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2020 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

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What Are the Goals of a Master’s Program in Psychology?

While earning an online master’s degree in psychology, students gain comprehensive knowledge of psychological theories and best practices. Master’s-level psychology students gain research skills and specialized knowledge within the discipline. Earning a master’s degree in psychology prepares students to advance in psychology or counseling-related careers. Master’s degree-holders can also pursue a doctorate and obtain state licensure.

Graduates of online master’s in psychology programs often pursue roles in human service organizations, group homes, healthcare agencies, law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies. However, a master’s degree does not qualify psychologists to obtain licensure. Individuals need a doctorate to practice independently or work in clinical settings.

Master’s programs in psychology typically require 36-60 credits and take 1-2 years to complete. Some online programs offer accelerated course schedules that allow students to graduate sooner. Learners must typically maintain a satisfactory GPA while completing coursework. Most master’s programs require an internship, capstone project, or thesis.

 FAQ

QUESTIONSANSWERS
What is psychology?The field of psychology deals with cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. Psychologists observe, analyze, diagnose, and treat issues pertaining to psychological disorders.
Do I need a bachelor’s in psychology to get a master’s in psychology?Applicants to master’s programs must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Master’s programs in psychology may accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field as long as they complete certain prerequisites.
How long does it take to earn a master’s in psychology?Master’s programs in psychology typically require 36-60 credits, which most students complete in 1-2 years.
What is the difference between counseling and psychology?Counselors guide clients through life’s challenges, while psychologists focus on cognitive and behavioral issues.

Top 10 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs for 2020

Rank School Location
1 Arizona State University-Online Scottsdale, AZ
2 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
3 McNeese State University Lake Charles, LA
4 National Louis University Chicago, IL
5 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
6 Angelo State University San Antonio, TX
7 National University La Jolla, CA
8 University of West Alabama Livingston, AL
9 Ball State University Muncie, IN
10 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
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Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Why Study Psychology Online?

Online psychology programs can be ideal for working professionals. Earning a master’s degree online can help individuals transition to a career in psychology or advance their current career in the field. Distance learning can also help students balance academics with family obligations, and online programs are often more flexible and affordable than on-campus options.

  • LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
    Most institutions deliver online psychology programs through a learning management system such as Canvas or Blackboard. Distance learners typically access lectures, assignments, quizzes and tests, and discussion boards online. Students often communicate with classmates and professors through email, chat, and video conferencing.
  • AFFORDABILITY
    Online master’s programs in psychology are often more affordable than on-campus programs. Many distance learners save on housing and transportation costs, and some schools charge all online students the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Additionally, distance learners often work full time while earning their degree.
  • ASYNCHRONOOUS COURSES
    Many online programs feature asynchronous courses, which allow students to watch lectures and complete assignments at their convenience, as long as they meet deadlines. Many online programs also offer courses in accelerated formats, which may last 6-8 weeks and can help learners graduate sooner. Online students may also save money on course materials, since distance learners often use digital textbooks.
  • IN-PERSON REQUIREMENTS
    Online psychology programs may include some in-person requirements, such as an internship with a local institution that provides mental health services. Programs may also feature residency requirements. When selecting a program, prospective students should consider their ability to complete in-person components.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs

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Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Accreditation demonstrates that institutions and programs meet set standards of quality. To obtain accreditation, schools undergo regular evaluation by a third-party agency. In the United States, institutions can receive regional or national accreditation.

Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious and requires schools to meet more rigorous standards than national accreditation. Six agencies in the U.S. award regional accreditation to institutions in specific geographic areas. National accreditation typically applies to vocational, technical, or for-profit schools. Regionally accredited institutions rarely accept credits or degrees earned from nationally accredited schools.

Learners can also look for field-specific accreditation, which generally applies to individual programs or departments. Psychology programs can receive accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of School Psychologists, and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System.

Additionally, agencies such as the Distance Education Accrediting Commission evaluate online programs. Each of these organizations maintains a list of accredited programs and schools, which can help prospective students locate an accredited online master’s in psychology program.

