It’s pretty well known that you can’t do much with a bachelor’s in psychology – except get a master’s in psychology. Fortunately, it’s one of the most common master’s degrees offered online, with many of the most reputable, trusted institutions in the US offering fully online master’s programs for psychology. These online masters of psychology degree options allow students to choose a specialty, such as industrial and organizational, experimental, or forensic psychology, or to complete their degree in an accelerated time frame.

With so many options available for online masters programs in psychology, those with a master’s in psychology online degree may find they have job security and can easily switch jobs. Additionally, a master’s degree in psychology online gives individuals a high job outlook because jobs for online masters of psychology degree are always in demand. Plus, some positions with this degree can earn a person an average of $90,000.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Masters Programs for Psychology

To rank the best online psychology master’s degree programs, Best Master’s Programs is primarily concerned with pointing students to programs that will have a real, positive impact on their careers. That’s why our ranking features only accredited institutions, ranked according to practical factors: Cost, National Reputation, Salary Expectation, and Student Satisfaction. Data comes from U.S. News & World Report, Niche, IPEDS, and College Scorecard.

1. University of Southern California

When you are looking for the best online master’s programs for psychology, the University of Southern California offers an MS in Applied Psychology that may help with your goals. The online degree program focuses on the intersection between research, theory, and practical application of psychological studies in a clinical setting. Students are able to develop skills that help them in a wide variety of careers and industries.

The University of Southern California stands apart by providing a diverse program. Students are able to gain knowledge by interacting with peers and professors that have different backgrounds and experiences. That allows students to develop a strong foundation that ensures they understand and recognize the ways that differences may impact thought processes and psychological theories.

Highlight: The University of Southern California offers academic and career advice to students in the psychology program.

Degree: MS in Applied Psychology

2. Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers one of the best online psychology masters degree programs for students who want to advance in their careers or work in psychology. The MS in Psychology from the university focuses on psychological theory and research as it applies to human behavior and cognition. Students gain a fundamental understanding of the theories of psychology and the potential challenges that may arise due to mental health conditions or related complications in life.

The way Arizona State University stands out from other online programs in psychology is the accelerated pace of the courses. Each class is 7.5 weeks long, which means students are able to complete their course material at a fast pace. When students take full-time courses, they can finish a degree in 18 months. Students can also take part-time courses if they want to work at a slower pace or have obligations that limit their time for studies.

Highlight: Arizona State University is ranked as the top university in the U.S. for innovation in their online courses.

Degree: MS in Psychology

3. George Mason University

George Mason University offers one of the best online masters degree in psychology programs for students who want to focus on a specialized area of psychology. George Mason’s MPS in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology focuses on research-backed data and analytics as it applies to business and human resources. The degree program teaches students the appropriate methods to foster innovation among employees in a business to help with long-term growth and development.

The way George Mason University stands out is the focus on psychology as it applies to organizations and businesses. It gives students a unique perspective on the way psychology may apply in different industries and prepares them to take on challenges in a corporate environment. It also focuses on communication with clients to further assist students with their careers.

Highlight: George Mason University offers financial aid to online students and gives students life-long access to career services through the university.

Degree: MPS in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology

4. Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology offers an MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology online that prepares students for a career in a corporate or business setting. The online degree program emphasizes the application of psychology to the mental health and well-being of people in organizations with the goal of enhancing employee performance. It helps a student prepare for the process of assessing people for job placements, effective training, and measuring performance.

Missouri University of Science and Technology differs from other programs by offering a thesis option as well as non-thesis options for student education. Students who choose to focus on non-thesis options for their degrees can select from two concentrations: Statistical Methods in Psychology and Applied Workplace Psychology. The flexibility allows students to focus on a degree program that works with their long-term goals for a career.

Highlight: Missouri University of Science and Technology works with active-duty military and veterans to help them through the process of completing a degree. It is a military-friendly university.

Degree: MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

5. Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global offers one of the best online masters programs for psychology for students who want to gain specialized skills in psychology. The MS in Psychology from Purdue Global offers five concentrations: forensic psychology, general psychology, addictions, applied behavioral analysis, and industrial and organizational psychology. Students are able to select the concentration that fits with their career goals and plans for their futures.

Purdue University Global stands apart from other programs by focusing on the application of contemporary theories of psychology in the modern environment. It recognizes that the application of theory is not always simple and that modern technology may adjust or change the way students interact with others. The program takes the time to teach students how to apply theories and research to different situations by providing a strong foundation and then allowing students to specialize in a specific field.

Highlight: Purdue University Global offers multiple start-dates throughout the year, so students can start working on a degree when it fits their schedules.

Degree: MS in Psychology

6. Ball State University

Ball State University offers two online degree programs in psychology. Students can study the master of arts in educational psychology or the master of science in quantitative psychology. The educational psychology degree focuses on teaching educators and leaders in schools about the application of psychological theories and research as it applies to the classroom environment and student learning. The quantitative psychology degree program focuses on statistical data, analysis, and measurements that play a critical role in psychology as a science.

Ball State University stands apart by offering specialized fields of study that give students a clear path for their careers. Since it offers two distinct degree programs, it allows students to focus on the area of psychology that fits with their goals. That flexibility ensures that students are able to accomplish their goals and gives them a unique perspective into the application of psychology in a real-world environment.

Highlight: Ball State University is CAEP accredited and offers the psychology programs as part of the school’s Teachers College, which is nationally recognized for excellence in education.

Degree: MA in Educational Psychology or MS in Quantitative Psychology

7. Union College

Union College offers one of the best online masters degree in psychology programs for students who want to pursue a higher level of education. The Union College online MA in General Psychology is a fully online program that focuses on developing a student’s fundamental knowledge of psychology and the practical applications of psychological theories. It is specifically designed for students who plan to advance in a career or who are planning to continue into a doctoral program.

Union College differs from other programs by focusing on integrative research-based courses that prepare students for the challenges of research in psychology. It specifically focuses on ensuring that students are able to understand the research and think critically about the ways research may change current practices in psychology.

Highlight: Union College offers financial aid to students in a master’s degree program.

Degree: MA in General Psychology

8. Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University has one of the best online psychology masters degree programs for students who want to improve their knowledge of human behavior and psychological practice. The online MA in Psychology degree program focuses on the application of psychological theories and focuses on giving students an education with a clinical framework. It prepares students to work with a psychologist or to pursue a higher level of education and obtain a doctorate.

Pepperdine University sets a clear path for education with a focus on fundamental studies before moving into core courses and elective courses. That focus on building a strong foundation helps students develop their skills and understand the basics before they start working on more advanced studies. It gives students the ability to recognize psychological theories and the way a theory applies to different aspects of a career.

Highlight: Pepperdine University allows students to complete their degree in 18 to 24 months.

Degree: MA in Psychology

9. LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University offers an online MA in Psychology that prepares students for the challenges of working in a fast-paced environment. The degree program takes a holistic approach to psychology and ensures that students recognize the potential for multiple factors in a person’s life to contribute to the challenges they may face with mental health or the circumstances of their life.

A key way LeTourneau University stands out is the focus on interactive education. The online degree program has an interactive aspect that helps students develop useful communication skills they can apply to their careers. Students are also able to participate in a practicum to gain experience in a counseling setting that prepares them to work as a counselor or to work in a clinical setting while pursuing a doctoral degree.

Highlight: LeTourneau University takes a Christian approach to psychology and counseling.

Degree: MA in Psychology

10. Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University offers an MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology that prepares students for a career in a corporate or business environment. It teaches students to assess employees and develop effective training solutions to help with long-term goals and improve productivity. It also teaches students to handle internal conflict or problems that may arise when working in a large corporate environment. Students gain the skills they need to improve the workplace and productivity as it applies to organizations and businesses.

Golden Gate University differs from other programs by providing students with a strong foundation in the skills they need to start a career or to pursue a doctoral degree. The online and hybrid online programs give students a flexible solution to their studies that allows them to pursue a degree when they are working. The program ensures that students are able to focus on their personal goals without worrying about their obligations or responsibilities.

Highlight: The average class size is 14 students and 95 percent of the students in the master of psychology classes are 25 years old or older at Golden Gate University.

Degree: MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

11. Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University offers an MS in General Psychology online that helps students accomplish their goals. The online degree program focuses on building a strong foundation in psychological research and theory. It prepares students to work in diverse and culturally sensitive environments, as well as traditional placements for psychology.

Nova Southeastern University emphasizes the importance of cultural sensitivity and interpersonal skills as it applies to psychology. That ensures that students are ready to handle the challenges they may face when working in schools or other areas that may have diverse groups and individuals. It also prepares students to understand the research in psychology and recognize how it may apply to different situations.

Highlight: Nova Southeastern University focuses on ensuring students have the prerequisite education to pursue a doctoral degree if they want to work in a clinical setting as a psychologist.

