Online Psychology Degrees

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

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

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

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Online Psychology Degree Overview

Psychology Degrees at a Glance

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

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

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

Online Psychology Degrees


Online Associate’s Degree in Psychology

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


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


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


    Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant, Counseling Aide, and Child Care Provider


    $10 to $18 an hour


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

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Psychology, one of the most popular majors at American institutions, is an exciting discipline and applied science that explores the intricacies of human behavior. The domain consists of many specialties, such as social, clinical, experimental, and industrial-organizational psychology. Students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in psychology can acquire a strong understanding of human nature, mental processes, research methodologies, and research and writing techniques. This universal body of knowledge seamlessly transfers to occupations in diverse fields.

If you plan to pursue a career as a psychologist, you need to complete a Ph.D. in psychology or Psy.D. to meet state licensure requirements. But many students who pursue bachelor’s in psychology degrees do not plan to pursue doctorates, instead using their degrees to seek employment in careers as psychiatric technicians, career counselors, human resources administrators, or rehabilitation specialists.

PayScale notes that, based on the organization’s research of employers and compensation, someone who holds a bachelor’s in psychology often receives the most compensation in fields such as human resource management, operations management, project management, and marketing management.

Those who continue to graduate school to pursue master’s or doctoral degrees can expect good job prospects, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects a 14% growth in the job outlook for psychologists between 2016 and 2026, double the average rate for all occupations. The schools listed on this ranking can provide learners with affordable online options that suit both first-year students and working professionals interested in earning online psychology degrees.


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


    Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology


    Human Resources Manager, Sales Executive, and Health Educator


    $31,778 to $74,459 per year


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

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

Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Rankings

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

The University of Central Florida offers more than 200 degrees on 12 campuses in one of the nation's fastest-growing metro areas. Students interested in the school's top major can earn the 120-credit BS in psychology without leaving home. The degree allows enrollees to customize their degrees with one of six tracks: general, clinical, experimental, human factors, neuroscience, and industrial/organizational psychology.

Students examine topics such as biological principles and statistical methods, as well as three different subfields of psychology: cognitive, developmental, and social. Capstone projects allow enrollees to dig deeper into specific areas of interest, while faculty members encourage learners to conduct research and participate in fieldwork to apply their learning in real-world contexts.

A student who transfers an associate of arts can complete this online psychology degree in just two years, as admission requires an AA or for students to meet general education requirements.

2University of Florida - OnlineGainesville$$$$$341 Tigert Hall 300 SW 13th St
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-1202

At UF, students can join Gator Nation and complete affordable, high-quality programs respected by employers. The 120-credit BA in psychology prepares learners for graduate school and careers in diverse fields such as business, education, and healthcare.

Students must complete all general education requirements, 40-47 credits of psychology coursework, and courses in biological science to receive this degree. The curriculum of the online psychology degree includes courses in comparative, developmental, and abnormal psychology. Students complete up to six credits of individual work that may consist of community work, undergraduate research, or a senior thesis.

The school makes it easy to transfer credits, and with UF Online's virtual career fairs and the largest on-campus career fair in the Southeast, students receive many opportunities for potential placement with employers. Admission requirements for competitive transfer students include a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA and passing grades in prerequisite courses.

3Florida International UniversityMiami$$$$$11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-2000

As one of the top 100 research colleges in the nation, Florida International University manages a robust catalog of 190 degrees in disciplines like STEM and the humanities. The school's online BA in psychology opens doors to multiple careers, as students learn to understand human behavior through scientific research.

Students can begin the 120-credit curriculum with prerequisite courses providing an introduction to psychology, statistics, and human biology. Enrollees must also complete a three-course research sequence exploring psychology methods and analysis. Unlike some undergraduate programs, this BA gives learners experience in five areas of psychology: social, applied, developmental, experimental, and personality/abnormal.

To assure their success, FIU pairs each undergraduate with a success coach who gives one-on-one guidance. Admission to the online bachelor's degree in psychology requires SAT or ACT scores and school transcripts.

4University of UtahSalt Lake City$$$$$201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-7200

Founded in 1850, the University of Utah serves 31,000 students in programs delivered in classrooms with a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Known for its innovative programs, the U offers a research-based psychology degree for undergraduates. The 122-credit BS in psychology consists of a 53-credit major and general education requirements that students can complete at the U or transfer.

Enrollees receive comprehensive exposure to psychology through four of five available subfields: development, social, clinical, cognitive, and neuroscience. Some undergraduate programs do not provide students with exposure to the field of neuroscience, but at the U, students can acquire knowledge in one of four main areas in the field: cognitive neuropsychology, sensation and perception, neuropsychology of emotions and personality, or brain and behavior.

Students may complete the major on a full- or part-time basis. Admission to one of the nation's best online psychology degrees requires SAT or ACT scores and school transcripts. A transfer student should hold a minimum 2.6 GPA for consideration.

5Brandman UniversityIrvine$$$$$16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-9800

Brandman University, a school devoted to working professionals, operates a strong virtual college. The 120-credit BA in psychology offers a fully online or hybrid curriculum taught by scholar-practitioners with field experience.

All students must fulfill general education requirements, which some enrollees use to transfer into the online psychology degree. In the major, they learn how to apply psychological theories in real-world scenarios, examine psychological principles from a historical perspective, and receive an introduction to the research methodologies used in behavioral science research.

The degree allows each learner to choose a concentration in community, child, preclinical, gerontology, or industrial/organizational psychology. Originally designed to serve the Marine Corps, Brandman remains military-friendly by awarding a significant number of credits for military experience and offering one of the best online programs for veterans. All online students pay the same affordable tuition, regardless of residency. Admission requires at least 12 transferrable credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

6Regent UniversityVirginia Beach$$$$$1000 Regent University Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(757) 352-4127

Regent University, a top Christian college, enrolls 11,000 students in 135 programs administered online and on campus in Virginia Beach. The college offers a BS in psychology that blends psychological principles and methodologies with Christian values. The 120-credit program teaches students how to interpret scientific research and understand the effects of personality on human behavior. The curriculum covers the Old and New Testaments and general education such as biology, anatomy, and history.

Faculty members immerse students in psychological theories and their application in social, cognitive, abnormal, and developmental psychology. Learners can explore research methodologies in accordance with guidelines established by the American Psychological Association, while a capstone project examines the connections among psychology's many subfields and philosophical models.

Students may transfer up to 90 credits into this accredited online psychology degree. Regent awards credit for military experience, CLEP, and DANTES. Admission requires a high school diploma from each first-year student and school transcripts from transfer students.

7Regis UniversityDenver$$$$$3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(800) 388-23662111

Located amid the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Regis University offers students an education shaped by the school's Jesuit Catholic heritage. Regis offers a 120-credit BS in applied psychology emphasizing psychological theories applicable to students' personal and professional lives. The program's general education requirements include communication, English, religious studies, and the social sciences.

The major delves into foundational courses in lifespan development, psychology of personality, and abnormal psychology, all accepted as transferable credits. At the upper level, students analyze subjects such as the family, cognitive psychology, addictive behavior, and trauma and PTSD. The upper-level focus on positive psychology, health psychology, stress and well-being, and forgiveness help to develop the whole person, as a key tenet of the Jesuit educational tradition.

Students in the online psychology degree learn in small classrooms from award-winning faculty. They may transfer up to 87 credits into this degree. Admission requires a high school diploma or equivalent and a transcript evaluation for each transfer student.

8Northeastern University - Global NetworkBoston$$$$$360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2000

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University utilizes an experiential learning model to reinforce student learning and ignite a passion for discovery. The Boston-based school uses the Global Network to offer programs to students anywhere and at any time.

Northeastern's BS in psychology degree completion program trains learners in the psychological development and behavior theories applicable to many different careers. All students can fulfill the school's general education requirements covering subjects such as college writing, algebra, and biology.

In the major, students learn about human development, social and abnormal psychology, emotion, and motivation. They learn how behavioral scientists can use the scientific method to design and execute psychological investigations. With 15 elective credits, they can pursue particular areas of interest in psychology.

During a capstone, each student can apply their newly acquired research skills to independently investigate an area of interest, develop a report of their findings, and share it with peers. Admission to the online bachelor's degree in psychology requires a minimum 2.5 GPA on transferable credit.

9Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(800) 434-9595

Liberty University, a top Christian college, offers hundreds of programs through Liberty Online. Students interested in psychology enroll in the fully online, 120-credit BS in psychology — a degree they can typically complete in 3.5 years. The curriculum requires general education credits that many students commonly transfer. The core major credits of the online psychology degree provide foundational knowledge of psychology, human biology, developmental psychology, and statistics for the social sciences.

At the upper level, students examine social psychology, psychology of personality, and behavioral modification. Faculty members deliver the program using eight-week courses for accelerated degree completion. The transfer-friendly school allows learners to transfer up to 75% of the degree's requirements from prior college credit.

All students pay the same tuition regardless of residency, and military personnel receive steep tuition discounts. To help students save even more, Liberty offers free electronic textbooks for all undergraduate courses. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA from each transfer student.

10University of Massachusetts - AmherstAmherst$$$$$374 Whitmore Building
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-0111

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the state's flagship college, situated on a scenic 1,450-acre campus in Western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley. The school offers its BA in psychology with an applied psychology concentration through University Without Walls, UMass Amherst's unique academic department for nontraditional learners. UWW's format facilitates degree completion for learners with college credits and relevant work experience.

The curriculum of the online psychology degree covers topics such as abnormal psychology, substance abuse, child psychology and development, cognitive behavior, and family violence. Students may also design their own curriculums in applied psychology, applying related work and life experiences, along with up to 105 credits, to finish the degree faster. The degree prepares learners for careers in fields such as victim advocacy, counseling and administration, and social services.

Students may complete the degree entirely online or in a hybrid format to take advantage of the best of both worlds. Admission requires at least 12 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

11Oregon State UniversityCorvallis$$$$$1500 S.W. Jefferson
Corvallis, OR 97331
(541) 737-0123

Oregon State University ranks in the top 1% of colleges in the world and offers 200 programs on two campuses. Its e-campus serves distance learners interested in earning well-respected and affordable degrees. OSU offers both a 180-credit BA and BS in psychology in fully online and blended formats.

The curriculum examines topics such as cognition, abnormal psychology, behavior modification, and health psychology. In addition to psychological science, students can acquire skills in scientific methodology, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

All e-campus students may add a minor to their degrees to enhance their competencies and credentials. Enrollees who opt for a blended curriculum can also take classes at the new OSU Portland Center at Pioneer Square. OSU charges all e-campus students the same tuition regardless of residency, though hybrid learners pay more.

