Best Clinical Psychology PhD & Doctorate Programs (PsyD)

Clinical Psychology PhD Programs

Students aspiring to become licensed clinical psychologists may choose one of two types of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology​ Programs: a Doctor of Psychology PsyD in Clinical Psychology or a Doctor of Philosophy PhD in Clinical Psychology. Earning a doctoral degree is a requisite for licensure and practice in clinical settings - so if you want to continue on this career path Clinical Psychology PhD Programs are right for you.

Clinical Psychology PhD & Doctorate Programs (PsyD) infographic

How to Enroll in Clinical Psychology PsyD Programs

Admission requirements for both of these Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programs typically include a master's degree in psychology or a closely related field, though some programs may admit students who hold a bachelor's degree. In either case, foundational psychology coursework must be completed prior to doctoral program admission.

Both programs could take 5-7 years post-college to complete and then may require an internship and supervised practice before taking licensing exams.

What is PsyD Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology is the limb of psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness, abnormal behavior and psychiatric problems. This field integrates the science of psychology with the management of complex human problems, making it a potentially exciting career choice for people who are looking for a challenging yet rewarding field.

Choosing a Clinical Psychology Doctorate Degree Program: Online or On-Campus

Students will want to consider which Clinical Psychology program format will work with their lifestyle – an online clinical psychology degree program may be convenient while many students choose a local campus-based program. You will want to look at the curriculum and consider specializations that might be relevant or the research experience of the faculty. Browse our directory and consider your options to find the Ph.D. or Psy.D. program that is the best fit for your goals and interest. Look for programs that are APA accredited.

PsyD in Clinical Psychology vs PhD Clinical Psychology

Students will want to consider their career goals before deciding on the type of clinical psychology doctorate degree to pursue. There are two types of clinical psychology doctorate programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association: the PhD in Clinical Psychology and the PsyD in Clinical Psychology.

Both Psy.D. and Ph.D. degree programs in clinical psychology involve lecture-based courses, clinical practical experience and a dissertation project. While PsyD Clinical Psychology programs commonly emphasize clinical practice; Clinical Psychology PhD Programs are frequently more research-oriented. Nonetheless, students in both PsyD and PhD programs usually engage in clinical practica and internships.

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology PsyD Programs

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology is a practice-based graduate degree program that introduces students to a number of advanced clinical topics in the field. PsyD Clinical Psychology curriculum usually involves coursework specific to the field and practical clinical experience in medical centers. Students take seminar style courses to expand their knowledge base and may study topics such as:

  • Behavioral neuroscience
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Group psychotherapy
  • Psychotherapy for children
  • Mental illness
  • Clinical skills
  • Assessment and Intervention

Clinical Psychology PhD Programs

The Doctor of Philosophy PhD Clinical Psychology Programs are research-based graduate degree programs that introduce students to a wide range of advanced theoretical topics in the field. PhD in Clinical Psychology program curriculum emphasizes the scientific study of psychology, including related theories and methodologies and prepare students for a career in clinical psychology. Students in a clinical psychology Ph.D. program may study topics such as:

  • Clinical research methods
  • Theoretical aspects of clinical psychology
  • Clinical psychology and statistics
  • Psychodynamic psychology
  • Psychopharmacology

Potential Career Paths in Clinical Psychology

There are different potential career paths for graduates, depending on which degree they have achieved. For instance, graduates of PsyD Clinical Psychology degree programs may work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals or community health centers. They may be qualified to pursue clinical-based careers; namely:

  • Neuropsychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Health psychology

Clinical Psychology PhD Programs

Graduates of a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program may be qualified for a variety of potential clinical and academic careers. Most graduates pursue scholarly or researched-based careers; namely:

  • College psychology professor
  • Psychology statistician
  • Substance abuse therapist
  • Pediatric psychologist

List of Clinical Psychology PhD & PsyD Potential Careers

Career Degree
Clinical Psychologist PsyD Clinical Psychology
Industrial Psychologist PsyD Clinical Psychology
Private Practice Clinical Psychologist Clinical Psychology PsyD
Military Clinical Psychologist PsyD in Clinical Psychology
School Clinical Psychologist PsyD Clinical Psychology
Clinical Psychology College Professor PhD Clinical Psychology
Health Psychologist PhD in Clinical Psychology
Trauma Psychology Clinical Psych PhD
Clinical Scientist PhD in Clinical Psychology
Psychological Profiling PhD Clinical Psychology

Choose a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Program

If you would like to prepare yourself with for multiple potential careers in clinical psychology, can help graduate students find programs that aligns with your goals; start reviewing your choices for PsyD Clinical Psychology and PhD Programs in Clinical Psychology Programs today!

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