Psychology Graduate Programs

As a graduate student, you'd learn how psychology principles are applied in a clinical setting to evaluate patients and help them overcome mental health issues, such as substance abuse, personality disorders and stress. Learn about your options for pursuing an on-campus psychology graduate degree, and check the admission requirements. Explore the curricula for various graduate psychology programs. Schools offering Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Why Should I Enroll in a Psychology Graduate Program?

Master of Arts and Master of Science in Psychology programs generally prepare you to work in counseling, social work or human services positions. You should enroll in a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program if you're looking to practice as a clinical psychologist. Ph.D. in Psychology programs prepare you for research and teaching careers; however, you also can enroll in a Ph.D. program that prepares you for a counseling or clinical therapy career.

Degree Levels Master's and doctorate degrees are available
Prerequisites Varies, depending upon intended program of enrollment; a bachelor's degree and graduate standardized test scores are typically required
Online Availability Master's degrees are available online; Ph.D. programs are rarely available online, and earning an online Ph.D. may limit your career options
Common Courses Memory, neuroscience, patient assessment, pharmacology, personality theory

What Do I Need to Enroll?

You'll have to earn a bachelor's degree and take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) before applying to a graduate program in psychology. This is usually all that's needed to enter a master's degree program.

Many Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs look for previous research or practical experience. You may also have to take the GRE subject test in psychology in order to apply. Both Psy.D. and Ph.D. programs will admit students who have a 4-year degree, but those who have a master's degree often can earn their doctorate sooner.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

You can't earn your Psy.D. online due to the clinical internship and research requirements. Online Ph.D. programs are uncommon, and those that are available won't provide the clinical training or internship requirements you'd need to work as a counselor, psychologist or therapist. You can earn your Master of Arts or Master of Science in Psychology online.

What Can I Learn?

Master's degree programs offer advanced courses in psychology, personality theory, mental disorders and patient evaluation. You have the option of enrolling in a general program or focusing your study in personality, social, developmental, experimental or another specific area of psychology.

Research requirements will provide hands-on experience observing the behaviors of patients with substance abuse, depression and anxiety, as well as learning and cognitive disorders. You can earn your degree without completing a thesis, but specializing your study will mean that you have to complete a thesis.

Other requirements may include courses in:

  • Child psychology
  • Organizational psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Memory
  • Patient assessment
  • Behavioral conditioning

In a Psy.D. program, you cover much of the same material that you would in a master's degree program; however, you'll integrate this study into learning about and developing clinical practice methods. This knowledge is then applied during internship requirements. You'll also learn how to work with psychiatrists to monitor patients on medication, conduct interventions and interview patients.

As a Ph.D. candidate, you'll complete courses that provide an overview of clinical practice and therapy, but you'll focus more on research in your chosen area of the field. You can focus on a range of psychological topics during these doctoral programs, from cultural perspectives and creative arts therapy to health psychology.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Nevada

    Campus Locations:

    • Nevada: Las Vegas
  • University of Connecticut

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: Storrs
  • San Francisco State University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: San Francisco