Around 83% of the behavioral health workforce believes that without changes to public policy, provider organizations will be unable to meet the demand for mental health or substance abuse treatment and care (National Council for Mental Wellbeing, 2023). The aftermath can see a potential exodus of behavioral health workers due to burnout, which could lead to a high demand for psychologists (National Council for Mental Wellbeing, 2023).
The state of Florida is home to a notable collection of institutions dedicated to psychology, the scientific inquiry into human thought and behavior. These academic institutions have carved a distinct niche as bastions of scholarly excellence and intellectual rigor.
In this article, we embark on a structured inquiry into the best psychology schools in Florida. If you are interested in exploring what you can do with a clinical psychology degree, this guide is for you. The Research.com team identified the psychology schools in Florida offering the best programs based on curriculum and accreditation to help you make an informed choice.
Only 597 of 2,142 counties in the US had at least one clinical and one adolescent psychologist (American Psychological Association and University of Michigan, 2020). Whether being a psychologist is a good job in Florida depends on your career goals and interests. Like many other states, Florida has a demand for mental health professionals, including psychologists. Factors such as population growth, demographics, and the prevalence of mental health issues in the state can affect job opportunities.
Psychology schools in Florida offer diverse programs that cater to every student, whether the path they want to take is counseling or clinical psychology. Psychologists in Florida can work in various settings, including private practices, hospitals, schools, government agencies, and mental health treatment facilities. Your choice of work setting can impact your job satisfaction and income potential.
The diverse population provides psychology career opportunities in Florida with many clients and issues. Job satisfaction in psychology often depends on personal fulfillment, the ability to positively impact individuals and communities, and work-life balance. Like in many states, the field of psychology can be competitive, which is why most psychology schools in Florida offer various concentrations and specializations.
Source: American Psychological Association, Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center 2020
In 2023, among adults with mental health illness, 28% reported they could not receive treatment (Mental Health America, 2023).
Becoming a psychologist in Florida involves taking up undergraduate and graduate programs, supervised experience, and licensure. The process starts by obtaining a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field from psychology schools in Florida. While a specific undergraduate major in psychology is not always required, it can help gain foundational knowledge. You may choose among undergraduate psychology programs in Florida.
To become a licensed psychologist in Florida, you must earn a master's and a doctoral degree in psychology. There are two common types of graduate psychology programs in Florida, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which emphasizes research, and the Doctor of Psychology (PsD), which focuses on clinical practice and practical training.
After completing your doctoral program in psychology schools in Florida, you must complete at least 4,000 hours of supervised experience, which is among the psychology licensure requirements in Florida. The next step after completing the clinical experience requirement is to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
Once you have completed your supervised experience and passed the EPPP, you can apply for licensure with the Florida Board of Psychology.
After two years of supervised post-master's experience, those who have earned a master’s degree in Psychology are eligible to take the licensure exam and become a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). There are online psychology degree programs in Florida that offer these types of graduate programs.
Your journey begins with earning a bachelor's degree from one of the psychology schools in Florida, which typically takes around four years to complete. After completing your bachelor's degree, you must enroll in a graduate program and complete a doctoral program in psychology. The psychology degree requirements in Florida can take five to seven years, depending on the type of program and your progress.
Following your doctoral program, you must accrue supervised experience. Completing at least 4,000 hours of supervised experience, which includes at least 2,000 post-doctoral clinical hours, takes approximately two to three years.
The time it takes to prepare for and pass the required examinations can vary. This includes the EPPP and the Florida State Examination. Depending on your readiness and study habits, this could take several months to a year or more. However, the time it would take to finish your program will be worth it. Among licensed clinicians, 20% reported at least 19 people on their waitlist (American Psychological Association, 2022).
Typically, it takes a minimum of 10 to 12 years or more from the time you enroll in your undergraduate program to licensure as a psychologist in Florida. This will vary if you enroll in an online psychology degree. The actual time can vary widely based on individual circumstances, program choices, and how efficiently you progress through each step of the process. You may consult with the psychology schools in Florida for your preferred study program.
Source: American Psychological Association
The tuition rates for programs in psychology schools in Florida, like other types of education, can vary significantly based on factors such as the type of institution, whether public or private, in-state or out-of-state, and the specific program of study. Tuition rates for in-state residents at public universities in Florida can vary widely depending on the program.
