What Degree do you need to be a Psychologist? – 2023

Want to become a psychologist, but the question, “What degree do you need to be a psychologist?” is holding you back? Embedded in this article is everything you need to know to make the right choices.

What Degree do you need to be a Psychologist?

Discover our step-by-step guide to becoming a psychologist and learn more about available career options, licensure requirements, and where psychologists work!

Becoming a psychologist puts you on a path where you can help people deal with life’s challenges and cope better with mental health issues.

Psychologists will complete an internship or postdoctoral training period of at least one year after receiving an undergraduate degree in any subject and a graduate degree in psychology.

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What are the Educational Requirements for a Psychologist?

What Degree do you need to be a Psychologist? Most psychologists are required to have a doctoral degree in psychology, but some areas of the field, such as industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology and school psychology, may only require a master’s degree.

In general, these degree programs help prepare aspiring psychologists for licensure and commonly include hands-on training in the field.

Many psychology degree programs are available in online formats, including online accelerated psychology degree programs. Learn more about some of the psychology education options below.

Undergraduate Psychologist Education

Aspiring psychologists typically need to begin their education with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

These programs are usually 4 years in length and may be available as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.

Some of these programs may conclude with a thesis or capstone experience and many offer concentrations such as forensic psychology or workplace psychology.

Bachelor’s programs in psychology are commonly available online and may include coursework in topics like:

1. Behavior analysis

2. Abnormal psychology

3. Cross-cultural psychology

4. Statistics

5. Psychology

Graduate Psychologist Education

Although some undergraduate programs may offer different concentrations, aspiring psychologists begin to really specialize at the graduate level.

For example, there are graduate schools with criminal psychology programs, school psychology programs, and more.

At the master’s level, students can most commonly pursue a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degree in psychology or a specific area of psychology.

Aspiring psychologists typically need to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree.

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These degree programs may take anywhere from 4 to 6 years to complete and some may accept students with only a bachelor’s degree.

Most of these programs include a practicum experience and/or other hands-on learning experiences and training.

Some coursework may be available online and these programs typically offer a variety of concentration areas in psychology, such as:

1. Clinical

2. Brain, behavior, and cognition

3. Developmental

4. Social

5. Behavioral neuroscience

6. Quantitative.

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How to Become a Psychologist

How to Become a Psychologist

Other requirements for psychologists include training and licensure.

Most psychologists must complete an internship in their field after completing a graduate program in psychology to gain the necessary experience and training for state licensure.

The number of hours required for these internships varies by state. Clinical and counseling psychologists may require additional supervised work experience.

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The requirements for licensure vary by state, but most states require continuing education to maintain licensure.

Students may also seek certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) or other professional organizations in a specific area of specialization.

The ABPP certifies people who want to work as child psychologists, counseling psychologists, forensic psychologists, and other types of psychologists.

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CSN Team

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