Why Attend Psychology Colleges and Programs in Arkansas?


By Rachel Schneider

Students attending college for psychology in Arkansas enjoy a variety of benefits. Tuition rates for both in-state and out-of-state students hover on the lower end for for all 50 states. Arkansas ranks 18th for states with the lowest tuition rates. Arkansas boasts a population of more than 3 million people with 31% of the population receiving a college education.

Arkansas maintains a low unemployment rate of 3.5%, making it the state with the 28th lowest unemployment rate. Arkansas boasts 73 colleges and universities with a total of 39,108 borrowers in the repayment stage of their student loans. Of the 39,108 borrowers, 4,100 are in default on their loans, for an overall borrower default rate of 10.4%. This rate is about average compared to the rest of the United States.

What to Expect in an Arkansas Psychology College Program

Before professionals can become licensed psychologists in Arkansas, they must complete a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree. Earning a bachelor's degree takes full-time learners about four years to complete. Master's programs usually take around two years of full-time study while doctoral programs take 2-3 years. Universities in Arkansas conferred 507 psychology degrees in 2018, ranking 33rd in the U.S., tying with both Vermont and Rhode Island.

Students pursuing degrees at all levels can explore online psychology programs, allowing them to enjoy more flexibility and convenience as they earn their degree. Many of the best psychology schools in Arkansas allow learners to explore a specialization, enabling them to tailor their degree to their career goals and personal interests. Programs that do not offer specialization opportunities may allow learners to choose elective coursework that aligns with their professional goals.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Arkansas?

Depending on the degree level and school, students explore different courses during their psychology program. Bachelor's students focus on cultivating a foundational knowledge and framework of the psychology field, while master's degree-seekers explore more specialized and advanced concepts of psychology. Doctoral students focus on the field's most specialized topics.

General Psychology

Students explore the basic theories and principles of psychology along with methods of contemporary psychology. Degree-seekers study human diversity, learning about the different factors that impact general psychology.

Cognitive Psychology

Students review the various aspects involving the discipline of cognitive psychology. Learners explore different theories and research focused on memory, complex human learning, attention, and problem-solving techniques.

Cross-Cultural Psychology

Learners examine issues, theories, and research focused on the psychological understanding of different cultural groups. Throughout the course, learners can compare different cultures to understand how they differ in terms of psychological concepts.

Clinical Assessment

This course reviews the interpretation, administration, and rationale of clinical assessments, including the scoring and administration of different psychological evaluations within various settings and populations. Students explore a variety of topics to develop an understanding of how to conduct clinical assessments and evaluations.

Community Psychology

Degree-seekers review the community psychology field, learning how it relates to program planning, needs assessment, delivery and evaluation, and development. Students explore the role of psychologists through local, state, and federal community programs.

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Education Requirements to Become a Psychologist in Arkansas

To become a licensed psychologist in Arkansas, individuals need a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree. Those seeking a bachelor's degree can choose any discipline, although a bachelor's degree in psychology keeps them from needing to pursue additional prerequisite courses before enrolling in a master's program. Earning a bachelor's degree takes learners around four years to complete.

Throughout each psychology degree, students can consider pursuing specialization opportunities, allowing them to cultivate the focus of their psychology degree into a particular specialty that interests them.

After completing a bachelor's degree, individuals can enroll in a master's program. A master's degree allow learners to explore more advanced, specialized topics in the field. After students complete a master's degree, they can advance into a doctoral program. Throughout each psychology degree, students can consider pursuing specialization opportunities, allowing them to cultivate the focus of their psychology degree into a particular specialty that interests them.

Some psychology programs require learners to complete internships or clinical requirements. These opportunities provide students with valuable in-the-field experience before entering the psychology workforce. Some degrees also highlight online formats that allow learners to continue working as they earn their degree.

Arkansas Licensing for Psychologists

Licensing for psychologists in Arkansas ensures that psychologists practice at a high standard and hold the level of skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality service. Before professionals can practice as psychologists in Arkansas, they must complete a licensing program.

Why Get Licensed in Arkansas?

Aspiring psychologists can explore a variety of licensing opportunities in Arkansas. Psychologists can apply for licensure if they hold a doctoral degree in psychology and complete two years of experience requirements. Professional counselors with a master's degree and at least three years of professional experience can seek licensure by passing the state's oral examination.

Professionals in Arkansas can explore licensure as a marriage and family therapist if they hold a master's degree and complete at least three years of post-master's practical experience and pass the state's written and oral examination. Social workers can obtain licensure if they earn a bachelor's or master's degree in social work and finish 4,000 hours of clinical social work within two years.

Licensing Criteria for Arkansas

The Arkansas Psychology Board is appointed by the state's governor and regulates the practice of psychology in the entire state, including examining and passing the qualification of applicants for psychologists. The board ensures that Arkansas professionals are protected from misrepresentation and unethical practice.

Psychologists in Arkansas must meet state-specific licensing criteria to practice professionally. Arkansas also provides licensure by reciprocity, allowing professionals to attain their psychologist license in Arkansas even if they earned their degree in another state as long as they practiced in the state for a minimum of five years.

Arkansas participates in the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards Agreement of Reciprocity program, making all program participants eligible for licensure in the state -- even candidates from Canada. To apply for reciprocity, psychologists must request an agreement of reciprocity from the Arkansas Psychology Board and pay the associated application fee.

How to Get Licensed in Arkansas

The first step to becoming a licensed psychologist in Arkansas is earning a bachelor's degree. Once completing a bachelor's program, learners can advance into a master's option, further advancing their skills and knowledge in the psychology discipline. After completing a master's program, graduates must enroll in a doctoral program in psychology, boasting accreditation from the American Psychological Association.

