2018 Top Online Schools for Psychology

Scroll down to see the top not-for-profit colleges offering psychology degrees online.

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School Rankings

1

Adler School of Professional Psychology

Adler University offers a Master of Arts in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology online. This program provides students with the opportunity to study the military. This program teaches students how to work with active-duty military, their families, and veterans, and the majority of students enrolled in this program are veterans, retired service members, military spouses who are looking for a new career, people who currently work in military-focused support groups and programs, counselors and therapists who are interested in this area, and active-duty military personnel. Students will take such courses as Survey of Military Psychology, Mental Health Law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and Substance Use in the Military.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

2

Brandman University

Brandman University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Students are able to pursue a general degree in psychology or a specialization in child psychology, community psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, or preclinical psychology. All of these programs are offered entirely online. By the time students graduate from the program, they will be able to connect psychological theory and real life applications, understand methodology as well as statistical techniques related to behavioral science, examine psychological principles pertaining to human behavior, apply appropriate methods of writing, and more. Students will take such courses as Cognitive Psychology, Introduction to Psychological Measurement, Theories of Personality, and Cross Cultural Psychology.

3

California Baptist University

California Baptist University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology online. Bachelor's degree students have the option to pursue the following concentrations: Social Work, Christian Behavioral Science, Counseling Ministry, Life Span Development, Diversity, Cognitive Psychology, Religion and Behavior, Anthropology, or Psychology. The bachelor's degree will prepare students for a career in psychology or for graduate school. Graduates of the Master's degree program will be prepared for Marriage and Family Therapy or Professional Clinical Counselor licensure. Students in the bachelor's degree program will take such courses as Abnormal Psychology and Theories of Counseling where students in the Master's degree program will take such courses as MFT Counseling Theory and Human Sexuality.

4

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Chaminade University of Honolulu offers a convenient online Bachelor of Science in Psychology for working professionals. Students who pursue the major in psychology take courses such as behavioral sciences statistics, psychology of personality, counseling psychology, abnormal psychology, and much more. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in the activities of Psi Chi, a national honorary psychology association. Upon graduation, students are prepared for starter careers in social services, business, government, and other relevant fields. However, the degree can also be used as a building block for licensure (e.g. counseling, education, social work, etc.) and further graduate studies, including Chaminade's Master of Science in Counseling Psychology.

5

College of Southern Nevada

The College of Southern Nevada offers an Associate of Arts in Psychology online. Graduates of the online program will be able to apply a minimum of three psychology tools or concepts towards the improvement of their own lives, demonstrate a knowledge of empirical scientific methods as well as theory that is utilized in social science research, and demonstrate the ability to distinguish among psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and psychologists. Online courses are taught by the same qualified faculty that teaches on-campus courses. Students will take such courses as General Psychology, Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities, Medication Fundamentals, and Advanced Therapeutic Interventions.

6

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University offers an Associate of Science in Psychology as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online. Psychology courses at Colorado Christian University are taught from a Christian perspective, integrating faith and the study of human behavior. The associate degree can be completed in two years, and it prepares students for entry-level positions in the field of psychology. The bachelor's degree prepares students for the Master of Arts in Counseling program, which allows graduates to become licensed professional counselors and therapists. Online psychology degree programs are specifically geared towards adult students and students with hectic and busy schedules or families.

7

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

For students seeking an online degree in psychology, Colorado State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology as well as a Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The bachelor's degree provides students with an understanding of the basic theories, principles, and scientific methods used in psychological research. The online psychology bachelor's degree includes a well-rounded curriculum that gives students a strong foundation of both liberal arts and science. Students in the Master's degree program will study the behavior of individuals in organizations and businesses. Students in the bachelor's degree program will take courses such as Cognitive Psychology, and Psychology of Personality. Students in the Master's degree program will take courses such Applied Organizational Psychology and Applied Industrial Psychology.

Accreditation: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education; American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

CAG Score 94.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

30,614 Students

8

Columbia College

The Psychology & Sociology Department at Columbia College offers a bachelor's degree in psychology online. In this program, students will study personality theory, memory and cognition, sensation and perception, abnormal behavior, psychotherapy, neuroscience, and human development. This program will prepare students for positions as counselors, clinical jobs, and school jobs. An emphasis in sport psychology is available for those who wish to study physiological training and nutrition. Students will take such courses as Experimental Psychology, Psychological Testing and Measurement, Lifespan Developmental Psychology, and Cognitive Psychology. A psychology minor is also available for students who wish to pursue other majors but are still interested in studying psychological processes and behavior in individuals.

9

Corban University

The School of Professional Studies at Corban University offers a bachelor's degree in psychology online. Two concentrations are available: Family Studies and Pre-Marriage Counseling/Clinical. Students in this program are able to study the fundamentals of psychological research, theory, and practice. Corban University integrates faith and a Christian perspective in with the field of psychology so that students are prepared to begin their careers after they graduate. Core topics of study include social psychology, social science research, lifespan development, psychology and Christianity, abnormal psychology, juvenile delinquency, community agency counseling, psychology of addiction, parenting and family skills, trauma therapy, and personality theories.

10

Drury University

The College of Continuing Professional Studies at Drury University offers an Associate of Science in Psychology as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online. These degree programs prepare students for careers in social work, counseling, or education, among others. Students pursuing an associate's degree will take courses such as Life Span Development, Social Psychology, and Expository Writing. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree will take courses such as Personality Theory in Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. Psychology majors are also encouraged to work in correctional agencies and/or community and social settings to apply the theoretical knowledge they gain in the classroom to real world situations.

11

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University has an online degree completion program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The program is open to students who have completed general studies requirements and lower-level psychology classes and who need to complete junior and senior-level psychology classwork to earn their degree. Students can transfer credits to meet those prerequisite requirements, but they must complete at least 50 percent of the classes required for the major through Fayetteville State University. The curriculum calls for students to earn 47 credits in the major, including both required core psychology courses and psychology electives. All but two of those psychology courses are 300 or 400 level classes.

