What degrees can I earn?
Neuropsychology is a specialized field within clinical psychology. Thus, there are no neuropsychology graduate programs. Instead, general and clinical psychology doctoral programs allow students to focus on neuropsychology as their main concentration.
There are also no neuropsychology masters programs in the U.S., as students are awarded masters degrees with a concentration in neuropsychology through PhD or PsyD psychology programs. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional or online psychology degree in order to take neuropsychology classes.
Neuropsychology certificates are offered through post-doctoral programs. All applicants must have a doctorate in clinical psychology, although students enrolled in PhD or PysD programs can also apply. Post-doctoral programs provide 1 year of specialized training and award 16 to 19 credits. Currently no psychology certificate programs online offer certificates in neuropsychology.
Although students can receive a masters degree in clinical psychology, there are no clinical neuropsychology masters programs in the U.S. Students interested in neuropsychology can receive masters degrees concentrating in neuropsychology only in conjunction with doctorate programs or through programs based outside of the U.S., such as in England and Australia. However, there is a variety of online masters in psychology programs, such as cognitive psychology, that offer relevant courses in neuropsychology.
You can earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology that emphasizes research in neuropsychology. In order to be accepted into a competitive doctorate program, you must have earned a bachelors degree from an accredited institution and completed relevant coursework or research in or related to the field. Typically doctorate students take 5 to 7 years to complete a neuropsychology PhD program and are awarded 107 to 121 credit hours.
Are there any online programs?
Due to the lack of accredited neuropsychology online colleges, advanced students usually pursue their studies on traditional campuses or through relevant online classes that concentrate in neuropsychology. The best neuropsychology online program, then, is not offered through neuropsychology schools online but rather as a specialization within general or clinical psychology. For example, Union Institute & University offers a PsyD program in general psychology that allows you to pursue coursework in clinical neuropsychology.
You should keep in mind that although advanced online training specializing in neuropsychology can be pursued on a doctoral level, mandatory on-site residencies must be completed in person.
There are no neuropsychology online masters degree programs. However, you can enroll in online masters psychology programs that offer coursework in the field. They can usually be completed entirely online, although some programs offer hybrid options for students who want on-site clinical training. Traditional and online colleges offer distance learning programs in general and clinical psychology at all educational levels, from bachelors to doctoral programs.
What kinds of classes will I take in my program?
Bachelor-level curricula for students majoring in psychology consist of general educational requirements and foundational courses in psychology. Core introductory undergraduate subjects include cognitive, behavioral, developmental and social psychology. Other traditional and online psychology courses frequently review abnormal psychology, which uses brain mapping to diagnose mental disorders.
Advanced students specializing in neuropsychology take upper-level courses in cognitive, memory, behavioral and learning processes. All masters and doctoral students also take classes in research methods and schools of thought that have shaped neuropsychology such as psychodynamics and Gestalt theory. Doctoral students are introduced to psychometrics and psychopathology and can take a range of neuropsychology online courses, including those from open courseware, to supplement their research.
What careers can I choose from?
In all settings, neuropsychology jobs focus on the relationship between brain patterns and behavior. Careers in psychology for PsyD graduates usually focus on direct clinical services, while PhD students in neuropsychology are hired by research centers and universities.
The best careers in neuropsychology include work as a clinical neuropsychologist and a neuropsychology researcher. Neuropsychology salary is one of the highest in psychology, as professionals make an average of about $110,000 per year.
Clinical neuropsychologists often work in multidisciplinary teams that consist of neurologists, neurosurgeons and other medical providers who work closely with patients suffering from brain disorders, head injuries and trauma. They frequently work in rehabilitation centers and engage with their patients by employing various tests to assess their conditions. They must have a PsyD or PhD, which takes 5 to 7 years to complete. On average, clinical neuropsychologists earn annual salaries of about $110,000.
The work of neuropsychology researchers is funded by universities, the government, medical centers and rehabilitation facilities. Rather than providing direct healthcare services, they conduct research on brain-behavior relationships, their impact on physical abilities and developmental disorders. All neuropsychology researchers have PhDs in psychology and complete their degrees in 5 to 7 years. On average, they receive an annual salary of $100,000 to $200,000, depending on their field of research, where they work and years of experience.
Is there anything else I should know about getting a degree in neuropsychology?
Since clinical neuropsychologists provide direct healthcare services, they must be state licensed. Before they take their state license examinations, clinical neuropsychologists must complete an accredited doctoral program, a 1-year clinical internship and a 2-year post-doctoral neuropsychology training program. As a result, clinical neuropsychologists go through a lengthy training period that lasts 8 to 10 years.
Although optional, some clinical neuropsychologists also take the neuropsychology certification examination administered by the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology. Once they pass this neuropsychology certification exam, they become board certified and are eligible to become members of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology.
In addition, clinical neuropsychologists must renew their state license every 2 to 4 years by completing a minimum number of hours of continuing education. Most clinical neuropsychologists accumulate hours through classes and workshops offered by universities, as well as post-doctoral programs that award psychology certifications in different subfields of cognitive and clinical psychology.