Dec 18, 2013
Hello again everyone. I'm sure this has been answered in other threads, but in the interest of renewing interests, I thought I would post a new thread. There is a chance I might move on from my masters to earn a Ph.D or a Psy.D down the road, and I also love the idea of teaching at the college level. How do Psy.Ds fare in academia? Could I be a full-time teacher with a Psy.D? Or would I be doomed to only be an adjunct? Any other input is much welcomed. Thank you!


Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
Louisville, KY
adjunct unless you can compete with PhD.s in the academic job market. The modal Psy.D. can't. At best you could probably get to Tier 3 instuitions with Psy.d, and even then many require a Ph,.D.


15+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2000
Dreaming of Margaritaville
Several PsyD grads from my program have gone on to academic positions, so it is possible. However, my program has research and teaching assistantships, so it is a little different from most PsyD programs. Depends where you go and what you do.


Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
I agree with others that for full-fledged faculty positions, the cards will be stacked against you, but it's not impossible. However, it's a pretty harsh job market out there right now even for folks coming from very research-focused and productive programs/labs, so if a professor position is something you'd seriously be considering as a career goal, going the Ph.D. route (and more specifically the clinical science route) is probably your best bet.

All that being said, if all you want to do is teach, then adjuncting with a Psy.D. shouldn't be terribly difficult.


10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2007
Psychology Student
Adjuncting is definitely an option. If you are talking full-time gigs, you may have options at community colleges or small 4-year liberal arts colleges. The pay generally stinks (with some exceptions), but some people really enjoy these settings. At the university level, your options will be extremely limited outside of PsyD programs themselves. They will want someone with better research credentials than a typical PsyD is likely to possess. That doesn't mean its impossible - I know some PsyDs with R01's. However, they are an anomaly who had a significantly uphill battle and in many cases had to pursue tons of additional training (including additional degrees after completing their doctorate).


7+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2011
Teaching with a Psy.D. is definitely possible, but there are a lot of barriers as others have mentioned. I'd say your best bet is to teach within a Psy.D. program itself, followed by some of the academic positions that are a little lower on the prestige scale. That said, there are always exceptions and if you are a prolific researcher and teacher, then the sky is the limit. But if teaching is a primary goal, I wouldn't usually recommend the Psy.D. unless all you plan to do is adjunct in addition to your primary clinical job. Ollie mentioned some other possible settings as well. But the trend these days on the academic market - even at SLACs and community colleges - is to bring in people who know how to conduct research (so that they can get undergrads involved in their studies). A lot of Psy.D. programs don't teach students the skills to actually conduct research studies, which I'd argue is one of the biggest distinctions between the degrees. But there are some Psy.D. programs that do a better job of this.

So, I think you can make it work on some level, but the deck is stacked against you and there is a stigma against Psy.D.s in some settings. You can overcome it if you are really good at what you do and network very effectively.