12

Florida International University

Florida International University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology entirely online. The program focuses on five key areas of psychology: social, developmental, applied, experimental, and personality/abnormal. Graduates of the program are prepared to enter a variety of careers from human resources to mental health to statistical analysis. The program will provide students with practical and theoretical knowledge in the following areas: personal adjustment, psychology of sexual behavior, human growth and development, research methods in psychology, and more. Students will take courses such as Human Biology, Neuropsychology, Memory & Memory Improvement, Social & Personality Development, and Organizational Psychology. Online classes are taught by the same qualified faculty that teach on-campus classes, and online students receive the same quality of education.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

13

Foothill College

For students who wish to pursue online degrees, Foothill College offers an Associate of Arts in Psychology online. The degree consists of a minimum of 90 course units, and a GPA of 2.0 must be maintained. All of the classes needed for completion of the degree are offered online at least once every two years. Students pursuing this degree will take such courses as Child & Adolescent Development, Social Psychology, Introduction to Personality Psych, Human Development, Psychology of Crisis, Psychological Aspects of Disability, and Aspects of Marriage & Family.

14

Fort Hays State University

The Department of Psychology at Fort Hays State University offers several degrees online: a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Science in School Psychology, a Master of Science in General Psychology (Teaching Community College emphasis), and Education Specialist in School Psychology. Additionally, they offer a minor in psychology and a certificate in case management. The B.A. and the B.S. in psychology are similar but slightly different. Online students are provided with the same experience as students who pursue psychology programs on campus. Online students can still take advantage of a number of student resources such as student organizations and research resources.

15

Merced College

Students interested in an associate degree in psychology from Merced College can take about 85 percent of the required coursework online. Merced offers two degree plans in psychology: the Associate in Arts for Transfer in Psychology allows students to transfer as a junior to schools within the California State University system. AA-T students complete 19 credits toward the major as part of their degree plan. The Associate in Arts in Psychology is for students who do not plan to transfer, and it offers more flexibility in course selection.

16

Mercy College

Mercy College offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology online. The psychology program provides students with the opportunity to succeed in a number of positions in the fields of psychology, advertising, human resources, business, communications, market research, rehabilitation, media, and government, among others. Other students who pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology go on to pursue a Master's degree. Graduates of the Master's program go on to become psychotherapists, psychology assistants, casework managers, psychology technicians, industrial consultants, and more. There are also many research opportunities for Mercy College students, on campus and online alike.

17

National University

The Department of Psychology at National University offers an Associate of Science in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling. Students in this program are able to meet California state standards for certification of alcohol and drug abuse counselors. The program is approved by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors' education foundation, the California Foundation for Advancement of Addiction Professionals. In the program, students will learn to establish professional relationships with diverse clients who have drug abuse and/or dependence issues, asses and diagnose clients, develop treatment plans, integrate knowledge of cultural diversity into treatment plans, and more. Students will take such courses as Introduction to Psychology, Psychology of Substance Abuse, and Group & Family Counseling.

18

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University offers a bachelor's degree in psychology online, which offers students a comprehensive understanding of aspects of psychology including human development, cognition, motivation, and learning, among other things. Graduates of this program earn positions in many fields including human resources, psychology, marketing and sales, social services, and management. Students will take such courses as Research Methods in Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, Community Psychology, and Organizational Psychology. Graduates of this program will gain written and oral communication skills, collaborative skills, relationship management skills, and research methods that will be helpful in many different career paths. Students who are considering pursuing a psychology degree online should take the quick online self-assessment quiz on the NAU website.

19

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology entirely online. A bachelor's degree in psychology will prepare students to enter the workforce in various professions including education, therapy, market research analysis, crisis support, substance abuse counseling, social work, forensic psychology, as well as rehabilitation consulting. Students may also choose to pursue a graduate degree following their undergraduate studies. A psychology minor is also available for students who are interested in psychology but wish to pursue another degree. Students in the program will take such courses as Sensation and Perception, Psychophysiology, Behavior Modification, Foundations of Clinical and Counseling Psychology, and Life-Span Human Development.

Accreditation: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education; American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

20

Oregon State University

The School of Psychological Science within the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online. Graduates of this program will gain skills and knowledge in oral and written communication, creative and critical thinking, and scientific methodology. Online courses are the same quality as courses that are taught on campus, and the online programs are ideal for members of the military. The online bachelor's degree in psychology has received national and regional praise and is well respected.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

21

Palm Beach Atlantic University

Palm Beach Atlantic University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online. Palm Beach Atlantic University brings a historical, theoretical, practical, and biblical approach to psychology. The program is unique because it infuses Christian values so that students are able to learn from professors who share their perspective. Also, it provides students with hands-on learning experiences, and it will prepare students to become human resource specialists, social workers, case managers, behavioral skills therapists, career counselors, program administrators, corporate recruiters, or rehabilitation specialists. Students take courses such as Marriage & Family Dynamics, Abnormal Psychology, Integration of Christianity & Psychology, and Social Psychology.

22

Palo Alto University

Palo Alto University has two bachelor's programs and two master's programs in psychology delivered through online coursework. The Bachelor of Science in Business Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Social Action are designed for students who have completed an associate degree in an appropriate field. PAU is transfer-friendly and has the same general education requirements as California state schools. The CACREP-accredited online Master of Arts in Counseling has two tracks: Clinical Mental Health and Marriage, Family & Child. Both are intended to prepare graduates for counseling licensure. On the other hand, the Master of Science in Psychology is a low-residency master's program requires candidates to come to campus for a one-week course during the summer of their first year. This part-time program is ideal for individuals seeking career advancement (e.g. non-profit work, community college teaching) or laying the groundwork for a Ph.D.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

23

Park University

Undergrads can complete a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology through online classwork offered by Park University. Either degree requires students to complete at least 42 credits in the major. These are degree-completion programs, and applicants must have a 2.0 GPA on their previous college work. Students can also complete a 21-credit minor in psychology online. Online classes are delivered in an accelerated, eight-week format, and students can start the program at five points during the year: August, October, January, March, and June.

