A Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology aims to train and prepare students for advanced career levels in the discipline. ClinPsyD programs impart conceptual and clinical knowledge related to behavioral success and personal enhancement. Students learn about psychological disorders and illnesses and the ways to handle patients suffering from these conditions. A Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is offered in fully online, hybrid and on-campus formats by universities and colleges all over the country.

With a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology tucked in their belt, graduates gain both personal and professional benefits. They obtain adequate comprehension and advanced skills in the professional realm and better qualified than their peers when it comes to landing a stable and high-paying job.

clinical psych

The cost of earning a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology varies depending on, among other things, the academic institution where you wish to enroll and the type or format of instruction. There are those who opt for the hybrid format rather than the traditional or brick-and-mortar format to reduce tuition costs.

The ClinPsyD coursework involves intensive research on developmental psychopathology, community psychology, and effective treatment procedures. Students are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, stress, anxiety, and substance abuse.

University-based ClinPsyD programs focus on doctoral-level training in research along with the provision and assessment of clinical services. Graduates from university-based doctorate programs in Clinical Psychology are qualified to teach in traditional academic institutions, open a clinical psychology clinic for practice, or conduct research in private companies or government agencies.

What do clinical psychologists do?

phd clinical psychology

Clinical psychologists are specially trained to produce knowledge according to scientific evidence, and this can be applied in the evaluation and improvement of numerous forms of psychological functioning and mental illness. They are responsible for the dissemination of information to the public through advocacy, provision, and teaching of validated clinical treatment strategies. They normally meet with clients to determine specific conditions such as emotional, mental, and behavioral problems in their lives.

Through observation, tests, and interviews, the psychologist diagnoses existing disorders. Closely working with the patient enables both to create a tailor-fit program for the treatment based on the client’s needs. Clinical psychologists must monitor the progress of their clients regularly to make sure that their needs are precisely met and make adjustments whenever necessary.

Clinical psychologists work in various environments like colleges, universities, hospitals, private practice settings, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, mental health centers, and academic medical centers. They are generally hired for consultation on medical practices, health care industries, and corporations. The opportunity for advancement in the academy goes higher as more knowledge and experience are gained.

Clinical psychologists, in general, are tasked with the identification of psychological, emotional or behavioral issues. They are allowed to diagnose mental, emotional, or behavioral concerns and develop and implement treatment plans and therapeutic methods

Professionally, ClinPsyD degree holders develop a course of action to attain personal, social, educational, and vocational enhancement and adjustment. They can efficiently monitor the progress of clients through regular meetings or sessions. Other tasks or jobs involve classroom teaching, intensive research work, and publication of research findings in science and industry journals

What skills are likely developed in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology students?

ClinPsyD students emerge as effective communicators. They are expected to have acquired strong verbal and written communication skills. Because clinical psychologists provide support and treatment to patients, they should effectively communicate with them, such as in explaining clinical findings.

doctorate in clinical psychology

Effective and strategized communication is key in dealing with someone’s feelings and delving into the most troubled psychological states that put them in a vulnerable position. That said, professional clinical psychologists should be able to interact with patients without crossing the emotional and physical boundaries defined by professional standards. Practitioners need to be mindful of complex ethical issues being created, and they learn how these are dealt with as ClinPsyD students.

With a ClinPsyD degree, graduates emerge with significantly enhanced writing skills for detailed note-taking and report writing that are essential in monitoring the patient’s progress. Equally important is the practitioner’s sense of awareness and focus on the issues at hand. Having effective treatment entails keen observation and greater attention to detail.

When it comes to goal setting, every patient’s situation is different just as their timelines vary. Clinical psychologists need to know the balance between realism and ambition in setting goals. ClinPsyD degree holders are expected to be knowledgeable in this area.

What are the typical career paths and expected salaries for holders of a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology?

psychologists salary

Clinical psychologists to their knowledge and experience to give patients an adequate diagnosis of and treatments for their psychological disorders. Professionals may focus on providing certain types of psychotherapy as that of humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and family therapy.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that the employment rate of clinical psychologists is expected to increase by 14% through 2026. It is also projected that there will be a higher demand for psychologists in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and social services agencies.

