Best Online Master’s in Psychology

From Applying to Graduating, Resources for Psych Students

Psychology graduates are in-demand: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of psychology professionals is projected to grow by 19 percent between 2014-2020, about three times faster than the national average. Many of these new positions – case managers, rehabilitation managers, social service managers and more – will require at least a master’s degree. Others will require master’s degrees plus Doctor of Psychiatry (PsyD) or PhD degrees. The following guide outlines how online master’s in psychology degrees commonly work, highlights some of the best online master’s in psychology degrees and provides resources for finding the right program for you.

Best Online Master’s in Psychology Degrees: 2017

Psychology professionals pursuing master’s degrees may find that online programs fit their schedules and budgets better than face-to-face coursework. As demand for these programs grows, so do the number of online degrees available. While this trend offers students new options, it can make it more difficult to sift through them and find programs that suit them best. To simplify the process, we’ve developed a ranking system to discern the best online master’s in psychology degrees. We evaluated schools using a number of factors, like not-for-profit status, graduation rates, tuition costs, student support services and job placement rates, and compiled the top schools here for easy review.

RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioGrad RateRanking ScoreSchool DescriptionAdditional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1Eastern Michigan University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
90%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
37%
Ranking SCORE 99.83
Read more

Graduate students who pursue the general clinical master of psychology degree program at Eastern Michigan University will be prepared for master's level clinical practice and licensure. Upon graduation, students will emerge from the program as limited license psychologists (LLP) in Michigan who are prepared to design and analyze clinical research. Graduate students will have access to a variety of academic and research tools, including those affiliated with the university's library services. They will also benefit from academic advising, technical help, counseling, career services and access to the university's vast alumni network.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
2Michigan State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
44%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
79%
Ranking SCORE 98.54
Read more

The graduate training in program evaluation at Michigan State University is offered completely online. The program, which combines both real-world experience and theoretical academic knowledge, requires distance learners to consult with both instructors and their peers to tackle skill- and knowledge-building activities. Students will also complete a supervised practical application course over the term of two semesters. Students will gain hands-on experience by working closely with evaluation practitioners in a professional setting. Upon completion, students will be prepared for careers as professional evaluators at the federal, state or local levels, as well as in the private sector.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3Syracuse University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
12
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
82%
Ranking SCORE 97.54
Read more

The Syracuse University psychology graduate program is led by instructors who are renowned in the field for both practice and research. Graduate students can choose from four separate programs, each with its own specialization, and they will have the opportunity to receive financial support with research assistantships, clinical assistantships and teaching assistantships. Students will publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals, and then present those findings at industry conferences. There is also a program called FPP, or future professoriate program, which enables students with professional academic aspirations to pursue university-level training and certification.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
4Seton Hall University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
11
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
67%
Ranking SCORE 96.89
Read more

The master of science in experimental psychology program at Seton Hall University boasts very low student-teacher ratios, and large numbers of graduates are currently employed in the field or went onto pursue PhD programs. Upon graduation, students will be immediately qualified to enter a doctorate program or begin work in a research-intensive professional position. Possible careers include laboratory assistant, academic researcher, college instructor and science writer. There are three possible concentrations, all of which require the completion of a thesis, as well as two non-thesis specializations. All students, however, will have access to the university's cutting-edge laboratories and facilities.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5Nova Southeastern University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
12
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 96.83
Read more

The Nova Southeastern University School of Psychology offers graduate programs that culminate in both master of science and specialist degrees. Upon graduation, students will be able to move on to PhD-level degree programs, begin clinical research, begin professional practice or advance in their current fields. The MS program offers six individual concentrations. The specialist program, which can be completed in three years, requires students to possess at least a bachelor's degree. Students will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and research centers, and will benefit from academic advising, career services and library services.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6Ball State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
10
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
57%
Ranking SCORE 96.50
Read more

The central purpose of the Ball State University master's degree programs in psychological science are to prepare students for doctoral work and to present them with opportunities to conduct research. It is common for faculty to collaborate with students on projects. Master of arts degrees are available in both clinical psychology, and cognitive and social processes. The vast majority of students seeking assistantships find one, and the program boasts high numbers of graduates accepted into doctoral programs. Prospective students are encouraged to participate in a live, online webinar where they can learn about the program, meet students and ask questions.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7Wright State University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
67%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
11
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 96.45
Read more

Master's degree options at Wright State University-Main Campus include industrial organizational psychology and human factors. Department-specific academic advisors help students plan their degrees, and fulfill all the program requirements. There are many organizations available for graduate program participants to join, including Psi Chi and the Psychology Club. Each faculty member maintains his or her own research facility, and on-campus laboratories are supplemented through partnerships with several local specialty facilities. The university owns the Virtual Environment Research, Interactive Technology, and Simulation facility, which is housed in the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
8Barry University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
96%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 96.10
Read more

The clinical psychology graduate program at Barry University culminates in master of science degree. Students will graduate prepared for either entry into doctoral programs or to begin work in the field of mental health. There is a 60-credit track, which qualifies students for work as mental health counselors in Florida, and a 36-credit track, which prepares aspiring doctoral degree candidates. The College of Arts and Sciences hosts a Preview Day, where prospective students can learn about programs, ask questions and meet the faculty. Students considering entering the program are encouraged to schedule a visit to the school.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
9Boston University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
51%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
10
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
84%
Ranking SCORE 95.72
Read more

The Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences at Boston University offers an eight-course master of arts degree that can be completed in one year. Students will explore a wide range of societal, behavioral and cognitive subjects and issues. Faculty not only supervise academic work, but coordinate with students for research projects. The program is open both to dedicated psychology students and students with minimal experience in the field of study. The program does not, however, qualify students for professional practice. Students are required to complete a minimum of at least an introductory psychology course. There is no thesis requirement, but students must complete a research apprenticeship.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
10Temple University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
76%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 95.71
Read more

Graduate-level psychology students can pursue a master of science degree in psychological research at Temple University. The program covers advanced coursework and research-intensive study, while instructing students on professional development. The program is intended for students who intend to progress to a doctoral program involving any study in the field of psychology. The program, which can be completed at the main campus, can be finished in two years. Students must enroll full time. The interdisciplinary program prepares students for careers in universities, the private sector, research, consulting, and the nonprofit and marketing sectors.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11North Carolina Central University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
81%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 95.66
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
12University of Central Arkansas Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
85%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 95.55
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
13Saint Cloud State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
10
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 95.39
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
14University of Southern Mississippi Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
74%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 95.30
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
15University of South Florida-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
73%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
9
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
57%
Ranking SCORE 95.06
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
16University of Southern California Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
90%
Ranking SCORE 94.99
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
17University of Akron Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 94.93
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
18Virginia Commonwealth University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
41%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
9
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
56%
Ranking SCORE 94.84
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
19University of Northern Colorado Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
79%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 94.69
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
20Emporia State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
76%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 94.61
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
21Indiana State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
75%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 94.47
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
22Texas Woman's University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
36%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 94.36
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
23The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 94.12
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
24The Sage Colleges Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 94.05
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
25University of South Dakota Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
63%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 93.90
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
26Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
41%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
38%
Ranking SCORE 93.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
27University of Memphis Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
40%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 93.67
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
28University of Arkansas at Little Rock Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
19%
Ranking SCORE 93.52
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
29Our Lady of the Lake University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
27%
Ranking SCORE 93.50
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
30University of North Dakota Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
30%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 93.35
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
31Texas Tech University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
62%
Ranking SCORE 93.29
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
32Eastern Washington University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
46%
Ranking SCORE 93.28
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
33Northern Arizona University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 93.27
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
34North Carolina State University at Raleigh Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
71%
Ranking SCORE 93.24
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
35Missouri State University-Springfield Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
51%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
55%
Ranking SCORE 93.11
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
36University of Wisconsin-Stout Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
23%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 93.08
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
37University of Massachusetts-Boston Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
58%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
38%
Ranking SCORE 92.99
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
38University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
54%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
62%
Ranking SCORE 92.98
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
39Mercy College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
88%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
34%
Ranking SCORE 92.97
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
40Case Western Reserve University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
84%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
78%
Ranking SCORE 92.96
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
41Arkansas State University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
65%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
39%
Ranking SCORE 92.88
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
42Northeastern University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
69%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
79%
Ranking SCORE 92.85
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo

Search Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Online master’s in psychology programs can vary in a number of ways, from overall focus to attendance options. Once students decide what they want in a program, they can use this tool to find programs information such as degree level, subject, accreditation, cost, population, and public or private school type.

