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Psychology Schools in Arkansas

August 20, 2021 | Staff Writers

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The following guide on psychology schools in Arkansas will give you key information that will allow you to choose the best psychology school and program for your career and academic goals. 

Many universities and colleges in Arkansas provide their undergraduate and graduate students the chance to study general psychology or specialize in a specific area (i.e., clinical psychology). 

If you’re looking for a more flexible schedule for doing your coursework and earning your psychology degree, you might want to consider online psychology programs

What to Expect in an Arkansas Psychology Program?

Before you can become a licensed psychologist in Arkansas, you must complete your bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Earning a bachelor’s degree will take full-time students around four years to complete; a master’s degree will take around two years, and doctoral programs can take up to three years. 

Students pursuing a psychology degree at all levels can explore online psychology programs, which allows them to have more flexibility with their program and more convenience as they work to earn their degree. 

Most of the best psychology schools in Arkansas allow students to explore a specialization, which allows them to tailor their degree to a specific career goal and their personal interests. Programs that don’t offer these specialization opportunities might allow students to choose elective coursework that goes along with their professional goals. 

What Courses Will You Take in an Arkansas Psychology Program? 

As a psychology student, you’ll take a number of classes focusing on human behavior science. Your ultimate goal as a student is to fulfill the course requirements for your psychology program and develop in-depth knowledge of psychology, research competence, and critical thinking skills that will help you advance in your academic and career paths. 

Here are some of the courses that you might encounter as a psychology student at a University in Arkansas: 

General Psychology

This is an introductory course that provides you with an overview of the psychology field. It might feel overwhelming at first because of the sheer volume of information that you’re learning, but this is an important class that lays the groundwork for the rest of your studies. 

Remember that this class’s goal is to introduce the history of psychology and the scientific study of human behavior and the human mind. 

History of Psychology

To better understand contemporary psychology, you must look at the influences and origins of this science. Courses that provide you with the history of psychology generally start with the ancient philosophical origins and explore the contributions of major thinkers up through today. 

Statistics

Statistics is a must for any psychology major, whether or not you plan on pursuing a graduate degree. Statistics provides you with a background for understanding how psychologists investigate human behavior. 

Statistics generally focuses on statistical techniques and methods used by researchers. Most psychology graduate programs require you to take at least one undergraduate statistics course. 

Experimental Psychology

Experimental psychology is an essential foundation for anyone pursuing a psychology degree. In this class, you’ll learn basic experimental designs and research methods. While the course requirements will vary depending on your school, most experimental psychology classes require students to perform experiments. 

Physiological Psychology

To fully understand human behavior and the mind, you must develop your knowledge of physiological processes, basic neuroanatomy, perception and sensation, neural actions, and the brain. 

Taking a course in physiological psychology gives you a good introduction to the field of neuropsychology. 

Cognitive Psychology

In a cognitive psychology course, you’ll learn more about the cognitive process that forms the foundation of human behavior. It involves studying internal mental processes, including learning, problem-solving, language, attention, memory, thinking, and perception. 

You may be required to take several more courses or even wish to take as a psychology major, but these will depend on which school you attend and the program that you enter.

What Are Psychology Majors Like in Arkansas? 

Psychology is a skills-based major that prepares students for graduate-level business, medicine, law, education, and psychology programs. It’s a customizable major and complements many careers. 

Students need to learn basic methods to conduct psychological problem solving, reasoning, and research. After the research is complete, students are expected to write papers on findings from experiments in the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style. 

Students will also understand psychology’s history by studying past experiments to learn from the earliest breakthroughs in the field. 

How Do I Know if Psychology is the Major for Me? 

Psychology is a great major for those who want to work with other people and understand mental processes and human behavior. Some valuable skills that students should possess to succeed as a psychologist include effective communication skills, problem-solving, critical thinking, and open-mindedness. 

