This page breaks down the differences between Master's and Doctoral degrees specifically for research-based (non-practice) fields of psychology
Note: Doctoral programs usually accept students straight out of undergrad, and you get your Master's degree and automatically continue on to your Doctorate.
|Subjects||Often "General Psychology", similar to the structure of the undergraduate degree.||Highly specialized. You are admitted to a specific division (e.g. developmental, social, cognitive, etc.), and your courses are largely limited to that area.|
|Time||2-3 years||5-7 years (if entering directly from undergrad). You usually get your Master's along the way.|
|Cost||$10k-30k/year||free-$40k/year. Many PhD programs are fully-funded, including tuition waiver and a liveable stipend.|
|Acceptance rates||Higher||Very low, especially in programs that are fully-funded. Depending on the program, they may take only 2-5 people per year.|
|Career options||Lots! Especially if the program is a bit more specialized||Even more! You'll need a PhD if you want to teach at most colleges or universities or if you want to lead a research lab/group|
|What are the benefits?||Easier to get into and shorter. Can be a stepping stone toward a PhD if your undergrad grades weren't great||Often free, and you have more career options|