24

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

PennState World Campus, the online learning division of Penn State, has three psychology degrees. Undergrads can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a focus in life sciences or in business. Students in either program can join the World Campus online Psychology Club, which uses video conferencing, Facebook, and other options to inform students about internships and careers. The Master of Professional Studies in Psychology of Leadership is for working professionals who want to learn strategies for leading, influencing, and motivating employees. Graduate psychology students can join the online Psychology Club and are eligible for the Psi Chi international honor society in psychology.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

25

Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University offers a Flex-Track bachelor's degree in psychology, which will prepare adult students to motivate and help people in many different fields. The program is offered in eight-week sessions, and students can choose from five start dates throughout the year. The psychology program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of people's emotions, thought processes, and behaviors. Students who graduate with a degree in psychology often go on to pursue positions in counseling, business, education, sales, health care, and graduate studies. In this program, students will take courses such as General Psychology, Psychology Statistics, and Research Methods.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

26

Rutgers University

The Online Graduate School at Rutgers offers a Master of Education in Learning, Cognition, and Development, and it is intended to provide students with knowledge of psychology as it relates to education. In this program, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the ways people grow, learn, and think in a modern learning environment; establish an educational foundation that can lead to further study; discover ways to motivate and engage with students; and work with state-of-the-art technologies that are changing the face of education. This online degree provides students with the opportunity to pursue an education in psychology in a self-paced, flexible way that will accommodate their schedules and busy lives.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

CAG Score 94.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

49,428 Students

27

Sacred Heart University

For students who wish to pursue online degrees, Sacred Heart University offers a Master's in Applied Psychology (MSAP). The degree is available in three concentrations: General Applied Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Community Psychology. This degree will provide students with a deep understanding of people and the way they behave and function in the world. The online MSAP program provides students with a solid foundation to further their studies on the doctoral level or to begin careers in the field of psychology. Graduates of the program will be able to utilize resources to research behavioral issues, use psychological theory to find solutions, and apply theoretical findings in real-world situations.

28

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in two tracks: General and Clinical Counseling. The curriculum for the General track is based on the American Psychological Association (APA) model for programs of distinction. It's a "dig deep" examination of the field that includes courses in psychology of learning, research methods, military psychology, biological bases of behaviors, and the like. Graduates find jobs in areas such as case work, mental health, human resources, child welfare, and business. The Clinical Counseling track is focused on counseling - it was built to prepare students for employment in areas such as the community, VA, and marital relationships. Courses include abnormal psychology, interviewing and counseling skills, personality theory, and more. Both tracks put an emphasis on applied coursework, including community service projects and internships.

29

South Texas College

South Texas College offers an Associate of Arts in Psychology degree. This degree is ideal for students who wish to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a bachelor's degree. It provides students with the opportunity to become familiar with the many areas of interest in the field of psychology including sensation and perception, language, psychological disorders, consciousness, cognition, memory, and more. Students who pursue an associate's degree in psychology may become employed as licensed professional counselors or psychology instructors. Other graduates may seek employment in the fields of human resources, business management, or advertising, among other things. Online students have access to many services such as online advising, which includes assessment and orientation as well as one-on-one service.

30

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers several psychology degrees online: a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies with a concentration on Industrial Organizational Psychology; a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration on Addictions, Applied Psychology, Child & Adolescent Development, Forensic Psychology, Mental Health, or Social Psychology; and a Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Child & Developmental Psychology, Forensic Psychology, or Industrial & Organizational Psychology. These degrees prepare graduates for a wide variety of careers in human resources, social services, youth services, research, and case management. An online psychology degree includes a well-rounded liberal arts education that will prepare graduates for a vibrant career or further studies.

31

SUNY Empire State College

The State University of New York Empire State College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Human Development as well as an online Bachelor of Science in Human Development. Human development draws on the field of psychology, but it also incorporates anthropology and human biology. A degree in human development prepares students for graduate school, work in psychology, social services delivery or management, and much more. A degree in human development is available in the following concentrations: family relationships, psychology, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender issues, gerontology, gender studies, child development, anthropology, grieving and loss, disability, public health, and incarceration. Students will take courses that focus on ethical issues in human development, research issues in human development, biological bases of development, and professional development.

32

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers online programs in psychology at the bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. level. Undergraduate students can choose a generalist concentration or specalize in business psychology or health sciences. Master's candidates can pursue specialized degrees such as international psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, or psychopharmacology, or pursue a Master of Arts in Psychology with one of seven concentrations. Doctoral candidates can choose programs such as educational psychology, international psychology, or business psychology. The Chicago School is a non-profit, accredited school that welcomes returned Peace Corps volunteers to the MA in International Psychology program with the Paul Coverdell Fellows program, which provides financial assistance and global field experiences.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

33

The University of Alabama

Students seeking graduate degrees online will be interested in the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology - Learning and Assessment Overview offered entirely online by the University of Alabama. The goal of this degree is to become familiar with the educational evaluation and assessment process as well as underlying psychological theories that are involved in education. Online classes are taught by the same qualified faculty who teach classes on campus, and the online format is designed for working students and students with families and other obligations. Graduates of the program often go on to become education professionals, leaders in government agencies related to youth and children, and individuals working within the social sciences who are interested in the learning sciences.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

34

Troy University

Troy University offers a bachelor's degree in psychology entirely online. Students who graduate with a degree in psychology are prepared for various health professions and social work, various careers in psychology, or continuing their studies at a graduate level. Psychology majors have two different options: a 54-hour major with no minor or a 36-hour major with an 18-hour minor. Students will select courses from the three major areas of psychology: applied psychology, natural science, and social science. Psychology majors will take such courses as Developmental Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Psychology of Learning.