The national median salary for clinical psychologists, according to BLS, is $73,270. Generally, organizational psychologists earn $82,760, while Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists make $73,270 yearly. General Psychologists get $75,230 each year, and other types of Psychologists earn $95,710. Actual salaries differ based on career settings, specialization, and years of experience. The professional’s location, as well as the economic conditions, also affect the wages of clinical psychologists.

What are the requirements needed to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and how long can the entire program be completed?

requirements of a phd in clinical psychology

Doctoral students should receive the highest form of training in clinical psychology. Admissions committees in colleges and universities usually consider a student’s test scores, grades, recommendations, research experience, and personal or professional achievements. The coursework is required, but most parts of the program will emphasize independent research and will eventually conclude in a comprehensive thesis.

A Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology can be completed in seven years or less for bachelor’s degree holders. Students who hold a master’s degree in the field typically complete ClinPsyD in three to four years.

The first requirement for the ClinPsyD program is to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree, preferably in psychology, sociology, or education. A master’s degree in psychology is also needed to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The program can be completed in one to two years of full-time study.

Specific professional Psychology fields require a one-year internship and an examination as part of the doctorate program. A residency training program under a licensed clinical psychologist which may take at least three years for completion is also required to earn a ClinPsyD.

What are the schools that offer a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program?

clinical psychology

Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California and California Southern University in Costa Mesa offer a fully online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program. The schools offering a ClinPsyD program in the hybrid format are Walden University and Saybrook University. On-campus ClinPsyD programs are offered in the University of North Carolina, Yale University, and the University of California-Berkeley.

The field of clinical psychology has been predicted to gain continuous growth in the next few years. Thus, more and more skilled and competent clinicians will be needed. As the demand for highly qualified mental health professionals increases annually, it is indeed a great opportunity to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology, specifically online.

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FIELDING GRADUATE UNIVERSITY

fielding

PH.D. IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

School Highlights: According to the program website, the Fielding Graduate University online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is the only program accredited by the APA. As such, it closely aligns with all of the requirements of any certification examination in psychology. It is an excellent degree for individuals working in mental health currently or in a different, yet relevant field. The curriculum provides unique opportunities to concentrate the coursework in one of four areas. Each specialization takes students down distinctive pathways of psychology, yet all include the same foundational doctorate coursework. Graduates from Fielding exhibit profession-wide competencies and go on to provide the discipline with unparalleled research and skill.

Concentration Options:

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Social Justice and Diversity

Campus Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
    533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200
    Burlingame, CA 94010
    www.acswasc.org, (650) 696-1060
  • American Psychological Association

Acceptance Rate: 20% Retention Rate: –% Graduation Rate: 68.1%

LEARN MORE ABOUT FIELDING GRADUATE UNIVERSITY’S PH.D. IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

california southern

DOCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY (PSYD)

School Highlights: While California Southern University does not offer Clinical Psychology specifically, the Doctor of Psychology degree is designed for students pursuing advanced knowledge and certification in clinical issues. The curriculum emphasizes service orientation and provides all of the necessary knowledge and preparation for certification in clinical psychology. CalSouthern offers an outstandingly affordable doctoral program with a tuition rate of $595 per credit hour, which can be found at only a few other schools offering similar doctorates. Graduates now occupy impressive positions of employment as clinical psychologists, administrative supervisors, graduate and post-graduate faculty members, consultants, and authors.

Coursework Sample:

  • Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Advanced Psychopathology

Campus Location: Costa Mesa, CA

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
    533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200
    Burlingame, CA 94010
    www.acswasc.org, (650) 696-1060
  • California Board of Psychology

Acceptance Rate: 13% Retention Rate: 96% Graduation Rate: 47%

LEARN MORE ABOUT CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY’S DOCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY (PSYD)

WALDEN UNIVERSITY

walden university

PH.D. IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

School Highlights: Walden University is a fantastic online school that receives constant recognition for its academic achievements. The Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology provides a supportive and motivating virtual learning platform that educates future practitioners, educators, researchers, and consultants. There are four concentration options, as well as a general curriculum for students who prefer a more traditional education. While the coursework is completed entirely online, there is one required year of academic residency, during which students gain a massive amount of hands-on experience through doctoral residencies, supervised practicums, and internships. Walden supplies a flexible doctorate that allows students to combine scholarly research with practical experience in a personalized approach.

