A master’s in child and adolescent psychology provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to work in various K-12 educational and organizational settings. They gain the advanced, in-demand academic credentials that help them to make an effective difference in the lives of children. Graduates of child and adolescent psychology online degree programs enjoy a transformative educational experience and learn to address the complex issues that influence child development and behavior.
Students enrolled in online programs enjoy the flexibility that does not interfere with their other commitments and allows them to continue with work and other personal endeavors. Most online master’s in child and adolescent psychology degree programs fulfill the educational requirements for licensure and higher education as well.
A master’s in child and adolescent psychology online focuses on early human development in the stages of the lifespan. Students are prepared for a diverse range of careers. Graduates go on to work in areas like education, counseling, social work, government agencies, nonprofits, mental care, and treatment centers and even organizational environments. They deal with social problems, behavioral issues, and emotional and cognitive factors that affect the well-being of young children and adolescents.
In this ranking, we have visited the top schools that offer online master’s degrees in child and adolescent psychology. We have then narrowed them down to the schools that offer online and affordable degrees. The key categories for ranking are affordability, flexibility, accessibility, and diverse coursework.
Pepperdine University offers an online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis which trains students for effective clinical interventions with children and adolescents. They gain a thorough understanding of applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques through a combination of course work and field experiences. They go on to impact the lives of individuals diagnosed with autism, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and developmental disabilities among others. The 38 unit program includes courses like Concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis, Autism spectrum disorders, Selecting and implementing interventions in ABA, Assessment procedures for ABA, Applications of ABA for behavior change along with electives like Multicultural counseling, Psychopathology, Clinical interventions with children and adolescents, Individual, couple, and family development: a life cycle approach. Students of this online program are prepared to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam.
Tuition per unit: $1,585
Boston University offers an online Master of Education in Counseling with a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Counseling concentration. The comprehensive online program prepares students to work with children, adolescents, and young adults in community-based settings. They gain in-depth knowledge and skills to work with a wide range of populations and mental health issues. Graduates go onto work in community mental health facilities, therapeutic schools, hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities, and universities among others. The 64+ credit program includes courses like Applied Positive Psychology, Counseling Skills & Techniques, Lifespan Development, Child & Adolescent Psychopathology, Clinical Assessment: Psychological Testing, Counseling: Philosophy, Theory, and Practice, Psychology of Vocational Development, Ethics & Professional Responsibilities, Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Clinical Practice, Substance Abuse and Treatment, Theories of Group Counseling, Introduction to Research, Evidence-Based Practice for Children and Adolescent, Psychodynamics of Marriage and Family and Children at Risk among others.
Tuition per credit: $855
Boston College offers an online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology via the Lynch School of Education and Human Development. The comprehensive curriculum helps students deepen their understanding of children and youth and how their social settings influence their development. It prepares them to make a meaningful impact on children’s lives through advocacy, education, research, policy, and direct services. The 30 credit program includes courses like Applied Child Development, Applied Adolescent Development, Learning and Cognition along with Advanced Practicum: Applied Psychology. Students may choose to complete a certificate in Positive Youth Development, Human Rights and International Justice, Child and Family Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorders, or Early Childhood Leadership.
Tuition per credit: $1,538
The University of Minnesota offers an online Master of Arts in Applied Child and Adolescent Development via its Institute of Child Development. Students gain deep insight into the social and emotional development, cognitive and biological development, research methods, and ethics related to the development stages of a lifespan. They can choose from specialized tracks like Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Child Life and Individualized Studies to acquire field experience and practical strategies to help children and adolescents. The 32-credit program includes courses like Development and Psychopathology in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Assessment, Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood, Child Life Theory, Practice and Program Development, Developmental Perspectives on Illness and Injury in Healthcare, Therapeutic Relationships, Childhood Death and Bereavement, Current Issues in Applied Child and Adolescent Development, Early Childhood and Public Policy among others.
