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25 Top Master’s Degrees in Psychology Online for Counseling

Top Counseling Schools - Best Online Degrees-01An online master’s in counseling psychology prepares students to work with healthy populations who may have life difficulties and those with severe mental illness. The program is designed to help them understand the relationships people of all ages have with themselves and others. The curriculum differs between schools. Some approach it more like an academic degree with a broader focus on research, while others approach it from a practical, hands-on training perspective with client care in mind. Counseling psychology is heavily client-facing, and the program trains students to be competent counselors.

The coursework in a master’s in counseling psychology provides students with the tools to address their patients’ concerns at the various stages of their lives, including social, emotional, work, physical, school, and mental issues. The degree is focused more on the overall wellness and adjustment of a patient or group rather than cover therapies for everyday stressors and severe problems. Most students engage in research projects, conducting and writing a master’s thesis. With the more robust background in academia, many go on to get their Ph.D. degrees.

The program is designed for students interested in helping people work through mental, emotional, and physical issues. Most programs prepare them to take state licensing exams. Licensing requirements will vary by state, but most students of online master’s in counseling psychology go through the American Psychological Association that usually requires a set number of clinical hours.

Depending on their career goals, students can choose from a wide range of specialization in the Counselling Psychology degree. These may include health psychology, industrial psychology, child development, health psychology, forensic psychology, eating disorders, sports psychology, anxiety disorders, and crisis intervention. Students are trained to work with individuals, families, and organizations to improve lives through a curriculum covering ethics, psychodynamic theory, evidence-based practice, and individual and group therapies.

An online master’s in counseling psychology allows working adults the flexibility of completing their master’s degree without interrupting their careers. Students from anywhere in the world can participate in courses where internet access is available. The online learning flexibility helps them stay on track towards earning an advanced degree. Depending on the rules set per school., courses can be synchronous or asynchronous. The latter is designed to accommodate the schedules of students who are balancing career and family obligations.

The curriculum, admissions standards, and degree requirements for graduation are the same as our in-person program. Students are taught by the same faculty and enjoy the same academic rigor. The online degree program differs from the in-person program only in the method of delivery. In this article, we have shortlisted and ranked affordable online masters in counseling psychology programs. We have also looked at the accreditation, curriculum, student support, and flexibility. Schools have been rated based on their affordability.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $18,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point

Program Flexibility: (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item

Online Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, etc.)— 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

“Wow” Factor – 1 point

#25 Teachers College, Columbia University

New York, NY

Online Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology

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Points: 7

Teachers College, Columbia University offers an online Master of Education in Counseling Psychology- School Counseling Track. The program is registered with the New York State Education Department leading to certification as a School Counselor in New York State. The 60-credit program provides students with the necessary coursework and training to facilitate individuals, groups, and organizations’ optimal development. Graduates become competent professionals who use various prevention, intervention, and remediation strategies to provide culturally-relevant and psychologically-appropriate remedies across the lifespan. Online students learn from the same expert faculty and enjoy the same rigorous coursework as on-campus students. Connections with peers and thought-provoking classroom discourse make this an exceptional experience for all. Teachers College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Tuition per credit: $1,768

#24 University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

MS in Applied Psychology Online

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Points: 8

The University of Southern California offers an online Master of Science in Applied Psychology through the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. The 34-unit program helps working professionals advance their careers in applied fields where they can combine psychology and business interests. The program curriculum includes courses like Research Methods in Applied Social Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Principles of Consumer Psychology, Proseminar in Human Behavior: Foundation and Proseminar in Human Behavior: Application along with the required electives, internships, practicum, and treatise. The program can be completed in 16 months and offers a challenging discourse combining psychology theory, research, and practice in business settings. USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC).
Tuition per semester: $29,630

#23 Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

Online MA in Psychology

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Points: 8

Pepperdine University offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology program via its Graduate School of Education and Psychology. The 48-unit program provides students with a broad understanding of human behavior and the psychology field’s fundamental principles. It helps develop and inspire students to occupy leadership roles in professions that influence the well-being and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities in need. Structured by a clinical framework, the program will expose you to essential psychological theory and practice through online classes and course work. Graduates are prepared to apply their psychological expertise to their next professional or academic endeavor, making them ready to enter the human services field, pursue doctoral study in psychology, or advance their career in a related field. Pepperdine is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges—Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Tuition per unit: $1,645

#22 McNeese State University

Lake Charles, LA

Online MA in psychology-Counseling Psychology

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Points: 9

McNeese State University offers an online/hybrid Master of Arts in psychology with a concentration in counseling psychology that focuses on a broad, practice-based approach to mental health and wellness. The 60-credit program prepares students for licensure with advanced training in evidence-based counseling interventions. Students learn therapeutic techniques to help others improve their overall psychological well-being by developing stress and crisis management skills and the care and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. 100% of McNeese counseling psychology majors have passed the Louisiana licensed professional counselor (LPC) exam. Students explore various models and therapies through practical experience in individual and group counseling that helps them establish their own theoretical and professional methodology as a counselor. McNeese State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Tuition per credit: $1,287.35

#21 Chatham University

Pittsburgh, PA

Master of Arts in Psychology Online

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Points: 9

Chatham University offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology (MAP) program through its School of Health Sciences. It provides students a foundation in the study of human behavior and skills for working with people. The accelerated professional program requires 36 credits for completion. The program includes a diverse base of courses that help develop students’ understanding of psychological science to further their professional careers. Graduates work in human service, health, educational organizations, research settings, and in doctoral programs in psychology. The flexibility and diversity of the program prepare students for professional development and get into postgraduate programs. Chatham University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Tuition per credit: $1,017

#20 Adler University

Chicago, IL

M.A. in Psychology Online

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Points: 10

Adler University offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology that emphasizes Alfred Adler’s commitment to social justice, inclusiveness, and socially responsible practice. The 36-credit program delivers the knowledge base and skills necessary to grow your career or branch into a terminal degree across a broad range of applications and industries. Students learn to utilize data-driven analysis and apply ethical and socially responsible psychological principles in their work. Learning from an expert faculty, students gain the tools to transform work culture to serve the needs of individuals and communities better. Students have four concentrations to choose from to tailor their degree according to their career goals. Adler University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Tuition per credit: $854

#19 Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

M.S. In General Psychology Online

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Points: 10

Nova Southeastern University offers an online Master of Science in General Psychology via its College of Psychology. The 30-credit online program prepares students to develop foundational knowledge in psychological theory and research. The curriculum is designed to facilitate the development of basic interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity, and additional knowledge and skills that enhance students’ preparation for professional work and the benefit of obtaining foundational knowledge in psychology. Graduates are prepared to excel in diverse settings like social agencies, schools, community settings, business and industry environments, and hospitals. The degree provides students with the opportunity to be eligible for various professionals within the fields of education, human services, counseling, and allied health. Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).
Tuition per credit: $815

#18 Northcentral University

San Diego, CA

MA in Psychology Online

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Points: 11

Northcentral University offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology that helps deepen one ability to analyze psychological principles and apply them in the field of psychology. The 36-credit program provides students with solid insight and knowledge into human behavior. They develop critical thinking, problem-solving, writing, and research skills to further analyze psychological principles and apply them to personal, social, and organizational issues. Graduates learn to apply these skills and their knowledge to solve behavioral, emotional, and cognitive issues in their patients while adhering to ethical principles in research and academics. The General Psychology specialization helps students develop a broad base of knowledge, strong research, critical-thinking skills, and an appreciation for diversity. NCU is a WSCUC accredited institution.
Tuition: $26,940

#17 California Baptist University

Riverside, CA

MS in Counseling Psychology Online

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Points: 11
California Baptist University
California Baptist University offers an online Master of Science in Counseling Psychology that teaches psychological science from a distinctly Christian worldview. The 62-unit program prepares students to enter the field of either marriage and family therapy or professional clinical counseling. The program meets the current requirements for licensure in the state of California as a marriage and family therapist or licensed professional clinical counselor. Graduates are prepared to assess and treat individuals, couples, and families who are experiencing relational difficulties. Students entering the graduate program in Counseling Psychology (MFT Program) may also complete an additional eighteen (18) units to satisfy the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor requirements. California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Tuition per unit: $745

#16 Fisher College

Boston, MA

MA in Counseling Psychology Online

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Points: 11

Fisher College offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology that prepares graduates for mental health counseling licensure in Massachusetts and other states. The Trauma Track is designed to provide students with a graduate-level education, preparing them for employment in a variety of helping professions. The 60-credit program exposes students to specialty areas of how to counsel those who have experienced physical, emotional, and sexual trauma. Along with these specialties, there are core courses in counseling techniques, psychopathology, career counseling, psychopharmacology, and psychological assessment. Graduates demonstrate competency in crises and are thoroughly trained to help people and families impacted by chronic illness and depression. Fisher College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Tuition per credit: $740

#15 Keiser University

Decatur, GA

Psychology, MS Online

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Points: 12

Keiser University offers an online Master of Science in Psychology degree that focuses on the scientific study of psychology, critical evaluation of research, and application of research principles to the field of psychology. The program requires 36 graduate semester credit hours for degree completion. The research-based program provides a foundation for doctoral study and prepares students for varied professional teaching, consulting, or assessment opportunities. Students develop an understanding of general psychological principles and theories to include evolutionary psychology, psychopathology, human development, health psychology, and tests and measures. They learn to utilize research methods to interpret and evaluate research data and contribute to the profession through independent learning, scholarship, and research. Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition per semester: $12,583

#14 Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

MS in Psychology Online

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Points: 12

Arizona State University offers an online Master of Science in Psychology via its New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. The 36-credit program provides students a thorough understanding of psychological theory and empirical research findings related to human behavior, cognition, emotion, and attitudes. They can choose elective courses like abnormal psychology, affective science, behavior analysis, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, legal psychology, psychophysiology, and social psychology. Each course prepares them to become competent counselors and psychologists. Students learn about psychologists’ various roles in society today and prepare for careers in education, social service, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, management, or through additional graduate training. Arizona State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Tuition per year: $11,782

#13 Alaska Pacific University

Anchorage, AK

MS in Counseling Psychology Online

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Points: 12

Alaska Pacific University offers an online Master of Science in Counseling Psychology (MSCP) that provides a rigorous training and comprehensive coursework in a wide variety of counseling modalities. The 72-credit program is designed in a life-friendly scheduling and fewer prerequisites, making it an ideal choice for busy, working adults. It is a wellness and skills-based degree program grounded in a strength-based approach to psychology. Students can gain the required professional network and practical experience while exploring and developing their unique interests. The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program is designed to meet the State of Alaska requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor designation. Alaska Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities.
Tuition per credit: $650

#12 Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester NH

MS in Psychology Online

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Points: 12

Southern New Hampshire University offers an accredited Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology online degree program that provides students with an understanding of psychological theory and methods applicable in various nonprofit, corporate, and education settings. The 36-credit program offers the flexibility to pair your psychology studies with the exploration of complementary disciplines. The 8-course core classes include psychology research, measurement, ethics, and more. Graduates are prepared to become an essential part of the diagnosis and solution for counseling people in need with in-depth knowledge, skills, and disposition necessary to affect change. The program deepens their understanding of research methods, cognitive psychology, social psychology and personality, learning theory, and ethical practice while focusing on the real-world application of psychological research. Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Tuition per credit: $627

#11 LeTourneau University

Longview, TX

MA in Psychology Online

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Points: 12
letourneau-university
LeTourneau University offers an online Master of Arts in a Psychology degree program that teaches students with a Christian worldview to be effective psychologists and help others succeed. The 39-credit program allows students to use the foundations from their undergraduate studies to develop their knowledge in more specialized areas in the field of psychology. The non-licensure program includes a core of graduate psychology and counseling courses and graduate-level electives available through psychology or other graduate programs. It is designed for students who wish to acquire a basic counseling skill set but not pursue licensure. The program hones their advanced research skills and teaches them to use their knowledge to help others. LeTourneau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition per credit: $615

#10 Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

MS in Psychology Online

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Points: 13
grand-canyon-university
Grand Canyon University offers an online Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology via its College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The 36-credit program aligns with the standards established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The non-thesis program teaches students to be more impactful and competent teachers, practitioners, or researchers from a Christian worldview. It helps sharpen their skills and enhances their career opportunities. Students are encouraged to develop their leadership qualities, sharpen critical thinking skills, and enhance their communication abilities to gain insights into human behavior and thought patterns. Grand Canyon University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Tuition per credit: $565

#9 Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

MA in Applied Psychology Online

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Points: 13
liberty-university
Liberty University offers an online Master of Arts in Applied Psychology that provides students with a diverse skillset that they can use to affect people in many different settings positively. The 36-credit combines theory with practice to help students understand the intricacies of the human mind and behavior. The core curriculum splits into two specializations. Students can choose either Industrial/Organizational Psychology, where they learn to apply their skills to improve work relations within a company or Developmental Psychology. They learn to work with people who have mental and behavioral disorders. The faith-based curriculum emphasizes the Christian worldview and how it uses studies in psychology to optimize human functioning while glorifying God. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition per credit: $565

#8 Pacifica Graduate Institute

Carpinteria, CA

M.A. Counseling Psychology Online

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Points: 13

Pacifica Graduate Institute offers an online/hybrid Master of Arts in Counseling that helps students identify the underlying psychological and systemic dynamics of human interaction. They become proficient in theoretical orientations that offer perspective and provide meaning to systemic patterns and human behavior. Students have to complete 93 quarter units to fulfill the unit requirement for graduation. The rigorous two-and-a-half year academic program prepares them for professional licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) and Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC). Research studies and thesis writing allows them to explore the depth of psychological tradition and focus on theoretical understanding and experiential training in clinical skills, inclusive of a supervised practicum traineeship experience. Pacifica Graduate Institute is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Tuition per year: $24,600

