Meeting the mental health needs of any community is a challenge, given the funding issues and staffing shortages that commonly plague this field. When you look at the state of North Carolina, however, you see that some states have more difficulties than others. North Carolina is largely populated with rural and remote communities that have a very little access to primary care, much less mental health care.
In response to this problem, the state government has created the Governor's Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use (WRAL, 2015). Specific problems addressed by this task force include mental health service access in rural communities and affordability in mental health.
Psychology is known as being a flexible field. In this career field, you may work with children, adults, people with specific diagnoses, families, and businesses. If you're interested in opportunities in this industry, keep reading to find out more about conventional and online Master's degree programs in North Carolina.
What Can You Expect from Psychology Master's Programs in North Carolina?
Before jumping into a graduate psychology program, spend some time getting familiar with all of the subfields in this area of study. Psychology has evolved quite a bit in the last decade, giving students like you the chance to delve into diverse areas of concentration. For example, options in your area may include counseling psychology, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, and experimental psychology.
Most programs run for approximately two years. During your two years, you should develop a diverse set of skills and a wide knowledge base. If you choose to study, for example, forensic psychology, your curriculum may include classes like Ethics in Forensic Psychology, Evaluating Competency to Stand Trial, Psychopathology, Special Topics in Forensic Psychology, and Forensic Interviewing Techniques.
Practical experience is a given in this area of study, but there are many ways to meet this requirement. If you choose a field like clinical or counseling psychology, you can expect to complete your work hours by working with patients under the supervision of a licensed professional. If you go into a more academic specialty like biological psychology, you may complete your training in a laboratory setting. If you want to go into teaching or policy, you may create a thesis or capstone project.
In North Carolina, you may look into financial aid opportunities through your school, government agencies, and groups like the North Carolina School Counselor Association.
North Carolina psychology master's programs to consider:
- Appalachian State University is located in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. Its goal is to offer the sense of community provided by a small college while excelling as a large research university. It offers a Master of Arts in psychology.
- The University of North Carolina at Wilmington offers a variety of Master of Arts degrees in psychology. Some of the prominent areas of study include applied behavior analysis, general psychology, and substance abuse treatment.
- Western Carolina University, located in Cullowhee, was founded in 1889 to bring educational opportunities to the Western part of the state. It is currently responsible for educating 9,000 students. Its multiple Master of Arts programs in psychology include clinical and experimental psychology.
Working with Your Master's Degree in Psychology in North Carolina
In general, the demand for graduate-level psychology professionals is high in North Carolina. Rural areas are notoriously underserved, so you may have even more opportunities if you are willing to work in a rural or remote community. Professionals who dedicate several years of their career to these areas may even qualify for special loan forgiveness programs.
By the year 2022, O*Net anticipates a 16% increase in clinical psychology jobs in North Carolina (2015). Psychology teachers may experience a 13% growth in job openings during this time (O*Net, 2015). Salaries vary considerably between career paths. Clinical psychologists earn an average income of $55,100 per year in North Carolina, while psychology teachers bring in an average of $63,500 per year (O*Net, 2015).
Studying psychology can be professionally rewarding for you, but it can also make a big difference to the people of North Carolina. By reaching those with little access to mental health services, you can ensure that people in your community get the help they need. Request information from Master's degree programs in psychology in North Carolina today.