Arizona: How to Earn a Psychology Doctorate Degree
The road to your clinical psychology license begins with application to the schools of your choice, followed by many years of training, followed by a thorough and comprehensive testing process. It’s a lot of work, but if this is your passion in life, it’s worth it. Here’s what you need to know in order to get started:
- Arizona is home to 19 schools offering psychology degree programs.
- Four of these schools offer an associate’s program, thirteen offer a bachelor’s, and ten offer a master’s or other advanced psychology degree.
- Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges, 2017, lists Arizona State University – Tempe at #70 in-state and #82 out-of-state, and ASU – West at #91 and #89 in-state and out-of-state.
- ASU – Tempe has the highest graduation rate at 67%, and Arizona Christian University has the highest transfer-out rate, at 49%.
- Emy-Riddle Aeronautical University and ASU – West have the highest and lowest net prices, at $32,681 and $8,692, respectively.
Top PsyD Degree Programs in Arizona
#1 Midwestern University (Glendale, AZ)
Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona offers a PsyD program in Clinical Psychology based within their medical school, with a focus especially on mental health inr relation to other areas of the healthcare industry. Students will have the opportunity to interact with healthcare professionals in a healthcare environment.
The program uses the practitioner-scholar structure, covering diagnostics, assessments and evidence-based intervention. You will be completing a clerkship, internship and practicum in order to build professional experience towards your PsyD. Over the four to five years the program covers, you will be assessed for competency based on your portfolio as it develops.
#2 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott (Prescott, AZ)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott offers a range of undergrad psychology programs. These cover three Bachelor of Science in Psychology degrees: BS in Industrial Psychology & Safety, BS in Forensic Psychology, and BS in Human Factors Pychology. Embry-Riddle is an excellent choice for students looking to bring a specialty to their work.
The school is well known for Industrial Psychology & Safety, which covers improvements to safety systems through physiology and psychology. This is explored in organizational analysis and research, sensation, perception and cognition, human factos and ergonomics, management of production and operations, and human reliability and safety analysis.
#3 Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)
Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff offers a Bachelor of Arts Program in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science Program in Psychology. A BA is focused more on the humanities side of academia, writing, theory and so on. A BS is oriented around science, data, research and experimentation. Either will provide a strong foundation towards your doctorate.
The courses each cover 120 credits, with 41 going to psychology major courses. The school is home to a branch of Psi Chi, the psychology honors society, and a Psychology Club. The school is known for its study-abroad opportunities in Peru. An excellent chance to see the world while you train.
How to Become a Practicing Clinical Psychologist in Arizona
You don’t necessarily need to pursue a standalone master’s degree in order to move on to your doctorate studies. A bachelor’s will qualify you to enlist in a doctorate program, and your doctorate will carry you the rest of the way. However, it might not be a bad idea to pursue a master’s if you want to specialize in a certain area of psychology. The industry can be competitive at times, and having a niche, something that you do better than any other working professional, can help you to attain the job of your choice.
In any event, once you have completed your doctorate studies, you will then move on to supervised professional experience, and testing, in order to attain your full license to work as a clinical psychologist. Here’s what you need to know:
- You will need to complete your experience hours before attaining your license. You will have covered the first 1,500 during your internship, and you will cover another 1,500 as part of a supervised preinternship, additional internship, and postdoctoral experience arrangement. You will need to apply to the board so that you can pursue your supervised hours.
- Apply to the board to take your test. This will cost you a $350 fee, and you will need to mail in all of your relevant data, proof of your degree, proof of supervised work hours, proof of Arizona Citizenship, and anything else the board asks for.
- Take your EPPP test, and pass with a scaled score of at least 500. If you pass your testing process, more fees may be associated with your licensure, such as a $500 initial licensing fee, and renewal fees.
- Receive your license. The board will get in touch to let you know when it’s in the mail.
Arizona Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook
Arizona’s psychology industry currently employes 2,540 clinical, counseling and school psychologists, and 150 in “other” areas of the field. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists can expect to earn an average annual salary of $64,450, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Others will earn around $89,280 a year, but note that this second category is broad, including people who earn both half and twice that in various niches of psychology. The BLS expects a ten year growth of 24,9% for clinical, counseling and school psychology by 2026, according to data reported in 2016.