Careers that can be Pursued with a Doctoral-level Degree or Beyond (i.e., usually 4-10 years post-undergrad)
These programs normally require completion of an undergraduate degree before admission, although for some careers admission may be possible after your second or third year of undergraduate training. Many also require or recommend completion of particular courses at the undergraduate level. Therefore, don’t wait until your fourth year to begin considering your options; start planning early, and make sure you are well-prepared. An honours degree is required for graduate study in psychology. For medical programs, an honours degree is not required, although it is certainly allowable. Also, having an honours degree will leave you better prepared for alternative career paths, should you decide not to go the medical profession route, or should you not be admitted. If you are considering education at the doctoral level, then you should be seriously considering pursuing an honours degree. Consult our honours degree page for more information.
Professors teach and conduct research at the university level in their area of specialization. At some institutions, the emphasis on research is very strong, and teaching requirements are fairly minimal. At other institutions, teaching requirements are quite heavy, and the expectations for research are reduced. Most professors do some of each, though, as well as additional duties such as supervising students and serving on departmental, university-wide, national, or international committees. Most professors trained in psychology will work within a psychology department, but some work in other related areas. For example, social or industrial / organizational psychologists might work in a School of Business; neuropsychologists might work within a medical school.
It is possible to teach a few university courses, usually on a part-time basis, with only a master’s degree (see Educator (post-secondary level) for more details). However, to become a full-time professor at a university, one would normally require a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in psychology. Ph.D. programs are available at various universities in Canada and the United States. Possible areas of specialization include clinical psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, personality psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, health psychology, educational psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, sensation & perception, measurement/quantitative, and others. For those interested in an academic career in clinical psychology, also consult the clinical psychology section, and follow the Ph.D. psychology route. Academic clinical psychologists will often begin their careers as professors after completing their internship and graduating with their Ph.Ds., but before becoming fully registered. The remaining steps to registration (e.g., supervised practice, EPPP, oral examination) can be completed concurrently with the first few years of an academic position.
The remaining, non-clinical areas of psychology are sometimes collectively referred to as “experimental psychology”. Similar to clinical psychology, one normally applies to experimental psychology programs from the undergraduate level. Master’s level training usually takes two years, with doctoral-level training taking 2-4 years beyond the master’s. Total time in the program is usually somewhat less in experimental programs than in clinical Ph.D. programs, as there are no practicum and internship requirements. A realistic assessment of the time commitment required is 4-6 years post-undergrad to obtain a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, versus 5-7 years post-undergrad for a clinical Ph.D. Few programs offer terminal master’s degrees in experimental psychology. Most programs assume you will be proceeding to the doctoral degree within the same institution where you completed your master’s degree, and make their admissions decisions accordingly. It is possible to leave most doctoral-level programs after completing the master’s degree, either to switch to a different institution or to graduate with solely a master’s degree. However, job options in experimental psychology at the master’s level are quite restricted, and switching to a different program after the master’s degree might delay your doctoral-level graduation slightly, as not all courses will necessarily transfer between institutions. Therefore, most students complete their master’s and doctoral degrees at the same institution. It is sometimes also possible to pursue combined degrees, requiring less time in total than pursuing two degrees separately (e.g., some health psychology programs allow you to obtain both a Ph.D. in psychology and an MD; some forensic psychology programs allow you to obtain both a Ph.D. in psychology and a law degree).
Admission to experimental Ph.D. psychology programs is very highly competitive, although perhaps not quite as intensely competitive as clinical psychology programs. Admission requires excellent undergraduate grades, an honours degree or equivalent research experience, strong scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination, a standardized test of verbal, quantitative and analytical abilities), and strong academic letters of reference. Be sure to talk to professors in the area you wish to specialize in, to get advice as to the best programs in that area of specialization. Look for potential graduate supervisors with research interests that match yours.