Tuition per credit: $1,422
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers an online M.A. in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Concentration. Students are trained to study and deal with the complex issues that form an integral part of child development and teen behavior. The transformative educational experience also teaches them the various ways they can help children and young adults prepare for careers in a variety of settings. The 36 credit program includes courses like Trauma and crisis intervention, Addictive disorders, Evaluation and treatment of juvenile offenders and Evidence-based programs for youth among others. Students need to complete an Applied Research Project to demonstrate their learning outcomes and how they will apply their knowledge in a workplace setting.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Tuition per credit: $1,164
Lewis University offers an online M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that prepares students to work as counselors and child advocates. They gain a thorough knowledge of psychology and counseling in areas like personality, therapy, psychopathology, evaluation, and assessment. The Child and Adolescent Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration train them well to work with children, adolescents and their families in various public and private settings. The 63-credit program includes courses like Research in Counseling, Interviewing Skills, Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Advanced Developmental Psychology, Career Development Theory, Clinical Psychopharmacology, Crisis Intervention and Treatment of Trauma, Group Dynamics and Counseling, Treatment of Substance Abuse, Family Dynamics and Counseling, Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling, Multicultural Issues in Counseling, Models and Theories of Clinical Supervision in Mental Health along with Practicum and Internship. The concentration courses include Individual Appraisal: Child Emphasis, Psychopathology: Child Emphasis, and various Counseling Theories. Students are prepared to take the examinations for Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor designations.
Tuition per credit: $640
Grand Canyon University offers an online Master Of Science In Clinical Mental Health Counseling With An Emphasis In Childhood And Adolescence Disorders. The online program is offered via its College of Humanities and Social Sciences and helps students develop a strong foundation of knowledge and clinical skills that will help them support children and young adults at developmental levels. They learn by focusing on core competencies like research methodologies, clinical assessment, trauma counseling, and counseling skills. The 74-credit program also allows them to explore the application of psychological principles for child-parent relationships, school and family life issues, and developmental disorders.
The courses meet the academic requirements established by the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential, the National Board for Certified Counselors for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, and the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.
Tuition per credit: $530
National University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology that is designed for students seeking a career in professional counseling. The MFT track further prepares them to help families, adolescents, and children via psychotherapy. The 90 quarter units program includes core courses like Lifespan Development, Perspectives on Psychology, Case Management, Counseling Paradigms, Clinical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, Testing and Assessment, Career & Academic Counseling, Legal & Ethical Issues, Counseling Practicum, Group Therapy, Cultural Competencies, Treatment of Addictions, Human Sexuality, Psychology of Trauma, Clinical Biopsychology, Wellbeing & Wellness. The MFT Option includes Child and Adolescent Therapy, Family Therapy and Couples Therapy. Students are prepared to sit for the Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) License mandated by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in the state of California.
Tuition per quarter unit: $430
Texas A&M University offers an online Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling that prepares students to work with K-12 children and positively impact their academic and personal development. The online program is available in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. The 48-hour includes courses like Foundations of School Counseling, Multicultural Counseling in Schools, Career Counseling in Schools, Techniques of Research, school Counseling Theories & Techniques, Planning and Organizing Comprehensive Guidance Programs, Issues in Child and Adolescent Development, School Counseling Group Interventions, Consultation in Special Education, Assessment in School Settings, Field Practicum: School Practicum among others. Elective options include EPSY 602 Educational Psychology, Measurement & Evaluation in Education, Program Evaluation, Educating Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Transition from School to Work, and Applied Behavior Management in the Classroom. Students are prepared to meet criteria the certification as a school counselor in Texas but not for state licensure as a professional counselor (LPC).
Tuition per credit: $653.24
Bay Path University offers an Online MS in Developmental Psychology which is designed for future professionals of pediatric mental health. The accredited online master’s program uses a blended/hybrid delivery format to enable students from a variety of backgrounds to apply and study. Students gain an integrated and comprehensive knowledge of developmental psychology and its impact on all phases of life which in turn helps them develop a better understanding of health and relationships. The 36 credit program includes courses like Infant & Toddler Development, Childhood & Adolescent Development, Adult Development & Aging, Ethics & Professional Conduct in Psychology , Family Systems, Bullying & Coercive Behavior, Psychopathology, Applied Research Methods in Developmental Psychology, Drugs, Medication & Society, Psychological Assessment in Counseling, Counseling Theories & Practice along with Fieldwork.