Students may transfer general education requirements to accelerate completion of their online psychology degrees. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED and a minimum 2.5 GPA for each transfer student.

12University of ArizonaTucson$$$$$1401 E University
Tucson, AZ 85721-0066
(520) 621-2211

Arizona Wildcats attend a college that existed long before the state. The school's evolution includes its history as a research powerhouse, a longstanding partnership with NASA, and a leader in the arts and sciences. Here, an aspiring Wildcat can earn an online BA in psychology from one of the country's top-ranked psychology departments. Faculty members immerse students in psychological theories applicable to real problems in all domains of society.

The degree offers a four-year plan for first-year students and a two-year plan for AZ Transfer Pathways, a program designed for in-state transfer students with associate degrees. Learners can complete or transfer their general education credits in subjects such as composition, math, and a second language. The major provides students with an introduction to psychology and allows them to explore social-personality science, cognitive neuroscience, and research methods.

Elective credits in the online bachelor's degree in psychology provide learners with the freedom to explore other areas in psychology. Admission requires a high school diploma or its equivalent and college transcripts from transfer students.

13Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk$$$$$5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

Old Dominion University, located in Virginia, manages a vast catalog that includes 120 undergraduate programs. ODU Online, a leader in distance education, offers many of those degrees in a virtual format. The university offers the BS in psychology as a degree completion option or a full program. To fulfill the 120-credit requirement, students can complete general education credits in areas such as literature, philosophy, and elementary statistics.

The major examines four areas: applied psychology, the biological bases and cognition, developmental changes, and personality and social processes. ODU's Monarchs receive access to peer mentoring and a subject-specific resource center. About 25% of the ODU student body is military-affiliated, ranking the school among the most military-friendly in the nation. ODU makes transferring easy, thanks to a guaranteed admission agreement between the university and schools in the Virginia Community College System.

Admission to the online psychology degree requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 for those looking to transfer and a high school diploma or equivalent plus SAT or ACT scores for a first-year student.

14Central Methodist UniversityFayette$$$$$411 Central Methodist Square
Fayette, MO 65248-1198
(660) 248-3391

Central Methodist University, a liberal arts college located in Missouri, offers distance learning options through the College of Graduate and Extended Studies (CGES). While about 1,000 students study on campus, more than 4,000 CGES students pursue programs on-campus and online.

The 120-credit BA in psychology gives learners a broad liberal arts education, preparing them for diverse career options. The BS in psychology's strong emphasis on analytic skills suits learners interested in pursuing a graduate degree in psychology.

The major for both the BA and BS examines general psychology, experimental psychology, and applied quantitative data analysis. Students also choose one course from four areas in psychology: biological; applied; counseling, abnormal, and personality; and developmental and social psychology.

Each student can complete an oral and written examination to exit either online bachelor's degree in psychology. Enrollees participate in extracurricular activities through the psychology club and Psi Chi. Admission to CMU requires a college preparatory program with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

15Concordia University - Saint PaulSaint Paul$$$$$1282 Concordia Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
(651) 641-8278

Concordia University St. Paul was established as a training ground for men entering the ministries of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Today, the coeducational college offers a distinctive catalog of online programs, such as the 120-credit BA in psychology. CSP designed the program for working professionals, providing a 44-credit, upper-level curriculum for this online psychology degree.

Faculty members use a rigorous curriculum to examine psychological concepts and their applications in real-world scenarios. These topics include abnormal psychology, lifespan development, and social psychology. A suite of electives provides learners with training in exciting areas such as forensic and sports psychology.

Each student can practice by applying these psychological theories during an internship at a relevant facility. Faculty members deliver the program using asynchronous seven-week courses to facilitate faster degree completion. Admission to the online bachelor's degree in psychology requires all college transcripts and a minimum 2.0 GPA on transferable credit.

16Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Saint Leo University enrolls 15,000 students, most of whom study at regional campuses across Florida and online. The 120-credit BA in psychology provides a flexible curriculum that students can customize with specializations. Enrollees complete 42 credits of general education as part of the program, while the psychology core focuses on research methods, an introduction to psychology, and current issues in psychology.

The program features four specializations: general, clinical/counseling, developmental counseling, and experimental psychology. Students receive hands-on field experience through internships at sites such as the Florida Mental Health Institute, the Harbor Behavioral Health Care Institute, and Boys and Girls Club. As part of the BA, students can conduct research independently or with faculty, presenting their findings at the American Psychological Association and Southeastern Psychological Association conferences.

Participants engage in extracurricular activity through student organizations such as Psi Chi and Pi Gamma Mu. Admission to the online psychology degree requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

17Washington State UniversityPullman$$$$$French Administration Building
Pullman, WA 99164-5910
(509) 335-3564

Founded in 1890, Washington State University is a top-tier college recognized for strong academic programs and high research activity. The WSU Global Campus suite of online degrees includes the BS in psychology, a program that allows students to explore psychological principles and scientific methods used in the field.

Requirements include general education coursework that many students satisfy by transferring their associate degrees. The major requires a four-course core that gives an introduction to psychology and explores experimental methods in psychology, statistics, and psychology as a science. Enrollees can choose courses in three subfields of psychology: neuroscience/cognition, clinical/counseling, and social motivational.

