Online Psychology Degrees

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Completing an online psychology degree program sets the stage for a rewarding career in a rapidly growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for psychologists is projected to grow 19% between 2014 and 2024, although demand will vary within specialized occupations. The field of psychology is fairly diverse, offering both counseling and research opportunities. Individuals who enjoy working independently, advising patients, and collaborating with physicians, social workers, or other care providers will be most successful in this field.

Some licensed psychologists choose to open their own private practice, a path requiring basic business and marketing skills to excel. There is an increasing demand for clinical and counseling psychologists, and graduates with advanced certifications can pursue specialized fields such as child psychology or industrial-organizational psychology.

Advances in technology and online learning platforms have made it possible for professionals to complete their psychology degree online, providing the opportunity to learn at their own pace from the comfort of their home or office. Many online psychology degrees from accredited schools provide ample opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the field through clinical training, and students with family obligations or work responsibilities often opt to complete psychology degrees online simply because it suits their lifestyle.

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Degrees

Online Psychology Degree Overview

Psychology Degrees at a Glance

While it is possible for aspiring psychology professionals to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree is required to pursue certification and licensure in this field. Doctorates are becoming more common as well, and the time invested in pursuing this degree will pay off considerably long-term. A master’s degree requires at least a six-year commitment to post-high school education, and a doctorate necessitates at least another four years beyond that.

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $10,121 17.6% 2 years $28,900 $43,100 9%
Bachelor's $17,882 9.96% 4 years $37,600 $61,800 6.1%
Master's $17,972 8.21% 2+ years $42,200 $69,600 3.7%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Many accredited schools now offer the option to complete an online psychology degree at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels, which gives students scheduling flexibility. Those with a master’s degree can expect to earn an average of $4,600 more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Any additional training or certifications in the field will increase salary potential even further.

Online Psychology Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Psychology

Provides a broad perspective on the field of psychology with introductory courses that can serve as a foundation for a bachelor’s degree. Completing an associate in psychology degree online can help students earn transfer credits towards a bachelor’s degree and excel in their studies when they proceed to complete a four-year degree program.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Introduction to Psychology, Psychology of Women, Sport Psychology, Substance Abuse, and Group Behavior

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Associate of Applied Arts in Psychology, Associate of Science in Psychology, and Associate of Arts in Psychology

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant, Counseling Aide, and Child Care Provider

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $10 to $18 an hour

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    N/A – BLS data not available since career paths are varied at this stage

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Completing a bachelor’s psychology degree online is a necessary step for those who want to practice in a clinical setting or specialize in a certain field. However, many people choose to complete psychology degrees online at the bachelor’s level simply to explore the variety of career options it offers. Those with a bachelor’s degree can enjoy rewarding careers in administrative departments, serving as a health educator, or working in human resources.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Research Methods in Psychology, Biological Basis of Behavior, Memory and Cognition, Abnormal Psychology, and Lifespan Development

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Human Resources Manager, Sales Executive, and Health Educator

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $31,778 to $74,459 per year

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    N/A – BLS data not available since career paths are varied at this stage

Online Psychology Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1University of Central FloridaOrlando$$$$$4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000

Central Florida offers an online bachelor’s degree in psychology through its College of Sciences at the Orlando campus. The 120-credit program is designed to provide a broad foundation in general education, clinical practice, and elective courses in psychology; it concludes with a capstone project. Students enrolled in the online Bachelor’s degree in psychology have access to a wide range of support resources, including: career counseling, tech support, and scholarly sources. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in on-site internships and/or fieldwork near their residence, in addition to online coursework, but not required. Distance students may apply to the online program during fall, spring, or summer semesters. To complete the program students must fulfill the general education requirements, take one year of college level foreign language, three science classes, and statistics. Full-time students can complete complete the program in five-semesters. This program is unavailable to students in Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon.

2Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

Liberty offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in seven optional specializations: addictions and recovery, Christian counseling, criminal psychology, crisis counseling, developmental psychology, life coaching, and military resilience. Coursework in the psychology degree online is designed to explore evaluation techniques, behavioral therapy, and personality theories from a Christian perspective. Courses are accessed through Blackboard. Support for online students is provided through the Eagle’s Landing portal and includes webinars, virtual tutoring, and career counseling. The 120-credit program prepares students for further study toward a career in a counseling profession, or to enter a non-clinical occupation in human services. Students must complete a three-credit internship to satisfy the psychology degree requirements. Thirty credits must be taken through Liberty, including at least 50% of the major requirements. Liberty offers a graduates and minors degree in psychology, both online. The master’s has two specializations including: developmental psychology and industrial/ organizational. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required to be considered for the program.

3Arizona State University - SkysongScottsdale$$$$$1475 N Scottsdale Road - Ste 200
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
(480) 884-1860

Arizona State University offers an online bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in math and science curriculum. The program is provided through ASU’s college of interdisciplinary arts and sciences, incorporating diverse professional viewpoints in traditional health and law-oriented psychology concepts. Distance students must complete a total of 120 credits in core and upper division courses to satisfy degree requirements; 45 credit-hours are upper-division courses. ASU has a 30-hour on-campus requirement. Applicants who do not meet prerequisites for math and writing may be required to take courses in precalculus and/or advanced composition. Instructors in the online psychology program are professionals practicing in a variety of diverse fields, including: sociology, anthropology, and political science. Tuition rates for all bachelor’s of psychology courses are the same per credit hour, regardless of a student’s geographical location. Students are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.

4Pennsylvania State University - World CampusUniversity Park$$$$$128 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-5403

Penn State offers a psychology degree online through its World Campus. The degree was recently named one of the nation’s best online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News and World Report. Students may choose either a BA or BS in Psychology, each are 123 credits with a combination of core, general education, and elective credits, including a capstone project. BA requirements include: foreign language courses, humanities, and other cultures. Distance learners can take part in an optional, three-credit internship near their residence to gain additional field experience. Courses are delivered asynchronously through Blackboard. Student resources include: tech support, undergraduate advising, and career counseling services. Online students can participate in commencement activities on-campus each year. Penn State offers the first fully online psychology club. It has members from around the globe and uses video conferences, Facebook, and its own newsletter to let members know about program happenings, internship, and career opportunities.