Tuition per credit: $855
Northcentral University offers an online master of science in child and adolescent psychology degree program which can be completed in 20 months. Students get to examine the various developmental stages in childhood and adolescence and study how nature and nurture affect growth. The 30 credit program includes courses like family and school, cognition, child psychopathology, theories of development, and disorders. Each of these courses offers a deep understanding of physical, gender, cognitive, and socioemotional development through research, analysis, and theories of development. Graduates go on to work in diverse fields like government, healthcare, for-profit or nonprofit organizations where they become staunch advocates of children, adolescents, and their families.
Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Tuition per course: $2,526
Capella University offers an online Master of Science in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Development Specialization via its Harold Abel School of Psychology. The online program prepares students to learn about the field of child and adolescent psychology through 11 courses and an integrative project. They gain in-depth and advanced knowledge about essential fields of work like child psychology, adolescent psychology, ethics, and lifespan development. The 55-quarter-credit program also includes courses like Foundations of Theory and Practice for Master’s Psychology Learners, Tests and Measurements, Survey of Research Methods, Quantitative Design and Analysis, Human Prenatal Development, Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology along with an Integrative Project. Capella University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Tuition per quarter credits: $485
Middle Tennessee State University offers an online Psychology, Clinical Concentration, M.A. via the Department of Psychology. The comprehensive online master’s degree program prepares students to work in a variety of educational and clinical settings. The 46 semester hour program includes courses like Theories of Counseling, Theories of Individual Psychotherapy, Interventions with Children and Adolescents, Theories of Personality, Intellectual Assessment, Laboratory in Intellectual Assessment, Objective Personality Assessment, Psychological Statistics, Psychological Disorders of Children, Psychopathology, Thesis Research, Professional Issues and Roles, Interviewing and Intervention, Assessment Field Practicum, Behavior Analysis Specialization, Ethical Conduct in Behavior Analysis 3 credit hours, Learning Theories , Principles of Behavior Analysis, Psychological Disorders of Children, Advanced Applied Behavioral Analysis and Behavioral Methodology among others.
Tuition per credit: $548
The University of La Verne offers an Online Master of Science in Child Development that prepares students to work with children and make a positive impact in their lives. Each course in the program is designed to improve one’s understanding of the physical, emotional and intellectual state through all phases of child development. Graduates of this online program go on to work as Child development professionals in public or private agencies, educational and social service agencies and various education settings. The 33 semester hour program includes courses like Educational Psychology, Methods of Research, Human Development, Language, Reading, and Concept Development, Studies in Attachment, Assessment in Early Childhood, Teaching Adults, Cognition and Brain Development, Developmental Curriculum along with Graduate Seminar options.
Tuition per credit: $750
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online M.S. in psychology with an emphasis in child and adolescent development. The highly flexible online prepares students to work with children and adolescents and make a positive impact by applying their skills in research and analysis. The 36 credit program includes courses like Foundations of Psychology, Foundations in Statistics, Foundations in Research Methods, Research Methods in Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Processes, Measurement and Assessment, Theories of Personality, Ethical Practice in Psychology along with a Capstone in Psychology. The Child And Developmental Psychology Concentration includes courses like Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Neuropsychology, Intervention Strategies, and Child and Developmental Psychology Seminar.
Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Tuition per credit: $627
Western Kentucky University offers an online Master of Science in Child and Family Studies via its Department of Applied Human Sciences. The online program is designed for students who wish to work with children, adolescents and their families outside of the public school system. The 30 credit program includes courses like Professional Development Seminar in Family and Consumer Sciences, Grant Writing for Child and Family Programs, Research Methods, Child Development Theory and Research, Youth and Family Theory and Research, Thesis Research/Writing, Infant and Toddler Development and Research, Home Based Positive Behavioral Supports, Stress and Coping in Children, Global Perspectives of Child and Family, Issues in Child Care and Early Education, Community, Child, & Youth Program Development, Family Diversity, Adult Development and Aging in the Family, Advanced Family Resource Management, Independent Study in Family and Consumer Sciences, Special Topics in Family and Consumer Sciences, Qualitative Research in Education and Educational Statistics among others.
