2013-14: Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology

Marlene Wicherski, Auntré Hamp, Peggy Christidis and Karen Stamm
APA Center for Workforce Studies
March 2014
Report Text


Surveys of faculty salaries in graduate departments of psychology have been conducted since the mid-1960s, first by the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), and after 1978 by the American Psychological Association (APA) in conjunction with COGDOP. Subsequent years saw the survey broaden in scope to cover more diverse issues concerning graduate education, and in 1990 it was divided into two separate components, with the initial phase of the survey addressing faculty salaries and the second covering other topics. More recently that second portion was folded in with the ongoing Graduate Study in Psychology effort. This was accomplished by modifying the graduate study instrument.


In October 2013, chairs of U.S. and Canadian graduate departments of psychology were sent an email invitation with instructions for completing the online survey. Three email reminders were sent to nonrespondents.

Eligible departments were drawn from the current edition of Graduate Study in Psychology (APA, 2013) and prior editions, and from the membership of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). The questionnaire requested information on demographics, employment status, rank, years in rank, highest degree and year awarded, and salary for all faculty members.

Of the 680 departments and professional schools surveyed, 260 provided at least some usable information, for an overall response rate of 38 percent. Data presented in this report are based on 4,076 faculty who hold doctorates, who are employed full time and for whom the relevant data were available. Included in this total are 3,530 faculty in 183 U.S. doctoral departments, 367 faculty in 46 U.S. master's departments and 179 faculty in eight Canadian departments. Twenty-three departments provided information on the salaries of individual faculty but did not respond to other portions of the survey.

Consistent with previous efforts, response rates varied considerably, depending on the geographic location of the institution, the highest degree offered by the department (doctoral or master's), whether the institution is public or private, and the department type. Substantially higher levels of response were obtained in the U.S. for doctoral departments (44 percent) than for master's departments (26 percent). Departments in the U.S. overall were somewhat more likely to have completed the survey as compared to Canadian departments (38 percent versus 34 percent). Psychology departments were more likely than other types of academic units (e.g., professional schools or educational psychology departments) to provide data. More information on specific response rates can be found in Appendix Table A (PDF, 13KB).

Structure of the Report

Results are presented separately for (1) U.S. doctoral departments; (2) U.S. master's departments; and (3) Canadian departments. For U.S. doctoral departments, salaries are broken out along the following dimensions: geographic region, public or private institution status, and type of department (e.g., psychology, professional school of psychology or human development). Among master's departments, the majority of participants were psychology departments; thus, detailed analyses have been limited to this category.

Most salaries are reported according to academic rank and years in rank, or by years since earning the doctorate. Additional tables report salaries paid to chairs, other administrative positions, and newly hired faculty, a comparison of salaries paid to men and women of equivalent years in rank, and average amounts paid to adjunct or other part-time faculty who are compensated on a per-course basis. Newer tables present data on steps taken by departments over the past two years as a result of budget constraints, and on procedures when faculty lines are vacated.


Readers of this report should consider possible error introduced by nonresponse. Comparisons of respondents with nonrespondents indicated few marked differences in terms of the geographic distribution for U.S. doctoral departments overall and doctoral psychology departments, in particular. However, the response rate was lower for U.S. master's departments and for departments in Canada. Thus, in reading the results, it is important to consult Appendix A for the appropriate rate of response.

Readers should also note that the term "Graduate Departments of Psychology" is meant broadly to encompass departments, schools, interdisciplinary programs or other academic units listed in recent editions of Graduate Study in Psychology as offering a graduate degree in one or more areas of psychology. Departments may be called any of the following: (a) psychology; (b) educational psychology; (c) counseling psychology; (d) human development; (e) professional school; (f) counseling, guidance and counselor education; (g) school psychology; (h) education; or (i) other, but these department names are not synonymous with program areas. For example, a program in counseling or school psychology may be found in any of several categories. Almost two thirds of the departments award degrees in multiple areas of psychology. The remaining third tend to be departments that are specialized, offering degrees in a few closely related subfields. Thus, "graduate departments of psychology" refers to any academic unit that offers one or more graduate degrees in psychology.


American Psychological Association (2013). Graduate Study in Psychology, 2014. Washington, D.C.: Author.


Faculty Salaries in U.S. Doctoral Departments of Psychology

Faculty Salaries in U.S. Master's Departments of Psychology

Faculty Salaries in Canadian Graduate Departments of Psychology

Other Salaries and Benefits for Specific Positions in U.S. and Canadian Graduate Departments of Psychology

Notes to Tables

  • Medians, quartiles, means and standard deviations are reported for the majority of analyses. The median may be the most useful measure of central tendency since it is less influenced by extreme values than the arithmetic mean. In most of the tables, both median and mean salaries are presented; observed differences reflect the skewness in the distributions.
  • No statistics are provided where the N is less than five or where the standard deviation is zero. In these instances, only the N is provided. Where the N is between five-10, only the median is provided.
  • Statistics also were not provided when the number of responding departments was one or when the Ns for subgroups based on rank and years in rank were so small that aggregate statistics would not be meaningful.
  • The majority of tables report salaries for faculty in U.S. graduate departments of psychology on a nine-10-month basis. Some departments (e.g., professional schools of psychology and departments of psychology in medical schools), however, typically operate on an 11-12-month academic calendar. In these cases, the nine-10-month salaries can be converted to their 11-12-month equivalents by multiplying by 11/9.
  • This report uses nine categories for geographic region that correspond to the divisions used by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of the Census. The states comprising each cluster are listed in Appendix B (PDF, 7KB).