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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Clinical Psychology Degree

Majors Overview April 5, 2015

Get information about bachelor of clinical psychology degree programs and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Clinical Psychology Degree Programs

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in psychology are introduced to the study of human behavior and the human mind; the majority of programs include a course in clinical psychology, the psychology branch that relates to an individual’s psychological development and mental health over his or her lifetime. A doctoral degree is mandatory for those that wish to practice as a clinical psychologist.

Apart from such required courses in general education as mathematics and English composition, basic training in abnormal and normal psychological development is imparted to students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in psychology.

Problem-solving and research skills necessary for graduate study are also imparted to help aspiring clinical psychologists, who may be required to participate in supervised practicums before they graduate from the program.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting ACT or SAT scores, a written essay, and letters of recommendation. The SAT Reasoning Test is a requirement in some programs; the passage of subject exams is a requirement in others.

Coursework

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program are introduced to every facet of psychology, and concentrations in clinical psychology are focused on abnormal and normal psychological development aimed at providing a strong basis for occupation in the mental health field. The psychology coursework is supported by research and statistics classes and covers subject areas such as the following:

•Social psychology
•Learning and cognition
•Personality
•Child psychology
•Lifespan development
•Cognitive science
•Abnormal psychology
•Psychological testing

Career Choices

Aspiring clinical psychologists will need to hold a higher qualification than a bachelor’s degree. Those who complete a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology program can seek occupations in business, education, and law apart from support positions alongside counselors and psychologists. They may opt for careers such as:

•Probation officer
•Psychiatric technician
•Rehabilitation specialist
•Case manager
•Group home coordinator
•Case worker

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, five percent job growth rate have been predicted for psychiatric technicians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $27,440; clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned $72,220 on average during that year. Continuing education in the form of a doctoral degree and licensure is expected to enhance job growth to 22%.

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of a bachelor’s degree program in psychology who want to become counselors or psychologists can opt for continuing education through a graduate program, then gain licensure in their respective state. Some bachelor’s degree programs are available as combined five-year programs to culminate in a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology with a clinical psychology emphasis.

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