2021 Best Dual Masters and PhD Programs in Psychology Online

If you’re wanting to pursue advanced education in the field of psychology, then you may be interested in dual masters and PhD programs in psychology online.

Dual Masters and PhD Programs in Psychology Online

This option can help you develop a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of various elements of psychology, from theory and research to clinical practice.

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Dual masters and PhD programs online can enable you to advance your education and transition from bachelor-level studies to the highest degree available in the field.

Dual Masters and PhD Programs in Psychology Online

PhD Programs in Psychology Online

There are a variety of educational programs that offer a masters in psychology as a combined degree with a Ph.D. in Psychology.

The specific degree combination that works best for you may depend on your educational and career goals, such as whether you’re interested in sports psychology or clinical psychology.

Some dual masters and doctoral degree combinations can include:

  • MS in Clinical Psychology with a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
  • MA in Sports Psychology with a PsyD in Clinical Psychology
  • MA in Psychology with a PsyD in Clinical Psychology

There are also programs that offer advanced education in psychology coupled with another academic area. For example, some programs pair a PhD in Psychology with a masters in business administration, a masters in criminal justice, or a masters in education. Specific offerings can vary greatly depending on the school you choose to attend.

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Enrolling in a dual masters and PhD program in psychology online may offer you a number of benefits:

  • Less time. With a dual program, you can earn your masters and PhD in less time than if you were to complete each program separately.
  • Less cost. Graduate degrees tend to cost more if you complete each program separately.
  • Simpler application process. You only need to apply to a single program, reducing the burden of needing to apply to each program independently.
  • More career opportunities. Holding two graduate-level degrees may help broaden professional opportunities in the job market.

A dual masters and PhD program will include a variety of masters-level courses in addition to PhD-level educational options. This can allow you to develop comprehensive, in-depth knowledge in this area of study.

It may also be worth exploring the combined masters and PsyD programs that some universities offer.

Psychology Careers

Psychology Careers

Psychology graduate programs can help prepare you to work in a number of different industries and sectors of the economy. These may include government institutions, academia, research, hospitals and healthcare centers, and family and youth services.

Other areas where your skills and expertise may be needed include sports management, criminal justice, education, or community-based and nonprofit services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning a dual master’s and PhD in Psychology online can help you qualify for a variety of roles in the field.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services $208,000
Chief Executives, Healthcare and Social Assistance $160,950
Psychologists, All Other $105,780
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists $96,270
Sociologists $86,110
Social Scientists and Related Workers $82,280
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists $79,820
Postsecondary Psychology Teachers $78,180
Survey Researchers $59,870
School and Career Counselors and Advisors $58,120

Attending dual masters and doctorate degree programs online may allow you to take advantage of the positive job growth that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts for a number of positions in the field of psychology.

These positions include psychologists (3% job growth), top executives (4%), sociologists (4%), social scientists and related workers (4%), and postsecondary teachers (9%).

Psychology Combined Master’s and PhD Curriculum

Psychology Combined Master’s and PhD

Completing a combined masters and PhD program in psychology can require you to take courses at a masters level followed by others at a doctoral level.

  • Psychological Statistics: This course is a review of key statistical methods used in the field of psychology.
  • Introduction to Group Psychology: You’ll look at theories related to group psychology, including group dynamics, defense mechanisms, and systems theory.
  • Human Growth and Development: This course is an examination of the various stages of human development, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood.
  • Developmental Psychopathy and Treatment: You’ll analyze different behavior disorders through different stages of development, including assessment practices, DSM-IV diagnoses, and intervention methods.
  • Vocational and Organizational Psychology: You’ll look at various components of career and workplace psychology, including making career decisions and career counseling practices.
  • Marriage and Family Psychology: This course is an examination of psychological theories related to marriage and family counseling.
  • Biological Bases for Behavior: This course analyzes the relationship between physiological and psychological functioning in humans.
  • Ethical Issues in Psychology: This course is a review of ethical issues and standards for professional practice in the field of psychology.
  • Approaches to Psychotherapy: You’ll look at theories, practical applications, and techniques in relation to the treatment approach of psychotherapy.
  • Diversity Issues in Counseling Psychology: This course is an examination of counseling approaches and skills that account for multicultural differences and cultural diversity in practice.