Students acquire hands-on experience through undergraduate research, peer tutoring, and roles as instructional teacher’s assistants. Online learners need not miss out on extracurricular activities, as the WSU Global Campus offers chapters of Psychology Club, Psi Chi, and the Psychology National Honor Society. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED; transfer students must provide transcripts.

18Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

With campuses across Florida and robust virtual programs, Nova Southeastern University expands learners' access to a comprehensive catalog of programs. The 120-credit BS in psychology exposes students to the major domains of psychology and how to integrate and apply this knowledge to real-world contexts. The major covers applied statistics, an introduction to psychology, theories in psychology, and psychological research methods.

During a required course on multicultural issues in psychology, faculty members introduce students to diverse attitudes about mental illness in different communities — and how those communities view one's desire to seek professional help. Students can use 18 credits to explore psychological areas such as sensation and perception; human development; and learning, memory, and perception. The use of electives allows enrollees to explore areas of psychology not outlined in the degree plan.

Students may transfer up to 90 credits into the online bachelor's degree in psychology. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED; transfer students must also supply transcripts.

19University of HoustonHouston$$$$$212 E. Cullen Building
Houston, TX 77204-2018
(713) 743-1000

The University of Houston provides students with the cutting-edge programs expected of a tier one research college. In addition to programs offered on campus in a sprawling metropolis, UH features degrees such as the 120-credit BS in psychology to virtual learners. This BS best suits enrollees who meet the school's general education requirements. The degree completion BS requires 36 credits of upper-level courses in psychology.

The curriculum includes an introduction to psychology and several areas such as psychological statistics, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and the psychology of personality. UH allows students to explore industrial-organizational psychology, a subfield of psychology focused on the use of psychology to optimize processes in training and motivating staff within organizations. Admission to the online psychology degree requires a minimum 2.0 GPA on transferrable credits.

20Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

Florida Institute of Technology, as one of the nation's top polytechnic schools, specializes in advancing science and technology. The fully online BA in applied psychology melds the liberal arts with the scientific knowledge of human behavior, as students can explore how to incorporate psychological principles to improve areas as diverse as health, business, and product design.

The core of the 121-credit degree examines topics such as social, experimental, and abnormal psychology. Students can use third- and fourth-year electives to pursue concentrations in clinical psychology, child advocacy, forensic psychology, and organizational psychology. Enrollees do not need to focus on just one concentration, as they can choose electives across the four to broaden their knowledge base.

Applicants to one of the nation's best online psychology degrees receive credit for CLEP, DANTES, and AP. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED. Florida Tech accepts transfer credits with a minimum C- grade.

21Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff$$$$$1900 S. Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4132
(928) 523-9011

Northern Arizona University manages one of the best online colleges in the nation, giving learners the option to earn degrees through traditional or competency-based formats. The 120-credit bachelor of psychology offers a traditional format that gives learners a firm foundation in psychological science. Students can complete general education in subjects such as English, math, and a foreign language.

The online psychology degree provides learners with an introduction to the field, the use of statistics, and research methods in psychology. Students can explore areas in the field, such as developmental, cross-cultural, and health psychology. They choose one of several options to culminate their degrees, including a supervised teaching experience or supervised field experience at an approved agency.

NAU's traditional online students choose from multiple start dates and pay per-credit tuition. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA (for transfer students with an associate degree) and a minimum 2.5 GPA on the Arizona General Education Curriculum.

22Dallas Baptist UniversityDallas$$$$$3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
(214) 333-7100

Dallas Baptist University offers a variety of educational programs in an environment that blends academics and faith. DBU offers a 120-credit bachelor of arts and sciences in psychology that suits working professionals. Students can complete math, kinesiology, history, and other subjects in the liberal arts.

The psychology major gives learners an overview of general psychology, the psychology of personality, human growth and development, and the research methods used in behavioral science.

A required course provides learners with an analysis of marriage and family life within a Christian framework. In another required course, faculty members examine major theories of counseling and psychotherapy. As one of the top military-friendly schools in the nation, DBU awards credits for ACE-approved military training. The school prides itself on affordability, with 82% of undergraduate students receiving institutional scholarships.

Admission to the online bachelor's degree in psychology requires a high school diploma or GED and transcripts from all colleges for transfer students.

23University of North DakotaGrand Forks$$$$$264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
(800) 225-5863

The University of North Dakota began distance education with correspondence courses in 1911. Today, UND is a leader in distance education with 120 online programs that include the 120-credit BA in psychology. Students may enroll in this program on a full- or part-time basis. They complete general education courses such as algebra, composition, or a foreign language. The major covers cognitive psychology, psychology of behavior, biological bases for behavior, and research methods in psychology.

UND allows each student in this online psychology degree to customize their program with a certificate in one of three areas: forensic psychology, behavioral health, or cyberpsychology. Enrollees can acquire practical experience through fieldwork or repeatable volunteer experience for up to eight credits.

They also acquire hands-on experience not always available to undergraduates through research projects and teaching assistantships. Students may also participate in activities offered by the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society and Student Psychological Association. Admission requires ACT or SAT scores from first-year students and at least 24 credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA for transfer students.

