Written By - Erika Lasrado

Edited By Darryl S.

Review & Contribution By Dr. Emily Parker

Those seeking a psychology degree do not do it to see a few letters behind their name; they do it because psychology is an interesting field that allows them to help people while often making an excellent living. But being able to help others starts with an excellent education. While many elements play into a good education, accreditation is the most important.

Accreditation is a voluntary process by which a school is evaluated by an independent accrediting body and found to present an education that meets rigorous quality standards. Accreditation means that the degree a student earns from that school means something – it shows that the student has the education necessary to hit the ground running in their psychology career. Let us dive into further detail on Accredited Online Master’s in Psychology.

Master’s of Psychology Online Accredited programs

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®.

Why is Accreditation Important for an Online Psychology Master’s Degree?

It is essential to attend an accredited online master’s psychology program. But why does accreditation matter so much?

In most states, psychologists must be licensed. To become licensed, they must meet specific criteria, including scrutiny of their educational program. The required educational requirement for licensing must be met by graduating from an accredited post-secondary institution.

There was a time when online education seemed risky, as accreditation had not yet caught up with the new distance education format. And even today, some colleges will try to slip under the radar and offer programs that do not meet high-quality education standards. To avoid this, always look for active accreditation status.

Accreditation sets a “floor” as to the level of training a professional should have. Employers expect new hires to complete their education at an accredited school, even if not required by a certification or licensing body. Most job applicants will have graduated from an accredited school, so employers will not even bother to look at the resumes of those who graduated from lesser institutions.

While a master’s degree is a higher-level degree, it is not the highest. If one wants to continue one’s education with a doctorate in psychology, one will only get credit for their prior education if it came from an accredited school. If they did not attend an accredited institution, this could mean that all their hard work must be completed again to obtain a degree in good standing before embarking on the doctoral program.

Just as completing education at an accredited school is an eligibility requirement for a subsequent degree, it is almost always a requirement for recognition of transfer credits. If students choose to change programs halfway through, they may have to start from scratch, and all previous coursework will go to waste.

Most forms of financial aid, especially federal grants and loans, require applicants to attend an accredited school. By not enrolling at an accredited school, there will be little to no financial assistance available for most master’s students, even through many private scholarships.

Read more about financial aid in the Best Financial Aid Guide.

Another reason to attend an accredited program is its positive and strong reputation, which it imparts to graduates. Since an accredited school provides a high-quality education, students can rest assured that its reputation will continue throughout their careers. However, graduates from a non-accredited school might be seen as academically or professionally dishonest – and that’s not an excellent way to start any career.

Accredited Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

There are so many online master’s degree programs to choose from that it can be daunting to decide which school to apply to. To help master’s students narrow their options, a few spotlight schools offer accredited Online Masters in Psychology. Here is the list:

1. 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 Accredited Online Master in Psychology 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.

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. Brandman University

Online Master’s in Psychology – What is Institutional Accreditation?

Accreditation is of two types: programmatic and institutional. Programmatic refers to the accreditation of specific degree programs, while institutional (sometimes known as “regional” accreditation) refers to the school’s accreditation. Ideally, a master’s student will earn a degree from a program and graduate from an accredited school. However, this is not always possible because not all programs have an accrediting body. One example of this is psychology programs at the master’s level.

When researching online master’s psychology programs, prospective students should ensure the program school has institutional accreditation. Students can locate that information on a school’s website, but sometimes, it can be tricky or confusing. That is why the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs is an excellent place to confirm accreditation. Remember that the U.S. Department of Education does not accredit schools or programs; however, they recognize the organizations that accredit schools.

For those who decide to earn a doctoral degree in psychology, there is a programmatic accreditation to seek. Specifically, the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA CoA) accredits doctoral degree programs. The APA CoA is also tasked with accrediting doctoral internships and postdoctoral residency programs.
Find out more about general Accreditation.

Additional Resources for Accredited Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Now that everything pertinent about accreditation for the master’s programs in psychology has been covered, why not learn more about the degree? Here are some of our other pages on psychology that can help one understand what to expect from various online psychology master’s programs:

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