Professionals must complete several additional steps after completing their educational requirements. First, they must request and submit a licensing application to the board. After submitting their application, potential psychologists must complete one year of postdoctoral supervised professional experience in their specialty area. After completing the necessary education and experience requirements, candidates can complete the licensing exam, administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

Once candidates satisfy the requirements to become a licensed psychologist in Arkansas, they can receive their licenses directly from the board. Once the board receives notification that professionals have passed their exam and completed all other requirements, individuals will receive notification of their license being issued.

License Renewal in Arkansas

Psychologists in Arkansas must renew their license every two years. For active psychologists, the renewal fee is $235. Professionals can also renew their license with the voluntary inactive psychologist option for $118. The Arkansas Psychology Board Rules and Regulations require each psychologist to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education activity during each licensing renewal period. Professionals do not need to submit documentation unless the board specifically requests it.


Arkansas Psychologist Salaries and Employment Trends

When reviewing historical salaries and employment trends for psychologists, professionals working in Arkansas find that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in the state receive lower salary opportunities than other psychologists. In 2016 and 2017, professionals focused on clinical, counseling, and school psychology careers earned average salaries near $64,000, while all other psychologists lingered around $82,000. The national average for the clinical, counseling, and school psychologists profession in 2016 and 2017 ranged between $78,000 and $81,000.

The projected growth rate for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Arkansas is 17.7%, which is higher than the national average of 14.2%.

In 2018, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned average salaries near the higher end of the surrounding states. The average salary for these psychologists in Arkansas was $69,000. All other psychologists in Arkansas earned more than clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. These psychologists earned average annual salaries of $83,030 in Arkansas, compared to a national average of $95,610.

The projected growth rate for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Arkansas is 17.7%, which is higher than the national average of 14.2%. All other psychologists in the state experience an average growth rate of 9.1%, slightly lower than the national average growth rate of 10.3%.

Historical Mean Wage for Psychologists
  2016 2017
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists in Arkansas $64,480 $64,000
Psychologists, All Other in Arkansas $82,240 $82,480
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists Nationally $78,690 $81,330
Psychologists, All Other Nationally $94,650 $93,440

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mean Wage For Psychologists In Arkansas and Nearby States (2018)

  • Nationally

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $85,340

    Psychologists, All Other: $95,610

  • Arkansas

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $69,000

    Psychologists, All Other: $83,030

  • Louisiana

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $86,630

    Psychologists, All Other: $76,510

  • Mississippi

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $67,570

    Psychologists, All Other: $81,610

  • Tennessee

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $69,510

    Psychologists, All Other: $87,260

  • Missouri

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $76,480

    Psychologists, All Other: $86,730

  • Oklahoma

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $60,760

    Psychologists, All Other: $89,300

  • Texas

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $73,650

    Psychologists, All Other: $90,780

Source: BLS

Projected Job Growth for Psychologists (2016-2026)
  Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists Psychologists, All Other
Nationally 14.2% 10.3%
Arkansas 17.7% 9.1%
Louisiana 11.4% 9.1%
Mississippi N/A 14.3%
Tennessee 13.9% 4.3%
Missouri 16.2% 4.2%
Oklahoma 15.9% N/A
Texas 20.0% 9.2%

Source: Projections Central

Psychology Programs and Licensing in Arkansas Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Good Specialty for Psychology?

Psychology offers a variety of specialties and opportunities for professionals to focus their careers on a particular discipline. Some colleges for psychology in Arkansas offer specializations like addiction psychology, biopsychology, cognitive psychology, and counseling psychology.

What is the Difference Between a Psy.D. and a Ph.D. in Psychology?

Although both a Psy.D. and a Ph.D. prepare students for psychology careers, each degree leads to a different profession. A Psy.D. program prepares students to work with clients and patients in professional settings, while a Ph.D. prepares them to work in research, providing some psychological services. Psy.D. graduates often work as clinical psychologists, while Ph.D. graduates pursue careers as licensed psychologists, psychology researchers, and psychology professors.

What Field of Psychology Makes the Most Money?

Professionals in the psychology field can explore a variety of job opportunities, some with high salary opportunities. Psychiatrists earn the most, followed by industrial-organizational psychologists. Other careers with high salary opportunities include neuropsychologists and engineering psychologists.

Can I Get Licensed If My Degree is From an Unaccredited Program?

Before becoming a psychologist in Arkansas, individuals must obtain licensure by meeting specific licensing requirements. These requirements include educational components. Professionals must earn a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Additionally, doctoral programs should be accredited by the American Psychological Association or the Canadian Psychological Association.

Should I Get a BA or BS in Psychology?

Psychology students can choose whether they want to pursue a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) in psychology. BA students complete coursework focused on cognitive, social, and behavioral psychology. BS programs in psychology cover advanced courses in statistical analysis, clinical psychology, and neuroscience.

Psychology Resources for Arkansas


  • Arkansas Psychological Association ArPA is a nonprofit, statewide professional organization dedicated to advancing psychology as a profession, science, and means for promoting human welfare. Members enjoy continuing education opportunities.
  • Arkansas Counseling Association Boasting an affiliation with the American Counseling Association, ArCA provides psychology and counseling professionals with a variety of useful resources, including information about counseling licensure and ethics.
  • Arkansas School Psychology Association ASPA supports members through the delivery of mental health and educational services for children and their families. The association advances professional standards for school psychology and provides professional development opportunities.
  • Arkansas Psychology Board This board offers licensing opportunities, including license renewal and license verification. The board regulates the practice of psychology in Arkansas, ensuring citizens are protected from unethical practice and misrepresentation.
  • Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas Providing outpatient therapy and treatment options for individuals suffering a variety of emotional and behavioral issues, BHSA serves children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and families.