What's the Curriculum of a Health Psychology PhD Degree Program?

Health psychology Ph.D. programs provide the tools needed to succeed in clinical and academic careers in the discipline. The curriculum of these programs includes classroom training, clinical work, internships, and research. This article will give you more information about the curriculum of health psychology Ph.D. programs. Schools offering Health Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Before Entering a Health Psychology Ph.D. Program

In order to enter a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Psychology program, like the one at the University of North Carolina (UNC), you must first obtain a bachelor's degree. Although a master's degree in psychology or another health field can be helpful, it isn't necessary to enter a Ph.D. program. Having a strong undergraduate GPA and a high score on the GRE exam is more important for gaining entrance to a health psychology Ph.D. program.

At UNC, you must have at least 18 credit hours of psychology courses to enter the Ph.D. program, according to the university's website. If your undergraduate degree was not in psychology, you may be able to make up for the course work by earning a high score on the GRE subject test in psychology.

Important Facts About Health Psychology

Specializations Clinical health psychology, community health psychology, and general health psychology
Online Availability Few programs are offered entirely online
Possible Careers Medical therapist, school counselor, psychology researcher
Continuing Education Required for applied health psychologists to maintain licensure
Median Salary (2018) $79,010 (for psychologists in all career fields)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% (for psychologists in all career fields)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Curriculum of a Health Psychology Ph.D. Program

Earning a Ph.D. in Health Psychology requires 5-7 years of training and education. Many of the classes include a clinical aspect so that you can work with real patients. In addition, programs require a clinical or research internship, or a combination of the two. These internships give you the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and to help conduct academic research. You may also begin working on an original research-based thesis project during your internship. Completion and defense of a thesis project is mandatory for all health psychology Ph.D. students.


Before you can begin hands-on training, you'll take a number of classes. Courses are offered in topics related to the field of health psychology, and others are designed for conducting research. The core curriculum of a health psychology Ph.D. program may include classes in:

  • Psychological treatments
  • Psychology ethics
  • Behavior analysis
  • Research design

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.

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