50 Best Online Master’s in Psychology 2016

If you desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others, consider pursuing an online master’s degree in the field of psychology, where career opportunities abound in a large variety of specialities. Many psychologists work as counselors. Four major counseling specialties are Mental Health Counselors, Rehabilitation Counselors, School Counselors, and Counselor Educators. However, there are many other areas where psychologists apply their expertise. Industrial/Organizational Psychologists study the behavior of individuals in organizations to determine how to improve performance and productivity. Performance Psychologists focus on human behavior in sport, performance, and exercise. To learn more about the many careers in psychology, visit the American Psychological Association website.

Choosing an Online Master’s Degree in Psychology

To choose the right online degree program in psychology for you, first identify the specialty area that interests you the most. Though many programs do not require specific undergraduate coursework, it’s still worthwhile to investigate whether certain prerequisites must be met. Second, find out if your chosen specialty requires any additional licensing or certification beyond the advanced degree.  Many counselors, for example, must become licensed in order to practice. Visit the National Board for Certified Counselors to find out about licensure requirements in your area. Third, consider choosing an online degree program that is specially accredited. For example, many counseling programs are accredited by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs). Using this Smart Choice ranking will undoubtedly lay a strong foundation as you search for the right program for you.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, those who do obtain advanced degrees and licensure to become psychologists can expect median pay at $69,280 per year. Employment in this field is expected to grow 12% from 2012-2022. Nearly one-third of psychologists are self-employed. Clinical and counseling psychologists often have their own private practice, but are also found in clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities. Research psychologists work in colleges and universities, government agencies, and private research organizations. School psychologists work in public schools, private schools, and universities.

The Methodology for This Ranking

We began this ranking by compiling a list of all of the regionally accredited distance graduate programs in psychology off of the National Center for Educational Statistics’ website. We took into account cost, flexibility, academic reputation of the institution, and the average starting salary of students at the school who have completed their graduate degree. The goal was to provide a list that takes into account the most important features to many prospective online graduate students. We are confident that this Smart Choice ranking will provide prospective students tools needed to make an wise decision for future academic and professional success.

50. Ottawa University’s School of Arts and Sciences

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Ottawa University is named after the small city of Ottawa, Kansas, in which it resides. Located about 50 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, Ottawa University is a private, nonprofit institution of higher education providing a quality liberal arts education in a Christ-centered community. Over 60 graduate students take classes in the online program, where the student-to-faculty ratio is only 3 to 1. Regional accreditation has been granted by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The School of Arts and Sciences offers an online degree program for a Master of Arts in Counseling that includes two week-long summer residencies in Phoenix, Arizona. The program requires the completion of 15 courses, which includes a Practicum of 300 hours over two semesters, and an Internship of 600 hours over three semesters. Some of the courses in this program are: Counseling Theories; Social/Cultural Concerns in Counseling; Counseling and the Helping Professions; Human Growth and Development; Group Counseling and Dynamics; and Psychological Testing. Students develop knowledge and skills to become confident, compassionate counseling professionals. This program meets educational requirements for licensure as an associate counselor in Arizona or Wisconsin. Residents of other states should review local licensure requirements. Tuition costs $610 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

49. Mid-America Christian University’s School of Psychology and Behavioral Science

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Mid-America Christian University is a private, nonprofit institution founded in Houston in 1953 by the Church of God movement. The university moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1985 to allow room for expansion. Mid-America Christian University teaches through a Wesleyan perspective. Just over 500 graduate students attend here, 75% of whom are enrolled solely in distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 11 to 1. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The School of Psychology and Behavioral Science offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Counseling with concentrations in Professional Counselor; Marital and Family Therapy; Pastoral and Spiritual Direction; and Addiction and Substance Abuse. The Professional Counselor emphasis provides a broad-based, in-depth look at the discipline and prepares students for licensure. The Marital and Family Therapy emphasis also prepares students for licensure, to work with a Christian faith-based perspective in both secular and ministry settings. The Pastoral and Spiritual Direction emphasis meets the needs of those offering counseling in their ministry roles. The Addiction and Substance Abuse emphasis equips students for licensure and focuses on academic and professional performance. The degree requirements range from 33-63 credits depending on the emphasis.

Admissions Website

48. Colorado Christian University’s College of Adult and Graduate Studies

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Founded in 1914, Colorado Christian University began with one teacher and two students. This private, interdenominational Christian institution is located in Lakewood, Colorado, immediately west of Denver. Graduate enrollment sits at over 450 students, over half of whom participate only in distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to 1. Colorado Christian University has earned regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers an online degree program for a Master of Arts in Counseling. This 60-credit program, accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, can be completed in as little as 2.5 years. Students take a foundational core set of classes that equip them with essential counseling theories and techniques, along with an understanding of methods, family systems, developmental psychology, group therapy, and more. Curriculum is designed with a Christian worldview so that students integrate faith as a component of their learning. An innovative capstone course involves a clinical field experience. Graduates are prepared to take the National Counselor Exam. Classes are typically completed in seven-week blocks. Tuition costs $614 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

47. Carlos Albizu University

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Carlo Albizu University is named after Carlos Albizu-Miranda, an award-winning leader and promoter of the Puerto Rican  psychology. With campuses in Miami, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carlo Albizu University was the first institution specializing in graduate study in psychology in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. This private, secular nonprofit reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1. The two campuses together enroll over 1,550 graduate students. Regional accreditation is issued through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: The Miami Campus of Carlos Albizu University offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. This program develops culturally competent practitioners who are able to apply scientific knowledge to find solutions to problems in workplaces. Students receive theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of selection and placement, training and development, performance measurement, organization development, and quality of work life. This 48-credit degree program includes 18 credits of Foundation Courses, 24 credits of Core I/O Courses, and six Final Project credits in an applied research capstone project. I/O Courses are: Work Motivation; Organizational Psychology; Employment Law; Personnel Psychology; Organizational Training and Development; Psychological Assessment Techniques in the Organization; Performance and Talent Management; and Organizational Development and Change. Tuition costs $570 per credit.

Admissions Website

46. Wright State University’s College of Education and Human Services

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Locate 12 miles northeast of downtown Dayton, Ohio, Wright State University is a public institution serving over 4,100 graduate students. The university is named in honor of the Wright brothers, aviation pioneers who invented the world’s first successful airplane in their Dayton bicycle shop. The student-to-faculty ratio is 22 to 1. Wright State University has obtained regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Education and Human Services offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling with two specializations: Chemical Dependency and Severe Disabilities. Both programs are accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education and graduates are qualified to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor exam. The 60-hour Chemical Dependency program dives into a thorough study of addictions, rehabilitation, and counseling theory and practice. Graduates go on to work as chemical dependency and rehabilitation counselors, as well as prevention specialists, employee assistant counselors, and more. The 60-credit Severe Disabilities program equips students to assist people with physical, mental, emotional, or social disabilities. Graduates of this program often go on to work in hospitals, government agencies, nonprofit agencies, and private practice. Core courses in both programs cover topics such as counseling theory; helping relationships and basic helping skills; human growth and development; group theory, dynamics, and process; lifestyle and career development; multicultural counseling; measurement and appraisal; research and evaluation; and professional orientation.

