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Master's Degree Programs in Child Psychology

Learn about typical coursework and prerequisites for a master's degree program in child psychology. See what your career options are and explore online study.

What Types of Courses Will I Take in a Master's in Child Psychology Program?

As a master's candidate in child psychology, you'll take a variety of courses that teach you about general psychology and its application to children. You'll also take classes in child development to help you understand the various stages children go through from infancy to early adulthood. Additionally, some master's programs are set up to prepare you to earn licensure in counseling or therapy. Specific courses you might encounter in a child psychology curriculum include the following:

  • Introduction to psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Early childhood development from infancy to toddler age
  • Middle childhood to adolescent development
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Language development
  • Psychological assessment for children
  • Social development of children, adolescents and teenagers

Common CoursesCognitive psychology, pharmacology, language development and psychological assessment
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree with psychology coursework and possibly acceptable Graduate Record Exam scores
Career OptionsSchool counselor, school administrator, educator, child psychologist or clinical researcher
Online OptionsOnline master's degree programs in psychology programs are available but it is difficult to find online programs in child psychology; an in-person internship or clinical experience is typically required
Median Salary (2018)$79,010 (Psychologists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)14% growth (Psychologists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Prerequisites for a master's program in child psychology vary depending on the school you choose to attend. Some programs require a bachelor's degree in psychology or child development for admission. Others might admit you with a bachelor's degree in another field of study, as long you've taken enough related undergraduate courses to prepare you for graduate study. Additionally, some schools may require you to earn a minimum score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

What Can I Do With My Master's Degree?

After earning your master's degree, you might go on to participate in a counseling or therapy internship and then gain licensure. Requirements vary from state to state, so be sure to check out licensing requirements for the state where you plan to work. Specific jobs available to you as a master's graduate might include child psychologist, educator, school counselor, clinical researcher or school administrator. You might also consider continuing your education to become a child psychiatrist.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

You can find online master's degree programs in psychology; however, it's more difficult to find online psychology programs that specialize in child psychology or development. Additionally, you may not be able to complete a psychology program completely online since most require a psychology internship or clinical observation experience.