What Type of Courses are Included in Master’s in Psychology Programs?

While an undergraduate degree in psychology emphasizes the basics and covers a vast amount of information rather generally, the graduate-level courses in this field are far more advanced and specific. Graduates in these programs often have a number of extensive courses required of them before they graduate, and those courses range from the mathematical to the physiological. Here’s what prospective graduate students in psychology need to know before getting started with their educational pursuits at this higher level.

Math Isn’t Out of the Picture at the Graduate Level

One of the things that causes many potential psychology students to reconsider at the undergraduate level is the pretty heavy focus on statistics courses in most programs. Many people see a statistics requirement and simply run in the opposite direction. Those pursuing graduate-level education luckily made it through such requirements, but they’re not done yet.

Today’s most common required course among graduate-level psychology students surveyed was, in fact, statistics. Though students typically only have to take a single course in this mathematical pursuit during their studies, it’s still a heavily involved and higher-level version of undergraduate counterparts.

Research Methods and Writing

Psychology is as much about research and writing as it is about statistics, so it’s no surprise that most universities require at least one course concerning research methods and writing styles for the professional psychologist. Many of these courses are designed to set graduates up for a rewarding career researching disorders and interacting with patients, so they come with a great deal of hands-on work that deeply enriches graduates’ understanding of their position and the importance of ethical, compassionate research.

Disorders and Abnormal Psychology

Another common type of course found in today’s graduate-level psychology programs is one that focuses on psychological disorders or purely abnormal psychology. In fact, some degrees actually require multiple forays into abnormal psych before graduates can move on to elective courses and thesis-minded research.

As most psychology students should already know, research into disorders is a key way to diagnose potential clients and relate to their struggles. For this reason, abnormal psychology and disorder studies are considered the fundamental building blocks of graduate programs.

Personality Disorders and Behavioral Psychology

The psychology of personality, behavioral disorders, and cognitive issues, is a fundamental skill for psychologists at advanced levels. Most graduate programs come with an introductory course covering these bases, and students then take elective, higher-level courses covering specific types of disorders and cognitive abnormalities. This is a key way to decide which concentration will be chosen and how a future career in the field will unfold.

History of Psychology and Contextual Education

Finally, most master’s degrees in psychology do require students to take a graduate-level history course that puts their current studies into context. For most students, this course should be as easy as it is exciting. The big names in psychology remain the same, but this more in-depth understanding of their contributions is an essential way to move forward in the field with appropriate context and understanding.

Great Courses for the Psychology Professional

Form history and math to courses on specific disorders and behavioral patterns, the typical educational requirements of a graduate degree in this field are pretty exciting. Be sure to pick courses that are both interesting and occupationally beneficial so that the graduate degree holds as much weight as possible when it’s finished.