Many Psychology Certificate Programs are planned-out to help students develop skills sets and know-how in a certain area of psychology beyond the master's degree level. Other students might complete a Graduate Certificate in Psychology either on-campus or as Online Psychology Certificate Programs to refine credentials or prepare for grad school.
written by Rana Waxman
Psychology Certificate Programs are available in diverse areas. Each certificate in psychology usually takes on a singular topic. Thus, a certificate could take less time than a full graduate degree.
Degree plans could include some type of fieldwork or project, labs, and coursework although requirements do vary. Students may either need to follow a specific series of courses, or may have some leeway to choose electives.
Types of Psychology Certificate Programs
There are essentially two types of Psychology Certificate Programs: (1) Post-Masters, and (2) Post-Bachelors certificates in psychology. The type of program and school admissions requirements usually determines the protocol to apply. Degree seekers and non-degree seekers may have to follow a distinct process.
That stated, some schools may structure a certificate as an add on to a Master of Science in Psychology (MSAP). Students might either take the certificate coursework as an emphasis, or on its own. One case in point is offered at partner school, Sacred Heart University.
Their Masters in Applied Psychology is built around theory and applications of psychology. Core courses tap into research into behavioral issues and students could add one of three concentrations: I-O Psychology, Community Psychology and General Applied Psychology. These MSAP focus areas are also offered as certificates.
DID YOU KNOW?
Applied Psychology programs look at how psychological theories and methods could be used in real-world settings to actual problems.i
Formats for Psychology Certificate Programs might include both part-time and full-time degree plans. In addition, students could look for an online Graduate Certificate in Psychology. Or, choose a campus program based on the school’s location. Sometimes both the online and on-campus programs are similar except for their delivery methods.
On this directory, Psychology Certificate Programs are listed under their subject for easy reference. Below, some of these are explored. Interested students could compare certificates from diverse grad schools to determine which ones might align with professional goals.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to the study of behavior. Students who pursue ABA certification could learn to describe, explain, predict, and help clients change, certain behavior.
In some universities, an ABA certificate may require one year of full-time study, though students may need extra time to complete their practicum. Some programs cover about 18 course credits.
Curriculums typically explore professional conduct and ethics along with principles, procedures and theory. A course in assessment and intervention may help students use evidence to support data-based decisions for various behavioral needs.
A graduate certificate in ABA could prepare students to sit for the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam. Successful completion of this exam may be one of the requirements to pursue a career as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Other factors could include an approved masters degree, supervised experience, application, examination, and background check.
Interested applicants may need to write a personal essay, send transcripts and letter(s) of reference. Students typically need to have a Masters degree in a school-approved major.
A graduate certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) could help students build a broad set of skills to work with individuals in this population. Some programs may specifically focus on autistic children, while others might cover individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders across their lifespans.
In some schools, students might take about 15 credits. Course topics could cover things such as the characteristics of autistic persons and ways to support their sensory and behavioral needs. Students might also learn how to assess, intervene and work in a team or earn this online psychology certificate at their own pace.
Developmental psychology certificates might examine psychological growth from infancy to adulthood. Students drawn to this field might focus on cognitive, personality, motor and behavioral changes. And, may decide to pursue studies about children, adolescents, and/or the elderly.
As an example, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a partner school, offers a Child and Adolescent Psychology certificate program. Students take a series of 3 courses that could help them develop their skills. Plus, earned credits may be transferrable to their MA in Psychology degree.
Enrolled students could study to learn how to be of help to young people who struggle with various challenges. Peer pressure, body image, drugs, alcohol, sexuality, trauma and parental divorce or death are some of these issues.
Another option could come at the Doctoral degree level. Students in the Doctorate of Applied Developmental Psychology program at partner school, University of Maryland Baltimore County could pursue a concentration (certificate) in one of three areas.
An Early Development/Early Intervention focus might explore the genetic, biological and environmental factors that impede or promote development in the early years. Students might also study both established and innovative intervention approaches for infants and young children at risk.
A socio-emotional Development of Children focus might zoom in on the relations between individual, peer, parental and family factors. Students might study to grasp how these might play a role in the social and emotional growth of children in different socio-cultural contexts.
An Educational Contexts of Development emphasis might delve into the cognitive, social, and motivational factors that affect the ways children learn within the contexts of schools, families, cultures, and neighborhoods.
A Graduate Certificate in Gero-psychology could help students who want to improve the lives and care of the elderly. Coursework could focus on the effects biology, psychology, physiology and sociology have on later stages of the lifespan.
Curriculums might discuss the ways to assist aging adults and their families with diverse issues. Anxiety, depression as well as physical challenges associated with the elder adult may be explored. Students might also conduct research on physical and mental conditions related to aging. This could include topics such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
A Risk to Resilience Through Education Certificate could enable students to gain a deeper grasp of the wide spectrum of risks and resilience processes.