2020 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Institutions throughout the nation offer a variety of online psychology programs. Below are the top 10 online master’s in psychology programs for 2020. This ranking can help students compare schools to identify the program that best suits their academic and career goals.

Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we looked for public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer psychology master’s programs online. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $20,000/year or less.

*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Ranking Factors

After compiling a list of all the colleges that offer online psychology graduate programs and meet the above criteria, we then collected data in four categories:

  • Program Popularity: Out of all master’s degree students, how many choose to major in psychology? That is, how successful is the psychology program at attracting students to their degree over other options available at the school? To find out, we considered both the number of students who earned their master’s degree in psychology in the most recent school year as well as the percentage of all master’s program graduates that this number represents.
  • Overall Program Strength: How many total psychology master’s programs does the college offer (online and on campus)? Having multiple programs in one discipline indicates a school that is seriously dedicated to preparing students for success in that field (in this case, psychology).
  • Online Accessibility: Of all the psychology master’s degree programs that the school supports, how many of those are available online?
  • Affordability: What is the average annual cost of attendance?

After collecting and sorting all the information, we ranked the candidates according to their performance in each area. Finally, we summed up the results and gave each school a final score using a curve so that the top-scoring program earned an even 100 points.

Read more about the best cheap online master’s degrees in psychology below!

  1. Arizona State University-Online
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Scottsdale, Arizona State University offers over 300 online degrees and certificates, including an online master's in psychology. The 36-credit program includes 12 classes on topics such as professional issues in psychology, quantitative analysis, and research methods. Students culminate the degree with a capstone project.

    Full-time students can graduate in 18 months. ASU charges the same tuition rate for all online students regardless of residency. Applicants need a bachelor's from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit official transcripts, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and proof of English proficiency.

    Arizona State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  2. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers over 35 fully online degree programs, including a 36-credit online master's in psychology program. Prerequisites for this degree program include six credit hours of undergraduate psychology courses and three credit hours of statistics.

    Students can pursue an optional forensic psychology concentration. All learners take classes like advanced theories of crime and delinquency, counseling in criminal justice, sociology of law, and psychological assessment.

    Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA or meet two of the following criteria:

    • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
    • A minimum combined GRE score of 900
    • A total of at least 1900 when adding the overall GPA multiplied by 400 plus the overall GRE test score

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  3. McNeese State University
    Location

    Lake Charles, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, McNeese State University enrolls over 6,000 students each year. McNeese offers 17 online degree programs, including an online master's in psychology program with an applied behavior analysis concentration.

    The program comprises 55 credits, including 24 core psychology credits and 31 applied behavior analysis credits. Students also complete a supervised practicum. Full-time online learners can graduate in about two years. This psychology program prepares students for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA. In-state students enjoy a tuition discount.

    McNeese State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The master's in psychology -- applied behavior analysis is accredited by the Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

  4. National Louis University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Chicago, Illinois, National Louis University hosts around 9,000 students through more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs. The online master's in industrial and organizational psychology requires 36 credits.

    Students take classes such as performance analysis and measurement, talent acquisition and retention, and organizational effectiveness and development. Students culminate the degree with a capstone project during which they complete a case study of a real-world business and offer professional solutions.

    Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit transcripts and two letters of recommendation. NLU accepts graduate transfer credit from classes with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a case-by-case basis.

    National Louis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  5. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is the oldest postsecondary institution in the country. The school hosts around 20,000 students through diverse undergraduate and graduate programs, including an online master's in psychology.

    The mostly online program requires students to complete at least three courses on campus. Students can choose between thesis and capstone tracks. The thesis track involves in-depth research guided by a faculty mentor. Students on the capstone track examine real-world applications of psychological methods and write a scholarly article.

    Prospective students must complete three trial courses. If they pass these classes, students can apply for admission into the psychology program. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

    Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

  6. Angelo State University
    Location

    San Antonio, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in San Angelo, Texas, Angelo State University enrolls over 10,000 students through a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.

