Top 30 Online Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology

By Kristen Fescoe

There are many changes occurring in how, where and by whom mental health services are provided. As changes to many insurance companies limit the number of sessions individuals are allowed with a doctoral level psychologist, there is a rising number of states that allow master’s degree holders to become licensed under the supervision of a doctoral level professional.

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With a Master’s Degree in Psychology, an individual is qualified as a mental health professional in private practice, rehabilitation facilities, schools, mental health facilities and many other related areas. Earning this master’s degree online helps facilitate a faster graduate school experience and often at a much lower tuition rate.

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As more and more accredited schools offer graduate training online, it is an excellent time to pursue an online master’s degree in psychology.

Ranking Methodology

This ranking list has been created to outline the 30 top online 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 cost of attendance. Data was collected from the College Navigator Tool.

Points:
Under $9,000 / $9,001 – $12,00/ $12,001 – $15,000 / $15,001 – $18,000:
5 Points / 3 Points / 2 Points / 1 Point

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.

Points:
US News and World Report Best Program Ranking: 1 Point
US News and World Report Best Regional School, Top Public School or Most Innovative School Ranking: 2 Points
US News and World Report Best National University Ranking: 3 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

Degree of Online Learning

Those schools that offer training completely online are awarded additional points.

Points:
Fully online program: 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:
More than One Degree Option: 2 Points
Degree Offered With More Than One Area of Specialization: 2 Points

Grading Process

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

Ranking Top 30 Online Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology

#30: Naropa University

Naropa University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

EcoPsychology Master of Arts

Points: 1
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. In each year, students complete two courses on campus (in the summer) and two courses online in both fall and spring semesters. The first year curriculum covers ecopsychology, ecology, transpersonal psychology, and contemplative practice. The second year curriculum includes intellectual and service-learning projects, as well as two more elective courses.

The program starts with a two-week intensive, which combines two courses, Transpersonal Psychology Intensive and Engaged Contemplative Practices. Students then work online for fall and spring courses, with a three-day residential intensive in Boulder in January.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $22,570
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in EcoPsychology
Academic Format: Hybrid online and on-campus
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#29: John F. Kennedy University

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

MA in Sport Psychology

Points: 2
Program Website

John F. Kennedy University offers a nationally recognized program that provides top-level training combined with a plethora of experiential learning to help students become effective practitioners in sports psychology. Graduates of this program have learned to combine the core elements of performance enhancement, counseling skills, and sport science. The faculty of the Sport Psychology program places an emphasis on mentoring students and maintaining an excellent working relationship with students to offer academic support for all students. Faculty members have worked with Olympians, professional or college teams and athletes, as well as with community-based groups and individuals. The program can be completed on-campus, online, or in a hybrid format that combines online and on-campus courses.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $24,276
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Sports Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online or Hybrid online and on-campus
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#28: Palo Alto University

Palo Alto University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

Master’s Degree in Psychology Online

Points: 2
Program Website

Palo Alto University has a history of excellent online degree programs at all levels. This includes a pioneering, robust 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.

This unique program offers students the chance to study part-time while still working. It also allows them to begin the path towards a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $21,348
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology (PhD Prep)
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#27: Goddard College

Goddard College Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

Master of Arts in Psychology

Points: 2
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 residency week includes things like seminars, meetings with the advising group, workshops, one-on-one meetings with advisors, and various presentations. It is also a time to connect with faculty, practitioners in the mental health field, and fellow students.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $17,408
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Academic Format: Hybrid online and on-campus
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#26: Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Points: 3
Program Website

Golden Gate University is a small university with a number of online graduate degree options. The Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology has recently been made into a flexible online program to train students to either begin or advance in the rapidly growing career of industrial-organizational psychology.

Students in this program are given a solid framework in rudimentary theoretical details, models of consulting and other professional practice, as well as solo, group, and organizational research methods.

Upon graduation from this program students are trained to tackle leadership roles in the field of industrial and organizational psychology in a wide range of business settings and organizations in fields such as technology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, entertainment and many more.

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

#25: Fielding Graduate University

Fielding Graduate University Best Online Psychology MastersThe School of Psychology

Master’s in Media Psychology

Points: 3
Program Website

Fielding Graduate University is one of the few universities in the country to offer graduate training in the field of Media Psychology.

With drastic changes occurring on a yearly basis within the media landscape, there is a strong need for skilled professionals who understand how media influences behavior, how to best use media, and how to advise others to use it in a manner that creates positive social change.

The flexible online program includes a community of learners at the master’s and doctoral training levels, all learning from excellent 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 Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Media Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#24: Chicago School of Professional Psychology

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

Master of Arts and Master of Science in Psychology

Points: 4
Program Website

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

  • 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).
  • Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis: This program provides students with a solid foundation in the philosophy, science, and application of behavior analysis. Students in this program are prepared for a career in the quickly growing field of Applied Behavior Analysis. The program can be pursued part-time, taking approximately 28 months for completion.
  • Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: This degree program includes the Applied Research Project (ARP) Track. The MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is a non-licensure, fully online program that offers students training in the foundational skills that many companies and organizations value when addressing assessment, engagement, retention, and productivity of workers. The program can be pursued full-time (2 years) or part-time (4 years).
  • Master of Arts in Psychology with a Generalist Concentration: This concentration provides an understanding of the principles, theories, and applications of psychology. Students in this program will expand their knowledge, learning to apply concepts of psychology in everyday, real-world contexts. The program can be pursued full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years).
  • 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).
  • 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 Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with a Generalist Concentration
Master of Arts in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Concentration
Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#23: Adler University

AdlerMaster of Science in Applied Behavior AnalysisThe Department of Psychology

M.A. in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology

Points: 4
Program Website

The Department of Online Learning at Adler University has one of the most unique online master’s degree programs on this list. The fully online Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology with a Specialization in Military Psychology is a degree program that draws upon the school’s expertise in military cultural competency and commitment to social justice.

The curriculum used in this online psychology program trains graduates for work in difficult areas such as suicide, substance use and dependency, physical abuse, and the lingering effects of moral injury. Almost all of the faculty members that teach the curriculum are veterans, with personal understanding of the unique culture and a strong commitment to the program’s mission.

In addition to the general psychology courses, students are exposed to many aspects of mental health and the military, including operational psychology in the military, the psychology of conflict, trauma and loss, mental health law in the military, understanding the VA healthcare system and more.

The flexible online program is a great fit for active-duty military personnel, veterans, retired service members and military spouses looking for a new helping career.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $29,480
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology – Specialization in Military Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#22: Capella University

CapellaMaster of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
The Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Master of Science in Psychology

Points: 4
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 them to earn an online master’s degree on a schedule that suits their 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 Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#21: Sacred Heart University

Sacred HeartMaster of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
The College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Master of Science in Applied Psychology

Points: 5
Program Website

Sacred Heart University is home to an excellent online Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MSAP) program with three options for specialization. Each of the three programs is designed to train students to apply the science of human behavior to solve practical real-world problems through a unique delivery system of eight-week courses. Students can pursue an accelerated degree, completing the entire program in as little as one calendar year by taking two classes per session in our 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 Ranking:
#41 Best Northern Regional University
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Master of Science in Applied Psychology with optional concentration in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Community Psychology and General Applied Psychology
Academic Format: Hybrid online and on-campus
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#20: Argosy University

ArgosyMaster of Science in Applied Behavior AnalysisThe Department of Psychology

Master of Arts (MA) in Forensic Psychology

Points: 5
Program Website

The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology degree program at Argosy is designed to train individuals to apply skills in clinical psychology, counseling, school psychology, and neuropsychology skills to use in the form of psychological services within the criminal justice and civil legal systems. Some of what students will delve into includes consultation, assessment, and intervention skills.

Students learn about the roots of mental disorders, risk factors for violence and criminal activity, profiling and patterning, psychological testing, prediction and intervention measurement, forensic assessment, criminal and civil law and procedures, secure environments, forensic treatment and intervention skills, and professional standards and ethics. Students in the graduate Forensic Psychology program may elect from the following concentration areas and tracks:

  • Assessment and Treatment Concentration
  • Homeland Security Concentration
  • Law Enforcement Concentration
  • Forensic Psychophysiology Track

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $17,760
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology with optional concentration in Assessment and Treatment Concentration, Homeland Security Concentration, Law Enforcement and a Forensic Psychophysiology Track
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#19: University of the Rockies

University of The Rockies Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

Master of Arts in Psychology

Points: 5
Program Website

The University of the Rockies has a strong reputation for it’s online degree programs. The Master of Arts in Psychology is no exception.

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.

To complete the online MA program in Psychology, all students must successfully complete 39 credits of coursework and earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $17,398
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology with optional specializations in Career Management & Counseling, Criminology & Justice Studies, Educational Leadership, General Psychology, Health & Wellness, Mediation & Conflict Resolution and Sport & Performance Psychology.
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#18: Baker College

Baker College Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Points: 5
Program Website

The Baker College Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Degree prepares students for excellent career opportunities in a vastly growing field. The curriculum was created by a highly dedicated group of instructors who continuously use their own experiences to broaden the academic experience. The program covers 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 Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#17: Indiana Institute of Technology

Indiana Institute of Technology Best Online Psychology Masters
The College of General Studies – The Department of Psychology

Psychology, M.S.

Points: 5
Program Website

The fully online Master of Science in Psychology at Indiana Tech is an excellent program for students seeking a career promotion or the opportunity for employment growth as well as those who plan to pursue doctoral level training.

Students in this program are given a firm framework 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 ongoing higher education.

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

#16: LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University Best Online Psychology Masters

The Department of Psychology and Counseling

Psychology, M.A.

Points: 6
Program Website

The LeTourneau Master of Arts in Psychology degree program is designed to prepare students to make a significant impact on others by using their newly acquired skills taught from a Christian worldview.

Students in this program use the foundation from undergraduate studies to enhance their skills and information by presenting them with the many specialized areas in the field of psychology. They will also gain important research skills to apply to their career as well as entrance into a doctoral training program.

The format is 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 to meet their career goals.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $19,575
US News and World Report Ranking:
#10 Best Value School
#32 Best Western Regional University
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#15: Walden University

Walden University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

MS in Psychology

Points: 6
Program Website

Walden University is home to a fully online Master of Science in Psychology. Students have the option of choosing one of 12 specialization areas to hone in on academic choices that meet each student’s interests and goals. Those currently available include: 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. In each specialization students gather the knowledge and skills to pursue career advancement, work with those in need or prepare for doctoral-level training.

The psychology program offers a firm framework of rudimentary empirical methods and psychological principles. There is newly enriched content and streamlined coursework, which allows students to complete their online degree in as few as 15 months. Six specializations allow students to accelerate their path to a PhD by rolling credits earned from the master’s program.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $12,609
US News and World Report 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
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#14: Northcentral University

Northcentral University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

Master’s in General Psychology

Points: 6
Program Website

The Master’s in General Psychology provides you with the opportunity to develop a broad base of knowledge, strong research and critical thinking skills, and an appreciation for diversity as you tailor your education to match your career interests and goals. Taught by professors who all hold doctoral degrees, you can choose elective courses that further your own particular interests. You will gain expertise in the biological and social bases for behavior, the fascinating process of human development, the amazing history of psychology and its impact on today’s culture, and the role of ethics and diversity training in psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,718
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
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)

#13: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Edinboro University Best Online Psychology MastersThe School of Education

Educational Specialist in School Psychology

Points: 7
Program Website

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania has a unique program for those with an interest in school psychology. Students can earn their Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology through a 63 credit doctoral level degree.

Students who complete the coursework must also receive a passing grade on the National School Psychology Exam in order to receive Pennsylvania School Psychologist Certification and recognition as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. This program trains students for entrance into the field of school psychology using a scientist-practitioner model. The overall goal of this innovative program is to prepare psychologists who have the skills to provide psychological services to students who need them. The curriculum offers a firm grounding in the tenets of the field through course work, involvement in research, and important field experiences. This experiential learning allows graduates to conduct assessments and participate in the treatment of issued facing students, schools, and the greater community.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,769
US News and World Report Ranking:
#110 Best Online Graduate Education Program
Degree Options:
Educational Specialist in School Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#12: Grand Canyon University

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

Master of Science in Psychology

Points: 7
Program Website

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University supports a wide range of graduate psychology degrees 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. This program is a good fit both those seeking insight into the field of psychology as well as individuals seeking career advancement within professional psychology. Each of the available emphasis areas can be applied to a wide range of fields and career opportunities.

The following 36 credit Master of Science in Psychology Emphasis areas are offered: Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, GeroPsychology, Health Psychology, Human Factors Psychology, Industrial & Organizational Psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $10,124
US News and World Report Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology with optional specialization in Forensic Psychology, General Psychology, GeroPsychology, Health Psychology, Human Factors Psychology, Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#11: California Southern University

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

Master of Science in Psychology (MS)

Points: 7
Program Website

CalSouthern’s Master of Science in Psychology (MS) degree program is designed to offer students an inclusive framework 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.

Many students who pursue the MS at CalSouthern will eventually apply to the 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 Ranking: Not Applicable
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#10: American Public University System – American Military University

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

Psychology Master of Arts

Points: 7
Program Website

The American Military University, in conjunction with the American Public University System, jointly supports the online Master of Arts in Psychology degree program.

The program combines empirical scientific theory and principles with academic research and relevant skills that are important for those entering this field.

This online curriculum focuses on a wide range of areas of human development including lifespan development, social and cultural diversity, assessment, personality, and psychopathology. The online classroom format allows students to interact with peers and instructors who also have a desire to learn more about psychology and furthering human mental health and well being.

This master’s degree is not designed to serve as a terminal degree in the field, rather it is meant to train graduates for doctoral or other graduate studies.

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

#9: Fort Hays State University

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

Master of Science in School Psychology/Specialist in Education with a major in School Psychology

Points: 7
Program Website

The graduate level school psychology programs at Fort Hays State University uphold a long tradition of training students for highly successful careers as school psychologists. Upon graduation, students are qualified for licensure as a school psychologist in the state of Kansas as well as many additional states.

The hybrid program is created for those students without the flexibility of attending on campus courses. The program includes completion of five day-long advanced workshops on campus for all students.

Most students complete the program is approximately four semesters, with the addition of two summer workshops.

Graduates of this program are eligible to apply to Education Specialist in School Psychology programs. _They are also properly trained for immediate entrance into the workforce as school psychologists.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $3,853
US News and World Report Ranking:
#48 Best Online Graduate Program in Education
Degree Options:
Master of Science in School Psychology
Academic Format: Hybrid online and 5 on-campus residencies
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#8: Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

MS in Psychology

Points: 8
Program Website

The Psychology Department at Southern New Hampshire University confers three unique online master’s degrees in the field of psychology. Through these rigorous programs, students progress into a valuable role in areas such as diagnosis, treatment, maximizing business performance and much more. The curriculum will expand student’s comprehension in empirical research methods, cognitive psychology, social psychology, personality, learning theory and ethical practice while focusing on the real-world application of psychological research. The three areas of study include:

  1. MS in Child and Adolescent Development Psychology – This program helps students grow in the areas of 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. MS in Forensic Psychology – This program focuses on those areas where psychology and law connect. Students gain an understanding of the field by implementing cutting-edge 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. MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology – This degree meets the needs of a quickly evolving business world. There is a new and constantly rising need for professionals who possess the psychology training to help improve employee performance, motivation and well-being. This Industrial-Organizational Psychology program prepares graduates to address the challenges that are found throughout a wide range of industries.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $18,810
US News and World Report Ranking:
#1 Most Innovative School
#131 Best Northern Regional University
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
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#7: Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychology

Master of Science in Industrial & Organizational Psychology (MSIO)

Points: 9
Program Website

Austin Peay State University supports a fully online Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. The program adheres to the rigorous Guidelines for Master’s Level Training provided 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. Although the program is offered in an online format, students have support from both their faculty and their classmates through virtual rooms, phone calls, e-mails, and updated distance learning technology. Students are trained in the fundamentals of Industrial and Organizational psychology theories and research methods, with a focus on the application of skills into the real world. There are opportunities to develop expertise in a wide range of areas, including personnel selection, training and development, performance appraisal, motivation, team performance, and leadership.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $9,533
US News and World Report Ranking:
#29 Top Public School
#68 Best Southern Regional University
Degree Options:
Master of Science in Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

#6: Kaplan University

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

Master of Science in Psychology

Points: 9
Program Website

Kaplan University is a long time leader in the area of online education. The Master of Science in Psychology degree program offers students the opportunity to integrate the academic traditions of psychology with modern applications of social science. The curriculum emphasizes the processes that cause human perception and behavior, including fundamental information, theories, and research in this field.

