During the course of any Masters in Psychology program, there are certain academic requirements that must be met. Although these may differ from school to school, there are a few basic subjects that most students can expect to cover in their graduate-level courses. These include the following degree requirements.
#1 Introduction to Psychology
This basic course will usually be covered in undergraduate-level psychology programs, but those who are transferring from another discipline will need to cover a general overview of psychology. You can expect to learn about the methodology used in psychology and what is involved with studying the human mind and behavior. Some programs will require this as a prerequisite.
#2 History and Theory of Psychology
Another basic course that may be included as a prerequisite to any graduate-level program, all Master’s in Psychology students will need to learn about the history of psychology. There have been many major thinkers throughout the centuries involved in the development of this discipline, from Socrates to Freud. Students will need to learn more about their various theories with an in-depth look.
#3 Research Methods
Whether or not psychology students choose to go into research as a career path, they will need to understand the latest methods used in a research setting. This will help them analyze studies that they read, or undertake studies of their own.
Along with a greater understanding of the scientific method, students in any graduate-level psychology program will also need to take statistics. This may be a prerequisite course before entering the program or it may be included in the first year of study. Statistics help psychology students to better quantify behavioral trends and data.
#5 Abnormal Psychology
Many psychologists will need to have a strong background in abnormal psychology, which is the study of abnormal behavior. Some of the topics that students might learn more about include psychosomatic disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse issues, and personality disorders. This will help clinical psychologists to diagnose and treat patients, while research psychologists will be able to learn more about the environmental and biological factors that drive these issues.
A pathology course will be similar to an abnormal psychology course in terms of subject matter, but it will delve deeper into the specific diseases that can impact emotional and mental well-being.
#7 Social Psychology
Students who wish to pursue a career path as a psychologist in a corporate or government setting will need to take courses related to social psychology. This is the study of human interaction, including non-verbal communication, leadership, and social pressures.
#8 Child Psychology
Those who want to work with children as school counselors or in clinical settings will need to learn more about how the brain develops in children, and the specific issues that affect them.
Students seeking a Master’s in Psychology will find that they may be required to take a class that covers the topic of neuropsychology. Having a deeper understanding of how the brain works is important to those who want to understand human behavior. Topics will include neural actions, the science of sensation and perception, and the anatomy of the brain. This may be called biological psychology or behavioral anatomy.
#10 The Psychology of Personality
A great deal of the psychological field is devoted to figuring out how and why we have the personalities we do. A course dedicated to this topic is a good way for students to learn about personality disorders and theories.
These are all just a few of the basic requirements that most psychology students will cover either as prerequisites for a Master’s course or during their graduate studies. A strong general foundation of knowledge is essential no matter what specialization a student chooses.