Neuropsychology Master’s Program – Everything You Need to Know

At a glance

Summary A master’s degree in neuropsychology is an advanced academic program that delves into the relationship between brain function and behavior
Entry Requirements Master’s degree in psychology, biology or a related field
Completion Time 1-2 years
Coursework & Credits 30-60 credits, including coursework in foundational neuropsychology, brain anatomy and neuropsychological disorders
Cost $10,000 – $60,000 per year
Post PhD Steps After earning the PhD, most individuals need to become licensed to practice as psychologists, which entails additional supervised hours and passing a licensing exam.
Career Opportunities Most go on to study for a neuropsychology PhD and practice as a clinical neuropsychologist however with your master’s degree alone you can be a neuropsychology technician, research assistant, rehabilitation counselor, clinical case manager or academic instructor.
Earning Potential $47,000+ annually


Neuropsychology is a specialized branch of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and human behavior, particularly examining how brain structures and systems relate to cognitive functions, emotions, and behaviors.

A master’s degree in neuropsychology offers advanced training in understanding the intricacies of brain function, the effects of brain damage or disease, and the techniques for assessment and intervention. Students pursuing this degree are exposed to a combination of theoretical coursework, clinical training, and research opportunities, diving deep into topics like brain anatomy, neuroimaging techniques, and neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation.

A master’s program in neuropsychology typically serves as a stepping stone for individuals seeking to pursue a neuropsychology PhD or other doctoral degree and a career as a clinical neuropsychologist. However, a master’s degree on its own can also offer opportunities in research settings, clinical environments, or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals such as neurologists, psychiatrists, and rehabilitation therapists.

It typically takes 1-2 years to complete a full-time master’s program and areas of study usually include; foundations of neuropsychology, brain anatomy, neuropsychological assessment, neuropsychological disorders, developmental neuropsychology and neuropsychopharmacology.

Learn more about psychology master’s degrees

Why get a master’s degree in neuropsychology?

A master’s degree in neuropsychology can open up a wide range of career opportunities in research, clinical practice, and education. Neuropsychologists are in high demand, and their work is essential to helping people with brain injuries and other neurological disorders. A master’s degree in neuropsychology will give you the knowledge and skills you need to make a real difference in the lives of others.
Dr. Sarah Wright, Neuropsychologist and Clinical Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles

Growing Demand for Neuropsychological Services

With an aging global population, there’s an increased prevalence of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. According to the World Health Organization, dementia, a primary focus of neuropsychological care, is expected to triple from 50 million cases in 2018 to 152 million by 2050. A master’s degree in neuropsychology prepares graduates to meet this growing demand, equipping them with the skills to assess, diagnose, and provide interventions for individuals with these and related conditions.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities and Collaboration

Neuropsychology sits at the intersection of multiple fields like psychology, neuroscience, medicine, and even AI-based neural modeling. This interdisciplinary nature offers graduates unique opportunities for collaboration and research. For instance, a 2020 article in the journal “Nature Neuroscience” highlighted the increasing convergence between neuropsychology and artificial intelligence in understanding and replicating brain function. By studying neuropsychology at a master’s level, students position themselves at the forefront of such innovative cross-disciplinary ventures.

Personal and Professional Development

The skills gained in neuropsychological training aren’t just restricted to clinical or research settings. They also provide a broader understanding of human cognition, decision-making, and behavior. According to a report from the American Psychological Association, neuropsychologists often cite the deep satisfaction derived from helping patients as a major professional perk, underscoring the degree’s potential for personal fulfillment. Additionally, the report noted that neuropsychology, being a specialized field, often commands higher salaries compared to other branches of psychology, indicating robust professional opportunities and financial incentives.

Entry requirements for a Clinical Psychology PhD program

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Most programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. While many students come from a background in psychology, neuroscience, or a related field, some programs may accept students from diverse academic backgrounds, provided they have completed certain prerequisite courses.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Depending on the program, there might be specific undergraduate courses you need to have completed before admission. Common prerequisite courses often include introductory psychology, statistics, research methods, and sometimes biological or cognitive psychology.
  • Letters of Recommendation: These are typically required and should come from individuals who can speak to your academic and/or professional capabilities and your suitability for graduate study. This often includes professors, research supervisors, or work supervisors.
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose: This is an essay detailing your interest in neuropsychology, your career goals, why you’re applying to the specific program, and any relevant experiences (e.g., research, clinical work).
  • Research Experience: While not always a strict requirement, having research experience is often viewed favorably, especially for programs that have a strong research component.
  • Clinical Experience: For programs with a clinical focus, prior experience working in clinical settings, even if it’s volunteering, can enhance an application.
  • Interview: Some programs may require candidates to attend an interview, which can be in-person, by phone, or via video-conferencing. The interview typically assesses your fit with the program, your interests, and your commitment to the field.
  • English Proficiency: For non-native English speakers, tests like the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) might be required to demonstrate proficiency in English.

