Psychology Programs in South Carolina

Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina
Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina, Creative Commons license

Why Choose to Study Psychology in South Carolina?

South Carolina is a state rich in history and scenery, but one area that is often overlooked is the educational quality. You can find over 30 psychology schools in South Carolina that offer a wide range of courses, specialties and degree plans.

Qualified psychologists have an abundance of career options open to them as job market projections demonstrate continuous growth in the field over the next several years. South Carolina is ranked 47 out of 50 states for access to mental health care according to Mental Health America. Therefore, qualified psychologists are needed to help increase access in the state.

Between the large number of educational programs offered in the state and amount of projected job openings in the field, South Carolina is a great state to pursue a sustainable career in psychology. South Carolina offers a lot of appeal outside the field as well. The state is well-known for its hospitality, nice beaches, natural beauty and its enjoyable temperate climate. These factors, mixed with a lower cost of living, make it a pleasant place to build a career.

Psychology Schools in South Carolina

South Carolina also features two of the top psychology schools in the country. Both Clemson University and the University of South Carolina are listed in the top 200 programs in the US, according to rankings by US News and World Report. Clemson is ranked 98 on the list, while the University of South Carolina is ranked at number 112. However, these are far from the only two options in the state.

You can spend plenty of time deciding which program might be the best fit for you with over two dozen schools in South Carolina offering at least a bachelor’s program in Psychology. These schools provide various options for considering your ideal class size, school population and tuition amount. With the abundance of options, it is easier to find a program tailored to your wants and needs.

Job Prospects in South Carolina for Psychology Professionals

Job opportunities for licensed psychologists in South Carolina include clinical, counseling and school psychologists, psychology teachers and options to branch out into social work or mental health counseling. The state is projected to see a considerable amount of growth in these professions over the next few years.

According to Projections Central, South Carolina is projected to see a 9.7% growth for clinical, counseling and school psychologists between 2018 and 2028, while all other psychologist professions are projected to see a 5.6% growth. Psychology teachers are projected to see a 12.5% growth in the profession over the same period. Ultimately there will be a wealth of opportunities to find a stable career in psychology over the coming years in South Carolina.

The national mean annual wage for clinical, counseling and school psychologists is $89,290 according to the May 2020 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In South Carolina, the mean annual wage was below average at $69,030. However, this varies largely by metropolitan area, as the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area between South Carolina and North Carolina featured a mean annual wage of $93,300. Your expected salary will depend largely on where in the state you intend to practice.

Job Prospects in South Carolina for Psychology Professionals

In South Carolina, licensure is handled by the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology. Candidates for a license must complete both a preliminary application and a formal application for licensure. The preliminary application includes a data form and submitting transcripts of graduate experience, while the formal application includes evidence of supervised experience and three professional reference forms.

Upon applying for licensure, aspiring psychologists must present evidence of two years of supervised post-doctoral experience, accumulating to a minimum of 3,000 hours total. One year of this experience can be obtained through a pre-doctoral internship or residency. Supervision must be by a licensed psychologist in South Carolina, in the same specialty area as the candidate.

Candidates must also pass the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), covering eight content areas related to the field. If you meet all the requirements upon review, you must then pass an oral examination that is conducted with an assigned board member. After obtaining a license, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education requirements.

With evidence of your education and experience, you can also apply for a temporary permit that authorizes you to practice for 60 days.

Where in South Carolina do You Want to Study?

South Carolina Psychology Resources

South Carolina Counseling Association (SCCA) – The SCCA is the state chapter of the American Counseling Association. The SCCA provides members with the opportunity to expand their social and professional networks, obtain continuing education credits, access newsletters and receive support through advocacy in the field.

South Carolina Psychological Association – The South Carolina Psychological Association works to advance the field and profession of psychology in the state. The organization works to provide public information about the field as well as maintain high standards for the practice of psychology. The association offers training and networking opportunities to help members grow in the field.

South Carolina Association of School Psychologists – The South Carolina Association of School Psychologists works to provide resources to members throughout the state to promote growth and advancement in the field. The organization carries out events, workshops and advocacy to provide support for school psychologists in the state.

South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology – The Board of Examiners provides all of the information you need to know about obtaining a license to practice psychology in South Carolina. The Board can assist with questions about licensure requirements, application status and renewing a license.

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