Hybrid Psychology Masters Programs

Several universities offer Hybrid Psychology Masters Programs which provide a flexible and low residency learning format for your graduate degree. Sometimes called ...

‘partially online’ or ‘blended online’, Hybrid Psychology graduate programs are ones that have both online courses and intensives or on-campus requirements. Distance learning involves having a functioning computer, reliable Internet, and the autonomy to pace yourself while you are on your own. Digital tools and technology are used to research and keep in touch with your classmates and faculty. Visits to campus for meetings or classes allow for participation, interaction and laboratory-based courses. The hybrid learning format may work well for psychology students in programs where demonstration or interpersonal skills are required, since online coursework has its limits. For some students it may be the best of two worlds!

Hybrid Psychology Masters Programs: Basics

Hybrid Psychology Masters programs are graduate-level degrees that typically involve two to three years of education beyond the undergraduate degree. Often at the undergraduate level, students can prepare for their graduate degree by taking pre-requisite courses such as statistics, introductory psychology and experimental psychology[i]. Other common requirements of prospective psychology grad students could include taking the GRE or GRE Psychology subject test; psychology schools may differ in their admissions protocol.

DID YOU KNOW? 38% of Psychology Professors have a Master’s degree, 38% a Doctoral Degree and 24% Post-doctoral training.[ii]

What Types of Hybrid Psychology Master’s Programs are there?

The two most common tracks for Hybrid Psychology Masters programs are the Master of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Psychology, and this applies to general psychology graduate programs as well as more specific areas. Typically, students continue with the liberal arts or science focus; Bachelor of Science in Psychology graduates may prefer Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology graduates may prefer a Master of Arts degree in graduate school. Apart from a general Master’s degree in Psychology, you can also look into more focused topics and earn your degree in that area; for instance:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Community Psychology
  • Holistic Psychology
  • Organizational psychology

Master’s Degree in Psychology: Stepping Stone or Terminal Degree?

Some Hybrid Psychology Masters degrees are what is known as ‘terminal’ in that they are designed to prepare graduates for professional practice in their specific specialty area, others lead to continued education at the Doctoral level. However, if your goal is to ultimately enter the field of professional psychology, you will need either a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology, state licensure and to meet other criteria[iii]. Typically, if you have a choice between a thesis or a non-thesis option, completing a thesis is considered a good idea if you plan to continue studying while the non-thesis option may be chosen by students who are entering the workplace. If you are not entirely sure what to do, college faculty advisors may be able to help you steer a course.  

Master’s Degree in Psychology Graduates Can…

If you are deciding between applying straight to a doctoral psychology program with your Bachelor’s degree, this may be one option. Another is to start a Master’s Program and keep some options open. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates with a Master’s in Psychology can work as[iv]:

  • Industrial-organizational psychologists
  • As psychological assistants in clinical, counseling or research settings (under supervision)

Accreditation

While the American Psychological Association does not accredit programs at the Master’s level, you can still search for a university or college that is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education; they also recognize different regional accreditation agencies.

Take the Next Step

The psychology profession is in for some pretty fast employment growth between 2014 and 2024 especially in schools, hospitals, mental health centers and social services agencies.[v] If you aspire to join the ranks of these professionals but cannot commute to college every day, why not review sponsored program listings to find the Hybrid Psychology Masters that aligns with your goals.


sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm  |[ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1066.00 | apa.org | |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm[iv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm |[v] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm