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Best Psychology Schools in Idaho in 2021

September 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you considering enrolling in a psychology degree program at a school in Idaho? If so, you’ve made an excellent choice. Idaho is a state that understands the value of higher education. Despite being one of the smallest states, by population, it is home to 16 colleges and universities. Furthermore, out of its more than 1.7 million residents, 27.6% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Additionally, students make up a large portion of the communities their in. For example, the city of Moscow, Idaho, which is home to the University of Idaho, has a population of just over 25,700, yet a student population of 11,700. Many Idaho cities with a college campus offer a similar resident-student ratio. So, if you’re looking for a student-centric community to provide a great on-campus experience, Idaho is the place for you.

However, if on-campus living is not the right option for you, there are plenty of online psychology programs available to students living in Idaho. Online studies provide the flexibility of taking college courses at a time that is most convenient for you and it gives you the freedom to live at home while attending school This option can help you save both time and money and can help some students realize their dream of a college education.

Are you ready to learn more about psychology programs in Idaho? Then, keep reading. This guide will provide more information about schools in Idaho, how to pay for college, and how to find the best program for you.

Benefits of getting your psychology degree in Idaho

While there are psychology degree programs available in every state, there are a number of reasons why Idaho is one of the best states for college-bound students. Here’s a look at just a few.

One of the fastest-growing states

Idaho is ranked as one of the fastest-growing states in the country. In fact, the state’s population grew by 1.87% in just one year, as the state gained nearly 33,000 new residents. It’s hard to pinpoint this new growth to just one factor since there are so many things that make Idaho a great state. One thing is almost certain, however, this new growth is not likely to slow down any time soon.

What does this rapid growth mean for students? It means more resources available, more internship and research opportunities, and the chance to be part of a growing community.  

Job opportunities

Population growth also means more job opportunities. The demand for mental health counselors across the country is anticipated to grow by 25% over the next decade, but in areas with higher growth, there’s an even greater demand for new jobs. Students graduating with a psychology degree in Idaho should have no trouble finding a job.

Here’s a look at the leading jobs available in the field of psychology.

Mental health counselor

Anticipate national job growth: 25%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 1,080

Average salary in Idaho: $50,860

Substance abuse counselor

Anticipate national job growth: 25%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 2,090

Average salary in Idaho: $49,810

Marriage and family therapist

Anticipate national job growth: 22%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 170

Average salary in Idaho: $50,190

Family social worker

Anticipate national job growth: 13%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 950

Average salary in Idaho: $50,010

Mental health social worker

Anticipate national job growth: 13%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 820

Average salary in Idaho: %50,560

School counselor

Anticipate national job growth: 8%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 1,720

Average salary in Idaho: $50,550

Psychologist

Anticipate national job growth: 4%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 60

Average salary in Idaho: $90,740

School psychologist

Anticipate national job growth: 4%

Number of professionals in Idaho: 370

Average salary in Idaho: $69,570

Schooling options

Students going to school in Idaho also have an array of degree programs to choose from, including associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate degree programs. Furthermore, students can choose between various specialties within the psychology field, such as forensic psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, clinical psychology, counseling, and experimental psychology.

Thanks to these specialties, students can select an educational track that best matches their career goals. Additionally, having these specialty degrees can improve graduates’ job opportunities and increase their chances of landing a job in their desired field.

Low crime rate

Despite its recent growth, Idaho still has the third-lowest crime rate in the county. For example, the state’s violent crime rate stands at 2.3 incidents per 1,000 residents, compared to the national average of 3.7 incidents per 1,000 residents. This statistic can give students and their family members peace of mind whether they’re attending school on-campus or online.

Great outdoors

Of course, Idaho’s natural beauty makes it a great place for students of all ages. Between the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, there’s not much to dislike about this state, especially if you love the outdoors. Students can find plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, fishing, and camping, to partake in when not in class or studying.