Degree: MS in General Psychology

12. University of Louisiana at Monroe

The MS in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe is an excellent online degree program for students who want to obtain a higher level of education. The flexible degree program allows students to work at their own pace and focus on accomplishing their goals when learning appropriate skills for their degrees. It allows students to work around complicated schedules or obligations that may limit their time.

The way the University of Louisiana at Monroe stands out from other programs is the focus on forensic psychology. The forensic psychology track in the school prepares students to handle investigations and related challenges. It also teaches students about criminal law and the specific challenges that may arise in different demographic groups. Students will have the ability to work with law enforcement after completing a psychology degree from the university.

Highlight: The University of Louisiana at Monroe helps students identify appropriate loans or grants that may apply to their online degree in psychology after students complete a FAFSA.

Degree: MS in Psychology

13. Grand Canyon University

The MS in Psychology from Grand Canyon University focuses on general psychology studies and provides students with the fundamental knowledge they need to pursue their goals. The program is a non-thesis degree that emphasizes the improvement of skills and knowledge to help students advance in a career. It is particularly helpful to teachers, practitioners, and researchers who may apply the skills to their careers and job responsibilities.

Grand Canyon University focuses on providing a flexible solution to address contemporary challenges to education. It allows students to take classes online or to take evening classes on-campus. The online courses are eight-weeks long and offer an accelerated solution to help students complete their degrees at a fast pace. The degree program also addresses the ethical challenges that may arise in a modern environment and prepares students to work with diverse groups in business, schools, or other situations.

Highlight: Grand Canyon University allows students to transfer up to 12 credits from other accredited universities to complete the psychology degree at a faster pace.

Degree: MS in Psychology: General

14. California Baptist University

When it comes to the best online masters programs for psychology, California Baptist University has a good option for students who want to work in a clinical setting. The MS in Counseling Psychology program prepares students to work in family therapy, marriage therapy, or related fields with an emphasis on counseling and clinical psychology. The degree program focuses on building a strong foundation in psychological theories as they apply to counseling others.

California Baptist University is a Christian-focused school, so the online psychology degree emphasizes Christian values. Students learn psychology from the framework of Christian values and principles, so it prepares students to work at a marriage counselor or a family therapist by emphasizing relationships. Students will have the ability to work in a clinical environment and counsel others who have concerns about a relationship.

Highlight: California Baptist University is WASC-accredited and meets the standards of the accrediting association.

Degree: MS in Counseling Psychology

15. National Louis University

National Louis University is one of the best online psychology masters degree programs for students who want to study industrial and organizational psychology. National Louis’ MS in Industrial-Organizational psychology focuses on the practical application of psychological theories as it applies to the workplace. It teaches students about human relations and methods of training that may improve productivity.

National Louis University emphasizes the use of psychology to help individuals find the best fit for their careers in a corporation or business. It prepares students to recognize the ways that others may fit into an organization and the ways that conflict may arise. It also teaches students different ways to apply psychology to organizations for improvements that help with productivity and engagement.

Highlight: National Louis University graduates are known for making a difference and the school is among the top ten for alumni who make a difference, according to Money Magazine.

Degree: MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

16. Liberty University

Liberty University offers one of the best online masters degree in psychology programs for students who want to know how to apply psychological theories to the real world. Liberty’s online MA in Applied Psychology focuses on teaching students how to navigate conflict and improve relations within organizations or groups to address problems in a real-world environment. The online program prepares students for the challenges associated with actively working to resolve conflict and improve relationships.

Liberty University stands out by focusing on applied psychology as it relates to a Christian worldview. It uses a Christian perspective to evaluate conflict resolution and emphasizes Biblical views. It also recognizes that using psychological theories in a compassionate and empathetic manner plays a critical role in conflict resolution and actively assisting others, so it strives to emphasize the role of empathy in psychology.

Highlight: Liberty University offers accelerated eight-week courses and allows students to transfer credits into the program to complete the degree early.

Degree: MA in Applied Psychology

17. McNeese State University

The MA in Psychology from McNeese State University is one of the best online masters programs for psychology. The degree program offers three different concentrations for students who are studying psychology: applied behavior analysis, general or experimental psychology, and counseling psychology. Students are able to select a concentration that fits their specific goals for a career and gain the skills they need to work in a specialized field of psychology.

McNeese State University works with students to help them find the right career for their goals. Faculty at the school help students in the online program evaluate their options and select the concentration that is best suited for their goals. Students who want to work in a clinical setting will have the qualifications to seek a license for counseling after finishing their degree. Students in the other two concentrations are also able to focus on specific aspects of psychology in different careers.

Highlight: McNeese State University requires students to complete an internship or a thesis to graduate.

