How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (2023)

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? (1)

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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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (2)

Deciding to go to college for a traditional or online 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.

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Assuming you decide to attend full-time, not accelerated, typical accredited online bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete. 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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (3)

An accelerated psychology degree online 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 fast bachelors degree programs usually allow you to finish your 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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (4)

Obtaining your master’s degree can give you access to more career options. Earning a master’s degree in Psychology typically takes about two more years after finishing a bachelor’s degree.

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

(Video) The TRUTH On Getting A Psychology Degree

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Getting a master’s degree in Psychology, can help qualify you 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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (5)

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. How long it takes to get a doctorate in psychology is roughly four to six years 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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (6)

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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (7)

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.

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

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

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (8)

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.

(Video) What NO ONE tells you about majoring in PSYCHOLOGY

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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (9)

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 can 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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (10)

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.

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Some of the assessments include:

  • cognitive ability
  • intellectual ability
  • vocational ability

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

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (11)

The U.S. 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 can 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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (12)


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.

CareersAnnual Median Salary
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist$96,270
Psychology Professor$78,180
Human Resources Specialist$63,490

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

Accreditation for an Online Psychology Degree

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (13)

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.

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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

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (14)

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.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (15)

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?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (16)

Yes, getting a degree in Psychology is worth it for many students. Outlook for life, physical, and social science jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to grow 5% for the next ten years. Common careers in this field include human resources specialist, psychology professor, psychologist, and sociologist.

(Video) Should I major in psychology?

A Psychology degree can open doors 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.

Ready to start your journey?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Psychology Degree? (17)


Joy Cromwelle

Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.

(Video) Careers in Psychology : How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychiatrist?


How fast can you get a psychology degree? ›

If you're attending school full-time, you can earn a bachelor's degree in psychology within four or five years. If you decide to go for your master's degree, expect another two to three years. A doctorate degree in psychology can take anywhere from four to seven years.

Is psychology a difficult degree? ›

According to students studying psychology, there is quite a lot of reading that you need to do. Psychology is one of the more difficult degrees and many of your assignments will require you to cite your sources and will require you to back up a lot of the arguments that you have.

How long does a psychology degree take UK? ›

You'll need to complete: a 3-year degree in psychology accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS) a 3-year postgraduate doctorate in clinical psychology.

What is the easiest degree to get? ›

The 16 Easiest College Majors – 2023 Rankings
  • Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • English.
  • Education.
  • Religious Studies.
  • Social Work.
  • Sociology.
  • Communications.
2 days ago

Is psychology a worth it degree? ›

A degree in psychology opens up many opportunities to have a positive effect on someone's life. For example, as a practitioner in the field, you may help people overcome the effects of trauma, deal with a mental illness, face a mental health crisis or achieve personal goals.

What is the shortest psychology degree? ›

An associate degree in psychology is an undergraduate-level degree that usually takes two years to complete. The associate degree option is often offered at community colleges, and many students then transfer to a state university to complete a bachelor's degree.

Does psychology need math? ›

And so if you want to take up Psychology as a subject for your Bachelor's degree, you neednt have Mathematics as your subject in your 12th curriculum. You should have studied Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

What's the hardest degree? ›

The hardest degree subjects are Chemistry, Medicine, Architecture, Physics, Biomedical Science, Law, Neuroscience, Fine Arts, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Economics, Education, Computer Science and Philosophy. Let's dive right in, and look at why these subjects are the hardest degree subjects.

What is the hardest field of psychology? ›

1. Parapsychology. By its very nature, parapsychology is even more vague than “traditional” mental health practices. It's the study of nonquantifiable phenomena, such as telepathy, telekinesis, extrasensory perception, and mind reading.

Does psychology pay well UK? ›

How much does a Psychologist make in United Kingdom? The average psychologist salary in the United Kingdom is £47,516 per year or £24.37 per hour. Entry level positions start at £40,696 per year while most experienced workers make up to £60,384 per year.

How do you qualify as a psychologist? ›

To work as a clinical psychologist, counselling psychologist, forensic psychologist or health psychologist, you have to take a postgraduate course (usually at doctorate level) approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Can you become a psychologist without a degree? ›

As such, you don't need a psychology degree to start training. Instead, you need to have a background in one of the listed 'Core Professions', which include Mental Health Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Social Work, amongst others.

What is the most regretted major? ›

A Federal Reserve Survey has revealed that humanities and arts majors regret their decisions at the highest rate.

What 2 year degree pays the most? ›

What Are the Highest-Paying Associate Degrees?
  • Electrical Engineering. ...
  • Aeronautics. ...
  • MRI Technology. ...
  • Radiology Technology. ...
  • Respiratory Therapy. ...
  • Occupational Therapy. ...
  • Mechanical Engineering. ...
  • Network Engineering. Network engineers design, administer, and maintain local and wide area network systems.

