If you’re considering a career in clinical psychology, then you may be wondering just how hard it is to get into a clinical psychology doctorate program. After all, it’s no secret that these programs are highly competitive and require a significant amount of dedication and hard work. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the process of getting into a clinical psychology doctorate program and what you can expect along the way.

What Is Clinical Psychology?

Before we dive into the details of getting into a clinical psychology doctorate program, let’s first define what clinical psychology is. Clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. Clinical psychologists often work with individuals who are struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction, or other mental health issues.

The Requirements for Getting Into a Clinical Psychology Doctorate Program

Now that we have defined what clinical psychology is let’s talk about the requirements for getting into a clinical psychology doctorate program. Here are some of the most common requirements:

A Bachelor’s Degree

First and foremost, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or another related field. While some programs may accept students with degrees in other fields, having a degree in psychology can give you an edge during the admissions process.

Research Experience

Many clinical psychology programs require applicants to have research experience. This could include working as a research assistant in a lab or conducting your research project as part of your undergraduate studies.

GRE Scores

Most doctoral programs require applicants to submit GRE scores. This standardized test measures your readiness for graduate-level coursework and assesses your verbal reasoning skills, analytical writing skills, and quantitative reasoning skills.

Letters of Recommendation

You will typically need to provide letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals who can speak to your abilities and potential as a clinical psychologist.

The Application Process for Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programs

Once you have met the requirements, it’s time to start the application process. Here is what you can expect:

Application Forms

You will need to fill out an application form that includes your personal information, educational background, and work experience.

Personal Statement

You will also need to submit a personal statement that explains why you want to pursue a career in clinical psychology and why you are a good fit for the program.


Some programs may require an interview as part of the admissions process. This is an opportunity for the program to get to know you better and assess your fit with their program.

How Competitive Is Getting Into a Clinical Psychology Doctorate Program?

The short answer is that it’s very competitive. The number of applicants far exceeds the number of available spots in most programs. This means that you will need to have a strong application and stand out from other applicants to be competitive.


Getting into a clinical psychology doctorate program is no easy feat, but it’s not impossible either. By meeting the requirements, putting together a strong application, and standing out from other applicants, you can increase your chances of being accepted into one of these prestigious programs. Remember to stay focused on your goals and keep working hard towards your dream of becoming a clinical psychologist.