Online Masters In Psychology

Psychology is an interdisciplinary field that involves the study of the mind, emotions, personality, and behavior patterns of humans. Theories about these processes include psychodynamic, neuroscience, cognitive, behavioral, and holistic approaches.

These are combined to bring forth a wide range of studies such as those in social work, counseling, criminology, social justice, health care systems and mental health.

A master’s degree in psychology is a versatile qualification that can prepare graduates for a variety of careers. The steady demand for skilled psychologists underscores the demand for psychologists with a master’s degree. Although the many career opportunities are limited to specific experience and qualifications, earning this terminal degree can be advantageous.

Some psychology master’s degree holders go on to earn doctorates and work as licensed psychologists. Based on the BLS, the median annual salary for psychologists is $82,180 in 2021. (BLS). According to BLS projections, jobs for psychologists will grow at the same rate as the average for all occupations between 2019 and 2029. However, the BLS anticipates that jobs in high-demand fields such as school psychology will grow faster than the national average.

Online Masters Degree In Psychology

The vast majority of psychology jobs require an advanced degree. For example, with an online master’s in psychology or online masters in counselling, you could become a school or organizational psychologist. You need a Doctorate in Psychology in order to diagnose and treat mental illnesses as a clinical or counseling psychologist.

Master’s programs typically take two years to complete. Students can, however, complete their studies faster by enrolling in accelerated programs or transferring credits. Most programs only accept applicants with minimum GPAs of 2.5-3.0 and bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions. Continue reading to learn more about online psychology master’s programs, requirements, careers, and resources.

On this page you can find a ranking of the top accredited online master’s degree programs in psychology, as well as additional information on the wide range of career opportunities available in the field.

15 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology 2023

#1 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Students in ASU’s online master’s in psychology program learn about psychological theory and human behavior. A wide range of practical and theoretical coursework helps learners prepare for careers in different fields.

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#2 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Pepperdine’s online master’s in psychology prepares graduates for careers such as market research analyst, child development specialist, and community outreach specialist. Students gain experience in multicultural counseling and a variety of psychotherapy techniques.

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#3 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Saint Leo offers an online master of science in psychology that includes no in-person requirements. In general psychology courses, participants learn about theories and develop their analytical and research skills. Because cohorts are limited to 15 students, students receive a more personalized education.

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#4 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

McNeese State University, founded in 1939, is a public university in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The MA in psychology program at the university offers three specializations: applied behavior analysis, counseling psychology, and general/experimental psychology.

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#5 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

The master’s degree program in psychology at ULM includes a general studies track as well as concentrations in psychometrics and forensic psychology.

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#6 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Liberty University provides an online MA in applied psychology. This online master’s degree in psychology provides a flexible format while preparing students with a diverse set of skills.

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#7 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Lynn University provides a flexible online MS in psychology with no in-person requirements. This program is designed to help students develop skills and knowledge related to psychological research and human behavior, and it prepares students for a variety of careers within and outside of psychology.

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#8 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

The University of Idaho offers a research-heavy online MS in psychology with a focus on human factors. Students prepare for careers in fields such as business, human services, and management by investigating how people interact with technology and products in the context of mental health.

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#9 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Students interested in school psychology can pursue an online master’s degree in psychology at FHSU. Except for a five-day workshop held on campus during the summer semester where students work directly with children, degree candidates can complete coursework for this program online.

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#10 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Child and adolescent psychology, forensic psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology are available as concentrations in SNHU’s online MS in psychology program. This adaptable program emphasizes assistance for working students as well as preparation for advanced psychology careers.

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#11 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Pat Robertson, a Christian minister, founded Regent in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The online master’s degree in psychology offered by the university includes six concentrations in areas such as addiction, cybersecurity, industrial/organizational psychology, and leadership coaching.

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#12 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

Indiana Tech, located in Fort Wayne, offers an online master’s degree in psychology with no on-campus requirements. This program is designed for working students who want to advance in their careers by providing an academic foundation based on advanced psychological principles and theories.

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#13 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

NSU, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, began operations in 1964. The university’s online master’s degree in psychology program is designed for working professionals in a variety of fields. Students gain a solid foundation in psychology as well as research skills.

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#14 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

The online master of arts in psychology program at FSU requires 36 credits and takes approximately 18 months to complete. This program is designed for working professionals and provides a generalist focus to prepare graduates for a variety of careers in psychology.

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#15 Best Online Masters Degree in Psychology

The hybrid delivery format is used by CUC’s online master of arts in psychology program. The program consists of on-campus and online courses, and it concludes with a master’s thesis that includes a capstone experience.

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What Can I Do With a Psychology Degree?

Earning a master’s degree in psychology online can help professionals qualify for higher paying jobs, promotions, career changes, and doctoral programs. Candidates for counseling or psychology licensure typically need a master’s or doctoral degree that includes clinical hours. Nonclinical online master’s in psychology programs, on the other hand, are frequently used as stepping stones to clinical psychology or counseling master’s or doctoral programs.

Studies in psychology cultivate skills in communication, research, analysis, and interpersonal dynamics. These skills prove beneficial in various careers, including teacher, consultant, marketer, and manager. Psychology graduates work in various contexts, such as nonprofits, mental health facilities, schools, and corporations.

Master’s degree programs in psychology may include concentrations in areas such as school psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, or community psychology. The specializations make candidates more competitive for related job or doctoral programs.

Questions To Ask When Choosing An Online Master’s In Psychology Program

Will An Online Master’s In Psychology Program Provide Me With The Skills I Need To Advance My Career?

From 2005 to 2013, 52.4 percent of professional psychologists earned a doctorate or professional degree, according to the APA Center on the Workforce. The remaining 47.6% finished their education with a master’s degree. Depending on your career path, a master’s degree in psychology may suffice to launch your career or serve as a stepping stone to a doctoral program. In any case, the best online master’s degree in psychology programs are designed to get you ready for the next step. Earning a specialized degree can help you advance your career in the area of psychology that most interests you.

What Are the Requirements for a Psychology Program?

To be admitted to regionally accredited psychology master’s programs, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, a 3.0 minimum GPA from an accredited school, and psychology-related prerequisite courses. The application materials include official transcripts, recommendation letters, personal statements, and sometimes curriculum vitae and GRE/GMAT scores.

Online master’s programs in psychology typically include 30 to 36 credits. The curriculum usually includes several core courses in general psychology as well as electives or concentration-related courses. Most programs require a capstone thesis or project requiring 3-6 credits.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Master’s In Psychology?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical and counseling psychologists are required by most states to hold a doctorate and complete an internship in addition to one to two years of supervised work experience before they are allowed to hold credentials. However, master’s degrees are sufficient to become industrial-organizational psychologists. Masters students in psychology may also find work as assistants to licensed psychologists in clinical, counseling, or research settings. Some graduates pursue careers in counseling, where they can obtain licensure with a master’s degree.

Will An Online Master’s In Psychology Program Work With My Schedule?

Online psychology master’s degrees offer a flexible alternative to classroom-based education. From the comfort of your home computer, you will be able to access course materials, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with your professor at any time of the day. It also allows users to study on the go using mobile devices like a portable laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Several programs allow students to complete their supervised practicum or internship at facilities close to their homes for added convenience.

Courses in a Psychology Program

There are a variety of master’s in psychology programs available, depending on the school, program, and concentration focus. Many programs offer basic courses in lifespan/human development, social psychology, and physiological psychology. Several programs offer concentrations in industrial/organizational psychology, school psychology, and forensic psychology.

Most master’s in psychology programs offer research methods courses and capstone projects. These skills build advanced research, analysis, and writing abilities. These and other psychology master’s degree online courses are described below.

This core course examines the history of psychology as well as major schools of thought, such as psychoanalysis, physiological psychology, cognitive psychology, and behaviorism. Enrollees learn about foundational studies that have had a significant impact on the development of psychological theory and practice. This course provides a broad overview and introduction to the discipline, laying the groundwork for more specialized coursework.

