Online Masters in Clinical Psychology Programs offer students an alternative to traditional on-campus learning. Clinical Psychology masters degree online programs teach prospective clinical psychologists to diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and then devise and administer programs of treatment.
Clinical psychology is an umbrella under which different psychology specializations fall, such as marriage and family therapy, child psychology and neuropsychology. An online master's degree in clinical psychology may either be a terminal degree program for mental health professionals who aspire to work in counseling, or as a preliminary degree before a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Typically, clinical psychologists need a PhD in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
FUN FACT: In most states, practicing psychology or using the title of “psychologist” requires licensure and in many states, licensed psychologists must complete continuing education courses to keep their licenses.[i]
Note that while the APA does not currently accredit master’s degree programs in clinical psychology, they do accredit doctoral clinical psychology level programs and the institutions offering those programs.
If you work well independently, and are self-motivated, distance-learning can be a really convenient way to pursue advanced education in clinical psychology. Educational technology has evolved so that many campuses put for the their traditional onsite Clinical Psychology Masters programs into an online format, so you are getting high quality education without necessarily leaving the comfort of your home. This can work well for busy working students, or those who live to far from their preferred graduate school to commute.
Virtual clinical psychology programs may be different from traditional online classes. Although most of the coursework may be completed via web-based technology in the student's own time, most online clinical psychology programs require some on-campus residency and some synchronous class time - in which all students are online at the same time in a virtual classroom. This may be because online master's and doctorate programs in clinical psychology typically require internships as well as a capstone - such as a thesis, dissertation or exam - so they may take upwards of four years to complete.
The great thing about using the search tools on GradSchools.com is that you can request information from the school you are considering determining how their program is formatted and whether it aligns with your goals. Some of these listings might include online MS in Psychology with an Emphasis in Health Psychology, and MS in Clinical Psychology-General.
Graduate students may expect assignments and reading in related and current psychological research studies and theory, as well as classroom and clinical research components, clinical case studies and a project or internship in a master’s program curriculum. Some of the topics of study may include top subjects such as:
A master’s degree in clinical psychology may provide course work, clinical training, and research opportunities to train graduate students for potential careers as:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 % from 2014 to 2024[ii]
FUN FACT: To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, candidates commonly need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field.
To work in this field requires compassion, good interpersonal and listening skills as well as the best aspects of professionalism.
Clinical psychologists require communication and people skills, as well as observation and analytical skills to examine data collected and draw conclusions from their findings. Most clinical psychologists require a degree at the doctoral level, either by completing a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree.
If what is preventing you from a graduate degree is the inconvenience of getting to class, look into fully and partially online masters programs in clinical psychology on GradSchool.com today!
Sources:[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1014.00