Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

A master's degree in psychology can prepare you for fascinating careers or an advanced degree and clinical licensure. Here's how to pick the best school.
By
portrait of Meg Embry
Meg Embry
Read Full Bio

Writer

Meg Embry is a writer at Betfiery covering all things career and education related. An award-winning journalist and editor, she has lived and worked in Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States....
Updated on October 24, 2023
Edited by
portrait of Tyler Epps
Tyler Epps
Read Full Bio

Editor & Writer

Tyler Epps is an editor for Betfiery. He writes and edits content about higher education, specializing in degree planning and college rankings. He is passionate about helping students prepare for college and navigate their educational journey. He...
Learn more about our editorial process

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

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.


  • A master's in psychology can qualify you for clinical roles with better pay.
  • The demand for mental health workers is high and climbing.
  • A graduate degree in psychology can prepare you to work with the demographics you are most passionate about.
  • An online master's in psychology can also equip you with widely marketable skills.

Today, demand for mental health practitioners far exceeds supply. According to the 2022 State of Mental Health in America report, well over half of people with mental health conditions do not receive treatment.

That's nearly 30 million adults. And on top of that, over 60% of kids with major depression are navigating it alone.

Which is probably why you're here — you want to help.

If you think an online master's in psychology might be the best way to address widespread mental health conditions, here's what to do next:

What Can You Do With a Master's in Psychology Degree?

  • Purpose: This degree may be a fit for you if you want to use your skills and interests to help others. A master's in psychology qualifies you for various clinical roles unavailable to professionals with only an undergraduate degree.
  • Place of Work: Graduates can use their degrees in both the public and private sectors. You can work in corporations, schools, healthcare agencies, government agencies, nonprofits, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, and political organizations.

Featured Master's in Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Why Should I Get a Master's in Psychology Degree?

Students with a bachelor's degree in psychology know that more education equals more job opportunities within the field. If you want to make a bigger impact and earn more money, pursuing a master's degree in psychology is a smart next move.

Even outside the mental health field, the extensive knowledge of human motivations and behaviors you develop during your master's in psychology program can make you an attractive candidate for many jobs.

Benefits of a Master's in Psychology

  • Specialize in your field of interest
  • Experience greater job satisfaction
  • Open the door to counseling careers
  • Access better employment opportunities
  • Earn a higher salary
  • Qualify for a doctorate

Reasons to Get Your Psychology Degree Online

  • More flexibility
  • Complete your coursework remotely
  • Ability to learn from anywhere
  • Great for career-changers

What Are the Different Types of Psychology Concentrations?

Many master's programs in psychology offer niche specializations, which can give you the skills you need to work in a particular field of psychology, including clinical psychology, forensic psychology, and educational psychology.

For example, if you want to provide direct mental health services, you might consider pursuing a clinical psychology specialization. If you're interested in corporate or organizational behavior, you may consider enrolling in organizational psychology programs.

Common Types of Psychology Specializations

How Much Does a Master's in Psychology Degree Cost?

Average Annual Tuition Cost of a Master's Degree

Public Institution

$11,957

Private Institution (Nonprofit)

$19,167

Source: Betfiery


Total Average Cost of a Master's Degree (Two Years)

Public Institution

$54,718

Private Institution (Nonprofit)

$72,572

Source: Betfiery

How Much Does Online College Cost?

What Are the Best Online Master's in Psychology Programs of 2023?

How We Rank Schools

At Betfiery, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

These rankings were compiled by our Betfiery Ranking Team and include Betfiery.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners. We use publicly available provisional datasets from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to inform the data for these schools. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

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

  • Browse programs
  • Discover matches
  • Request info
#1 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $565

Out of State | $565

Credits to Graduate

36

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

If you're looking for an online master's in psychology that's more focused on problem-solving, you might consider Liberty University. Liberty's online master of applied psychology program offers concentrations in general psychology, developmental psychology, and public mental health. You can also choose an industrial and organizational psychology focus.

To apply, you must submit official transcripts and pay an application fee. If you're coming from another master's program, you can transfer up to 50% of those credit hours.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,791
Out-of-state
$14,791
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,935
Out-of-state
$7,935
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
93,349
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Brescia University

  • Owensboro, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $625

Out of State | $625

Credits to Graduate

45

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A master of science (MS) in clinical psychology from Brescia University can prepare you for a career in mental health or addictive disorders. The program offers a thesis option, which will benefit you if you pursue a doctorate.

To apply to Brescia's online master's in psychology program, you need to submit an application, official transcripts, and a personal statement. You must also show at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a minimum of 12 credits in psychology.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$24,500
Out-of-state
$24,500
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$600
Out-of-state
$600
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
986
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

University of Louisiana at Monroe

  • Monroe, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $500

Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate

36

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an MS in psychology with a forensic concentration option. ULM's online MS in psychology program includes courses in research methods, neuropsychology, and statistics. If you don't specialize in forensic science, you'll need to take personality and social psychology coursework.

The application requires official transcripts, an online application, and a minimum 2.5 GPA. You also need to provide a GRE score.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,788
Out-of-state
$17,888
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,490
Out-of-state
$18,590
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
8,888
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#4 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Lynn University

  • Boca Raton, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $650

Out of State | $650

Credits to Graduate

37

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Consider an MS in psychology at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Lynn's online MS in psychology program might be ideal if you want a career in research or scientific writing. You can choose between the general track and the industrial/organizational psychology concentration.

To apply, submit an application, official transcripts, and personal statement. You also need to provide a recommendation letter from a professor or previous employer, along with a resume. The school does not need GRE scores.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$37,600
Out-of-state
$37,600
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
3,232
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

  • Marion, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $490

Out of State | $490

Credits to Graduate

30

Program Information

Program Accreditation | The Higher Learning Commission

Consider this online master of arts (MA) in psychology if you want a faith-based graduate education. Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global's MA in psychology program offers concentrations in industrial and organizational psychology, and life coaching and positive psychology.

Application requirements include an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher and two recommendation letters. You won't need to pay an application fee.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,871
Out-of-state
$8,871
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,083
Out-of-state
$11,083
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,944
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#6 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

University of Idaho

  • Moscow, ID
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $554

Out of State | $554

Credits to Graduate

30

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

The University of Idaho offers an MS in psychology that can prepare you with a foundation in human performance, human-machine interactions, product design, and ergonomics. U of I's research-based psychology program requires comprehensive exams and a thesis.

In your application, you'll need to include official transcripts, three recommendation letters, and a purpose statement. Your application won't require a GRE score, but it will need a resume or CV.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,182
Out-of-state
$25,418
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,754
Out-of-state
$26,990
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
10,791
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#7 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $865

Out of State | $865

Credits to Graduate

30

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Nova Southeastern University's master's in general psychology provides a general track or an applied health science concentration if you're not interested in a clinical psychology career. 

NSU's MS in psychology program also covers all the prerequisite courses needed to transition into a doctoral program. In addition to scheduling an interview, you must submit official transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a personal statement.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$32,370
Out-of-state
$32,370
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$20,618
Out-of-state
$20,618
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
20,888
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#8 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Saint Leo University

  • Saint Leo, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $720

Out of State | $720

Credits to Graduate

36

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

An MS in psychology from Saint Leo University can prepare you for data analysis, market research, or teaching careers. Saint Leo's online MS in psychology program teaches broad psychological knowledge with applied skills.

If you apply to this program with an undergrad GPA lower than 3.0, you'll need to submit GRE scores. Your application should also include official transcripts from an accredited school, two recommendation letters, and an application essay.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$23,990
Out-of-state
$23,990
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,568
Out-of-state
$14,568
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
9,832
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#9 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $627

Out of State | $627

Credits to Graduate

36

Program Information

Program Accreditation | New England Commission of Higher Education

If you want to work with diverse populations in business, government, or healthcare, you might consider a master's from Southern New Hampshire University. SNHU's MS in psychology allows you to choose from one of three concentrations. Options include child and development psychology, forensic psychology, and industrial organizational psychology.

You don't need GRE scores to apply. However, you must submit official transcripts from your undergrad school and a free online application. If you don't have an undergrad degree in psychology, you might need to take foundation courses once you're accepted.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,600
Out-of-state
$9,600
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$18,810
Out-of-state
$18,810
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
134,345
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#10 Top Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology

National University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $442

Out of State | $442

Credits to Graduate

30

Program Information

Program Accreditation | The Western Association of Schools and Colleges

If you need a flexible program where you can tailor your degree, consider applying to National University. In National University's MA in psychology program, you can choose a gender and sexual fluidity specialization or a general psychology concentration.

The program accepts applications year-round, and new courses start weekly. To begin the application process, you must complete an online form.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,480
Out-of-state
$15,480
Retention Rate
45%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
18,070
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master's Degree in Psychology?

A full-time student can complete an online master's degree in psychology in two years. Part-time students who are also juggling jobs or families may take 3-4 years. Most master's programs in psychology also require internships.

Required Course Credits

30-60*

*Depending on your program and specialization

Field Study Requirements*

Yes

*Depending on your program and specialization

How Much Money Can I Make With a Master's in Psychology Degree?

A master's in psychology qualifies you to work in many positions that offer above-average pay. The median salary for those with a master's in psychology was approximately $60,000 in 2019, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

In 2021, marriage and family therapists earned a median annual salary of $49,880, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while those employed by state government organizations earned $77,960.

The same year, school counselors earned a median annual salary of $60,510, while those employed by elementary and secondary schools earned $63,460. Meanwhile, the median annual wage for industrial-organizational psychologists was $105,310.

"With clinical work, the salary will vary based on the setting. Community agencies typically pay the least, as these tend to be nonprofit. Larger practices or hospital settings will typically have more attractive compensation packages."

Danielle Tucci, B.S. in Psychology, M.S. in Counseling, CAADC, LPC

Median salary for degree-holders with a master's in psychology

$60,000

Source: APA

Median salary for the top 25% of earners with a master's in psychology

$81,000

Source: APA

Salary varies by industry, occupation, and location. Some of the top-paying states for psychologists include Oregon, California, Maryland, and New York.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Master's in Psychology Degree?

You can do a lot with a master's degree in psychology. You can work in clinical roles like school counselor, marriage and family therapist, and mental health counselor. You can also become an addiction counselor.

Depending on your interests, you can apply your psychology background to leadership roles like human resources manager, organizational psychologist, or social service manager. You can also contribute to scholarly research as a research assistant.

Many psychology careers require professionals to hold at least a master's degree. Some popular psychology career paths include:

Common Career Paths

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Social Service Manager
  • Organizational Psychologist
  • Addiction and Abuse Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • School or Career Counselor
"You can pursue work in hospital systems, drug and alcohol settings (rehabs, detox, group work), mental health clinics, university counseling centers, physician offices that offer integrative care services, private practice, research, or even at insurance companies."

Danielle Tucci, B.S. in Psychology, M.S. in Counseling, CAADC, LPC

Is a Master's in Psychology Degree Worth it?

It's safe to say that a master's degree in psychology pays off for most grads. The APA has found that earning a graduate degree in psychology is likely to increase rates of job satisfaction and chances of finding employment in the field.

That may be why, according to APA data, 73% of people with master's degrees go directly into a career without pursuing a doctorate.

"Having a master's degree opens up the number of positions you qualify for, especially positions involving more direct contact with clients," said Tucci, who spent most of her career as a psychotherapist.

That's not to say getting a master's in psychology is worth it for everyone – it takes a special kind of person to thrive in this field.

"As a clinical supervisor, I have found people who have difficulty with boundaries and burnout struggle in this field, because of the emotional impact client work can have. Also, Individuals who prefer a more structured and predictable work [environment] may find this field challenging," said Tucci.

Everything Else You Need to Know About Master's in Psychology Degrees

What's the difference between a master of arts (MA) and a master of science (MS) in psychology?

When looking at programs, you should take note of whether an MA or MS degree better suits your career goals.

An MA is a great fit if you're interested in providing direct services to clients such as counseling services. An MS, on the other hand, helps prepare you for a future in education and research.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in psychology?

Want to rake in the big bucks? Here are three high-paying careers you can pursue with your master's in psychology:

  1. Industrial-organizational psychologists working for local governments earned an annual mean wage of $160,180 in 2021, according to the BLS.
  2. Engineering psychologists in business settings earn over six figures a year, according to the APA.
  3. Clinical Psychologists have a median annual base salary of $84,000 (not including bonuses or profit sharing), according to Payscale – with the top 10% of clinical psychologists earning base salaries of over $120k a year.

Can I be a licensed psychologist with a master's degree?

Typically, no: A master's degree does not qualify you for full licensure as a psychologist. In some states, a master's degree may be sufficient to work as an industrial or organizational psychologist, though many come to that position through their doctoral research.

To become a licensed psychologist, you almost always need:

  • A doctoral degree from an accredited or regionally recognized institution
  • Passing scores on state and national examinations
  • A post-doctoral supervised practice requirement

But there are some exceptions in Kansas, Michigan, Vermont, and West Virginia. It's a good idea to check out the practice and licensure requirements in your state to find out what your options are wherever you hope to live and work.

Can I be a school psychologist with a master's degree?

Most states require school psychologists to hold a doctorate. However, there are some exceptions. In the following states, a master's degree is the minimum education required to work as a school psychologist:

  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Within the wider mental health field, you can also qualify to become a licensed counselor or social worker with a master's degree in psychology (though you may need additional supplemental education first).

Still looking for the right fit? You might also like:

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

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.