Master's Degree in Experimental Psychology

A master's degree in experimental psychology will provide students with the knowledge needed to attain and excel in careers researching and treating psychological issues. Schools offering Community Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for a Master's Degree in Experimental Psychology

A 2-year master's degree program in experimental psychology prepares students for careers studying the human mind and its effect on behavior. Much of the required curriculum is weighted towards research to better prepare students for working in labs and academic settings; however, a significant amount of advanced learning is offered on current issues being studied and treated in the psychological field. Read on for descriptions of some of the classes that are often offered in an experimental psychology master's degree program.

Psychopharmacology

In many master's programs for experimental psychology, students will find courses in psychopharmacology. These are often classes that give an overview of psychoactive drugs, with emphasis being given to those used for psychotherapeutic purposes. Topics discussed will include the indicators for when a drug should be prescribed, the appropriate uses of psychoactive drugs, proper dosage, and how particular drugs affect specific disorders.

Social Psychology

Social psychology classes focus on the study of how social interaction shapes human behavior. During these courses, students will be exposed to theories, methods of research, and empirical data through reading contemporary literature and lectures on the subject. Some of the subject matter may include analysis of interpersonal relationships, social cognition, personality and how it develops, as well as emotion and social inference. In some social psychology classes, students may also be asked to apply what they learn to the various settings that may be part of their future careers.

Research Design and Analysis

Conducting research and analyzing data are significant aspects in the careers held by many graduates of experimental psychology master's degree programs. A research design and analysis class will typically be part of the core curriculum of one of these programs. These classes may present an overview of the methods and philosophies behind the ways psychological research and analysis are practiced, or learners could receive a more in-depth look at the subject. Themes touched upon will include basic, applied, and translational research; experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational designs; and the interpretation of outcomes.

Advanced Statistics for Psychology

A typical master's degree in experimental psychology program will have an advanced course in psychological statistics. An advanced statistics class will often offer practical study of the different methods available for analyzing statistical data. Some of these analytical techniques include the analysis of variance known as ANOVA, the analysis of covariance which is called ANCOVA, various nonparametric analysis methods, as well as bivariate and multiple regression. These classes also typically feature a hands-on aspect that asks students to create their own statistical models, which may require proficient knowledge of computer software programs.

Abnormal Psychology

Master's degree students in experimental psychology may come across abnormal psychology courses as part of their programs' curriculum. In these classes, learners will be given an in-depth study in the ways normal behavior and abnormal behavior differ from one another. As part of this study, they will learn the ways in which human behavior can be dysfunctional and come under stress. Students also get a look at how biology, society, and psychology can affect abnormal behavior throughout a person's life.

Psychological Assessment

A course in psychological assessment will often be offered to master's-level learners in experimental psychology. They will be presented with an overview, typically, of the most common techniques used to measure an individual's personality and intelligence against statistical norms. As part of their learning, students will usually be asked to conduct interviews, observe behaviors, and assess how well patients may adapt to their social environment. Through this hands-on work, master's students will also gain experience in writing professional psychological reports, as well as conducting psychological tests.

Experimental Psychology Master's Degree: Admission Requirements

To gain admittance into a master's degree program in experimental psychology, an applicant must supply the university with official transcripts from all previous colleges and universities attended. The transcripts should show that the student has achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA and received a bachelor's degree. The bachelor's does not need to be in psychology, but the candidate for admission must have 12 or more hours of coursework in psychology-related classes, including research and statistics. An applicant will also need to provide three letters of recommendation as well as a personal statement of purpose. Programs differ on GRE requirements. There are programs that require a minimum score, while others only require a GRE in cases where students have sub-standard academic credentials, and some do not require the GRE at all.

A master's degree in experimental psychology provides recipients with a solid foundation in contemporary psychological knowledge and modern research. A bachelor's in psychology is not required for admission, but previous psychology coursework is a must.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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