Why Attend Psychology Colleges and Programs in Kansas?

By Rachel Schneider

Kansas offers psychology programs across degree levels and delivery methods at various colleges and universities. The state falls within the lower range for tuition costs for both in-state and out-of-state students, offering the nation's 20th lowest tuition rates at public four-year institutions.

Kansas is home to a population of nearly 3 million residents, with 43% of the population possessing a college education. The state ranks seventh for infrastructure, eighth for natural environment, 15th for education, and 16th for opportunity. Kansas' main industries include the bioscience, professional services, manufacturing, wind energy, bio energy, and renewable fuels industries.

The state boasts the country's 15th lowest unemployment rate of 3.1%, not much higher than the U.S. rate of 2.2%. Of Kansas' 77 colleges and universities, 52,804 student loan borrowers are in the repayment period, with 6,126 of them in default. Kansas' borrower default rate sits at 11.6%.

What to Expect in a Kansas Psychology College Program

In 2018, Kansas colleges and universities conferred 1,118 psychology degrees across all levels, ranking 20th in the nation. The state offers a variety of opportunities for psychology students to earn their degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Earning a bachelor's degree typically takes full-time students about four years.

Across degree levels, students can consider focusing their program on a specialization, enabling them to tailor their degree to fit their career goals and personal interests.

Once learners complete their bachelor's program, they can advance into a master's program. Master's students who enroll full time usually earn their degree within two years. After completing a master's degree, students can begin their doctoral program, often completing their requirements in 2-3 years with full-time enrollment.

Across degree levels, students can consider focusing their program on a specialization, enabling them to tailor their degree to fit their career goals and personal interests. While not all schools offer specializations, those that don't often allow learners to choose their elective courses to focus on a particular interest area.

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

Throughout Kansas, degree-seekers can explore psychology programs at several colleges and universities. Coursework varies by school. Bachelor's students focus on introductory topics in the field, while master's students focus on more advanced coursework. At the doctoral level, learners explore the field's most specialized topics.

Evolutionary Psychology

Degree-seekers review the various evolutionary mechanisms involved with human behavior. Learners explore the principles of drift, selection, and inclusive fitness as well as pregnancy sickness, mating strategies, spatial memory, sexual jealousy, aggression and violence, parental nurturance/negligence, and landscape preferences.


Learners study psychopathologies throughout thousands of years, focusing on the most current information involved with the subsequent treatments of etiologies, including the most prevalent mental illnesses in current society. Throughout the course, students work toward gaining an overall understanding of the bases of psychopathology across a large scope.

Sport Psychology

Degree-seekers explore the factors involved with allowing teams, individuals, and groups to hold a competitive edge alongside the most elite athletes. Students focus on topics like peak performance, collective consciousness, mental toughness, and imagery and visualization. Learners study the role sports psychologists play in substance use and sports medicine.


Psychology students often explore counseling courses, developing an overview of the counseling field. Learners study the traditional and current roles of counseling psychologists, focusing on the ethical and legal guidelines involved with counseling practices and the therapeutic approaches professionals take in different counseling settings.

Social Psychology

Students examine human behaviors and attitudes across settings, learning how individuals and groups can impact behaviors and attitudes. The course covers attitude function and structure, the measurement and analysis of behaviors, altruism, antisocial behavior, and the origins of social norms.

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Education Requirements to Become a Psychologist in Kansas

To become a licensed psychologist in Kansas, individuals first need a bachelor's degree. Learners can pursue a bachelor of science (BS) or a bachelor of arts (BA) degree. While they do not need to major in psychology at the bachelor's level, majoring in psychology is helpful for completing the necessary coursework for admission into a master's program.

Some students complete a stand-alone master's program in psychology after they complete a bachelor's degree. A stand-alone degree is optional, with many degree-seekers completing their master's degree during their doctoral program. For learners who did not study psychology during their bachelor's degree, a stand-alone master's program is particularly useful, providing learners with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the field.

Before individuals can obtain psychology licensure in Kansas, they must complete a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in psychology or a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.). Depending on their specific career goals and educational interests, learners might choose one type of doctoral degree over the other. Doctoral programs should be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). All students should complete their psychology degrees from regionally accredited colleges or universities.

Kansas Licensing for Psychologists

Psychology licenses in Kansas ensure that all professionals working at a certain level in the psychology field work to a specific standard. Licensure enforces a specific set of regulations. Licensing opportunities require candidates to meet specific eligibility components, including education, experience, and exam requirements, which professionals can learn more about through the state's licensing board.

Why Get Licensed in Kansas?

In addition to Kansas' standard psychology license, the state offers two other psychology licenses for individuals planning to pursue psychology work in the state without working as clinical psychologists. Individuals can pursue licensure as master's-level psychologists and work under the supervision of independent, licensed psychologists. Additionally, professionals in Kansas can seek licensure as clinical psychotherapists, working at the master's level.

Licensing Criteria for Kansas

The first step to earning a psychology license in Kansas is earning a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology. After candidates for psychology licensure complete their bachelor's and master's programs, they must earn a doctoral degree in psychology. As part of their doctoral program, learners must complete an applied internship that meets a minimum of 1,800 hours. Industrial-organizational psychology students do not need to complete an internship component.

Upon completing the educational requirements for licensure, individuals can apply for licensure, submitting their application to the board and satisfying supervised postdoctoral experience. Candidates must also complete and pass the national psychology exam.

Different specializations, such as master's-level psychologists and psychotherapists, maintain different licensing requirements, including an exam component and a certain amount of practice in a specific setting.

