Earning a master’s degree in clinical psychology can lead to two distinct career pathways. The first is in a variety of counseling positions, such as work as a career counselor, social worker, youth counselor, marriage and family therapist, and the like. The other is the doctoral path – earning the Psy.D. or Ph.D. is necessary in order to become licensed and earn the title of “clinical psychologist.” Either way, an Online Clinical Psychology Masters creates a strong foundation for future work or further education.
Those who choose to pursue this challenging program will be happy to find there are numerous clinical psychology programs online; these can provide students with the flexibility they need to complete their education while still juggling their day-to-day responsibilities of work, family and more. The following guide examines some of these programs, what makes them most affordable, and what a master’s student can expect from the program and the resulting career paths available to them.
When seeking the best master’s in clinical psychology degree programs students will look at several factors that matter most to them, such as accreditation, graduation rates , time to completion, student to teacher ratio, program quality and reputation and many more factors. Considering all those factors, here is a list of the Best Online Masters in Clinical Psychology:
Affordability is very important factor when choosing an online clinical psychology master’s program. How much is tuition? What kind of financial aid can students possibly receive? Are there any ways to make the program even cheaper? Considering all those affordability factors, we created the list of the Affordable Online Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs:
When a student reaches the master’s level program in almost any field, online education becomes tailored to their life. Colleges and universities are well aware that most master’s level students are going to be working while they go to school, gaining experience in their chosen profession, juggling family and community responsibilities, and much more. Given that, most courses grad students will encounter in any online master’s in clinical psychology program will be offered asynchronously, with occasional deadlines that keep them on track.
Though many of the courses that focus on theory and research can be easily handled online, there are others that require hands-on work. This is especially true in the fieldwork, internship or practicum requirements, where students will work closely with a variety of populations in mental health assessment and treatment while under the close supervision of a seasoned professional. These clinical experiences can be set up by the school in an area local to the main campus, or they can be set up at a facility that is local to the student, wherever in the country they may be. Most programs have dedicated facilitators to handle ensuring that distance learning students can find the best hands-on opportunities in their area.
Curriculum and Coursework
When a student begins an online master’s in clinical psychology program, there are certain courses they can expect to encounter. This short list is a snapshot of what to expect.
Emotion, Motivation, and Cognition
Clinical Assessment of Intellectual Functioning
Looks at historical and current evidence-based practices in psychology and counseling disciplines.
Addresses the ethical standards, legal dilemmas and decision- making requirements for all psychologists.
Building clinical skills in relation to the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental disorders.
A look at what drives individuals to act in a certain way, as well as how those factors can change when mental illness is present.
An overview of required patient assessments with a focus on intellect and potential issues with mental functioning.
Specializations in Online Clinical Psychology Masters Programs
Some programs offer specializations that include unique coursework such as:
Admission requirements for Online Clinical Psychology Masters
Some programs prefer a student to have a bachelor’s in psychology while others are more flexible. In some cases, your GPA will be a factor. Most programs will require an official copy of all your transcripts as well as an application essay. Not all programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), but some many which would require you to prepare, schedule and then take the exam. It’s also important at this time to check to see if a clinical psychology master’s program is APA accredited. TheAmerican Psychological Association (APA) regulates clinical psychology education at the graduate level.
If a student does not have an academic background in psychology, there may be basic undergraduate coursework needed in order to apply. This would include subjects such as Intro to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Developmental Psychology. These classes are readily available to take online or at a community college.
Timeline for graduation from Online Clinical Psychology Masters
An online master’s degree in clinical psychology typically takes two years to complete as a full-time student and three years as a part-time student. The amount of time a student spends in school will also depend upon other factors, such as whether you choose a school that has multiple start dates, any credits you might bring to the table during the admissions process, and whether you choose an accelerated program.
Masters in Clinical Psychology Online No GRE
When choosing an online master’s program, especially an online clinical psychology masters, the conventional thing is to think about admission requirements. The admission requirements vary from university to university based on the curriculum, university history, program specifics, and many more factors. But students who want to pursue online clinical psychology masters should be aware that many universities want students to prove that they are ready for intense graduate school work by taking a GRE test and reporting it. However, not every university believes in this philosophy of determining a student’s readiness based on a general test. Such universities believe in the strength of their programs to creating a true Master of Psychology. Here are a few universities that offer masters in clinical psychology online no GRE programs.
