Bachelor’s Degrees in Clinical Psychology Degrees & Programs Guide

Bachelor Degree in Clinical Psychology Options & Salary

Clinical psychology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. It’s one of the largest specialty areas in the field, requiring knowledge in abnormal psychology, research methods, human behavior, and various treatment methods. Since this involves the direct diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues, it requires more than a bachelor’s degree for practice and employment.

Bachelor’s degrees in clinical psychology are seldom offered. Formal clinical psychology studies are available mostly on the graduate level. If you’re interested in a career in clinical psychology, you’ll need to first pursue a bachelor’s degree as a psychology major. Such a degree prepares you for a higher degree level, such as a master’s.

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Psychology Counseling Degrees & Career Paths


PROS

  • If you want to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. One of the pros of a bachelor’s degree in psychology include the ability to easily enter a graduate program and pursue career goals. A person with a bachelor’s degree can also expect to earn more money than someone who did not earn such a degree. Additionally, even if you decide not to move on to a master’s degree or doctorate, a bachelor’s shows that you are capable and can earn you access to entry-level positions in other fields such as human resource, writing, or accounting.

CONS

  • Many students will take on debt to earn their degrees. Depending on the amount borrowed, this can prove to be a significant financial burden. However, if a student intends to become a clinical psychologist, they must earn this degree and a master’s as well. Additionally, a degree in psychology is very focused, meaning that you may have access to entry-level positions in other fields, but it will take a lot of experience or a shift in education in order to move into a higher-level position in another field if you choose not to earn a master’s in psychology.

Certificate Vs. Bachelor in Clinical Psychology


What Clinical Psychology Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?


Psychology majors receive either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) upon graduation. The type of degree offered depends upon the college or university. In general, schools offered a BS in psychology place a greater emphasis on the sciences, with students required to take more courses in biology and related fields. These are the usual offerings, but there is a growing trend of colleges offering dual degrees that encompass both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, allowing students to graduate in five years rather than taking the usual six to complete one and then the other.

Admission Requirements


Admission requirements for entering a bachelor’s degree in psychology program include a high school diploma or GED, along with high school transcripts. Most colleges or universities also require a minimum 2.5 GPA, though community colleges are usually less strict in their entry requirements than full four-year programs, but you can use them as a jumping off point to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Depending on the school, you should expect to submit between two to five letters of recommendation. Most schools also require SAT or ACT tests but set their own minimum acceptable scores. Most prospective students must also write a personal statement outlining their career goals and reasons for pursuing this major.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology?


If attending school full-time, you should earn your bachelor’s in four years. Part-time students should earn their degree within six to eight years, depending on the number of courses taken per semester and whether they are willing to take summer classes.

Students with work or family obligations may take longer to earn degrees. For many of these students, enrolling in an online program or choosing a hybrid program with both online and in-class instruction is the most practical way to earn their degree.

Potential Careers in Clinical Psychology with a Bachelor’s Degree


There are relatively few career opportunities in the field for psychology students with only an undergraduate degree. However, there are jobs that new psychology or social work degree recipients can work in while pursuing a graduate psychology program. Such jobs include:

  • Activities Director
    These directors work in nursing homes, psychiatric institutions, community organizations, and other mental health-related positions. They plan and coordinate therapeutic and recreational activities for patients, among other things, and excellent communication skills are a necessity. The average salary for an activities director is $35,000.
  • Mental Health Counselor
    The BLS projects a 22% increase in this field over the next decade, far greater than average growth. Roughly 25% of the population deals with some form of mental illness or mental health issue. Some graduate programs require experience or internships in this field for consideration. The average salary for a mental health counselor is $43,000.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
    This job involves helping people with clinical health, behavioral, or mental or emotional disabilities find employment, housing, medical care, and other needs. Demand for such employees is expected to grow 10% over the next 10 years, which is greater than average. The median annual salary for a rehabilitation counselor is $36,000.
  • Social and Community Service Managers
    These jobs are available work in government and non-profit agencies, as well as for-profit social service companies. An increase in the demand for substance abuse and mental health counseling, along with an aging population, should cause the field to grow by 17% during the next decade. This is much faster than average. The median annual salary for a social or community service manager is $67,000.
  • Social Worker
    These positions are available in various facilities including mental health clinics, hospitals, schools, and private practices. The BLS projects a 13% increase in the number of jobs available for social workers over the next decade, which is much faster than average. The median pay for a social worker is $50,470 per year.