Even students going to school in one of the state’s major cities, such as Boise, are just a short drive away from the great outdoors. In fact, this type of school is ideal for students because it offers all the conveniences and entertainment venues of the city yet provides the option to escape the hustle and bustle of the city when they want.

What to expect from a psychology program at a school in Idaho

Students seeking a career in psychology must start at the undergraduate level. They can expect to take a mixture of general education courses, such as basic science, math, and English as well as psychology-specific classes, including an introduction to psychology, abnormal psychology, and human development.

Whether you’re taking on-camps or online classes, you should set aside several hours a week for each class you’re taking for studying and completing assignments. There are three primary educational tracks that students can take at the undergraduate level, including:

Associate degree

Associate degree programs are typically offered by community colleges and take an average of two years to complete. Students can earn an Associate of Arts in Psychology or an Associate of Science in Psychology degree depending on the specific program. Generally, students do not select any type of specialty at this level, but rather study general psychology.

While most employers seek out candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduates of an associate-level program can still find plenty of employment opportunities, such as a case management assistant. Students who want to advance their careers later may be able to transfer most, if not all, of their credits from their associate degree program to a four-year institution.

Transfer program

Students who are having trouble gaining acceptance at a four-year university or prefer to start their training at the community college level can enroll in a transfer program. This type of program allows students to take up to two years of classes, including both general education and psychology-related courses, at a two-year college. After two years, students can then transfer these credits to a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year university.

Transfer programs are ideal for students who want to save money and reside at home for the first two years of their schooling. It’s important, however, to make sure that your advisor knows that you are enrolled in a transfer program to ensure that you only take classes that will transfer to the four-year college of your choice.

Bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree program is the most popular starting point for students pursuing a career in psychology. These programs require the completion of about 120 credit hours, which generally takes four years of full-time studying to complete.

Students in a bachelor program will take a combination of general education courses and psychology-related courses, such as statistical reasoning, child development, and cognitive processing. Students should be prepared to spend several hours a week per class studying and completing required assignments.

At the undergraduate level, you may be required to complete a practicum, which allows you to observe professionals working in the psychology field. It’s recommended to choose a facility for your practicum that is closely related to the type of job you are interested in obtaining after graduation. For example, if you are interested in becoming a mental health counselor, you should try to complete your practicum at a mental health facility or private practice. This will give you some insight into the job itself and help to ensure it’s the right career path for you.

While some schools require their undergraduates to complete an internship program, many colleges wait until the graduate level to make this a requirement. However, it’s recommended to check your program requirements prior to enrolling so you know exactly what to expect.

After graduating from an accredited bachelor level program, you can advance your educational training by enrolling in a master’s degree course or immediately enter the workforce. There are many job options available to graduates, including social workers, case managers, and human resource managers.

Students wishing to pursue a graduate degree must start at the master-degree level and can then move forward to earn their doctorate degree if they desire. Here’s a closer look at these different degree programs.

Master’s degree

Master’s degree programs vary significantly from school to school, but it typically takes between two to three years to complete the program. Students can earn a Master of Science (MS) in Psychology or a Master of Art (MA) in Psychology degree depending on the specific program they take. The major difference between these programs is that an MS degree is more science and research-based, whereas an MA degree is more client-based, such as counseling or human resources.

Students can also focus on a variety of specialties within the psychology field, such as forensic psychology, substance abuse psychology, and marriage and family counseling. While a degree in general psychology is enough to obtain a license in the state and to find a job, you should consider taking one of these specialty programs if you already know what career path you want to take.

Nearly every college and university in the state, even online programs, require students to complete one or more internship programs prior to graduation. These professional internships give students the ability to work directly in their field under the supervision of an experienced and licensed professional in the field. The type of internship you select depends on your specific career objectives.

For example, if you want to become a substance abuse counselor, you should complete an internship at a rehab center, where you will work directly with clients struggling with addiction issues. On the other hand, if you are interested in industrial-organizational psychology, you are likely to complete your internship at a local corporation. For instance, students at the University of Idaho have completed their internship at companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, Idaho National Laboratory, and Motorola.

