What are the Requirements For PhD in Psychology?

In order to do PhD in Psychology there are some requirements that you must fulfill. Doctoral degree in Psychology require post graduation as a qualification.

  • You require PG in Psychology to do Doctoral degree in Psychology.
  • Get Ready with a Research Topic to do PhD in Psychology.
  • Interest in Psychology methods is a requirement to pursue PhD.
  • Deep analytical mind towards research in Psychology.
  • It requires an approach towards Personality levels.
  • Mindfulness Approach to doing PhD in Psychology.
  • It requires a good Percentage throughout academics.
  • You must have done successful Experiments in the past.
  • Good Research Proposal is required to do PhD in Psychology.

What is a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology Degree?

The traditional degree of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). have an academic focus and is awarded after submission of a dissertation, often containing a solution to some real-world problems.

The dissertation or thesis is created based on the knowledge gained through the research conducted during the complete duration of study which proves that the person has a problem-solving ability and an advanced knowledge in the specific area.

Thus, this type of Ph.D. is often termed as a Research Oriented Ph.D. or a Research Oriented Doctorate.

A traditional degree of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). is mainly pursued by people either to teach at a university or to continue the research work on that specific field as a scientist.

When the Doctor of Philosophy degree is earned with a specialization in Psychology, then it is termed as Ph.D. in Psychology degree.

What is the Difference between the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology and Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.)?

Traditional Ph.D. is a well-known and the most common type of Doctorate Degree. But it is not the only one. With the variation in the type of research required, the type of Doctorate also varies.

Unlike Traditional Ph.D., the Professional Degree of Doctorate is awarded for advanced knowledge in professional practices which varies from, law, education, to business and engineering and much more.

Though being different in nature, both Traditional Ph.D. and Professional Ph.D. are of equal prestige and are equally tough to earn.

A Professional degree of the doctorate is mainly pursued by people for professional advancement in a particular field.

In simple words, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology is a type of Traditional degree of doctorate while the Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.) is a type of Professional Degree of Doctorate.

Thus, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.) is an application-oriented doctorate, which means that it mainly focuses on finding some real solutions for real issues, and thus aims at developing researching professionals.

While the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology is a research-oriented doctorate, which means that it mainly focuses on finding theoretical solutions for real issues, and thus aims at developing academic researchers.

Importance of earning the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology:

 A degree of the doctorate is essential to get registered for the career as a professional psychologist. It is also necessary for professional advancement in the field of psychology.

A degree of Ph.D. in Psychology not only clears the views and thoughts of the beneficiary with more advanced knowledge but also helps to get a better job and is also compulsory to get a position as a professor in most Universities. Some jobs, especially those related to government sectors, ask for a degree of doctorate to consider the applicant suitable for the nomination.

Thus, a conclusion can be made that for a great career in the field of psychology, a degree of doctorate may be considered as an important part.

Who should choose to earn a degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology?

A person with a positive mind, thinking rationally to make choices in life and at the same time understanding other’s behavior and treating everyone reasonably should consider choosing the field of Psychology.

Such an individual should have a problem-solving capability and should have the skill of manipulating someone’s mind through his/her own positive vibes.

Having good communication skill and interest in social work can act as a catalyst in nurturing other’s minds. Overall, a person with a belief in humanity, having a positive attitude towards life and with the skill of motivation, someone to live a happy and healthy life is well suitable for the job of a professional psychologist in any area or sector of the world.

Top Institutes offering Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology in India:

 There are various institutes in different states of India which offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology Program for students. Some of the top institutes are:

  • Allahabad University, Allahabad
  • University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
  • Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra
  • Awadhesh Pratap Singh University, Madhya Pradesh
  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Banasthali University, Rajasthan
  • Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, New Delhi
  • Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga
  • Annasaheb GD Bendale Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Maharashtra
  • The Amity University of Behavioral Health And Applied Science, Noida
  • Amity University, Lucknow
  • Gauhati University, Guwahati
  • Gokul Das Hindu Girls College, Moradabad
  • Government College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Gulbarga University, Gulbarga
  • Meerut College, Meerut
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
  • Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Indore
  • Periyar University – School of Social Sciences, Salem
  • Women’s Christian College, Chennai
  • Annamalai University: Faculty of Education, Annamalai Nagar
  • Guru Nanak Dev University: Department of Psychology, Amritsar
  • Mahatma Gandhi University: School of Behavioural Sciences, Kottayam

Top Institutes offering Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology across the globe:

Other than Indian Institutes, some of the top universities of the world offer the degree of Ph.D. in Psychology. Some of these universities are listed according to their latest ranking:

  • Stanford University, United States
  • UCL, United Kingdom
  • Princeton University, United States
  • Yale University, United States
  • Harvard University, United States
  • Duke University, United States
  • Northwestern University, United States
  • University of Michigan, United States
  • University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  • Carnegie Mellon University, United States
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • The University of California, San Diego, United States
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States
  • University of Toronto, Canada
  • University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Columbia University, United States
  • University of Washington, United States
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities, United States
  • New York University, United States
  • Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Vanderbilt University, United States
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
  • Pennsylvania State University, United States
  • Michigan State University, United States
  • Washington University, St Louis, United States

Eligibility Criteria for Admission in Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology in India:

 In order to earn a doctorate degree, selection of the right institute is the foremost step. At the same time meeting the minimum criteria of eligibility to get admission to that institute is also of utmost importance.