Options to Advance


As noted, becoming a clinical psychologist requires an advanced degree. Undergraduates should seek internship opportunities in a clinical practice since this experience is often necessary when applying to graduate school.

After receiving their undergraduate degree, those interested in becoming a clinical psychologist can pursue a graduate degree. Each university has its own requirements and educational offerings. Some schools allow students with a bachelor’s degree to apply for a doctoral program and begin studies without a master’s, while others require a student to have earned a master’s degree in psychology before applying to a doctoral program. The student who has graduated with a master’s degree may apply directly to a doctoral program or work in the field for a several years before pursuing this next step.

It can take up to a decade to receive a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, although many graduate students earn their doctorate within five to seven years.

Colleges That Offer Traditional Bachelor’s Degrees in Clinical Psychology


While colleges do not offer bachelor’s degrees in clinical psychology, there are universities offering undergraduate majors in psychology and related fields that also offer graduate degrees in clinical psychology so that you can move directly into a higher degree and get into the field that much faster.

  • University of Colorado
    Boulder, Colorado

    This university’s psychology and neuroscience program is among the best in the country. The national recognition focuses on behavioral, psychiatric and statistical genetics, behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, developmental psychology, and social psychology. Students may go on to earn PhDs in either psychology or neuroscience at UC Boulder.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
    • BA in Neuroscience
  • University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Along with an undergraduate degree, the University of Michigan offers an accelerated master’s degree in psychology. Students can complete the combined undergraduate and master’s degree in five years. Undergraduates may also choose a biopsychology, cognition, or neuroscience major.

    Degrees Offered:

    • AB in Psychology
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    UNC offers majors in psychology and the related field of neuroscience. The psychology undergraduate program focuses on the research and statistical tools necessary for contemporary psychological research. The neuroscience program encompasses other disciplines, including computer science and mathematics.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
    • BS in Psychology
    • BS in Neuroscience
  • University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    This Ivy League university offers a major in psychology, as well as related majors in cognitive science, visual studies, and the biological basis of behavior. In its graduate program, students are admitted as a whole and not into a subfield. It includes an American Psychological Association (APA)-approved clinical program.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
  • University of Texas – Austin
    Austin, Texas

    At UT - Austin, students may choose between a BA or BS when majoring in psychology. The latter puts a greater emphasis on natural sciences and less on language arts. Both degrees offer a special honors in psychology program for qualifying candidates.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
    • BS in Psychology

Colleges That Offer Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Clinical Psychology


  • Arizona State University Online
    Tempe, Arizona

    ASU offers basic and applied courses in various fields of psychology including clinical, cognitive systems, behavioral neuroscience, cross-cultural, developmental, organizational, and social psychology, as well as specialized programs in health psychology and law psychology.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    Chicago, Illinois

    This school offers online and in-person psychology programs. The CSPP has been recognized for its outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. Graduates may enroll in the school’s online master’s and doctoral degree programs in clinical psychology and other psychology fields.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
  • Keiser University Online
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Students may pursue a psychology degree online, on campus, or choose a hybrid option. For those interested in pursuing graduate studies in clinical psychology, the program features a strong foundation for further education. The school offers online master’s and PhD programs in various aspects of psychology, including a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
  • Maryville University
    St. Louis, Missouri

    Maryville University’s online psychology degree program does not require an entrance exam or application fee. However, students must complete a senior project before earning their degree. The school also offers majors in social work, sociology, and forensic psychology.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology
  • Southern New Hampshire University
    Manchester, New Hampshire

    This school offers BA degrees in psychology, psychology and addictions, applied psychology, forensic psychology, child and adolescent development, social psychology, and mental health. It also offers a BS in Business Administration and Industrial Organizational Psychology.

    Degrees Offered:

    • BA in Psychology