Do you have plans of earning your master’s degree in psychology? With a master’s degree, you are bound to have better career opportunities. This graduate-level degree involves at least two years of studying after you complete your bachelor’s degree. The master’s in psychology programs have two common types: the Master of Science (MS), and the Master of Arts (MA).
While there are general psychology master’s programs, there are students who prefer to focus their master’s degree on a specialty area, including:
- MA or MS in Experimental Psychology
- MA or MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- MA or MS in Forensic Psychology
- MA or MS in Clinical Psychology
- MA or MS in Social Psychology
- MA or MS in Child Development
The American Bureau of Labor Statistics sees an 8% uptick in the employment of Psychology degree holders between 2020 and 2030. Students who have advanced degrees have better chances of securing lucrative psychology careers than those who only hold an undergraduate degree.
If you want to secure the best-paying jobs in the field of psychology, getting an advanced degree is the first step.
Many students interested in earning a graduate degree in psychology are often caught in a dilemma on whether or not they should get a master’s degree prior to getting a doctoral degree.
Most Ph.D. and Psy.D programs no longer require a student to have a master’s degree. In fact, any student who has completed all the psychology degree programs can start a doctoral degree after finishing the bachelor’s degree. If you are in doubt if a doctoral degree is a good choice, getting a master’s degree is a safe option.
The online Master of Psychology program is ideal for working healthcare professionals. This program requires a dissertation or a thesis and usually finishes with an internship in a specialized area like clinical psychology, forensic psychology, or industrial and organizational psychology.
On this list are 10 programs offered by highly reputable graduate schools around the United States that exhibit academic excellence, owing to these features:
- Fully or partially online classes Master of Psychology classes that accommodate working professionals,
- Emphasis on core Psychology courses and specializations to provide master’s degree students with the required advanced skills and competence for high-level careers,
- A Learning Management System that ensures a positive online study experience for students as well as ideal web-based learning outcomes,
- Readily available and easily accessible coursework, online resources, and study tools,
- A selection of financial aid programs for qualifying master’s degree online students,
- Accreditation to show adherence to academic standards established by academic organizations,
- Affiliation with organizations that advance Master of Psychology as a discipline or utilize Psychology concepts and principles.
To learn more, see our Methodology page.
Best Online Master’s in Psychology Degree Programs
LeTourneau University is a Christian polytechnic university that offers an online master’s degree in psychology. This program is a non-licensure degree and is offered 100% online, making it flexible for prospective students who are working professionals as well.
LETU is a regionally accredited school by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.
- This online program focuses on how students can develop advanced research skills.
- The degree online can also help students in choosing a specialization based on their interests and needs.
- This is a 39-credit curriculum that is delivered online. It also includes several field experiences for non-licensure.
- Core courses include counseling psychology, counseling techniques, and skills, integrative theology for counselors, family assessment, and lifespan human development.
- Elective courses cover research methods, abnormal psychology, and a diverse population.
The online master’s in psychology is tailored to online students so they can have interactive and flexible virtual learning.
Like most online master’s programs, admission to LETU requires an accredited bachelor’s degree, and at least a 2.5 GPA. Ideally, those with undergraduate degrees in abnormal psychology, and statistics are preferred.
Did You Know?
Since LETU is a Christian school, this gives you a chance to further hone your God-given talents to make a lifetime difference in the people around you. The school also offers financial aid or scholarships to qualified students.
Southern New Hampshire University
Understand human behavior and learn more about psychological theories and mental and emotional disorders thru the Southern New Hampshire University online coursework for psychology majors.
Since this is an online asynchronous course, students can earn this master’s in psychology program at their own pace.
- This online master’s program is a 36-credit curriculum that develops one’s problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
- To prepare students to become school psychologists, or work in social services, the program ends with a seminar and a capstone built around a faculty and peer-reviewed psychology project.
- The online coursework has a general psychology track. Psychology students can also choose any of the three concentration points: forensic psychology, child and adolescent psychology, developmental psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology.
- Core courses in this online psychology degree include ethical practice, cognitive psychology, social psychology, personality, and psychological research methods.
Through this accredited online learning, you are bound to play crucial roles in various environments and settings– from school to hospitals, government facilities, and more. It also involves tackling issues by checking the priority, relevance, and appropriateness of responses.
Did You Know?
Since 2012, Southern New Hampshire University has remained one of the schools with the lowest tuition for online programs. They have a mission of making their higher education more affordable and accessible to many students who wish to pursue careers in various fields.