Learning how human brains work can help students apply lessons to their own lives and learn about themselves too. Therefore, this profession is for those who can handle stress, high-pressure situations, and social dilemmas. 

Why Attend Psychology Colleges and Programs in Arkansas? 

Those wanting to attend college in Arkansas for psychology enjoy several benefits. For one, both in-state and out-of-state students’ tuition rate is on the lower end of the scale in all of the 50 states. 

Arkansas is ranked at number 18 for the lowest tuition rate in the United States. Arkansas also boasts a population of more than three million people, and 31 percent of the population has received a college education. 

Arkansas has a low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, ranking it as the 28th state with the lowest unemployment rate. There are over 73 universities and colleges in Arkansas.

Admission Requirements for Psychology Schools in Arkansas

After you’ve figured out your top psychology schools in Arkansas, it’s time to make sure that you’ll meet the admission requirements. Different programs are going to require different things, but some standard benchmarks need to be met: 

  • GPA: GPA requirements will vary depending on the school and program you’re trying to enter. For the most part, most schools will look for a 3.0 GPA.
  • Good GRE scores: Some programs don’t require you to sit for the GRE, but many do. So, if your school makes you sit for the GRE, make sure that you’re hitting the required scores for your program. 
  • Essay: Most schools will ask you to supply an essay with your application. This is likely about your experiences in the psychology field or your professional aspirations. 
  • Letters of Recommendation: Some schools ask for letters of recommendation for your application. These need to come from people who can speak to your ability to succeed in the program, such as undergraduate professors or supervisors at work. 

The other admission requirements for psychology schools in Arkansas will depend on the school and program you’re applying for. 

What to Look for in a Psychology Program in Arkansas

When you’re trying to find the best psychology program in Arkansas for you, you must go through the proper steps in researching several schools and programs to compare the minimum graduation requirements, the concentrations available to you, the school and program’s accreditation, and the cost of attendance. 

You should also have an idea of school specifics like how many people are admitted into the psychology program each term, if the program is available online, internship opportunities available, and how long it takes a student to graduate. 

The following guide will help you answer these questions and outline some important factors that you should consider when deciding to start looking for a psychology program in Arkansas. 

Online vs In-Class

One of the very first things that you need to consider is if you’re looking to take classes on campus or online. Learning on campus is more traditional and has many benefits, including face-to-face interactions with fellow students and faculty, honor societies, and access to the school’s library. Students who learn best by working with course materials will be the most successful in traditional in-class settings. 

Online programs have started to become more popular over the years. Many online programs can be taken anywhere in the country, regardless of where you live. Online classes are typically offered at a much lower cost than on-campus classes. 

However, because taking classes online relies entirely on your ability to be self-motivated to complete coursework, online classes require great organization and discipline. Several students thrive by taking online classes because they can create their own schedules. 

Picking an Accredited Psychology Program

Going to an accredited university or college means that they have met the program’s requirements and standards. By attending an accredited school, you’re guaranteeing that your education will cover the necessary requirements for entering your chosen career. 

Going to a school that’s accredited also means that you’re eligible for federal financial aid. This means that you’ll be able to get help paying for school from the federal government. It also helps you stand out on the job market because it ensures that you have the necessary skills and knowledge required for your job. 

Additionally, going to an accredited college means that you’ll be better prepared for licensure. Many states require licensing candidates to have earned a degree from an accredited program. But accreditation doesn’t ensure that you’ll get licensed, but it does help. 

Career Goals

Another important thing to consider when choosing where to earn your degree is the career that you would like to go into after graduation – for psychology, there are several specialties that you can enter. 

Students who know what they want to do with their psychology degree can benefit from attending a school that offers the concentration they want to enter. Those who are unsure of what they want to do would be better off searching for a school that has a great, reputable general education in psychology before entering a specialized program. 

Differences Between EdD, EdS, PsyD, Ph.D. Degrees

EdD 

Many students will pursue an EdD, or Doctor of Education, in psychology to increase their pay and skills if they work in schools, while others will use it to change careers and work in private practice, in hospitals, or as professors. 

