Is a Thesis Required for a Master's in Psychology?

A master’s in psychology thesis is a regular requirement of many programs. Some psychology students earn their master’s degree during their doctoral program. However, other psychologists simply want to work as an assistant to a doctorate degree holding psychologist. Continue reading to learn how to write an excellent thesis for your master’s degree.

Why Write a Thesis?

In a nutshell, a thesis is a comprehensive summary of the student’s work and experience. Specifically, a thesis is a formal paper that requires the student to perform in-depth research and document their exploration into an objective psychological topic. The thesis is evidence of the student’s academic insight and intelligence. The topics explored should highlight the student’s core competencies and demonstrate their creative and critical thinking skills. Some master’s in psychology programs also require a thesis defense, which is an arduous public examination of the value and validity of the thesis.

What are Common Master’s in Psychology Thesis Topics?

Master’s in psychology programs offer courses in major aspects and branches of psychology. These include psychometrics, child psychology, personality disorders and social psychology. For example, the master’s student could write a thesis on the cross-cultural limitations of current psychometric standards. Conversely, the student could explore how the Internet and technology are creating new child psychology problems. The student could perform a meta-analysis of personality disorder research and search for new correlations or try to disprove statistical stereotypes. Finally, the student could even perform research on the socio-psychological effects of writing a master’s thesis.

Invaluable Advice

For students who must defend their Master’s in Psychology Thesis, the ultimate goal is to find the right balance between putting research into context, telling a meaningful story and not overstating the conclusions. Therefore, discussions should begin with a succinct summary of the key findings that are quickly put into context. Hard facts must be surpassed by engaging speculation. That is, explain how the thesis relates and differs from previous works.

Related: Top 20 Most Innovative Graduate Psychology Degree Programs

As the student explores the implications between how their thesis’ concepts and conclusions can be applied to different situations, the listeners will naturally start paying attention and appreciate the unique viewpoints. Be sure to emphasize the positive aspects and avoid dramatic exaggerations.

Finally, point out the limitations of current research, but suggest applicable follow-up studies and connections to other current issues. Avoid dwelling on the unforeseeable future, but instead focus the pertinent value that your research offers today.

Sponsored Content

What does the APA Say about Master’s Degree Programs?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), master’s degrees are stand-alone degrees that allow the student to concentrate on a specific area of psychology. For example, clinical, cognitive, counseling and industrial-organizational. Individuals who pursue a master’s degree in psychology have either two primary goals. First, they want to further their understanding of their target psychology topic. Second, they want to earn extra credentials and get additional training before they enter their doctorate program. In fact, certain doctoral programs will award a master’s degree upon completion of the thesis. The APA estimates that approximately 30 percent of psychology graduates with a master’s degree enrolled in a doctoral program.

As a summing up, most master’s in psychology programs require a thesis as part of the graduation process. A thesis is documented proof of the student’s competency and comprehension. A master’s in psychology thesis can be properly written by following advice from the APA.