Concentration Options:

  • General Program
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Teaching

Campus Location: Costa Mesa, CA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.com, (800) 621-7440
  • American Psychological Association

Acceptance Rate: 100% Retention Rate: 50% Graduation Rate: 28%

LEARN MORE ABOUT WALDEN UNIVERSITY’S PH.D. IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

SAYBROOK UNIVERSITY

saybrook

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, PH.D.

School Highlights: The Saybrook University Clinical Psychology, Ph.D., is specifically intended to give doctoral students the skills, knowledge, and practical skills for professional practice. While there are four unique concentration options, the entire curriculum is founded in humanistic psychology and has a developmental, hands-on approach. The tracks are incredibly distinctive and offer pathways to clinical psychology that are not offered at many other universities. Graduates develop psychotherapeutic competencies that address the whole person alongside the specialized skills and techniques. They also have all of the preparatory knowledge to sit for any certification examination throughout the United States.

Concentration Options:

  • Consciousness Spirituality Integrative Health
  • Creativity Studies
  • Existential and Humanistic Psychology
  • Psychophysiology

Campus Location: Oakland, CA

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
    533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200
    Burlingame, CA 94010
    www.acswasc.org, (650) 696-1060
LEARN MORE ABOUT SAYBROOK UNIVERSITY’S CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, PH.D.

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT GREENSBORO

unc greensboro

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

School Highlights: The UNC Greensboro’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology utilizes the “scientist-practitioner training model.” The curriculum enhances skills in assessment, treatment, and prevention of behavioral disorders, and develops a firm foundation in a broad range of clinical psychology techniques and interventions. Coursework is instructed by internationally recognized faculty members who bring a vast amount of knowledge and experience to the classroom. The Department of Clinical Psychology also provides numerous additional educational opportunities, such as the Running Start program, in which students engage with peer mentors during a summer research experience. Graduates from this outstanding program are prepared to work as teachers, practitioners, consultants, and independent researchers.

Concentration Options:

  • Adult
  • Child/Family

Campus Location: Greensboro, NC

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.com, (800) 621-7440
  • American Psychological Association

Acceptance Rate: 84% Retention Rate: 78% Graduation Rate: 54%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA’S DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

YALE UNIVERSITY

yale

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, PH.D.

School Highlights: Yale University is known worldwide as one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education that anyone could ever hope to attend. As such, readers can rest assured that the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology provides outstanding research and clinical coursework instructed by the most brilliant psychologists in the field. Students also have the privilege of conducting research with instructors and peers from other departments at Yale University, which creates an incredibly well-rounded doctoral degree. The curriculum provides a strong emphasis on methods, theory, grant writing, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. Graduates go on to become equally as well-respected as their faculty members and make an enormous impact on clinical psychology environments everywhere.

Coursework Sample:

  • Research Topics in Emotion and Relationships
  • Current Work in Clinical Psychology
  • Etiology and Treatment of Addictions

Campus Location: New Haven, CT

Accreditation:

  • New England Commission of Higher Education
    3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
    Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
    www.neche.org, (781) 425-7785
  • American Psychological Association
  • Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
  • The Academy of Psychological Clinical Science

Acceptance Rate: 6% Retention Rate: 99% Graduation Rate: 94%

LEARN MORE ABOUT YALE UNIVERSITY’S CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, PH.D.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

uc berkeley

PH.D. IN PSYCHOLOGY – CLINICAL SCIENCE

School Highlights: The University of California, Berkeley, provides numerous doctoral degree programs that are considered some of the best in the United States. The Ph.D. in Psychology has six areas of concentration, one of which is Clinical Science. The others include Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, Socio-Personality Psychology. The latter is offered as a doctor of philosophy at very few other universities with equal influence. The Clinical Science concentration combines practical experiences and internships with rigorous research components. The curriculum is individually specialized to reflect students’ personal goals. The Psychology degree as a whole has a cumulative focus on enhancing statistical, methodological, and critical thinking skills relevant to its specific specializations.

Coursework Sample:

  • Diversity and ethnic Minority Issues
  • Ethics and Professional Issues
  • Professional Development in Clinical Science

Campus Location: Berkeley, CA

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
    533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200
    Burlingame, CA 94010
    www.acswasc.org, (650) 696-1060
  • American Psychological Association
  • Academy of Psychological Clinical Science

Acceptance Rate: 15% Retention Rate: 97% Graduation Rate: 92%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY’S PH.D. IN PSYCHOLOGY – CLINICAL SCIENCE