Top Psychology Master's Degree Programs in Georgia

Students seeking to further their careers by obtaining master’s in psychology degrees in Georgia may find it challenging to sift through the various programs available in the state. Understanding the available options can ensure the most positive results during the educational process and in later career paths. A little due diligence can provide added help in deciding on the right school and the right program for each student’s particular set of needs. Here we present the top accredited master’s degrees in psychology in the state of Georgia.

Augusta University

College of Science and Mathematics

Formerly known as Georgia Regents University, Augusta University serves nearly 9,000 students each year and employs more than 1,600 faculty members to ensure small class sizes and personal attention. Originally established in 1828, this public institution is home to the ninth-largest medical school in the U.S. and the only dental university in Georgia. Augusta University maintains an outstanding reputation as one of the oldest and most respected centers for medical and dental learning in the state of Georgia. Students in the psychology department of this illustrious university can work with renowned scientists to pursue their degree objectives.

M.S. Program in Psychology

The M.S. degree program in psychology offered by Augusta University offers students three distinct tracks to ensure the right preparation for their chosen career:

• The Clinical/Counseling track is designed for students interested in pursuing a Licensed Professional Counselor credential in the state of Georgia and provides a thorough grounding in psychology for those looking to open a private counseling practice.
• Augusta University’s Applied Experimental track focuses on the practical experimentation aspects of psychological study and prepares students for careers in the research field.
• The General Experimental track is intended for students who plan to continue their studies and to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology after completing their master’s at Augusta University.

Each of these degree tracks leads to a master’s of science in psychology that can lead to careers in research and counseling or to further studies toward a doctoral degree. Internships and assistantship opportunities are available for students who qualify. Career opportunities include teaching positions, human resource jobs and employment as behavioral specialists or clinical counselors.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
• Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC)

1120 15th Street
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Program Link

Brenau University

College of Health Sciences

Brenau University was founded in 1878 as a private liberal arts institution dedicated to providing a first-class education to students from across the U.S. and around the world. It is also noted for its permanent fine art collections, which amount to more than 6,500 pieces at last count. Brenau University has earned top rankings for value in the educational marketplace and offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs as well as professional certification and associate’s degrees in a wide array of fields. The innovative psychology programs at Brenau University can prepare students for well-paid careers as counselors in private practice or in the clinical setting.

M.S. in Clinical Counseling Psychology

Designed to allow completion in two years of full-time study or three to four years of part-time coursework, the Brenau University master’s degree in clinical counseling psychology is designed to provide a thorough grounding in theoretical and practical applications in the psychological field. Key classes include statistics, individual and group psychotherapy, research methods, human growth and behavioral theory. Students must complete a master’s thesis and a clinical internship to graduate from this advanced program, which can be used as the foundation for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia. Other job opportunities include work in the public service or educational fields. An optional six credit hour specialization can also be included in this advanced master’s degree with advisor approval.

M.S. in Applied Gerontology

Students interested in providing care for older adults can acquire the necessary educational credentials by completing the master’s of science in applied gerontology from Brenau University. The program comprises 30 credit hours, 18 of which are required core courses. The remaining 12 credit hours are electives that can be used to customize the degree program and to provide added support for the career plans of students. Brenau is the first Georgia university to host a chapter of the National Gerontology Academic Honor and Professional Society of Sigma Phi Omega. Some classes for this degree may be available online as well as through the brick-and-mortar classrooms at Brenau University. Graduates from this program typically go on to positions in elder care counseling or as administrators for agencies and organizations that assist older adults with adjustment issues and other mental health concerns.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
• Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC)

500 Washington Street SE
Gainesville, Georgia 30501
Program Link

Clayton State University

College of Arts & Sciences

As a public university located in suburban Atlanta, Clayton State University offers the best of both worlds to students looking for a quiet retreat for pursuing their studies. Situated on 192 acres of woodland and lakes, Clayton State was founded in 1969 as part of the University System of Georgia. The university ranked eighth among southern institutions of higher learning by U.S. News & World Report in 2014 and has consistently enjoyed accolades for its engagement with the surrounding community and its commitment to outreach programs. Clayton State University serves more than 7,000 students each year and offers nine master’s degrees in the fields of business, education, nursing, healthcare and psychology. The university’s master’s degree in clinical and counseling psychology can provide solid preparation for further studies or can qualify students for certification as a clinical counselor in the state of Georgia.

Master of Science in Clinical/Counseling Psychology

Clayton State University’s master’s program in clinical and counseling psychology focuses on practical applications that include therapeutic techniques for groups and individuals, psychological assessment, cultural influences, behavioral studies and psychopathology. A clinical practicum is required for this degree track. Students can choose between a non-thesis professional paper with a comprehensive examination or a thesis track that requires defense of the thesis before departmental faculty. Depending on the specific coursework and track chosen, students should expect to complete between 49 and 51 credit hours for this degree program. After graduation, most students pursue career opportunities in clinical practice or go on to obtain a doctorate in the field of psychology.

