Online Clinical Psychology Degree Programs

Online Clinical Psychology Degree Programs

Table of Contents

Online Clinical Psychology Degree Programs

With our program-level breakdown, learn more about obtaining a clinical psychology degree online.

The Work of a Clinical Psychologist

Individuals, families, and groups with mental, behavioural, and emotional disorders can receive services from clinical psychologists. People with urgent issues and persistent conditions are evaluated, diagnosed, and treated by these psychologists. Moreover, clinical psychologists:

  • speaking with patients
  • administering tests for diagnosis
  • Give families and individuals therapy

Clinical psychologists are allowed to treat patients, but because they are not medical professionals, they cannot usually prescribe medication.

Clinical psychologists are employed in the fields of medicine, instruction, research, and training. While some clinical psychologists specialise in treating specific disorders or populations like children, ageing adults, or people with physical health issues, others offer general psychological treatment.

Clinical psychologists may offer consultation services to other healthcare organisations and professionals in addition to direct care. Clinical psychologists must have compassion, patience, understanding, and effective communication skills because they work with vulnerable populations.

What Sets Clinical Psychology Apart from Counseling Psychology?

Within the discipline, clinical psychology and counselling psychology have various foci. Clinical psychologists investigate, recognise, and treat psychological disorders; counselling psychologists help clients with emotional challenges that interfere with their daily lives.

In settings like medical offices, schools, private practises, or large corporations, counselling psychologists work with individuals to address communication, decision-making, and behavioural issues. Statistics, abnormal psychology, and social psychology are all covered in the required coursework. Couples, workplace stress, college life, and family issues are some of the specialty areas.

Clinical psychologists use counselling and other therapies to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. The majority of their required course work is in psychopathology (the study of mental conditions). Clinical psychologists work in hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, and research settings.

Common Questions Regarding Clinical Psychology

How much education is required for clinical psychology?

You need to obtain a doctorate degree at the very least to work as a clinical psychologist. Holders of a master’s degree can work as counselors or therapists. On the other hand, you can pursue more specialized and advanced career opportunities if you obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology.

How many years is the clinical psychology training programme?

A bachelor’s degree is the first step toward becoming a clinical psychologist, followed by a master’s degree and a doctorate. Occasionally, students may start a doctoral programme right out of undergrad. Depending on your degree path, the state’s licensing requirements, and the number of supervised hours necessary, this process could take 8 to 12 years.

What do professional psychologists do?

Clinical psychologists identify psychological problems and administer care. To ensure that patients receive high-quality care, these psychologists work in conjunction with other medical specialists. Clinical psychologists offer both one-on-one and group counselling.

What can you do with a clinical psychology bachelor’s degree?

A clinical psychology bachelor’s degree can prepare graduates for a variety of entry-level positions. Correctional treatment specialists, labour relations managers, and community organisation workers are a few common career paths for graduates to consider.

Can a clinical psychologist write prescriptions for drugs?

 A clinical psychologist lacks the required credentials to write prescriptions for drugs in many U.S. states. However, if a psychologist satisfies particular education and testing requirements in psychopharmacology and completes a supervised experience, the states of New Mexico, Louisiana, Iowa, Illinois, and Idaho allow them to prescribe medication.

Can You Earn a Clinical Psychology Degree Online?

For those seeking bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, there are numerous online programmes from which to choose. Since most online programmes follow the same core curriculum as campus-based ones, students who complete them are equally prepared for the workforce as their on-campus counterparts.

Online courses have a number of benefits for students who need flexibility. The course materials are available to students whenever and wherever it is most convenient for them. This enables students who have obligations such as work, family, and other commitments to finish their schoolwork on their own timetables.

Various start dates are available for some online programmes throughout the year. Online students typically have the option of finishing their studies full- or part-time.

Students pursuing degrees in clinical psychology may be able to save money by doing so. Some colleges offer reduced tuition to distance learners or have set fees for both in-state and out-of-state students. Online programmes occasionally have shorter terms than traditional ones, enabling degree seekers to complete their studies faster and pay less money.

Are Internships and Practicums Necessary for an Online Clinical Psychology Program?

A practicum, internship, or both may be required of an online clinical psychology student, depending on the programme and degree level. Students are not always required to complete fieldwork in undergraduate programmes.

To prepare students for licensure, clinical psychology graduate programmes typically include a required practicum and internship component. Students can typically complete this fieldwork at places in their neighbourhoods that have been approved.

The majority of states demand that every clinical psychologist who is qualified to practise hold a doctoral degree. As each state has its own requirements for education and internships, prospective psychologists should consult the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) to find out what is needed.

The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Psychological Practice Board (ASPPB), or the National Register of Health Service Psychologists are the three organizations that the ASPPB will let students know if they need to graduate from in order to be eligible for licensure in their state.

The APA does not accredit programmes that only offer online instruction, and it only accredits doctoral programmes. However, some APA-accredited programmes might use some distance learning strategies or offer specific courses online.

