Online Clinical Psychology Degree Programs


Updated April 23, 2024

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Find out more about earning a clinical psychology degree online with our program-level breakdown. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Clinical psychologists help individuals across the lifespan address behavioral and mental health conditions. Earning an online clinical psychology degree provides a flexible and convenient option. Learn more about online clinical psychology degrees and what it takes to enter this growing field.

Degree Snapshots

Bachelor's in Clinical Psychology

  • Typical Admission Requirements: High school diploma or GED certificate, transcripts, letters of recommendation
  • Time to Completion: Four years

Master's in Clinical Psychology

  • Typical Admission Requirements: Bachelor's in psychology or a related field from a regionally accredited institution, minimum GPA, transcripts, letters of recommendation
  • Time to Completion: Two years

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

  • Typical Admission Requirements: Bachelor's or master's in psychology or a related field from a regionally accredited institution, and statistics or other prerequisite classes, minimum GPA, transcripts, letters of recommendation
  • Time to Completion: Four years

Popular Online Psychology Bachelor's Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Why Get an Online Degree in Clinical Psychology?

As more schools expand online clinical psychology offerings at the undergraduate and graduate levels, you can choose from several options that fit your needs and professional goals. One of the most important benefits of online learning is having more control over the learning experience.

Some advantages of online learning include:

  • Saving time and money commuting or living on campus
  • Taking clinical psychology courses at your own pace while managing work or personal commitments
  • Developing time management, self-discipline, and other life skills as you learn to balance course expectations with independent learning
  • Receiving the same quality degree and educational experience as traditional campus-based students
  • More options for choosing schools and programs with specializations that interest you

Clinical Psychology Courses and Degree Requirements

Clinical psychology course requirements vary depending on the degree level you pursue. Learn what to expect from a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Psychology

A bachelor's degree is the first step to becoming a clinical psychologist. Schools do not typically have undergraduate programs in clinical psychology. Instead, they offer a bachelor's degree in psychology with a clinical or counseling concentration. These degrees prepare students to pursue master's degrees in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or social work.

Some online programs also offer dual-degree options, allowing undergraduates to begin coursework for their master's degree. Some online clinical psychology Ph.D. programs accept applicants with bachelor's degrees, potentially saving students time and money.

Bachelor's in Clinical Psychology Courses

  • Physiological Psychology: Learners explore the biology behind human behavior, including emotions, motivation, learning, and memory.
  • Human Development in Childhood and Adolescence: This class examines developmental theories for infants, children, and adolescents at the social, biological, and cognitive levels. Topics include attachment issues and temperament, personality development, and puberty and sexual development.
  • Cognitive Psychology: Students learn the fundamentals of human thought processing, including perception, learning and memory, problem-solving, and decision-making.
  • Abnormal Psychology: This course explores behavioral disorders and how society defines, explains, and treats these behaviors.
  • Health Psychology: Students learn the relationships between the biological, cultural, environmental, and psychological factors critical to physical health and preventing illnesses.

Online Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology

After earning an undergraduate degree, clinical psychology students may pursue a master's degree in psychology.

Students interested in an online master's in clinical psychology may choose either a master of arts degree, which generally emphasizes a liberal arts curriculum, or a master of science degree, which is more focused on research. Some clinical psychology master's programs include specializations.

Potential concentrations include clinical counseling, forensic psychology, child and adolescent therapy, couples and family therapy, and applied research. Colleges typically deliver online master's programs through full-time enrollment, but some offer part-time schedules. Online master's students complete any required practicums or internships at approved agencies in their communities.

Master's in Clinical Psychology Courses

  • Introduction to Psychopathology: This course focuses on assessing, diagnosing, and treating psychopathology. Students also explore theories of psychopathology, along with the politics of mental disorders, contemporary diagnoses, and ethical and multicultural issues within the field.
  • Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice: Students learn the principles of conduct, ethics, and standards of practice for psychologists. They also review guidelines for practice in certain psychological services and with specific populations. Topics include informed consent, confidentiality, mandated reporting, recordkeeping, and duty to warn.
  • Personality Assessment: Students learn about psychological evaluations and assessments specific to their application. This course also provides instruction on conducting and scoring psychological tests, evaluating behavioral elements, and discerning societal factors that might influence testing outcomes.
  • Group Process and Dynamics: This course covers group counseling methods and perspectives, including how to lead groups. Students explore the phases and elements of the group model, plus theories and practices within group counseling.
  • Multicultural Counseling: Students review how race, socioeconomic status, spirituality, sexual orientation, gender, and ability affect individual, couple, and family counseling. This course helps aspiring psychologists stay mindful and sensitive to all patients and their backgrounds.

