Last Updated: April 26, 2021

Psychology Degree

Why Psychology?

According to the US Department of Education, psychology is the fourth most common individual major overall, behind the business, health professions and related services, social sciences, and history. Furthermore, Psychology is not only growing in the field of education, but also in the field of jobs. Psychologists' jobs will rise by 19 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Psychiatrists, on the other hand, are expected to see a 15 percent increase in employment, while social workers will see a 12 percent increase.

Psychology is one of the most popular majors in the Arts & Sciences as it is a budding field of interest that spans a significant amount of subtopics. As a result, there are thousands of schools that offer a graduate degree in psychology, along with a vast variety of subjects that students are free to choose from. Furthermore, the increasing popularity of the subject brings in a discourse in various fields, as they push forth a motion of accommodating Psychology in daily life for workers and students alike, making the subject a lucrative field for students of psychology and potential psychologists, alike.

What constitutes as Psychology?

One needs to know the varieties of Psychological subjects in order determine a particular field of study within Psychology. The top majors in psychology include cognitive, behavioral, and clinical areas of expertise. Additionally, psychology has strong ties with corporates, hence developing a subject known as Organizational/Industrial Psychology. Furthermore, subjects such as development & child psychology are focused on the psychological development of kids, from toddlers to adolescents, and the field of study of abnormal psychology focuses on psychological disorders and how to treat them. However, Abnormal Psychology is a subject that falls as a subcategory of Clinical Psychology, predominantly.

Types of Psychology degrees: B.A./B.Sc./M.A./M.Sc./Ph.D./PsyD

B.A. & B.Sc. in Psychology

Undergraduate degrees such as B.A (Bachelor of Arts) and B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) are the first steps towards entering the field of psychology as a professional. Students who want to attain a bachelor's in psychology must choose a B.A or a B.Sc. in Psychology. The degree covers the basics of the subject, such as 'Introduction to Psychology' along with an introduction to the other psychology-related subjects. Additionally, students are expected to take a minor subject that may or may not correspond to psychology.

However, if a student is aiming to pursue Psychology for their master's or Ph.D., it is essential to have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, where Psychology is the major subject. Some universities require students to take corresponding subjects such as Statistics, Research, Math, or Biology; hence, it is important to check the requirements of the university before applying for subjects to be undertaken.

It is important to note that after attaining a Bachelor's degree, students are not allowed to practice psychology independently. Nevertheless, students can gain professional experience by interning under a psychologist or by attaining an assistantship under their professor or a psychology researcher. Experiences like this help students get an edge when applying for their master's degree.

M.A. & M.Sc. in Psychology

According to the U.S. Department of Education, between the years 2013 and 2015, there has been an incredible spike in the number of students pursuing a master's degree in Psychology; the numbers rising by almost 55 percent. Hence, it is of no surprise that the most popular degree options in the field of Psychology stand to be a master's degree in Psychology.

Master's degree in Psychology comes in two forms - M.A. (Master of Arts) and M.Sc. (Master of Science) in Psychology, and it takes approximately two years to complete the degree (if enrolled full-time) or four years (if enrolled part-time).

A student can only be a part of a Master's in Psychology if they have completed an undergraduate degree with Psychology as one of their major subjects or they have sufficient experience in the field of Psychology. Almost every time, universities will ask for potential students for either an undergraduate degree or evidence of experience as a way of determining eligibility for the program.

There is quite a difference when it comes to determining between M.A. and M.Sc. in Psychology. To put it in a nutshell, an M.A. degree can represent a stronger arts emphasis, whereas an M.Sc degree typically indicates a stronger scientific research focus. The entry requirements for both the degree levels are usually the same, and take the same amount of time to be completed.

PhD & PsyD in Psychology

A higher study option for psychology students either leads them towards a Ph.D. or a PsyD. Both degrees give a definitive doctorate degree to students who complete it successfully, but the duration of the study and the degrees, in general, are a little different. However, the popularity for doctorate programs has not decreased; as per the U.S. Department of Education, doctorate degrees in Psychology have seen a massive spike of 56 percent, however, the accurate distinction of if the degrees are Ph.D. or PsyD is not clear.

