Psychology Master’s Degree Programs in Arkansas
Arkansas has a rural vibe, even in Little Rock and Forth Smith, a sense of community and the small town connections that make it feel like home. But the per-capita income of the state ranks 45th in the nation, meaning there is a lot of poverty, unemployment, and the psychological fallout from both to deal with.
It’s also a challenging environment for LGBT individuals. Although gay marriage was legalized nationally by a Supreme Court ruling in 2015, the state has consistently attempted to pass laws discriminating against same sex couples. That introduces challenges in the state for social justice and equal rights advocates, but challenges also mean opportunities.
There’s plenty of work to be done and there are some fine schools in Arkansas to give you the education you will need to do it.
Few Schools, But Fine Programs Characterize Arkansas Psychology Graduate Schools
Although Arkansas’ universities offer a terrific education in psychology, there aren’t a lot of them to choose from. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock may be the flagship in applied psychology in the state, but is not, in fall of 2018, currently admitting any new students. That leaves a handful of other schools, such as Arkansas Tech, in Russellville, and Arkansas State in Jonesboro as your only other in-state options. Fortunately for you, they are good ones!
Licensing Is Critical To Providing Psychological Services in Arkansas
Like other states, you will need a doctorate if you plan to practice as a licensed psychologist in Arkansas. A master’s is one big step toward that goal.
A master’s alone, however, is enough to qualify you to apply for a license in Marriage and Family Therapy in the state. You can also become a school psychology specialist (which Arkansas licenses separately from school psychologists) with a master’s degree.
Forensic Psychology Is In-Demand in Arkansas
Unfortunately, Arkansas has a booming prison population, the sixth-highest incarceration rate in the nation in 2018, with even more people under court-supervised release. That means there is a lot of work for forensic psychologists both in and out of the prison system. An increasing trend to privatization in Arkansas prisons means there are private sector jobs coming open in this field, which can be better paying than the public-sector alternatives.
The Arkansas Psychological Association has spotlighted the aftermath of incarceration and assisting released prisoners in readjusting to life outside as a current issue for the state. With the right education, you can be one of the people helping to put those individuals, and the state, on a better path.
Counseling Is Important To Arkansas State Mental Health
Like every other state, Arkansas has plenty of residents who just need a little help from time to time, evaluation and guidance from a trained expert in psychology to help them past life’s little bumps. Counseling psychology plays a major role in the state’s mental health services.
The University of Central Arkansas, in Conway, has a doctoral level program in this notable specialization; although they have recently transitioned the master’s program to an MS in Mental Health Counseling, the department retains all the expertise it always had.
School Psychologists Help Build a New Tomorrow in Arkansas
U.S. News & World Report ranks Arkansas as 49th in the nation for educational attainment, which means there is a lot of room for improvement in the state school system. School psychology specialists are one of the critical pieces in helping students achieve more against a backdrop where the odds seem stacked against them. UCA also has a highly respected master’s degree in school psychology to prepare you for the challenges and licensing requirements of that role.
No matter what your path to practice looks like, a master’s degree in psychology from one of Arkansas’ universities will help you with both the professional preparation and career education you will need to get there.