Psychology Programs in Florida

Florida State University
Florida State University

Why Choose to Study Psychology in Florida?

Florida offers sharp contrast to many states in the south, offering many scenic and laid back regions to go along with the dense population. Here, you can get lost in a city as easily as you can a beach, and there are tons of opportunities, especially for the psychology major.

Educational Programs and Specialities

Florida’s population, as of 2012, was approaching 19 million. There to serve this ever expanding base, as well as the cities that house them, are more than 50 schools with strong psychology degree programs.

Degree programs are some of the most diverse in the country with psychology schools in Florida offering bachelor’s and master’s degree plans in liberal arts and sciences as well as doctorates in education or psychology, to name a few. The state is known for its counselors and rehabilitative services as well as its output in other fields, such as education, industrial-organizational and neuroscience.

Job Prospects in Florida for Psychology Professionals

Licenses are issued by the Florida Board of Psychology, and require successful completion of a doctorate program before issuance will be given. Florida has some areas that are very high cost of living, and others that are extremely cheap, with an annual median wage for psychologists of approximately $67,000 per year.

Featured Psychology Schools

Where in Florida do You Want to Study?

Interview with Florida Psychology Graduate Lisa Fritscher

Lisa Fritscher earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida. Now a freelance writer, she uses her psychology education every day as a content creator.

PsychologyDegreeGuide.org: Thanks very much for doing a Psychology Degree Guide interview, Lisa. Could you give us a brief background about yourself and the psychology program you attended?

Lisa Fritscher: I always knew I would go into psychology. My mom took a job in the Behavioral Health day treatment program at Winter Haven Hospital, in Winter Haven, Florida, when I was three. Her job title changed over the years as she finished her bachelor’s and later her master’s, but her work was always hands-on with clients. In those days, it was common for employees to bring their kids to work. I grew up around the program, spending time with clients, going on field trips–it looked like a lot more fun than a “real job!”

For a variety of reasons, though, I left school after getting my associate of arts degree (in theater). I decided to go back and finish my BA in psychology after I got married. Interestingly, my then-husband (we’re divorced now) also chose psychology, so we were in all the same classes. Meanwhile, Mom was working on her doctorate in clinical psychology, and for a while the three of us worked together.

PDG: Why did you choose the psychology program at the University of South Florida?

LF: There were two main reasons. My dad got his engineering degree at USF when I was very young, and I sometimes went to classes with him. I had terrific early memories of the campus and the experience. Also, USF had a branch campus in Lakeland, Florida, where we lived at the time. I felt like I had the best of both worlds–a small, local campus where I knew everyone, but the ability to drive an hour to Tampa for the full university campus experience.

PDG: Were there any aspects of the University of South Florida psychology program you found particularly valuable?

LF: USF is a highly-rated research university. But many of the top professors also teach at the branch campus in Lakeland. So I was able to get more personal access and develop relationships that would not have been possible in huge lecture classes, while retaining access to the facilities and research opportunities on the main campus.

PDG: You worked for several years as the About.com (now Verywell Mind) Phobias Guide. I imagine your psychology education has been invaluable in that role. Can you talk a little about how your psychology background both helped you attain that position and how it helps you day-to-day in performing your duties as the Phobias Guide?

LF: I absolutely would not have gotten the About.com position without a degree in psychology. The company is highly respected for its expert advice across hundreds of topics, and each Guide is carefully selected from a diverse pool of applicants. Education and expertise in the topic, combined with top-notch writing skills, are essential.

Although every health-related article on About.com is vetted by a trained Medical Review Board, I retain ultimate responsibility for the advice that I give my readers. Phobias are not only a diagnosable disorder on their own, but are often interconnected with other mental health conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although I cannot and do not diagnose individuals through the website, I know that many of my readers have been diagnosed with these and other difficulties. My general knowledge of psychology gives me a thorough understanding of the complex problems my readers face and helps me create content that is useful to them. Without an education in psychology, I would be “flying blind,” so to speak.

PDG: Besides being a writer and Phobias Guide, can you discuss other ways your psychology education has assisted you in your career?

LF: My career has taken innumerable twists and turns. I got out of hands-on client care in 2001 due to burnout. I’m one of those people who has trouble leaving it all at the office, and I spent way too much time and energy worrying about my clients during my off-time. After a few false starts, I became a freelance writer in 2005. My psychology background has turned out to be quite handy in educational writing, marketing and even travel writing.

I understand target markets almost innately and am able to tailor my writing to meet a particular audience’s needs. While any good writer can do that, I feel that a grounding in psychology has given me a leg up. My clients seem to feel that way, too, as more than once I have won a contract based on my particular background.

PDG: Do you have any specific research or clinical interests, or areas of specialization?

LF: I am particularly interested in marriage and family, and have earned 60 credit hours toward an MA in that specialty. Since I no longer do hands-on therapy, I am debating whether to finish my master’s. But even now, I am particularly interested in family dynamics.

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