The field of clinical psychology offers a variety of career choices, depending on your area of interest and level of education. Persons with a bachelor's degree may work in a support capacity for research or as an assistant in hospitals and clinics. A master's degree may allow you to work as a counselor, but is not likely to qualify you for licensure. Earning a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology allows you to practice as a psychologist once you are licensed by the state.

Definition

Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology focused on observing, diagnosing and treating mental disorders, emotional disturbances and behavioral problems. A master's or doctoral degree in clinical psychology is the educational preparation and accreditation required before treating patients who experience any type of psychological disorders. Persons who earn a masters or doctorate in clinical psychology must also be licensed by the state where they plan to practice. Different states have different licensing requirement and designations.

The field of clinical psychology offers a variety of career choices, depending on your area of interest and level of education. Persons with a bachelor's degree may work in a support capacity for research or as an assistant in hospitals and clinics. A master's degree may allow you to work as a counselor, but is not likely to qualify you for licensure. Earning a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology allows you to practice as a psychologist once you are licensed by the state.

Bachelor's

Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology is the precursor to a career in clinical psychology. Most four year colleges and universities offer psychology courses, but the schools must be accredited by the American Psychological Association before graduating students with a degree in psychology. Once you have earned a BS in psychology, you can then apply to an accredited school to obtain your master's degree.

The field of clinical psychology offers a variety of career choices, depending on your area of interest and level of education. Persons with a bachelor's degree may work in a support capacity for research or as an assistant in hospitals and clinics. A master's degree may allow you to work as a counselor, but is not likely to qualify you for licensure. Earning a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology allows you to practice as a psychologist once you are licensed by the state.

Master's

A master's degree in clinical psychology involves at least two years of graduate study from an accredited school of psychology. Most states will not grant a license to persons having only a master's degree. Available career choices for anyone with a master's degree in clinical psychology include clinical research, teaching and assisting in hospitals and community health clinics and working as a school counselor. In some states, you can practice therapy with a master's degree, but only under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

The field of clinical psychology offers a variety of career choices, depending on your area of interest and level of education. Persons with a bachelor's degree may work in a support capacity for research or as an assistant in hospitals and clinics. A master's degree may allow you to work as a counselor, but is not likely to qualify you for licensure. Earning a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology allows you to practice as a psychologist once you are licensed by the state.

PhD

Earning a PhD, doctor of philosophy, in clinical psychology typically requires four years of study at an accredited school in addition to successfully earning a bachelor's degree. Graduating with a PhD, or doctorate, also includes participating in an internship in the field of clinical psychology as well as extensive research in preparing and writing a dissertation or thesis. Persons with a PhD in psychology must also pass all state licensing requirements before performing research, teaching or practicing as a clinical psychologist.

The field of clinical psychology offers a variety of career choices, depending on your area of interest and level of education. Persons with a bachelor's degree may work in a support capacity for research or as an assistant in hospitals and clinics. A master's degree may allow you to work as a counselor, but is not likely to qualify you for licensure. Earning a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology allows you to practice as a psychologist once you are licensed by the state.

PsyD

PsyD is the degree designation for a doctor of psychology. Earning a PsyD in clinical psychology involves similar requirements as earning a PhD, but the studies focus more on clinical practice and treating patients and less on the research aspect of being a psychologist.