EdS

EdS, Education Specialist Degree, is a unique degree normally only offered by university departments of education. It’s the only non-doctoral degree that you can get that will allow you to practice psychology still and lead to school psychology jobs. 

PsyD

A PsyD, Doctor of Psychology, is a practical degree offered by professional schools of psychology and emphasizes clinical practice with only a slight emphasis on research. Entrance to a PsyD program is less competitive than that for a Ph.D. program. If you want to help people with psychotherapy or counseling, this is the degree for you. 

PhD

A Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy, is the traditional psychology degree that places an equal emphasis on clinical training and research. Ph. Ds in psychology are highly competitive and are offered by traditional universities. 

To become a licensed psychologist in Arkansas, you need to earn a doctoral degree and complete the doctoral program. So, if you want to practice psychology, you should go for a PsyD or Ph.D. so you can obtain your license. 

Psychology Specialties

Those interested in pursuing a career in a specific psychology area benefit the most from attending a school that offers them a concentration in their area of interest, and several colleges in Arkansas offer concentrations at the bachelor’s degree level. 

Clinical Psychology

This is one of the largest fields of psychology. Clinical psychologists work in group practices, counseling centers, clinics, hospitals and work to assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. 

Counseling Psychology

Counseling psychology uses a number of techniques, such as interviews and testing, to advise patients on how to deal with their everyday problems. 

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychologists study social, physiological, and cognitive development that occurs throughout someone’s lifespan. These psychologists specialize in geriatric, adulthood, adolescence, and childhood study. 

School Psychology

School psychologists will conduct research in classrooms to determine the cognitive effects of learning variables, classroom dynamics, and teaching style on childhood development. 

Forensic Psychology

A forensic psychologist focuses on studying crime prevention, courtroom dynamics, the psychology of law, and rehabilitation programs. 

Social Psychology

Social psychology studies the interactions between people and their social environment. These psychologists often work in systems design, marketing offices, and consulting firms. 

There are so many more specialty areas that you can enter with a psychology degree; these are just the beginning. If you know which area you want to study, make sure that you’re attending a college that offers the program that you need. 

If you aren’t sure what you want to do yet, that’s okay. It’s recommended that you start by going to the best school for general psychology and volunteering in different psychology areas until you find the right fit for you. 

Affordable Psychology Schools in Arkansas

There are several affordable psychology schools in Arkansas, including: 

Ecclesia College

Ecclesia College, located in Springdale, Arkansas, is a four-year Christian school that emphasizes flexible education opportunities, community service, and Christian outreach. It’s also home to the only work-learning program in the state of Arkansas, which lets students get hands-on experience in their field of study while reducing their tuition rate. 

Southern Arkansas University

Southern Arkansas University is a public four-year institution that enrolls over 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students every year. It has high rankings for both affordability and quality. SAU also boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. 

University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the state of Arkansas. Although UCA has historically operated as the primary producers of teachers, today, it’s noted for its nationally recognized programs in psychology, physical therapy, nursing, and more. 

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University is a public research university and is the second-largest institution of higher education in Arkansas. Over 700 faculty members, over 14,000 students, and 11 colleges at ASU, make ASU a global center of learning for sciences and emerging technologies. 

How Much Money Can You Save by Studying Psychology Online Instead of at a Traditional College in Arkansas? 

Without a doubt, the cost associated with attending college in-person is much greater than that of attending school online. 

You’ll find that an online college is cheaper than a traditional university. For many schools, it’s cheaper to offer online degrees because it’s cheaper – fewer expenses are incurred. The average student will typically spend anywhere between $100 to $400 per credit hour for an online degree. 

Traditional colleges will be more expensive than online colleges. The average student enrolled in a traditional college will spend anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 on just tuition for their degree program. This number doesn’t include living expenses or the cost of books. 

