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Programs for Psychology
Psychology is a vast field with a plethora of educational and career applications. In addition to helping patients improve their communications skills, a speech-language pathologist can also be responsible for helping their patients cope with their communication disorder. Given the psychological effects a communication disorder can have on an individual, some speech pathologists (SPs) earn a degree in this field to better serve their patients. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology can teach you how to apply therapeutic activities and exercises to help the individual overcome or lessen a communication disorder or disability.
To work in many of the careers specific to psychology, you will need at least a master’s degree. However, SPs can benefit from an undergraduate degree or minor in psychology, as long as they continue on in their speech pathology degree programs.
Bachelor’s in Psychology
Receiving your bachelor’s in psychology takes about four years, and it may take more or less time depending on the individual program and if you are able to be a full- or part-time student. An undergraduate psychology degree program will give you a basic understanding of the main theoretical foundations of psychology, and introduce you to a variety of fields of psychology including abnormal, social, and cognitive psychology.
In a psychology bachelor’s degree program, you can expect to take courses in the following subjects:
- Introduction to Psychology
- Research Methods
- Child Development
- Theories of Personality
Master’s in Psychology
A master’s in psychology can take around two years to complete, and will prepare you to work in a clinical environment as a counselor or to continue your studies onto the doctoral level to become a psychologist. In this graduate program you will be able to learn more about the concepts you were introduced to during your psychology undergraduate degree. You will be able to focus your degree on a specific sub-field of psychology such as:
- Educational and School Psychology
- Behavioral Sciences
- Business Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
In a master’s level program, you may also need to complete a thesis and a year long internship in your intended field of psychology.
Doctorate in Psychology
This is the highest degree level that you can earn in psychology, and can take you between 3-6 years to complete. It can take you between 3-4 years to complete if you are just in a doctoral program, and 5-6 years to complete if you are in a master’s-doctoral hybrid program. There are two doctoral options to pursue, a PsyD and a PhD. A PsyD is a clinical psychology degree that gives you further training in therapy and working with patients, whereas a PhD will provide you with more of a foundation to expand the field of psychology through scientific research.
You will not have as many classes in a classroom as you did at the undergraduate and graduate level. The classes you do have can be tailored to your chosen field of psychology, and you may need to complete up to three years of practicum experience, a dissertation, and a post-doctoral internship.
Career Opportunities with a Psychology Degree
Depending on your level of education and professional experience, you can work as a:
- Speech Pathologist: A speech pathologist helps patients of all ages to overcome communication and speech disorders. They identify treatment options and communicate with patients to evaluate their levels of speech or language difficulty. They also assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication disorders in patients. A speech pathologist can have a bachelor’s degree or minor in psychology, as long as they continue their education is a communication science disorder-related field.
- Counselor: A counselor can help patients find ways to cope with a variety of different emotional issues and mental illnesses. They can work with in schools (K-12), universities, hospitals, correctional facilities, and private practices, and they are required to have a master’s degree in psychology.
- Psychologist: A psychologist is similar to a counselor, except they receive more extensive training and are able to go into more specialized fields like research and neuropsychology. The largest difference between a psychologist and a counselor is that a psychologist needs a doctoral degree and they are able to hold leadership positions, and administer and score intellectual and personality diagnostic tests.
My Earning Potential
Due to greater awareness around the benefits of mental health services in an educational environment and more people in general seeking psychological services, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), expects clinical, counseling, and school psychology professions to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for social scientists and all other occupations. The BLS also reported that the mean annual wage of psychologists was $76,040 in May of 2015. Your salary potential is affected by location, years of experience, level of education, field of psychology, and type of employer.
The BLS lists the following industries as having the highest levels of employment in the field of psychology in 2015:
- Elementary and Secondary Schools
- Offices of Other Health Practitioners
- Individual and Family Services
- Outpatient Care Centers
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Psychologists can also work in a variety of other industries including substance abuse hospitals, educational support services, and child day care services.
- Ashford University — BA: Psychology
- Grand Canyon University — BS: Psychology
- Grand Canyon University — MS: Psychology
- Kaplan University — MS: Psychology
- Liberty University — BS: Psychology
- Northcentral University — MA in Psychology
- Saint Leo University — BA in Psychology
A psychology degree can prepare you for a variety of fields, including speech pathology. Look around our website to learn more about speech-language pathology degrees and careers.