For individuals who want to follow a career path of helping people but also like understanding the mind and how thoughts affect behavior, the field of psychology is rich with possibilities. With a wide variety of different psychological sub-fields, there’s a career for almost everyone. A recent trend shows that the Master of Psychology degree is one of the 50 most popular online master degree programs, which makes perfect sense: according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists are enjoying a faster-than-average rate of job growth, meaning that there are plenty of jobs out there for psychologists who want to advance or professionals who want to join the field. The one thing that’s needed to join this professional boon is, at the very least, a master’s degree. And for ultimate convenience, pursuing the degree online is a reputable way to get the academic credentials that one would need. We’ve assembled a list of the best online psychology master’s degree programs; read on to discover how we came up with our list and which program is right for you!
Methodology: We examined reputable and publicly available sources such as U.S. News and World Report, the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the websites of colleges, universities, and institutes offering online Master of Psychology degree programs. In doing so, we compiled a list of 50 that best fit our methodology criteria:
- Commendation: Recognition among nationally accepted ranking sources such as U.S. News and World Report (25%)
- Accessibility and affordability: Programs with the lowest out-of-state tuition per credit hour and those offered completely online received the highest marks (25%)
- Multiple degree options and/or concentration areas available: Degree customization or specialization areas (25%)
- Preparation for pursuing licensure or further education: Clearly stating the extent the program prepares students to apply to a PhD program or to become a practitioner (25%)
In 1977, practicing psychologists, educators, and others developed the idea for a not-for-profit institution to offer professional psychological training. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP or “The Chicago School”) was begun by nonprofit Midwestern Psychology Development Foundation in 1979, and classes were originally held at the YMCA. A permanent home was eventually found near the Chicago River, and by 2006 online programs were offered. Campuses were opened around the country, particularly Southern California and Washington D.C.—there are now five campuses in total. More than 4,000 students are enrolled currently in over 20 academic and professional degree programs, and this graduate university with an emphasis in psychology and related programming is a member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. The Chicago School has been regionally accredited continuously by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission since 2011.
Program Details: With multiple online psychology graduate programs, TCSPP offers students many choices. A Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology degree program offers both a licensure and a non-licensure track, as well as a dual degree in forensic psychology and Master of Legal Studies. Students pursuing this dual MA/MLS degree take classes such as “Evaluation and Treatment of the Adult Offender” and “Ethics and Professional Issues” and can complete the program in two to four years. Also offered, the MA in Psychology degree with three concentration options, and the MA in International Psychology program, which trains students in the “theory and practice of psychology to provide services to individuals and groups working in international settings.” Students can follow a general track or choose from three concentrations: Environmental Advocacy, Management and Leadership, or Trauma and Group Conflict. The Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology degree is a 31-credit hour program with a required research project for students who wish to research the intersection of psychopharmacology and medical issues. Online support services are provided to help students succeed, and an online class can be previewed by prospective students.
The three distinct institutions, American Schools of Professional Psychology, the University of Sarasota, and the Medical Institute of Minnesota, joined in 2001 to become Argosy University. Maintaining the individual campuses, building more across the nation, and developing a strong online presence, Argosy has administrative offices in Orange, California. Eight academic colleges make up this not-for-profit institution, and over 60,000 students can choose their program of choice from within the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Counseling, Psychology and Social Sciences, College of Clinical Psychology, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Business & Management, College of Creative Arts and Design, and Western State College of Law at Argosy University. With a mission of guiding students to “develop professional competence, provide opportunity for personal growth, and foster interpersonal effectiveness,” Argosy has been regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 2011.
Program Details: The three unique online MA in Psychology degree programs at Argosy allow students to pursue a range of psychological focus areas. The MA in Forensic Psychology is a 36-credit hour program with concentration options in Assessment and Treatment, Homeland Security, or Law Enforcement. Core course include classes such as “Maladaptive Behavior and Psychopathology,” “Psychology of the Victim,” and “Forensic Psychological Assessment.” A “competency based” MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology degree program is also comprised of 36 credits and culminates with a final capstone project. The MA in Sport-Exercise Psychology follows the academic requirements put forth by the Association for the Applied Sport Psychology and prepares students with “an understanding of normal and abnormal psychological functioning, and a knowledge base in the physiological, motor, and psychosocial aspects of sport behavior.” This program also prepares students to potentially seek a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology degree. Tutoring, counseling, tech support—these are just some of the resources provided to online students.