Experimental psychology students take some graduate-level courses, especially in the first year or two of the program, but spend the majority of their time conducting research. Research skills are generally taught using the mentorship model. Faculty-level supervisors work with students to train them in the research skills required by the discipline. The students supervised by a particular faculty member will also often work together on larger-scale research projects, in which upper-year students take a leadership and mentorship role, while lower-level students learn by performing lower-level tasks, often in turn supervising undergraduate students who perform still lower-level tasks. Most programs also have some system of comprehensive examinations, in which students are expected to master a body of work in some area, and demonstrate their mastery of that work to the satisfaction of department faculty. The details vary from program to program. Some require mastery of only one body of work; others may have breadth requirements, in which students must display in-depth knowledge in multiple areas. Some programs may have written examinations to prove your mastery of a body of work; others may have oral examinations; others may require a written paper; still others might require a research project. Most programs also require students to conduct several research projects in their area of specialization, culminating in a doctoral dissertation (i.e., a substantial original research project, written and defended in an oral defense to the satisfaction of an examining committee). Many experimental psychology graduate students will work as teaching assistants or as course laboratory assistants during their time in graduate school; they will also occasionally teach a course or two before graduating, to gain teaching experience.
There are doctoral-level scholarships and fellowships available from national and provincial funding agencies, as well as stipends from the university, and paid research and teaching assistant positions. Although a doctoral-level program does require a large investment of time and resources, it is seldom funded completely out of pocket.
Competition for full-time academic positions is intense; therefore, many doctoral-level graduates find it necessary to increase their qualifications by pursuing a post-doctoral position, before securing a faculty position. These “post-docs” are 2-4 years in length, completed after the doctoral degree, almost always at a different institution and under a different supervisor than the doctoral degree. For some post-docs, the student applies for and secures the funding first, and then takes it with him or her. For others, a faculty member secures funding for a post-doctoral student, and invites applications for the position. In both cases, the post-doc student is paid a salary. The time is used to increase research skills and experience, often obtaining additional training in research or statistical techniques that were not learned at the doctoral level. Post-doctoral students also work on improving their publication record, as having published papers in reputable academic journals is important to secure a full-time academic position.
Neuropsychologists are psychologists who concentrated their training in the field of neuropsychology (i.e., the field of psychology that assesses the relationship between the nervous system, especially the brain, and mental functions such as memory, language, and perception). They may be experimental psychologists whose research is focused in the area of neuropsychology. They would most often hold a research and teaching position within a psychology department, although they may also be affiliated with a medical school. Clinical neuropsychologists have clinical training, as well as neuropsychology training. Clinical neuropsychologists may also hold academic or research positions; however, they might also focus on the assessment and treatment of patients, working in hospitals, medical clinics, or private practice. Clinical neuropsychologists will administer very detailed assessments of mental abilities, such as cognitive and memory skills, and assess patterns of strengths and weaknesses on this battery of tests. They may also use various forms of neural imaging to help inform their assessments. Such information can be helpful in diagnosing neurological conditions, pinpointing the nature and extent of damage, and developing potential treatment plans. See the sections on clinical psychologist or professor, depending on the direction you wish to go. Students interested in neuropsychology might also consider training as a neurologist.
Forensic psychology focuses on the interface between the legal system and psychology; therefore, forensic psychologists are simply psychologists who focus their research or clinical work on aspects of psychology with some sort of relevance to the legal system. There are a few specialized programs in forensic psychology; some even allow you to pursue both a Ph.D. in psychology and a law degree concurrently. Admission to these programs is extremely competitive, even more so than clinical psychology. However, “forensic psychology” is not a protected term, so admission to these programs is not the only route to becoming a forensic psychologist. For example, an individual who pursued an experimental degree in social or cognitive psychology, focusing on factors relevant to eyewitness testimony, could legitimately be called a forensic psychologist. Such an individual would likely secure a position as a professor, but might also consult with police departments or defense lawyers, or testify as an expert witness, on the side. Likewise, a clinical psychologist who focused her clinical training on working with criminal sexual offenders could legitimately describe herself as a forensic psychologist. She might secure work within the correctional system, designing programs to help rehabilitate such offenders. Again, she might consult with police departments or lawyers, or testify as an expert witness, either as part of her main job or on the side (e.g., assess individuals and report on their likelihood of having committed a particular offense, or their likelihood of reoffending). See the sections on clinical psychologist or professor, depending on the direction you wish to go.
