Masters in Psychology - Psychology is an immensely popular field of study across the world and is a broad domain with numerous areas of specialization and career opportunities. Essentially, psychology is the scientific study of the inner workings of the human mind and its functions. The global demand for psychologists is staggeringly increasing with new sub-areas of research having cropped up in the past few years. The multi-faceted domain of psychology is therefore not only an interesting area of study for individuals interested in the human mind and its influence on behavior but is also a viable domain for those who want to embrace a research based career filled with progressive learning and discovery each day. Apart from the research oriented line of psychology graduates, psychology in practice is an area which is in high demand around the world and is closely linked to the study of clinical psychology.
Masters in Psychology: Who is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is an individual specialized in the domain of psychology. In modern times, a psychologist is often a term linked to practicing psychologists who are employed in various therapeutic roles practicing in school, counseling or clinical settings. Psychologists are therefore, involved in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of mental health problems. In other settings, psychologists are associated with research and education associated with understanding problems which arise in the various sub-domains associated with human activity and behavior as well as solving such problems. Psychologists are employed in nearly every professional strata from the industrial and educational setting, health, forensics, law and even media.
Masters in Psychology: Eligibility
In order to be eligible for admission to some of the best postgraduate programs in psychology around the world, candidates do not necessarily have to be a graduate in psychology. Most postgraduate programs are open to candidates from any background as long as they have an inherent interest in psychology and the desire to build a career in the same.
The following eligibility requirements should be met in order to gain admission to a postgraduate program in psychology:
The candidate should be familiar with college-level mathematics and statistics in order to juggle the heavily quantitative nature of the program.
The candidate should have some experience with research and/or social work, although it is not necessary for admission. Candidates who have volunteered or worked in a psychology research lab will have an edge in the admissions process.
The candidate must have an undergraduate qualification which is equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in BTech or BEng. Candidates with a three-year bachelor’s qualification in arts, science, commerce and law are also eligible to apply.
Candidates must display the required English language proficiency for admission to a masters in psychology. English language proficiency requirements can be satisfied using test scores from various English language proficiency tests including:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
TOEFL test scores are generally valid in all universities in the United states and Canada, where other test scores may not be valid. IELTS and CAE scores, on the other hand, are more popular for candidates applying to universities in the UK and Europe. Generally, TOEFL and IELTS scores are the most widely accepted around the world.
The English language proficiency test scores required for admission to a masters in psychology at some of the top universities in the world are given below.
English Language Proficiency Test Scores for a Masters in Psychology
English language proficiency test
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
University of California, Berkeley
University College London
New York University
University of British Columbia
The University of Melbourne
University of Amsterdam
Grade A and B+
Masters in Psychology: Admission Requirements
In order to apply for a masters in psychology in a university abroad, a number of application requirements must be met. These include a variety of supporting documents and related academic and professional records as well as scores from required standardized tests.
The following are the admission requirements for a masters in psychology:
Statement of purpose (SOP): The statement of purpose (or personal statement in some universities) is a one to two-page essay focusing on the candidate’s motivation behind pursuing a masters in psychology and prospective career goals and aims after the program. It also specifies the candidate’s reason for selecting the particular university and program and highlights academic and professional instances or import associated with the prospective program.
GRE scores: Generally, most programs for a masters in psychology do not require GRE scores for admission and these scores are not used for the application selection process. Nevertheless, some universities require scores from the GRE general standardized test as a part of their graduate admissions policy. Additionally, for candidates without a background in Psychology, the GRE subject test in psychology is highly beneficial in the application consideration process as it displays the candidate’s depth of knowledge in the domain.
Letter of recommendation (LOR): For admission to any masters in psychology program, universities usually require three or two letters of recommendation from associated professional or academic referees. Personalized LORs with specific examples hold more weight during application evaluation.
Resume or Curriculum Vitae: The candidate’s resume should focus on academic and professional highlights as well as other records (inclusive of extra and co-curricular achievements).
Publications: Although publications are not necessary for admission, a publication in a related field would give the candidate an upper edge for admission to a masters in psychology.
Masters in Psychology: Top Universities
As psychology is a highly research-based domain, many universities and colleges offer the masters in psychology in conjunction with a doctorate in psychology making the entire collective program four to six years in duration. Many universities do not offer a masters in psychology and instead only offer a doctorate program in psychology. The top universities in the world which offer a masters in psychology according to the QS world and subject rankings in psychology are given below along with program duration.
Top Universities for a Masters in Psychology
MA in Psychology
MPhil in Biological Science (Psychology)
MSc in Psychological Research
MSc by Research (MRes) in Experimental Psychology
MSc in Psychological Sciences
(procession to PhD)
MA in Psychology (procession to PhD)
Master of Psychology
Master of Applied Psychology
Research Masters in Psychology (MSc)
Some universities do not offer a masters in psychology program and instead only offer an intensive doctorate or PhD program in psychology. The top universities for a PhD in psychology without a masters in psychology are given below along with their world and subject ranking in psychology.
Top PhD programs in Psychology
University of California, Los Angeles
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
Masters in Psychology: Fees and Funding
Tuition for a masters in psychology generally varies with the country and university of application. For most programs which have a one year or two year duration, the tuition is generally around USD $10,000 - $15,000 per year for international students. The tuition in many European nations, like Germany and Netherlands is lower than the expected tuition in the United States or the UK. In order to help prospective masters in psychology students under the fee structures in different countries, the program fees for some of the top universities in the world are given below:
Tuition for a Masters in Psychology
Program Tuition Fee
AUD $53,045 - $57,465
Most of the masters in psychology programs are open to university-wide scholarships offered by the university of application. Some universities also offer Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships in conjunction to graduate programs which cover the applicant’s tuition and additionally provide a stipend to meet living expenses such as Stanford University. Various other funding options are available especially for PhD programs and doctorate programs in conjunction with a masters in psychology. Some notable scholarships and awards which prospective applicants can look into for the top universities are:
Notable Scholarships for a Masters in Psychology
Oxford-Indira Gandhi graduate scholarship
GREAT-UCL India Scholarship
Master’s Award for Academic Achievement
Graduate Entrance Scholarship
Graduate Research Scholarships
Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship
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