Dr. Donald Hecht, an educator and business consultant, established and served as the first president for a for-profit, entirely online doctoral research institute of higher education. Called Northcentral University (NCU), the school offers a “premier education that is geared to scholars who are driven to maximize their education and achieve their own particular dreams.” The administrative headquarters are now located in San Diego, California (having been both in Southern California and Arizona), and there are five academic schools: School of Business, School of Technology, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, and School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. More than 25 degree programs and certificates are offered online under the one-to-one learning model for which NCU is known—meaning students are paired with a faculty member for one-on-one attention for each class. Serving over 10,000 students, Northcentral is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Two specializations are provided to students of the NCU School of Social & Behavioral Sciences’ MA in Psychology degree program: a General Psychology track or a concentration in Gender Diversity. Both have recently been streamlined to require 30 credit hours, and with start dates every Monday, students can begin the program of their choice at 52 times a year. The Master of Arts degree is joined by four Master of Science programs: Forensic Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Health Psychology, and a Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Psychology. Each MS degree is also 30 credit hours and can be completed in 20 months. Students can be assured of relevant coursework; the programs meet industry-specific guidelines, for instance, the Industrial/Organizational degree “was developed in accordance with and meets the Guidelines for Education and Training in I/O Psychology as outlined by the American Psychological Association’s Division 14 Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).”
National University is an institution of higher education that began as a way to provide educational opportunities to working adults and members of the military. Established in 1971 in California by retired Navy lieutenant commander David Chigos, National opened in 1972 with 27 enrolled students. Classes were offered at night and on the weekend and focused on leading to relevant and professional degrees—the school grew and opened more campuses across California as well as one in Nevada. There are now 28 campuses, and six colleges and schools offer over 130 academic degree programs (more than 70 available entirely online) to nearly 25,000 students. The corporate headquarters are located in La Jolla, California, and National University is one of the largest private, non-profit universities in California in terms of student enrollment. Having achieved regional accreditation in 1977, National is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Master of Arts degrees in either Performance Psychology or Counseling Psychology are offered online through the Department of Psychology in the College of Letters and Sciences at National University. The 90-quarter unit MA in Counseling Psychology program prepares students to sit for licensure (in California—students residing in other states should check their state’s requirements for licensure) with two emphasis area options: Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Additionally, students can take classes from both emphasis areas if they wished to be licensed as both a MFT and a LPCC. A practicum is required for both tracks, and the required contact hours range from 225 (MFT) to 280 (LPCC). For students who are interested in the “intersection of performance psychology techniques, counseling, peak performance psychology, and sport science,” National offers the 67.5 quarter unit MA in Performance Psychology program, and the curriculum contributes towards the academic requirements for the certification granted by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
Ball State University started as the Eastern Indiana Normal School, which was a small school dedicated to training teachers in Muncie, Indiana. When is closed its doors for good in the early 20th century, five brothers (Lucius, William, Edmund, Frank and George Ball) purchased the property and facilities and donated them to the state of Indiana. In 1918, the school opened as the Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division to nearly 250 students. Within a few years the school was renamed Ball State College in order to honor the philanthropic Ball brothers. In 1965 Ball State University (BSU or “Ball State”) became the official name, and now 22,000 students are enrolled in nearly 350 academic degree programs. There are eight academic colleges and two satellite campuses for this public, coeducational research institution, and regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The Ball State Online MS in Quantitative Psychology is ideal for students who desire to “study methods and techniques for the measurement of human attributes, the statistical and mathematical modeling of psychological processes, the design of research studies, and the analysis of psychological data.” Part of the esteemed Teachers College and the Department of Educational Psychology, the 33-credit hour program offers two concentrations: Quantitative or Mixed Methods. Both share core courses such as “Multivariate Statistical Techniques,” “Applied Regression Analysis,” and “Theory of Measurement,” and culminate with a thesis. Also offered is the MA in Educational Psychology, which is provided entirely online and can be completed in just eighteen months. A 30-credit hour program, four specializations are offered: Gifted and Talented, Human Development, Statistical and Research Methods, or Neuropsychology. Many online student support services are offered through Ball State Online to help all students succeed, from individual academic advisors to career planning to tech support.
