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PhD in Psychology

Update on 2024-04-15

PhD in Psychology - Doctorate in Psychology

About PhD in Psychology

PhD in Psycholo­­gy is a doctoral degree program that has a duration of 3 years to 5 years. The student who wishes to pursue a career in the academic field or research field is more likely to opt for this course after completing their postgraduation.

Psychology is an emerging career field that tends to offer lucrative career opportunities in the present and forthcoming future. If you are someone who wishes to study various aspects of human behavior and want to use your knowledge of psychology to foster positive changes in people's lives.

A P.h.D degree in Psychology will help you to fulfill your career expectations. To know more about PhD in Psychology courses, Colleges, Course Fees, Entrance Exams, and Career Scope after Psychology.

PhD in Psychology - Overview

  • The duration of the PhD in psychology program is 3 years to 5 years depending on the university offering the program. However, the PhD in Psychology Duration of program also depends on the research topic chosen by the student. If the research takes more than 3 years, some universities may provide you an extension to complete your research.
  • To pursue a PhD in psychology degree, the candidate must complete their post-graduation in Psychology major from a recognized university.
  • To enroll in the course, the candidate has to choose a research topic relevant to the field of Psychology and submit a research proposal to the university along with their college application form. Some Universities conduct entrance exams and Personal Interview rounds to shortlist candidates for admissions. The candidates may have to present their thesis proposal in the personal interview round where he/she gets interviewed by a panel of experts.
  • The most Popular Entrance exams for PhD in Psychology are UGC-NET, DUET, JNUEE, JMI entrance exam, etc.

PhD in Psychology Course: Highlights

Degree PhD in Psychology
Full Form Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology
Duration 3 to 5 years
Age No age limit
Minimum Percentage 50% in Post Graduate Studies
Subjects Required Basics of Indian Philosophy, Basics of Western and Modern Philosophy
Average Fees Incurred Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 Lacs (Annually)
Entrance Exams UGC-NET, DUET, JNUEE, JMI entrance exam, etc
PhD in Psychology Salary Rs 3.60 Lacs to Rs 4.05 Lacs
Employment Roles Chief Research Scientist, Senior Research and Development Manager, Data Analyst, Political Advisor, Clinical Psychologist, etc
Top Recruiters Mathworks, Archaeological Survey of India, Election Commission of India, CNN, BBC, Dr.Reddy's Laboratories, etc

PhD in Psychology Eligibility Criteria 2024

  • The candidate must complete his/her Master's in Psychology field and the degree must be obtained from a UGC-recognized university. An M.A in Philosophy or M.Phil degree will be acceptable.
  • To get admission to renowned universities such as Delhi University, Jamia Milia Islamia University, JNU, and others, the candidate must obtain a qualifying score in a  national-level Ph.D. entrance exam (UGC-NET) or any university-level entrance exam administered by the respective university.
  • There is no age limit or restrictions for pursuing a PhD in Psychology.

PhD in Psychology Admission

  • Candidates can apply for admission to the P.h.D Psychology course online or offline mode. First, you need to choose a college that offers a Psychology Doctorate program and then check the eligibility requirements and admission details, course fee, and other details on its official website. You can start filling up your application if you fulfill all the eligibility requirements stated on the college's official website.

  • Once the university/college starts inviting applications for the PhD admissions, fill up the application form and submit it along with the application fee and required documents. You can fill out your application online as well as offline based on your preference.

  • Usually, Universities conduct their entrance exam or accept the national level P.h.D entrance exam UGC-NET scores to shortlist the candidates for the P.h.D program. Since Ph.D. is the highest qualification, so there are a limited no. of seats available at the universities.

  • All admission seekers are advised to appear in the UGC-NET entrance exam. Candidates who obtain a good score in UGC NET can get a scholarship in either JRF or SRF program.

  • Some universities also conduct Personal interviews. Candidates who will qualify for the entrance exam get called up for an interview round which determines the selection of the candidate for admission.

  • Please note that all the applicants will also have to present a proposal for the research topic during the interview. Your research topic will also play a crucial role in your selection so you are advised to choose your topic wisely.