After completion of a graduate program, students can work towards earning their professional license, such as:

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC): licensing requires 1,000 hours of supervised experience and the successful passage of the National Counselors Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC): licensing requires 2,000 supervisory hours plan the successful passage of the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT): licensing requires 2,000 supervised hours and successful completion of the Association of Marriage and Family Therapist Regulatory Board (AMFTRB)

Doctorate degree

Once obtaining their master’s degree from an accredited school, students can then move forward to earn their Ph.D. in Psychology or PhD. in School Psychology. Doctorate programs can take an additional three to four years to complete, or longer. Students should expect to complete an in-depth internship or residency program as well as write a comprehensive thesis paper. They will also take high-level courses in mental health assessment, research and analysis, and experimental therapy.

Doctoral students must attend a psychology program accredited by the American Psychology Association (APA) and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

Cost of psychology schools in Idaho

One of the downsides to college is the high cost of tuition. However, it’s important to keep in mind that college graduates, on average, earn more throughout the course of their career than those without a college education. In the state of Idaho, the average tuition costs for state colleges are $11,077 for in-state students and $16,623 for out-of-state students. Rates for in-state students are right on par with the national average of $11,171, but quite lower than the national average of $26,809 for out-of-state students. Tuition fees are even higher for private universities, which can be as high as $40,000 a year or higher.

When comparing in-state tuition costs to other states in the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, Idaho ranks near the bottom, which is just one more benefit of attending a psychology school in the state.  Here’s a look at both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates for states within the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities.

Oregon

In-state: $17,176

Out-of-state: $21,915

Washington

In-state: $13,740

Out-of-state: $17,427

In-state: $12,650

Out-of-state: $16,622

Nevada

In-state: $12,650

Out-of-state: $16,758

Idaho

In-state: $11,077

Out-of-state: $16,623

Alaska

In-state: $9,286

Out-of-state: $15,359
Montana

In-state: $7,827

Out-of-state: $13,724

Don’t let the cost of tuition stand in your way of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology. There are numerous financial resources available to help cover a portion, or even all, of the cost of college.

Student financial aid

The Student Financial Aid program is managed by the federal government and provides financial support to students who meet income requirements. These funds are considered to be a grant and do not need to be paid back. Federal financial aid is available to students whether they are attending private or public school and whether they go to online or on-campus schooling. The school must, however, be approved by the Department of Education.

The first step for students is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is available online and must be submitted no later than June 30th of the semester you plan to attend school. Students must complete this application every year they are requesting financial aid.

Federal aid is provided to students on a needs basis, however, the amount of support you can receive is based on several factors, such as your income, the college you’re attending, and how many years you have been in college. Once you select a college, you can work directly with the financial aid department of the school to determine how must your financial aid package is.

Scholarships

Students should also apply for as many scholarships as possible. Like grants, scholarship support doesn’t need to be repaid. Scholarships, however, are not always needs-based. Some scholarships are based on career choice, academics, sports abilities, and more. Scholarship money can be used in conjunction with other grants and can be used to offset the cost of tuition, books, housing, and other fees.

The best way to find scholarships in your local area is to contact the local high school as well as the college you plan to attend. These schools should be able to provide a list of scholarships available. You can also use online search tools to find scholarships that are ideal for you.

Keep in mind that scholarships all have various requirements and deadlines that must be met to even be considered. So, be sure to submit all the necessary documentation prior to the deadlines.

Work-study program

Nearly all colleges and universities offer some type of work-study program to their students. This program allows students to work on campus, such as in the bookstore or student union building. In exchange for the students’ work, the school covers a portion of the students’ tuition and pays them a small stipend. While this type of program doesn’t typically cover the entire cost of tuition, it can provide significant support and give the student some spending money.

Student loans

If grants and scholarships are not enough to cover the entire cost of college, students can take out a loan to cover the remaining costs. Depending on your income level, you may be eligible for a government-backed loan. Since this type of loan is backed by the government, students are not required to submit to a credit check or put down collateral for the loan.