#6. Adler University
Alfred Adler was the founder of Adlerian psychology, also called individual psychology. A doctor and psychotherapist in the early 1900s, Alder was studied and revered by psychiatrist Rudolf Dreikurs, who went on to establish the Institute of Adlerian Psychology in 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. The name was changed to Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago just two years later and was changed a few more times to become Adler University currently. A not-for-profit charter was achieved in 1963, and today 20 programs are offered to over 1,200 graduate students at the Chicago campus, the Vancouver campus, and online. The oldest independent psychology school in the United States, Adler University “continues the pioneering work of Alfred Adler by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities, and advancing social justice.” Adler University has a vision of being the “leading academic institution advancing socially responsible practice, healthy communities, and a more just society” and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Several fully online programs are offered through Adler University. The MA in Applied Psychology requires 35 credit hours and students can choose to focus on an emphasis in Gender & Sexuality Studies. This program is designed to create “leaders to bring cutting-edge psychological insights and socially responsible solutions to complex issues in the public and private sector.” The MA in Military Psychology is a 37-credit hour program that can be completed in less than two years and addresses the increased psychological needs of the military. The expert faculty is comprised of “practitioners with real-world experience in behavioral health, psychology, and the military” and provides courses such as “Mental Health Law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice” and “War, Trauma, Grief, Death and Loss.” Finally, the 37-credit Industrial-Organizational Psychology program provides a “broad range of perspectives and theoretical approaches.” All programs have as an ongoing benefit membership in the University’s Alumni Association, which provides all students an “extensive ongoing networking and professional development opportunities.”
#7. Texas A&M University
Establishing the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in 1871, Texas’ legislature engaged in the benefits offered by the federal Morrill Act of 1862; this was the beginning of Texas’ first public university. Donated land in Brazos County served as the 2,416-acre campus, and classes began in 1876 for white male students (women and students of color were allowed admission in the 1960s). The name officially became Texas A&M University in 1963, and now campus is over 5,000 acres located in College Station, Texas and at the branch campus in Galveston. This public research university is a member of the Texas A&M University System, a land-, sea-, and space-grant school, and offers nearly 400 academic degree programs through nineteen schools and colleges. The largest student body in both Texas and the United States, over 66,000 students are enrolled in this institution of higher education with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Texas A&M’s College of Education & Human Development offers a Master in Educational Psychology degree program with two emphasis areas entirely online. Through the Department of Educational Psychology, students of the MEd in Psychology can focus on School Counseling or Cognition & Creativity. Both focus areas consist of 36 credit hours and have no residency requirement. The Cognition & Creativity program provides 24 hours of core classes in such topics as “Educational Psychology” and “Theories of Learning.” Electives make up the remaining twelve hours with class choices like “Strategies for Teaching in a Culturally Pluralistic Society” and “Analysis of Teaching Behavior.” The School Counseling program is offered both synchronously and asynchronously and can be completed in about two years. An in-school practicum must be completed in the student’s location in the second year of the program, and students are prepared to be school counselors in the state of Texas upon completion of the degree.
A teacher training school was the beginning of Fort Hays State University (FHSU). Located in Hays, Kansas in the former Fort Hays military base and known at the time as the Western Branch, the institution was founded as a branch campus of the Kansas State Normal School (that school would go on to be Emporia State University). The first group of students numbered in the 50s, and now over 15,000 students are enrolled currently. In addition to the Virtual Campus offering programs online, FSHU has 31 academic departments within five schools and colleges and a working educational farm. One of six universities in Kansas’ state university system, FHSU is governed by the Kansas Board of Regents and the third largest institution of higher education in the state. With a main campus covering 200 acres and nearly 4,000 acres for the extended university, regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The MS in Psychology with a school emphasis at FHSU’s Virtual College School Psychology is a 30-credit hour program that can lead into the 36-credit hour Education Specialist (EdS) in School Psychology degree program. Offering both “coursework and practical experiences relevant to both psychology and education,” the degrees allow students to become licensed school psychologists. Once the 66 hours of coursework is completed, students engage in a 1,200-hour supervised internship to work towards licensure for school psychology. The Master’s program offers classes such as “Advanced Child Psychopathology,” “Experimental Methods,” and “Professional Ethics in Psych.” The EdS program offers coursework with topics like “Psychological Consultation in Schools,” “Program Evaluation,” and “Characteristics of Early Childhood Special Education.” Utilizing Blackboard as the online delivery method, FHSU offers support and tutorials to guide online students through the online academic process, and staff and faculty are on hand to help advise and instruct.
