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Education Tools & Resources

Graduate Degrees in Psychology

GRADUATE DEGREE LEVEL Master of Art in Psychology (M.A.)

Curriculum in an MA psychology degree program often has a broader or interdisciplinary scope and focuses more on theoretical and applied concepts.

Master of Science in Psychology (M.S.)

This degree is more rooted in empirical research and analysis.

Ed.S. (Education Specialist) in School Psychology

This is a post-master’s terminal degree for those interested in working as a school psychologist. Most Ed.S. program curriculum is designed to prepare students in various aspects of school psychology as well as prepare them for certification

DOCTORATE DEGREE LEVEL Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology

The majority of psychology programs award a doctor of philosophy. A Ph.D. in psychology prepares psychologists to be researchers. Curriculum is more focused on research design and statistics. This type of doctoral degree usually results in careers in academia.

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

A Psy.D. is only awarded to graduates in the so-called professional areas of clinical and counseling psychology. It is an applied or practical degree, which means it is designed to prepare students for work in a professional practice or clinical setting.

Doctor of Education in Psychology (Ed.D.)

This doctoral degree focuses on skills and theories that can be applied to educational practice and is usually offered through a college’s education department. It is ideal for those interested in working within education in some capacity, for example, as a school psychologist or in a leadership, administrative, or faculty role at a college or university.

Discover Careers in Psychology

While earning a psychology degree can be personally fulfilling and enriching, a lot of planning is required to turn your degree into a profession. In some cases, different types of psychology degrees (particularly at the graduate degree level) can steer you towards different types of careers post-graduation. Before pursuing an advanced degree in psychology, it is important to have a clear vision of the type of career you want to have after graduation. No one degree is better than the other. Instead, what matters most is your own personal goals. Knowing what your end goal is can help you make the right educational choices throughout your academic career.

How much do psychologists earn? It depends on the type of psychology practiced and location. Learn more about psychology salaries with our Career Salary Tool and check out related career salaries in the graph below.

Career Salary Tool

The salary tool displays average yearly salaries, localized by state or city, for psychology careers ranging from industrial-organizational psychologist to survey researcher to social worker.

  • Psychology Type:
  • Select a state:
  • Select City 1:
  • Select City 2:
Anchorage 2012 MEAN PAY $37,410 per year
Fairbanks 2012 MEAN PAY $49,070 per year


In specializations such as sport, child or forensic psychology, the Related Careers Salary Chart illustrates the range of potential earnings for professional psychologists.