Master’s Degree in Psychology

Master’s Degree in Psychology

Most Master’s Degree in psychology programs take two years to complete. Students may go straight from undergraduate study into a Master’s program or participants may be working professionals returning to school after many years.

Choosing a Master’s of Psychology Program

As there are so many different Master’s Degree in psychology programs to consider, you will need to do some soul searching before selecting the right program for you. Think about not only your area of interest, but also the potential career path that you would like to follow. Are you more interested in contributing to the body of knowledge in the field than in assisting individual patients? If so, then a Master’s of psychology program that focuses on clinical research and education may be the right choice for you.

Or perhaps you’re interested in assisting people in overcoming mental health, drug addiction, or emotional challenges. If so, then a Master’s Degree in psychology program that emphasizes counseling would be the appropriate choice.

For those who are unsure which career path they are most interested in pursuing, there are more “basic” or “generalized” Master’s of psychology programs and courses available. These graduate programs cover a wide range of topics and give students a more comprehensive overview of the discipline rather than a targeted education in a specialized field within psychology.

It is important to keep in mind that some areas of employment within psychology require a Doctorate rather than a Master’s Degree. When considering applying to a Master’s in psychology program, you should take into account the typical education requirements for the field in which you intend to work.

While pursuing a Master’s Degree may still be the right choice for you, the field you wish to work in may influence which program you select.  Some programs are designed for students who plan to go on to complete a PhD, while others have achievement of a Master’s Degree in psychology as the final and ultimate goal.

Master’s Degree in Psychology Career Options

Master's Degree in Psychology

Holding a Master’s Degree in the field of psychology opens up all kinds of career opportunities. Many graduate programs in psychology actually offer specialized degrees and courses of study for those who wish to pursue a specific career path in the field of psychology; however, even a “basic” Master’s of psychology degree will present job seekers with increased opportunities in the workforce.

A Master’s Degree in psychology is actually a very versatile degree. Those who hold this title can find employment in clinical practice, research, education, social services, corporate settings, and even within the law enforcement sector.

Here are just a few of the rewarding careers to consider:

  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Social Service Counselor
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • School Psychologist/Counselor
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Organizational Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist

Master’s of Psychology Admission Process

Every graduate program in psychology has its own criteria for admission. Applicants will be judged on academic performance in undergraduate courses as well as Graduate Record Education (GRE) scores. Students that have been active in psychology, especially those who have published papers in academic journals, have higher acceptance rates, particularly when looking at the most competitive Master’s Degree in psychology programs.

Many psychology graduate schools also prefer students that were active in campus life and social/community work throughout their undergraduate years. Those who volunteered, participated in extracurricular activities, and who held employment in a psychology-related job are highly valued by graduate psychology admissions committees.

As every program has its own requirements for admission. You will need to review the specific criteria for any program that you are considering before spending time, money and effort on completing the application process.

Thoroughly review all the details for admission, as well as the information about the program itself, the college or university, the school’s reputation, and the larger community in which the school is located when making your selection of which programs you should apply to, as all of these factors will influence which program is right for you.

Master’s Degree in Psychology Curriculum

The curriculum for a Master’s in psychology program can vary significantly from one school to the next, and the discipline focus of the degree will determine much of the program’s structure. In other words, degrees in forensic psychology will be distinctly different from those in counseling psychology, for example.

Another factor which will influence the curriculum of a Master’s Degree in psychology program is the goal of the program itself. If that school’s intent is to prepare entry level students, or those who have just completed a Bachelor’s Degree, for entering the workforce, then the curriculum will be more extensive and will include more classroom and/or laboratory hours.

On the other hand, programs that are geared toward adult students returning to school to complete a Master’s Degree in Psychology will have more independent work and potentially more accelerated and/or flexible schedules, as well.

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