Top 50 Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology

By Kristen Fescoe
Published July 2016

Over the course of the past fifteen years there has been a shift within the field of psychology, which has led to an increasing number of master’s degree holders providing care to those in need of mental health services. Many colleges and universities are now offering master’s degree programs in psychology and counseling to serve as terminal degrees. Most of these programs include a rigorous curriculum, covering the theoretical aspects of the field, extensive training in how to conduct and analyze research, and clinical skills for work with clients. Many such programs will require students to complete an internship or practicum as part of their course of study. A rising number of schools are offering research opportunities that begin during the first year.

Another important curricular requirement at many universities is completion of a thesis. Typically, students pursuing a master of science will conduct a research-based thesis, and those pursuing a master of arts will complete a literature review based thesis. In many cases, students will have the opportunity to present their findings at conferences and student presentations.

Details about our ranking methodology can be found at end of the article.

Ranking the Top 50 Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology

#50: Felician College – Lodi, New Jersey

Felician College Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 2
Program Website

Felician College offers a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with a goal of preparing students for a career as a licensed counselor. The program uses classroom learning coupled with fieldwork to help students begin to understand patterns of behavior and create treatment plans for a range of clients. The program is taught within the construct of the Franciscan values of learning, a commitment to service, and respect for all people. This Counseling Psychology program uses a combination of two approaches: a focus on preparing students to be caring practitioners who help clients reach their full potential, combined with an emphasis on the growing field of positive psychology. By using this dynamic approach students learn to be mindful, spiritually driven, and have the capacity to empower those with whom they work.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $19,055
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Accreditation:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#49: Fielding Graduate University – Santa Barbara, California

Fielding Graduate University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe School of Psychology

Points: 3
Program Website

Fielding Graduate University is among the few schools in the country to offer graduate training in the field of Media Psychology. With constant change occurring within the media backdrop, there is a significant need for professionals who understand how media influences behavior, how to safely and effectively use media, and how to advise others to use it in a manner that creates positive social change. The flexible online program collects a community of learners at the master’s and doctoral training levels, all learning from the same faculty. Some of the topics that the curriculum emphasizes are Emerging Media, Neuromarketing, Transmedia Storytelling, Audience Engagement, Global Media and Positive Psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $15,805
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Media Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#48: Naropa University – Boulder, Colorado

Naropa University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 4
Program Website

Naropa University is a different kind of university with an extensive collection of unique degree programs. One such distinct program is the distance degree in Ecopsychology. This program combines psychology and ecology in the study of the human-nature relationship. The curriculum is based in contemplative practice and transpersonal psychology to offer students a foundation for this integration. It is a two-year, 38-credit low-residency program that begins each summer. Students can also pursue the following excellent master’s degree programs:

  • Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Somatic Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $22,570
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in EcoPsychology
Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology
Master of Arts in Somatic Counseling
Master of Arts in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#47: Goddard College – Plainfield, Vermont

Goddard College Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 5
Program Website

The Goddard College Master of Arts in Psychology has been created to train students for careers in many different areas of the broader field of psychology. Students become armed with the professional skills that are required to advance their career goals and their personal development. The program is offered through a low-residency model that allows student to earn their graduate degree while also working and attending to their family and personal obligations. In this model, each semester starts with an eight-day residency on the main campus in Plainfield, Vermont. After the residency, students complete 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentor. The school also offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling for students planning to train for clinical work and licensing.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $17,408
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Counseling
Master of Arts in Psychology
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#46: University of the Rockies – Denver, Colorado

University of the Rockies Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 5
Program Website

The University of the Rockies has built a reputation for nation leading online degree programs. The Master of Arts in Psychology is among the most highly regarded of the school’s programs. Students pursuing this degree can choose from the following excellent specialization areas: Career Management & Counseling, Criminology & Justice Studies, Educational Leadership, General Psychology, Health & Wellness, Mediation & Conflict Resolution and Sport & Performance Psychology. Students throughout the various specializations are given training in how human behavior impacts the world of business and related organizations. To complete the online MA psychology program, students must successfully complete 39 credits of coursework and earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $17,398
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology With Specialization in Career Management & Counseling
Master of Arts in Psychology With Specialization in Criminology & Justice Studies
Master of Arts in Psychology With Specialization in Educational Leadership
Master of Arts in Psychology With Specialization in General Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology With Specialization in Health & Wellness
Master of Arts in Psychology With Specialization in Mediation & Conflict Resolution
Master of Arts in Psychology With Specialization in Sport & Performance Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#45: Golden Gate University – San Francisco, California

Golden Gate University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 5
Program Website

Golden Gate University is a small university with a more than one graduate option in the field of psychology. The Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is a flexible online program designed train students to begin or advance into the expanding career of industrial-organizational psychology. Students in this program are given a firm footing in the theories, models and professional expectations for practice. A second degree option is the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, which is designed to train students to perform psychotherapy in settings ranging from community mental health to hospitals to private practice. The degree satisfies the requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $16,830
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#44: Sacred Heart University – Fairfield, Connecticut

Sacred Heart University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 6
Program Website

Sacred Heart University offers an excellent online Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MSAP) program with three options for specialization. Each of the three tracks is designed to guide students in the best ways to apply the science of human behavior to solve practical real-world problems. The program uses a unique delivery system of eight-week courses, where students can pursue an accelerated degree, completing the entire program in as little as one calendar year by taking two classes per session in an evening hybrid (online and on-campus) program. The optional concentrations include:

  1. Industrial-Organizational Psychology Concentration – This concentration emphasizes the study of how people work in groups and organizations.
  2. Community Psychology Concentration‎‎ – This concentration trains students to make positive societal changes and help individuals in need.
  3. General Applied Psychology Concentration‎‎‎ – This general master’s degree in applied psychology uses a combination of courses from both concentrations as well as other approved Sacred Heart University graduate courses.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $23,125
US News and World Report Rankings:
#41 Best Northern Regional University
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Master of Science in Applied Psychology with Concentration in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Master of Science in Applied Psychology with Concentration in Community Psychology
Master of Science in Applied Psychology with Concentration in General Applied Psychology
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#43: LeTourneau University – Longview, Texas

Letourneau University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
Psychology, M.A.

Points: 6
Program Website

The LeTourneau Master of Arts in Psychology degree program prepares students to work directly with those in need of help using acquired skills combined with a Christian worldview. Students enrolled in this program are asked to utilize their undergraduate foundation to gain new skills and information in more specialized areas of psychology. They also gain valuable research skills to be applied in their careers or to use in a doctoral level program. Students learn in a flexible, interactive online format with the ability to participate in a practicum experience. Students can also opt to pursue 14 credit hours of graduate level electives in business, leadership, education, religion or additional hours of psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $19,575
US News and World Report Rankings:
#10 Best Value School
#32 Best Western Regional University
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#42: Baker College – Flint, Michigan

Baker College Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 6
Program Website

The Baker College Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Degree trains students for exceptional career opportunities in the growing field of psychology. The curriculum was chosen by a dedicated group of instructors who use their own professional experiences to enhance the academic experience for students in the program. The program highlights the study of behavior and performance in the workplace and additional organizational settings. Students learn to use theories, methods, and principles of psychology at the individual, team, and organizational levels.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $11,745
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#41: Indiana Institute of Technology – Fort Wayne, Indiana

Indiana Institute of Technology Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology

The College of General Studies – The Department of Psychology

Points: 6
Program Website

The online Master of Science in Psychology at Indiana Institute of Tech is a leading online program for students hoping to enter careers, to enhance their employment potential, as well as those who plan to pursue doctoral level training. Students in this program are provided a foundation in advanced psychological principles, theories, practices and research. They will also be taught using a rigorous curriculum that aligns with the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Commission on Accreditation Educational Guidelines for doctoral education to aid in transfer of credits for entrance into other graduate training programs in psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $11,325
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#40: Anna Maria College – Paxton, Massachusetts

Anna Maria College Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology

The School of Justice and Social Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 6
Program Website

Anna Maria College is a small college with just over 1,000 undergraduate students. Students with an interest in psychology can earn their graduate psychology degree in an intimate college environment. The Master in Counseling Psychology degree integrates traditional coursework and practicum experiences to train professionals for success in a range of mental health settings. The Psychology Department uses a unique 2-Tier System, which includes one tier that allows students to complete the traditional 12 course, 36 credit master’s degree program. The second tier provides an additional eight 3-credit courses, including an internship and seminars, to meet the 60 graduate credit requirement for licensure as a mental health counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,530
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#39: American Public University System – American Military University – Charles Town, West Virginia

American Public University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The School of Arts and Humanities – The Department of Psychology

Points: 6
Program Website

The American Military University and the American Public University System jointly confer the online Master of Arts in Psychology degree program. The program integrates scientific theory with the academic research and necessary skills for entering the psychology field. The online program emphasizes a range of areas of human development including lifespan development, social and cultural diversity, assessment, personality, and psychopathology. The online format promotes interaction between students, their peers and instructors in order to learn more about psychology and furthering human mental health and well being.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $6,600
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#38: Chicago School of Professional Psychology – Chicago, Illinois

Chicago School of Professional Psychology Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Department of Online Learning – The Department of Psychology

Points: 7
Program Website

Chicago School of Professional Psychology has one of the widest selections of master’s degree programs in the field of psychology. Those currently available include:

  1. Master of Arts in Psychology: Students in this area become prepared with a foundation in wide, fundamental knowledge of general psychology while also having the opportunity to learn behavior analytic theories and procedures. The program can be pursued full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years).
  2. Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology: This 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time program allows students to choose a specialization in the following areas: clinical mental health counseling, family & marital therapy, child & adolescent, Latino mental health and trauma & crisis intervention.
  3. Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis: This program provides students with a solid foundation in the philosophy, science, and application of behavior analysis. The program can be pursued in a part-time, taking approximately 28 months for completion.
  4. Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: The MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is a non-licensure, online or on-campus program that offers students training in the foundational skills that many companies and organizations value The program can be pursued full-time (2 years) or part-time (4 years).
  5. Master of Arts in Psychology with a Generalist Concentration: This concentration provides an understanding of the principles, theories, and applications of psychology. The program can be pursued full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years).
  6. Master of Arts in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Concentration: The Child and Adolescent program teaches students to face the complex issues that affect childhood development and behavior. The program can be pursued full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years).
  7. Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology: This degree program is a non-licensure track and offers students a strong framework in the areas of psychology that can be applied to juvenile, civil, and criminal justice systems. The program can be pursued full-time (2 years) or part-time (4 years).

