M.A. Academic and Career Pathways
Your Future in Psychology
Your Future in Psychology
Psychology is a very broad field with many career paths for you to pursue. In consultation with a faculty advisor, some students choose a specific informal area of concentration. We offer the following examples as possibilities. Note that these areas are overlapping and are not intended to suggest exclusivity of emphasis, and note, too, that not all of these content areas and courses may be offered during a student's period of master's enrollment.
This area involves the investigation of the historical development of Psychology and the philosophical controversies surrounding psychological theories, concepts, methods, and technologies.
At the heart of our master's program is the question of the meaning of being human, and central to this question is the issue of consciousness. This concentration bundles coursework and experience that help students explore the meaning of consciousness, the phenomenology of its modalities as lived experience, and its potentialities, in both everyday and extraordinary modes.
Transpersonal Psychology emerges from the study of those experiences and their correlates in which the sense of self in some way extends beyond individual identity. These are often described as spiritual events and inform consideration of human consciousness, development, and potential. Courses in this concentration invite consideration of the nature of knowing, the life of mystics, developmental crises and opportunities, integration and distinction of psychology and spirituality or any number of related interests.
The emerging research in neuroscience joins the already extensive literature in mind-body medicine and philosophical-theoretical conceptions of the body both East and West to provide fertile ground for varied in-depth exploration of the bodymind. This is commonly grounded in and applied to the lived experience of embodiment ranging from the consideration of pleasure to healing to stress; the body may be taken up as text, shadow, a source of intelligence, lived meaning, a social construction, energy, and much more. This concentration reflects such areas of emphasis.
This concentration focuses on language as an activity, as a performance, and allows students to explore how language-in-use is practical, situated, and psychologically important. Methods of research (e.g., critical discourse analysis narrative inquiry) are also a Concentration emphasis, with application to identity and self, language-based thinking, and negotiation of various interpersonal contexts.
Parapsychology is the empirical study of subjective experiences that are difficult to accommodate within the current dominant scientific paradigm. Parapsychologists employ quantitative and qualitative research methods to study a range of subjective experiences that appear to expand the limits and capabilities of human consciousness. This Concentration allows students to explore the conceptual and experiential facets of these sorts of experiences.
In one way or another many of our learners find themselves as teachers. Teaching and learning are inextricably linked to questions of how we know, what we value, what is needed, and also, who we are – as Jung wrote, “We teach mostly who we are.” In developing their own voice as teachers, students might: explore various approaches such as contemplation or Socratic dialogue, delve into fields such as holistic, psychological, or transformative education, and refine their practice through mentoring and related opportunities. The courses in this concentration reflect a common emphasis on the work of teaching and learning.
The courses bundled in this concentration area reflect an emphasis on helping students prepare for later Ph.D. or Psy.D. study through a combination of conceptual and applied scholarship foundation. The courses and other activities reflect our shared commitment that the single best thing students can do to prepare for such involvement is to complete a thesis.
This concentration area is intended to prepare students with a foundation of
coursework and some supervised experience enabling them toward humanistic praxis.
Unlike practice, which refers to exercise of skills or techniques, praxis is a process
whereby a theory is enacted, embodied or realized. Students choosing to structure
their master's program work around the pre-clinical concentration will seek, in
apprenticeship to supervising and appropriately qualified faculty, to prepare
themselves for work in community mental health and consultation.
This concentration enfolds coursework and applied experience that share an explicit commitment to social justice. Courses in this concentration reflect various psychological frames for social praxis, including social psychology, community psychology, developmental psychology, cultural psychology, feminist psychology; community-based participatory research, and qualitative research writ large. Within this theoretical and methodological umbrella faculty and students seek to apply psychological theory, research, and praxis to various social justice issues such as intersectional forms of oppression, human rights, poverty, intergroup relations, physical and mental health, and community development.