Clinical psychology is a specialized field of psychology that focuses on the treatment and diagnosis of mental illness. This field requires a certain level of education and training to become a licensed clinical psychologist. In this article, we will explore the education needed for clinical psychology and what it takes to become a licensed clinical psychologist.

Undergraduate Degree

The first step towards becoming a clinical psychologist is to obtain an undergraduate degree. A bachelor’s degree in psychology provides an excellent foundation for further study in this field. During your undergraduate years, you will learn about various theories of psychology, human development, and behavioral science.

Graduate Degree

To become a licensed clinical psychologist, you will need to obtain a graduate degree in clinical psychology or a related field. A master’s degree in clinical psychology can be helpful for those who want to work with individuals in therapy or counseling settings.

However, most states require that licensed psychologists hold a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. A doctoral program typically takes 4-6 years to complete and includes coursework, research, and supervised practical experience.

Clinical Practicum

In addition to coursework and research, students pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology must complete at least one year of supervised clinical practicum experience. This practical experience provides students with the opportunity to work with patients under the guidance of experienced clinicians.


After completing their coursework and practicum requirements, students must also complete an internship as part of their doctoral program. An internship typically lasts for one year and provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with patients.


After completing all educational requirements, aspiring clinical psychologists must pass their state’s licensing exam before they can begin practicing independently. This exam tests their knowledge of psychological theory and practice as well as their ability to diagnose and treat mental illness.


Becoming a licensed clinical psychologist requires a significant investment of time and effort. However, for those who are passionate about helping others and have a strong interest in the field of psychology, it can be an incredibly rewarding career path.

To become a successful clinical psychologist, one must have the right education, training, and experience. By obtaining an undergraduate and graduate degree in psychology, completing supervised clinical practicum and internship experiences, and passing the state licensing exam, you can achieve your goal of becoming a licensed clinical psychologist.