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Information for Individuals who want to pursue the Master of Psychology Degree Program

Higher Education Articles January 6, 2016

This article talks about Master of Psychology degree programs and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Psychology Degree Programs

Foundational education in psychology is continued by many master’s degree programs in the field, even as the program enhances knowledge in psychological research and theory. Scientific methodologies and principles are available to students who examine issues in cognition, behavior, or society. Students in many programs are allowed to tailor their curriculum to a concentration area in psychology. These areas include developmental psychology, psychopathology, marriage and family counseling, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, neuroscience, and abnormal psychology.

Scholastic opportunities are provided to enable students to develop skills in reading psychological research, critical thinking, and using the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style while writing. Participation by students in supervised practicum hours or fieldwork is a common requirement, in addition to the conduct of research for a thesis assignment. Either a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is available through these programs that students complete in about two years. Enrollees in a master’s degree program are not typically ready for licensure as psychologists; however, program graduates interested in continuing education may enroll in a doctoral program.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. While the major does not have to be psychology, applicants are typically expected to have foundational knowledge and to have completed prior coursework in statistics and psychology. Submission of Graduate Record Examination scores by incoming students is an expectation in most programs.

Coursework

In many programs, development of skills in problem-solving and research is augmented by coursework covering general psychology, in addition to principles and assessment. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Decision-making
•Abnormal behavior
•Social behavior
•Personality theories
•Neuroscience
•Learning principles
•Perception
•Motivation theories
•Behavior modification
•Cognition and memory

Career Choices

A master’s degree in psychology will not help a graduate automatically qualify for licensure as a professional psychologist. Graduates may seek careers in educational, clinical and industrial areas. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Researcher
•Industrial-organizational psychologist
•Mental health worker
•Behavior specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, counseling and clinical psychologists brought in an average annual wage of $72,220. Industrial-organizational psychologists earned $98,800 per annum, on average during the same time-period (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Psychologists overall are expected to see a 19% job growth over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS); the best prospects are likely to be enjoyed by doctoral degree holders.

Continuing Education Choices

Doctoral work in an area of psychology may be available to program graduates seeking continuing education; this could be either a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology. Written dissertations and internships are usually requirements in both Psy.D. and Ph.D. programs. The focus of a Ph.D. program in Psychology is usually on research in the field, and the focus of a Psy.D. is on training candidates to work in clinical settings.

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Showing schools in your area

5 Program(s) Found
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Learn how you can make a difference in the Human Services field with a degree from Post
  • 100% online Human Services BS degree
  • Find concentrations in Counseling, Management, Psychology & more
  • Ranked in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by the US News & World Report
  • Post University earned the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly School® designation
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Customize your coursework - select a concentration or specialization to best suit your individual and career goals.
  • Learn from renowned faculty with real-world experience and expertise in their respective fields.
  • Experience dynamic and engaging multimedia content, allowing you to engage in real-time conversation while learning to express ideas succinctly and confidently to a diverse group of peers.
  • Receive robust, comprehensive career support services to help you define career goals and leverage your new degree to the fullest.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
3 Program(s) Found
  • Averett University is a top-ranked, fully-accredited institution that offers students over 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs, and 5 master's programs.
  • Accelerated programs designed for convenience: choose from weekly evening courses at one of Averett's Virginia locations or study online and on your own time.
  • Averett University was named one of Virginia’s top colleges for return on investment, and their average scholarship package lowers the cost of attendance further by almost 40%.
  • Averett offers students learning experiences that mirror real-life situations. This means you can put today's lesson to the test during tomorrow’s workday.
  • Averett University's 12:1 student-professor ratio makes your education a collaborative endeavor based on close relationships between students and faculty.
  • Online Courses

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