    The 36-credit online master's in psychology includes thesis and non-thesis tracks. The thesis track requires an in-depth research project, while the non-thesis track requires additional courses. Regardless of their track, all learners take courses on topics like motivation, emotion, and stress; health and wellness psychology; and psychology of human performance.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit official college transcripts and a 500-word essay. In-state students enjoy a tuition discount.

    Angelo State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  7. National University
    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in La Jolla, California, National University offers over 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Students can choose from a variety of online options, including an online master of arts in counseling psychology.

    The program offers professional clinical counselor and marriage and family therapy tracks. The marriage and family therapy track requires 225 hours of fieldwork and the professional clinical counselor track requires 280 fieldwork hours. Regardless of their track, all students take courses on topics like lifespans development, perspectives on psychology, and treatment of addictions.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, GRE scores, and a resume. Students may transfer up to 13.5 quarter units from courses with a minimum "B" grade into the psychology program.

    National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

  8. University of West Alabama
    Location

    Livingston, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Livingston, the University of West Alabama offers a variety of on-campus and online degrees. The online master's in experimental psychology offers three concentrations:

    • General Studies (36 credits)
    • Clinical Psychology (39 - 57 credits)
    • Health and Sports Psychology (36 credits)

    The general studies track requires a master's thesis. The clinical psychology track requires a supervised practicum, an internship, and either a thesis or a comprehensive exam. The health and sports psychology track requires a supervised practicum and a thesis or a comprehensive exam. Students take eight-work courses and typically graduate in two years.

    Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree. Students can transfer up to nine credits toward the degree.

    The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  9. Ball State University
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University boasts almost 200,000 alumni worldwide. The school features a 16-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, allowing students to receive personalized attention from instructors.

    The 33-credit online master's in quantitative psychology offers two concentrations:

    • Quantitative Psychology
    • Mixed Methods Psychology

    Regardless of their concentration, all students take core classes like advanced educational psychology, introduction to statistical methods, analysis of variance, and multivariate statistical techniques. Students culminate the degree with a thesis project.

    The school also offers an online master's in educational psychology. The 30-credit program takes 18 months of full-time study to complete and includes the following specializations:

    • Human Development
    • Gifted and Talented
    • Neuropsychology
    • Applied Behavior Analysis

    Students can also create their own specialization through electives. Core courses for all specializations include tests and measurements, advanced educational psychology, and psychology of human development.

    Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts, GRE scores, a letter of intent, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. Transfer students need a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Ball State accepts transfer credit from courses with a minimum 2.0 GPA from regionally accredited institutions.

    Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  10. Mercy College
    Location

    Dobbs Ferry, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Mercy College offers over 40 online degree programs. The online master of science in psychology features 36 credit hours, including 24 core credits and 12 elective credits. Core classes include psychopathology, professional issues and ethics, and contemporary theories in psychology.

    In addition to coursework, students must complete a field practicum. They need a minimum 3.0 GPA before signing up for the practicum. Learners culminate the degree with a thesis or comprehensive exam.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology, behavioral science, or education. Mercy requires prospective students to complete 12 credit hours of undergraduate psychology courses and a statistics course before applying.

    Mercy College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  11. Saint Leo University
    Location

    St. Leo, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Florida, Saint Leo University is the oldest Catholic institution in the state. The university enrolls more than 30,000 students in on-campus and online programs.

    The 36-credit online master's in psychology program follows a cohort model. Students take core courses on topics like diversity and ethics, learning and cognition, and history and systems of psychology. Learners culminate the degree with a thesis on a psychology research topic of their choice. Courses span eight weeks.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They also need to complete undergraduate courses in introduction to psychology, research methods, and statistics in psychology before applying.

    Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  12. Medaille College
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Medaille College is a private institution based in New York that offers diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. The school's online offerings include a master's in psychology program that features accelerated, seven-week courses. Students can graduate in one year of full-time study.

    The 36-credit program offers a sports psychology concentration that focuses on sports counseling, psychological factors in rehabilitation, and coaching and performance. Graduates can work in roles such as sports psychologist and consultant.

    Medaille offers rolling admissions. Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree and submit a resume, a personal statement, two professional references, and transcripts. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Active-duty military students receive a tuition discount.

