What Are the Different Types of Psychology Degrees?

Considering a master's in psychology? Learn more about psychology concentrations and career paths to find the right psychology degree to reach your goals.
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Updated on March 29, 2023
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  • A psychology concentration trains you for specific career paths after graduation.
  • Popular specializations include behavioral, clinical, and counseling psychology.
  • Other areas of psychology include forensic, school, and sports psychology.
  • Your interests and career goals can help you choose between psychology fields.

You can earn a master's degree in more than a dozen different fields of psychology. But what psychology specialization is right for you?

Your concentration will shape your education and your psychology career prospects. A counseling psychology specialization can lead to jobs like mental health counselor. If you want to work in educational settings, study educational psychology or school psychology.

Forensic psychology leads to careers in the justice system, while sports psychology prepares you to work with athletes. Learn more about psychology fields to choose the best concentration for your interests and career goals.

9 Fields of Psychology to Consider for Your Career

Specialize your master's degree by choosing from 9 popular psychology concentrations. Each concentration prepares you for a focused career path after graduation.

Common Psychology Degrees
Degree What Is It?
Behavioral Psychology Behavioral psychology focuses on mental health disorders. You will learn to diagnose and treat issues like anxiety and depression. The concentration also emphasizes counseling treatments.
Child and Adolescent Psychology Learn about child development and its connection to psychology. In addition to understanding developmental change from birth through adolescence, you will learn how to work with children and families.
Clinical Psychology Explore clinical psychology research while learning how to apply it in practice. This psychology specialization emphasizes clinical assessment and psychotherapy models and practice.
Counseling Psychology A counseling psychology concentration focuses on the assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders. You will explore counseling methods and treatment planning.
Educational Psychology Educational psychology explores the science of learning. You will study human development, learning theory, and educational psychology research. The concentration also applies psychology principles to instructional design.
Forensic Psychology Apply psychology to the justice system with a forensic psychology concentration. You will explore criminology, the social aspects of justice, and applications of psychology in legal settings.
Health Psychology Health psychology explores the relationship between human behavior and physical health. The concentration may cover rehabilitation psychology, health behavior and performance, and psychophysiology.
Organizational Psychology Learn how people interact in workplace settings. You'll examine organizational behavior, motivating teams, and social psychology. The concentration also covers topics like talent development and workplace culture.
Sports Psychology During a sports psychology concentration, you will explore the connection between psychology and athletic performance, including rehabilitation. Learn about the connection between the mind and physical performance while also examining intervention methods.

What Can I Do With My Psychology Degree?

With a psychology degree, you can work in multiple fields of psychology. Learn more about the different career paths you can take with your psychology specialization.

1. Behavioral Psychology

A behavioral psychology specialization prepares you for counseling and social services careers. You can work as a mental health counselor, behavioral disorder counselor, or substance abuse counselor.

Other common behavior psychology career paths include social worker, behavior specialist, or marriage and family therapist. Choose a practicum placement related to your career goals to specialize further.

2. Child and Adolescent Psychology

One of the most popular psychology areas, child and adolescent psychology leads to career paths in child welfare, social services, or education.

Family counselors and behavioral disorder counselors who work with children also benefit from this degree. You can also work as a developmental psychologist, though that career path typically requires a doctorate.

3. Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat clients. With a master's degree, you can work as a marriage and family therapist or a clinical counselor. You can also become a mental health counselor or a behavioral disorder counselor.

A career as a clinical psychologist requires a doctorate. A master's degree can prepare you for doctoral programs.

4. Counseling Psychology

Because of its counseling and therapeutic training, a counseling psychology degree leads to diverse counseling careers.

With a master's degree, you can work as a marriage and family counselor, clinical counselor, mental health counselor, or behavioral disorder counselor. You can also specialize in substance abuse or focus on social work careers.

5. Educational Psychology

With a degree in educational psychology, you can work as an education researcher, school psychologist, or educational consultant. In these roles, you'll apply your knowledge of learning theory and instructional methods.

Other career paths include behavioral disorder counselor and instructional coordinator. The concentration's focus on quantitative and qualitative research also prepares graduates for doctoral-level study.

6. Forensic Psychology

With a forensic psychology specialization, you can work in the criminal justice system. Common forensic science career paths include jury consultant, forensic social worker, victim advocate or criminologist.

You can also research criminal activity and the legal and correctional systems. Forensic psychologists typically need a doctorate and can serve as expert witnesses.

7. Health Psychology

Several fields investigate the connection between psychology and physical health. With a health psychology concentration, you can work in health services as a health researcher, rehabilitation specialist, or community health advocate.

A career as a health psychologist generally requires a doctorate. Health psychologists often work in clinical and research settings.

8. Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Industrial-organizational psychologists can enter the field with a master's degree. These psychologists examine employee morale, work styles, productivity, and other issues that affect workplaces.

Industrial-organizational psychologists may also participate in hiring and training. Other industrial-organizational psychology career paths include human resources, training and development, and business consulting.

9. Sports Psychology

With a sports psychology specialization, you can work in sports as a performance psychologist, mental performance consultant, or rehabilitation counselor. The degree also leads to opportunities as a personal trainer or mental performance coach.

Athletic teams hire sports psychology staff to improve performance, prevent injuries, and rehabilitate injured athletes.

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