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Official Program Name:

Master of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Self-Designed

School Offering Program:

Walden University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

Prospective students of the Self-Designed MS in Psychology program must hold at least a bachelor's degree. Some familiarity with basic psychological theories as well as foundational research methodologies and human development processes would prove beneficial. Applicants to Walden University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Students of the Self-Designed specialization of Walden University's online Master of Science in Psychology program have the opportunity to learn about psychological approaches, schools of thought, and models while choosing courses that emphasize a particular area of interest. The program is offered in two tracks: Track I is designed for students who wish to apply what they have learned in a professional setting, while Track II is mainly for students intending to enter a doctoral program following graduation. In both tracks, students take core classes that discuss theories of behavior, cognition, social development, motivation, and gender in addition to phases of development through the human lifespan, aspects of cross-cultural psychology, and methods of research design and data collection. Track I students take a core class in applied research methods that allows them to build data analysis skills, and Track II students complete a core course in which they could develop a stronger understanding of quantitative research processes and statistical concepts. All students apply methods learned in the program to complete a capstone project designed to promote social change.

Learning Format:


Program Length:

48 credits.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Walden University's financial aid office for more information.

Required Courses for the Master of Science in Psychology with a Self-Designed Specialization:

To earn the 48 credits needed to graduate from this MS program, students must complete 25 credits in the core curriculum, three credits in a foundation course, five credits in the program's capstone, and 15 credits in the area of specialization. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Walden University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

Core Courses - Track I (25 credits)

  • Themes and Theories of Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Culture and Psychology
  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • Applied Psychology Research Methods

Core Courses - Track II (25 credits)

  • Themes and Theories of Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Culture and Psychology
  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

Capstone Course (5 credits)

  • MS in Psychology Capstone

Specialization Courses: Self-Designed (15 credits)

  • Students choose any three 6000-level psychology courses

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Furthering Your Education:

Track II graduates of the MS - Self-Designed program could be prepared to enroll in a doctoral degree program in psychology, social work, or a related field. Doctoral studies tend to place an emphasis on research, social science theories, and the application of theories in areas of assessment and treatment planning. Those seeking a postsecondary career in teaching or administration typically need to hold a doctorate.

Doctoral degrees graduates could pursue include:

  • Doctor of Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Psychology

Career Paths:

The MS in Psychology - Self-Designed program prepares Track I students to use their knowledge of psychology theory and their understanding of the latest research when counseling individuals or managing their cases, among other tasks. Graduates might pursue career opportunities in schools, social services agencies, healthcare agencies, community health centers, and mental health clinics.

A few careers that graduates might consider include:

  • Research assistant/coordinator
  • Mental health specialist
  • Mental health coordinator
  • Intervention advocate
  • Clinical services director

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