Students who pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology from any school of psychology will receive a basic overview of the different psychological disciplines, from experimental psychology to social psychology to abnormal psychology. If they decide to pursue a higher degree, students can choose to specialize in one of these areas where they can focus their efforts.
Students interested in psychology will start with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Some junior colleges may offer a two year Associate of Arts in Psychology, but for a rewarding psychology career, further education will usually be needed and can be earned from any top psychology school. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology typically takes four years to complete and involves the learning of the different approaches to psychology, the major theories and their originators, the history of the discipline and its various applications. Students may then move on to a master's degree or doctoral degree in psychology or a related field.
Students who have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology may choose to pursue a Master of Arts in Psychology, either for its own sake or as a precursor to a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Psychology. Students looking for a terminal masters degree in psychology may instead choose to pursue a Masters of Social Work (MSW). Other students may decide to use their psychology background in medical school. Upon graduation, they may decide to do their residency in mental health and become psychiatrists.
Master Of Arts In Psychology
A Master of Arts degree is a two-year program that often leads to a doctoral program in psychology. However, those who do not pursue the doctoral degree will find that there are many jobs in the psychological field that they are qualified for, including work as a psychology assistant or counselor in a group home or special education setting.
Doctor Of Psychology
The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) is distinct from the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) in that the Ph.D. tends to be more heavily research oriented. While both degrees qualify one for clinical work, students who plan to focus mainly on treatment of patients through various forms of psychological therapy may wish to skip some of the rigorous research requirements for the Ph.D. and opt for the Psy.D. instead.
Choosing A Degree
Anyone who is curious about the workings of the human mind and the underpinnings of behavior will want to study psychology. Psychotherapists use their knowledge about the human mind to help suffering individuals find comfort and happiness in their lives. Experimental psychologists use their studies of the mind to help society learn how to cope with certain situations, how to communicate and how to understand themselves and each other. Cognitive behavioral psychologists help retrain the mind to think in more positive ways and break the habit of faulty, self-sabotaging behaviors.
For those who have earned a psychology degree, there are many career opportunities in psychology, and the one, chosen will depend on the type of psychology they study. Industrial psychologists can be hired as consultants to help improve worker productivity. Psychoanalysts treat patients who are suffering from serious neuroses in private therapy sessions. Behavioral and cognitive behavioral psychologists may be found in the mental health wing of a hospital ward helping distressed patience learn and re-learn effective coping mechanisms for normal functioning. Experimental psychologists may be found in private and public research laboratories. A child psychology degree will also help one specialize in the area of