In recent years, psychology has become one of the more popular programs in undergraduate and graduate level education, as found by the Department of Education’s Digest of Education.
This is understandable because careers in traditional psychology, such as school and clinical psychology, will have a job growth of 19% by 2024, which is a healthy clip. Also, employment of clinical, counseling and school psychologists are expected to grow by 20%. Overall, there is greater demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals and mental health centers, all of which are driving growth.
Even better, there are many psychology degree programs now available online. So, you have the option of continuing to work full time while you are doing your psychology degree.
For those who are considering a career in psychology, you would be well served to consider the degree programs that we list below.
#1 Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology
As a counseling psychologist, you will help your patients to deal with many psychological problems that affect their home, work, and family. Through regular counseling, you will work with your patients to identify their strengths, weaknesses and resources that they may use to manage their problems.
For a highly rated online program, consider the Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Seton Hall University. This is a 60 credit hour program for those who want to work as a professional mental health counselor.
Online classes that you will be required to take are:
- Counseling Theory
- Counseling Skills
- Psychology of Human Development
- Abnormal Psychology
- Orientation to Professional Counseling
- Counselor Ethics in Practice
- Research Methods
- Psychology of Human Development
This is a two year, full time degree program that requires residencies where you attend campus. There are two, four day residencies where you will be required to attend sessions on campus.
This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
#2 Master’s Degree in School Psychology
The Master of Arts in Psychology offers a versatile option for psychology graduate students. It can serve as a terminal degree for those interested in transitioning to a career in human services immediately after graduating, and can just as easily be used to lay the foundation for a PhD or PsyD.
Pepperdine University’s online Master of Arts in Psychology program prepares students to pursue doctoral study, licensure as a clinical psychologist, or a career in human services. No GRE Required. Request Information.
The MA in Psychology from Pepperdine is perfect for graduate students looking to develop foundational skills and knowledge in the assessment and treatment of mental health and emotional disorders. With a strong clinical emphasis, this program prepares graduates to assist in patient diagnosis and intervention, including severe cases of psychopathology.
Core courses in this program include:
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders
- Assessment of Intelligence
- Personality Assessment
- Interpersonal Skills and Group Therapy
- Social Psychology
- Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
- Research and Evaluation Methods for Mental Health Professionals
- Multicultural Counseling
- Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy
- Physiological Psychology
- Individual, Couple and Family Development
- Behavioral Principals and Theories of Learning
- Career Development Theory and Techniques
- Community/Clinical Research and Service
No GRE required. This flexible online program can be taken on a part time or full time basis. Foundation courses can be waived for students who have completed the coursework with a B or better in the past seven years.
Pepperdine also offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy with some of the same core courses found in the MA in Psychology.
#3 Master’s Degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
An industrial-organizational psychologist is a human efficiency is a specialist in working with corporations to maximize the efficiency of employees and to keep them working hard and healthy. They also apply psychological principles and research methods to solve workplace problems. They usually study issues that include workplace productivity, management and employee working styles. The vast majority of industrial-organizational psychologist enter their career with a master’s degree in I/O psychology.
An online master’s in industrial-organizational psychology program for your consideration is Southern New Hampshire University. This program offers you an excellent foundation in psychology research methods, findings and theories in real world organizational principles.
Your coursework in this two year program includes:
- Research Methods in Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Measurement and Assessment
- Theories of Personality
- Ethical Practice in Psychology
- Motivation in the Workplace
- Psychology of Leadership
- Seminar in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Organizational Consulting
SNHU is accredited by the new England Association of Schools and Colleges.
#4 Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychologists use the latests psychological principles in the legal and justice systems to assist attorneys and judges to better understand the psychological aspects of criminals and legal cases. They often testify in court as expert witnesses. They usually will specialize in civil, family or criminal cases.
The Chicago School of Psychology offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology that you should consider. In this two year program, you will cover many topics:
- Understanding the personality of the criminal
- Mental health legal aspects
- Preventing crime through risk assessments
- Treatment of substance abuse
- Forensic psychology research
Some of the specialized psychology courses you will take include:
- Socio-Cultural Issues in Forensic Psychology
- Trauma And Crisis Intervention
- Ethics and Professional Issues in Forensic Psychology
Graduates of this program typically enjoy a rewarding career in corrections, law enforcement, military, victim’s assistance and social services agencies.
#5 Ph.D. in General Psychology
To earn the highest salary and to be able to practice as a psychologist independently, you must earn your Ph.D. The online Ph.D. program at Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is one of six regional accrediting bodies that are recognized by the Department of Education.
Required classes in this three year, full time program are:
- Foundations and Theory and Practice for Doctoral Psychology
- Research Foundations of History and Systems of Psychology
- Advanced Inferential Statistics
- Qualitative Analysis
- Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology
- Lifespan Development
- Tests and Measurements
- Multivariate Statistics
- Advanced Qualitative Analysis
About Psychology Licensure
Depending upon which specialty of psychology you study, you may or may not need to seek licensure. For example, I/O psychologists are not required to be licensed in most states, but other types of psychologists usually must be licensed. School psychologists usually must meet licensing requirements for their district.
Each state requires licensure for psychologists who are working directly with patients, administer tests or offer therapy to a patient. Psychologists who are consultants or in an indirect role may have to be licensed in some states.
If you are planning to become a licensed psychologist, be sure to check if the online program you are considering is designed to lead to licensure. Even if you do not plan to get a license to practice, you may want to attend a program that is designed to lead to licensure. You may want to earn your Ph.D. later and obtain licensure, so the sooner you have planned for that in your education, the better.