#7 The University of Louisiana Monroe

Monroe, LA

MS in Psychology Online

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Points: 13
university-of-louisiana-monroe
The University of Louisiana Monroe offers an online Master of Science in Psychology that prepares students for a wide array of psychology, counseling, and related careers. The 36-credit program offers two concentration options – Psychometric and Forensic tracks. Courses for the former include Intelligence Testing, Psychopathology, Psychological Assessment, Theories of Learning, Behavior Modification, etc. Coursework for the latter includes Proseminar in Criminal Justice, Advanced Theories of Crime and Delinquency, Counseling in Criminal Justice, Sociology of Law, Minorities, Crime, and Criminal Justice, along with Intelligence Testing and Psychological Assessment. Students who do not choose a concentration have to take 24 hours of electives (from correctly identified course groups) and Personality and Social Psychology courses for a total of 36 hours. The University of Louisiana at Monroe is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Tuition per credit: $500

#6 Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

MS in Psychology Online

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Points: 14

Capella University offers an online Master of Science in Program via its Harold Abel School of Psychology. The 50- quarter credit program focuses on expanding the students’ knowledge of human behavior and enhancing their critical thinking skills. They learn to apply an understanding of human behavior from the discipline of psychology to help individuals and organizations develop and use relevant and credible literature to enhance and support their work. Coursework includes Lifespan Development, Learning Theories in Psychology, Cognitive/Affective Psychology, Social Psychology, Ethics, and Multicultural Issues in Psychology. Graduates gain a more in-depth understanding of how psychology relates to business, policy, and professional practice. Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Tuition per credit: $495

#5 CUNY School of Professional Studies

New York, NY

MA in Psychology Online

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Points: 14

The CUNY School of Professional Studies offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology that prepares students for advanced studies and employment opportunities in the field of psychology and counseling. The 36-credit program helps students develop a deeper understanding of behavior motivations, along with strong research, communication, and teamwork skills. Students can choose to specialize in one of two areas: Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Developmental Psychology. Graduates of the program understand the major theories, concepts, and methodological practices within the field of Psychology; learn to analyze data and display results using appropriate statistical procedures and software; identify and apply ethical standards in the conduct of human subject and animal research. The Graduate School and University Center is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Tuition per semester: $5,545

#4 Meridian University

Petaluma, CA

M.A. in Counseling Psychology Online

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Points: 14

Meridian University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology that emphasizes clinical courses as well as core courses that support the student’s evolving relationship to professional practice. The 92 credit program meets the California Board of Behavioral Sciences’ educational requirements and the Business and Professions Code for the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Students develop leadership capacities that further professional engagement with the profession of psychology. They acquire the knowledge base of Imaginal Psychology and to differentiate it from the major orientations to Psychology. They develop creative inquiry practices, skills, and competencies to bring principles and practices of transformative learning into cultural contexts. Meridian University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Tuition per year: $21,632

#3 Purdue University Global

Indianapolis, IN

MS in Psychology Online

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Points: 14

Purdue University Global offers an online Master of Science in Psychology that blends contemporary science applications with the rich, academic tradition of psychology. The 75-credit program allows students to choose one of five concentrations to align with their career goals. The Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in addictions is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). The coursework meets the educational requirements for certifications in behavioral analysis or addictions. This program emphasizes practical application so students can gain the tangible skills necessary to make a difference in helping others, empowering people, and driving change. They learn from psychology practitioners with extensive experience in the field, holding doctorate degrees and relevant industry credentials. Purdue Global is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Tuition per credit: $420

#2 Clayton State University

Morrow, GA

MS in Clinical/Counseling Psychology Online

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Points: 15

Clayton State University offers an online Master of Science in Clinical/Counseling Psychology prepares students to be competent, ethical practitioners of psychological services in the community. The 60-credit program emphasizes learning to consider each individual’s uniqueness and the influence of culture and ethnicity when providing services to people from diverse backgrounds. Students develop psychological assessment skills and a variety of therapeutic modalities, including adult and child individual therapy, family, couples, and group therapy to a wide variety of psychological problems. Graduates go on to work in a broad range of mental health settings and pursue doctoral-level training in clinical or counseling psychology. The program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). Clayton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition per credit: $385

#1 The University of Hawaii at Hilo

Hilo, HI

MA in Counseling Psychology Online

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Points: 16

The University of Hawaii at Hilo offers an online/hybrid Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology through the Department of Psychology. The 60 semester hour program is designed to provide multicultural, student-centered training in counseling psychology with a clinical mental health counseling specialization. The online format allows students who live in areas far from Hilo within the state of Hawaii to take the program without attending full time on campus. The program courses are taught through the use of U.H. System’s Hawaii Interactive Video System (HITS) using videoconferencing in a live synchronous fashion. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, the program aims at facilitating personal and interpersonal functioning across the lifespan of an individual. The program is nationally accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council. The University of Hawaii at Hilo is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Tuition per year: $5,868

 

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