Fort Hays State University
This professional psychology online program strongly focuses on school psychologists to learn and understand more about the human behavior and health psychology of students.
Since this is an online program, the program is perfect for students who are passionate about psychology but do not have the luxury of time in on-campus master’s in psychology programs.
- Students can either enroll in the MS or EdS degrees online, full-time or part-time.
- Prospective students should understand that while the course is delivered online, they are still required to be present at the FHSU campus for one 5-day training on the appraisal of children. This is usually during the summer semester.
- This online psychology master’s degree is available for students anywhere in the US.
- GRE scores are required for applicants.
Online students can choose among the program’s separate Program Tracks. These tracks have varying loads each semester and different course sequences that result in different program lengths.
Courses include advanced child pathophysiology, behavior therapy, and advanced learning and motivation.
Did You Know?
Students interested in the program but are of time constraints can complete the whole course in just one year, provided that they spare one full year to go full time.
This online master’s in psychology program is ideal for students who want to explore various subfields of psychology and gain advanced training in the different core courses of the program.
- Students will have coursework in psychological theory, evolutionary psychology, cognitive psychology, biological bases of human behavior, psychopathology, and developmental psychology.
- The courses emphasize the scientific and theoretical underpinnings of psychology.
- Students will also develop critical, analytical, and writing skills needed to secure psychology careers in the future.
This online learning offers a flexible mix of practitioner-based, experiential, and student-centered instruction. While learning the online preparatory course, they also have classes in statistics, counseling psychology, and evolutionary psychology.
Did You Know?
Medaille College offers an optional concentration in sports psychology. This program is for students planning to pursue careers in sports thru coaching. The course includes the basic principles of sports psychology, sports counseling psychology, and psychological factors in coaching and performance.
This field also serves working professionals in various fields in sports, health, coaching, and wellness.
This online master’s in psychology is designed for students who want to grow their professional skills in psychology. Through the school’s experiential learning curriculum, students can learn traits in psychology that empower them in promoting life-saving transformative changes in people.
- Students can specialize in any of these three areas: creative studies; consciousness, spirituality, integrative health, and transpersonal psychology.
- The curriculum has 32-35 credits and prepares professionals to enhance their current careers, or continue with doctoral degrees.
- To qualify for the online master’s, you should an accredited bachelor’s degree, and have a GPA of 3.0.
- Courses include contemporary psychology, dimensions of creativity, psychology of consciousness, and introduction to psychophysiology.
After graduating from this online master’s, you can either start a new career path or opt to continue your schooling in a Ph.D. in Psychology program. Thru your solid foundation in the field, it’s easier for you to find jobs as teachers, researchers, mediators, consultants, and many more.
Did You Know?
Just like any university offering online programs, Saybrook University offers different online degree courses designed to accommodate interested working professionals everywhere.
To achieve a deeper and better sense of community, almost all online degree programs include a short-term Residential Conference component.
Palo Alto University
This program is for working professionals who wish to pursue advancement in their current field or those who plan to change their careers. This program offers four options:
- General psychology: Students understand the present trends in mental health counseling and wellness.
- Forensic psychology: This program has a wide range of research and psychology classes, with two elective courses in forensic psychology. This option is a good option for those who are interested to secure careers in legal disciplines and the criminal justice system.
- Ph.D. Prep: If you plan to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, you can start with a master’s in psychology and transition into the school’s PAU residential Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology Program.
- Tech and Mental Health Psychology: This concentration pairs conventional training in graduate psychology programs with the latest courses on child and adolescent development psychology. It also talks about the efficiency of psychological interventions and the cognitive psychology of multimedia learning.
Palo Alto University has several options for its synchronous evening classes: faculty-hosted conference calls, discussion threads, and zoom. For the PhD.D candidates, they can start their doctoral degrees as second-year students after completing a week-long intensive course on campus.
Did You Know?
PAU will not require GRE scores upon enrollment but students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally recognized school. They must also have a 3.3 GPA, and the required coursework in physiological or biological psychology, developmental psychology, statistics, and abnormal or personality psychology.
In just two years, online students can complete this online master’s in psychology and open new doors to numerous career opportunities in assessment, teaching, or consulting. This online psychology degree is also the foundation for doctoral studies.
- This research-based program focuses on the study of psychology, and the evaluation of research methods and research principles in psychology.
- The 36-credit course ends with a master’s thesis.
- Like any online master’s program, online learners can join a predetermined number of classes and connect with classmates and faculty via chat platforms and discussion threads.
The class offers different coursework and focuses on the evaluation and application of the scientific and research study of psychology. The core subjects include health psychology, educational psychology, history and systems of psychology, tests and measurements, and evolutionary psychology.