In addition to completing coursework, many dual master’s and PhD programs require you to complete internships and doctorate projects in the field of psychology.

How to Become a Psychologist

dual Masters and PhD programs

There are a number of steps involved in becoming a licensed psychologist, and the requirements to become licensed may vary from one state to the next.

In order to become a licensed psychologist, you’re often required to:

  • Complete the required level of education. Many states require that you hold a PhD in Psychology or a PsyD. To qualify for a doctoral program, you may first need to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In some cases, you may choose to complete a master’s program prior to engaging in PhD-level education.
  • Earn a specified number of clinical work hours. Before becoming eligible to earn a license to practice, you’re often required to perform a designated number of supervised clinical work hours. The specific number of hours may vary by state.
  • Pass a professional exam. Finally, in order to become a licensed psychologist, you’re required to complete and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
  • Obtain license. Once you complete your state’s licensing requirements, you can be granted your license to practice.

      You may also be required to hold a terminal degree from a program that has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

      Dual Masters and PhD Admissions Requirements

      Dual Masters and PhD Admissions

      Schools and programs often differ in their specific requirements for admissions when it comes to dual masters and PhD programs, but some common criteria include:

      • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
      • Submission of all postsecondary transcripts
      • Letters of recommendation from academic or work supervisors
      • Copy of your resume or CV
      • Statement of purpose outlining your interest in the program and school

      While it is becoming a less common requirement, some schools may also require you to submit GRE or GMAT scores as part of your application.

      Accreditation

      Dual Masters and PhD Programs in Psychology Accreditation

      Regional accreditation is a status that indicates a school’s educational offerings have met a predetermined set of quality standards.

      By attending a program that has been regionally accredited, you may have an easier time transferring credits from one school to the next. A degree from a regionally accredited institution may also be regarded more highly by potential employers.

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      For more information on the accreditation status of programs you’re interested in attending, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

      American Psychological Association (APA) Accreditation

      APA Accreditation

      Psychology programs can also have programmatic accreditation. The top accrediting agency for psychology programs is the American Psychological Association (APA).

      Programs that have been granted programmatic accreditation by the APA have met standards that confirm the overall quality of their academic offerings. Achieving these quality standards indicates that the program meets professional best practices in the field of psychology and is in line with evidence-based approaches.

      In some states, attending an APA accredited program is required in order to become a licensed psychologist.

      Financial Aid and Scholarships

      Dual Masters and PhD Programs in Psychology financial aid

      When pursuing a dual masters and PhD program in psychology, you may be eligible to apply for financial aid to help you fund your educational goals. Financial aid options include:

      • Government aid. Federal and state financial aid often comes in the form of grants and loans.
      • Scholarships. Scholarships can be offered by private organizations, public organizations, and sometimes the school you’re interested in attending.
      • Financial aid packages from your school. Financial aid from your school can include loans, scholarships, tuition reimbursements, or stipends to help cover costs.

      For more information on financial aid options that may be available to you, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

      Can I Get a PhD in Psychology Without a Masters?

      PhD in Psychology Without a Masters

      Yes, many PhD in Psychology programs don’t require a master’s degree for enrollment. Most psychology doctoral programs only require students to hold a bachelor’s degree, but specific admissions criteria can vary from one school to the next.

      Dual masters and PhD programs allow you to earn the two degrees within the same program, which may cut down on the cost and time required to earn both degrees. There are also some PhD programs that do not require you to have a masters degree to enroll and do not even require you to earn a master’s in order to graduate with your PhD.

      What’s the Difference Between a Masters vs. PhD in Psychology?

      A master’s in psychology and a PhD in Psychology are both graduate-level academic programs, but they are not the same.