It often emphasizes child development and various factors influencing it, surveying the human lifespan chronologically from birth to death. At multiple lifespan stages, students learn human developmental theories, approaches, and practices for increasing wellbeing. This course usually examines assessment, intervention, research, and program evaluation related to lifespan development.

Social psychology, which is required in the majority of psychology master’s programs, provides an overview of the field’s theory and practice. Students study social dynamics and the factors that influence individual, group, and cultural psychology. Courses in social psychology examine the psychological processes at work in culture, interpersonal relationships, and group and intergroup dynamics. This course delves into topics like power, aggression, stereotyping, and conformity. Students also learn about behaviors such as empathy, cooperation, and kindness.

Almost all master’s programs in psychology require one or more research methods courses. Many programs require a prerequisite in research methods as well as a research course related to the capstone project. These courses cover statistical principles and methods for social research, statistical thinking and inference methods, and research design methods and tools. Descriptive statistics, regression, correlation, and significance testing are among the topics covered. Covariance and multivariate analysis, multiple regression, two-sample comparisons, and nominal and ordinal data methods may also be covered.

Many master’s programs in psychology require a capstone thesis, project, or examination. The capstone project enables students to demonstrate their master’s-level skills and knowledge of psychology. The capstone is typically a two-part sequence that begins with focusing on project proposals. Most capstone projects include an internship component or research at a real-world location. A master’s thesis may also involve onsite research. In addition to the capstone courses, students receive assistance in conducting their research, analysing their data, and writing their theses.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Master’s in Psychology?

The average curriculum requirements for a masters in psychology are 30 to 36 credit hours. Full-time students can earn their degree in two years or less with full-time enrollment, though some schools allow a maximum of five years for part-time students.

There are many online master’s in psychology programs that offer flexible class schedules and even accept video submissions. Some programs can expand as a student’s career progresses. Although most master’s programs require two years of full-time study, some online programs are designed to run over a much shorter time period.

There are numerous ways to pursue an online master’s in psychology. While it is possible to earn a degree entirely from home, students may find they need to interact with professors and other students in a virtual classroom or lab setting at times. The application process for most online master’s of psychology programs is fairly similar to that of traditional programs, though an applicant’s academic background will likely be evaluated more closely considering the nature of this type of education.

The time it takes to earn a master’s degree in psychology depends on which program you choose. However, it’s important to remember that earning a degree online doesn’t mean that you can study at your own pace; often, coursework is structured around cohort models.

Psychology degrees help students gain a better understanding of the inner workings of the human mind. Online psychology classes focus on the behavioral processes that make humans tick. Some courses may include topics such as social institutions, medical psychology, cognitive psychology, and sensation and perception.

Many people who pursue an online master’s degree in psychology are working professionals, so they may complete their coursework over the course of several months, years or even decades. Before deciding where to begin your studies, it is important to determine what type of online psychology degree you are seeking.

Whenever you’re researching online programs, ask yourself which model, or combination of models, will work best with your own learning process.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Psychology Degrees

When looking for an online master’s degree program in psychology, look for recognized institutions. A college or university is accredited under a national standard that is conferred by either the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online master’s in psychology program is accreditation. Accreditation ensures that a program has been reviewed by educators and meets the standards set by professional and educational associations. It confirms that a program is nationally or regionally accredited and recognized for meeting those standards.

Nonprofit schools cannot operate without this designation. Several national organizations accredit regional institutions. Regional accreditation is of greater importance since it indicates that the institution is meeting the standards of the state where it operates. Employers most often search for accreditation within a particular region when hiring candidates.

The same set of standards is applied to all schools and programs. To earn the accreditation, schools develop their own standards through a review process and submit them to the DOE and CHEA for review. The DOE and CHEA will then either approve or deny the standards. Schools that have met the governmental entity’s standards will earn official accreditation status, which allows students to continue using federal financial aid. The accreditation process also ensures that schools maintain a standard level of educational quality through periodic reviews. To ensure transparency in this process, all schools are required to disclose information on program costs, educational processes, graduate earning potential, and support services for students.

