West Virginia Psychology Doctorate Programs

As more and more people recognize the need to take care of their mental health as they do their physical health, the U.S. has been impacted by a shortage of trained professionals who can help others deal with their emotional and behavioral problems, including anxiety, addiction and thoughts of suicide.

This is one of the biggest reasons for the development of the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in the late 1960s. This doctoral degree is more focused on the clinical and hands-on practice of psychology than the academic research focus of most other doctoral programs, like the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Students in West Virginia have a few opportunities for degree programs that will put them on the path to a career as a licensed psychologist in the state. Let’s take a look at the degrees and licensure requirements in the state of West Virginia.

What’s On This Page

  • West Virginia PsyD Programs
  • Other West Virginia Doctorate Programs
  • West Virginia Psychologist Requirements
  • West Virginia Doctorate Salary Outlook

List of PsyD Degree Programs in Virginia

One Psy.D. program that’s been accredited by the American Psychological Association is offered in West Virginia. No other Psy.D. degrees, accredited by the APA or not, are available at any campuses in the state.

Marshall University

The Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Marshall has been accredited by the APA since 2006, and today’s students can choose to attend full-time or part-time, which is unique among traditional (as opposed to online) Psy.D. programs. Marshall’s Psy.D. was developed specifically to help bridge the gap in mental healthcare in rural and underserved areas. A total of 34 scholars completed the program between 2008 and 2018, and they earned licensure at an 85% rate.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Huntington
  • Annual tuition: $14,095 in-state, $30,992 out-of-state
  • Degrees offered: PsyD in Clinical Psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here
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Other Psychology Doctorates in West Virginia

Ph.D. degrees also are accepted in the state of West Virginia for professional psychologist licensure. Two such degrees can be earned here in the state.

West Virginia University

WVU’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology earned APA accreditation in 1966, followed by the counseling psychology program in 1989. Nearly 60 students have completed the clinical program since 2009, and 45 earned their degrees from the counseling program between 2008 and 2018. They earned professional licensure at an average rate of 87%.

  • Institution type: Public
  • Campus: Morgantown
  • Annual tuition: $8,676 in-state, $24,462 out-of-state; all clinical students receive full tuition remission and annual stipends
  • Degrees offered: PhD in Clinical and Child Psychology, PhD in Counseling Psychology https://counseling.wvu.edu/counseling-psychology
  • Accreditation: APA
  • Visit school: Click here

How to Become a Practicing Psychologist in West Virginia

There are several paths to becoming a licensed psychologist in the state of West Virginia, and the requirements vary depending on your educational and professional experience. Let’s take a look at what the state requires before it will issue a psychologist license.

  1. Get your bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related subject. Psychology undergraduate degrees are recommended, though they are not strictly required by the state of West Virginia. Still, the advanced education that is required to get a license in the state means that the most attractive applicants for admission will be those who majored in psychology, biology, social work or something similar or who took a large number of courses in those areas.
  2. Get an advanced degree, including a Psy.D. or Ph.D. In West Virginia, individuals with master’s degrees can apply for and receive licensure. But before being licensed to practice independently, they must complete five years of supervised professional experience. That means these individuals won’t actually save much, if any, time compared to those who attend doctoral programs. The state also has established three paths for those who complete doctoral programs before applying for licensure based on the nature of their doctoral or postdoctoral internships. Individuals whose predoctoral internships were supervised and lasted more than 1,800 hours will be able to proceed to the formal licensure steps. Those with shorter internships must complete one year of supervised experience, and those without internships must complete two years of supervised experience.
  3. Fulfill other state requirements. In addition to the educational and internship requirements outlined, West Virginia requires applicants to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, as well as completing an oral examination conducted by a state board.
  4. Remain licensed, and keep up with requirements. Once a psychologist becomes successfully licensed in West Virginia, they must ensure their license remains active. This means completing 20 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their license. At half of the hours must be from APA-accredited programs, and three hours must cover ethics.
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West Virginia Clinical Psychologist Salary and Job Outlook

The average clinical, counseling or school psychologist in West Virginia is paid about $54,000 per year, which is one of the lowest average wages for this role in the U.S., the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Still, while they don’t make as much as some of their counterparts across the U.S., they can expect to make more than the average West Virginian, and the state’s average wage for all occupations is about $43,000.

While wages may be low today, there are signs they will rise in the future. That’s because psychologist employment in West Virginia is expected to grow by nearly 13% over the next decade, almost triple the expected growth rate for all U.S. jobs of 5%.