Erika Lasrado
Written By - Erika Lasrado

Check MarkEdited By Gabriel D.

Check MarkReview & Contribution By Dr. Emily Parker

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, and 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 degrees to do their jobs effectively. 

For students looking to further their career in psychology quickly, it’s possible to find accredited, affordable, and standout online master’s in psychology degree programs. Students in graduate school often face an uphill battle in financing their program, so narrowing their choices to more affordable helps alleviate some of their future burdens. 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 credentials necessary for licensure. 

Online Masters in

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

What to Expect from an Online Master’s in Psychology

A master’s degree is an important stepping stone 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. 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 an excellent 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 a master’s degree varies widely, ranging from $9,000 to $30,000 or more. The cost depends 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 be 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 two to three years to complete. One of the benefits of online learning is that students can often take courses at their own pace and accelerate their learning, decreasing 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, 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 fully online ones. 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 be helpful when looking for a job.

How do practicums work for online psychology programs?

Psychology master’s students enrolled in the practicum courses can complete their required work at a convenient location as long as the administrator has previously approved it for 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 Online Master’s in Psychology 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 hard to earn will 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 also require this. 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.

Learn more about Accredited Online Psychology Master’s Degree Programs and why accreditation is important when choosing online psychology programs here.


Keeping the financial bottom line manageable is another key component of finding the right master’s degree in psychology program. Many master’s programs are quite expensive, including those in psychology; however, several ways exist to mitigate those costs. Look for a school with tuition that makes sense for the long-term budget and offers a variety of financial aid, loan options, payment plans, and more. Pay attention to fees as well, as those can stack up into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Many online master’s programs allow students to pay as they go, which can make budgeting much easier – and there are many other financial advantages to online learning, such as the lack of a commute and the ability for students to keep working their current jobs while pursuing higher education.

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Psychology

Here is our list of schools and programs that offer affordable psychology programs:

To Link to this page, please copy and paste this code into your website

<a href="">Online Master’s in Psychology</a>

Code copied successfully!

College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Fayetteville State University
1200 Murchison Rd, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28301
Fort Hays State University
600 Park St, Hays, Kansas 67601
Angelo State University
2601 W. Avenue N, San Angelo, Texas 76909
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154
McNeese State University
4205 Ryan St, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70605
Arizona State University, Skysong
1475 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
University of Louisiana, Monroe
700 University Avenue, Monroe, Louisiana 71209
University of West Alabama
Station One, Livingston, Alabama 35470
Saint Leo University
33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo, Florida 33574
Life University
1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, Georgia 30060
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2282, Moscow, Idaho 83844
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
Austin Peay State University
601 College St, Clarksville, Tennessee 37044
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
Touro University Worldwide
10601 Calle Lee #179, Los Alamitos, California 90720
Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, Kentucky 40475
Carlos Albizu University, Miami
2173 N.W. 99th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33172
Tiffin University
155 Miami Street, Tiffin, Ohio 44883
Lynn University
3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, Florida 33431
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, Connecticut 06117
Regent University
1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464
Mercy College
555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522
LeTourneau University
2100 S Mobberly Ave, Longview, Texas 75602
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 North River Road, Manchester, New Hampshire 03106
Golden Gate University, San Francisco
536 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94105

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

Top 15 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Let us take a look at which master’s degree in psychology programs meet these three essential criteria:

1. Ball State University

Ball State University

Well-known as a leader in online programs (and as the beloved alma mater of David Letterman), Ball State University offers two psychology master’s programs that can be taken entirely online. The degree in Quantitative Psychology prepares graduates to focus on data-related situations and research. This Master of Science degree requires 33 credits and takes about two years to complete. Two concentrations are offered: quantitative and mixed methods. The degree in Educational Psychology takes students on a journey that prepares them to work with individuals and groups in education. This Master of Arts program requires 30 credits, which can be completed in 18 months or less. Specializations in neuropsychology, applied behavior analysis, human development, gifted and talented, or custom specializations allow students to focus strongly on what matters most to them. 

  • Tuition: In-state students pay $410 per credit; out-of-state students pay $616. 
  • Technology Fees: $110 per semester for up to 6 credits; $168 per semester for 7 or more credits. 

2. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

3. University of North Dakota

4. University of North Texas

5. Angelo State University (ASU)

6. California Baptist University

7. Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU)

8. Fort Hays State University

9. Eastern Kentucky University

10. Arizona State University – Tempe

11. St. Leo University

12. University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV)

13. Touro University Worldwide

14. Grand Canyon University

15. University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global)

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

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 in psychology. If available in the student’s program, electives will allow them to target the problems 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

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.

Research Methods for Graduate Students

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, research, and analyze and validate psychological data.

Contemporary Issues in Psychology

Students will look at the various issues facing the field today, including ethical and legal considerations, emerging research, scholarly discourse, and how the discipline changes in a multicultural, global society over time.

Advanced Psychological Assessment

Master’s in psychology students will learn to assess patients and clients with difficult, complex histories and create a proper treatment plan and follow-ups.

Psychology of Death and Dying

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 online classroom courses 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 across the country. Each school has a different process for this, so master’s students need to speak with the fieldwork coordinator before enrollment for complete requirements details.

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

Paying for higher education is a daunting prospect. That’s especially true when entering a master’s program, where financial aid might be more difficult to get, or scholarships might be more competitive. But there are ways to make the financial load a little lighter. Here are a few:


Scholarships are monies that do not have to be paid back. They might cover tuition and fees or be awarded directly to the student for books and other school necessities. Scholarships can be either merit-based or need-based. A great place to find scholarships includes professional organizations, local civic organizations, workplaces in the field (such as hospitals or clinics with a vested interest in psychology), or societies promoting psychology careers.


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


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.


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 students 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 is important to remember that to be eligible for many of these funding sources, 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 is also important to remember that accreditation matters for each financial option. Federal financial aid is awarded only to those 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 ensure a school or program qualifies, visit the U.S. Department of Education.

Find out more about financial aid in the best Financial Aid Guide.

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 in high schools or postsecondary settings.

Some of these positions are growing very quickly; for instance, marriage and family therapists have a job outlook of 15% growth from 2022 to 2032, while school counseling is expected to grow by 5%

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

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Improve the quality of work life by applying psychological concepts to solve problems. They might tackle workplace productivity, management, working styles, or boosting morale. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for these professionals was $139,280 in 2022.

School Counselors

Work with children and their families to assist with well-being, strong home life 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 $60,140 in 2022.

Postsecondary Psychology Teachers

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 $78,810 in 2022.

Marriage and Family Therapists

Work closely with couples, individuals, groups, and families to help them overcome problems and manage relationships healthily. In most cases, these individuals need only a master’s degree. In 2022, the median pay for marriage and family therapists was $56,570.

Rehabilitation Counselors

Help those who suffer from mental, emotional, physical, or developmental disabilities go on to live rich, complete, 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 $39,990, on average, in 2022. 

Is it Possible to Get Licensed with an Online 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 with 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: 

FAQs About Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

What are the admission requirements for online Master’s in Psychology programs?

The typical admission requirements for an online Master’s in Psychology include a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and possibly standardized test scores.

How long does it take to complete an online Master’s in Psychology program?

Are online Master’s in Psychology programs accredited?

What specializations are commonly offered in online Master’s in Psychology programs?

Is there a requirement for in-person components or residencies in online programs?

How do online Master’s in Psychology programs facilitate internships or practical experience?

Do I need a bachelor’s in psychology to enroll in a master’s in psychology program?