South Dakota Psychology Doctorate Programs

With increasing national acceptance of the need for mental health treatment, including counseling and therapy, the strain on the system that provides this care will continue to grow. While this is nothing new (the Psy.D. degree was developed in the 1960s to help alleviate this issue), there are many emerging educational opportunities for those whose career objective is to practice psychology.

Whether it’s a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) or a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), earning a doctorate in psychology is a crucial step toward becoming licensed to practice psychology in every state, including South Dakota.

Let’s take a look at what educational options exist here and what students should know about becoming licensed psychologists here.

What’s On This Page

  • South Dakota PsyD Programs
  • Other South Dakota Doctorate Programs
  • South Dakota Psychologist Requirements
  • South Dakota Doctorate Salary Outlook

List of PsyD Programs in South Dakota

While the state of South Dakota accepts licensure with any type of doctoral degree in psychology, state rules require all programs to include an internship of at least 1,800 hours. There are currently no Psy.D. programs being offered in the state, but there are a couple of online Psy.D. degrees that could be appropriate for students in the state.

California Southern

CalSouthern’s online Psy.D. was developed with California’s state requirements for licensure in mind, but the 100% online delivery allows students across the country to benefit since the program was tailored specifically to meet state requirements. But students in South Dakota will need to be sure they complete an internship as part of their degree.

  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Campus: Online, headquartered in California
  • Total expected tuition: $35,970
  • Degrees offered: PsyD
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Visit school: Click here
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Ashford University

Ashford University’s online Psy.D., which is a new program, includes seven possible specialties, criminology, educational leadership, health, industrial-organizational, mediation and sports. Students can complete most of their work online, but three in-person weekend workshops are required, and students in South Dakota will need to be sure their course of study can include an internship.

  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Campus: Online, headquartered in California
  • Total expected tuition: $76,404
  • Degrees offered: PsyD
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Visit school: Click here

Other Psychology Doctorates in South Dakota

One APA-psychology doctorate is available in the state of South Dakota.

University of South Dakota

USD’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology has been accredited by the APA since 1975. A possible specialty area makes the program truly unique, as it’s one of the only clinical/disaster specialties offered at an APA-accredited psychology Ph.D. in the U.S. The program is also home to a functioning psychology services center that helps students gain valuable real-world experience. Just under 70 students have finished the program since 2009, and 91% of them became licensed.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Vermillion
  • Annual tuition: $5,592 in-state, $6,400 out-of-state; costs reflect average waivers and tuition offsets
  • Degrees offered: PhD in Clinical Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

How to Become a Practicing Psychologist in South Dakota

Getting a psychologist job in South Dakota usually means first earning a license from the state to practice professionally. There are several steps required in that process, so let’s take a look at the obligations psychologists must meet before they can become licensed here in South Dakota.

  1. Attend college, ideally with a psychology major. Getting your bachelor’s degree in psychology is the best first educational step a student can take on the journey to becoming a psychologist in South Dakota. That said, students with undergraduate degrees in other fields also can become successful psychologists, but it’s important to show a history of academic achievement in the field. So it may be necessary to complete remedial courses at the next level, or to earn a master’s degree in psychology before moving to the next step.
  2. Complete a doctoral program. South Dakota requires licensed psychologists to first complete a doctoral program in the subject, which can include a Psy.D. or Ph.D., provided the program includes at least 1,800 hours of supervised internship experience
  3. Meet other state standards. In addition to a doctoral degree in the subject, South Dakota requires applicants to complete at least one year of postdoctoral supervised professional experience, and they must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Applicants should note that South Dakota does not require Part II of the test.
  4. Renew your license on schedule. Psychologist licenses in South Dakota expire annually, and professionals must complete at least six hours of continuing education credits to keep their license valid.
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South Dakota Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

An average worker in South Dakota putting in full-time hours makes about $43,000 per year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported. But clinical psychologists in the state are considerably more well-paid. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists in South Dakota earn an average wage of about $78,000 annually.

Clinical psychologist jobs are also expected to undergo rapid growth in South Dakota, with jobs expanding by about 11.4%, well over double the 5% growth rate projected for all jobs in the U.S.