What is the lowest paying degree? ›

Worst-paying college majors
  • Family and Consumer Sciences. $32K.
  • General Social Sciences. $34K.
  • Performing Arts. $34K.
  • Social Services. $35K.
  • Anthropology. $36K.
  • Early Childhood Education. $36K.
  • Theology and Religion. $36.6K.
  • Psychology. $37K.
12 Feb 2022

Do psychology jobs pay well? ›

The highest paying psychologist career salaries average around $167,000. While many psychology careers have a higher than average yearly salary, it is important to remember that actual income depends upon various factors, including geographic location, employment sector, educational background, and years of experience.

Is psychology a well paying field? ›

In addition, they often offer their services through private practice as well, thereby increasing the scope of their earnings. A clinical psychologist makes on average ₹355,326 per year.

What degree in psychology pays the most? ›

Psychiatrists prescribe medications for patients with mental illnesses. Psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. The average salary is $217,798, according to PayScale.

Is psychology a low paying degree? ›

Psychology — and counseling psychology in particular, with an average annual salary of $29,000 — were among the majors with the lowest salaries.

What is a 2 year psychology degree called? ›

An associate degree in psychology is typically earned through two-year degree programs offered at community colleges. It can serve as a great starting point in one's post-high school education and allows students to get a feel for psychology as an area of study.

Is there a lot of maths in a psychology degree? ›

Finally, as you study for a doctorate in psychology, you will definitely have classes in statistics and research methods that are math-heavy. Psychometrics, intermediate to advanced quantitative methods, and multivariate analysis all sound scary, but are quite manageable math courses at this level.

Does psychology require a lot of writing? ›

The ability to write well is one of the most important skills you can gain as a psychology major. Most psychology courses require a significant amount of writing, including essays, case studies, research reports, and other papers.

What subjects do I need to study psychology? ›

There are no specific subjects needed, but Life Science or Biology will come as an advantage because, psychology has a lot of focus on the human brain and sensory systems. If you have an NQF level 4 certificate with an Admissions Point Score (APS) of over 21+ points, you are likely to qualify for a psychology degree.

Which subject is best for psychology? ›

Here are the best Psychology courses at the master's level/after graduation:
  • MSc Clinical Psychology.
  • Master of Psychology.
  • MA Counselling Psychology.
  • MSc Behavioural Science.
  • MSc Developmental Psychopathology.
  • MA Developmental Psychology (Research Methods)
  • MA Ed Curriculum, Instructional and Educational Psychology.

Which major has the highest dropout rate? ›

Computing is the major with the highest college dropout rate — 10.7%. The number of dropout college students varies across degrees and majors. After computing, advertising is another field of study that many students give up on — 7.7% of them.

What is the #1 hardest major? ›

#1: Architecture

Topping this list of the hardest college majors are architect majors, who spend a whopping 22.2 hours a week on average preparing for classes—that's more than two hours more each week than what chemical engineering students spend!

What are the top 5 hardest majors? ›

20 Hardest Majors: The Ultimate Guide
  1. Chemistry. At number one on the list is chemistry.
  2. Architecture. ...
  3. Chemical Engineering. ...
  4. Computer Science. ...
  5. Aerospace Engineering. ...
  6. Biomedical Engineering. ...
  7. Materials Engineering. ...
  8. Petroleum Engineering. ...

What are the cons of psychology? ›

  • You will need to earn a bachelor's degree. ...
  • You will need to earn a master's degree. ...
  • You may need to earn a doctorate degree. ...
  • Your education will come with a hefty price tag. ...
  • You may end up in debt. ...
  • You may need to complete clinical training.

Do psychologists get days off? ›

While many psychologists pull long hours, once you've established your own practice your schedule becomes very flexible. You're able to set your own hours, come and go when you want and have ample vacation time.

Which branch of psychology is most in demand? ›

14 Psychology Jobs in High Demand
  1. Vocational/Career Counselor. ...
  2. School Psychologist. ...
  3. Family Marriage Counselor. ...
  4. Engineering Psychologist. ...
  5. Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychologist. ...
  6. Clinical Psychologist. ...
  7. Forensic Psychologist. ...
  8. Geropsychologist.
7 Jan 2022

How do I start a career in psychology? ›

4 Steps to Becoming a Psychologist
  1. The first step to becoming a psychologist is to earn a bachelor's degree.
  2. Earn a master's and/or doctorate in psychology.
  3. Complete an internship or postdoctoral program.
  4. Obtain a psychology license.

What job can I get with a psychology degree? ›

So, what can you do with a psychology degree?
  • Psychologist.
  • Psychotherapist.
  • Social worker.
  • Counselor.
  • Educational psychologist.
  • Human resource manager.
  • Teacher.
  • Research roles.

Which field of psychology pays the most UK? ›

Highest paying jobs with a Psychology degree
  • Head of Psychology Services up to £103,000.
  • Further Education Teacher/Lecturer Manager up to £63,000.
  • Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner up to £51,500.
  • Head of Sports Psychology £48,000 plus.
11 Jan 2021

What is the difference between a psychologist and a therapist? ›

Licensed therapists must have, at minimum, a master's degree in a field related to psychotherapy. Psychologists must have a doctorate-level degree such as a PhD or PsyD.

Is getting a job as a psychologist easy? ›

Yes, psychology is difficult to find a job if you have only a Bachelor's Degree. You will need at least a Master or PhD to practice and get a job. When choosing a college career, your final decision sometimes depends on the job options you will have in the not too distant future.