5University of Massachusetts - LowellLowell$$$$$1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
(978) 934-4000

University of Massachusetts offers an online BA in psychology through its Lowell campus location. The 120-credit program offers enrollment during fall, spring, and summer terms. It can be done fully online or mixed. Curriculum is designed to provide a foundation in a variety of psychological subfields, including: experimental, developmental, and clinical practices. The program includes customizable coursework options and diverse electives. Students choose optional advanced seminar and practicum/directed study projects. Courses are completed through Blackboard. Online support services for distance students include advanced academic technology such as hearing-impaired software assistance and comprehensive tech support. Students are required to demonstrate intermediate-level foreign language proficiency. UMASS offers a Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in psychology, it provides an academic foundation for students seeking an advanced degree.

6University of Florida - OnlineGainesville$$$$$341 Tigert Hall 300 SW 13th St
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-1202

University of Florida offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology through its UF Online system. The 120-credit online psychology degree provides an introduction to general psychology through a combination of core, foundation, and elective courses. Curriculum is built around Florida’s unique critical tracking system, this helps to ensure that psychology students meet ongoing academic benchmarks each term. Courses are accessed through Canvas. Student support resources include: 24/7 technical assistance, academic tutoring, and individual counseling services. The university offers its own UF mobile app for distance learning. Additional courses involving research-based projects and thesis options, and community and individual field experience opportunities are offered, but considered optional. UF also offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Psychology online, which includes specializations in general psychology and behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. Graduates of this program are prepared for a career in psychology or higher education from a school of law or medicine.

7Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester$$$$$2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

Southern New Hampshire’s online psychology degree is offered in six concentrations: addictions, applied psychology, child and adolescent development, forensic psychology, mental health, and social psychology. The degree plan incorporates general education, introductory foundation, and concentration courses. Students are required to complete a two-part research course. The program is 120 credit hours, culminating in a senior seminar capstone experience. Courses in psychology are offered to distance students in six nine-week terms throughout the year. The program welcomes both on-campus and online students to join Psi Chi, the psychology chapter of the International Honor Society, and the SNHU Psychology Club. The club is a network of alumni and prospective employers in the field. Online students have access to dedicated academic and career advisors specific to the psychology program for the duration of their degree. SNHU offers a master’s in Clinical Mental Health and Counseling and a Master’s of Science in psychology. The MS in psychology has three specializations: child and developmental, forensic, and industrial and organized psychology.

8Florida International UniversityMiami$$$$$11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-2000

Florida International University offers an online psychology degree with a focus in five key areas of psychology theory and practice: experimental, social, applied, personality/abnormal, and developmental. Graduates are required to take one course from each key area. The online BA in psychology is 120 credits with a combination of introductory core, psychology major, and elective courses. Psychology courses include: Children’s Learning, Psychology of Aging, and Theories of Personality. Courses are accessed through the Blackboard platform. Support resources include: online advising, tutoring options, and tech support. Online students must fulfill an independent research or independent field experience requirement. The program culminates in a senior seminar in psychology. Students are matched with a dedicated success coach for the duration of the degree. A grade of "C," or better, is required in all core coursework. Graduates will be qualified for positions as school counselors, education specialists, and rehabilitation specialists.

9Northeastern University - Global NetworkBoston$$$$$360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2000

Northeastern University offers an online bachelor's degree in psychology through its College of Professional Studies. The Bachelor of Science in Psychology features start dates in fall, spring, and summer terms. The program requires completion of 120 credit hours in general foundation, psychology foundation, major, and elective courses. Degree courses conclude with a senior research seminar. This class has students investigate a topic of interest and present it to the class. Courses are accessed through Blackboard and assisted by the Smarthinking app. Other online tutoring and counseling options are available. The curriculum introduces students to basic psychology concepts including: human development, emotion, and sensory function. Course topics allow students to pursue further specialization in a particular area of interest through concentrated electives of their choosing. Qualified students can apply for one of Northeastern’s many scholarships. Northeastern is located in Boston, Massachusetts. This program does not meet international visa requirements.

10Central Michigan UniversityMount Pleasant$$$$$106 Warriner Hall
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
(989) 774-4000

Central Michigan offers a psychology degree online with a focus on providing an introduction to broad psychology concepts including: human welfare, mental health, and cultural awareness. The online psychology degree is 124 credits with a combination of general education, core, concentration, and elective courses. Courses include: Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, and Introduction to Psychological Statistics. Courses and support resources including academic advising, extensive technical assistance, and virtual tutoring opportunities are accessed through the Blackboard platform. Online students must complete a culminating experience course in research methodologies. Qualifying online students are welcome to join the Psi Chi psychology division of the International Honor Society with their on-campus counterparts. Transfer students with a GPA lower than 2.0 will be ineligible for consideration into the program for at least one semester. A master’s in counseling is available through CMU.

11University of North DakotaGrand Forks$$$$$264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
(800) 225-5863

North Dakota offers an online bachelor's degree in psychology through its UND Online division. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is designed to introduce students to core concepts in general, clinical, forensic, and experimental psychology research and methodologies. Courses are accessed through the Blackboard platform and aided by a variety of support resources for distance students, including: academic advising, online tutoring, and technical support. Distance learners will interact in a virtual classroom with "Live" web discussions. Online students may customize their degree by choosing from a variety of psychology electives or selecting a "sub-plan" in clinical science and learning or social and cultural psychology. The 125-credit program takes four years for full-time students to complete. All students pay in-state tuition prices, regardless of their geographical location. The psychology program is semester-based and starts every fall, spring, and summer semester.

12Dallas Baptist UniversityDallas$$$$$3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
(214) 333-7100

Dallas Baptist is a Christ-centered university that aims to impact the world for the cause of Christ. The university offers an online psychology degree through its College of Professional Studies. The Bachelor of Arts incorporates foundational courses in history, social science, and religion in addition to required core, major, and elective courses in basic psychology concepts. Courses are delivered asynchronously through Blackboard. Students can access comprehensive support services including: 24/7 technical support, the writing center, and Vance Library through a single sign-in student portal. The program is 120 credit hours, including a required field-based serving-learning component that’s completed during the first term of the degree. Online courses are developed by dedicated online learning specialists in conjunction with psychology faculty and staff. DBU requires students to earn at least 12 credit-hours in upper-division/major courses and 30 of their last 36 credits in residence.

