Master of Clinical Psychology Information Guide

MasterOfClinicalPsychology has many helpful resources if you are interested in a master’s degree in clinical psychology. In the last decade, several schools have begun offering online programs for graduate degrees, which has made earning your master’s degree easier than ever before.

If you’re interested in earning a degree in clinical psychology online, you’re in luck. Many colleges and universities provide students the opportunity to receive the training necessary to work in this field. Some programs are offered entirely online while others are a combination of classroom and distance learning.

Capella University
MS: Clinical Psychology
MS: School Psychology
Capella University - Capella University is accredited by several national and regional organizations including the Higher Learning Commission. Capella is known for offering quality programs in psychology and counseling through online classes like the MS in Clinical Psychology or School Psychology. These programs do not require campus visitation for completion of the degree.
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University of Liverpool
MS: Mental Health Psychology
MS: Psychology
University of Liverpool - The University of Liverpool has the England equivalent of accreditation, a Royal Charter to provide higher education program online and on-site. The school mostly focuses on offering master and doctorate degrees like the MS in Applied Psychology in Mental Health or General Psychology. Online classes and assignments can be completed at a pace right for you.
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Kaplan University
MS: Psych - Applied Behavioral Analysis
MS: Psychology
Kaplan University - Kaplan University is one of the largest schools in the US, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Kaplan has over 170 programs that can be taken online including an MS in General Psychology or an MS in Psychology in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
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Keiser University
MS: Psychology
Keiser University - Keiser University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The MS in Psychology from Keiser is an online degree that is designed for students wanting to advance their careers in teaching, consulting, or administration. It explores various fields within psychology, health, and human behavior.
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Northcentral University
MA: Health Psychology
MA: Psychology
Northcentral University - Northcentral University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. NCU has online programs for an MA in Health Psychology and an MA in General Psychology. These programs are well-suited for working professionals who must balance personal lives with their education.
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Click here to find more online Psychology degrees…

Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. It is one of the largest fields within psychology which explains the large number of degree programs including doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate’s degrees.

If you’re interested in getting a graduate degree in clinical psychology, you’re in luck. Many schools offer this degree, either online or through face-to-face programs. You can earn your degree in about two years or less, depending on your schedule and personal commitments. With a graduate degree in clinical psychology, you’ll become a highly-qualified licensed professional with the training necessary to succeed in your career.

How to Earn a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology

There are many steps to becoming a licensed clinical psychologist. First, you must earn you high school diploma and enroll in a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university. If you’re not ready for a four-year program, you might want to consider an associate’s degree. An associate’s degree allows you to complete your basic undergraduate-level academic courses, such as English, math, and public speaking. Once you’re ready to tackle a four-year program, you’ll have completed most, if not all, of your general education courses. You’ll now be able to focus solely on your major and complete a bachelor’s degree in just two years.

As an undergrad, you’ll likely major in psychology or a similar field. By earning a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of  Science in Psychology, you’ll receive the necessary foundation for graduate study. Some schools also allow you to focus on a one particular field of psychology, such as clinical, forensic, sports, health, and other specializations. By specializing in one subset of psychology, you’ll be better able to determine what area interests you the most.

Once you have a bachelor’s degree under your belt, it’s time to start thinking about a master’s degree. A master’s degree is a type of graduate degree that provides students with a rigorous education in their chosen field. Psychology students have a few options to consider when it comes to earning a master’s degree:

  • Master of Science in Clinical Psychology: An M.S. in Clinical Psychology is two-year degree that focuses on the intellectual, emotional, and biological aspects of human behavior. Coursework includes current theory and practices associated with dysfunctional behavior as well as a practicum that provides clinical experience and research opportunities. Graduates are prepared to provide mental health services in a variety of settings, including community mental health centers, schools, hospitals, private practice, and managed care environments.
  • Master of Arts in Psychology: An M.A. in Psychology is a more arts-oriented program with a strong emphasis on psychology and the behavioral sciences. This program typically takes two years to complete, and requires students to complete a practicum and/or internship in the field. Courses include such topics as behavioral principles, theories of personality, cognitive psychology, fundamentals of neuropsychology, and many other related subjects.
  • Master of Science in Mental Health Psychology: An M.S. in Mental Health Psychology is similar to that of an M.S. in Clinical Psychology but a degree in mental health psychology is often considered a counseling psychology program. Coursework is very similar; however, one notable difference is that an M.S. in Mental Health Psychology typically prepares graduates to work at schools providing basic counseling services, while clinical psychologists tend to work with more disturbed populations.

A master’s degree in psychology, as noted above, comes in many forms. However, if you know that clinical psychology is your field of interest, it’s time to arm yourself with as much information as possible about graduate programs before you apply.

A master’s degree in clinical psychology often takes a few years to complete, depending on how much time you can dedicate to your studies. Online programs are becoming a popular choice for busy professionals who need maximum scheduling flexibility. If you’re a parent, a full-time employee, or just plain busy, distance learning may be an option worth considering.

Once enrolled in a program, you can expect to complete between 35-60 credit hours, depending on the school’s completing requirements. Also, as noted above, you’ll likely need to complete a practicum which is an essential component of any applied professional training. A practicum allows you to network with other professionals in your field while gaining valuable, meaningful work experience.

Salary and Career Data for Clinical Psychologists

Now that you’ve earned an advanced degree, it’s time to start exploring your career options. Psychologists work in a number of different settings including:

  • Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Community and mental health centers
  • Colleges and universities
  • Independent practice

Where you work all depends on the type of population you wish to serve. If you wish to work with students at the crucial middle years, you might want to consider employment at a school or children’s mental health facility. If you want to work with convicts and ex-cons, you might consider working on a prison or non-profit organization. Once you’ve determined the population, your next consideration is what type of services you wish to provide and at what level.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists are typically responsible for the following duties:

  • Conduct scientific studies to study behavior and brain function
  • Collect information through observations, interviews, surveys, tests, and other methods
  • Find patterns that will help them understand and predict behavior
  • Use their knowledge to increase understanding among individuals and groups
  • Develop programs that improve schools and workplaces by addressing psychological issues
  • Work with individuals, couples, and families to help them make desired changes to behaviors
  • Identify and diagnose mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders
  • Develop and carry out treatment plans
  • Collaborate with physicians or social workers to help treat patients

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual wage of $68,640 in May 2010. The top 10 percent earned more than $111,810. Salaries vary depending on your level of experience and type of employer. If you want to go into private practice, you set your own rates and fees.

Being a psychologist is a rewarding and very challenging career. And with the right education and training, you’ll well on your way to becoming a respected leader in your field. Check out our list of accredited schools to find the right program to help you get started!

Find a Master of Clinical Psychology Degree