Chartered by Presbyterians in Livingston, Alabama in 1835 as the Livingston Female Academy, the University of West Alabama (UWA) began as a church-affiliated institution. Classes for the female-only student body began in 1839. After the Civil War the academy became a normal school, and the name would change many times through the years. The Alabama State Board of Education took over control of all normal schools in 1919. After World War II men were recruited as students to increase enrollment, and now this coeducational public university serves nearly 4,000 students. Six colleges, schools and academic divisions offer nearly 100 fields of study, and UWA has a vision to provide “quality education programs via traditional and alternative means” and encompasses 600 acres in the downtown area of Livingston. The University of West Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: UWA Online provides online Psychology and/or Counseling degree programs covering “experimental psychology, clinical mental health counseling, family counseling and more.” Three Master of Science degrees are offered: the 33-credit hour, yearlong Adult Continuing Education degree with a concentration in Counseling and Psychology, the 60-credit hour Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, and the MS in Experimental Psychology degree program. Students in the Experimental Psychology program prepare to enter a PhD program and are presented with a 36-credit hour General track, as well as a 36-credit hour Health and Sports Psychology specialization and a Clinical Psychology focus area. With a focus in Clinical Psychology, students take between 39 and 54 credit hours that can meet the academic requirements to gain licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC). Taking a selection of statistics and research methods, theory, and clinical courses, students engage in topics such as “Advanced Developmental Psychology,” “The Therapeutic Relationship,” and “Systems of Psychotherapy.”
#10. Walden University
Walden University was the brainchild of educators Bernie and Rita Turner. Along with their colleague Berkeley faculty member Harold “Bud” Hodgkinson, they established the school in 1970 as a way to cater to working adults who desired to pursue their doctoral degree. Classes began the following year in Naples, Florida. Within a decade the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board granted the institution approval to begin offering PhDs and EdDs, so the school’s headquarters moved there in 1982. Currently degrees at all levels are offered online through five colleges. This for-profit university is a Public Benefit Corporation and serves 57,000 students from all over the world—150 countries in fact. Through the vision of providing students “with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they can effect positive social change,” Walden is known for online programming appealing to working adult. The Higher Learning Commission has granted regional accreditation continuously since 1990.
Program Details: Walden’s online MS in Psychology program offers an affordable, customizable degree. Providing two professional tracks, Walden enables students to pursue Track I, which is a broader focus that allows for more career possibilities, or Track II, which is crafted for students who want to continue on the PhD path. In addition, there are four specializations and a general psychology track. Students can choose from Applied Psychology, Educational Psychology, Health Psychology, or Social Psychology. The General Psychology degree requires 48 credits and includes classes like “Culture and Psychology,” “Lifespan Development,” and “Applied Psychology Research Methods” (or “Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis” for students in Track II). Up to 24 credits can be transferred into the program, and Walden offers many grants and scholarships to help students afford their programs. Online programs at Walden take a “student-centered approach to learning,” and as such there are an array of services and resources available.
Started as the not-for profit Grand Canyon College in 1949, Grand Canyon University has grown to have a strong online presence and is well-known as one of the most pronounced Christian universities in Arizona. Originally located in an abandoned armory in Prescott, Arizona, the school moved to Phoenix in 1951. The school was founded by the Southern Baptist Convention of Arizona in order to provide the state with a faith-based institution of higher education. Although the school became a for-profit school in 2004 when purchased by Significant Education, LLC, Grand Canyon University started transitioning back to a non-profit school in 2018. A coeducational research university with nine colleges and over 200 academic degree programs, Grand Canyon enrolls almost 20,000 students in on-campus programs, and over 60,000 online students. The University has a mission of preparing “learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders,” and the Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation.
Program Details: Through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Grand Canyon University offers an online MS in Psychology. A 36-credit hour program, the General Psychology Emphasis offers courses such as “Human Development,” “Learning, Cognition, and Motivation,” and “Psychopathology.” In addition to the general track, other online emphasis areas include: Forensic Psychology, Life Coaching, Human Factors Psychology, GeroPsychology, Health Psychology, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. With such varied specializations, students can follow a very particular career path. The Life Coaching degree, for instance, provides students with the tools to “explore advanced cognitive theory, observe individuals inside or outside organizations, formulate recommendations based on feedback and ultimately implement efficient, ethical coaching strategies” while the Emphasis in GeroPsychology focuses on learning “best practices and strategies for elderly care.” All emphasis areas are VA-approved, allow students to transfer in up to twelve credits, and culminate with a capstone course.
Beginning in 1964 as the Nova University of Advanced Technology, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a private, nonprofit institution of higher education located in Davie, Florida. Originally located in Fort Lauderdale in a former Navy landing field, the school was conceived of as a graduate institution specializing in physical and social science (the idea for the school came about during a weekly breakfast meeting of local businessmen). The school grew to add more programs as well as undergraduate degrees, changing names several times, and in 1994 when the school merged with the Southeastern University of the Health Sciences it finally gained its current name of Nova Southeastern. A private university with the “highest research activity” (as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), NSU offers more than 175 academic degree programs through eighteen schools and colleges. Over 24,000 students are currently enrolled, and regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: NSU’s College of Psychology presents two online Master of Science degree programs, the 30-credit hour MS in General Psychology and the 36-credit hour MS in Forensic Psychology. Although neither degree leads to licensure, both provide rigorous and relevant coursework that can help students hone their psychological skills or go on to pursue a doctoral degree. Within the General Psychology degree, students have the option of choosing an Applied Health Science Track. This three-class track gives students training through courses entitled “Psychological Aspects of Treating Disease,” “The Business of Psychology,” and “Interviewing Techniques.” The MS in Forensic Psychology degree program offers periodic webinars led by faculty. These webinars are free and provide insight into the program as well as pertinent information on forensic psychology topics (past offerings include the archived “10 Things Expert Witnesses Can Do to Protect Witnesses in Family Court” and “Suicide Prevention and Intervention for Schools”).
Six years before North Dakota became the 39th state, the Dakota Territorial Assembly established a university for the territory. Founded in 1883, the University of North Dakota (UND) progressively admitted both men and women as students and offered a liberal arts education. There were only eight students who walked through the doors of the Grand Forks, North Dakota institution on the first day of class, but now nearly 15,000 students are enrolled. Those first students had to contend with many hardships—no furnace to heat the school in winter and windows that wouldn’t open to allow any breeze in the hot summer. Now the students are provided with both heat and air conditioning, and nearly 225 academic degree programs from which to choose. The oldest institution of higher education in the state, UND is designated as a public university with “high research activity” (as determined by the Carnegie Foundation) and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The University of North Dakota’s Department of Psychology offers a unique Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Psychology program. In just five years, a student can earn a BA in Psychology, an MA in General Psychology, and a Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Data Analytics. Requiring 138 credit hours total, the program is available online. Students “learn the principles and theories of behavior and explore the scientific underpinnings of psychology” in order to gain “the knowledge and cognitive skills to thrive in any career.” Additionally, a highly regarded, online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology is available and can be finished in just two years. Requiring 30 credit hours, students engage in classes such as “Psychology and Law,” “Behavior Pathology,” and “Readings in Psychology” and complete a week-long, on-campus capstone project. Through The School of Graduate Studies, students applying for admission to the MA in Forensic Psychology program are not required to take the GRE.
During the California Gold Rush of the 1800s, evening classes were held at the San Francisco Central YMCA in timely subjects such as learning English and assaying gold. This led to the formation of the YMCA Night School in 1881. This school would be the predecessor of Golden Gate University, becoming an official degree-granting college in 1901. The school grew independent of the YMCA as Golden Gate College in 1923 and became Golden Gate University (GGU) in 1972. Currently GGU is a private coeducational not-for-profit institution of higher education with four schools: School of Law, Edward S. Ageno School of Business, School of Accounting, and the Bruce F. Braden School of Taxation. GGU maintains a main campus in San Francisco but has learning sites in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Seattle. Offering seventeen degrees with a total of 32 concentrations to the more than 5,000 enrolled students, GGU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The Department of Psychology at Golden Gate University offers an online Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology through the Ageno School of Business and GGU eLearning. The program is designed for professionals who want to gain insight into “the dynamic and evolving nature of professional practice with focus on careers in industrial-organizational psychology, as well as human resources, executive coaching, and management consulting.” Preparing students with both theoretical methods and research and practice models, the 42-unit curriculum requires core classes such as “Leadership & the Development of Managerial Excellence” and “Group Dynamics in Organizations” and offers electives from which students can choose like “Conflict Resolution Skills & Techniques” and “Acquiring and Retaining Human Resources.” Webinars are offered to provide information about the program, and student services offered set GGU apart for the individualized attention that each online student receives. In addition to praise for the services, past online students cite the knowledge gained through the program as “continually useful” in their professional lives.
