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.
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