Written By - Nikita Nath

Edited By Darryl S.

Review & Contribution By Dr. Milton N. Hall

The role of a school psychologist is multifaceted, encompassing not only the understanding of psychological principles but also the application of these insights to address the diverse needs of students, educators, and educational systems. Educational Psychologists play a significant role in ensuring students’ lives are better by creating better teaching methods, a healthy classroom environment, and dealing with behavioral issues. Aspiring school psychologists delve into the intricacies of human development, learning theories, and behavior interventions, equipping themselves with the expertise to foster positive academic, social, and emotional student outcomes.

A Master’s in School Psychology Online, also known as Master’s in Educational Psychology online, can help students advance a Psychology career trajectory. It is a specialized graduate program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge, skills, and practical experiences necessary to excel in educational psychology. This program focuses on the intersection of psychology and education, preparing graduates to address the diverse needs of students, educators, and educational systems.

According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, employment opportunities for psychologists are projected to grow by 6% over the next ten years [1]. Those who have master’s or doctoral degrees have better career prospects than those who have bachelor’s degrees.

Masters in School Psychology Online

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online MS in Psychology

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Master’s in School Psychology Online Programs

With the abundance of online Master’s degrees in psychology, choosing the right school for a school psychology program can be daunting. Our rankings of the top Master’s in School Psychology Online programs consider factors like program quality, reputation, tuition fees, teacher-student ratio, and flexibility. Here are the top-ranked programs to guide students in making informed decisions about their educational path.

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Georgia
Administration Building, Athens, Georgia 30602
University of Wisconsin, Madison
500 Lincoln Dr, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Florida State University
222 S. Copeland Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32306
Texas A&M University, College Station
JKW Administration Building, Suite 200, College Station, Texas 77843
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
Marist College
3399 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
527 Andy Holt Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
Temple University
1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
Rutgers University
249 University Avenue, Blumenthal Hall, Newark, New Jersey 07102
University of North Texas
1501 W.Chestnut Ave., Denton, Texas 76203
Northern Arizona University
1900 S Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center, Room 200, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
University of Memphis
Southern Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38152
University of Northern Colorado
Carter Hall – Rm 4000, Greeley, Colorado 80639

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Master’s in School Psychology Online Programs

Prospective students should prioritize thoroughly understanding school psychology programs before committing to enrollment. This involves carefully examining the program’s structure, curriculum, and overall objectives. Graduates are encouraged to delve into the fundamental components of the school psychology curriculum, considering foundational courses, potential specializations, and practical experiences such as internships.

Furthermore, understanding the program’s educational philosophy, teaching approach, and faculty expertise is crucial for informed decision-making. Evaluating whether the program emphasizes theoretical knowledge or practical application and assessing its alignment with personal career goals ensures a well-matched educational experience. This section will break down the Master’s in school psychology programs.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in the Masters in School Psychology Program

One of the primary things that School psychologists do is to study how students learn. These practitioners review and aim to optimize the teaching process by testing learning approaches to student results. They consider students’ unique needs, including gifted learners and those with developmental disabilities, and their needs and work towards bettering students’ lives.  Educational psychologists combine clinical, developmental, and social psychology to understand best practices in the field truly. A typical online master’s in school psychology program will require 30-36 credits for graduation. The programs can take up to two years for graduation. 

A master’s in school psychology online exposes psychology students to psychology, trains them for field coursework, and opens vocational doors to public entity employment opportunities such as caseworkers, advocates for mental health, and neighborhood educators.  These two-year modular programs specialize in developing communication skills for students, research, critical thinking, ethics, and concepts in personal, group, family, and organizational psychology.

The curriculum for a Master’s in School Psychology program typically encompasses a well-rounded blend of theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and experiential learning. While specific courses may vary between institutions, the following is a general overview of the critical components commonly found in such programs:

Foundations of School Psychology

This course lays the groundwork for school psychology, introducing students to the profession’s historical, theoretical, and ethical foundations. It explores the evolution of school psychology, ethical considerations, and the development of professional standards. Emphasis is placed on understanding school psychologists’ pivotal role in educational settings and the broader community.

Child and Adolescent Development

In this course, students delve into the intricate cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development stages in children and adolescents. Focused on the latest research and theories, the curriculum equips them with a nuanced understanding of developmental milestones, potential challenges, and the implications for educational practices. Practical applications for fostering healthy development are emphasized.

Learning Theories and Educational Psychology

This course explores various learning theories and their applications within educational psychology. Students examine the psychological principles that underlie learning and memory, motivation, and the impact of socio-cultural factors on educational outcomes. Practical insights are gained into integrating psychological theories into effective teaching and learning strategies.

