As technology advances, more and more people find themselves attracted to programs that are conducted through online platforms instead of full-time degrees that were the norm even as recently as 10 years back. There are many reasons for this; for example, clinical psychology programs online may be comparatively cheaper to pursue than a full-time degree. Similarly, if you are pursuing the online course, you may be able to work full time on the side and gain experiences, as you go about receiving an education. Conventional degrees take up a lot more of your time and are relatively less flexible when it comes to fitting it in your schedule.
What Is Clinical Psychology?
If you are looking for a career in the realm of clinical psychology, it is important that you understand what the term entails, before taking any decisions. As a clinical psychologist, you may be required to provide services to different parts of the society – from individuals and families to groups – when it comes to different mental, emotional or behavioral disorders. A clinical psychologist is expected to talk to his or her patients, diagnose any short-term or significant issues with their mental health, and provide some form of treatment for the condition. You need to have the right qualifications to develop a practice in clinical psychology, and an online degree can help you receive this.
Different Levels of the Degree
If you are looking to pursue clinical psychology programs online, there are different levels of education that you can aim at. All of these have different prerequisites and different end goals. In the initial phase, you will be pursuing a more general psychology-based education, with specialization in the field of clinical psychology coming in at the master’s or doctoral levels.
- Bachelor’s – The first level of education that you need to achieve before specializing in clinical psychology is receiving your bachelor’s degree – or in some cases, an associate degree – in psychology. You can apply for this soon after you graduate from high school and this will help in developing a good base for further studies.
- Master’s – Once you have a good base, you can opt for higher education in the field of psychology – opting for clinical psychology as your area of expertise. These programs are shorter than a bachelor’s degree and are more focused on clinical psychology. To discover the best choices available today, be sure to take a look at our online master’s in clinical psychology guide.
- Doctoral – Finally, if you want to go into the depths of the field with the help of research, a doctoral program or a PhD in clinical psychology will be the next logical step. This is the highest qualification that you can achieve, and if you opt for this full time, you may spend up to six to eight years completing it.
Best Online Clinical Psychology Programs
If you are looking to pursue an online degree in clinical psychology, there are some programs that are better than others. Of these, some may be more suited to your needs. Therefore, to make an informed decision in this context, here are some of the best online clinical psychology programs in the country.
Before getting started, it is important to remember that there is no particular order for the programs mentioned below.
Palo Alto University
One of the best graduate programs in clinical psychology is the one offered by Palo Alto University. This is a part-time program that you can pursue in conjunction with your full-time work schedule to make the most of your time. An interesting part about this MS program in psychology is that the credits can be transferred to the university’s doctoral program if you choose to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology.
The average time for completion of this degree is two years, but it may differ from student to student, depending on how quickly or slowly the student is able to receive the required credits for completion.
For the 44-credit program, the total fee stands at approximately $43,379. This may depend on your year of enrollment.
Indiana Wesleyan University
The Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Master of Arts program with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which can benefit those of you looking to pursue a graduate degree in the realm of clinical psychology.
The completion time for this degree depends on your speed and time availability. As you are expected to put in a certain number of credit hours, the time in which you complete the degree will depend on how fast you finish these credit hours.
For this 60-credit-hour program, you will be expected to pay a tuition fee of $560 per credit hour. Overall, this stands at over $30,000, but may differ depending on the year you choose to enroll.
University of Louisiana
The third online graduate program on this list is the one offered by the University of Louisiana – a Master of Science in Counseling. It is designed to give you access to a supportive environment that is necessary for a better grasp of the subject. The objective is to equip students to provide counseling services at a professional level.
The time that it takes to complete this degree will again depend on how fast you are able to complete all the credits required. The average time stands at approximately two years.
On average, this degree will cost you over $6,000 in tuition fee every year, primarily on the basis of the number of credits you need to complete.
A degree in clinical psychology can aid you in achieving your career goals by helping you gain the knowledge that you need to effectively practice in the field.
While the curriculum of clinical psychology programs online is very similar to the curriculum of full-time conventional programs, it allows you to customize the manner in which you choose to complete your education.
These programs are usually at the postgraduate level – both masters and doctoral programs – as clinical psychology is a specialization within the realm of psychology. This brief guide will help you choose the right program for your needs, and for the best experience of learning.