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Psychology major advice

Can you still become a clinical psychologist with a BA in Psychology? And are there specific psychology fields that don't require a PHD or PSYD? I'm interested in the field but I don't know if I want to spend 12 years in my life at school.

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Collette’s Answer

Hi Sarah, as a fellow NYer, I can inform you that to become a clinical psychologist obtaining a BA or BSc is one of the steps required. To become a clinical psychologist in NY you are required to possess a PhD or PsyD and take and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Indeed it can take an average of 12 years to obtain a PhD or PsyD. It is also important to note that you can obtain your PsyD in a shorter time that your PhD. The PhD program generally takes longer because it trains students to become researchers creating new knowledge. Comparatively, the PsyD program is more clinically focused requiring fewer research and statistics courses.

There are specific psychology fields that does not require a PhD or PsyD. For instance, you can become a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT) in NY with a Masters degree, however, there are specific course requirements and supervision for licensure. LMFT, and mental health careers cannot diagnose clients, only a PsyD can.
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Sarah,
I am in Texas, and in Texas I think you need a phd/psyd to be a clinical psychologist. To be in a therapist role, you can pursue a license for Licensed Professional Counseling (LPC or named licensed mental health therapist in some states), Licenses Marriage and Family Therapist, Art therapy, Music therapy, or a Licensed Social Worker(unsure if this is the official title.) For those roles, I believe they all require a master degree at least. You may be limited in types of roles within mental health if you stop at your Bachelor degree. Also, in Texas, you can absolutely diagnose at the master level, at least as a Licensed Professional Counselor--I would look up information of each subfield for more information.
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Erika’s Answer

Many jobs/roles in the psychology field do not require a PHD or PSYD, for most you just need a Master's. With a Master's, you would most likely be a counselor/therapist. If you want to be specifically a Psychologist, then most likely you would need a PHD/PSYD (the rules on this also depend on which state you live in).

Depending on which university you go to and what you want to do in the field, it will make a difference if you get a Bachelor's in Arts (BA) or Bachelor's in Science (BS). Same for Master's in Art's (MA) or Master's in Science (MS).

Start looking into which university you want to go to and start thinking about what you want to do in the psych field: marriage and family therapist, clinical social worker, licensed counselor, school counselor, psychologist, etc. This way, you get the right degree and go to the right university.

Also, look into your state's licensing board for counselors/therapists and psychologists. There, you can find more information about the licensing process and education requirements (such as going to an accredited university that the licensing board approves).
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Subha
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