What Kind of Financial Aid is Available for Psychology Students in Arkansas? 

The cost of college has risen over the years, which means that most students pursuing higher education need financial assistance. Luckily for students, there are several options to help pay for college. You should start looking at financial assistance early on, creating a financial plan way before you step foot on campus. 

Every student should fill out the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) to learn if they qualify for grants or loans from the federal government. They should also explore all of their scholarship, assistantship, and fellowship options from their schools, nonprofit organizations, and professional associations.  

How to Become a Psychologist in Arkansas

To become a psychologist in Arkansas, you must first meet the educational requirements, usually including a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and a doctoral degree in psychology. Once those educational requirements have been met, you can start the process of applying to the Arkansas Psychology board for your license. 

Request and Submit Your Licensing Application to the Board

You must complete a Request for License Application Packet form to the Arkansas Psychology Board administrative staff via mail. With the completed payment of the $200 fee, the administrative staff will provide you with the approved application packet. 

The packet must contain proof that you obtained a doctoral degree and much more. All of which will be clearly written in the instructions of the packet for you to follow. Remember that you must keep all copies of the paperwork that you’re submitting to the Board. 

Those who are applying for their license for the first time are also required to apply for state and national background checks from the Identification Bureau of the Arkansas State Police. You’re responsible for paying for the fees, which are $20 and $19.25, respectively. 

Complete One Year of Postdoctoral Supervised Professional Experience (SPE)

To qualify for your license in Arkansas, you must do at least one year of postdoctoral SPE in 50 40-hour work weeks for a total of 2,000 hours. This is in addition to your doctoral internship. 

You cannot take more than four years to complete your SPE requirement. 

Pass the Psychology Licensing Exams in Arkansas

Arkansas has a multilevel licensing examination process. The first step includes the Board reviewing your academic, experience, and personal credentials. After your credentials have been approved, the $687.50 total Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) fee is paid to the Professional Exam Service. The $50 administrative fee is paid to the board. 

The EPPP tests your knowledge of psychological principles and techniques and your knowledge of professional psychology ethics. Those who don’t pass the EPPP have to wait 60 days before they can retake the exam. 

A passing scaled score of 500 will qualify you for admission into the Arkansas Psychology Board’s required oral interview and examination. The oral interview and examination are used to evaluate your general knowledge of psychology and Arkansas-specific statutes. 

Receive Your License

After completing all of the requirements and passing the EPPP, you’ll be contacted by the Board when your license has been officially issued by the state of Arkansas. 

Final Thoughts

Arkansas is a great state to earn your psychology degree because it has a low unemployment rate, a ton of great and affordable schools, and a great job outlook. If you have the chance to study psychology in Arkansas, you should take it. 

There are several classes that you’ll be required to take as a psychology student in Arkansas. While it will vary depending on which school you attend, the classes we listed above in this article are the ones that are the most basic for a psychology degree. They are designed to help you better understand psychology and build your critical-thinking and researching skills. 

You should be aware of several admission requirements if you want to attend psychology school in Arkansas. They will vary depending on which school you go to, but some of the standard ones are your GPA, an essay, your GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. To get a better idea of what you need to get into your psychology school, make sure you research the school you want to attend. 

Remember that accreditation matters when you start looking for the best psychology school in Arkansas. Without accreditation, you aren’t ensuring that your degree counts and that you’re getting the best education for your program. 

There are over 70 affordable psychology schools in Arkansas. Some of the best ones are Ecclesia College, Southern Arkansas University, University of Central Arkansas, and Arkansas State University. These are the top three schools because they pride themselves in offering amazing psychology programs while keeping the tuition rates low. 

There are a ton of scholarships, grants, and more available to psychology students. Every student should apply for the FAFSA before they start college to see if they’re eligible for federal aid. This is one of the best ways to pay for school instead of taking out personal loans. However, if you can find scholarships to help pay your way through school, that’s even better.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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