At the same time, students may learn some of the intervention tools and instructional methods designed to build resilience in several populations. Students might study areas such as childhood poverty, child abuse, crime and deviance and marginalization.
A Graduate Certificate in Forensic Psychology might appeal to learners who have earned a bachelors degree in psychology, sociology, criminal justice, nursing or a related field who want to study criminal behavior.
Curriculums could encourage students to think critically as they examine current criminal and psychological theories of criminal behavior and its impact on individuals and communities. For instance, students might study to understand, from a psychological point of view, elements of crime and crime control.
In their core courses, students might explore the biological, genetic, neurochemical, cognitive, and sociological factors that underlie deviant behavior. A class in offender rehabilitation and reintegration could take a close look at the rehabilitative methods used for sex offenders, drug offenders, white collar criminals, cyber criminals, female offenders, juveniles, and the mentally ill.
A Graduate Certificate in Health Psychology could help students learn about the impact of personal choices on behavior. Health Psychology studies the influences on physical and mental wellness.
Curriculums might provide insight into the links between mental, social and psychological issues and how they could affect individual and community health. Students might therefore come to understand how things such as stress, nutrition, illness, public policy, addiction and alternative medicine could alter mind and body.
In addition, coursework might help students build a tool box of methods that could assist diverse individuals or groups to prevent illness and promote healthy behaviors. Consequently, this type of certificate may appeal to those who have earned a bachelors degree in psychology, sociology, social work, integrated health, nursing, counseling or related fields.
Students drawn to the mind-body-spirit approach to wellness might look for a Graduate Certificate in Holistic Psychology. These Psychology Certificate Programs could meld philosophies from the East and West.
As an example, the California Institute of Integral Studies, a partner school, offers a Certificate in East-West Spiritual Counseling. It is designed as a two-semester program. Interested licensed mental health professionals and pastoral counselors might find it provides key basics and skills in East-West spiritual counseling.
Enrolled students could study Eastern and Western meditative techniques along with topics such as death and dying, Jungian psychology and non-duality. A range of electives in spiritual counseling may round out the curriculum.
A Graduate Certificate in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology could help students apply psychology theories to problem-solve in the workplace. Applicants may need a bachelors degree for some programs.
I-O psychology typically has an eye towards improved quality of work life, and usually seeks to understand both employee behavior and how organizations function.
Learners might therefore examine issues such as productivity, and employee morale. Other topics in organizational behavior might address employee motivation, diversity, work stress, conflict and negotiation, decision-making, personality, and attitudes.
While curriculums vary between universities, an Organizational Psychology Certificate might also take a look at corporate ethics and what happens when an organization undergoes changes due to things like technology and strategy. A course in management theory might shed light on how to effectively lead through organizational changes.
An advanced Certificate in Workplace Learning and Instruction could help professionals build the skills necessary to develop effective learning materials. Effective learning materials often drive strategic employee growth and boost performance.
Curriculums might therefore meld theories of learning with instructional design. Students might also study to learn how to assess and evaluate employees as well as manage an organization’s employee development efforts.
A Graduate Certificate in Social and Personality Psychology could tackle a variety of areas such as emotional growth, coaching and stress management. Many such programs are intended to enhance skills, and so, may suit current professionals.
For instance, a Certificate in Social and Emotional Development might target educators who hope to support their students. Curriculums could cover topics such as mindfulness and professional ethics. Educators could study ways to help students improve their ability to solve problems, manage their issues and build social awareness.
Students interested in an alternative to psychotherapy might pursue a Coaching Certificate. Nova Southeastern University, a partner school offers a Graduate Certificate Program in Solution Focused Coaching.
There graduate certificate is a 15-credit hour program (five courses). Students who decide to continue their studies may be able to apply some of these credit hours toward the M.S., Ph.D., or D.M.F.T. in Family Therapy, if accepted into the program.
While part of the curriculum may be devoted to systems and personality theories, students might also take a class in human development across the life cycle. In tandem, they might study therapy techniques for various stages of growth.
Other course topics could cover professional development and practitioner self-care. For instance, how to navigate things like insurance systems and managed care. Students might also learn the basics for how to develop a referral network and create workshops and community outreach programs.
A Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching could help students build the skills of leaders in organizations to assist them to achieve key business results. In some cases, students may complete about 15 credits along with a supervised practicum.
Curriculums could meld courses in psychology, business, organizational development, coaching theory, principles and practices, and assessment. Students could learn how businesses work, as well as how to coach professionals.
Choose a Graduate Certificate in Psychology next. Refine your search with filters especially for format (online or campus), and of course, subject. These preferences yield a set of Psychology Certificate Programs from partner schools. Easily compare them, then quickly apply with the on-page form provided.