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Major Areas of Psychology

Major Areas of Psychology

As mentioned in last week’s blog post, there are many career options with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. In addition to obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, you can continue on to obtain a Master’s Degree or PhD. Once you reach the higher level of study, it is critical to know what area of psychology you are most interested in. Below are the most common areas of psychology, in which you can study for Graduate School. These areas are also acknowledged by APA and identified as applied psychology.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness, abnormal behavior, and psychiatric disorders. Clinicians often work in private practices, but many also work in community centers or at universities and colleges. Others work in hospital settings or mental health clinics as part of a collaborative team that may include physicians, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Industrial-organizational psychology is a branch that applies psychological principles to research on workplace issues such as productivity and behavior. This field of psychology, often referred to as I/O psychology, works to improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace while also maximizing the well-being of employees. Research in I-O psychology is known as applied research because it seeks to solve real-world problems. I-O psychologists study topics such as worker attitudes, employee behaviors, organizational processes, and leadership.

School Psychology

School psychology is a field that involves working in schools to help kids deal with academic, emotional, and social issues. School psychologists also collaborate with teachers, students, and parents to help create a healthy learning environment. Most school psychologists work in elementary and secondary schools, but others work in private clinics, hospitals, state agencies, and universities. Some go into private practice and serve as consultants, especially those with a doctoral degree in school psychology.

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on internal mental states. This area of psychology has continued to grow since it emerged in the 1960s. This area of psychology is centered on the science of how people think, learn, and remember. Psychologists who work in this field often study things such as perception, motivation, emotion, language, learning, memory, attention, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Social Psychology

Social psychology seeks to explain and understand social behavior and looks at diverse topics including group behavior, social interactions, leadership, nonverbal communication, and social influences on decision-making. This field of psychology is focused on the study of topics such as group behavior, social perception, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression, and prejudice. Social influences on behavior are a major interest in social psychology, but social psychologists are also focused on how people perceive and interact with others. While these are the most common areas of psychology, there are other established areas as well.

Quantitative Psychology

Quantitative psychologists study and develop methods and techniques for the measurement of human behavior and other attributes. Their work involves the statistical and mathematical modeling of psychological processes, the design of research studies and the analysis of psychological data. These psychologists design tests for educational purposes, personnel selection and psychological assessment. Their work informs college admissions, employee recruitment and professional certifications


A few more areas of psychology include:

  • Biopsychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Military Psychology


To learn more about the various areas of psychology, feel free to visit