TOP 25 ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMS 2020

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TOP 25 ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMS 2020

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By BVS Staff

Psychology is one of the most versatile subjects in academia. Students with a degree in this field can work in counseling or behavioral analysis as well as research, education, criminal justice, business, and many other industries. As such, earning a Master of Psychology online is a flexible and affordable way to not only enhance but expand your career prospects.

Each year, more and more accredited schools are offering graduate programs through distance education. In other words, there’s never been a better (or more convenient) time to earn a master’s degree online!

The majority of accredited online master’s programs in psychology have either a general or educational focus. Some also offer concentrations in industrial/organizational psychology or quantitative/research methods. Less common are degrees in business psychology, forensics, and sports/health psychology. But options exist in all these areas and more – all you have to do is pick the one that’s best for you!

The 25 Best Online Psychology Master’s Degrees Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer master’s degrees in psychology online. The program must be actively graduating students and charge an affordable tuition rate to be eligible for consideration. For this ranking, that meant that we only considered colleges with average* tuition costs of no more than $20,000 per year (as reported on College Navigator).

*We calculated an approximate cost for public schools by taking the mean of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Ranking Factors

We then defined five characteristics of top online psychology graduate programs. These are:

  • Accessibility: What percentage of classes are available online? Are campus visits required? What about internships or weekend residencies?
  • Academic Breadth: Does the program offer any concentrations with the psychology program? How many?
  • Academic Uniqueness: Does the program offer one or more specializations in a particularly unique/uncommon focus area?
  • Advanced Opportunities: Is a PhD program also available?*
  • Affordability: How much is tuition?

*Of course, the mere presence of a PhD psychology program does not guarantee that the school offers a high-quality master’s degree. However, it does indicate a greater likelihood that master’s degree students will have access to advanced coursework and to faculty who are actively conducting research.

We researched each eligible program and gave them a score in each of the above categories. All five metrics received the same amount of weight in our final ranking. Finally, we tallied the results and gave each school a final score out of 100 points. Read more about the top online psychology graduate programs below!

Rank School Location
1 Touro University Worldwide Los Alamitos, CA
2 University of North Texas Denton, TX
3 Ball State University Muncie, IN
4 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
5 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
6 Adams State University Alamosa, CO
7 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
8 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
9 Life University Marietta, GA
10 Medaille College Buffalo, NY
Advertisement BestValueSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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.

  1. Touro University Worldwide
    Location

    Los Alamitos, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Low tuition plus a practical, relevant curriculum combine to make Touro University home to one of the best master's degree programs in psychology in the country. Touro offers two unique concentrations in the fields of Media and Educational Psychology, both of which place a concerted emphasis on applying theory to real-world contexts. The program teaches students competitive skills, like how to develop a marketing plan based on psychological research. It also provides instruction through challenging case studies that will require you to apply theoretical concepts to practical scenarios. As if that weren't enough, Touro also boasts the lowest tuition on our list, making it an unbeatable value for anyone who wants to earn a psychology degree online.

  2. University of North Texas
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Ranked as one of the top 15 online graduate education programs in the nation, UNT's cheap online psychology master's degree will help you develop the skills you need to conduct effective research and evaluation within the educational sector. Courses address the importance of statistical principles in research and provide training in how to effectively implement new initiatives. The program also earns points for its convenient scheduling options. Not only can participants earn their degree in a little as 15 months, but full-time teachers can make the most of their time off by taking up to four accelerated courses during the summer.

  3. Ball State University
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    If you follow occupational trends, you know that experts project a sharp increase in jobs related to quantitative assessment over the next few years. Fortunately, Ball State University is already working to prepare students for careers in this field. With its M.S. in Quantitative Psychology - one of the best master's degrees in psychology online for this area of study - BSU offers a solid education in subjects like "Applied Regression Analysis," "Multivariate Statistical Techniques," and "Analysis of Variance." The highly-interactive curriculum also comes with two concentrations: Quantitative and Mixed Methods. Pick the former to focus on statistical interpretations of data and the latter to explore the underlying motivations of people in your research.

