Why Attend Psychology Colleges and Programs in Minnesota?

By Sara Walters

U.S. News & World Report ranks Minnesota as the nation's third best state overall, based on its high rankings in economic opportunity, natural environment, infrastructure, and healthcare. Second only to Massachusetts in educational attainment with 47% of the population holding a college education, Minnesota also thrives in academics and employment levels. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists Minnesota as 20th in the country for unemployment levels, resting just below the national average at a 3.3% unemployment rate.

These strong employment rates may also contribute to Minnesota's relatively low student loan default rate, with many graduates likely to obtain adequate employment. Minnesota's Office of Higher Education reports 53% of graduates with a bachelor's degree worked full time four years after graduating, and 42% worked full time two years after graduation.

In 2017, more than 3,000 students earned certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in psychology from Minnesota institutions.

What to Expect in a Minnesota Psychology College Program

To work as a licensed psychologist in Minnesota, individuals need a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally accredited institution. Generally, students earn a bachelor's, then a master's, and then a doctorate. However, some doctoral programs allow students to earn a master's simultaneously.

Learners typically need 4-6 years to earn a bachelor's degree and an additional 4-6 years to earn a master's and doctorate. In Minnesota, 65% of students earn their bachelor's within six years. The length of a doctoral program in Minnesota depends on whether students pursue a specialization or degree focus, which may require more coursework.

All doctoral students at Minnesota colleges for psychology must complete supervised practice hours. They also must often complete an internship during the program. Learners can fulfill these requirements in their local communities.

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

Many colleges for psychology in Minnesota offer psychology degrees at all levels. Courses become more advanced and specialized at each level. While curricula varies by school and degree level, students take common courses in Minnesota psychology programs.

Abnormal Psychology

This course covers the spectrum of psychological disorders, providing an overview of various disorders, what factors cause and contribute to psychological disorders, and available treatment options. Graduate courses offer a more focused approach, sometimes exploring specific types of disorders.

Research Methods in Psychology

This course provides a basic overview of common theories and procedures employed in psychological research and the social sciences. Degree-seekers explore each method's best practices and limitations. Graduate students may take courses in specific methods and employ them in their own research.

Analyzing Psychological Data

This graduate course explores data analysis procedures commonly used in psychology and the social sciences. The course covers topics in statistics and common variables in psychological research. Students develop research skills and apply them to reading, interpreting, and contributing to field research.

Foundations in Clinical Practice

This doctoral course prepares students for clinical internships in psychology. Learners explore psychological theories and methods and how they function in clinical practice. The course covers methods and intervention techniques for children and adults, applied in both individual and group therapeutic settings.

Assessment in Counseling

This graduate course examines theories, principles, and practice in assessment methods in counseling. Degree-seekers explore the history of assessment practices and develop a working knowledge of common practices, methods, and surveys. The course allows learners to practice using surveys and assessment tests. Students also learn how to evaluate survey responses.

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Education Requirements to Become a Psychologist in Minnesota

Practicing psychology in Minnesota requires licensure, as mandated by the state's Board of Psychology. To earn a license, applicants need a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally accredited college or university. Students who graduate from a program not approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) must submit documentation to prove they completed necessary psychology courses. This includes courses in research design, theory, physiological psychology, and cognition.

Generally, learners pursue a bachelor's, followed by a master's, and finally a doctoral degree. Some doctoral programs in psychology may allow students to earn both the master's and doctorate in the same program. Many graduate programs look for applicants with a bachelor's in psychology or a closely related field. Students can often specialize their graduate-level degree in a focus or concentration, which may lengthen their program.

Minnesota's Board of Psychology requires license applicants to submit documentation of at least one year (1,800 hours) of supervised postdoctoral practice in psychology. Most doctoral programs in psychology also include internship requirements. These internships prepare students for postdoctoral practice and eventual licensure. Often, graduates complete their supervised hours in a setting related to their specialization.

Minnesota Licensing for Psychologists

Individuals in Minnesota need professional licensure to practice clinically in any setting. Licensure ensures psychologists have fulfilled education requirements, practice under a strict code of ethics, and follow all state guidelines and policies for the profession. Additionally, most insurance companies require patients to seek treatment only from licensed psychologists.

Why Get Licensed in Minnesota??

In Minnesota, psychologists need a license to provide any clinical services to patients in any setting, including private practice. Minnesota's Board of Psychology offers a general license for psychology for those with a doctoral degree in the field. The state's Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy offers licenses for professional counselors, a position requiring at least a master's degree. Psychologists practicing in any psychological specialization need a valid license.

Licensing Criteria for Minnesota

Psychologists in Minnesota need a valid license from the state's Board of Psychology to practice in any setting. This includes clinical psychology and school psychology. For general, clinical psychology, licensure applicants need a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution. Students who graduate from a program not approved by the APA must also submit documentation of their coursework, which should include classes in research, physiological psychology, and human development.

Prior to licensure, psychologists must complete one year (1,800 hours) of postdoctoral supervised clinical hours. Applicants must submit documentation from two endorsers, generally their program director and postdoctoral supervisor. In Minnesota, psychologists must pass the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the state-based Professional Responsibility Exam (PRE). The latter covers Minnesota's policies and procedures for psychology practice.

School psychologists in Minnesota must earn a master's degree in school psychology and apply for licensure through the state's professional educator licensing and standards board.

