How long does it take to earn a master's degree in clinical psychology? In most states, a degree is required to work as a clinical psychologist.
While some states grant limited licensure and recognition to master-educated mental health specialists, allowing them to perform their clinical duties under the guidance and supervision of licensed mental health professionals, other states do not. Licensed psychotherapists in these states are generally expected to have earned their bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. There are special programs in graduate programs that may prepare students for this requirement.
A clinical psychology degree program typically requires two years of coursework and a minimum of two years of clinical work experience. Students may choose to complete an online program. Some students enroll in both an online and a traditional classroom-based program. Those who want more flexibility, and those who already have a bachelor's degree in psychology, can complete an associate's degree program. A master's degree will likely be the most challenging but most valuable step.
Students with a master's degree in clinical psychology typically enter a job market in which demand for qualified practitioners is high. Many jobs are open in outpatient counseling settings and mental health facilities. Those with this degree also often work within medical settings, such as in a hospital or outpatient clinic.
A clinical psychologist can specialize in a particular area. For example, a child and adolescent clinical psychologist specialize in treating children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders. A family clinical psychologist may work with adults and families. Psychologists who work in public clinics or schools may focus on children and teens.
A clinical psychologist can choose to work independently or for a company that hires psychologists. The flexibility of working independently allows a person to become their own boss and work when and where they want. Working for a business that hires employees allows the psychologist to work on their own schedule and have control over their own time and work hours.
Upon graduation, the clinical psychology degree program provides a list of required credits for successful completion of the program. The credits will cover basic psychology concepts, such as human behavior, basic math and statistics, and basic information about the body and mind.
The clinical psychology degree program also provides students with a number of elective classes that allow students to explore topics such as family systems, learning styles and the impact of medication on the mind and body. Courses in these areas to give students a thorough understanding of how they can contribute positively to their clientele.
The clinical psychology degree also provides students with a study of the history of psychology and theories. These include issues such as the role of religion in the field and the rise and fall of famous mentalists. The clinical psychology degree also provides students with courses in leadership and management.
The clinical psychology degree program prepares students for the job of being a professional psychologist. The programs also prepare students to work . . . . . . as psychologists in mental health and rehabilitation facilities, or schools.
As an undergraduate student in the clinical psychology degree program, students must complete all the general education requirements. They must also take and pass a clinical psychology examination. After completion of the coursework, the students must pass a written examination and an oral examination to become licensed.
Those who want to pursue a master's degree in clinical psychology typically take the clinical psychology exam first. If a student has earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and wants to go on to earn a master's degree, they need to take the clinical psychology examination first.
Students with a master's degree in clinical psychology usually take the clinical psychology degree program after completing a bachelor's degree. If the student is looking for a career in psychology, they must take a clinical psychology exam again in order to become a licensed therapist. Those who earn a PhD in clinical psychology can seek employment in a mental health facility or a mental health clinic.