This article provides an overview of the masters in applied research degree program, some of the subject matters and courses that the program covers, and why this particular degree could be excellent for your personal career advancement. It also presents a high-quality masters in applied research that is available online.
What Is a Masters in Applied Research?
Graduate studies in the field of applied research usually focus on applied clinical psychology. As a result, the degree programs often require hands-on experiences, such as internships, in clinical settings, whereby students receive professional supervision. It is also common for programs to require students to submit a thesis.
The masters in applied research is focused on both family- and individual-oriented topics, ensuring that graduates are ready to take on a wealth of different concerns affecting personal lives. Once the degree has been completed, students can become licensed as counselors, or they can continue their studies and complete a doctorate degree, enabling them to become licensed as psychologists.
It usually takes two years to complete this master’s degree. Schools can set their own admission requirements, although a bachelor’s degree in a social science, preferably counseling or psychology, is usually requested. GRE scores are also usually needed. Some schools also offer specialization options, such as drug and alcohol support, family therapy, or marriage counseling.
Most of the graduates of the masters in applied research program go on to study clinical psychology at the PhD level, meaning they learn how to research psychological conditions and how those should be treated. Often, they will focus on specific mental health challenges, whether they are chronic mental illnesses or just temporary crises. Specifically, the master’s degree will teach them how to evaluate the personal problems that people are experiencing, including their behavioral disorders, and help them overcome a range of emotional traumas. They also learn how to assess the people they work with, and come up with treatment plans. Often, they work not just with individuals, but also with groups, couples, or even entire families.
It is common for them to conduct research on everyday stress, substance abuse, divorce, and death in particular. They learn therapeutic techniques and how to test these for their effectiveness. While different schools can set their own curriculum, the following topics are often as part of the core curriculum:
- Research and Statistics
- Professional Ethics
- Child and Adolescent Therapy
- Abnormal Psychology
- Family Counseling
- Human Sexuality
Why Earn a Masters in Applied Research?
If you want to work in any form of counseling, you will require state licensure. Usually, a master’s degree is required for licensure as a counselor, whereas a doctorate is required for licensure as a psychologist. Hence, by obtaining a masters in applied research, you have the opportunity to either seek counseling licensure, or to go on to get a doctorate degree and then get licensed as a psychologist.
For both types of licensure, a clinical practicum is generally required. Most degree programs will include an internship or some other form of supervised work experience, which means most of those requirements are already met. Furthermore, the degree prepares students to take part in the relevant state examinations.
It is also possible to complete any of 14 different voluntary certifications made available through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). However, to obtain any of those certifications (including clinical child and adolescent psychology, couple and family psychology, or clinical psychology for instance), a doctorate degree is required. Naturally, completing the master’s in applied research can help significantly towards that.
Those who do not wish to study towards a doctorate degree, however, can also take on careers in a variety of other psychological specializations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists had a median salary of $73,270 per year as of May 2016.
Online Option for Masters in Applied Research
Clearly, earning a masters in applied research is a great way to advance your career. You can choose to continue your educational journey by obtaining a doctorate degree and becoming licensed as a psychologist, or you can seek licensure as a counselor or therapist at the master’s degree level. Either way, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to make a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of others, something to take a great deal of pride in.
- Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists. (2017, Mar. 31). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm
- American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.abpp.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3285