#15. Union College
On October 21, 1879, 35 local residents of Barbourville, Kentucky became shareholders and founders of a school that would “create opportunities for their families and the wider community, while helping the region thrive and prosper.” Affiliated with the United Methodist Church and located on 100 acres in the Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Kentucky, Union College “is passionate about serving its students and the region it calls home.” Starting small, by 1900 the school had an enrollment of nearly 200 students. Currently, over 1,200 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs and Union has a low student to faculty ratio of fifteen to one. A small coeducational liberal arts institution of higher education, Union College participates in membership of the Kentucky Institute for International Studies and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: The completely online, 37-credit hour MA in General Psychology degree program is offered through Union’s Department of Psychology. Providing a “dynamic, challenging, and professionally relevant” curriculum, the program is crafted to help current psychologists advance in the field and is also ideal for students who wish to pursue PhD studies. Core courses include topics like “Statistics for Mental Health Professionals,” “Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience,” and “Social and Community Psychology,” and six hours are dedicated an Integrative Project final thesis. Also offered completely online through the Department of Psychology is the 60-credit hour MS in Substance Abuse Counseling degree program. In addition to the foundational coursework, students engage in a substance abuse core of classes in subjects like “Biological Systems of Chemical Dependency” and “Psychology of Addition.” This program leads to licensure in the state of Kentucky—those living in other states will need to check their requirements to become licensed Substance Abuse Counselors.
Arizona State University began as the Territorial Normal School in the mid-1800s. This teacher-training school in Tempe, Arizona would go on to become a comprehensive, five-campus, metropolitan research university. Established in 1855 as a school for the Arizona Territory, twenty donated acres served as the early campus for the first enrolled class of 33 students. Classes began for the first time in 1886, and nearly 70 years later the name would officially become Arizona State University (ASU). With campuses and extensions all over the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, ASU has one of the largest student enrollments in the United States with over 80,000 students. The main campus is still in Tempe, and sixteen colleges and schools offer 350 academic degree programs in this institution of higher education with highest research activity (as classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education). ASU has regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences provides an online MS in Psychology degree program for students who want a research-intensive, academically-rigorous program. Students can complete the 36-credit hour program in as little as eighteen months on a full-time basis but have up to six years to finish. Three core courses and a 3-credit hour culminating Capstone are required; all remaining credits are devoted to the student’s choice of electives. Also offered online, the MS in Forensic Psychology program requires 33 credit hours and provides students with “an understanding of mental health issues and human behavior with respect to crime and the legal system.” A twelve-hour core includes classes like “Advanced Correctional Psychology” and “Psychopathology” and several seminar courses cover topics in criminal justice and courts and sentencing. A final “Capstone in Forensic Psychology” course completes the degree. Additionally, a host of online student resources are provided to support students in their distance education journey.
Colorado State University was established as the Colorado Agricultural College in 1870, six years prior to Colorado joining the Union. The institution was started with funding made available through the Morrill Act of 1862, and it was located in the area of the Colorado Territory that would become Fort Collins. Classes began in 1879, and this flagship university in the Colorado State University System currently enrolls over 30,000 students both on-campus in Fort Collins and in the online programs offered. Over 160 academic degree programs are offered through the 55 academic departments housed within CSU’s eight colleges. A public coeducational research university and land-grant institution, CSU places great emphasis on environmental sustainability, having been awarded the first ever STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™) Platinum rating in 2015. CSU’s main campus covers 583 acres, and the extended campus locations are expansive and scenic. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: CSU offers an online Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP) degree program for professionals who wish to examine the “behavior of individuals in businesses and organizations to determine how to improve performance and productivity.” The 38-credit hour program is offered through the Department of Psychology and is generally completed in two or four years. Students work together in “virtual consulting teams” on “real and embedded simulations to provide critical core industrial/organizational psychology knowledge and skills development.” The curriculum includes classes such as “Succession Planning and Leadership Development” and “Applied Cross-Cultural Industrial/Organizational Psychology” and provides the skills and support that results in graduates who sing the praises of the program. Flexibility, expert faculty-led courses, a solid grounding in quantitative analysis, and online resources combine together to form a rigorous yet supportive environment for online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology students desiring to advance in the field.
