How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Clinical Psychology?


Martha Robinson

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology, you may be wondering how long it takes to get a master’s degree in this field. The answer can vary depending on a few different factors, but in general, you can expect to spend between two and three years completing your graduate coursework.

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology is a specialized field of psychology that focuses on the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders. Clinical psychologists work with individuals, families, and groups to help them overcome a wide range of psychological challenges, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

Factors That Can Affect Your Timeline

The amount of time it takes to earn your master’s degree in clinical psychology can depend on several factors:

Full-Time vs. Part-Time Study

One important factor is whether you plan to pursue your degree full-time or part-time. Full-time students typically complete their coursework more quickly than part-time students because they take more classes each semester.

Program Length

The length of the program can also affect how long it takes to earn your degree. Some master’s programs in clinical psychology are designed to be completed in two years, while others may take three or four years.

Clinical Experience Requirements

Many master’s programs in clinical psychology require students to complete supervised clinical experience as part of their training. These requirements can vary from program to program but typically involve working with clients under the supervision of licensed psychologists. Meeting these requirements can add time to your timeline for earning your degree.

The Typical Timeline for Earning a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology

Assuming you enroll full-time at a school that offers a two-year program without any additional requirements outside of coursework, the timeline for earning your degree would look something like this:

  • Year 1: Complete core coursework in areas such as psychological assessment, research methods, and psychotherapy techniques.
  • Summer between Year 1 and Year 2: Complete any clinical experience requirements.
  • Year 2: Complete advanced coursework in areas such as psychopathology, treatment planning, and group therapy. Write a thesis or complete a capstone project.


This timeline is just a general estimate. Depending on your program’s specific requirements and your own circumstances, your timeline may be longer or shorter than this.

The Bottom Line

In summary, earning a master’s degree in clinical psychology typically takes between two and three years of full-time study. However, this can vary depending on factors like whether you enroll full-time or part-time and whether you have any additional requirements beyond coursework. If you’re considering pursuing a career in clinical psychology, it’s important to thoroughly research different programs to find one that meets your needs and fits within your desired timeline.