Graduate Programs with a Bachelor's in Psychology

Do you have a bachelor's degree in psychology? If you're considering advancing that degree with a graduate program, consider programs in human services, education, and social work to start. This article will take an in-depth look at these and other graduate options.

There are a number of graduate degree programs you can pursue if you already have a bachelor's degree in psychology. The master's degree is the most logical next step as many doctorate programs require a master's education, but some doctorate programs will accept a baccalaureate degree for admission. You can consider graduate programs in psychology, social work, education, and even criminology, to name a few. For this article, we'll look at some possible programs.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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Master's Programs for Psychology Undergraduates

Master of Science/Arts in Psychology

If you have an undergraduate degree in psychology you'll find that master's programs in the same field delve deeper into human behavior and the social sciences of humans. Programs include roughly a dozen courses and culminate in a thesis or capstone project in an area that you choose to research. Some of the courses you'll look at may include trauma and PTSD, coping with stress, developmental psychology, personality psychology, neuropsychology, mental illness, dopamine, and destructive behaviors, among many others.

Master of Social Work

Psychology and social work go hand-in-hand, and the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree can typically be earned in two years of full-time work. If you take the program part-time, you may be able to complete in under four years, if you also take summer semesters. Once completed, you can consider becoming a licensed social worker, but check with your state's licensing board for specific requirements. Some of the courses you'll likely take during your matriculation include human behavior, social environments, social welfare, child abuse, and clinical interventions.

Master of Arts in School Psychology

Would you like to work in elementary, middle, or secondary schools as a psychologist for students? If so, this may be the degree option for you. These programs tend to take three years, because on top of lectures, you'll need to complete an internship with a school psychologist. Once this program is complete, you can seek certification as a school psychologist with your state. Some of the course topics you'll likely study include individual counseling, school consulting, multicultural counseling, group counseling, cognitive behavioral theory, educational psychology, cognitive assessment, and learning disabilities.

Master of Science in Criminology

A psychology background can be very beneficial for those interested in the criminal justice or criminology fields. Criminology, the study of crime and criminal justice systems, can be quite interesting with a background in psychology, because you'll look at it with the lens of someone who is thinking of behavior and cultural connections. Some of the courses you may come across in these types of programs include criminal law, criminology, criminal procedure, social policy, and race and criminal justice.

Master of Education in Educational Psychology

If you'd like to study psychological principles within education, you can undertake the M.Ed. program in educational psychology. This program readies you to work as a teacher in a middle or secondary school, prepares you to pursue a doctorate in educational psychology, or allows you to enter various other fields. You'll learn about instructional design, working with students with disabilities, and learning theory. Other courses you'll study may include educational motivation, the history of psychology, exceptionalities, adolescent development, and learning with technology. This program typically includes a teaching practicum.

Master of Public Health

Did you know someone with a bachelor's degree in psychology can also seek a graduate degree in health sciences? Understanding how people think will help you in this program as you study ways to improve the health of communities and people. You'll look at policies that can create change as well as the social justice theory. Students usually take about two years of full-time work to complete this degree's 48 credits. You will also choose an area of specialization in community health and can fulfill either a thesis or a public health project.

Doctorate Program for Psychology Undergraduates

PhD in Human Services Psychology

This program accepts students with a bachelor's in psychology, and aims to train strudents to become researchers as well as advanced human services practitioners. You'll be required to complete 28 credits of core classes, like human diversity, methods in research, and ethics, and can then choose from a variety of different tracks including community, clinical, or behavioral medicine. Based on your specialization preference, you'll have anywhere from 27 to 43 additional credits to fulfill. The doctoral degree culminates with a dissertation which will take at least two semesters if not more to complete. If accepted into the program with a bachelor's, you'll most likely take six years in the program, while those with a master's will finish in about four years.

Psychology, social work, education, counseling, and health sciences are some of the areas you can pursue at the graduate level if you have a bachelor's degree in psychology. Most programs are at the master's level, but some doctoral programs will allow students with a bachelor's in psychology to apply.


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