Master of Science in Psychology (Applied Developmental)

Students who pursue the applied developmental track will focus primarily on the psychological aspects of childhood and adolescence. Courses will cover family systems, developmental disorders, cognitive, social and emotional growth, ethics and cultural differences. Statistics and research methods will also make up an important part of the curriculum. A comprehensive exam and non-thesis paper option are available for students who do not wish to complete and defend a thesis. Students who graduate with this master’s degree will be well prepared to provide support for students in an array of environments that include educational institutions, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations dedicated to the well-being of children, adolescents and young adults.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

2000 Clayton State Boulevard
Morrow, Georgia 30260
Program Link

Georgia Institute of Technology

College of Science

Better known as Georgia Tech, the Georgia Institute of Technology was established in 1885 as part of an effort to increase industrial production and capacity in the South after the Civil War. Georgia Tech is consistently ranked as one of the best public universities in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. The university serves more than 21,500 students each year and offers degree programs in six primary categories that include business, engineering, science, liberal arts, architecture and computing. Georgia Tech’s campus is located in downtown Atlanta and offers easy access to the numerous employment and entertainment options in this vibrant city.

Master of Science in Human-Computing Interaction

The innovative master’s of science program in human-computing interaction represents a joint effort between four schools at Georgia Tech and focuses on the present and future of computer interfaces. This curriculum encompasses 36 credit hours that include coursework in literature, media and communications, industrial design, psychology and interactive computing. Students can choose a specialization within these four schools, allowing them to tailor their master’s program to their intended career path. Suggested electives include cognitive science, human-robot interactions, human factors and computer science. A summer internship is required between the second and third years of study; students must also complete a faculty-guided six-credit-hour project in their field of specialization.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

North Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia 30332
Program Link

Georgia Southern University

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Initially established in 1908 as the First District Agricultural & Mechanical School, Georgia Southern University has come a long way from its first class of 15 students and four teachers. During the intervening years, the institution has evolved from an agricultural school to a teachers’ college on its way to full-fledged Doctoral and Research University status. Today, Georgia Southern University serves more than 20,000 students annually and is the fifth largest institution in the University System of Georgia. It has been named as one of Newsweek’s top 12 business schools in 2014 and consistently earns high rankings for its online programs from U.S. News & World Report. The psychology programs at Georgia Southern University offer a number of career options for students at the master’s degree level of study.

M.S. in Psychology

The master’s of science in psychology program offered by Georgia Southern University is designed to provide a solid foundation for students seeking to pursue clinical opportunities after graduation or interested in obtaining a doctoral degree in psychology. Students can also opt for a teaching specialization that provides one-on-one mentoring in addition to regular coursework. This program offers additional preparation for public speaking, syllabus preparation and examination techniques to ensure success in the educational environment. For students interested in pursuing a career in experimental psychology after graduation, extensive research experience is required to ensure the accuracy of data collection and the proficiency of students in performing social science research. Coursework in statistics and research design will provide a solid basis for these pursuits after graduation. A thesis project is also required for successful completion of this program.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

1332 Southern Drive
Statesboro, Georgia 30458
Program Link

Georgia State University

College of Education and Human Development

With more than 250 degree programs, Georgia State University offers outstanding educational opportunities for more than 32,000 students each year. The institution is one of four public research universities operating under the umbrella of the University System of Georgia and enjoys an enviable reputation for top-quality staff and programs. Originally founded in 1913 as a night school supporting the Georgia School of Technology, the university was named a research university in 1995 and currently comprises eight separate schools that represent a comprehensive range of studies, including law, nursing, public health, education and business.

Master of Education (M.Ed) in School Psychology and Specialist in Education (Ed.S) in School Psychology

Georgia State University’s master’s degree in school psychology also includes coursework leading to a Specialist in Education in School Psychology. This combined degree program requires a minimum of 43 credit hours and conveys the knowledge and experience necessary to work with children and adolescents in the educational environment. Because of the rigorous nature of the coursework and research required for this program, part-time enrollment is not recommended. Students must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average and are expected to complete their master’s degree in four years or less. A comprehensive examination is required for graduation from this program, which is designed to prepare students for state certification examinations and careers in the educational field.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Educational Psychology

Students must complete at least 36 semester hours of study that focuses on research, behavior analysis, cognitive processes and social growth to obtain a master’s degree in educational psychology from Georgia State University. Coursework typically focuses on theoretical and abstract applications of psychological concepts to the teaching field and may include practical experience in classroom or laboratory settings. Students can design their own learning plan within certain parameters and under the supervision of psychology department faculty members. Educational psychology students must complete a four-hour master’s examination, a faculty-approved and supervised project or a thesis. A two-hour oral examination is also required for graduation.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

