A student wishing to pursue a psychology master's degree will usually need to choose a specialization. Some specializations include clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, experimental psychology, educational psychology, school psychology, or counseling psychology. The degree program will normally have a set of core courses, such as history and systems of psychology, graduate statistics, and research methods. The elective and additional courses will focus on the specialization the student has chosen. Here are a few specialization courses a student may encounter:
Clinical or Counseling Psychology:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Theory and Therapy
- Family and Couples Therapy
- Perception and Cognition
- Psychology of Thinking
- Advanced Research Methods
- Advanced Experimental Design
- Multivariate Methods
- Theories and Principles of Learning
- Educational Assessment
- Child Development
- Introduction to Special Education
- Language Disorders in Children
- Formal and Informal Methods of Assessment
The student will choose a specialization depending on their long term career goals. A student who wants to work in a school setting will choose to study school psychology or educational psychology. These specialized degrees can lead to jobs as a guidance counselor, school counselor, or school psychologist.
A student studying clinical or counseling psychology will normally look forward to a career as a mental health clinician or licensed professional counselor. With these job titles, the student will normally have to complete internships while in graduate school working directly with clients. They will also have to take state tests and apply for licensure after graduation and obtaining supervised work hours. A graduate from one of these programs can be found in agencies, hospitals, and even in private practices.
A student wishing to study cognitive psychology is normally preparing for a career in research and theory of cognitive processes. Cognitive psychologists work in university setting, organization-industrial settings, and state, federal, or city agencies. Experimental psychologists also follow a career in research and experimentation. Experimental psychologists aim to research and teach about behavioral processes such as learning, memory, language, and motivation.