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Psychology Schools in Montana

April 9, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Psychology careers are among the fastest-growing professions in the world today. To enter the professional psychology field, you must first earn your psychology degree from an accredited psychology program. Some psychology programs offer bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral programs, and which one you consider pursuing depends on your education levels. 

Schools in Montana are among the best schools offering psychology programs. Like other colleges and universities, Montana psychology schools allow students to pursue psychology degrees and specialize in specific areas of psychology, depending on their career goals. Some of the common areas of specialization include clinical, health, forensic, educational, counseling, and occupational psychology.

These areas of specialization expose a student to different career paths. For instance, a student pursuing forensic psychology is likely to pursue a career in forensic science and forensic psychology, becoming a forensic psychologist.  Those specializing in school psychology could become school psychologists, while those specializing in clinical psychology might opt to work in a clinical setting as a counselor. 

Psychology is not only dynamic and flexible, but it’s also an interesting field. Students considering pursuing a psychology program should enroll in a psychology program in Montana, as the state has several schools offering some of the best psychology courses within the region. The demand for a psychologist in Montana is rapidly increasing due to the several job opportunities related to psychology degrees. 

If you are considering pursuing a psychology degree program in Montana and don’t know where to start, you are in the right place. This article provides vital information on psychology schools in Montana, including: 

  1. Advantages of attending a psychology program in Montana 
  2. Admission requirements for psychology schools in Montana 
  3. Tips for psychology program applications 
  4. Best psychology programs in Montana 

Advantages of Attending a Psychology Program in Montana 

Earning your psychology degree, particularly from a psychology school in Montana, could benefit your career path. Psychology schools in Montana are among the highly ranked schools in the region. From a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is evident that the employment rate of psychologists in Montana is quite high. Therefore, psychologists are likely to land their entry-level jobs a few months after graduation. This page will explore the benefits of psychology programs in Montana in detail. 

What Kinds of Psychology Degree Can You Earn in Montana?  

There are several psychology degree options that a student might consider pursuing to earn a professional degree. Even though every psychology degree program is different, the degree programs have similar courses which must meet the standards set by the American Psychological Association (APA). The field allows you to specialize and focus on a particular area of study to prepare you for a profession in psychology. Here are the kinds of psychology degree offered in Montana:

  1. Associate Degree in Psychology 
    An associate degree in psychology is an undergraduate degree program offered in Montana’s most psychology colleges to help train and prepare students for entry-level psychology careers. The degree typically takes two years to complete. The associate’s degree is normally a stepping stone to earning your bachelor’s degree in psychology. Despite preparing students for the professional psychology field, the degree has limited job opportunities than other psychology degree programs in Montana. The course is vital to help students earn hands-on experience. Five schools in the region offer the degree. 
  2. Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology 
    This degree is the most common type of psychology degree program offered in Montana. In most psychology schools in Montana, a student typically earns their bachelor’s degree in four years. Through the program, psychology students earn knowledge on the finer details of the graduate degree program. Additionally, the degree allows students to specialize in different areas, including mental health. Unlike an associate degree, the bachelor’s degree opens up an array of career opportunities such as school psychologists and mental health psychologists. Eight schools offer the degree in Montana. 
  3. Master’s Degree in Psychology 
    This course is meant for psychologists who want to advance their knowledge and psychology skills to advance their careers. In most Montana schools, the degree program is offered through online learning to attract working professionals specifically. The degree increases the areas of specialization in several fields. Four institutions offer the program. 
  4. Doctorate in Psychology 
    This degree is the highest psychology degree one can earn from a college in Montana. Psychology students can either earn a doctor of psychology (PsyD) or a Ph.D. in psychology. The doctorate of psychology option focuses on research and professional practice. These advanced degrees unlock several career prospects and the potential for higher earning. 

What Nonacademic Advantages Are There to Attending a Psychology Program in Montana? 

In addition to educational benefits, there are several benefits tied to earning your psychology degree from psychology schools in Montana. First, Montana has several career opportunities for psychologists. It is ranked among the top five states with high employer per capita by BLS. The psychology careers job outlook in the state is quite appealing. A psychologist in Montana is highly paid, with a high potential for growth in their career. This potential makes the career quite satisfying compared to other life science professional fields. 

Montana has flexible licensing requirements for psychologists. With these, it is easier for graduate students to become licensed psychologists immediately after earning their degrees. Acquiring residency in the state is also easy compared to several other states, as Montana is one of the fastest-growing states’ economies that require professional services. Third, the cost of earning a psychology degree in Montana is relatively low. Most of the psychology schools are highly affordable. To this effect, the state has witnessed increased registration of new students. 

Why Study Psychology in Montana? 

Enrolling in Montana’s psychology program is the best decision a student can make in their education journey. One of the reasons for studying psychology degrees in Montana is that the state has some of the country’s best psychology schools. Also, the schools offer affordable degree programs compared to the neighboring states, making Montana a destination for psychology students. The state-government offers several financial aids, including education grants and scholarships, to help fund student’s education and lead to low-learning costs. 

The psychology programs are readily available to students considering pursuing a psychology career, as they are offered in several schools. The schools are accredited and approved by several accrediting agencies, both at the state and national level. Students are, thus, assured of high-quality education, which gives them solid background knowledge and skills needed to practice in the field of psychology. The programs are flexible since there are both online and on-campus degree programs. The job outlook for a psychologist in the region is quite promising. Also, Montana has low unemployment rates, especially for psychologists. Therefore, students are assured of job opportunities after graduation. 

Admission Requirements for Psychology Schools in Montana 

Just like other professional degrees, students must meet several requirements before enrolling in psychology programs. These requirements vary from one institution to the other. However, other standard requirements, especially those set by state educational agencies, ensure that those enrolled in psychology programs meet specific standards, especially for criminal psychology programs and clinical psychology programs. If you are considering pursuing a psychology program in Montana and lack the necessary knowledge about the prerequisites for admission, keep reading. This page explores the admission requirements for psychology schools in Montana. 

What Are the Admission Requirements for Montana Psychology Schools?

As mentioned earlier, the admission requirements for Montana psychology school vary from one college to the other. However, it is a general requirement for students to have a solid academic record, especially in math and sciences, to obtain entry into psychology schools. Students with skills and knowledge in humanities also have a higher advantage over other students. Students applying for the psychology program must submit the following: 

  • Citizenship: Students considering pursuing a degree in psychology in any of the schools must possess documents confirming their citizenship. This provision is specifically for American students and doesn’t apply to international students who might want to enroll in online programs. 
  • High school graduate: To successfully enroll in one of Montana’s psychology schools, a student must have at least graduated with a high school diploma. As proof, the student must submit their official high school transcript, which indicates the course completed, graduation date, and cumulative GPA.
  • College Preparatory Curriculum: Students must have at least completed one of the several college preparatory programs, such as English courses, mathematics, social studies, laboratory science, and elective classes such as foreign languages, vocational education units, and computer science. 

Students enrolling to advance their education also have several admission requirements. Advance psychology degrees, such as master’s degrees and doctoral degrees, require students to complete their bachelor’s degrees in different psychology majors before enrolling in the advanced psychology programs. 

What GPA do you need to apply for psychology schools in Montana? 

Your GPA is a vital number that could earn you a place in one of the psychology schools in Montana. The GPA uses a scale of 0 to 4, with the lowest GPA being 0 and the highest being 4. When enrolling for a psychology degree program, admission officers usually use your GPA to determine your academic potential and calculate your school’s projected performance. Therefore, high school students must strive to achieve higher cumulative GPAs, as lower GPAs could hinder their professional dreams. 

The average GPA required for a student to apply for psychology school in Montana currently stands at 3.0. Therefore, students with lower GPAs are likely to gain entry into the grad schools, despite the minimum entry-level GPA to colleges being 2.5. Psychology is a highly specialized field that requires hardworking and ambitious students. To prove their academic capabilities and education ambition, students must have earned a GPA of 3.0 and above.

In some cases, schools might recalculate your cumulative GPA based on your high school GPA, preparatory college programs, and other admission measures pre-determined by the psychology school. This approach is an indication that even the application requirements are an essential aspect of the admission process. Therefore, students should perform well in their high education and excel in the preparatory college programs.

What Are the Prerequisites for Master’s in Psychology Programs in Montana? 

After earning your bachelor’s degree in a psychology specialization, such as forensic psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology, or school psychology, you might opt to advance your educational levels by enrolling for a master’s degree in psychology. To gain admission to Montana psychology school, you must have at least completed 120-course credits during your bachelor’s-level education. Students must also have achieved at least a 3.0 GPA and above. 

Most Montanan psychology schools prefer students with a 3.3 GPA due to the high number of applicants. In some cases, you might enroll for a masters’ program after completing bachelor’s programs in other related fields and not necessarily a bachelor’s degree in psychology. However, you must have covered psychological research methods or an introduction to psychology as part of your coursework. In some schools, you might have to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE), while others don’t subject students to such standardized tests. 

Tips for Psychology Program Applications

Getting into a psychology school to pursue your psychology degree can be a daunting process when you lack the necessary knowledge needed for successful application. With graduate school applications, students must complete paperwork and various tests. Students must complete the tests to place in a psychology program. However, psychology concentrations such as clinical psychology and counseling psychology attract a lot of applications. Your application must stand out among the rest to secure your admission. 

What Can You Do to Increase Your Chance of a Successful Psychology Program Application? 

College application is always a tedious process that requires lots of activities and commitment. The process, especially in high concentrated graduate programs such as psychology, requires intensive research to ensure that you select the right psychology school that meets your demands to become a successful psychology student. Here are some of the tips that might increase your chances of securing a psychology program: 

  1. Research 
    The first step to any application process is researching the psychology school and psychology majors you want to pursue to identify the most suitable one. Research will help you identify the right school based on their programs, tuition fees, and location. Once you have identified the most convenient option, you can focus on the application by analyzing the application requirements. 
  2. Early Application 
    Submitting your application is the next step. Since the applications attract many prospective students, you must make your application early enough to avoid a last-minute rush, which can easily lead to application errors. 
  3. Application Essays 
    When applying for graduate school psychology programs, students are usually required to write application essays, which is not always easy. Students should spend considerable time developing their essays. They provide you with the best opportunities to describe themselves, including personal and academic achievements. Those applying for advanced degrees, such as doctoral programs, should indicate their work experiences and research achievements. The primary motive of your essay is to write an engaging story that aligns with the essay prompt. After writing your essay, revise it comprehensively to ensure it’s free from grammatical and other errors. Be sure to give your peers and close teachers the essay to read, edit, and help rewrite it to your satisfaction. 
  4. Demonstrate Interest 
    Some psychology colleges are likely to track down students who have at least demonstrated interest in their learning institution. Therefore, show interest in the school by physically visiting the school premises and making inquiries about the school, its psychology program, and the facilities. You might also consider attending optional interviews, which will be an excellent opportunity to meet admission officers, and interact with psychology professors. 
  5. Letters of Recommendation 
    Letters of recommendation are crucial during the job application process and when seeking admission in a graduate school to pursue your clinical psychology program or other advanced psychology degrees. The letters of recommendation help reveal your attributes in a way that your GPA cannot. They also demonstrate your accomplishments and skills, which might be beneficial to your psychology course. Consider getting recommendation letters from reputable professionals you have had a personal touch with, such as teachers, school counselors, and employers where necessary. 
  6. Include Extracurricular Activities 
    When processing student applications, admission officers are also on the look-out for students with a commendable track record in extracurricular activities. Admission officers highly prefer students who have excelled in both academics and extracurricular activities. 

What Extracurricular Activities Look Good on a Psychology Program Application? 

Most students focus more on academic activities ignoring extracurricular activities, which are equally important. Extracurricular activity is a clear indication to admission officers that you are willing to go above and beyond to achieve your life goals through dedication in both your academics and other activities. Here are some of the activities you should include in your application: 

  • Community Engagement Activities: Community engagements, such as volunteering in social settings to help provide the community’s basic needs, can boost your application. The activities help students earn various skills and knowledge needed to spearhead specific school programs. 
  • Sporting Activities: Apart from academic programs, psychological schools also participate in collegiate sports. Participation in these activities convinces admission officers that you are an all-rounded student who excels in different areas. 
  • Student Government: If you were a high school leader, then you have higher chances of gaining admission to a psychology program. It is also an indication that you are a highly disciplined student. 

What Courses Should You Take Before Applying for A Psychology Program? 

There are several elective courses that a high school student might pursue if they are considering entering the clinical psychology profession and other careers in the field of psychology. Students should take advantage of electives such as AP psychology as the course provides an introductory background to psychology. These courses will help you earn college credits when applying for the psychology program. Other AP courses include statistics, biology, and social sciences, which are always required to complete a psychology program coursework.

