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Top 10 Best Online Master’s of Psychology Degree Programs 2023 | Academic Influence

We rank the best online master’s degree programs in psychology.

Key Takeaways

  • An online master’s in psychology allows you to specialize in concentrations such as forensic, clinical, counseling, or educational psychology, giving you the skills needed to work in different fields.
  • You can choose among the best online master’s in psychology degrees based on your career and academic goals, learning preferences, and additional responsibilities.
  • Psychology master’s students are among the most sought-after candidates for many jobs, regardless of whether they work in mental health or other institutions.

Psychology can explain why people act in a particular way in large part because it explains their motivations. And the study of human behavior is crucial to industries that make up diverse societies. If you want to become a psychologist, you’ll be expected to be involved in the study and understanding of mental processes, brain functions, and behavioral patterns.

An online master in psychology opens doors to more opportunities for a career change, earning more money, or even continuing on to obtaining a PhD. If you enjoy helping others, this degree may be right for you.

A master’s of psychology program qualifies you for various clinical roles that are otherwise unavailable to those with a bachelor’s degree only. Now is the right time to delve into higher education online as it is forecasted that by 2031, the U.S. is expected to add 11,300 jobs in clinical and industrial psychology, school psychology, counseling, and general psychology due to increased demand for psychological services.

Featured Programs

What Graduates Can Do with a Master’s in Psychology Degree

Graduates of psychology who hold a master’s in psychology degree report higher overall job and salary satisfaction than those who hold bachelor’s degrees. Their work is also intellectually stimulating, and they believe they contribute more to society than their counterparts with bachelor’s degrees.

By the time you complete a graduate-level psychology program, you can land a job in one of the following roles:

Guidance Counselor

Guidance counselors usually work in educational settings like kindergarten, high school facilities, colleges, and universities. Students receive career and academic advice from guidance counselors at educational institutions.

By determining students’ potential or current skills, they can enhance their self-esteem and assist them in finding future careers. With an online master’s in psychology, you can become a competitive guidance counselor and earn a high position in the educational organization.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists assist people with various life difficulties that can arise at any time. Their clients include children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.

They assist people experiencing mental health issues, physical health difficulties, or disabilities. They help their patients become healthier individuals and improve their well-being.

While many jobs in this field require doctoral degrees, it’s not impossible for you to become a clinical mental health counseling expert with an online master in psychology degree.

Industrial Psychologist

The field of industrial-organizational psychology is one where the psychologist helps employers and employees deal with issues related to culture, change, and issues at an individual or team level. Your goal as an occupational psychologist is to improve the organization’s effectiveness and employee satisfaction. Someone working in the field of industrial-organizational psychology will focus on developing healthy relationships and encouraging good health and well-being in the work environment.

Mental Health Worker

By finishing an online master’s in psychology, you can work as a mental health worker. You’ll be in charge of helping people manage anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. You will be working in government agencies and mental health institutions as you guide patients through therapy and cognitive interventions toward recovery.

Life Coach

Life coaches assist clients in identifying their strengths and development areas. You will develop a one-to-one, ongoing relationship with clients similar to counseling, but your concern is not to heal deep emotions but to help them plan positive changes in their lives. The ability to identify situations in which a client needs to be referred for alternative support is crucial for a life coach.

School Psychologist

Educators specializing in school psychology work with students from all grades to help them develop academically and personally. The counselor may be able to offer students assistance with bullying, gender or sexual identity, academic performance, social anxiety, or self-esteem issues. They also may work closely with parents to implement programs to help children learn.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Professionals in the field of marriage and family therapy provide care to people of all ages who are experiencing relationship problems. In addition to evaluating people’s mental health, they provide coping mechanisms or plans to help accept, manage, or improve their situations. Patients struggling with grief, depression, and other mental health issues will undergo therapy with these specialized psychologists.


Therapists typically work in hospitals and clinics, or in their own private practice. Therapists provide mental health care and support to patients of any age. Their treatment may be personalized and tailored to the specific needs of patients depending on their mental health issues, age, and demographics.