Students in this program enjoy a small cohort of only 12 students. With four start dates throughout the year, it becomes easier than ever to have the necessary flexibility to complete the clinical psychology degree. The master’s program has a strong emphasis on Marriage and Family Counseling, which can lead to licensure as a counselor; however, it also serves as a steppingstone to the doctoral program. Students will complete a minimum of 62 credit units as well as four sessions of field placement.
This hybrid program has both classes online and in-person in the evenings, so it is best suited for Kentucky residents. The department is well-versed in finding sites for your internship that fit your eventual career goals whether it may be in hospitals, schools, prisons, or private practice. Union also offers a fully online MA in General Psychology if a student is not interested in pursuing licensure. In that program, the internship is replaced with a research-based thesis.
California Southern University is a Christian-based, online-only institution of higher learning. They offer two master’s degrees in psychology: an MS and an MA. The MA provides a solid education in general psychology for the purposes of becoming a marriage and family counselor. The MS program offers students specializations including sports psychology, pastoral counseling, addiction counseling, and organizational psychology. The MS can also help students to go on to earn a doctorate and become psychologists.
Once a prospective student has compiled a list of online clinical psychology master’s programs they’re interested in, it helps to contact the admissions office and the program’s administrator directly for further information. They can supply you with up to the minute information on tuition, ways to apply, and any changes that may not be on the website.
1 Year Masters Clinical Psychology Online
Psychology students and professionals want to pursue online clinical psychology masters to advance their careers. For some students, the master’s in clinical psychology is a stepping stone to their careers. That is why it is so important to begin right now by not only choosing the right master’s degree but looking into how fast students can graduate from the online clinical psychology master’s program. Luckily, some universities will let students graduate from online clinical psychology master’s programs within 1-year. Here are some universities that offer 1-year master’s clinical psychology online programs.
Difference Between Clinical Counseling and Clinical Psychology
Though some will use the terms “clinical counseling” and “clinical psychology” interchangeably, they are actually two very different things. “Clinical counseling” might also refer to “counseling” in a broader sense, and often involves therapy for individuals, couples, families or groups. This counseling is often used to get at the heart of issues patients might be facing in their day-to-day lives.
“Clinical psychology” focuses more on those with serious mental illness or psychosis, which means the psychologist will usually work very closely with one person, as well as their medical team, to determine the best courses of treatment.
There is often overlap between the work of a counselor and a clinical psychologist; however, for the most part, a counselor will be trained at the master’s level while the psychologist will be trained at the doctoral level.
Licensing Requirements for Online Clinical Psychology Masters Graduates
Licensure requirements will vary by state, so it’s important for graduates to review the rules for their particular state before starting their master’s program. Most schools that provide online master’s programs in psychology have taken into account the widely varied requirements across state lines and have created programs that work for most state licensure boards. However, it’s still up to the student to ensure a particular program will meet the requirements for licensure on the master’s level (such as for that of a marriage and family therapist), as well as provide the appropriate steppingstone to the doctoral degree.
To learn more about licensure for clinical psychologists, visit these organizations:
The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). This is the international association of psychology licensing boards in the U.S. and Canada. It creates and maintains a standardized written exam, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which is used by most psychology licensing boards. Policies, tests, credentials and more can be found here.
National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC). This isthe national credentialing board for professional counselors. You may be eligible to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) to become a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC). Most states use the NCE as their counselor licensure examination.
Careers & Salaries for Online Clinical Psychology Masters Graduates
While a grad student won’t be a psychologist at the end of their online master’s in clinical psychology, they will be prepared to enter the workforce in a wide variety of positions in therapy and mental health. If they choose to complete a program with a specialization, they could be well-qualified for positions that give them the opportunity to spread their wings and help certain populations or groups. Here are some of the most common jobs available for those who graduate from an online master’s in clinical psychology program but don’t have plans to continue on to earn their doctorate.
Job Growth Rate
Mental Health Therapist or Counselor
Resources for Online Clinical Psychology Masters Students
Looking for a great way to network? Need to find out more about the clinical psychology career? Want more information on the variety of programs out there, from a professional perspective? These professional associations for those in the world of psychology can be a big help.
American Counseling Association (ACA). The largest counseling organization in the world, ACA has written a comprehensive Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that all professional counselors are expected to read and understand.
Psi Chi. The International Honors Society of Psychology opportunities for students include networking, awards and grants, a career center and chapter involvement that could include mentorships, local conferences, leadership experiences and more.
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