Neuropsychology is an important field that blends elements of psychology with the physiology of the brain. While psychology focuses on thought processes and behaviors, neuropsychology is concerned with the structural and functional changes occurring during psychological change. There are many different types of neuropsychology degree programs designed to help train new professionals in this field. The most common programs occur as bachelors, master's, or doctoral degrees.
In many fields, there are associate's degrees or certificate programs available for eager and willing minds. Neuropsychology degree programs do not typically exist in this fashion, although there are likely exceptions to this rule somewhere along the way. This is because, in such a complex field, without a significant degree, there is not much useful work.
Bachelor's degree programs require three to five years for most students to complete. They range in required course work and assignments from university to university, although an overlap in concepts and education generally occurs. These programs are very intense and competitive, with lab work and concurrent science courses most often necessary for graduation. Only those students with high interest in the field and track records of academic success should consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in this field.
Students successfully completing all requirements for a bachelor's degree usually enter the field or go after higher-level degrees. Many choose to transfer their scientific knowledge clinically, working among doctors, nurses, and physician assistants. Others may find that their education is not done. For the latter, fortunately, master's and doctoral degrees are at their disposal.
Getting into a graduate program is no easy task. A stellar undergraduate record must be coupled with extensive experience, superior references, and successful completion of many standardized tests. Requirements may vary, but the challenge of gaining acceptance is universal.
Master's degree programs are usually one to three years in duration and sometimes expect research and teaching experiences out of their candidates. Not only is a full load of course work assigned, but a personal research project may also be undertaken. This is to give students a skill set that is applicable to future employment as well as add to the growing knowledge base of neuropsychology. Neuropsychology degree programs offering master's degrees may also expect candidates to teach undergraduates. This helps students gain teaching experience while maximizing resources for the university.
If a master's degree is the little brother, doctoral programs are the big brothers of neuropsychology degree programs. They are also focused on academia, research, and teaching, only in a broader scale. These neuropsychology degree programs, in all likelihood, take about five to seven years for perspective graduates to complete. Only the most passionate of students should dedicate themselves to programs like these.