How Can You Specialize a Master’s in Psychology Degree?

Staff picture
Updated August 4, 2020

The number of jobs open to you will increase when you finish your graduate degree, but before starting your program, you might want to know how you can specialize a Master's in Psychology degree. Most schools today no longer offer a general psychology degree or a generic program. Most schools now want students to choose a specific area of psychology that interests them and applies to their future careers. Whether you want to work with private clients, families or with government agents, you can specialize your degree plan.

School Psychology

Those who specialize a Master's in Psychology degree with a school psychology focus understand the growing need for school counselors. As the rate of bullying, teenage pregnancy and teen suicide increases across the country, schools realize that they need workers who can talk with students about the problems they face both at home and at school. As a school counselor, you might talk with students about their career goals and offer help and support with college applications and choosing the right classes in high school. You'll also talk with students before and after incidents occur to make them realize the penalties associated with their actions.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Industrial-organizational psychology, also known as I-O psychology is a branch that deals specifically with large companies and organizations. Those working in the field often help the human resources departments to choose the right candidates and interview potential workers. They also help those companies and organizations develop a strong training program that ensures workers understand the tasks associated with their jobs and how to perform their duties. Ergonomics is another branch of I-O psychology. This specialty deals with how to create safe and healthy workplaces. Those working in this area often help develop new products, including chairs, mice and keyboards that reduce strain on workers.

Marriage and Family Counseling

Marriage and family counseling is a branch of psychology that focuses on providing counseling to couples, families and others in need. Graduate programs require that you spend some time working at a counseling center and documenting your experiences before graduation. Counselors often work in private settings, at community centers and in hospitals. They help people understand the consequences of their actions and help families come together. You might work with clients trying to recover after his or her spouse cheated, or you might work with kids accused of vandalism and other crimes.

Forensic Psychology

When you decide to specialize a Master's in Psychology degree, you might settle on forensic psychology. Forensic psychology experts often work with law enforcement and government agencies after a crime occurs. The local police department might bring you in to talk to a potential criminal, or you might work with a government agency to track the location of a criminal. Many forensic specialists also work in prisons and jails, helping corrections officer stay safe and deal with any problems they have on the job. According to the American Board of Professional Psychology, those working in the field must pass the ABPP licensing examination before working in the field.

Related Resource: Part-time MBA

Many people assume that since psychology focuses on the behavior and actions of people that most working in the field are counselors. As most programs now let you specialize a Master's in Psychology degree, you can choose a career path that lets you focus on working with criminals, researching different topics or working with large organizations.

Latest Posts