What Degree Is Needed for Clinical Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Clinical psychology is a fascinating field that deals with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness and emotional disorders. To become a clinical psychologist, you need to obtain a degree in psychology or a related field. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the different degrees required for clinical psychology.

Bachelor’s Degree

The first step towards becoming a clinical psychologist is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete and provides students with an understanding of the basic principles of psychology. During this time, students learn about various subjects such as abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and social psychology.

Master’s Degree

After completing a bachelor’s degree, students can pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology. The master’s program usually takes two years to complete and provides students with specialized knowledge in different areas of clinical psychology such as psychotherapy techniques, psychopathology, and assessment techniques.

A master’s degree also offers opportunities for practical training through internships and supervised clinical experience. This hands-on training is essential for aspiring clinical psychologists as it provides them with valuable experience working with patients.

Doctoral Degree

To become a licensed clinical psychologist, you must complete a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Doctoral programs can take anywhere from four to seven years to complete and prepare students for advanced roles such as research or academia.

Doctoral programs offer advanced coursework in areas such as psychological interventions and research methods. Additionally, doctoral programs require students to complete supervised practicum hours that provide practical experience working with patients under the supervision of licensed psychologists.


Once you have completed your doctoral degree program, you must obtain licensure from your state licensing board before practicing as a licensed clinical psychologist legally. Licensure requirements vary by state, but typically require completion of a certain number of supervised clinical hours and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).


Becoming a clinical psychologist is a challenging yet rewarding journey that requires dedication and hard work. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, followed by a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and completing a doctoral program are the primary requirements for becoming a licensed clinical psychologist. Additionally, obtaining licensure from your state licensing board is essential before practicing as a licensed clinical psychologist.