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Distance Learning Masters Degree in Human Motivation

Get info about online programs in human motivation. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

While there are no online master's degree programs in human motivation, individuals interested in this field of study can easily find a distance learning program in psychology and choose a concentration that relates specifically to human behavior, such as counseling or organizational/industrial psychology. These programs usually have no on-campus requirements. Most programs require that applicants hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in psychology or that has undergraduate coursework in psychology. Many of these programs offer students freedom in crafting a program plan of study that meets their career goals. Research is emphasized, and most programs call for a final research project.

Master's Degree in Psychology

This program engages an array of concepts and theories related to human behavior, psychopathology, cognitive psychology and neurophysiology. It is typically research-oriented and often offers specializations or concentrations in such areas as industrial and organizational psychology, counseling or forensics. Industrial and organizational psychology programs consider human motivation from the standpoint of workplace performance. Students learn theories of leadership and techniques for conflict resolution. Applicants need to have a bachelor's degree, preferably in psychology, and they must have maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Information and Requirements

A psychology master's degree is typically earned in 2-3 years, and can be completed entirely through distance-learning means. Students may download course materials from a school's website at their convenience, but in most cases have to complete assignments by set deadlines. A relatively new personal computer that can connect to the Internet is required to take part in a program; additional textbooks and materials vary by school.

List of Common Psychology Master's Degree Courses

The structure of master's degree programs combines core courses and specialization classes. Core courses provide a refresher and extension of material introduced in undergraduate program, while the rest focus exclusively on a topic of interest to the student, such as human motivation.

Behavior and Learning

The process of knowledge acquisition is the emphasis of this course. Content explores the contributions of behavioral, cognitive, social and motivational forces on human learning.

Leadership Psychology

This class teaches the mental perspective of leaders and the factors that contribute to effective governance. Mentoring, coaching, professional development and succession planning are also among the topics considered.

Business Organization

Students examine how working within a corporation affects human behavior, thoughts and attitudes. Topics considered include motivation, group performance, organizational culture and leadership models.


Career Information

Individuals with master's degrees in psychology can practice as industrial/organizational psychologists and can also work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist as an assistant in clinical, research or counseling settings. A doctor's degree is required for licensing in most states, in addition to other requirements.

Graduates are qualified to become teachers at community colleges, industrial-organizational psychologists or research associates, among other opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of psychologists is projected to grow 19% over the years 2014-2024. The BLS surmises that growth will be driven in part by the needs of businesses to cope with workplace diversity and to improve worker productivity and motivation. As of May 2015, industrial-organizational psychologists earned a median salary of $77,350 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that postsecondary professors of psychology earned a median annual salary of $70,260 as of 2015.

Continuing Education

Master's degree holders who earn a doctorate in psychology can enter private practice as a psychologist, as well as work in clinical, research and teaching positions. Doctoral degrees in psychology are available through distance-learning programs.

While distance learning master's degree programs in human motivation do not exist, online master's degree programs provide advanced coursework in psychology, allowing students to focus their studies in a particular subject of interest, such as the business applications of the field. Students also conduct independent research in this focus area, culminating in a final master's thesis.

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