Admissions Website

45. Harrison Graduate School at Southwestern Assemblies of God University

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During the 1930s and early 1940s, three different Bible schools merged and eventually settled in Waxahachie, Texas. Now known as Southwestern Assemblies of God University, this private, nonprofit institution has enjoyed its 70-acre campus since 1943.  Over the years, many districts of the Assemblies of God have joined in ownership of the school. Over 300 graduate students attend here, and 84% of them participate through distance means only. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16 to 1. Regional accreditation is administered through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Harrison Graduate School offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. This 48-hour degree program includes 300 clock hours of practicum experience in Counseling Psychology. Curriculum covers a range of topics in the field, including legal and ethical issues, methods and techniques in counseling, behavioral sciences, counseling and psychotherapy theories, psychopharmacology, as well as research design and methods. Alternatively, students can choose to pursue a non-clinical Master of Science in Human Services Counseling, which prepares them for intervention and caregiving in church settings and human service agencies not requiring licensure. This program requires 30 hours total, with 150 clock hours in a practicum experience. Additionally, a 36-hour degree program is available for a Master of Education in School Counseling. Curriculum includes 160 clock hours of internship experience in school counseling.

Admissions Website

44. University of West Alabama’s College of Education

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The University of West Alabama began in 1835 as a church-related female academy. It operated as a normal school beginning in 1883, and became a public institution when the state assumed full control in 1907. Located in Livingston, Alabama, the University of West Alabama enrolls over 2,000 graduate students who enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1.  Eighty-seven percent of graduate students are enrolled only in distance education. The University of West Alabama has secured regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Education offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Adult Continuing Education with options in Counseling and Psychology, Family Counseling, or Guidance and Counseling. For the Counseling and Psychology option, students must complete a total of 33 hours. Twelve hours of required Professional Courses include Techniques of Educational Research, Educational Statistics, Theories of Personality, and Techniques of Counseling. Students choose nine hours of Base Concentration Electives and 12 hours of Applied Concentrated Electives. The Family Counseling option also requires 33 hours and includes 12 hours of Required Courses in Techniques of Educational Research, Educational Statistics, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Systems Theory in Psychology. The Guidance and Counseling option totals 48 hours and includes nine hours of Professional Courses in Techniques of Educational Research, Educational Statistics, and either Advanced Educational Psychology or Life-Span Development and Learning. None of these programs necessarily qualifies students for teaching certificates; students should investigate certification requirements in their state. Tuition costs $429 per hour.

Admissions Website

43. Touro University Worldwide’s School of Psychology

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Headquartered in Los Alamitos, California, Touro University Worldwide is the online arm of the Touro College and University System. This private, nonprofit, Jewish-sponsored higher and professional education system is named after Isaac and Judah Touro, Jewish leaders in colonial America. Just over 300 graduate students attend Touro University Worldwide. The student-to-faculty ratio is a low 8 to 1. Regional accreditation has been granted by the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: The School of Psychology offers three online degree programs in the field of psychology: 1) Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2) Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, and 3) Master of Arts in Psychology. The 12-course Psychology degree program prepares students for a wide variety of professions in a multitude of settings. Curriculum emphasizes the practical application of research to real-world situations. The degree does not lead to licensure. Concentrations are available in Media Psychology and Educational Psychology. The Marriage and Family Therapy degree program is approved by the California Board of Behavior Sciences and specifically prepares students to be eligible for licensure in California and most other states without requiring additional coursework. Students complete 18 courses and two clinical practicums for a total of 60 semester credits. The degree program in Industrial and Organizational Psychology requires the completion of 36 semester credits and includes three concentration options in Coaching and Consulting, Human Resource Management, or Occupational Health Psychology. Tuition costs $500 per semester credit.

Admissions Website

42. Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Science at Capella University

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Capella University began in 1993 as The Graduate School of America with the mission to provide quality higher education to working adults. Renamed in 1999 after the brightest star in the constellation Auriga, Capella University now enrolls over 26,000 graduate students in its fully online programs. This private, for-profit university with offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 to 1. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Science offers a number of online master’s degree programs in the field of psychology. Students can pursue a Master of Science in: Applied Behavior Analysis; Child and Adolescent Development; Education Psychology; Evaluation, Research, and Measurement; General Psychology; Industrial/Organization Psychology; Leadership Coaching Psychology; Sport Psychology; Applied Research; Clinical Counseling; Forensic Psychology; or Sex Therapy. Some programs offer the flexibility of FlexPath, which means students can move more quickly through familiar coursework and take more time when needed. All curriculum is competency-based: Faculty are scholars and practitioners, students complete real-world assignments, and curriculum is professionally-aligned. Credits required for completion vary by degree sought. The program for General Psychology requires 50 quarter credits. Tuition costs $471 per credit.

Admissions Website

41. Angelo State University’s College of Graduate Studies

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Located in the Concho Valley in West Texas, Angelo State University is a public institution in the Texas Tech University System. The university was founded in 1928 and enjoys a 268-acre campus in the city of San Angelo. Over 1,100 graduate students attend here, 68% of whom are enrolled solely in distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. Angelo State University has earned regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Graduate Studies offers online degree programs for a Master of Science in Applied Psychology and a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling. The degree in Applied Psychology is open to to individuals with any undergraduate major. Courses cover basic and applied areas of psychology. Students learn to apply psychological principles to areas such as improving health, safety, education, prosperity, and decision-making. Students following this 36-semester-hour degree plan can choose thesis or non-thesis options. The Guidance and Counseling degree is tailored for students who wish to pursue careers as counselors, most likely in settings at public schools, colleges, and universities. Also requiring 36 semester hours, this program can be completed in less than two years with eight-week courses that are fully online. The degree prepares students for certification in Texas. Students outside of Texas should contact their local licensing board for information.

Admissions Website

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The school listed at #40 no longer has an online program. In an effort to keep our readers up to date we decided to delete the profile.

39. Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education

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Eastern Michigan University began as a normal school in 1849. Located in historic Ypsilanti, just 40 miles west of Detroit, the 800-acre campus provides a rich academic and recreational environment for students.  Graduate enrollment exceeds 4,000 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #85 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities Midwest.”  Eastern Michigan University has obtained regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Education offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology with a 13-hour concentration in the Developing Learner. Students in this program learn to think critically about the ways people learn and develop emotionally, cognitively, and socially. The program’s mission is to prepare educators as practitioners and researchers. Students gain understanding in educational psychology concepts, apply principles of learning in school and non-school settings, create programs based on research, design studies and assessments of student outcomes, and understand the impact of diversity on development and learning. For the Developing Learner concentration, students select courses totaling 13 credits from a total of 32 course options. A concentration in Research and Assessment is also available, but does require some in-person courses. The program culminates in a Project or Thesis.

