Your Online Resource for Neuropsychology Programs
NeuropsychologyPrograms is an online hub for information on Neuropsychology degrees. Neuropsychology is a fascinating field where the mind and brain are studied. Most students go on to work in research or can become neuropsychologists with the proper licensing, varying by state. While many schools don’t offer online programs in Neuropsychology, there are several other options, like mental and cognitive available.
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Neuropsychology programs start at the bachelor’s level and go up to PhD. To work in neuropsychology is a lengthy process and similar to become a doctor in terms of work load and time commitment. Many programs are offered through traditional and online schools to study neuropsychology. Some schools do not offer all three levels of degrees in neuropsychology. In the medical field, this is common, as students are encouraged to attend different schools for each degree they obtain. There are also fast-track programs for students with a four year degree in the subject. Neuropsychology is considered an applied science and studies the relationship between the brain and a person’s behavior. This includes subjects like:
- Psychopharmacology comprise neuropsychology
Bachelor’s Degree in Neuropsychology
Students who wish to become clinical neuropsychologists must obtain a bachelor’s degree first. These programs cover the fundamentals of the field and prepare you for a master’s or doctoral program. At this level, students learn the tools of neuropsychology such as positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Students learn about the change in brain chemistry that affects and causes a person’s behavior.
Other areas of study are emotional and behavioral functioning, brain chemistry after psychological trauma, psychiatric disorders, and brain damage. Neuropsychology programs are sometimes called neuro science. Those with a bachelor’s degree in psychology will be eligible for neuropsychology programs at the master’s or doctoral level. When choosing what type of bachelor’s degree to obtain, those wishing to work in neuropsychology should seek a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. This guarantees an applied science curriculum. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is geared toward those who want to work in education or work in talk-based therapy, such as family or relationship counseling. Those with a BA in Psychology typically do not qualify for master’s or doctoral programs in neuropsychology because the subjects entail a different approach.
Master’s Degree in Neuropsychology
This degree is intended for students who do not plan on obtaining a PhD. There are many programs that combine the master’s and PhD programs, which are ideal for students who wish to become clinical neuropsychologists. With a master’s degree in the field, you can teach at some community colleges and you can work in neuropsychology as a licensed practitioner, but without the formal label of being a doctor (since you will not have a doctoral degree). With a master’s degree, you are not able to sit for licensing exams as someone with a PhD, but you do qualify for other licenses and certificates that allow you to treat and work with patients. You cannot administer prescription drugs with a master’s degree in the field. Those with a master’s degree usually go on to work with rehabilitation centers, nonprofit agencies for the mentally ill or education programs with students who have suffered from psychological trauma. Though you cannot work as a doctor with this degree, there are many exciting career avenues to utilize your degrees.
Doctoral Degree, PsyD. or PhD in Neuropsychology
The doctoral level degree is needed in order to work as a clinical neuropsychologist or teach at the university level. Doctoral programs are designed either for students to continue a career in research or to work in the applied sciences, working with patients as a clinical neuropsychologist. This is the degree that takes the most research when selecting a program. You want to ensure the program you choose fits your needs as a student and your career path. Doctoral degrees in neuropsychology are offered by many established schools and online programs. Because most doctoral programs have an independent study layouts for students, online degrees in the field are becoming increasingly popular. Many students also work in neuropsychology for a few years before entering a doctoral program. Students with a bachelor’s degree in the subject often qualify for a fast track program that bypasses the master’s degree. Instead, a student completes a five-year doctoral program, in which a master’s degree is part of that program. This does not hinder the student in any way when it comes to job opportunities and in fact, works to a student’s advantage since this means an internship and clinicals begin sooner.
Neuropsychology and Online Degree Programs
When researching online programs for neuropsychology, the main concern is making sure the program is accredited by a regional organization. This will allow your credits to transfer between programs and also give the degree you obtain from that particular school validity for applying to another school for your next program (such as applying for a PhD after completing your master’s). Accreditation is vital to your career, whether you plan on working in research or practicing on patients. Most programs state their accreditation source on their website. Further questions can be answered by a school advisor. Learn more about the program you’re considering by asking about instructor qualifications, how long they have been teaching online and how the program is structured over the four or five year period.
For doctoral programs, a year of internship is required by most programs, along with two years of clinical work under the supervision of a licensed clinical neuropsychologist. Ask the school advisor how this is arranged for an online program. Those that are extensions of traditional schools typically have relationships with area clinics, doctors and hospitals for students to complete clinical work. Because all doctoral programs in this field require a student have a background in the subject, some may be able to set up clinicals through past neuropsychology programs or instructors. The internship and clinical hours must be completed before a license allowing a student to practice is awarded.
When Do I Begin an Internship and Clinicals?
These things are only part of a doctoral program. First, a student is required to complete all coursework, their dissertation, and training. He or she is then fit to move forward with the internship portion of the program. During an internship for neuropsychology, students can work with various types of doctors so they see an array of cases and how treatment varies from patient to patient, sometimes for the same issue. A portion of the internship may involve seeing a doctor’s treatment of patients, while the rest of it involves working with patients directly (under supervision), educational conferences, and clinical supervision. The program is usually divided into two to four parts, depending on how much internship time and clinicals are needed for the school’s curriculum. During this time students should take advantage of the various cases they see, allowing them to explore the area
of concentration they may be interested in for the latter portion of clinicals. Most programs allow a student to choose which area of neuropsychology they spend the bulk of clinicals, as long as other areas the appropriate time in spent in the other required areas.
Psychology Associations and Neuropsychology Programs
All doctoral programs must be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in order to become a licensed doctor. After obtaining your degree, you must become board certified one of the following associations:
- The American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN)
- The American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology (ABPN)
- The American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABPdN)
These associations certify a student by examining the their training, case study examples, experience and successful completion of oral and written exams. After receiving your license from one of these organizations, you are able to open your own practice or join colleagues at a practice to work directly with patients. You can also work at a hospital or clinic. Most doctors working in neuropsychology work at hospitals. Those with their own offices usually practice a mix of talk-based therapy and psychiatry and newer methods for patient treatment.
Written and Oral Examination
After receiving approval from one of the organizations mentioned above, students are then required to complete written and oral exams to further illustrate their comprehensive studies in the field. The written exam is administered at a variety of neuropsychology conferences held in the United States throughout the year. These conferences include the National Academy of Neuropsychology meeting, the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, and the International Neuropsychology meetings. The written exam is comprised of 100 questions, covering areas such as general clinical psychology, basic neuroscience and behavioral neurology.
The oral exam involves answering questions about the student’s case studies before a panel of three examiners. Students are asked questions concerning their research methodology, clinical reports and ethics. The examiners will also give you a new case study and the student is expected to diagnose the subject based on the information received.
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