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $25,296
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Concentration
Master of Arts in Psychology with a Generalist Concentration
Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#37: John F. Kennedy University – Pleasant Hill, California

JFK University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The College of Graduate and Professional Studies – The Department of Psychology

Points: 7
Program Website

John F. Kennedy University offers nationally recognized programs in psychology that offer excellent training combined with a range of experiential learning opportunities to help students become effective practitioners in several areas of psychology. The Master of Arts in Sports Psychology program combines the core elements of performance enhancement, counseling skills, and sport science. The Master of Arts in Consciousness and Transformative Studies can be earned with specializations in dream studies, deep sustainability & ecotherapy, culture & consciousness, consciousness & healing and east-west philosophy & religion. Another excellent option is the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology – Holistic.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $24,276
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Master of Arts in Consciousness and Transformative Studies with specializations in dream studies, deep sustainability & ecotherapy, culture & consciousness, consciousness & healing and east-west philosophy & religion
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology – Holistic
Master of Arts in Sports Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#36: Palo Alto University – Palo Alto, California

Palo Alto University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 7
Program Website

Palo Alto University offers a part-time, two-year master’s degree in psychology that may serve as a bridge to a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Students in this program have the chance to display their newly acquired skills as proof that they have the capability to thrive at the doctoral-level of study. Upon completion of the MS program, students are fully prepared for PhD studies, as well as for career advancement in fields related to social science research or an understanding of human behavior. The school also offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with two areas of emphasis, both leading to licensure:

  1. The Marriage, Family and Child emphasis
  2. The Clinical Mental Health emphasis

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $21,348
US News and World Report Rankings:
#79 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Counseling with Emphasis in Marriage, Family and Child
Master of Arts in Counseling with Emphasis in Clinical Mental Health
Master of Science in Psychology (PhD Prep)
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#35: California Institute of Integral Studies – San Francisco, California

California Institute of Integral Studies Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The School of Professional Psychology and Health

Points: 7
Program Website

The California Institute of Integral Studies is a unique college with a wide range of inventive and pioneering graduate degree programs. Students seeking a master’s degree in psychology can choose from several modern programs, some of which cannot be found at any other university in the country. There is a Master of Counseling Psychology with specializations in Community Mental Health, Drama Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Integral Counseling Psychology and Somatic Psychology. There is also a Master of Arts in East-West Psychology, which is an interdisciplinary program that combines psychology with spiritual traditions of the East, West, and Indigenous cultures from around the world.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $19,218
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Counseling Psychology
Master of Counseling Psychology with specializations in Community Mental Health, Drama Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Integral Counseling Psychology and Somatic Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#34: Adler University – Chicago, Illinois

Adler University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 8
Program Website

The Department of Online Learning at Adler University has some of the most unique and innovative master’s degree programs in psychology. Students can complete their coursework at the Chicago or Vancouver Campuses, as well as online. The master’s degree programs currently available include:

  • Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Online)
  • Master of Arts in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology (Online)
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with Optional Specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Forensic Psychology, Rehabilitation Counseling, Sport and Health Psychology and Art Therapy
  • Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology
  • Master in Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Police Psychology

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $29,480
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Online)
Master of Arts in Counseling with Optional Specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Forensic Psychology, Rehabilitation Counseling, Sport and Health Psychology and Art Therapy
Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy
Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology
Master of Arts in Police Psychology
Master in Marriage and Family Counseling
Master of Arts in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology (Online)
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditations:
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#33: The College of Saint Rose – Albany, New York

College of Saint Rose Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe School of Education

Points: 8
Program Website

The College of Saint Rose’s School Psychology program uses a three-year plan of study culminating in a Masters of Science in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology. The curriculum combines study in school psychology, educational psychology, counseling and special education. Students must complete class fieldwork, a 240 hour practicum, and a 1,200 hour internship experience. The program uses an interdisciplinary emphasis, with a strong focus on clinical experience. School Psychology students learn through a wide range of experiential opportunities. The cooperative learning and case study methods are used to train students to understand how theoretical approaches will be applied to real school scenarios.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $14,758
US News and World Report Rankings:
#53 Best Northern Regional University
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in School Psychology
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

#32: California Southern University – Irvine, California

California Southern University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The School of Behavioral Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 8
Program Website

CalSouthern’s Master of Arts and Master of Science in Psychology (MS) degree programs are designed to offer students a strong foundation in the field of psychology. Those with a background in mental health, as well as those with an interest in studying psychology at the post-graduate level can pursue this plan of study. The online MS at CalSouthern feeds a large number of students to the school’s PsyD program, which satisfies the educational requirements for licensure as a clinical psychologist in California. Students can choose a concentration area for their studies in sports psychology, chemical dependency, industrial psychology, pastoral counseling, or general psychology. The 42-credit hour degree program is typically completed in two years.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,925
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#31: The New School – New York, New York

The New School Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 9
Program Website

The New School is home to a Master of Arts in General Psychology. The program offers student the fundamentals in general psychology. Students are required to complete three courses in general psychology, three in personality, social, developmental & abnormal psychology and a research methods course. The MA requires completion of 30 credits with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Students in this program are given the excellent opportunity to engage in an intensive research experience, working closely as a apprentice to a member of the faculty. Students can apply to the research program after completing at least 18 credits and not more than 24 credits, and must have at least a 3.7 GPA to be considered. The 3.7 GPA must be maintained while in the program.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $41,250
US News and World Report Rankings:
#127 Best National University
#141 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #314
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in General Psychology
Accreditation:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#30: Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 9
Program Website

