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Clinical Psychology


Clinical psychology programs prepare people to diagnose and treat clients with mental disorders.

They learn to work with groups, individual clients, adults, or children.

Clinical psychology programs include topics such as:


Internships allow students to develop skills. Most clinical psychology programs require students to complete an internship.


A few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in clinical psychology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities and psychological institutes offer graduate degrees in clinical psychology. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is highly competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. Your bachelor's degree may not need to be in psychology if you have taken some courses in the subject.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

You may also need to complete an interview. Experience assisting with psychological research is a big plus.

Typical Course Work

A bachelor's degree program in psychology typically requires that you study the following core courses:

In addition, you usually must choose several (but certainly not all) of the following subjects:

As preparation for graduate school, it helps to include one or more courses in biology.

A doctoral degree program in clinical psychology typically includes courses such as the following:

In addition, doctoral programs typically require the following:

Graduate programs usually include several practicums, which are supervised experiences of real work in this field. At first you may merely follow a professional around and observe what that person does. Later, you take on more real tasks, including research.

A one-year internship is a standard part of the doctoral degree program.

Things to Know

For independent practice as a clinical psychologist, you need to be licensed by your state. Requirements vary. Usually you need a doctorate from an approved program, plus complete at least two years of supervised professional experience. You also need to pass an exam.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Antioch University

City University of Seattle

Seattle Pacific University

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University