Top Master's Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

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Updated March 19, 2024

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A master's in clinical psychology can lead to a fulfilling career as a clinical psychologist. This guide goes over the best clinical psychology master's programs in the United States.

Psychology.org 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.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Are you thinking of pursuing an online master of clinical psychology? Do you know what to look for in a program, the benefits of earning a clinical psychology master's degree online, and how to pay for it?

The answers to those questions and more can be found right here, along with our list of the top clinical psychology programs.

Featured Online Master's in Psychology Programs

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

The Best Master's Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology of 2024

Read our methodology to learn more about how we created this ranking.

#1 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

Harvard University

  • Cambridge, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Harvard University's clinical psychology degree is a five-year program that requires students to complete major projects during their first two years. They can finish the program with three years of doctoral-integrated work. 

The program includes a one-year clinical internship and a six-hour exam in the first two years. This research-focused program prepares students for assessment, intervention, and treatment regarding psychopathology. 

Each applicant must submit an online application with a $105 fee, unofficial transcripts, and at least three letters of recommendation. They also need to provide a statement of purpose and a personal statement. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$51,143
Out-of-state
$51,143
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$50,928
Out-of-state
$50,928
Retention Rate
96%
Acceptance Rate
4%
Students Enrolled
31,345
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

Northwestern University

  • Evanston, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners looking to pursue master's degrees within an academic medical center setting can apply to Northwestern University's clinical psychology master's program. This non-licensure program focuses on academics and research within clinical psychology but does not include clinical training. 

The curriculum requires 17 credit hours of coursework and includes up to eight electives. Major areas of study include forensics, health behavioral medicine, child psychology, and clinical neuropsychology. 

All candidates need to submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, an academic statement, and an optional personal statement.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$60,276
Out-of-state
$60,276
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$56,067
Out-of-state
$56,067
Retention Rate
99%
Acceptance Rate
7%
Students Enrolled
23,409
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New York University's clinical psychology master's program prepares students to apply for doctoral studies or research-focused careers after graduation. 

Each enrollee takes 15 required core credits. They can choose between two groups of recommended core courses or their own three core courses, but the school notes that core courses not in the two recommended course groups may not be as relevant to clinical psychology. 

The school requires each candidate to submit an online application with a $110 fee, a statement of academic purpose, a resume, and three letters of recommendation.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$53,770
Out-of-state
$53,770
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$35,982
Out-of-state
$35,982
Retention Rate
94%
Acceptance Rate
13%
Students Enrolled
58,226
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Central Florida's clinical psychology master's degree is a two-year program accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Students can choose from two tracks. The applied pre-licensure non-thesis pathway prepares learners to pursue licensure as mental health counselors through internships and practicums. The research/thesis track does not lead to licensure but prepares graduates to pursue doctoral studies or careers in clinical research. 

For admission, each candidate must possess a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 and send in an online application with a $31 fee, along with their official transcripts. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,916
Out-of-state
$25,759
Retention Rate
92%
Acceptance Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
70,310
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
9% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

Boston University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers interested in short-term programs can apply to Boston University's master's degree in psychology. The school's one-year program, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, features courses in clinical psychology, neuroscience, and cognition.

Undergraduate applicants should have a basic psychology background, including prior coursework related to research methods, statistics, and fundamentals of psychology. This program can prepare individuals to pursue doctoral studies or careers in research, management, or administration.

The university requires applicants to possess bachelor's degrees for admission. The application process requires a $95 fee. Each candidate must submit unofficial transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a writing sample, and a resume.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$58,560
Out-of-state
$58,560
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$58,560
Out-of-state
$58,560
Retention Rate
94%
Acceptance Rate
19%
Students Enrolled
36,104
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#6 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

Divine Mercy University

  • Sterling, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students interested in Christian-centered psychology programs can apply to Divine Mercy University's master's degree in clinical psychology. This 33-credit, non-licensure program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Learners can specialize in marriage and family studies, leadership, bioethics, human services counseling, or a pre-Ph.D. focus. The school also features an individualized track that allows students to choose electives. 

Each candidate must possess a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA. The application process includes a $55 fee. All applicants need to submit two academic or professional references, a resume, official transcripts, and an essay outlining their goal and statement of intent. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$20,828
Out-of-state
$20,828
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
397
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
84% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at San Diego

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Individuals seeking master's degrees and hands-on clinical training can apply to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at San Diego's master's in clinical mental health counseling. This CACREP-accredited program can be completed in two years of full-time enrollment or three years for part-time learners. 

The curriculum covers courses in diagnosing mental health conditions and development across the lifespan, along with a practicum and an internship. Feld training delivers 700 hours of on-site clinical experience.

For admission, each candidate must possess a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. They need to send in an online application with a $50 fee, a two-page essay, three letters of recommendation, and a resume. The admissions department also requires an interview. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,328
Out-of-state
$11,328
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$22,554
Out-of-state
$22,554
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
126
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
67% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#8 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

The Wright Institute

  • Berkeley, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The Wright Institute's clinical psychology program can lead to licensure in California as a professional clinical counselor or licensed marriage and family therapist. 

Enrollees can complete the coursework and practicum experience in two years, although it can take up to three years for students with full-time employment. The coursework includes 60 required units covering professional ethics, addiction counseling, trauma counseling, and clinical assessment.