Both Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) and PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) are research-intensive courses that train students to gain practical experience, rather than theoretical experience. The practical experience gained during Ph.D. or PsyD is unmatched to the experience gained while earning a master's degree. A Ph.D. degree duration is between 3 to 6 years, whereas the duration for a PsyD is 4 to 6 years.

Course content-wise, there is not much of a difference between a Ph.D. and a PsyD; however, the major difference occurs in the funding of both the degrees. A Ph.D. degree is fully or half funded by the university itself, a basic stipend is included and in some cases accommodation as well. For a Ph.D., a student does not have to worry about their finances per se. On the other hand, finances are a major concern for students wanting to pursue a PsyD, as there is no funded course provided or a stipend.

However, it has been noted that students enroll in PsyD courses more than Ph.D. courses. Factors impacting this could be the increasing competition for Ph.D. positions, and the minimum acceptance rate as well. However, this is also the reason for Ph.D. programs to give much more financial support than PsyD programs.

Tuition Fees

The cost of education for Psychology is on a spectrum. Usually, it is noticed that the undergraduate tuition fee is much higher than the tuition fee for postgraduate programs. However, the change in tuition fee depends on several aspects such as in-state/out-of-state, program enrolled in, and much more.

As of 2021, the annual undergraduate fee for learning Psychology is $8,000 (in-state) and $26,000 (out-of-state). On the other hand, the annual tuition fee for postgraduate degrees is $11,000 (in-state) and $20,000 (out-of-state). As for private universities, the annual tuition fee for undergraduate programs increases to anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000; and for postgraduate programs, the annual tuition fee ranges between $9,000 to $15,000.

A Ph.D. degree is fully funded; however, the tuition cost for a PsyD degree ranges between $30,000 and $45,000 - depending on the university and the program the student has enrolled in.

Is Psychology a good career choice?

A degree in psychology has a lot of advantages from a career standpoint, but picking the right school and major will make a big difference in terms of career and salary after graduation. An individual with a degree in psychology can expect to earn anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000 as a starting salary. However, it is important to keep in mind that the salary will rise or fall depending on factors such as the job's location, the employer, and the work itself.

Psychology is also a common major for students who are pursuing a degree in a related field, such as criminal justice or public administration. This allows students to broaden their job prospects, raise their salary potential, and advance their careers. Since the work market is becoming increasingly difficult, many students are not dependent exclusively on one job opportunity after graduation.

Most psychology majors go on to work as psychologists; while many go on to work as counselors or in the Human Resources department, where they work closely with corporations. A major must be chosen based on a specific career goal in order to be able to achieve that goal.