Assessment and Testing

Providing a comprehensive overview of psychological assessments, this course equips students with the skills needed to identify academic, behavioral, and emotional challenges in students. They learn to administer, score, and interpret assessments, enabling them to formulate targeted intervention strategies. The ethical use of assessments and considerations for diverse populations are emphasized.

Intervention and Counseling Techniques 

This course focuses on evidence-based intervention strategies for addressing academic and behavioral challenges in educational settings. Students develop proficiency in individual and group counseling techniques, emphasizing the application of psychological principles to promote positive outcomes. The course integrates practical skills with ethical considerations, preparing them for the dynamic role of a school psychologist.

Some other courses under Master in School Psychology programs include:

  • Ethics and Dispositions
  • Special Education and Law
  • Behavior and SEL Interventions
  • Introduction to Research
  • Academic Interventions
  • Cognitive Assessments
  • Developmental Milestones
  • Individual and Group Counseling
  • Mental Health and Crisis Response
  • Academic and Processing Assessments
  • Special Population Assessments
  • Childhood Development Disorders

By the time students graduate from an online master in school psychology program, they develop several skills, including the ability to: 

  • conduct comprehensive evaluations to identify academic, behavioral, and emotional challenges in students;
  • implement evidence-based intervention strategies to address academic and behavioral issues;
  • apply individual and group counseling approaches for diverse student populations;
  • collaborate with teachers, parents, and other professionals to develop and implement support plans;
  • provide timely and appropriate mental health support during challenging situations;
  • understand the impact of diversity and culture on educational and psychological services;
  • apply research methodologies relevant to the field of school psychology;
  • provide educational support and resources to parents, teachers, and administrators;
  • adhere to ethical guidelines and professional standards in the field of school psychology;
  • navigate complex ethical dilemmas with sensitivity and professionalism;
  • adapt to changing educational environments and evolving student needs.

Difference between School Psychology and Educational Psychology

Education Psychology and School Psychology are used interchangeably in most places, and this guide. They both are very similar. Although there are various overlapping interests between Educational Psychology and School Psychology, there are some subtle differences [2].

Educational PsychologySchool Psychology
Educational Psychology studies human learning (development, performance, motivation, assessment, and instruction). The primary aim of a master’s in educational psychology online is to train students at higher learning institutions or academic consortiums for careers in teaching and research.In contrast, a school psychologist is a practitioner-based role. It involves using an academic environment, such as classrooms, parents, and teachers, and school psychologists use it to identify and meet students’ learning needs. By getting a master’s in school psychology online, students can create a healthy schooling environment for children and youth.  Advocates of this psychology discipline integrate its values with behavioral, developmental, and clinical psychology.
The target populations of educational psychologists are people of all ages, and they work within and outside traditional school settings.The target populations of school psychologists are children of school age within traditional school settings.

Types of Masters of School Psychology Programs

There are two common graduate degrees in the United States, including Master of Arts in School Psychology and Master of Science in School Psychology. The distinction between a Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Psychology and a Master of Science (M.S.) in School Psychology often lies in the emphasis on coursework, practical experiences, and the program’s overall focus. However, it’s crucial to note that the differences can vary between institutions, and the terms may be used interchangeably in some cases.

Masters of Arts or MA in School Psychology

M.A. programs in School Psychology emphasize applied practices, focusing on the practical application of psychological principles in educational settings. These programs may integrate a broader educational perspective, addressing philosophy, policy, and inclusive practices, emphasizing developing counseling and communication skills.

Masters of Science or MS in School Psychology

M.S. programs in School Psychology typically showcase a stronger emphasis on research and analysis. They often delve into the scientific foundations of psychology, incorporating a research-oriented approach to understanding behavior and learning. M.S. programs may emphasize quantitative skills, equipping students with the tools necessary for evidence-based decision-making.

