Degrees in Psychology

Degrees in Psychology

A degree in psychology can lead to a number of careers. To work as a clinical or counseling psychologist, one must have a doctoral degree. Psychologists can earn either a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), with the Ph.D. being a research-based program and the Psy.D. a practical and exam-based program. Doctoral programs typically include five to seven years of study as well as a one-year internship.

To work as a school psychologist, one must have a specialized degree in educational psychology (Ed.S.), which requires at least three years of graduate study in addition to a year-long internship.

Industrial-organizational psychologists and psychological assistants must have a master's degree in psychology. Degree programs typically last at least two years and include practical experience and a thesis.

To become licensed, one must graduate from an accredited program. The American Psychological Association (APA) and National Association of School Psychologists are both accrediting boards for psychology programs.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and 10 Canadian provinces regulate the practice of psychology through licensure. Licensing requirements vary, but most states require clinical psychologists to have a doctoral degree from an accredited program, an internship, one or two years of professional experience, and a passing score on an examination. Most states use the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

The National Association of School Psychologists maintains a comprehensive list of state requirements for psychologists.

In addition to initial licensure requirements, many states have continuing education requirements to keep one's license current.

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