What Education Is Required for Becoming a Child Psychologist?

Becoming a child psychologist usually requires earning a baccalaureate degree along with roughly six years or more of graduate study. This article further discusses the educational requirements for becoming a child psychologist. Schools offering Child Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Undergraduate Degree

Although neither an associate's nor a bachelor's degree allows graduates to practice as clinical child psychologists, there are related career choices for individuals with only an undergraduate degree. These career options typically involve assisting licensed psychologists or acting as social service assistants in setting such as nonprofit organizations, government, social service agencies, and marketing or advertising departments. However, an undergraduate degree in psychology is just the first step on a career path as a child psychologist. A clinical child psychologist who is licensed to practice typically has completed a doctoral program and has been licensed by the state in which he or she is conducting business.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Prerequisites Master's degree in psychology/related field required to enter doctoral programs; research and clinical experience may be required by some schools
Concentrations Child/adolescent psychology; child play therapy; child, adolescent, and family clinical psychology
Online Availability Online (undergraduate programs), hybrid (graduate programs)
Continuing Education Required to maintain licensure

Graduate Programs

Individuals interested in the field can obtain an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree and work as a school psychologist. An Ed.S. degree is one step past a master's degree and enables recipients to practice as school psychologists; however, it doesn't satisfy the doctoral degree requirements established for clinical child psychologists.

A doctoral degree in child psychology allows graduates to practice as clinical child psychologists. To be eligible for licensing in most states, individuals must have either a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Completion of a doctoral degree program typically requires an additional 4-7 years of study beyond a master's degree. Educational requirements include clinical internships and the completion of independent research projects, including a doctoral dissertation.

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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Popular Schools

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