A Ph.D. in Psychology also called a doctorate is a popular degree sought by those entering the field of clinical psychology, research, or education. It is also often required for people interested in working in the areas of school psychology or health psychology. Often people are interested in similar degrees such as a PsyD Degree, or EdD Degree. A general Ph.D. in psychology requires 5 to 7 years to complete while other degrees programs can range from 3 to 6. For a Ph.D. in psychology, students will complete an internship or a supervised residency, in addition to their regular coursework. Before completing their program, they will also complete a dissertation or an original research project.

Top Schools

  1. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  2. University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  3. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  4. University of California--Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  5. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
  6. Yale University, New Haven, CT
  7. University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
  8. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  9. University of Minnesota--Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
  10. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
  11. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  12. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  13. University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  14. University of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX
  15. University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  16. Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  17. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  18. Columbia University, New York, NY
  19. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  20. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL


Doctorate programs in Psychology are highly competitive, so it is essential that you present yourself best to compete with other candidates. Most programs will require your official transcripts from undergraduate, and they will be looking for students who specialized in majors like psychology or the sciences. Students will also submit letters of recommendation from former professors and an admissions essay arguing your suitability for the program and interest in the field of psychology. For this program, many students will also be asked to interview as part of the admissions process.

Finally, GRE scores are of utmost importance for entrance into a graduate program in Psychology and admissions representatives are looking for students with a comprehensive understanding of both math and verbal sections. Top schools like Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, and Harvard typically admit students into their programs with GRE scores in the mid to upper 700s and almost all schools in the top 20 in the United States admit students on average who have GRE scores over 700.

The same requirements are given for International Students apply to a graduate program in Psychology, with the addition of high scores on the TOEFL.

Financial Aid

Funding for your studies is much more likely at the graduate level than the undergraduate level. According to the American Psychological Association, 80 to 100% of students in Psychology graduate programs receive some funding. Additionally, although not all students receive full funding for their program, 60-90% do receive full funding plus some stipend for their studies. One of the rewards of studying to earn your doctorate in Psychology is the amount of money available to support your studies because this is a high paying field that is always in demand.

Career Prospects

The good news is: if you can survive the competitive admissions process, make it through the 5 to 7 years of school, you are on your way to a great career in any number of fields because PhDs in Psychology are in high demand in many different areas. Graduates go on to work in mental health and social services, educational and school settings, local, state, and federal government positions, and applied psychology careers. Popular careers include a social worker, clinical psychologist, school counselor or educational psychologists. So whether you want to be a forensic psychologist, or a social worker, a Ph.D. in Psychology will put you on track to a lucrative career path.

Psychology Programs

Admissions / Career

Programs outside US