35

Tyler Junior College

For students who wish to pursue an associate's degree online, Tyler Junior College offers an Associate of Arts in Psychology. This degree program can be completed entirely online, and students are not required to come to campus. All of the services that are available to TJC students who are on campus are also available to online students such as the library. Students will take courses such as Human Sexuality, Social Psychology, Social Problems, Marriage and Family, Minority Studies, and Drug Use and Abuse.

36

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online. In this program, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of psychology terminology and concepts used in research methods and statistical methods, the history and systems of psychology, and physiological psychology. Psychology majors are encouraged to participate in psychology student organizations, internships, fieldwork, and research. Graduates of this program will be well prepared for careers within the field of psychology or furthering their education at the graduate level. Students who wish to complete a psychology degree online must have already completed several general education requirements. Students will take such courses as Physiological Psychology, Basic Learning Processes, Clinical Psychology, and Research Methods in Psychology.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

CAG Score 94.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

62,953 Students

37

University of Cincinnati

The BS in Health Sciences - Behavior and Occupation Studies at University of Cincinnati builds in a Psychology minor. The two-year program, which has no on-campus components, only admits applicants with an associate degree and license in Occupational Therapy Assisting. In addition to standard occupational therapy courses such as Musculoskeletal Anatomy and General Exercise Physiology, enrollees take 15 upper-level credits for the Psychology minor. Courses such as Psychobiology or Sensation and Perception obviously relate to working in the field, whereas others are designed to give students a broader appreciation of human behavior. The program culminates with six credits of field experience.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

38

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia College of Education offers a few graduate psychology degrees online: a Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Applied Cognition and Development; a Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education; and a Specialist of Education in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education. These programs explore the impact of motivational, human cognitive, and developmental processes in practice and education as well as the effect that creativity and giftedness has on education. U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Georgia online graduate programs #3 in the nation. The UGA College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Accreditation: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education; American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

CAG Score 95.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,130 Students

39

University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology for students to pursue entirely online. The main goal of the psychology program is to equip students with the ability to understand the physiological and biological aspects of human behavior as well as mental processes. Students will have a comprehensive understanding of such topics as childhood and adolescence cognition and learning, sensation and perception, memory, abnormal psychology, statistics and research methods, human growth and development, and more. The psychology degree will prepare graduates for further studies at the graduate level or careers in education, human resources, counseling services, community relations, business management, or market research. Many psychology majors choose to minor in biology, criminal justice, or ethnic studies.

40

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Students who wish to pursue a psychology degree online may pursue the online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology offered by University of Illinois - Springfield. The Individualized Concentration is available to provide students with the flexibility to obtain a background in psychology. The UIS Psychology Department stresses an active, issue-based approach to learning and teaching. The program provides a variety of opportunities for research and student engagement in research. Students will take such courses as Principles of Psychology, Statistic for the Behavioral Sciences, Psychology of Motivation, Cognitive Psychology, and Sensation and Perception.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

CAG Score 95.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

45,842 Students

41

University of Maryland-University College

The University of Maryland University College offers a bachelor's degree in psychology online that will prepare students for a career as a mental health professional. The program is aligned with American Psychological Association guidelines, and it focuses on the application of the social, biological, and professional concepts and principles in response to psychological needs. Students will learn practical skills and real-world applications they can apply on the job as soon as they graduate. In the program, students will take such courses as Research Methods in Psychology, Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology, and Introduction to Clinical Psychology.

42

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

The University of Massachusetts Lowell Division of Online & Continuing Education offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology where students can gain a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and how social, clinical, and experimental psychology can be applied to it. The University of Massachusetts Lowell is an early pioneer of online education, and it has earned awards and recognition for its high-quality online programs. The psychology program was ranked as a top online bachelor's program by U.S. News in 2016. Students in the program will take courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, Psychology of Personality, and Social Psychology.

CAG Score 92.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

18,047 Students

43

University of Minnesota-Duluth

The College of Education and Human Service Professions at the University of Minnesota Duluth offers a bachelor's degree in psychology online. Students who wish to qualify for this program must have completed an Associate of Arts degree or Minnesota Transfer Curriculum with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Students in the program are encouraged to pursue membership in Psi Chi & Psychology Club. Students will take courses such as Psychology: Discipline and Profession, Experimental Design and Methodology, Cross-cultural Psychology, Theories of Personality, and Abnormal Psychology.

CAG Score 97.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

10,878 Students

44

University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota offers a Bachelor of Art in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. The psychology program contributes to the understanding of human behavior and it requires students to develop analytical and cognitive skills which will be useful in a number of professions. The Master's degree program in forensic psychology refers to the application of psychological skills, knowledge, and theories to the criminal justice and civil justice systems. The forensic psychology program provides students with knowledge of advanced psychological theories and concepts; outstanding evaluation, statistical, and analytical skills; and in-depth understanding of the legal system and also the roles forensic psychologists play.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

CAG Score 93.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

14,951 Students

45

University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado Extended Campus offers the following psychology degrees and certificates online: an Applied Behavior Analysis (BACB-Approved) Graduate Certificate, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and an Educational Psychology Master of Arts: Teaching Applications Emphasis. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program is one of UNC's most popular undergraduate degrees, and the online courses are taught by the same highly qualified faculty that teaches the on campus courses. The Educational Psychology Master of Arts is one of the highly ranked online graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report, and it prepares graduates for teaching careers, educational consulting positions, measurement and assessment positions, and also business and industry training or research positions.

Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation

46

Wilmington University

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Wilmington University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. This program will give students a new understanding of the human mind, human emotions, and human behavior. Graduates will be prepared for careers in community relations, human services, continued professional studies, and more. Online students can earn degrees in a flexible way that will fit their busy schedules, and they will get the same quality education as students on campus. In this program, students will take courses such as Learning and Cognition, Group Dynamics, Theories of Personality, and Ethics and Values in Behavioral Science.

You’re ready to invest in an online psychology program. You’re determined to use it to advance your career. But how can you decide on a shortlist of schools? Welcome to our guide to online psychology programs! We have advice on choosing a quality degree, transferring credits, fulfilling licensure requirements, and much more. Whether you’re an aspiring educator, counselor, or therapist, we’ve tried to answer every question you might pose.