13LeTourneau UniversityLongview$$$$$2100 S Mobberly Ave
Longview, TX 75607-7001
(903) 233-3000

LeTourneau offers a psychology degree online with an emphasis on faith-based curriculum and Christian counseling techniques. The program features optional specializations in professional counseling, school counseling, and marriage and family therapy. Coursework encompasses 120 credit hours in required general education courses, elective courses, and theology and vocation curriculum. The program features courses in social, abnormal, and physiological psychology. Courses are accessed through Canvas. Additional student support is provided through online counseling, tutoring, and technical support options. Distance students can access the same live Chapel sessions as on-campus students through streaming technology in the student portal. Courses in the online program are offered in an accelerated format. All online undergraduate psychology students must complete a capstone integration seminar to earn the degree. Students can continue their education through LeTourneau with master’s program in counseling, psychology, and marriage and family therapy.

14Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Saint Leo University offers an online bachelor's degree in psychology with a focus in clinical counseling. The curriculum is offered entirely online. Saint Leo’s undergraduate psychology programs were created to address the behavioral health needs of the community surrounding the school’s central Florida campus. Courses are accessed through the Saint Leo student portal. Support resources include tutoring services through Smarthinking and electronic LeoCat library access. The 120-credit program involves a sequence of foundation, core, philosophy, and religion courses. Students are required to take a three-part course in the clinical/counseling track. Online students must complete a senior seminar course in psychology to earn the degree. A series of upper-level electives, of the student’s choosing, are required following coursework in the major. By offering many classes in each core area, students are able to customize their education. Saint Leo is the oldest catholic higher education institution in Florida.

15Oregon State UniversityCorvallis$$$$$1500 S.W. Jefferson
Corvallis, OR 97331
(541) 737-0123

Oregon State University offers a BS or BA in psychology, available at both the Corvallis campus and through the Ecampus online. The degree comprises 180 credit hours in a combination of baccalaureate core, psychology core, major, and elective courses. Online courses are accessed through the Ecampus portal. Support for distance students includes: library access, career advising, and online tutoring options. A distance education fee is added to the tuition rate per credit; prices are the same for both in- and out-of-state students. Undergraduate psychology majors can add a minor in another area of business or science to tailor their major to match career goals. To meet residency requirements, students must complete 45 of the last 75 credits online or on-campus. Oregon State also offers a psychology minor.

16Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff$$$$$1900 S. Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4132
(928) 523-9011

Northern Arizona offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at both its Yuma branch campus and entirely online. The online psychology degree is 120 credit hours in major, baccalaureate, liberal arts, and elective courses. Courses are accessed through Blackboard. Online student support resources include electronic library and bookstore access. Distance learners have the opportunity to work with academic tutors and career advisors in the field of psychology. Unique offerings in the undergraduate psychology program include computer literacy, communications, and foreign language courses. Students must satisfy diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements to earn the degree. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better and earn a "C" or better in major classes. At least 30 credits must be taken through NAU; 18 must be upper-division courses. Graduates are prepared for careers in psychology, social services, and human resources.

17Colorado State UniversityFort Collins$$$$$102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

Colorado State University in Fort Collins offers an online bachelor's degree in psychology. The program is a combination of core, lecture/lab, and elective courses totaling 120 credit hours. Lectures and labs give students hands-on experience, making it easier to show proficiency in the field. Students are required to complete a first-year seminar in psychology. This requirement may be waived if the student has at least 30 transferable credits at the time of admission into the program. Courses in the program include: Writing Arguments, Psychology of Religion, Psychology of Personality, and Social Psychology. Distance learners can access courses through Canvas. Online support resources include discussion boards and academic advising. Tuition prices are the same set rate, per credit, for online students, regardless of their physical location. Career opportunities for graduates include: community relations officer, probation officer, and human services worker.

18Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk$$$$$5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

Old Dominion University offers a psychology degree online that features both traditional concepts and unique curriculum in quantitative methods, experimental design, and analytical thinking. The program provides a broad introduction to psychology concepts while allowing students to further direct their study in a clinical or industrial/organizational psychology emphasis. The program requires completion of 120 credit hours in general education, foundation, and elective coursework. Courses are accessed through Blackboard. Support for online students includes virtual training in the Lynda platform, 24/7 technical support, and academic and career advising. Students looking to tailor coursework to meet individual interests may choose a second major and/or minor and add upper division general education courses to their basic course sequence. Though rates may change each year, the difference in the price of tuition between in- and out-of-state tuition was only $30 in 2016. Students must earn a "C" or better in all psychology major courses.

19Washington State UniversityPullman$$$$$French Administration Building
Pullman, WA 99164-5910
(509) 335-3564

Washington State University offers an online bachelor's degree in psychology that incorporates scientific methodologies in a liberal arts context. To graduate, core coursework, university writing, and arts and sciences graduation requirements must be completed. The program includes optional electives in three focus areas of psychology practice: neuroscience/cognition, social/motivational, and clinical/counseling. The psychology major requirement has students complete 35 credits, 15 must be in upper-level courses. The program keeps class sizes small and utilizes student-cohort groups to impart a sense of community and collaboration within the online learning environment. Graduates can expect to be qualified for careers in social work, education, law, and medicine. Courses are accessed through the Blackboard platform. Online learning resources include virtual mentors, access to the WSU library, and advisors in the Global Campus’s own multimedia team. WSU uses the semester system, with a three-week winter session, a three-week intersession, and a one-time, three-hour academic seminar available online.

20Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia$$$$$3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 895-2000

The online psychology degree at Drexel is centered on interdisciplinary curriculum and scientist/practitioner coursework. The degree encompasses 180 credit hours across four, 10-week quarter terms per year and is fully-online. It’s an accelerated program that allows students to take more courses in a shorter amount of time. Coursework includes core college requirements, psychology requirements, and advanced electives. Students select their own sequence of science electives from biology, chemistry, or physics courses. Students must complete a senior thesis through a senior seminar sequence, or by taking four additional psychology electives. By focusing on research methods and statistics, students gain key skills for employment in research and corporate settings. Courses are delivered through the Blackboard online learning platform. Distance students may take a "test drive" of an online course before enrolling, or take part in ongoing tutorials and training through the university’s Instructional Technology Group website. Up to 135 quarter credits can be transferred.

21Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

Florida Tech offers an online psychology degree in applied psychology that has four concentrations: child advocacy, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, and organizational psychology. The BA in applied psychology incorporates a broad liberal arts curriculum and allows cross-disciplinary coursework through open electives in all concentrations. Courses are completed online through TRACKS and University Alliance platforms. Florida Tech’s online student portal provides access to 24/7 tech support, online library databases, and career management services. All online students are required to take a Mastering eLearning course prior to starting their regular course schedule. Students must earn 121 course credits to graduate; courses include: Abnormal Psychology, Multicultural Issues, and Employment and Personality Testing. Full-time students can complete the program in four-years, culminating in a two-part, quality enhancement plan course. The program features two start dates per each spring, summer, and fall term. A "C-" is required for a course to be eligible for transfer.

22Regis UniversityDenver$$$$$3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(800) 388-23662111

Regis offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology with a traditional Jesuit approach in liberal arts concepts. The psychology degree online encompasses 128 credit hours in a combination of core, foundation, upper division, and general elective requirements. Students may select an optional 12 credit minor with focus areas in psychology, counseling, and social sciences. Courses are accessed through the WorldClass platform. Online support tools including tech support, library services, and individual counseling opportunities are available through the RegisLearns student portal. Distance students must complete a senior capstone to earn the degree, as part of the program’s upper division requirements. Regis was recently ranked among the nation’s best online bachelor’s programs for outstanding student services and technology by U.S. News and World Report. Students can apply for a fully-online graduate program in counseling and family therapy through Regis.

23Park UniversityParkville$$$$$8700 NW River Park Dr
Parkville, MO 64152-3795
(816) 741-2000

Park offers an online psychology degree that introduces students to a broad curriculum of both scientific and applied psychology concepts. The BA in psychology encompasses 122 credit hours in core and elective courses, culminating in a comprehensive senior exam. The program requires completion of a field placement in psychology and a senior capstone course. Online classes , online orientation courses and training, virtual tutoring options, and comprehensive tech support are all offered through Canvas. Distance education instructors are required to participate in coursework and discussion within the virtual classroom at a minimum of every 48 hours. Park offers direct links through the online student portal to career counseling, financial aid services, and accommodations for students with disabilities. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 throughout the program. An 18 credit hour minor is psychology is offered on-campus.

24Brandman UniversityIrvine$$$$$16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-9800

Brandman operates a main campus in Irvine, CA, and numerous nationwide locations in addition to its comprehensive Online University. The BA in psychology is offered entirely online and is available in five concentrations: preclinical psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, child psychology, community psychology, and general psychology. Curriculum comprises 120 total credit hours in core, concentration, and elective courses, culminating in a psychology capstone course. Students are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA in all major and minor coursework. Distance courses are completed through the Blackboard learning management system. Online students can access electronic library databases, personalized counseling, assistive technologies, and more through the student portal. Distance coursework is delivered asynchronously in the university’s exclusive iDEAL (Instructional Design for Engaged Adult Learning) model, designed to mirror on-campus programs using elearning modalities. Transfer courses must have been passed with a 2.0 GPA or better to be accepted.

25Rowan UniversityGlassboro$$$$$201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
(856) 256-4000

Rowan offers a psychology degree online through its Global Learning and Partnerships Division. Curriculum in the BA in psychology is designed to introduce students to primary scientific and research-based components in psychology and related fields including human services and community activism. The program comprises 120 credits with a combination of general education and major coursework. At least 30 semester hours must be earned through Rowan. Courses are accessed through Canvas in conjunction with innovative support resources including Rowan Online Immersion, a free orientation/training course for distance students, and 24/7 tech support. Online students may enter the undergraduate psychology program during the fall or spring semester. Each course is eight weeks in length; depending on individual course load and transferable credits, the program may be accelerated. Most students complete the degree in 4-5 semesters. Transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 to be considered for admission.

Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

Psychologists must have an advanced degree in order to obtain a license and practice, and most employers seek candidates with at least a master’s degree. Many schools offer the flexibility of completing a psychology degree online at the master’s level, and students are required to complete a clinical component separately. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is required to enter a master’s degree program.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Professional & Research Ethics, Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Behavior Therapy, and Child Psychology

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Master of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Psychology

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Clinical Psychologist, School Psychologist, and Forensic Psychologist

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $70,700

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    19% growth in employment expected through 2024 for clinical, counseling, school, and industrial-organizational psychologists

Online Psychology Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Psychology Master’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Harvard UniversityCambridge$$$$$Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-1000

Harvard has been setting the standard for higher education in America since it was established by the Massachusetts General Court in 1636. One of the most prestigious universities in the world, the Cambridge-based, Ivy League research institution is consistently ranked in the top three universities in the nation and has an acceptance rate of 5.3 percent. Thirty-two heads of state, from John Adams to Barack Obama, 48 Nobel Laureates, and just as many Pulitzer Prize winners, have graduated here. Since 1910, the famous university has been making a Harvard education more accessible through its Harvard Extension School, which is aimed at working adults. Among HES’s offerings is an online master's in psychology that explores how humans think, feel, behave, and navigate society. Students apply by taking three courses, and if admitted move on to six others, followed by a thesis. Of the nine required classes, three must be taken in Cambridge. Graduates win a genuine master’s from Harvard and participate in the Crimson graduation ceremonies.

2University of GeorgiaAthens$$$$$Administration Building
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-3000

UGA calls itself the “birthplace of the American system of public higher education.” And the giant, Athens-based institution was indeed the first state-chartered university in the country, founded in 1785. A comprehensive, land- and sea-grant school, it’s the flagship of the University of Georgia System, with more than 36,000 students in its 17 schools and colleges. Online students may never get to visit the hip city of Athens, one of the biggest college towns in the U.S., but they have access to some of the best graduate programs in the nation, including the online psychology master's in education. The 34-credit curriculum explores the development and application of human cognition and how it applies to education. Students can specialize in a secondary area of focus: learning with technology, lifelong learning, development of high intellectual capability, or qualitative approaches to education.

