Overview of Master's in Psychology Degree Programs in South Dakota
Mental health is an issue that has recently received attention at the federal, state, and local levels. Although professionals across many industries agree that mental health services are an important part of social services, it's difficult to put in place psychiatry services across the country while still paying attention to the unique needs of different states and communities.
South Dakota, for example, has many diverse community needs that can get overlooked in a one-size-fits-all approach. South Dakota has more reservations than any other state in the country, a fact that demands cultural sensitivity from mental health service providers. Furthermore, recent reports indicate that South Dakota must do more work to meet the counseling and psychiatric needs of its prisoners (Argus Leader, 2015).
To address these topics, institutions across the state will need a solid base of psychology experts and professionals, including natives that are prepared to work in assisting communities in maintaining and improving mental health services.
If you have a Bachelor's degree and you're considering a career in social services, keep reading to find out more about Master's in psychology schools in South Dakota.
What Can You Expect from Psychology Master's Programs in South Dakota?
Although most psychology graduate students attend school full-time, earning a Master's degree in psychology is an entirely different experience from earning an undergraduate degree. Attending school full-time means taking nine credits per semester, and many graduate students hold full-time positions as research assistants or teaching assistants.
These positions help you gain practical experience in your field while earning a monthly stipend and saving money on your tuition. Most departments have a limited number of positions available, so it's important to make sure that you stand out when you apply for admission.
It's likely that choosing a psychology specialty is one of the biggest choices you'll make in your educational career. The future of your career, the research you participate in, and the connections you build are all decided by your degree. Popular options include social psychology, child psychology, and counseling psychology. In a specialty like social psychology, you may take classes like Stress and Trauma, Social Stigma, Issues in Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Intergroup Relations.
While looking into different schools, find out what type of practical experience each school offers. There's quite a bit of difference between a thesis, an internship, a clinical rotation, and a capstone project. Your school should prepare you for whichever one best suits your career goals.
In addition to federal and state government financial aid programs, be sure to look into opportunities at local institutions like the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board.
Working With Your Master's Degree in Psychology in South Dakota
Across different career paths in South Dakota, the job outlook is fairly stable for psychology graduates. From 2012 through 2022, demand for mental health social workers is expected to increase 9% in South Dakota (O*Net, 2015). During this time frame, the statewide need for clinical psychologists is expected to swell 7% (O*Net, 2015).
As a general rule, South Dakota salaries are in line with national averages. Those who work in mental health social work bring in an average of $35,700 per year (O*Net, 2015). In the field of clinical psychology, the average salary is $68,400 per year (O*Net, 2015).
Don't forget to address any licensure requirements that may relate to the career path you choose. Before you can begin working independently as a therapist or counselor, for example, you must complete a specific amount of supervised experience and submit documentation.
Higher education is a goal that can help you find personal and professional fulfillment. Request information from Master's degree in psychology programs in South Dakota now.
Here are some South Dakota psychology master's programs to consider:
Augustana College in Sioux Falls is a private school closely affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It offers a Master of Arts in psychology.
The University of South Dakota in Vermillion is the only public liberal arts university located in South Dakota. It offers several Master of Arts programs in both psychology and counseling.
North State University in Aberdeen and South Dakota State University in Brookings offer Master of Science in counseling degrees.