There are several different degree types in the field of psychology.
An Associate’s Degree in Psychology will often be considered the starting point for those wanting to learn more about psychology. This course is often the most affordable way to start your career in psychology, and will provide you with an introduction or general course about psychology.
The next level is the Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. A Bachelor’s Degree will typically take around 4 years to finish, and this level of study can help you understand psychology more in depth, and with classes about certain specialities such as substance abuse or child psychology.
A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is is completed through undergraduate education and is required prior to pursuing other degrees in psychology.
Then, you have the Master’s Degree in Psychology. This is another step up from the Bachelor’s Degree and will take around 2 years to complete. With this degree, you will have more hands-on experience with internships, and you can choose a speciality or sector of psychology in which you want to work, or one that you are very interested in.
A Master of Science (MS) focuses on one or two specific areas of psychology for those with the ultimate goal of practicing counseling or clinical psychology. A Master of Arts (MA) also focuses on a narrowed subset of the field but is intended for those interested in industrial or research psychology.
Finally, there’s a Doctorate Degree, or a PHD in Psychology. This is a long-term degree that can take up to 8 years to finish, which requires extensive research and study into the world of psychology. Students completing this degree will also have to conduct their own research in the form of a dissertation, however a PHD is considered the highest of qualifications, and one of the most impressive, which makes job prospects much simpler.
Doctorates are the terminal degrees in the field of psychology. Similar to the master’s degrees, the different doctoral degrees are intended for different career paths within the field. The traditional Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is ideal if you are considering teaching or conducting research. A Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) allows you to practice clinically through counseling or psychotherapy. If your focus is on working in schools or hospitals, a Doctor of Education (EdD) in psychology will provide you with the most relevant skills. If school psychology is your particular interest, an Education Specialist (EdS) degree will allow you to practice in this field.