If you are interested in working with offenders or within the legal system, but do not want to pursue doctoral-level training, consider work as a master’s level clinical or counselling psychologist or a social worker, focusing on these populations. There are also positions within correctional services available, often with an undergrad degree and some specialized training (e.g., parole or probation officer, police officer, correctional services officer, etc.).
Health psychology focuses on the interface between psychology and physical health; therefore, a health psychologist is simply a psychologist whose research or clinical work focuses on factors relevant to health promotion or protection. There are a few graduate programs specifically in health psychology, but that is not the only route. For example, a social psychologist who focused his research on investigating environmental factors that predict overeating could be called a health psychologist; similarly, a clinical psychologist who focused her clinical practice on those who are trying to quit smoking could be called a health psychologist. To become a health psychologist, see the sections on clinical psychologist or professor, depending on the direction you wish to go. There are also a number of health-related professions in the master’s section that may be of interest, or careers might be available at the doctoral level as consultants / policy analysts in the health field.
Sports psychology focuses on the interface between psychology and sports performance; therefore, a sports psychologist is simply a psychologist whose research or clinical work focuses on understanding and promoting optimal sports performance. There are a few specialized programs in sports psychology, but they are not the only available route. For example, a neuropsychologist whose research focused on possible rewiring of the brain circuitry in expert athletes could be called a sports psychologist. A clinical psychologist who focused his clinical practice on treating athletes who are having difficulty with anxiety before major competitions could be called a sports psychologist. To become a sports psychologist, see the sections on clinical psychologist or professor, depending on the direction you wish to go. A few sports psychologists might be employed full-time by professional sports teams; however, such positions are rare, and are likely secured by those with a well-established record in the field. More sports psychologists would hold full-time academic positions or clinical employment, and consult with athletes as a side-line. If you are interested in working with athletes at some level but do not wish to pursue doctoral-level training, you might consider work as a physiotherapist or a chiropodist.
The majority of students pursuing doctoral-level training in experimental psychology likely enter the program planning to become professors; however, some will change their mind along the way, and some will be unable to secure a suitable academic position. However, graduate school in psychology generally delivers excellent training in research methodology and statistical analysis, and these skills are in demand elsewhere. For example, psychology Ph.Ds. may be employed as full-time research associates or data analysts, by a variety of different educational, governmental, non-profit, or business organizations (e.g., on-line dating sites like eHarmony or match.com employ psychologists to help them analyse factors that improve the success of on-line dating, and thereby improve their algorithms for matching people; Statistics Canada hires psychologists to help them analyse census data). Psychologists may also secure positions in which they analyse the efficacy of existing programs or policies, and perhaps compare whether changes in programs or policies over time or across locations results in better outcomes. Again, this sort of work might be required by a variety of different organizations (e.g., governmental, non-profit, commercial, and educational). Such work might be done full-time for a given organization, or on a consulting basis. It is always a good idea for psychology students at every level to get as much training in research methodology and statistics as they can, as it enhances employability in a wide variety of different careers. See the information under professor to begin a career in this area, or consider the master’s level programs in health services, public policy, human factors/ergonomics or industrial/organizational psychology.
