Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

How many years of college is required to become a Psychologist?!

twilight_girl09twilight_girl09 Posts: 422Registered User Member
edited July 2009 in College Life
I was just wondering cuz I'm going to take a Psychology class @ UCR, and if I really like it I might change my major. My major is going to Biology this fall @ UCR but I'm not sure if I want to major in that now. It's hard and the subject doesn't interest me. I'm thinking about changing my major maybe after my first quarter. I was wondering how many years of schooling is required to become a psychologist?
Post edited by twilight_girl09 on

Replies to: How many years of college is required to become a Psychologist?!

  • aforautumnaforautumn Posts: 1,381Registered User Senior Member
    at least 6. if you just get an undergraduate degree in econ, you're not going to end up working as a psychologist, and your opportunity in related fields will be pretty small. a masters will enable you to work in related fields, but not directly as a psychologist. in order to be a psychologist, you'd need to pursue a phd. so 6-8 years. if you enjoy it, that shouldn't be an issue. it can pay well.
  • PlattsburghLoserPlattsburghLoser Posts: 5,487Registered User Senior Member
    You're already planning to change your major based on a class you haven't taken, and on a subject you don't know if you like?
  • twilight_girl09twilight_girl09 Posts: 422Registered User Member
    No, that's not what I said. I said that when I take the psychology class at UCR I'll see if I like it. If I am passionate about psychology then I might major in it.
  • aforautumnaforautumn Posts: 1,381Registered User Senior Member
    not sure how changing your major from one thing you dont know about to another thing you dont know about is different from changing it from nothing to something you dont know about.

    just sayin'
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    You need at least a master's degree to be a psychologist. In most states, you need a doctorate. Consequently, that means you'd typically need 4 years of college plus at least 2-5 years of grad school.
  • HisGraceFillsMeHisGraceFillsMe Posts: 4,512Registered User Senior Member
    It depends on what type of psychology you want to practice, and where (as in what state) you want to practice.

    For example, I'm planning on going into Mental Health/Substance Abuse Social Work. So I'll finish up my B.A. in Psych. Then I'll go to Grad School to get my MSW (Master's in Social Work), which is a 2-year program. Then, I have to complete 3,000 hours of supervised clinical work. That takes 3 years, but most Master's programs have you do about half of it while you're earning your Master's. Then I'll take the test to get licensed, and if I pass, I can start practicing. So roughly 7-8 years.
  • dankwood12dankwood12 Posts: 46Registered User Junior Member
    I just realized the title, should it not be "ARE required..." ?
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    HisGraceFillsMe: You'll be a social worker, not a psychologist. Getting a MSW can be a good course to follow if one wants to be a clinician. Often MSW social workers have an easier time finding jobs than do doctorate-holding psychologists. That's because MSW social workers can do virtually the same jobs as psychologists, but are paid less. Often MSW social workers also have more clinical training.
  • HisGraceFillsMeHisGraceFillsMe Posts: 4,512Registered User Senior Member
    ^Right, I realize the difference, (sorry if that sounded rude...I wasn't trying to be offensive, I promise) although I didn't know about the pay difference. But to my understanding (from the limited people I talked to...feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), a lot of clinical psychologists have to do the 3,000 hours of supervised clinical work.
  • betterdaysbetterdays Posts: 83Registered User Junior Member
    In order to practice as a licensed clinical psychologist in most states you need to get your Ph. D. Clinical psychology doctoral programs are designed to be done in six years, though many people take seven. One year of the program is a year long clinical internship. At many schools you'll acquire your Master's degree along the way. So you'll have (on average) four years of undergraduate followed by 6-7 years of graduate work, which comes out to 10 or 11 years of school.

    One thing to be aware of is that clinical psychology programs are very selective. If you look at the numbers for most schools (all schools are required to publish "full disclosure" data on their websites: things like how many years it takes on average, % of students receiving funding and internship placement, things like that), most accept fewer than 10% of their applicants.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    "^Right, I realize the difference, (sorry if that sounded rude...I wasn't trying to be offensive, I promise) although I didn't know about the pay difference. But to my understanding (from the limited people I talked to...feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), a lot of clinical psychologists have to do the 3,000 hours of supervised clinical work."

    Yes, I think that it's normal for clinical psychologists to have done a one-year internship. However, one can get one's doctorate without having done an internship. The amount of clinical training that one gets in grad school depends on the program.

    I've had my doctorate in clinical psychology for more than 20 years, and have been out of the field for a long time, so it's possible that the field has changed a great deal since I've been in it. My graduate program had us starting doing clinical work second semester of our first year, but I don't think that was the norm in programs around the country.
Sign In or Register to comment.