APA-Accredited Psy. D. Programs With No GRE Requirements

A Doctor of Psychology or Psy. D., is a terminal degree on your path toward your own practice. This major educational milestone equips you with expert knowledge of assessment steps, treatment options and research techniques. Earning a Psy. D. is a crucial career step if you’re considering opening your own practice as a counseling or clinical psychologist.

Psychologists can work directly with patients, oversee practices or research mental health in a variety of professional settings. As a Psy. D. student, you can focus on your practice and continue to provide necessary therapy to individuals and groups in your community.

The American Psychological Association or APA, offers accreditation for a Psy. D. program. Explore the APA-accredited Psy. D. programs that don’t require a GRE score to apply. Learn how to apply to a program, the importance of earning a Psy. D. and how this terminal degree compares with a Ph. D. in psychology.

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Psy. D. Program Requirements

Because a Psy. D. is a terminal degree, you’ll need to prove previous experience in the subject before you’re accepted into one of these programs. The specific requirements vary between programs, so be sure to reach out to the universities where you wish to study to learn more about entry requirements. For most programs, however, you can expect requirements in the following categories:

  • Previous degree in psychology
  • Successful completion of key psychology courses
  • Satisfactory GPA scores
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    ☰ For detailed degree information, view the guides to:
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    Degree Requirements

    The typical path to a Psy. D. program is earning a bachelor’s in psychology and then a master’s in psychology. Some programs are willing to consider an application without degrees in these specific subjects. For example, you may be able to apply to a master’s in psychology with a bachelor’s in sociology or a related field.

    Many master’s in psychology programs have required internship or practicum hours before earning a degree. This means that most Psy. D. candidates have hands-on experience working with psychologists and other mental health professionals. Even if these hours aren’t required of your chosen master’s and Psy. D. programs, they can strengthen your application.

    You can still explore Psy. D. degree programs even if you don’t have a master’s degree. Many institutions offer combined programs, so you can apply with only a bachelor’s degree and receive all the necessary training to earn a Psy. D. at the end of your course.

    Specific Course Requirements

    Earning both a bachelor’s and master’s in psychology will give you a broad range of knowledge and experience in the field. Many Psy. D. programs, however, are specifically interested in your completion of a few courses. You may need to pass these courses to be considered or to have a strong application:

    • Statistics
    • Physiological
    • Psychopathology
    • Learning, cognitive or developmental psychology
    • Social psychology

    The specific course requirements vary and these courses are common in master’s programs in the field. If you earned a master’s degree earlier in your career, consider refreshing your knowledge of these and other foundational areas as you prepare a Psy. D. program application.

    GPA Requirements

    Your undergraduate GPA isn’t likely to affect the admissions process of your Doctor of Psychology program, but many programs look at your master’s degree GPA. Competitive applications have a GPA of at least 3.0. You may be considered for some programs with a lower GPA, but this is a common entrance requirement.
    A Psy. D. degree is a professionally focused alternative to a Ph. D. degree. Most programs don’t require GRE or GMAT scores. You can find many competitive, APA-accredited options without taking the GRE.

    Are There Any APA-Accredited Online Psy. D. Programs?

    APA accreditation requires universities to align curriculum, testing practices and academic standards with the APA guidelines. While many online Psy. D. programs offer rigorous coursework and competitive career preparation, there currently are no APA-accredited online Psy. D. programs.
    Review in-person APA-accredited Psy. D. programs and highly rated online Psy. D. programs to determine the best option for your career. If you value the accreditation standards of APA, you can search for local universities or consider relocating to complete your program. Otherwise, you can search for competitive and flexible online programs to earn your Psy. D. from home.

    APA-Accredited Psy. D. Programs With No GRE Requirements

    Psy. D. programs primarily aim to prepare you to work as a practitioner in the field. This is reflected in the coursework, faculty experience and entrance requirements. Explore the coursework, learning environments and concentrations available as you find the best program for your terminal degree.

    Coursework for APA-Accredited and Online Psy. D. Programs

    Study key areas of psychology to hone your current practice or prepare to provide therapy for the first time. The courses you’ll be required to take vary depending on the institution you choose, but these are common courses you can be expected to complete:

    • Clinical interviewing
    • Cognitive psychology
    • Behavioral analysis
    • Statistics
    • Cognitive therapy
    • Child assessment
    • Ethics
    • Developmental psychology

    The practitioner-focused curriculum typically lacks a dissertation. While foundational for Doctor of Philosophy students, Psy. D. students rarely invest this amount of time into a research project as part of their program.
    Instead of a dissertation, prepare to spend a significant amount of time with more hands-on projects and experiences. The primary goal of these degree programs is to prepare students for careers as practitioners. Other terminal programs focus more on blending researcher and practitioner experience.

    APA-Accredited Hybrid Psy. D. Programs vs. Online Programs

    While there are currently no APA-accredited online programs to earn a Doctor of Psychology degree, there are still many competitive options available for online study. If you want the flexibility and convenience of an online program, then consider applying to either a hybrid or a fully online course.

    Benefits of Hybrid Psy. D. Programs

    Hybrid courses offer both in-person and online learning opportunities. A traditional example is an online course with an in-person lab component. Some hybrid programs offer distinct online and in-person courses, while others blend both elements throughout every class.

    A hybrid course allows you to enjoy some of the flexibility of an online program while still keeping you connected to local students and professors. Because there are some in-person components, however, you can’t apply to a hybrid program in another city or state without relocating for your studies.

    Benefits of Online Psy. D. Programs

    Online Psy. D. programs give you the freedom to apply from any part of the country or, sometimes, the world. You’re free to remain in your home or move to a location with a competitive job market without worrying about the availability of Psy. D. degree opportunities in the area.
    An online program can offer both synchronous and asynchronous methods of study. A synchronized learning experience typically includes live-streamed lectures and live chat rooms to discuss concepts with other students. Asynchronous learning takes advantage of video recording and text-based chat rooms to allow you to attend lectures at your convenience.

    Clinical Psychology Psy. D. Programs and Other Concentrations

    Psy. D. terminal degrees are focused on the practical skills, theories and resources counselors need to perform their daily duties. Because of this, programs can be specialized to cover topics that relate to your chosen career path. Consider one of these concentrations as you explore APA-accredited programs:
    Counseling psychology: Diagnose and treat various mental, emotional and physical programs to improve your patients’ wellbeing. Counseling psychologists work with patients to resolve personal crises and identify treatment options.

    • Clinical psychology: Specialize in serious mental disorders through the branch of psychopathology. Clinical psychologists work closely with medical practitioners and other professionals for diagnosis and treatment plans across the lifespan.
    • Behavioral psychology: This branch of psychology focuses on behaviors and how they impact moods, thoughts and emotions. Work with your patients to create specific actions that can help them shape their emotional responses in positive ways.
    • Industrial-organizational psychology: Not all psychologists work with individuals facing severe crises. Utilize your expertise to improve organizational efficiency, workplace satisfaction and cultural awareness in corporate settings.
    • Developmental psychology: Whether working in a school or other setting, development psychologists use their expertise in physical, emotional and social development to assist patients across the lifespan.

    These are the most common concentrations, but you can find additional specialization opportunities as you compare universities and speak with faculty. Balance a broad understanding of psychological principles with a concentration that equips you with the specific resources you need in your practice.

    Psy. D. vs. Ph. D. Psychology Programs

    An APA-accredited Psy. D. program is a competitive option to become a board-certified psychologist, but a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology can also prepare you for the same certification and licensing. What are the differences between these two popular programs?
    The key difference is the focus of the program. Most Ph. D. programs are primarily academic. They can prepare you for a career as a psychologist, but they also equip you with the skills and training you need to be a professor or researcher.
    A Psy. D. program is focused more exclusively on practical knowledge. Most don’t require a dissertation but focus the entire length of study on training you in theoretical and practical knowledge in diagnosis and treatment plans.

    Length of Study for Psy. D. Programs With APA Accreditation

    The minimum length of study for most APA-accredited Psy. D. programs is four years. Some students take up to seven years to complete a terminal degree. This length is more common for Ph. D. programs than Psy. D. programs because the additional time is typically used to complete a dissertation.
    If you don’t have a master’s degree, then it may take five or more years to complete your combined program. Work with your advisor to determine the number of years required to complete your program.

