What Degree Is Best for Clinical Psychology?


Vincent White

Are you interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology? If so, one of the first decisions you will need to make is what degree to pursue.

Clinical psychology is a specialized field that requires a high level of education and training. In this article, we will explore the different degree options available and help you determine which one is best for your career goals.

Bachelor’s Degree

The first step towards becoming a clinical psychologist is to earn a bachelor’s degree. While there is no specific major required for admission to graduate programs in clinical psychology, some majors may be more helpful than others. Majors in psychology, biology, or neuroscience can provide a solid foundation for graduate study in clinical psychology.

Master’s Degree

Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, you can consider pursuing a master’s degree in clinical psychology. A master’s degree typically takes two years to complete and provides students with advanced training in areas such as psychopathology, assessment, and intervention.

A master’s degree can open up opportunities for entry-level positions in mental health clinics or research settings. However, if your ultimate goal is to become a licensed clinical psychologist, you will need to pursue further education.

Doctoral Degree

The most common degree pursued by those interested in becoming licensed clinical psychologists is the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.) in Clinical Psychology.

A doctoral program typically takes four to six years to complete and includes both coursework and supervised practice experience. Students learn advanced skills in areas such as diagnosis and treatment planning, ethical considerations in practice, and research methodology.

Psy. vs Ph.

While both Psy. and Ph. programs prepare students for licensure as clinical psychologists, there are some differences between the two degrees.

Psy. programs tend to place more emphasis on hands-on clinical training, while Ph. programs focus more on research and academic training. However, both degrees provide a strong foundation for a career in clinical psychology.


In summary, if you want to become a clinical psychologist, you will need to pursue advanced education beyond a bachelor’s degree. While a master’s degree can provide entry-level opportunities, a doctoral degree is required for licensure and advanced practice in the field.

Whether you choose to pursue a Psy. or Ph. will depend on your own career goals and interests. Consider your strengths and preferences when making this decision, as both degrees can lead to fulfilling careers in the field of clinical psychology.