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Master's Degree in Abnormal Psychology Programs

Students with a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field may be interested in pursuing a master's degree coursework in abnormal psychology. Useful information on the program, its requirements and other details are given here.

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If you are interested in furthering your studies in the area of abnormal psychology, a master's degree program might be suitable for your needs. While you likely won't find a program specifically in abnormal psychology, there are schools offering Master of Arts or Master of Science degree programs in psychology that will allow you to pursue a concentration in this field or select from among related course topics.

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Essential Information about Abnormal Psychology Master's Degree Programs

The study of abnormal psychology is available through master's degree programs in psychology. Coursework in this specialty is for students interested in developing expertise in an area that deals with behavioral patterns, feelings and thoughts that come under the abnormal heading. This covers a wide variety of disorders, which include depression and obsessive behaviors.

Some of the courses making up core and elective requirements in these degree programs can include the following:

Behavioral Neuroscience

In this course, students learn the connection between certain behaviors and the nervous system. The physiology and development of the nervous system and its impact on human emotions and memories are studied. Neurological factors behind learning and motivation are also researched as part of this course.

Psychological Assessment

This course covers the various methods for measuring psychological aspects in people. Students examine various personality and intelligence tests and their clinical applications. Theories behind the use of testing might also be discussed.

Psychological Research and Design

Students in this course learn how to design research projects specific to their area of interest, including the study of abnormal behavior and personality traits. Topics of study can include the steps involved in test development and the uses of certain types of statistical modeling, such as ANOVA (analysis of variance) and ANCOVA (analysis of covariance).

Psychopathology

Students examine the conditions existing in people with mental health disorders, including the causes behind them. Research is done into ongoing and previous ways of treating mental health disorders and abnormal behaviors. While some programs offer a single course on this topic that covers abnormal behavior across the lifespan, others allow students to choose from among courses focusing on child or adult psychopathology.

Social Psychology

Students in this course study various societal influences on learning and behavior. Topics of study might include social interactions and social influence between different groups of people.

Admission Requirements for Abnormal Psychology Master's Degree Programs

Prospective students seeking advanced study in the field of abnormal psychology may need a strong foundation in psychology. Undergraduate GPA requirements vary, but a bachelor's degree with sufficient psychology and statistics coursework is generally necessary for admission. Letters of recommendation along with a student's personal statement of purpose explaining his/her interest in the field may also be required along with acceptable GRE scores and a writing sample or resume.

Abnormal psychology can be studied at the graduate level through a master's degree program in psychology. A desire to work with and understand people with mental health disorders is a good basis for wanting to pursue the program, which can include coursework in topics like research design and behavioral neuroscience.

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