Top PhD in Psychology Entrance Exams

UGC-NET Entrance Exam for PhD in Psychology

UGC-NET is a national-level PhD entrance exam conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on behalf of UGC. Candidates who wish to pursue a Doctorate in Psychology have to appear in the UGC-NET entrance exam and obtain a valid score to get admission to premier institutions.

Applicants can also apply for JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) and Assistant Professorship based on their UGC-NET scores.

  • Candidates who have completed their Master's with a minimum of 55% marks in their master's degree exam are eligible to appear in the UGC NET exam. A % of relaxation will be provided to the reserved category candidates.
  • The Masters's degree must be obtained from a recognized university in India or a recognized international university.
  • The final-year candidates who will qualify for the UGC-NET exam will be admitted to the PhD in Psychology course only if they secure the minimum score set by the NTA.
  • UGC-NET Qualified candidates must complete their Master's degree within 2 years from the date of UGC NET Result declaration with at least 55% in the exams.
  • For JRF, The candidate must not be older than 31 years old as of 1st January of the exam year. Candidates belonging to reserved categories and women candidates will get a relaxation of 5 years.
  • There are no upper-age criteria to apply for Assistant Professorship and all the candidates who have completed their Master's from a recognized university can apply for the exam 
  • LLM graduates will be given a relaxation of 3 years on the age limit.
  • Candidates who are aged below 31 and completed their Master's can apply for JRF and take 3 attempts.
  • To apply for Assistant Professor, there are no attempt limits, candidates can apply for the exam any no. of times subject to their educational qualification.

GATE Entrance Exam for PhD in Psychology Admissions 2024

This entrance exam is conducted by IITs to offer admissions to PhD in Psychology programs. Earlier this entrance exam was only conducted for admitting students to B.Tech, M.Tech, MSc. and Ph.D. courses in the discipline of engineering and technology.

But now the IITs have started offering Doctoral degree programs in Psychology and since IIT conducts its own exams for other engineering courses, So it has also administered the GATE Psychology Entrance exam to shortlist students for PhD in Psychology Courses.

  • GATE Psychology entrance exam scores will be used by IITs/NITs/IISc to provide admissions to PhD in Psychology courses.

  • GATE Entrance Score can be used to apply for Institutional fellowships or scholarships. Candidates who have crossed the age of 31 which is the age limit of JRF, can apply for a fellowship through GATE Psychology. Entrance exam as there is no age limit to apply for a fellowship through the GATE entrance exam.

  • GATE entrance exam scores are also used by Public Service Undertakings and government agencies such as DRDO/ISRO to select Ph.D. scholars for various jobs and departments.

PhD in Psychology Entrance Exam Dates 2024

Exam Name Application Period Admit Card Issue Date Exam Date Result Date
UGC NET April 30, 2024 – May 30, 2024, July 07, 2024, July 9-12, 2024, and August 12-14, 2024 To be announced
GATE Exam (2024) September 1, 2024 - September 30, 2024, January 10, 2024 - February 12, 2024, February 4, 5, 11, and 12, 2024 March 13, 2024

PhD in Psychology Syllabus

This syllabus of PhD in Psychology is curated in a 3-year long course which is divided into 6 semesters. The course focuses on the topics such as Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Development, Psychopathology, personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, stress management, and trauma. At the end of this course, the candidate has to submit a self-written research thesis on a particular topic of research.

Below we have mentioned the Syllabus of P.h.D Psychology to help you understand the elements of your Psychology course:

1st Semester 2nd Semsester
Advanced Psychopathology Fundamentals of Psychology
Psychometric assessment methods Practicum
3rd Semester 4th Semsester
Psychotherapeutic Methods Practicum
Supervisor Directed Course (Need-based) and Research Clinical Psychology
Philosophical and Sociological Basis of Educational Research Final research proposal
5th Semester 6th Semester
Clinical Psychology I Statistics
Clinical Psychology II Internship in Clinical Psychology

Top PhD in Psychology Colleges in India 2024

List of Government Colleges for PhD in Psychology

  • IIT BHU, Varanasi
  • IIT, Indore
  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • IIT, Kanpur
  • University of Calcutta, Kolkata
  • St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
  • Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune

List of Private Colleges for PhD in Psychology

  • Christ University Bangalore
  • St Xavier's College Ahmedabad
  • Woxsen University, Hyderabad
  • Amity University, Noida
  • Lovely Professional University Jalandhar
  • Sharda University, Greater Noida
  • Jain University, Bangalore
  • Integral University, Lucknow
  • Bennett University, Greater Noida
  • Shobhit University, Meerut

PhD in Psychology Course Fee in India 2024

Name of the Institute City Average Annual Fees
Allahabad University Allahabad Rs 70,000
Amity University of Behavioral Health And Applied Science Noida Rs 55,000
Amity University Lucknow Rs 33,500
Awadhesh Pratap Singh University Madhya Pradesh Rs 24,000
Banaras Hindu University Varanasi Rs 1,00,000
Banasthali University Rajasthan Rs 1,17,000
Bharath Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi Rs 16,000
Bhavnagar University Gujarat Rs 22,000
Central University of Karnataka Gulbarga Rs 19,000
Chandigarh University Mohali Rs 85,000
Delhi University (DU) Delhi Rs 25,000
Dr. Annasaheb GD Bendale Mahila Mahavidyalaya Maharashtra Rs 25,000
Gauhati University Guwahati Rs 31,850
Gokul Das Hindu Girls College Moradabad Rs 80,000
Government College for Women Thiruvananthapuram Rs 2,90,000
Gulbarga University Gulbarga Rs 3,960
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur Karpur Rs 70,000
Jadavpur University Kolkata Rs 30,000

Jobs After PhD in Psychology in India

Psychology is the science of human behavior and the mind. A psychologist studies the brain's response to various scenarios and what leads to certain human behavior.

Nowadays the awareness about mental health has increased and so does the career scope in the Psychology field. Experts have projected A 14% of annual growth in this career field.

As you may already know P.h.D degree is coveted and one of the highest levels of qualifications. After completing your Doctorate in Philosophy, you will be awarded the title of Doctor. Pursuing a PhD in Psychology will help you to improve your intellectual thinking, analytic skills, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and reasoning ability.

Moreover, you will be able to apply for lucrative jobs after completing your Ph.D. in Psychology or you can also start your own clinic.

Job Profiles After PhD in Psychology 2024

Below we have mentioned various jobs available in the employment sector for Ph.D. Psychology holders:

Research Psychologist: Some research psychologists enter academic settings while some choose to work for private industries. Researchers who work in academics help young students in their research or serve as academic advisors to students and help them with research methods and clinical techniques.

On the other hand, researchers in private industries are engaged in market research, studying consumer behavior, and making research reports based on their research and analysis. Their findings help organizations to make important business decisions.

Professor: As a Psychology Professor, you will be teaching in universities and helping the students to understand various aspects of psychology. A job as a Professor is considered the most sorted career choice after completing a Doctorate in Psychology as it offers a lucrative salary package, perfect work-life balance, and job security.

Educational Psychologist: Students undergo a lot of academic pressure starting from nursery to higher education, Education Psychologist is someone who helps to fill the gaps left by the schooling system and high-level academic competition.

Many children have certain types of minds and learning which cannot be tamed by general learning techniques, Educational psychologists help such students to grow intellectually and adapt the learning techniques beneficial for them.

Sports Psychologists: A sports psychologist is someone who has, ideally, participated in numerous sports training routines himself and is aware of the distinct toll that they place on both the mind and the body.

They ensure that athletes' mental health remains intact so they can perform well in the game.

Counselor: There are various types of counselors such as education counselors, career counselors, rehabilitation counselors, mental health counselors, Marriage Counsellors, and others. Counselors are the experts who make people come face to face with their problems and offer them effective solutions to their problems.

They are responsible to identify the areas in which their clients need help and prescribe them coping ways to resolve the issues.

Psychiatrist: Psychiatrist: After completing your Ph.D., you can start working as a mental health practitioner, also called a psychiatrist.

They are responsible for helping patients who are suffering from some sort of mental illness or ailment. He/she performs various evaluations and assigns them diagnoses and ensures that they get proper medication.

Organizational Psychologists: The Job of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists is to ensure that the employees can get time-to-time counseling and that a healthy balance remains maintained between the organization's productivity and employees' mental health.

This job needs tremendous skills and mindfulness and therefore organizational psychologists are paid quite well for their work.

