Psychology Master’s Degree Programs in Missouri

Missouri is an interesting place to practice as a psychologist. Unquestionably a part of the South in its beating cultural heart, the state is also heavily influenced by plain-spoken midwestern values. Bracketed between Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri has both the farm life and jazz clubs woven into its soul. It’s sort of the ultimate crossover state.

You can see a lot of things in the Show Me state that you won’t find in the rest of the country, and the state motto is an encouraging one for the practice of psychology: “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.” It has a nice ring to it for any professional making social justice and human welfare the focus of their career.

If that’s your plan, then you’ll find all the options you need for earning an advanced degree in psychology in Missouri… and plenty of work to do with it after you graduate.

Missouri Schools Offer Many Options For Psychology Master’s Degrees

As you would hope for a state that is just about in the center of the country both physically and culturally, Missouri has a good selection of schools offering psychology master’s degree options with a broad diversity of specializations and styles. You have everything from the private, research-focused Washington University in St. Louis, ranked on Princeton’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors list in 2018, to the ultra-affordable University of Central Missouri down in Columbia. You won’t have any trouble finding a program that both matches your budget and caters to your professional goals here.

Licensing is a Breeze With a Master’s in Missouri

Missouri is one of those rare states where you can go all the way to the top of the profession with a master’s degree in psychology. Although the traditional route to licensure as a practicing psychologist includes earning a doctorate in the field, it is possible to qualify for that license with a master’s degree from an accredited school combined with three years of professional experience in the field.

Similarly, a master’s degree can qualify you to become a school psychologist in Missouri with the proper coursework in an approved educational specialist program.

You will also have all the education you need to become a licensed professional counselor with a psychology master’s degree. It’s also possible to become a marriage and family therapist in Missouri with that credential, although your specific coursework has to align with the state’s stringent requirements in MFT-specific areas.

Social Psychology Research Has Major Implications in Missouri

The Ferguson riots through the summer of 2014 in the wake of the police shooting of an unarmed African-American man ripped the scab off a festering element of Missouri society that could use a good dose of psychological disinfectant. Historic discrimination against minorities has resulted in injustices that are boiling over in the modern era, a clash that puts social psychology at the forefront of public policy.

That makes the state a fascinating place to study social psychology, as well as place that really benefits from professional practice in the field. Researchers at Missouri universities are plumbing the underlying psychological causes of racial strife and developing new ways to combat the problem. Whether in research or policy development, there is plenty to study and a lot of work to do here in the area of social psychology.

Alcohol Flows Freely in Missouri, Creating a Demand For Treatment Centers

Missouri is a famously relaxed state when it comes to alcohol and tobacco regulation. There’s no state prohibition on public drinking or intoxication, and no limitation on locations where liquor may be sold. The state doesn’t even prohibit serving alcohol to minors, subject to parental approval.

But beyond an influx of partiers from across the borders of Kansas and Illinois every weekend, there are darker aspects of Missouri’s open-arms approach to alcohol consumption. According to the CDC, around 20 percent of adults in the state have a binge drinking problem.

That creates an environment where alcohol and addiction treatment are in constant demand. Graduates with psychology master’s degrees can often find work in treatment centers or as state counselors working in addiction treatment.

Research and Brain Science Are Pushing The Limits in Missouri

Folks from outside the state don’t always see Missouri as being a place where cutting-edge science happens, but a visit to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Washington University would change those minds fast. Taking advantage of the multicultural nature of the state, the school is pioneering Diversity Science, investigating the causes and consequences of bias, racism, and prejudice, and developing psychological approaches to combating these problems.

It’s not just the private sector performing such detailed studies, either. The University of Missouri also offers emphases in Cognition and Neuroscience and Quantitative Psychology to rival any expensive private program.

Whether you plan to get your hands dirty in direct practice or stick with the rarified aspects of research, you can get a good start here with a master’s degree in psychology.

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