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masters degree in psychology online
What to expect from programs?
Online Master’s degree in Psychology
Tips for choosing the best
master’s degree in psychology
Top programs list
Online Psychology Master’s Program
Typical coursework
psychology masters programs online
How to Pay?
Psychology Career
How does careers look like?
Additional Resources
Online Psychology Master’s Degree
Most Affordable programs list

Find Top Psychology Master’s Programs Online

Affordable Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

From providing valuable, in-depth research to helping patients improve their day-to-day lives, psychologists wear many hats. They are valuable resources in schools, clinics, hospitals, government, private practice and often are available wherever the need for psychological services might arise. In such an important position of care, most therapists and psychologists must achieve a top-notch education, and many must have their master’s degree to effectively do their jobs.

For students looking to further their career in psychology quickly, it’s possible to find accredited, affordable and standout Psychology Master’s programs online. Students in graduate school often face an uphill battle financing their program so narrowing their choices to those that are more affordable helps alleviate some of their future burden. Additionally, by taking courses online, rather than in person, busy psychology master’s students can continue to work and hone their craft while they earn the credential necessary for licensure.
Learn more about what to expect from the master’s degree in psychology, online programs that provide the most bang for the buck, what a career in psychology looks like, and much more below.


What to Expect from an Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

A master’s degree is an important steppingstone to working in the field of psychology. The master’s degree not only provides graduates an opportunity to move into entry-level work in the field, usually under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, but in some cases – such as with an industrial-organizational psychologist – a master’s degree is what it takes to get licensed. Additionally, students who aspire to become fully licensed psychologists will be grateful for achieving their master’s degree, as it serves as a great foundation for continuing into a psychology doctoral program. Find out more about what students should expect from an online master’s degree in psychology:

What does it take to get in?

The master’s degree program typically requires completion of a bachelor’s degree, an acceptable GPA during that bachelor’s tenure (usually a 3.0 or greater), and all the usual expectations of a college application, such as transcripts from previous schools, an essay, and GRE testing scores (if required).

How much does the master’s degree cost?

The cost of master’s degrees varies widely ranging from $9,000 to $30,000 or more. The cost is dependent upon many factors besides tuition and fees, including whether online students are considered in-state or out-of-state, if accelerated courses are offered and if a student already has credits that can be applied toward the degree, such as those awarded for work experience or military service. See our list of affordable master’s in psychology programs below – the tuition rates are listed there, and can serve as a great way for students to assess what they can financially anticipate in pursuing a master’s degree.

How long will it take?

Most master’s programs take between two and three years to complete. One of benefits of online learning is students can often take courses at their own pace and accelerate their learning, which can decrease the time it takes to earn the master’s degree to 18 to 24 months. This allows master’s students to get into the workforce faster, or if they intend to pursue a doctorate degree, it gets them started on their new educational journey up to a year earlier.

Will I have any hands-on requirements?

Almost all master’s degree programs in psychology require some practicum or internship, even those that are fully online. This practical experience is important, as it prepares students for the rigors of the career they will enter after graduation. It also allows for networking within the field, which can come in handy when it’s time to look for a job.

How do practicums work for online programs in psychology?

Psychology master’s students enrolled in the practicum courses can complete their required work at a location that is convenient to them, as long as it has been previously approved by the administrator of the field practicum of their program. This might be in a clinic, hospital, or even assisting a licensed psychologist in private practice. The supervisor will keep track of hours and certain milestones the student meets, and then report that to the practicum administrator so students can receive proper credit.


Tips for Choosing the Best Master’s Degree in Psychology Online Programs

With so many master’s programs in psychology available it can be tough to narrow down the options. Fortunately, there are a few points to consider when choosing the right program:


The first question master’s students should ask about any psychology program is simple: Is the program accredited? Accreditation means the program or school has been evaluated by an independent accrediting body and found to meet the high standards of a rigorous education. In other words, accreditation means that the degree students work so hard to earn will actually mean something. Besides that, accreditation matters for financial aid; federal and state aid often requires a student to attend an accredited school, and some scholarships require this as well. Many employers will only hire those who graduate from accredited programs. But most importantly, only graduates from accredited programs are allowed to sit for the licensing examination, which is required to practice independently in the field. Therefore, if a school is not accredited, strike them from the list immediately. Find out more about Accredited Online Psychology Master’s Degree Programs and why accreditation is really important when choosing online master’s programs in Psychology here.

Read more about general Accreditation here


Ease of online learning

Many students do not have the time or money to give up their job to sit in a classroom every day and taking courses online relieves that burden and allows them to “attend” class when it’s most convenient for them. Online learning provides all the information for the course, including everything from comprehensive e-textbooks to chat rooms for cohort classes to message boards, video lectures, and occasional live lectures and meetings through video streaming.


Top 15 Master’s Degree in Psychology Programs

Let’s take a look at which master’s degree in psychology programs meet these three important criteria.

Ball State University

Southern New Hampshire University  (SNHU)

University of North Dakota

University of North Texas

Angelo State University (ASU)

California Baptist University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU)

Fort Hays State University

Eastern Kentucky University

Arizona State University – Tempe

St. Leo University

University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV)

Touro University Worldwide

Grand Canyon University

Brandman University

Find out more about best schools and programs and how to chose them here


Typical Courses in the Psychology Master’s Program

Students in an online psychology master’s program will take courses that reflect their advanced educational level. This means the courses will have an in-depth focus on issues pertaining to psychology. Electives, if available in the students’ particular program, will allow them to target issues that deeply concern their future line of work, such as forensic psychology, school psychology and the like.

Here are some of the common courses’ students can expect to take during their psychology master’s program:

Biological Basis of Behavior.Research Methods for Graduate Students.Statistics. Contemporary Issues in Psychology.Advanced Psychological Assessment. Psychology of Death and Dying.
This course looks at the mental processes that affect the behavior of individuals, including how much of that behavior is ingrained and how much is learned. These courses focus on research methodology, writing, communication in written and oral contexts, conducting experiments and proper reporting. This important course helps ensure master’s students have the skills and knowledge to dive deep into reports and research, as well as the ability to analyze and validate psychological data. Students will look at the variety of issues facing the field today, including ethical and legal considerations, emerging research, scholarly discourse and how the discipline changes over time in a multicultural, global society.Master’s in psychology students will learn how to assess patients and clients with difficult, complex histories, as well as how to create a proper treatment plan and follow-ups. Students will dive into thanatology, understanding how death affects different cultures and how death, dying, funerals, bereavement and the like contribute to the psychology of individuals at different stages of their lives.

It is also important to note that most programs will require hands-on experience. Online programs allow students to take classroom courses fully online while requiring them to meet supervised work requirements in an approved setting. This approved setting can be close to their home, even if their college is all the way across the country. Each school has a different process for this, so it’s important for master’s students to speak with the fieldwork coordinator before enrollment for full requirements details.


Ways to Pay for an Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

Figuring out how to pay for graduate school is usually at the top of any prospective student’s list of things to consider. Luckily, there are a number of resources to help students pay for their education. Keep in mind that most financial aid awards – even loans – will require the attending an accredited accounting program.

psychology masters programs online


Scholarships will be one of the most prized and commonly used forms of financial aid by any postsecondary student. Sometimes called fellowships, scholarships are forms of financial aid that don’t need to be paid back. Many of them are sponsored or administered by a variety of sources, including the master’s programs themselves, professional accounting organizations, charitable organizations and corporations.


Like scholarships, grants are financial awards that do not have to be paid back. Sometimes “scholarships” and “grants” are considered interchangeable; the biggest difference, however, is that grants are usually need-based and scholarships are more often merit-based. Grants are available through many places, such as the school that offers the master’s program, psychology associations, local companies or organizations, state financial aid and the like. The most popular grant is the Pell Grant, which is offered through federal financial aid.

masters degree in psychology online


Some loans are available through the federal financial aid program. These loans might be subsidized (where there is no interest accrues until six months after graduation) or unsubsidized (where the interest begins to accrue immediately). In some cases, parent loans are available that allow parents to take out a certain amount of money toward their child’s education. And finally, there are private loans through banks and credit unions; these often have lower interest rates than a typical loan, but higher rates than a loan offered through the federal government.

psychology masters programs online


Though these opportunities are most often reserved for students in doctoral programs, earning a fellowship while in a master’s program is a possibility. Fellowships are merit-based and designed to allow a student to pursue their degree full-time, and perhaps engage in research or clinical work, without worrying about financial constraints. These are sometimes offered by the schools themselves, or by professional organizations. As there are few fellowships available, they are all highly competitive.