Feeling overwhelmed by the acronyms? Check out our page on Affordable Psychology Degrees. It has a complete rundown of degree options & job opportunities at each level. We also go into significant detail on master’s degrees & licensure issues, specialist degrees (e.g. PsyS), clinical licensure and doctorates, the importance of APA accreditation, and much more.

Types of Online Psychology Degrees

Online Associate’s Degree in Psychology

  • Do You Want an AS, AA or an Applied Associate Degree? You may be able to qualify for entry-level positions with an applied associate’s degree in psychology (e.g. counseling assistant), but most online associate’s degrees are deliberately designed to let you transfer credits to a BS or BA. For example, the curriculum in South Texas College’s two-year Online AA directly parallels the first two years of a traditional bachelor’s program in psychology.
  • Will Your Online Credits Transfer Easily? If you’re aiming for a bachelor’s program (online or on-campus), check with the university in question to make sure that all of your credits will be accepted. For instance, Merced College’s Online AA for Transfer in Psychology makes it easy for students transfer their credits to schools within the California State University system.
  • Do You Want to Specialize Early? Generally speaking, online associate degrees in psychology are intended to help you build up core general education credits and learn about foundation subjects. But there are exceptions! For example, Penn State World Campus offers a specialized Online AS in Human Development and Family Studies that has an Adult Development & Aging Services option, as well as a Children, Youth, and Family Services option.
  • Does the Online Associate’s Program Arrange Internships? Psychology is about human interaction—the sooner you start amassing that experience, the better your chances of employment after graduation. For instance, in Penn State’s Online AS (see above), students are required to complete an internship at a human service organization in their community.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

  • Should You Choose an Online BS or Online BA? Personal preference here! Online BA degrees tend to have more foreign language & liberal arts courses; Online BS programs often include more natural sciences & math courses. Some schools offer both. For example, the Department of Psychology at Fort Hays State University and the School of Psychological Science at Oregon State University allow students to choose between an Online BA in Psychology or an Online BS in Psychology.
  • Is it a Degree Completion Program? Degree completion programs are common in the online world—the university wants you to earn your associate degree and/or general education credits elsewhere (e.g. community college). Some universities may have GPA requirements on those credits. For instance, at Park University, the Online BA in Psychology and the Online BS in Social Psychology are looking for applicants who have a 2.0 GPA on their previous college work.
  • Does the Online Program Have a Strong Syllabus? Will you be able to take minors in relevant areas (e.g. criminal justice, biology, etc.)? Will you be exposed to practice-based learning in the coursework? Will it give you a solid foundation if you wish to pursue licensure & graduate work? For example, in Florida International University’s Online BA in Psychology, the coursework includes a 3-course research sequence, lots of in-depth electives, a course in Psychological Career Development, and more.
  • Are Concentrations or Specializations Available? Even at the bachelor’s level, you may already want to start specializing in a specific field of psychology. For instance, Southern New Hampshire University offers an Online BA in Psychology with concentrations in Addictions, Applied Psychology, Child & Adolescent Development, Forensic Psychology, Mental Health, or Social Psychology. And Brandman University has an Online BS in Psychology where you can pursue specializations in Child Psychology, Community Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, or Preclinical Psychology.
  • Will You Gain Real-World Experience? Smart universities will find ways to circumvent the challenges of distance learning. For instance, Saint Leo University has teamed up with a number of organizations to arrange internships in a student’s hometown (e.g. Boys and Girls Clubs; Head Start; programs for aging, autism, addiction, clinical research, etc.). And in the University of Central Florida’s Online BS in Psychology, students are encouraged to participate in internships, fieldwork, and research.
  • Do You Want to Consider Degrees with Other Titles? Psychology isn’t the only ballplayer in this field. For example, SUNY’s Empire State College has created an Online BA & Online BS in Human Development, a field that incorporates psychology, anthropology, and human biology. And Southern New Hampshire University offers an Online BS in Business Studies with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology. You have lots of options!
  • Are 4+1 Programs Available? Some university’s have special bachelor’s + master’s programs that can prepare you for higher level jobs or certifications. For instance, in Mercy College’s 5-Year Dual Degree Program, you can complete your BS in Psychology online and then pursue a one-year master’s degree in education on campus. This allows you to receive a New York Teacher Certification in Early Childhood or Childhood Education. Mercy also has a 4+1 program for students who are interested in a master’s degree in psychology itself.

Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

  • Are Specific Concentrations Available? Once you’re at the graduate level, you’re probably going to be interested in certain fields. For example, at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the Online MA in Psychology has seven concentrations: Forensic Psychology, Public Health, Generalist, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Social and Community Psychology, Organizational Leadership, Child and Adolescent, and International Psychology. But you might also consider the Online MA in International Psychology (with multiple concentrations), which has special deals for returned Peace Corps volunteers.
  • What Do You Want the Degree For? You don’t always need licensure for certain fields of psychology—you may just want to use your master’s degree as a career boost or as preparation for a doctorate. You may even decide to earn a specialist master’s degree after you’ve earned your counseling license. Examples of these types of programs include Penn State’s Online MPS in Psychology of Leadership at Work; Colorado State University’s Online Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP); and Adler University’s Online MA in Psychology with a specialization in Military Psychology.

