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How To Get Your Masters In Psychology

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Job Outlook And Salary Expectations For Psychologists


Psychologist salaries vary from one specialty and working setting to another. According to the 2020 Bureau of Statistics report, there are 192,300 psychology jobs in the US, and the average salary for psychologists with a graduate degree is $80,370.

Comparative and experimental psychologists are the highest-paid , and industrial organization psychologists are the second-best paid at an average of $102,530 per year.

The majority of psychologists are clinical psychologists. The demand for psychologists is expected to grow by 3% in the next decade, creating an opportunity for about 5,700 jobs. The industrial-organization specialty is expected to see the highest growth of about 13% by 2028.

How Many Years Does It Take To Get A Masters In Psychology

How long is a masters degree in psychology? Well, the degree itself will only take you about two years to complete. Of course, you cant get into that masters program without first completing a bachelors degree, so expect to invest another four years for that. And you will find your odds of being accepted to a masters program go up if you have a little demonstrated work experience under your belt a year or two is not uncommon. So you could spend up to eight years on your path to a masters in psychology.

To Apply Each Applicant Must Have:

  • A successful completion of a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Record of having taken Introduction to Psychology, psychology statistics, psychology research methods, and at least two other psychology courses.
  • A 3.0 cumulative grade point average or higher on undergraduate work. The average undergraduate GPA of successful applicants for the Fall 2021 class was a 3.65 .
  • NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties with testing, the GRE will be OPTIONAL for applicants applying for Fall 2022 admission. You may still provide GRE scores, but you are not required to.

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A Lot A Masters Degree In Psychology Can Prepare You For A Range Of Careers Helping Others

If youre considering a masters degree in psychology, you already know you want to improve the lives of others. But what exactly can you do with a masters in psychology? Is it a worthwhile degree to pursue? Will you be able to get a job putting your knowledge to work once you graduate? Lets explore.

What Are My Psychology Degree Options

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When first enrolling in a psychology program, you will have the option of completing your associate degree or bachelors degree. An associate program is typically completed within two years and includes the introductory courses needed to complete a bachelors program in psychology. There arent many jobs in the psychology field available for those with an associate degree, but you may qualify for some positions with social welfare agencies struggling to find affordable help.

If youre attending school full-time, you can earn a bachelors degree in psychology within four or five years. If you decide to go for your masters degree, expect another two to three years. A doctorate degree in psychology can take anywhere from four to seven years.

You will have a larger field of job opportunities if you earn a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Depending on your geographical area and your willingness to commute or relocate, you may work in research, marketing, education, forensics or engineering. From mental health counselors to social workers, there are many potential career paths for someone with a bachelors degree.

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Whats The Difference Between A Masters Vs Phd In Psychology

A masters in psychology and a PhD in Psychology are both graduate-level academic programs, but they are not the same.

Masters in Psychology
  • Takes approximately 2 years to complete
  • Not as advanced as a PhD
  • Not eligible for licensure as a psychologist
  • Career options are more limited than with a PhD
  • Takes approximately 3 to 5 years to complete
  • Highest level of education available
  • Doctorate is generally required to become a licensed psychologist
  • More career opportunities, particularly in education and research

A PhD-level education is more in-depth and advanced than a masters.

What Is The Difference Between A Masters Of Art In Psychology And A Masters Of Science In Psychology

For the most part, there is not much difference. It is more of a difference in how different institutions prefer to name their courses.

However, there may be minor differences in that an MA focuses more on the liberal arts aspect of psychology, while an MS focuses more on research and analysis.

Generally, for both MS and MA, the scope of the study for a given field specialization will be the same, and the admission requirements are often the same.

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Online Masters In Psychology Programs To Consider has compiled a list of the online masters in psychology programs in the United States along with their GRE requirement information, degree type and credit requirements. In searching for the best psychology masters online program that fits your needs, carefully consider the structure of the coursework and the admissions requirements to make your decision. Find a school that interests you and find out what it takes to graduate with an online master of psychology!

All Online Psychology Programs

M.S. in Psychology: Applied Psychology 36
M.S. in Psychology: General Psychology N/A
Master of Arts in Psychology 3648
Master of Science in Psychology 36

Our Ms In Psychology Experimental Psychology Degree

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Georgia Southern Universitys psychology masters degree with a concentration in experimental psychology is a 36-hour program on the Statesboro Campus a charming and dynamic college town built around a shop-lined Main Street, and recently voted one of Americas Best Communities.

