Master's in Clinical Psychology MA MS Degrees

June 25, 2022 – 11:23 am

MA or MS in clinical psychologist salaryClinical psychology master's degree 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. A master's degree in clinical psychology will prepare students to practice psychology in many of these areas, with many types of patients.

Master's in Clinical Psychology Degree Program Application Requirements

Depending upon which clinical psychology master's degree program you choose, you may not need to have an undergraduate degree in psychology. Some programs will require a GRE and/or MAT standardized test score. Some may not. However, admission into any clinical psychology graduate degree program may be difficult, as the number of applicants is usually far more than the number of available slots in a semester.

MS or MA Clinical Psychology Master's Degree Program Curriculum

Earning a master’s degree in clinical psychology will allow you to study subjects you enjoy in more depth than an undergraduate degree did. To work at the highest level possible, you may find that you need a doctoral degree, but a master’s degree in clinical psychology may be a good stepping stone toward reaching your career goals.

A master’s degree in clinical psychology typically takes anywhere from one to two years to complete, unless

you choose to specialize in a topic such as educational or school psychology, which often requires three years for completion. To obtain a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, add on another three to four years, depending on how much time it takes for your dissertation and clinical practicum or internship.

Be aware: 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.

Coursework in a clinical psychology master's degree program will vary by school and according to the students specific area of focus, however; most programs are likely to require students to complete a number of common core courses including;

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Psychotherapy and Behavior Change
  • Experimental Design
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Personality Assessment
  • Ethical Legal and Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology
  • Statistics
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Some programs may require students to complete internship or practicum hours and a thesis or dissertation.

Clinical Psychology Career Paths

Individuals who have earned a master's degree in clinical psychology might have opportunities to explore a number of different career paths including; elementary, middle and high schools, mental health outpatient facilities, hospitals, colleges or universities, social services, or in private practices.


Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology (text only) 7th (Seventh) edition by M. A. Sayette PhD,T. J. Mayne PhD,J. C. Norcross Phd
Book (The Guilford Press)

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