The Psychology Department at Southern New Hampshire University offers three online master’s degrees in psychology. Learn about the role they will play in diagnosis, treatment, maximizing business performance and much more. The three areas of study include:

  1. Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Development Psychology – Students gather information in research methods, cognitive psychology, social psychology, personality, learning theory and ethical practice, with an emphasis on the application of psychological research to real practice.
  2. Master of Science in Forensic Psychology – This program focuses on those areas where psychology and law connect. Students gain an understanding of the field by implementing theories and methods. There is a strong emphasis on the obligations of forensic psychologists and how they are applied to legal, ethical and diversity issues.
  3. Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology – This degree meets the needs of a quickly evolving business world by training professionals who have the psychology training to help improve employee performance, motivation and well-being.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $18,810
US News and World Report Rankings:
#1 Most Innovative School
#131 Best Northern Regional University
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Development Psychology
Master of Science in Forensic Psychology
Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#29: Argosy University – Phoenix, Arizona

Argosy University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyCollege of Counseling, Psychology and Social Sciences

Points: 9
Program Website

Argosy University’s College of Counseling, Psychology and Social Sciences offers a wide range of programs designed for students who have an interest a career in the mental health professions.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $17,760
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
Master of Arts in Community Counseling
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology with Assessment and Treatment Concentration
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology with Forensic Psychophysiology Track
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology with Homeland Security Concentration
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology with Law Enforcement Concentration
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology/Psychophysiology
Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology
Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy
Master of Arts in Sport-Exercise Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

#28: Kaplan University – Davenport, Iowa

Kaplan University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The School of Social Science and Behavior – The Department of Psychology

Points: 9
Program Website

The Kaplan University Master of Science in Psychology degree program offers students the opportunity to combine the traditional areas of psychology with modern applications of the social science. The curriculum highlights the causes of human perception and behavior, including fundamental information, theories, and research in this field. Students have the ability to pursue one of four areas of concentration, including general psychology, addictions studies, applied behavior analysis, and industrial/organizational psychology. In order to complete the program, students must complete all coursework plus complete a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam. Students in the applied behavior analysis, industrial/organizational psychology, and addictions studies concentrations can complete a practicum. A non-practicum plan is available in the applied behavior analysis, industrial/organizational psychology, and general psychology concentrations.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,310
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology with optional concentrations in General Psychology, Addictions Studies, Applied Behavior Analysis and Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#27: St. Mary’s University of San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas

Saint Marys University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology

The Department of Graduate Studies – The Department of Psychology

Points: 10
Program Website

St. Mary’s University of San Antonio offers both a Master of Arts and Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The 40-semester hour program emphasizes ways in which to quantify human behavior and organizational aspects including things such as employee selection and testing, job evaluation, performance appraisals, organizational behavior, training systems, and survey technology. The program uses a scientist-practitioner model, which involves a balanced emphasis of both scientific study and practical application. By using this model, students can acquire a well-rounded, modern understanding of the field. The program admits only ten students each fall, to keep class sizes class and allow for more individualizes attention and feedback. All core courses include various experientially based learning projects to enable students to use the scientific knowledge they have gathered in class.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $15,000
US News and World Report Rankings:
#22 Best Western Regional University
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #432
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Master of Science in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#26: Capella University – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Capella University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 10
Program Website

Capella University supports an online Master of Science in Psychology program, which has been designed to allow students to develop critical thinking, reasoning, and coping skills. The program highlights a deep comprehension of general psychological philosophies, theories, and research methodologies to explore those topics in the field that relate to your career goals. Students can choose to pursue the FlexPath system, which allows you to earn an online master’s degree on a schedule that suits your individual pace. This path generally saves students a great deal of both time and money. By pursuing this path students use a self-paced learning format that allows for quick advancement through those subjects that are more familiar and spend more time on those newer or more difficult. Students pay a flat tuition rate every 12 weeks and may tackle as many courses as fits in their life. The MS in Psychology at Capella offers a unique style of learning full of flexibility, control, and the potential to save time and money.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $14,175
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#25: Walden University – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Walden University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 10
Program Website

Walden University is home to a range of degree options at the master’s level. Those hoping to pursue their degree online can pursue a fully online Master of Science in Psychology, with 12 optional specialization areas including: Applied Psychology, Child & Adolescent Development, Crisis Management & Response, Educational Psychology, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Leadership Development & Coaching, Organizational Development, Psychology of Culture, Psychology, Public Administration & Social Change, Social Psychology and Terrorism & Security. Students can also pursue the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Addiction Counseling, Trauma & Crisis, Career Counseling, Military Families & Culture, Forensic Counseling and General Psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $12,609
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology with optional specializations in Applied Psychology, Child & Adolescent Development, Crisis Management & Response, Educational Psychology, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Leadership Development & Coaching, Organizational Development, Psychology of Culture, Psychology, Public Administration & Social Change, Social Psychology and Terrorism & Security
Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with optional specialization in Addiction Counseling, Trauma & Crisis, Career Counseling, Military Families & Culture, Forensic Counseling and General Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#24: Northcentral University – Prescott Valley, Arizona

Northcentral University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 10
Program Website

Northcentral supports several specialization options for those hoping to earn a master’s level degree in psychology. The fully online Master’s in General Psychology provides students with the chance to gather a broad base of knowledge, strong empirical and critical thinking skills, and an appreciation for the wide scope of the field. Students pursing this degree can customize their degree plan by pursuing one of the following excellent specialization areas:

  • Gender Diversity
  • Generalist Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Industrial & Organizational Psychology

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,718
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Gender Diversity
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Generalist Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Health Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#23: Northeastern State University – Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Northeastern State University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Department of Psychology and Counseling

Points: 10
Program Website

Northeastern State University is among the list of universities that offer a terminal master’s degree in psychology as opposed to a doctoral level degree. Students who hope to pursue their psychology career immediately following their master’s level training will strongly benefit from the 60-credit hour Master of Science in Counseling degree program. In addition to the generalist option, students can also earn their degree with three emphases: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Addiction Counseling and School Counseling. In each of the programs, students complete 42 hours of core curricular requirements and 18 hours of specialization courses.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $4,086
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Counseling
Master of Science in Counseling with emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Master of Science in Counseling with emphasis in Addiction Counseling
Master of Science in Counseling with emphasis in School Counseling
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#22: Brandeis University – Waltham, Massachusetts

Brandeis University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 11
Program Website

Brandeis University offers a terminal Master of Arts in General Psychology degree to students hoping to jump start their career in this growing field. The program offers students a thorough comprehension of the scientific foundations of psychology, including social psychology, developmental psychology and cognitive psychology. Students also engage in direct research experiences, which include experimental design, data collection, data analysis and research writing. Students have the ability to enroll in the program on a full-time or part-time basis, with full-time students completing the degree in one year. The program may take an additional one or two semesters to complete as an Extended Master’s student.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $45,988
US News and World Report Rankings:
#34 Best National University
#27 Best Value School
#67 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #75
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#21: Wayne State University – Detroit, Michigan

Wayne State University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe College of Education

Points: 11
Program Website

The College of Education at Wayne State offers three degree programs that lead to a career as a school psychologist:

  1. The Master of Arts in School and Community Psychology: This program is a 64-hour graduate level program that leads to dual credentialing according to the training standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and is fully approved by NASP. Upon completion of this program, students will satisfy the State of Michigan Department of Education certification requirements for school psychologists and the State of Michigan Board of Psychology requirements for a limited license to practice psychology (LLP) in the community.
  2. The Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology: This program emphasizes training in personal and interpersonal practice with individuals, children, couples, and families. The program prepares graduates for work with children and families.
  3. The Master of Education degree in Educational Psychology: This 30 semester hour program provides students with a breadth of knowledge regarding the application of psychology to education, which can be applied to a range of settings such as schools and businesses. This program is ideal for current teachers who want to enhance their teaching skills.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $15,853
US News and World Report Rankings:
#92 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #559
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in School and Community Psychology
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#20: DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

DePaul University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The College of Science and Health – The Department of Psychology

Points: 12
Program Website

DePaul University offers a two-year Master of Science in General Psychology degree program, which is designed to train students for work in a range of scientific, academic, and applied settings. Students in this program are given a strong framework in the practical areas of generalist psychology. The curriculum provides students with three important educational elements. The first is the fundamental theory behind the field, including core courses in cognitive, physiological and social psychology. The second element is training in methodology, including courses in statistics and research methods. Finally, students research a breadth of knowledge, including elective courses in clinical, cognitive, community, developmental, industrial/organizational and social psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $18,330
US News and World Report Rankings:
#123 Best National University
#21 Most Innovative School
#141 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #291
Degree Options:
Master of Science in General Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#19: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania – Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Edinboro University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe School of Education

Points: 14
Program Website

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania supports a number of master’s level degree programs in the field of psychology and school psychology. All of the programs are grounded in the basic theories and models of modern psychology, paired with a focus on the basics of empirical science. Students are exposed to a wide range of topics, specializations and advancements in the field. The degree options currently available include:

  • Educational Specialist in School Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Art Therapy
  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Master of Education in School Psychology

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,769
US News and World Report Rankings:
#110 Best Online Graduate Education Program
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Educational Specialist in School Psychology
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Master of Arts in Counseling
Master of Education in School Psychology
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#18: Hunter College CUNY – New York, New York

Hunter College Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 12
Program Website

Hunter College is another excellent school offering master’s level training in psychology as a terminal degree. The Master of Arts in General Psychology is a 30-credit program, designed to expose students to many areas of psychology. Students have the opportunity to focus their courses, independent study and thesis research in one of three content areas:

  1. Applied and Evaluative Psychology: This area includes personality, psychopathology, theories of therapeutic methods, group dynamics, biofeedback, health and gender, stress and stress management, substance use, tests and measurements.
  2. Social, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology: This area includes multicultural issues, cognitive and linguistic development, discursive social psychology, gender and cognition, attitudes, political psychology, psycholinguistics, decision-making, and memory functions in different populations.
  3. Biopsychology and Comparative Psychology: This area includes hormonal influences on and neural control of avian, mammalian and fish behaviors; mechanisms of drug abuse; developmental neuroscience; color vision; animal learning, orientation and communication.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,438
US News and World Report Rankings:
#47 Best Northern Regional University
#9 Top Public School
#141 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in General Psychology
Accreditation:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#17: Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, Arizona

