*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
The time required for online completion of a degree and on-campus in Clinical Psychology should be about equal at most schools for most students. The standard for a four-year degree is eight semesters whether online or on-campus. Some online schools appeal to students by offering accelerated course curricula. Accelerated curricula condenses the requirements into fewer courses to speed up graduation. Many students can accelerate graduation by attending online, but this requires a much heavier than usual credit-load. Most colleges and universities require 120 credit hours to graduate with a Degree in Clinical Psychology.
Online attendance can avoid scheduling bottlenecks. Students may find on-campus classes unavailable, and that can cause additional semesters of attendance. Online classes in the summer months can help online and/or traditional students accelerate graduation. Online students can take a full course load of 15 semester hours when they have time and resources available. The lower typical costs of semester hours online, as opposed to on-campus rates, can help students take more courses.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
We consider the choice of major to be an important decision for students when selecting Psychology schools or programs. Psychology is a broad field, and it has a wide potential for developing specializations and expertise. The student should pause and study the situation carefully. It is important to connect the choice of school with the career goals and employment objectives. Students should be sure that the school is well-equipped to provide high-quality Psychology education in the subject areas of greatest interest.
Students must look at the curriculum to determine if the subject will be covered thoroughly and in the areas of study that will be most beneficial.
Before you declare a major in Clinical Psychology, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you’re looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in Clinical Psychology, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master’s degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in a typical Clinical Psychology degree are:
These days fewer and fewer students graduate in four years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a six-year term from starting a degree to graduation. Accredited programs in Clinical Psychology, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 4-5 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in four years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 4 to 6 years.
Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for a Psychology education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.
There are two types of regional accreditation; they are Counseling program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.
Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.
National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.
Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.
Schools can provide valuable assistance for Clinical Psychology graduates that seek employment after graduation. The programs can be formal, such as job banks and employment centers that present graduating students and graduate credentials to prospective employers and host interviews.
Depending on the college, they may have resources that can enhance employment and career opportunities for their Psychology and Counselor graduates. Most schools have an extended community of alumni, donors, and corporate and business support. Alumni groups offer opportunities for networking as well as for sharing information and experiences. The corporate and business community support may include opportunities for internships or other hands-on learning experiences.