Accreditation for online master’s in psychology degrees can be tricky. There are many agencies that claim to accredit schools offering accredited masters in psychology programs, but most of these organizations do not have the US Department of Education (USDE) or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) seal of approval.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the US Department of Education’s (DOE) Higher Learning Commission accredit schools in the U.S. These agencies have similar purposes and guidelines which means it’s rare to find an online school that is accredited by one but not the other.

If you’ve done your research on online master’s in psychology degrees and have decided that earning this degree is the right option for you, your next step is to find out which schools offer programs and degrees that are accredited by the APA.

A number of industry-specific organizations also provide accreditation and maintain industry-specific standards. A master’s degree program in psychology online should keep in mind that the American Psychological Association approves only those programs leading to the highest level of professional training.

The Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) is another organization to check out. Although this organization is relatively new, it oversees some of the best psychology master’s degrees online.

Scholarships for Psychology Students

Scholarships don’t just have to go to students who excel in sports, academics, and the arts. Students of psychology many qualify for scholarships based on their identity, financial need, major, and field of study. If you are interested in psychology, check out these scholarships.

Some psychology master’s students are eligible for scholarships such as those described below.

Who Can Apply: The APF offers scholarships to graduate students currently studying general psychology at the master’s level and seeking funding for their master’s thesis expenses, with the intention of pursuing a doctorate. Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited psychology program and be nominated by a Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology-affiliated psychology department.

Amount: $2,000-$5,000

Who Can Apply: In Washington state, the Pride Foundation offers this scholarship to members of the LGBTQ+ and ally community. Students must study mental health at the graduate level and demonstrate financial need. Other requirements include having leadership experience in LGBTQ+ or mental health communities or fields.
Amount: Varies

Employment and Salary Outlook for Online Master’s in Psychology Graduates

Despite a bachelor’s in psychology laying the foundation for a successful career, there are limited jobs available for candidates who finish their education with an undergraduate psychology program. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree may qualify for non-clinical roles such as case managers, technicians, career counselors, etc. Statistics show that only 27% of individuals with bachelor’s degrees in psychology pursue careers in this field.

An advanced degree in psychology can help you improve your job placement rate and earn more money. There are significant pay and employment gaps between college graduates who graduate with a bachelor’s degree and those who continue on to a graduate degree program:

Salary Potential for Master’s in Psychology Graduates Over Time

Pursuing psychology as a career can be very rewarding, but also very lucrative. As the table below shows, psychologists experience progressively higher earnings throughout their career, regardless of whether they are practicing therapy, counseling, or clinical psychology. A career focusing on research and scientific study, including clinical, neurological, and forensic psychology, typically pays more over the span of one’s career than jobs dedicated to community outreach such as school psychology and substance abuse treatment. These median annual wages are profession-wide averages; actual salaries may vary based on state and professional setting.

Source: PayScale

Where Do Master’s in Psychology Graduates Work?

People with a master’s degree in psychology online can be found in a variety of work environments. For example, psychology professionals who specialize in childhood and young adults do work in elementary, secondary, and substance abuse schools, children’s homes, and hospitals. An educational psychologist serves as a therapist and educator in secondary and post-secondary schools, encouraging mental wellness and training future psychologists and therapists.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that there are many psychologists working in the Midwest and on the East and West coasts.

On the other hand, industrial occupational psychologists work within organizations for the purpose of improving employee wellbeing. In addition, they act as office practitioners, human resources representatives, and members of the upper management. The BLS indicates that California is in particular need of more I-O psychologists. Likewise, geriatric psychologists and therapists are needed in outpatient clinics, hospitals, home healthcare providers, and retirement communities.

Psychology graduates may use their degree to pursue careers in a wide range of public and private sectors. Depending on their area of interest and primary emphasis in graduate school, graduates may be prepared for positions in clinical and research settings, as well as social service agencies. The following table displays employment rates across a variety of industries for psychology graduates with relevant degrees.

