Master's/PhD Psychology Dual Degree

Jul 25, 2019

A master's/Ph.D in Psychology program combines the requirements for a master's degree and a doctoral degree into one program. Several graduate-level courses must be completed to earn the dual degree.

A dual degree in psychology allows students to earn both a master's degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in a shorter period of time than taking them individually. They often includes several courses in psychology, neuroscience, and statistics, as well as require students to complete original research that leads to a master's thesis and a dissertation. Students may have the option of choosing a focus in clinical geropsychology, clinical neuropsychology, public health, or another related field.

Essentials of a Master's/Ph.D. in Psychology Dual Degree

Students seeking a dual master's/Ph.D in Psychology have a variety of options to consider, for instance they may earn a Master of Public Policy/Ph.D. in Psychology or a Master of Public Health/Ph.D. in Psychology - however, those interested in a clinical program could consider a Master of Science in Psychology/Doctor of Psychology program instead of a Ph.D.

The requirements to earn a dual master's/Ph.D in Psychology can vary by school, but they usually require the completion of about 51 credits. The two degrees can be earned in three to five years, and students must complete a dissertation, qualifying exams, and graduate-level courses. A MS/Psy.D. program usually requires about 120 credits and clinical placements. Some common courses found in these dual programs include:

Research Methods in Psychology

The experimental designs that are used to study behavior are presented in a research methods class. Students may be able to form research questions and hypotheses. Additional topics that could be covered include internal and external validity, measurement processes, and sampling.

Research Design in Developmental Psychology

The methods used to study developmental psychology are presented in this class. This course could focus on the changes that occur as a person ages over time. Also, the experiments are designed to observe generational abnormalities in behavior.


A psychophysiology course covers the relationship between psychological states and physiological responses as well as the main psychological states: cognition, emotion, and learning. In addition, the course could cover hidden muscle actions and autonomic responses as well as the physiological measures that are used to study mental processes.

Advanced Human Development

The development of humans within a contextual environment is the focus of this advanced human development. Additional areas of focus could include the influences of neighborhoods, schools, and socioeconomic status on development. Several systems theories of development are often presented to the class.

Social and Emotional Development in Children

In this course, graduate students could study the theories of social relationship development in children, including moral development, temperament, and individualization. Influencers of development, such as parents, peers, and the local or global culture, are also analyzed.

Program Admission Requirements

To qualify for a dual master's/Ph.D program in psychology, students must typically meet the requirements for each individual degree - which may include passing prerequisite departmental courses and submitting an application, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. Students might need to be accepted to the master's degree program first, and then present their master's thesis during the second year, which will be evaluated to see if the student can continue toward a doctorate.

In summary, a master's/Ph.D dual degree in psychology allows students to earn both degrees in a condensed period of time. Programs may cover topics in clinical psychology, public health and neuroscience; and students must typically complete both a master's thesis and dissertation.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?