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Acceptance Rate Student Population School Type Online Psychology Programs

Timeline to an Online Psychology Master’s Degree

Students pursuing online master’s degrees in psychology programs can generally complete their studies in 18 to 36 months, depending on individual programs and course loads. Master’s students will need to have a bachelor’s degree (though not necessarily in psychology), and as much as five years’ work experience in order to apply. An advanced degree in psychology will explore subjects like the history of psychology, theories of personality, and principles of psychology analysis. Prospective students will likely already have an idea of the field concentrations that interest them most, e.g. clinical psychology, education and research, organizational psychology and more.

Application Process

Prospective students should prepare their applications to online master’s programs with with great care. Psychology degree admissions officers tend to evaluate applicants using traditional graduate school entrance requirements, like test scores and GPA, but also consider one’s character and passion. Applicants should use the application process to showcase their interests, experience and dedication to the field.

Pick a concentration

Many master’s programs in psychology offer specialty degrees in educational psychology, applied psychology or organizational psychology, to name a few. Heading into the application process, students should have a strong idea of in which direction they will head. This will help them choose a course schedule, specific professional organizations, and work or internship opportunities in the field.

Pay attention to licensure requirements

Students who would like to practice clinical psychology should identify programs that align with state licensing requirements, particularly if they intend to work in a different state. A general psychology master’s from NOVA Southeastern University, for example, will not allow graduates to practice in Florida; a master’s of science in counseling will. Applicants need to have an idea of what they want to do and where they want to go so they can be sure to start on the right path.

GPA requirement from a previous degree

Admissions officers will consider a student’s GPA during the application process, which can be quite competitive. Some programs require a cumulative 3.0 GPA. If a student had poor grades during their bachelor’s programs, it may be more difficult to get accepted. Non-traditional, better-off-paper applicants should use their references and personal statement to make up for poor scores in this area.

Financial aid

Applicants should take advantage of every opportunity possible to mitigate the costs of their master’s degree program. This includes looking out for merit (GPA)-based subsidies, federal aid, and private scholarships. Individual degree programs and offices may have a scholarship or financial aid sector for which students can apply, and many professional psychological organizations give financial aid, too. Prospective students should check in with their adviser or admissions office for additional information.

References and Resumes

Students should ask their current supervisors, professors or community leaders for references. References are required for many master’s in psychology programs, and offer an inside look into an applicant’s character, personality and work-ethic. Admissions officers want to know about an applicant’s work experience, skillset and passion for the field.

Interview

Some schools require students to interview with a faculty member or a panel of people in the department. Some offer voluntary interviews. In either case, interviews strengthen graduate school applications, particularly among students with “off-paper” accomplishments best showcased in person or by phone.

Personal Statement

Admissions officers want to know who they are accepting into their programs, but it is difficult to get an idea of one’s personality or suitability from an application alone. For programs that request an essay or a personal statement, students should seize the opportunity to describe who they are, why they want to earn master’s in psychology degrees, and how they plan to contribute to their community and to the field upon completion.

Show off any research experience

Research is huge in the psychology field, especially if an applicant is seeking an advanced degree. Students that are comfortable with it will have a good leg up on other applicants who aren’t, both during the admissions process and within their studies.

Years 1 Milestones

Online master’s degree programs in psychology vary, but are generally structured similarly. The timeline can be divided into two sections: coursework and a practicum or electives and capstones. Many research-based programs do not lead to a clinical license, so do not require a practicum. Instead, they have more electives and require capstone projects, such as conducting research.

Year 1 will focuses on foundational concepts. Some attention should be directed to choosing one’s required practicum subject and experience as well.

Master the foundations of the field

Even psychology students who already have a bachelor’s degree need to understand the basics. There is a lot of information in Year 1 of an online master’s program regarding history of the field and theory and analysis, and these ideas will help solidify a student’s personal philosophy regarding practicing psychology.

Build a network

Students should take great care to make connections during Year 1 (and all subsequent years). Relationships with students, faculty, and advisers in your field can lead to big opportunities in the future. Students should get involved in professional organizations of their specific concentration and should develop a presence in their professional community.

Mentorship

We can all learn so much from the people who have come before us. Students should be open to finding a mentor–someone who can answer questions and serve as a sounding board. This may be a professor, or a professional currently working in the field. Asking tough questions is OK, as these are the differences that will set some parts of the field apart from others. For example, “Would you take the same path all over again?,” “What do you love and hate about your daily work?,” and “What would you change about your role in the field?,” will elicit responses that may help students carve their own career paths.

Year 2 Milestones

Many students complete online master’s programs in psychology by the end of Year 2, so coursework tends to focus on advanced coursework, practica and/or capstone projects. A general guide:

Wrap up basic and elective coursework

This is really the time for students to explore different aspects of the general field. In addition to core courses, students may try out additional classes in arenas like sport psychology, human sexuality, hypnosis or stress disorder psychology.

Work experience or practicum

As students get closer to graduation, they should keep an eye out for internships and volunteer opportunities within their field. This will help expand their network and gain real-life experience in students’ respective fields. Students required to complete a practicum should research internships as early as four-six months before actually applying to them.

Update your resume

Graduating students should keep their resume fresh. Potential employers are everywhere, and students never know when a resume handed to a random professional could turn into the next stop on the career path

Graduation Requirements

Candidates are ultimately responsible for completing all of the requirements that come with graduation. For some programs, that includes a report or project on the field work students completed. For others, different capstones outside of the main field of study are required.

Internship

While internships are often suggested, they are sometimes required. Students should complete the appropriate paperwork early and begin the work quickly as there may be as schools may require as many as 250 practical hours.

Capstones

Programs that have an educational or research-based track often require graduates to complete a capstone paper or project, such as a research review or study. Topics might include lifespan development, gerontology, and learning theory, among many more.

Practicum

Clinically focused programs require master’s in psychology candidates to complete a practicum. This generally includes as many as 300 hours of clinical experience at on-site and under supervision. Students should look for opportunities at sites that already have training programs in place.

After Your Degree: What to do with a Master’s in Psychology

Master’s in psychology students will likely have many opportunities available to them upon graduation. While some careers will require students to continue and complete a doctorate degree, others only require a master’s. Opportunities will vary according to the concentration students have chosen, but there are some exciting prospects across the board. Some graduates may head in the direction of clinical psychology while others become premier researchers and professors. The careers listed here are only some of those available to candidates with advanced psychology degrees.

Browse Master’s in Psychology Careers
Private Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists treat patients who struggle with mental health disorders and problems. They are responsible for assessing, diagnosing and prescribing treatment for their patients. Many of these professionals manage their own practices, too.

Mean Annual Wage

$65,500

Growth Potential

12 percent

Rehabilitation Clinical Psychologist

Rehabilitation psychologists work with patients that have chronic physical issues, like disabilities or debilitating degenerative diseases. Psychologists often work in clinical settings as many of their patients find everyday tasks difficult.

Mean Annual Wage

$55,000

Growth Potential

19 percent

Professor in Clinical Psychology

A master’s degree will help professionals secure jobs in community colleges and some four-year institutions. As an educator, these professionals are responsible for passing along information to the next generation, and often stay involved in research to further the field.

Mean Annual Wage

$78,000

Growth Potential

31 percent

Source: BLS

Core Principles & Skills Learned in an Online Psychology Program

Master’s in Psychology

  • Foundations of Psychopathology

    Psychology professionals must have a strong understanding of the field’s foundational concepts, especially the theory and analysis of how people view themselves and their role in the world. This course focuses on the study of mental disorders, and topics include biological, genetic and social causes, and effective treatment.

  • Counseling Theory and Technique

    Psychologists who follow the clinical therapy path will need keen interpersonal skills, including active listening and communication. This course covers a wide array of subjects, but focuses primarily on how to best help patients in a clinical setting.

  • Research Methodology

    Students who are interested in the educational side of psychology and the advancement of the field should know key research methods. Topics include qualitative versus quantitative research, data interpretation and representation, and research methods.

