Combined masters and PsyD programs allow you to earn a masters in another field while simultaneously working toward your professional doctorate in psychology.
Online dual degree programs can help you structure interdisciplinary coursework and get two degrees in a reasonable timeframe.
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If an interdisciplinary approach makes sense for your professional interests, an online dual masters and PsyD program might be an intriguing option. Most students are clear about a masters degree, but what is a PsyD degree program?
A PsyD is a professional doctorate designed to prepare students to deliver psychological services to groups or individuals in need of clinical therapy and mental health support.
Combined Masters and PsyD Programs Online
The first question to ask yourself when thinking about a dual degree program is whether it aligns with your learning and career interests. If it does, then a dual degree program may save you time and money in the long run.
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The next thing to consider is what kind of masters degree you want to combine or pair with your Psy.D. As you can imagine, you’ll find many different options online. As you explore different pairings, you may even find yourself envisioning a professional niche or pathway you hadn’t thought of yet.
Common Master’s Degree Pairings with PsyD Programs
When you’re considering what masters degree to pair with your psychology doctorate, it can help to determine what sort of combination might support your career goals.
Here are just a few of the masters and PsyD combinations you can find online:
MBA / Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
If you want to apply psychology to business initiatives, a joint Master of Business Administration and PsyD degree program can help prepare you for that kind of professional niche.
Alternately, the business savvy you get from your MBA classes could complement a PsyD with a specialization in industrial-organizational psychology.
Master’s in Education / Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Here are two ways to think about a dual MEd and PsyD degree. Your MEd can help to equip you for a career in educational psychology. You can also specialize in educational leadership and blend that with an organizational psychology doctoral degree.
Master’s in Criminal Justice / Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
If you decide to get a doctorate in psychology with a specialization in forensic psychology, the MSCJ and PsyD combination could be an interesting option.
By developing specialized skills in forensic psychology and criminal justice, you might later pursue work in the criminal justice system.
Master’s in Psychology / Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
In this single-track dual degree psychology program, you can efficiently earn a master’s degree in psychology while accruing course credits in a more extensive doctoral program.
This kind of program gives you an opportunity to explore academic study in psychology. If you decide getting a doctorate just isn’t for you, you can then exit the doctoral track with a master’s degree in hand.
Also, some universities offer masters PhD combined programs in addition to these masters PsyD dual programs.
Psychology Careers & Salaries
Psychology is a discipline with distinct branches. You can choose a dual degree program based on the area of psychology you want to specialize in.
For example, professionals who specialized in clinical study may work as psychotherapists or lead community mental health agencies or nonprofits. With a dual MBA and PsyD, you may be even better equipped for a career in medical and health services management.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advanced training in psychology is applicable to a number of positions in various fields.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Human Resources Managers||$121,220|
|Training and Development Managers||$115,640|
|Psychologists, All Other||$105,780|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$104,280|
|General and Operations Managers||$103,650|
|Postsecondary Education Administrators||$97,500|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$79,820|
Professionals who specialize in industrial-organizational psychology can pursue an MBA degree to further equip themselves for roles such as human resources manager or training and development manager.
Those wanting to work as a school psychologist might specialize in educational psychology. An MEd and PsyD combination can help prepare you for careers related to school counseling, academic testing, or assessing and supporting students with learning disabilities.
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A PhD in Psychology is often best suited for careers in academia and research, though a PsyD may qualify you as well.
Joint Masters and PsyD Admissions Requirements
Admissions requirements vary by school and program. Some combined masters and PsyD programs in psychology may have additional requirements in statistics or other advanced math coursework. Common requirements are likely to include:
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- Satisfactory GPA
- GRE or GMAT scores (if required)
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
As you find programs offering online degrees in psychology that best fit your professional goals, you can check out the admissions requirements ahead of time. You can also check with a school’s admissions office if you need more information.
It can be strategic to only apply to fully accredited schools and programs. State licensing boards often require you to have a degree from an accredited school and course of study.
The regional accreditation process helps ensure school services, student resources, and instructional programs meet accepted standards. By attending a regionally accredited school, you’re more likely to get high-quality instruction and up-to-date training in your field.
Accreditation can also be a precondition for some forms of financial aid. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) can offer more information about accreditation as well as a database of accredited schools.
APA Accredited Psychology Programs
Some doctorate programs in psychology have APA programmatic accreditation. This means that the course curriculum and academic training provided are endorsed by the American Psychological Association (APA).
This kind of programmatic accreditation signifies that instructional content is aligned with the kinds of professional standards recognized by the APA. Some state licensing boards also require APA accreditation or other programmatic accreditation, so it’s beneficial to inquire about licensing requirements ahead of time.
The American Psychological Association offers search tools that can help you find APA accredited programs.
Psychology Licensure and Certifications
If you wish to become licensed, you can look up your state’s licensing board. Licensing requirements vary by state, but some common requirements include:
- A PhD in Psychology or a PsyD from a properly accredited school and program
- Satisfactory scores on any required licensing examinations
- Completion of supervised clinical practice, internship, or postdoc requirements
Some state boards may require candidates to have a degree from an APA accredited program. Licensing requirements may differ for psychologists who plan to deliver clinical services versus those who plan to pursue careers in educational psychology, forensic psychology, or industrial-organizational psychology.
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Earning professional certifications can help you further specialize in the field or demonstrate your qualifications to prospective employers.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you need financial assistance to cover the costs of your dual degree program, you can see if you qualify for financial aid. Types of financial aid include federal or state education grants, need-based or merit-based scholarships, and student loans.