There is also a general psychology track and organizational psychology in the online program.
Did You Know?
The in-demand online programs of Keiser University prepare each student in advancing their careers in lucrative fields in business, health care, criminal justice, IT, and education. And since all programs have small class sizes, students can conveniently engage with their peers and instructors and have ample time for hands-on learning.
Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Union College offers several online master’s programs. One of the school’s many popular programs is the online Master of Arts in General Psychology.
- This 36-credit program is ideal for professionals and distance learners who wish to advance their careers in human resources or social psychology or prepare for their doctoral studies, without having to physically visit the Barbourville, Kentucky campus.
- Like most online psychology programs, this degree grants students all-access 24/7 technical support.
- This psychology online course ends with a thesis capstone.
- Course materials and subjects include advanced developmental psychology, psychology graduate studies, or advanced behavioral neuroscience.
- Students also have the option to add to their course the chemical dependence certificate program.
Although most of the school’s master’s programs are online, they also have hybrid ones like its psychology course. The online psychology degree is a user-friendly platform that has round-the-clock 24/7 support. Each student is also assigned a personal advisor. Financial aid and scholarships are also available.
Did You Know?
Union College also offers a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and strongly focuses on clinical mental health counseling. With more than 140 years of teaching experience, the school is certainly not one to miss.
This is an online master’s in psychology that allows every student to select a field of specialization based on their further educational goals or career plans.
Every year, it offers eight different sessions that start at different times all year.
- The concentrations of the program include addictions, cyberpsychology, doctoral preparation, industrial and organizational psychology, leadership coaching, and marriage and family.
- Applicants should have a psychology bachelor’s degree before enrolling in this master’s psychology program. Those with a degree in counseling are also eligible. GRE scores are not required.
- While there is a 2.75 GPA minimum requirement for prospective students, Regent University prioritizes candidates with a 3.0 GPA or above.
The course is the first step toward obtaining a doctorate degree in basic applied psychology. In completing this online program, you become open to more career opportunities such as a marriage and family therapist, organizational consultant, industrial-organizational psychologist, cyberpsychologist, human resources therapist, or research methods specialist.
Did You Know?
For several consecutive years, Regent University was ranked as a top national US university. In 2022, the school’s Online Master’s in Psychology Program was ranked #5 best program by Fortune.
Regent University is also regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
In just 18-24 months, you can complete this online master’s in psychology will prepare you for your doctoral-level studies in psychology or for careers in human resources. Study plans may be customized as well, and no clinical training hours are needed.
- Students will learn the core psychological concepts and the theories most clinical psychology practitioners use in real-world situations.
- You will explore emotional and mental health disorders, evaluate methods, or conduct research while learning how psychological principles are used in assessing intelligence and personality.
- After completing the master’s degree, you can pursue employment in different roles, such as a child developmental psychology specialist, corporate recruiter, care coordinator, executive coach, group facilitator, and many more.
Applications are accepted throughout the year. To get admitted, you should have a bachelor’s undergraduate degree from a recognized school. GRE scores are not required as well.
Pepperdine University is recognized by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and Schools Commission.
Did You Know?
The online campus of Pepperdine University is available on desktop, mobile, and other smart devices so you can join live classes, complete your course work, get in touch with your peers and classmates, or simply get in touch with a faculty anytime.
The 10 Fields of Psychology
The range of services involving psychology widely varies, which is why there are different types of areas in this field. If you are eyeing to have a career in psychology, start by finding the right specialty that will match your goals and interest.
To learn what your options are, here are ten of the most common types of psychology programs.
School Psychology (Educational Psychology): This specialty provides psychological services to students so they succeed emotionally, behaviorally, socially, and academically. While a majority of school psychologists work with younger students (K-12), others like to work with young adults (college freshmen).
Clinical Psychology: This psychology degree specialty provides behavioral and mental health counseling to people of any age, race, socioeconomic, cultural, or ethnic background. Clinical psychologists provide consultations, assessments, or interventions for people with intellectual, social, psychological, and behavioral maladjustment issues.
Clinical Child/Adolescent Development Psychology: This specialty delivers psychological services to adolescents, children, toddlers, and infants. Professionals in this field treat and assess psychological, biological, and social challenges experienced by young patients.
Clinical Health Psychology: This field is dedicated to helping people with things like pain management, weight management, adjustment to chronic disease, and tobacco use. According to APA (American Psychological Association), professionals in this area are expected to serve everyone with a disease that can be treated, rehabilitated, or prevented using psychological procedures and techniques.
