Neuropsychology is the study of the human brain, particularly as it relates to cognitive function, the nervous system, and the behaviors we exhibit. Professionals in neuropsychology will focus on injuries, illnesses and other conditions affecting the brain that produces dysfunction in a person. While brain dysfunction was largely a medical marvel years ago, after the World Wars, society saw a need for major development and technology in this area, to help veterans of war and other individuals whose lives were forever altered because of trauma or birth defect. This is both a science of treatment and prevention.
What Kind of Education Do You Need to Get Started?
This is truly one of the most challenging educational feats available to students because it combines psychology and neurology. Therefore, just to begin, you will need to train in psychology, neuroscience, pre-med, biology, or other related fields. While you might be able to start your education and gain some meaningful experience as a bachelor’s degree graduate, most students go on to earn their master’s degree or even their Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) before seeking long-term employment. Starting your career with only a master’s may be a challenge all on its own, as the field is competitive and most students want to pursue their doctorate degree to impress employers.
Bachelor’s degree programs take about four years, and earning a master’s degree could add two more years onto it. A Ph.D. would take another four years, or slightly less, and would qualify you for the highest positions and salaries, though bear in mind, work experience is also scrutinized.
What Subjects Do You Learn in Neuropsychology?
This largely depends on the type of course you take and the authority behind it. A crash course in biology would be typical and might include reviewing subjects such as cellular neurophysiology, neurophysiology lab work, animal behavior, human anatomy and math. In addition, a separate module would cover psychological aspects such as psychology, mind and brain function, social development and mental health. This type of course would not only teach science and textbook knowledge, but also prepare students for the working world, in which problem-solving skills, research methods and communication skills are invaluable. The training in all cases will match the standards set forth by the American Psychological Association.
What are some of the best courses for a long-term education in neuropsychology? Naturally, the biggest names in the nation are where students start their search. The likes of Stanford, the University of California in Berkeley, Harvard, Yale and Princeton are on the top of everyone’s list.
Nevertheless, don’t conclude that you must achieve perfection and riches just to be invited to such higher learning opportunities. You can study your courses at an institution like the ones listed below, which offers a more flexible schedule as well as an excellent facility that is located near many agencies and venues. Now is the time to prepare your mind for a fascinating and lucrative career working with the beautiful, miraculous human brain that continues to baffle science.