Master's degree programs in social psychology may be of interest to students who are particularly interested in studying the branch of psychology that focuses on how groups and individuals behave and interact with one another. These programs are widely available and will prepare students for a variety of different careers, further education, or research. We will look at some details regarding these programs in greater detail below.
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Master's Degree Programs in Social Psychology
Master's degree programs in social psychology are offered as both Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees. Some schools have specific social psychology degrees, while others may allow students to select social psychology as an area of emphasis or specialization within a more general psychology degree. In addition to completing required coursework and electives, students in these programs will typically need to also complete a master's-level thesis or capstone project to qualify for graduation. We will look at a few of the courses that are commonly found in these programs.
Introduction to Social Psychology
In these programs, students will likely take an introductory-level course that exposes them to the field of social psychology. In this course, students will learn about the theory of social psychology as well as past and present research in the field. Some topics that may be covered in this course include group behavior, perception, different types of relationships, and the influence of culture.
These programs typically also require students to take a course in research methods. This course will instruct students in the various methods of conducting and analyzing research according to the appropriate ethical guidelines. Students will learn how to properly set up and design research studies and learn about both quantitative and qualitative methods of gathering and analyzing data.
A course on intergroup relations will expose students to different theories and studies on how groups behave, interact, and relate to each other within the group. Students will learn about topics like prejudice, stereotyping, group structure and socialization, and conflict. They will also study cultural and ethnic topics like language, identity, social dilemmas, and minority versus majority influence.
Applied Social Psychology
Some programs may also have an emphasis in applied social psychology and either require or offer courses in this topic. In an applied social psychology course, students will study real-life issues and problems in social psychology. They will study various methods of approaching these problems while taking into account a number of different disciplines.
Culture and Psychology
Programs in social psychology may also include a course that focuses on culture and psychology. In this course, students will look at the role that culture plays in the understanding of psychology in different areas around the world. They will also look at how culture can affect human psychology and behavior.
General Admission Requirements for Master's Degree Programs in Social Psychology
Individuals who are interested in applying to a master's degree program in social psychology will have to complete a number of steps and fulfill some prerequisites in order to be considered for admission. While many of these programs do not specify that students must have achieved an undergraduate degree in psychology, it is generally recommended that students have taken a significant number of psychology courses to be prepared for the graduate level coursework. When filling out an application, students will need to submit an application form, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a personal statement.
To summarize, master's degree programs in social psychology are available. Students will need to take a variety of different courses to complete the program requirements in addition to completing a thesis or capstone project.