What’s covered in a neuropsychology master’s program?

A master’s degree in neuropsychology provides students with a broad foundation in the study of the brain-behavior relationship. Core coursework typically includes topics such as neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropsychology assessment, neuropsychology diagnosis, and neuropsychological rehabilitation. Students also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of neuropsychology, such as pediatric neuropsychology, geriatric neuropsychology, or forensic neuropsychology.
Dr. Amy Wagner, Neuropsychologist and Professor of Psychology at Stanford University

A master’s program in neuropsychology provides comprehensive training on the relationship between brain function and behavior. While the specifics of what’s covered can vary based on the institution and the program’s focus, the following offers a general overview of typical subjects and areas of study:

  • Foundations of Neuropsychology: Introduction to the field, its history, key figures, and foundational concepts.
  • Brain Anatomy and Neuroscience: Detailed exploration of the brain’s structure and function, covering topics like neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neural pathways.
  • Neuropsychological Assessment: Methods and tools used to evaluate cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions. Students learn how to administer and interpret neuropsychological tests.
  • Neuropsychological Disorders: Study of various neurological and psychiatric disorders affecting cognition and behavior, such as traumatic brain injuries, dementias, stroke, and developmental disorders.
  • Developmental Neuropsychology: Examination of cognitive and neural development throughout the lifespan, from infancy to old age, including developmental disorders like ADHD and dyslexia.
  • Clinical Neuropsychology: This focuses on the application of neuropsychological knowledge in clinical settings, including diagnostic criteria, treatment planning, and rehabilitation strategies.
  • Neuroimaging Techniques: An overview of techniques used to visualize and study the brain, such as MRI, fMRI, PET scans, and EEG.
  • Neuropsychopharmacology: Exploration of how various drugs influence brain function, cognition, and behavior.
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation: Strategies and interventions aimed at helping individuals recover or compensate for cognitive deficits.
  • Research Methods and Statistics: Introduction to methods used in neuropsychological research, including experimental design, data collection, and statistical analysis.
  • Ethics in Neuropsychology: Examination of ethical considerations unique to neuropsychological research and practice.
  • Advanced Seminars: These might cover specialized topics like sports-related brain injuries, neurodegenerative diseases, or the neuropsychology of emotion.
  • Clinical Practicum or Internship: Practical experience in a clinical setting, allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills under supervision.
  • Thesis or Research Project: Depending on the program, students might be required to conduct original research and present their findings in a formal thesis.

First Year

Fall Semester:

  • Foundations of Neuropsychology
  • Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology
  • Cognitive Psychology: Theory and Application
  • Research Methods in Neuropsychology
  • Ethics in Psychological Research and Practice

Spring Semester:

  • Neuropsychological Assessment I: Adult & Pediatric Populations
  • Neuroimaging Techniques and Interpretation
  • Developmental Neuropsychology
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Statistics for Neuropsychologists


  • Clinical Practicum or Internship (Optional, but some programs may require a summer placement)

Second Year

Fall Semester:

  • Neuropsychological Assessment II: Advanced Techniques
  • Neuropsychological Disorders: Diagnosis & Intervention
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation Strategies
  • Seminar: Special Topics in Neuropsychology (e.g., Neuropsychology of Emotion or Sports-related Brain Injuries)
  • Advanced Research Methods and Design

Spring Semester:

  • Clinical Neuropsychology: Case Formulation & Treatment Planning
  • Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology
  • Advanced Seminar: Current Issues in Neuropsychology
  • Master’s Thesis/Research Project
  • Clinical Practicum or Internship II

How much does a master’s degree in neuropsychology cost?

Cost for a neuropsychology master’s program ranges from $10,000 – $60,000 per academic year.

