APA Accreditation for Master's in Psychology Programs
The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization made up of 150,000 members. According to the APA website:
"The mission of the APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives."
Among its many endeavors, the APA accredits doctoral and internship programs to ensure that standards are met when it comes to training people in the various psychological disciplines. Currently, the APA recognizes four major specialties: clinical, counseling, school, and industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology.
Although more important to those wishing to pursue doctoral degrees, APA accreditation may have important ramifications for the student obtaining a Master's degree in psychology. First, if you do think you may want to go on to a doctoral program in psychology, obtaining a Master's degree from an APA accredited graduate program ensures the doctoral admissions committee that your program met at least the minimum requirements for accreditation.
Second, APA accreditation is not easy to obtain; schools have to subject themselves to several years of scrutiny and changes to not only become accredited, but remain accredited as well. This is not to say that non-accredited psychology Master's degree programs are automatically inferior to those that have APA accreditation; it simply means that with APA accreditation, there is no question in your mind that you are obtaining a good education in psychology. The same is true to your future and potential employers.