Admissions Website

38. Franklin University’s College of Arts, Sciences and Technology

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The city of Columbus is Ohio’s capital, and home to the private, nonprofit Franklin University. Founded in 1902, Franklin University is the second largest private university in Ohio and enrolls over 1,000 graduate students. Over 60% of graduate students are enrolled solely in distance education. The university maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. Regional accreditation is administered through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Arts, Sciences and Technology offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Business Psychology. This program fuses the fields of business and positive psychology to create leaders who understand and leverage their knowledge of human behavior and business principles to motivate behavior and resolve managerial issues. Students gain a solid theoretical foundation in human behavior that can be applied practically to solve business problems. Graduates seek employment as business consultants, coaching program administrators, human resources, training and development managers, and more. Curriculum courses cover topics such as: Innovation and Change Management; Organizational Intelligence; Individual and Organizational Coaching; Marketing Psychology; and Human Resource Development. Courses are taught by faculty with industry experience. The program includes nine courses for a total of 36 credits. The final course is a Mastery Demonstration in which students self-select a major project to demonstrate mastery of the program’s learning outcomes. This degree can be attained in as little as 14 months. Tuition costs $635 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

37. University of Idaho’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

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The University of Idaho was founded in 1889 and opened 3 years later with 40 students and one professor. Set in rural Moscow, Idaho, this university is a land-grant research institution, and considered one of the best educational values in the Pacific Northwest. The student-to-faculty ratio is 17 to 1 and more than 2,400 graduate students attend here. The university is ranked in a tie at #168 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” The University of Idaho has secured regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Program Details: The Psychology and Communication Studies Department offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Human Factors. This 30-credit degree program includes unique coursework in: Sensation and Perception; Engineering Psychology; Human Factors in Engineering Design; Research Methods; Advanced Research Methods; Cognitive Psychology; Ergonomics and Biomechanics; Human-Computer Interaction; and Advanced Human Factors. To acquire the degree, students must earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their coursework and complete a thesis or comprehensive exam. Applicants may apply at anytime, but only begin the program in the fall or spring. To enter this competitive program, applicants must have an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field, and prior coursework in Introductory Statistics, Experimental Psychology or Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology, and Sensation and Perception. Additionally, applicants must provide official transcripts, a personal statement, acceptable GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation.

Admissions Website

36. Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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Grand Canyon University is a private, for-profit Christian university that began in 1949 and is owned by Grand Canyon Education, Inc. Students soak up 300 days of sunshine on the 100-acre park-like campus in Phoenix, Arizona. Nearly 23,000 graduate students attend here, and a striking 93% of them are enrolled only in distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19 to 1. Regional accreditation has been granted by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Grand Canyon University offers a plethora of online degree programs for master’s degrees in the field of psychology. Students can seek Master of Science degrees in: Addiction Counseling; Christian Counseling; Christian Counseling of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders; Professional Counseling; Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders; Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy; and Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Trauma. The university also offers online degree programs for a Master of Science in Psychology with seven different emphasis options from which to choose: Marriage and Family Therapy; Trauma; Forensic Psychology; General Psychology; GeroPsychology; Health Psychology; Human Factors Psychology; Industrial and Organizational Psychology; and Life Coaching. The required number of credits varies based on the program; the 36-credit General Psychology program is comprised of 10 courses including a Professional Capstone. All the online programs offer small class sizes and supportive faculty who have strong academic backgrounds and experience in the field. Programs prepare students for career advancement and/or further education.

Admissions Website

35. University of Memphis’ College of Education

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The University of Memphis is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee, on a 1,607-acre campus. This public institution traces its roots to a normal school founded in 1912. Nearly 4,000 graduate students attend here, and over 20% of them attend classes solely through distance means. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to 1. Regional accreditation is provided by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Educational Psychology. This flexible, 36-credit program is designed to accommodate students with busy work/family obligations. Curriculum familiarizes students with human development, learning and cognition, motivation, and quantitative/qualitative research methods. Educational leaders become prepared for teaching, research, and professional roles where understanding human development is vital. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including teachers, administrators, school psychologists, military personnel, health professionals, ministers, law enforcement, and more. All faculty in the department hold doctorates in their field. Applicants must have an acceptable GRE score. Applications are reviewed twice annually on April 1st and November 1st. This program is not designed for students seeking licensure for K-12 school counseling or general counseling.

Admissions Website

34. Kaplan University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC, and traces its roots to the founding of the American Institute of Commerce in 1937. The university is based out of Davenport, Iowa, but hosts 15 locations across the United States. This private, for-profit institution began offering fully online programs in 2001. Over 11,500 graduate students attend Kaplan University solely online. Kaplan University has earned regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Social and Behavioral Sciences Program offers an online degree option for a Master of Science in Psychology that teaches the processes of human experience and behavior. Students learn core theories and research in the field, and may select from four areas of specialization: 1) General Psychology, 2) Addictions, 3) Applied Behavior Analysis, or 4) Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Depending on the specialization chosen, the program requires 60-75 credits to complete, with 35-40 core credits. Practicums are available so that students gain hands-on experience. The program ends with the choice of a thesis or comprehensive exam. Upon completion of this program, students are equipped to pursue employment in the field of psychology or related areas. Tuition costs $385 per credit.

Admissions Website

33. University of the Cumberlands’ School of Counseling

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The University of the Cumberlands is located in Southern Kentucky, in the town of Williamsburg, at the edge of Daniel Boone National Forest. This private, nonprofit university was named for the Cumberland Mountains in 2005, but traces its roots to a small college founded by Baptist ministers in 1888. Nearly 3,100 graduate students attend here, 98% of whom are enrolled solely in distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #87 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities South.” Regional accreditation is issued through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The School of Counseling offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. This program leads students to become professional mental health counselors. This 60-hour degree program comprised of 20 courses allows for 30 hours of credit to be transferred in. Courses include: Introduction to Mental Health Counseling, Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling, Etiology and Diagnosis of Abnormal Behavior, Counseling Theories and Techniques, Counseling During Grief and Crisis, Marriage and Family Counseling, and more. The program concludes with field experience through a Counseling Practicum and Counseling Internship. Specializations are available for dual licensures. Students can select Addiction Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Classes begin five times per year. Tuition costs $400 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

32. Ball State University’s Teachers College

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Located one hour northeast of Indianapolis, Indiana, Ball State University was founded by a group of business leaders in 1899. Decades later, this public institution was renamed in honor of one of those leaders, Mr. Frank C. Ball. The university enrolls over 4,200 graduate students, over half of whom participate solely through distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #168 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Ball State University has obtained regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: In the field of psychology, Teachers College at Ball State University offers three relevant online master’s degree programs: 1) Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis with an Emphasis in Autism, 2) Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, and 3) Master of Science in Quantitative Psychology. The first is a 30-credit-hour program that has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc., and can be completed in 18 months through an accelerated track. The second is a 30-credit-hour program with 18 hours of Required Courses and 12 hours of Electives of the student’s choice or in the form of a specialization in Gifted and Talented Education, Human Development, or Statistical and Research Methods. The third is a program in which students learn methods for the measurement of human attributes, statistical and mathematical modeling of psychological processes, the design of research studies, and the analysis of psychological data. This degree prepares students to pursue their doctoral degree and for careers in assessment companies, research organizations, government departments of education, and more.

