Clinical Psychological Science B.S.

Our Clinical Psychological Science Bachelor of Science degree is designed for highly motivated students who wish to pursue a career in mental health care, clinical science research, and related fields.

Through academic and applied experiences, you will develop an in-depth understanding of clinical psychological science—a psychological science aimed at promoting health and well-being as well as measuring, understanding, preventing, and reducing human suffering.

Our Clinical Psychological Science B.S. students are prepared for graduate training in psychological and brain sciences (i.e., its subdisciplines, e.g., clinical psychological science, developmental psychopathology, neuroscience, dissemination and implementation science) and neighboring disciplines (e.g., public health, social work, counseling, mobile health technologies, psychiatry). Moreover, this degree is designed to boost your competitiveness for advanced bachelor-level positions in health care (e.g., program evaluator, technician, specialist) and post-baccalaureate paid research positions in psychological and brain sciences.

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers five degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neuroscience, a Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Organizational + Business Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Clinical Psychological Science. The Psychology degree options begin the same way, making it easy to adjust your path as your interests develop. The department also offers a minor in Psychology, a Clinical Psychological Science CertificateCertificate in the Psychology of Business, and a Certificate in Neuroscience.


Getting started

When pursuing our Clinical Psychological Science B.S. degree, you start with a set of entry-level and foundational courses, making it easy to adjust your path as your interests develop. These foundational courses provide you with a well-rounded understanding of the science of the mind, brain, and behavior.

To begin the Clinical Psychological Science major, you will take an introductory Psychology course sequence during your first year followed by PSY P318 Foundations of Clinical Science sophomore year. You should also get started on math and Statistics coursework early on in your academic career.

Our coursework will introduce you to the breadth of activities our field engages in across the translational spectrum—from translating basic laboratory science to human application, from proven efficacious treatments to implementing these interventions to maximize public health impact, etc. You will learn a broad array of research methods, psychological theories, and cutting-edge findings from psychological and brain sciences subdisciplines (e.g., cognitive science, developmental psychology, behavioral neuroscience) with the potential for human application.

To tailor this degree to your needs, you’ll work with our academic advisors to self-select from a wide range of electives, advanced courses, and applied learning experiences that coincide with your interests. Nearly any issue that impacts human lives has a psychological slant. You are encouraged to personalize your undergraduate major to emphasize topics that resonate with your own interests.

Tracks and concentrations

A goal of the Clinical Psychological Science major is to help you develop a broad and fundamental understanding of mental health care and clinical science research. Therefore, the major does not have formal tracks or concentrations. 

Through interdisciplinary coursework in neighboring disciplines, or “clusters”, you will learn about methods, frameworks, and findings in data analytics and modeling, life sciences, and public health and policy that can be leveraged to address pressing psychological problems. The wide breadth of interdisciplinary options allows you to explore many different topics. For example, undergraduates study data modeling and analytics, life sciences, and public health and policy.

Through applied experience, you will integrate your knowledge and skills spanning the translational spectrum and apply these toward research with the potential for human application or patient care in mental and behavioral health service settings.

Upper level coursework

As part of the Clinical Psychological Science major, you’ll learn to use psychological science to make such a real-world impact, whether it’s one person at a time or through communities and institutions. After completion of the foundational courses and PSY P318 Foundations of Clinical Science, students can choose from a variety of service learning, practicum, or research experiences, where you’ll use knowledge and skills acquired in your classes to meet genuine community needs. Additionally, Clinical Psychological Science majors take interventions and assessment based courses to inform their thinking heading into these practical experiences.

Students can choose which applied learning and intervention experiences are right for them, but some examples include:

  • PSY P457 Therapeutic Interventions for Early Childhood Behavior Problems - you'll get first-hand, supervised experience designing and evaluating an intervention to help a young child at Head Startimprove social skills, manage negative emotions, and get ready to succeed in school.
  • PSY P457 Psychological Interventions and Evaluation – you’ll examine psychological interventions from both a theoretical and applied perspective, with a focus on evaluating the efficacy of various psychotherapies. The course is both research-based and experiential, and allows you to explore the variations of the therapeutic experience through the perspective of both therapist and client.
  • PSY P480Psychotherapy: Empirically Supported Treatments – you’ll be introduced to the evidence-based, or empirically supported, movement for selecting psychological interventions; research methods for evaluating interventions and related issues (e.g., therapy process); examples of empirically supported treatments (ESTs) for selected disorders; and issues regarding implementation of ESTs to the real world and future directions.
  • PSY X476 The Centerstone Research Institute (CRI)Practicum - you'll work with a team that evaluates services provided at Centerstone and conducts research to answer important questions about mental health and interventions. CRI is affiliated with Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest non-profit community mental health providers. You'll contribute to one or more research projects, gaining skills relevant to clinical science along the way.
  • PSY X476 The Catholic Charities Practicum – you’ll work as an assessment assistant during intake interviews. Community members come to these interviews seeking mental health services and/or resources. During the interview, you will see how a licensed professional diagnoses mental disorders, plans treatment, and provides referrals to services. Under close guidance, you'll develop your clinical case conceptualization skills, which are relevant in all mental health care settings.
  • PSY X397 Supervised Research - About 300 undergraduates take advantage of the opportunity to conduct research with PBS faculty members each year. Exactly what you might do as a research assistant (RA) depends on the lab to which you apply. Much like an internship, you may help create materials used in a study, recruit or interview participants, or analyze data.

Commonly pursued majors, minors and certificates

Your major represents about one-third of your degree requirements. With the help of your academic advisor, you may be able to combine several areas of interest with additional majors, minors, or certificates. Students frequently pair their Clinical Psychological Science B.S. coursework with minors in Counseling, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Human Development and Family Studies or Sociology.

Some students pursuing the Clinical Psychological Science B.S. may wish to complete either the Neuroscience CertificateCertificate in the Business of Psychology, or the Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP) certificate.

Enhance your major

Working with faculty

When pursuing the Clinical Psychological Science degree, you have the opportunity to work with faculty who have expertise and experience in the field. Take advantage of office hours to talk with your instructors about your performance in class, the content of readings and assignments, and how the course helps you work toward your goals. 

You can get involved in research as early as your freshman year. Many incoming freshmen apply to the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) program. ASURE students experience project-based learning enhanced by a community of supportive faculty and peers. Choose an ASURE path in the arts and humanities, social and historical studies, or natural and mathematical sciences. Consider joining one that will deepen your skills and knowledge in an area related to your major or a different one to become a more well-rounded thinker. 

Many undergraduates have the opportunity to assist in faculty research labs. You'll benefit from a personal mentoring relationship with a faculty member and interaction with other highly motivated psychology and neuroscience majors and graduate students. Talk with an academic advisor or your instructors about getting involved in research.


Outstanding students may apply to the departmental honors program during junior year. Once accepted, students complete an honors project involving twelve to eighteen months of laboratory research, sponsored by a faculty member. Honors students write up research projects in a format similar to a Master's thesis, give a poster presentation about their work, and successfully defend the thesis before a committee of faculty members.

High achieving students may be recognized for Academic Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences, or be eligible for admission to the Hutton Honors College.

Undergraduate scholarships and awards


Employers and graduate schools prefer applicants who have career-relevant experience over those who do not. Over 80% of college students will complete at least one internship experience and many will complete two before they graduate.

Internships offer you a chance to develop both technical and transferable skills while making vital professional contacts with others in the field. Many students begin exploring internship opportunities, including overseas study programs with internships, as early as their freshman year.


Learn more about internships, including the possibility of receiving credit, through the Walter Center for Career Achievement, where you’ll find many resources for both domestic and international internships.

Students pursuing degrees within the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences have found internship opportunities with organizations such as:

Another resource you can use is the Psychology/Neuroscience Canvas site, where academic advisors post relevant opportunities for students.

The Undergraduate Teaching Internship allows high achieving students to assist in teaching undergraduate psychology and neuroscience courses. In addition to teaching assistant duties, teaching interns attend a weekly discussion of good teaching practices and complete a project related to the aims of the course in which they are assisting.  Talk with an academic advisor about this opportunity.

Foreign language study

The Clinical Psychological Science B.S. requires a third semester proficiency in a foreign language. Because the major allows the study of any language, you can choose to continue studying a foreign language you studied in high school, or you can try a new language.

As one of the premier institutions in the U.S. for the study of languages, IU Bloomington offers courses and resources in over 80 languages.

Below is a sampling of language study resources available to students at IU Bloomington:

Overseas study

Study abroad is an important part of undergraduate education in our increasingly interconnected world. Students majoring in the sciences have a number of options to choose from.

Majors in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences have studied abroad in England, Denmark, Australia, and Spain, as well as other areas of the world. Semester, academic year, and summer opportunities are available.

