What Do You Need to Get Into Clinical Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Clinical psychology is a fascinating field that deals with the study of human behavior, emotions, and mental health. It is a highly rewarding career path that offers immense satisfaction to those who want to make a difference in people’s lives.

However, becoming a clinical psychologist requires a lot of hard work and dedication. In this article, we will discuss what you need to get into clinical psychology.

Educational Requirements

To become a clinical psychologist, you need to have at least a master’s degree in clinical psychology or a related field. However, most universities require applicants to have a doctoral degree in clinical psychology for licensure and employment purposes.

Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a clinical psychologist is earning your bachelor’s degree. While there is no specific major required for admission into graduate school, it is recommended that you take courses in psychology and related fields such as sociology or anthropology. These courses will give you the foundation needed to excel in graduate school.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree in clinical psychology typically takes two years to complete and involves coursework and practical training in the field. During this program, students learn about various topics such as psychotherapy techniques, psychological assessment methods, and research methods.

Doctoral Degree

A doctoral degree in clinical psychology usually takes five to seven years to complete and involves extensive research, coursework, and practical training in the field. This program prepares students for careers as licensed psychologists who can work with patients directly.

Licensure Requirements

In addition to educational requirements, becoming a clinical psychologist also involves obtaining licensure from your state board of psychology. This process includes passing an exam administered by the board and completing supervised practice hours under the guidance of an experienced licensed psychologist.

Skills Required for Clinical Psychology

Apart from formal education and licensure, there are several skills that are essential for success in clinical psychology. These skills include empathy, active listening, critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving abilities. Clinical psychologists must be able to understand their patients’ needs and provide them with the necessary support and guidance.

Career Opportunities

Once you have completed your education and obtained licensure, there are many career opportunities available in clinical psychology. You can work in private practice or for a hospital or mental health clinic. Some clinical psychologists also work in research or academia.

  • Private Practice
  • Hospital or Mental Health Clinic
  • Research or Academia


Becoming a clinical psychologist is a long journey that requires dedication and hard work. However, the rewards of this career path make it all worthwhile.

If you have a passion for helping others and want to make a difference in people’s lives, then pursuing a career in clinical psychology may be the right choice for you. With the right education, licensure, and skills, you can build a successful career as a licensed clinical psychologist.