Specializations in Masters in School Psychology Online Programs

Masters in School Psychology programs often offer various specializations or concentrations that allow students to tailor their education to specific areas of interest or career goals. While the availability of specializations can vary between institutions, here are some common areas of focus:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers
Behavioral InterventionsSpecializing in behavioral interventions equips students with advanced skills in assessing and addressing behavioral challenges in educational settings. This may include training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques.Applied Behavior Analyst Therapist, School Psychologist, Behavioral Consultant, and more.
Early Childhood PsychologyFocusing on early childhood psychology, this specialization centers on the unique developmental needs of young children and interventions tailored to early educational experiences.Early Childhood Psychologist, Child Development Specialist, Early Intervention Specialist, and more. 
Special Education School PsychologySpecializing in special education integrates school psychology principles with the knowledge and skills required to support students with diverse learning needs.School Psychologist in the Special Education Department, Special Education Coordinator, Inclusion Specialist, etc. 
Neuropsychology and Learning DisabilityThis specialization delves into the intersection of psychology and neurology, addressing learning disabilities and exploring interventions to support students with neurological challenges.Neuropsychologist, Clinical Psychologist with Neuropsychology Focus, Learning Disabilities Specialist, etc. 
Trauma-Informed PracticesSpecializing in trauma-informed practices equips school psychologists to understand and address the impact of trauma on students, fostering a supportive and sensitive educational environment.Trauma Therapist, Crisis Intervention Specialist, Social Worker in Trauma-Informed Care, and more. 
Crisis Intervention and Mental HealthSpecializing in crisis intervention and mental health prepares students to effectively address and manage crises in educational settings, offering mental health support to students in need. 

Timeline for graduation from Masters in Counseling Psychology Online Programs

Completing a Master’s in School Psychology offers a flexible journey tailored to diverse student needs. For those pursuing full-time enrollment, the typical duration spans two years, involving a comprehensive curriculum and practical experiences. Part-time options cater to individuals with work or other commitments, extending the completion timeline to approximately three to five years. Accelerated programs, designed for efficiency, may enable one to achieve their Master’s in School Psychology in as little as 18 months to two years, requiring an intensified focus on coursework and the potential inclusion of summer sessions. As completion times can vary between programs, prospective graduates are encouraged to consult with the admissions offices of their chosen institutions to understand specific timelines, program structures, and any opportunities for flexibility in scheduling.

 One-year Masters in School Psychology Online Programs

A one-year Master’s in School Psychology program is a relatively rare but intensive option designed for students who seek a quicker path to acquiring specialized knowledge and skills in school psychology. This accelerated format typically involves a condensed curriculum and may require students to dedicate significant time to coursework, practicum experiences, and potentially research or a thesis. Some universities providing a one-year graduate program in school psychology include:

Masters in School Psychology Online Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for a Master’s in School Psychology program may vary between institutions, but the following are common prerequisites that prospective students can expect:

Bachelor’s Degree

Candidates typically need a completed Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution. While specific undergraduate majors may vary, degrees in psychology, education, or related fields are often preferred.

GPA (Grade Point Average)

Most programs require a competitive GPA from the candidate’s undergraduate studies. A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is often considered competitive, but requirements may vary.


Applicants must usually submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities. These transcripts provide a comprehensive academic record.

Letters of Recommendation

Programs often require letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic and professional abilities. These recommenders may include professors, employers, or professionals in the field.

Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement

Applicants submit a Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement. This document allows candidates to articulate their reasons for pursuing a Master’s in School Psychology, career goals, and relevant experiences.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A résumé or CV summarizes the applicant’s educational and professional experiences. It should highlight relevant coursework, research, internships, and work or volunteer experiences.

GRE Scores

Some programs may require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, although this requirement is becoming less common. Programs requiring GRE scores often consider them part of the overall application package.


Some programs may require an interview as part of the admissions process. This interview may be conducted in person or virtually, allowing the admissions committee to assess the candidate’s interpersonal skills, motivations, and suitability for the program.

Prerequisite Courses

Certain programs may have specific prerequisite courses, especially for applicants without a background in psychology or education. These prerequisites include introductory psychology, child development, or educational psychology courses.

Work or Volunteer Experience

Some programs may value or require relevant work or volunteer experience in educational or psychological settings. This experience can demonstrate a candidate’s commitment to the field and provide practical insights.

Master’s in School Psychology Online No GRE Programs

For individuals seeking admission to Master’s in School Psychology programs without GRE requirements, the application process becomes more accessible. These programs place greater importance on factors like academic performance, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and relevant experiences instead of standardized test scores. The absence of the GRE as a mandatory component allows a more holistic evaluation of applicants, enabling a fairer assessment of their potential success in the program. Here is a list of schools that offer Online Masters in School Psychology No GRE programs:

Accreditation for Master’s in School Psychology Online Programs

There are various educational psychology programs available online. Yet, students need to ensure that independent accreditation bodies accredit these programs. The accrediting bodies for school psychology programs are the American Psychological Association [10] (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) [11]. All the schools covered in this guide are APA or NASP-accredited school psychology programs.

