Psychology Master’s Degree Programs in Tennessee
Referred to as a game changer for Tennessee, the recent news from Amazon that Nashville will be home to their newest operations center is not only good news for jobs and the local economy, it’s also music to the ears of psychologists who practice here. More than 5,000 high-paying jobs and a $230 million investment in the city will undoubtedly result in an increased demand for psychological services in nearly every setting and sector.
The expertise of industrial/organizational psychologists will contribute to worker safety, health, and well-being within Amazon’s customer fulfillment, transportation, and supply chain operations, while increases in population will call for greater numbers of counseling and clinical psychologists in schools, hospitals, private practice, and more.
And though Tennessee remains a major player for its fiscal stability, solid infrastructure, and robust economy, this state struggles with serious crime and increasing numbers of drug overdose deaths, prompting the need for social workers and rehabilitation counselors as much as for forensic and social psychologists.
The Educational Path to a Career in Psychology Starts with a Master’s Degree
While clinical psychologists in Tennessee must earn a doctorate degree in psychology from an APA-accredited or National Register-designated program to qualify for state licensure, a master’s degree may also get you where you want to be. For starters, you’ll need it as a foundation to move on to more advanced graduate work. But a master’s degree can also be exactly what you need to practice in other critical need areas.
For example, a master’s in counseling psychology satisfies the minimum educational requirement to become a licensed professional counselor, marital and family therapist, or clinical pastoral counselor through the Tennessee Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marital and Family Therapists, and Licensed Pastoral Therapists.
Pursue a professional counselor license in Tennessee and you’ll need at least 60 graduate semester hours of graduate study in counseling. Similarly, you’ll need a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or a similar program to qualify for a license as a marital and family counselor; and at least 60 graduate semester hours in clinical pastoral therapy, a master of divinity, or a master’s degree or above in a closely related field to become licensed as a clinical pastoral therapist.
A master’s degree in school counseling is also the minimum educational requirement to become a licensed school psychologist through the Tennessee Board of Education.
Your Psychology Career Starts Here: Psychology Master’s Programs in Tennessee
Master’s programs in psychology are plentiful and varied, with big names like the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis offering these degrees.
For example, the University of Tennessee offers master’s degree programs in psychology at both its Chattanooga and Memphis campuses. Choose the Chattanooga campus and you’ll have the option of completing a master’s in either research psychology or I/O psychology. Choose the Memphis campus and you can choose from a master’s in general psychology or an MA/E.Ds. in School Psychology.
The University of Memphis’ master’s offerings in general psychology and school psychology are supported by opportunities for collaborative research and training through such esteemed healthcare institutions as St. Jude Research Hospital and the VA Hospital, and through leading school districts like Shelby County Schools.
The Rise in Violent Crime in Tennessee Calls for the Services of Forensic Psychologists
Violent crime in Tennessee continues to outpace the national rate, according to 2017 FBI statistics. While throughout the country violent crime is on a downward trend, the opposite is true in Tennessee, sparking the need for forensic psychologists trained to provide services to law enforcement and criminal justice systems.
The national rate of violent crime is 394 incidents per 100,000 persons, but in Tennessee, this rate is considerably higher at 651 incidents per 100,000 persons.
The Health of Tennessee Continues to Drop
Tennessee’s overall health has taken a beating in recent years. The opioid crisis has hit this southern state hard. In fact, while the number of deaths due to drugs has increased at a national rate of about 7 percent over the past five years, the increase in Tennessee is a troubling 27 percent.
Add to that higher numbers of cardiovascular deaths, large numbers of smokers, and increased rates of diabetes and obesity, and it’s clear that Tennessee has a health problem on its hands.
Psychology professionals like social psychologists, health psychologists, and clinical and counseling psychologists are needed to provide their expertise to the state’s health-challenged population and to explore changes that need to take place at every level to improve public health.
Industrial/Organizational Psychologists are at Home in Tennessee’s Pro-Business Climate
A CNBC scorecard ranked Tennessee 13thin the nation among “America’s Top States for Business in 2018.” The state is also ranked fifth for its infrastructure and seventh for its economy.
Pursue the industrial/organizational field of psychology and you’ll find a wealth of opportunities aimed at improving executive performance, examining worker productivity and health, and studying cross-cultural issues related to organizational culture, to name just a few. Just some of the major companies that call Tennessee home include FedEx, Eastman Chemical, AutoZone, and International Paper.