Masters of Clinical Psychology Programs in Alabama
A masters degree in Clinical Psychology is a post graduate degree designed for those seeking careers as clinical psychologists and mental health counselors. Masters in Clinical Psychology programs teach students to diagnose, treat and prevent mental health disorders through coursework, supervised practice, and research.
Graduates of clinical psychology masters programs may be prepared for a PsyD or PhD program (a prerequisite to be a licensed psychologist)i. They may also assess patients under the care of a licensed psychologist or work in social services.
Clinical psychology is the broad term under which many psychology specializations fall, such as marriage and family therapy, child psychology and neuropsychology. Therefore earning a Master in Clinical Psychology degree may be a great preparation for students who aspire to practice psychology across a variety of areas and with different patient populations.
Masters programs in Clinical Psychology combine graduate level curriculum with clinical research. In addition to coursework, students often must complete a clinical case study project or internship to demonstrate their comprehension about a specific clinical area or issue.
Master in Clinical Psychology programs may offer either a the Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Psychology degree. While the two may have slightly different approaches, the core curriculum is often similar. Typical coursework in a Clinical Psychology masters program may include the following.
These are only a few example courses. Masters in Clinical Psychology programs vary, so check out a few course lists to find one that matches your interests and goals.
MA in Clinical Psychology programs may provide intensive hands-on clinical training, as well as accompanying coursework for the students. Most aim to prepare students for a doctoral degree and later practice as clinical psychologists by teaching clinical diagnosis, research methods, psychopathology and the basics of psychological testing. MA programs typically focus more on a liberal arts approach and may be perfect for those interested in clinical practice.
Students can also choose to pursue a MS in Clinical Psychology deree. MS programs take a more technical approach with a focus on the science of psychology. An MS may be a prerequisite for PhD programs and ideal for those more interested in research. While an MS clinical psychology masters program may prepare you to pursue some entry level professions, there may not be as many pracitioner options as with an MA.
A masters in clinical psychology program typically takes 2 years to complete. However, this depends on your previous education, enrollment status and individual progams.
Prospective applicants to masters programs in Clinical Psychology typically have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, or have completed coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics.
Masters in Clinical Psychology Programs may also require:
That being said, every program is unique, so contact schools directly by clicking the link in their listing for details.
Earning a masters degree in clinical psychology might prepare students for a variety of careers within mental health counseling. Some Masters in Clinical Psychology programs may be considered a terminal degree (MFT) for mental health professionals whose goal is to pursue careers within a broad range of clinical and administrative settings in healthcare. Potential roles include the following.
However, clinical psychologists need a doctoral degree to practice. They may also need to complete an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.i
As more people have insurance and turn to clinical psychologists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for qualified professionals will grow by 20% between 2014 and 2024.i If this is your goal, a masters program in Clinical Psychology may be considered a springboard to continuing education.
FUN FACT: Candidates with a master’s degree will face competition for most positions, and many of them will find jobs with alternative titles, as nearly all states restrict the use of the title “psychologist” to Ph.D. or PsyD degree holders.i
Clinical psychologists provide psychological services, including assessment, testing, diagnosis, and treatment, to adults and children in hospital and private practice settings. Others conduct research on causes, consequences, and treatment of psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat psychological problems. They also help individuals deal with personal issues, such as divorce, trauma, or the death of a loved one.i
FUN FACT: In most states, practicing psychology or using the title of “psychologist” requires licensure.i
Masters in clinical psychology programs may be available both online or on campus to fit a variety of students' needs. Online courses may be perfect for those who want additional flexibility and convenience. These programs could allow students to access their coursework anytime and from anywhere with internet access. This might be especially beneficial to working students. Or those who want to attend a program far away without relocating.
Masters in clinical psychology schools, on the other hand, could be a perfect option for those looking for more structure. Classroom learning may also allow students to practice and collaborate with peers. Building interpersonal skills this way could be especially useful for those hoping to pursue careers as practicing clincial psychologists. Plus students may gain access to campus facilities such as libraries, career services and tutoring. Resources and facilities vary by school so follow up directly or organize a campus visit to learn more.
Finally, some programs offer a hybrid option, which may combine the best of both worlds. Hybrid programs may have classes entirely online and on campus. Or individual courses may combine a bit of the two. Some programs may also have a residency requirement where students gather at a set location for a longer period of time. Every hybrid Masters in Clinical Psychology program is different, so read descriptions carefully to find one that may be perfect for you.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the national authority on professional education and training in psychology. However, they do not currently accredit master in clinical psychology programs. Their scope is doctoral graduate programs, internship programs, and postdoctoral residency programs.
That said, universities and psychology schools offering masters programs in clinical psychology tend to be regionally accredited. If they also offer programs at the doctoral level, they may be accredited as an institution by the APA as well. Follow up with the individual school or the US Department of Education to learn more about program level and university accreditation.
Ready to earn your Masters in Clinical Psychology degree? Start reviewing listings for Masters Programs in Clinical Pschology right here! You can also look by location or for online programs using the menu bar.
When you find a Clinical Psychology Masters program you like, click the link to learn more. Then contact the school right away with the on page form.
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
The School Counseling program prepares educational specialists (school counselors) who promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of school-aged youth in the context of a comprehensive developmental school counseling program.