Masters Programs in Clinical Psychology

May 17, 2016

A student studying in Tiffany

Masters in Clinical Psychology programs may prepare graduates to enroll in a doctorate program, assess patients under the care of a licensed psychologist, or potentially work in social services. Clinical psychology master's programs train students to diagnose, treat and prevent mental health disorders. Clinical psychology is the broad term under which many psychology specializations fall, such as marriage and family therapy, child psychology and neuropsychology. This being said, earning a master's in clinical psychology may be a great preparation for students who aspire to practice psychology across a variety of areas with different patient populations.

Masters in Clinical Psychology Degree Program Information

Masters in Clinical Psychology Programs Overview

Some programs may be considered a terminal degree (MFT) for mental health professionals whose goal is to pursue potential careers within a broad range of clinical and administrative settings in healthcare. On the other hand, most clinical psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. If this is your goal, earning a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology may be considered a springboard to continuing education.

Masters Programs in Clinical Psychology Basic Information

Essentially 2 year programs, the prerequisites for Masters in Clinical Psychology is a bachelor’s degree in psychology, or coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics, acceptable GRE and GPA scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and related clinical experience. Clinical Psychology Masters programs entail demanding hands-on clinical training as well as rigorous accompanying coursework.

Why Pursue a Masters in Clinical Psychology?

Master's degree programs in clinical psychology prepare students for a doctoral degree by teaching clinical diagnosis, research methods, psychopathology and the basics of psychological testing. The programs provide intensive hands-on clinical training as well as intense accompanying coursework for the students.

As more people have insurance and turn to clinical psychologists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for qualified professionals will grow by 20% between 2014 and 2024. Now might be a great time to earn your masters degree in Clinical Psychology to prepare yourself for this positive job outlook.

FUN FACT: Candidates with a master’s degree will face competition for most positions, and many of them will find jobs with alternative titles, as nearly all states restrict the use of the title “psychologist” to Ph.D. or PsyD degree holders[i]

Selecting a Clinical Psychology Masters Program: On Campus or Online Format? can help you find a program that aligns with your goals and interests. If you are hoping to find a graduate school, the APA does not currently accredit master’s degree programs in clinical psychology; they do however accredit doctoral clinical psychology level programs and the institutions offering those programs.If you are looking into a campus program, initiate a location search to find out which city, state or country has options for you. If distance-learning is more viable, look into online masters programs. You will find MA in Clinical Psychology programs.

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical psychology is a varied field. Some clinical psychologists provide psychological services, including assessment, testing, diagnosis, and treatment, to adults and children in hospital and private practice settings. Others conduct research on causes, consequences, and treatment of psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat psychological problems. They also help individuals deal with personal issues, such as divorce, trauma, or the death of a loved one.

In most states, practicing psychology or using the title of “psychologist” requires licensure.

Masters in Clinical Psychology Potential Curriculum

Clinical Psychology masters programs combine classroom-based curriculum with clinical research. Before graduation, students must complete a clinical case study project or internship to demonstrate their comprehension about a specific clinical area or issue. Typical coursework for the master's degree program may include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Statistics
  • Ethics and professionalism
  • Child psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Clinical assessment
  • Group therapy
  • Advanced psychology
  • Personality testing
  • Marital and family systems
  • Personality assessment
  • Therapy and crisis intervention

Ready to Pursue a Clinical Psychology Masters Degree?

Would you like to diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and be able to formulate and administer programs of treatment? If so, you should start reviewing graduate programs in the field of clinical psychology on today!

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