Psychology Graduate Classes and Courses Overview

Essential Information

Many universities offer graduate psychology courses as part of master's and doctoral degree programs. Some schools may require students to earn a master's degree in psychology prior to enrolling in a doctoral program, or concurrently with the doctorate. Students in graduate psychology programs can concentrate in clinical, school, social, developmental, child and other kinds of psychology.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in graduate psychology courses:

  • Methodology
  • Statistics
  • The physical brain and behavior
  • Cognition
  • Social psychology

List of Common Courses

Assessment and Testing of Cognitive Ability Course

This class explores concepts of measuring cognitive ability and theories of intelligence. Students discuss intelligence testing and the relevance and validity of certain assessment and testing methods, including possible bias. Other topics typically discussed are how and when to give tests and how to score and interpret results. Students are likely to talk about the Wechsler Intelligence Scales and the Stanford-Binet Development Achievement Scales, commonly referred to as intelligence quotient or IQ tests.

Fundamentals of Neuropsychology Course

Students enrolled in this class study anatomy and physiology of the healthy brain and nervous system. They build on this foundation with tools and techniques for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of common psychological conditions rooted in physiological causes. Lectures and classwork familiarize learners with common pathologies, their causes and treatment options. This class may include a lab component.

Organizational Psychology and Human Behavior Course

In this class, students examine how and why an organization behaves the way it does as well as how members' individual behavior influences the group's actions. Coursework includes exploring the relationship between the group and the individual as well as topics like change within the organization, fluid versus rigid hierarchy, leadership, productivity and organizational processes.

Clinical Interview and Assessment Skills Course

For students who intend to pursue a career in clinical psychology, this required class guides students through the process of conducting psychological assessments. Students practice interviewing and listening skills and recording client responses. They evaluate and interpret client responses and prepare reports for client files.

Students are also likely to talk about factors involved with working with diverse populations or in special settings like schools. In most programs, this class must be completed with a corresponding lab class for practical experience.

Developmental Psychopathology in Children and Young Adults Course

In this class, which may be required in some programs, students identify characteristics of psychopathological conditions that commonly manifest in children and young adults. Coursework includes the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of psychopathological conditions like emotional, personality and behavioral issues in infants, children and teens.

Topics may include discussion of anxiety, gender or sexuality, eating, behavioral, attachment, adjustment and pervasive developmental disorders as well as developmental disabilities.

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