Different Types of Master's Degrees in Psychology

Master's degrees in psychology are available in a variety of sub-fields, which will provide students with specialized knowledge and training. We'll examine five programs options as well as the most common admission requirements.

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For individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in a specific field of psychology, there are a number of different types of psychology master's degree programs that are focused on one discipline within psychology. We will look at a few of these programs below, discuss what each program would entail, and review admission requirements.

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  • Behavioral Sciences, General
  • Biopsychology
  • Clinical Psychology, General
  • Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Community Psychology
  • Comparitive Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology, General
  • Environmental Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Family Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology, General
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Medical Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Psychology, General
  • Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Different Types of Master's Degree Programs in Psychology

There are a wide variety of master's degree programs within the field of psychology, both general psychology programs that allow students to select a specialization as well as programs that are focused in a particular field of psychology.

Master's Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

A psychology master's degree program with a focus in industrial and organizational psychology is designed for individuals who are interested in studying the employer/employee dynamic as well as the psychology of a workplace. Students in this program will study various theories of human behavior as well as different topics that are related to working, such as leadership, motivation, and productivity. Graduates of this program may work as researchers or recruiters, as consultants for businesses and organizations, or as facilitators of various types of training and development programs.

Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology

In a master's program that is focused on clinical psychology, students will learn the skills necessary to work as a trained clinical psychologist or to pursue a career in research. Students in this program will be exposed to a wide number of sub-disciplines within this field, like neuropsychology, behavioral medicine, and adult psychopathology. This program may be a good choice for students who are interested in ultimately pursuing a Ph.D. in the field of clinical psychology.

Master's Degree Psychology - Child and Adolescent Development

Individuals who are specifically interested in the psychology of children and adolescents may want to consider enrolling in a master's degree program in this field. This degree program will focus on traditional aspects of psychology with a special emphasis placed on how they relate to the study of child and adolescent psychology, like cognitive psychology, learning theory, and social psychology. Students who graduate from this program will be prepared for careers in a number of fields or further education.

Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology

For individuals who are interested in criminal justice in addition to psychology, pursuing a master's degree in forensic psychology may be a good option as it provides instruction and training in both of these fields. Within this program, students will study topics like mental disorders, the structure of the legal system, criminal behavior, and how to correctly diagnosis various types of disorders. They will study the role that a psychologist can play when working with law enforcement officers and within the legal system as a whole.

General Admission Requirements for Different Types of Master's Degrees in Psychology

To gain admission into a master's degree program in psychology, you generally will have needed to complete some undergraduate coursework in the behavioral sciences or psychology, though programs typically do not require that you pursued an undergraduate degree in psychology. To apply, students will need to submit proof of their bachelor's degree, undergraduate transcripts, a completed application form and fee, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Some programs may also require that you take the GRE and submit scores.

There are a wide variety of different master's degree programs in psychology that allow students to study a more-specialized portion of the field. Students will likely want to consider their future career goals when selecting a program.

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