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Master’s Degree Programs in Educational Psychology Overview

Majors Overview January 22, 2016

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

Master’s Programs in Educational Psychology

The pursuit of a professional Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Psychology followed by an Education Specialist degree would benefit individuals keen on earning a master’s degree in educational psychology. A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Educational Psychology degree combined with an advanced certificate may be available at some schools. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold bachelor’s degrees and to have completed some prerequisite psychology courses.

Program coursework combines mental health therapy and assessment with training in child development. Students gain a grasp of education and learn about working with student populations and communicating with teachers and parents. Skills in intervention and prevention techniques are in the program to teach prospective educational psychologists. Varying by the school, concentrations may be available in behavioral disorders and special education, among other areas. Qualified and experienced program graduates can seek professional certification such as the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably meeting a GPA standard of 3.0. Additionally, applicants may have to have completed prerequisite courses in general psychology, statistics, child development and abnormal psychology. They must also usually submit personal statements, recommendation letters, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and attend a personal interview.

Coursework

Students enrolled in a master’s degree program in educational psychology accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists are required to complete 1,200 hours of practical training and 60 credit hours. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Personality and intelligence evaluations
•Educational psychology research methods
•Motivation and learning theories
•Developmental psychology
•Diverse population counseling

Job and Wage Outlook

All psychologists are expected to experience a faster-than-average 19% job growth, over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2014, school, clinical and school psychologists brought in an average annual wage of $74,030 (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Graduates of master’s programs in educational psychology may look into doctoral degrees in the field. School psychologist careers require state licensure; specific requirements vary by state. In order to keep licenses current, students will need continuing education courses. School psychologists who pass the appropriate exams and meet organizational requirements can obtain the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential through the National Association of School Psychologists.

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