33 Gilmer Street SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30302
Program Link

The University of Georgia

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

The University of Georgia holds the distinction of being the first state-chartered university in the U.S. and is consistently rated as one of the top institutions of higher learning nationally and internationally. Established in 1785, UGA is the flagship school of the University System of Georgia and shares bragging rights with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the College of William and Mary as the oldest public university in the U.S. More than 35,000 students attend UGA each year to study a wide variety of subjects and to cheer on the Georgia Bulldogs in their intercollegiate athletic endeavors.

Professional Master’s Program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

UGA’s master’s degree program in industrial-organizational psychology is designed to allow students to complete their coursework in just two years. This hybrid curriculum includes weekend classes at the Gwinnett Campus in Lawrenceville and online courses that focus on the science and psychology of organizations. Coursework includes organizational research methods and organizational change, competencies, tests, measurements and talent acquisition. A practicum is required and is intended to prepare students for the rigors of the working world; students are expected to take the initiative in designing and following through on small team projects under the supervision of their advisors prior to graduation.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

125 Baldwin Street
Athens, Georgia 30602
Program Link

University of West Georgia

College of Social Sciences

Located about 45 miles to the west of Atlanta, the University of West Georgia offers an array of degree programs for nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. It is consistently included on The Princeton Review’s list of Best Southeastern Colleges and has been distinguished for its humanistic approach to psychological studies. By starting with the subjective human experience and working forward through human growth and potential, this program can provide an unusual perspective for students that can significantly impact the way they approach further studies and future careers.

Master of Arts with a Major in Psychology

Students can select between a 33-credit-hour curriculum with a thesis or a 45-credit hour no-thesis program for this University of West Georgia degree. Both options focus primarily on humanistic approaches to psychology. Coursework topics include human growth and potential, history and philosophy of psychology, parapsychology, Eastern and transpersonal psychologies, the study of dreams, social development, abnormal psychology, counseling and psychotherapy for individuals and groups, family therapy and research methods. The flexible nature of this program allows students to design their own curriculum within a framework provided by the University of West Georgia Psychology Department. Gender studies and the nature of consciousness are among the most popular topics in this unique program, which also explores relationships among people and developmental processes throughout the lifespans of individuals and societies.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

1601 Maple Street
Carrollton, Georgia 30118
Program Link

Valdosta State University

James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education & Human Services

One of only three regional universities included in the University System of Georgia, Valdosta State University welcomes more than 11,000 students each year. Founded in 1906, Valdosta State began its existence as a teachers’ college and evolved over time to become a cornerstone of Georgia higher education. The university offers a number of psychology programs that focus on organizational and educational environments to prepare students for careers in this essential field.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology – Industrial/Organizational

The master of science degree in industrial and organizational psychology offered by Valdosta State is designed to prepare students for careers in research, human resources and organizational administration. Students must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average to graduate from this program. In addition, a comprehensive electronic portfolio must be submitted to demonstrate mastery over the concepts and the skills needed to create practical solutions for use in managing human resources and establishing clear lines of communication in the industrial and organizational environments.

Master of Education in School Counseling

Students pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling from Valdosta State must pass two exams prior to graduation:

• The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination is a national test typically scheduled the semester before the student’s final internship. Study guides are available and can provide students with a clearer picture of the material to be covered and the general layout of this required test.
• The Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling Program portfolio consists of assignments completed by students throughout their tenure in the program. These materials are evaluated during the final internship period.

In addition to these required examinations, students must also complete 48 credit hours of coursework, including research methodology, counseling theory, career counseling, developmental psychology, diversity training, measurement and evaluation and internships in school counseling.

Education Specialist Degree in School Counseling

Designed as an added program for students who already hold a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field and have been certified as school counselors in the state of Georgia, the Ed.S. degree from Valdosta State offers an added level of qualification beyond the normal master’s degree. To gain admission to this highly selective program, students must submit three letters of recommendation and must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, successful applicants must have completed one year of experience as a certified school counselor and must submit proof of legal residency in the U.S. to gain entry to the Ed.S. degree program at Valdosta State.

• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
• Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (Master of Education in School Counseling only)

1500 North Patterson Street
Valdosta, Georgia 31698
Program Link

These respected and accredited master’s degree programs represent the best educational options for Georgia students and can provide a solid basis for future careers in the field of psychology. For students interested in careers in school counseling, organizational administration, human resources or other fields related to psychology, finding the best master’s in psychology degrees in Georgia can be a solid first step toward a challenging career.

See also: Psychology Doctoral Programs in Georgia