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    The best applied psychology master’s programs – 2024

    Jeremy Coppock
    Jeremy Coppock

    Jeremy is an education researcher, journalist, and editor for Degreechoices. He majored in Slavic languages and has a master’s degree in Eastern European studies.

    He has previous experience as a fraud analyst, in-house translator, teacher, and truck driver.

    The best applied psychology master's programs – 2024
    Contents

      The best applied psychology master’s programs are at University of Southern California, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach, and University of Wisconsin Stout.

      Despite the name, a master’s in applied psychology may have fewer practical applications than a master’s in clinical or counseling psychology.

      A master’s in applied psychology could lead to a career in organizational/industrial psychology or as a licensed behavior analyst.

      Applied psychology master’s students learn how to use the principles and methods of psychology to solve day-to-day problems in various contexts. Most programs have a highly practical focus.

      Applied psych programs often emphasize a specific setting where psychological principles can be “put to work.” This could be:

      • Organizational/industrial psychology
      • Behavior analysis
      • Psychology for teachers

      Importantly, not all applied psych programs lead to state licensure.

      Some of the programs listed below lead to corporate psychology jobs (which don’t require licensure); others allow you to become a Licensed Behavior Analyst – someone who diagnoses, counsels, and helps people on the autism spectrum or with similar disorders.

      Remember that licensing requirements – and minimum educational requirements for psychology jobs – vary from state to state.

      In this article, we reveal the best applied psychology master’s programs in the country – by value for money.

      Is a master’s in applied psychology worth it?

      Someone with a master’s in clinical, counseling, or applied psych earns $14,137 less per year than the national average for all master’s holders.

      Just 4 years after earning their degree, the average master’s in clinical, counseling, or applied psychology earns $55,263 per year. That’s 20.37% less than the average salary for a master’s degree holder.

      The average debt for a master’s student with these degrees is $60,007 at graduation.

      However, if you choose to pursue a doctorate, you could enjoy much higher earnings, with fully licensed clinical psychologists earning $80,000 – $90,000 a year according to the BLS.

      Master’s in applied psych vs. other types of psychology degrees

      Ironically, a master’s degree in practical psych has somewhat fewer practical applications than other types of psychology degrees.

      If you want to become a clinical psychologist or a therapist, you will need to get a doctorate, or PsyD. Usually, PsyD students have a master’s in clinical psych.

      Alternatively, if you want to stop your studies at your master’s, consider a degree in counseling psychology, which will prepare you to become a licensed professional counselor in some states. You could also study marriage and family counseling.

      Depending on the individual program, a master’s in applied psych is best for people who want to work in a corporate context or become a licensed behavior analyst (in certain states). Otherwise you can earn a master’s in applied behavior analysis.

      You can see a more detailed exploration of different types of psychology programs in our list of top applied psych schools below.

      The 20 best applied psychology master’s programs

      #1 in Applied Psychology

      University of Southern California

      Los Angeles, California

      Economic score 0.40

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $92,969

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.7

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $60,845

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      The University of Southern California, or USC, is a private research university in Los Angeles. Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in the state. 

      USC’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences offers a Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MAPP) that focuses on industrial/organizational psychology and psychological theories applied in a business context. 

      USC’s MAPP program is different than most organizational psychology programs in that it also focuses on consumer perspectives, or how to effectively engage with clients and customers through a psychological lens. 

      This program can be taken on campus (in 9 months, full time) or online (in 16 months, part time). 

      See more
      #2 in Applied Psychology
      Economic score 0.48

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $67,708

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.6

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $41,000

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Embry-Riddle is a private university in Daytona Beach, Florida that focuses on aerospace and aviation. 

      It offers a 36-credit Master of Science in Human Factors that trains students in applying knowledge from psychological science to industrial production. Students analyze human factors that can affect the design and development of systems, products, and environments.  

      Students learn to combine psychological principles with cognitive engineering fundamentals to improve human-machine interactions. 

      Alumni have gone on to work at Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, NASA, and other top-notch employers. This degree is also available online through the Worldwide & Online Campus. There is a thesis and a non-thesis option. 

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      #3 in Applied Psychology
      Economic score 0.49

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $58,029

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.5

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $29,768

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      UW-Stout is a relatively small public university in the college town of Menomonie, Wisconsin. It is known as Wisconsin’s “polytechnic university” due to its excellence in STEM education.  

      It offers an M.S. in Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology that takes 2 years to complete. This degree is offered on campus.  

      Using data-driven and evidence-based approaches, the M.S. in Applied/Organizational Psych teaches students to apply psychological methods to solve complex problems faced by organizations and corporations. There are many opportunities for experiential learning, and students are encouraged to complete a thesis or internship. 

      Graduates go on to become research specialists, data analysts, HR coordinators, business intelligence analysts, policy analysts, project managers, and much more. 

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      #4 in Applied Psychology

      Rider University

      Lawrenceville, New Jersey

      Economic score 0.56

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $64,078

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.6

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $39,630

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Rider University is a small private university in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, a suburb of Trenton. It was established in 1865 as a business school but has grown to include many programs and degrees. 

      Rider’s 2-year M.A. in Applied Psychology is a great fit for students who want to focus on the practical aspects of psychological sciences. This MA focuses on applied behavior analysis, a science about explaining, describing, predicting, and changing individual behavior.  

      Most commonly, degree holders work with individuals on the autism spectrum, although many also work in organizational and healthcare settings, helping people with addictions, feeding problems, or dementia. 

      Graduates are partially eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination after graduation.  

      See more
      #5 in Applied Psychology
      Economic score 0.76

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $52,702

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.8

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $44,555

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      This public university in Greeley, Colorado was founded in 1889 as a college for prospective teachers. 

      University of Northern Colorado offers an M.A. in Educational Psychology: Teaching Applications that is available 100% online. It also has a more traditional on-campus M.A. in Educational Psychology program.  

      Students of the Teaching Applications program learn how new research in psychological sciences can be applied in the classroom to create a more effective teaching environment. There are many opportunities for hands-on, real-world learning. 

      The program can be completed in 19 months. 

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      #6 in Applied Psychology

      Angelo State University

      San Angelo, Texas

      Economic score 0.89

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $45,446

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.7

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $33,057

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Angelo State is a public university in San Angelo, a mid-sized town in West Texas. The college has been growing rapidly and actively expanding its degree offerings. 

      Its M.S. in Applied Psychology is offered 100% online.  

      Students of this program learn to apply psychological theories to resolve real-world problems, setting them up to become leaders in human services agencies. There is also a certificate available for people who wish to teach psychology at the community-college level. 

      Examples of courses include applications of psychopathology, cognitive-behavior therapy, theories of personality, psychological assessment, and more. 

      See more
      #7 in Applied Psychology

      Tarleton State University

      Stephenville, Texas

      Economic score 0.95

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $46,279

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.8

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $36,864

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Another Texas college, Tarleton State is a public research university in Stephenville, about an hour-and-a-half drive southwest of Fort Worth. 

      Tarleton State offers a Master of Science in Applied Psychology that bills itself as “one of only 3 applied pre-Doctoral psychology master’s programs in Texas.” It is ideal for students who wish to pursue a PhD after they graduate. The course teaches students to apply psychological principles to solving real-world problems. 

      The program, which can be completed in 2 or 3 years, offers a thesis track for pre-doctoral students, an applied track that includes a hands-on project with a mentorship, and a teaching track for aspiring community college instructors. 

      This program is hybrid: it combines online and face-to-face learning. 

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      #8 in Applied Psychology

      Pacific University

      Forest Grove, Oregon

      Economic score 0.99

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $75,216

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 1.3

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $97,401

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Pacific University is a private university in Forest Grove, Oregon, a cozy town outside of Portland. It is nominally affiliated with the socially liberal United Church of Christ.   

      Pacific University’s Applied Clinical Psychology master’s program is devoted to the impact of cultural, biological, social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral factors on psychology. 

      The program prepares students to apply for doctoral programs in order to become clinical psychologists. Alternatively, they can become Qualified Mental Health Professionals or Licensed Professional Counselors in the state of Oregon.

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      #9 in Applied Psychology

      Long Island University

      Brookville, New York

      Economic score 1.06

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $77,965

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 1.2

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $96,745

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Long Island University, or LIU, is a private university with 2 campuses in Brooklyn and Brookville, New York. The latter campus is usually referred to as LIU Post.  