Though the selection criteria may vary from university to university or institute to institute, some of the criteria are commonly followed in most of the universities and institutes of India. These include:

  • The aspiring candidate must have a Postgraduate degree in Psychology or equivalent program, from a recognized university.
  • Most university or institute restricts the candidates having an aggregate percentage of less than 50-55% in their post-graduation.
  • Some universities or institutes ask for 3-5 years of professional experience.
  • Some universities or institutes conduct their own entrance exam for the selection process, while most of the universities or institutes shortlist students on the basis of their score in some all India entrance exams like Research Aptitude Test (RAT) or Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).
  • Qualifying the personal interview round is also important in some institutes or universities.


Eligibility Criteria for Admission in Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology across the globe:

Admission to some renowned university in the world is considered to be tougher than getting admission in one’s own country. Similar to other programs, the minimum requirement may be different for different institutes, and the same applies to the selection criteria. Some of the common requirements or criterion are:

  • Some universities prefer applicants with an undergraduate degree in psychology, while others do not consider it as a necessary parameter for selection.
  • Most universities ask for a minimum grade point average (GPA) between 3 – 5 for admission, where more importance is given to the score of subjects related to math and statistics.
  • Almost all universities ask for GRE scores and set its own minimum score criteria for selecting candidates.
  • Essays, letter of recommendations, etc. are some extra documents asked by some universities.
  • Most universities also ask for the score of an international level English exam like IELTS and TOEFL, especially from the applicants from a non-English speaking country.

Course Framework for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology Program in India:

 The syllabus throughout the complete program of Ph.D. in Psychology is different for different specializations and it also varies from university to university. However, the course framework is more or less similar in all specializations of every university in India.

The basic framework of the complete course of  Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology includes:

  • Learning of Foundation and Methods of Psychology.
  • Learning of various Research Methods in the field of Psychology.
  • Learning about the development of Human Behavior.
  • Learning of all the psychological processes.
  • Learning of Issues and different Perspectives involved in Psychology of Modern era.

Course Framework for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology Program across the globe:

 The syllabus and course structure of any doctorate program is mostly different in different countries, as well as in different universities across the globe. But, almost all the universities follow some common framework for drafting the course structure.

The variation in specializations may also add some extra variations or aspects in the course structure. The global framework for the complete course of  Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology can be summarized as:

  • Learning of Foundations and Methods of Psychology.
  • Learning of various Research Methods in the field of Psychology.
  • Learning of Foundations of Cognition.
  • Learning of Affective Science.
  • Learning of Developmental Psychology.
  • Learning of Statistics for Psychology.
  • Learning of Perception and Reality.
  • Learning of Psychopathology.
  • Learning of Advances in Neuroscience.
  • Learning of Attitudes and Social Judgement.
  • Learning of Advanced Statistical Modeling.

Career Prospects after Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology:

 The academic discipline of Psychology is a broad field in itself with a focus on the study of human behavior. The whole doctorate course involves researches about human minds, its reactions, disorders, and stability.

A person awarded with the degree of doctorate in Psychology is considered to be well qualified to help a person achieve emotional and mental stability in his life and thus serve humanity in some way or other.

Reducing emotional stress and instability automatically reduces the chance of various diseases which are somehow the effect of hypertension. A psychologist better understands the difference between the conscious and subconscious parts of the human mind and is the perfect person to give the best way to balance both in order to live a healthy life.

And thus, have the ability to change the life perspective, even of a prisoner or a killer.

A psychologist provides a different thought process and perspective to a person with too many negative feelings, and help them build some positive relations in their life.

A psychologist is like a medicine for a person in depression. And in today’s world where the problem of stress is faced by 99% of the world population, the need of a Psychologist is increasing.

There are various areas of employment where a psychologist is required. Some of these are Schools, Colleges, Institutes and Universities, Health care centers, hospitals, clinics, counseling centers, NGOs, Corporate offices, and research centers.

Some of the career options for a person awarded with a degree of  Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology are:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Professor in a College or institute
  • Industrial or Corporate Psychologist
  • Counselor
  • Developmental Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Research Scientist in the field of Psychology
  • Prison Psychologist or Prison Counselor
  • Academic Researcher
  • Independent Consultant
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Neuroscientist
  • Policy Advisor
  • School Psychologist
  • User Experience Designer

What are the different types of Psychologists?

