With the critical thinking skills you've gained from your undergraduate education and your passion for helping people, you may be ready to take on a new educational challenge. The field of psychology is one of the largest areas of study in the United States, and it can prepare you for a wide variety of career paths.
Psychology is a valuable field anywhere in the United States, but it is particularly beneficial in Montana. Experts note that Montana has an extreme shortage of mental health care services, with most patients going to long-term care facilities even if their needs could be met at an outpatient facility (Montana Standard, 2015). Part of addressing this challenge is increasing the amount of mental health care professionals in Montana, particularly in rural and remote areas.
Whether you want to use your psychology knowledge to work with businesses, children, addicts, or those with mental health issues, a Master's degree in psychology is the first step. Keep reading to discover more about psychology Master's degree programs in Montana.
What Can You Expect from Psychology Master's Programs in Montana?
Psychology is a fairly flexible degree, so you may be qualified to enroll in a graduate-level program even if you have not studied psychology extensively. As is the case with any Master's degree program, you must typically have a Bachelor's degree before you begin your courses. However, a Bachelor's degree in any field of study is usually acceptable for most graduate psychology programs.
In addition, you must be able to narrow down your degree choices and select a field of study that fits in with your long-term goals. For example, you may choose industrial/organizational psychology, which focuses on how psychology can be used in business settings. Other popular options in Montana include counseling psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology.
Since programs in this area are so diverse, you can expect curriculum requirements to be different from program to program. In an industrial/organizational psychology program, you may take classes like Business of Evaluation, Statistical Methods at Work, Research Methods at Work, Managing Strategic Organizational Change, and Legal Issues Facing Organizations. As you build your knowledge, you may put it to work at local businesses.
Once you've decided on an area of study, you can begin applying for financial aid. Many scholarships are set aside for those who want to use their psychology degree in a clinical setting. Funds are available through the South Central Montana Area Health Education Center.
Some of the schools in Montana offering graduate programs in psychology are:
- Montana State University: Located in Bozeman, this state school offers a Master of Science in Psychological Sciences with several potential concentrations such as cognitive psychology, health, learning, physiological psychology, and social psychology.
- University of Great Falls: A local university in the city of Great Falls, this school provides a Master of Science in Counseling program for students who are looking for careers as professional counselors in a variety of settings. The program may be a licensure track for those wanting certification as licensed clinical professional counselors in the state of Montana.
- The University of Montana: Located in the city of Missoula, this public university offers Master of Arts degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. The degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling can prepare students to work in a variety of mental healthcare environments. The master's degree in school counseling, may prepare graduates for work counseling students in an educational setting.
Working with Your Master's Degree in Psychology in Montana
After you graduate and meet any licensing requirements in your career path, you can begin working. By the time you graduate, you should have a strong understanding of your options and potential work settings.
If you focus on counseling or clinical work as a graduate student, you may choose to go into clinical psychology. Clinical psychologists in Montana earn an average salary of $53,300 per year (O*Net, 2015). By the year 2022, job openings in this field are expected to increase 4% (O*Net, 2015).
Another career path that is seeing some growth in Montana is recreational therapy. Between 2012 and 2022, demand for recreational therapists may increase 11% in Montana (O*Net, 2015). The average salary for a recreational therapist in Montana is $37,800 per year (O*Net, 2015).
Are you ready to use your education to improve mental health services in Montana? Find out what the next step is by contacting Master's degree programs in psychology in Montana.