Best Online Master’s in Psychology Degrees: 2016

Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
1 Northwestern Oklahoma State University 99.84 81% 2 14:1 31%

The master of counseling psychology (MCP) is a 48-hour program that can be acquired from the Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU). With this course, students can pursue two concentration tracks: the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors (which take an overall 54 hours to complete) or the Licensed Professional Counselor (which takes 60 hours to complete). In order to be accepted in this course, NWOSU requires incoming students to have at least eighteen psychology credits along with a grade of C or higher for both undergraduate research and statistics subjects. The admission process also includes a rigorous interview process.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth5
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate66%
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2 North Carolina Central University 99.74 8% 7 15:1 43%

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is home to the master of arts program in psychology. In order to earn this degree, a student must be qualified for admission with a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field from an accredited institution. NCCU offers a master's degree in psychology that focuses on general and clinical psychology. The program is a great stepping stone for students who are looking to pursue doctorate studies in the future, for people in a profession where knowledge of psychology is needed, and for those who are looking to engage and practice as professional psychologists.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate43%
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3 Southwestern Oklahoma State University 99.71 75% 3 18:1 35%

Offering a two-tiered entry-level master of science in school psychology, the Southwestern Oklahoma State University, also known as SWOSU, offers rigorous training and education in order to earn a master's degree in psychology. Prior to entry into the program, students must complete the MEd Psychometry program or its equivalent coursework and training, and be approved by the clinical faculty of the Psychology Department. This is a 34-hour program that spans three semesters. After graduation, students can enroll in the 33-hour master's of school psychology program. Admission to the MS in school psychology program is highly competitive.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth6
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance Rate85%
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4 Indiana State University 99.38 71% 7 20:1 43%

A research-oriented general program, this master's degree in general experimental psychology from the Indiana State University is a useful education and training tool for individuals who want to pursue an advanced degree, such as a Ph.D. in psychology, in the future. Many graduates of the program are now happily engrossed in their choice of research-related psychology career, and many have proceeded to receive their doctorate degrees. All incoming students are required to submit all their application requirements by March 15 to be considered for the same year's Fall admission.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth10
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance Rate83%
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5 University of Idaho 99.37 76% 2 17:1 56%

For students who are inquisitive, curious about human nature, and like to solve problems, the MS psychology program from the University of Idaho might be a good fit. This curriculum helps students build their writing and research skills along with a firsthand experience in research studies. Students will also study the role of human psychology in the context of consumer behavior, addictions, and workplace to name a few. As an MS Psychology degree holder, graduates have the career options of becoming sales associates, human resource managers, administrative managers, social workers, program managers, and project managers.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth4
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate67%
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6 University of Central Florida 99.35 72% 7 31:1 65%

The University of Central Florida offers two different master's degrees in psychology: the MS in industrial and organizational psychology, and the MA in clinical psychology. The MS degree in industrial and organizational psychology is geared towards people who are looking to work within an organization or the industrial sector. It focuses on training and selection of employees along with the application of theories to boost productivity, job satisfaction, and/or motivation. The MA in clinical psychology has two-course options—the non-thesis and thesis choices. As a graduate of this program, students can become a licensed mental health counselor with an additional two-year postgraduate internship.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth9
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate50%
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7 University of Memphis 99.27 76% 5 14:1 40%

The University of Memphis is home to a prestigious psychology department offering three master's degrees and three doctoral degrees to graduate students. The three master's programs offered include the education specialist program in school psychology, master of arts program in school psychology, and a master's degree program in general psychology. From year one of the masters programs, UM fosters involvement in research to develop necessary skills to enter the workforce as competent professionals. The psychology department also offers internships and training opportunities, and even office space and conference travel funds to graduate students.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth8
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate47%
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8 University of Kentucky 99.26 84% 9 18:1 58%

The integration of practice and science is the main emphasis in the master's degree programs offered by the University of Kentucky. UK offers five different master's degree in psychology including social psychology; developmental psychology; cognition, learning, and performance; clinical psychology; and behavioral neuroscience & psychopharmacology. The clinical psychology program focuses on both traditional and contemporary principles of psychology. Training in any of the psychology programs provides graduates with many career opportunities in various sectors. The admission application is a time-consuming process, so prospective students are urged to complete the requirements as early as possible.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth12
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate72%
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9 Northwestern State University of Louisiana 99.25 76% 3 20:1 36%