Admissions Website

31. National University’s College of Letters and Sciences

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Founded in 1971, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System, with administrative offices located in the seaside city of La Jolla, California. National University is a private, nonprofit institution that boasts five schools and one college. Graduate enrollment peaks at over 7,800, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20 to 1. Nearly 70% of graduate students are enrolled only in distance education. Regional accreditation is administered through the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: The College of Letters and Sciences offers an online degree program for a Master of Arts in Performance Psychology. This 63-quarter-unit program is comprised of 14 Core Requirement courses in topics such as Sport/Performance Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Stages of Adult Development, Counseling in Performance Psychology, Behavioral Research, Theories of Behavior Change, Ethics in Performance Psychology, Motor Behavior, and Consulting Practice Development. A final course provides a fieldwork experience or internship so students can apply learned principles in a professional setting. The program prepares students for certification by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and employment with university and professional athletic organizations, fine arts performance settings, and school/community sports organizations.

Admissions Website

30. St. Cloud State University’s School of Health and Human Services

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St. Cloud, Minnesota, is home to the 100-acre campus of St. Cloud State University, located between downtown and the Beaver Islands on the Mississippi River. This public institution began as a normal school to train teachers in 1869. Now, nearly 1,700 graduate students are enrolled here. The student-to-faculty ratio is 22 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #99 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities Midwest.” St. Cloud State University has secured regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The School of Health and Human Services offers a unique fully online degree program for a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. Curriculum is designed with conceptual and practical coursework, with Ph.D.-level instructors in all courses. The program requires the completion of 45-46 credits, and is accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Students receive training in behavior analysis with specialization in autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, community integration strategies, program evaluation, organizational development, and staff training. Faculty have partnerships with 120 agencies around the world. All students must complete a 750-hour clinical internship in an applied setting. This degree can lead to possible careers as a clinical behavioral therapist, an education behavior support specialist, an intensive behavior therapist, a residential and vocational program worker, and a behavioral analyst. Students can choose to finish their program with a Thesis or Comprehensive Exam. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.75 or better, and an acceptable GRE score.

Admissions Website

29. Walden University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Two teachers founded Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1970 with the intent to be student-centered, accessible to working professionals, and agents of positive social change. The private, for-profit institution provides distance-only education, and enrolls over 43,000 graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 17 to 1. Regional accreditation has been granted by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers several online master’s degree programs in the field of psychology, including: Master of Science in Addiction Counseling; Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Master of Science in Clinical Psychology; Master of Science in Forensic Psychology; Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Master of Science in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; Master of Science in Psychology; and Master of Science in School Counseling. The Master of Science in Psychology program, for example, utilizes the latest psychological research and theories to address real-world problems. The 45-quarter-credit program prepares students to pursue their PhD, or to enter work in community agencies, health care settings, educational institutions, or social service systems. This degree program alone offers 12 specializations, so students can cater their curriculum to their career goal. Students can earn their degree in as little as 15 months. Tuition costs $490 per quarter hour.

Admissions Website

28. University of Louisiana at Monroe’s College of Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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The city of Monroe is located in Northern Louisiana along the Ouachita River and is home to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The institution is one of nine in the public University of Louisiana System. Over 1,300 graduate students attend here. The student-to-faculty ratio is 21 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #93 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities South.” Regional accreditation is provided by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Counseling. In this program, required Core Courses total 48 semester hours. Students may add concentrations for an additional 12 hours each in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and/or School Counseling. This degree program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. Curriculum equips students to acquire the knowledge and skills essential in the practice of counseling. Students will be able to provide excellent supportive, educational, and counseling services to people from diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings. If pursuing licensure, it is recommended that students contact their local licensing board for requirements. Classes are delivered in semesters. Internships include 600 hours of clinical work. Tuition costs varies depending upon the number of hours taken per semester.

Admissions Website

27. American Public University’s School of Arts and Humanities

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Founded in 1991 by a Marine Corps officer to meet the unique educational needs of the military, American Public University System is headquartered in Charles Town, West Virginia. The university expanded in 2002 to serve a diverse population beyond the military, and now enrolls over 10,500 graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 21 to 1. All programs are offered completely via distance education. American Public University has earned regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The School of Arts and Humanities offers an online degree program for a Master of Arts in Psychology. This 39-credit program emphasizes the study of human behavior, and is excellent preparation for career advancement or doctoral studies. Students learn lifespan development, social and cultural diversity, assessment, personality, and psychopathology. Curriculum blends scientific theory with research to develop skills sought by industry professionals. Courses topics include: Theories and Research Methods; Research and Statistical Methods of Psychology; Personality Development, Counseling, and Psychotherapy; Ethical, Legal, and Moral Issues; Substance Abuse and Addiction; and more. Students must complete a Capstone Course at the end of the program to receive their degree. Applicants may transfer in up to 15 credits. Tuition costs $350 per credit.

Admissions Website

26. Concordia University, St. Paul

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In 1893, Concordia University was founded under the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. This private, nonprofit institution located in St. Paul, Minnesota, is now part of the ten-member Concordia University System. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15 to 1. Concordia University enrolls over 1,600 graduate students, 73% of whom attend classes solely online. The university is ranked in a tie at #99 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities Midwest.” Regional accreditation is issued through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Concordia University, St. Paul, offers a fully online 36-credit degree program for a Master of Arts in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Mental Health. This program was developed in partnership with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies, and focuses on the relationship between mental health and the law. Not a clinical/counseling program, this degree gives students an overview of the field of forensic mental health and related systems of care. Students learn about evidence-based practices, therapeutic strategies, criminal rationale, individuals in corrections systems, risk assessment tools, and more. A sampling of required course titles includes Forensic Mental Health; Family Violence, PTSD and Trauma; Research Methods; Ethical and Legal Considerations; Sexual Offending; and Cultural Aspects in Forensic Mental Health. Courses take seven weeks to complete. Tuition costs $475 per credit.