Tuition per credit: $707
Liberty University offers an online M.A. in Applied Psychology – Developmental Psychology through its School of Behavioral Sciences that prepares students to work in a variety of fields. The program explores the development aspects of the human mind and personality over the early stages of the lifespan. Students learn about key concepts like child psychology, adolescent psychology, developmental psychopathology, and the psychology of learning and how to apply them in work through a practice-focused approach and a Christian worldview. The 36-credit program also includes courses like Research Methods & Statistics in Psychology, Social Psychology, Research Methods & Statistics in Psychology, Psychology & Christianity, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Intervention & Behavior Support, Developmental Neuropsychology, Adult Psychology, and Geropsychology.
Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Tuition per credit: $565
Montclair State University offers an online M.A. in Child Advocacy and Policy that prepares students to work in various nonprofit or political advocacy sectors like domestic violence and youth mentorship programs, education advocacy centers, community organizations, welfare agencies, among others. The 33 credit program includes courses like Introduction to Child Advocacy, Child Abuse & Neglect, Current Social Issues in Child Advocacy, Children and Justice, Forensic Interviewing of Children, Culturally Competent Practice in Child Advocacy, Substance Abuse and Family Crisis, Family Empowerment Models, Child Welfare Policy, Child Advocacy Policy and Practice, Child Advocacy Research Methods and Evaluation among others. Each course is designed to help students develop essential critical thinking and research skills.
Tuition per credit: $608
Arizona State University offers an affordable online Master of Science in Family & Human Development via its through the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. The comprehensive curriculum helps students gain the essential knowledge and skills to promote healthy child, teen, and family development as they understand the factors that promote positive outcomes across the life-span. The 30-credit online degree program includes courses like Theoretical Issues in Child Development, Social Statistics, Diversity and Society, Leadership and Social Justice, Marriage and Family Relationships, Parenting, Research Methods, and Capstone projects. Graduates of this online program go on to work in human resources, nonprofit organizations, community support programs, government agencies, family violence centers, child protective services, before and after school programs, adoption agencies, crisis intervention centers, early childhood centers, correctional facilities or juvenile detention centers, health centers and hospitals among others.
Tuition per credit: $609
Southeastern University offers an online MA in Human Services: Children and Family Specialization. The online program prepares students to lead in a variety of settings like education, behavioral health management, social services, and nonprofits among others. They gain a theoretical and experiential understanding of the human services field with the skills and knowledge to help children and adolescent through various developmental stages. The 36 credit program includes core courses like Contemporary & Historical Issues in Human Services, Legal & Ethical Issues in Human Services, Integration of Human Services/Theology, Program Planning & Evaluations, Multicultural Issues in Human Services along with practicums. The Children and Family Specialization includes courses like Parent and Child Relationship, Child Development Ages, Children, Youth and Family Services: Policy and Practice and At-Risk Children.
Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.
Tuition per credit: $495
The University of Southern Mississippi offers an online M.S. in Child and Family Studies which prepares students to work for families in diverse settings and be an advocate of change and development for children and adolescents. The interdisciplinary online program blends child development, academic research, early childhood development, family life education, human and social services, and public health. Students gain in-depth knowledge to promote a better quality of life for all families. The 37 credit program includes courses like Theories in Child Development, Critical Issues in Child Development, Program Evaluation and Assessment, Parenting Across the Lifespan, Family Advocacy, Advanced Family Theories, Adolescence and the Family System, Child and Family Life Education, Intimate Relationship Development, Seminar in Child Development, Adulthood and Aging in the Family System along with practicums and research modules.
University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Education & Human Development is AAFCS-accredited.
Tuition per credit: $479.12
CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) offers an Online Master of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Psychology. Students acquire a blend of broad knowledge and specialized skills that prepares them to work with children and adolescents in a variety of settings. The 36 credit program includes courses like Cognitive Psychology and Learning, Biological Foundations of Behavior, Social Behavior, Theories of Personality, Psychopathology, Research Methods, Advanced Statistics, Advanced Research Methods in Psychology along with Capstones. The Developmental Psychology concentration includes courses like Perspectives on Developmental Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development and Adult Development. Electives include Practicum in Advanced Research Methods, Cognitive Development, Atypical Development, Personnel Selection, Group Dynamics, Special Topics in Psychology, etc.