3Carlos Albizu University - MiamiMiami$$$$$2173 N.W. 99th Avenue
Miami, FL 33172-2209
(305) 593-1223

Established in 1980, Carlos Albizu University is the first school founded in North America and the Caribbean that specializes in graduate studies in psychology. Based in Miami, CAU takes the name of founder Carlos Albizu Miranda, the first president of the National Hispanic Psychological Association, who “recognized the need for psychological assessment and intervention from the perspective of the population it serves.” The private, non-profit school has a second campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and focuses almost exclusively on professional psychology programs, but also has some undergrad and grad programs in criminal justice, education, and ESOL. More than 2,000 students currently attend. CAU has an online master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, which uses behavioral science to solve problems in the workplace. Coursework explores hiring, placement, training, performance assessment, organizational structure, and workplace happiness. The 42-credit curriculum requires a capstone project or applied research for graduation.

4Fielding Graduate UniversitySanta Barbara$$$$$2020 De La Vina St
Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3538
(805) 687-1099

Fielding is unique in that it’s a university with no campus -- the school doesn’t have actual classrooms. Outside of a few administrative buildings in Santa Barbara, and annual get togethers at various locations, the school exists entirely online. Founded in 1974 as a distance-education graduate program for working professionals, Fielding has grown dramatically since the arrival of the Internet. Today, it offers an array of master’s level programs in clinical psychology, educational leadership, human development, and social innovation. Fielding developed the nation’s first professional program in media psychology, offering both an online master's degree in psychology and a doctorate in the innovative field. The curriculum of the MA program explores how media influences human behavior and how to use media to effect social change by examining neuromarketing, brand psychology, transmedia storytelling, subliminal messaging, and engagement with an audience.

5William James CollegeNewton$$$$$One Wells Avenue
Newton, MA 02459
(617) 327-6777

Formerly known as the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, William James College is a psych-based grad school located in the Boston suburb of Newton. Founded in 1974, the school is named for the father of American psychology, and uses an experiential education model. Twelve degrees are offered in various psychological disciplines, and WJC’s connections with more than 350 hospitals, clinics, schools, and businesses, provide the college’s 600 students with opportunities to gain experience and insight in the field. The 30-credit online master's in psychology is focused on organizational psychology, and it can be pursued entirely via the web or combined with some weekends in residence. Coursework explores the causes of underperformance in organizations, teamwork, leadership, motivation, change, and special concentrations in talent management, African and Caribbean mental health, and global mental health are available. The degree can be earned in 11 months.

6Adler UniversityChicago$$$$$17 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 662-4000

Pioneering psychologist Alfred Adler had an idea that the health of the individual resides in community life and connections. The Chicago graduate school founded in his name continues that tradition, teaching its 1,200 students how to foster wellness in communities, effecting social change for the betterment of all. The university has extended its influence to the world’s largest community -- the Internet -- offering an array of degree programs via virtual classrooms. Students can now study criminology, emergency management, media, nonprofit administration, and psychology from the comfort of their own computers. Adler has a pair of online psychology master's -- industrial organization and military psychology -- that can be earned entirely in cyberspace. The former looks at how people shape businesses and organizations and the latter deals with the wellness and well-being of our fighting forces. Courses are designed for working professionals and are taught by the same acclaimed faculty that teaches in Chicago.

7The University of Tennessee - KnoxvilleKnoxville$$$$$527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-1000

Often referred to as “UT,” the University of Tennessee-Knoxville is the flagship of the Volunteer public university system. With more than 28,000 students pursuing degrees in over 300 degree programs, the “Big Orange Nation” is healthy and strong. The main campus sprawls for 600 acres in the city of Knoxville, the third largest urban area in the state after Memphis and Nashville, and the biggest city in the Appalachian region. UT is also ranked in the top 50 of American public universities. It offers a wide array of degree options via the web, including an online master’s in educational psychology that can be earned without ever visiting Knoxville. The 36-credit curriculum is delivered synchronously, requiring students to be at their computers at certain times of the week, and consists of 24 core classes and 12 electives. Concentrations in applied educational psychology and adult education are available.

8Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

Nova Southeastern was founded as a tech school on an old naval airfield outside Fort Lauderdale in 1964 and has blossomed into a giant, private, nonprofit educational institution with campuses throughout Florida, across the U.S., and around the world. NSU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a “highest research activity” university and is one of only 50 schools nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s community-engagement classification. More than 24,000 are currently enrolled, studying in the school’s 16 colleges, and many do their learning exclusively online. An innovator in Internet-based education, Nova Southeastern has several online master’s in psychology, including a 30-credit program in general psych, which is designed for professionals interested in advancing to doctoral work. Classes are delivered through the Blackboard platform, and include a great deal of student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction. Specialty tracks in education, counseling, human services, and allied health are also available.

9Sacred Heart UniversityFairfield$$$$$5151 Park Ave
Fairfield, CT 06825-1000
(203) 371-7999

Fairfield, Connecticut’s Sacred Heart University is the second-largest Catholic school in New England, and the first in America to be staffed by lay people. It’s also one of the fastest-growing Catholic universities, adding to its 8,500 students at a rapid pace -- the class of 2020 is the largest in SHU history, chosen from the biggest applicant pool the school has ever seen. Nationally ranked for excellence among regional universities, SHU has won distinction for preparing teachers, for volunteerism, for veteran friendliness, and for its physical and occupational therapy and game-design programs. The school offers over degrees in over 70 fields of study, from the baccalaureate to the doctoral level, including five delivered by the web. The online psychology master's focuses on applied psychology, the fundamental understanding of human behavior, and students can opt to specialize with three concentrations: industrial-organizational psych, community psych, and general applied psych. There is no clinical requirement.

10Ball State UniversityMuncie$$$$$2000 University Ave
Muncie, IN 47306
(765) 289-1241

Based in the city of Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University takes an entrepreneurial approach to education. The comprehensive public institution believes in “immersive learning,” where its 22,000 students learn by doing, and it incorporates research, partners with the community, and emphasizes capstone experiences and projects wherever possible. It seems to be working -- the school has earned a “Best in the Midwest” designation in national rankings. Ball State offers two online master's in psychology programs -- quantitative psychology and educational psychology. Quantitative psych uses numbers and statistics to measure human attributes, and the program is rooted in data analyses. Education psychology explores how we learn. Both can be pursued entirely via the web. The Department of Education Psychology prides itself on the individual attention it provides learners, and the online programming coming out of Ball State’s David Letterman Communication Building has won national recognition for quality across-the-board.

11Touro University WorldwideLos Alamitos$$$$$10601 Calle Lee #179
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
(818) 874-4115

Touro University Worldwide is the distance-education arm of the Touro College and University System. Based in Los Alamitos, California, Touro is a nonprofit network of on-ground and online campuses that was founded in the Judaic tradition in 1970 by Dr. Bernard Lander. The school was named for a pair of Jewish philanthropists who began to endow educational causes after they were inspired by a visit George Washington paid to their synagogue in 1790. TUW’s mission is to develop a passionate, interconnected learning community and promote social justice, intellectual pursuit, and philanthropy. To that end, it offers dozens of degree programs from the undergraduate to the doctoral levels, including an online master's degree in psychology. The 12-course curriculum explores research methods, cognitive and social psych, learning theory, personality, and ethical practice, and students have the option of concentrating in either educational or media psychology. Although fully accredited, the degree doesn’t lead to any form of licensure.

12University of North TexasDenton$$$$$1501 W.Chestnut Ave.
Denton, TX 76203-1277
(940) 565-2000

UNT is one of the largest universities in the country -- with more than 36,000 students, it’s bigger than many small cities. Most of the action of the “Mean Green Nation” takes place on the 875-acre main campus in Denton, a college town with the benefit of being less than an hour from all the amenities of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The school is a major research institution -- the highest level, according to the prestigious Carnegie Foundation -- as well as a comprehensive public university with more than 200 areas of study. Many of these, like political science, journalism, information technology, logistics, city management, and business have national reputations for excellence. UNT has a strong virtual campus, as well. Its Digital Library is considered one of the best in the world. The school offers an online master’s in psychology that focuses on educational psychology with two concentration tracks -- research and evaluation and gifted and talented students. “Executive summer-to-summer” programs, these allow students to earn their MS in 15 months entirely online.

13University of Northern ColoradoGreeley$$$$$Carter Hall - Rm 4000
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890

Based in Greeley, 50 miles northeast of Denver, the University of Northern Colorado -- or UNC -- is a four-year doctoral-granting institution with 200 undergrad, graduate, and doctoral programs on campus and online. More than 12,000 students attend its six colleges, and psychology is among the most popular majors, along with education, sports, nursing, and business. UNT has a long history in distance-learning, offering correspondence courses as far back as 1902, and it was an early adopter of the Internet as an educational tool. Today it has an extensive virtual classroom through its Extended Campus. The online psychology master's is an educational psych degree with a focus on teaching. Designed for working professionals, the 30-credit program begins each summer term and can be completed in 19 months. Emphasis is on motivating students, developing confidence and interest in learning, the role of society in education, and how the brain and human development influence learning.

14Lamar UniversityBeaumont$$$$$4400 MLK Blvd
Beaumont, TX 77705
(409) 880-7011

Founded in 1923 as South Park Junior College, Lamar University makes its home in the city of Beaumont, Texas, a bustling burgh on the Neches River about 90 miles east of Houston. From a humble start in the upstairs of South Park High School it has morphed into one of the fastest-growing universities in the state, a doctoral-research institution with more than 15,000 students enrolled in over 100 areas of study. LU enjoys national rankings for the quality of its core curriculum and for diversity, and it stresses hands-on learning wherever possible. Several of the school’s departments have been individually honored, including education, which hosts Lamar’s online psychology masters in clinical mental health counseling. The 60-credit program explores issues related to marriage, family, career, and substance abuse. The curriculum requires students to participate in intensive internship and practicum experiences and visit for two, five-day, face-to-face residency seminars.

15The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los AngelesLos Angeles$$$$$617 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 627-2580

Founded in 1979, the Chicago School does one thing and one thing only -- psychology. The nonprofit institution got its start in the Windy City, and now has 4,000 students enrolled at centers in Chicago, Irvine, San Diego, LA, New Orleans, Washington, DC, and online. The school offers degrees in more than 20 specializations in the behavioral sciences, from applied behavior analysis to school psychology, and uses the “Engaged Professional” model of psych at its core. This approach emphasizes learning through community service and working for the greater good. Several online master’s in psychology are available through the Chicago School, including the master’s in psychology with applied behavioral concentration. Students take 21 courses in foundational psych, nine credits in applied behavioral studies, and then follow it all with a research project. The degree can be pursued full- or part-time entirely in web classrooms.

16Medaille CollegeBuffalo$$$$$18 Agassiz Circle
Buffalo, NY 14214-2695
(716) 880-2000

Based in Buffalo, NY, Medaille is a small, private, four-year college with a sharp focus on readying students to enter the professional workforce. This is, as they say, where college meets career, and the school advocates, hands-on learning in practitioner-based environments wherever possible. Medaille began largely as a commuter school, adding residential facilities gradually as its student body grew, and venturing into online learning in 2010. Today, more than 2,500 students are enrolled, on the school’s small campus and on the web. The online master’s degree in psychology takes a multidisciplinary approach to psych, preparing students for careers as project managers, human resource professionals, college professors, psychiatric technicians, and public relations personnel. Students take one course every eight weeks, beginning in the fall or spring, and complete the degree in two years. Those who desire can do their internship at the school’s own Medaille Family Counseling Center.

17Palo Alto UniversityPalo Alto$$$$$1791 Arastradero Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1337
(800) 818-6136

Palo Alto U was founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, which sums the place up nicely. The California college remains a private, non-profit educational institution with an emphasis on professional programs in human behavioral science, though it now offers undergraduate degrees as well. The university has a unique partnership with Stanford, which sees doctoral candidates studying at each institution, and offers psychological education with the lowest tuition fees in the Bay Area. Two graduate degrees are available at PAU -- a master of arts in counseling and a master of psychology -- and both can be pursued online. The counseling course is designed to prepare students for careers as licensed mental health professionals, and can be specialized with concentrations in marriage, family, and children or clinical mental health. The online M.S. psychology program is often used as a bridge to a Ph.D. and has been nationally recognized. Both degrees require a one-week residency in sunny Palo Alto.

18University of MemphisMemphis$$$$$Southern Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

Located in the Normal Station neighborhood of the “Birthplace of Rock N Roll,” the “U of M” is the flagship of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. A public research institution, the school is known as the home of five state-approved centers of excellence, including the Center for Earthquake Research and Information and the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology. The U of M awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 300 subject areas, and many are offered through its virtual campus, including an online master's in psychology with a focus on educational psych. Delivered asynchronously, the program explores human cognition, behavior, and development as it relates to learning and pedagogy. It is not designed for students looking for K-12 licensure or wanting to be counselors. Out-of-state students who attend online qualify for a special tuition “e-rate.”