Grand Canyon University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 12
Program Website

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University supports a range of graduate psychology degrees, many in a fully online format. The Generalist Master of Science in Psychology is a non-thesis program with the goal of providing varied exposure to the many areas within the greater field of psychology. Students can pursue emphasis areas such as Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, GeroPsychology, Health Psychology, Human Factors Psychology, Industrial & Organizational Psychology. There are also the following degree programs available:

  1. Master of Science in Addiction Counseling
  2. Master of Science in Christian Counseling
  3. Master of Science in Professional Counseling with optional concentration in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders, Marriage and Family Therapy and Trauma

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,124
US News and World Report Rankings: Not Applicable
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Addiction Counseling
Master of Science in Christian Counseling
Master of Science in Professional Counseling with optional concentration in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders, Marriage and Family Therapy and Trauma
Master of Science in Psychology with optional specialization in Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, GeroPsychology, Health Psychology, Human Factors Psychology, Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#16: New York University – New York, New York

New York University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 13
Program Website

The Master of Arts in Psychology program at the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science offers an innovative course of study at one of the most prestigious psychology departments in the country. The program is structured as a terminal degree plan for students who want to advance or improve their qualifications in psychology. The are two degrees options available within the MA Program:

  1. Master of Arts in General Psychology: This flexible program is ideal for students wishing to look into many areas of psychology. Students can design a specialization or choose an existing one. Common specializations are Social Psychology, Cognition/Perception & Neuroscience, Clinical/Clinical Neuroscience, in addition to Forensic Psychology and Social & Consumer Psychology, which have their own requirements. Students are not required to specialize.
  2. Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology: This program is designed to prepare graduates to apply research and principles of human behavior to a variety of organizational settings, such as human resources departments, and management consulting firms. The program can also be modified for students who are preparing for admission to doctoral programs in Industrial/Organizational and related fields.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $40,984
US News and World Report Rankings:
#32 Best National University
#21 Most Innovative School
#30 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #77
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Accreditatios:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#15: University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 13
Program Website

USC is home to a unique freestanding Master of Science in Applied Psychology. The program highlights the fundamental psychological principles and research methods that sit at the juncture of psychological theory, research and practice in organizational settings. All students will learn to identify important theories and apply them to a range of issues facing modern organizations, employees and consumers. The Applied Psychology program may be pursued as a full-time residential program or as an online program.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $40,670
US News and World Report Rankings:
#23 Best National University
#39 Best Value School
#13 Most Innovative School
#40 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #71
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#14: Boston College – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston College Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 14
Program Website

The Boston College Master of Arts in Psychology degree program is a two-year, full-time, research-oriented graduate program that is grounded in an empirical research project, coursework, and work with a faculty advisor. A limited number of graduate students are admitted each year. Students apply to one of the Psychology Department’s five areas of concentration and work towards an MA degree in that chosen area. The master’s degree course work is almost identical to that of the first two years of the doctoral program. The five areas of academic specialization include:

  1. Behavioral Neuroscience
  2. Cognitive Neuroscience
  3. Developmental Psychology
  4. Quantitative Psychology
  5. Social Psychology

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $26,262
US News and World Report Rankings:
#30 Best National University
#35 Best Value School
#67 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #37
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Behavioral Neuroscience
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Cognitive Neuroscience
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Developmental Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Quantitative Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Social Psychology
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#13: Austin Peay State University – Clarksville, Tennessee

Austin Peay State University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Department of Psychological Science and Counseling

Points: 14
Program Website

The Department of Psychological Science and Counseling at Austin Peay State University offers two excellent training programs in psychology at the master’s level. The fully online Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program adheres to the guidelines for master’s level training set forth by the professional organization the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology- SIOP. The curriculum combines a robust academic plan with the convenience of online learning. The second degree option is the Master of Science in Counseling, which can be earned with the following optional concentrations: Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $9,533
US News and World Report Rankings:
#29 Top Public School
#68 Best Southern Regional University
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Counseling
Master of Science in Counseling with concentration in Mental Health Counseling
Master of Science in Counseling with concentration in School Counseling
Master of Science in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#12: Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado

Colorado State University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Division of Continuing Education – The Department of Psychology

Points: 14
Program Website

The Colorado State University online Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP) degree program is a terminal degree that helps students understand human behavior in settings such as businesses and organizations. Students learn to improve performance and productivity for businesses and organizations by using research and measurement applications to work through workplace issues. The curriculum outlines how to best apply the methods of psychology to solve human resources and leadership issues within organizations. The program is designed to be practitioner-oriented, in order to offer practical skills that focus on research and consultation.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $9,000
US News and World Report Rankings:
#127 National University
#61 Top Public School
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #296
Degree Options:
Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#11: Fort Hays State University – Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays State University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Virtual College – The Department of Psychology

Points: 14
Program Website

The Department of Psychology at Fort Hays State confers several master’s degree options in psychology and school psychology, both on campus and online. The currently available on campus degree options include:

  • Master of Science in Clinical Psychology
  • Master of Science in Experimental Psychology
  • Master of Science in School Psychology
  • Education Specialist in School Psychology

For students seeking the flexibility of an online degree in psychology, the following options are currently available:

