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Graduate Degrees in Psychology Tips

Read these 17 Graduate Degrees in Psychology Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Psychology Degree tips and hundreds of other topics.

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PhD Psychology Degrees: Career Flexability to Last a Lifetime

Earning a PhD psychology degree is by no means easy. A doctoral program in psychology will normally require five to seven years of graduate coursework beyond a bachelor's degree, including a year-long professional internship. But if you have an interest in the social sciences and an aptitude for working with people, becoming a psychologist will provide you with a lifetime of job security, as well as an almost endless variety of career choices.

When most people think of psychologists, they think of the therapist you go to in order to talk through problems. This type of psychologist has a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology and works in a hospital, clinic or in private practice. But a forensic psychologist, for example, might spend most of their time working with local law enforcement agencies or with the courts, testifying on behalf of children in divorce proceedings, or giving expert testimony on the likelihood of an accused criminal becoming a repeat offender.

Another type of psychologist is a school psychologist who works with children and young adults in their learning communities. Industrial psychologists are employed by the corporate world make work environments more productive. Research psychologists study how and why people behave the way they do. You can also become a professor of psychology with a PhD psychology degree. Your career possibilities as a psychologist are only limited by your imagination.


Want To Obtain Your Online Counseling Degree?

If you have thought about getting your counseling degree but feel you have no time to attend classes on campus, there may be a solution for you now! There are universities that now offer an online counseling degree for students who need to study from the comfort of their own home.

The days that we all remembered of driving to a college campus and attending classes in a brick and mortar building can be a thing of the past for anyone who desires to do so. Many universities are offering entire degree programs online for their students. Others offer a combination of online and on campus classes to accommodate student needs.

A quick search on the internet gleaned universities such as Walden University, Northcentral University, and Argosy University-The American School of Professional Psychology Online. These universities offer both bachelors degrees and masters degrees in counseling.

Several of these universities offer specialized programs such as a family counseling degree. Other specialized online counseling degree programs that can be obtained include marriage and family counseling degrees, christian counseling degrees, even child and couples therapy programs.

There are many different online counseling degree programs and options that can be tailored to an individual’s needs. This makes obtaining a higher education a simpler task for adults who need an alternative learning environment.

How do I manage an online masters degree in counseling?

Managing an Online Masters Degree in Counseling

Students who are pursuing an online masters degree in counseling have a number of unique challenges they will inevitably face. The coursework required for this type of degree is likely to be rigorous enough but when the taxing coursework is combined with the nature of online study the difficulty can be greatly exacerbated. This is because many students who pursue online degree programs are attempting to manage a number of different factors which may include work, family and social obligations in addition to completing their coursework. Finding adequate time for study in this situation can be difficult.

Students attempting to obtain an online masters degree in counseling will likely have to make a number of compromises to earn their degree. The first step to do this will include making a list of priorities. These students should consider all of their obligations and rank these obligations accordingly from most important to least important. After this exercise it may become obvious some of the obligations can be eliminated and some will require a great deal of time and energy. The students can then determine how much time they can afford to devote to pursuing a degree in counseling. This information combined with the degree requirements will dictate whether or not it is possible for the student to earn a degree while fulfilling other work, family and social obligations.

Related Tip: Obtaining an online masters degree in counseling may not be a feasible option for all students. Some students are better suited for a traditional classroom setting while other students are more likely to thrive in an online environment. Students who are capable of earning a degree online generally have the following characteristics: enjoy independent study, are focused and can meet deadlines with minimal supervision, do not require a great deal of interaction with the instructor, are adept at using a computer, learn well when the information is primarily offered in a text based format and are comfortable contacting instructors via methods such as email, telephone or fax when face to face meetings are not possible.

If I know that I will continue on for a doctoral degree in Psychology, do I need a Master’s in Psychology or Master’s in Education?

The Master's in Psychology as a Step towards a Doctoral Degree in Psychology

It's sometimes not necessary to earn a Master's Degree before you'll be admitted to a Psychology Doctorate program. In fact, in some doctoral programs you may have to repeat some of the coursework you took in a masters program. This depends on the program. You may otherwise be able to waive some of the repeated courses in the doctoral program, again depending on the program.

If you think want to work in the field before going on for a Doctorate, though, or aren't absolutely sure you'll go into a doctoral program at all, then earning your Master's in Psychology first has some advantages. You'll likely earn more and be qualified for a more responsible and autonomous position with a Master's Degree.

What’s a Master’s in Education Psychology?

The Master's in Education (MEd) in Educational Psychology

The term, Master's in Education Psychology, refers to a Master's in Education (MEd) with a concentration in Educational Psychology. Some people use the longer form after their names. MEd, EdPsy, or in conversation may say they have an MEd in Educational Psychology. There is not a degree specifically called a Master's in Education or Educational Psychology.

The M.Ed. in Psychology may be somewhat similar to a Master's in Psychology (MS and MA), but the emphasis will be on psychology as applied to education, such as special education, K-12 education, higher education, education administration or another aspect of education.

What is a Master’s in Arts in Psychology?

The Master's in Arts (MA) in Psychology

A Master's in Arts (MA) in Psychology is a Master's Degree in Arts with a major in Psychology. This is considered a professional level degree and usually takes one or two full-time school years to complete; two to four semesters or three to six quarters, depending on the program. A prior Bachelor's Degree is normally required as a prerequisite to a Master's Degree program. If the Bachelor's Degree wasn't in Psychology, then at least certain courses in Psychology are required for admission to a Psychology Masters program.

How do I pass graduate school psychology courses?

Passing Graduate School Psychology Courses

Students taking graduate school psychology courses likely expect the courses to be rather difficult in nature. However, these same students should also realize they have sufficiently fulfilled the prerequisites for the courses they are taking and therefore should be considered excellent candidates for the advanced degrees they are pursuing. This alone may help to give the students the confidence they need to succeed in graduate school psychology courses but there are other general tips which can be very helpful to the students. These tips may include attending classes faithfully, completing all reading and homework assignments, taking accurate notes in class, studying sufficiently throughout the semester instead of just around test time and asking questions of teachers, teaching assistants or even other students when necessary.

The complexity of graduate school psychology courses is to be expected but students who apply themselves should find their course loads to be quite manageable. To make the coursework more enjoyable, students should select courses which they find to be the most interesting. There will inevitably be a number of required courses but students will also have a great deal of flexibility in selecting electives which are tailored to help them meet their career aspirations. By taking advantage of this opportunity and selecting elective courses the student will help to ensure at least a portion of the classes they are taking are thoroughly appealing to the student.

Related Tip: Passing graduate school psychology courses is not an impossible task. Students who have excelled in all prerequisite classes and apply themselves diligently throughout the semester are likely to find achieving a passing grade is easier than they had anticipated. However, these students should expect to spend a great deal of time attending classes, completing reading and homework assignments and participating in either organized or unofficial supplemental study sessions with teaching assistants or peers to achieve their goals.

Where can I find psychology graduate schools?

Finding Psychology Graduate Schools

Each December the American Psychologist journal publishes a list of accredited psychology graduate schools. Students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in psychology can use this list to determine whether or not a school they are considering is accredited. This information can also be found online at the American Psychological Association (APA) website. On this website students can not only view a list of accredited psychology schools but will also find information on schools which were denied accreditation and schools which were previously accredited but no longer hold this distinction. This information is extremely useful to students considering psychology graduate schools as schools which are accredited will be most beneficial to the student in pursuing career options as well as additional degrees.

Students may also learn a great deal about psychology graduate schools through the career counseling office of their undergraduate school. These career counselors likely have a great deal of up to date information about the available options for students and likely are contacted by the schools periodically with updates about the school and the programs offered to ensure the counselors can provide the students with accurate information.

Related Tip: There is a great deal of information online in regard to psychology graduate schools. Students may opt to visit the website of a particular graduate school to learn more about the school or may visit websites which compile information on a number of different psychology graduate schools. However, before making a final decision about which school to attend, the student should verify the schools accreditation either through the December issue of the American Psychologist journal or through the American Psychological Association website.

What is a Master’s in Science in Psychology?

The Master's in Science (MS) in Psychology

A Master's in Sciences (MS) in Psychology is a Master's Degree in Sciences with a major in Psychology. This is also considered a professional level degree and usually takes one or two full-time school years to complete; two to four semesters or three to six quarters, depending on the program. Again, a Bachelor's Degree is normally required as a prerequisite to a Master's Degree program. If the Bachelor's Degree wasn't in Psychology, then at least certain courses in Psychology are required before admission to a Psychology Masters program.

Where can I research graduate schools for psychology?

Researching Graduate Schools for Psychology

Researching graduate schools for psychology is not necessarily a difficult process but it is one which requires a great deal of diligence on behalf of the prospective graduate students. Typically methods for learning more about psychology graduate schools include consulting guidance counselors at an undergraduate degree program, asking for recommendations from faculty members, searching online and reading psychology journals, magazines or newspapers.

Students who are in an undergraduate psychology program may find the school's guidance counselors as well as the faculty are an excellent resource for information about graduate schools for psychology. These individuals likely have a great deal of information on the available schools and have a variety of resources for learning more about particular schools in which the student may be interested.

Online resources can also be useful for researching graduate schools for psychology students. Many of the psychology schools may have individual websites which provide information about the courses offered, admissions policies and other useful information. Students may also find websites which compile information for a variety of different psychology schools. However, the caveat to using this type of website is the information may not be accurate and students should verify the information through other resources. The American Psychological Association (APA) website also provides information on which psychology graduate schools are accredited.

Psychological journals such as the American Psychologist may also be useful. Each December this journal publishes a list of accredited psychology schools. Additionally, students may find information about particular schools throughout the year. Likewise other print publications such as magazines and newspapers may publish information on top rated graduate schools which prospective students may find to be useful and interesting.

What are the prerequisites for earning a masters degree in psychology?

Prerequisites for a Masters Degree in Psychology

Students seeking admission to a masters degree in psychology program will have specific prerequisites depending on the schools to which they are applying. These prerequisites may vary slightly from one school to another but there are some general requirements which students should expect. These may include achieving a bachelors degree, taking some specific psychology related courses during undergraduate study and taking the general area Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Most masters degree in psychology programs will require the student to obtain a bachelors degree prior to applying for admission to the masters program. While some schools may require the bachelors degree in psychology other schools may only prefer for the bachelor degree to be in psychology. These schools may be willing to accept students who obtained other types of degrees as an undergraduate as long as all other requirements are met sufficiently.

Most masters degree in psychology programs will also require students to have taken certain psychology courses during undergraduate studies as a prerequisite to admittance to the graduate school. This may include both introductory courses as well as more advanced courses depending on the school to which the student is applying.

Taking the general area GRE will also likely be required by most masters degree in psychology programs. Some schools may have minimal scores which make a student eligible for acceptance while other schools will simply consider the scores of the exam along with all other application information. Many schools will publish average GRE scores for accepted students, however, and this information will provide a general guideline for the types of scores the school generally accepts.


Exploring a Masters Degree in Psychology

So you've decided to go for a master’s degree in Psychology? Congratulations on having the courage to take on this exciting endeavor. A master’s degree in psychology can take a ton of effort and determination to obtain but it can take you many places!

The go to manual for anyone considering a masters degree in Psychology is the book “ Graduate Study in Psychology” published by the American Psychological Association. It lists, by state, most of the graduate psychology programs in this country. It includes information about admission criteria, how many students are accepted each year, number of faculty members, and where to get more information and an application. Anyone considering going for a master’s degree in Psychology should consider this book their bible. It's a great resource!

There are many psychology graduate schools out there to choose from. Stanford University is rated the top Psychology graduate school in the United States. If Stanford is out of your reach there are many fine psychology graduate schools at many other state universities as well. Psychology graduate schools consider the things you would expect them to such as GPA, Letters of Recommendation, GRE scores (graduate record exam) and your personal statement (essay).

The career possibilities with a master's degree in Psychology are endless. You can be everything from a school counselor to a master social worker to a fully fledged Psychiatrist or an FBI profiler. You only need to go for it!


Psychology doctorate tips

Continuing on with your education and going for your psychology doctorate degree can open up more chances for advancement in your career, you will make more money, more job options. If you have the time to continue your schooling and you know it's a career that you will enjoy, it seems to make sense to go for it.

Before committing to going for your psychology doctorate, there are a few things to ask yourself. Do you have the time? If you have kids, a job and a spouse, it might be hard, but not impossible. Are you motivated? You have to have the desire and drive. Are you passionate about your career choice? If it's not something you love and enjoy, maybe going further isn't a good idea.

Once you've made up your mind to go for your Psychology doctorate, there are some ways to make it a bit easier on yourself. First and most importantly get organized, and stay organized. Delegate, you can't take care of the world yourself. Learn to say no. Set yourself up with good study habits.

You have many schools that offer doctoral programs in psychology, you can go online and see the ranking for all of them in the US and Canada, that will give you a better idea of where your school ranks.

Good luck in your studies, and remember the time you put in now, will pay off later.


What a Counselors Masters Degree Offers You

Although (usually) formal licensing isn't offered through a counseling Masters degree, recipients still receive a specialized education that focuses on higher-level positions and skills in the human services field. Folks with prior undergraduate degrees in sociology, psychology, counseling theory or similar areas might find this further line of study exciting should they prefer a non-clinical program with a focus on managerial aspirations.

Course work will vary depending on the post secondary institution and counseling Masters degree, but most programs offer classes that cover specialized topics in ethics, regulatory requirements, therapeutic services, counseling theory, intervention strategies, various therapy techniques, methods of providing services (i.e. group, individual), assessment, and consultation.

Some counseling graduate programs also offer specialties for the learner to zero in on, such as:

- The Adler School of Professional Psychology's counseling Masters degree emphasizes a "socially responsible practice", yet their Masters in Counseling and Organizational Psychology program pinpoints professionals looking to expand their skills in areas such as team building and regulative business management.

- Lesley University's Masters degree in Counseling Psychology centers on their commitment to "interventions and consultation skills with children and adults in community settings."

The average time to complete a counseling graduate program is 24 months, although some institutions require up to four years of study.


Working Towards a Counseling Masters Degree

So you want to get a counseling masters degree? Wanting a counseling masters degree and getting one are two different things. Some choose to work with the education they have before or while working on a masters. Because earning a masters degree can be very expensive, many people plug away at it while working in their chosen field. Often, the master’s degree is simply the launching pad into a higher paid position.

By the time most people are ready to begin their counseling masters degree, they already have a fair bit of experience and adult responsibilities to consider. Many universities offer the option of obtaining online counselling masters degrees, making it a viable choice for people who can’t move or quit work to attend university.

Unfortunately, many people shy away from online learning, thinking it’s an impersonal way to learn. However, technology makes it easy to see others in your “classroom”, communicate directly with other students and faculty, and provide instant feedback opportunities while you progress through the program.
Obtaining your counselling masters degree can be a long process, especially if you’re plugging away at it bit by bit while working full-time. Whether you take it online or in the classroom, a counselling master’s degree can be done. It just takes time, money, and patience.

What is a Master’s in Psychology?

A Master's in Psychology

In the US, a Master's in Psychology usually refers to either a Master's in Arts (MA) or Master's in Sciences (MS) Degree with a major in Psychology, while an MPsy may refer to a Master's in Metaphysical Psychology. Some other countries, such as the UK and Australia, offer what is called a Master's in Psychology, or MPsy. Their MPsy programs are only very generally like Master's in Psychology programs in the US, have different admissions requirements and often take four years to earn .


Career Driving You Toward a Breakdown?

So you feel like your current job is causing you to head toward a nervous breakdown. Your discontentment is making you consider seeking out psychological help. Your only concern with this situation is that you tend to be a do it yourself type of person. Maybe it's time for you to consider a career change. A viable option is to seek out an online psychology masters program. Not only will you escape the stresses of your current vocation, but you will be able to gain better understanding of your emotional needs. You can then in turn share your experience and expertise by helping others.

There are a number of online psychology college courses available. Universities such as Capella and Phoenix are gaining a solid reputation as quality schools. In addition, traditional colleges and universities have expanded their program offerings to include many online options. With the growing demand of professionals seeking advanced career training while maintaining flexibility, these types of programs are excellent alternatives to feeling stuck in a dead end job.

While a career change doesn't happen overnight, and the stress of balancing job responsibilities while taking college coursework can be challenging, it is possible. Many adults have opted for the online education alternative and have experienced greater satisfaction in their careers. Obtaining your online psychology masters degree might be your ticket away from the loony bin.

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