Online Masters in Psychology Programs may suit the needs of busy working students. This could be those who live too far from a graduate school or those students who need to study at their own pace. The field of Psychology is vast. It is both an academic discipline and an applied science that studies behavior and mind. It encompasses all aspects of the human experience.
Online Masters in Psychology
Psychologists often use their knowledge to research and understand the role of mental functions. This is in individual and social behavior. They do this while exploring the physiological and biological actions that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.
Psychology Masters Degrees Online: Preparation
To become equipped to handle different situations, these professionals may undergo rigorous coursework. Online Masters in Psychology degree programs may provide the education and methodologies to treat patients. It often uses both skill and empathy to treat. Online Master’s degrees in psych are typically earned within a doctoral program. They may also prepare a student to apply for a doctoral program. There may be some distance learning programs that prepare students to boost their career.
Online Masters in Psychology Program: Essential Information
You may be wondering if a graduate degree in Psych is worthwhile. You have a Bachelor’s degree. And, you have a background in introductory psych, experimental psych, and statistics.
Should you apply to a Masters in Psych Program?
If you are looking for an entry level job such as assisting a Psychologist or other professionals in community mental health centers. If choosing to work in vocational rehabilitation offices, and correctional programs then undergraduate education may be enough.
More than Just a Masters in Psychology Online
A doctoral degree such as the PsyD or PhD in Psychology usually is needed for independent practice as a psychologist. Many clinical, counseling, and research psychologists may need a doctoral degree. A master’s or specialist degree may be needed to work as a school psychologist. It may also be needed for mental health counselor or as an industrial organizational psychologist. This being said, many Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs do not need a master’s degree. Many students may begin these doctoral programs after earning their bachelor’s degrees. If you are unsure, earning your masters degree in Psychology may be a wise stepping stone. Online masters in psychology programs may take two to three years of study. This is beyond the undergrad degree. If you plan to apply, admission requirements may include a bachelor’s degree in psych, GRE scores, and a solid GPA. These should be from an accredited university. Some programs include a 1-year internship. You might expect a thesis. There may be non-thesis Psychology Masters Programs as well. Some programs may lead to licensure while others may not. It is advisable to know what your career goals are and find the academic path to it.
Benefits to Earning an Online Masters in Psychology Degree
Distance-learning is becoming more common. Students may want a convenient way to enhance their education while working. Others may be restricted by geography and cannot move or commute. Online Masters in Psych Programs may be readily available. Schools often format their regular campus programs into online options. These may be either asynchronous or synchronous. If asynchronous, classes are usually pre-recorded using audio and video. This often makes them available 24/7. This means when you have time, you log in. Synchronous study means live streaming. Students may stay in touch with their classmates via email. They may also use online group discussion forums. They may also use digital technology to access faculty or tech support. Other benefits of an online program may include the ability to go full time or part time.
FUN FACT: According to the BLS, most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
Note that in terms of ‘program accreditation’, the American Psychological Association (APA) usually does not accredit master’s degree programs in psych. They may accredit “doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, school psychology. They may also accredit combination programs; internships, a required component of doctoral training; and postdoctoral residency programs in traditional and specialty practice areas of psychology”.
Types of Online Masters in Psychology Degrees: MA vs MS in Psychology
Online Psych Graduate Programs may be Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degrees. Master of Arts in Psych programs may mean a stronger focus of study on the liberal arts. An MA degree may offer hands on training for potential careers. These may be in schools, mental health, and the private sector. It is likely suitable for individuals who have a strong idea of what they would like to do. If you aspire to work as a mental health counselor, an MA in counseling or clinical psychology program may be perfect for you. The Master of Science in Psychology, may emphasize research methods. It may also look at the science behind the brain. It may look at behavior and psychological processes. In some cases, an MS could be a prerequisite for those seeking to enter a PhD program later in their academic career. A Master of Science degree in a practitioner field of study might also provide some hands on training for entry-level jobs. These jobs may be within mental health and forensic psychology careers. When choosing a higher education program make sure it is accredited. Also, make sure they have the enrollment you need. An accredited institution is one that has been certified. This is by a regional or national accrediting agency to teach the subject matter. Some schools may offer rolling enrollment and many start dates. This may provide more opportunities for an online psychology degree. Another factor to consider is the financial aid that the program offers. This could come in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.