    Licensing and Certification Steps for Online Psy. D. Programs

    Becoming a licensed psychologist typically requires a doctoral degree. While you may be able to see patients after earning a master’s degree, you typically can’t establish your own practice.
    Both Psy. D. and Ph. D. programs in psychology prepare you to become a licensed psychologist. You may need to complete additional supervised clinical hours, depending on your previous experience, program and state.
    The most common licensing process across all the states is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology or EPPP. The EPPP may be enough to become board licensed as a psychologist, but you may also need to pass a state-specific examination.

    Psy. D. Careers and Job Outlook

    Train to become a psychologist and work closely with patients and fellow clinicians. Psychologist careers are varied and offer you many opportunities to make a difference. Some work with a specific people group, such as child psychologists. Others work in a specific setting, like a private practice, but treat individuals from diverse backgrounds.
    Here are the most common work environments, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS:

    • Self-employed psychologists
    • Elementary and secondary schools
    • Ambulatory healthcare services
    • Government settings
    • Private, local and state hospitals

    Psy. D. Salary Information

    Because of the range of settings and career opportunities, the expected salary for professionals with a Psy. D. can vary. For most psychologists, the 2020 median pay was approximately $82,200, according to BLS. The job outlook for this category is approximately eight percent growth between 2020 and 2030, according to BLS.
    Postsecondary teachers of psychology earned a median annual wage of $78,200 in 2020, according to BLS. Industrial-organizational psychologists earned around $96,300 in the same year.

    Psy. D. Clinical Psychology Salary

    BLS doesn’t separate clinical psychologists but offers data for clinical, counseling and school psychologists. This group earned a median salary of about $79,800 in 2020. The highest 10 percent of salaries had a median of approximately $138,600.
    The salary expectations also varied depending on the area where clinical psychologists work. For example, psychologists in outpatient care centers earned a mean wage of approximately $109,100, while psychologists in elementary and secondary schools earned a mean wage of about $81,000.

    Psy. D. vs. Ph. D. Salary

    According to Payscale in November 2021, professionals with a Doctor of Psychology degree earned a median salary of about $83,000. Also in November 2021, Payscale found that professionals with a Ph. D. in psychology earned approximately $89,000 as a median salary.
    Both terminal degrees offer competitive career opportunities. As you compare the median salaries of professionals with both of these degrees, remember to consider any differences in program costs.

    Skills Gained Through Online Psy. D. Programs

    Because a Psy. D. degree is a terminal degree in your field, you’ve likely already practiced the skills you need to be a successful psychologist. Continue to hone these skills that you’ve practiced through your bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and any field experience:

    • Empathy: A primary skill of a successful psychologist is empathy. Empathy helps you provide guidance and treatment options to individuals going through severe trauma or dealing with a serious mental disorder.
      Attention to detail: Identifying small emotional or behavioral details can lead to breakthroughs in therapy. As a psychologist, you can’t afford to mix up details of treatment plans or diagnostic tools.
    • Ethics: Psychologists work with patients in states of emotional trauma. Just like other care providers, you must act ethically at all times during the care of your patients.
      Problem-solving skills: Psychological diagnosis isn’t always an exact science, so you need to have problem-solving skills to identify signs and symptoms of a particular disorder.
    • Research skills: The field is constantly changing as researchers uncover new methodologies and theories. You’ll need research skills to stay at the forefront of modern psychological care.
    • Patience: Just like other medical practitioners, you’ll likely meet patients who aren’t aware of their psychological state or the importance of therapy. Use patience with your patients to look for opportunities for therapeutic breakthroughs.
    • Clear communication: Practice communicating clearly with patients and other professionals. Avoid miscommunication or inappropriate communication strategies.
    • Active listening: A critical part of therapy is active listening. Be sure you truly listen and respond to client concerns and insights into their psychological state.

    Explore Psy. D. Programs and Entrance Requirements Today

    See how an APA-accredited Doctor of Psychology program can help you open your own practice or improve your professional skills. Explore leading program options and entrance requirements today with Counseling Degrees Online.

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