Why earn a master's degree in clinical psychology online?
Prepare for a clinical career
Gain in-field clinical training that will give you the real-world expertise you need, even before you graduate — at your own pace and without having to relocate.
Specialize to work with specific populations
Upgrade and update your knowledge and focus on the populations you want to work with, in a flexible, online format that features a blend of live classes and engaging asynchronous coursework.
Connect with like-minded peers
Find the university, the learner, and the faculty networks that align with your values — and join them from the comfort of your home or office.
Explore clinical psychology programs New
What is clinical psychology?
Clinical psychology is a highly rewarding career that combines scientific exploration and research with comprehensive medical care — with a focus on bettering the mental health of patients from all backgrounds. As a licensed professional, you will perform various psychological tests to assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral illnesses. You’ll be qualified to work in a range of settings, from rehabilitation centers to psychiatric hospital units.
The scope of clinical psychology is vast. Licensed professionals leverage advanced expertise and research skills to treat a diverse population across the lifespan. Whether they are treating patients who suffer from short-term issues or from chronic illnesses, experts must go beyond the pure clinical — they must integrate knowledge and skill from a broad range of disciplines — from neuroscience to advanced research methods.
Education requirements for a master’s in clinical psychology program
Clinical psychologist education requirements and prerequisites for an online master’s in clinical psychology vary based on university and program. In general, most programs require:
A bachelor’s degree and official college transcripts
A minimum GPA score
Standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT
A personal essay or a statement of purpose
A résumé or CV
Letters of recommendation
Some online clinical psychology programs no longer require GRE scores to apply. However, they may require prerequisite courses such as general psychology, behavioral statistics, and/or research methods. If that’s the case, applicants must complete these courses before you submit your online applications. Programs might also require previous field experience in settings including suicide hotlines, psychiatric centers, and crisis centers. If you do not meet these requirements, explore online master’s in psychology programs for more options.
Clinical psychology curriculum
An online M.S. in clinical psychology might take anywhere from one to four years to complete. Timelines vary depending on your program of choice as well as your preferred schedule — full time, part time, accelerated, or extended. They also depend on whether you decide to pursue a specialization.
In addition to online coursework, learners are often required to complete in-person practicums, which prepares students for a future in the field.
When you enter your online master’s in clinical psychology program, you will engage with foundational courses that cover a broad scope of clinical psychology. As you advance within the program, you get to focus your online master’s degree in a wide variety of specializations — or pursue a more generalist path — depending on the program and your professional interests. These courses and specializations may include:
Foundational course examples
Research design and statistics
Potential areas of specialization
Prevention and intervention
Potential clinical psychology careers include*:
Find the best online master’s in clinical psychology program for your career
Discover online master’s in clinical psychology programs that check every box. You may consider these factors when you’re evaluating which is the best online program for you:
School prestige: Explore top-ranked universities that will train you to be an expert in the field, and prepare you to sit licensure exams in your chosen career path.
Length of study: Choose an online master’s program with a length and flexibility of study that best suits your busy schedule: full time, part time, accelerated, or extended.
Clinical practicums: Explore the different in-person clinical practicums required by different universities — these practicums will test your ability to assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral and mental disorders affecting individuals, couples, and families.
Graduation rates: Review graduation and licensure rates to better understand the quality of an online master’s program.
Career outcomes: Learn what to expect from the job market, and research post-graduation employment rates of program alumni.
* Clinical psychologist careers typically require a doctoral degree and other requirements.
Frequently asked questions
The field of clinical psychology is competitive. It can offer high salaries, job security, and career fulfillment. With an online master’s in clinical psychology, you can provide critical treatment and care for diverse populations across the lifespan. You’ll be qualified to work in public and private healthcare facilities or even your own clinic.
Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Counseling psychologists help patients understand and navigate problems at home, at the workplace, or in their community. Explore different counseling psychology degree pathways here.
As a licensed professional, you get to assess, diagnose, and treat a range of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders — from short-term issues to chronic conditions. As a licensed professional, you will likely interview patients, give diagnostic tests, and provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy.
An online clinical psychology degree can take between 12 months to four years to complete. However, your chosen schedule and specialization can impact your timeline. Research your preferred university’s online master’s clinical psychology program to determine when you would graduate.
Though their classes and coursework may be online, some programs may also require learners to attend in-person clinical training and practicums. Explore your preferred program’s curriculum for specific requirements.