NASP-Approved Online School Psychology Programs

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is the U.S.’s central national professional body for school psychologists [10]. Its mission is to represent and encourage school psychology through leadership to strengthen children’s mental health and educational competence. These NASP-approved online school psychology programs are high-quality graduate-level program options for psychology majors.

APA-Accredited Online School Psychology Programs

American Psychological Association accreditation ensures consistent quality maintenance in the psychology of health and educational psychology [11]. These school psychology programs online accredited by APA offer future students many benefits and opportunities. A program certified by APA is a program that maintains high quality. Students can be confident about the degree’s value regarding recognition by future employers, certifications, and licensures.

How to Pay for Master’s in School Psychology Online Programs

Higher education is undeniably valuable, allowing individuals to enhance their skills and careers. However, the rising costs associated with education can pose a significant challenge. As aspiring professionals explore obtaining an online master’s in school psychology for career advancement, the financial aspect becomes crucial. Here are some resources that students can explore to help fund their graduate degree:


Many universities offer graduate assistantship programs that financially support students in exchange for part-time work related to their field of study. These assistantships can include research or teaching responsibilities and often come with tuition waivers or stipends.

Scholarships & Grants

Various grants and scholarships are available to graduate students, including those pursuing degrees in school psychology. Government agencies, private organizations, or educational institutions may offer these financial awards and do not require repayment.

Tuition Reimbursements from Employers

Some employers offer tuition reimbursement programs as part of their employee benefits. This can be a valuable resource for individuals working while pursuing their master’s degree. Employees should check with their HR departments to explore available reimbursement options.


Fellowships are financial awards from graduate students based on academic merit or specific criteria. These funds can cover tuition, living expenses, or research-related costs. Students should explore fellowship opportunities within their chosen field or through the university.


Traineeships are similar to assistantships but are often associated with specific training programs or initiatives. These positions may provide financial support and practical experience in school psychology while helping students offset their education costs.


A student should also use FAFSA to secure financial support [12]. Students should fill out a free application for Federal Student Aid to determine whether they are eligible for the federal government’s financial help. Many of the above sources of financial aid might require a FAFSA application. Read the guide on financial assistance to learn more about paying for online Master’s programs.

Scholarships to pursue School Psychology Masters program

Pursuing a Master’s in School Psychology can be financially challenging, but several scholarships are available to help students offset their education costs. Here are some scholarships that individuals considering a School Psychology master’s program may explore:

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Graduate Student Scholarships [13]

NASP offers scholarships to graduate students pursuing a degree in school psychology. These scholarships are intended to support student’s education and contribute to the profession’s growth.

Award: $5,000

Application Deadline: Varies

APA Division 16: School Psychology Scholarships [14]

The American Psychological Association (APA) Division 16 offers various scholarships and awards for students pursuing a career in school psychology. These scholarships may be based on academic achievement, research interests, or commitment to the field.

Award: $5,00-$1,000

Application Deadline: June, annually

Psi Chi: The International Honor Society in Psychology[15]

Psi Chi provides scholarships and grants for graduate students pursuing a degree in psychology, including school psychology. These opportunities may be awarded based on academic excellence, research potential, or involvement in the field.

 Award: $3,000

Application Deadline: July, annually

Free Online School Psychology Courses

While full-fledged free online Master’s in School Psychology programs may be limited, individual courses and resources cover various aspects of school psychology. These courses can provide valuable insights, skills, and knowledge. Here are some free online courses and resources in the field of school psychology:

CoursePennX: Understanding Classroom Interaction [16]
Provided byCoursera
DescriptionIn the course, participants will comprehensively understand various elements influencing classroom dynamics. Emphasizing the importance of effective communication and interaction, the course explores turn-taking patterns, shedding light on their functions in facilitating robust discussions. 
CoursePositive Handling and Behavioural Training in Schools [17]
Provided byAlison
DescriptionIn this free course, participants will delve into the essential aspects of positive handling within school environments. They understand the ‘SCARF’ Model, comprehending its components—Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness—and understand their behavior management roles.
CourseAdvanced Information Literacy [18]
Provided byCoursera
DescriptionIn the Advanced Information Literacy course, students will develop the skills to articulate specific information needs, a crucial aspect in navigating the complexities of an information-rich environment. Participants will be introduced to diverse, high-quality information sources, including scholarly databases, peer-reviewed journals, authoritative websites, and other reputable information repositories.