    Medaille College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  13. Regent University
    Location

    Virginia Beach, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Regent University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 135 areas of study. Based in Virginia Beach, Regent boasts over 27,000 alumni throughout 136 countries.

    The school's 39-credit online master's in psychology offers six concentrations:

    • Addictions
    • Cyberpsychology
    • Doctoral Preparation
    • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
    • Leadership Coaching
    • Marriage and Family

    Regardless of their concentration, all students take core courses such as research methods in psychology; affect, cognition, and motivation; biological basis of behavior; and contemporary psychology.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.75 GPA and submit transcripts and a resume. Regent charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students, but online students must pay an additional technology fee.

    Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  14. Touro University Worldwide
    Location

    Los Alamitos, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Los Alamitos, California, Touro University Worldwide encompasses a network of nonprofit, Jewish-sponsored postsecondary institutions. The online master's in psychology program comprises 12 courses, including nine core classes and three electives.

    Students can choose from concentrations in:

    • Media Psychology
    • Educational Psychology
    • Health Psychology
    • Forensic Psychology

    Full-time students can graduate in one year. Graduates can pursue psychology careers in criminal justice, media, communications, and marketing. They can also pursue doctoral study.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also submit transcripts. TUW charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students.

    Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

  15. Indiana Institute of Technology
    Location

    Fort Wayne, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1930, the Indiana Institute of Technology hosts 19 locations throughout Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky and an online learning division.

    The 33-credit online master of science in psychology includes courses like advanced counseling theory, statistics for behavioral science, advanced social psychology, and legal and ethical issues in psychology. Students culminate the degree with a comprehensive exam that covers core course material.

    Prospective students need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and two years of professional experience. Indiana Tech accepts transfer credit on a case-by-case basis.

    The Indiana Institute of Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  16. Franklin University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin University boasts over 45,000 alumni worldwide. The school offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, including many online options.

    The 36-credit online master's in business psychology takes 14 months to complete. Core courses cover topics like individual and organizational intelligence, psychology of human resources, and behavioral economics and neurofinance. Students also complete a self-selected capstone project under faculty supervision. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and complete Franklin's residency requirements to graduate.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Students who meet this threshold do not need to submit GRE scores. Franklin charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students. Current military service members receive discounted tuition.

    Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  17. Austin Peay State University
    Location

    Clarksville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Clarksville, Tennessee, Austin Peay State University enrolls around 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year.

    The 34-credit online master's in industrial-organizational psychology program adheres to standards put forth by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Learners take courses on topics like research methods and statistics in psychology, foundations of applied psychology, and personnel assessment and selection. Learners can choose between a thesis or two additional electives to culminate the degree. Most students graduate within two years.

    Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 2.5 GPA and submit official college transcripts, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation.

    Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  18. University of Idaho
    Location

    Moscow, ID

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Moscow, the University of Idaho enrolls almost 12,000 students each year. Students can choose from a variety of on-campus and online programs, including a 30-credit online master of science in psychology with a concentration in human factors.

    Students take core courses on topics like ergonomics and biomechanics, advanced research methods, sensation and perception, and advanced human factors. Students can choose between a comprehensive exam or a thesis paper, and all students complete a capstone project to culminate the degree.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit transcripts and three letters of recommendation. They must also complete an undergraduate statistics course before admission. U of I charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students.

    The University of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

  19. Carlos Albizu University-Miami
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Carlos Albizu University -- Miami hosts undergraduate and graduate students through three campus locations and an online division. Distance learners can choose from a variety of online degrees, including a master's in industrial/organizational psychology program.

    The 42-credit, fully online program requires a six-credit applied research project. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Albizu promises flexible scheduling for distance learners. Students can access psychology coursework 24/7 through Albizu's virtual campus. Graduates can work in research and development, employee training and development, and talent development.

    Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume.

    Carlos Albizu University -- Miami is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  20. Eastern Kentucky University
    Location

    Richmond, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Richmond, Eastern Kentucky University offers over 30 graduate degree programs, including several online options.

