Psychology Programs in North Carolina

Duke University
Duke University

Why Choose to Study Psychology in North Carolina?

With more than fifty public institutions and private schools offering degrees in psychology, North Carolina offers numerous opportunities for students interested in pursuing higher education in the field. The diverse student body, rich culture, and varied landscape attract students to the Tar Heel State.

Psychology Schools in North Carolina

There are over 80 psychology schools in North Carolina with accredited psychology programs. What this means for the psychology major is that, no matter what area you specialize in, there is a quality education and a stepping stone to rewarding job opportunities ahead.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the largest and among the most active institutions for psychology research in the nation. Other well-known institutions awarding a Doctorate in Psychology are Duke University, UNC Greensboro, and North Carolina State University. Students can also take doctoral-level psychology programs at NC Central University, UNC Charlotte, and East Carolina University.

The presence of numerous well-known state-sponsored and reputable private colleges also makes North Carolina a great choice to study psychology. Anyone looking for top-ranked institutions can look for courses at Duke University, Davidson College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. If tuition cost is a concern, North Carolina State University, Appalachian University, and UNC Greensboro offer value-oriented psychology programs.

Besides traditional degrees, online psychology degrees are also becoming popular among students. Most schools follow a hybrid study pattern, which allows psychology students to complete their lab and research work on campus. Due to the mode of communication, online psychology degrees are comparatively cheaper than traditional on-campus degrees.

For most students, the starting point is to enroll in an institution offering a bachelor’ in psychology. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are fifty-one approved institutions in North Carolina. Among these, fourteen schools offer a Master’s degree in the subject, and half of these allow students to receive a Doctorate.

At this time, students can pursue almost thirty-one different types of specialties in North Carolina. Depending on the specialization, students often take core courses such as abnormal psychology, history of psychology, and cognitive psychology.

Job Prospects in North Carolina for Psychology Professionals

The average salary for a masters-level graduate in North Carolina is $45,077. However, the range of salaries varies significantly. Experienced psychologists often receive salaries over $90,000. Psychologists living in major cities may expect a much higher median salary.

Basic Salary Levels

Undergraduate students should not expect a high salary because most institutions require prior experience and extensive research work. Students from top-ranked institutions often get a starting salary of $30,000 after completing their bachelor’s in psychology.

Due to the licensing requirements, most degree seekers continue their studies beyond their initial studies. After getting a psychology master’s degree, the average salary increases significantly irrespective of the type of institution.

Anyone wishing to dedicate additional years can get a doctorate in psychology. The highest level of education ensures much higher pay and job opportunities. At this level, most psychologists receive at least $85,000 under most circumstances.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for careers in psychology is on par with other occupations. The field is likely to grow at the rate of three percent until 2029. Job applicants holding a doctorate will likely find more opportunities and higher pay.

Most jobs are concentrated in large cities. Research by American Psychological Association reveals that nearly 72% of doctoral-level job candidates secure their first choice when looking for a job and most of them find a job within three months of graduation.

Holders of master’s degrees will likely find jobs in schools, research facilities, and clinical settings. Jobs for graduates are available in subjects related to data analysis and general personnel issues. Similarly, undergraduates mostly find work as assistants in rehabilitation facilities and as school teachers.

School psychology is a particularly promising field in the state. While school psychologists don’t require a doctorate to seek lucrative career options, almost 74% of school psychologists do hold advanced degrees. Most school psychologists are employed in public and private high schools, with a median salary of $75,000.

Job Prospects in North Carolina for Psychology Professionals

Getting a psychology license in North Carolina requires a commitment to complete a doctorate-level program and 3,000 hours of supervised experience.

The first step is to enroll in a doctor of philosophy or doctor of psychology program in an APA-accredited program. Candidates often get admission to these after completing their master’s or enrolling in a program that leads to doctorate.

Before enrolling in a program, it is important to talk to an academic consultant about your intentions to pursue a license in the state. Each US state has specific requirements to complete the certification process. For instance, North Carolina only allows graduates of certain subjects to gain license in the State. As of writing, approved programs leading to psychology license in North Carolina are:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • School Psychology
  • Combined Professional-Scientific Psychology

Applying for a Psychology License in North Carolina

After completing their doctorate, candidates can apply for a provisional license. You will get a full license only after completing the required 3000 hours.

As a first step, candidates should apply to North Carolina Psychology Board. The board will review the application and let candidates know if they can sit for the license exam. To pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), you need to score at least 500. You must also clear the North Carolina State Examination. The passing score for the 50-question multiple-choice test is at least 78%.

By the time students complete their respective exams, most of them have already completed almost half of the required hours. If the undergraduate and graduate degrees include a lot of research or field study, the experience can be included in the supervised experience required to complete licensing. However, it is important to note that 25% of the experience must be directly related to working with patients.

Where in North Carolina do You Want to Study?

North Carolina Psychology Resources

North Carolina Psychology Board – Established in 1967, the board helps regulatory bodies establish rules and education standards across North Carolina. It also publishes guidelines to protect the public from unlicensed psychologists.

North Carolina Psychological Association – Oversees the interest of local psychologists and sets standards for the profession. NCPA is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association.

North Carolina School Psychologist Association – The largest organization representing school psychologists in the state. This association also provides support to the school district and advocates activities that positively affect the lives of students.

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