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Bachelor of Clinical Psychology: Degree Program Overview

Learn about bachelor's degree programs in psychology, including required courses and the employment outlook in this field. Read on for information on the education required to practice clinical psychology.

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Essential Information

A bachelor's degree program in psychology introduces students to the study of the human mind and human behavior, and most programs include at least one course in clinical psychology, the branch of psychology that concerns individual mental health and psychological development over a lifetime. In addition to completing the required general education courses, such as English composition and mathematics, students in a bachelor's degree program in psychology get basic training in normal and abnormal psychological development. Psychology undergraduates learn research and problem solving skills for graduate study and may engage in supervised practicums. Since practice as a clinical psychologist requires a doctoral degree, a bachelor's degree is a good stepping-stone into the field.

Education Prerequisites

Most programs require a high school diploma or GED, letters of recommendation, a written essay, and SAT or ACT scores. Some programs require only the SAT Reasoning Test while others also require the subject exams.

Program Coursework

A Bachelor of Arts program introduces students to and all facets of psychology, and a clinical psychology concentration focuses the program on normal and abnormal psychological development to provide a strong foundation for work in mental health. Statistics and research classes support the psychology coursework:

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Cognitive science
  • Life span development
  • Personality
  • Learning and cognition
  • Social psychology
  • Psychological testing
  • Child psychology

Popular Careers

A bachelor's degree is not sufficient to enter practice as a clinical psychologist. Graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology can work in law, education and business, and in support positions alongside psychologists and counselors. Some popular careers include:

  • Case manager
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Psychiatric technician
  • Probation officer
  • Case worker
  • Group home coordinator

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

While a bachelor's degree in psychology can lead to a variety of positions, psychiatric technicians were projected to see a 15% growth in employment opportunities from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wages of psychiatric technicians were $33,140 in May 2012. However, if a student goes on to earn a doctoral degree and gain licensure as a clinical psychologist, they will see a 22% job growth from 2010-2020. The bureau also projected mean wages of $72,220 for clinical, counseling and school psychologists.

Continuing Education

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in psychology who wish to become psychologists or counselors must continue their studies in a graduate program and then take the steps mandated by their state to become licensed. Some bachelor's degree programs articulate into a Master of Arts in Psychology with a clinical psychology emphasis in a combined 5-year program.

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