Online Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Earning a doctorate in clinical psychology is necessary to apply for licensure in most states. Students can earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology or a Psy.D. in clinical psychology.

A Ph.D. typically focuses on research and pedagogy and requires students to write dissertations based on original research. In contrast, a Psy.D. emphasizes practical work for students who want to pursue clinical practice.

All accredited psychology doctoral programs require field experience, including clinical hours and an in-person internship. Online students can typically complete these field experiences near their residences. However, some clinical psychology Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs require distance learners to attend residencies on campus.

After you graduate and complete the licensure requirements set by your state, you can practice as a general clinical psychologist or pursue a specialty, such as:

  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • Health psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Geropsychology

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Courses

  • Strategies of Clinical Supervision and Consultation: This class reviews theories, functions, and methods of clinical supervision, consultation, and advocacy. Students learn about contractual, ethical, and legal issues involved in providing these services. These skills prepare students for careers as clinical supervisors.
  • Psychology and Social Change: This course delves into important topics such as power and social inequalities, ethnic inequalities, gender and sexism. Students learn how social change theories can affect children, families, and communities. Future psychologists learn how they can serve as change agents.
  • Psychopharmacology: Students in this class review the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and biological actions of psychotropic drugs. They learn the indications for prescribing medication, potential side effects, and considerations when referring patients for medication evaluation.
  • Biopsychology: In a biopsychology class, students learn about the connection between the human body's physical and mental functions. The curriculum also covers the biological factors affecting psychological operations, including genetics, neurological issues, and brain activity.
  • Advanced Psychopathology: Degree-seekers delve into differential diagnosis, etiology, prognosis, and treatments for mental illness. Students also explore how culture, human diversity, and legal and ethical factors relate to treating illnesses. Learners review the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Popular Online Psychology Master's Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clinical Psychology Degrees

Does clinical psychology require math?

Expect to take math and statistics as part of your undergraduate psychology curriculum. Most graduate programs require advanced statistical training to interpret and conduct data analysis, research, and psychological testing.

Is an online clinical psychology degree worth it?

In addition to saving time and costs, an online degree generally leads to the same professional opportunities as a traditional campus-based degree. Most graduate schools and potential employers do not distinguish between online degrees and those earned in person.

Which degree is best for clinical psychology?

To become a licensed clinical psychologist and practice independently in most states, you must complete a doctorate in clinical psychology, either a Ph.D. or Psy.D.

What Can You Do With an Online Clinical Psychology Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in psychology provides a gateway to multiple careers and to graduate study. Graduates can pursue employment in social services, business, human resources, and law enforcement, among other settings.A master’s in clinical psychology offers specialized training for more advanced positions in mental health. In addition to careers as guidance counselors, family therapists, and substance abuse counselors, a master of clinical psychology degree in most states qualifies you for a licensed professional counselor (LPC) credential. Most higher-level clinical and research positions require a doctorate. In almost every state, you need a doctorate for licensure and independent practice as a clinical psychologist.

How Do I Become a Clinical Psychologist?

Becoming a clinical psychologist involves several steps. Students must:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree.
  2. Earn a master's degree.
  3. Complete a doctorate program that is either APA-accredited or from a regionally accredited college.
  4. Complete 2-4 years of clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist, including practicum, internship and postdoctoral training
  5. Apply for state licensure and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

These steps can take anywhere from 8-12 years.

Prospective clinical psychologists must complete supervised hours in a clinical setting. The number of required hours varies by state and helps ensure that students are prepared for licensure. This process takes between 2-4 years to complete.

Popular Online Psychology Doctoral Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Take the Next Steps

Studying clinical psychology can lead to a rewarding career working with individuals, families, and groups to improve their mental health and well-being. Learn more about how an online psychology degree provides the foundation for a variety of careers.

Page last reviewed on March 19, 2024

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