What Education Is Required for Becoming a Child Psychologist?

Becoming a child psychologist usually requires a four-year baccalaureate degree, in addition to 5-7 years of graduate study leading to a doctoral degree. This article further discusses the educational requirements for becoming a child psychologist. Schools offering Child Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Undergraduate Degree

Although neither an associate's nor a bachelor's degree allows graduates to practice as clinical child psychologists, there are related career choices for individuals with only an undergraduate degree. These career options typically involve assisting licensed psychologists or acting as social service assistants. However, an undergraduate degree in psychology is just the first step on a career path as a child psychologist. A clinical child psychologist who is licensed to practice typically has completed a doctoral program and has been licensed by the state in which he or she is conducting business.

Graduate Program Requirements

In order to be accepted into a master's degree or doctorate program in child psychology, candidates are often required to demonstrate exceptional experience, educational performance, and personality traits. These slots are usually very competitive. An individual interested in the field can obtain an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree and work as a school psychologist. An Ed.S. degree is one step past a master's degree and enables recipients to practice as school psychologists; however, it doesn't satisfy the doctoral degree requirements established for clinical child psychologists.

Doctorate Degree

A doctoral degree in child psychology allows graduates to practice as clinical child psychologists. To be eligible for licensing in most states, individuals must have either a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Completion of a doctoral degree program typically requires an additional 5-7 years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Educational requirements include clinical internships and the completion of independent research projects, including a master's thesis and a doctoral dissertation.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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