Doctors treat physical illnesses and promote physical well-being in their patients. Psychology is a very suitable undergraduate pathway to medical school, as long as students also take appropriate preparatory courses in areas such as biology or organic chemistry. Be sure to check the schools you are interested in to see what courses they recommend. Admission to medical school is highly competitive. It requires good grades, and most schools require good scores on the MCAT (a standardized test assessing your reading comprehension, knowledge in physical and biological sciences, and writing abilities). Many schools are looking for well-rounded applicants, so volunteer work and good performance on an admissions interview is important. Most medical schools in Canada require completion of an undergraduate degree before admission, but a few will accept very strong students with only two or three years of undergraduate education. Medical school in Canada typically lasts four years, with the first two years being more course-based, and the second two years consisting primarily of clerkships, where students are given hands-on exposure to a variety of different medical specialties. In their final year of medical school, medical students complete Part 1 of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE), a written standardized test assessing medical knowledge. Successful completion of this test and of the medical school requirements earns the student the M.D. degree. However, students are not licensed to practice medicine independently until they complete a residency. Medical students apply for residency placements in their final year of medical school, ranking their preferences of hospital locations and medical specialties; hospitals in turn rank their preferences for students, and a match is determined. Students then complete their residency requirements in the matched hospital. They are paid a modest salary, and work as practicing doctors, but under the supervision of experienced physicians who help them to develop practical medical skills in their chosen specialty area. Length of residency can vary from two years for Family Medicine to six years for some specialties like cardiac surgery. After the first year of residency, residents complete Part 2 of the MCCQE, which is an objective clinical examination (residents proceed through a series of test stations; at each one they must demonstrate their ability to complete some specified medical task). After completion of the residency, students must pass examinations assessing expertise in their specialty area. They are then qualified to apply for a license to practice medicine independently in their area of specialization in a given province; specific licensing requirements vary slightly from province to province. For some subspecialties (e.g., thoracic surgery), additional training, called a fellowship, may be needed after residency requirements are completed. For more information on medical training and careers, see the Canadian Medical Association, (the organization that oversees medical licensure in Canada), and also the College of Family Physicians of Canada (the organization that licenses Family Physicians, the most common specialty), or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (the organization that licenses all other medical specialties in Canada). Being a doctor can be a very fulfilling career; however, it also requires a very large commitment of time and resources, and only top students are admitted. Those interested in the health field may be interested in browsing other health professions at the undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral level. There may be a variety of attractive careers in the health area that meet your needs.
Neurologists are medical doctors who have specialized in assessing and treating diseases and disorders of the nervous system, especially the brain. Neurologists generally specialize in either adult or pediatric neurology. See the entry for medical doctors for information on beginning this career. Specialization in neurology would occur at the residency stage. Neurology is generally a five-year residency, with the first year or two being spent learning general clinical skills relevant to treating adult or child patients, and the remaining years devoted to learning specialized skills in neurology.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialized in the assessment and treatment of mental disorders. They may work in hospitals, mental health clinics, or private practice. Psychiatrists will be especially important in treating patients with more severe mental disorders with a strong biological basis (e.g., schizophrenia). Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists can prescribe medication as part of their treatment plan. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists will often work as part of a multidisciplinary team, with psychiatrists relatively more involved in prescribing medications and other more medically-oriented treatments, while psychologists are relatively more involved in providing psychotherapy as part of the treatment plan. See the entry for medical doctors for information on beginning this career. Specialization in psychiatry would occur at the residency stage. Psychiatry is generally a five-year residency, with the first year being spent learning general clinical skills, and the remaining years devoted to learning specialized skills in psychiatry. For more information, see the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
Chiropractors deal with disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, particularly back pain and neck pain. They diagnose such disorders; provide health, nutrition, and lifestyle counselling to help reduce discomfort; and conduct manipulation of the spine and/or joints to realign them. They might work in clinics or in private practice. There is one English-language chiropractic school in Canada, the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto. It takes an evidence-based approach to chiropractic studies, with emphasis on knowledge of body systems and diagnostic technology. They accept student who have completed a minimum of three years of undergraduate study. Psychology is an acceptable undergraduate degree, but you should also take health science courses such as biology, anatomy, or organic chemistry. The program is four years in length, three years of coursework followed by a 12-month internship. For more information, see the Canadian Chiropractic Association.
Naturopathic doctors deal with both acute and chronic health issues by taking a holistic or complementary medicine approach. To help improve health, naturopaths may encourage diet or lifestyle changes in their clients. They may also offer alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or botanical / herbal medicines. It is not yet a regulated profession in all provinces, so be sure to check the province where you plan to practice to understand the rules governing the profession. Admission to accredited naturopathic medicine programs requires at least three years of undergraduate work (some programs require completion of a bachelors’ degree). Psychology is an acceptable undergraduate major, but you must be sure to take the additional undergraduate pre-requisites, such as biology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry. See the program you are interested in for their suggested pre-requisites. Programs are then four years, including at least 1 500 hours of clinical placements. Students must pass two sets of standardized licensing examinations (known as the NPLEX; the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations). Both involve multiple choice responses to hypothetical case scenarios. The first, the Biomedical Science examination, covers traditional medical science subjects, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, immunology, and pathology. It is normally written after the second year of the program. The second exam, the Core Clinical Science Examination, assesses knowledge essential for clinical practise, such as diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, nutrition, medical procedures, and botanical medicine. It is normally written in the fourth year, immediately after graduation, and is necessary for licensing purposes. Some jurisdictions also require a third set of exams, focusing on minor surgery and acupuncture, for some or all practitioners. For more information, see the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.
