Graduate School Q and A

Thinking about graduate degree in Psychology? We highly
recommend the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
Click here now to get more information. You'll be glad you did.

Q: How long will it take me to get my graduate degree?

A: Different people go through graduate programs at different speeds. In general though, Master's programs are designed to take 1-2 years to finish, although the Education Specialist degree in school psychology usually requires 3 years.

The APA claims that the average time needed to complete most doctoral programs is 6-7 years, but I think this is a bit misleading. Although this might actually be the average time, remember that this is an average - half the people that get PhDs take less time and half take more time. Most programs are set up to take approximately 4-5 years, but you should expect to spend 5 years or more getting your PhD. Plus, if you go into clinical or counseling you will probably have to complete a residency (or practicum).

Some of the factors that affect how long graduate school takes include other responsibilities that take your time (i.e., teaching classes, being a research assistant, etc.), how much attention (good or bad) you receive from faculty, how long it takes to conduct your thesis and your dissertation, and many others. Remember, this is a major commitment in time, effort, emotion, and resources. For better or worse, school will be your life for several years!