Psychology Schools in South Carolina (SC)

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Graduates of psychology schools in South Carolina can find a wide range of applications for their skills on the job market, especially in fields that value a deep understanding of human behavior and motivation. Here's a quick rundown of the basic facts and figures surrounding psychology colleges in South Carolina:

  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that there were 30 separate colleges and universities offering psychology degrees in South Carolina in 2016
  • Two psychology Ph.D. programs at the University of South Carolina are recognized by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists and accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA)
  • U.S. News and World Report placed multiple universities in the state on its Best Colleges list for 2016, and the University of South Carolina was mentioned on the agency's list of best graduate psychology programs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a national mean annual salary of $76,040 for clinical, counseling and school psychologists in 2015, and regional salary data in South Carolina show that certain parts of the state fall on either side of that figure. Here's a quick survey of BLS salary averages for a few South Carolina metro areas:

  • $82,760 in Myrtle Beach
  • $67,160 in Columbia
  • $69,340 in Spartanburg
  • $71,210 in Aiken County
  • $58,860 in Charleston

Graduates of psychology schools and colleges in South Carolina who practice forms of psychology other than the clinical, counseling and school modalities also earned fairly impressive wages in 2015, with a reported statewide average pay of $86,460.

RegionCareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Median Wage
Charleston-North Charleston, SCClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists150$52,620
Charleston-North Charleston, SCMental Health Counselors120$41,030
Columbia, SCClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists280$73,700
Columbia, SCMental Health Counselors130$26,650
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SCClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists300$49,750
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SCMental Health Counselors130$31,590
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

South Carolina psychology licensing requirements

The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology sets the licensing requirements for professional practitioners in the state. Here's a list of the state standards for education, supervised work experience and other common requirements:

  • Complete an APA-accredited Ph.D. or PsyD program at college or university that's either regionally accredited or authorized to grant doctoral degrees by provincial statute or royal charter
  • Present evidence of at least two years of supervised clinical experience, of which a pre-doctoral internship can be counted for one year and the rest must be completed post-doctorally
  • Take the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) and earn a passing score
  • Successfully pass the Board's structured oral examination
  • Remit an application fee of $500

South Carolina psychologist licensees must complete 24 credits of continuing education and pay a fee of $300 to renew their license every two years. The administrative due date for renewal is November 30, with an ultimate filing deadline of February 1 and a late filing fee of $50. For special provisions available for graduates of doctoral programs unaccredited by the APA and other details, check the state's Board of Examiners info portal.

Featured psychology schools in South Carolina

The list of psychology colleges in South Carolina is fairly long, and quite a few of the programs in the state have earned recognition for their commitment to psychology education. Here's a briefing on a few institutions in the state, including rankings on national higher education surveys and other information:

Clemson University

This lakefront institution in the western part of the state offers four graduate programs to aspiring psychologists: Ph.D.s in human factors and industrial-organizational psychology, a Master of Science (MS) degree in applied psychology and a non-degree occupational health psychology training program that's partially funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Undergraduates can choose between a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the discipline.

University of South Carolina

Not only has the Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of South Carolina earned accreditation from the APA, the school psychology program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists and was first recognized by the APA in 1974 as just the third legitimized degree of its kind. On top of that, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Columbia institution's social psychology program among the five best in the country in 2013, and its clinical psychology concentration placed in the top 100 on the 2016 rankings list.

  • Department: University of South Carolina Department of Psychology
  • Location: Columbia (main campus)
  • Online options: U.S. News ranked the online nursing program at the University of South Carolina as No. 1 nationwide in 2016, but psychology degrees have yet to join the list of online offerings.

The Citadel

The landmark institution in Charleston is unique among psychology colleges in South Carolina, not only in that it's a 160-year-old military academy but also in that it's been ranked No. 1 among public colleges and universities in the South for five straight years by U.S. News, from 2011 to 2016. Graduate programs at the Citadel include a Master of Arts (MA) degree in clinical counseling and a Specialist in Education (EdS) degree in school psychology, while undergraduates can earn a general psychology BA or take on a minor concentration in psychology while majoring in another subject.

  • Department: The Psychology Department at The Citadel
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina
  • Online options: The Citadel does offer an online Master of Arts in Social Sciences (MASS) degree, but the orthodox psychology curriculum is only offered on campus.

Francis Marion University

Founded in 1970, this Florence school is one of the newest psychology schools in South Carolina and focuses its graduate programs on the study of applied psychology. Both programs available at the graduate level at FMU lead to Master of Science (MS) degrees — one in school psychology and one in clinical/counseling psychology — and the school psychology degree includes training for a Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) certification. Psychology undergraduates can earn either a BS or BA, and U.S. News ranked FMU as one of the top 50 public schools in the South for 2016.

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6. Overall Rankings, U.S. News & World Report, accessed July 21, 2016: Clemson University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/clemson-university-217882/overall-rankings; University of South Carolina, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-south-carolina-columbia-218663/overall-rankings; The Citadel, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/citadel-military-college-of-south-carolina-217864/overall-rankings; Francis Marion University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/francis-marion-university-218061/overall-rankings
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