The amount of credits needed to graduate with a degree in psychology varies greatly depending upon the degree you choose to pursue, the school you attend and a number of other factors. Most psychology programs at both the undergraduate and the graduate level use a curriculum that is fairly standard. The American Psychological Association is the most widely known psychological association in the United States. The APA sets out guidelines for training programs to adhere to in order to be accredited (at the graduate level) or recognized as a program keeping in line with the guidelines (undergraduate level). The following are the ranges for the amount of credits needed to earn a degree in psychology.
Range for Associate’s Degree in Psychology
An associate’s degree in psychology is the most basic degree you can earn. While there are few careers you can enter in the field of psychology with this degree, it is a great jumping off point for those who plan to earn a bachelor’s in psychology or those who are unsure about what career direction they would like to pursue. Students in these programs must complete the core requirements and generally 3-4 psychology electives. These programs are usually 50-60 credit courses of study completed over 2 years.
Range for Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
A bachelor’s degree in psychology is the first degree level that can be applied to entry-level careers upon graduation. Graduates would be prepared for careers as mental health technicians, human resource workers, case managers and several other entry-level positions. Most bachelor’s degrees in psychology require between 120-130 credit hours, with 30-36 of those credits being courses in psychology.
Range for Master’s Degree in Psychology
A master’s degree in psychology allows practitioners in some states to secure their license and work in private practice. To earn a master’s degree students must complete all curricular requirements as well as complete a master’s thesis and an internship or practicum. Most master’s degree programs require between 35-45 credit hours.
Range for Doctoral Degree in Psychology
The doctoral degree is the highest degree one can earn in psychology, with both the doctor of philosophy in psychology and the doctor of psychology. By earning this degree, graduates can pursue careers as practitioners, teachers and researchers. Doctoral programs in psychology include a doctoral dissertation project and paper, as well as a defense of this project before a board. Most programs also require students to complete a number of hours engaging in therapy under the supervision of a professional psychologist. These programs typically require between 70-80 credit hours for completion.
There is a wide range of degree options for students with an interest in psychology. Regardless of what degree level students are at, there are programs to build up their educational level so they can achieve the career of their dreams.