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Differences between Psychiatrists and Psychologists


Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors. That means diagnosing and treating patients and having the ability to prescribe medication.

With that comes all of the schooling necessary to become a doctor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that usually means a bachelor's degree, a medical school degree, and several years of internship and residency programs. Students looking to pursue psychiatry would go through all of the training and schooling necessary to become a doctor and eventually choose psychiatry as their focus.


Psychology takes more of a holistic approach. Psychologists work with their patients by having deeper conversations to get to the root of what is causing their issues. This is also known as talk-based mental health treatment. They work to understand human behavior as a whole, using tests to try out various hypotheses. Psychology also focuses more on developing research projects than psychiatry.

Becoming a psychologist

Pursuing psychology comes with its own set of training after finishing your bachelor’s. Psychologists typically need a doctoral degree, although a master’s might be enough for some jobs. After that, you’ll log time in an internship and then work on becoming licensed, which can take 1-2 years of supervised work experience depending on the state.

No matter which field you prefer, Texas Wesleyan’s psychology degree works for you. Your degree plan leaves plenty of room to take on a minor or group of classes that will help meet the science requirements needed to pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and get into medical school.

If medical school isn’t in your plans, use that same flexibility to pursue the path of your choice. Whether it’s criminal, sports or even clinical psychology, it’s up to you.

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There is no shortage of what you can learn at the School of Arts and Sciences. With more than 20 majors ranging from biochemistry to theatre and many in between you have plenty of possibilities to explore.