19University of Nevada - Las VegasLas Vegas$$$$$4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV 89154
(702) 895-3011

The unincorporated community of Paradise, Nevada, is home to the University of Nevada’s Las Vegas campus. The famous Vegas strip is less than two miles away. Founded in 1957, before Vegas had grown into the phenomenon it is today, UNLV is now a booming urban research university with more than 28,000 students pursuing over 350 degrees. The school enjoys a national ranking for diversity, and its law programs have won national recognition. Online students can find an array of degree programs on UNLV’s virtual campus. These include an online psychology master’s, with an educational focus. The 34-credit M.S. in Educational Psychology can be taken on a thesis or non-thesis track, and explores human cognition and behavior. Applicants who score better than the 50th percentile on the GRE are given preference, and two letters of recommendation and an essay are required as part of the admissions process.

20University of Houston - VictoriaVictoria$$$$$3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901
(877) 970-4848

UHV is one of four colleges in the University of Houston system, and it serves a largely local population of 4,300 students. Founded in 1973, the school’s main campus is in the city of Victoria, thirty miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, and there’s a satellite in tiny Katy, a small burgh in metropolitan Houston. Claims to fame include the American Book Review, a literary journal based on campus, and the “degree-in-three” undergrad program, a first-of-its-kind in Texas venture that allows students to earn their baccalaureate degrees in 36 months or less. The Victoria campus shares some of its facilities with Victoria College, a community college. UHV has made e-learning a priority and many of its courses and degree programs are now available via the web, including an online master’s in psychology -- applied behavioral analysis. Offered through the Department of Education, the program focuses on special education and autism and requires 39 credits for completion.

21Pennsylvania State University - Main CampusUniversity Park$$$$$201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-4700

Penn State is one of the nation’s largest universities, a “public Ivy” that offers its 100,000 students an education comparable to those at the exclusive private Ivy League universities. Based in State College, Pennsylvania, the school has 24 campuses spread across the state “within practical commuting distance of virtually every Pennsylvanian,” and its economic impact is bigger than the GDP of many small nations at over $8.5 billion. And former Nittany Lions love the place; Penn State has more dues-paying alumni than any other school in the country. The university has a long history in distance education, launching its first correspondence course in 1892, and in 1998 it opened its online World Campus, offering dozens of degrees via the Internet. Penn State’s online master’s of psychology is the 33-credit Master of Professional Studies in the Psychology of Leadership, a unique program exploring the behavioral roots of leadership. Graduates of the program earn the same degree as students who take their courses in University Park.

22LeTourneau UniversityLongview$$$$$2100 S Mobberly Ave
Longview, TX 75607-7001
(903) 233-3000

Shortly after World War II, R.G. LeTourneau noticed an unused army hospital site while flying over Longview, Texas. The philanthropist quickly bought the facility and opened a technical college to serve returning veterans. That institution grew into today’s LeTourneau University, a four-year, nondenominational Christian school of 3,000 students, about half of whom live on its Longview campus, about an hour west of Shreveport, Louisiana. LU has been nationally ranked among regional universities, and it has become known as a conservative place for non-traditional learners -- almost a quarter of incoming freshmen were homeschooled. The school offers an online master's degree in psychology in an accelerated format. The program takes a Christ-centered approach to human behavioral science, and allows students to select 14 credits of electives in business, religion, education, or leadership to complement its foundation in psych. Students do a face-to-face practicum, and they can transfer credits toward a master’s in counseling if they choose.

23University of IdahoMoscow$$$$$875 Perimeter Drive
Moscow, ID 83844-2282
(888) 884-3246

Known as the “U of I,” the University of Idaho is located in Moscow, a small city on the state’s border with Washington. Founded in 1889, it’s Idaho’s oldest public university and has satellite campuses in Boise, Coeur D’Alene, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls and extension offices in 42 counties. All told, U of I serves 11,000 Vandals with more than 250 degree options. Known for its famous “Hello Walk,” a pathway that threads through campus, the school has been nationally ranked for general excellence, value for dollar, its green campus, social mobility, research, and service. The online master’s in psychology at U of I is highly competitive, and the 30-credit course requires that applicants have completed introductory statistics, experimental psychology or research methods, cognitive psychology, and sensation and perception. Applicants must also have a minimum score of 300 on the GRE, and a thesis or a comprehensive exam is necessary for completion.

24Edinboro University of PennsylvaniaEdinboro$$$$$219 Meadville Street
Edinboro, PA 16444-0001
(814) 732-2000

Walking around campus at Edinboro U. some visitors might think they were in Scotland. Based in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, an Erie County borough in the northwestern corner of the state, the school takes its name from the Scottish city and borrows many traditions. It features a pipe band, has one of the rare bagpipe programs in the world, hosts a highland games, and calls its teams the Fighting Scots. EU is a comprehensive public university associated with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and its 6,500 students can select from more than 150 degree programs. Psychology is one of the most popular majors, behind business, applied media, nursing, and criminal justice. Edinboro’s School of Graduate Studies and Research hosts an online master’s degree in psychology focusing on educational psychology that has been nationally ranked among the best counseling degrees and has been lauded for affordability. The 30-credit course gives students a broad practical and theoretical background in both education and psychology.

25California Baptist UniversityRiverside$$$$$8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
(951) 689-5771

California Baptist U. was founded by the California Southern Baptist Convention in 1950. Known for its lovely Mission-Style campus in the Greater Los Angeles suburb of Riverside, the school proudly proclaims that its faculty is “100% Christian.” The university’s 9,100 students pursue baccalaureate and graduate degrees in more than 170 subject areas, all taught in a Christ-centered atmosphere. New students traditionally touch the Kugel, a floating granite globe sculpture in front of the Yaeger Building, when they begin their studies at CBU. This is not necessarily an option for online students, but they can participate in the Kugel Walk when they graduate if they choose to attend the ceremonies. And there are quite a few students in the school’s virtual classrooms these days, thanks to a wide array of degree programs. These include an online master’s of psychology in counseling. The 62-credit course is designed to prepare students for clinical counseling and marriage and family therapy, and requires a proctor-delivered exam in Riverside or an approved location.