      LIU Post offers an M.A. in Behavior Analysis that can be completed in 15 months, featuring online, blended, and face-to-face classes (which are mostly offered in the evening). 

      This program meets the New York state education requirements to become a Licensed Behavior Analyst. LBAs are authorized to provide services to individuals on the autism spectrum and related disorders. 

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      #10 in Applied Psychology

      Liberty University

      Lynchburg, Virginia

      Economic score 1.31

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $46,350

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 1.2

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $54,666

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Liberty is a private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is famous throughout the country for the conservative values it espouses. 

      Its online Master’s in Applied Psychology is perfect for students who wish to learn about the fundamentals of psychology in a Christian faith-based environment.  

      This program teaches students how to apply the principles of psychology to settings like schools, corporations, and clinical environments. Students can choose a specialization within the applied psych master’s in general psychology, developmental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and public mental health. Note that this program does not lead to licensure.  

      Career options for graduates of this MA program include caseworker, non-licensed counselor, psychology technician, social services manager, and research assistant.  

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      #11 in Applied Psychology

      Boston University

      Boston, Massachusetts

      Economic score 1.35

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $54,841

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 1.3

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $72,847

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Boston University is a non-sectarian private research university in Massachusetts. It is the largest university in the state. Its high average net cost puts it near the bottom of our list of the best applied psychology programs. 

      The 1-year, 8-course M.A. in Psychology program at BU includes a choice of specializations in clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and brain, behavior, and cognition.  

      Students work closely with faculty through directed study. 

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      #12 in Applied Psychology

      Francis Marion University

      Florence, South Carolina

      Economic score 1.89

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $33,993

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 1.4

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $46,884

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Francis Marion University is located just outside Florence, South Carolina. Founded in 1957, it is one of South Carolina’s 13 public universities. 

      MSU offers a Master of Science Degree in Applied Psychology (MSAP), a Clinical/Counseling option, and a master’s in applied psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (MSAP/ABA). 

      The clinical/counseling option leads to employment in human service agencies, hospitals, and similar settings, whereas the MSAP/ABA option prepares students to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination and work with individuals with behavioral issues. 

      Francis Marion also offers a specialist degree in school psychology. 

      See more

      How we made this list

      We rank degrees by value for money, i.e., return on investment (ROI). This rewards colleges that are the “best deal,” offering higher salaries after you leave school for relatively low costs up front. You can read more on our methodology page.

      This ranking includes 14 accredited applied psychology master’s programs at 4-year universities in the U.S. We only include schools that disclose sufficient earnings and/or cost data to the National Center for Education Statistics.

      We excluded:

      • Community colleges
      • Fully online schools
      • Non-accredited institutions

      To be included on this list, programs must be registered as applied psychology in the Department of Education’s CIP code classification system. These programs may be referred to by slightly different names by the universities themselves. You can explore how the Department of Education categorizes psychology degrees on the NCES website.

      While school-level data on this page is for applied psychology degrees, aggregated data about how much applied psychology master’s grads earn on average is for the more general CIP Code Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology (42.28).

      Average salary with a master’s in applied psychology.

      The average salary of people with a master’s in clinical, counseling, or applied psychology, 4 years after graduating college, is $55,263.  This data comes from NCES.

      Getting a master’s gives you a 25.46% earnings boost compared to someone with just a bachelor’s in applied psychology. The table below shows how much people earn on average with a degree in counseling/clinical/applied psychology at various levels. Note that associate-level data is for degrees merely labeled “psychology.”

      Not enough doctorate-level data is publicly available for us to show you earnings figures, but according to the BLS, licensed psychologists, who generally need a PhD, earn $85,330 per year.

      Associate 

      $30,718

      Bachelor’s in Applied psych

      $44,048

      Master’s in Applied psych

      $55,263

      Getting a master’s in applied psychology online

      Because they are convenient and affordable, online degrees are getting more and more popular.

      On average, 4 years after graduating, people with an online master’s in clinical, counseling, or applied psychology earn $53,213 yearly, which is 3.7% less than the average for all clinical/counseling/applied psych master’s holders– a negligible difference. Data comes from NCES  and covers both fully online and hybrid programs.

