Alaska Psychology Doctorate Programs
About 4 percent of all adults in Alaska have a serious mental illness; that’s higher than the average for the U.S. and other Western states. The crisis in mental health and well-being in Alaska is serious and growing, which is why so many students here in Alaska are considering pursuing advanced training in psychology.
For those who want to become professionally licensed in Alaska, several requirements must be met before they can receive a license to practice. Let’s take a look at the educational opportunities here in Alaska, and the legal hurdles that need to be cleared.
List of PsyD Degree Programs in Alaska
Alaska regulators require licensure applicants to have a doctoral degree in psychology, and that usually means one of two types of degrees, Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
Two programs are available in the state, and students should know what’s involved in both of them.
Alaska Pacific University
Alaska Pacific’s Psy.D. is a relatively new program; in fact, just two cohorts have completed their training so far. The program was designed to meet the requirements of the American Psychological Association (APA), but the university has not yet received that endorsement. Applicants are urged to complete a master’s degree before applying to the program, which has conferred a total of 16 degrees in the past two academic years for which data is available. Graduates have earned professional licensure at a 69% rate.
- Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
- Campus: Anchorage
- Annual tuition: $22,680
- Degrees offered: PsyD in Counseling Psychology
- Accreditation: Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities; APA accreditation still under review
- Visit school: Click here
Other Psychology Doctorates in Alaska
University of Alaska
Formerly a joint program housed at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology recently transferred to the system’s Anchorage campus, where the program will continue. A total of 38 graduates have finished the program since the 2009-10 school year, and 83% percent earned professional licensure.
- Institution type: Public
- Campus: Anchorage
- Annual tuition: $19,422; many students receive tuition remission and annual stipends
- Degrees offered: PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology
- Accreditation: APA
- Visit school: Click here
How to Become a Psychologist in Alaska
Becoming a psychologist in the state of Alaska is a several-step process that starts with completing a bachelor’s degree. Let’s take a look at what the state requires to allow a person to legally practice as a psychologist.
- Finish college, ideally with a psychology major. The state of Alaska does not explicitly require applicants to have majored in psychology as undergraduates, but this major is the most helpful to the remaining educational steps necessary to earning licensure in the state. In some cases, psychology doctoral programs, which are required for licensure, will admit only those students with bachelor’s degrees in psychology. In other cases, schools may require applicants to complete a master’s degree, particularly if they did not major in the field in college.
- Get your doctorate. Alaska psychologist license applicants must earn a doctoral degree from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association, or they will be subject to additional documentation requirements to prove their degree is valid training. Both Ph.D. and Psy.D. degrees are accepted. The program should include a predoctoral internship of at least 1,500 to be completed within two years
- Apply for licensure. After completing their doctorate, applicants in Alaska must complete at least 1,500 hours of supervised experience before they sit for the necessary exams. Prospective psychologists must take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and the state law and ethics exam.
- Remain licensed. Psychologist licenses in Alaska expire every two years, and professionals are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education per year.
Alaska Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook
The average annual salary for clinical, counseling and school psychologists in Alaska is $83,770, according to data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These professionals can expect to earn nearly $130,000 on the high end of the pay spectrum.
In addition to a relatively high average salary, psychologists jobs are growing in Alaska. In fact, these roles are expected to expand by more than 15% over the next 10 years, three times the growth rate expected for all jobs in the U.S.