How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree?

How long does it take to get a Psychology degree? That depends on what level of degree you want to earn and whether you go part-time or full-time.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree

If you have a passion for helping others and a desire to understand how the mind works and what causes certain behaviors, then Psychology may be the field for you.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Online?

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology student studying at home

Deciding to go to college for a bachelor’s degree in Psychology is the first step in a great career. The time it takes you to get your degree will depend on you and the path you take. You have options of going full time, part-time, or in accelerated programs to work quicker.

Assuming you decide to attend full-time, not accelerated, online, a typical bachelor’s degree program will take four years. The exact timeframe could slightly vary based on the courses offered each semester or prerequisites that you need.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree for Psychology in an Accelerated Program?

psychology degree student studying on her laptop

An accelerated degree in Psychology is an online program that allows you to save time by working at a faster pace. Many of the classes are short periods classes of five, seven, or ten-week per course.

These programs usually allow you to finish your bachelor’s degree in half the time as you would take in a traditional program.

Accelerated degrees are not right for everyone because the classes move at a faster pace and can be challenging to keep up with. You must be a dedicated learner to be successful in this type of program.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Psychology?

Masters in Psychology

Obtaining your master’s degree can give you access to more career options. Your master’s degree in Psychology will take you about two more years after you finish your bachelor’s degree.

The degree from start to finish will take a total of about six years if you go full in a tradition type program.

After getting with a master’s degree in Psychology, you will be qualified for many clinical jobs. Some of these jobs can include but are not limited to:

  • Teaching at the high school or community college level
  • Social work
  • Behavior Health Counselor

You may also want to investigate continuing your career by applying to a school to get your doctorate in Psychology. This degree can help you to gain the skills and qualifications needed to practice clinical psychology on your own.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Doctorate Degree in Psychology?

psychology professor teaching in a university

A Doctor of Psychology is a degree program for those looking to provide services in a clinical setting to assist people with mental and emotional needs. The PsyD usually takes four to six years to complete and does not require a dissertation.

There may be an internship or externship required for your program. You should talk with your school to see exactly what will be needed to complete the program.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Psychology?

PhD in Psychology students studying in the library

A Doctor of Philosophy is a degree that focuses on innovative research and teaching strategies. A PhD involves completing a final exam to prove you understand the material of the program and have acquired the skills needed to work in this discipline.

The academic coursework for the program usually takes about three years.

How Long to Get a PhD in Psychology?

PhD in Psychology students studying in the library

A PhD in Psychology can take five to seven years to complete. This timeframe includes academic studies, clinical examination, and completing your dissertation. Your dissertation will have to be presented to the College Board for approval before you graduate the program.

There are an internship requirement and other work-study requirement s that are needed before you will get the final degree.

How Long Does a PhD in Psychology Take if You Go Part-Time?

PhD in Psychology

Taking classes part-time is vital for those who need the flexibility to work around jobs and family schedules. Going to school part-time will take more time to complete a program.

A PhD in Psychology can take five to seven years to complete if you go full time; part-time enrollment could take you seven to nine years to finish.

The PhD requires you to complete a well-researched dissertation and complete a comprehensive exam. The dissertation has a timeframe to compete for most schools.

The school may have its own requirements for this, so part-time students should check the expectations of each school.

How Do I Get a Degree in Psychology?

psychology student in an admissions interview

Applying for college can be a complicated process for new students who have never completed the process. Every college has its application requirements, but the process for applying is similar. Here are some steps that will help you get the process started:

  1. Talk to the admissions counselor at the college you are interested in to see what they require for acceptance to their school. Some schools might require some prerequisite courses before you can start your core courses. Most admission requirements include:
  • Graduation from high school or a GED program
  • A minimum grade point average
  • Minimum SAT or ACT scores
  • Recommendation letters
  • Personal essay

If you need help with these items, the admission counselor can lead you in the right direction.

  1. Gather your transcripts and fill out the application. Turn in the application with your transcripts and any other required paperwork the school may need.
  2. Fill out federal financial aid applications and any other grant or scholarship forms that you may know up. Make sure you fill out each one before their deadline.

The last thing you to wait your acceptance letter to come in the mail and then continue the process for a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Is It Hard to Become a Psychologist?

psychologist shaking hands with a patient after a therapy session

Psychologists work closely with individuals with mental health issues and other related problems. They work with patients to teach them daily life and coping skills.

They also evaluate individuals and comprehensive assessments to better diagnose the problems that need to be addressed.

Some of the assessments include:

  • cognitive ability
  • intellectual ability
  • vocational ability

Becoming a psychologist can be time-consuming and takes lots of studying.

Psychologists listening to her patient during therapy session

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests you pursue a doctorate education if you are interested in becoming a psychologist. A PhD in this field requires a comprehensive exam and internship work.

Some believe this is a challenging field to begin. The research and exams take time and effort. If you are not confident in research, writing, and giving specific evidence to back up claims, then becoming a Psychologist may be difficult for you.

If you enjoy a challenge and love to learn new things by way of research, and you are confident in your writing ability, then you may find becoming a Psychologist an easy pathway for your learning style.

Whether or not you find the course path hard, it has the potential to be a satisfying career.

How Much Does a Psychologist Make?

Psychologist Jobs and Salary

There are a variety of careers that you can explore as a psychologist. Some of these careers are listed in the table below. You can also see what the jobs are and what the median salary expectation is.

Careers Average Annual Salary
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist $109,030
Sociologist $90,290
Postsecondary Psychology Teacher $88,490
Psychologist $79,010
Human Resources Specialist $60,880

This information comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here you can find more about these careers and others.

Accreditation for an Online Psychology Degree

Accreditation for an Online Psychology Degree

There are regional accreditation programs based on the areas based that colleges are located. Each college and university can apply to be accredited by the accreditation agency that supports their region.

There are six regional accreditation programs in the United States, including:

Accredited psychology schools are sure to provide coursework and skills needed for students to gain research-based instruction that will help them succeed in their field.

Financial Aid for a Degree in Psychology

Financial Aid for a Degree in Psychology

The cost of a degree in psychology will depend on several factors, such as:

  • where you live versus the physical location of the school
  • what your household income is
  • the grants and scholarship offered by your school
  • The level of degree in which you wish to obtain
  • other awards and scholarships for which you apply

Community colleges and vocational schools local to your area will usually offer the best price per credit hour and will often have the best scholarship opportunities. Many of these schools have online programs and will help you enroll in these programs.

Psychology student searching for scholarships online

Some people prefer to gain their associate’s degree from a community college and then transfer into a university to help keep the cost of college lower.

Many universities accept courses from a community college as long as the college is accredited. This is a great way to get your first two years of general education credits completed.

If you decide to go into a postgraduate degree program, there is more money available through the American Psychological Association. Check them out for grant and scholarship opportunities.

No matter which level of degree you want earn, however, the best place to start is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), where you’ll see what grants and government loans you qualify for.

Is It Worth It to Get a Degree in Psychology?

psychologist smiling during a therapy session with a couple

Yes, it is worth it to get a degree in Psychology. Once you get your license and become a psychologist, you could be earning over $100,000 per year.

A Psychology degree can open doors for your new career and help you better work with people and organizations to bring positive change. Start looking at schools that offer accredited Psychology programs and determine if this path is right for you.

Complete your application and get started. The end result should be worth the time, money, and hard work. The career you have been looking for is waiting for you.

Taylor Burgess
WRITTEN BY
Taylor Burgess