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Benefits of a Master’s in Psychology

Comes with a Rewarding Career Path

Undertaking an online master’s degree in psychology will allow you to pursue a rewarding career path, not focusing on the earning potential alone, but also on being able to help others. With master’s in psychology programs, you will have the license and qualification to practice as a certified psychologist. With this medical qualification, you can help individuals, families, and even communities more effectively.

Allows You to Pursue Your Passion

If your passion in life is to help others, having an online master’s in psychology will help you pursue this life goal even more. At the end of the day, you become happy and satisfied for investing in higher education that will propel your life passion.

Higher Earning Potential

Earning a psychology degree does not guarantee career satisfaction, but it certainly has a high salary potential. In fact, psychologists earn an average yearly salary of $81,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Opens Doctoral Degree Opportunities

If you’re thinking of pursuing a doctorate in psychology, an online master’s degree in psychology is a good stepping stone toward it. In the same way that master’s degrees increase your career opportunities beyond what a bachelor’s degree can offer, doctoral degrees do so even more. You can become a university researcher or a licensed clinical psychologist who holds a PhD in psychology.

Comes with a Plethora of Career Pathways

People with a master’s in psychology online can find opportunities in a wide range of fields. Whether you want to practice your profession in a hospital, a healthcare facility, a school, or a private clinic, there are many career pathways available for you to explore.

Psychology offers many specialization opportunities due to its wide range of interests. You will be able to focus on the aspect of psychology you are most passionate about, whether that is research, criminal justice, child development, or helping people with mental illnesses.

Bottom Line: Master’s in psychology programs not only offer a higher than average salary and numerous possible career pathways, but also allows the psychologist to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

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Reasons to Choose Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Study Anywhere and Anytime

Online master’s degrees in psychology allow students to pursue their education and expand their knowledge from anywhere in the world. You can work and be committed to your career while learning on the side.

The ultimate reason why many learners love online programs is because of their ultimate flexibility. An internet connection and a computer are all you need. An online psychology master’s degree can be earned from the comfort of your home, or even while traveling around the country to visit your friends.

Advance Your Career in Real-time

An online psychology master’s degree is popular because it enables people to advance their careers. While working, they want to learn new skills or the latest strategies and practices.

Furthermore, having an online master’s degree in psychology can elevate your CV or resume. Employers will treat you with more respect. In turn, you become more competitive than other candidates when applying for a job. By managing multiple priorities and commitments both in studies and work, it shows employers that you are skilled, determined, and passionate.

Be More Versatile in Your Field

One major benefit of pursuing an online master’s in psychology degree is its relevance in many occupations. Occupational opportunities with this degree include therapy and counseling, human resources, and laboratories.

Depending on your career goals, you might be able to use your online psychology master’s programs in advertising, marketing, or even as a prison and parole officer. If you decide to change your mind about where your career should go after your master’s, you can still choose from a variety of options available to you if you choose a different specialization.

Fewer Admission Requirements Needed

Rolling admissions are common for online master’s degrees. This is definitely a convenient feature and advantage of online degrees over in-person programs.

Your application will be evaluated by the university’s staff at any time. The admission process is also fewer and shorter than getting enrolled physically in a college. There are many distance learning courses with fewer or less demanding admission requirements, although this is not the case for all universities.

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Types of Psychology Concentrations

Clinical Psychology

In clinical psychology, mental illness is assessed and treated in addition to other complex or abnormal mental health problems. Those with a strong hands-on approach and who won’t mind having a lot of patient contact should consider this career path. Psychological disorders and statistical methods are extensively taught to students, along with assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.


As a result of its complexity and breadth, this concentration offers some of the highest salaries. Psychologists study how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors relate to brain biochemistry in the field of neuropsychology.

Counseling Psychology

Counseling is the process of guiding and assisting people through life problems, encouraging them to recognize their central strengths, and understanding their psychological well-being. An expert psychologist specializes in observing the differences in human traits in many aspects, including racial, religious, and sexual orientation differences that are central to psychotherapy, instruction, and research.

Assessing mental health challenges may be taught to you in an online master’s in counseling psychology. Eventually, you’ll be trained to develop a treatment approach that will improve the patient’s well-being.