The College of Arts and Sciences also directly hosts a variety of study abroad programs, some even featuring IU faculty, that might be right for you. Learn more about study abroad opportunities and locations through conversation with faculty, your academic advisor, and through the Office of Overseas Study.

Student groups

Becoming a member of a student group is a good way to make connections between your coursework and co-curricular activities.

Organizations that are relevant to Clinical Psychological Science students include the following:

  • ADAPT Consulting provides undergraduate psychology students with an out-of-classroom experience often found in graduate schools.  Students who are accepted into ADAPT work with a project group throughout the semester. Each project group works with a local business or nonprofit to work on an issue that matters in the real world, right now. Projects can range from employee morale to better performance reviews.
  • The Psi Chi Honors Society is an academic honor society that commits its members to academic excellence, local volunteering, and participation within IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. 
  • The Psychology Club seeks to unite students with similar interests in Psychology in a way that enhances academic achievement. The club is a great resource for learning more about what is going on in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and meeting students and faculty within the department.
  • The Student Organization for Cognitive Science (SOCS) aims to provide a community for students interested in Cognitive Science students at Indiana University.
  • Collins Living-Learning Center is located in a historic setting close to the heart of campus, just steps away from the Psychology Building.  The Collins community is intentionally academically diverse, and includes students from different majors across the university.  Read more about the student experience at Collins.
  • Inspire Living-Learning Center is located in the new state-of-the-art Spruce Hall (formally Rose Residence Hall).  The mission of the INSPIRE Living-Learning Center (LLC) is to create a diverse community motivated, creative students who want to make a difference.  This community will explore ways to connect with others, encourage inquiry, develop partnerships, and nurture learning.  If you are passionate about learning and curious about how to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, or adults, the INSPIRE Living-Learning Center is an ideal place for you.

Explore beINvolved to connect with any of the 750+ student organizations that already exist, or to start a new one. Student associations include:

Volunteer opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for volunteer engagement, allowing you to give back to the local community while developing useful job skills. Check out the volunteer opportunities listed on the department's website involving children, youth and family, adults, and animals.

The organizations below can help you connect with other opportunities from the university and beyond:

Sign up to receive weekly emails from the Bloomington Volunteer Network to learn about local opportunities and organizations.

Professional organizations

Here are a number of professional organizations that may be of interest to Psychology majors:

Use the Indiana University Library system to search for Associations Unlimited, an online directory of associations, professional societies, non-profit organizations, and much more.

Build your skills

Through the major

Depending on the choice of advanced courses or applied learning experiences, a student who earns a B.S. in Clinical Psychological Science could master the following skills:

  • A scientifically-grounded understanding of clinical psychology, including psychopathology, assessment, and treatment development, implementation, and evaluation
  • An understanding of various brain regions, their functions, and their roles in development and treatment of psychopathology
  • An overview of the potential causes of disorders such depression, autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease
  • An understanding of the importance and role of developmental processes in risk and protective factors for psychological health and suffering
  • Basic laboratory skills allowing you to pose and then answer questions about brain and behavior using rigorous methods that adhere to ethical principles
  • Analytical skills to frame applied questions in a way that facilitates searching for solutions, scrutinizing research, and identifying and understanding evidence-based practices with public health implications
  • Communication skills that enable you to make presentations at regional or even national conferences, and perhaps to write a senior honors thesis
  • Should you wish to apply to medical school, a set of courses can be chosen that provide a solid foundation for the MCAT

Through a College of Arts and Sciences degree

Your coursework provides many opportunities to develop the following five foundational skills that will serve you well in every career path:

  • Question critically
  • Think logically
  • Communicate clearly
  • Act creatively
  • Live ethically

These foundational skills will aid you in landing your first job and advancingprofessionally throughout your working life. Not only are these the skills that employers say they value most in the workplace, they provide the best preparation for lifelong success in a world of complexity, uncertainty, and change.

Skills desired by employers

Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers asks employers what key skills and qualities they are looking for in recent college graduates.

The following are some of the most commonly desired attributes across many employment sectors:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Abilityto take Initiative
  • Being detail oriented
  • Demonstrating adaptability
  • Technical skills relevant to the field
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Computer skills
  • Organizational ability

As you explore various career fields, pay attention to specific job descriptions and requirements. If there are areas where your skills or knowledge are lacking, talk with your academic advisor and career coach about how you can develop in those areas while you are at Indiana University. Your academic advisor and career coach can also help you find ways to strengthen and deepen the knowledge you already have, becoming more prepared for whatever path you select after College.

