Skip to content

4 career paths you can pursue with a master’s in psychology in Irvine, California

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in psychology, you may not necessarily need to earn your doctoral degree.

That may leave you asking the question: What can you do with a master’s in psychology?

The answer is: Quite a bit.

Fortunately, there is a broad spectrum of California careers that only require a master’s degree. Careers that you may find with a master’s in psychology can come from any field. The Chicago School’s Irvine Campus offers various master’s programs that focus on a variety of careers and fields that help meet the needs of the Southern California community.

Today, however, let’s concentrate on four distinct areas: business, law enforcement, legal and public policy, and marriage and family therapy.


1) Business

Earning a master’s in psychology doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work in a counselor’s office. You can take your psychology skills to the business world.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology is one of the fastest growing vocational fields in the U.S. I/O psychology provides you with valuable skills that apply to solve workplace challenges like employee engagement and retention. An M.A. in I/O Psychology can provide the foundation needed to launch a successful career in consulting, marketing, and H.R.

Comprehensive M.A. I/O programs will integrate theory into real-world application. The Chicago School’s Irvine campus, for example, offers an M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology where you will have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom through an internship at an approved site or through your current workplace.


2) Law enforcement

Have you considered applying your interest in psychology to the law?

Forensic psychology is the study of psychology as it relates to careers in the area of law. One area where professionals in this field can find rewarding careers is in law enforcement. While there’s a broad range of careers that you can find in law enforcement, many who pursue work in forensic psychology become Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs), performing a variety of services, including:

  • Mental state examinations
  • Violence risk assessments
  • Police instruction and training
  • De-escalating domestic disputes
  • Counseling offenders

If a career in law enforcement seems intriguing to you, The Chicago School’s Irvine campus offers an M.A. in Forensic Psychology with a Police Psychology concentration.

With courses in police administration, police training, and other areas, this unique program can prepare you for a career in law enforcement. Through real-world application, you will have the opportunity to network with other professionals in the Irvine Police Department, Coroner’s Office, and City Attorney’s office. Upon completion of this master’s degree, you will have satisfied the educational requirement to sit for licensure as an LPCC in California.


3) Legal and public policy

Careers in forensic psychology are not limited to law enforcement and can encompass the legal and public policy arena as well. Most professionals in this area provide services to law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and local and state government. Some of the duties these professionals are asked to perform include assessments, clinical treatment, conflict management, and crisis negotiation and management.

If you’re interested in a career in this area, you will need to gain experience with trauma and crisis intervention and mental health law as well as many other relevant topics.

TCSPP Irvine also offers an M.A. in Forensic Psychology with a counselor licensure track. Like the Police Psychology concentration, this program prepares students academically to apply for the California LPCC examination.


4) Marriage and family therapy (MFT)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Southern California has some of the nation’s highest employment levels for this occupation. There is a substantial need for marriage and family therapists, and you don’t need a doctoral degree to become a licensed therapist in California.

Like the name suggests, marriage and family therapists work with couples, children, and families that are experiencing emotional, behavioral, and psychological distress. As a licensed therapist, you may find a career providing these services in a variety of settings, including:

  • Private practice
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Courts and prisons
  • Community mental health centers
  • Government agencies

In addition to what you learn in the classroom, a comprehensive MFT program will include practicum experience—supplementing theory with clinical field training. In order to be able to sit for the MFT licensing examination, the program needs to meet the academic requirements of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).

Not only does The Chicago School’s Irvine M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Marital and Family Specialization meet the academic requirements of the BBS, but it also meets the content areas of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In addition, this master’s degree in clinical psychology program helps you gain valuable hands-on experience. Placements include a minimum of 250 hours of supervised clinical experience.

After completion of TCSPP’s MFT program, you will be academically eligible to sit for the licensure exam to become an MFT (marriage and family therapist) in California.

Are you interested in learning more about The Chicago School of Professional Psychology? Fill out the form below to request more information, visit our programs page, or you can apply today through our application portal.


Looking for updates, press releases, and general news from The Chicago School?



For questions or comments on our news stories or releases, or if you are a reporter who would like to speak with an expert, please contact:

Victor Abalos, Director of Communications
(213)615-7270 (office)
(818)321-5371 (mobile)
[email protected]
Lisa Riley, Communications Manager, Chicago
(312) 410-8963 (office)
(312) 646-9130 (mobile)
[email protected]