Fastest Online Masters in Psychology

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Updated: March 5, 2024, Reading time: 10 minutes

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COVID-19 highlighted the importance of personal well-being, increasing the demand for folks holding a psychology degree. If you want to participate in this fast-paced and in-demand field, this list is for you.

The following online master’s degrees in Psychology are known to have accelerated and online learning formats that allow you to graduate faster. With these programs, you can also tap into different fields, including marketing, forensics, and research.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Our Fastest Online Masters in Psychology Review

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Capella University: The Fastest Overall

Capella’s online MS in Psychology offers professional knowledge that directly applies to how humans think, learn, and develop. 

The program offers two course tracks that allow you to manage and align them with your finances:

Harvard University: Highest Ranked

Harvard’s Master’s in Psychology is a hybrid program that has the most competitive admission process, with an acceptance rate of only 3%. However, it offers the best insights into mental processes and human behavior. Students can complete the program depending on their pacing. 

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Ball State University: Most Customizable

Ball State offers an online MA in Educational Psychology, an online MS in Quantitative Psychology, and a traditional Master’s in Clinical Psychology (for a school psychologist license). These degrees allow students to complete their master’s program in 18 months as part-time students. Alternatively, you can even undertake the full course load and finish it within a year. 

Liberty University: 100% Online

Liberty’s online Master’s in Applied Psychology is an accelerated program that can be completed within 1.5 years. It offers lower tuition fees and several generous financial aid opportunities. However, being 100% online, it only covers the applied part of psychology. You won’t be doing research or developing theories. Instead, you’ll be applying them in the practical world. 

Arizona State University: Fastest Online

ASU’s MS in Psychology offers multiple online MS sessions throughout the year that allow students to accelerate their degrees. The curriculum includes advanced subjects to help students interpret psychological theory. However, the online program doesn’t train students for a career as a clinical psychologist. 

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Pepperdine University: Smallest Sized-classes

Pepperdine University’s Master of Arts Psychology emphasizes clinical aspects and is designed for students who want to pursue a doctorate in psychology. It emphasizes the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological behaviors. The university’s average class size is 14, making it a top choice for students who want personalized attention. 

While tuition is higher compared to other top universities, it generously offers over $6,000,000 in scholarships each year. 

University of Southern California: Most Generous Transfer Credits

USC is a 21st-century psychology powerhouse with a relatively lower acceptance rate of 12% for its MS in Applied Psychology. This program is open to working professionals and those wanting to transition into applied fields. 

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University of Texas, Tyler: Fastest MS in Clinical Psychology

UT Tyler is an internationally renowned institution with a focus on mental well-being. The university offers an MS in psychology that requires you to complete 45 hours of coursework and a supervised internship. It’s also among the easiest to get into. 

This program is only limited to students with an interest in clinical psychology.  

University of Northern Colorado: Fastest Online Educational Psychology MA

UNCO is deeply committed to its students-first approach. It offers an online MA in Educational Psychology that can be completed in 19 months by taking two courses consecutively in two eight-week sessions. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 must fulfill additional requirements within a year for degree completion. 

Southern New Hampshire University: Top for Real-world Perspective

SNHU offers an affordable and accelerated online MS in Psychology designed to help psychology professionals level up their competencies and contribute to mental wellness in all social settings. The curriculum includes research techniques, cognitive psychology, personality, learning theory, and ethical practice.

It has a high acceptance rate. However, it has a slightly lower graduation rate than other universities, such as Pepperdine University.

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Eastern Kentucky University: Fastest Online Master’s in Applied Behavioral Analysis

EKU offers a 100% online MS in Psychology – Applied Behavior Analysis ideal for students aiming to acquire their master’s degree earlier. With a 98% acceptance rate that’s higher than most universities on the list, it’s a great deal for aspiring psychology professionals. However, as this master’s in psychology has a concentration on applied behavioral analysis, research opportunities will be limited.  

Angelo State University: Most Highly Recognized Faculty

Angelo State offers an affordable online MS in Applied Psychology that features 8-week classes and can be completed in less than two years. This program is nationally recognized, with many of its students having written college textbooks. 

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any field can apply. However, it requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 to ensure academic excellence among participants.

Regent University: Part-time, Full-time Fastest Master’s

Regent offers a highly recognized online Master’s in Psychology that teaches you how to begin your career as a psychology professional immediately. 

