Doctoral Degrees in International Psychology

It is not possible to pursue a Ph.D. in international psychology, but a Ph.D. in general psychology might be able to meet your needs. Find out how you can tailor your studies toward this specialization and what you can do after graduation.

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Essential Information

Doctoral degrees in international psychology aren't commonly available. Individuals who are interested in doctoral studies in this field can enroll in Ph.D. programs in general psychology and pursue specialization such as international or multicultural psychology. They may also work with an advisor to create an individualized study plan, choosing elective courses in topics such as the social psychology of cultures, psychology within political systems and multicultural counseling. In Ph.D. programs in psychology, students can expect to learn about research methods, ethical responsibilities and professional practices. Prior to graduation, they may be required to do international fieldwork or complete an internship, and they must submit a final dissertation.

Many programs accept students with bachelor's degrees and significant coursework in psychology, while others require applicants to have a master's degree in psychology. All students need to have taken prerequisite courses in developmental and social psychology. Previous work and life experiences are also considered in the admissions process.

Doctoral Degree in International or Multicultural Psychology

Students in these programs are introduced to theories and principles that explore social, community, cultural, educational, counseling and environmental psychology as they apply to working with international or multicultural populations. Students must take some required core courses in research methodology and psychological assessments, but they also have the opportunity to choose elective courses in particular areas of interest. Possible course titles include:

  • Psychology of international women's studies
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Psychology of acculturation
  • Serving international populations
  • Social psychology of cultures
  • Organizations and systems from a global perspective
  • Psychology within systems of politics
  • Psychology of decision-making across cultures
  • Campaigns and services for international populations

Popular Career Options

Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers. They may choose to work for government agencies, clinics, businesses, grassroots organizations or academic institutions. They may also be qualified to take the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) for state licensure, although state requirements usually vary and some careers do not require it. Possible job titles include:

  • Policy analyst and developer
  • Clinician
  • Research psychologist
  • Humanitarian advocate

Even though doctoral degree programs in international psychology are not available, students can get specialized training in the field by earning a Ph.D. in psychology.

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