This article will describe the different types of master’s in experimental psychology degrees you can earn, and how to choose one that is best for you. We will describe what an experimental psychologist does, what they focus on in graduate school, and recommendations for a quality online master’s program in experimental psychology.
What Is a Master’s in Experimental Psychology Degree?
A master’s degree in experimental psychology is an advanced degree that focuses on a vast range of psychology topics, including animal and human behavior subjects. For those who have a passion for studying human behavior, solving problems pertaining to human actions and exploring theoretical behavior questions, you may want to earn this degree.
As an experimental psychologist with this degree, you will study many psychological issues and phenomena. These may include learning, personality and cognitive processes.
The type of research that you may conduct as an experimental psychologist often will vary, depending upon your psychological interests, experience and background. Many experimental psychologists eventually work in either academia or research as they study breakthroughs in this growing field.
With this online psychology degree, you may be able to contribute in a significant way to various subfields of psychology, as you use advanced scientific research to offer insights that will improve learning and teaching, creating safer places to work, and promoting the healthy development of children.
In this type of master’s in psychology program, you will take classes that may include:
- Research methods in psychology
- Research methods
- Tests and measurements
- Design and analysis
- Ethics in research
- Instructional strategies
- Professional development
After you earn your master’s degree, you are required to have a license in your state to practice as a psychologist. After graduation, you must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology; you also must have the correct number of clinical hours in an internship that is required in your state. We advise you to check your state’s requirements for licensure at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. The number of hours that you need to have for your internship can vary widely by state.
Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology?
Getting your master’s in experimental psychology is usually a sure path to a very rewarding career, where you can both help people and earn a good living. Most psychologists generally have a strong passion for helping people to work through their mental health issues. As an experimental psychologist, you can work with clients and also make valuable contributions to research in the field, while earning an above average salary.
One of the reasons that salaries for psychologists are on the rise is that job demand for all psychologists is slated to climb by 19% by 2024. This strong job increase is being driven by greater demand for mental health services in hospitals and mental health centers across the US.
Demand for clinical, experimental and counseling psychologists will climb as people are turning to mental health professionals more to assist with their problems. It is also anticipated that more elderly will turn to psychologists as they get older and live longer. More experimental psychology services could be in demand especially from veterans that have suffered from trauma in wars.
Professionals also are choosing to earn their master’s and Ph.D.s in psychology to earn a better salary. The median salary in this field is $72,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Indeed.com reports that the average salary for psychologists is $80,100.
Many professionals who are interested in a psychology career often earn their master’s degree and work for a few years before they earn their doctorate. While you do need to get your doctorate eventually for private practice, many psychologists find it is worthwhile to work as a psychologist for a period of time before they get their Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree.
Experimental Psychology Online Programs
You can find many online experimental psychology programs, especially at the master’s level. To find a good program for your needs, you should consider these tips:
- How online is the program? Is it completely online? Or will you need to visit the campus during the summer or at other times? If you need to go to campus for some classes, this is ok, but you need to know that well in advance.
- Will you take your classes in a synchronous or asynchronous fashion? If you are earning master’s degree online, it is a good bet that you have work and family obligations. You should decide up front if you want to be able to take your classes on your own schedule, or if you would prefer to take live classes with other classmates online on a set schedule.
- How much support does the university give you during and after the program? You should have the same level of access to university resources as your peers who attend the program on campus. For example, you should get the same amount of attention to help you find a job after graduation as students who are attending live classes.
- What degree of interaction does the program have with peers and professors? With the state of Internet technology, top tier online universities are able to provide you with a high level of interaction with others involved in your program.
- What is the accreditation of the program and university? You should verify that the university is accredited by one of the major regional accreditation agencies recognized by the Department of Education.
We recommend that you consider the experimental psychology program we have featured below.
Master’s Level Degree Options
For a strong, accredited online psychology program focused on experimental psychology, we recommend the online Master of Science in Psychology from Capella University.
This advanced master’s program will help you to learn of the many ways that psychology enters our daily lives. You will learn how to view topics in psychology and other areas from many different perspectives, and you will be able to incorporate them into your research, practice and theory so that you can understand coherence as it can occur in different people.
You also will greatly enrich your knowledge of many different principles of psychology, research and theories so that you can learn more deeply about how psychology ties to policy, professional practice and business.
Your curriculum will focus on the core aspects of psychology and experimental psychology. You will develop the interpersonal skills, sensitivity to other cultures and additional knowledge that you need to be successful as a professional in experimental psychology.
Your required courses include the following:
- Foundations of Theory and Practice for Master’s Psychology Learners
- Tests and Measurements
- Survey of Research Methods
- Quantitative Design and Analysis
- Lifespan Development
- Learning Theories in Psychology
- Cognitive/Affective Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology
Government statistics indicate that there is steadily growing demand for psychologists in most specialties today. As our population is able to live healthier lives for a longer period of time, it is likely that demand for mental health professionals will only increase as the years go by.
Earning your master’s degree in experimental psychology will be a good choice to ensure you have a strong earning potential for the coming decades.