Jobs for psychologists are on the rise, and the knowledge and skills you learn in pursuit of a degree at psychology schools and colleges in Montana can be assets in nearly all walks of professional life. Here are some basic stats about the availability of psychological education to Montana residents:
- How many: There were a total of 12 psychology schools and colleges in Montana in 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), of which six offer associate degree programs, eight have bachelor's degree options, and master's or doctoral programs can be found on four separate campuses
- What stands out: Two of the psychology Ph.D. programs available at the University of Montana in Missoula -- one in clinical psychology and one in school psychology -- have earned accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA) and acknowledgement by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists
- Which is the top: U.S. News & World Report lists the University of Montana on its 2016 roster of the best graduate schools in the country for clinical psychology
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that clinical, counseling and school psychologists in Montana earned mean annual pay of $56,910 in 2015, although regional factors often played a part in determining individual salaries. Here's some more BLS salary data that focuses on smaller regions of the state:
- $62,410 in Greater Southwest Montana
- $56,730 in Greater Northwest Montana
- $72,260 in Billings
The lowest 10 percent of reported salaries for graduates of psychology schools and colleges in Montana were less than $24,750 in 2015, according to the BLS, and the top 10 percent of earners that year took home $106,770 or more.
|Region||Career||Total Employment||Annual Median Wage|
|Billings, MT||Mental Health Counselors||$90||$39,330|
|Billings, MT||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$60||$67,940|
|Missoula, MT||Mental Health Counselors||$230||$34,610|
|Missoula, MT||Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$100||$31,090|
Montana psychology licensing requirements
Licenses to practice psychology in Montana are administered and overseen by the Montana Board of Psychologists. Here's what it takes to qualify for a license in the Treasure State, according to documents produced by the Board:
- Be 18 years of age or older and of good moral character
- Earn a doctoral degree from a university program accredited by the APA
- Complete no less than two years of supervised experience in psychological practice, including one full year of postdoctoral experience with no more than six months spent doing academically oriented work (research, teaching, etc.)
- Take and pass the written Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and an oral examination administered by the Montana Board of Psychologists
- Submit your application along with a $175 application fee, a $100 fee for the oral exam and a $25 certificate fee
Psychologists in Montana renew their licenses yearly, typically between November 1 and December 31, for a $600 renewal fee. A 45-day late renewal period lasts until February 14 the following year and requires an additional $600 late fee for renewal processing. For more information on licensing details, including options for students whose doctorates come from programs unaccredited by the APA, take a look at the Montana Board of Psychologists website.
Featured psychology schools in Montana
There may not be an especially long list of psychology colleges in Montana, but multiple degree options exist for students around the state. Here's detail on each of the institutions in the state equipped to award psychology degrees at the undergraduate or graduate level:
University of Montana
The University of Montana is home to the highest-rated psychology programs in the state, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in clinical psychology and school psychology are accredited by the APA. Other advanced degrees available at UM include a school psychology master's degree program that prepares you for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) exam and an experimental psychology Ph.D. that can be specialized to focus on developmental psychology, quantitative psychology, cognitive psychology, social/political psychology or comparative animal behavior.
- Department: Department of Psychology at the University of Montana
- Location: Missoula
- Online options: No fully online psychology degrees are available at UM, but certain individual courses from the psychology department can be taken in the virtual classroom.
Montana State University
This Bozeman institution offers two psychology degrees to its students: a research-oriented Ph.D. in psychological science and an undergraduate Bachelor of Science (BS) in psychology with options to focus on either psychological science or applied psychology. The college makes it clear that the doctorate available at MSU is oriented toward aspiring professional scholars and other academics, rather than practitioners, so one of the other psychology schools and colleges in Montana would be a better fit for students hoping to go into private psychological practice.
- Department: Department of Psychology at Montana State University
- Location: Bozeman
- Online options: MSU does offer several online programs, but no psychology degrees were among them as of 2016.
University of Great Falls
Although this Cascade County school doesn't offer any doctoral programs in psychology, it does provide options for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The bachelor's program at UGF follows the APA guidelines for undergraduate psychology study and allows students to choose among social services, helping skills, forensic psychology or physiological psychology as a study concentration, and the Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) degree has recently applied for accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP).
- Department: University of Great Falls Division of Social Science and Humanities
- Location: Great Falls
- Online options: Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees in psychology and addictions counseling are available through the department of distance learning at UGF.
Montana State University Billings
MSU Billings that focuses on offering programs designed to prepare students for their doctoral work. It's one of the few psychology schools and colleges in Montana that offers a Master of Science (MS) program in psychology for graduate students working toward their terminal degree, and MSUB undergraduates looking to major in psychology can choose either a BS or BA degree track. Undergraduate students in other areas of study can also choose to undertake either a general minor or a teaching minor in psychology.
- Department: Montana State University Billings Psychology Department
- Location: Billings, Montana
- Online options: MSUB does offer an online graduate degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling, but no graduate or undergraduate degrees in pure psychology are available online.
1. License Requirements, Montana Board of Psychologists, accessed September 29, 2016, http://b.bsd.dli.mt.gov/license/bsd_boards/psy_board/pdf/lic_psyc.pdf
2. Professional and occupational license renewals online, Montana Department of Labor and Industry, accessed September 29, 2016, http://b.bsd.dli.mt.gov/license/who_can_renew.asp#psy
3. Best Graduate Schools, U.S. News & World Report, accessed September 29, 2016: University of Montana, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/the-university-of-montana-180489/overall-rankings;
4. School pages, accessed September 29, 2016: Department of Psychology, University of Montana, http://hs.umt.edu/psychology/; Fully-Online Programs, University of Montana, http://umonline.umt.edu/programs.php; Course Search, University of Montana, http://www.umt.edu/academicplanner/coursesearch/search.html?term=201670&onlineCourse=true; Department of Psychology, Montana State University, http://www.montana.edu/psychology/; Ph.D. Program in Psychological Science, Montana State University, http://www.montana.edu/psychology/graduate.html; Online Degree and Certificate Programs, Montana State University, http://www.montana.edu/online/degrees/index.html; Psychology, University of Great Falls, http://ugf.edu/Academics/Undergraduate/Majors/Psychology/tabid/163/Default.aspx; Full Time Faculty, University of Great Falls, http://ugf.edu/Academics/Faculty/FullTimeFaculty/tabid/846/Default.aspx; Distance Learning, University of Great Falls, http://ugf.edu/Academics/DistanceLearning/tabid/81/Default.aspx; Master of Science in Counseling (MSC), University of Great Falls, http://ugf.edu/Academics/Graduate/MasterofScienceinCounselingMSC/tabid/823/Default.aspx; Psychology Department, Montana State University Billings, http://www.msubillings.edu/cas/psych/; MSUB Online, Montana State University Billings, http://www.msubillings.edu/msubonline/DegreesandPrograms.htm