Our experimental psychology masters program will give you a deep understanding of psychological research, and offer you the flexibility to learn to teach psychology, take an advanced clinical psychology course, or complete additional research projects with the supervision of our world-class faculty.

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Best Masters Degree In Psychology Programs

If youre interested in any aspect of Psychology for a profession or a further study, any of these schools included on our list is a great option for a masters degree in psychology or a doctoral program in psychology. Weve hand-picked the schools providing the best education at the best value considering factors like cost of attendance, student resources, educational quality, and flexibility.

We know that finding the best school to fit your unique needs can be a huge challenge. For that reason, we work hard to develop lists of the best schools based on the characteristics most important for you. Whether that be cost of attendance, student success, resources available, flexibility of schedule, or any other number of important factors, weve got you covered. For more information about our ranking process and to find lists of schools based on specific characteristics, check out our methodology page.

If your masters in psychology program isnt on this list but it deserves future consideration, please reach out to us today! Were constantly looking for the best schools, providing the greatest value.

Pursuing a masters degree in psychology requires significant investment and time. Therefore, if you consider pursuing a masters degree in psychology, it is understandable if you are keen to determine whether this will be a worthwhile investment. Will it help in advancing your career?

Finding The Best Online Masters In Psychology For You

In searching for the best online psychology programs across the United States, its important to take into account the specific type of degree being offered, the GRE Requirements of the program, and the credit requirement needed to graduate. Comparing psychology online programs is the best way to choose a degree program that will work with your schedule and provide the best return on investment.

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Top 5 Masters In Psychology Programs

Emporia State University Emporia, Kansas

You may ask yourself, what can I do with an online masters in psychology? Psychology is a field that allows you to help other people. By understanding how people think and feel and how that relates to behavioral psychology, professionals in psychology can improve the way others live while bringing greater fulfillment into their own lives. Other reasons you might consider a masters in psychology is the great job outlook, increased salary, and the opportunity to work as a freelancer or from your own home. Anyone who has already completed a bachelors degree in psychology is eligible to pursue a masters degree in psychology, which presents a great challenge and opportunity for motivated and talented individuals.

Recommended Schools

The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology at Grand Canyon University is a non-thesis program available in online or evening classes that usually takes two to three years for students to complete. There is an emphasis on contemporary issues and ethical considerations in the field of psychology.

Why Phd Is So Difficult

How to Get Your Master

It is hard because it requires commitment of several years of your life while the world around you seems to be moving forward your colleagues would be climbing up on the career ladder with increasing income and improving lifestyle, while you will be subsisting on a stipend or you may even have to remain contented with

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Is Fieldwork Or A Practicum Required

Most masters programs require both fieldwork and residencies for anywhere from 100600 hours, though the length of these will vary by school. Through fieldwork, you put the knowledge youve learned to use out in a real-world setting. Serving as an intern, you work directly with patients under the supervision of licensed psychologists.

Many schools will also require you to complete at least 2 residencies. This involves participating in mock counseling sessions to demonstrate your abilities. This is typically done before any fieldwork begins with actual clients.

It’s More Flexible Than A Phd

Master’s degree in psychology students may find that their conventional learning experiences become more flexible. Every master’s in psychology and doctoral student is required to complete hands-on learning experiences in order to graduate, in addition to cumulative graduation projects. Some colleges understand this can be difficult for working professionals, and may be inclined to offer flexible scheduling.


Weekend, evening, hybrid and online courses are surfacing more and more commonly in graduate-level psychology curriculums.


Some master’s degree in psychology programs have very rigid and clearly defined expectations. Many universities recommend students do not work at all in sustainable, wage-earning employment, saving their time and energy for studies and practicums while others expect students to make themselves available during full-time, day-schedule courses.

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Can Online Psychology Degree Programs Save Time

There are many accredited psychology programs offered online today. These courses require you to complete the same number of credit hours as programs offered at your local community colleges and universities, but the convenience of studying online may allow you to take classes full-time regardless of a busy schedule. Since you dont have to leave work or your family to get to class at a certain time, you can take more classes at times that are convenient to you.

Some online psychology programs are partially online while others are 100% online. You may also find accelerated programs that allow you to complete credit hours in a shorter period of time. While these classes allow you to finish your degree faster, they also require a more substantial investment of time while completing the degree. Accelerated programs also move at a much faster pace, and not all students are comfortable learning at a rapid pace.

