Psychology is dedicated to improving the human condition by a deep understanding of how the mind works through research and practice. So, it makes sense that as our society grows and evolves, the psychology field needs to change and adapt. With mental illness constituting 7.4 percent of the world’s measurable burden of disease, it’s more important than ever to look at new and emerging trends in psychology.
One major trend in psychology to watch is the development of more Master of Science, rather than Master of Arts, degrees in psychology.
"We are changing many of our MA programs to MS programs in the future,” said Dr. Bettina Shapira, Department Chair, Department of Psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northcentral University. “An emerging trend in the psychology profession is a movement more toward MS programs. Students feel they can be more marketable with an MS."
The Master of Science in Forensic Psychology is one of NCU's first MS programs offered to fit the growing needs of these students.
“It’s still a very new program,” said Dr. James Billings, Northcentral University’s Dean, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, of the field that incorporates criminal investigation and law. While reality and TV obviously diverge, the fact is that popular culture is influencing a new generation of students to consider a forensic psychology career.
According to Shapira, another major trend in psychology to watch is focusing on societal issues related to race.
“At NCU, we have diversity-related programs and fields of study,” she said. “There are University-wide committees that keep us updated on issues as it affects curriculum, and sub-committees review all of our courses to ensure that each and every course has topics related to diversity and culture.”
As the world’s population ages, gerontology is gaining traction as a popular psychology field now.
“Gerontology looks at the many emotional and physical challenges of aging,” said Billings. “While this may not be a new field, it’s certainly a field that continues to grow.”
On the opposite side of the spectrum, obesity in young adults and children appears to be another emerging trend in psychology.
“Obesity, and the issues surrounding the effects on young brains, is an emerging area,” said Shapira. “Health psychology courses and gender development, prenatal and early childhood coursework explores brain development as well as healthy behavior and related issues.”
Visit our psychology programs page to learn more about the various degree programs offered in the discipline. If you are interested in learning more about Northcentral University's School of Social & Behavioral Sciences visit the school's page in the About Us area of the site.
*For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed programs, and other important information, please visit www.ncu.edu/program-disclosures.