How Long Does It Take To Become A Clinical Psychologist?

This article emphasizes on how long does it take to become a clinical psychologist while meeting the requirements and skills.

TCM Staff

28th October 2020

Among the various fields of psychology, clinical psychology has the highest popularity. Planning a career in clinical psychology is a good option for the ones who are willing to dedicate a good number of years spending on educating themselves, gaining the skills and experience to obtain a license. Now you're probably wondering how much time it might take to become a clinical psychologist but the answer to this is unclear and vastly depends on how you plan your career path.

Becoming a clinical psychologist has clear steps to help you meet the necessary requirements and gain suitable qualifications. In this article, we will break down the time frame that is distributed to achieve your goals as a successful psychologist. 

How long does it take to become a clinical psychologist?

To become a clinical psychologist, it tales about 8 to 12 years long to become qualified in clinical psychology. This can be broken down as , 4 years of an undergraduate degree, 5-7 years of a graduate degree, and 1-2 years off experience which sums up to a total of 8-12 years.

To become a licensed clinical psychologist, it usually takes about 8-12 years to meet the requirements for a clinical psychologist which includes earning an undergraduate degree, graduates degree in interred specialty, and gaining experience to practice medicine. This time frame also requires considering factors such as choosing part-time or full-time programs or choosing to earn an online degree in psychology. These lengthen or shorten the overall time you take to become a clinical psychologist. To take a closer look,

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology: 4 years - A bachelor's degree is a four years program which offers 128 credits to acquire prerequisites to pursue further studies. Also, you can choose other majors such as sociology, anthropology or social science to land on this profession.

  • Master’s degree in psychology: 2 years - In this advanced degree, you are allowed to choose the specialization of your choice, and offer 33-36 credits. With in-depth knowledge, you also gain research skills and are required to write a thesis to earn a degree.

  • Doctoral degree: 3-5 years - To advance career better and gain higher positions this degree is required. It usually combines both practical knowledge on the conduction of treatment and research to provide better clinical services. 

  • Experience: 1-2 years - According to the licensure required you are required to gain practical experience at a clinical setting under an experienced professional. Research the state requirements to obtain a license and choose a program to gain valuable experience.


To conclude, while you decide that becoming a clinical psychologist is the right career for you, you must also keep in mind that it also requires commitment and dedication for a number of years to succeed in the future. With high paying job and job growth, this profession might be the best fit for you.

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