It’s important to remember that in order to be eligible for many of these sources of funding, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA®. Even if master’s students don’t expect to receive any financial aid from the federal government, this form will still help the school when it comes time to award scholarships or grants.
It’s also important to remember that accreditation matters for each of these financial options. Federal financial aid is awarded only to those who are enrolled in accredited schools. Some scholarships and grants also require enrollment in an accredited school before they will award any funds. To learn more about accreditation, and to make sure a school or program qualifies, visit the U.S. Department of Education.


What Does a Psychology Career Look Like?

Though most psychologists need a doctoral degree to become licensed to practice, that certainly doesn’t mean those who graduate from the online psychology master’s programs can’t work in the field. Master’s degree graduates can work in research, clinical and counseling settings while under the supervision of a licensed psychologist; they can also work as industrial-organizational psychologists. In some cases, they can also work as counselors in schools. It also isn’t unusual for psychology master’s degree graduates to work as teachers, whether in high schools or in the postsecondary setting.

Some of these positions are growing very quickly; for instance, marriage and family therapists have a job outlook of 23 percent growth from 2016 to 2026, while school counseling and rehabilitation counseling positions are expected to grow by 13 percent.

What can graduates expect from these positions? Here’s a quick rundown:

Industrial-organizational psychologists School counselors Postsecondary
psychology teachers
Marriage and
family therapists
Rehabilitation counselors
improve the quality of work life by applying psychological concepts to solve problems. They might tackle workplace productivity, management, working styles or boosting morale. The median pay for these professionals was $87,100 in May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. work with children and their families to assist with well-being, a strong home life and issues with education, learning disabilities, bullying and more. They also work closely with teachers in handling a variety of issues.The median pay for school psychologists was $55,410 in May 2017. can expect to teach courses to aspiring psychologists; those with a master’s degree are more likely to teach at the associate or bachelor’s degree levels. The median income for psychology teachers in postsecondary education was $73,770 in May 2017. work closely with couples, individuals, groups and families to help them overcome problems and manage relationships in a healthy manner. In most cases these individuals need only a master’s degree. In May 2017, the median pay for marriage and family therapists was $48,790. help those who suffer from mental, emotional, physical or developmental disabilities go on to live rich, full and independent lives. They might choose to specialize in certain areas, such as dealing with those who have developmental disabilities, addictions or mental health issues. These professionals were making $34,860, on average, in May 2017.

Is it Possible to Get Licensed with a Master’s in Psychology?

All states require licensure of psychologists before they can engage in independent practice. Some states also require a license before a person can call themselves a “psychologist.” In most states, licensure requires a doctoral degree, completing an internship, and performing one or two years of supervised work. Those who hold a master’s degree are not usually eligible for licensure; however, they are eligible to work in several areas of psychology while under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. To learn more, visit the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

The American Board of Professional Psychology currently offers 15 specialty certifications in the field. Though these certifications are not required to become a psychologist and work in the field, some employers will require them. Again, certifications require a doctoral degree. However, students in a master’s in psychology program can be aware of the various certifications available and choose electives that will help prepare them for studying that specialty in the doctoral program.


Additional Resources for Psychology Master’s Degree Candidates

Looking for more information on psychology master’s programs? We’ve got several in-depth resources with information to help with the search, including the following:


Most Affordable Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
$25,018 71%
Southern New Hampshire University Online
2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106
$14,100 51%
Saint Leo University Online
33701 State Road 52 • Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
$9,990 31.1%
California Coast University
925 N Spurgeon St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
$230 per Credit
Ashford University
8620 Spectrum Center Blvd, San Diego, CA 92123
$15,192 48.6%
Grand Canyon University
3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85017
$10,555 65%
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, VA 24515
$8,475 51.8%

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