#18. Capella University
Capella University, a for-profit online university, was established in 1993 as The Graduate School of America. Founded by Dr. Harold Abel, who had previously been president of three institutions of higher education, and Stephen Shank, who had served as the CEO for the Tonka Corporation (the toy truck company), the school was envisioned as “a high-quality university that people could attend from any location.” Dr. Abel was the school’s first president; the school’s headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Owned by the Capella Education Company, the school gained accreditation in 1997, changed the name to Capella University in 1999, and began offering undergraduate degrees in 2000. Students can choose to engage in online learning at their own pace, paying per session, through the FlexPath online learning format. For those who desire more guidance, GuidedPath is a pay-per-course, structured and interactive format. Over 50 academic degree programs are offered to the 37,500 currently enrolled students, and the Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation.
Program Details: Presented in the Harold Abel School of Psychology, students can choose between the two competency-based online formats offered by Capella when pursuing either a MS in Psychology or MS in Clinical Psychology. The FlexPath or the GuidedPath formats allow the first choice for students; choices extend to the eight specializations offered through the MS in Psychology and four through the MS in Clinical Psychology. Both degrees provide a general track—the MS in Psychology in General Psychology requires 50 credit hours of courses such as “Foundations of Theory and Practice for Master’s Psychology Learners” and “Cognitive/Affective Psychology” and ends with an Integrative Project. The 55-credit hour MS in Clinical Psychology, Applied Research degree program can prepare students to pursue a doctoral degree with classes such as “Multicultural Perspective in Human Behavior” and “Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice.” For prospective students and those who just need a course or two to gain experience, Capella offers the chance to engage in an online psychology course to test-run the program.
Pennsylvania State University started as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania in 1851 when a local farmer put aside 200 acres for the school. The institution was officially chartered in 1855, and Evan Pugh, the school’s first president, lobbied with others in the state for the federal Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862. When the Act was passed, the school benefited retroactively, and to this day Penn State is the only land-grant university in Pennsylvania. A public, research university with a main campus in University Park (which also serves as the flagship campus), 23 additional campuses can be found across the state in addition to the online World Campus. Nearly 50,000 students are enrolled in the University Park campus alone, securing Penn State’s spot as one of the largest universities in the nation. Also designated as a sun-, space-, and sea-grant institution, Penn State has regional accreditation through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: The Master of Professional Studies in the Psychology of Leadership degree program is a joint effort through Penn State’s World Campus and College of the Liberal Arts. Requiring 33 credit hours, the MPS in the Psychology of Leadership degree is crafted to develop students’ “awareness of the ethical issues that can arise when leading others and increase . . . knowledge about more specialized applications of leadership research and theory.” Courses in the program include three required core classes in “Ethics and Leadership: Psychological and Social Processes,” “Psychological Foundations of Leadership,” and “Foundations of Behavior, Motivation, and Attitudes at Work” and a culminating Capstone Experience. The remaining credits are comprised of electives—students choose from classes such as “Psychology of Shared and Collective Leadership,” “Leadership for Creativity and Innovation,” and “Positive Organizational Behavior and Wellbeing.” Penn State has been providing distance education for more than a century, and as such makes a wealth of online services available to help students succeed.
