How to Earn a Master of Clinical Psychology Online

A degree in clinical psychology can lead to a great career. As a holder of an advanced degree, many more career doors are opened and different jobs available. As the field of psychology has grown, the education options have grown along with it. There are now several viable options for earning a master of clinical psychology, including earning it online instead of a traditional classroom setting at a regular university.

An online degree might be right for you if you need to keep your full time job, need a flexible schedule that allows you to work around the needs of your family, or find that it works out better for your financially. If you decide that an online degree is right for you, there are several things to consider and understand when working on achieving your psychology degree.

Choose Your School

Your first step in getting a degree will simply be to find and be accepted into a school. It’s important to find a school that is nationally and regionally accredited. While most schools are, there are still some online universities that have not received their accreditation. A master’s degree in psychology is certainly enough to get a job in the field, but if a student is looking to go on to a Ph.D. program for a more scholarly or teaching role, then the degree absolutely must come from an accredited university.

Consider Your Career

Knowing what you’d like to do with your degree – working in a high school, opening a private practice, working in a hospital – can help you find the specific focus within your degree. This will ultimately decide what kind of classes you’ll take, such as psychopathology, cognitive therapy, personality, sexuality, vocational psychology, and child growth and development.

Understand the Format

Taking classes online delivers the same information and material as sitting inside of a classroom in a building. Still, this can feel uncomfortable or even intimidating if a student is unfamiliar with the format. Resources will be delivered in any number of ways: DVDs, podcasts, typed lectures, readings, forums, and Skype group chats. These are all necessary to facilitate the same kind of atmosphere and learning as a traditional classroom without the commute and with more flexibility.

It’s extremely important to follow all the guidelines laid out in every professor’s syllabus – a master’s degree online is still a master’s degree and instructors will expect a high degree of research, conversation, input, and, ultimately, hard work. Instructors are your resources for knowledge, but are also there to encourage you towards learning and push your boundaries so that you are prepared for real world situations and the hands on practice of psychology.

Practice Your Skills

Even online universities still require an internship or practicum. This is a truly sound way to take the practical, academic education and translate it into experience that employers like to see once you’ve graduated, and also helps solidify knowledge before becoming certified or licensed. This kind of practice – because of the fulltime nature and long term commitment – is also usually a paid endeavor. An internship can be done across a wide range of places – veteran’s hospitals, private mental wellness institutions, research clinics, and colleges.

Finish Strong

Once you’ve mastered your skills in the classroom and in practice, there will likely be a certification exam that allows you to practice therapy, counseling, or use your degree in a number of other ways. It is a lot of hard work and many years of logging in, submitting papers, chat rooms, buying textbooks, and listening to lectures, but earning your master’s of clinical psychology is truly a life changing event.

Earn Your Clinical Psychology Degree

Walden University
MS in General Psychology
MS in Health Psychology
MS in Social Psychology
Walden University - Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Walden offers several programs in psychology including one of the few online MS in Clinical Psychology degrees as well as a general program. Students can choose between the counseling and general specializations.
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Sacred Heart University
MS in Applied Psychology
MSAP in Community Psychology
MSAP in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Sacred Heart University - "The Master of Science in Applied Psychology offered by Sacred Heart University is a uniquely versatile credential, offering two specializations as well as a general track. Sacred Heart has been consistently ranked among the top masters colleges in the country. Built on a research-driven core, our MSAP is taught in small, highly interactive online classes by an award-winning faculty."
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Grand Canyon University
MS in General Psychology
MS in Health Psychology
Grand Canyon University - "Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in General Psychology is a program designed for individuals who desire promotion and/or continued academic exposure in the field of psychology. The program focuses on the development of critical thinking and leadership qualities."
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Purdue University
MS: Psych - Applied Behavioral Analysis
MS in Psychology
MSPY in General Psychology
MSPY in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Purdue University - Purdue 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. Purdue 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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Chicago School of Professional Psychology
MA in Psychology
MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology
MS in Applied Behavior Analysis
Chicago School of Professional Psychology - "The M.A. in Psychology, Child and Adolescent Concentration online program focuses on factors that affect child development and behavior. Graduates of the program will be prepared to enter careers in a number of fields. Students who enroll in the program that does not interfere with other commitments."
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Northcentral University
MA in Psychology
MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
MA in Psychology: Gender Diversity Studies
MS in Health 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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Liberty University
MS in Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
MA in Counseling - Crisis Response and Trauma
MA in Counseling - Executive Leadership
MA in Counseling - Life Coaching
Liberty University - "An M.A. in Human Services — Crisis Response and Trauma will: Equip you to help meet the needs of individuals, groups, and organizations who are mitigating the effects of post-traumatic stress, critical incident stress, and personal crises. Provide you with an understanding of how crises impact a person’s ability to function in everyday life, and its effects on their relationships."
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Southern New Hampshire University
MS in Psychology
MS in Child & Developmental Psychology
MS in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Southern New Hampshire University - "The rapidly changing professional landscape of the 21st century has led to a growing demand for individuals with a formal psychology background. Industries such as business, marketing, education, health services, criminal justice, sports management, and information technology are increasingly seeking out individuals with these credentials to help improve performance, motivation, and general well-being within organizations."
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