Before enrolling, students should become familiar with their state’s requirements. Websites for programmes typically make clear whether they prepare students for licensure, along with the kind of licensure and states that qualify. These websites ought to list the prerequisites for internships and practica.

What Are the Steps to Become a Clinical Psychologist?

A clinical psychologist must pass a number of requirements. Students must first complete a bachelor’s degree programme, then a master’s degree programme, and finally a doctorate programme from a regionally or nationally accredited university. This educational route can take eight to twelve years.

A specific number of clinically supervised hours must be completed by prospective clinical psychologists. State-specific requirements for credit hours help to guarantee that students are adequately prepared for licensure. It takes between one and two years to finish this process.

According to a 2016 APA study, psychology master’s degree holders racked up an average debt of $60,000. Recent clinical psychology doctoral graduates had debts totaling about $113,600. In addition, licencing fees, which cover the cost of the application, exam, and initial licencing, can run anywhere between $500 and $1,000 or more.

Online degree programmes allow students to potentially save a sizable sum of money. Online students, for instance, are not required to pay for campus-based amenities and are permitted to keep their full-time jobs while pursuing their degrees.

Clinical Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Online

A bachelor’s degree is required for those who want to pursue a career in clinical psychology. Clinical psychology undergraduate programmes are uncommon in schools. Instead, they provide a psychology bachelor’s degree with a focus in counselling or clinical psychology. The master’s degrees in clinical psychology, counselling psychology, or social work that these degrees prepare students to pursue are all of these.

Some online programmes additionally provide dual-degree options, enabling undergraduates to start their master’s degree coursework. Some online Ph.D. programmes in clinical psychology accept applicants with only bachelor’s degrees, which could save students a lot of time and money.

Typical Courses

Psychology Physiological

The biology of human behaviour, including emotions, motivation, learning, and memory, is studied by learners. Clinical psychologists in practise need a solid grasp of biology to recommend various treatment modalities to patients.

Adolescent and Childhood Human Development

This course explores social, biological, and cognitive developmental theories for infants, kids, and teenagers. Topics covered include temperament and attachment problems, personality growth, and puberty and sexual maturation. For students planning to pursue a career in clinical child psychology, this could be a useful introductory course.

Thinking Psychology

The fundamentals of human thought processing, such as perception and pattern recognition, learning and memory, problem-solving, and decision-making, are taught to students in this course.

Disordered Psychology

This course examines the definitions, justifications, and treatments of behavioural disorders in society. Strongly mentally ill patients are frequently treated by clinical psychologists.

Students enrolled in this course will be prepared for careers in clinical health psychology. Students gain knowledge of the connections between the biological, cultural, environmental, and psychological aspects of physical health and illness prevention.

Clinical psychology master’s degree online

Students studying clinical psychology who already hold an undergraduate degree may continue on to earn a master’s or doctoral degree.

A master of science degree, which places more of an emphasis on STEM-related subjects, or a master of arts degree, which typically includes a stronger emphasis on a liberal arts curriculum, are both options for students interested in an online master’s in clinical psychology. Specializations are offered in some master’s programmes in clinical psychology.

Clinical counselling, forensic psychology, sex therapy, and applied research are a few possible concentrations. Most colleges offer online master’s programmes through full-time enrollment, though some also provide part-time options. Online master’s students complete any necessary internships or practica at recognised organisations in their local communities.

Typical Courses

Overview of Psychopathology

Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychopathology are the main topics of this course. Along with the politics of mental disorders, current diagnoses, and ethical and multicultural concerns within the field, students also study psychopathology theories.

Standards of Professional Conduct and Ethics

The standards of practise, ethics, and professional conduct for psychologists are taught to students. Additionally, they go over best practises for the use of particular populations and psychological services. Informed consent, confidentiality, required reporting, record-keeping, and the obligation to warn are among the issues covered.

Personality Evaluation

Students gain knowledge of particular psychological assessments and evaluations. This course also covers how to administer and score psychological tests, assess behavioural components, and identify societal factors that might affect test results.

Group Dynamics and Process

This course covers group counselling techniques and viewpoints, as well as group facilitation. Students study group counselling theories and practises, as well as the phases and components of the group model.

Counseling for multiculturalism

The effects of race, socioeconomic status, spirituality, sexual orientation, gender, and ability on individual, couple, and family therapy are reviewed by the students. This course aids future psychologists in maintaining awareness of and sensitivity to all patients and their circumstances.

Clinical psychology doctoral programme online

In most states, obtaining a clinical psychology doctorate is required to submit an application for licensure. Both a Ph.D. and a Psy.D. in clinical psychology are available to students.

Writing dissertations based on original research is a requirement for Ph.D. programmes that typically emphasise research. For students who want to pursue clinical practise, a Psy.D. places more of an emphasis on practical work.

A clinical rotation or an on-site internship are two examples of the field experience that is required for all accredited psychology doctoral programmes. Most online students can complete these fieldwork assignments close to where they live. However, some clinical psychology Ph.D. programmes require on-campus residencies for distance learners.