24University of Massachusetts - LowellLowell$$$$$1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
(978) 934-4000

More than 18,000 students enroll in programs at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a school that emphasizes hands-on learning and personalized attention. The continuing education division administers a comprehensive suite of online programs, such as the 120-credit BA in psychology. Students can complete the degree fully online or in a hybrid format. They acquire theoretical knowledge in the various subfields of psychology, including developmental, social, experimental, and clinical.

Enrollees can learn to apply this knowledge in various areas of everyday life. Juniors and seniors acquire hands-on experience through fieldwork at facilities engaged in psychological practice and research. They can also use up to 12 credits to research in specialized areas of interest.

Learners may accelerate degree completion by transferring up to 90 credits into this online bachelor's degree in psychology. Students study in classrooms with fewer than 20 students to foster personalized learning. Admission requires a high school diploma or equivalent and at least a C- grade on transferable credits.

25Charter Oak State CollegeNew Britain$$$$$55 Paul Manafort Drive
New Britain, CT 06053
(860) 515-3800

Charter Oak, Connecticut's online college, offers degree completion programs such as the BS in psychology. The degree builds learners' knowledge of human behavior across the lifespan. The program requires a minimum of 39 credits in the major; enrollees begin the program with an introduction to the field, statistics in psychology, history and systems in psychology, and research methods for behavioral sciences.

Students can delve deeper into psychological science with courses that examine cognitive, adolescent, social, and abnormal psychology. Enrollees must use 15 credits to complete one of four concentrations: lifespan, social/behavioral, general psychology, or cognition and learning. Each student can complete a capstone that requires a literature review, an in-depth paper outlining a hypothesis, research methodology, and conclusions.

Learners may transfer in general education and electives totaling up to 87 credits from accredited institutions. The school awards credit for CLEP and DSST. Admission to this online psychology degree requires all school transcripts.

Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

An online master’s in psychology provides an in-depth exploration of psychology through the study of human behavior, personality, and mental health. To become a licensed psychologist in the United States, one must hold at least a master’s degree and pass state and national exams.

The theoretical and practical information gained in an online master’s degree in psychology prepares graduates to complete licensure requirements and work with clients, patients, and other individuals in need. Online master’s degrees in psychology also provide learners with experiential learning opportunities. With a master’s degree in psychology, students qualify to continue on to doctoral study or earn additional certifications.

Most online master’s in psychology include concentrations in areas such as sports psychology, marriage and family counseling, and organizational psychology. Additional specializations like forensic psychology, substance abuse counseling, and school counseling allow you to branch out into professions in criminal justice, rehabilitation services, and education.

Regardless of the specialization, however, graduates enter a robust job market. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects school and career counselors to see 13% growth through 2026, while general psychologists should see a 14% increase in the same time period. Meanwhile, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors should all expect 23% growth through 2026.


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


    Master of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Psychology


    Clinical Psychologist, School Psychologist, and Forensic Psychologist




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

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

Psychology Master’s Degree Rankings

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Golden Gate University - San FranciscoSan Francisco$$$$$536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-7800

Established in 1901, GGU serves as California's fourth oldest private university. With a main campus in San Francisco, California and locations in Seattle, Silicon Valley, and online, GGU provides undergraduate and graduate programs that advance the careers of working professionals.

The 42-credit online master of arts in industrial-organizational psychology develops problem-solving and analytical skills relevant to the global marketplace. Students explore the fundamentals of organizational behavior, diversity within business organizations, and human resource technology while examining individual and group dynamics.

Core classes include international human resource management; organizational development, assessment, and intervention; tests and measurements; and consulting skills. Learners also complete elective classes in subjects like ethics in managing people at work, conflict resolution, and workforce trends. An optional internship in applied psychology allows students to work closely with an experienced practitioner. Graduates pursue careers as executive coaches, management consultants, or human resource specialists.

2Harvard UniversityCambridge$$$$$Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-1000

Harvard was established in 1638 and is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard provides undergraduate, graduate, professional, and extension programs to more than 36,000 learners.

Offered through Harvard's Extension School, the hybrid master of liberal arts in psychology program prepares graduates with a blend of core theoretical, practical, and research competencies. Students complete 12 courses, and at least three must be taken on campus. Learners begin the program with three required classes, then select five psychology courses and one seminar that align with their interests and goals. The program also includes coursework in statistical methods and elective options.

Students in Harvard's master's in psychology can choose from two tracks. The thesis track allows students to work one-on-one with thesis director and conduct research on an experiential or academic topic. The capstone track emphasizes work within the community, as students apply their theoretical knowledge to hands-on learning exercises.

3Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

Established in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1964, NSU now hosts learners at regional campuses throughout Florida and online. NSU provides more than 150 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, including a master of science in general psychology.

The 30-credit online master's in general psychology blends theory and research throughout coursework. This degree does not meet educational requirements for certification or licensure in Florida, rather students complete prerequisite to enter other psychology programs.

NSU's online master's in psychology includes 12 credits of foundational courses in cognitive psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and human growth and development. Learners also complete methodology coursework in individual evaluation and assessment, research design, and quantitative methods. Learners choose from concentration coursework in areas such as general psychology, applied health science, and diversity studies.

NSU's curriculum also allows learners to complete a thesis. The thesis option gives students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on an original research question while conducting in-depth research and analysis. All learners complete comprehensive examinations at the end of their program.

