Psychology Doctoral Degrees

Updated August 16, 2022 · 5 Min Read

Explore online and in-person doctoral programs in psychology and learn what it will take to earn your doctorate. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Psy.D. vs a Ph.D. in Psychology

Though both the Psy.D. and Ph.D. require APA accreditation for licensure and employment, some important differences exist between these two degrees. The typical Psy.D. program features less competitive admissions standards and less research-related coursework than a Ph.D. A Psy.D. often takes less time, 4-6 years, to complete than a Ph.D., 5-7 years.

Differences Between a Psy.D. and Ph.D. in Psychology

Psy.D. ProgramPh.D. in Psychology Program
More specialized career options in clinical practice, including family and couples therapy and pediatric psychologyOpens more career options to areas purely related to research, which graduates can apply to careers in organizational psychology
Sometimes allows students to replace their dissertation with a doctoral projectLearning experience strongly emphasizes the major thesis work that culminates the program
Covers more course topics relating to intervention techniques and assessment strategies in different cultural and economic contextsCovers statistics and qualitative and quantitative research methods in greater detail
Takes less time to complete, usually five years or lessFeatures more strict admissions standards for minimum GPA and standardized test scores and prerequisite coursework
Created to provide an alternative to Ph.D. programs for students less interested in research and more in practical psychology applicationCommonly featured at most four-year universities

Online Psychology Doctoral Degree Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Psy.D. Careers and Average Pay

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