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How do I get into psychology?

How do I get into psychology?

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


3 answers

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Em:

While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a psychology career. Chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. For math, algebra and statistics will be needed. Other classes to take will be language arts, social sciences, foreign language and AP psychology. The combination of these concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.

Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration among team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a Psychologist, communication is essential and critical when dealing with patients, medical personnel and other hospital staff. A college course in public speaking, communications and English will help with one's communication and writing skills. While in high school, the debate team will provide the opportunity to sharpen communication skills which are backed with research and factual data and information.

According to, the educational pathway to become a Clinical Psychologist will be between 8-12 years. 4 Years will be to earn a Bachelor Degree. A Masters Degree will be 2-3 years. The Doctorate Degree will be another 4-7 years. Then, there are internships, certifications and licensing that have to be earned and achieved along the way.

There are careers in Psychology that one can pursue. According to, here are some of the top careers for a Psychology major:

- Therapist
- Psychology Program Director
- Behavioral Analyst
- Researcher
- Psychology Professor
- Industrial Psychologist
- Military Psychologist
- Counseling Psychologist
- Correctional Psychologist
- Sports Psychologist
- Clinical Psychologist
- Experimental Psychologist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Neuropsychiatrist
- Child or School Psychiatrist

According to U.S. News & World Report, here is a link to the Best Colleges and Universities for a Psychology major:

- Stanford University
- University of California (Berkeley)
- Harvard University
- University of California (Los Angeles)
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
- Princeton University
- University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Northwestern University
- University of Wisconsin (Madison)
- Columbia University
- Duke University

When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:

- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Internships
- Scholarships
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral

Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.

You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.

Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:

Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.

Best wishes for your education and career path in Psychology!
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Katherine’s Answer

You can take formal classes like at a college, but you can also learn a ton about psychology and related fields by learning about the books and other work put out by good people like Les and Leslie Parrott, Gary Chapman, John Delony, Henry Cloud, John Townsend, John and Julie Gottman, John Gray, Ross Campbell, etc. And you can listen to podcasts like the Dr. Henry Cloud Show, the Dr. John Delony Show, the Being Well podcast with Forrest Hanson, and any others you run into that seem interesting. If you read and listen to what these people are talking about, you'll start to learn what kinds of things many people go to psychologists for help with, and you can learn a lot yourself, whether you ultimately decide to become a psychologist or not.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Em,

Getting into Psychology

If you are interested in pursuing a career in psychology, there are several steps you can take to achieve your goal. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to get into psychology:

1. Education and Training:

Undergraduate Degree: The first step to becoming a psychologist is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. Many universities offer undergraduate programs in psychology, which provide a solid foundation in the principles and theories of psychology.
Graduate Studies: After completing an undergraduate degree, aspiring psychologists typically pursue advanced degrees such as a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology. A master’s degree may be sufficient for certain positions, but a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) is often required for clinical and counseling psychologists.
2. Gain Experience:

Internships and Research Opportunities: Seek out internships or research assistant positions to gain practical experience in the field of psychology. Many universities and research institutions offer opportunities for students to work alongside experienced psychologists and gain valuable hands-on experience.
3. Licensure and Certification:

Licensing Requirements: Depending on the specific area of psychology you wish to pursue, you may need to obtain a state license to practice as a psychologist. Licensing requirements vary by state but typically involve completing a certain number of supervised clinical hours and passing a licensure exam.
Certification: In addition to licensure, some specializations within psychology may require certification from professional organizations. For example, clinical psychologists may seek board certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology.
4. Specialize in a Subfield:

Clinical Psychology: If you are interested in working directly with individuals to assess and treat mental health disorders, you may choose to specialize in clinical psychology.
Counseling Psychology: Counseling psychologists focus on helping individuals navigate personal and interpersonal challenges through counseling and therapy.
Research Psychology: For those interested in conducting research and contributing to the scientific understanding of human behavior, pursuing a career in research psychology may be the ideal path.
5. Continuing Education and Professional Development:

Stay Informed: The field of psychology is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay informed about the latest research, trends, and best practices through continuing education opportunities and professional development activities.
By following these steps, you can embark on a rewarding journey toward a career in psychology.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications or Domain Names Used:

American Psychological Association (APA): The APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. Their website provides valuable information on education, careers, licensing requirements, and professional development in psychology.

Psychology Today: This publication offers insights into various subfields of psychology, career paths, educational requirements, and practical advice for individuals interested in pursuing a career in psychology.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS provides detailed information on the occupational outlook for psychologists, including job prospects, salary data, and educational requirements. It is a reliable source for understanding the current landscape of the psychology profession.

These sources were used to ensure accuracy and reliability in providing guidance on entering the field of psychology.

God Bless,