What Is the Difference Between a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
If you are considering earning your doctorate in psychology, you may want to research what is the difference between a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Which degree path is best for you will depend on what you plan to do with the degree, research or practice.
A PhD is more research or science driven, and the focus of these programs is to create scientists. Programs will vary by university. However, most will require more lab work and less theoretical based lectures. Most PhD programs will also require that you devise, research, and analyze an original research study. You will have to write your dissertation, which will be orally defended in front of a panel and likely published in a professional journal.
A PsyD is different from a PhD in the fact that it is a professional degree, similar to an MD for a medical doctor. Whereas a PhD uncovers research based findings, a person with a PsyD will put those findings into practice. The PsyD will also require a dissertation. Although, the focus will be on applying existing research to a current problem, rather than devising new research. The dissertation in this type of program typically takes less time to complete than that of the PhD.
Before deciding on which degree path to enroll in, it is best to look at your ultimate career goals and aspirations. This will ensure your doctorate is the right one for your needs. Remember both degrees are excellent degrees and only your career path will help you decide which one best fits that career.
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