Licensure & Certification

  • Does it Prepare You for Counseling Licensure? If you’re aiming to become a licensed counselor (e.g. LPC, LPCC, LMHC, etc.), online master’s programs are available. Counseling licensure is handled by state licensing boards, so we always recommend you check with the board and the university to make sure your online degree will qualify. For instance, Southern New Hampshire University’s Online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to put students on the path to LMHC licensure. It meets requirements for licensure for most, but not all states. Meanwhile, California Baptist University’s Online MS in Counseling Psychology satisfies the curriculum requirements necessary to pursue California licensure as a marriage and family therapist or professional clinical counselor, but out-of-state applicants are encouraged to verify the program with their local licensing board.
  • Does it Prepare You for Marriage & Family Therapist Licensure? You will need to fulfill specific education & experience requirements if you want to become a licensed marriage & family therapist (MFT). Universities should be very clear about this on their websites. For example, California students who take Palo Alto University’s Online MA Counseling with a Marriage, Family and Child Emphasis or the Clinical Mental Health Emphasis can pursue both the Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) licenses. Palo Alto notes that graduates living in other states may be able pursue similar licenses, but they must first check with the state licensing board.
  • Does it Prepare You for a Doctorate (and Clinical Psychologist Licensure)? If you’re aiming for clinical licensure, remember that you will need to complete an on-campus or hybrid doctoral program. So before you sign up for an online master’s program, be sure that your credits will transfer easily! For example, Palo Alto University’s Online + One-Week Residency MS in Psychology allows you to quickly transfer all your credits to Palo Alto University’s APA-accredited on-campus PhD program.
  • Does it Prepare You for Professional Certifications? Unlike licensure, which is usually required to practice, professional certifications are voluntary qualifications that you can pursue in specific fields of psychology (e.g. NASP’s Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential). If you’re thinking of earning an online master’s in order to prepare for certification, be sure to check with the certification body & the university to make sure your program will qualify. For example, graduates of NASP-approved graduate programs benefit from a streamlined application process for the NCSP.

Education & School Psychology

  • Do You Want to Specialize in Education? Some online master’s programs in psychology are explicitly designed for working teachers/educators. They may not lead to licensure & certification, but they can provide the groundwork for a doctorate or job advancement. Examples of these programs include the University of Alabama’s Online MA in Educational Psychology – Learning and Assessment Overview; the University of Northern Colorado’s Online MA in Educational Psychology – Teaching Applications Emphasis; and Rutgers’s Online Master of Education (EdM) in Learning, Cognition, and Development.
  • Does it Prepare You for School Psychologist Licensure? To become a licensed school psychologist, you will often need a master’s degree and an EdS to meet all the education requirements (i.e. 60+ graduate school credits). For instance, when you complete Fort Hays State University’s Online MS in School Psychology and its Online Education Specialist (EdS) degree in School Psychology—as well as a supervised internship of 1,200 hours—you will be eligible for licensure as a school psychologist in Kansas and certain other states. Remember that school psychologists gain their certificate or license to work in public schools through the state’s Department of Education, not a state licensing board.
  • Does it Prepare You for Education Endorsements? It’s useful to know that some graduate programs will prepare you for specific education endorsements in your state. For instance, the University of Georgia’s Online MEd in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education and Online Specialist of Education (EdS) in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education will qualify you for the Gifted In-Field Endorsement for the State of Georgia.
  • Does it Appear in Online Education Rankings? U.S. News & World Report doesn’t have a separate online ranking for graduate psychology programs, but it does rank Best Online Graduate Education Programs every year. You can dig into the school’s profile to find valuable statistics on student debt, graduate rates, application success, and more.

Online Doctoral Degree in Psychology

  • Are Hybrid Programs Available for Clinical Licensure? You’ll notice that the schools in our list don’t appear to offer online PhD, EdD, and PsyD programs. That’s because you cannot take a 100% online program to prepare for licensure as a clinical psychologist. You may be able to find an APA-accredited doctorate that’s partly online (i.e. hybrid). However, these are rare!

Online Certificate in Psychology

  • Do You Want to Specialize? You should have some choice here—online certificates usually focus on a particular field of psychology. For example, Fort Hays State University’s Online Graduate Certificate in Case Management can help in your goal to become a case manager at a mental health center.
  • Will Your Credits Transfer to a Degree? This is our standard advice! Even if you’re not ready (or can’t afford) a degree at the moment, you may want to pursue one in the future. Always check if your online certificate credits can be transferred toward a relevant online degree or a convenient on-campus program in your area.
  • Does it Prepare You for Licensure? There are some post-masters and post-doctoral certificate programs that will help you meet education requirements for licensure, but it’s important to note that state licensing boards will often require programs to have a clinical component. Therefore you may not find many that are online.
  • Does it Prepare You for Professional Certification? Online certificates are a quick way to prepare for professional certifications, but be aware that each certification body has specific education requirements. For instance, the University of Northern Colorado’s Post-Master’s Online Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate is designed for professionals who already hold a master’s degree and who want to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). Coursework meets the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) verified course sequence and fulfills the education requirements for the BCBA exam.

How to Choose an Online Psychology Degree

At base level, you’re going to be looking for an affordable, regionally accredited online program with a great reputation. Preparation for licensure & certification (see below) may also factor in your decision! But once you’ve got those requirements out of the way, you may wish to consider…

Practical Issues

  • Can You Enroll if You Live Out-Of-State? Most universities have reciprocity agreements that allow students from other states to enroll in online programs. But there are exceptions! Universities usually have a reciprocity page on their website, but if you can’t find it, don’t be afraid to ask the program coordinator.
  • Can You Fit the Program into Your Schedule? Online programs in psychology will have different degrees of flexibility. Some may have multiple start dates and shorter terms or semesters; others may have an synchronous component or “on-the-ground” requirements. For example, in Palo Alto University’s Online BS in Psychology and Social Action, there are evening classes when students need to be at their computer at a set time. This program also includes a mandatory 9-month internship in a non-profit or community agency.
  • What is the Credit Transfer Policy? If you already have credits “in the bank,” you’ll need to know the school’s policy on credit transfers. For example, at Fayetteville State University, students can transfer credits to meet prerequisite requirements for its Online BS in Psychology, but they must complete at least 50% of the classes required for the major through FSU.
  • What are the Prerequisites? Be aware that universities & colleges may have quirky prerequisites (e.g. GPA, test scores, etc.) for online programs. For instance, the University of Cincinnati has an intriguing Online BS in Health Sciences – Behavior and Occupation Studies with a Psychology minor. But it’s a degree completion program that only admits applicants with an associate’s degree and a license in Occupational Therapy Assisting.

