Applied Research MS in Clinical Psychology

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

Keep building advanced skills

Capella’s online master’s in clinical psychology, applied research degree can prepare you to pursue a PhD or clinical PsyD. Not only will you be ready to engage in academic or research positions, you’ll also be prepared to move on to doctoral study in the field.

Through coursework that builds research and practice-oriented skills and knowledge, you’ll enhance your understanding of the profession. Your courses will be led by scholar-practitioners who emphasize application of psychological theories, psychological assessment, psychopathology, research methods, and ethical principles.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 5 Core courses
  • 6 Specialization courses

Classes Start September 14th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

What you’ll learn

Be a research expert

Learn methods to analyze research related to clinical psychology.

Be an ethical leader

Apply ethical principles related to practice in academics, research, and practice of clinical psychology.

Honor diversity

Evaluate the importance of diversity through mastery of multicultural understanding in scholarly work.

Meet standards of practice

Apply theory and research findings into standards of practice for the professional discipline of clinical psychology.

Communicate effectively

Use scholarly writing and technologies to communicate using the professional standards of the discipline.

Program features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Relevant & applicable

Our competency-based learning model allows you to immediately apply valuable skills to the work you do every day.

A direct path to your doctorate

This program’s coursework meets many of the prerequisites for PhD and PsyD programs, simplifying your path to doctoral study.

Scholar-practitioner faculty

All our faculty members hold doctorates and bring years of experience, as well as the latest theories and practices to students. 

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$485 per credit, 55 total quarter credits, 15 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Employer & association discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Convenient, flexible learning 

Access your learning environment anytime, anywhere, with any device, and set your own schedule while meeting deadlines.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample courses

The master’s in clinical psychology, applied research curriculum focuses on research, theories, measurements, psychopathology, human development, ethics, and diversity, as well as skills needed for academic or research practice, or for doctoral-level study.

Show course with description
Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy

This course provides an overview of foundational counseling and psychotherapy theories and research-based practice. Throughout the course, learners examine various schools of therapeutic intervention; their underlying theoretical assumptions; and their historical, cultural, and ethical context, with an emphasis on the application of current theory in a variety of clinical populations.

5 quarter credits
Introduction to Psychopathology

In this course, learners examine the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of various forms of psychopathology throughout the lifespan. Learners review the etiology of psychopathology; examine theories and research of psychopathology; and explore current methods of psychological interviewing, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Learners also discuss the politics of mental disorders, emerging diagnoses, and ethical and multicultural issues associated with psychopathology.

5 quarter credits
Lifespan Development

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human development processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches for examining human development and analyze human development processes related to their specialization.

5 quarter credits
Biological Basis of Behavior

This course is an introduction to physiological psychology and associated topics, including genetics, functional neuroanatomy, and physiology. Learners develop and demonstrate an understanding of brain functioning; sensory systems; attention, memory, perception, and language mechanisms; and the effects of neurotransmitters on human behavior. Learners also identify the relationship between brain functions and behavioral disorders and analyze current physiological psychology research, ethics, and the implications of culture and diversity on field-related issues.

5 quarter credits
Multicultural Perspectives in Human Behavior

This course is an examination of substantive and theoretical issues concerning the cultural differences of individuals and groups and their influence on the practice of professional psychology. Learners explore the role of culture-specific programming, the needs and values of cultural subgroups, and approaches to providing psychological services to culturally diverse populations. Learners also critically analyze the interactions of multiple dimensions of diversity to better understand the ways in which individual differences contribute to professional psychological practice.

5 quarter credits

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Career center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Relevant blog posts

Understanding the Differences Between Clinical and Non-Clinical Psychology

Learn how licensure, education methods, and workplaces differ in clinical vs. non-clinical psychology.

10 Career Options for Master's in Psychology Graduates

Psychology is more than one-on-one therapy. Explore 10 other career options for master’s in psychology graduates.

Move forward in your career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our master’s in clinical psychology, applied research degree. 

Related job titles to explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time psychology faculty
  • Instructor
  • Research psychologist
  • Research associate
  • Research scientist
  • Research investigator
  • Research manager

Employment settings to explore

  • Mental health clinic
  • Correctional facility
  • Health care system
  • Hospital—inpatient or outpatient
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Military
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Community college

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

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