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Psychology Schools and Colleges in Missouri (MO)

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All states work to ensure the health and welfare of their citizens, including increased access to safe, effective mental health services. Unfortunately, the United States faces a steep shortage of licensed psychologists, and, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, Missouri is no exception. Psychology schools in Missouri offer qualified graduates a valuable pathway to both state licensure and, as the numbers suggest, a certain degree of job security. According to data from the BLS, the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Center for Education Statistics:

  • Missouri was home to 1,370 licensed clinical, counseling and school psychologists in May, 2015, which was 14 points below state need.
  • Missouri's licensed psychologists earned an average wage of $87,000r, or about $42 per hour.
  • There were 36 psychology colleges in Missouri as of Spring, 2016. Five offered online psychology degrees.
  • At least 14 psychology schools offered graduate degrees, including eight APA-accredited doctorates accredited by the APA.
RegionCareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Median Wage
St. Joseph, MO-KSMarriage and Family Therapists6047980
St. Joseph, MO-KSMental Health Counselors8032550
Kansas City, MO-KSPsychologists, All Other7091820
St. Louis, MO-ILPsychologists, All Other8091820
Kansas City, MO-KSMarriage and Family Therapists22043110
St. Louis, MO-ILMarriage and Family Therapists26043460
Kansas City, MO-KSClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists70061290
St. Louis, MO-ILClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists71062200
Kansas City, MO-KSMental Health Counselors98039230
St. Louis, MO-ILMental Health Counselors109041570
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

While Missouri offers a diversity of psychology degrees, only graduates with master's and doctoral degrees in psychology are eligible for state licensure. Education, however, is only one of many licensing requirements.

Missouri psychology licensing requirements

All states require psychologists to be licensed to practice. This rigorous process ensures psychologists have the training and experience necessary to provide adequate care, but criteria vary. What separates Missouri from many other states is that it licenses candidates with master's or doctoral degrees, so long as they meet certain practical requirements. Both pathways result in the same license: those with master's degrees in psychology do not have a limited scope of practice

The Missouri Committee of Psychologists (MCP) oversees the state's psychologist licensing process, which requires applicants to meet certain education, experience and assessment standards. Specifically:

  • A master's or doctoral degree in psychology or another MCP-approved specialty. The board will only accept credentials from programs accredited by the APA or a regional accrediting association approved by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation. Master's candidates must have at least three years of satisfactory professional experience in the field of psychology to be considered.
  • 1,500 hours of practical experience under the direction of a licensed psychologist over the course of 12 to 24 months. Half of these hours must be completed post-doctorally and require a provisional license.
  • A complete application and supporting documentation and payment of applicable fees.
  • A passing score on the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Prior MCP authorization is required.
  • A score of at least 70 percent on a state jurisprudence examination that assesses knowledge of the Missouri Psychology Practice Act and Rules.
  • Successful completion of an oral examination conducted by the MCP. Test dates are available on the Board's official website.

Training does not end with formal licensing. All psychology licenses must be renewed every even-numbered calendar year, which requires professionals to submit a renewal application and proof that they completed least 40 approved continuing education units (CEUs) during the preceding two years. CE courses can be completed through authorized providers and psychology colleges in Missouri.

Featured psychology schools in Missouri

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis's psychology programs often rank among the best in the nation: In 2016, U.S News & World Report ranked its cognitive psychology, general psychology, and clinical psychology programs no. 8, no. 14 and no.16, respectively. Its psychology school's overall global ranking that year: no. 34. Students studying psychology at Washington University in St. Louis can enroll in specialized and interdisciplinary training programs, earn graduate fellowships, and participate in a myriad of research experiences and seminars.

University of Missouri, Columbia

The University of Missouri in Columbia reports that its programs consistently rank in the top 50 psychology departments in the nation. The school offers a full range of psychology degrees, from bachelor's degrees through doctorates. Specialized training is available in such specialties as: Clinical Psychology; Cognition and Neuroscience, Quantitative Psychology and Psychometrics, among others. One can also pursue a Ph.D. in psychiatry through the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Programs provide ample research and practical training opportunities, including a chance to complete supervised post-doctoral practicums through the on-site Psychological Services Clinic

  • Department: Department of Psychological Sciences
  • Location: Columbia
  • Online options: The University of Missouri System offers an online graduate certificate in positive psychology; remaining programs are completed on campus.

University of Missouri - Kansas City

The University of Missouri in Kansas City offers a notable variety of psychology programs, including a combined program designed to allow students to earn both their master's degrees and Ph.D.s in five years of full-time study. The University's doctoral programs include a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and another in Experimental Health Psychology, but faculty research allows for much more specialized training in areas like adolescent development and psychophysiology in cognition and mental health. Students are encouraged to present their own research at national and international conferences, and to publish their work in scientific journals.

  • Department: UMKC Department of Psychology
  • Location: Kansas City
  • Online options: The University of Missouri System offers an online graduate certificate in positive psychology; remaining programs are completed on campus.

Sources:
1. "State & Area Data," Psychologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-7
2. "Rules and Statutes," Committee of Psychologists, Missouri Division of Professional Registration, Missouri.gov , http://pr.mo.gov/psychologists-rules-statutes.asp
3. College Navigator, The National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
4. "Search for Accredited Programs," American Psychological Association, http://apps.apa.org/accredsearch/?_ga=1.260631757.1983335796.1462059967

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