Course requirements, tend to vary considerably. It is advisable for prospective students to analyze the course outline of any program they are considering. You may also have to choose between a thesis and non-thesis option. For students interested in further graduate study, completing a thesis may be a great choice. The non-thesis alternative might be a better option if you are more interested pursuing a career upon graduation. In this case, you might look for an Online Masters in Psych offered as a ‘terminal degree’. The number of credit hours at a graduate level could vary. This may be because the school takes into account real world experience as part of the online learning for online students. Following are some core course examples and the coursework that are a part of any Master’s in Psychology Program practicum:
Psychology Research Methods:
This course may cover methods of research common to psych. Using and analyzing data as well as collecting it are part of this course.
In this course, psychology students often look at the contemporary issues of people. It may also study their interactions with things around them. Different studies and theories may be used as a part of this study in human behavior.
Students often study cognitive psychology and how it relates to counseling psychology. This may include looking at memory, attention, and language part of cognition.
Measurement and Assessment:
This class often covers the use of different psychometric techniques. It usually looks at them as a way of assessing and measuring patients. Ethical issues related to different types of testing are also often covered as well.
Theories of Personality:
The contemporary psychological theories of personality and their disorders may be covered in this course. The impact these theories have as well as how they are applied may also be covered.
Ethical Practice in Psych:
This course often goes over ethical practices in psych. These are often for both professional with clients as well as with other professionals. Besides these courses, there are likely to be electives. Some of these areas may include healthcare, human services, and human development. The completion of a capstone may also be required in many of these programs for graduate students. These could vary based on the focus of the degree.
Job Outlook For Psychology Graduates
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job competition for psychologists may vary. This may be by specialty and level of education. They state that, “Candidates with a doctoral or education specialist degree and post-doctoral work experience will have the best job opportunities in clinical, counseling, or school psychology positions. Candidates with a master’s degree will face competition for most positions, and many of them will find jobs with alternative titles, as nearly all states restrict the use of the title “licensed psychologist” to Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree-holders.” Weighing your options, a Psychology Master’s Degree may be enough if you are interested in working as:
an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
A psychological assistant in clinical, counseling, or research settings
a Mental health counselors
a Marriage and family therapists
Other areas where this degree may apply are human resources and educational psychology. Psychopathology and criminal justice may be other options. Other fields could include professional psychology and health psychology. Different career paths in non profit and social services may also be a good fit for this degree.
Top Online Masters in Psychology Programs by Graduate 2019
We ranked our top 25 colleges with masters in psychology degree programs. Our methodologies use data from the NCES based on 2019 graduates from the programs.
92% of students are awarded grants or scholarships on average of $8,884. 55% of students are awarded federal loans in the average amount of $5,702
Ready to Pursue an Online Masters in Psychology?
When ready to start a search, GradSchools.com makes it easy to find Online Masters in Psychology Programs. This may be by concentration and distance learning formats. Some of the listings you might encounter include Online Master of Applied industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.A.I.O.P) and Master of Arts in Psych. Other options include General Psychology MS, Master of Science in Applied Psychology. There is also an MS in Psych and an MS in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Trauma. Don’t see a listing on this page? Use the directory to find Online Masters Programs in Areas such as:
Once you click on a link, you may then request information from the school. Keep a list of questions that you want answered near by. There is definitely an educational path to your unique goals. If you need to study on your own timetable, look into the options for Online Masters Degrees in Psychology on GradSchools.com today!
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