Child Psychologist: A Child Psychologist works for children who face challenges while growing up. Many children face various issues in learning, communicating, and adapting which leads to their uneasy behavior.

Every child is different and so are their psychological traits, so it takes expertise in Psychology to understand the root of their triggers. Nowadays, parents are well aware of the importance of the mental health of their child, and therefore they choose to approach a child psychologist to ensure the well-being of their ward's mental health and growth.

Department Managers/Directors: Directors or managers in various content-appropriate fields, such as human resources, marketing, or career planning & development.

These are individuals who are involved in various departments of organizations and help in training the candidates, Making important business-related decisions, and consultation processes.

Forensic Psychologists: Forensic Psychologist is someone who deals with Criminal offenders and prisoners and attempts to rehabilitate them before they step into the real world. They help criminals to reflect on their wrongdoings and become a better person by the time they complete their serving period in prison.

In addition to helping the offenders, Forensic Psychologists also make psychological profiles of the prisoners and predict who is likely to continue their wrongdoings and become a threat to society if they get released from prison.

Fields of Psychology

  • Health Psychology
  • Teaching in Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Research Psychology

Job Sector in Psychology

If you are wondering about the employment areas you may be engaged in during your career, then here are some of the employment sectors where PhD in Psychology holders can find impressive career opportunities:

  • Social service agencies
  • Government agencies
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Corporations
  • Community agencies
  • Schools and universities

Salary After PhD in Psychology

The market demand for Psychologists is increasing. There was a time when psychology was considered notional but now people have started to take it more seriously than ever, and experiments are being conducted in this field.

Being an emerging field and its increasing popularity, the payscale of Psychology professionals is as high as Rs 12 Lacs depending on their Job profile. The salary after PhD in Psychology can be higher if a candidate chooses to get a job abroad.

According to Glassdoor, The national average salary of Psychologists in India is Rs 3.60 Lacs to Rs 4.05 Lacs. However, in the United States, the average salary of a Psychologist is $93,738 annually. However, these salary figures vary according to the job profile of a Psychologist.

Below we have mentioned the Psychology Jobs and their Salary for you:

Job Profile Average Salary
Psychiatrist Rs 11.51 Lacs
Organizational Psychologist Rs 9.50 Lacs
Neuropsychologist Rs 13.41 Lacs
School Counselor/Psychologist Rs 3.76 Lacs
Clinical Psychologist Rs 4.20 Lacs
Forensic Psychologist Rs 5.65 Lacs
Counselor Rs 3.5 Lacs
Sports Psychologist Rs 5.82 Lacs - Rs 10.42 Lacs
Child Psychologist Rs 4.80 Lacs

Why Pursue a PhD in Psychology?

Pursuing a PhD degree will open many career avenues for you even before completing the course. But If you are still in a dilemma that whether you should go for a PhD in Psychology degree or not.

Here are a few reasons to pursue PhD in Psychology:

  • A PhD in Psychology will equip you with the knowledge to qualify for various career opportunities in this field. During the P.h.D course, you will attain valuable skills which will help you to work in a wide array of work environments starting from non-profits, and social service organizations to private practices.

  • During this course, the student does all the research work in Psychology under the guidance of a supervisor/guide allotted by the university. During the research tenure, the student studies their subject on an advanced level, they also get trained to apply their knowledge in real-life scenarios to help out others.

  • During your course, you can also apply for the jobs of Teaching Assistant at universities. Once you successfully obtain a PhD in Psychology, you can apply for the job of a lecturer or professor in the renowned universities of India and abroad. Besides teaching jobs, you can also become a Psychologist in a private or government firm or start your own practice.

  • There are many Master's programs offered in different specializations of Psychology, these master's programs aim to deliver extensive knowledge of a specialized area of Psychology. However pursuing a Ph.D. after your postgraduation will provide you with a more clear perspective on your specialization and will allow you to attain expertise in a particular field of Psychology such as Social Psychology, Sports Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuro Psychology, etc.

  • A PhD program is a wise choice if you intend to work as a Clinical Psychologist. You can also work as a Clinical Psychologist if you have a Masters's degree but a P.h.D will make you well-equipped to start your own private clinic.

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