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Degree Overview: Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology

Majors Overview December 31, 2015

Psychology programs are available at several schools where students are allowed to work to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree withiin five years of full-time study. Those who wish to pursue a doctoral program or seek a job after graduation should look into these programs.

Bachelor’s and Master’s Programs in Psychology

Basic research methods and psychological assessment are in the undergraduate coursework in combined degree programs. The focus of graduate-level program coursework is usually in a specialty area, such as cognitive psychology, counseling psychology, health psychology, or social psychology. Some schools award a master’s degree in a related field, such as art therapy. Students can also avail general psychology programs. Some programs sponsor internships and clinical or teaching practicums. A master’s thesis may also be a requirement for students enrolled in the program.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Admission to combined degree programs may be limited to psychology majors with at least 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework already completed. In other programs, applicants may be required to be juniors. Visual art courses may have to be completed by art therapy students. Submission of school faculty members’ letters of recommendation and meeting of minimum GPA requirements may also be in the admission criteria.


The usual focus of program coursework is in statistics and research methods. Coursework may also cover topic areas in the graduate area of specialization. More specialized courses are available in the master’s degree coursework. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Multicultural counseling
•Cognitive neuroscience
•Perception and Cognition
•Art therapy methodology
•Substance abuse psychology
•Social psychology

Career Choices

Graduates may seek careers in fields such as education, business, healthcare and criminal justice. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Data Analyst
•Mental health counselor
•School counselor
•Marketing researcher
•Lab Technician

Licensure and Continuing Education Choices

Licensure is compulsory for prospective mental health or school counselors (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Licensure norms in many states require interested candidates to hold a master’s degree and have prior work experience of two years. Passage of a state-issued exam is also a requirement. Program graduates may also enroll in doctoral degree programs in psychology, the minimum educational requirement for prospective counseling, clinical, or research psychologists (BLS).

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