Instead of focusing solely on the amount of time that it takes to complete a degree program in psychology, try to determine your ideal career path. What type of career you want to build will tell you which degrees you will need. Your career path will also help you determine the most beneficial specializations. From there, you can start educating yourself on the details related to your chosen career field.

Learn Essential Psychology Concepts

Meet Your Master – Getting to Know Your Brain: Crash Course Psychology #4

Once you have chosen your bachelors program and been accepted, you will be on your way to earning your degree. A bachelors program in psychology provides a broad overview of the field, a primer in scientific methodology and core mental health counseling concepts.

According to the American Psychological Association , there are five learning goals for undergraduates in psychology:

  • Knowledgebase in psychology: Undergraduates should be able to discuss the key areas of psychology, applications, and principles.
  • Scientific inquiry and critical thinking: Students should be able to practice scientific reasoning, solve problems, and interpret human behavior.
  • Ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world: Students should develop a sense of social and ethical responsibility and apply it to relationships and science.
  • Communication: Undergraduates should be able to write effectively, present information, and communicate well with others.
  • Professional development: Bachelors degree students should be able to define career goals and view their new skills in relation to their chosen career path.

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Choose A Grad School To Enroll In

With thousands of schools to choose from, it can be overwhelming to narrow down to one. To help with your decision making, narrow down your search by the specialty area and preferred location. Then, identify the ones whose tuition fees and overall costs are within your budget. Whichever graduate program and institution you choose, ensure that it is accredited and reputable.

Doctor Of Public Health

If you seek a career in helping people, but don’t want to engage on an individual level as counselors and therapists do, a career in public health might be right for you.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the professionals that study and seek to improve public health have been spotlighted in the media. The academic discipline explores the various threats to the health of a population, including infectious diseases and mental health.

Assistant professor of pediatrics and EMS medical director Dr. Sylvia Owusu-Ansah told U.S. News that “there is no time like the present” to enter the field. “With the repercussions of COVID, we’re going to need more public health specialists in developed and developing societies,” she said.

An educational background in psychology is a boon for a career in public health, as mental health is a major factor in a person’s overall wellness. With a doctorate in public health, you could become a public health researcher, an epidemiologist, a bioU.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsian, or a public health consultant.

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Core Concepts And Coursework

Courses offered in a masters degree in psychology program vary depending on whether the curriculum is general or specialized. General programs offer a cross-section of topics in psychology while specialized programs require many courses in one particular area. Some examples of masters level courses in psychology include:

  • Learning and Cognition

DePaul University

Masters In Psychology Program Options

(PDF) Insider

Many of the top psychology graduate schools in the country do not offer stand-alone masters degrees to applicants who do not plan to continue with doctoral studies therefore, it is important to choose the right school based on your career plans. Masters in psychology programs have either a Master of Arts or a Master of Science designation, and stand-alone programs take around one to two years to complete. MA degrees typically focus on psychological theories and applications while MS degrees typically have a greater focus on quantitative coursework focused on data collection and analysis. Some schools even offer online masters in psychology degrees.

Common specializations for stand-alone masters in psychology programs include:

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What Job Settings Do Master’s Degree In Psychology Holders Work In

Master’s in psychology programs give students a wide, valuable skill set, making them ideal candidates for careers in various industries. Psychologists often work in independent practices, schools, government facilities, and hospitals.

According to the BLS, California, New York, and Texas employ the most clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. These professionals earn the highest average wages in California, Oregon, and New Jersey. They most frequently work in elementary and secondary schools, and within the offices of other healthcare providers.

For industrial psychology, Virginia and Massachusetts employ the most professionals and offer the highest average salary. These psychologists most commonly work in scientific research and other development services.

All other psychologists, and those practicing more generally, earn the most in California, Maryland, and Kansas. General psychologists most often work for the government, in the offices of other providers, and at colleges and universities.

Grows Your Professional Network

Most people who undertake a masters degree in psychology are already working. As such, being in a masters class for psychology offers you an opportunity to interact with fellow psychologists from a wide range of industries and specializations. You also get to interact with professors who are industry leaders.

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Graduate Program Admission Requirements

Prerequisites for the Master of Arts in psychology include:

  • General psychology, psychological statistics and research design courses
  • Nine credit hours in social and behavioral sciences
  • Minimum overall grade point average of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
  • Applicants who do not meet these minimum requirements may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis
  • Students can choose a thesis or nonthesis option. Students who choose the nonthesis option must complete a teaching practicum.

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