Admissions Website

25. University of North Texas

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The University of North Texas is located in the city of Denton, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The university is one of Texas’ largest universities. With 12 schools and colleges, the institution serves over 6,700 graduate students and is one of three members of the University of North Texas System. The student-to-faculty ratio is 23 to 1. The University of North Texas has obtained regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The University of North Texas offers three online master’s degree programs in the field of psychology. The College of Education offers two of them. First, an accelerated executive program is available for a Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Research and Evaluation. This 33-credit fully online program equips education professionals for administrative management positions in educational organizations. Students begin in the summer and graduate the next summer. Second, students may choose to pursue a Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Gifted and Talented Students. Courses usually begin in May for this 33-credit fully online program. This degree can also be completed at a summer-to-summer pace and is ideal for the classroom teacher. Curriculum includes 27 hours of Core Classes, six hours of Electives, and one Capstone Course. The College of Public Affairs and Community Service offers a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. This 48-credit cohort-based program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education. At six hours per term, the program takes slightly over two years to complete. A practicum and internship are required; together they require 700 hours of client contact hours in a rehabilitation agency.

Admissions Website

24. Austin Peay State University’s College of Behavioral and Health Sciences

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Austin Peay State University began by Act of the General Assembly of 1927 and was named in honor of Governor Austin Peay. This public institution is located on an urban campus in Clarksville, Tennessee. Over half of Austin Peay State University’s 850 graduate students attend solely online. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #68 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities South.” Regional accreditation is administered through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Department of Psychological Science and Counseling offers an exclusively online degree program for a Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. The 34-hour program is designed with the convenience of online learning, but maintains academic quality and rigor through a scientist-practitioner approach. Through 12 courses, students receive training in I/O Psychology theories and research methods, application in work settings, and the opportunity to develop expertise in a variety of areas, such as personnel selection, training and development, performance appraisal, motivation, team performance, and leadership. Curriculum is designed in accordance with guidelines from the Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association. It includes 10 hours of Foundation Courses, 18 hours of I/O Psychology Core, and either six hours of Approved Electives and a Comprehensive Exam, or a six-credit Thesis. This program prepares students to pursue employment after graduation or enter a doctoral program in I/O.

Admissions Website

23. Sacred Heart University’s College of Arts and Sciences

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Sacred Heart University is located in the large suburb of Fairfield, Connecticut, about five miles from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, across from Long Island. This private, nonprofit institution was founded as a Catholic university in 1963. Nearly 2,800 graduate students attend here today. Sacred Heart University reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #41 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities North.” Sacred Heart University has secured regional accreditation through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: The College of Arts and Sciences offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Applied Psychology. This program is designed with a blend of behavioral and workplace psychology, thus preparing students to understand psychological theory, conduct research on behavioral issues, and apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Three concentrations are available: 1) Industrial-Organizational Psychology, 2) Community Psychology, and 3) General Applied Psychology. Industrial-Organizational Psychology focuses on applying psychology in the workplace to maximize employee satisfaction and productivity. Community Psychology applies to the care of people in public settings, such as nonprofits and social service agencies. The General Applied Psychology concentration allows students to select four electives that reflect their career interests. The program ends with a capstone option; students choose an immersion experience, an exam/essay, or a thesis. This research-based program does not include clinical hours, so it does not lead directly to clinical licensure. Due to state regulations, the program is not available to residents of Maryland, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Admissions Website

22. Liberty University

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Liberty University is a Christian, liberal arts institution in the small city of Lynchburg, Virginia. Founded in 1971 by well-known evangelical Southern Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is now the fifth largest university in the United States, and the largest Christian university in the world. Over 31,500 graduate students attend here, and 96% of them are enrolled solely online. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #80 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities South.” Regional accreditation is provided by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Liberty University offers a large variety of online degree programs for master’s degrees within the field of psychology. Students can pursue a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry with a concentration in Pastoral Counseling. Or, the university offers a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling, with concentrations in Addictions and Recovery, Business, Christian Ministries, Criminal Justice, Crisis Response and Trauma, Executive Leadership, Health and Wellness, Life Coaching, Marriage and Family, or Military Resilience. Additionally, a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy is available. Students working in ministry positions may want to pursue a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, with a concentration in Addictions and Recovery, Crisis Response and Trauma, Discipleship and Church Ministry, Leadership, Life Coaching, Marketplace Chaplaincy, Marriage and Family, Military Resilience, Pastoral Counseling, or Theology. For students who wish to seek professional licensure as a counselor, Liberty University offers a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling with a 48-hour option and a 60-hour option. Alternatively, students may choose a Master of Arts in Religion with an emphasis on Pastoral Counseling. Last, a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling is available. All online course offerings match the quality of on-campus classes and are taught from a Christian worldview.

Admissions Website

21. Union College’s Department of Psychology

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Union College began in 1879 when 35 local residents of Barbourville, Kentucky, became stockholders to provide opportunities for their families and the community. This private, nonprofit institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church; its mission statement simply includes the value of spirituality as a quest to discover a personal faith or philosophy of life. Nearly half of Union College’s 270 graduate students are enrolled only in distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 13 to 1. The college is ranked at #83 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities South.” Union College has earned regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Department of Psychology offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Arts in Psychology. The program 36-hour program is designed for students who may be seeking career advancement or who wish to pursue doctoral studies in psychology. Curriculum involves advanced coursework involving 22 hours of Foundational Courses, nine hours of Psychology Electives, and six hours of Thesis Courses. Thesis Courses involve an Integrated Project wherein students analyze and synthesize theoretical and applied concepts from a specialized area. Students may also take six hours of select electives to earn a Chemical Dependency Certificate, with courses such as Psychology of Addiction, Recovery and Relapse, and Biological Systems of Chemical Dependence. Technical support for online students is available at all times of the day and night. There are no residencies. Tuition costs $395 per credit hour. A military discount is available.

Admissions Website

20. Tiffin University’s School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences

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Tiffin University began in 1888 as an independent, for-profit institution, but became a private, nonprofit university in 1939. The 130-acre campus is located near the Sandusky River in Tiffin, Ohio. Nearly 1,100 graduate students attend here, and 85% of them are enrolled solely in distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #68 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities Midwest.” Regional accreditation is issued through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Science in Psychology. This program is focused on scientific and experimental psychology, not counseling and clinical psychology, and therefore does not lead to licensure. Instead, students gain a broad education in several areas of psychology, understanding human thought and behavior, as well as research and analysis. Graduates are equipped for a wide range of professional settings. This 37-credit degree program includes coursework in Statistical Procedures, Research Design and Analysis, Law and Ethics, Cross Cultural Issues, History and Systems of Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Psychopathology, Social Pathology, and more. The curriculum finalizes with a Capstone Research Project. All faculty hold a PhD in their field. Classes are offered in seven-week terms that begin six times per year. Tuition costs $500 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

