Cognitive Therapy Degrees

Degrees in Cognitive Therapy can allow learners to explore the many diverse functions of the human brain, including memory, perception, thinking, and problem solving. Different degree levels within this specialty can lead to incredible career opportunities for interested students.

Educational programs in Cognitive Therapy can provide you with an in-depth look at how information and sensory data is received, stored, and retrieved within the brain. This knowledge can be critical in understanding how different people learn, behave, and respond to stimuli within their nature environment.

Learning programs in Cognitive Therapy can educate students on the schematics of thinking, information storage, and normal/abnormal learning and perception. Students within this program can utilize this information to analyze normal and abnormal cognitive development within different societal groups.

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Pursuits of this degree program can provide you with a foundation for later practice in areas such as counseling, education, and even in research focused on developing individualized rehabilitation programs for individuals with diverse psychological needs.

If you would like to learn more about this degree field and where it can lead you, take a look at our guide below. Our team of educational experts has reviewed this program at multiple stages to allow you to view its contents from a student's perspective.

Online Degrees Focused on Cognition

Many institutions in today's educational society may be implementing more flexible learning options for students with individual needs. Online degree programs in Cognitive Therapy can provide you with the convenience you need to pursue higher education while balancing a busy personal schedule.

Online degree programs at multiple levels can be suitable for learners with different daily responsibilities and diverse learning styles. New college students seeking virtual alternatives to traditional degree programs could be great candidates for these programs, as well as returning adult learners with full-time careers in the field.

Undergrad vs. Grad

Most undergraduate online programs may require that applicants hold a high school diploma and have a minimum grade point average of around 2.0 in order to be accepted for enrollment. At the graduate level, students may need to provide proof of their undergraduate degree and send transcripts from all institutions prior to being approved.

Cognitive focused counseling or psychology degrees are more likely to be found at the graduate level.

If you decide to pursue your Cognitive Therapy degree in the online learning environment, you can take advantage of home-learning via an internet connection through innovative online classrooms provided by your university. Many online degree programs provide live virtual meetings with instructors, in-course drop box tools for assignments, and weekly discussions and chat within the online classroom.

Depending on your university, your program may or may not require that you attend meetings on-campus or participate in supervised experience components. You are encouraged to explore each university's expectations prior to enrolling in any program.

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Campus Based Degrees

Traditional degree programs in Cognitive Therapy can be found in large numbers across the United States. While online programs may be growing in popularity, many students still prefer campus-based learning opportunities at brick and mortar universities.

Campus-based degree programs can allow learners to engage in face-to-face learning with instructors with multiple options for class attendance. Many universities offering campus-based programs allow students to choose from courses that take place anywhere from one to five days a week.

During traditional learning programs, students can have access to in-person lectures, laboratory courses, and real-world discussions and debates within the classroom. Many traditional learning programs may also integrate supervised experience components within scheduled class times.

Advantages of campus-based programs include having immediate access to instructors and other learners, as well as a clear separation from the home and learning environments. These traditional programs can also provide learners with the opportunity to participate in courses during the day, in the evenings, and possibly even weekends at select schools.


Bachelors degrees in Cognitive Therapy can provide enrollees with an introduction to this specialization within psychology alongside other general education course requirements. If you begin your pursuits in this field at this degree level, you can expect to spend around 4 years completing all degree requirements.

In the first 2 years of your learning experience, you may take courses related to History, Composition, and Introductory Social Sciences. These courses can help you sharpen your skills in writing and critical thinking for later application in psychology-based courses.

Courses in introductory psychology and sociology may also be a large component within your bachelor's program, since these elements can help you learn more about the development of this field and its growth over recent years.

As you progress into the later years of this program, you can begin to take courses directly related to human emotion, cognition, learning, and memory. Each course within this program can help you better understand how human perceive stimuli from their environment and utilize it through memory and behavior.

While learning at this level, you can engage in learning about different cognitive theories that have created the basis for developing curricula in the educational field and early-educational developmental programs for preschool aged children.

Beginning your educational experience at the bachelor's level can not only allow you to explore concepts related to Cognitive Therapy at an early stage, but could also provide you with access to entry-level positions within multiple fields after graduation.


Depending on the type of career you plan to seek after achieving your degree, you may be required to complete a minimum degree level of a master's or beyond in order to become licensed or pursue jobs in select fields.

The Masters in Cognitive Therapy is a graduate level program that can provide learners with in-depth studies into memory, learning, and cognition in multiple treatment groups. Advanced learning in this degree program can also include independent research, in-person clinical experiences, and laboratory simulations.

Different universities may provide you with unique learning experiences throughout the process. At the master's level, students may be expected to apply knowledge learned in earlier degree programs to current cognitive issues, identify barriers to learning and memory, and develop interventions relevant to individual needs.

The goal of most master's programs in this degree field is to create independent psychological professionals capable of identifying cognitive needs within a treatment group. Your experience within this program can help you gain the skills you need to become an effective cognitive consultant in the field.

