Masters of Clinical Psychology Programs near Boston MA
Masters in Clinical Psychology programs train students to diagnose, treat and prevent mental health disorders. These programs may prepare graduates to enroll in a doctorate program to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, 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.
Clinical Psychology masters degree programs 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.
Masters 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 may include the following.
These are only a few example courses. 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. 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 may prepare you to pursue some entry level professions, there may not be as many pracitioner options as an MA.
A masters in clinical psychology program typically takes 2 years to complete. However, this depends on your previous educaton, enrollment status and individual progams.
Prospective applicants to a Master in Clinical Psychology program typically have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, or coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics. Most schools also reqest GRE and GPA scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and related clinical experience. 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 to enter a variety of potential 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 potential 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, earning a Masters degree 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 psychology is a varied field. Some 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 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.
Would you like to diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and be able to formulate and administer programs of treatment? If so, you should start reviewing sponsored listings for graduate programs in the field of clinical psychology on GradSchools.com today! If you are looking into a campus program, initiate a location search to find out which city, state or country has options for you. If distance-learning is more viable, look into online masters programs. Then click through any of the sponsored program listings to contact the school through a simple 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
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The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares candidates to meet the growing demand for mental health counselors who work in a variety of settings, including counseling centers, hospitals, non-profits, and private practices.