Kentucky: How to Earn a Psychology Doctorate Degree

With a guide to universities offering a PsyD degree in Kentucky, you can be armed with essential information needed to help you earn your PsyD degree there. This includes all the requirements to become a practicing psychologist. Take a look.

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.

Top PsyD Degree Programs in Kentucky

The following schools provide programs for you to get started on a PysD in Psychology:

#1 University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. There is a 23 credit minimum to fulfill those requirements, and students can choose which track they want to take and focus on. A capstone course must be chosen as part of the credits needed, but there are nearly a dozen different courses you can pick from for that capstone. A senior thesis or an internship can also be completed, and undergraduate research options are open to all students.

#2 Spalding University

At Spalding University a Bachelor of Arts is offered, and there are two options for it. There is a traditional program that is expected to take four years, and an accelerated program and brings in weekends and nights to allow students to move through their classes and complete their requirements faster. The programs are identical in what you will learn and the knowledge you will have when your degree is completed. The only difference is the time frame.

#3 Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University has three different degree tracks that can be taken, but they all lead to a Master of Science. One is in general psychology, one in clinical psychology, and one in industrial and organizational psychology. The master’s program is expected to take two years no matter which track is chosen, and 60 credits are required for graduation requirements. If you choose the clinical psychology track you will be eligible to take the Licensed Psychological Associate exam once you graduate.

How to Become a Practicing Clinical Psychologist in Kentucky

To become a psychologist in Kentucky with the proper license and ability to practice, you will need to first focus on getting a bachelor’s degree. It can be in psychology or a field that is closely related, but it is very important to get the right level of education. It’s a good foundation to build on, and an associate’s degree or certificate won’t be enough.

During the time you’re earning your bachelor’s degree in Kentucky, keep your eyes open for research experience opportunities. These are available at most universities. As an undergraduate, you can work as a research assistant to a psychology professor. That will give you the chance to gain a lot of good work experience.

Upon completion of your bachelor’s degree, it’s time to move on to your master’s in psychology. You can check out the programs above for that, or choose something else that’s a better fit for your needs and goals. After you get a master’s degree, it’s time to get your PsyD. That takes time, and with the internship that will be required you can expect to spend between four and five years earning that particular degree.

Once you have a PsyD, you can shift your focus to getting your psychology license in Kentucky. To do that there are some steps involved after graduation, including:

  1. Submitting your application for a temporary license. When you submit your application to the Board, you can indicate whether you still need to finish your supervised hours or not. You also need to pay a fee and provide three letters of recommendation. Two of these letters have to come from those who have doctoral degrees in psychology, and who are familiar with the work you have been doing during and after obtaining your degree. Letters from family, friends, or those without the required level of education aren’t acceptable.
  2. Gaining two years of experience. The experience you get as a psychologist before you are officially licensed has to be supervised properly. You also need two years of it, to ensure that you are ready for licensure. Kentucky requires 3,600 hours of supervised professional experience (SPE) in order for you to get your psychology license and practice without being supervised.
  3. Passing the licensing exams. You can’t practice psychology in Kentucky without being fully licensed, and you won’t get to that point without passing the EPPP (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology) and two state exams. One of these state exams is about mental health issues and practices in Kentucky, and the other one is an oral exam regarding professional principles and ethics. You must pass all of these tests in order to move forward.
  4. Requesting your full license. Once you complete all the requirements for the state, you can request your full license. The Board will review everything, and as long as it’s all in order and you pay the required fee they will issue your license.

Kentucky Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

The median pay for psychologists in Kentucky is $75,800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, it’s important to know the job growth percentage for that state, which is projected to be nearly 8.5 percent. Clinical, school, and counseling psychology positions are expected to grow even more, at 12.5 percent. If you plan to become a psychologist in Kentucky within the next decade, you should generally see job opportunities and growth in your field available to you, based on the available statistics.