19. Grace College and Seminary’s Department of Graduate Counseling

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Grace College and Seminary is located on a 180-acre campus in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, Indiana, about 125 miles north of downtown Indianapolis. The seminary was founded in 1937 and the college in 1948, both in the Brethren tradition. Today this evangelical Christian, nonprofit institution enrolls over 300 graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 24 to 1. The college is ranked in a tie at #38 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest.” Grace College and Seminary has obtained regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Details: The Department of Graduate Counseling at Grace College offers an online degree program for a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The 60-credit program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. Curriculum interprets the truths of psychology and the social sciences through the lens of Scripture. Coursework includes Non-Clinical Courses such as Theological Foundations in Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling, Psychopathology, and many more, as well as Fieldwork Courses involving practicums and internships at approved sites with licensed supervisors. Finally, the program culminates in two capstone processes, the Comprehensive Exam and the Portfolio. Students will be equipped and qualified to acquire their license in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or pursue doctoral studies. The degree is offered as a three year schedule of study or an accelerated 2 year plan. Students attend a 4 to 6 day residency on campus each year in August. Tuition costs $553 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

18. University of North Dakota’s College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education and Human Development

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Located in the city of Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota carries a reputation for research in health sciences, energy and the environment, aerospace, and entrepreneurship. The University of North Dakota is home to over 3,300 graduate students, and holds the honor of being the state’s oldest and largest university. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19 to 1. This public university is ranked in a tie at #180 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Regional accreditation is administered through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The University of North Dakota offers two online degree programs for master’s degrees in the field of psychology. The College of Arts and Sciences has designed a 35-credit Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. Students learn to apply psychological theory, knowledge, and skills to the civil and criminal justice systems. Curriculum teaches students how to conduct focus groups and assist lawyers in trial preparation and jury selection, use the most appropriate tools for forensic assessment and evaluation, testify as an expert witness, assist courts, and more. The degree takes approximately 2+ years to complete, with online recorded lectures and a two-week residency capstone experience on campus. The College of Education and Human Development offers an online degree program for a Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in K-12 School Counseling. This 50-credit program takes 2.5 years to complete. Live, online interactive classes meet in the evenings. Two four-day residencies are required each summer for a total of four residencies. The program prepares students for licensure and is modeled after the American School Counselor Association’s National Model. Tuition for either degree costs $352.52 per credit.

Admissions Website

17. LeTourneau University’s College of Health Sciences

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The city of Longview‒known as an East Texas hub city and one of the fastest-growing small cities in the United States‒is home to LeTourneau University. This private, Christian institution began as a technical institute in 1946, founded by R.G. LeTourneau. The student-to-faculty ratio holds at 14 to 1, with just over 400 graduate students enrolled. Eighty-nine percent of graduate students participate solely in distance education. The university is ranked in a tie at #32 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities West.” LeTourneau University has secured regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Health Sciences offers an accelerated online degree program for a Master of Arts in Psychology. This 35-credit program is designed to equip students with basic counseling skills suitable for counseling ministries where a license is not required. The flexible online format includes 14 credit hours of electives in business, leadership, education, religion, or psychology, so students can tailor their program to suit their personal and professional goals. A practicum provides on-site experience in counseling settings. Required courses are: Introduction to Counseling; Counseling Skills and Techniques; Ethical, Legal and Professional Standards in Counseling Practice; Lifespan Human Development; Family Assessment; Group Counseling Methods; and Counseling Practicum. Also, a hybrid degree program is available for a 66-credit Master of Arts in Counseling. This program combines online courses with three-day intensive learning experiences on campus. Core coursework includes classes in Clinical Theology. Students choose one of three program tracks: 1) Licensed Professional Counselor Specialization, 2) Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Specialization, or 3) School Counseling Specialization.

Admissions Website

16. Lamar University’s College of Education and Human Development

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Lamar University is a public institution in the Texas State University System, and among the fastest growing. The 270-acre campus lies 90 miles east of Houston, in the city of Beaumont, Texas. Over 5,600 graduate students attend here. Nearly three-quarters of graduate students attend solely online. The student-to-faculty ratio is 22 to 1. Regional accreditation has been granted by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Education and Human Development offers an online degree program for a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This 60-hour program is delivered in an accelerated format, allowing completion in as little as 27 months. Individuals who seek to become clinical mental health counselors will be prepared to offer services to a broad population of clients in a variety of settings. Required courses include Human Growth and Development, Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Multicultural Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, Abnormal Human Behavior, and more. The program includes two required residencies. Curriculum concludes with a practicum and internship. It is advised that students confirm the requirements for licensure in their home state. Tuition costs $705 per three-hour course.

Admissions Website

15. Seton Hall University’s College of Education and Human Services

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Seton Hall University is a private, nonprofit institution founded as Seton Hall College by a Catholic bishop in 1856. The college gained university status in 1950. Located in South Orange, New Jersey, Seton Hall University enrolls over 3,800 graduate students who experience a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #123 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Regional accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: The College of Education and Human Services offers several online master’s degree programs in the field of psychology: a 48-credit Master of Arts in Counseling, a 48-credit Master of Arts in School Counseling, and a 60-credit combined degree with either of the Master of Arts degrees as well as an Education Specialist in Professional Counseling degree. These programs are designed with the working professional in mind. The Master of Arts in Counseling takes 2.5 years to complete and occurs in a cohort environment. Coursework prepares students to become effective counselors in a variety of settings and requires the completion of 16 classes, culminating in a comprehensive final exam or capstone project. The Master of Arts in School Counseling is also conducted through a cohort-based program, takes 2.5 years to complete, and prepares students to be successful counselors in K-12 educational settings. This program meets the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education. Curriculum includes a nine-credit field internship in a school. The combined degree begins in the fifth semester and adds required coursework in Etiology and Treatment of Addictions; Seminar in Psychopathology; Couple and Family Dynamics; and an internship in Counseling III. For all programs, two four-day residencies are required, once at the start of the program and then again the following year.

Admissions Website

14. University of Texas at Tyler’s College of Education and Psychology

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Founded in 1971, the University of Texas at Tyler is a public university in the University of Texas System. Located on nearly 259 acres in East Texas, midway between the cities of Dallas and Shreveport, Louisiana, the university is home to seven colleges. Over half of the nearly 2,200 graduate students who attend here do so solely through distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 21 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #73 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities West.” The University of Texas at Tyler has earned regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Education and Psychology offers a fully online degree program for a 36-hour Master of Arts in School Counseling. This is a cohort-based program that begins each summer and finishes in 18 months. Curriculum is designed to develop competent, creative school counselors who can plan, develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate school counseling programs. Graduates will be able to assume an active role in counseling, promoting academic excellence. Program courses include: Counseling Theories and Applications; Family Therapy; Cultural Diversity and Advocacy; Foundations and Ethics of School Counseling; Career Counseling and Assessment, and more. Curriculum aligns with Texas School Counselor Standards and guidelines set forth by the American School Counselor Association. Students should contact the licensing board in their own state to determine applicability. Applications and interview are due each year by April 30th.

