Arkansas: How to Earn a Psychology Doctorate Degree

Pursuing your doctorate in psychology may seem daunting, and it is certainly a major undertaking, but if you are willing to work at it, the path to licensure is there for you to take. We’ll take you through the steps.

Quick Facts:

  • Arkansas is home to twenty three schools offering psychology degree programs, including both universities and not-for-profit colleges.
  • Twenty of these schools offer a bachelor’s degree, one offers an associate’s and five offer master’s or other advanced degrees.
  • University of Arkansas was ranked at #59 for in-state, and #57 out-of-state by Kiplinger’s on the Best Values in Public Colleges list, 2017.
  • Ouachita Baptist University holds the highest graduation rate of these schools, at 70%, while Ecclesia College holds the highest transfer-out rate at 67%.
  • Hendrix College holds the highest net price at $22,777, while University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff holds the lowest, at $7,840.

Top PsyD Degree Programs in Arkansas

Listed below are three of the best schools for psychology degree programs available in Arkansas:

#1 University of Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)

The University of Arkansas offers a program for students to earn a BA, or Bachelor of Arts, degree in psychology. While many students choose to pursue a master’s degree before moving on to their path towards a doctorate, a bachelor’s degree will qualify you to take the next step, with or without a master’s. The University of Arkansas’ BA program is a 124-credit undergraduate plan. The program builds the necessary foundation towards your master’s or doctorate, including general college requirements, 34 psychology course credits, and required courses including psychology and the human experience, statistics and methods, and research methods.

Although you can take your internship at any time in your academic career, the University of Arkansas puts special emphasis on pursuing it while studying for your bachelor’s. The college is home to a branch of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society, and an on-campus Psychology Club.

#2 Harding University (Searcy, AR)

Harding University offers a Bachelor of Arts program in psychology which covers 128 course credits in both general college requirements and courses focused on psychology. This is an undergraduate program designed to create a solid foundation of knowledge towards your psychology master’s or doctorate.

Note that Harding is a college with a strong focus on Christian spirituality, and elective courses include psychology and Christianity. The school’s full-time professors are fully licensed by the Arkansas State Boards. The school is home to a branch of Psi Chi.

#3 University of Central Arkansas (Conway, AR)

For those looking to pursue a master’s degree in psychology, the University of Central Arkansas in Conway offers a robust MS, or Master of Science, program in psychology. Courses offered in this program cover a number of general and specified topics, including school psychology, counseling psychology, and community counseling. The master’s program is designed to create work-ready graduates. While the program produces strong results for those pursuing their doctorate, it is also designed to make you employable right out the gate, with real-world learning opportunities available at the Psychology and Counseling Training Clinic. The school is home to a branch of Psi Chi, as well as CAPS (Counseling and Psychology Students), and the UCA Psychological Society.

How to Become a Practicing Clinical Psychologist in Arkansas

The first step towards attaining your license to work as a clinical psychologist in the state of Arkansas is to attain your bachelor’s degree. You can do that at the school’s listed above, or look at larger lists to find one that is more to your suiting. You do not have to pursue a master’s in between getting your bachelor’s degree and applying for a doctorate program, as a doctorate program will typically cover everything you would have learned for your master’s.

SEE ALSO: 5+ Online PsyD Programs Accredited

Your doctorate alone may take four to five years, on top of the time it took you to earn your bachelor’s degree. The path from your first day in college to your doctorate may take eight years or more, and you should try to get as much real world experience as possible through internship programs offered by your schools and associated organizations.

Once you have your doctorate, you will need to go through the steps to attain your license to practice psychology professionally.

  1. Request your license application packet with the appropriate form.You will need to include your $200 application fee, three references, signed-off paperwork for your internship and supervised professional experience, transcripts, proof of the doctoral degree, and your background check, state and national, from the Identification Bureau of the Arkansas State Police, for a total of $39.25 for both checks.
  2. If you do not have enough hours under your belt, you will need to complete a one-year, 2,000 hours total, of supervised professional experience with a supervisor who will file a supervision plan.
  3. Pass the exams. Arkansas’ process is a little more complicated than some states. First the board will recivew your credentials, academic, experience, and personal, then you will pay a $687.50 EPPP test fee, and a $50 administration fee to the board before taking the test to be administered by the ASPPB (Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards). You will need to pass with a scaled score of 500 or better to move on to the oral interview and oral examination, which will be used to gauge your knowledge, temperament and character.
  4. Receive your license.

Arkansas Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics points to a median annual salary of $82,480 for practicing clinical psychologists. The industry in Arkansas is expected to grow according to the national average, by about 9%. Arkansas sits roughly in the national median, making it a strong state for those pursuing psychologist work, as well as for those looking to study here before pursuing career options elsewhere.

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Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Editor-In-Chief

Ann Steele, Ph.D., is Editor-In-Chief of PsydPrograms.org. Ann has training as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has worked with adults, couples, adolescents, and preteens throughout San Diego county.