  4. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    For the student who wishes to pursue graduate-level knowledge in general psychology, look no further than Nova Southeastern University. The majority of the program's online curriculum covers foundational knowledge in topics like behavioral neuroscience and human growth and development. Also, the General Psychology concentration gives degree candidates the option to earn credit by writing a master's thesis. But members of this cheap online master's program in psychology who want a slightly more specialized education can choose from separate concentrations in Applied Health Science and Diversity Studies. While still broad in focus, these tracks provide the training students need to apply their psychological knowledge in a variety of social and professional settings.

  5. Texas A & M University-College Station
    Location

    College Station, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Tier-I research university, Texas A&M offers one of the most affordable online psychology master's degrees on our list. Unsurprisingly, it's also one of the most research-focused. Formally known as the MERITS (Measurement, Educational planning, Research methods, Instrumentation, Testing, and Statistics) Program, the core curriculum imparts useful knowledge in topics like quantitative methodologies and behavioral measurement instruments. You'll also acquire relevant skills in grant writing and instructional design and learn how to effectively communicate the results of your research - all while studying alongside internationally recognized faculty. And yet, the program has no thesis or residence requirement, making it an especially convenient option for distance learners.

  6. Adams State University
    Location

    Alamosa, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    If you're gearing up for a career in Sports Psychology, Adams State University offers the field's only fully accredited online psychology graduate program. Students can complete all 36 credits of coursework - including hands-on classes like "Case Studies in Applied Sport Psychology" entirely online. Even the final capstone course (which requires participants to complete a research project) is entirely internet-based. The one exception is the practicum; for this class, you'll need to spend at least 150 hours on-site "in a health, physical education, recreation, or athletic environment." Your hard work will pay off, though, as graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the status of "Certified Consultant," the highest certification in the field.

  7. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    When it comes to unique concentrations, the University of Louisiana Monroe has one of the best online psychology graduate programs. In addition to a General Psychology track, the school also offers specializations in Forensic Psychology and Psychometrics. Forensics coursework is available 100% online, while some general and psychometrics classes may only be available on campus. But regardless of which specialty you choose, you'll acquire a solid foundation in research-oriented principles and quantitative methods - plus a class in "Neuropsychology." As for advanced courses, examples include "Sociology of Law" (Forensics), "Theories of Learning" (Psychometrics) and "Personality and Social Psychology" (General).

  8. Southern New Hampshire University
    Location

    Manchester, NH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Through its affordable master's degree in psychology online program, Southern New Hampshire University provides a graduate-level education that emphasizes a behavioral approach to solving everyday problems. The curriculum offers three unique concentrations - Forensic, Industrial/Organizational, and Developmental Psychology - each of which train students to apply psychological principles to real-world situations. So while the program won't qualify you for state licensure, it will prepare you for a practical career in fields such as criminal justice and human resources. But take note: this program does have pre-requisites, including basic undergraduate coursework in psychology.

  9. Life University
    Location

    Marietta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    For students looking to position themselves in the field of positive psychology, Life University offers an online Master of Science in Psychology with two distinct concentrations. Their online Coaching Psychology track provides program members with 210 hours of coach training and has been certified by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) as well as the International Coaching Federation (ICF). For those without a coaching career in mind, the General Track provides students with the ability to integrate positive psychology methods into many different environments. Note, however, that this accredited online psychology master's program does require limited travel, as you'll need to participate in three weekend-long, on-campus retreats to earn your degree.

  10. Medaille College
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Home to one of the top online psychology master's degrees, Medaille College presents working professionals with a flexible curriculum grounded in advanced psychological principles. Students can take anywhere from one to four courses in a semester and enjoy opportunities to customize their coursework. For example, the program allows participants to choose their method of experiential learning by either writing a thesis or completing an internship. Those who opt for the latter can even work at Medaille's state-of-the-art family counseling facility in Western New York. What's more, the program has recently unveiled a new concentration in Sports Psychology that helps prepare graduates for successful careers in this burgeoning subfield.

Thanks for reading our ranking of the 25 best cheap master’s degrees in psychology online!

Sources:
IPEDS Data Center
College Navigator

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