Can You Do Clinical Work With a Masters in Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

Are you fascinated by the human mind and its complexities? Do you want to help people improve their mental health and well-being?

Pursuing a master’s degree in psychology can equip you with the knowledge and skills required to become a clinical psychologist. However, many people wonder if having a master’s in psychology is sufficient to do clinical work. In this article, we will explore this question in detail.

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses and emotional disorders. Clinical psychologists work with individuals, couples, families, and groups to help them overcome psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, and relationship issues.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Psychology?

Having a master’s degree in psychology can open up several career paths for you. However, it is essential to understand that the scope of practice for clinical psychologists varies from state to state. Generally speaking, with a master’s degree in psychology, you can:

  • Work as a therapist or counselor under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.
  • Conduct research studies on various topics related to mental health.
  • Teach psychology courses at community colleges or vocational schools.
  • Work as an organizational consultant or human resources specialist.

Can You Do Clinical Work With Just a Master’s Degree?

The answer to this question depends on where you live and what type of clinical work you want to do. In some states in the USA, having a master’s degree in psychology along with proper licensure may allow you to practice independently as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).

However, if your goal is to become an independent licensed clinical psychologist, you will need to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.) and complete an internship and residency program. This is because clinical psychologists are trained to conduct psychological assessments, diagnose mental disorders, and provide psychotherapy.


In conclusion, while a master’s degree in psychology can equip you with valuable knowledge and skills, it may not be sufficient to practice as an independent clinical psychologist. However, there are still several career paths available for individuals with a master’s degree in psychology that do not require licensure as a clinical psychologist. It is essential to research the specific requirements in your state before choosing your career path in psychology.