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How do you become a psychologist?

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Quick Answer

To become a psychologist, major in psychology or a related field in college, obtain a graduate degree in psychology and pass your state's licensing exams. In graduate school, choose a field of psychology in which to specialize.

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Full Answer

  1. Gain a bachelor's degree in psychology

    Major in psychology or a closely related field while in college. Study hard to earn good grades, and seek out research opportunities of all types. Try to get research or teaching assistantships, and foster good relationships with psychology professors who can support your application to graduate school.

  2. Obtain a graduate degree in psychology

    In your senior year of college, apply for doctoral programs. Decide whether you want a master's degree or a doctorate, and research appropriate graduate programs. In graduate school, choose your specialty. Study hard, and cultivate mentors among the faculty. Find internships to help you build practical and clinical experience. Write your master's thesis or doctoral dissertation in the area of your specialization.

  3. Pass your licensing exams

    Confirm your state's licensing requirements. Some states require up to 2 years of supervised professional experience before you can take your licensing exams. Study for your exams. Licensing exams may include oral and written sections and may also require you to present a case study. File the paperwork to become a professional and licensed psychologist.

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