What Is the Difference Between Psy.D. and Ph.D. in Psychology?

The main differences between the Psy,D and the Ph.D in psychology are learning outcomes, financial aid and career goals. Training for the Psy.D focuses on developing clinical practitioner skills, while the focus of the Ph.D is on conducting empirical research and applying the results to clinical practice. Financial support for Ph.D students often comes in the form of remuneration for research work. Psy.D students sometimes conduct paid research, but financial support usually comes from a variety of other sources.

For those seeking a career in teaching and research, the Ph.D presents a number of employment opportunities, especially at the college and university level.

Other differences between the Psy.D and the Ph.D are: 75 percent of doctoral degrees in psychology are rewarded through the Ph.D program. The Ph.D is generally more accepted than the Psy.D. Ph.D programs last longer and tend to be more difficult to get into than Psy.D programs.

The Psy.D is similar to the MD, according to AllPsychologySchools.com, and students acquire clinical experience earlier in the program than do Ph.D students.

Whether a student pursues the Psy.D or the Ph.D, supervised internships are required for both degrees and to legally practice clinical psychology with either degree requires proper certification in every state. Each degree is valued by medical, community, and counseling centers, as well as the educational model upon which each program is taught.