Engineering Psychology

The study of human-technology interaction is based on many principles found in engineering. Often, they support more technical employees by helping them design products that are useful to less tech-savvy consumers. As psychologists, they should be able to analyze data and analyze statistics, as well as evaluate the effects of technology on individuals and society using proven research methods.

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Cost of Master’s in Psychology Degree Online Programs

The amount you spend on a graduate degree in psychology education is up to you. It’s a matter of choosing the right program based on your preferences, goals, and needs. You can complete your graduate education at a pace and at a price that is convenient for you by opting for an online program in psychology compared to an in-person graduate degree.

There are several factors that influence the total cost of a psychology graduate program, including the type of school attended (public or private), the location (including the cost of living), the level of financial assistance you receive, and the goal of the graduate program.

Psychology master’s degrees vary widely in price depending on factors such as the institution’s quality, whether the course is in-person or online, and where the applicant lives. According to College Tuition Compare, the average tuition for graduates in psychology programs is $24,645.

Higher-ranking graduate schools also come with a higher “sticker price” for tuition since they have a better reputation.

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Best Online Masters in Psychology Programs

  1. Other Rankings
    What is University of Idaho known for?

    University of Idaho’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $520

    Out of State: $820

    Credits to Graduate: 30

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $8,340

    Out-of-state: $27,576

    Retention Rate: 81%

    Admission Rate: 81%

    Students Enrolled: 10,791

    Institution Type: Public

    Percent Online Enrollment: 12%

    Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

    The Master of Science in Psychology at the University of Idaho comes with a Human Factors emphasis. In this program, researchers examine why people behave the way they do.

    Human development and the user experience remain deeply intertwined in this question, given the rapid evolution of technology over the last two decades. A human factors degree program combines traditional psychology disciplines with modern engineering principles to explore how their overlap can improve product design and delivery.

    A graduate of this program is likely to work as a researcher or user-experience engineer. You will be adept at exploring how consumers respond to technology and modern systems. Human systems, interactions, and capabilities are being refined in the fields of business, management, human services, and web and product design.

  2. Other Rankings
    What is Liberty University known for?

    Liberty University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $565

    Out of State: $565

    Credits to Graduate: 36

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $22,713

    Out-of-state: $22,713

    Retention Rate: 82%

    Admission Rate: 99%

    Students Enrolled: 94,709

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 85%

    Accreditation: SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges

    Liberty University offers a 100% online master of arts in applied psychology degree. Students of this graduate degree will need 1.5 years to finish. For those who need financial aid assistance, there are special discounts for members of the military, their spouses, and veterans. A maximum of 50% of the 36 credits required for Liberty can be transferred.

    Some of the specialization options in this online master’s degree are public mental health, general psychology, industrial organizational psychology, and developmental psychology. They offer courses tailored to your choice of specialization in their applied psychology master’s program.

    By acquiring the foundational knowledge you need for your specific career goals, you will be able to prepare for any career in psychology. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or any related field in order to get admitted to this master’s program.

  3. What is Nova Southeastern University known for?

    Nova Southeastern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $520

    Out of State: $820

    Credits to Graduate: 30

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $34,570

    Out-of-state: $34,570

    Retention Rate: 79%

    Admission Rate: 93%

    Students Enrolled: 20,888

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 29%

    Accreditation: SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges

    The NSU M.S. in General Psychology prepares students for advanced doctoral programs in psychology. No matter which industry you may want to work in, this master’s degree is an immense advantage in your arsenal. It covers all the prerequisite courses needed to transition into a doctoral program, as well as a comprehensive understanding of psychological theory and research.

    There is also a track in Applied Health Science. The rankings of NSU are consistent, which is why it’s a popular online master’s degree option for prospective students out there. The program offers two additional courses and the option of writing a thesis. There will be an emphasis on psychology theory and research.

    For admission, there is no requirement for GRE scores. Bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities are required, but not necessarily in psychology. Once you decide to enroll, you can consider start dates in January, May, and August.

  4. Other Rankings
    What is Southern New Hampshire University known for?

    Southern New Hampshire University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $627

    Out of State: $627

    Credits to Graduate: 36

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $15,380

    Out-of-state: $15,380

    Retention Rate: 68%

    Admission Rate: 92%

    Students Enrolled: 134,345

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 96%

    Accreditation:New England Commission of Higher Education

    Consider a master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University if you’re interested in working with diverse populations. The online MS in psychology allows you to specialize in industrial organizational psychology, child and development psychology, and forensic psychology. It’s best to choose one that matches your interests and career goals.

    The accredited online master’s program prepares you to contribute to the mental wellbeing of diverse populations in a variety of settings. After graduation, you can practice your psychology position both in the private and public sectors. By focusing on the real-world application of psychology, you will gain an understanding of cognitive psychology, ethics, social psychology and personality, and learning theory.

    This online master’s in psychology allows you to explore complementary fields while studying psychology. There is no GRE score requirement for admission. Nevertheless, you must submit official transcripts and an application online. Upon acceptance, you might need to take foundation courses if you do not have a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

  5. What is National University known for?

    National University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $442

    Out of State: $442

    Credits to Graduate: 30

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $13,320

    Out-of-state: $13,320

    Retention Rate: 100%

    Admission Rate: 55%

    Students Enrolled: 17,135

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 26%

    Accreditation:WASC Senior College and University Commission

    Consider applying to National University if you want a flexible master’s degree program. In National University’s MA in psychology program, you can concentrate on general psychology or gender and sexual fluidity.

    All the online core courses are handled by faculty who have years of experience in teaching in a one-course-per-month format designed for busy working adults to help them earn their degrees faster. They offer online graduate psychology programs that enable you to gain a deeper understanding of psychology while advancing your career.

    There are new courses starting every week, and applications are accepted throughout the year. Their admission requirements are easy to prepare, and you’ll be assisted by their admission staff along the way. Applications are accepted and reviewed year-round, so you can start classes any month of the year depending on the availability of courses at your chosen location.

    N.U. accepts master’s degree students based on their academic history at other institutions, their test scores, their interviews, their professional experience, and their educational goals.

  6. What is Saint Leo University known for?

    Saint Leo University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $620

    Out of State: $620

    Credits to Graduate: 36

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $26,050

    Out-of-state: $26,050

    Retention Rate: 72%

    Admission Rate: 73%

    Students Enrolled: 9,832

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 67%

    Accreditation: SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges

    There are plenty of opportunities for engaging learning both inside and outside of the classroom for psychology students at Saint Leo University. The MS in psychology program provides graduates with skills they will need to pursue careers in project management, business, marketing, data analysis, and market and survey research. Furthermore, you can use it as a stepping stone to pursue a PhD in psychology in order to be an instructor.

    A master’s in psychology online can also be useful for job promotions and complements other advanced psychology courses, such as MBAs, or doctoral programs, as well as preparing students for careers in psychology. SLU’s online learning experience allows students to tailor their studies to meet their individual needs, providing a well-rounded education. A number of national psychology conferences and research projects are open to online students, providing them with opportunities for hands-on learning as well as excellent academics.

  7. What is University of Louisiana at Monroe known for?

    University of Louisiana at Monroe’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $500

    Out of State: $500

    Credits to Graduate:30

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $9,082

    Out-of-state: $21,182

    Retention Rate: 69%

    Admission Rate: 78%

    Students Enrolled: 8,888

    Institution Type: Public

    Percent Online Enrollment: 26%

    Accreditation: SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Master of Psychology online program offers forensic psychology and psychometrics specializations, as well as a general degree option. One semester on campus is required for the psychometrics program. A thesis is not required of students, but it is recommended for those planning to earn a Ph.D. later.

    Psychology and criminal justice courses are both included in the forensic psychology program. While the university offers forensic psychology and psychometrics concentrations on campus, the general psychology concentration is only offered online. One of the best things about this online program is that they offer a single fee inclusive of other program fees.

  8. What is Lynn University known for?

    Lynn University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $650

    Out of State: $650

    Credits to Graduate: 30

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $40,900

    Out-of-state: $40,900

    Retention Rate: 72%

    Admission Rate: 83%

    Students Enrolled: 21,772

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 21%

    Accreditation: SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges

    The online Master of Science in Psychology is open to students coming from diverse backgrounds. Whether you want to switch careers or plan to land a promotion, this master’s degree will help you attain your goals.

    This online master of science in psychology program enables learners to pursue their academic goals without putting their careers on hold while they study. In as little as one year, you will be able to move forward with your career plans.

    The program was carefully crafted with student outcomes in mind and offers a range of electives to help you achieve your career goals. You can select either the General Track or the Industrial/Organizational Track. Their curriculum is reviewed annually for relevance and changes are made based on new and emerging psychology trends.

  9. What is Brescia University known for?

    Brescia University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $665

    Out of State: $665

    Credits to Graduate: 30

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $26,950

    Out-of-state: $26,950

    Retention Rate: 71%

    Admission Rate: 53%

    Students Enrolled: 986

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 36%

    Accreditation: SACSCOC-Southern Association of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges

    The Brescia University Master of Science in Clinical Psychology degree prepares students for a variety of health care careers. Individuals, groups, and families may receive direct and supportive services to diagnose, treat, and cope with emotional, mental, anxiety, or addiction disorders. As a student in this online master’s degree, you’ll be trained to perform these therapies and treatments.

    Upon completion of the MS in Clinical Psychology program, students are prepared to become licensed as psychological associates in the state of Kentucky by meeting the required educational and practicum requirements. In order to become licensed as a psychological practitioner in Kentucky, licensed psychological associates might need additional coursework at Brescia University.

    Bachelor’s degree graduates from Brescia University qualify for preferential admission. The MS in Clinical Psychology Program does not require a personal statement for students with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.50. The program can be completed online or on campus. The degree requirement also includes the completion of a thesis project. And the thesis option is recommended for students interested in applying to doctoral programs.

  10. Other Rankings
    What is Indiana Wesleyan University known for?

    Indiana Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Online | Self-Paced

    Average Cost per Credit

    In State: $490

    Out of State: $490

    Credits to Graduate: 30

    Average Tuition

    In-state: $10,098

    Out-of-state: $20,098

    Retention Rate: 69%

    Admission Rate: 59%

    Students Enrolled: 10,944

    Institution Type: Private

    Percent Online Enrollment: 88%

    Accreditation:Higher Learning Commission

    When it comes to understanding people and their motivations, the fully online Master of Arts in Psychology helps you lead a meaningful and purposeful life, and help others do the same. Become a competent and ethical professional who approaches psychology through specializing in Life Coaching, Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Positive Psychology.

    This program prepares you to be a life coach, an entrepreneur, a healthcare professional, a social worker, a non-profit worker, a counselor, a minister, or a psychologist in industrial-organizational settings. Despite not qualifying you for independent practice as a licensed psychologist or counselor, this program is a solid step towards pursuing a doctorate degree in psychology.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you apply for an online master’s of psychology?

Like any other degree, like an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, an online master’s program application process involves similar steps. Usually, the admission department would require you to prepare your official transcripts, test scores, resume, letters of recommendation, and personal statement.

However, these requirements would vary depending on the school you’re applying for. And in most cases, in order to become a master’s degree student, applicants must first earn an undergraduate degree. Also, as part of the graduate admissions process, many students take the GRE.

Graduate school applications require undergraduate transcripts. Academic performance patterns and prerequisite completions are assessed by institutions using this document. Personal essays and resumes are important parts of graduate applications. And in some cases, and in some cases, the school may request a personal interview.

How long does an online psychology master’s program take?

There is no standard length of time students need to complete an online psychology degree, whether a master’s or doctoral program. Each program has its own specifications, as well as the tracks students choose and the number of credits per semester.

But typically, like an in-person master’s degree, online master’s degree formats typically take two to three years to complete. However, this will depend on whether you’re a part-time or full-time online student.

Do employers trust online psychology master’s degree programs?

One thing that solidifies the reputation of online master’s degree programs among employers is that the online courses are taught by the same professors who teach the on-campus courses. A psychology online program typically lets you participate in practicum experiences near your home or participate in intensive programs with limited on-campus visits.

Online degrees are just as credible to prospective employers as those earned on college campuses. Also, as long as the institution is regionally accredited, most employers won’t have any prejudice toward online master’s degrees. After all, working while pursuing your education will be appreciated by your employer, especially if you don’t have to leave work.

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