Psychology Master’s Degree Programs in South Dakota

South Dakota is home to widely lauded research efforts that seek to examine the psychological impact the burgeoning economy and surging population have on the people who live here.

For example, study psychology at the University of South Dakota and you’ll be part of robust research initiatives through the Heimstra Human Factors Laboratory that include the study of the relationship between age-related changes including ways technology can be used to improve the mobility, safety, and productivity of older adults. Other cutting-edge psychological research taking place here has covered topics like behavioral decision making and risk perception and human-computer interaction.

From a growing population and the increases in crime that often accompany greater population density to a focus on the health and well-being of the state’s oldest residents, psychologists in South Dakota enjoy varied professional opportunities in areas such as forensic psychology, clinical and counseling psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology, to name just a few.

Unlocking Professional Opportunities in South Dakota Starts with a Master’s Degree

You’ll need a doctoral degree in psychology before you can pursue a clinical psychologist license in South Dakota. However, a variety of psychology and counseling professionals can practice in South Dakota with a master’s degree.

For example, a master’s degree in psychology through a regionally accredited program meets the educational requirements to earn the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential or LPC with Mental Health endorsement through the South Dakota Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners. Complete a recognized psychology master’s program through the Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners and you can also earn licensure as a marriage and family therapist in South Dakota.

A career as a licensed addictions counselor in South Dakota also requires a master’s degree in a behavioral sciences field to qualify for licensure through the Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals.

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Exploring Your Options for a Master’s Degree in Psychology in South Dakota

The research-driven master’s in psychology at USD is part of the Department of Psychology, which is home to innovative and translational research that addresses problems in neurology, neuropsychology, and psychiatry.

South Dakota State University offers an outstanding master’s program in I/O psychology (the only MS program in the northern tier of the Great Plains region) that provides training in traditional I/O areas like job analysis, leadership, organizational development performance appraisal, and psychological measurement.

A Growing Economy Cultivates a Growing Population in South Dakota

Make no doubt about it – South Dakota is still driven by its vast agricultural industry, but this midwestern state is now earning a solid reputation for its ability to lure in business and industry to its business friendly environment, complete with zero corporate and personal income tax. Head to Sioux Falls, for instance, and you’ll find a massive new industrial park and another corporate and academic research park that’s affiliated with the University of South Dakota.

South Dakota also enjoys a superb literacy rate, high labor force participation rate, and low unemployment rate among its residents. Sioux Falls ranks third in the nation (behind only Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota) for its swiftly growing population, which jumped more than 13 percent between April 2010 and July 2017.

South Dakota’s supportive business environment and a growing population provide the perfect foundation for careers in everything from counseling and clinical psychology to industrial/organizational psychology to school psychology.

With Increases in Population Come Increases in Crime

Forensic psychologists in South Dakota may have more of a presence than ever, given the state’s increase in population and subsequent increase in crime.

The state has been logging an increase in violent crime for the better part of the last decade, with statistics showing that South Dakota’s violent crime rate doubled within the last decade, reaching 383 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2015. The violent crime rate in the Sioux Falls metro area, for example, is higher than other similar cities in the region, including Fargo, Lincoln, and Omaha.

Rehabilitation Psychologists and Community Psychologists Help Improve the Lives of South Dakota’s Seniors

How can we make seniors lives healthier, safer, and more productive?is just one of the questions rehabilitation and community psychologists may ask themselves when addressing the needs of South Dakota’s senior population (65+) which increased by nearly 16,000 between 2011 and 2015. Older adults dealing with the psychological issues that typically accompany aging or the loss of a spouse represent one of the fasting growing segments of the population in need of counseling and psychological support services. This fascinating area of practice is as rewarding as it is in-demand for anybody with the disposition it takes to work in this important area of practice.

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Featured South Dakota Psychology Degree Programs