Industries With the Highest Levels of Employment for Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

Source: BLS

Top-Paying Industries for Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

Source: BLS

Professional Organizations

If you are currently studying psychology as an undergraduate or a graduate student, there is no doubt that networking with other students in your area will be beneficial to your career. Moreover, access to professional connections can help you gain information about different psychological approaches that can contribute to your eventual career choice even while you still have time to change your mind. Students who wish to learn more about their chosen career can learn a lot from professional organizations.

Professional organizations exist to help you learn more about your chosen field, connect with others working in your industry, and find quality resources to help you succeed after graduation. Many of these organizations are free or provide affordable tools and services for students, graduates, and career-ready professionals. You will find three of the most prominent organizations for psychologists below.

American Board of Professional Psychology

The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) was established in 1947 to oversee the expansion of professional psychology. Since then, the board has set standards for practicing psychology and awards certification to qualifying applicants in 15 different niche areas, including clinical psychology, couple and family psychology, and school psychology.

Society of Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is devoted to the study of complex neural connections in the brain and their related behavioral, clinical, and social consequences. SfN is concerned with all aspects of neuroscience research, including molecular biology, cellular science, anatomy, electrophysiology, cognitive science, behavioral neuroscience, neuroscience imaging and technology.

American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association (APA) today boasts more than 118,000 members around the world. A trip over to its website shows a vast online library, a job board, continuing education opportunities, and an “Ask the Expert” section to get answers to your most pressing psychological questions. Furthermore, the APA is the official accrediting agency for psychology programs at colleges and universities.

National Association of School Psychologists

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is a membership organization for professionals in the field of school psychology and graduate students. NASP members promote advocacy, training, research, practice, policy regarding children, youth and families. Its mission is to serve as the national advocate for school psychology and to enhance its quality and effectiveness throughout the world through leadership, advocacy, education and research.

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) maintains chapters across the United States and Canada, and provides a directory of state licensing boards. A number of clinical and psychiatric professionals and students belong to this group, and it provides job search engines and continuous educational opportunities to maintain excellence in the field of marriage and family therapy.

National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers

The National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers (NAPPP) is a community organization focused on promoting professional psychology through academic research and public advocacy. Members receive discounts on electronic health records, malpractice insurance, and training, as well as free continuing education courses and job leads.

Paying For Your Online Master’s in Psychology Degree

Paying for a master’s in psychology online is possible. Prospective students from all over the world are taking advantage of the Internet to earn their master’s in psychology online degree — despite the cost of tuition. Earning your psychology degree online is about more than convenience and flexibility. While convenience can be important, a well-educated instructor and time to concentrate on your studies can be just as vital to a successful education experience.

Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available from nonprofits, companies, and other sources. Find our list of financial aid resources below for more information about your financial aid options.

An Overview of Financial Aid

More than two-thirds of college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your student loan debt overall.


Online programs can be a flexible and affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and saving their family’s future. Here we’ve compiled a list of scholarship, grant, and financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.


The financial aid for online learning is equal to campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding options available to online students.


Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is essential for any student who needs financial assistance. But since it’s not exactly the most exciting document to go through, there are a lot of complicated questions that need to be answered correctly. For many people, completing this application can be quite confusing due to poor wording or just altogether lack of understanding about certain topics.


A lot of free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid available to veterans, active-duty personnel, and reservists.


Women who are trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree can find online programs very appealing. We have compiled a listing of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

FAQs about Online Master’s in Psychology

Under normal circumstances, a master’s degree in psychology takes two years to complete full-time; however, students with transferable coursework or enrolled in accelerated master’s programs may finish sooner.

The term “psychologist” typically describes a licensed psychologist with a doctoral degree.

In psychology, graduate work tends to be more focused on science and research, while an MA comprises more liberal arts courses. Most students pursuing careers in research opt for an MS. However, both degrees can prepare students for doctoral study in psychology.

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