How to Get Licensed in Kansas

To obtain psychology licensure in Kansas, professionals must submit an application for licensure for the practice of psychology to the state's licensing board and pay the $225 application fee. Once professionals earn their temporary license, they must pay an additional $150 temporary license fee. Temporary licenses remain valid for two years, allowing professionals to complete their experience requirements under a licensed psychologist.

After earning their temporary license, candidates must complete two years of supervised training experience. Professionals earn at least 1,800 hours of supervised experience during their doctoral program. Finally, candidates must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Candidates can complete their exam while still obtaining their required supervised experience. The exam includes 225 multiple-choice questions.

License Renewal in Kansas

In Kansas, psychologists must renew their license every two years. To maintain eligibility for renewal, professionals must complete 50 continuing education (CE) hours during their renewal period. CE credits allow professionals to expand their skills and knowledge in the field, advancing their abilities in the psychology discipline. CE activities include attending seminars or workshops, publishing articles, and completing graduate-level courses.

CE activities can focus on a variety of topics. Each renewal period, professionals must complete at least three hours from an activity related to ethics and a minimum of six hours related to diagnosis and treatment. Professionals can only apply CE credits to their current renewal period, not to future renewal periods.

Kansas Psychologist Salaries and Employment Trends

Historically, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Kansas do not earn as much as all other psychologists in the state. From 2016-17, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Kansas earned an annual mean wage of $62,000-$63,000, while all other psychologists in the state earned an annual mean wage of $78,000-$81,000.

In 2018, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Kansas earned an annual mean wage of $65,320, falling near the occupation's lower end compared to figures for the nation and surrounding states. All other psychologists in Kansas, however, earned an annual mean wage much higher than surrounding states and the national average, experiencing salaries of $102,910.

Jobs for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Kansas are projected to grow 12.8% through 2026, which is slightly less than the occupation's national projected growth rate. Kansas offers opportunities for psychologists across disciplines to take advantage of high salary opportunities and solid job growth rates.

Historical Mean Wage for Psychologists
  2016 2017
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists in Kansas $62,630 $63,170
Psychologists, All Other in Kansas $84,980 $104,200
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 Kansas and Nearby States (2018)

  • Nationally

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

    Psychologists, All Other: $95,610

  • Kansas

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $65,320

    Psychologists, All Other: $102,910

  • Oklahoma

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

    Psychologists, All Other: $89,300

  • Nebraska

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $66,510

    Psychologists, All Other: N/A

  • Missouri

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

    Psychologists, All Other: $86,730

Source: BLS

Projected Job Growth for Psychologists (2016-2026)
  Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists Psychologists, All Other
Nationally 14.2% 10.3%
Kansas 12.8% N/A
Oklahoma 15.9% N/A
Nebraska 11.3% 11.1%
Missouri 16.2% 4.2%

Source: Projections Central

Psychology Programs and Licensing in Kansas Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If I Don't Renew My License?

Psychologists who submit their renewal application, pay the fee, and provide an explanation of how they plan to complete the required continuing education credits for renewal can qualify for an extension for their license renewal. Depending on the situation and application, the licensing board can grant an extension up to six months.

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

Before individuals can become licensed psychologists in Kansas, they must complete an APA-accredited doctoral program in psychology or one that meets APA-equivalent standards. Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs should also highlight regional accreditation.

Are Kansas Psychology Licenses Valid in Other States?

Kansas does not feature reciprocity with any one particular state, although the state itself offers licenses through reciprocity. Professionals can obtain licensure by reciprocity by meeting specific criteria. They must be currently licensed in good standing, hold continuous licensure for at least five years along with a doctoral degree in psychology, or hold a license in a state with similar licensing requirements. Professionals seeking licensure in other states should research reciprocity availability specific to the state.

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

Earning a Ph.D. in psychology is more common than earning a Psy.D. Learners who want to conduct scientific research to expand their psychology knowledge typically earn a Ph.D. A Psy.D. focuses on training students to pursue careers that apply scientific knowledge of the discipline. Courses in Ph.D. programs explore research-based courses and courses exploring statistics and teaching methodologies. Psy.D. courses allow students to apply their knowledge directly to psychology practice.

Do I Need a Bachelor's in Psychology to Get a Master's in Psychology?

Students do not need to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology to pursue a master's degree in the discipline. Learners can complete a bachelor's degree in any major of study, as long as they complete the necessary prerequisite coursework required for admission into their chosen master's program. At the doctoral level, however, degree-seekers need a master's degree in psychology to gain admission.

Psychology Resources for Kansas

  • Kansas Psychological Association KPA addresses the needs of psychologists and other professionals in the psychology field in Kansas. Members enjoy access to CE events and networking opportunities.
  • Kansas Association of School Psychologists Dedicated to advocating for the educational and psychological well-being of children across Kansas, KASP promotes school psychology as a profession. Members can take advantage of a variety of events and resources.
  • Kansas Counseling Association Operating as a branch of the American Counseling Association, KCA is a nonprofit that advocates for members and boasts a commitment to advancing the counseling field across areas of career, mental health, and education.
  • Greater Kansas City Psychological Association Functioning as a professional organization dedicated to professionals working and studying in the mental health field, GKCPA highlights networking opportunities and workshops for professional development. The organization also offers CE credits.
  • Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board Serving as the licensing board for psychologists in Kansas, the board ensures all professional, practicing psychologists in the state provide service to a certain set of standards, enforcing specific regulations for the profession. The board also features renewal and reciprocity information.