Degree: MA in Psychology

18. Angelo State University

The MS in Applied Psychology from Angelo State University prepares students to work in a variety of fields and industries. It strives to teach students the practical application of psychology, so they can work at making improvements in their local communities and areas. Students learn measures to think critically about different situations to break down the details and ensure that the information is easy to understand by large groups.

Angelo State University differs from other programs by helping students recognize the ways psychology may apply to human services. It emphasizes human services as part of the degree program and ensures that students are able to work in a human services career when they finish their degrees. They can also work in other fields that may use psychology in a real-world setting.

Highlight: Angelo State University does not require students to have an undergraduate degree in psychology to take the applied psychology program at the masters level.

Degree: MS in Applied Psychology

19. Regent University

The MS in Psychology from Regent University prepares students to work in a variety of fields and industries. The degree program prepares students to take on different specializations by providing a strong foundation in core principles of psychology before moving into more specialized fields. Students are able to choose from six concentrations that give them a specialized focus for their career goals.

Regent University focuses on teaching students about psychology as it applies to a Christian perspective. Students will learn about the way Biblical views apply to psychology in different fields and industries. The concentrations range from Marriage and Family to Addictions and Cyberpsychology, so students can recognize the different applications of their skills in various settings and environments.

Highlight: Regent Universities is nationally recognized for its concentration in addictions.

Degree: MS in Psychology

20. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers one of the best online psychology masters degree programs. The SNHU online MS in Psychology recognizes that the rapid change to a global world environment is impacting individuals and communities. It strives to help students recognize the ways that increased globalization combined with modern technological advances and greater interaction with different cultures may impact the mind and well-being of individuals.

The way Southern New Hampshire University stands out from other programs is the emphasis on using psychology to address conflict or complications that arise in organizations, businesses, or communities. It encourages students to evaluate and analyze research so they are able to fully comprehend the way new technology, changing social environments, and increased globalization may impact communities.

Highlight: Southern New Hampshire University offers three concentrations in psychology for students who want to gain specialized skills.

Degree: MS in Psychology

21. Saint Leo University

When you are looking for a degree in psychology online, the MS in Psychology from Saint Leo University is a good option for your goals. The degree program emphasizes a broad understanding of psychology and recognizes that students need a strong foundation in psychology theories to apply the theories in their careers. The degree program emphasizes a comprehensive understanding of human behavior as it applies to an increasingly global environment.

Saint Leo University stands apart from other programs by fostering respect for ethics and critical thinking. It emphasizes the importance of ethical decision-making processes and encourages students to learn effective problem-solving. It also recognizes that students may face challenges when working in diverse settings due to conflict that may arise. The program teaches students effective ways to resolve conflict and address problems associated with clashing cultural ideals.

Highlight: Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Degree: MS in Psychology

22. Indiana Tech

Indiana Tech offers an MS in Psychology that is one of the best online options for students who want to obtain their master’s degree. The program focuses on developing a strong foundation on psychology principles and theories before teaching students the methods of applying theories in their jobs and careers. It ensures that students fully understand the basics they need to work in different environments.

Indiana Tech differs from other programs by encouraging students to engage with peers and faculty. The goal of interaction through the online system is to help students learn respectful interactions with others. It gives students diverse perspectives into various topics, which helps them gain an understanding of how diversity may impact the work environment.

Highlight: Indiana Tech’s online psychology program is designed around the needs of working adults.

Degree: MS in Psychology

23. Tiffin University

The online MS in Psychology from Tiffin University prepares students for a rigorous career in psychology. The degree program takes an interdisciplinary approach to psychology to ensure that students are prepared for the challenges they may face when working in a modern environment. Students can expect to explore the ways that science, society, and emotion interact to impact thought processes and actions.

Tiffin University stands out by focusing on the research aspects of psychology. The degree program emphasizes the importance of following the scientific method to evaluate and maintain consistent results. Students learn to read and understand research results when working on their degree program to ensure that they are prepared to find results in their own studies.

Highlight: Tiffin University accepts transfer credits from students who have attended an accredited program.

Degree: MS in Psychology

24. Divine Mercy University

The online MS in Psychology from Divine Mercy University prepares students for the challenges they face when working in psychology. The degree program emphasizes communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills to ensure that students are able to assist others in their careers. Students can expect to build on their fundamental understanding of psychology and improve their abilities when they are working on a degree program.

Divine Mercy University takes a Catholic Christian approach to the study of psychology. Students will learn about ethical standards and Biblical principles as it applies to psychology and the study of the mind. The program helps students recognize the challenges that may arise when it relates to human dignity and ensures that students have the skill to handle challenges associated with offering council or advice based on compassion and high standards of ethics.

