May 30, 2012
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Hi there. I'm a psychology student from Norway who just joined this forum.

While navigating around the forum I have trouble getting a basic understanding of the different US degrees you can have in psychology. Which also makes it hard to say what my degree is equivalent too. I browsed a forum for Norwegian psychologists and found the same question there, but people disagreed a lot. So I'm asking you guys!

In Norway there are bachelor and masters degrees in psychology, but these can never make you a psychologist (licensed clinician). To become one you need to go the 6 year long university study which leads to the "cand. psychool" degree, - and allows you to practice as a psychologist. The degree includes work as a trainee and scientific training which allows you to apply for phd-programs after graduating. You are also eligible to apply for 5 year long specializations in neuro, children, grownups or a few other to make you a specialist. But you are more than capable to work as a psychologist with just the cand.psychol degree. The only thing I know you can't do unless you're a specialist is admit patients without consent into a psych-ward.

So, what would you call it?
 
May 31, 2012
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Hi,

I think basically our concept of a phd or psyd is equivilant to what you call a cand. psychologist degree, except in the US (and canada I think) you need to also be licensed, which involves extra hours and certain other requirements depending on the state you intend to practice in. after you are licensed you can do everything short of writing prescriptions (though in some states you can do that as well). On the APA site there should be some information on the expected "scope of practice" (as we call it) for psychologists. A phd or psyd involves 4 years minimum and often more like 5 or 6 and it takes at least a year most places to get licensed. We typically do all our specialization within our degree (clinical, neuro, etc).

Hope that helps!
 
May 31, 2012
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Also - forgot to mention - a person can typically apply to a phd or psyd program right after your bachelors, or you can choose to do a masters first.
 

AcronymAllergy

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Hi,

I think basically our concept of a phd or psyd is equivilant to what you call a cand. psychologist degree, except in the US (and canada I think) you need to also be licensed, which involves extra hours and certain other requirements depending on the state you intend to practice in. after you are licensed you can do everything short of writing prescriptions (though in some states you can do that as well). On the APA site there should be some information on the expected "scope of practice" (as we call it) for psychologists. A phd or psyd involves 4 years minimum and often more like 5 or 6 and it takes at least a year most places to get licensed. We typically do all our specialization within our degree (clinical, neuro, etc).

Hope that helps!
Just wanted to point out that while the bolded portion used to be the case, it's becoming more and more frequent for specialization to now occur at the postdoctoral level rather than during grad school/internship. This is especially true for certain specialties (e.g., neuro, forensic, rehab).

Also, as for prescription privileges, those require the completion of a postdoctoral master's in psychopharmacology along with a certain amount of post-completion physician supervision/collaboration.

Edit: As for the OP's question, is the 6-year program the entire length of study (i.e., "undergrad" plus "grad"), or does it occur after completing some type of post-secondary education? Overall, it almost sounds akin to sort of an in-between point betwixt a licensable masters degree and a doctoral degree in the US, given the increased scope of practice over the former and slightly decreased scope versus the latter. All in all, though, it does sound closer to a PhD/PsyD than a masters.
 
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May 30, 2012
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Thanks for the answers. I feel a little wiser now regarding the different education systems and degrees.

As to your question AcronymAllergy, it is the entire length of the study. But you can't specialize within those 6 years. That is something you can do after being licensed. It seems it is much easier to specialize earlier in the US, but that makes sense as you are a little more than just 5 million people! I guess you need generalists to a lesser extent.
 

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Well, the doctoral program is still considered by and large to be a generalist endeavor here in the US. Most sanctioning bodies/professional organizations of the various specialities promote the idea that while you can begin learning the aspects of your chosen specialty while in grad school, you should still be spending a significant proportin of your time learning general clinical psychology principles. A slightly greater degree of specialization can then occur while on internship, while the greatest in-depth study is now being touted via postdoctoral fellowships. At least that's the model many specialties seem to be moving toward.

There are doctoral programs that offer various specialty "tracks," but in general, the reputable (and accredited) ones will still give you an adequate/appropriate dose of generalist training.