The Sooner State is both big in area, ranking 20th among the 50 states, and small in population, coming in at number 28 in the most recent U.S. Census report. Oil, natural gas, and agriculture account for a big chunk of the state's economy. But there are also several big centers for higher education in Oklahoma, several of which have solid programs in psychology.
- In Oklahoma, there are three schools with a total of five individual doctoral programs in psychology that are accredited by the American Psychological Association. The National Register of Health Service Psychologists has extended approval to three doctoral programs in the state. And there are two additional programs in Oklahoma that have official recognition from the National Association of School Psychologists.
- However, in a 2011-2012 academic year survey of higher education, the National Center for Education Statistics counted just over 900 undergraduates completing degrees in psychology in the state of Oklahoma, compared to the nearly 10,000 in New York State alone.
- That put Oklahoma at 31st among the 50 states for undergraduate students in psychology, and the state ranked 26th for master's degree students, with 236.
In its May of 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 970 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists practicing professionally in Oklahoma. The average annual salary for those psychologists was $55,130, which was significantly lower than the national average of $76,040. The long-term occupational outlook for employment among clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in 2012 projected a modest 9 percent rise in job levels through 2022.
Oklahoma psychology licensing requirements
In Oklahoma, psychologists must be licensed at the state level to practice professionally. This is overseen by the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, which has fairly detailed specifications for what is required in terms of coursework and training in psychology. One advantage of attending a psychology program in Oklahoma, for those intending to practice in the state, is that these programs are more likely to be geared to Oklahoma's specific requirements. The basic steps for licensure are detailed below:
- Earn a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program
- Complete a minimum of three recommendations from licensed practicing psychologists
- Complete 2,000 hours, or one full year, of supervised internship experience in psychology
- Complete 2,000 hours, or one full year, of post-doctoral supervised work experience in psychological practice or research
- Earn a passing score on the Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology
- Earn a passing score on the Oklahoma Jurisprudence Examination
Licensure renewal happens annually for psychologists in the state of Oklahoma. The Board of Examiners requires practicing psychologists to complete 20 hours of continuing education in psychology each year, 3 of which much be in the area of professional ethics.
Featured psychology schools in Oklahoma
There are four psychology schools and colleges in Oklahoma that qualified for the latest national rankings of psychology graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. They are listed below:
University of Oklahoma Health Services Center
The University of Oklahoma Health Services Center is best known as an academic health center and hospital that has training programs in nursing, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and public health. While it does not have a typical psychology department, with a major for undergraduates and graduate programs, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Medicine has highly rated research and training in clinical psychology and neuropsychology.
- Department: University of Oklahoma Health Services Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Online options: The Health Services Center does not offer online courses or degree programs
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma in Norman is a large, public research institution that offers over 150 bachelor's degree options, and 160 master's degree programs. It is the central campus for the University of Oklahoma system, which has campuses in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Arezzo. The OU Department of Psychology includes a Center for Applied Social Research, and supports research and training in cognitive psychology, social psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, quantitative psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and personality psychology. In addition to an undergraduate major in psychology, OU offers master's degree training psychology and a full doctoral program. The Rainbolt College of Education at OU houses an education psychology program that includes a Ph.D. in counseling psychology and both a master's and a doctoral degree in instructional psychology.
- Department: University of Oklahoma Department of Psychology and College of Education
- Location: Norman, Oklahoma
- Online options: UO has an active online degree program, but it does not include online degrees in psychology
Oklahoma State University
Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma State is a large, public research university and the flagship institution in the Oklahoma State University System. It encompasses a College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Spears School of Business, and colleges devoted to education, engineering, and human sciences. The Department of Psychology offers a popular undergraduate major, as well as graduate research and training in five broad areas of psychology: cognitive psychology, comparative neurobiological psychology, developmental psychology, social/personality psychology, and clinical psychology. These are doctoral programs. The College of Education at Oklahoma State also offers a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, as well as master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees in educational psychology.
- Department: Oklahoma State University Department of Psychology and College of Education
- Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
- Online options: Through its OCampus initiative, Oklahoma State offers a range of online degree options, however not in the field of psychology
University of Tulsa
The University of Tulsa is a private university in Tulsa that has a law school, a business school, and a college of health sciences. Located within the university's Kendall College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Psychology at the University of Tulsa offers a popular major for undergraduates and two key areas of training and research for graduate students: industrial-organizational psychology and clinical psychology. The industrial-organizational track leads to a master's degree, while the clinical track is a full doctoral program.
- Department: University of Tulsa Department of Psychology
- Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Online options: The University of Tulsa does not offer online degrees
1. U.S. News & World Report, Education Rankings, Psychology Schools, visited on March 25, 2016; http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/psychology-rankings
2. American Psychological Association, Search for Accredited Programs, visited March 27, 2016; http://apps.apa.org/accredsearch/?_ga=1.120283918.72239646.1430315672
3. National Register of Health Service Psychologists, All Approved Doctoral Programs Listed by Jurisdiction, visited March 26, 2016; http://www.nationalregister.org/resources-links/doctoral-programs/approved-doctoral-programs-by-jurisdiction/
4. National Association of School Psychologists, NASP-Approved Programs, visited March 26, 2016; http://www.nasponline.org/standards-and-certification/graduate-program-approval/nasp-approved-programs
5. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, "Master's degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by field of study and state or jurisdiction: 2011-12," visited March 25, 2016; https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_319.40.asp
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2015 edition, 'Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists," visited March 25, 2016; http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm
7. Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, "Oklahoma Long-Term Occupational Outlook, 2012-2022," visited April 16, 2016; https://www.ok.gov/oesc_web/documents/lmistatewideoccproj1222.pdf
8. Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, "Requirements for Licensure," visited April 15, 2016; https://www.ok.gov/psychology/Applicants/Become_a_Licensed_Psychologist/Requirements_for_Licensure/index.html
9. Schools:University of Oklahoma, Department of Psychology, visited April 15, 2016; http://www.ou.edu/content/cas/psychology/graduate-studies.html; University of Oklahoma Health Services Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, visited April 16, 2016; https://www.oumedicine.com/psychiatry/training-programs; Oklahoma State University, Department of Psychology, visited April 15, 2016; https://psychology.okstate.edu/; University of Tulsa, Department of Psychology, visited April 15, 2016; https://artsandsciences.utulsa.edu/academics/departments-schools/psychology/