    The 33-credit online master's in psychology with an applied behavior analysis concentration meets the education requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam. Courses span eight weeks and cover topics like advanced developmental psychology, social psychology and cultural diversity, and statistics and research design.

    Students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher do not need to submit GRE scores. EKU also requires three undergraduate psychology courses, one research course, and one statistics class for admission.

    Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  21. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California enrolls almost 50,000 students each year through diverse undergraduate and graduate programs.

    The 34-credit online master of science in applied psychology offers two concentrations:

    • Organizational Psychology
    • Consumer Psychology

    Regardless of their concentration, all students take core courses on topics like foundations of human behavior, research methods in applied social psychology, principles of consumer psychology, and organizational psychology. Students also complete a practicum that comprises an internship and a treatise. The program takes 16 months of full-time study to complete.

    Learners can begin on one of three start dates per year. Applicants need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree. Students must complete 12 credits at USC under limited status. USC accepts transfer credit from regionally accredited universities.

    The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

  22. Tiffin University
    Location

    Tiffin, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Tiffin, Ohio, Tiffin University hosts more than 3,500 students at campus locations across Ohio and through an online division.

    The 37-credit online master's in psychology program takes just over a year of full-time study to complete. Students take courses on topics like neuropsychology, history and systems of psychology, and cognitive psychology. The program culminates in a capstone research project.

    Students can begin on one of five start dates per year. Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement. TU accepts transfer credit on a case-by-case basis. The university charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students.

    Tiffin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  23. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
    Location

    Waxahachie, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Waxahachie, Texas, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across three colleges: Bible and Church Ministries, Business and Education, and Music and Communication Arts.

    The school's online master's in clinical psychology program requires 63 credits. Students take courses on topics like cognitive behavior and therapy, human growth and lifespan development, and advanced psychopathology and treatment planning. SAGU promises small class sizes and one-on-one attention from professors.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also submit GRE scores, transcripts, an essay, and letters of recommendation.

    The Southwestern Assemblies of God University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  24. Golden Gate University-San Francisco
    Location

    San Francisco, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Golden Gate University -- San Francisco is a private, nonprofit institution that offers career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs. GGU is the state's fourth-oldest private university and boasts more than 68,000 alumni worldwide.

    The fully online, 42-credit online master's in industrial-organizational psychology includes core courses like:

    • Organizational Development, Assessment, and Intervention
    • Leadership and the Development of Managerial Excellence
    • Executive Coaching Theory and Practice
    • Organizational Behavior and Process
    • Group Dynamics in Organizations

    In addition to coursework, all students must complete an applied psychology internship to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and submit transcripts. GGU may ask for GRE scores depending on the applicant's transcripts.

    Golden Gate University -- San Francisco is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

  25. University of Hartford
    Location

    West Hartford, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in West Hartford, Connecticut, the University of Hartford enrolls almost 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 states and 51 countries.

    The fully online, 36-credit online master's in organizational psychology allows students to choose between internship and capstone tracks. The internship track provides real-world experience at an approved site, while the capstone track involves a business case study. UHart recommends the capstone track to working students.

    Regardless of their track, all students take core courses on topics like experimental design, personnel psychology, and advanced research methods. Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts, a letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation.

    All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

    The University of Hartford is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Career and Salary Outlook for Psychology Graduates

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists earned a median annual salary of $80,370 in 2019. The BLS projects employment in the field to increase 14% from 2018 to 2028, a rate much faster than average.

Individual salary potential varies based on geographic location and personal experience. According to data from PayScale, psychologists with 1-4 years of experience earn an average annual salary of $70,792, while psychologists with 10-19 years of experience earn an average salary of $88,533 per year. Factors such as cost of living can also impact earning potential. According to the BLS, the top-paying states for psychologists include California, Maryland, Alaska, Kansas, and Washington.

A professional’s position also affects salary potential and career growth. An online master’s degree in psychology can lead to jobs as industrial-organizational psychologists, supervised clinical psychologists, engineering psychologists, forensic psychologists, and school psychologists. Additional education typically increases an individual’s job opportunities and earning potential. Master’s-level psychologists are not eligible for state licensure.