Best Psychology Schools in Montana 

Choosing the right psychology school is not always easy, especially in a state with several schools offering psychology degree programs. Psychology schools in Montana allow students to study various psychology programs at different levels, including associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate degrees. Students can learn general psychology through these programs, while other schools offer psychology majors such as clinical psychology and school psychology. This guide explores some of the best schools offering psychology degree programs. 

The Best Psychology Programs in Montana 

Schools that offer psychology programs in Montana are flexible, affordable, and convenient. Whereas some schools offer both traditional undergraduate programs and online psychology programs, others offer in-person programs exclusively. Here are some of the best schools providing psychology programs in Montana. 

  1. University of Montana 
    The University of Montana provides both the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs required to pursue psychology careers. Some of the learning institution programs include bachelors and masters in general psychology, masters in school psychology, and Ph.D. in Psychology. Students in this school can specialize in various areas, including clinical psychology, general psychology, developmental psychology, and school psychology. The programs are highly affordable, with several student aid opportunities. 
  2. Montana State University 
    Students considering beginning or advancing their psychology profession should opt for Montana State University. The school psychology degree programs are highly dedicated to preparing students for future roles as psychologists. The master’s programs help a student prepare for research in the field of psychology. Some of the skills learned from the programs include behavior analysis and critical thinking. 
  3. Rocky Mountain College 
    The Rocky Mountain College offers general psychology degree programs designed to give students a solid introduction and psychology background. Students are well-prepared to begin their practice as psychologists immediately after graduation. 
  4. Carroll College 
    Carroll College offers psychology degree programs, including associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees in psychology. The college is a small college that releases an average of 20 psychology students into the job market. The psychology programs last about four years after students have completed the minimum course credits. 

Which Montana Schools Offer Online Psychology Programs? 

  1. University of Providence 
    The University of Providence offers an online bachelor’s degree in psychology and is one of the state’s best online programs. The program is highly ranked due to its strict adherence to the American Psychological Association standards that guide psychology degree programs. The school allows psychology students to concentrate in various areas, including physiological psychology, forensic psychology, and social psychology. 
  2. Montana State University-Billings 
    The university offers an online master of science in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling. The program helps train and prepare students for professional careers such as mental health counseling. Students earn critical skills from the program, including applied behavior analysis, enabling them to explore careers as child psychologists. Students are required to complete a minimum of 60 credits to earn their psychology degree. The program is accredited by CACREP, hence students are assured of quality education. 

Other schools offering online programs include: 

How Can You Determine If You Should Study Psychology in A Traditional Montana College or Earn Your Degree Online? 

Online psychology degrees have become quite popular; however, this doesn’t mean they are the best option when studying for your psychology program in Montana. Therefore, before choosing between on-campus and online learning, it is essential to consider several other factors. Here are some considerations: 

  • Access: If the school is easily accessible, students should consider earning their degree from a traditional Montana college. However, if it is inaccessible due to its location, then consider an online program. 
  • Faculty Support: Students who need faculty support through professor-student interaction might consider traditional schools. 
  • Cost of Education: Those who want to cut on the costs associated with the learning, such as accommodation, meals, parking fees, and others, should opt for online Montanan schools.

In Summary 

The demand for psychologists is increasing daily, with most institutions, such as schools, hospitals, and the criminal justice system seeking their services. With this, the demand for psychology degree programs has also escalated, especially in Montana. Montana is one of the fastest-growing economies characterized by low unemployment rates, making it a promising choice for most students. A psychologist in the region has increased employment rates, making it one of the most appealing states to earn your psychology degree. 

The kinds of psychology degrees offered in Montana schools include associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in general psychology and other specializations in psychology. The cost of earning your psychology degree in Montana is relatively low compared to neighboring states. The schools are readily available, too. Some of the requirements needed to gain admission in Montana psychology schools include preparatory courses, a high school certificate, and a solid social sciences background. The average GPA required is 3.0, but some schools prefer a 3.3.

To increase your chance of a successful psychology program application, you must put together an impressive application essay, including extracurricular activities, including letters of recommendation, and demonstrate interest. This essay will help you gain entry into some of the best learning institutions in Montana. 

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