Admissions Website

13. UMass Online

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UMassOnline is the online arm of the University of Massachusetts five-campus public research university system. The entire system enrolls nearly 17,400 graduate students. UMassOnline began in 2001 and offers over 140 degrees and certificates.  Administrative offices are located in Shrewsbury, a suburb of Worcester. The student-to-faculty ratio at the Amherst campus is 17 to 1. The Amherst campus is ranked in a tie at #75 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Regional accreditation is issued through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: The University of Massachusetts Boston offers several online master’s degree programs. Students can pursue a Master of Education in School Counseling, a Master of Science in Family Therapy, a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, or a Master of Science in Rehabilitation. Each degree requires the completion of 60 credits. These degree programs follow a cohort-based model whereby all students complete the same program of study over a three-year period. A two-week residency is required during a summer to take two clinical courses. Tuition costs $505 per credit. The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a 30-credit online degree program for a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies Option. Applicants for this program must show proof of their valid teaching license in their state, GRE, or successful completion of the Behavioral Intervention in Autism Certificate Program. Tuition costs $470 per credit.

Admissions Website

12. University of Tennessee’s College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, began in 1794, two years before Tennessee became a state. This land-grant public institution includes 11 colleges on 580 acres, and is the flagship campus in the University of Tennessee system. Over 8,700 graduate students attend here. The student-to-faculty ratio is 17 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #103 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has obtained regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Education, Health & Human Sciences offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Educational Psychology. This 36-hour degree concludes with a comprehensive exam and includes 12-hour concentrations in either Adult Education or Applied Educational Psychology. The program is designed for working professionals in school settings, business, and government, as well as people preparing to work in these fields. Online students participate in synchronous courses, which means they must be online during designated times. Another online degree program is available through the University of Tennessee-Martin, which is also a part of the University of Tennessee system. The program is for a Masters in Education-Counseling with four concentrations of study: Student Affairs and College Counseling; School Counseling; Clinical Mental Health; and Addictions Counseling. The concentrations range from 48-60 hours. This degree prepares students to become professional counselors in clinical mental health and school settings. The program requires a four-day residency.

Admissions Website

11. Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences

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Set in picturesque northern Colorado at the edge of the Great Plains and the base of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado State University is a 5,000-acre land-grant research institution. The university was founded in 1870. Based in the city of Fort Collins, Colorado State University enrolls about 3,800 graduate students and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #127 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Regional accreditation is administered through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Department of Psychology in the College of Natural Sciences offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology. This degree is considered the highest in its field. The program equips students to improve performance and productivity in workplaces through the study of the individuals who work there. Graduates finish the program prepared to be practitioners, applying principles of psychology to solve human resources and leadership challenges. Prior to admission, students may earn a specialized certificate in Organizational Development, Performance Management, or Psychological Measurement and Methodologies. Courses for the certificates are core required courses for the degree, should students then decided to enter the full degree program. This program can be completed in two years. Tuition costs $685 per credit.

Admissions Website

10. University of Alabama’s College of Education

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Founded in 1831 as Alabama’s first public college, the University of Alabama is a student-centered research university. With a home in the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, along the banks of the Black Warrior River, this academic institution enrolls nearly 5,300 graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 21 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #96 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” The University of Alabama has secured regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Additionally, the College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Program Details: Through the College of Continuing Studies, the College of Education offers a 30-credit Master of Arts in Educational Psychology degree with a specialization in Learning and Assessment, and a 48-credit Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling. Both degree programs are offered fully online. The former familiarizes students with educational assessment and evaluations processes, and underlying psychological theories. The program is open to both educators and non-educations and contains 10 required courses, including Introduction to Education Research, Evaluation of Classroom Learning, Social and Cultural Foundations of Behavior, and Non-Thesis Research. The latter equips students to provide quality counseling services to people with disabilities and their families. Curriculum meets standards set by the Council on Rehabilitation Education and includes 13 Required Courses and one approved Elective. Required Courses cover topics such as Counseling Theory and Process; Medical, Functional, and Environmental Aspects of Disability; Vocational Rehabilitation Case Management and Placement, and Multicultural Counseling. The program ends with a practicum and internship in Rehabilitation Counseling. Tuition costs $360 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

9. Mercy College’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Mercy College is a private, nonprofit liberal arts college located on 66 acres in the picturesque village of Dobbs Ferry, New York, less than 30 minutes via train from Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1950, Mercy College is nonsectarian and now enrolls over 3,300 graduate students who enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 19 to 1. Regional accreditation has been granted by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers several online degree options for master’s degrees in the field of Counseling. Students can choose to pursue a 48-credit Master of Science in Counseling, which offers two certifications: 1) School Counselor Program, and 2) Bilingual School Counselor Program. Students who complete either of these programs successfully are then recommended to the New York State Education Department for provisional certification as a school counselor. Alternatively, students can choose to pursue a 60-credit Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. Students who complete this program successfully are then eligible to work towards meeting the 3,000-hour externship required for licensure as a mental health counselor in New York State. (Out-of-state students should contact their local licensing boards for requirements for licensure.) The program ends with a written comprehensive exam.  Students are required to attend a two-week summer residency. The program usually takes two to three years. Tuition costs $828 per credit.

Admissions Website

8. University of Missouri’s College of Education

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The University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, is the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri was the first public university west of the Mississippi River and the first in the Louisiana Purchase territory. Over 7,700 graduate students attend here. The student-to-faculty ratio is 20 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #103 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Additionally, the College of Education is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

Program Details: The College of Education offers an online degree program for a 34-hour Master of Education in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology. This program contains an emphasis on mental health practices in schools. Curriculum is designed for educators who work with children and adolescents in schools; the program does not provide school counselor certification or professional counseling licensure. Experts in the field teach courses on practical applications of psychological concepts. A sampling of topics includes school dropout, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, stress, and abuse. Students gain skills in behavioral management, collaboration, communication, diversity issues, crisis management, and wellness management for staff. A 31-hour Educational Specialist degree is also available. Near the end of the program, students submit a capstone integrative paper. Tuition for online graduate courses is charged at in-state rates and costs $350.10 per credit.

Admissions Website

7. Harvard Extension School at Harvard University

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Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636. Over 18,400 graduate students attend this private, nonprofit institution and enjoy a low student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1. Only 5% of graduate students participate solely in distance education. The university is ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Harvard University has earned regional accreditation through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: The Harvard Extension School offers a nine-course degree program for a Master of Liberal Arts, Psychology in which students are required to attend at least three courses on campus. Students gain in-depth knowledge of core psychological theories and the latest research, as well as the ability to communicate complex knowledge. Curriculum includes research toward a master’s thesis relevant to students’ work experience or interests, advised by a Harvard faculty member. At the beginning of their studies (and as part of the admissions process itself), students must complete a proseminar in “Research Methods and Scholarly Writing in the Social Sciences: Anthropology and Psychology.” Students must also select and complete one four-credit, graduate-level psychology field course (from over 30 course options), and complete one course in Statistical Methods. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in these courses to be admitted to the program. Tuition costs $2,400 per course.

