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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Environmental Psychology

Majors Overview December 31, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in environmental psychology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Environmental Psychology

Few schools, if any, offer degree programs in environmental psychology, and the majority of those who do, offer doctoral degree programs. A 2-year Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Psychology program is available through a mere handful of institutions. The program is for prospective architects, environmental designers, and psychologists.

Students learn via laboratory and classroom courses about assisting with property resource management, enacting durable conservation plans, implementing restorative environments, and understanding and monitoring the effect of environmental conditions on human behavior.

Additionally, admission criteria related to most master’s degree programs in the subject require incoming students to complete a project or thesis paper where they fully explore a particular aspect of the field. Graduates seeking to become college professors or scholarly researchers could choose to complete the doctoral study.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a baccalaureate degree, preferably in human behavior, psychology, or natural resources.

Coursework

Enrollees gain a grasp of the relationships between human behavior and social, natural, and constructed environments. Graduates can use a grasp of environmental psychology to tackle problems that arise out of human-environment interactions. An understanding of the nature of these interactions can help in designing and managing environments to ensure better prediction of reasonable human behaviors. The focus of program coursework is mainly on research and theories related to the subject. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Human coping mechanisms
•Environmental stress
•Perception and cognitive maps
•Preferred environments for humans
•Conservation psychology and behavior
•Human attention to the environment
•Environmental management and design

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers as environmental psychologists whose responsibilities include interviewing individuals and performing field research aimed at helping governments and cities to create proper settings for optimal behavior. Program graduates may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Ecological psychologist
•Environmental architect
•City planner
•Environmental designer
•Researcher
•Environmental health scientist

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, psychologists are expected to see a faster-than-the-average job growth of 19%. Industrial-organizational psychologists are expected to witness a 35% job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, industrial-organizational psychologists brought in an average annual wage of $83,580. All other psychologists – excluding those in counseling, clinical, or school settings – earned an average annual wage of $90,020 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Environmental Psychology are more commonly available than master’s degree programs in the field. Students typically take 5-7 years to complete Ph.D. programs in Environmental Psychology involving extended study into one specific aspect of the field, such as environmental stress factors. The completion of a committee-approved dissertation paper is also a requirement for most Ph.D. programs.

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