The Different Doctoral Degrees in Psychology

Find out what you’ll need to do to get your doctorate in psychology.

doctorate-psychologyDoctorate degree in psychology programs require five to seven years of graduate study. Coursework generally includes quantitative research methods and a dissertation based on original research.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for industrial-organizational psychologists is $82,760 and for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists is $73,270. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Doctorate in Psychology in Education (EdD)

The EdD is likely to be a preferred qualification for many mid-career employees, many of whom will already have master’s degrees but wish to pursue studies at the doctorate level, which are based on research in addition to the application of that knowledge in professional practice. The EdD is designed for the professional practitioner.

Graduates are qualified to work as administrators, superintendents, teacher educators, as well as other educational leadership positions.

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Psychologists with a PhD qualify for a wide range of teaching, research, clinical and counseling positions in universities, health care services, elementary and secondary schools, private industry and government. A PhD places an equal emphasis on research and clinical training. Entrance into PhD programs is highly competitive. A master’s degree in psychology is often a prerequisite to a PhD program.

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Many doctorate programs in psychology require a master’s degree in psychology or a related field. The PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) is a newer professional degree, offered by the professional schools of psychology that emphasizes clinical practice with only a minimum of research training. Entrance into PsyD programs is generally less competitive than PhD programs.

Post-Doctoral Certificate

Post-doctoral psychology certificate program are for professional psychologists with a PsyD or PhD who wish to expand their knowledge and training in a specialty psychology area such as academic, clinical, counseling, health, or organizational psychology.


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