Why earn a master's degree in psychology online?
Earning your master’s degree in psychology online represents a significant investment in not only your career, but your personal development as a passionate caregiver for your clients. Online programs empower you to align your busy schedule and career with your unique goals, and to possibly earn the same degree as on-campus learners at respected universities in the United States.
Learn on your own schedule
Emphasize flexibility by attending online classes at times that work for you and your unique career goals.
Join a passionate network
Online learning can expand your network by connecting you with psychology professionals from across diverse fields and industries.
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Online Master's in Clinical Psychology Programs
Online Master of Arts in Psychology Programs
What can you do with a master’s in psychology?
Earning your master’s in psychology or a related field is the first step toward being able to pursue your doctorate in psychology, a requirement for professionals looking to earn their license and become practicing psychologists, or to pursue licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) or a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).
Psychologists are experts at observing and interpreting patients' emotional and social behaviors as well as how they react to a variety of environments. They work in a wide range of fields and settings such as healthcare, education, private practice, research, or consulting for organizations. Typical duties for psychologists include supporting patients during tough times, crafting strategies to repair relationships for couples, leading new initiatives designed to increase productivity in work environments, or helping patients deal with trauma or addiction.
Licensed professional counselors are mental health providers who work with individual clients or groups to treat behavioral or emotional problems and disorders. These professionals typically work in hospitals, community centers, schools, group homes, or private practices. And lastly, marriage and family therapists help families and couples to evaluate the relationships, interactions, and pain points they may have and work to improve them. They typically work in community centers, private practices, hospitals, or substance abuse treatment centers.
Admissions requirements for a psychology program
Online master’s in psychology programs typically require you to have earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from an accredited college or university as well as maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Keep in mind that full admissions requirements may vary by school, in addition to any prerequisite course credits that may be included. Standardized test scores such as the GRE may be waived depending on the institution. Typical application requirements for an online master of psychology program include:
Letters of recommendation
Prerequisites (if required)
Prior work experience
Test scores (if required)
Learn about the specific requirements for any online master’s in psychology programs in which you are interested by requesting information from the universities, or visit their admissions pages to learn more.
Master’s in psychology curricula can vary depending on the program, length of study, university, and available concentrations or focus areas that are offered. Generally speaking, master’s in psychology curricula equip you with the psychological tools and concepts you need to succeed in practical and clinical settings. Topics and points of emphasis can include community practice, research for psychology, mental health evaluation, occupational therapy, and substance abuse therapy.
Mental health diagnosis/treatment
Research and evaluation
What are the highest paying master’s in psychology jobs?
Earning your master’s in psychology is an important step toward pursuing your doctorate in psychology, a requirement for professionals looking to earn their license and become practicing psychologists, or to pursue licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) or a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). There are a variety of fields available for professionals to enter, from healthcare and education, to consulting and human resources. Here are some of the highest paying jobs in the field of psychology and their annual salaries as of 2021 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist: $105,310Footnote 1
Psychologists, all other: $102,900Footnote 1
Clinical and counseling psychologists: $82,510Footnote 1
School psychologists: $78,780Footnote 1
Marriage and family therapists: $49,880Footnote 2
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors: $48,520Footnote 3
Find the best master’s in psychology program for your psychology career
When choosing the program that’s right for your master's in psychology career, consider a number of factors. These could include the ranking or reputation of the school, the flexibility and length of study schedules, available clinical placements, graduation rates, job placement rates, location, or career outcomes and alumni resources.
Frequently asked questions
In order to gauge how much time it may take you to become a psychologist and accomplish your career goals, it’s important to consider not only the time it may take to earn an online master’s in psychology, but also the important step of earning a doctorate degree.
Earning a master’s in psychology can help you gain the expertise you need to increase your job opportunities across a variety of industries. If you are looking to pursue a career as a psychologist for example, earning your master’s in psychology or related field is an important first step toward earning a doctorate and pursuing licensure in your state. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for psychologists was $81,040 in May 2021.Footnote 1
There are a variety of available master’s programs in psychology online that enable you to earn a master’s degree before pursuing your doctorate, taking state licensure exams, and becoming a psychologist. Be sure to explore online programs, their admissions requirements, and consider your own unique career path if you want to earn your master’s and eventually earn your doctorate in order to become a psychologist. To learn more about 100% online master of psychology programs, explore online psychology programs.
The length of time it takes to complete an online master’s in psychology program differs depending on attending the program part time or full time, the number of credits required to complete, and any prerequisite courses that may be required. However, online master’s in psychology programs typically take 18 to 24 months to complete.
Tuition and cost per credit vary by program and university. Consult the tuition and financial aid pages of the specific online master’s in psychology program in which you are interested. These resources will help you evaluate your career needs and the investment costs to achieve them.
Specializations and concentrations may vary depending on the master’s program in which you are interested. Whether you’re looking to specialize in group therapy, organizational psychology, or addiction treatment, you’ll have to explore the curricula of online programs to find one that fits your needs.
There are a variety of career options available after completing your master’s in psychology online. Fields that you could pursue include education, healthcare, government, nonprofit, mental health, or corporate consulting. Be sure to learn more about available career resources within your programs of interest.