What Are the Different Types of Psychology Degree Requirements?

K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella
Psychology degrees often require advanced coursework in math and science.
Psychology degrees often require advanced coursework in math and science.

Many universities offer a number of different undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses. Students have to meet psychology degree requirements to be admitted to these programs, and once enrolled students have to fulfill certain requirements to graduate with a degree. Normally, psychology degree requirements include having successfully graduated from high school and many schools only accept applications from individuals who achieved certain minimum passing scores in core subjects such as mathematics and science.

Some universities offer Bachelor of Arts (BA) undergraduate courses which are mostly focused on studying the theories of psychologists and the history of the science. Admission to these courses is based upon high school grades and undergraduate students normally have to complete a certain number of college credit hours in subjects such as developmental psychology and child psychopathology. Other colleges offer Bachelor of Science (BS) degree courses; admission rules for these are generally the same as for BA programs and much of the course material is similar. Psychology degree requirements for those wishing to graduate from BS courses often include completion of a theses that focuses on one element of the topic or some practical experience working alongside school teachers or other professionals who work in the field with patients or those who have learning issues.

Successful completion of a BS or BA program is among the psychology degree requirements for masters degree courses in the topic. Many graduate schools require copies of the applicant's undergraduate transcripts and students are only considered for admission to these programs if they achieved above average scores while undergraduates. Additionally, some colleges have entrance examinations that prospective students must pass while others only accept applications from people who have worked as researchers or in other capacities in the mental heath field. Leading universities often require students to have letters of recommendation from licensed psychologists or college lecturers and the admissions process also includes at least one round of interviews.

Whereas undergraduate programs tend to cover the subject in general, postgraduate courses usually focus on one topic area such as organizational or applied psychology. Master of Arts (MA) students focus on the theoretical aspects of the topic while Master of Science (MS) students usually combine theory with practical research. Psychology degree requirements usually include completion of a certain number of credit hours with minimum scores and completion of a dissertation or research project.

Anyone wishing to enroll in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program must have either graduated from an MS or MA course or completed a certain number of hours of advanced level classes. As with masters’ courses, people applying for PhD courses are often seasoned professionals who must produce letters of recommendation. These programs normally last for several years and requirements for passing these courses include completing a dissertation, passing a variety of examinations and spending a certain period of the time working with patients or conducting research in the field.

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    • Psychology degrees often require advanced coursework in math and science.
      Psychology degrees often require advanced coursework in math and science.