Launch your career

Plan your search

A good starting point for exploring your career options is an appointment with your career coach.

The Walter Center for Career Achievement  offers job search resources, career courses, job fairs, information about internships and full-time jobs, and help with social media networking through professional organizations. Get advice about how to write your resume, ask for letters of recommendation from faculty and workplace supervisors, and prepare for job interviews, too.

Explore and enroll in Career Communities  to learn more about industries relevant to your interests. These offer unique information about each field, including alumni spotlights, opportunities and resources, and in-person events.

The job market

A major in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences prepares students for work in a vast variety of industries and work environments, making the outlook promising due to the diversity it allows.

Clinical Psychological Science students can take their depth of understanding and broad set of skills into a variety of different fields and career paths.

Students with the degree are well prepared to work in health care, public health, research and academia, social work, nursing and education and counseling.

Graduates from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences have become clinical psychologists, social workers, therapists, health program evaluators, data analysts, researchers, educators, marketers and advertisers, social services providers, counseling aides, child and family service providers, volunteer directors, nonprofit directors, psychiatric technicians, human resources specialists, probation officers, consultants, entrepreneurs, and much more.

Talk with Psychology faculty, an academic advisor and other students to gain insights into the career paths taken by graduates of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Want to see where your fellow majors go right after graduating from IU? Check out the Walter Center’s First Destinations survey!

Need more ideas? The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers career information about hundreds of occupations.

Post-graduate short-term experiences

Fellowships for post-graduate study

Fellowships are temporary opportunities to conduct research, work in a field, or fund your education. Most opportunities can be found through universities, non-profits, and government organizations.

Good examples of resources for finding fellowship opportunities include:

Graduate and professional study

When applying to graduate or professional schools, you’ll need letters of recommendation from faculty members who are familiar with your work. Make a practice of attending office hours early in your academic career, to get to know your professors and discuss your options for advanced study in the field.

Our Clinical Psychological Science B.S. students are prepared for graduate training in psychological and brain sciences (i.e., its subdisciplines, e.g., clinical psychological science, developmental psychopathology, neuroscience, dissemination and implementation science) and neighboring disciplines (e.g., public health, social work, counseling, mobile health technologies, psychiatry).

With careful planning, and in consultation with the Health Professions and Prelaw Center, you could also prepare to enter law school, medical school, or other professional programs.

Students who pursue graduate studies in Psychology have gone into careers with top academic and research institutions, education, local, state, and federal government, nonprofit organizations, business and entrepreneurship.

You might consider these Indiana University graduate opportunities:

Alumni connections

Stay connected with happenings and alumni from IU's Department of Psychological and Brian Sciences via the PBS Update Newsletter.

The IU College of Arts and Sciences has thousands of active alumni. Check out the College Luminaries program, which connects students with the College's most influential, successful, and inspiring alumni.

Join the Walter Center Success Network to remain in touch, network directly with College of Arts and Sciences Alumni, and let others know where your path takes you.


Is it for you?

What would it be like if everyone who is living with a mental illness had up-to-date knowledge about scientifically-sound ways to recover from their suffering? What if your loved ones or the ones that you wanted to help knew what kind of treatments they needed, could find a therapist, and felt empowered to improve right now?

Major policy-makers talk about “moving the needle,” meaning making an impact in real-world metrics. For example, moving the needle in mental health care includes reducing the number of suicides per year. Here in Indiana, it’s hard not to feel the impact of the opioid crisis. Moving the needle in addictions includes helping more people recover from addiction and stay recovered.

Moving the needle requires people like you, who love science and can apply the best science to human suffering, who feel deep compassion and desire to help those in need, or who can spot the problems and are curious about the solutions. Our goal is to train the next generation of innovative problem-solvers who will rise to the challenge of really “moving the needle” when it comes to mental illness and addiction.

The Clinical Psychological Science major attracts students from a variety of backgrounds and interests. They typically possess one or more of the following qualities:

  • A strong general interest in science, along with a specific interest in helping people who are dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, or other mental health issues
  • Desire to pursue post-graduate training in clinical psychology and pursue a career as a clinical psychologist
  • Desire to obtain a research-related position to better understand how clinical scientists are using psychological science to reduce suffering in the world, to understand and improve disparities in healthcare, and to help people recover and experience a sense of well-being again

Learn more

Contact the Psychology and Neuroscience academic advisors and schedule an appointment to explore your options. Complete information about the requirements of the major can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

Department website
Advisor email address