An Introduction to this Degree

Bachelors graduates seeking a more profound outlook on the field of psychology can consider masters level educational programs for their future. The Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology online can be a solid choice for individuals interested in a wide range of degree specializations that can put them in touch with different groups of people within society, various subject matters related to the human mind, emotion, and behavior, and also introduce them to different treatment and research methods available for assisting people with living healthy lives.

The MA in Psychology is generally a follow-up degree program for students that have completed their BA in Psychology or other related field. Some students may transition from degree programs in business, sociology, or criminal justice, since careers in these fields can benefit from learning more about how people behave, think, and process sensory information. If you are looking for a degree program that can help you enhance your knowledge of individual cognition and emotion, this could be an excellent degree program to consider. Upcoming students interested in learning more about how people develop, learn, and interact with their environment can benefit from this incredible field.

As you look through different MA programs to choose from, you should consider your career goals in comparison with what your degree program can provide for you. The online MA in Psychology can be your resource for gaining skills relevant to your intended career field.

Outline of the Degree Program

At the onset of an online MA in Psychology, students may choose to pursue a specialization to help create their perfect degree program. Some of the most common degree specializations for this field include Social, Educational, Counseling, Forensic, and Developmental Psychology. While there may be many more to choose from, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the different concentrations, licensing, and practice requirements of each specialization before making your choice. If you would like to read more about some of the most popular specializations for the online MA in Psychology, take a look at the list our team has provided to you below.

Clinical Psychology

A large number of upcoming psychological professionals might be interested in taking their skills into the clinical environment. Clinical Psychology may be one of the leading degree specializations for students entering into these programs, since it can allow you to work one-on-one with clients in the field. This specialization may focus on diagnostics, assessments, and treatment methods in order to train you for assisting people that may show symptoms of mental illness or disorders.

Developmental Psychology

Students interested in learning more about how people develop mentally over a lifetime might be intrigued by the Developmental Psychology specialization. This program in particular can help you focus on the brain's development from conception until death. Different life stages, experiences, and cognition may be a few of the many topics you cover in this program, which could be a great option for those interested in working in research fields after graduation.

Forensic Psychology

Over the last decade, the interest in Forensic Psychology programs has shown in increase. This field of psychology uses techniques common in the field in partnership with law enforcement agencies. Forensic psychology professionals can be trained to use psychological assessments on people that have committed crimes, profile criminals based on communication and behaviors, and even act as consultants during a criminal trial. Students in these programs can gain knowledge of both the fields of psychology and criminal justice during their experience.

If you choose to pursue a degree specialization such as one of the few listed in the above section, you may take courses that interrelate your specialization to the general field of psychology as a whole. Some of the courses that are included within your degree program may provide introductory information to the field as a whole, while follow-up courses can teach you more about in-depth topics within your concentration area.

The MA program in this field may consist of topics in the field of psychology, as well as those relating to the field of psychology and its application to the social environment. Other skills such as communication, history, arts, and society may be taught within this program in an effort to help generalize your knowledge to other related areas surrounding your field. Some terminal degree programs in this field may also require you to engage in an in-person practicum or supervised work experience requirement to help transition your understanding of psychological concepts to the real-world environment.

Learning in the Online Setting

If you engage in an online psychology degree, you may find that the experience has been modified to be convenient and flexible to accommodate your needs. Students enrolled in the online MA in Psychology program can access their courses through their school’s website, which can provide a separate course page for each class being taken. Once on the course webpage, students can browse through the syllabus, view current assignments and due dates, upload homework, or even complete examinations.

Another convenient part of engaging in this program online is the convenience of communication. Through your online classroom, you can contact other students or your instructor through helpful discussion and email tools. Most people choose to pursue their degree online in an effort to balance out their daily responsibilities with their desire to find better careers in the future. Online classes can be accessed at any point during the day and most have pre-set due dates that are provided to you at the beginning of your course. This can help you maximize your ability to plan according to your schedule.

Another perk to pursuing the online MA in Psychology is that you can potentially log in to your courses from any location that has the internet. This aspect could be exceptionally convenient for people required to travel regularly for work or others that spend a significant amount of time away from home.