It offers six concentrations:

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Regent’s faculty is composed of highly qualified teachers who teach from a Christian worldview and are dedicated to helping youth in their online coursework.

National University: Top MA in Counseling Psychology

National University’s online MA in Counseling Psychology is a quick 30-credit hour program that you can complete in 22-23 months in a personalized learning environment. It’s open for California students. The program includes two specializations:

This program meets the state licensing requirements. However, the NU has the lowest graduation rate on our list.

Grand Canyon University: Fastest Christian-oriented MS in Forensic Psychology

GCU offers a 36-credit online MS in Forensic Psychology conducted in eight-week-long courses with an innovative online learning platform and expert psychology faculty.

What makes GCU stand out is its simplified graduation process. All you need to do is – submit your academic transcripts along with the application without any application fee. However, it’s a Christian-oriented university, which might not go well with students of other religions. 

Factors to Consider for the Fastest Online Masters in Psychology

Choosing a college for an MS in psychology is a huge decision that goes a long way and decides your future career prospects. Especially if you’re opting for online mode, it’s only natural for you to carefully consider your choice of college. 

Before discussing all factors, let’s recap the top three considerations while choosing the fastest online master’s in psychology—and see where the schools on our list stand!

Colleges/UniversitiesTuitionProgram DurationAcceptance Rate
Arizona State University$20,340About 2 years90%
Capella University$14,75015 months (FlexPath track)100%
Harvard University$38,6402-5 Years3%
Pepperdine University$45,3001.5-2 Years 49%
University of Southern California$32,7004 Years 12%
Ball State University$17,280About 2 Years 69%
University of Texas, Tyler$26,2501.5 Years 94%
Liberty University$20,3401.5 Years99%
University of Northern Colorado$36,7802 Years 84%
Southern New Hampshire University$22,9321-2 Years 89%
Eastern Kentucky University$22,737Almost 2 Years 98%
Angelo State University$23,63612-24 Months78%
Regent University$34,24015 months 32%
National University$26,640Almost 2 Years55%
Grand Canyon University$20,7008 weeks 83%

These are the main factors that you should weigh higher while selecting for a master’s degree:


Master’s in Psychology programs aren’t always expensive. Many online degrees cost less than $30,000, with factors such as the chosen program, institution, and residency. Many Psychology universities offer financial support, including loans, scholarships, and discounts.

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Accreditation is important because employers look at your university, and attending a non-accredited one can reduce your chances of acquiring your dream job. This can also negatively impact your chances of licensure and credit transfers. Find regional accreditations or accreditation from bodies like the Higher Learning Commission, CACREP, and WSCUC to ensure your program’s legitimacy. 

Program Duration

Typically, an online master’s degree in Psychology is two to three years for full-time students. However, some may take four to six years to complete based on their course load or program structure.

Fortunately, some universities offer accelerated online programs that can be completed in 1.5 years or less. Certain course tracks can also be completed at your own pace.

Curriculum Details 

Rather than static content consumption, dig into program descriptions, course listings, and degree attributes to ensure active participation. Looking for curriculum details like internships, courses offered, and projects. Confirm whether your selected degree is related to Applied Psychology or general.

Graduation Rate 

A low graduation rate translates to a high drop-out rate, which can lead you to question the program’s quality, delivery, and credibility. It’s an effective statistic that helps you gauge a program’s effectiveness and impact on graduates’ professional lives. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of specializations are available in online Psychology master’s programs?

Psychology is a pretty diverse field with plenty of specialization options for your future career prospects. These specialized areas include forensic psychology, sports psychology, health psychology, social and cultural psychology, community psychology, and, most importantly, clinical psychology

Will employers take an Online MS in Psychology degree seriously? 

Yes, with the digital world gaining more prominence, employers now accept online psychology master’s, especially from accredited and reputable institutes. They now gauge skills and experience over degree format. 

What is the job market for online Master’s in Psychology graduates? 

An online Master’s in Psychology lets you access unique and high-level job market opportunities, especially for behavioral disorders, substance abuse, and mental health counselors. These professions have an expected job growth of 18 percent from 2022 to 2032

Key Takeaways

There’s no one-size-fits-all master’s degree. You must carefully evaluate each institution to identify which best aligns with your schedule, goals, and finances. Set the right direction and simplify the process for by doing research beforehand to thrive in a Psychology program and career!

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