Becoming a Psychologist in Kansas
In Kansas, a psychologist license requires a doctoral degree while a master psychologist license can be had with a master’s degree. The psychologist license is more versatile. Either path takes significant commitment.
Grand Canyon University (GCU) - offers an online Bachelor's in Psychology modeled after the standards and recommendations set by the American Psychological Association with emphases in: Forensic Psychology and Performance and Sports Psychology. Several Master's in Psychology programs are also offered. Click here to learn about GCU and their programs.
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers online Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Psychology programs with several emphases to select from as well as a CACREP accredited online Master’s in Counseling. Click here to learn about SNHU and their programs.
If You Are a High School Student or Undergraduate
Step 1: Prepare for admission to the university. Earn high grades in college prep courses and spend some time preparing for admission tests. It’s also a good idea to do some community service or volunteer work at this stage. You can find many resources on the site of the Kansas Volunteer Commission, among them are a list of volunteer centers in different regions of the state (http://community.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=4591).
Step 2: Begin undergraduate studies. An undergraduate degree in psychology is not mandatory, but can be advantageous. You will not only get your prerequisites in, but will have the opportunity to explore different branches of the field. You can also go for depth in an area that interests you. You may have the opportunity to pursue a certificate in a field like community psychology.
Step 3: Use undergraduate experiences to bolster your resume. Research is especially important at the doctoral level. You may have the opportunity to become an undergraduate research assistant. Later you can write a thesis. You may also have the opportunity to do some field experience. You can become a student member of the American Psychological Association at this stage – this will help keep you informed.
Step 4: Allow plenty of time to complete the application process. You will need to take the verbal, analytical, and quantitative sections of the GRE; the psychology subtest may be required or recommended as well. You will need several letters of recommendation. Often, there is just one admission cycle a year.
If You Have a College Degree
Step 5: Thoroughly research your graduate school options. If your doctoral program is APA-accredited and at least 24 semester hours were completed in residency, you can feel confident that it will meet Kansas state regulations. If it is not APA-accredited, make sure that it meets the standards found in regulation 102-1-12.
If you are concerned about being accepted to a doctoral program in Psychology after completing your bachelor’s degree due to lower or insufficient academic achievement, you may want to apply to master’s programs first.
Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers several online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in psychology including both clinical and non-clinical specializations. Capella University also offers three online CACREP-accredited programs: MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in School Counseling, and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, as well as a COAMFTE-accredited program, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.
There are many options. You may have the opportunity to concentrate your clinical studies in a particular field, for example, child psychology or gerontology.
Step 6: Meanwhile, take any remaining steps necessary for admission. If you are not yet ready to apply to doctoral programs, you may consider a master’s program in psychology. If you want to practice at the master’s level, make sure your program meets state standards; it will need to be at least 60 semester hours.
Step 7: Complete coursework and practicum requirements. At the doctoral level, you will have a dissertation or significant culminating research project.
Step 8: Apply for your pre-doctoral internship. Kansas requires doctoral candidates to have 1,800 hours of internship or formal training (except in the case of those pursuing industrial-organizational psychology). Internship typically lasts one full year, though students sometimes do two years in a half-time capacity. As an intern, you will spend the majority of your time performing the duties of a psychologist but will continue to have some educational activities. Your supervisor will fill out an evaluation when you apply for licensure.
Step 9: Seek out a position. You will need to accrue 1,800 postdoctoral hours under supervision. Your supervisor will again evaluate you. (If you seek licensure at the master level, your requirement will be higher, and you will need a training plan.)
Step 10: Apply to the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. An approved application will allow you to take the licensing examination, the EPPP. You may do so before you have fulfilled your supervision requirement.
Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board http://www.ksbsrb.org