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What is the difference between a PsyD and PhD in Psychology?

Hi Martha, A PsyD means a Doctor of and mainly focuses on training for applied clinical therapy work. While a PHD is a Doctor of Philosophy. Which you will focus more on research. I have provided a link below for more information. http://psydprograms.org/phd-vs-psyd-of-psychology/ Devetra C.

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Linda Ann’s Answer

To Jessica's answer I would like to add the following:

  1. The course of training in a graduate program is the same whether pursuing a PhD or PsyD: about 5 years after completion of the BA or BS degree.
  2. Many PhD programs do not require a masters thesis as a part of the requirements for the doctorate. However, you will generally be doing more research in a PhD program than a PsyD program. Completing a masters thesis might add some time to completion time to the doctorate, as research can sometimes be prolonged due to issues beyond the control of any student.
  3. Admission rates to PhD programs are generally lower than PsyD programs, i.e., it is more difficult to get into a PhD program than a PsyD program. Given the competitive nature of doctoral programs in psychology, some students enroll in a masters level program, complete a thesis and THEN apply to a doctoral program. It seems to increase changes of acceptance as the student has proven they have both the intellectual rigor and character traits to complete graduate studies.
  4. It matters not, regarding licensing, if you have a PhD vs. a PsyD... Any differences in licensing are a function of the state in which you wish to practice.

Linda Ann recommends the following next steps:

Look at many graduate programs before making application to them. Application fees can vary widely. The general rule of thumb is to apply to between 10 to 12 institutions.
Compare your GRE scores to the minimum GRE score that each program requires...if it's not on the website, telephone the department and ask questions.
Completing at least one, independent research project while an undergraduate will increase your chances of admission to a graduate program!
Develop relationships with the psychology faculty outside of the classroom by assisting in their research projects. Why? Because you will need strong letters of recommendation from at least three faculty members. Unless I have worked with a student outside of a didactic classroom, I cannot write such a strong letter!

Your answer is great Linda, thanks so much for sharing your expertise! At this moment there are more than 800 unanswered questions so I wanted to encourage you to keep going! So many students will benefit tremendously from hearing from you. Keep up the great work! Jordan Rivera COACH

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Jessica’s Answer

In a nutshell, some psychology schools offer a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree in lieu of the traditional research doctoral degree, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Students enrolled in typical PhD programs are generally expected to complete a Master’s degree research project as well as their doctoral dissertation, while PsyD students will focus on actual clinical training.


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Gerta’s Answer

A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy. A PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology. PhD programs often follow the scientist-practitioner model and have a higher focus on research than PsyD programs.