4The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los AngelesLos Angeles$$$$$617 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 627-2580

With locations across the United States and extensive online offerings, the Chicago School provides more than 20 degrees in psychology and the behavioral sciences. The Chicago School's practitioner model of learning emphasizes service and real-world training by placing students into underserved communities where they hone their own skills and make a positive contribution.

The Chicago School offers an online master's degree in psychology with concentrations in forensic psychology, public health, general studies, and social and community psychology. Additional specializations in organizational leadership, child and adolescent behavior, and international psychology allow students pursue their individual interests and goals throughout their coursework.

The online master's in psychology program includes 21 credits of foundational courses and nine credits of concentration coursework. Students also complete six credits of applied research. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions within social service, educational, and managerial settings through coursework such as community and environmental psychology, personality theories, and psychology of the lifespan. Students also benefit from cross-cultural immersion practices and personal introspection exercises.

5Lamar UniversityBeaumont$$$$$4400 MLK Blvd
Beaumont, TX 77705
(409) 880-7011

From its main campus in Beaumont, Texas, Lamar University offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded in 1923, LU once served as part of the Lamar University System but joined the Texas State University System in 1995.

LU's online master of education in clinical mental health prepares graduates to provide clinical counseling to clients and patients in a variety of settings. The 60 credit curriculum includes a residency and practicum or internship to develop students' counseling strategies and techniques.

Required classes include foundations of clinical mental health counseling, developmental guidance and counseling, abnormal human behavior, and research and program evaluation. Two residencies are required throughout the curriculum, which allows students to meet with instructors and classmates face-to-face during advising sessions, group projects, and professional development activities. Students also complete an internship or practicum; the former includes 120 clock hours of direct service and 180 indirect hours of service, while the latter incorporates 40 clock hours and 60 hours of direct and indirect service.

6Touro University WorldwideLos Alamitos$$$$$10601 Calle Lee #179
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
(818) 874-4115

As a member of the Touro College and University System, TUW is committed to the social justice, intellectual pursuits, and philanthropic duty of its Judaic foundations. TUW provides over 20 online undergraduate and graduate programs including a master of arts in psychology.

TUW's online master's in psychology emphasizes research methods, cognitive and social psychology, and learning theory and ethical practice. Students complete nine required courses and three classes in one of three concentration areas. The media psychology concentration focuses on 21st century psychological theories while the educational psychology specialization prepares learners to work in a variety of instructional settings. The health psychology concentration explores theories and practices of building healthy minds and bodies.

TUW's online master's in psychology does not lead to licensure but prepares learners to pursue continued study or a career in fields including criminal justice, communications, and business. The curriculum trains learners to understand, research, and assess consumer behaviors and motivations.

7University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia$$$$$3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-7326

Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to almost 26,000 learners. The school's main campus in west Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hosts 16 academic schools and colleges alongside 165 research centers and institutes.

Penn offers a hybrid master of applied positive psychology that encourages human and organizational success. As the first degree of this kind in the world, the master's in positive psychology emphasizes the teachings of Dr. Martin Seligman, innovator in the field, and continued research, theories, and strategies of positive psychology.

Penn's master of positive psychology includes nine courses offered in a cohort model. Students learning about the science and theories of positive psychology, then apply their learning to professional settings and intervention scenarios. During a summer capstone project, learners integrate degree content into a professional or research activity that aligns with their interests and goals.

Throughout the program, students complete 10 on-site visits, including an immersion week at the beginning of the degree. All on-campus requirements take place during the fall and spring semesters.

8Ball State UniversityMuncie$$$$$2000 University Ave
Muncie, IN 47306
(765) 289-1241

Established in 1918 in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State provides academic programs to roughly 21,000 learners through seven academic colleges. Named for its benefactors, the Ball brothers, Ball State offers two online master's degrees in psychology.

The 30-credit online master of arts in educational psychology can be completed in as little as 18 months. The 18-credit core includes classes in human learning and achievement motivation, and the psychology of human development. Coursework prepares students to explore concentration and specialization areas; for example, the remaining 12 credits can be completed in subfields such as gifted and talented populations, human development, neuropsychology, and applied behavior analysis.

The online master of science in quantitative psychology features 21 credits of core coursework and six credits from one or two concentration areas, such as quantitative statistical analysis or mixed methods. Learners also complete a thesis.

9University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles$$$$$University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 740-2311

Since opening its doors to 53 students in 1880, USC has grown to provide academic programs to more than 44,000 learners. Academic programs are offered through the university's more than 20 colleges, schools, and units, including an online master of science in applied psychology degree.

This 34-credit online master's in applied psychology can be completed in as little as 16 months, and features core coursework in human behavior, consumer psychology, organizational psychology, and research methods. The program also allows learners to pursue concentrations in consumer psychology or organizational psychology, with each culminating in a practicum. The consumer psychology specialization emphasizes marketing and the psychology of interactive media, while the organizational psychology concentration explores group dynamics and leadership, as well as strategic business relationships.

By blending business and psychology, USC's online master's in applied psychology prepares graduates for careers in employee relations, market research, career counseling, and social media communications. Practicing business and psychological professionals can also benefit from this program, which can lead to advancement within their current field.