Most masters-level programs in the U.S. take around 2 years to complete for most learners. Some schools may offer expedited learning programs that can be completed in 1 - 1.5 years but require more intensive studies and participation.


In most states, licensing as a psychologist begins at the doctorate level. Doctorate degree programs in Cognitive Therapy can provide you with the knowledge and practice you need to contribute to programs focusing on learning and development for people with diverse cognitive needs.

While doctorate programs in this field can be diverse, most take 4 years to complete from the undergraduate level and 2-3 years to complete after a master’s degree. This degree level may also have 2 different paths for you to consider – research or practical – for your future career.

In research-oriented doctorate programs, you may be expected to participate in courses that can outline different stages of research, educate you further on how to conduct a valid and ethical research program, and help you prepare for your own independent research project.

After completing a Ph.D. in Cognitive Therapy, you could move on to become a professor of psychology at multiple universities or even move on to pursue careers in research for organizations responsible for learning and cognitive development. In some cases, graduates at this level may even obtain government positions responsible for training and education of staff.

Practice-oriented doctorate programs may be more focused on conducting assessments, ethical practice, and field experience throughout the program’s curriculum. During a practically-oriented program, you may spend some time working with licensed psychologists in the field in order to gain knowledge relevant to treating the public.

Graduates at this level can move on to careers responsible for analyzing clients and diagnosing cognitive delays and disorders, as well as creating intervention plans for cognitive improvement. Careers in this field can be found through psychological treatment agencies, schools, and medical facilities.

Top 5 Courses for this Degree

  • Human Learning and Cognition: While enrolled in this course, students can dive into theories pertaining to human attention, learning, and consciousness. This course can also provide learners with insight into how memory receives and stores information for later use and how the decision making process takes place within the brain. Human motivation and problem solving may also be concepts learned in this course.
  • Theories of Inquiry: Theories of Inquiry is a course that seeks to explain the curiosity and desire to learn within the human condition. Students participating in this course can consider different social and environmental components that may play a role in inquiry, as well as the natural desire to achieve and pursue knowledge within the human brain. This class can provide learners with a foundation of expertise needed to further understanding of human learning and behavior in the future.
  • Tests and Measurement: As future professionals in Cognitive Therapy, students within this course can benefit from utilizing common psychological tests and measurement techniques throughout their career. This course outlines some of the most common methods of measurement for research and application of psychological sciences in the field. Students participating in this course can also learn more about interpreting results of standardized tests and various statistical values.
  • Cognition and Instruction: Cognition and Instruction is a psychology-based course that can apply its concepts to the field of education. While in this course, you can learn more about how humans learn, store information, and retrieve it for later use. This course may also contain topics related to cognitive practices within the classroom environment and with diverse age groups. Additional concepts including motivation, intelligence, and information processing may be covered in this course.
  • Social Cognition: In order to consider Cognitive Therapy within all branches of life, practitioners may need to explore how people perceive themselves and those around them. This course can provide learners with a foundation of understanding in the perception of social constructs, individualism, relationships, and behavior in the social environment.

Outcomes, Careers, & Salaries

Students that pursue degrees in Cognitive Therapy can seek out careers in multiple specialized fields after graduation. If you are interested in pursuing a license as a psychologist after completing your degree, you may be required to obtain a minimum of a doctoral degree prior to applying.

At the undergraduate degree level, graduates can potentially pursue careers as Social and Human Service Assistants through local agencies within their communities. These professionals can earn around $33,750 per year on average according to the BLS.

Cognitive Therapy graduates can also pursue careers working in early education, curriculum design, and consulting for schools within their area. Knowledge pertaining to the unique learning styles of individual learners can be beneficial when working in this career area.

At the master’s level, graduates can seek out careers focused on training and development in the professional environment. These professionals may be employed as human resource specialists and earn around $60,880 per year on average.

Research-oriented job options for graduate-level learners can also be obtained through agencies responsible for developing rehabilitation programs for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as for individuals that have been experienced cognitive effects of brain injury or trauma.

Doctoral-level Cognitive Therapy graduates could also have the option of becoming educators at the collegiate level. These professionals can work for colleges and universities that educate bachelor’s and master’s level learners seeking psychology-based degrees. According to the BLS, post-secondary educators can earn a salary of $78,470 per year on average.

List of Programs

Walden University 🗹 Online Masters

Walden University 🗹 Online Masters

Northwestern University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Grand Canyon University 🗹 Online

Liberty University 🗹 Online

Mid-America Christian University (MACU) 🗹 Online

Master of Science (MS) in Counseling
Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Accredited

Pepperdine University 🗹 Online

The Chicago School 🗹 Online

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters 🗗 Bachelors

NYU Steinhardt 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

NYU Steinhardt 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

University of Wisconsin – Superior 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Lamar University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

University of Wisconsin – Superior 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Colorado Christian University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Our Lady of the Lake University 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

University of New Haven 🗹 Online

Rivier University 🗹 Online

University of West Alabama 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

East Central University 🗹 Online 🗖 Bachelors

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