Students have the ability to choose from 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 have the opportunity earn experiential learning through completion of a practicum. A non-practicum plan is available in the applied behavior analysis, industrial/organizational psychology, and general psychology concentrations. In all concentrations, students can choose to submit a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,310
US News and World Report 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
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#5: Kansas State University

Kansas State University Best Online Psychology MastersThe Department of Psychological Sciences

Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Points: 10
Program Website

The Kansas State University hybrid Master of Science (MS) in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (MIOP) Program is a 38-hour program with on-campus and web-based course requirements.

The program is designed for human resource professionals who are looking for the skills and knowledge to apply behavioral science theories and related concepts to organizational issues. The program takes approximately 2 1/2 years with 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. Four courses are taught as on-campus courses, and four courses and practicum are delivered via web-based instruction.

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

#4: Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University Best Online Psychology MastersThe College of Education

Master of Arts in Educational Psychology (EPDL)

Points: 11
Program Website

The Master of Arts in Educational Psychology at Eastern Michigan University offers training in the advanced professional area of educational psychology to enhance academic investigation, advocacy and leadership in the field of education. The goal of the program is to train leaders to think critically about how each student learns and develops in a unique way emotionally, cognitively, and socially. This degree has two optional concentrations:

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.

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.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $15,573
US News and World Report Ranking:
#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
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online or Hybrid online and on-campus
Accreditations:
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#3: Colorado State University

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

Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.A.I.O.P.)

Points: 12
Program Website

The Colorado State University online Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP) degree program is a terminal degree that helps students understand the way people behave in businesses and organizations to understand how to improve performance and productivity for businesses and organizations. Students will learn to use research and measurement applications to work through workplace issues and apply the tenets 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 Ranking:
#127 National University
#61 Top Public School
Degree Options:
Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#2: University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota Best Online Psychology Masters
UND Office of Extended Learning – The Department of Psychology

Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology

Points: 12
Program Website

The UND Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology begins twice each year, in the Fall and Spring semesters. Students typically complete this 35 Credit program in a little over 2 years. The format of the program is largely online, with recorded lectures and the requirement of one campus visit. This visit is part of a semester-based course that includes the 2-week on-campus capstone experience.

The curriculum was carefully chosen to prepare students to work at the intersection of psychology and the legal systems. Students learn to prepare psychological evaluations for the criminal justice and social service systems. Forensic Psychology students gather a library of advanced psychological concepts and theories that can be applied to forensic psychology and many other areas of the field. They also gain a detailed understanding of the American legal system and the important role that forensic psychologists often play.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,461
US News and World Report Ranking:
#180 National University
#100 Top Public School
#158 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Academic Format: Hybrid online with an on-campus capstone in Grand Forks
Accreditation:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

#1: Ball State University

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

Master of Arts in Educational Psychology; Master of Arts in Quantitative Psychology

Points: 18
Program Website

Ball State University is one of the few colleges offering more than one online master’s degree in psychology. Students can choose from a master’s degree in educational psychology or quantitative psychology.

  • Master of Arts in Educational Psychology: This program is delivered in a fully online format. The program is designed to be convenient, updated, and research-based. Students are current education professionals and those working in a field related to learning and human development. The MA can be completed in as few as 18 months.
  • 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. What many people do not realize is quantitative methods are the root of almost all aspects of psychology, education, business, and the social sciences. This program outlines the methods and skills for the measurement of human attributes, the statistical and mathematical modeling of psychological processes, the design of research studies, and the analysis of psychological data.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition and Fees: $8,904
US News and World Report Ranking:
#168 National University
#91 Top Public School
#96 Best Educational School
#158 Best Graduate Program in Psychology
#11 Best Online Graduate Program in Education
Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Master of Arts in Quantitative Psychology
Academic Format: Fully Online and Hybrid online and on-campus
Accreditation:
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 Online

Those students who aspire to careers in the field of psychology can begin their graduate training in an online or hybrid learning environment. With fully online options as well as hybrid learning options, each student can find the program and institution that suits their individual needs. With everything from large universities, to small private colleges and everything in between there is a program for everyone. As the need for Master’s Level Mental Health professionals grows each and every year, the time to pursue your Online Master’s Degree in Psychology is now.

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.

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