Evolutionary Psychology Degree Program Summaries

Oct 08, 2019

Evolutionary psychology is a focused area of study within psychology, dealing with the evolutionary basis for human behavior. Doctoral (Ph.D.) programs can be pursued by those interested in this discipline.

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Essential Information

Degree options for those interested in evolutionary psychology include a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in developmental and evolutionary psychology and a Ph.D. in Ethology and Evolutionary Psychology. These programs prepare students for careers in research and education over a five to six year period.

A Ph.D. program in psychology with a concentration in developmental and evolutionary psychology includes intensive research and writing courses. The curriculum covers a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, biology and sociology, with a major focus on the evolution of human behavior and intelligence. Ph.D. candidates work in student research labs, attend lectures and complete a doctoral dissertation at the culmination of the program.

Another degree option is a Ph.D. in Ethology and Evolutionary Psychology, a program that examines the evolutionary basis of behavior, including a survey of natural selection, cognition, neuroscience, language and more. Students engage in a substantial amount of academic research and complete comprehensive examinations and a doctoral dissertation.

These programs typically require prospective students to have a bachelor's degree prior to admission.

Doctoral Programs in Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychology programs at the Ph.D. level typically focus on the aspects of human behavior and the evolutionary basis for them. These programs are typically research-focused and interdisciplinary. Subjects that are explored include neurobiology, evolution and numerous areas of psychology. Topics of discussion in the program include:

  • Stress responses
  • Human adaption
  • Sexuality
  • Nervous systems
  • Consumerism
  • Mental illness

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there were 181,700 psychologists employed in 2018, and that number was expected to increase 14% by 2028. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned a median salary of $76,990, per year as of May 2018, while industrial-organizational psychologists made a median salary of $97,260. During that time, all other psychologists earned median annual wages of $100,770, per the BLS.

Whether pursuing a Ph.D in Psychology with a concentration in developmental and evolutionary psychology or a Ph.D in Ethology and Evolutionary Psychology, students will learn the evolutionary basis for human behavior through research and lectures culminating in a doctoral dissertation.

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