10University of West AlabamaLivingston$$$$$Station One
Livingston, AL 35470
(205) 652-3400

Chartered in 1835, UWA underwent numerous changes before transitioning to an educational institution during the 1880s. UWA currently offers more than 50 online programs including a master of science in adult continuing education with an emphasis in counseling and psychology.

UWA's online master's in adult continuing education program requires 33 credits that students can complete in 12-24 months. The degree provides a broad understanding of the field and is ideal for students who do not seek professional licensure. UWA's program also provides a broader perspective on psychology to current counselors looking to enhance their own knowledge.

Students complete 12 credits of professional courses in techniques of counseling and educational research, educational statistics, and theories of personality. Basic concentration elective classes include courses in career development and counseling, social psychology, and systems theory. Applied concentration coursework explores topics such as the psychology of emotion, personality assessment, and psychopharmacology. Students can also complete an internship in counseling psychology.

11Medaille CollegeBuffalo$$$$$18 Agassiz Circle
Buffalo, NY 14214-2695
(716) 880-2000

Based in Buffalo, New York, Medaille also serves learners at locations in Rochester and online. Founded in 1875, Medaille received a charter from New York in 1937 and began offering online programs geared to working professionals in 2010.

Students can complete Medaille's 36-credit online master's in psychology in as few as 12 months. The curriculum grounds learners in psychological principles and practices that can directly apply to careers in business, education, health and recreation, and human services. Medaille also offers a specialization in sports psychology to build leadership skills for careers in sports management, sports psychology, and coaching. The sports psychology concentration emphasizes sports counseling and intervention, psychological factors in rehabilitation, and coaching and performance.

To apply to the online master's in psychology, learners submit a resume and an essay detailing personal and professional goals with a self-appraisal of qualifications for the profession. Applicants must also submit two professional references.

12National UniversitySan Diego$$$$$9388 Lightwave Ave
San Diego, CA 92123
(800) 628-8648

Founded in 1971, NU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs from its San Diego, California campus and online. NU serves as the flagship institution within the National University System.

NU's online master of arts in performance psychology explores theories, research, and techniques for enhancing human performance in sports, the fine arts, business, and education. Students learn to assess psychological factors that influence performance, to collect and analyze data related to performance, and to build counseling relationships with clients and athletes. The program prepares graduates to seek certification through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.

The 68-credit online master's in performance psychology includes core coursework in sport performance psychology, organizational behavior, performance consulting skills, and motor behavior. Students also take classes in performance psychology in alternative populations, counseling in performance psychology, and performance consulting skills. The program culminates with participation in fieldwork alongside a psychology practitioner.

13Pepperdine UniversityMalibu$$$$$24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90263
(310) 506-4000

Established under the auspices of George Pepperdine in 1937, Pepperdine incorporates Christian values and academic excellence throughout its undergraduate and graduate programs. Pepperdine offers more than 70 educational programs across five schools, including an online master of arts in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy.

The 62- to 68-credit online master's in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy prepares graduates to work with individuals, couples, and families in a clinical setting. Core coursework builds interpersonal and analytical skills through classes such as multicultural counseling, sexuality and intimacy, and treatment of substance abuse.

The online master's in clinical psychology curriculum culminates with a 700-hour practicum. The experience requires learners to complete case notes, apply advocacy practices, and participate in intervention exercises. The clinical hours meet the national licensure requirements for licensed professional clinical counselors and marriage and family therapists, although individual state requirements may vary.

14National Louis UniversityChicago$$$$$122 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(800) 443-5522

Based in Chicago, Illinois, NLU traces its roots to 1886. From seven locations in Illinois and Florida, NLU offers nearly 80 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 17 online degrees.

Students can complete NLU's 36-credit online master of arts in psychology in as few as 20 months. The curriculum blends required courses in social psychology and personality theory with core classes in abnormal psychology, research design, and psychological statistics and analysis. Students choose a concentration in general psychology, community psychology, and teaching of psychology — completing their degree with a comprehensive capstone course or thesis.

The general psychology specialization emphasizes career development in psychology, organizational leadership, and biological bases of behavior. The community psychology concentration focuses on community organizing, urban politics, and principles of community leadership while the teaching of psychology specialization includes classes in instructional design and teaching and learning with technology based practices.

15University of Houston - VictoriaVictoria$$$$$3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901
(877) 970-4848

UHV offers more 70 undergraduate and graduate programs from its main campus in Victoria, Texas, an extension center in Katy, and online. Founded in 1973, UHV boasts small class sizes and more than 4,000 learners.

UHV's online master of arts in counseling psychology prepares graduates to become licensed professional counselors in Texas. The 60 credit curriculum includes 21 credits of core courses in theories and issues of psychotherapy, advanced social psychology, and advanced research methods.

Specialization classes in topics including personality assessment, vocational psychology and career counseling, and crisis intervention allow students to explore topics that align with their interests and goals. The program also includes a counseling psychology practicum.

The 64-credit online master of arts in forensic psychology includes core, concentration, and practicum coursework. Learners can also take specialized classes in assessment for forensic psychology, addiction counseling, or ethics and practice of psychology. UHV offers an additional 63-credit online specialist in school psychology program for learners who seek licensure as a school psychology specialist.

