Psychology Schools and Colleges in Iowa (IA)

There are only two schools with a total of four doctoral programs in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association in the entire state of Iowa, and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists also only recognizes two psychology schools and college in Iowa. The National Association of School Psychologists has similarly granted approval to two graduate programs in the state.

Nevertheless, Iowa ranked tenth in the country for the number of undergraduates majoring in psychology in the 2011-2012 academic year, with a total of 3,417. However, with only 232 students earning a master’s degree in psychology that same year, Iowa was 27th in the country.

  • In proportion with its overall population, Iowa had just 670 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists employed across the state as of May 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics.
  • The average annual salary for those psychologists was $75,400, which is just slightly lower than the national average of $76,040.
  • Iowa’s department of Workforce Development is projecting modest increases in the number of psychologists employed in the state through 2022, with roughly fifty new jobs being added each year. That should amount to about a 10 percent increase in jobs for psychologists from 2012-2022.

Total Employment
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IAMarriage and Family TherapistsN/A$54,470
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IAClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists40$88,670
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-ILClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists50$80,940
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IAClinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists220$86,030

2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Iowa psychology licensing requirements

Professional licensure for psychologists is handled in Iowa by the state Board of Psychology. Psychologists must be licensed if they intend to practice in the state. However, Iowa has a tiered system for licensure, which allows candidate who have completed the minimum requirement for licensing — a doctoral degree in psychology — to obtain a provisional psychology associate license while completing the additional steps, which are listed below:

  • Earn a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program
  • Complete one year, or 1,500 hours of supervised internship experience; to become a health service provider in psychology, Iowa requires an additional year of supervised professional experience
  • Earn a passing score on the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology

Licensed psychologists must renew their licenses every two years in Iowa. The licensing period in the state begins on July 1 of every even-numbered year, and ends on June 30 of the next even-numbered year. Applicants for relicensure are required to demonstrate that they have completed 40 hours of continuing education over the course of that two-year period.

Featured psychology schools in Iowa

U.S. News & World Report‘s rankings of graduate schools includes three psychology schools and colleges in Iowa. They are listed below, along with an additional program that is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa, or the U of I, is home to a nationally renowned teaching hospital and to the celebrated Iowa Writers Workshop. Along with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the medical school it houses, the Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences at the U of I benefits from associations with the university’s Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, and the school’s neuroscience graduate program. The psych department has five main areas of research and training: behavioral and cognitive neuroscience; clinical psychology; developmental science; cognition and perception; and social psychology. In addition to undergraduate degrees, it awards master’s and Ph.D.s in psychology. The College of Education at the U of I has a school psychology program that confers doctoral and educational specialist degrees.

  • Department: University of Iowa Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, and College of Education
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa
  • Online options: The University of Iowa has an online learning program that does confer undergraduate and graduate degree, but not in the field of psychology

Iowa State University

The full name of this public research institution is the Iowa State University of Science and Technology. It includes the well-regarded Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Ames Research Laboratory, a research facility funded by the US Department of Energy. The Psychology Department at Iowa State has options for undergraduates to major or minor in psychology, and three primary areas of graduate research and training: cognitive psychology, counseling psychology, and social psychology. The Department conducts research in areas that include attitudes and social cognition, memory and education, community counseling services, and self and social perception.

  • Department: Iowa State University Department of Psychology
  • Location: Ames, Iowa
  • Online options: Iowa State’s online and distance learning program has numerous graduate and undergraduate degree offerings, but not in the field of psychology

Maharishi University of Management

Located in the small town of Fairfield, Iowa, and founded by in the early 1970s by a Transcendental Meditation guru by the name of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Maharishi University of Management is a unique institution of higher learning that emphasizes Consciousness-Based Education. While the psychology program does not have accreditation from the American Psychological Association, it is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and the university itself has accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The psychology program at Maharishi University is solely based on what the school terms metaphysical psychology.

  • Department: Maharishi University of Management
  • Location: Fairfield, Iowa
  • Online options: The Maharishi University of Management does not offer online degrees in psychology

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls is a public university that does not have a doctoral program in psychology. Thus, the Department of Psychology at UNI is not eligible for accreditation from the American Psychological Association. The school does offer an undergraduate major in psychology, with an option to earn a certificate in industrial-organizational psychology. The school also awards master’s degrees in psychology, with emphases in clinical science and social psychology. The College of Education at UNI has a school and educational psychology program that offers master’s and educational specialist degrees; this program has formal approval from the National Association of School Psychologists.

  • Department: University of Northern Iowa Department of Psychology and College of Education
  • Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Online options: UNI offers a range of degree programs online, but none in the field of psychology
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