      Master’s in Psychology PhD in Psychology
      • Takes approximately 2 years to complete
      • Not as advanced as a PhD
      • Not eligible for licensure as a psychologist (Varies by state)
      • Career options are more limited than with a PhD
      • Takes approximately 3 to 5 years to complete
      • Highest level of education available
      • Doctorate is generally required to become a licensed psychologist
      • More career opportunities, particularly in education and research

      A PhD-level education is more in-depth and advanced than a masters.

      Can I Get My Masters and PhD in Psychology at the Same Time?

      Masters and PhD in Psychology

      There are a number of dual degree programs available that may allow you to earn a masters degree and a PhD in Psychology at the same time. In combined masters and PhD programs, you’ll typically complete a blend of masters-level and doctorate-level courses in order to achieve the requirements for each degree.

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      Depending on the dual degree program you choose to attend, you may be able to save on the total cost of your education. You may also be able to complete both degrees in less time than the traditional route.

      How Long Does It Take to Get a Combined Masters and PhD Program in Psychology?

      Combined masters and PhD programs in psychology typically take 5 to 6 years to complete, depending on the university and your chosen specialty.

      How long it takes to complete a combined master’s and PhD program can also depend on whether you attend on a full-time or part-time basis. Whether you’re required to complete an internship, dissertation, or thesis as part of your studies can also impact the total length of time required to earn your degrees.

      Should I Enroll in a Dual Master’s and PhD Program in Psychology?

      Dual Master's and PhD Program in Psychology

      Whether a dual masters and PhD program is the right path for you depends on your educational background as well as your future career and academic goals.

      Attending a dual degree program may be a good fit for you if:

      • You hold a bachelors degree from an accredited university.
      • You’re interested in earning both a masters degree and a doctorate.
      • You want to earn your graduate degrees in less time than traditional routes.

      A dual degree program may help you develop the skills and knowledge required to advance into your chosen career path in less time and at less cost than alternative options.

      What’s the Difference Between a PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology?

      PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology

      While both PsyD and PhD programs are concentrated on the field of psychology at an advanced level, there are some key distinctions to be aware of when deciding which educational path to pursue.

      • PsyD: A Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) is a professional doctorate, placing greater emphasis on clinical work in the field of psychology
      • PhD: A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology places greater emphasis on research than clinical work in the field of psychology.

      The option that is best for you will depend on your career and educational goals.

      Is a Dual Masters and PhD in Psychology Worth It?

      Dual Masters and PhD in Psychology

      Yes, a dual masters and PhD in Psychology is worth it for many students. Common careers in this field include clinical psychologist, social scientist, industrial organizational psychologist, postsecondary teacher, survey researcher, or  sociologist.

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a number of positions in the field are predicted to experience growth over the next several years. These positions include psychologists (3% job growth), top executives (4%), sociologists (4%), social scientists and related workers (4%), and postsecondary teachers (9%).

      Universities Offering Masters and PhD in Psychology Dual or Combined 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, on campus or in a hybrid format.

      DePaul University

      DePaul University campus

      DePaul University offers a dual degree program in psychological sciences that allows students to pursue a Master of Arts and a PhD in Psychology.

      The program can be completed online or in-person. To graduate, students must complete 19 courses, a thesis, and a dissertation. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and need to submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

      DePaul University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

      Georgetown University

      Georgetown University campus

      Georgetown University offers a dual degree program for students interested in receiving a Master’s in Public Policy and a PhD in Psychology. Students must complete 51 credits and a thesis to graduate. The program can only be completed on campus. Applicants must fill out an online application with a resume and 3 letters of recommendation.

      Georgetown University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

      Georgia State University

      Georgia State University campus

      Georgia State University offers an on-campus dual degree option for students in the Community Psychology Program. Students may obtain both a PhD in Psychology and a Master of Public Health within 6 years. A 3 semester practicum is required to graduate. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose and 3 letters of recommendation.

      Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

      Nova Southeastern University

      Nova Southeastern University campus

      Nova Southeastern University offers an on-campus dual degree program for those interested in obtaining both a Master of Business Administration and a PhD in Psychology. Applicants must be in their second year of their PhD and must contact the Director of Academic Affairs to join the program.

      NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

      Pacifica Graduate Institute

      Pacifica Graduate Institute campus

      Pacifica Graduate Institute offers a dual degree for a Master of Arts and a PhD in Psychology. The program can typically be completed in 3 years and requires the completion of an exam portfolio, a dissertation, and an internship. Applicants must submit a personal statement, a resume, and 3 letters of recommendation.

      Pacifica Graduate Institute is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

      Portland State University

      Portland State University campus

      Portland State University offers a dual degree program for a Master and Doctorate in Psychology. Both programs must be completed on campus. Students may choose to add one of 5 concentrations to their degree as well. Applicants must submit a portfolio, a personal essay, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.

      Portland State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

      Rutgers University

      Rutgers University campus

      Rutgers University offers a PhD and a Master of Science in Psychology. Students must choose one of these focus areas to study: Behavioral and System Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, or Social Psychology. Applicants must submit GRE scores, a personal statement, and 3 letters of recommendation.

      Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

      Saint Louis University

      Saint Louis University campus

      Saint Louis University offers a dual degree program for students interested in receiving a Master of Science in Public Health and a PhD in Psychology. Students must complete 126 credits to graduate and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must be admitted into both programs to pursue a dual degree.

      Saint Louis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

      University of Alabama – Birmingham

      University of Alabama Birmingham campus

      The University of Alabama—Birmingham offers a joint Master of Public Health and PhD in Clinical Psychology program. Students must complete clinical coursework and can choose to add one of 5 concentrations. Applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation and complete an interview. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is also required.

      The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

      University of Missouri

      University of Missouri campus

      The University of Missouri offers a dual degree program for students interested in receiving a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Psychology. Students must complete 113 credit hours, a dissertation, and a thesis to graduate. Applicants will be judged based on their GPA and GRE scores.

      The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

      University of New Mexico

      The University of New Mexico campus

      The University of New Mexico offers a Master of Arts and a PhD in Educational Psychology.

      The program can typically be completed in 5 years, and students must write a master’s thesis and a comprehensive paper to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants need to write their intention for the dual degree program in their letter of intent and must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

      The University of New Mexico is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

      University of Rochester

      University of Rochester campus

      The University of Rochester offers an MA to PhD track for students interested in obtaining both degrees in psychology.

      Students may choose between 3 different areas of psychology: Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Social-Personality Psychology. Applicants must submit a personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation, and a resume.

      The University of Rochester is an accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

      University of South Florida

      University of South Florida campus

      The University of South Florida offers a PhD in Psychology that allows students to pursue a Master of Arts as they study.

      Students may choose a concentration in Clinical Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, or Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social Psychology. Applicants must submit transcripts, a statement of purpose, and 3 letters of recommendation.

      The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

      University of Southern California

      University of Southern California campus

      The University of Southern California offers a dual degree program for a Master of Public Health and a PhD in Psychology. Those interested in the program must first apply to the PhD in Clinical Science before applying for the dual degree program in their first year.

      The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Senior College and University Commission.

      University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

      University of Texas Rio Grande Valley campus

      The University of Texas—Rio Grande Valley offers a PhD in Clinical Psychology program that allows students to pursue a Master of Science in Psychology as well.

      Students must complete 96 credit hours, including a 12 month internship. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, GRE scores, and 3 letters of recommendation.

      UTRGV is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

      Getting Your Dual Masters and PhD Program in Psychology Online

      Dual Masters and PhD Program in Psychology Online

      If you’re interested in a career in psychology that requires graduate-level education, then pursuing a dual masters and PhD degree program in psychology online may be a strategic path for you to consider.

      By pursuing a dual or combined degree program, you may be able to complete your education in less time and at a lower cost. This efficient degree path might help you get started in the professional world faster than average.

      If you’re eager to enter the lucrative field of psychology, you can start your advanced educational journey today by exploring dual online psychology PhD and masters programs from accredited universities.

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      Brenda Pyzik
      WRITTEN BY
      Brenda Pyzik
      Brenda has a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Waterloo, with a minor in legal studies. She obtained a graduate certificate in human resource management from Georgian College. Brenda focuses on employment, business, and training and development.