      By value for money, the top 3 best online master’s in applied psych programs are:

      1. University of Southern California
      2. Capella University
      3. University of Northern Colorado

       Also read: The best online master’s in psychology programs with no GRE

      How long does it take to get a master’s in applied psychology?

      Generally, programs are 2 years. However, if you study part time, your program might be longer.

      Other degrees that involve applied psychology

      Strictly speaking, these are not “applied psychology” degrees; however, they involve elements of applied psychology in that they leverage psychological sciences to make a real, practical difference in people’s lives.


      Clinical psychology

      Clinical psychology is a popular specialty and involves working closely with patients. This interaction can occur individually or in a group setting. Professionals diagnose and treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. A few states allow clinical psychologists to prescribe medications.

      Clinical psychologists may choose to treat many different types of disorders or focus on one. They work to help clients identify their emotional and behavioral challenges and guide them as they develop plans and goals that will improve the quality of their lives. These professionals tailor their interventions to meet the needs of individual clients.

      Self-employment is an option for clinical psychologists who decide to establish a private practice. They may also work in partnership with other mental health professionals in a joint practice. Additional settings include:

      • Mental health hospitals
      • Group homes
      • Government or nonprofit programs that serve the community
      • Eating behavior residential programs
      • University programs that serve staff and students

      Counseling psychology

      Counseling psychologists work with clients in many of the same settings as clinical psychologists. They can also have private or group practices or work in larger organizations.

      The main difference is that clinical psychologists typically work with people who have more significant mental health impairments.

      Psychologists in this field focus on how their clients handle personal relationships. They use the results of neuropsychological studies to help people deal with physical, emotional, social, work- and school-related problems. They can help clients make choices regarding career development.


      Applied behavior analysis

      Applied behavior analysis (ABA), also called behavioral engineering, is a therapeutic technique for modifying human and animal behavior. It is carried out using psychological principles related to learning.

      ABA can be used to understand behavior and how it is influenced by environmental factors. The most important task of an applied behavior analyst is to increase desirable and helpful behavior and decrease harmful or undesirable behavior.

      ABA is mainly applied to helping children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cope with a neurotypical world. It is the only evidence-based therapy for treating behavioral issues associated with ASD.


      School psychology

      School psychologists typically work in elementary and secondary schools. They support students as they deal with interpersonal issues and can help improve communication skills.

      School psychologists can provide information and guidance to students who are unsure about their class and career choices. Professionals in this field collaborate with teachers and parents to help them provide a healthy learning environment for children and teens. They can also offer behavior management techniques for use in the classroom and at home.

      Psychologists who work in schools can assist students in individual and group settings. They can also work on a more organizational level, providing services like:

      • Consultation and collaboration
      • Instructional support for the development of academic skills
      • Mental health services
      • School-wide learning strategies
      • Mediation of the relationship between school and family
      • Diversity in learning and development
      • Program evaluation

      School psychologists can also find employment in schools, universities, hospitals, state agencies, and private clinics.


      Forensic psychology

      Forensic psychologists provide services in the justice system, working with judges, lawyers, and other legal specialists regarding the psychological details of specific cases. They have the expertise to:

      • Give expert testimony in court
      • Develop profiles of suspects
      • Perform child custody evaluations
      • Evaluate whether a suspect is mentally competent to stand trial
      • Screen potential police officers for employment
      • Investigate suspected child abuse

      Forensic psychologists may specialize in one area, such as family, criminal, or civil law.


      Industrial and organizational psychology

      Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologists apply knowledge and principles to workplace behavior, including areas like sales, human resources, marketing, and organizational development. Professionals in this field assist businesses with the following tasks:

      • Recruiting and selecting employees
      • Organizational development
      • Job training
      • Improving productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness
      • Ergonomics
      • Maximizing employees’ quality of life and wellness
      • Deciding which job best fits a worker’s skill set

      I/O psychologists can work as independent consultants, serving a company on an as-needed basis, or hold a fixed position.


      Rehabilitation psychology

      Rehabilitation counselors work with individuals who have physical or developmental disabilities or chronic illnesses. They help treat psychological issues like stress and depression to improve their clients’ quality of life, including health and learning outcomes.