 There are no fixed types of Psychologists defined, however, they can be classified on the basis of their specific skill, specialization and their job type.

Every job offers or requires some unique skills though all are somewhere related to psychology, which means that the knowledge of psychology is the Central part of a tree and different career options where there is a need of a psychologist are acting as the branches of this tree.

Some of the major branches of this tree are:

  • Clinical Psychologists:

The Clinical Psychologists are the most popular type of psychologists. Most of the people choose clinical psychologist as their career, as it is one of the highest earning sectors in the field of psychology with an average salary of 3.71 Lacs INR annually.

A clinical psychologist requires a complete and proper training in diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. A clinical psychologist works in hospitals or independent clinics and treats actual victims and patients of mental illness and depression.

  • Social Psychologists:

Social Psychologists are trained and skilled in the study of the social behavior of a human. Thus, they are mainly found in the sector of consultancy or counseling.

A social psychologist is often found in the field of academics and research. Social psychologists easily found their career options in government sector too and can also work as a human resource manager in corporate or industries.

The social psychologists earn an average salary of 2.48 Lacs INR annually with their unique skill to study a person’s behaviors, qualities, attitude, and perception.

  • Industrial Psychologists:

As the name suggests, an Industrial Psychologist is indulged in understanding the psychology of the mind of employees of an industry or a corporate sector.

Hiring an industrial psychologist not only improves the productivity and efficiency of a workplace but also improves the performances of individuals. The industrial psychologists earn an average salary of 1.44 Lacs INR annually with their unique skills of communication, hiring, and management.

The industrial psychologists also have basic or primary knowledge about that specific industry or sector and often organizes training programs and functions and also conducts interviews and performance tests.

  • Educational Physiologists:

The Educational Psychologists are found in education sectors like a school, college or an institution; it can be a university or a board of education too.

The educational psychologists are mainly concerned to improve the overall performances of students and thus they are in direct contact with the parents, students, faculty members, and the school administration.

The educational psychologists often go through the course structure and suggest changes in order to improve the overall quality of education.

The educational psychologists are skilled in communication and frequently work with the members or people associated with the education sector including parents and teachers to get a better idea of the perceiving issues and their possible solutions.

For these works, an educational psychologist earns an average salary of 2.7 Lacs INR annually.

  • Research Psychologists:

Research Psychologists are busy doing researches on human behavior and often compares the behavior of animals. A large sum of money is paid to them by the organization, university or the government for conducting these experiments in order to open a new door of knowledge to get a better understanding about the psychology of human mind.

Even a research scientist have different specialization options to choose from like neuroscience, cognition or social behaviors. Research Psychologists are the highest paid psychologists among all other types of psychologists. A Research Psychologist gets an average salary of 12 Lacs INR annually.

A requirement of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology for licensed registration:

The Professional degree of a doctorate is mainly classified into two types: First, the Professional degree of doctorate required for professional registration and second, the Professional degree of doctorate required as a qualification for professional development.

While the second type is only required for professional growth or advancement, which means that it is not necessarily required by students for the registration purpose in their particular profession, but only act as a qualification for their professional development as a leader or a senior in their company, industry or academic field, like: Doctor of Computer Science (D.C.Sc.), Doctor of Management (D.M./D.Mgt) and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), the first type of professional doctorate is a little differ.

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) being an alternative for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology, is among the first type of professional doctorate, which means that it is required for professional registration in the field of Psychology. In simple words, we can say that to be a professional psychologist you must earn the degree of the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.).

Thus, this field of study requires the Professional degree of doctorate for the registration purpose in this particular profession, which means that without this degree a person will not be considered as a registered professional and thus will be automatically considered to be a fake or illegal professional by law.

Online Programs for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology:

 Online programs for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology, is suitable for individuals who want a flexible course option. However, not all institutes or universities offer such type of programs, a Ph.D. is a long-term doctoral program and can’t be completed online.

The American Psychological Association (APA) provides some option for such students by accrediting some hybrid programs. This hybrid doctoral program, however, must be earned from a university recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

This recognition ensures that the online student is getting all the resources that a traditional student gets. Thus, it can be concluded that an individual can get only a partial degree of doctorate through an online program.

The Michigan State University’s College of Education (East Lansing, MI) and the Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara, CA) offers the online program for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology.

The Michigan State University’s College of Education (East Lansing, MI) offers an online doctorate program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET), also called as EPET Ph.D.

The Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara, CA) also offers the online degree for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology but only for the specialization in Clinical Psychology. But both these degrees are considered as a partial degree of a doctorate.