Benefits of Attending a Psychology Graduate School
In a competitive job market, graduate level education can give you an edge over other job applicants. In the psychology field, however, a graduate degree is more than a nice-to-have on your résumé—it's a requirement. A doctoral degree or master in psychology is an essential step towards advancing your career in this field.
Master in Psychology
A master in psychology is widely accepted as the minimum requirement for embarking on a psychology career. With a master degree in psychology, you will be qualified to assist psychologists and counselors or work in social services. Other opportunities include positions in human resources departments, doing research for educational services, or as academic faculty members.
A master in psychology usually takes at least two years of full-time graduate study to complete. Topics of study in this program include statistics, research, and the social, biological, and physical sciences.
Most students who pursue a master degree in psychology either enter clinical research or advance their career by choosing PhD studies. This further training enables them to become practicing psychologists.
Doctor in Psychology
Students who wish to pursue a doctor in psychology degree can choose between a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). A PhD in psychology will focus equally on research and clinical practice. The PsyD is a newer degree offering that will focus more on the clinical practice aspect of psychology and less on research.
A doctorate requires at least five to seven years of graduate level study, depending on the program you choose. A PhD in psychology includes both practical and theoretical subjects of study. While programs will vary at each school, a typical curriculum for a PhD in psychology consists of training in the following subject areas:
- Theory and practice
- Scientific psychology
- Research and analysis
- Critical thinking
- Preparing for entry into professional practice
- Understanding diversity and pluralism
To successfully complete a doctorate, students will have to submit a thesis based on original research material. They'll also need to complete an internship in order to earn a doctoral degree. The internship offers students practical exposure to a variety of settings and examples and prepares students to become practicing psychologists.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, four out of 10 psychologists with a PhD have established their own private practices. Employment for psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average rate of employment for other jobs.
Those who earn a PhD in psychology often move on to administrative positions within schools, the military or other organizations.
The availability of online education has made it easier than ever to pursue a doctor or master in psychology without disrupting your family or job responsibilities. Whether you choose an online or campus program, however, you can find what you're looking for among our extensive list of psychology graduate schools. Request more information, and take the first step toward a psychology career, today.