Psychology Teacher Degree Programs and Education Requirements

Learn about degree programs for aspiring psychology teachers. Find out what degrees are typically sought and what students learn at each level of study. Get details about professional licensing and certification as well as career outlook and salary information.

View 9 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

The typical path to becoming a psychology teacher is to complete a bachelor's degree program in secondary teacher education with a dual major, minor or focus in psychology. Many schools offer coordinated programs through psychology and education departments to fulfill these requirements. Students in these bachelor's program develop skills in instruction and curriculum design while building an understanding of various psychology theories and concepts. They also complete student-teaching experiences.

Required state licensure and voluntary certification apply to those seeking to become psychology teachers in high schools. Requirements for licensure typically include a bachelor's degree, a supervised classroom experience and an exam.

Those who wish to teach psychology at the postsecondary level must earn a doctorate in psychology. Here, an emphasis is placed on research and students are prepared to teach at colleges and universities. Graduates are also prepared to become licensed psychologists.


Bachelor's Degree Programs in Education with a Focus in Psychology

Undergraduate 4-year degree programs in secondary teacher education prepare graduates to teach at the high school level. Secondary education teachers typically focus in the subject in which they intend to teach, such as psychology. This may be accomplished by choosing a psychology major, dual major, concentration or minor. Students complete coursework in their major area in addition to teaching courses, such as education theory, curriculum planning and classroom management. Applicants are expected to have a high school diploma or its equivalent to apply for bachelor-level education programs.

Program Coursework

The curriculum of a bachelor's degree program for secondary education combines pedagogy and psychology. The teacher preparation portion qualifies students for licensure as secondary teachers, while additional psychology classes provide the necessary knowledge to teach a high-school-level course. Program topics include:

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Research methodology
  • Instructional planning and assessment
  • Secondary education reading instruction
  • Curriculum development

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of teachers at the secondary school level is expected to grow at a rate of 7% during the period from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job opportunities vary by region as well as the subject being taught. The median annual salary for secondary school teachers was $55,050 as of 2012.

Licensure, Certification and Continuing Education

Graduates who complete an accredited teacher education program and a period of supervised teaching may take the state proficiency exam to obtain a teaching license. Continuing education is required to maintain licensing. Additional certification is voluntary. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards ( www.nbpts.org) is the most widely recognized certification board in the teaching profession. They do not offer certification specifically for psychology teachers; however, those with a background in this field may be eligible for the generalist certification.

Doctorate Programs in Psychology

Individuals interested in teaching psychology at the college and university level usually need a Ph.D. in Psychology. These degree programs have a strong research focus, and require the completion of a publishable dissertation. Students who wish to become psychology teachers often participate in teaching assistantships in addition to their coursework.

Educational Prerequisites

An undergraduate degree is necessary to be considered for graduate programs, while a master's degree may be required. Course requirements vary, but many programs either require or recommend prior coursework in experimental psychology, research methods, statistical methods and the natural, physical and social sciences. Previous research experience is also beneficial.

Program Coursework

To earn their doctorate, students take required coursework and also participate in research projects, usually in their specific area of study. Required courses may cover:

  • Neuroscience
  • Cognition
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural issues in psychology
  • Statistics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of postsecondary teachers is expected to grow as fast as the national average for all jobs during 2010-2020, according to the BLS. The median annual salary for postsecondary teachers of psychology was $68,020 as of 2012 (www.bls.gov).

Show me popular schools

Related to Psychology Teacher Degree

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Psychology Teacher: Job Description & Requirements

A career as a psychology teacher generally requires a Ph.D. to gain employment as a university-level educator. Read further to...

Be a Psychology Professor: Career Information and Requirements

Learn how to become a psychology professor. Research the job description and the education requirements and find out how to...

How to Become a Teacher with a Bachelor's Degree

Students generally have two options for becoming a teacher with a bachelor's degree: enroll in a teacher education program that...

Salary and Career Info for a Bachelor of Psychology Degree

Possible careers for those with a bachelor's degree in psychology range from working as a social and human service assistant to...

Teacher Training: Experience May Be More Valuable Than An Advanced Degree

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (6)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    When are you looking to start?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs at the University of Kansas must have already earned a bachelor's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master's - Curriculum and Instruction

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Applicants to doctoral programs must have already earned a master's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Doctorate
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
    • Master
        • Master of Arts in Education
        • Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
        • Master of Arts in Education - Distance Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED and completed some college. Master's degree applicants must have a bachelor's or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MSEd in Curriculum and Instruction

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Marquette University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • Chemistry Teacher Education
        • Drama and Dance Teacher Education
        • English Teacher Education
        • French Language Teacher Education
        • German Language Teacher Education
        • History Teacher Education
        • Latin Teacher Education
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Physics Teacher Education
        • Psychology Teacher Education
        • Science Teacher Education
        • Social Science Teacher Education
        • Spanish Education for Teachers

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright