Clinical psychology is not offered as a bachelor's degree program. Those that want to work in clinical psychology generally use this degree program as a stepping stone into a graduate program. Licensing is required to work in clinical psychology. Undergraduate, master's and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degrees are all available. Some program specializations are organizational, individual and adolescent psychology.
Undergraduate Degree for Clinical Psychology
High school students who are interested in this degree program should take science and mathematics courses, including laboratory studies, to prepare them for the scientific aspect of this degree program. Competitive bachelor's degree programs in psychology may require a high undergraduate GPA (grade point average) and exceptional academic achievements.
Coursework in this degree program is research and writing intensive. Students take courses to hone their analytical and critical thinking skills. Typical courses in this program include:
- Social psychology
- Psychology of perception
- Organizational psychology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of this degree program go on to enjoy careers in a variety of professions. They may work for businesses, social services or mental health agencies, the government, law firms or educational institutions. Popular career choices include:
- Youth counselor
- Probation officer
- Case worker
- Job analyst
- Corrections officer
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned median salaries of $53,020 as of 2018. The BLS also reports that employment of these professionals was expected to rise by 3% between 2018 and 2028, which is slower than average.
The American Psychological Association (APA) offers membership to students who are enrolled in or who have completed an undergraduate psychology degree program. The APA also offers career services and annual conventions for professional growth. Graduates who are interested in pursuing a master's degree can enroll in a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology degree program. Graduates who plan to practice as clinical psychologists must earn a Ph.D. or Psy.D. and receive state licensure. Licensing requirements vary by state.
Those interested in clinical psychology should complete a bachelor's degree in psychology, but should then attend graduate school and get to know the specific state's licensing requirements. The degree will also prepare you for a number of other jobs in related fields.