2020 Best Online Master's Programs Badge

2020 Best Online Master's in Psychology Degree Programs

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

These are the best 10 colleges that offer an online Master's Degree in Psychology, based on median salary one year after graduation. George Mason University tops the list with a starting salary of $68,800 for Master's in Psychology graduates. National University students in the program graduated with a median $34,661 in student debt, the lowest debt of the ranked schools. Median salaries for the top 10 schools range from $37,400-$68,800.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Fairfax (VA) Fairfax (VA) $38,986 $41,000 $68,800
#2 #2 San Francisco (CA) San Francisco (CA) $19,875 $58,846 $55,700
#3 #3 La Jolla (CA) La Jolla (CA) $15,912 $34,661 $49,100
#4 #4 Fort Lauderdale (FL) Fort Lauderdale (FL) $23,911 $49,077 $47,000
#5 #5 Malibu (CA) Malibu (CA) $39,720 $59,980 $45,000
#8 #8 Manchester (NH) Manchester (NH) $11,286 $36,900 $41,200
#9 #9 Chicago (IL) Chicago (IL) $12,171 $41,000 $40,900
#10 #10 Minneapolis (MN) Minneapolis (MN) $14,826 $42,380 $37,400

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Master's in Psychology degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Fairfax (VA)
Median Salary $68,800
Median Debt $41,000
Annual Tuition $38,986

George Mason University offers a Master of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The program consists of 30 credit hours, and all classes are conducted in an asynchronous, online format to cater to students who are employed full-time or have other commitments. Most students are able to complete the program in two years or fewer. Application requirements include an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, relevant work experience, two letters of reference, a personal essay, and previous coursework in statistics, research methods, and industrial organizational psychology. Students will take a variety of courses throughout the program, such as Psychological Research Methods, Performance Management, Benefits and Compensation, and Employee Selection. The application fee is $75, although certain students may petition for this fee to be waived.

Visit George Mason University's website.

San Francisco (CA)
Median Salary $55,700
Median Debt $58,846
Annual Tuition $19,875

Golden Gate University's Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational-Psychology is designed to equip graduates to enhance employee training, relations, and productivity at their organizations. Students must earn 42 credits in order to graduate, consisting of 33 core credits and nine elective credits. Example core classes include Group Dynamics in Organizations, Diversity in Organizations, and Applied Psychological Research, and electives include Work and Workforce Trends, Conflict Resolution Skills and Techniques, and Ethics in Managing People at Work. Students may also complete an internship for credit. Ninety-five percent of students in the program are 25 or older, so the program is geared toward working adults or adults with other full-time commitments.

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La Jolla (CA)
Median Salary $49,100
Median Debt $34,661
Annual Tuition $15,912

National University offers two online master's programs in psychology: a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Master of Arts in Performance Psychology. Courses last four weeks, and students take just one class at a time to allow them to focus on the subject matter at hand. The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology has two tracks: Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Students in both tracks will be prepared to take the relevant licensing examinations offered by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Core courses for both tracks include Human Sexuality, Psychology of Trauma, and Cultural Competencies. The Master of Arts in Performance Psychology teaches students about the psychological factors that affect athletic and artistic performance. Graduates of this program will be prepared to pursue certification from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

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Fort Lauderdale (FL)
Median Salary $47,000
Median Debt $49,077
Annual Tuition $23,911

There are two different online master's degrees in psychology available through Nova Southeastern University: a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology and a Master of Science in General Psychology. Students pursuing the M.S. in Forensic Psychology can choose between two concentrations: Forensic Psychology and the Legal System, or Forensic Psychology for Mental Health Workers, First Responders, and Disaster Teams. The M.S. in Forensic Psychology consists of 36 credits, whereas the M.S. in General Psychology requires 30 credits. Core courses for the M.S. in General Psychology include Behavioral Neuroscience, Human Growth and Development, and Social Psychology. Prospective students should note that the M.S. in General Psychology does not qualify students for licensure and is not designed for students who hope to become mental health practitioners.

Visit Nova Southeastern University's website.

Malibu (CA)
Median Salary $45,000
Median Debt $59,980
Annual Tuition $39,720

Pepperdine University offers three online psychology degrees: an MA in Psychology, a MA in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, and an MS in Behavioral Psychology. The MA in Psychology can be completed in 18 months, whereas the MA in Clinical Psychology and MS in Behavioral Psychology can be completed in 24 and 15 months, respectively. Students who graduate from the MA in Clinical Psychology or MS in Behavioral Psychology programs will be prepared to take the relevant licensure exam. Students in all of Pepperdine University's online programs receive a free WeWork membership, which gives students access to study spaces in many U.S. cities and over 30 countries. All online psychology programs offered by Pepperdine University are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus.

Visit Pepperdine University's website.