Tuition per credit: $455
California State University offers an online Master of Arts in Child Development that prepares students to work with infants, children, adolescents, and their families. The intensive curriculum includes the advanced study of developmental theory and research on developmental issues and academic excellence. Graduates go onto work as a counselor, community college instructor, social worker, research assistant, child care program administrator, private nonprofit worker among others. The 30-unit program includes courses like Quantitative Methods in Human Development, Cognitive Development, Social and Emotional Development, Theoretical Approaches to Development, Theoretical and Applied Perspectives on Cross-cultural Development, Quantitative Research Methods, Seminar in Social Development, Seminar in Cognitive Development, Selected Topics in Developmental Theory, Motivation and Learning in Children , Curriculum and Instruction, Language Processes in Development, Practicum in Child Development, Issues in Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities and Culminating Experience in Child Development among others.
Antioch University offers an online M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Child Studies Specialization which helps students gain an understanding of children and teens in their various social settings and how to help them. Students also gain a deep insight into the state-of-the-art diagnosis, assessment, and effective interventions with K-12 children. The 19-unit program includes courses like Society and the Individual, Personality Theory, Systems Theories, and the Family, Research for Mental Health Professionals, Field Study: Psychology and Society, Developmental Psychopathology, Brain and Behavior, Cross-Cultural Infant Observation, Child Advocacy and Social Policy along with electives and practicums. The Child Studies Specialization prepares students to sit for the California MFT.
Tuition per unit: $808
Florida State University offers an online M.S. in Family & Child Sciences via the Department of Family and Child Sciences (FCS.) Students are well-prepared at the end of the program to work in various settings like government agencies, higher education, and businesses in the private sector. The 33-credit non-thesis curriculum includes courses like Advanced Child Development , Professional Development in FCS, Advanced Family Studies, Theories of Child Development , Theories of Family Sciences, Methods of Research, Applied Research in Human Sciences , Policy Development and Analysis in FCS , Grant Writing in FCS, Practicum in Child Development, Directed Individual Study, Parent and Child Relations , Families in Crisis, College Teaching in Family Sciences , Readings in FCS , Supervised Research , Supervised Teaching among others.
Tuition per credit: $444.26
Michigan State University offers an online M.S. in Child Development via its College of Social Science and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Students learn to promote positive developmental outcomes in infants and young children by focusing on behavioral, biological, psychological, and contextual processes. Courses in the 120-credit program include Diverse Learners in Multicultural Perspective, Approaches to early education, Child Growth and Development , Interaction with Children in Groups, Curriculum for Children, Language and literacy research and practices, Infant Development and Program Planning, Interaction and Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers, Social-emotional development, Intervention and prevention programs, Assessment of the Young Child, Student Teaching in an Early Childhood Program, Observational methods for home or classroom, and Parenting through various family, early childhood educational settings.
The University of South Florida offers an online master of science in child and adolescent behavioral health degree program via its College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. The program is designed for students who wish to positively impact the lives of children and teens. The 39-credit program includes core courses like Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health, Cultural Competency in Children’s Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Policy and Evaluation & Research Methods in Community Health. The four concentration options include developmental disabilities, research and evaluation, leadership in child and adolescent behavioral health, and youth and behavioral health. There are also two track options to consider.
The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Tuition per credit: $347.91
Missouri State offers an online Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development that is designed for individuals who wish to work with children and young adults in a variety of settings. They go on to work in Child Care, Public and Private Schools Higher Education, Local/State/National Government Agencies, Local/State/National Not-for-Profit Agencies, Local/State/National Social Agencies and Private Businesses. Areas The 32-credit program includes courses like Orientation to Early Childhood and Family Development, Inquiry in Early Childhood and Family Development, Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Educational Research Methodology, Programming and Policy Issues for Early Childhood Settings, Children and Families in a Diverse Society, Proposal Development, Advanced Human Development Studies, The Educational Role of Play, Seminar in Early Childhood and Family Development, Family Literacy and Family Advocacy among others. In the end, graduates will be prepared to help children and teens build effective family and community relationships.
Tuition per credit: $295
Texas Tech University offers an Online Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies which focuses on the development of the individual across the life span. Students explore interpersonal relationships in multiple contexts during these developmental phases. The online program prepares them for a variety of careers in social services, childhood advocacy, family counseling, and doctoral studies among other fields. The 36 credit program includes core courses like Theories of human development, Family Theories, Research, and Statistics. Concentrations include gerontology and youth development which are offered via the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).
Tuition per credit: $253