Masters in Psychology
One of the topics to study, a Masters in Psychology is a good option for students who are interested in human behavior, research, and how research tactics can be applied to changing these behaviors of others. While it's possible to obtain a general psychology credential, many students will want to specialize at this level in one specific topic of interest. These could range from criminal psychology to health psychology. Coursework for this type of program has a heavy emphasis on learning the latest research techniques and studying and analyzing the results of different research studies in the field of human behavior.
With most research projects and latest findings available for discussion online, it's now possible to pursue any number of Psychology Master's Programs online. With an online degree, students benefit from the convenience of being able to take their own courses at their leisure, without having to commute all the way to a campus or be held behind by students who are not excelling at the same pace. Before signing up for any online degree program, however, it's highly recommended to start researching the academic reputation and history of the institution that is offering these courses, as quality may vary.
Additional Graduate Psychology Resources
Columbia University offers Master of Psychology programs through the Teachers College rather than the Department of Psychology, which is reserved for doctoral candidates. There are several terminal masters' options however, including a Masters in Developmental Psychology, Masters in Social-Organizational Psychology, and a Masters in Counseling Psychology.
University of Kansas has a Master of Counseling Psychology program offered as a collaborative effort between the School of Education and the Department of Psychology. This degree is designed to qualify the student for a counseling license, providing academic groundwork in psychology and to some extent, in educational counseling. It's a common and popular Master of Psychology program.
University of Pennsylvania has developed a Master of Applied Psychology degree that is specifically designed as a terminal degree for people who want to gravitate to the business or educational world with a master's degree in psychology. Many psychology schools at top tier universities such as Penn do not offer a Master of Psychology as a terminal degree, considering the PhD to be the appropriate academic destination of psychology. This degree is recognition of psychology as something other than an academic career.
American University offers a Master of Psychology as a terminal degree for students interested in a professional career outside of academia. The program offers a general academic track or specializations in personality/social psychology, or biological/experimental psychology. The specialization in experimental psychology is likely most valuable in preparation for a PhD program but the other option can be applied to many professions such as HR and counseling.
University of North Dakota offers a Master of Forensic Psychology degree that is available on the campus in Grand Forks or as an online degree. This degree is designed for a career working in or around the court system, as a psychology expert in criminal justice, as a counselor in the courts system or as a consultant to an attorney or law firm. It's a growing profession for students with a Masters in Psychology or above.
Professional Psychology Associations
American Psychological Association is the largest and oldest professional society for psychology, although the design of the organization reflects the fact that that until recently psychology professionals have tended to be PhD graduates. Even the clinical field and industrial/organizational psychology have been professions that required a PhD up until recent years. However the organization is an excellent resource for research and scholarly endeavor.
American Psychological Association of Graduate Students is an offshoot of the APA that is much more relevant to Master of Psychology students. There are many activities staged by this organization at the annual APA convention; there is also a scholarship program offered through this student branch of the Association. There are also educational resources and occasional publications.
Social Psychology Network is an excellent resource for students in a social discipline of psychology or students that are considering enrolling in a psych program. The website has resources on organizations, schools, teaching resources, textbooks, and has a library of podcasts and roster of blogs. It is a startup effort by a group of social psychology graduate students that has developed into an excellent resource and networking site.
National Association of School Psychologists is an organization for working school psychologists and students. The site provides up to date information on research and on school policy issues that affect the profession. The Association supports a scholarship program for students working towards a degree in the field. There is a liability insurance option for current members.
Association for Psychological Science is a research oriented organization that can be an asset to students working on a thesis or dissertation. The Association publishes four journals for researchers and for research material; there is also a news feed for stories concerning the science of psychology, and there is an employment network.
Psychology Accreditation and Credentials
Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council is the closest thing to an accrediting body for master's programs in psychology that exists, since the American Psychological Association accredits nothing below a PhD program. This organization is not recognized by the Department of Education however.
National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredits some school counselor programs offered by Schools of Education, and some Master of Counseling Psychology degrees offered through Schools of Education.
National Certified School Psychologist is a credential offered by the National Association of School Psychologists. It requires completion of a graduate program, 1200 hours of clinical experience, and completion of an exam.
National Board for Certified Counselors offers three categories of certification for licensed counselors. The National Certified Counselor is the baseline credential; there are also options for Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Master Addictions Counselor.
American Academy of Healthcare Providers in the Addictive Disorders has a Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) credential that is open to counselors with the appropriate academic experience and clinical experience. There is also a Certified Gambling Addiction Specialist option available.