On average, expect to pay between $5,000 to $12,000 or more per academic year. If you are an out-of-state student attending a public university in Florida, your tuition will typically be significantly higher than in-state rates. For instance, in a public school such as Florida Atlantic, the estimated cost of attendance for in-state students is $5,816, while for a non-Florida resident, the estimated cost is $20,192. Private colleges and universities in Florida often have higher tuition rates for psychology programs than public institutions.
Tuition rates can also vary based on the type of the program and its duration as offered by psychology schools in Florida. Part-time or online psychology programs may have different tuition structures. When evaluating the cheapest online psychology degree, check the curriculum to ensure program quality.
Consider exploring financial aid for psychology students in Florida, scholarships, assistantships, and other funding opportunities to help offset the cost of your education. In 2020-21, the national average of state and local funding per student reached $9,330, the highest level since 2000-01 (College Board, 2022).
The University of Florida is one of the psychology schools in Florida that provides its students with a diverse liberal arts education grounded in science. Psychology majors become well-equipped for graduate study in psychology, advanced professional programs, and various professions. General psychology, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, and behavior analysis are among the specialization options. The graduate program department offers Ph.D. candidates four specialty areas: behavior analysis, developmental, neurobehavioral and cognitive sciences, and social psychology.
As majors in psychology or behavioral neuroscience, Florida State University provides psychology students opportunities to assist faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students with scientific research in the many subfields of psychology. Students can earn course credit while performing laboratory work. Doctoral training is conducted in laboratories of the highest caliber under the supervision of our internationally renowned faculty. Psychology students can pursue doctoral training in neuroscience through the interdepartmental FSU program.
Among psychology schools in Florida, the psychology program of the University of South Florida provides students with a well-rounded liberal arts education applicable to various fields of study within and outside the social and behavioral sciences. Students who desire to pursue graduate studies in clinical, cognitive, and neural sciences or industrial psychology, education, and other human service programs receive excellent training in this program. The undergraduate program emphasizes the breadth of psychology while allowing students to pursue electives in particular aspects of the discipline.
Florida Atlantic University offers the BA in Psychology, BS in Neuroscience, and behavior degree programs. These programs are designed to provide quality general education in the fundamental areas of psychological science and neuroscience, preparing students for vocations in a variety of fields as well as graduate study. The research-intensive graduate program includes MA and Ph.D. degree programs in experimental psychology through mentor-based graduate training in the laboratory.
The psychology programs at the University of West Florida train students to adopt a scientific approach to understanding and evaluating behavior and mental processes. Through the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, students pursue their professional and personal goals. As with other major psychology schools in Florida, undergraduate programs include BA and BS degrees in psychology. To become scientist-practitioners, students may concentrate on counseling or industrial-organizational psychology, which also opens the opportunity to work with professionals from the best business schools in Florida.
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
As of 2022, 3,450 clinical and counseling psychologists were employed in Florida (BLS, 2022). When evaluating psychology programs offered by psychology schools in Florida, several key factors should be considered to ensure you choose the program that best aligns with your academic and career goals. Aside from looking for the top-ranked psychology schools in Florida, regional accreditation is crucial. For psychology programs, check if they have accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). This ensures that the program complies with the goals of psychology and meets standards set by the governing agencies.
Next is to determine whether the program offers the level of degree and specialization that matches your career plans. In addition, among the best colleges for psychology majors in Florida, check the qualifications and expertise of the faculty members. Look for programs where faculty members have research interests or clinical expertise that align with your own interests.
If you are interested in research, inquire about research opportunities for students offered by psychology schools in Florida. A robust research component can be particularly important for psychology schools in Florida offering doctoral programs. For clinical or counseling psychology programs, look for psychology internships in Florida or practicum experiences. This practical training is vital for building clinical skills.
In this article, the Resarch.com team has identified the best psychology schools in Florida that lead the way as incubators of innovative research, fostering a profound understanding of human behavior. These institutions empower students and scholars alike to embark on a journey of discovery and service, making invaluable contributions to the well-being of individuals and society.
The pursuit of excellence in psychology education continues within the hallowed halls of these institutions, nurturing the future leaders and practitioners who will shape the ever-evolving landscape of psychological science and practice. For those who want to pursue psychology through online studies, there are online clinical psychology programs offered by major institutions.