How to Get Licensed in Minnesota

The licensed psychologist (LP) designation in Minnesota requires two exams. First, applicants must pass the EPPP, a national exam administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. This exam covers eight content areas, including assessment and diagnosis, treatment, research methods, and bases for behavior. The test includes 225 questions, with 50 unscored pretest questions.

Minnesota's Board of Psychology also requires licensees to pass the state's PRE. This test examines candidates' understanding of Minnesota's Psychology Practice Act Rules of Conduct. Candidates can download the Practice Act to read and study.

Applying for the LP credential costs $500, in addition to testing fees, which run about $150 per exam. This credential covers all general psychology practice in public and private settings, and does not require applicants to pursue a specialization. Mental health counselors pursue a completely separate license with different requirements.

License Renewal in Minnesota

Licensed psychologists in Minnesota with the LP credential must renew their license every two years. During those two years, psychologists must complete at least 40 hours of approved continuing education (CE). Some examples of approved CE activities include teaching academic courses at accredited institutions, attending presentations and conferences, taking graduate psychology courses, and writing or editing a scholarly publication.

License renewal costs $500 every two years. Should licensees fail to renew, the board may terminate the license, requiring reinstatement and a late fee of $250. Licensees may also request six additional months to complete the required CE should they need it.

Minnesota Psychologist Salaries and Employment Trends

Graduates of the best psychology schools in Minnesota can take advantage of the state's rapidly growing psychology field. According to the BLS, jobs in psychology are projected to grow nationally at a rate much faster than average in the coming decade. Minnesota's psychology field is projected to experience growth comparable to the national rate. Jobs for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Minnesota are projected to grow by 11.9% by 2028.

Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Minnesota make just under the national average salary for these positions. General psychologists in the state made an average salary of $86,420 in 2017. Although many factors impact earning potential, the state's rapid job growth in psychology could have influenced the rise in average salaries for Minnesota's psychologists.

Minnesota's state government also funds 18 regional county mental health initiatives to serve adults in need around the state. These community support programs, including both inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy, crisis stabilization, and outpatient medication management, may offer psychologists state-based employment. The BLS reports government services as one of the top employers for psychologists, making Minnesota a great place for state-based job opportunities for psychologists.

Historical Mean Wage for Psychologists
  2016 2017
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists in Minnesota $77,460 $82,130
Psychologists, All Other in Minnesota $80,400 $86,420
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 Minnesota and Nearby States (2018)

  • Nationally

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

    Psychologists, All Other: $95,610

  • Minnesota

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $85,860

    Psychologists, All Other: $93,310

  • North Dakota

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: N/A

    Psychologists, All Other: $87,090

  • South Dakota

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $73,900

    Psychologists, All Other: $84,200

  • Iowa

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $85,260

    Psychologists, All Other: N/A

  • Wisconsin

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $83,420

    Psychologists, All Other: $80,620

  • Michigan

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: $83,210

    Psychologists, All Other: $88,120

Source: BLS

Projected Job Growth for Psychologists (2016-2026)
  Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists Psychologists, All Other
Nationally 14.2% 10.3%
Minnesota 11.9% 7.1%
North Dakota 17.2% N/A
South Dakota 11.4% N/A
Iowa 16.2% 4.2%
Wisconsin 9.7% 5.6%
Michigan 13.5% 2.2%

Source: Projections Central

Psychology Programs and Licensing in Minnesota Frequently Asked Questions

What Field of Psychology Makes the Most Money?

According to the BLS, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists make more than other psychologists. However, many psychologists fall under the clinical and counseling categories, making it difficult to determine which career makes the most money. Several factors influence a psychologist's earning potential, including employer and work environment, geographical location, and experience.

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

Earning a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) and a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in psychology entail different academic paths. The Psy.D. emphasizes clinical work, while the Ph.D. emphasizes research and scholarship. Generally, a Psy.D. takes a bit less time to earn. Both degrees include internship years, although Ph.D. students may spend more time researching and less time on clinical practice.

Are Minnesota Psychology Licenses Valid in Other States?

This depends on the other state's reciprocity policies. Generally, professionals can transfer licenses if the licensure requirements meet or exceed the standards of their new state. Typically, states require proof of licensure from the licensing state along with documentation on that state's licensing policies.

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

Minnesota's Board of Psychology requires a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution to earn licensure in psychology. The APA approves many psychology programs. Students who do not graduate from an APA-approved program must provide additional documentation of their doctoral coursework to ensure it meets state standards.

What is the PRE?

In addition to the nationally recognized EPPP exam, psychology license applicants in Minnesota must take and pass the state-based PRE exam. This test measures the applicant's knowledge of Minnesota's Psychology Practice Act, specifically the Rules of Conduct.

Psychology Resources for Minnesota

  • Minnesota Board of Psychology This board handles all licensing matters for psychologists in the state. Candidates and practicing psychologists can use the website to keep abreast of policy changes, apply for licensure, and renew their license.
  • Minnesota Psychology Practice Act All licensure candidates in Minnesota must pass the PRE exam, which measures their knowledge of this legislation. Candidates and licensed psychologists can access the full text at this website.
  • Continuing Education in Minnesota Psychologists must complete 40 hours of CE every two years to renew their license. This page offers information on free CE units, eligible CE programs, and a program request form.
  • Minnesota Psychological Association MPA provides a variety of CE opportunities for psychologists in Minnesota. Learners can also take advantage of information on internships, test prep, and mentorships.
  • Minnesota School Psychologists Association School psychologists and psychology students in Minnesota can benefit from MSPA membership. Benefits include an online discussion group, regional and national meetings, and online CE workshops.