You can work as a general clinical psychologist after graduating and meeting the state’s licencing requirements, or you can pursue a specialty like:

  • therapeutic neuropsychology
  • Psychology of health
  • Pediatric psychology
  • Geropsychology
  • Typical Courses

Techniques for Clinical Consultation and Supervision

The theories, roles, and techniques of clinical consultation, advocacy, and supervision are covered in this course. Students gain knowledge of the legal, moral, and ethical concerns involved in rendering these services. Students are prepared for careers as clinical supervisors with these abilities.

Social Change and Psychology

This course explores significant issues like sexism, gender inequality, and racial and ethnic discrimination. Students gain knowledge of how social change theories can impact kids, families, and neighbourhoods. Future psychologists gain knowledge on how to effect change.


In this course, students review the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and biological effects of pharmaceuticals. They gain knowledge of the reasons for prescribing drugs, their possible side effects, and the factors to take into account when referring patients for drug evaluations.


Students studying biopsychology gain knowledge of how the physical and mental processes of the human body are interconnected. The biological aspects of psychology, such as genetics, neurological conditions, and brain activity, are also covered in the curriculum.

Higher Level Psychopathology

The differential diagnosis, aetiology, prognosis, and therapies of mental disease are explored by degree candidates. Additionally, they investigate how cultural, racial, ethnic, and ethical considerations connect to medical care. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is studied by the class.

The Internships and Licenses Needed to Become a Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists who wish to work professionally must obtain a state license. Although requirements differ by state, you must generally:

  • possess a Ph.D. in psychology
  • finish an internship

Perform one to two years of supervised clinical work Pass the ASPPB’s licence test for professional practise in psychology

Students must complete 1,500–6,000 total hours of supervised experience, depending on the state.

To pass the licence exam, you must properly respond to around 70% of the questions. A $600 exam fee and a $87.50 testing facility fee are paid by candidates. Added administrative costs are also levied by some governments. After fees, the application, and the exam, the overall expense might be between $60 and $1,000. Students studying psychology may consult the ASPPB to find out the prerequisites for their state.

careers for those with degrees in clinical psychology

Clinical psychologists can find employment in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, private medical offices, mental health facilities, and schools after completing a PhD programme and obtaining the necessary state licence. They can choose to specialise in the field or work as general clinical psychologists.

Clinical neuropsychology, health psychology, child psychology, and professional geropsychology are all recognised specialities by the APA. Successful psychologists frequently possess analytical, interpersonal, observational, and problem-solving abilities. Because patients must trust them to handle sensitive issues, they must also have honesty and patience.

Clinician in psychology

These psychologists assess, identify, and care for individuals who have psychological conditions. They frequently see patients who have behavioural problems, anxiety, and depression. Individuals and groups receive therapy from clinical psychologists. Those who wish to become psychologists should pursue PhD degrees in clinical or counselling psychology from institutions recognised by the APA.

Child clinical psychologist

Clinical child psychologists concentrate on the mental health and emotional well-being of children. These psychologists diagnose and treat psychological disorders in children and their parents as they progress through developmental phases, as well as provide therapy.

Professionals can work in schools, healthcare institutions, and private offices. Degree requirements for clinical child psychologists include a doctorate.

Clinical Therapist

Clinical therapists assess and treat clients with mental problems through examinations, counselling, and case management. They typicaaly see patients with severe and persistent mental diseases, and persons with personality or behavioural difficulties.

Clinical therapists can practise numerous forms of therapy, including group, couples, and families. Work contexts can include social work, counselling within a private practise, and healthcare offices. A master’s degree with licencing is the base education level required for clinical therapy.

Clinical Director

These directors oversee and grow an organization’s clinical sections. Responsibilities include planning, designing, coordinating, and managing the implementation of patient care services. They also work closely with the financial team and establish and monitor budgets for service programmes. Clinical directors often need experience in management, staff supervision, and client invoicing. They should also be informed about establishing revenue streams for clinical services.

Clinical Supervisor

Clinical supervisors maintain a clinic’s operational activities. Duties include scheduling, coordinating, and supervising the operations of clinic personnel to guarantee a high degree of patient care. Supervisors generally keep clinic records, fill out clinic paperwork, and swiftly file reports. These managers often hold registered nurse licencing, and those with a clinical education typically earn greater compensation.

What Does a Clinical Psychologist Make in a Year?

Clinical psychologists had a median annual pay of $81,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (BLS). Health practitioner offices employ the most clinical psychologists and give the highest compensation prospects.

California boasts the greatest employment levels for clinical psychologists. New Jersey offers the best compensation for clinical psychologists. Massachusetts provides the largest concentration of jobs for these specialists.

Salary data changes depending on location, experience level, and educational background. Holding an advanced degree and more years of expertise in the profession often leads psychologists to increased income potential. Across the field, earnings range from $47,010 in the bottom 10% to $167,460 in the top 90% of the occupation, states the BLS.

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