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Graduate Schools in Hawaii for Psychology

Accredited masters-level psychology programs can be the major step towards a career in counseling or psychology-related jobs. The following article provides an overview of accredited masters-level psychology programs in Hawaii and some examples of the curriculum that they share.

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Chaminade University of Honolulu's program offers a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degree where students can choose a concentration in Marriage and Family Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, or School Counseling. The program is linked to the university's Center for Medical Psychology. Students might take courses in abnormal psychology, ethics and counseling theories.

University of Hawaii at Hilo

The University of Hawaii at Hilo offers a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. This program teaches counseling theory, and provides the knowledge and skills to become a Certified Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and many other states. The university has a distance-learning option for Hawaii residents who live more than 25 miles away from campus, allowing them to attend most of their lectures via video conference as the coursework is presented live to the rest of the class.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers Psychology Master of Arts and PhD programs which are inextricably linked - students are expected to complete the MA coursework in preparation for the PhD, and the MA is not offered as a standalone program. This combination offers students a guided transition, through coursework, research and mentorship, to eventually carry out independent work on a PhD, and provides a strong foundation in the core concepts of psychology.

Hawaii Pacific University

Hawaii Pacific University offers a Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Starting in 2020, the Hawaii Pacific will start a new Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)-approved program designed to prepare students to work as Mental Health Counselors (MHCs), a recognized profession that is licensed in all 50 states.

School Name Programs Offered Average Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Chaminade University of Honolulu MS in Counseling Psychology $22,680 (both in-state and out-of-state)
University of Hawaii at Hilo MA Counseling Psychology $12,064 (in-state), $26,896 (out-of-state)
University of Hawaii at Manoa Psychology MA, Psychology PhD $16,502 (in-state), $37,982 (out-of-state)
Hawaii Pacific University MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling $19,100 (both in-state and out-of-state)

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Graduate Psychology Curriculum

The schools outlined above generally require at least a bachelor's degree, though some may require a bachelor's degree in a particular field or ask students to have taken certain coursework. Most of these master's-level programs can be completed in about two years. Below you'll find some of the common courses you might find a graduate psychology curriculum.

Ethics

Whether you would like to work as an industrial-organizational psychologist, a counselor, or a researcher, these typical master's level psychology courses all teach ethics. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 'respect for potential and enrolled subjects' is one of the seven guiding principles to conducting ethical research. Ethics also apply outside of the laboratory; a counseling master's course will cover legal and ethical issues related to counseling, such as doctor-patient confidentiality.

Research Methods and Statistics

Ethics theory has practical applications, many of which are taught in Research Methods and Statistics courses. Take, for example, data protection: psychologists are trained on how to anonymize participants. Research methods and statistics modules also teach the design of experiments, how to collect data for both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and how to use statistical computer programs for data analysis.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is typically considered to be a foundation credit in MA psychology courses and is also relevant to counseling psychologists. Courses like this cover the interaction between biological and environmental factors that influence human behavior (i.e., nature versus nurture). Students learn about emotional, social, and cognitive development and how age affects the brain and behavior. These courses consider the social and cultural influences to allow counselors to be more sensitive to their clients' needs.

There are many institutes of higher learning in Hawaii, but few specifically offer accredited programs for psychology at the graduate level. Because these courses have been verified by 3rd parties to ensure that they meet certain requirements, they share some core elements to their curriculum and are able to prepare students for careers in counseling, research, or related fields.