2008: Survey of PsyD Granting Schools and Programs

Daniel Michalski, MPA
APA Center for Workforce Studies
August 2008
Report Text

Introduction and Methodology

The objective of this study was to gather information on the predoctoral education of Doctor of Psychlogy (PsyD) recipients. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collect similar data on PhD recipients. Unfortunately, these data largely exclude non-research based dotorates. As professional degrees in psychology gain in popularity, these data become increasingly relevant to understanding the psychology workforce and educational pipeline. The results of this research will ensure that APA understands the predoctoral educational backgrounds of those pursuing professional degrees in psychology.

An invitation was sent to a sample of 97 PsyD granting programs in February, 2008 requesting participation in a seven item online survey. Only Chairs of PsyD granting programs with valid email addresses were selected to participate in the online survey. After the initial email invitation, three reminders were sent to the non-responding programs. These reminders were sent out approximately two weeks apart. A copy of the instrument is attached as Appendix A.

Out of 97 schools surveyed, 40 responded. Responses from 10 programs were excluded from analysis due to lack of data or incompatible responses; yielding a true response rate of 31%. Data presetned in this report are based on 620 PsyDs conferred between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007. Degree totals for each program were obtained through data collection efforts associated with the 2007 Doctorate Employment Survey. The 620 PsyD recipients represent 38% of the 1,636 PsyDs granted between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007. All results are reported in aggregate.


Respondents were asked to report the number of predoctoral degrees obtained by their 2006-2007 PsyD recipients at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's levels. Additionally, they were asked to report whether their PsyD recipients earned psychology or non-psychology degrees at each of these levels.

Seventy-nine PsyD recipients (12.7%) obtained associate's degrees in psychology while 9 (1.5%) received non-psychology associate's degrees.

As expected, more than two-thirds (66.8%) of PsyD recipients majored in psychology at the baccalaureate level, whiel slightly more than one-fifth (21.1%) majored in other fields. The remainder of baccalaureate degrees reported (12.1%) was unspecified.

Slightly less than one-third (32.7%) of PsyD recipients earned terminal master's degrees in psychology prior to enrolling in their doctoral program. Only 78 (12.6%) of those earning PsyDs completed master's programs in non-psychology fields. Of those earning non-psychology master's degrees, many came from counseling or related disciplines. It is important to note that many PsyD recipients obtain non-terminal master's degrees on their way to earning their doctorate.