CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a psychologist.

Step 1

Is becoming a psychologist right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do psychologists do?
Career Satisfaction
Are psychologists happy with their careers?
What are psychologists like?

Still unsure if becoming a psychologist is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a psychologist or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

Step 2

Bachelor's Degree

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Courses include statistics, general psychology, and experimental and developmental psychology.

It is also advisable to volunteer and get hands-on experience during this time.

Step 3

Master's Degree

Choose a specialty and complete a master's degree. Specialty examples include clinical psychology, counseling psychology, industrial organizational psychology, research psychology, etc.

There are many options to choose from, therefore it is important to research all the graduate programs available to find a master's degree that is best suited for you.

Step 4


Many fields of psychology require a doctorate. Psychology graduate schools look for a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.3 or higher, a competitive score on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), as well as experience in the field (volunteer or paid).

Step 5


If required in your field of psychology, complete a psychology internship. States typically look for a one- to two-year supervised internship.

Note that jobs in mental health such as clinical and counseling psychology may sometimes require an APA (American Psychological Association) approved internship.

Step 6


Get licensed. Check your state’s requirements, as all states ask for individuals to fulfill specific requirements. Individuals must pass a national exam and, in some cases, present a case study in front of a board of psychologists.