Clinical psychologists are concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. They help people deal with personal issues, such as divorce or the death of a loved one. Clinical psychologists allow patients to discuss things that are confusing or worrying, offering different ways of interpreting and dealing with problems and situations. They may deal with individuals, children, families, or larger groups. Clinical psychology education requirements vary by state. A master’s degree is required at a minimum and in many cases, a doctoral degree is required to practice independently.
Steps Toward an MS in Clinical Psychology
To become a clinical psychologist, requirements vary significantly by state. Successful students typically complete the following steps:
- Earn proper undergraduate degree (requirements vary by state). Common undergraduate degrees include Bachelor of Science programs in education, psychology or human services.
- Earn proper graduate degrees (requirements vary by state) from an accredited institution like Capella, Kaplan, Liberty, or Walden University. Typically includes completing a Master of Science degree with a concentration in clinical psychology. To practice independently as a clinical psychologist, a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) is usually required.
- Obtain proper licensure (requirements vary by state). Clinical psychologists usually need a doctorate in psychology, an approved internship, and 1 to 2 years of professional experience. In addition, all applicants must pass an examination in their practicing state. Most state licensing boards administer a standardized test that includes additional oral or essay questions.
- Participate in continuing education. Some states require continuing education for renewal of the license.
Professionals in the field should consider membership with the Society of Clinical Psychology. Membership offers student benefits, an online forum to discuss issues with other professionals in the field, and access to publications that they put out.
My Degree and What It’s Worth
This degree may provide you the opportunity to conduct psychotherapy, diagnose mental health issues and recommend treatment, as well as working with psychiatrists to provide medical treatment. A clinical psychologist is typically responsible for the following job duties:
- Evaluate strengths and limitations of patients.
- Provide personal and vocational counseling.
- Offer case management support and guidance.
- Arrange for medical care, vocational training, job placement and other outside services.
Annual salary varies within the profession based on specific type of job, location, and experience. For more on your earning potential as a clinical psychologist, please visit our salary outlook for counselors page.
Online MS in Clinical Psychology Degree Programs
- Bradley University: MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- The Chicago School of Professional Psychology: MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Closely Related Programs
The following degrees are closely related to a master’s degree program in clinical psychology, often allowing you to pursue a career in this field or others: