What are Concurrent Degrees?

concurrent degree program

When you pursue a degree in Psychology there are a number of degree options you can pursue. There are Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Sciences (BS) Degrees, there are Master of Arts (MA) and Sciences (MS) Degree, there is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and there is a Doctor of Philosophy (PsyD) degree option. Students choose which degree is the ideal fit depending upon their ultimate career goal. However, there is one more option, a concurrent degree.

What is a Concurrent Degree?

A concurrent degree, also referred to as a joint degree, is a learning plan where a student earns two degrees at the same time. In many cases this means that the student can earn the degrees in less time and at a lower cost.

Undergraduate Concurrent Degrees

Pursuing concurrent undergraduate degrees means that a student would be earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology as well as another area of study. There are some pairings that are more traditional, such as psychology and social work, business, human resources, neuroscience or education. However, some schools allow students to pair degrees to individualize their plan of study. This is a good option for a student who knows precisely their career plan and this double degree would help get them their sooner.

Undergraduate and Graduate Concurrent Degrees

Another concurrent or joint degree plan of study is the undergraduate and graduate degree plan. In this case a student can earn their Bachelor’s Degree while also earning credit towards a graduate degree, most often a Master’s Degree. Some students are able to accomplish this task in as little as 5 years. This means less time enrolled in school and fewer costs associated with the two degrees.

Concurrent Graduate Degrees

One more type of concurrent degree plans is to earn two or more graduate degrees at the same time. In psychology, the most common case is those students who enroll in a Doctoral Level Program but choose to earn their Master’s Degree as part of their course of study. There are other instances where a student may choose to pursue two different Master’s or Doctoral Degrees. If a study is hoping to work in the Public Mental Health Sector, a concurrent Master’s Degree in Psychology and Public Health would be an excellent plan of study.

Goals of a Concurrent Degree Plan

The two most obvious goals to pursuing two (or more) degrees simultaneously are less time and less money. There are, however, many other advantages to this type of educational plan. Those students who plan to pursue a very specialized area of practice upon graduation will benefit from a dual degree. They will have the specialized expertise needed to fill the role of a specialized industry. Another benefit is for those students who are passionate about a less practiced area of psychology. For students who want to move forward in a career as an Engineering Psychology, a very new field, they may strongly benefit from a degree in each of these two areas.