For loans and other forms of aid, terms and conditions can vary, so it’s beneficial to look over all offers carefully. If you’re currently working in the field, you may also qualify for employer-based tuition assistance.
If you plan to apply for financial aid, you might want to start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Do You Need a Masters to Get a PsyD?
There are many online dual masters and PsyD programs that don’t require a master’s degree for admission. In the case of a dual program, though, there may be some prerequisites related to one or both of the majors you’re applying to study.
For example, a dual graduate program for an MBA and PsyD may require some prior preparation in statistics or other forms of advanced math relevant to quantitative analysis and research.
What Can You Do with a PsyD?
What you can do with a PsyD depends on the branch of psychology you choose to specialize in. There are also a number of factors that can affect your job prospects, including professional experience and licensing requirements.
Those who study clinical psychology may want to become licensed and offer psychotherapy services. Graduates with an MBA and a PsyD concentration in organizational psychology tend to pursue jobs in human resources management or workforce training and development management.
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With an MBA/PsyD concentration in clinical psychology, graduates might want to manage healthcare services related to psychotherapy or community mental health. If you were to combine your PsyD with a masters in public health, you might qualify for positions in medical and health services management.
With a specialization in education and educational psychology, professionals may help school districts deliver or manage specialized student support services.
Alternately, with a masters in education and a PsyD concentration in organizational psychology, you might qualify for work in the fields of educational leadership and postsecondary education administration.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Dual Masters and PsyD?
Dual masters and PsyD programs typically take 4 to 6 years to complete, depending on the university and your chosen specialty.
How long it takes can depend on the total number of course credits required as well as your study schedule. You may also want to factor in capstone projects, your field study, or other professional licensing requirements.
If you want to finish as quickly as possible, you can look for online programs offering accelerated study timelines. These programs often require full-time, year-round academic commitments. They can be challenging, so it may be worth learning how to study effectively for exams.
What’s the Difference Between a PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology?
Students often wonder whether there is a difference between a PsyD vs PhD in Psychology. A PhD in Psychology and a PsyD have a lot in common, but there are a few important differences.
|PhD in Psychology||PsyD|
A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology is typically a more scholarly, research-based track. A Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program is a professional doctorate that focuses more on advanced professional inquiry and practical professional development topics.
Is a Combined Master’s and PsyD Program Worth It?
Yes, a combined master’s and PsyD program is worth it for many students. Combining a complementary masters and PsyD allows you to develop a wider range of specialized skills that are relevant to your career interests.
For example, a professional doctorate in industrial-organizational psychology can be enhanced with the specialized business knowledge of an MBA. Education, healthcare, and social and community services are additional fields that complement psychology and its various branches.
Universities Offering Combined Masters and PsyD Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online, campus or in a hybrid format.
Appalachian State University offers a Doctor of Psychology with an en route Master of Arts in Psychology. To graduate, students must obtain 113 credit hours, including a dissertation and an internship. Applicants must submit GRE scores, a GPA of 3.0, a personal statement, and 3 references.
Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
George Washington University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology with the option to complete a Master of Psychology at the same time.
The program can usually be completed in 4 years, with the final year involving an internship. Applicants must have a bachelor’s in psychology and must submit 3 letters of recommendation and GRE scores.
George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
John F Kennedy University offers a dual degree for a Master of Arts in Sport Psychology and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology. The program can usually be completed in 6 years of full-time study. To graduate, students must obtain 128 credits, including an internship. Applicants must submit an online application.
JFKU is accredited by the Western Association of School and Colleges Senior University and College Commission.
Loyola University—Maryland offers a combined Master of Science and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology.
The program requires 131 credit hours, a dissertation, and a clinical placement to graduate and can typically be completed in 5 years. Applicants must complete an interview and submit an essay and 3 letters of recommendation.
Loyola University Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Mercer University offers a combined Master of Public Health and Doctor of Psychology program. It can typically be completed in 5 years. Applicants must have a bachelor’s in psychology with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, GRE scores, a personal statement, and a resume.
Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
National University offers an online dual degree program for a Master of Arts in Sports Psychology and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology. The program can typically be completed in 5 years, with the master’s degree awarded at the end of the third year. Applicants must submit an online application.
National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Regent University offers a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology that allows students to receive a master’s degree as well. The program requires 124 credit hours, including an internship, to graduate. Applicants must complete an academic background questionnaire and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher from their undergraduate work.
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Rutgers University offers a dual degree program for those interested in obtaining a Master of Public Health and a Doctor of Psychology. The program allows students to use 15 credits from the Doctor of Psychology towards the master’s degree. Those interested in the program must be in the Doctor of Psychology program.
Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of St. Thomas offers a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with a direct admission to the Doctor of Psychology program. Students must complete 129 credits to obtain both degrees. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and need to submit official transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, and a writing sample.
The University of St. Thomas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Widener University offers a dual degree program for students interested in obtaining a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Psychology.
The program can typically be completed in 5 years and requires summer and evening courses. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, submit a short essay, and complete an in-person interview.
Widener University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Getting Your Combined Masters and PsyD Degree Online
Dual masters and PsyD programs allow you to simultaneously earn your masters and doctorate. There are a number of degree combinations that can help prepare you for various opportunities in specialized career niches.
Many flexible dual degree programs are now offered online. Much like with dual masters and PhD programs in psychology online, earning your combined masters and PsyD degree online may allow you to finish your program according to your own schedule. Different online dual degree programs may have full-time, part-time, or accelerated options.
If you’re ready to start this next step in your educational journey, you can begin by exploring the various combined masters and PsyD programs online offered by accredited universities.