At public universities in the U.S., in-state residents typically pay tuition ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per academic year, while out-of-state residents may face higher rates of $10,000 to $50,000. In comparison, private universities generally charge between $25,000 and $60,000, or even more, per academic year. It’s important to note that these figures represent tuition costs alone.

Students should also factor in expenses like books, supplies, fees, accommodation, transportation, and other personal needs, which can significantly increase the overall annual cost.

Various financial aid options, including scholarships and assistantships, are available in many graduate programs to help mitigate these costs. Furthermore, online programs may offer different tuition structures, sometimes presenting more affordable options than traditional on-campus courses.

What to look for in a master’s degree

Accreditation and Program Reputation:

Accreditation is a process where an external organization evaluates a school or a specific program to ensure it meets established quality standards. Choosing a program from an accredited institution ensures that your education meets nationally recognized standards for the profession. Moreover, program reputation, often gauged by alumni success, faculty expertise, and research contributions, can significantly impact employability and opportunities after graduation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, accredited schools are more likely to be recognized and respected by employers and other institutions. Therefore, checking for proper accreditation and a program’s reputation in the field can be a pivotal first step in the selection process.

Curriculum and Specialization Opportunities:

The content and structure of the curriculum can vary between programs. Some might offer a broad overview of neuropsychology, while others could provide opportunities to specialize in areas like pediatric neuropsychology, rehabilitation, or neuroimaging. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a well-rounded curriculum that balances both foundational knowledge and applied experiences is crucial for success in neuropsychology. It’s also beneficial if the program offers diverse electives, hands-on experiences, and opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research, as this prepares students for a variety of professional roles and ensures they’re at the forefront of the field.

Cost, Financial Aid, and Return on Investment (ROI):

Tuition and associated costs can be significant determining factors when choosing a master’s program. However, it’s also crucial to consider the return on investment. For example, a more expensive program might offer better resources, networking opportunities, or job placements, making it worth the higher cost in the long run. According to a report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, individuals with graduate degrees, on average, earn up to 28% more than those with just a bachelor’s degree over a lifetime. Additionally, many institutions offer financial aid, scholarships, and assistantships that can significantly offset costs. By comparing the total costs with potential long-term earnings and available financial support, students can make informed decisions about the economic value of their education.

What jobs can you do with a master’s degree in neuropsychology?

Many who study for a master’s in neuropsychology go on to pursue a PhD and practice as a neuropsychologist.

If however you decide to go straight in to employment after this degree, here are some common jobs open to you:

  1. Neuropsychology Technician – Assists licensed neuropsychologists in administering and scoring neuropsychological tests and collecting patient data.
  2. Research Associate – Works on neuropsychological research projects, designing experiments, collecting data, and analyzing results to further the understanding of brain-behavior relationships.
  3. Rehabilitation Counselor – Provides guidance and counseling to individuals with cognitive impairments, helping them adapt to daily life and achieve personal and professional goals.
  4. Clinical Case Manager – Coordinates interdisciplinary care for patients with neuropsychological disorders, ensuring they receive tailored interventions and support.
  5. Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist – Develops and implements therapeutic interventions aimed at improving cognitive functions in patients with brain injuries or neurodegenerative disorders.
  6. Behavioral Interventionist – Designs and applies behavior modification interventions to help individuals with neurological conditions manage maladaptive behaviors.
  7. Academic Advisor – Guides and supports students in academic settings, particularly those pursuing studies in psychology or related fields.
  8. Neuroimaging Technician – Operates and manages neuroimaging equipment, like MRI or fMRI machines, to assist in brain research and diagnostics.
  9. Pharmaceutical Researcher – Works for pharmaceutical companies, studying the effects of drugs on cognitive functions and behaviors and assisting in the development of new treatments.
  10. Outreach Coordinator for Brain Health Initiatives – Promotes brain health awareness, organizes community events, and provides resources on neuropsychological topics to the general public.

How much can you earn with a master’s degree in neuropsychology?

Here is a general overview of earning potential based on common careers pursued by individuals with a master’s degree in neuropsychology:

  1. Neuropsychology Technician: $42,500
  2. Research Associate: $50,000
  3. Rehabilitation Counselor: $45,000
  4. Clinical Case Manager: $50,000
  5. Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist: $48,000
  6. Behavioral Interventionist: $47,000
  7. Academic Advisor: $47,500
  8. Neuroimaging Technician: $55,000
  9. Pharmaceutical Researcher: $60,000
  10. Outreach Coordinator for Brain Health Initiatives: $45,000