Psychology Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Iowa

IowaWhile nearby neighbors like Nebraska and South Dakota may cover more land, they don’t have Iowa beat when it comes to diversity of college options. Iowa has increased its spending on higher education so much in the past five years that the state currently ranks in the top quarter of the country in terms of spending on higher education. As a result, the state's post-secondary education system is flourishing. According to Iowa's Higher Education Data Center, the state had more than 3000,000 students enrolled in a variety of institutions throughout. Iowa is also home to more than 60 degree-granting institutions, which makes up a little more than two-thirds of the national average, and half of those institutions are private, not-for profit colleges and universities. That type of diverse education should make students interested in psychology excited about their options in the Hawkeye State. Well, that and the fact that Iowa is sneakily one of the largest producers of psychology degree-holders in the country. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, in 2009-10, which was the last year the database tracked subject-specific degrees, Iowa conferred just 58 master’s degrees in psychology but they also conferred more than 2,400 bachelor’s degrees in psychology, a staggering figure that ranks in the top-10 in the country.

A bachelor’s degree in psychology may be the most popular in the country, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that students will find a career in psychology. The reason for that is because states hold their licensed psychologists to very high standards. As people responsible for the well-being of others, states make sure their licensed psychologists are well-qualified. According to Iowa legislation, Only those with a doctoral degree in psychology and the requisite professional experience can apply for a psychology license. Learn about the psychologist licensure requirements in IA. A bachelor’s degree may help students become a psychologist assistant or it could help them work in the education field, but 25 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients choose to study psychology in graduate school as well.

No matter what type of degree students choose to pursue and what type of career path they want to follow, there are plenty of schools in psychology that offer a variety of degree programs that will meet their needs.  We wanted to help sift through the different options so students didn’t have to, so we highlighted a number of different types of schools and psychology degree programs offered at those schools. Please keep in mind this list is not meant to be comprehensive, so students should also do their own research and check details on specific programs with the appropriate school.

The University of Iowa has a nationally ranked clinical psychology degree program and that is one of the only programs of its kind in the state. Loras College in Dubuque offers master’s degrees in applied psychology as does Northwestern College and the University of Northern Iowa. Then there are schools like Upper Iowa University and Morningside College that are amongst the state-specific schools offering bachelor’s degrees in psychology.

Des Moines Psychology Degrees, Schools, and Careers

Iowa’s capital and largest city also happens to be an excellent place for both students to study psychology and professional psychologists to find a bustling psychology industry with alluring job opportunities. For schools, Iowa State in nearby Ames offers doctoral degrees in psychology and if you are looking for good bets for bachelor’s degree programs in psychology, check out Drake University or Grand View University, both of which offer a variety of psychology specializations to choose from.

The state capital also has a sizable population of professional psychologists and the psychology community in Des Moines offers an opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and opportunities for career growth as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2014, the Des Moines-West Des Moines metropolitan area has at least 160 professional psychologists and those psychologists earned an average annual wage of $85,910, making Des Moines a desirable place for aspiring professional psychologists.

Online Psychology Schools & Degrees in Iowa

For those looking for an alternative form of learning, Iowa has a number of state-specific institutions that offer online psychology degree programs and coursework and there are also a sizable number of national online education providers who offer fully online psychology degrees to students in Iowa.

Ashford University in Clinton offers a bachelor’s degree in psychology entirely online and Kaplan University, which has multiple campuses spread out across the state offers a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology online as well. Buena Vista University in Storm Lake offers an online bachelor’s degree in psychology completion program for working adults, and then a number of the Iowa state schools like Iowa State and the University of Iowa offer online psychology-related courses to its students.

If you are looking for a fully online doctoral degree, they are rare, but schools like Walden University, the Northcentral University, and Grand Canyon University offer fully online psychology doctoral programs in different subjects. Meanwhile, schools like the University of Phoenix, Keiser University, and Post University are just a few national online education providers that offer multiple online bachelor’s degrees in psychology.  

Career Opportunities for Psychologists in Iowa

Just like in education options, Iowa bests its nearby neighbors to the West in terms of opportunities for professional psychologists as well. The state boasts a lively psychology community and according to the BLS, in May of 2014, there were at least 770 professional psychologists employed across Iowa, and those psychologists earned an annual average wage of between $78,780 and $94,990 depending on the psychologist’s specialty.

The profession is also expected to continue growing over the next five years as well.  The Iowa Department of Labor estimated that employment of professional clinical, counseling, and school psychologists would grow by eight percent (about 100 new psychologists) between 2008 and 2018 and that the state would also see 50 new job opportunities over the same time period.

Psychologist Salary in Iowa

United States$41,690$66,810$95,710$109,770$127,710

Table data taken from 2016 BLS (

Featured Iowa Schools with Psychology Degree Programs

Iowa Psychology Schools Database

Explore psychology programs and request information from our full list of schools in Iowa.


Briar Cliff University

3303 Rebecca Street, Sioux City, IA 51104
Phone: (712) 279-5321
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Buena Vista University

610 W 4th St, Storm Lake, IA 50588
Phone: (712) 749-2400
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Central College

812 University, Pella, IA 50219
Phone: (877) 462-3687
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Clarke University

1550 Clarke Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001-3198
Phone: (563) 588-6300
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Coe College

1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-5092
Phone: (319) 399-8000
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Cornell College

600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098
Phone: (319) 895-4000
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Dordt College

498 4th Ave NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250-1697
Phone: (712) 722-6000
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Drake University

2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505
Phone: (515) 271-2011
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Graceland University

1 University Place, Lamoni, IA 50140
Phone: (641) 784-5000
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Grand View University

1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316
Phone: (515) 263-2800
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Grinnell College

1121 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112-1690
Phone: (641) 269-4000
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Iowa State University

3410 Beardshear Hall, Ames, IA 50011-2030
Phone: (515) 294-5836
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Iowa Wesleyan College

601 N Main Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
Phone: (319) 385-8021
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Loras College

1450 Alta Vista, Dubuque, IA 52004-0178
Phone: (563) 588-7100
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Luther College

700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101-1045
Phone: (563) 387-2000
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Morningside College

1501 Morningside Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106-1751
Phone: (712) 274-5000
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Mount Mercy University

1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797
Phone: (319) 363-8213
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Northwestern College

101 Seventh St SW, Orange City, IA 51041
Phone: (712) 707-7000
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Saint Ambrose University

518 W Locust St, Davenport, IA 52803-2898
Phone: (563) 333-6000
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Simpson College

701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125
Phone: (515) 961-6251 x1517
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University of Dubuque

2000 University Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone: (563) 589-3000
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University of Iowa

101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316
Phone: (319) 335-3500
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University of Northern Iowa

1227 W 27th St, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0005
Phone: (319) 273-2311
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Upper Iowa University

605 Washington St, Fayette, IA 52142-1857
Phone: (563) 425-5200
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Wartburg College

100 Wartburg Blvd., Waverly, IA 50677-0903
Phone: (319) 352-8200
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William Penn University

201 Trueblood Ave, Oskaloosa, IA 52577
Phone: (641) 673-1001
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