16California Baptist UniversityRiverside$$$$$8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
(951) 689-5771

Founded by the California Southern Baptist Convention in 1950, CBU offers more than 10,000 learners undergraduate and graduate programs with Christ-centered values. CBU, based in Riverside, California, provides over 30 master's degrees, including a master of science in counseling psychology.

Students can complete the 62-credit online master's degree in counseling psychology in as few as 24 months. Graduates prepare for careers as marriage and family therapists or as professional clinical counselors.

Coursework in marriage and family counseling theory, techniques, and practices accompany foundational classes in professional ethics, human growth and development, and diversity issues in counseling. Learners also complete classes in human sexuality, psychopathology, and research methods, exploring Christian perspectives on professional counseling.

CBU's online master's in counseling psychology also includes classes on addictions counseling, aging and mental health, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect. The program offers a holistic curriculum on psychology across the lifespan in numerous clinical contexts.

17Arizona State University - SkysongScottsdale$$$$$1475 N Scottsdale Road - Ste 200
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
(480) 884-1860

Established almost three decades before Arizona achieved statehood, ASU opened its doors in 1886. ASU now offers undergraduate and graduate programs through more than 15 colleges and schools at campuses in Phoenix, Arizona, and locations in Scottsdale, Havasu, and online.

ASU's online master of science in psychology builds a working understanding of theory, research, and practice in the field. Students complete the 36 credit program in as few as 18 months. Required core classes in professional issues in psychology, quantitative analysis, and research methods accompany a culminating capstone course in general psychology. Learners can choose 24 credits of electives in areas such as legal psychology, health psychology, and behavior analysis to align with their personal and professional goals.

The online master's in psychology at ASU provides students with a foundation to pursue careers in education, social service, and management, or to continue to further graduate study. Applicants submit a statement of purpose, GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation for consideration.

18Tiffin UniversityTiffin$$$$$155 Miami Street
Tiffin, OH 44883
(800) 968-64466446

Located in Tiffin, Ohio, TU offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate programs on campus and online. Established in 1888, TU boasts an 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and holds accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

Students can complete the 37-credit online master of science in psychology in 18 months, while part-time learners can earn their master's in psychology online in 36 months. TU's curriculum emphasizes statistical procedures, research design and analysis, and professional issues in psychology. Students also explore the history and systems of psychology, theories of personality, and neuropsychology alongside subsets of the field such as social and cognitive psychology. The program concludes with a capstone research project.

TU's online master's in psychology focuses on scientific and experimental psychology rather than counseling and clinical aspects of the discipline. While it does not lead to licensure, the program prepares learners for continued graduate study and builds their understanding of the biological, social, and cognitive processes of human behavior applicable to business, education, and criminal justice careers.

19Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

As one of the oldest Catholic institution of higher learning in Florida, Saint Leo offers undergraduate and graduate programs from its main campus in Saint Leo, more than 35 regional centers, and online. Saint Leo incorporates the Benedictine tradition into its educational programs, emphasizing faith and spirituality alongside academic excellence.

The online master's in psychology at Saint Leo is offered as a cohort model. Students complete the 36-credit program with classes in the history and systems of psychology, diversity and ethics, and research methods while building advance knowledge of social psychology, learning and cognition, and lifespan development.

The program includes a capstone thesis during which learners apply degree content to a topic of interest. Learners demonstrate knowledge of psychology, research design and analysis, and ethical decision-making through an in-depth research project.

Saint Leo's online master's degree in psychology does not lead to licensure and contains no practicum, internship, or counseling experiences. The program prepares learners for careers as researchers; evaluators; and consultants in business, education, and related fields.

20Carlos Albizu University - MiamiMiami$$$$$2173 N.W. 99th Avenue
Miami, FL 33172-2209
(305) 593-1223

Founded by Carlos Albizu-Miranda, Albizu University sits on two campuses in San Juan Puerto Rico, and Miami, Florida. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, education, criminal justice, language, and human services, the school provides programs that meet the needs of professionals serving multicultural individuals and communities.

The school's online master of science in industrial and organizational psychology requires 48 credits. Students complete 42 credit hours of coursework alongside six credit hours of applied research and capstone project requirements. The curriculum trains students in theories, research, and practices of cultural competence that can apply to public and private industry settings, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Foundational courses include small group theory and process, attitude theory, and research methods. Core classes in personnel psychology, organizational psychology, and work motivation accompany practicum requirements and elective coursework. Students also complete a comprehensive examination at the end of the program.

Online Doctorate Degree in Psychology

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


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


    Research Psychology


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


    Highest 10% earned $114,290


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

Online Psychology Choose Your Career

Average Psychology Salaries


Counseling Psychologist

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

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

Industrial-Occupational Psychologist

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

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

Forensic Psychologist

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

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

Clinical Psychologist

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

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

School Psychologist

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

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

Online Psychology Degree in Action

Duane France Psychology

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

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

Why did you choose to pursue your degree online?

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

What were the advantages of taking online classes?

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

What were the challenges you faced taking psychology classes online?

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

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

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

Online Psychology Professional Requirements

Background Checks and Fingerprinting

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

Is it required?


How long will it take?

Varies by location and organization

Supervised Professional Experience (SPE)

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

Is it required?


How long will it take?

At least one year

Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (the EPPP)

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

Is it required?


How long will it take?

4.25 hours

Maintaining Certification

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

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

State Board requirements for maintaining certification are as follows:

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