Online Master's in Psychology Programs

Updated January 26, 2023

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Considering an online master's in psychology? Our guide will help you find the right program for your educational and career goals.

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?

Psychologist discusses something with female patient Credit: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

Thinking about earning a master's in psychology online? You may be wondering: Which program is best for me? What do I need to do to apply? What should I look for in a program?

Discover the top online psychology master's programs and how to make the best choice for your goals.

What to Look For in an Online Psychology Master's

When choosing an online master's in psychology program, you will want to consider the school and your goals. Some key factors include the program's academic reputation, admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and the online schedule and format.

Primary Factors to Consider

Accreditation

Whatever your goals, enrolling in an accredited school is crucial when looking for psychology master's programs online or on campus. Most professional licenses and employers require a diploma from an accredited program, and almost no accredited school will accept transfer credits from an unaccredited program.

The Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) both offer searchable directories of accredited programs.

Admission Requirements

Reviewing the graduate admission requirements tells you whether you are likely to be admitted and what the school values. Many master's in psychology online programs accept students with various undergraduate majors.

Most schools require or strongly prefer a 3.0 GPA, but work, volunteer experience or personal factors in your background or work experience may outweigh a borderline GPA. Talk to an admission counselor if you have questions.

Cost and Financial Aid

Many online psychology master's schedules accommodate working students, so you may be able to earn while you study. In addition to tuition and fees, you may have travel costs for fieldwork. Most financial aid, including loans, scholarships, and grants, does not distinguish between online and on-campus programs.

Hybrid and Online Options

While the curriculum is the same whether you earn an on-campus, hybrid, or online master's in psychology, the logistics are different. In a hybrid program, some classes are online while others are on campus. The proportions vary based on the program, but between one- and two-thirds of classes in a hybrid program are online. Some psychology master's online programs include on-campus components, such as labs or orientation.

Even for an entirely online psychology master's program, you must complete your clinical hours in person. When considering online programs, find out about local clinical placement options.

Practical Experience Requirements

On-campus, hybrid, and online psychology master's programs require fieldwork. During practicums, you mostly observe, but during internships, you will work with actual clients under close supervision from a licensed counselor or psychologist.

Schools may place students in practicums, or students may need to go through an application and selection process.

Featured Online Psychology Programs

How to Apply to an Online Psychology Master's

Once you've identified the online psychology master's programs that interest you, get ready to apply. Understand your strengths and how to maximize them in the application.

In addition to your academic credentials, online master's in psychology programs look for evidence of a strong ethical code and indicators that you will put your clients first.

Most online psychology master's programs require a bachelor's in psychology or a similar degree that includes certain prerequisites; a GPA of 3.0 or higher, at least two references, an application with an essay or personal statement, and a resume.

Highlighting evidence of community engagement through work or volunteer work is often a plus, along with demonstrating that you are respectful and inclusive of people of all backgrounds.

You will need to send your undergraduate transcript, but many programs accept an unofficial transcript with your application and the official one before you register.

Best Online Online Psychology Master's Programs

#1 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Regent University

  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking one of the best master's in psychology programs from a Christian perspective can enroll in the online master of science in psychology degree at Regent University. This science-based degree explores subject matter from academic, business, and healthcare perspectives. 

Online learners complete 39 credit hours in courses, such as contemporary psychology, biological bases of behavior, and life span psychology. Students can choose from specialized concentrations, including addictions, industrial-organizational psychology, and doctoral preparation. Course sessions begin eight times per year, offering ample opportunities for students to start the program. 

Prospective students must submit an online application, admissions questionnaire, and unofficial transcripts. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,220
Out-of-state
$17,220
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
10,483
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 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Divine Mercy University

  • Sterling, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a Christian-based, online master's degree in psychology can apply to the master of science in psychology program, a non-licensure route, at Divine Mercy University. This 33-credit curriculum features coursework in marriage and family studies, leadership, human services counseling, or pre-Ph.D. studies. 

Students can complete coursework in 16-30 months. Learners need a 3.0 GPA to finish the degree in 16 months. 

Candidates need an undergraduate degree from a U.S. Department of Education-accredited university, a minimum GPA of 2.5, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. 

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
392
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
82% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

University of Louisiana at Monroe

  • Monroe, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an online master's degree in psychology. This 36-credit curriculum is presented in eight-week semesters, covering 2-3 courses each session. 

Specialized concentrations include forensic psychology and psychometrics, both offered online. However, the psychometrics concentration requires one in-person semester. Students are not obligated to complete a thesis unless they wish to move forward with a Ph.D. program. 

Candidates must have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited school, with a GPA of at least 3.0. ULM also requires prospective students to have completed nine credit hours of psychology, one-third of those in statistics. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,788
Out-of-state
$17,888
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 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Palo Alto University

  • Palo Alto, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Palo Alto University offers one of the best master's in counseling degrees online. The program allows students to choose from a nine-quarter degree completion option or a more comfortably-paced 11-quarter format. 

This Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs-accredited program includes specializations in clinical mental health and marriage, family, and child counseling. PAU's emphasis on multiculturalism prepares students for licensure and to serve diverse communities, following at least 700 hours of fieldwork through an internship. 

Candidates need a regionally-accredited undergraduate degree for program consideration. PAU also requires an online application, official transcripts, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,627
Out-of-state
$17,627
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,163
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#5 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Northcentral University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

Northcentral University offers an online, regionally accredited master of arts in psychology program, not for licensure, that provides a highly flexible learning experience. This 30-credit-hour degree program typically takes students 18 months to complete and offers start dates every Monday. 

The curriculum's focus on critical thinking and problem-solving in a psychological context prepares students for various careers, from research to project coordination. Degree specializations include gender and sexual fluidity and general psychology. 

Candidates must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited school, complete an online application, and submit official transcripts.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,064
Out-of-state
$11,064
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,471
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#6 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Arizona State University Digital Immersion

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online

Students seeking a contemporary online graduate school experience can enroll in the online master of science in psychology program at Arizona State University. ASU offers coursework in advanced social psychology and professional issues in psychology, reflecting relevant social subjects that are applicable to careers in research, nonprofits, or human resources. 

ASU's 36-credit-hour curriculum features 12 courses that take just over seven weeks to complete. 

Candidates need at least a 3.0 GPA during the last half of their undergraduate program, official transcripts, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Proof of fulfilled psychology-related coursework, as well as a prerequisite of statistics or research methods, is required for regular program admission.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,710
Out-of-state
$10,820
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
53,993
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Adler University

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking a flexible, online or on-campus counseling degree can enroll in Adler University's master of arts in clinical mental health counseling program. Students can complete their education in 2-4 years, ready to provide culturally responsive services. 

Class options include on-campus options, weekends, a part online hybrid choice, and an online format, as well as in-person residencies in Chicago. AU also features dual degrees, allowing students to simultaneously complete coursework within two fields. Courses, such as animal assisted therapy and contemporary issues in cultural sport psychology demonstrate AU's dedication to diversity. 

Applicants need a regionally accredited undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Au also requires an application, an interview, a statement of intent, a resume, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,726
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Nova Southeastern University

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

Degree-seekers who want an online, non-licensure psychology degree can enroll in Nova Southeastern University's master of science in general psychology program. The 30-credit general curriculum prepares students for doctoral studies through a master's thesis option. Students can also choose the applied health science concentration, focusing on courses including psychological aspects of treating disease and interviewing techniques. 

NSU's program begins three times per year, with students completing seven base courses and three courses within their chosen specifications. Learners can write a master's thesis in lieu of two classes. 

Candidates require a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA in the second half. NSU also requests an online application, a 500-word essay outlining the candidate's interest in psychology, and two letters of recommendation.

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,370
Out-of-state
$32,370
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

#9 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Lynn University

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

Students seeking an online degree that emphasizes guidance and management related to organizations can enroll in Lynn University's master of science in psychology program. In addition to a general track, LU offers an industrial organization concentration that includes courses, such as psychological interventions for organizational change. 

LU's flexible 37-credit curriculum, beginning three times per year, permits students to complete coursework on a full- or part-time schedule. Full-time students can take two classes per term, allowing them to earn their degree in one year. 

Applicants need an accredited undergraduate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. However, LU encourages candidates who demonstrate overall potential to apply. Candidates should submit an application, a 500-word personal statement, official transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and resume. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$37,600
Out-of-state
$37,600
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

#10 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

  • Marion, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Indiana Wesleyan University offers one of the best master's in psychology programs online, with a faith-based curriculum. This non-licensure program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and prepares students for the application of specialized studies, or for doctoral work. 

IWU offers concentrations in life coaching and positive psychology, as well as industrial and organizational psychology. Each track includes six base courses and four specialization courses to complete the 30-credit curriculum, typically in one year. Biblical, ethical, traditional, and positive psychological principles are integrated into IWU's program.

Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. Students of all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply, as course prerequisites are not required.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,871
Out-of-state
$8,871
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

Frequently Asked Questions

Are online psychology degrees respected?

Whether you earn your psychology master's online or on campus, you earn the same diploma. The level of respect for an online master's in psychology depends on the school's accreditation and its academic reputation, not the program's format.

What can you do with an online master's in psychology?

You can continue your education with a doctorate and become a licensed psychologist or use your master's to work as a counselor or in an applied psychology field such as human resources, management, and marketing.

How long is a master's in psychology?

Whether you earn your master's in psychology online or on campus, a master's degree can take 2-4 years, depending on the program's pace and whether you enroll part time or full time.


Page last reviewed October 27, 2022. This page's information — not including school descriptions — was reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Psychology.org.

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