Program Quality

  • Does the Undergraduate Curriculum Meet APA Guidelines? APA has developed a series of Guidelines for Undergraduate Psychology Programs that cover coursework, teaching, and assessment. On the degree website, universities & colleges will usually say if their program is aligned with APA guidelines.
  • What About Career Training? Since psychology is a hands-on field, we particularly like distance learning programs that find ways to incorporate internships, training modules, and residencies into the curriculum. For instance, the syllabus for the University of Central Florida’s Online BS in Psychology includes industrial & organizational fieldwork and directed independent research.
  • Who is Teaching Your Online Course? Universities will often boast that the same faculty who teach on-campus also teach online, but you don’t have to take their word for it. If you’re worried about quality, you can search the course schedule to find the name of the instructor and check their background on LinkedIn.
  • Does the Program Offer Support to Online Students? Distance learning can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to the online format. Good schools go out of their way to offer support. For example, students in South Texas College’s Online AA in Psychology have access to online advising, which includes assessment and orientation, as well as one-on-one services.

Money Matters

  • Are There Hidden Costs? Go over the tuition & fees page with a fine-tooth comb. Universities sometimes require online students to pay hefty technology & distance learning fees. In the case of a psychology degree, there may also be costs for campus residencies or travel to internship sites. For example, the University of North Dakota’s Online MA in Forensic Psychology includes a one-week, on-campus capstone experience. You will need to budget for all components of the program.
  • Is Financial Aid Available to Online Students? Most online undergraduates will be eligible for financial aid (e.g. loans, grants, scholarships, etc.), but it’s always best to check with the Office of Financial Aid. If you’re looking at online graduate programs, find out if you qualify for university scholarships and private funding. The College or Department of Psychology and the College of Education will often have detailed information for graduate students.
  • Do Online Students Receive a Tuition Discount? Public and state universities usually offer tuition breaks to online undergraduates (and sometimes to graduates) who reside in the state or in neighboring states. Policies vary between schools, so visit the tuition & fees page for details. For example, Florida International University offers a reduced tuition rate to Florida undergraduates. And Students at the University of North Dakota pay in-state tuition for the Online MA in Forensic Psychology, regardless of residency!

If you have any concerns about a university offering an online program in psychology, have a look at our Online State Rankings. Under each state, we have a detailed list of Online Schools with Accreditation & Quality Concerns.

Affordable Online Psychology Degrees

The following universities appear in our rankings of Top Affordable Schools for Psychology and Top Online Schools for Psychology. That means they have met some extremely tough criteria for quality, flexibility, price, and use of financial aid money (you’ll see a CAG Score next to their profiles).

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Tuition & fees for CSU’s distance learning programs are laid out in Colorado State University Online. Residency status is not a factor in determining online tuition rates—everyone pays the same per credit cost—but it may determine tuition rates for some on-campus credit courses. Financial aid is available, but CSU Online credit courses are not eligible for funding from the College Opportunity Fund.

Are you over the age of 25 or experiencing a nontraditional student life circumstance? Check out the John C. and Alex S. Snider Endowed Scholarship! Applicants must be enrolled in a minimum of three credits and be working toward a bachelor’s degree (e.g. Online BS in Psychology). CSU’s Department of Psychology also has a handy and extensive list of scholarship opportunities for psychology undergraduates & graduates.

Rutgers University

Rutgers’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) is responsible for its Online EdM in Learning, Cognition & Development, but a breakdown of tuition & fees for online master’s programs can be found on the website of the Office of Student Accounting, Billing, and Cashier Services (there is a separate online fee per course). The Rutgers University Tuition Payment Plan (RUTPP) allows you to pay your term bill charges in monthly payments.

Once you’ve had a look at tuition costs, be sure to visit the GSE page on Fellowships, Scholarships & Assistantships to see if you qualify for internal aid. Rutgers also suggests that online master’s students approach their employer to talk about employee reimbursement programs.

University of Central Florida

Tuition rates for UCF’s Online BS in Psychology are listed on the program page and the undergraduate tuition section of UCF Online. Florida residents get a massive discount on the per credit hour cost! Residents of other states must pay a substantial non-resident fee. All UCF Online students receive a waiver for some campus-based fees.

The first place to look for UCF scholarships is Scholarships A2O. The second place is the College of Sciences’s Psychology Scholarships page. The College of Sciences also offers more General Scholarships. When it comes to other types of financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid can help with forms and questions.

University of Georgia

UGA’s graduate degrees in Educational Psychology are handled by the College of Education (COE). Tuition costs are listed on each program page and the tuition & fees section of the Bursar’s Office website. Tuition is the same regardless of residency. If you register for less than 5 credit hours, per semester student fees are reduced accordingly.

The Office of Financial Aid has the scoop on funding options, but we also recommend a quick trip to COE’s List of Awards & Scholarships. Are you active duty military, a veteran, or part of a military family? Visit Veterans Educational Benefits for assistance. Are you a full-time, benefits-eligible employee of the UGA system? Be sure to check out the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

University of Illinois at Springfield

Tuition & fees for UIS’s Online BA in Psychology, run by the Department of Psychology, are listed under Records & Registration. Illinois residents and non-residents of Illinois pay the same E-tuition as long as they are degree-seeking students in an online program and only taking online courses.

You’ll find a smorgasbord of undergraduate scholarship opportunities in the Office of Financial Assistance, along with advice on financial aid applications and services for veterans. In particular, the Grace Brorström Oakley Scholarship is open to any part-time or full-time undergraduate enrolled in an online degree program.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

UMasss Lowell’s Division of Online & Continuing Education has a thorough rundown of tuition & fees for its Online BA in Psychology. Tuition is the same whether you live in Massachusetts or out of state. As of 2018, UMass Lowell no longer offers state employees and their dependents a 50% tuition credit (formerly know as a tuition waiver) for online courses.

