Are you interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology? If so, obtaining a doctorate in clinical psychology is the next step in achieving your goals.

A doctorate degree will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to become a licensed clinical psychologist and help people overcome their mental health challenges. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in getting a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Step 1: Earn an Undergraduate Degree

The first step towards getting a doctorate in clinical psychology is to earn an undergraduate degree. You can choose any major, but it is recommended to select a major that aligns with your interests and career aspirations. Some popular options include psychology, sociology, or social work.

Step 2: Gain Relevant Experience

Clinical psychology programs look for candidates with relevant experience. Therefore, it’s essential to gain experience working in mental health settings such as hospitals, clinics or mental health facilities. You can also volunteer at non-profit organizations that focus on mental health issues.

Step 3: Research Graduate Programs

Research different graduate programs that offer Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Clinical Psychology. Consider factors like program cost, location, and curriculum when deciding which program is right for you.

Step 4: Apply to Graduate Programs

Once you have identified the programs that interest you the most, apply to them following their specific requirements. Most applications require submission of transcripts from all previous institutions attended, letters of recommendation from professors or employers who know you well, resume/CV and personal statement describing why you are interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology.

Step 5: Complete Clinical Training Requirements

During your doctoral program, you will need to complete clinical training requirements which will involve supervised practice working with patients under the supervision of licensed psychologists. This will provide you with hands-on experience in a clinical setting and prepare you for your future career.

Step 6: Pass Licensing Exams

After completing your doctoral program and clinical training, you will need to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) to become licensed as a clinical psychologist. It is essential to research the requirements for licensure in the state where you plan to practice, as requirements may vary by state.


In conclusion, obtaining a doctorate in clinical psychology requires dedication and commitment. However, it is an incredibly rewarding career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives. By following the steps outlined above and incorporating relevant experiences into your education, you can become a licensed clinical psychologist and help those in need.