, with graduates earning a 71% pass rate on the state licensing board or 20 points higher than the state average. Masters-level programs exist in professional counseling, marital and family therapy, play therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, and counseling psychology. All degrees are taught at the Bethany campus as of 2020. Undergraduates paid $475 per hour during the 2019-2020 year while graduate students paid $620 per credit.
Oklahoma City University (Oklahoma City)
This private institution maintains affiliation with the United Methodist Church and provides degrees at every level. Psychology students choose from a B.S. in psychology, a Psy.D. in clinical psychology, or a B.S. in behavioral studies with a concentration in psychology, the third option being taught at the Singapore campus. A child advocacy studies program is also available. Undergraduates with an ACT score of 22 and a GPA of 3.0 or higher qualify for scholarships of up to $11,000 per year. Undergraduates pay $953 per credit while graduate learners pay $750 per credit.
NOSU provides several innovative psychology programs, including a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors available in general counseling, grief and bereavement, and sports psychology. Degree seekers wanting a master’s degree can choose from a master of general psychology or a master of counseling psychology with training as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or a licensed professional counselor. Even if they didn’t reside in OK prior to enrollment, some students can apply for out-of-state fee waivers to lessen costs. Currently, undergrads pay $220 or $255 per credit based on residency. Graduate students pay $265 or $535 based on residency.
Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee)
Operating as a private Christian institution, OBU offers several bachelor’s level programs in psychology, pre-counseling, and forensic psychology. Minors are also available in both psychology and advocacy. A master’s in marriage and family therapy also exists. All of OBU’s degrees are taught on campus and emphasize opportunities to get involved both on campus and in the community. Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year totaled $27,912.
Oklahoma Psychology Scholarships
Getting a degree requires a lot of money these days, and most students don’t have the funds required to pay out-of-pocket. By starting early, you can find a range of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs to help lower your final cost. Aside from general scholarships offered nationwide, many Oklahoma-based colleges and universities, professional associations, nonprofits, and state/local governments provide awards to psychology students.
Oklahoma Internships and Fellowships
As part of licensure requirements, learners attending psychology schools in Oklahoma must participate in both pre- and post-doctoral internships to build hands-on experience. Plenty of psychology internships exist throughout the state so take time to find one that speaks to your specialty and career interests. Aside from those discussed in this section, you can also find plenty of listings on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter.
Oklahoma Psychology Resources
Whether you’re still weighing educational and career options, currently enrolled in a psychology program, or considered an industry veteran, many resources exist in Oklahoma that help you continue building psychological expertise. The resources outlined below provide information on licensure requirements, highlight networking opportunities, and organize continuing education programming.
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