Admissions Website

6. Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Department of Psychological Science

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When the Missouri University of Science and Technology was founded in 1870, it focused primarily on mining and metallurgy. This public institution is now known for its repeated success in national engineering design competitions. Located about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis, Missouri, in the small town of Rolla, the university enrolls over 2,100 graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #146 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Regional accreditation is issued through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Department of Psychological Science offers a fully online degree program for a Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. This program emphasizes the application of psychological science to enhance the performance and well-being of people in organizations. Curriculum provides a strong foundation in scientific methods, management of human resources, and applying strategies and training techniques to make organizations more effective. Students may select a thesis or non-thesis option in one of three tracks: 1) Leadership in Technical Organizations, 2) Psychometrics, or 3) Human Factors. Applicants should have previous coursework in General Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, and at least three of six specific additional courses. Tuition costs $1,194.51 per credit hour.

Admissions Website

5. University of Georgia’s College of Education

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The University of Georgia is located in the city of Athens, about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. This public institution traces its roots to an Act of the General Assembly in 1785, though the first class didn’t graduate until 1804. Today, over 8,300 graduate students attend here, 3% via distance means only.  The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #61 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” The University of Georgia has obtained regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Additionally, the College of Education is accredited by the National Council on Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Program Details: The College of Education offers two online master’s degree programs related to psychology. The 34-credit program for a Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Applied Cognition and Development explores the impact of human cognitive, motivational, and developmental processes in education and practice. Students may choose a secondary area of focus from four options: 1) Learning with Technology, 2) Learning Across the Lifespan, 3) Qualitative Approaches to Education, or 4) Development of High Intellectual Capability. The 37-credit Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education is based on the philosophy that giftedness and creativity are expressed in diverse ways among diverse people, that creativity is a universal potential to be nurtured and enhanced, and that the best education is tailored to students’ specific needs and interests for talent development. All faculty in these programs hold PhDs. Tuition costs $629 per credit hour.

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4. California Baptist University’s Division of Online and Professional Studies

California Baptist University

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California Baptist University is a private, nonprofit institution founded by the California Southern Baptist Convention in 1950. The campus is located in Riverside, California, near the Santa Ana River and a short drive to sunny Pacific Ocean beaches. The university is home to over 1,500 graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #39 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities West.” Regional accreditation is administered through the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: CBU Online offers an online degree program for a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. Curriculum prepares students to enter the field of either marriage and family therapy or professional clinical counseling. Courses equip students to assess and treat individuals, couples, and families who are experiencing relational difficulties. This program meets requirements for licensure in the state of California. Out-of-state applicants should contact their local licensing board to verify that the program meets requirements for licensure in their particular state. Applicants must complete prerequisite courses in Developmental Psychology, Theories of Personality, and Research Methods/Statistics. The program itself requires 62 units of Core Requirements. Optional Electives are available as well (some being required for particular licensures). Students in the program must also complete 24 hours of individual psychotherapy or 50 hours of group psychotherapy outside the campus community. The degree takes 24 months to complete on average. Tuition costs $657 per unit.

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3. Penn State World Campus

Penn State

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Penn State University is a public research university with a main campus in University Park and many additional campuses throughout Pennsylvania. Penn State World Campus, the online campus for Penn State, first opened in 1998. World Campus now enrolls over 4,500 graduate students who enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Penn State University is ranked in a tie at #47 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Penn State World Campus has secured regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: Penn State World Campus offers a fully online, 33-credit degree program for a Master of Professional Studies in Psychology of Leadership at Work. Working professionals who wish to enhance their leadership effectiveness will benefit from this program, which focuses on the relationships between leaders and followers. Curriculum is based on psychological research and theory, and taught by faculty who are world-renowned researchers and practitioners of leadership themselves. Students must complete three required courses: 1) Psychological Foundations of Leadership, 2) Ethics and Leadership: Psychological and Social Processes, and 3) Foundations of Behavior, Motivation, and Attitudes at Work. Students choose 15 credits in Supportive Credits and six credits of Elective Courses. The program culminates with a three-credit Capstone Experience. Three start dates are offered per year. Tuition costs $805 per credit.

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2. Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at University of Southern California

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Located just outside of busy downtown Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is a private, nonprofit institution that began in 1880 with 53 students. The university includes more international students than any other university in the nation, and offers an urban learning environment with a large graduate enrollment of over 23,700 students, 20% of whom are enrolled in distance-only education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 9 to 1. The university is ranked in a tie at #23 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best National Universities.” Regional accreditation has been granted by the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: The Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences offers a completely online 34-unit degree program for a Master of Science in Applied Psychology. Curriculum is designed for working professionals who are interested in psychology theory, research, and practice in business settings. Faculty members have been senior-level executives in their fields. The program includes two-course concentrations in Organizational Psychology and Consumer Psychology. For the Organizational Psychology concentration, students choose two courses from these three options: Strategic Business Relationships, Psychology of Organizational Change, and Group Dynamics and Leadership. For the Consumer Psychology concentration, students choose two courses from these three options: Marketing and Organizational Analytics, Psychology of Interactive Media, and Decision Analysis and Behavioral Decision Theory. A practicum is required. Taking two courses per term, students complete the program in 16 months. Three start dates are available each year. Tuition costs $1,602 per unit.

Admissions Website

1. Marist College’s Professional Education Unit

Marist College

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Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, Marist College sits on a 210-acre campus overlooking the Hudson River. This private, nonprofit institution began in 1929 as a school to train future Marist Brothers, an international community of Catholic Brothers. Nearly 850 graduate students attend Marist College, and 69% of them participate solely through distance education. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16 to 1. The university is ranked at #13 by U.S. News & World Report in the category of “Best Regional Universities North.” Regional accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Additionally, the Professional Education Unit is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Program Details: The Professional Education Unit at Marist College offers an online, 36-credit, cohort-based program for a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology degree. This degree program is designed for working professional teachers with initial certification. Two tracks are available. Track 1 meets the requirements for New York State Professional Certification in Childhood Education. Track 2 meets the requirements for New York State Professional Certification in Adolescence and leads to a Middle School Extension certification. The program is completed in two years, with asynchronous online courses during fall and spring semesters, and short, hybrid summer sessions in which students attend on-campus for one extended week and continue with four weeks of online study. A sampling of courses for both tracks includes Advanced Educational Psychology, Social Foundations of Education, Lifespan Development, and Integration of Learning Theories. The program concludes with a capstone project defending an online portfolio. Tuition costs $333 per credit. Applicants should apply by April 1st; each cohort begins in the summer.

Admissions Website

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