What is a Doctorate in Psychology?
The vast majority of psychology professions that most students dream about as their career will require them to earn their full doctorate in psychology degree. This is the highest level of education that can be obtained in the field of psychology.
Becoming a doctor and having a doctorate degree will enable you to enter any job field you are qualified for. This type of degree is the only one that will enable you to open your own private practice and work on your own as you own boss as a professional psychologist and see your own patients and clients.
What Are the Different Types of Doctorate in Psychology Degrees?
Doctor of Philosophy
Psychology PhD programs are designed so that the main focus is pinpointed heavily on theoretical research. This provides the foundation for theories, research, development, and work in a wide range of fields. A PhD is a good option if you want to eventually practice professionally or if your goal is to teach and conduct research.
Doctor of Psychology
PsyD programs are practice-oriented. This means that their focus is not on research and theory like the PhD program. The focus instead is on real world cases and scenarios, much like what one would see in the counseling office, the work place, or out in the real world. The PsyD would be the best choice if you want to have your own practice and be in business for yourself.
Doctor of Education
EdD programs are quite similar to PhD programs with one major difference. These doctorate programs have an educational approach to all of the theories and they emphasize educational based and educational related research. The EdD is the best choice for someone who wants to work in a school as a psychologist or career counselor or in the field of educational policy development.
How long Will I Have to Study?
The length of time you will spend working on your doctorate in psychology degree is determined by a number of factors, and each one can greatly impact how long or short your study time will be for the doctorate. The type of degree you are pursuing, the work load you can carry each semester, your educational background, family situations, and the specific doctoral program that you are enrolled in all have an impact on how long it will take to earn your doctorate degree in psychology.
In most cases, you must complete 90 to 120 credit hours during your study in order to earn a psychology doctorate. Most take between 4 and 7 years to finish their doctorate degree. Remember that is this in addition to the years spent working on the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
What Types of Courses Will I Take to Earn My Doctorate Degree?
As you chase after your dream of a doctoral degree, you will be taking specialized courses in the area of concentration that you have chosen to follow. This could be behavioral psychology, research, abnormal psychology, or any other branch of psychological study. Even with this focus, most programs will require general classes in standard areas such as behavioral analysis, clinical practice techniques, statistics, and research design. Some, which will be based on the academic research you likely did for any thesis that your master’s degree required.
What Types of Jobs Can I Hope to Secure?
With a doctorate in psychology degree, virtually every job within the field of psychology is open to you. However, a doctorate in psychology does not mean you can only work in psychology based fields. The strong appeal of psychology degrees is that they lend themselves well to working within other fields of study. With this degree, you have a strong basis and understanding of how humans think, feel, and reason. This kind of knowledge can open the doors for rewarding careers in many areas, such as sales, human resources, customer service, market research, advertising, sales, or business management.
What Should I Consider When Deciding on a School?
No matter area you have chosen o focus on or what type of doctorate in psychology degree you are looking at earning, you must make sure that your school’s psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Many states will require your degree to be from an APA-accredited program if you want to earn a professional license, which is required to work as a psychologist in your own office. So making sure your school is APA certified and backed is one of the most important factors you need to keep in mind when determining what school you will go to for your doctorate.
What Are the Doctorate in Psychology Requirements for Admission?
Getting into a doctorate program is tough because space is usually very limited and it is very competitive. Check with the school you want to enroll in and see what their specific requirements are as far as what classes you need to have taken, GPA ranges, and other points that may impact your acceptance. Also look to see what they require in the admissions packet as many will require essays and letters of recommendation with your application.
Professional Licensing Doctorate in Psychology Degree
When studying psychology for a career, it is important to keep in mind that you will need to be licensed in order to open your own practice and have your own clients. Be sure to look and see what your state requires for licensing.
The criteria for licensure can change from year to year and from degree to degree so make sure you check several times to make sure you are on track throughout your degree. You can get in touch with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards or your state’s licensing board for the information you need about the requirements for licensing within your state.
There are no specific licensing requirements for a doctorate in psychology, but most states require psychologists to be licensed in order to practice. In order to be licensed, psychologists must have a doctorate in psychology, complete an internship, and pass the national examination for psychologists.
The professional development and continuing education requirements for psychologists vary by state. Some states require psychologists to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education every year, while others only require that psychologists complete a certain number of hours every few years. Some states also require that psychologists participate in professional development activities, such as attending conferences or taking courses, in order to maintain their licenses.
Doctorate in Psychology Salary
A doctorate in psychology salary can vary depending on many factors, such as geographic location, type of employer, and years of experience. However, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for psychologists is $75,230. This means that half of all psychologists earn more than this amount and half earn less. Salaries at the top of the range may be significantly higher than this amount, while those at the bottom may be lower.
Doctor of Psychology Programs
There are many different types of doctorate of psychology programs available. Some focus on research, while others focus on clinical practice. Some programs offer a combination of both. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in order to ensure that your degree will be recognized by employers.
Most doctorate in psychology programs take four to seven years to complete. The first two years are typically spent completing coursework, while the remaining years are spent completing a dissertation and conducting research. During your studies, you will take courses in psychological theory, research methods, and statistics. You will also have the opportunity to complete internships and practicums in order to gain real-world experience.
Doctorate in Psychology Jobs
There are many different types of doctorate in psychology jobs available. Some examples include working as a clinical psychologist, research psychologist, or teaching at a university.
Clinical psychologists work with patients to help them deal with mental and emotional disorders. Research psychologists conduct studies to learn more about the human mind and behavior. Teaching at a university allows you to share your knowledge with students who are interested in psychology.
Frequently Asked Questions
- American Psychological Association – For more information about careers in all fields of psychology.
- Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards – For more information about state licensing requirements.
- American Board of Professional Psychology – For more information about psychology specialty certifications.
- List of Psychology Organizations – Find a comprehensive list of psychology organizations.
- Graduate and Postgraduate Education
- New Research From Psychological Science
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- O*Net Online