BOTTOM 10%MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARYTOP 10%
Less than $45,380$80,370More than $132,070

Source: BLS

Certifications and Licensure for Psychology

Most states require candidates for a psychology license to hold a doctoral degree in psychology, pass a licensing exam, and complete a certain number of supervised clinical hours. However, learners should research their state’s specific requirements. For example, candidates in some states must hold a doctoral degree from a program with accreditation from a specific agency, such as the APA.

Candidates for licensure must typically complete supervised practice hours during graduate school, and some states also require postgraduate supervised practice. All states require candidates to pass the examination for professional practice in psychology. Psychology students or professionals who are considering relocating should become familiar with the licensure requirements in the new state. Licensed psychologists can typically transfer their credentials between states, as long as they have fulfilled the destination state’s requirements.

The American Board of Professional Psychology recognizes 13 areas of specialization and provides board certification in these specialties.

Specializations in Psychology

Along with formal specialization through board certification, psychology students can pursue a specialization through focused educational training and experience. Undergraduate students develop general knowledge in the field of psychology, and learners typically begin to specialize during graduate studies.

Most master’s programs offer concentrations in a variety of subfields, such as substance abuse and addiction counseling, forensic psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and abnormal psychology. Graduate students who choose programs without concentration options can focus their studies through elective courses. Depending on their program’s curriculum requirements, learners may be able to pursue multiple specializations.

Courses in Psychology Programs

Students earning an online master’s degree in psychology learn how to apply theory and techniques to promote wellbeing. Learners prepare to conduct research into mental and behavioral health, and students explore topics related to professional ethics. Master’s-level psychology students typically pursue one or more specializations, and most programs require independent research in the form of a capstone project or thesis. Although available courses vary by school, many online master’s psychology programs feature the classes below.

  1. PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
    This course introduces students to the definitions, conceptions, diagnoses, and treatments of mental health disorders and other abnormal cognition and behaviors. Students learn about various types of developmental, anxiety, cognitive, mood, eating, sleeping, substance, psychotic, somatoform, and personality disorders.
  2. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
    This course examines the relationship between an individual’s cognitive processes and their social environment. Students learn about the impact of development and interpersonal influence on cognition, obedience and conformity, attitude formation, leadership, stereotyping and prejudice, and altruism and aggression. Coursework also explores concepts related to social thinking, social influence, and social behavior.
  3. MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING
    Learners examine how characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, and ableness can affect social dynamics and mental health struggles. Students explore these impacts on individuals, couples, and families. This course prepares learners to address multicultural and societal factors and stressors while counseling patients.
  4. THEORIES OF COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
    This course introduces theoretical approaches to counseling and psychotherapy, along with their applications. Students learn about the role of the therapeutic relationship, techniques for helping patients and clients change behaviors and thought patterns, and methods for applying techniques in various cultural contexts.

Scholarships for Psychology Students

Students pursuing an online master’s in psychology can apply for scholarships to defray costs associated with tuition, room and board, textbooks, and travel to conferences. Many scholarships support students from particular backgrounds, learners who are studying specific subfields, or members of a certain organization. Master’s students in the field can also apply for grants and fellowships.

Financial Aid for Psychology Students

Students considering pursuing an online master’s in psychology should research available financial aid. Learners can submit the FAFSA form to determine which federal aid they qualify to receive. Federal aid includes scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Students must complete the FAFSA form before June 30 each year. Some states, colleges, and universities set an internal FAFSA deadline.

Loans comprise most of the federal aid available at the graduate level. Graduate students can qualify for direct unsubsidized loans, which are not based on financial need. While the U.S. Department of Education pays interest on direct subsidized loans during schooling and a period of deferment, unsubsidized loans are only available to undergraduate students. Learners are responsible for paying interest on unsubsidized loans during all periods. Additionally, students often receive direct PLUS loans to cover remaining expenses.

Learn More…

25 Cheap Online Bachelor’s Programs in Psychology 2020
Four Cheap Online Doctorates in Psychology
What is the Difference Between Counseling and Psychology Degrees?

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