Can I Be a Clinical Psychologist With a BA in Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and are interested in pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist, you may be wondering if it is possible to do so with just a BA. The answer is yes, but it will require further education and training.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the difference between a BA in psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a PhD in Clinical Psychology. A BA in psychology provides a broad overview of the field and covers topics such as developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience. On the other hand, PsyD or PhD programs are more specialized and focus on the practice of clinical psychology.

To become a licensed clinical psychologist, you must earn at least a master’s degree in clinical psychology or another related field such as counseling or social work. However, most states require that you have a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program.

After earning your doctoral degree, you will need to complete supervised clinical hours and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This exam covers topics such as assessment and diagnosis, treatment planning, intervention techniques, ethics and professional standards.

It is also worth noting that competition for graduate programs in clinical psychology can be intense. Admissions committees look for candidates with strong academic records, relevant experience through internships or research assistantships, and personal qualities like empathy and good communication skills.

In addition to formal education requirements, being a successful clinical psychologist requires ongoing professional development. This includes continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with new research findings or treatment techniques. It may also involve participating in peer supervision groups or seeking out mentorship from more experienced clinicians.

In conclusion, while it is possible to become a licensed clinical psychologist with just a BA in psychology, it requires further education and training through graduate school and supervised clinical hours. Pursuing this career path requires dedication but can be incredibly rewarding for those who are passionate about helping others.