  • Master of Science in School Psychology
  • Master of Science in General Psychology, Teaching Community College emphasis
  • Education Specialist in School Psychology

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $3,853
US News and World Report Rankings:
#48 Best Online Graduate Program in Education
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Experimental Psychology
Master of Science in School Psychology
Master of Science in Clinical Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#10: University of Oregon – Eugene, Oregon

University of Oregon Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 15
Program Website

The University of Oregon offers the option of pursuing a Master of Arts or a Master of Science in Psychology in an individualized plan of study. The program provides rigorous training for a small number of students who have a focused research interest and an academic plan. Students in this program must be highly self-motivated, with the educational goal of gaining theoretical and research skills relevant to their plan of study. Each plan of study will be customized to the student’s goals within the discipline, as long as it satisfies core master’s degree requirements. Students can pursue the following research areas:

  • Cognitive/Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social / Personality Psychology
  • Systems Neuroscience

All students are expected to complete a research project based upon a literature analysis or an empirical research study. The Department of Psychology does not require the research project be submitted to the Graduate School.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $16,040
US News and World Report Rankings:
#103 Best National University
#47 Top Public School
#30 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #232
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology
Accreditation:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

#9: University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland

University of Maryland Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 16
Program Website

UMD students with an interest in psychology and the desire to earn their master’s degree in the field can apply to the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Clinical Psychological Science degree program. The curriculum focuses solely on clinical psychological science, with the goal of providing robust training in the field of clinical psychology, through coursework in psychological assessment and interventions, as well as cutting edge research methods and critical thinking skills.

Courses are offered in the evenings at the College Park campus to accommodate busy working professionals.

The MPS degree is a unique degree that emphasizes the practical elements of psychology and clinical psychological research. Upon graduation, students with an MPS degree are prepared for careers in research, education and applied psychological services.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $12,887
US News and World Report Rankings:
#57 Best National University
#19 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School
#40 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #93
Degree Options:
Master of Professional Studies in Clinical Psychological Science
Accreditation:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#8: University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Counseling Psychology

Points: 16
Program Website

The main Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin is home to an excellent master’s degree program in the field of counseling psychology. The program curriculum is a 60-credit hour program, specifically designed to fulfill the upcoming Wisconsin licensure requirements (will take effect in 2018). Students will complete two full academic years and parts of two summers to complete all the coursework and most of the required internship hours.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $11,870
US News and World Report Rankings:
#41 Best National University
#11 Top Public School
#9 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #69
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Counseling Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#7: Kent State University – Kent, Ohio

Kent State University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychological Science

Points: 16
Program Website

The Kent State Department of Psychological Sciences uses an innovative approach to training graduate students in psychology. All incoming graduate students are considered potential PhD candidates, however admission into the program is not made until students complete the MA thesis defense. The decision of whether entrance is granted is based on performance in all areas of the MA program. Students may also choose to end their training upon completion of the master’s degree. The department offers training in the areas of Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology and Social Psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,864
US News and World Report Rankings:
#175 Best National University
#98 Top Public School
#101 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #599
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#6: Auburn University – Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 16
Program Website

The Department of Psychology at Auburn supports Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. The full-time course of study requires three consecutive semesters (12 months) of coursework and a rigorous practicum experience (with no thesis requirement). Students learn about the science behind human behavior and begin to understand, explain, describe, and predict behavior. The curriculum uses a range of empirically based technology and how to apply it to areas of developmental disabilities.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,418
US News and World Report Rankings:
#102 Best National University
#46 Top Public School
#101 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #218
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#5: Kansas State University – Manhattan, Kansas

Kansas State University Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychological Sciences

Points: 16
Program Website

The Kansas State University hybrid Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (MIOP) Program is a 38-hour program with on-campus and online curricular requirements. The program is designed for current human resources professionals who are seeking the skills and information to apply behavioral science theories and related concepts to organizational problems. The program requires a commitment of 2 1/2 years, including completion of eight core courses in areas such as performance appraisal and compensation, training and program evaluation, job analysis and selection, organizational topics, ethical and legal issues, and applied research methods. The final semester consists of conducting a research practicum in the student’s organization with the supervision of faculty. Students must attend on-campus courses once a year during the summer for two-week sessions.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $9,972
US News and World Report Rankings:
#146 National University
#77 Top Public School
#117 Best Online Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #364
Degree Options:
Master of Science (MS) in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#4: University of Maine – Orono, Maine

University of Maine Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 18
Program Website

The University of Maine confers two separate Master of Arts in Psychology degrees, the MA in Psychological Sciences (including social, cognitive, and biological psychology) and the MA in Developmental Psychology. Both programs operate with a high faculty-to-student ratio and intentionally small class sizes. Each student has the opportunity to work with at least one faculty member in order to gather teaching, research and professional experience. There is a plethora of ways to pursue individualized study and experience.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,648
US News and World Report Rankings:
#168 Best National University
#91 Top Public School
#158 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #449
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychological Science
Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#3: University of North Dakota – Grand Forks, North Dakota

University of North Dakota Best Value Best Masters Degree PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 18
Program Website

The Department of Psychology at UND confers both the Master of Science and the Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. The MS degree is offered in the traditional format, while the MA is offered in a hybrid online learning format. Students typically complete the 35-credit program in a little over 2 years.

