Psychology Degree Programs in Alaska

| Staff Writers

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While the “Last Frontier” is positioned in the extreme northwest region of North America with the nation’s fourth lowest population, there are still several accredited psychology degree programs in Alaska for unlocking exciting psychological careers. Across its massive land with more coastline than all other states combined, Alaska provides unique opportunities for psychologists to study human behavior in nature, meet the mental health needs of underserved rural communities, and learn more about the cultural processes of Alaskan Native tribes. In fact, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has reported that employment in the psychology field will grow rapidly by 16.3% before 2020. If you are interested in taking advantage of this significant economic growth in one of the country’s most breathtaking natural environments, read on to learn about the psychology degree programs offered by top-notch accredited universities within Alaska.

Top 10 Psychology Degree Programs in Alaska

Rank School Location
1 Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, AK
2 University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK
3 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
4 University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, AK
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  • Alaska Pacific University
    Location

    Anchorage, AK

    School of Psychology and Human Services

    Situated on a gorgeous 170-acre wooded main campus near the foothills of the Chugach Mountains in the state’s largest city at Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University is a comprehensive four-year senior private liberal arts institution with fewer than 1,000 students. As a member of the Eco League with strong programs in psychology and environmental studies, APU is ranked as the 75th best regional college in the West by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the School of Psychology and Human Services, APU students can choose from a range of academic degree programs that investigate the relationship between nature and psychology to successfully launch immediately into an exciting counseling career in the “Last Frontier.”

    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Counseling Psychology

    As a unique undergraduate psychology program that places a significant emphasis on the adventure of being human in the awe-inspiring geography of Alaska, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Counseling Psychology program is designed to deliver qualified students to empower their professional development by creating diverse portfolios and building essential counseling skills. Within the 120-credit curriculum, students will expand beyond the ordinary to take interesting courses related to wilderness therapy, self-expression, ecopsychology, positive psychology, human sexuality and intimacy, and creativity. Students will also gain practical experience starting in the junior year at various mental health and counseling agencies across Anchorage.

    Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling Psychology

    Each year, a limited number of qualified graduate students are admitted into the highly selective Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling Psychology program to begin their journey towards meeting the academic requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Alaska. Featuring a small student-centered learning environment, the program is focused on providing an eclectic theoretical orientation for introducing mental health practitioners to a wide range of professional approaches and techniques for forming their own philosophy. In the final term of the two-year full-time program, students will finish their 60 credit hours by participating in a counseling internship for spending at least 15 hours a week at a professional mental health clinic in any Alaskan community.

    Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology

    Specifically designed to accommodate the learning needs of working adult professionals in a convenient hybrid format, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology program offers a rigorous plan of advanced studies through a combination of face-to-face learning and individualized learning contracts. Boasting small cohort groups in intensive seminars, the program enables graduate students to exercise their best scholarship abilities in developing as counseling psychologists. With a strong focus on practice instead of research, the doctoral degree includes a significant amount of time spent outside the classroom through internship experiences to apply theories in a specialized area of counseling and with diverse clientele in a therapeutic setting. Accreditation
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    Contact 4101 University Drive Anchorage, AK 99508 (907) 564-8225 rlane@alaskapacific.edu Program Website
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
    Location

    Anchorage, AK

    Department of Psychology

    Enrolling more than 17,100 students each year, the University of Alaska Anchorage is a major comprehensive public research institution headquartered on a main 141-acre urban campus in the state’s largest city near Goose Lake Park with four satellite locations spread across Southcentral Alaska. As the largest institution of higher learning in the state, UAA is currently ranked as the 68th best regional college in the West by the U.S. News and World Report. In the Department of Psychology, UAA students are given the valuable opportunity to participate in dynamic educational experiences that focus on advancing knowledge about behavioral and mental processes for enriching life in Alaska.

    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology

    As the most popular degree program offered by the Department, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology is structured with a liberal arts orientation to build students’ knowledge of psychological principles and professional abilities as an educated citizen of Alaska. With a stronger focus on general knowledge than other degrees, the program seeks to develop the critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, clinical judgment skills as well as the ethical values that are needed for success in any area of employment. In the 120-credit curriculum, students will bulk up their schedule with courses in communications, English, anthropology, history, political science, fine arts, philosophy, foreign languages, natural sciences, and other social sciences before receiving an introduction to psychology.

    Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology

    Although it also requires the completion of at least 120 credits, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology program provides a narrower focus for students to specifically specialize their learning in developing the mathematical, scientific, and computer skills needed for conducting research in any area of psychology. Whether heading towards a research-intensive career in neuroscience, cognition, learning, perception, or any other subspecialty of psychology, the B.S. degree will be the best fit for gaining experience in being actively involved in psychological research. In fact, the degree’s curriculum includes a senior capstone experience that requires seniors to complete a major research project that integrates course knowledge with skills obtained throughout the program. Resource: 50 Great Private Scholarships for Counseling and Psychology

    Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Psychology

    Established with the mission of providing quality training to graduate students interested in mental health careers in diverse Alaskan communities, the Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Psychology program seeks to produce practitioner-scientists for addressing local behavioral health concerns from a culturally sensitive and community focused approach. After completing foundational courses for a broad knowledge base in contemporary psychology, students are given the opportunity to develop a specialty focus in psychological research or clinical competence specifically in clinical psychology. As a non-thesis program of 45 credits, the M.S. degree offers graduates a well-rounded education for learning the evidence-based practices for being a mental health service provider in community settings.

    Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology

    Featuring full accreditation from the respected APA for excellence, the Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology program is structured from a scientist-practitioner approach for training scholars who have strong commitments to research, evaluation, clinical practice, supervision, and community-based action in psychology. Through a seamless blend of clinical, community, and cultural psychology, the program is strongly focused on providing an applied emphasis to the integration of research into clinical practice for meeting the diverse needs of indigenous peoples in Alaska’s rural communities. In collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the program is co-taught across both campuses via videoconferencing to ensure students have the same high-quality learning experiences regardless of residence. Accreditations
    • American Psychological Association (APA)
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    Contact 3211 Providence Drive Anchorage, AK 99508 (907) 786-1665 aypsych@uaa.alaska.edu Program Website
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Location

    Fairbanks, AK

    Department of Psychology

    As a major comprehensive public land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant research institution with a total enrollment of over 10,200 students, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is based on a main 2,250-acre urban campus in the largest city in Interior Alaska just 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle with seven satellite locations. Offering over 160 degrees scattered across eight colleges, UAF is currently recognized by Forbes magazine as the 184th best research university in America and the 90th top college in the West. Within the flagship institution, the Department of Psychology excels at actively engaging students in community service to facilitate an enhanced understanding on human interaction and behavior.

    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology

    With the goal of exposing undergraduate students to issues of diversity in the modern world from a well-rounded liberal arts foundation, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology program is strongly focused on preparing graduates with the cross-cultural knowledge, critical thinking abilities, commitment to social justice, ethical principles, creativity, respect for diversity, and communication skills to succeed in the human services. As a liberal arts degree that requires all students to choose a minor, the program strives to introduce undergraduates to the social, biological, psychological, and cultural perspectives of psychology. While the degree traditionally places an emphasis on the humanities, the 120-credit B.A. can also be supplemented with selected science and mathematics courses to fulfill prerequisites for graduate school.

    Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology

    Founded to provide undergraduate students with breadth and depth in the science of psychology to aid in the promotion of human welfare from a research standpoint, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology program offers virtually the same coursework with a higher concentration of math and science studies. In most cases, this degree is chosen by UAF students who are seeking a solid scientific background for applying to graduate school for psychology, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, or another related field. Offering many courses for completion online or through correspondence, the B.S. degree requires the completion of at least 120 credits with a senior practicum experience.

    Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology

    In partnership with the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology program is fully accredited by the APA for training scholars and clinicians from a scientist-practitioner approach for specifically engaging in community work with rural indigenous tribes across Alaska. Featuring intensive seminars delivered via videoconferencing between the two campuses, the program combines the spirit of clinical and community psychology for promoting culturally appropriate practices in unique rural environments. Therefore, the final term of the doctoral program requires students to complete a Cultural Experience in a non-classroom setting to interact directly with Alaska Native elders, emerging leaders, and cultural advisors. Accreditations
    • American Psychological Association (APA)
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    Contact 314 Cooper Drive Suite 705D Fairbanks, AK 99775 (907) 474-7007 uaf-psychology-dept@alaska.edu Program Website
  • University of Alaska Southeast
    Location

    Juneau, AK

    School of Arts and Sciences

    Strategically located on a beautiful main campus on Auke Bay in the heart of the state’s capital city of Juneau with extension academic centers in Sitka and Ketchikan, the University of Alaska Southeast is a comprehensive four-year senior public institution within the Inside Passage. With its unique position along the Tongass National Forest and the Juneau Icefield in southeastern Alaska, UAS is renowned for offering its over 3,700 students access to unique programs that actually incorporate outdoor skills into academic work with rock climbing, hiking, camping, wilderness medicine, kayaking, water rescue, and outdoor risk management. The School of Arts and Sciences is home to small classes with top-notch faculty members to host a wide variety of programs building on general education in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Social Science – Psychology Concentration

    Utilizing several different theoretical models and methods of inquiry, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Social Science degree with a Psychology Concentration is designed for qualified undergraduate students who are interested in studying behavioral and mental processes. Intended to provide a solid scientific foundation in the core areas of social sciences, the program is ideal for students seeking to further their studies in graduate school in areas of psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy, education, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, biochemistry, speech therapy, and much more. With a strong emphasis on experiential learning, the program enables students to obtain hands-on exposure in the field through completing internships, a practicum, research projects, and a teaching assistantship. Graduates of the 120-credit program will be qualified for entry-level careers in mental health centers, community clinics, vocational rehabilitation agencies, child protective services, correctional facilities, government organizations, and other applied human service settings. Accreditation
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    Contact 11120 Glacier Highway Juneau, AK 99801 (877) 465-4827 arts.sciences@uas.alaska.edu Program Website

Earning a degree in psychology is an excellent career move for learning more about human behavior, building the foundation for further studies, receiving the scientific training for research, and making a difference in other people’s lives. Since only around 15% of psychology majors actually go on to become professional psychologists, it is clear that psychology is a degree that can be utilized for opening a variety of career options in business, public affairs, education, criminal justice, human resources, counseling, healthcare, and much more. Whether you are just starting out your academic career at the undergraduate level or are seeking advanced studies at the doctoral level to become licensed as a psychologist, it is highly recommended that you include these high-quality psychology degree programs in Alaska in your search for the ideal program match to start working towards your career aspirations.

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