students in class
Home › Graduate › Master's Degree Programs › M.S. Psychology › Careers

M.S. Psychology Careers


 The Palo Alto University M.S. Psychology Ph.D. Prep program prepares students to be capable and competent as both researchers and clinicians.

RSVP for an
Info Sessi

This program leads to three possible academic outcomes:

  • Ph.D. studies at Palo Alto University. All students in this program have an opportunity to gain acceptance to Palo Alto University's residential Ph.D. program in clinical psychology.
  • Ph.D. studies at another institution. The program provides excellent preparation for other universities' Ph.D. programs.
  • Master of Science degree in psychology. Students who successfully complete all coursework are awarded a terminal M.S. degree in psychology that can be applied to careers in human services and related non-profit causes, publishing, technology, assisting in psychological research, teaching at the community college level, or other professions and businesses.

This Master's degree does not include an applied clinical component. Therefore, it is not suitable for those who want a Master's degree in order to see patients or clients. Students who are interested in work as a mental health counselor should apply for PAU's M.A. Counseling program, which leads to Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) licensure in California or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in many of the 50 U.S. states and other countries.

Career Opportunities with the M.S. Psychology

Students awarded a Master's degree in psychology through this program can derive value in multiple dimensions:

  • Career advancement. A Master's degree in psychology can lead to additional job opportunities and/or higher pay.
  • Job opportunities. A Master's degree qualifies graduates to teach psychology at the community college level, and some of PAU M.S. graduates have taught at this level. Given that this is an online program, graduates will be particularly suited to teach online psychology courses at community colleges. Alternatively, the M.S. Psychology can be used to advance a career as a research assistant for psychological research. Graduates may also pursue social science publishing in traditional and digital formats.
  • Expanded professional skills. The M.S. Psychology degree provides skills to succeed in a variety of fields, such as marketing, customer service, or human resources, which involve an understanding of consumer and employee behavior. The degree can be applied to any profession or project that requires insight and understanding of human nature. Graduate-level psychology skills are valued in work on behalf of social causes, advocacy organizations, non-profit organizations, and businesses.

Alumni Success Story:
Ivy Hall, Ph.D.

""This program provides an opportunity for students, like me, who wonder if a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program would be a good fit for them.""
~ Read Dr. Hall's story.

Continuing to the Ph.D. Program at PAU

The Palo Alto University M.S. Psychology program is designed for students to qualify for admission to the Palo Alto University Ph.D. program. The goal of the program is to educate well-rounded psychologists who are capable and competent as both researchers and clinicians. Students are taught to be science-minded while appreciating the larger role of psychology in alleviating suffering in the world. This balance includes learning to value evidence-based clinical models while maintaining the responsibilities psychologists have to their community, society, and profession.

Career Opportunities with a Ph.D. in Psychology

A Ph.D. in clinical psychology opens up a variety of career opportunities. In addition to assessing, diagnosing and treating mental disorders, psychologists can supervise other students and professionals; teach at the university level; conduct research; administer and interpret assessments (e.g. for intellectual abilities, neuropsychological functioning, etc.); administration; consulting and much more.

Psychologists work in many types of settings. Many practicing psychologists manage their own private practice or are part of a group practice with other psychologists or health care providers. They are also found in schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, veterans medical centers, prisons, community health centers and mental health clinics, businesses and industries, nursing homes, and rehabilitation and long-term care centers.

Using the title of "clinical psychologist" requires a doctoral degree as well as a license. Licensing laws vary by state and type of position. Information on specific requirements by state can be obtained from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there were approximately 160,200 psychologists in the U.S. as of 2012. The growth rate for psychologist jobs is projected at 12 percent between 2012 and 2022.