Medical Psychology Graduate Degree Programs

If you wish to work as a psychologist in a hospital, surgical or school setting, you can consider a program in medical psychology. Read on to learn about program options, common classes, licensure requirements and professional certification options. Schools offering Health Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Earn a Graduate Degree in Medical Psychology?

Very few colleges offer degree programs in medical psychology. However, many colleges offer clinical psychology, from which this program is derived. Medical psychology programs focus on behavioral psychology, neuropsychology and research.

A Ph.D. in Medical Psychology (or Clinical Psychology) may be the minimum degree necessary to work with patients in many cases. A doctorate also opens opportunities to teach in universities. These are often paired with master's degree programs, offering a consolidated five years of graduate study in the field. Master's degree programs are available, but are typically intended to lead to doctoral degree programs. Post-doctoral fellowships offer extended, specialized training.

Similar DegreesSpecific degrees in medical psychology are not very common; students can pursue the more common clinical psychology option
Key Program ConceptsGerontology, pediatric psychology, assessment, consultation, neuropsychology, cognitive development
Licensure and CertificationAll psychologists who treat patients must be licensed, with specifics of licensure varying according to the state; the ABPP also offers certification in a variety of specialities.

What Will I Learn?

Graduate program relies heavily on hands-on training and classroom learning. Throughout your studies, you focus on teaching, conducting research and serving patients. Subjects include gerontology, pediatric psychology, assessment, consultation, neuropsychology, cognitive development, addiction, human behavior, personality psychology, psychopharmacology, stress and human experimentation. You also learn how to set up clinical and research methodologies.

Is Licensure Necessary?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all states require a psychologist who treats patients to be licensed. Licensing varies depending on the state, so check with your state board of licensing for prerequisites and examination information. Most states do require 1-2 years of experience in a psychology setting such as an internship, states the BLS ( However, you can also check with the Associate of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) to confirm each state's requirements.

You can also earn certification through the American Board of Professional Psychologists (ABPP). This board provides certification for 13 specialties, including clinical neuropsychology. However, in order to sit for their examination, you must already have a valid license as well as your doctorate. Voluntary certification in medical psychology is also available through the Academy of Medical Psychology to those with a doctorate, licensure and requisite experience in the field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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