Each candidate needs to hold a bachelor's degree. They must also submit an online application, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$37,650
Out-of-state
$37,650
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
517
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#9 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

CUNY City College

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers who wish to obtain a broad education in psychology can apply to CUNY City College's master's program in general psychology, which uses a seminar-based format with a cohort of 26 students. 

Enrollees can opt for a non-thesis program with 40 credits of intensive coursework or 31 credits of research-focused coursework and a thesis. All students must maintain minimum GPAs of 3.0. An applicant needs to possess a bachelor's degree and provide a personal statement, at least two letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts. The application process requires a $75 fee.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,930
Out-of-state
$14,880
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,090
Out-of-state
$20,520
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
15,031
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Top Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology 2024

DePaul University

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners who wish to attend an American Psychological Association-accredited clinical program can apply to DePaul University's master's in clinical psychology. This degree prepares graduates to pursue professional roles in research or the public sector. The course of study comprises 76 quarter hours of coursework, including four quarter hours of thesis work.

Students can choose a clinical-child or a clinical-community focus. They must complete a clinical practicum and a master's thesis on an approved topic. This degree program combines master's and Ph.D. studies for enrollees to graduate in as little as five years. 

For admission, each candidate must include a $40 application fee with their online application, along with GRE scores, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a curriculum vitae. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$41,361
Out-of-state
$41,361
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$17,951
Out-of-state
$17,951
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
21,670
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

What to Look For in a Master's Degree Program in Clinical Psychology

The top master's degree program in clinical psychology depends on a mix of factors, such as your career interests, program format, and your background. Other important things to consider are a program's accreditation status, admission requirements, and cost.

Primary Factors to Consider

  • Accreditation

    Accreditation is an important factor in determining the value of a program. A degree from an unaccredited school can have negative consequences in the long term. Most employers do not consider candidates from unaccredited programs, but attending an accredited program is also necessary for obtaining licensure.

    Before enrolling in a master's in clinical psychology program, check to ensure the institution offering the program is accredited. Institutions and schools are accredited by agencies approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, such as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  • Admission Requirements

    Admission requirements help you determine a school's selectiveness and how likely you are to be accepted. For example, many schools require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and recommendation letters.

  • Cost and Financial Aid

    The average graduate tuition was $20,513 for the 2021-22 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, you can pay less if you attend an in-state public school, which cost an average of $12,596 for that same year.

    Carefully consider financial aid options, especially if you plan to pursue a Ph.D. Also, think about potential travel expenses, book costs, and if you can work while studying.

  • Hybrid and Online Options

    You may take some or all of your courses in an online or hybrid format. This means more access to programs across the country, less time spent commuting, and more choice on where to live. However, you need to ensure you can find a local clinical placement for field hour requirements. It can be harder to get to know and network with students and staff in an online program.

The Benefits of Earning an Online Master's in Clinical Psychology

Most states require a doctorate in clinical psychology for licensure and practice, and a master's degree can prepare you for a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program. Online study allows you to attend class when convenient during the week. Some programs charge in-state tuition to online students regardless of residency.

A master's in clinical psychology can lead to positions that don't require a license. For example, some government jobs do not require licensing, and positions in areas like research, school psychology, and counseling may be open to graduates of master's programs. Other benefits of earning an online master's include:

How to Apply to a Master's Program in Clinical Psychology

Give yourself plenty of time when applying to your top master's in clinical psychology programs. Ask a trusted teacher or mentor to review your application to make sure that it reflects your strengths and abilities.

Most schools require or prefer a 3.0 or higher GPA and a bachelor's degree. An undergraduate degree in psychology is not typically required. You may need to submit GRE scores, though some schools require it only for students below a certain GPA level.

You must include your undergraduate transcript, though many schools accept an unofficial transcript for application and require the official copy only after acceptance, and at least two references. Schools have different procedures for sending reference letters, so be sure to contact the program's admissions office for more information.

How to Pay for a Master's in Clinical Psychology Program

Financial aid resources include federal loans and grants, public and private scholarships, and teaching or research assistantships and fellowships. Federal financial aid sources also include work-study.

While researching clinical psychology master's programs, check the financial aid sections of the schools' websites. Colleges and universities, along with psychology departments, often list school-based scholarships and provide links to private scholarship offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's Programs in Clinical Psychology

Where do mental health counselors work?

Mental health counselors may work in independent practices, counseling centers, hospitals or health systems, government agencies, or in community-based organizations.

What's the difference between an MA or MS in clinical psychology?

A master of arts (MA) in clinical psychology typically has a broader focus and emphasizes skills required for practicing psychology, while a master of science (MS) is more focused on research and methodology. If you want to teach or conduct research, an MS may be more valuable, while if you want to practice, an MA may be better.

How much do you make with a master's degree in psychology?

Your salary will depend on how you use your degree. For example, if you earn a doctorate and become a clinical psychologist, the average annual salary is $102,740. Alternatively, if you choose to become a counselor specializing in substance use, behavioral disorders, or mental health, the average annual salary is $48,520, although there can be significant salary differences within this field.

What can I do with a master's degree in clinical psychology?

Many who earn a master's degree in clinical psychology go on to earn a doctorate and licensure to become a clinical psychologist. You can also work as a therapist or counselor, mental health coach, in public health, or in the justice system.

Note: Page last reviewed on December 15, 2023. The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Psychology.org.

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