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Kentucky Psychology Doctorate Programs

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  • Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, or Online Counseling and Psychological Studies Ph.D

The need for compassionate, highly trained professionals in the field of psychology is great and growing all the time. That’s why so many students are drawn to doctoral degrees in psychology, such as the Psy.D. degree, or Doctor of Psychology.

Several Psy.D. degrees can be earned right here in Kentucky. Let’s learn more about the educational options in the commonwealth as well as what’s required to earn professional licensure here.

Quick Facts:

  • In Kentucky, 26 not-for-profit schools offer programs in psychology with 14 of those schools providing an advanced degree.
  • The highest graduation rate is 86 percent, at Centre College.
  • Centre College is the most expensive, at over $25,500, while Berea College is the least expensive at just over $2,860.
  • You can get licensed by reciprocity in Kentucky if you’ve been licensed in another state and meet other requirements.
  • Other psychological credentials in the state include Psychological Practitioner, Psychological Associate, and Health Service Provider.

List of PsyD Degree Programs in Kentucky

Three Psy.D. degree programs are available in the commonwealth of Kentucky, including two that are accredited by the APA. Let’s take a look at the vital statistics of the programs and schools that offer them.

Spalding University

The Psy.D. program at Spalding University first earned APA accreditation in 1989. Today, the program offers a range of specialty options, including adult, child/adolescent, forensic and health psychology. More than 200 graduates have earned their Psy.D. from Spalding since the 2009-10 school year, and the licensure rate over the past decade is 93%.

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Campus: Louisville
  • Annual tuition: $29,250
  • Degrees offered: PsyD
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University’s Psy.D. program is a newly APA-accredited program, with 2020 being the first academic year under this designation. Ten students completed their degrees during the provisional period, beginning in 2018, and all four who have sought licensing since then have earned it.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Richmond
  • Tuition: $81,000 (entire program)
  • Degrees offered: PsyD
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University’s Department of Psychology offers a Psy.D. in Applied Psychology that was designed to adhere to APA guidelines, but the program has not yet been granted provisional or final accreditation. Still, interested students can choose from two possible specializations, clinical or school, and the program is meant to be taken after obtaining a master’s degree. Six students have completed their degrees since the program conferred its first degrees in 2018, and half have earned licensure so far.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Bowling Green
  • Annual tuition: $10,319 in-state, $15,589 out-of-state
  • Degrees offered: PsyD in Applied Psychology
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission; application for APA accreditation pending
  • Visit school: Click here

How to Become a Psychologist in Kentucky

Being able to work as a psychologist in Kentucky involves not only earning an advanced degree like a Psy.D. but also completing a several-step application process. Let’s take a look at the steps required to get your psychologist license here in Kentucky.

  1. Get your bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field. If your undergrad degree is in psychology, you should be able to simply apply for the Psy.D. program of your choice. But if your bachelor’s degree is in a different field, you may need to take remedial courses, or you could be a less-attractive candidate. Also, some Psy.D. programs require students to have master’s degrees, so be sure to find out what’s required at the schools to which you plan to apply.
  2. Earn a doctoral degree. Most Psy.D. programs combine rigorous coursework with thousands of hours of hands-on work helping people deal with their mental and behavioral health issues, and some of these programs will help you meet the professional experience requirements set forth by Kentucky regulators.
  3. Meet state requirements. Licensure applicants in Kentucky must meet several requirements as part of the application process, including completing at least 3,600 hours of supervised professional experience, half of which must be from clinical services. Applicants who meet all requirements can apply for a temporary license, which will let them take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (a minimum score of 500 is required), as well as the two state exams (rules and ethics) necessary to be granted a license.
  4. Remain licensed, and keep up with requirements. Psychologists in Kentucky must renew their licenses every three years and must complete 39 hours of continuing education during the period.

Kentucky Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

The overall average wage for Kentucky workers is just over $44,000, considerably lower than the average salary expected for clinical, counseling and school psychologists in the commonwealth, $66,940, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Over the next decade, jobs for clinical psychologists are expected to increase by 12.1% in Kentucky, which is several times higher than the projected growth rate for all jobs of about 5%.