Abnormal Psychology Major: Information and Requirements
Abnormal psychology concerns the study of mental and emotional disorders that affect behavior and moods. While colleges and universities typically do not offer an abnormal psychology major, courses in abnormal psychology are common in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in psychology. However, some Ph.D. programs allow students to concentrate in abnormal psychology.
Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
Bachelor's degree programs in psychology provide students with an understanding of the scientific theories and principles of the field, with students often delving into many sub-disciplines, such as abnormal psychology. Facets of psychological study that are covered in these programs include social behavior, sensory perception and memory.
A key component of these programs is training students in the research methods employed by psychologists. Students often progress in their studies from developing reasoning skills to performing basic research projects. Psychology bachelor's degree programs are generally open to applicants with a high school diploma.
Psychology coursework typically progress from the study of general theory to more focused study of specializations and research techniques, through coursework that can include:
- Experimental psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Child psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Human sexuality
- Social psychology
Popular Career Options
While a doctoral degree is generally necessary for a career as a psychologist, graduates from psychology bachelor's degree programs still have many career possibilities. These options can include:
- Alcohol and drug counselor
- Psychiatric technician
- Case manager
- Career coach
Continuing Education Information
For students interested in progressing beyond entry-level careers in psychology, a graduate degree is required. A master's degree provides advancement opportunities and limited potential for some career fields, including industrial-organizational psychology. For most senior positions in psychology, including independent practice as a psychologist, a Ph.D. is required.
Master's Degree in Psychology
Some master's degree programs, such as Master of Science in Clinical Psychology, offer advanced coursework in abnormal psychology. These programs are available as stand-alone programs that train students to work in counseling and as Ph.D. track programs that prepare students who wish to become practicing psychologists.
Students typically take core classes that focus on different aspects of psychology, including ethics and diversity. Those on the clinical counseling track may have coursework that explores the different careers available and may have an internship. Ph.D. track students often focus on research techniques and advanced psychological theories and practices.
Admission requirements for bachelor's degree programs vary, but generally include a bachelor's degree, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and academic recommendations. Some programs require a pre-admissions test in a specific psychological subject.
Coursework is usually a combination of core and upper-level subjects. Areas of study can include:
- Counseling practices
- Psychological testing
Popular Career Options
Graduates of master's degree programs often continue in their educations to become practicing psychologists. However, those who don't wish to earn doctorate degrees have a variety of career options, although some may require state licensing or certification. Possible careers include:
- School counselor
- Family counselor
- Marriage counselor
Ph.D. in Psychology
Ph.D. programs in psychology prepare students for practice as a psychologist, as well as for careers in education and research. Students are often trained in advanced techniques of assessment, intervention and treatment. Psychology Ph.D. programs are typically divided into multiple concentration areas, with students studying primarily in an intended career field. Concentrations may include abnormal psychology, clinical psychology and child psychology.
Admission to psychology Ph.D. programs can be highly competitive. Prior coursework in psychology is often required, with many programs preferring applicants with a master's degree in psychology. In addition, applicants are judged on their grade point average, standardized test scores, prior work experience and recommendations.
Though concentration area affects what courses are pursued, students are prepared for advanced careers in psychology through the study of many common subjects, such as:
- Assessment techniques
- Research methods in psychology
- Ethical issues in psychology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 170,000 psychologists were employed in 2008 (www.bls.gov). Between 2008 and 2018, this number was expected to grow 12%, with the best opportunities for those with a specialized doctoral degree from a top university. As of May 2008, median annual wages were $64,140 for counseling, clinical and school psychologists.
Continuing Education Information
Though specific requirement vary by state, psychologists working in private or group practices must be certified or licensed. Licensing is often limited to an area of specialization, determined through education and experience. Licensing typically requires completing a combination of an internship and professional experience, earning a Ph.D. and passing a state-administered examination.
Related to Abnormal Psychology Major: Information and Requirements
- Recently Updated
Have you ever wondered what taking an online college course might be like? So did we, so we took one! But the course...
Well, it's all come down to this. The studying is done, the practice test is complete and the lessons are finished....
Things are coming down to the home stretch now. Time to step up the studying and really make these last lessons count!...
For the last few weeks, we've been taking advantage of free college course material online thanks to the Open Course...
- Psychiatrist: Overview of This Psychology Profession
- Learn Psychology in the Blogosphere: Top 10 Psychology Blogs
- Top Ranked Psychology and Counseling Degrees - Honolulu, HI
- Delaware (DE): University and College System
- Best Degree Programs in Business Marketing - Jersey City, NJ
- Top Network Systems Administration Degree Program - Long Beach, CA
- Top University with Human Resource Management Degree Programs - Phoenix, AZ