What Is a Graduate Degree in Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Are you interested in pursuing a career in psychology? Do you want to deepen your understanding of human behavior and mental processes?

If so, a graduate degree in psychology may be the right path for you. In this article, we will explore what a graduate degree in psychology entails and what career opportunities it can lead to.

What Is a Graduate Degree in Psychology?

A graduate degree in psychology is an advanced academic program that allows you to specialize in one or more areas of psychology. It typically involves coursework, research, and practical experience that prepares students for careers as psychologists or related professions.

Types of Graduate Degrees in Psychology

There are several types of graduate degrees available in psychology. The most common ones are:

  • Master’s Degree: A master’s degree typically takes two years to complete and provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in their chosen field of psychology.
  • Doctoral Degree: A doctoral degree can take five to seven years to complete and offers students the highest level of training and expertise. There are two types of doctoral degrees: the PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) and the PsyD (Doctor of Psychology).


The curriculum for a graduate degree in psychology varies depending on the program and specialization. However, some common courses include:

  • Research Methods: This course teaches students how to design and conduct research studies using various methods.
  • Cognitive Psychology: This course focuses on how people process information, learn, remember, and think.
  • Social Psychology: This course examines how people interact with others and their social environment.
  • Clinical Psychology: This course covers topics related to mental health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

Career Opportunities

A graduate degree in psychology can lead to a variety of career opportunities. Some common professions include:

  • Clinical Psychologist: Clinical psychologists work with patients to diagnose and treat mental health disorders.
  • School Psychologist: School psychologists work with students, teachers, and parents to support student learning and mental health.
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologist: Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychological principles to workplace settings to improve employee performance and well-being.
  • Research Psychologist: Research psychologists conduct research studies to advance our understanding of human behavior and mental processes.


A graduate degree in psychology offers advanced training in various areas of psychology and can lead to rewarding careers in the field. Whether you choose to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree, you will gain valuable knowledge and skills that can help you make a positive impact on people’s lives.