Careers and Salary Outlook for Master’s in School Psychology Graduates

One of the essential aspects that students should consider before enrolling in an online master’s in school psychology program is how the career and salary outlook look for graduates of school psychology master’s programs. With a master’s in school psychology, graduates can become:

  • school psychologists
  • career counselors
  • mental health counselors
  • social workers
  • consultant for school improvement
  • education policy analyst
  • program evaluator
  • administrator in education
  • school counselor
  • behavior analyst
  • special education coordinator 

Graduates with school psychology degrees will be periodically called to perform personality and aptitude tests. As a professional, one must explain one’s analysis of a client’s progress (typically, the clients are students). This table lists career opportunities with a degree needed to be a school psychologist:

OccupationSchool and Career Counselors and Advisors  [19]
SkillsAnalytical, compassionate, interpersonal, listening, and speaking skills.
Median Annual Salary$60,140
Job Growth (up to 2032)5% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionIn the dynamic role of a school counselor, professionals undertake a multifaceted approach to support students in their academic journey and personal development. They address a spectrum of challenges by assisting students in understanding and overcoming social or behavioral obstacles. Through meticulous data analysis, counselors identify factors affecting academic performance, enabling targeted interventions.
OccupationCounseling Psychologist [20]
SkillsAnalytical, integrity, interpersonal, observational, patience, and problem-solving skills.
Median Annual Salary$85,330
Job Growth (up to 2032)6% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionCounseling psychologists engage in scientific inquiries to explore behavior and brain function, utilizing diverse research methods. This includes employing observation, interviews, and surveys to gather data on psychological aspects. Their responsibilities involve identifying and diagnosing various psychological issues, and their rigorous research yields valuable insights into behavioral and emotional patterns.
OccupationSocial and Community Service Managers  [21]
SkillsAnalytical, communication, managerial, problem-solving, and time-management skills. 
Median Annual Salary$74,240
Job Growth (up to 2032)9% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionSocial and community service managers play a crucial role in fostering community well-being by actively engaging with community members and stakeholders. Their responsibilities span various areas, including collaborating with local communities to identify essential programs and services. With a keen focus on administrative oversight, these managers ensure that programs align with stakeholder objectives, overseeing budgeting, staffing, and resource allocation.
OccupationTraining and Development Specialists  [22]
SkillsAnalytical, collaboration, communication, creativity, and instructional skills.  
Median Annual Salary$63,080
Job Growth (up to 2032)6% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionTraining and development specialists are integral to the growth and success of organizations by facilitating compelling learning experiences for employees. They begin by assessing training needs through surveys, interviews, and consultations, identifying areas for skill enhancement and professional development. Following this assessment, specialists design and create comprehensive training materials, including manuals and online modules, ensuring alignment with organizational goals.

Certifications and Licensure for Master’s in School Psychology Students

To become a licensed and practicing school psychologist, students must complete a master’s in school psychology and clear the Praxis School Psychology test to receive the National Accredited School Psychologist (NASP) certification[23]. The popular option for the NASP classification is to complete at least 60 graduate credits in school psychology, along with a 1,200-hour clinical internship.

All school psychologists must be licensed by the state where they wish to practice. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is the premier institution providing certifications for school psychologists [24]. To be a licensed specialist in school psychology online, the licensing standards are similar, if not equivalent, to the NASP certificate requirements. To receive state licensure, individuals will only have to show confirmation of their NASP credentials. On the Praxis II School psychology test, graduates without the NASP credential must offer their graduate degree, internship experience, and a passing grade [25]

Other licenses and certifications available for educational psychology certificates online are:

  • Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) [26]: The Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) is the credential that allows the practice of school psychology in the State of Texas. The LSSP certification online must provide school psychological services in Texas public schools by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP).
  • The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) [27]: This represents the body that supports the profession of school psychology by promoting effective practices to improve students’ learning, actions, and mental health and by upholding important ethical and practical expectations.

Additional Resources for Master’s in School Psychology Online Students

American Psychological Association [28]

National Association of School Psychologists [29]

Intervention Hero [30]

FAQs About Master’s in School Psychology Online Programs

What is School Psychology?

School Psychology is a field that combines principles of psychology and education to support students’ academic success, mental health, and overall well-being. School psychologists work in educational settings to address various student issues, including learning disabilities, behavioral challenges, and social-emotional concerns.

What Does a School Psychologist Do?

Is Certification or Licensure Required to Practice as a School Psychologist?

Can I Work as a School Psychologist with a Master’s Degree, or Do I Need a Doctorate?

What Is the Difference Between a School Psychologist and a School Counselor?

What Career Opportunities Exist for School Psychologists?

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