Dentists diagnose, treat, and seek to prevent disorders of the teeth or gums. Most dentists work in private practice or clinics, but some may work in hospitals, research or educational settings, public health organizations, etc. Some schools of dentistry require a minimum of two years of undergraduate education; others require completion of an undergraduate degree. Psychology is an acceptable undergraduate degree, as long as students also complete required courses in areas such as biology, chemistry, or physiology. See the programs you are interested in for specific requirements. In addition to undergraduate grades, most programs also consider performance in an admissions interview, and scores on the DAT (the Dental Aptitude Test, a standardized test assessing scientific knowledge, reading comprehension, perceptual abilities, and manual dexterity). Dentistry is normally a four-year degree, combining both theoretical and practical/clinical work. After completing the program, students must write a certification exam administered by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada. Additional requirements may be necessary for licensure in certain provinces. After completing their four-year dental degree, dentists may apply to advanced programs in areas such as oral surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or pediatric dentistry. For more information, see the Canadian Dental Association.
Optometrists provide vision care to their patients, including vision exams, correction of visual problems, and diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. They usually work in private practice or clinics, but might also work in hospitals, research or educational settings, public health organizations, etc. There is only one English-language school of optometry in Canada, at the University of Waterloo. They accept applications from students who have completed at least three years of a Bachelors of Science degree. They have a list of specific pre-requisite courses that must be taken (e.g., biology, chemistry, math, physics); these courses could be taken in conjunction with a BSc in Psychology. Applicants must also complete the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), a standardized test of scientific knowledge, reading comprehension, and quantitative skills. Volunteer work and performance on an interview are also considered for admissions. Optometry is a four-year program. The first two years are more theory-based, with increased clinical/practical training in the third year. The fourth year is spent in internships. After the program, students must pass a licensing exam, the Canadian Standard Assessment in Optometry, plus additional provincial-level exams. Optometrists may also, if desired, pursue a one-year residency, or Masters or Ph.D. programs, to provide additional specialized training. For more information, see the University of Waterloo’s Optometry program.
Clinical psychologists assess and treat those experiencing a wide variety of psychological difficulties. They might work in private practice, or in organizations such as hospitals or mental health clinics. In some areas of Canada it is possible to become a registered psychologist with training at the master’s level, but in others a doctoral level degree is required (see here for more information). One generally applies to clinical psychology programs from the undergraduate level. Master’s level training usually takes two years, with doctoral-level training taking 2-5 years beyond the master’s. Few programs offer terminal master’s degree (i.e., a master’s degree without an associated doctoral degree; Acadia has perhaps the only such program in Canada). It is possible to leave most doctoral-level programs after completing the master’s degree, either to become registered at the master’s level, or to switch to a different doctoral-level program. However, most programs assume you will be proceeding to the doctoral degree within the same institution, and make their admissions decisions based on that assumption. If you switch to a different program after the master’s degree, it might delay your doctoral-level graduation slightly, as not all courses will necessarily transfer between institutions. Therefore, most students complete their master’s and doctoral degrees at the same institution. It is in theory possible to skip the master’s degree and proceed directly to the doctoral degree in some institutions; however, it seldom saves much time, as one must complete most of the same requirements either way.
The most common doctoral-level degree in Canada is the Ph.D. Admission to Ph.D. clinical psychology programs is intensely competitive (i.e., at least as competitive as medical school, if not more so). Admission requires excellent undergraduate grades, an honours degree or equivalent research experience, strong scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination, a standardized test of verbal, quantitative and analytical abilities), usually good volunteer experience, and strong academic letters of reference.
At the master’s level, clinical psychology students generally conduct a master’s thesis (an original piece of scientific research); receive training in research methodology, psychological assessment and psychotherapy; and complete many practicum hours (i.e., placements in a mental health setting, usually unpaid, where students conduct basic intake, assessment, and therapy under supervision). Similar training continues at the Ph.D. level, culminating in a doctoral dissertation (a larger piece of original scientific research), and a one-year pre-doctoral internship (i.e., a full-time placement, usually paid, in a mental health setting to gain additional training in assessment and therapy under supervision).
