Graduate school is a common consideration for students although many ultimately choose not to pursue a graduate level degree. If you are among those who would like to continue your education or if you have found that you need to obtain a higher degree for the career you wish to pursue (see Employment Information if you are unsure), then you might find the following information helpful. Below you will find a description of the three most common graduate degree options for Psychology majors. Within each degree, the application will be divided into areas. You will find information about what is required to apply and get a brief idea of what you need for each area. If you would like additional information or assistance you may consider taking PSY 396C - Preparation for Graduate School in Fields of Psychology.
A masters degree can be earned in several different fields. These degrees are generally more practitioner oriented and require about 2-3 years of additional coursework and training to complete. Some common masters degrees are: Masters in Social Work (MSW), Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Masters in Education (M Ed), and a general Masters (MA) given in many different fields including Counseling, Higher Education, general Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences, etc.
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
This degree is relatively new and is offered only within Psychology fields, most commonly Clinical or Counseling Psychology. The PsyD is a practitioner degree and the training provided focuses on practice and the comsumption of research in practice rather than on the creation of new research in the field. These programs generally take about 4-5 years to complete. Although this degree is newer and professionals of varying degree titles will have different perspectives on it, it is recognized by the American Psychological Association and can be the preferable option for a variety of graduate students in Psychology.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The PhD is at the same level as the PsyD, but is the older of the two and can be found in more fields such as Education, Business, Science, Communication, etc. It is a field that is heavily involved in research and the creation of new research, although those with a PhD in Clinical or Counseling Psychology also have the option of practicing in the field. It will take about 5-7 years to complete aPhD, but depending on the field you are in it may take more time.
*For additional clarification on the difference between a PsyD and a PhD you can visit the following websites:
There are several other degrees that one can pursue with the Psychology major. Links to information about some of the most common of those degrees can be found here. If the degree you are looking for is not listed contact Student Engagement and Career Development.