What is an Online MSc in Clinical Psychology?

Online master’s degrees in clinical psychology set themselves apart from other master’s degrees in psychology. Because these are primarily science and research-based degrees that study mental health disorders, their causes and effects on the mind and body, and treatments. Students in these programs learn to develop analytical and critical thinking skills when evaluating patients. These programs are typically designed for future placement in a doctoral program, and students do not automatically earn a license to practice consulting upon completion, although it is possible to obtain a license with this degree. The program usually ends with a final internship, practice or thesis project. The degree is often referred to as the Master’s in Clinical Psychology (MS).

Why Should I Get an Online Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology?

If you want to study the science behind mental health and can see yourself doing research, a master’s degree in clinical psychology may be right for you. In addition, clinical psychologists need a doctoral degree to do most of their work, and a master’s degree is a prerequisite for entry into a doctoral program. However, if research isn’t your only interest, it’s possible to become a mental health counselor with a clinical psychology degree, as long as you take the right classes, receive appropriate training, and are licensed to practice.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Master in Clinical Psychology?

On average, master’s programs can take 2 years to complete. These programs typically require approximately 36-54 credits or 60 to 70 quarter credits. Some programs, specifically with a counseling option, require an internship, residency, or practice where the student works under the guidance of a licensed psychologist, counselor, or therapist.

Curriculum for Online Master’s Programs in Clinical Psychology

The curriculum in online master’s degrees in clinical psychology is designed to develop students’ research, analysis and critical thinking skills from a clinical perspective. Some programs, particularly those that offer clinical counseling concentration, offer courses that provide students with counseling skills and can prepare them for licensure to practice. More commonly, the curriculum is designed for final placement in a doctoral clinical psychology program.

Clinical Psychology Basic Courses

Clinical psychology foundation courses provide a broad overview of the skills and theories that make up the field. These courses are general enough that the skills learned can be applied to many areas of clinical psychology. Students typically learn about research methods, how to conduct tests and evaluate patients’ behavior, and the process of diagnosing patients with mental disorders. Sometimes these courses, especially research-related ones, are split into 2 courses, one course per semester. A few basic courses include:

Research Methods and Statistics
Mental Disorders Diagnosis Process
Tests and Measurements