How to get your master’s degree in psychology paid for – Fortune

BY Meghan MalasMay 27, 2022, 8:28 PM

Illustration by Martin Laksman

An abundance of career paths is possible with a master’s degree in psychology, including roles in human resources, research, social services, substance abuse counseling, family and marriage counseling, and school counseling roles. Many graduates from these programs even go on to pursue their doctorate to become psychologists.

Of the 253,000 people that held a doctorate in psychology in 2019, 57% of them had also earned a master’s degree in psychology, according to the most recent data from the American Psychological Association (APA). But most graduates of master’s degree programs in psychology have pursued careers without a Ph.D. In fact, among the 470,950 people who had a master’s degree in 2019, a majority—or 76%—didn’t pursue a doctorate in psychology, APA figures show.

As a result, career paths for these degree holders can result in expected salaries that also vary drastically. While psychologists had a median pay of $82,180 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for rehabilitation counselors was only $37,530. 

Although there are a lot of opportunities for graduates with a master’s degree in psychology, the cost can vary significantly. The total tuition for Pepperdine University’s online master’s degree program in psychology is $61,200 to $81,600, depending on whether students take 36 to 48 units. Meanwhile, Indiana Wesleyan University’s tuition is $14,700 total for its 30-credit online program.  

Scholarships can play a key role in offsetting the cost of a master’s program. Below are six fellowships and scholarships worth checking out if you plan to pursue a master’s degree in psychology. 

1. APF graduate student scholarships

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) offers scholarships for graduate students enrolled in an interim master’s degree program, meaning they intend to pursue a doctoral degree program after their master’s. Students enrolled in a doctoral degree program are eligible as well. These 21 scholarships are intended for those students seeking help with research costs associated with their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation, and range from $2,000 to $5,000. Students must apply by June 30, 2022 to be considered.

A student who is currently enrolled in a terminal master’s program …….


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