      These professionals can work in several different settings, including:

      • Hospitals
      • Rehabilitation facilities
      • Clinics
      • Counseling centers
      • Assisted living facilities

      For example, in a rehabilitation facility, a psychologist might help patients accept their condition and adapt to any necessary assistive technology. They can also assist clients and their families in adjusting to new routines after illness or injury.


      Sports psychology

      Sports psychologists work with athletes to improve their mental and emotional health so they can perform their best. These professionals can help coaches and team owners assess talent and understand what players need to reach their potential. They may participate in developing training programs that respect athletes’ developmental and social particularities.

      These professionals can aid athletes in enhancing performance through:

      • Goal setting
      • Visualization
      • Mental rehearsal
      • Cultivating positive attitudes and self-talk
      • Improving attention and focus
      • Managing anxiety
      • Motivation

      Sports psychologists also work with injured athletes to help them overcome strong emotions associated with the need to take time off from their sport. They can provide treatment for those suffering from depression or eating disorders.

      Professional athletic teams tend to emphasize performance enhancement. However, sports psychologists who work with children and teenagers may focus more on how athletics improves overall mental health.


      Cognitive psychology

      Cognitive psychologists study mental processes like thinking, memory, language, attention, and perception. They also deal with issues related to problem-solving and learning. While there’s a lot of research involved, the profession also has various practical applications. For instance, professionals in this area can help people:

      • Recover and adapt after brain injury
      • Deal with memory disorders like Alzheimer’s or other dementias
      • Improve learning outcomes
      • Increase accuracy in decision-making
      • Structure curriculum to facilitate learning
      • Treat sensory or perceptual issues

      They use strategies from research psychology to give people a better quality of life. For example, by understanding that attention is limited and selective, these professionals can guide people to develop practical solutions to improve their concentration.

      Professionals who study cognitive processes can use different titles, such as counseling psychologist or clinical psychologist. Many psychiatrists also apply principles of cognitive psychology in their practice.


      Developmental psychology

      Developmental psychologists study the phases of life from infancy through late adulthood. They conduct research and create theories about how people change during their lifetime.

      These professionals contribute to society in the following ways:

      • Evaluating children to see if they have developmental delays or disabilities
      • Informing educators regarding how children acquire language skills
      • Developing ways to help elderly people stay independent
      • Helping parents understand how to interact with their children at different ages

      Developmental psychologists may choose to concentrate on one specialty area, such as developmental delays. Others might focus their research or practice just on children, teens, or the elderly. These professionals can work in hospitals, private or government services, offices of mental health practitioners, or schools.

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      Financial aid opportunities

      Many programs offer funding to help applied psychology students pay for their studies. You might consider beginning your search with the Federal Student Aid website. It provides general information about grants, scholarships, and other forms of aid. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to discover which funding sources may be available to you.

      Award amounts start as low as a few hundred dollars. In other cases, they can reach thousands. It all depends on the organization offering the funding. We’ve listed a few possibilities that may be helpful:

      • The APAGS/Psi Chi Junior Scientist Fellowship offers $1,000 research fellowships to 12 first- and second-year graduate students. To qualify, they should be members of both Psi Chi and APAGS.
      • The APA Society Convention Research Awards recognizes outstanding empirical research presentations at the annual APA convention. It awards $400 to 2 undergraduates and $500 to 2 graduate students. Submissions are due by April 15 of each year.
      • The APF Graduate Student Scholarships program awards 21 graduate scholarships annually. The amount ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
      • The APS Society Convention Research Awards recognize outstanding poster presentations at the annual APS Convention. Prizes of $500 go to 2 graduate students, and 2 undergraduates receive $400 each. Applications are due by February 1.
      • The Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award is a $1,200 cash prize that goes to an outstanding Psi Chi chapter president each year. It is awarded by nomination rather than application.
      • The NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Program (NASP-ERT MSP) supports the graduate education of minority students studying school psychology. Selected scholars receive awards of $5,000 each year.
      • The Scott and Paul Pearsall Grant awards $10,000 to 1 graduate student working to increase public understanding of the challenges adults face when they have visible physical disabilities.

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