Clinical Psychology Master's Degree

In a clinical psychology master's degree program, you can learn how to counsel patients and conduct scientific research. Learn more about what clinical psychologists do, the classes required to get ready for this job, and typical prerequisites. Explore the career outlook and earning potential. Schools offering Clinical Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Clinical Psychologist Do?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clinical psychology is the largest specialty among psychologists. As a clinical psychologist, you're responsible for diagnosing, preventing and treating mental illnesses. Many clinical psychologists specialize in a particular area of psychology, such as pediatric psychology, neuropsychology, geriatric psychology or health psychology. You could work in your own office, make house calls or work in a hospital collaborating with medical professionals; some psychologists also work in academia or research institutions, publishing findings from psychology studies.

Your daily job duties could include counseling individuals, families or groups, as well as referring patients to other specialists. During this process, you may need to diagnose patients, recommend treatments and then analyze the results. You might train other staff at a clinical site and prepare paperwork or related reports. You need to keep current with developments in your field, and you may conduct your own research.

What Kinds of Classes Can I Take?

You can take clinical psychology classes online or on-campus, although many online master's degree programs in clinical psychology require you to complete on-site clinical training hours. You learn psychology theory as well as research techniques. For example, you could take courses about:

  • Adult psychology
  • Lifespan development
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Child and family psychology
  • Ethics for psychologists
  • Clinical practice methods
  • Case management
  • History of psychology

Are There Prerequisites?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission. Some programs recommend that you complete graduate-level courses in statistics, biology or psychology before applying. You may also need to take the standardized GRE subject test in psychology. You might improve your admission chances by completing a relevant internship in the field.

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

The BLS reported that the employment of psychologists is expected to grow 12% between 2008 and 2018, largely be driven by an increased awareness of the importance of psychological health at schools, hospitals and substance-abuse centers ( The median annual salary for clinical psychologists was $66,810 as of May 2010, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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