Highlight: Online degree programs qualify for the same scholarships through the school as on-campus programs at Divine Mercy University.

Degree: MS in Psychology

25. Northcentral University

The MA in Psychology from Northcentral University is one of the best online masters degree in psychology programs for students. The degree program focuses on developing research and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the challenges they may face in a career. Students can expect to focus on the scientific method as well as theories of psychology that may impact the results of an experiment. Students also learn about the different types of treatments that may apply to patients.

Northcentral University stands out by emphasizing writing and research skills. The program encourages students to focus on the research aspects of psychology and prepares students for the different roles they may take on during their careers. Students should expect that the program will challenge them throughout different processes and may need additional training if students intend to work as a psychologist in a clinical setting. State laws may vary in regards to the standards required to qualify for a role as a psychologist.

Highlight: Northcentral University allows students to start working on a degree every Monday, so it offers multiple starting dates throughout the year to students who are accepted into the psychology program.

Degree: MA in Psychology

Will Employers Trust an Online Master’s in Psychology?

Nowadays, employers trust online degrees, whether they’re from the best online schools for psychology masters or are simply accredited masters in psychology online programs. Online programs are becoming more and more plentiful. A student is no longer limited to choose schools that only offer online programs or from only a few highly reputable brick-and-mortar universities. Today, a student can find private and public educational institutions that are well known and supply the option of online programs. In fact, a student can choose from accredited masters in psychology from schools that have accreditation or programs that have accreditation.

Employers realize that accredited online masters in psychology programs educate students just as well as on-campus programs. The accredited online masters in psychology programs often provide the same education only in a different format than the on-campus programs.

A person can choose the best online schools for psychology masters to impress employers. However, if a student chooses to complete one of the masters in psychology online accredited programs, he or she is simply listing the school on their resume. Therefore, an employer will only know that it’s one of the masters in psychology online accredited programs if the person mentions it.

What Jobs Can I Get with a Master’s in Psychology?

A person can find jobs in a variety of places after completing online masters programs in psychology. In fact, with a master’s in psychology online degree, a person can work in healthcare, schools, businesses, or the government.

If you want to know, “what jobs can you get with a masters in psychology,” online masters programs in psychology benefit individuals who want to take on more advanced positions in psychology. For instance, depending on a person’s state laws, he or she may be able to practice as a psychologist. In most states though, it requires a doctorate. It’s also possible to work under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist. Another option that answers, “What jobs can you get with a masters in psychology online” is if an individual decides he or she wants to earn to further his or her education and earn a doctorate after his or her masters in psychology online degree, he or she can become a psychologist in all states.

Another job option that answers “what jobs can I get with a masters in psychology” is to work as an academic counselor. It’s even possible for someone with an online master’s of psychology degree to teach psychology in a community college if he or she earns his or her teaching certificate. Online masters programs in psychology can prepare a person for positions within the local, state, or federal government as well as within companies. Some of these options are as follows:

  • Developmental specialist
  • Drug and alcohol specialist
  • Employment counselor
  • Human resources analyst.
  • Parole officer
  • Project manager
  • Psychology program manager
  • Rehabilitation counselor
  • Social services manager
  • Vocational rehabilitation provider

One of the more well-known options for “what jobs can I get with a masters in psychology” is to work in the healthcare field, including in behavioral health. A master’s degree in psychology online can prepare a person to become a behavioral counselor. Additionally, an online masters of psychology degree can lead to positions like:

  • Child protection worker
  • Family service worker
  • Group home coordinator
  • Psychiatric technician

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Psychology?

Since there are so many job options available, a masters in psychology salary varies greatly depending on the position a person takes.

If a person can become a psychologist, even with limited responsibilities or working under another psychologist, the starting salary for psychologist with masters is $79,010 per year. This starting salary for psychologist with masters is the same as $37.99 per hour. On the other hand, a salary for a master’s in psychology for a psychologist’s assistant is $40,000 per year.

A person may want to choose to become a human resources manager, which can have a high masters in psychology salary. In fact, the salary for a master’s degree in psychology for this position is $113,300 per year. This salary for a master’s degree in psychology is the same as $54.47 per hour.

Maybe, a person wants to become a rehabilitation counselor. The average starting salary for a master’s in psychology for someone in this position is over $30,000 per year. However, the top starting salary for masters in psychology is more than $50,000 per year.

A salary for a master’s in psychology for a community college instructor is around $41,000 per year.

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