What Ethics Classes are Required in Master’s of Psychology Programs?

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If you are planning to work as a psychology professional in a clinical setting or a research setting, it is very important to learn the ins and outs of ethics in Psychology. This is why ethics courses are required for students who are studying to earn their degree in Psychology from a program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation. If you are in the process of mapping out the path that you will take in college, you will need to plan when to take your ethics courses somewhere between the required foundation courses. Here is some information on the courses pertaining to ethics so that you know what to expect as a research or clinical student studying psychology.

Why Is It So Important For Psychology Majors to Learn About Ethics?

In the field of Psychology, it is extremely important that professionals know and follow a Code of Conduct so that they act as ethically as possible. Ethics are the standards that members of any professional are expected and required to follow. Failure to follow these ethics can lead to potential violations that can put licensed professionals at risk of losing their license or damaging their reputation. Because psychologists are privy to private and personal information, it is especially important that there is a standard Code of Conduct. By teaching students about ethics and potential ethical violations while in school, everyone will know the standard that they must follow in their professional lives.

Who Sets the Ethics Code For Psychologists?

The American Psychological Association is both a professional and scientific organization that represents the psychology field in the United States. In an effort to advance the field, promote development, and improve methods, the APA has developed an ethics code referred to as the Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. The code has sections that are specific to research, publication and also clinical work. The code also outlines the punishments for violating the principles. If a professional is found to violate the code by acting unethical, anyone has the right to file an ethics complaint through the APA as well as through the licensing board.

What Courses Must You Take Before You Can Earn Your Master’s in Psychology?

There is a long list of advanced coursework that you must complete before you will be granted your Master of Science in Psychology. Two of these courses are pertinent to professional ethics and the standards set for professionals. These courses are focused around the APA Ethical Principles and the legal issues that can arise if you violate confidentiality laws and must be completed before you do your practicum. Most schools refer to the required courses as Professional Ethics and Legal Issues, but these course titles may vary.

Earning a Master’s degree in Psychology is a step towards a career in a clinical practice or in a research. If you have a Bachelor’s degree and you are ready to advance your career or earn your license, it is time to enroll in a Master’s degree accredited by the APA. Compare programs, review curriculum requirements, and always know the ethics in Psychology so that you stay protected as a professional.

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