UMass Lowell has a separate website for Financial Aid advice, including details on Merit Scholarships, but don’t miss the list of UMass Lowell’s Continuing Education Scholarships! For example, veterans enrolled in an undergraduate degree or certificate program are eligible for a $300 scholarship. UMass Lowell Online & Continuing Education has a Gamma Delta Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL), so be sure to check out the ASL Adult Education Foundation Scholarship as well.

University of Minnesota-Duluth

In UMD’s Department of Psychology, you’ll discover the Online BAS in Psychology—a degree completion program for students who have completed an AA degree or the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). However, One Stop Student Services is the place to find details on tuition rates and fees, as well as advice on applying for financial aid.

UMD is a public university, so Minnesota residents receive a hefty discount on tuition. What’s more, UMD has reciprocity agreements with Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Manitoba. If you are a resident of any of these states or province, you may qualify for reduced tuition rates!

Want more funding ideas? The College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP) has a list of its own scholarships; we also recommend a look at the larger list of UMD scholarships.

The University of North Dakota

Students in UND’s Online BA in Psychology pay in-state undergraduate tuition rates, regardless of residency. The same goes for the students in the Online MA in Forensic Psychology, although in-state graduate tuition rates are naturally higher. Online tuition includes some mandatory fees. Semester-based, online courses are eligible for most financial aid programs, but not for most tuition waiver programs. UND is regarded as being military & veteran friendly.

Once you’ve successfully completed two consecutive semesters of coursework in a UND online program (undergraduate or graduate), you can apply for the Ben & Ruth Gustafson Continuing Education Endowment, which supplies scholarship funding to non-traditional, distance students. You should also submit a general scholarship application at UND’s Academic Works, which will match you with any eligible UND scholarships.

Online Psychology Degree Accreditation

  • Opt for Schools With Regional Accreditation: A degree from a regionally accredited school is often the basic requirement for professional licensure in many areas of psychology & education. What’s more, to become an APA member, you must receive your education and training from a regionally accredited institution.
  • APA Accreditation is a Mark of Quality: It’s important to note that the APA only accredits on-campus or hybrid doctoral programs. However, APA accreditation is generally regarded as a mark of quality for the Department of Psychology—it adds a halo effect over all of its undergraduate and graduate programs. We note that accreditation in our rankings.

APA Accreditation & Clinical Licensure

To become a licensed clinical psychologist, you must attend an APA-accredited program. APA only accredits doctoral programs (PhD, PsyD, EdD) in clinical, counseling, and school psychology. According to the APA, there are no APA-accredited programs available that only use online methods of instruction. That means you cannot earn a 100% online doctorate and qualify for clinical psychologist licensure requirements.

However, there are doctoral programs that offer distance learning courses as part of the degree. For example, Fielding Graduate University offers an APA-accredited hybrid PhD in Clinical Psychology that combines online courses with campus sessions. Unfortunately, hybrid doctoral degrees are very rare.

Other Accreditation Bodies

Over the years, other accreditation bodies have sprung up to accredit degree programs in specific areas of psychology (e.g. NASP and school psychology, CACREP and counseling, COAMFTE and marriage & family therapy). We discuss them in our page on Affordable Psychology Degrees.

As always, we recommend you check with your State Licensing Board or the Board of Education to determine if your online program needs to have a specific accreditation before you can earn your license. In most cases, accreditation is not mandatory. To take two examples:

  • Southern New Hampshire University’s Online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is not CACREP-accredited. However, it is aligned to CACREP standards and it will prepare students to meet the educational requirements for counseling licensure in most states. In addition to the 60 required academic credits, students must attend two five-day residencies, either in New Hampshire or in additional locations. They must also complete at least a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour internships during the program (some states require additional hours for licensure).
  • Fort Hays State University’s MA and EdS programs in School Psychology are not NASP-accredited, but upon completion of the Education Specialist program, students are eligible for licensure as a school psychologist in Kansas and certain other states, as long as they complete the supervised internship of 1,200 hours.

Professional Licensure & Online Degrees

Counselor Licensure & Online Degrees

A master’s degree (on-campus or online) with required coursework in certain areas of psychology & counseling is the general education requirement for counselor licensure. Most state licensing boards will also require internships, practicums, and/or work experience.

You’ll find online degrees in our list that can prepare you for counselor licensure, but CHECK the fine print carefully. You need to make sure the degree fulfills the education requirements in your specific state. Universities should say this upfront on the program website. You can also consult your State Professional Counselor Licensure Board.

Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) Licensure & Online Degrees

Licenses for marriage & family therapists are issued by the state’s MFT Licensing Board. No two board names are exactly alike—you’ll see titles such as Board of Examiners in Counseling, Board of Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners, Board of Behavioral Science Examiners, etc.

Having said that, all 50 state boards will require a master’s or a doctoral degree and supervised clinical experience. There are online master’s programs that can prepare you for MFT licensure. Just make sure the curriculum meets the education requirements in your state.

School Psychologist Licensure & Online Degrees

As we mentioned, school psychologists gain their certificate or license to work in public schools through the state’s Department of Education (DOE), not a state licensing board.

Each DOE will have its own requirements, but most will expect you to earn a master’s, doctorate or specialist degree (e.g. EdS) in school psychology (60+ graduate school credits); pass a Teacher Certification Exam with a specialty component for school psychology; and complete a ~1,200 hour internship.

If you’re interested in taking an online master’s and an online EdS to earn your 60+ graduate credits, be sure to check credentialing requirements for the state where you want to work.

Professional Certification & Online Degrees

Certification is a voluntary qualification that can help you advance your career. An assortment of non-profit and for-profit organizations offer certifications to licensed professionals, including the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Many organizations want to see that you’ve fulfilled a prerequisite education requirement (e.g. degree, relevant coursework, etc.) before they will allow you to sit for a certification exam. You’ll usually be able to use your online degree or certificate to fulfill the education requirement, but it’s always best to check with the certification body.

Some schools even have online programs that are deliberately geared toward certification. For example, the University of Northern Colorado’s Post-Master’s Online Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate Program fulfills the coursework requirements to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam.

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