Most importantly, these guaranteed loans come with very low-interest rates and students do not need to start repaying the loan until they have completed their degree program or stopped going to school. At this point, a repayment plan will be developed based on your current income.

Students who are not eligible for a government-backed loan may still qualify for a student loan through a bank or credit union. Be sure to take time to shop around for a loan with the best interest rates. This step can save you a significant amount of money over the course of the loan.

Top Idaho schools with psychology programs

Fortunately, students choosing to attend a psychology program in Idaho have a variety of options to choose from, including both on-campus and online programs.

Top Idaho-based schools with psychology programs

Idaho is home to 16 colleges and universities of which 12 offer some type of psychology program. Four of these colleges, including North Idaho College, College of Western Idaho, College of Eastern Idaho, and the College of Southern Idaho only offer associate-level programs and transfer programs. However, these community colleges can be a great place for students to start their educational path.

Idaho State University

Location: Pocatello

Undergraduate degrees: BS in Psychology, BA in Psychology

Graduate degrees: MS in Psychology, MS in School Psychology (online), MS in School Psychology Examiner

University of Idaho

Location: Moscow

Undergraduate degrees: BS in Psychology, BA in Psychology

Graduate degrees: MS in Psychology, PhD. in Psychology

Boise State University

Location: Boise

Undergraduate degrees: BS in Psychology

Certification: Psychology teaching endorsement

Brigham-Young University – Idaho

Location: Rexburg

Undergraduate degrees: BS in Psychology, BS in Health Psychology, BS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Top online schools with psychology programs

Walden University

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Undergraduate degree programs: BS in General Psychology, BS in Psychology – Human Services, BS in Workplace Psychology, BS in Psychology – Criminal Justice, BS in Psychology – Addictions

Graduate degree programs: MS in Psychology, MS in Clinical Mental Health, MS in Developmental Psychology, MS in Forensic Psychology, MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ph.D. In Psychology, Ph.D. In Counseling Education and Supervision, Ph.D. In Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. In Forensic Psychology, Ph.D. Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Ph.D. In Behavioral Health Leadership

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Undergraduate degree programs: BA in Psychology, BA in Psychology – Addictions, BA in Psychology-Child and Adolescent Development, BA in Forensic Psychology, BA in Psychology – Mental Health, BA in Social Psychology, BS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Graduate degree programs: MA in Child and Developmental Psychology, MA in Forensic Psychology, MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Arizona State University – Global Campus

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Undergraduate degree programs: Bachelor of Art in Psychology

Capella University

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Undergraduate degree programs: BS in Psychology, BS in Applied Behavior Analysis, BS in Pre-Counseling

Graduate degree programs: MS in Psychology, MS in Clinical Psychology, PhD. in Psychology, PhD. in Clinical Psychology, PhD. in School Psychology

Purdue University Global

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Undergraduate degree programs: BS in Psychology, BS in Psychology – Addictions, BS in Applied Behavior Analysis, BS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Graduate degree programs: MS in Psychology, MS in Educational Psychology

How to find the best school

When selecting an Idaho college to attend for psychology there are several things you should consider, including:

Accreditation: The most important thing to consider is if the school’s psychology program is accredited by a professional organization. This accreditation is crucial when applying for graduate school, searching for a job, obtaining financial aid, and obtaining a state license. Always ask the school about their professional accreditation before enrolling in the program.

Online vs on-campus: while on-campus programs are ideal for some students, they are often more expensive because you have to live on or near the campus. This fact makes it difficult, or even impossible, for some students that have work and personal responsibilities that limit their ability to move or take traditional classes. In these cases, online programs are the better option because it allows students to remain living at home and allows them to take classes at times that are most convenient for them.

Degree program: Keep in mind that not all schools offer all types of degrees. For example, many community colleges only offer associate degree and transfer programs. Make sure the college of your choice offers the right program.

Specialty: If there is a certain specialty in psychology you’re interested in, such as forensic or counseling, be sure to find a school that offers that major or at least a minor or concentration in that field of study.

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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