The format of the MA program is mostly online, with recorded lectures and one required campus visit. This visit is part of a semester-based course that includes the 2-week on-campus capstone experience. The curriculum for both programs was selected to train students to work at the junction of psychology and the legal systems. Students learn to prepare psychological evaluations for the criminal justice and social service systems.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,461
US News and World Report Rankings:
#180 National University
#100 Top Public School
#158 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #444
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Master of Science in Forensic Psychology
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#2: Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, Michigan

Eastern Michigan University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The College of Education – The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 20
College of Education Program Website

Psychology Department Program Website

Eastern Michigan University has two separate colleges that offer master’s level training in the field of psychology. The College of Education confers an online Master of Arts in Educational Psychology with has two optional concentrations:

  1. The Developing Learner Concentration focuses on understanding the student learner as a whole person: cognitively, emotionally, and socially. This concentration is offered completely totally online.
  2. The Research and Assessment Concentration offers a framework in comprehending and carrying out academic research and assessments. This concentration is available through a combination of online and on campus courses.

The programs available through the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences include:

  • Clinical Behavioral Masters of Science in Psychology
  • General Clinical Master’s of Science in Psychology
  • General Experimental Masters of Science in Psychology

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $15,573
US News and World Report Rankings:
#27 Top Public School
#85 Best Midwestern Regional University
#161 Best Online Graduate Program in Education
#158 Best Education School
#206 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #638
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Accreditations:
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#1: Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University Best Value Best Masters Degree Psychology
The Department of Online and Distance Education – The Department of Psychology

Points: 24
Program Website

Ball State University supports several excellent master’s level degree options. There are currently four programs available at this level:

  1. Master of Arts in Educational Psychology: This program is delivered in a fully online format. Students are current education professionals and those working in a field related to learning and human development.
  2. Master of Arts in Quantitative Psychology: This program is grounded in numbers, statistics and social science. The curriculum is designed to address the growing need for those trained in assessment, measurement, and the analysis of important data.
  3. Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology: This two-year program is designed to prepare students for psychology doctoral programs and to advance research skills by using a range of research experience from assisting faculty researchers to conducting their own independent research projects.
  4. Master of Arts in Cognitive and Social Processes: This two-year program is designed to offer robust training in cognitive psychology, social psychology, research methods, and statistics. Its primary purpose is to prepare students for doctoral programs in Cognitive Psychology or Social Psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,904
US News and World Report Rankings:
#168 National University
#91 Top Public School
#96 Best Educational School
#158 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
#11 Best Online Graduate Program in Education
Forbes Best Colleges List Ranking: #569
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Master of Arts in Cognitive and Social Processes
Master of Arts in Quantitative Psychology
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Opportunities for a Master’s Degree in Psychology

With the shift towards master’s level psychologists as fully credentialed mental health professionals, more and more students are pursuing these degree programs. The colleges and universities offering such degrees have acknowledged that the training programs must adequately prepare students for immediate employment as mental health practitioners. These programs must then have an advanced curriculum that includes both research in the field as well as practical and clinical elements. Students are being asked to learn in just two or three years what was once learned in four to five. This means that programs are increasingly rigorous and comprehensive. For motivated students who hope to enter the work force as a master’s level psychologist, it is an excellent time to pursue a master’s degree in psychology.

Ranking Methodology

This ranking list has been created to outline the 50 top master’s degree programs in psychology in the United States. In order to be considered, each school must be fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Factors considered:

Overall Cost of Attendance

One of the major factors considered is the average annual graduate tuition. Data was collected from the College Navigator Tool.

Points:
Under $12,000 / $12,001 – $15,00/ $15,001 – $18,000 / $18,001 – $21,000:
5 Points / 3 Points / 2 Points / 1 Point

Number of Degree Options or Areas of Specialization

While it may not be imperative in some fields to offer an array of areas of specialization, psychology is not one of those fields. With a vast number of possible specializations and concentrations it is important to graduate psychology students to have the ability to pursue a degree specialized to fit their career goals.

Points:
Number of Available Degree Options or Areas of Specialization
2 Degree or Specialization Options / 3 or More Degree or Specialization Options
2 Points / 3 Points

College Ranking

The next consideration was whether or not a school has been granted acknowledgement by a national ranking body. The major source of such national notoriety comes from the US News and World Report and Forbes.

Points:
US News and World Report Best National University Ranking / Forbes Best College Ranking: 3 Points
US News and World Report Best Program Ranking, Best Value School Ranking, Top Pubic School Ranking or Most Innovative School Ranking: 2 Points

Accreditation

In order to be included in this ranking list an appropriate ranking body must regionally accredit each college or university. Those schools that have received additional accreditation are rewarded an additional point.

Points:
Each Accreditation: 1 Point

Grading Process

Once the points have been tallied the schools are arranged into groups by the amount of points they have earned. In the cases of ties, preference was given to those schools with the lowest tuition rates.

Related Ranking: Top 30 Online Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology

About the Author

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University and then a Master of Science in Clinical and Forensic Psychology from Drexel University, Kristen began a career as a therapist at two prisons in Philadelphia. At the same time she volunteered as a rape crisis counselor, also in Philadelphia. After a few years in the field she accepted a teaching position at a local college where she currently teaches online psychology courses. Kristen began writing in college and still enjoys her work as a writer, editor, professor and mother.