What is Clinical Psychological Science?
Clinical psychological science (or clinical science) is the branch of scientific inquiry devoted to promoting human health and well-being and to understanding, reducing, and preventing human suffering. Clinical scientists incorporate tools and principals drawn from medicine, neuroscience, and biology, as well as neighboring psychological disciplines such as social psychology, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology. The field of clinical science spans a translational spectrum: from basic laboratory studies aimed at elucidating the mechanisms underlying different psychological states, to the application of these findings in the development and carefully-controlled testing of psychotherapeutic interventions, and the eventual dissemination of evidence-based psychotherapy treatments to maximize public health impact.
What will I learn in this degree program?
Through academic and applied experiences, our coursework will introduce you to a broad array of research methods, psychological theories, and cutting-edge findings from psychological and brain sciences’ subdisciplines (e.g., cognitive science, developmental psychology, and behavioral neuroscience) all aimed at understanding the factors that contribute to psychological dysfunction and those that support human thriving. Interdisciplinary coursework will allow you to learn about methods, frameworks, and findings in mental healthcare, data analytics, life sciences, and public health that can be leveraged to address the pressing psychological problems of today. Applied experiences in clinical science labs and internships at local treatment centers will help you integrate your knowledge and practical skills and apply these toward your own clinical research or direct patient care in mental and behavioral health settings.
What can I do with this degree?
Our Clinical Psychological Science B.S. students are prepared for graduate training in psychological and brain sciences (i.e., its subdisciplines: clinical psychological science, developmental psychopathology, neuroscience, dissemination and implementation science, and others) and neighboring disciplines such as public health, social work, counseling, mobile health technologies, and psychiatry. Moreover, this degree is designed to boost your competitiveness for advanced bachelor-level positions in healthcare (e.g., program evaluator, technician, case manager) and post-baccalaureate paid research positions in psychological and brain sciences.
Why become a Clinical Science Major instead of a general Psychology B.S. or B.A.?
Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate majors in the United States. Graduate programs and future employers want to know what sets you apart. A clinical science major will not only provide you with a general background in psychology, like the traditional B.A. or B.S., you will also gain specialized knowledge about the nature of mental health disorders and the evaluation of evidence-based interventions to treat those disorders all from a rigorous scientific framework. Foundational knowledge will include learning about the development, diagnosis, and treatment of different mental health disorders, understanding how to apply experimental design and research methods to the study of effective psychotherapy, and exploring how factors like cultural diversity impact mental health.
As you progress through our curriculum, your foundational knowledge will be put into practice through our applied practicum courses. Gain clinical experience by shadowing psychologists and clinical social workers in the community. Learn to track therapy outcomes at a community mental health center. Help implement school-based substance use prevention programs in our Bloomington middle schools. In your junior and senior year, elective courses become more specialized to your interests. Do you want to become a practitioner? Consider taking a course on clinical skill acquisition and supervision. Curious about a specific treatment modality? Take an advanced seminar on the science and practice of mindfulness-based interventions. Fascinated by clinical research? Get course credit for joining a clinical science lab. Our major can be tailored to suit your unique interests. Whether you want a research-based career aimed at better understanding the development of mental health disorders or hope to become a practitioner who provides the most effective treatments possible, a clinical science degree can help you achieve your goals.