Is psychologist a stressful job? ›

Working as a psychologist and continuously helping patients overcome their mental struggles and emotional challenges can sometimes be stressful and draining.

How much do psychologists make? ›

Best-paid skills and qualifications for Psychologists

The jobs requiring this certification have increase by 21.23% since 2018. Psychologists with this certification earn +18.95% more than the average base salary, which is $93,992 per year.

Which degree is most employable? ›

Degrees With Most Job Opportunities
  • Computing Science. It is not a surprise that computer science is one of the most employable degrees. ...
  • Medicine. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Engineering. ...
  • Architecture. ...
  • Psychology.
25 Jul 2022

What is the easiest high paying major? ›

8 Easy Degrees That Pay Well
  • Business Administration. Business administration is one major that is usually considered “easy.” Some programs will also only take 3 years to finish! ...
  • English. ...
  • Human Resources. ...
  • Criminal Justice. ...
  • Marketing. ...
  • Supply Chain Management. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Communication.
6 Jul 2022

What is the easiest 2-year degree to get? ›

The easiest associate degree to get is an online Associate Degree in General Studies, Liberal Studies, or Education. Although these online associate degree programs have flexible curricula, how easy you find your coursework will depend on your learning abilities and style.

What jobs make 6 figures with an associate's degree? ›

24 Highest Paying Associate Degree Jobs
  • Air Traffic Controller. Salary: $124,540. ...
  • Computer Programmer. Salary: $82,240. ...
  • Radiation Therapist. Salary: $80,570. ...
  • Nuclear Technician. Salary: $80,370. ...
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Salary: $75,660. ...
  • Dental Hygienist. Salary: $74,070. ...
  • Registered Nurse. Salary: $70,000. ...
  • Web Developer.

What are the 3 highest paying jobs that only require 2 years of college? ›

Highest Paying 2-Year Degrees
RankMajorMid-Career Pay
Rank:1Computer Science (CS) & MathematicsMid-Career Pay:$106,000
2Nondestructive TestingMid-Career Pay:$99,800
3Radiation TherapyMid-Career Pay:$95,700
4Software EngineeringMid-Career Pay:$94,000
21 more rows

What job pays a lot with no degree? ›

1. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers. This highest paying job without a degree involves all activities relating to the planning and coordination of distribution, transportation, or storage.

What job is the least stressful? ›

  • 10 Low-Stress Jobs.
  • Data Scientist.
  • Dietitian.
  • Medical Records Technician.
  • Massage Therapist.
  • Appliance Repairer.
  • Librarian.
  • Diagnostic Medical Stenographer.

What is the fastest growing field? ›

Fastest growing occupations: 20 occupations with the highest projected percent change of employment between 2021-31.
Fastest Growing Occupations.
Wind turbine service technicians44%$56,260 per year
Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers41%$24,440 per year
18 more rows
8 Sept 2022

Why is it hard to study psychology? ›

A major goal of psychology is to predict behavior by understanding its causes. Making predictions is difficult in part because people vary and respond differently in different situations. Individual differences are the variations among people on physical or psychological dimensions.

Is psychology a stressful major? ›

Psychologists, therapists, counselors, coaches and social workers all help those who are facing mental health issues, or struggling to improve their lives and well-being. While this career path can be emotionally demanding and even stressful, it can also be very fulfilling.

What is the easiest course in college? ›

That being said, here's a look at some college classes that tend to be easier than some core classes.
  1. Film History. ...
  2. Creative Writing. ...
  3. Physical Education. ...
  4. Psychology. ...
  5. Public Speaking. ...
  6. Anthropology. ...
  7. Art History. ...
  8. Acting.

What subjects do I need to study psychology? ›

There are no specific subjects needed, but Life Science or Biology will come as an advantage because, psychology has a lot of focus on the human brain and sensory systems. If you have an NQF level 4 certificate with an Admissions Point Score (APS) of over 21+ points, you are likely to qualify for a psychology degree.

What jobs can you get with a psychology degree? ›

Community welfare officer Community worker/community development worker Counsellor Employee relations officer Guidance counsellor, second level Health and safety adviser Housing manager/officer Human resources manager Occupational psychologist Occupational therapist Probation and welfare officer Psychologist, clinical ...

Is psychology a high paying job? ›

The highest paying psychologist career salaries average around $167,000. While many psychology careers have a higher than average yearly salary, it is important to remember that actual income depends upon various factors, including geographic location, employment sector, educational background, and years of experience.

How do I know if psychology is right for me? ›

8 signs you're perfect for a career in psychology
  • You have a curious nature. ...
  • You're the friend everyone feels they can confide in. ...
  • You're a good listener. ...
  • You enjoy helping and working with people. ...
  • You're open-minded and non-judgemental. ...
  • You're a confident communicator.

Do psychology majors write a lot of papers? ›

Those majoring in psychology are often expected to write a wide variety of papers, ranging from lab reports to research papers. In almost all cases, you will need to structure your paper in a specific way and follow the rules of APA format.


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