How long does it take to obtain a PhD in Psychology?

Are you thinking of pursuing a PhD in Psychology? Do you know how long it will take you to get the degree?

The time to complete the course varies on different factors like your chosen program, the course load capacity for each year, and your speciality area.

If you can get a doctorate degree in psychology, you’ll gain access to different jobs across various specializations. For example, you might want to become a counselling psychologist or a licensed clinical psychologist.

The tenure to obtain a PhD in Psychology

So, how long will it take to get a PhD in Psychology? The degree that you’ll achieve will depend on the field you wish to pursue.

You can choose more options over the Doctor of Philosophy or PhD in Psychology. Sometimes, you can also apply for a Doctor of Education or Ed.D or Psy.D (Doctor of Psychology).

Which degree shall suit you best?

Are you wondering which degree you should pursue in Psychology? Then, let’s revise the three main degrees to help you land your dream profession.

Doctor of Philosophy or PhD. – The PhD degree focuses on the research model on education, and the degree holders possess the qualifications for teaching, researching and holding clinical positions in healthcare, educational and government sectors.

Completing your PhD program can take around 5 years to 7 years. First, you’ll complete a supervised residency or internship with daily coursework on the course. Then, as you reach the end of the program, you’ll work with a dissertation or any original research project.

Doctor of Psychology or Psy.D – The Psy.D degree follows the education model for practitioners. Psy.D. degree holders often support mental health services, but they can also conduct psychology research or teach students.

The majority of the Psy.D Degree programs take around 4 to 6 years to complete. You’ll focus on the practical service applications in psychology.

The applicants under PhD and Psy.D degrees start their study programs through a bachelor’s degree.

Doctor of Education or Ed.D – The Doctor of Education or Ed.D degree can help you work as a school psychologist or in similar education sectors. Completing most of the Ed.D Degrees takes around 3 to 5 years. Most Ed.D program applicants possess a master’s degree in their field.

The time it will take to get a doctorate degree.

Do you want to know how long it’ll take you to complete your doctorate degree? The time to complete your doctorate will vary across different factors like –

  1. Your background in education.
  2. Your enrolled doctorate program
  3. The degree you’ve chosen to pursue.

But do you already possess a proper background in Psychology? Have you accomplished the necessary prerequisites for the course? Then you might complete your doctorate sooner than the rest with psychology homework help and psychology assignment help.

It would be best to have clear goals on what you hope to achieve after your Psychology degree is complete. You can have the following options –

  1. Research
  2. Teaching
  3. Client meetings
  4. Pursuing your training with a separate field like medicine or law.

It would be best to remember that completing your doctorate degree will demand time, finances and effort from you. Thus, you should first reconsider your objectives before taking the next step forward. Check which degree will best suit your future profession and pursue it.

Eligibility to gain Admission for PhD in Psychology

Students should achieve a minimum qualification to earn their PhD in Psychology. Unless they meet all the eligibility requirements, the candidates are disqualified from admission. Let’s see the basic eligibility criteria to attain a PhD degree in psychology –

  1. PhD applicants in Psychology can complete their post-graduation in fields related to psychology.
  2. If applicable, the candidates might attend the entrance examination.
  3. Those candidates that qualify for the entrance exams must fill in the application form.

The process involved in earning a PhD in Psychology

The admission procedure to attain PhD in the psychology course shares a similar resemblance with other institutions that provide the degree. Students sit for entrance exams followed by counselling on national levels for admission confirmation. If students prefer to pursue their PhD in Psychology, they should –

  1. Meet the eligibility criteria set by the university.
  2. Sit for the entrance exam and clear it with the estimated cutoff.
  3. Once the results are released, students should fill in their application form and include their personal or academic details.
  4. The chosen candidates are invited for group discussions and personal interviews.
  5. Those candidates who clear the rounds gain admission into the degree course.

The requirements to gain PhD in Psychology

As an undergraduate, if you wish to access graduate programs in Psychology, then you must possess –

  1. Undergraduate degree in psychology
  2. A minimum grade point of 3.5 points on a 4 point scale.
  3. Letters of reference from your psychology professor.

Other graduate programs require a GRE or Graduate Record Examination and higher scores to meet the admission requirements.

A PhD or doctoral degree is the fundamental necessity to gain a profession in psychology. People consider PhD degrees as the basic degree to access a job. The Canadian  Psychological Association CPA sees the doctoral degree as the best form of professional work which maximizes employment opportunities. But the master’s level also includes employment options as college professors and chartered psychologists in different provinces in Canada.

The basic requirements to possess a master’s or doctoral degree

  1. Carrying the proper graduate degree
  2. Receiving supervised experience
  3. Passing out oral and written examinations over ethical issues and other practices.

The student should learn the requirements behind chartering, licensing, and certification in the chosen practicing jurisdiction and their training quality.


Attaining a Ph.D. in Psychology can take an average time span of around 5 years to 7 years. You’ll work with an original project or dissertation during the final project.

Author Bio

Arlington Blake is a psychology professor who works at He offers assignment help to students struggling with essays and other topics.

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