Clinical Neuropsychology: This is a highly specialized field in psychology that deals with the science of human behavior in relation to the central nervous system. As an expert in this branch, you work with people who have neurobehavioral experiences like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injuries, learning disabilities, or seizure disorders.
Marriage and Family Psychology: Marriage and family therapists work on the thought, emotions, and behaviors of families, couples, and individuals– in relation to their broader environments and to one another. To be effective in the role, you must have specialized knowledge in systems relational systems.
Other issues that marriage and family therapists can do include addressing youth problem behaviors, drug and alcohol abuse, parent-child conflicts, depression, physical or sexual abuse, developmental disorders, medical issues, and many more.
Forensic Psychology: This psychology degree provides psychological expertise within the legal and judicial systems, and includes giving services to two particular groups: the legal population, and the clinical-forensic population.
On the part of clinical-forensic psychology, this area assesses people that may appear to be suffering from psychiatric problems or those that manifest characteristics that impact legal decisions.
Rehabilitation Psychology: People who experience disabilities because of illnesses or injuries work with a rehabilitation psychologist as they work their way toward recovery. Rehabilitation psychologists are doctorate-eligible professionals that can help treat functional, cognitive, and emotional challenges with the primary aim of helping individuals with disabilities in achieving independence.
Addiction Psychology: This specialty studies the science behind addiction, including psychological, biological, and social components. Professionals in this field treat people dealing with substance abuse, gambling, sex addictions, and shopping.
This area needs research methods and deep knowledge of the biophysical nature of addiction. Apart from the doctoral program, an addiction psychologist also needs to undergo special experience and training in evidence-based addiction treatment methods and prevention.
Sports Psychology: While this may sound fund, sports psychology is far from all fun and games. Professionals in this area have to use their skills to guarantee the well-being and optimal performance of athletes who are constantly pressured in their teams.
They can also address social and developmental aspects of participating in sports, as well as systemic issues surrounding sports organizations and settings.
Educational psychology is also interrelated with sports psychology. Here, professionals will identify how students learn and what can keep them motivated so they get better support through the development of technology and curriculum.
What You Can Do as a Master’s in Psychology Degree Holder
By having a master’s degree in psychology, it is expected that you have a higher overall job and salary satisfaction than the bachelor’s degree holders in the field. After completing your master’s, you can:
- Pursue a Clinical Psychology– This is the first step in earning a doctoral program to become a clinical psychologist.
- Become a Marriage and Family Therapist-You can work with families and couples to recognize, address, and deal with problems facing their relationships.
- Become a Counselor– You can start to work as a counselor after finishing your master’s program in psychology, and then take your state’s licensing exam.
Counselors are very in demand in the coming years. The need for rehabilitation counselors, school and career counselors, and mental health counselors are expected to increase by 10%, 11%, and 23%, respectively, from 2020 to 2030.
- Secure an Office Job- A degree in psychology doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll secure a career as a therapist or counselor. There are so many private and public organizations in different industries that look for employees with psychological degree backgrounds like human resources, journalism, or marketing.
Frequently Asked Questions
For your Master’s, are online Psychology degrees worth it?
Pursuing a master’s in psychology program is a matter of personal choice. If you wish to advance your career path especially if you’re into human resources, education, social work, or public policy, but you don’t have the luxury of time to enroll in a traditional on-campus setup, then getting psychology online is worth your time and effort.
Thankfully, a school search for the best institution offering online degrees is very quick these days. Most schools today offer a master’s in psychology program online. This only means that the demand for internet-based classes is always growing by the day.
Can you enroll in a Master’s in Psychology program if your undergraduate Bachelor’s is not Psychology?
While this will generally depend on the program, most schools today allow students to enroll in a master’s degree without a bachelor’s in psychology degree.
Do you need a GRE score before enrolling in an online Master’s in Psychology?
For the most part, you need to secure your GRE (Graduate Records Exam) score, although this is not always the case. Instead of asking for the GRE score, there are schools that only need alternate tests, while others will not even ask for it.
Aside from an online Master’s in Psychology, what instruction method can you choose?
While enrolling in psychology online is the most convenient choice, especially for working professionals, you can still go for the traditional college experience and enroll in classroom-based lectures. The hybrid class, a combination of on-campus and online coursework is also a good choice.
Whether you wish to become one of the most in-demand marriage and family therapists or concentrate on educational psychology, organizational psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology, the field of psychology plays a crucial role in one’s mental health and is continuously one of the most in-demand professions in various industries.