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Field Experience: School of Psychology: M.S. in Clinical Psychology

M.S. in Clinical Psychology

Focus on the intellectual, emotional, and biological aspects of human behavior and learn to foster psychological health in individuals, families, groups, and organizations.

Students in the M.S. in Clinical Psychology program participate in an intense, focused practicum/internship experience where classroom education, skill building, and research skills are brought to the field of practice. Students identify field sites (most often in a hospital, clinic, mental health center, or community agency that provides mental health services) that can enhance their professional knowledge, skills, and abilities. Students build relationships with site supervisors (licensed practitioners in the field) and establish a plan of development based on accepted professional competencies. Progress is achieved through practice, observation, and study, coupled with ongoing evaluation and feedback. The expected outcome of these experiences is the integration of knowledge, skills, research, professional attitudes, and beliefs into a comprehensive, ethical model of clinical practice. In this manner, students learn to become practitioners with the confidence and experience to work in and make contributions to the fields of psychology and professional counseling.

Field Experience

Field experience is a general term for applied training experiences in one’s chosen field of study. Specifically, in this document, field experience refers to the MS in Clinical Psychology student’s practicum and internship experiences. MS in Clinical Psychology students are required to obtain a minimum of 750 hours of supervised clinical experience through a combination of practicum and internship field experiences. Students must satisfactorily complete their practicum before beginning their internship quarters.  Students must also be registered concurrently for a minimum of two quarters of the practicum/internship course (i.e., CPSY 6700 - Practicum I and CPSY 6810 - Internship I).  An additional quarter (CPSY 6910 - Internship II) may be elected by the student to reach the minimum 750 hours required if they don't complete their hours in two quarters. 



The practicum is a distinctly defined, supervised, clinical field experience in which students develop basic applied skills and integrate professional knowledge into clinical practice.



The internship is a broader and deeper supervised clinical field experience than the practicum.  In the internship, students develop increasingly more complex skills and integrate professional knowledge acquired during their practicum into clinical practice at an increasingly more independent level.


Note on Licensure:

The M.S. in Clinical Psychology degree is not designed to prepare students to become licensed psychology professionals in the United States - almost all US states require the doctoral degree in psychology for licensed practice.  However, students who intend to become credentialed and practice in some international settings may find that this program will meet their needs for those non-U.S. settings.    

The M.S. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Counseling is designed to prepare graduates for professional practice at the master’s level. Graduates completing the Counseling specialization may also qualify to sit for licensing exams and meet the academic licensure requirements of some state counselor licensing boards. However, the Walden University M.S. in Clinical Psychology program is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body, which is a requirement for licensure in some states. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance on licensure issues, state-by-state educational requirements, and practicum requirements; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to evaluate and understand the licensure requirements for the state or international location in which he/she intends to work as requirements vary widely. Walden University makes no representation or guarantee that the completion of a degree or coursework for graduate credit will permit the learner to obtain licensure.