A newer doctoral-level degree in clinical psychology is the Psy.D. Psy.D. programs have existed for a number of years in the United States, but have only been established in Canada more recently. Memorial University of Newfoundland currently has the only English-speaking Psy.D. program in Canada, although more programs will likely be added in the next few years. Psy.D. programs usually take four years post-undergrad (i.e., three years of coursework, practicum training, and possibly a thesis, followed by a one-year pre-doctoral internship). You may or may not obtain a master’s degree along the way. Psy.D. degrees are more focused on training individuals to be practicing clinicians. Although there is some research training, it is not as intensive as in the Ph.D. programs. There may be a master’s level thesis, or there may be alternative research requirements (e.g., perhaps extensive literature reviews and analysis of existing research, but perhaps not conducting an original piece of scientific research). There is sometimes more extensive clinical training offered than in Ph.D. programs, with their more extensive research requirements.
Ph.D. clinical psychologists may obtain academic positions (see professor), in which they will primarily do teaching and research, perhaps while maintaining a small clinical practice and seeing a few clients on the side. Obtaining an academic position is much more challenging with a Psy.D.; therefore, the Ph.D. is the preferred route for those wishing to obtain a university position, or otherwise do extensive teaching or research post-graduation. (Note one could still teach a course or two on a part-time basis with a Psy.D. degree). For clinical jobs in private practice, or in hospitals or mental health settings, either degree is generally acceptable; both the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) support both degrees. Check to make sure programs are accredited by CPA and/or APA, as such accreditation will enhance your employability post-graduation. Also check to see how successful graduates of the program are at securing internship positions, and at becoming successfully registered as psychologists. Both rates should be very high. Caution is particularly in order if you are going to the US to pursue a Psy.D. degree. Some programs are excellent; others are little more than diploma mills, charging extremely high tuition rates, yet turning out poorly-prepared graduates who find it very difficult to secure internships or to become registered. As a general rule, Psy.D. programs affiliated with university departments tend to be of higher quality than stand-alone professional schools; however, there are exceptions on both sides. Look for APA accreditation, and be sure to ask plenty of questions regarding the success of graduates from the program.
After graduation, clinical psychology graduates may be required to work under the supervision of an already-registered psychologist for a period of time. This period of time is generally shorter for doctoral-level graduates than for masters-level graduates. Working under supervision does not mean that the supervisor must be watching you every single minute; it just means you have someone who will commit to meeting with you on a regular basis, and who will serve as a consultant and mentor if you have any questions or problems regarding your work.
Following the period of supervision, psychologists in most jurisdictions are required to write the EPPP (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology), a standardized test assessing your knowledge in various areas of psychology. Some jurisdictions also have an oral examination component, often focusing on knowledge of ethical rules and principles. Successful completion of all of the applicable requirements for a particular jurisdiction (e.g., education, supervised practice, EPPP, oral examination) allows an individual to become a licensed or registered psychologist in that jurisdiction. Transfer to other jurisdictions is then often possible, although the rules are complex; it is important to check ahead of time to make sure a particular program will allow you to achieve registration in the location where you ultimately plan to practice (again, see here for more information on Canadian guidelines).
The advantage of registration is that it allows you to call yourself a “psychologist”, rather than simply a therapist or a counsellor. Many positions in hospitals and mental health clinics are open only to registered psychologists. In private practice, well-informed consumers will often look for a registered psychologist. Some third-party billing institutions (e.g., Blue Cross) will only cover treatment by registered psychologists. Thus, becoming a registered psychologist, particularly at the doctoral level, opens many doors. That being said, it is a very large commitment of time and resources, and only the very top students are admitted. Many psychology majors (perhaps even the majority) begin their undergraduate degree planning to become clinical psychologists; only a small minority will actually do so. However, remember that there are many other options available. Students who are simply interested in “helping people” or “counselling” may be interested in browsing other professions at the undergraduate or master’s level. There may be a variety of attractive careers there that meet your needs.