Psychology Graduate Programs
Psychology Graduate Programs may provide an in-depth exploration into the human mind and behavior patterns, as well as ...
the opportunity to delve into an specific area of research. Students in graduate schools for psychology might explore topics like behavior therapy, pathology and neuropsychology. Or they might concentrate on a subsection of psychology, such as applied behavioral psychology, organizational psychology or clinical psychology.
Through a combination of coursework, internships and independent research, psychology graduate programs seek to provide a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and prepare students to play an active role in advancing the field.
Psychology is one of the fields where advanced study may translate into a range of potential career paths. Why? One of the reasons is that in order to actually call yourself a “psychologist” you need to be licensed. Licensing laws vary by state and the type of position you are looking into. But, consider this: Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, as well as to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.i
Psychology graduate programs encompass masters and doctorate degrees in general psychology, as well as specific branches of psychology. Some students may enter a psychology graduate program after earning a bachelors degree in Psychology, but others may have a foundation in another field. Now, maybe the type of career you aspire to doesn’t require a PhD or PsyD. But, it may require a Masters in Psychology. So, take a look inside Psychology Graduate Programs to see what your options are after your undergraduate degree. Explore which Psychology Graduate Degree might lead you closer to your academic and vocational goals.
One of the ways to approach your search for a Psychology Graduate School is to determine whether you prefer to study on a college campus or in an online format. Some Psychology Graduate Schools may actually offer a hybrid or blended format, while others may not. You want to consider whether you have time to commute to class. You may also want to consider whether you need to schedule studying at your own pace. Also, you might want to factor in whether you prefer the hands-on and social learning atmosphere or the independence of a distance-learning format. Use the format you prefer to find Psychology Graduate Programs with our on page navigation; or search by location, if you have always wanted to study in a specific city, state, or country, use these tabs to filter your results. Look for programs that are accredited.
Students should ensure they choose an accredited institution, and learn whether, for their career purposes, they need to look into an APA-accredited Psychology Graduate Program. The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits[ii]:
Be aware that the APA does not accredit schools or universities, or programs at the bachelor’s or master’s levels. Also, accreditation applies only to programs. The U.S. Department of Education should have a list of legitimate Masters programs. And, you should always refer to a dialogue with a prospective graduate school to discuss requirements, pre-requisites and whether their program might lead to preparing you for licensure.
Psychology is an extremely broad field. Your undergraduate years may have brought you into contact with some foundational subjects. However, graduate-level programs in Psychology allow you to get more focused, more experienced and research a field that really draws you in. For instance,do you have a passion for sports? If so, you might choose Sports Psychology Graduate Programs. On the other hand, do you know you would like to work with industry? Then, you might choose an Organizational Psychology Graduate degree program. Forensic Psychology Graduate Programs might be the right fit for someone interested in the criminal justice system, or in working with victims of crime.
We recommend you spend some time browsing the ‘Subject Selection’ to determine where your interests lie. The subject selection also may provide the academic path is to practicing in that field. For many prospective students, it may come down to choosing between a clinical psychology graduate program or a counseling psychology grad program. Consider whether you are more of a researcher or aspire to a professional practice.
FUN FACT: The American Board of Professional Psychology awards specialty certification in 15 areas of psychology, such as clinical health, couple and family, or rehabilitation[iii].
Psychology masters programs are typically 2 to 3 year programs of study beyond the undergraduate degree. Masters programs in psychology commonly offer either a Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Master of Science (M.S.) degree. While typically they cover similar topics, a MS in Psychology may have a stronger focus on research and science. MA in psychology graduate programs, on the other hand, may take a liberal arts approach.
A Masters Degree in Psychology could prepare students to pursue their doctorate, or certain careers, such as a mental health counselor or organizational psychologist. Thesis and non-thesis options are offered depending on your intentions. Do you plan to study at the doctorate level? Then, completing a thesis might be a good choice. Do you plan to enter the workforce right away? If so, a non-thesis option might be fine.
Some Psychology masters programs you might encounter may include the following.
Aiming higher academically? A Ph.D. or Doctor of Psychology is one of the highest-level degrees achievable in the field of psychology. A doctorate degree might take between four to six years of additional graduate study after earning a bachelors degree. As an alternative to the Ph.D., students might choose a Psy.D. or Doctor of Psychology.
The main difference is that the Ph.D. in Psychology focuses on the scientific model, emphasizing research. In contrast, the Psy.D. in Psychology focuses on the practitioner model and emphasizes clinical practice.
Some of the listings might include:
A post-master's graduate certificate in psychology is designed to help you develop skills sets and knowledge in a particular area of psychology beyond the master’s degree level. Other graduate certificates might require a Bachelor’s degree. A certificate may be a way to gain expertise beyond your undergrad degree.
Some of the listings might include:
The academic path you choose may depend largely on what you plan to do after you complete your degree. To a certain extent, you want to not only prepare yourself with an education but also the ‘right’ education for the type of career you would like to lead. Don’t be shy to reach out to a graduate school. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of their program. Take the next step. Review Psychology Graduate Programs today!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm | [ii] www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/index.aspx | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm