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Masters in Psychology Requirements

Masters in Psychology Requirements

The specialization options for a Master of Psychology degree have a great deal to do with degree requirements. There is no particularly difficult set of academic prerequisites to overcome; there may be a requirement for college level mathematics or statistics in order to understand the research classes, but there are no science or accounting/finance requirements that accompany many graduate programs. A Master of Psychology program can vary from 36 credit hours to 60 credit hours, but often the disparity is caused by programs that have a significant practicum requirement. A Master of Psychology in School Psychology that is designed for state licensure may have practicum courses that add up to over 1,000 hours in the field. Those classes add a lot of credit hours to the academic load. MS in Psychology programs that require a thesis may also add credit requirements. There are many variants on the Master's in Psychology today; the key to selecting a program is accreditation in the field and value of your specialization - if any - in the workplace.

Core Requirements for a Masters in Psychology

The baseline courses for any graduate degree in psychology will include classes in personality theory, research methods, psychological statistics, counseling, organizational development, group dynamics, and behavioral analysis. There are other courses that appear in most core curricula for a graduate psychology degree having to do with the theory of psychology and the practice of various psychological specialties; some of these courses may not apply to the specialization but are deemed worthy of the core coursework. Developmental psychology, social psychology, and the psychology of learning are often core courses, as are studies in industrial & organizational psychology and psychopathology. Many masters in psychology programs touch on the most entrenched specializations in the field as part of a core course lineup in order to provide the traditional background for graduate level psychology studies. In the third and fourth semesters the specialization courses come to the fore.

Specialization Requirements for a Masters in Psychology

For a degree in Industrial/Organizational psychology, the emphasis is on organizational behavior and motivation. Courses may include applied social psychology, personnel motivation, organizational development, and some version of change management. A Master of Psychology in School Psychology will focus on developmental psychology, child assessment, child therapy, family intervention, and neuropsychological assessment. School psychologists often find themselves working hand in hand with special education teachers, assessing students from different perspectives.

The MS in Clinical Psychology is going to require substantial hours in the field, working as a counselor under the guidance of an experienced professional. Courses may include biological issues with behavior, clinical methodology, tests & measurements, and perhaps a course in multicultural issues that touch on the practice of clinical psychology. The counseling orientation for this degree may also cause the inclusion of courses in adolescent psychology, family therapy, practicing group therapy, and concentration on assessment for families or various members of a family unit.

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