Online Doctorate Degree in Psychology

Psychologists with a doctorate degree can work in private practice as independent consultants. They may also work in a clinical or health care setting, for government organizations, or in a school setting. Many dedicate their careers to research, using the scientific method to form hypotheses and reporting their findings in academic and professional journals. Completing a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, either through an online psychology degree program or on campus, is the first step towards completing a doctorate degree in this field. PhDs are rare as online psychology degrees since the curriculum involves research-based learning and in-person experiences.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior, Social Psychology, Human Motivation, Survey Research Methods, and Psychopathology from the Clinical Perspective

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Research Psychology

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Research Psychologist, Behavioral Neuroscientist, Health Psychologist, and University Researcher

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    Highest 10% earned $114,290

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    19% growth in employment expected through 2024 for clinical, counseling, school, and industrial-organizational psychologists

Online Psychology Choose Your Career

Average Psychology Salaries

$56,185
$75,339
$61,489
$73,066
$58,090

Counseling Psychologist

Salary: $56,185
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
19% 13,970 Doctorate State-specific licensing requirements

Many patients turn to a counseling psychologist to learn how to manage emotional problems and better understand themselves. Counseling psychologists often treat clients living with depression, anxiety, or other negative mood states. They may work with groups or in a one-on-one setting in a mental health clinic, hospital, school, or psychiatric unit. Counseling psychologists should have strong empathy and listening skills, confidence, experience applying psychology and counseling principles, and should be comfortable working with a variety of people.

Industrial-Occupational Psychologist

Salary: $75,339
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
19% 2,000 Doctorate State-specific licensing requirements

Many companies hire industrial-organizational psychologists to help them improve the workplace environment. These psychologists are tasked with the job of studying employee behavior and applying psychological principles and theories to solve conflicts and problems within an organization. Strong communication skills, an ability to understand the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, and a desire to help people overcome challenges are essential traits of successful psychologists in this field.

Forensic Psychologist

Salary: $61,489
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
20% 6,630 Doctorate State-specific licensing requirements

A strong eye for detail, a curious mind, and the motivation to aid in crime scene investigation are all critical for success as a forensic psychologist. These professionals study motives and human behavior to assist law enforcement teams. They are primarily responsible for analyzing, researching, and reporting their findings, and often testify as expert witnesses in court.

Clinical Psychologist

Salary: $73,066
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
20% 155,300 Doctorate State-specific licensing requirements

Special training is required to provide clinical psychology services in education, the health sector, or to work on research projects. Clinical psychologists use theoretical approaches to solve complex problems in a hospital, school, counseling center, or private practice setting. They often specialize in treating certain mental health issues and behavioral problems, such as depression and anxiety, or illnesses such as obesity. Those who are passionate about helping people, have a strong sense of ethics, and are open minded will excel in this field.

School Psychologist

Salary: $58,090
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
20% 43,880 Doctorate State-specific licensing requirements

Individuals interested in working primarily with children and teenagers in a school environment can serve as a school psychologist. These professionals help students adapt to change, overcome behavioral challenges, and effectively deal with their emotions. Patience, empathy, and intuition are essential traits for a school psychologist to deal with the complex issues many young students and their families face. When completing a psychology degree online with a specialization in school psychology, students may be required to complete a practicum component that allows them to gain real-world experience in a school setting.

Online Psychology Degree in Action

Duane France Psychology

Duane France is a post-master’s pre-licensure National Certified Counselor currently providing mental health treatment and advisory services to the Colorado 4th Judicial District Veterans Trauma Court.

He is on the staff of a private counseling agency that contracts with the judicial system, working exclusively with veterans who deal with mental health concerns including adjustment, trauma spectrum disorders, and substance use disorders.

Why did you choose to pursue your degree online?

It was literally the only way that I could have obtained a degree while serving in the Army. I started my undergrad work in 2007 and graduated in 2015. During that time, I deployed once to Iraq for a 15-month tour, twice to Afghanistan, and was sent by the Army to Delaware, California, and Louisiana for temporary duty and training. The shortest of these in-country deployments was three months. Had I waited until I retired, I would not have been able to start working in the field as quickly as I did.

What were the advantages of taking online classes?

I feel like the advantages of taking classes online was how I was able to take advantage of the flexibility of the instruction without sacrificing the quality of the information obtained. I have never had anyone question the academic rigor of my degree, but if they did, I would describe how difficult it was to return to my base after leading a security escort patrol and tackling a 400-level Biopsychology course.

What were the challenges you faced taking psychology classes online?

The biggest challenge that I faced was that I had to carve time out of my day, rather than being able to schedule around a set time for a brick-and-mortar class. Balancing the challenges of work (both while I was in the Army and while I was completing my degree), family, and school was difficult, but not impossible.

How did your online psychology degree prepare you for the job market?

I can not say enough about my master's program at Adams State University. The responsiveness and expertise of the faculty, the method and level of instruction, and the support that I received throughout my experience were amazing. We were getting real-world training on real-world situations. The fact that I was hired by my agency after my internship, and continued receiving support after my degree, continue to support me in my professional journey.

Online Psychology Professional Requirements

Background Checks and Fingerprinting

Psychology professionals applying for any type of position, including internships and opportunities for practicum experience, will need to pass a background check to verify their identity and check for any records of criminal activity. Fingerprinting may be required when working for federal or state government agencies.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

Varies by location and organization

Supervised Professional Experience (SPE)

A Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) is required for licensure by state law. The state’s Board of Psychology defines the SPE requirements for various specializations, but in most cases, at least one year is required.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

At least one year

Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (the EPPP)

Administered by The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, the EPPP licensing and certification exam must be taken after completing a doctoral degree and completing supervised postdoc hours. The exam consists of 225 multiple choice questions and test-takers must answer 70% of the questions correctly to receive a passing score of 500.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

4.25 hours

Maintaining Certification

American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) certification maintenance requirements are as follows:

  • Those certified before January 1, 2015 maintain certification by completing their Specialty Board approved MOC grid and narrative, or by waiving the requirement.
  • Those certified after January 1, 2015 must demonstrate Maintenance of Certification every 10 years to maintain ABPP board certified status

State Board requirements for maintaining certification are as follows:

  • Continuing education (CE) requirement vary by state
  • Courses taken must be approved by the licensing board
  • Some states require psychologists to complete professional development hours in order to renew their license.