Psychology is the study of human mind and the way it impacts people and their behavior in various situations; as a result, it can be useful in many career choices. When a student enrolls in a psychology graduate program, he or she is embarking on an academic journey that will ultimately yield a large number of diverse career path possibilities.

A psychology master’s degree can open up new options that are often not available to those who earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology. With a master’s, the graduate’s job choices will extend beyond a hospital or clinic setting to include more specialized roles in a wide range of professional settings.

Why a Master’s Degree in Psychology?

A master’s degree in psychology is often required to give the student the opportunities needed to get their career off the ground. It allows them the opportunity to work in many clinical settings under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. By choosing a psychology graduate program, they can have the opportunity to work in fields like healthcare, human resources, or specialized counseling.

Getting into a Psychology Master’s Program

Most graduate programs in psychology begin when the student enters an undergraduate degree program. It will help them select the right courses during the undergraduate studies that will meet the requirements of the master’s program chosen. Students should review a few programs and learn their requirements for admission. They can spend their years in undergraduate study preparing for those programs.

Other general requirements for admission into a master’s in psychology program include:

  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation

Any voluntary or paid work pertaining to the student’s area of interest will improve his/her chances being accepted. While a bachelor’s degree in psychology is not required for admission, it will make the transition easier. If the degree is in a field other than psychology, the student may be required to take additional classes before being admitted into the master’s in psychology program. However, an undergraduate degree in another field may prepare them for a career in your industry of choice. For instance, if they would like to work as a forensic psychologist, an undergraduate degree in criminal justice would still be useful.

Inside a Psychology Master’s Degree Program

A master’s in psychology program can vary from one to three years, depending on the focus that is selected. Most programs require the student to have introductory psychology and statistics courses on his or her undergraduate transcript.

Students will be required to take several core courses along with electives courses that are designed for the specific area of interest. They must often take some type of research class for the core requirements, along with applied statistics. They will also have to take courses that cover developmental psychology, social, and emotional development, as well as cognitive psychology. Family and group psychology. clinical and social work, addiction studies, and neuropsychology are some of the elective goals that can be taken (based on the student’s career goals).

What’s Next for Psychology Master’s Degree Holders?

A master’s in psychology allows the graduate to either pursue further education or begin looking for employment. They can begin studying for a doctorate, which will open even more doors for them. Depending on the focus of the degree, students can find a career in research at a university or other facility. They also have the opportunity to practice psychotherapy and assessments under the guidance of a licensed psychologist.

Median salary for a graduate with a master’s in psychology is around $40,000 to $60,000 depending on which career they choose, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The growth rate for all psychologists is expected to reach 22%, though the projected growth in certain sub-sectors (such as industrial-organizational psychology) is projected to be much greater.