List of accredited psychology programs

  1. Stanford University : Department of Psychology
  2. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor : Department of Psychology
  3. Yale University : Department of Psychology
  4. University of California--Los Angeles : Department of Psychology
  5. University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana : Department of Psychology
  6. Harvard University : Department of Psychology
  7. University of Minnesota--Twin Cities : Department of Psychology
  8. University of Pennsylvani : Department of Psychology
  9. University of California--Berkeley : Department of Psychology
  10. University of California--San Diego : Department of Psychology
  11. Carnegie Mellon University : Department of Psychology
  12. University of Washington : Department of Psychology
  13. Princeton University : Department of Psychology
  14. Cornell University : Department of Psychology
  15. University of Wisconsin--Madison : Department of Psychology
  16. Columbia University : Department of Psychology
  17. University of Texas at Austin : Department of Psychology
  18. University of Chicago : Department of Psychology
  19. Indiana University at Bloomington : Department of Psychology
  20. University of Virginia : Department of Psychology
  21. Ohio State University--Columbus : Department of Psychology
  22. University of Oregon : Department of Psychology
  23. University of Colorado at Boulder : Department of Psychology
  24. Northwestern University : Department of Psychology
  25. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill : Department of Psychology
  26. University of California--Irvin : Department of Psychology
  27. University of Massachusetts at Amherst : Department of Psychology
  28. Rutgers State University--New Brunswick : Department of Psychology
  29. University of Southern California : Department of Psychology
  30. Purdue University : Department of Psychology
  31. University of Rochester : Department of Psychology
  32. Pennsylvania State University : Department of Psychology
  33. Duke University : Department of Psychology
  34. Johns Hopkins University : Department of Psychology
  35. New York University : Department of Psychology
  36. University of Iowa : Department of Psychology
  37. Brown University : Department of Psychology
  38. University of Florida : Department of Psychology
  39. State University of New York at Stony Brook : Department of Psychology
  40. Vanderbilt University : Department of Psychology
  41. Uniformed Services U. of the Health Sciences : Medical Department of Psychology
  42. City University of New York Graduate School : Department of Psychology
  43. University of Arizona : Department of Psychology
  44. Emory University : Department of Psychology
  45. Peabody College/Vanderbilt University : Department of Psychology
  46. Michigan State University : Department of Psychology
  47. University of California--Davis : Department of Psychology
  48. University of Pittsburgh : Department of Psychology
  49. Arizona State University : Department of Psychology
  50. Clark University : Department of Psychology
  51. University of California--Santa Barbara : Department of Psychology
  52. University of Connecticut : Department of Psychology
  53. University of Maryland at College Park : Department of Psychology
  54. University of Utah : Department of Psychology
  55. University of South Florida : Department of Psychology
  56. University of Kansas : Department of Psychology
  57. University of Miami : Department of Psychology
  58. University of Delaware : Department of Psychology
  59. University of California--Santa Cruz : Department of Psychology
  60. State University of New York at Albany : Department of Psychology
  61. State University of New York at Buffalo : Department of Psychology
  62. University of Denver : Department of Psychology
  63. Temple University : Department of Psychology
  64. Washington University in Saint Louis : Department of Psychology
  65. University of Georgia : Department of Psychology
  66. Rice University : Department of Psychology
  67. University of Missouri--Columbia : Department of Psychology
  68. University of Illinois at Chicago : Department of Psychology
  69. University of Houston : Department of Psychology
  70. University of California--Riverside : Department of Psychology
  71. Texas A&M University : Department of Psychology
  72. Brandeis University : Department of Psychology
  73. Northeastern University : Department of Psychology
  74. State University of New York--Binghamton : Department of Psychology
  75. University of Alabama--Birmingham : Department of Psychology
  76. Syracuse University : Department of Psychology
  77. Georgia Institute of Technology : Department of Psychology
  78. University of Hawaii at Manoa : Department of Psychology
  79. Iowa State University : Department of Psychology
  80. Wayne State University : Department of Psychology
  81. Dartmouth College : Department of Psychology
  82. Colorado State University : Department of Psychology
  83. Florida State University : Department of Psychology
  84. University of Vermont : Department of Psychology
  85. Case Western Reserve University : Department of Psychology
  86. Bowling Green State Universit : Department of Psychology
  87. University of Notre Dame : Department of Psychology
  88. West Virginia University : Department of Psychology
  89. University of Kentucky : Department of Psychology
  90. U. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center : Department of Psychology
  91. University of South Carolina : Department of Psychology
  92. Virginia Polytechnical Institute & State U : Department of Psychology
  93. University of North Carolina--Greensboro : Department of Psychology
  94. University of Tennessee--Knoxville : Department of Psychology
  95. Boston University : Department of Psychology
  96. University of Nebraska--Lincoln : Department of Psychology
  97. Virginia Commonwealth University : Department of Psychology
  98. Kent State University : Department of Psychology
  99. Southern Illinois University : Department of Psychology
  100. University of Rhode Island : Department of Psychology
  101. University of New Hampshire : Department of Psychology
  102. University of Texas at Arlington : Department of Psychology
  103. Georgia State University : Department of Psychology
  104. George Washington University : Department of Psychology
  105. Loyola University of Chicago : Department of Psychology
  106. George Mason University : Department of Psychology
  107. University of Cincinnati : Department of Psychology
  108. Tufts University : Department of Psychology
  109. University of Louisville : Department of Psychology
  110. Miami University of Ohio : Department of Psychology
  111. Yeshiva University : Department of Psychology
  112. University of Alabama : Department of Psychology
  113. University of Tulsa : Department of Psychology
  114. University of Maryland--Baltimore County : Department of Psychology


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