Due to the demand for a graduate psychology education, psychology schools and programs can be found all over the world along with companies looking to hire individuals with this advanced training. A masters program in psychology is designed to provide you with additional higher-level skills and training in a specialty concentration that you would not receive with a bachelor's program. Many companies recognize these accredited graduate programs and understand that future hires with an advanced degree have a higher level of training and the ability to typically manage a team of professionals.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychology Managers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
It is possible to earn a psychology master's degree online in less than the two to three years traditionally required in a brick and mortar school, as the student may take classes year-round. For the student balancing work and/or family obligations, it may take longer. One of the advantages of earning an online degree is that the student may work at his or her own pace. However, you should be aware that some rigorous programs or majors may require you to complete your degree within a certain time frame from the start of your courses. You should check with the department your major falls under and ask if they have any such requirement.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
In general, you can begin your career as a psychology by earning a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in psychology, but in many cases for the position you are seeking you may need to obtain a master's degree in psychology. Furthermore, there are numerous specializations and subfields associated with a master’s in psychology. You will want to research the college or university to determine if they have the major you are considering.
This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.
The two most prominent types of master levels in psychology are: Master of Arts degree (MA degree) in psychology and a Master of Science degree (MS degree) in psychology. A MA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about psychology. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Master of Science degree in psychology, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Master of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Master's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Master of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a graduate below:
About 61% of college students complete their two-year psychology graduate degree on time. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center study if the question suggests that money and family income is a large factor in the rate of non-achievement. In-state public college tuition rates have traditionally been the lower range for leading schools. Depending on the college you are choosing, some colleges will have the same cost for in-state or out-of-state students, whereas other colleges may offer lower costs for students that are residents. According to FinAid.org, the average cost of master's degree for students is between $30,000 and $120,000.
Many students run out of money and take reduced course loads to accommodate increased work and other money-making activities. Low per-semester credit-hour rates means more time required to complete a graduate degree. Reducing the per semester course load from 12 to 9 or even 6 credit hours can add a year to the time needed to complete a master’s program.
Among the reasons cited for the low rate of two-year completions were student decisions in course selection. Many students choose interesting subjects and neglect to grab key courses when available. The failure to take a required course when offered can add a semester to the completion of a major or concentration.
The student experience is a vital piece of information. The graduation rate is often a predictor of the student experience. Factors that can influence late graduation include the availability of required coursework and dropouts for financial reasons. School surveys often have information similar to customer satisfaction information on other businesses. It may be useful to see responses from recent graduates about their experiences. The student survey observations will not predict your experience, but they can lead to productive questions about the school and the master's degree program.
Your school's accreditation is an important aspect of getting your master's degree. The two most common forms of accreditation are regional and national.
Regional accreditation is the most recognized and most prestigious available. Because of this label, these colleges often have higher tuition and have more competitive admission standards. Regional accreditation accounts for over 85% of colleges across the United States. There are 6 different regions, including:
MSA (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools)
NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
NCA (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
NAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission)
SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools)
WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)
National accreditation is less common. National accreditation agencies oversee the accreditation process for career, vocational, and trade schools across the United States. As a result, these schools tend to be less expensive, require less general coursework, and feature a more practical, career-oriented curriculum. Because it is less structured, schools are only reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure that they still meet accreditation requirements.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to an M.S. degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in psychology. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today's high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn't accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a master's degree in psychology.
The cost of a graduate degree depends on the type of school and the amount of coursework required. Private schools typically charge more than public institutions. Online education reduces the costs of living on campus or in an expensive location. For-profit schools may charge less than the other types. Many public institutions have a two-tiered system of fees with lower fees for in-state students and higher fees for out-of-state students. National averages shed some light on costs and help students understand the costs charged by institutions they might select.
According to the US Department of Education, the average, annual out-of-state cost for a master program in psychology will vary based on the following factors: public, private, in-state or out-of-state and state of the school you are attending.
Below are The National Center for Education Statistics reports for average annual undergraduate cost estimates, in current dollars, for the 2016–17 academic year. The NCES surveyed the average annual costs for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board for public and private institutions. Keep in mind this is an average cost and does not factor in any financial aid like scholarships, grants and loans a student may be receiving.
The average cost of tuition: $19,488 at public in-state institutions or about $77,952 for four years. $24,854 at public out-of-state institutions or about $99,416 for four years. $41,468 at private nonprofit institutions or about $165,872 for four years. For masters programs, FinAid.org estimates the average cost of a master's degree for students is between $30,000 and $120,000.
Schools can provide valuable assistance for psychology graduates that seek employment after graduation. The programs can be formal, such as job banks and employment centers that present graduating students and graduate credentials to prospective employers and host interviews.
Depending on the college, they may have resources that can enhance employment and career opportunities for their psychology graduates. Most schools have an extended community of alumni, donors, and corporate and business support. Alumni groups offer opportunities for networking as well as for sharing information and experiences. The corporate and business community support may include opportunities for internships or other hands-on learning experiences.