Students seeking psychology or other related career positions at the master's level can receive a master of science in clinical psychology from the Northwestern State University. The program study is focused on research, application, theory, and clinical assessment. In total, the curriculum takes 42-hours of coursework, a 300-hour practicum, and an empirical thesis. The therapy course is accompanied by a practicum, which provides the student a hands-on experience and approach to clinical psychology and allows them to apply the theories learned in the classroom. The NSU psychology department functions by an honor code regarding policies, ethics, behavioral standards, and personal and educational integrity by which students are expected to abide.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth6
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate73%
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10 Southwestern Assemblies of God University 99.11 87% 2 16:1 38%

Southwestern Assemblies of God University was created in 1943—produced through the merging of Southwestern Bible School, Shield of Faith Bible College, and Southern Bible Institute—and has been educating some of Texas' brightest scholars ever since. A bible-based school, SAGU would be an excellent option for any student looking to enter a graduate program for Counseling Psychology. Worship is an important part of the SAGU experience; students are able to connect with their peers and community through their faith. Student can also become more integrated with one of SAGU's many clubs and organizations.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth6
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance Rate33%
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11 Northern Michigan University 99.10 72% 4 21:1 44%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth12
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate72%
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12 South Dakota State University 99.02 59% 5 17:1 56%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth8
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate92%
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13 Liberty University 98.97 84% 2 18:1 46%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance Rate22%
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14 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale 98.93 85% 1 12:1 60%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth1
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate49%
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15 Our Lady of the Lake University 98.92 88% 5 16:1 27%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance Rate50%
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16 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 98.89 61% 5 18:1 62%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth10
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance Rate76%
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17 University of Utah 98.85 5% 7 17:1 59%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth13
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate81%
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18 Eastern Michigan University 98.84 68% 14 18:1 37%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth17
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate69%
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19 Wichita State University 98.80 56% 4 18:1 41%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate96%
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20 The Sage Colleges 98.79 9% 4 12:1 52%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth6
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate55%
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21 Eastern Washington University 98.79 57% 6 21:1 46%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth12
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate74%
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22 The University of Texas at Tyler 98.78 63% 5 21:1 41%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate84%
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23 University of Akron Main Campus 98.74 64% 8 19:1 40%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth15
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate96%
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24 Medaille College 98.69 91% 3 17:1 45%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth4
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance Rate62%
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25 Governors State University 98.67 59% 5 10:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate94%
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26 Saint Cloud State University 98.66 48% 10 22:1 49%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth17
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate82%
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27 Lamar University 98.63 61% 3 22:1 32%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth6
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate79%
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28 The University of Alabama 98.62 55% 6 21:1 67%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth9
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance Rate51%
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29 Mercy College 98.62 69% 5 19:1 34%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth8
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance Rate72%
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30 Barry University 98.58 84% 8 12:1 41%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth8
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance Rate46%
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Additional Resources

There are many online resources that can help psychology graduate students transition into the professional arena. Many member-based organizations offer internship and volunteer opportunities, financial aid, and professional development. Some resources help students determine insurance needs and give policy updates, and many offer discounts for educational materials and national conferences.

American Psychological Association

A member-based, grant-awarding organization that promotes the advancement of the field of psychology for the betterment of health, education, and human welfare.

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students

A division of the APA, the APAGS aims to support its members through networking opportunities, web education, and internship prospects.

Association for Psychological Science, Student Caucus

A member-based organization, APSSC is a representative body of the student members of Association for Psychological Science. It upholds the goals of the parent organization: to promote psychology as a science, to further research, and to improve human welfare. APSSC also puts an emphasis on improving career development of its members.

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards

Administrator of the EPPP exam, the ASPPB holds many state and Canadian province boards as members. Check this group out for information on the exam, which students will need to take if their state board is a ASPPB member.

Psi Chi, International Honor Society in Psychology

A student organization that has chapters around the world, Psi Chi awards grants to students, holds national and international conventions, and promotes the recognition of psychology among other sciences.