Example Courses

As you read more about this online program, you might be intrigued by online degree programs and the flexibility that they can provide you with as a masters learner. Online degree programs have grown in popularity in recent years, likely due to the reliability and convenience that these programs can provide to their learners. One of the most profound aspects of online MA in Psychology programs is that you can attend your classes from your very own home. This can cut down on the added costs of transportation and housing, which can be pivotal for students seeking affordable options for their education.

The best way to learn more about which program is right for you is exploring what types of classes and topics might be covered within your intended degree program. Seeing course topics can enlighten you on the different types of skills that may be required within your career field, as well as what might be required of you as a professional. Our team of educational experts has reviewed some of the top programs available online in order to provide you with a few example courses to review. While you browse through the example classes listed below, you should consider how each can contribute to a higher understanding of the field of psychology and its application in the social environment.

Research Methods in Psychology

Since psychology is a relatively new science overall, students may look deeply into the research practices that are common and current in the field. This course in particular can help students gain skills relevant to the development, application, and follow-up of research projects in the field. Students can learn how to properly recruit participants, ethical guidelines associated with research, steps for conducting research, analysis methods for results, and formal reporting of results. This course may also introduce students to research practice within a wide variety of settings.

Measurement and Assessment

Psychology-based fields consist of a large quantity of assessment and diagnostic tools for use with the public. As a student of psychology, you can learn more about each of these assessments and their purpose for treatment, methods for administering these tests accurately and ethically, and processes for analyzing the results of different assessments. This course can be exceptionally helpful for students pursuing terminal degrees in counseling psychology or other related fields.

Theories of Personality

Courses that look deeper in the unique qualities of people may be commonplace within online MA in Psychology programs. This course, as an example, looks into the historical foundations of studies of personality. This might include readings into the publications of early philosophers and psychologists, as well as some of the personality theories that have been publicized over the years. The goal of this course is to provide students with a better understanding of the varying qualities of people within society before their initial experience with clients in a professional setting.

Career Opportunities with this Degree

One of the most common questions asked about the online MA in Psychology is regarding the career opportunities available to those that have completed this program. This question is complex – mainly because there are so many different specializations to choose from during your educational experience. Each of these specializations can lead you into different career fields that focus on specific psychological aspects of behavior and emotion.

There are also 2 different paths you could pursue depending on your interests – practical psychological careers and research-oriented psychological careers. Each of these branches of psychology can contribute an incredible amount of service to the field as a whole and can influence the well-being of those around you. In the section below, you can read about a few different career options and the salaries for each. This can provide you with a slightly clearer picture of the opportunity that can be available to you after graduation. Each career field may have varying practicum and experience requirements for you to consider prior to pursuing a degree under its specialization.

  • Psychologists: $77,030 on average per year (BLS).
  • Social Service Managers: $64,100 on average per year (BLS).
  • School and Career Counselors: $55,410 on average per year (BLS).

Professional Organizations to Know

The end of your degree program does not have to be the end of the line for your learning experience. Supportive agencies focused on helping professionals, providing resources, and having advocacy services to members have been developed in many different career fields including those in psychology. As a current MA holder in Psychology, you are encouraged to become a part of professional organizations that cater to your specialized field so that you can have access to the supports and resources you need to be the best professional you can be. Read more about some of these professional organizations in the list below.

The American Psychological Association

One of the leading providers of support and resources for current and upcoming professionals in psychology is the American Psychological Association (APA). This organization has long been the leading professional organization for psychology students seeking out valid degree programs and professionals interested in learning more about the current standing of their field. This could be a great agency for you to familiarize yourself with before entering into a degree program.

The American Board of Professional Psychology

Students that pursue masters-level programs in psychology can seek certification within their specialized field through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). This organization can provide students with more information on the certification requirements for their field, training opportunities available to licensed psychologists and learners, and events that can help further educate professionals in the field.

The National Organization for School Psychologists

In addition to generalized professional psychology organizations, students may also find agencies that are more focused on some of the specialized fields in psychology. This organization – the National Organization for School Psychologist (NOSP) – provides support to professionals that have specialized in school psychology during their degree program. The supportive resources and support provided by this agency is focused on the needs of school psychologists in the field as well as upcoming learners interested in being a part of the field.