The school that would grow to become the University of Tennessee began by charter in 1794—two years before Tennessee became a state. Blount College was a nonsectarian institution, and it would change names several times before becoming the school that is today located in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1869 the school became a land-grant university as a recipient of the funds from the Morrill Act of 1862 and now the first public university to be founded west of the Appalachian Divide is known as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK or UT Knoxville). This flagship campus in the University of Tennessee System is both a land-grant and a sun-grant university, with highest research activity as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Over 28,000 students are now enrolled in the 20 schools and colleges, and regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling in UTK’s College of Education, Health & Human Sciences offers an MS in in Educational Psychology degree with two concentrations: Adult Education or Applied Educational Psychology. This 36-credit hour, non-thesis “EdPsych Online” program provides synchronous coursework and can be completed in two years. Students choosing the Adult Education concentration study to become “reflective practitioners who actively participate in leadership and service to promote adult learning in a global community” with courses like “Facilitating Change in Educational Environments,” “Reflective Practice in Education and Psychology,” and “Adult Development.” The Applied Educational Psychology concentration can be used as a path towards a PhD program or in order to fill “an educational role in schools, mental health centers, and business programs devoted to personal and professional development.” In addition to educational psychology courses, students choose one “relevant graduate level course offered online by the IT faculty” to round out the degree.
The Alabama Territory successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress to designate a township in 1818 (a year before becoming a state) with the purpose of establishing a state university. The school was founded in 1820 as The University of the State of Alabama and Tuscaloosa would be the location. Eleven years later, 52 students arrived for class. The Civil War proved devastating for the school—many buildings were burned, and it took the school time to reorganize and rebuild. In 1872 the school reopened, and now The University of Alabama (Alabama, “Bama,” or UA) is the oldest public university in Alabama and the flagship in the University of Alabama System. Thirteen academic divisions offer degree programs to the more than 38,000 currently enrolled coeducational students. Both a sea-grant and a space-grant institution, Alabama is a pubic research university with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: The MA in Educational Psychology degree program presented online through Bama By Distance is offered with a specialization in Learning and Assessment. The 30-credit hour program is taught by the same experienced faculty as the on-campus program and can lead to an advancement in different fields or the first step towards pursuing a doctoral degree. The curriculum covers “cognition and the learning sciences coupled with educational research and program evaluation skills” by providing classes such as “Advanced Educational Psychology,” “Social and Cultural Foundations of Behavior,” and “Life-Span Development.” Instead of a final comprehensive exam, students engage in a capstone project to culminate the degree. Individuals considering the degree can learn from the student spotlight on a recent graduate who excelled in the program and found it beneficial. In addition, the Bama By Distance Student Services team is on hand for both prospective and current online students to help them explore their program and find success in it.
A school established in 1920 by the Wesleyan Church to train teachers for Marion, Indiana would grow to become Indiana Wesleyan University. Marion Normal College, as it was known then, was incorporated in 1919 and has been a private, evangelical Christian liberal arts institution since the beginning. As the school grew in size and academic offerings—even adding extension Education Centers in other parts of Indiana and the surrounding states of Kentucky and Ohio—it reached university status and was renamed Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 1988. Five academic schools and colleges (the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Adult and Professional Studies, the Graduate School, the School of Nursing, and Wesley Seminary) provide more than 120 degree programs to over 15,000 students. To further the scope of the school, online programs began to be offered in 1997 and an international campus was opened in 2013 in New South Wales, Australia. IWU is provided with regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: For students who want both a relevant and expeditious experience as they pursue an online Masters in Psychology, IWU offers a 30-credit hour MA in Psychology degree program that can be completed in about a year. Two specializations are offered: Positive Psychology with an emphasis in Life Coaching and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Core courses for both specializations are the same and include classes such as “History and Systems of Psychology” and “Foundations of Interviews and Trends,” and they both conclude with a Capstone in Psychology course. Electives are specific to each specialization and cover topics like “Life Coaching and Contemporary Positive Psychology” and “Principles and Practices of Industrial/Organizational Psychology.” The degree is offered through the School of Service and Leadership and has a clear goal “to train students in the history, theory and research methods of psychology from a Christian faith perspective.”
Touro University Worldwide has a rich and multi-layered history. Beginning with the inspiration of the Touro family during America’s colonial period, endowments were put in place to fund universities. This foresight has created a Jewish-sponsored university system of nonprofit institutions—in 1970, Dr. Bernard Lander established the Touro College and University System in New York. This successful system led to the creation of Touro University International (TUI) in 1998 and in turn Touro University Worldwide (TUW) in 2008. TUW was established by Dr. Bernard Luskin with a basis in Judaic values and “a commitment to social justice, intellectual pursuit and service to society and the underserved.” With administration located in Los Alamitos, California, four academic schools offer online programs. Throughout the whole Touro System nearly 20,000 students are enrolled, and regional accreditation comes from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Program Details: TUW offers an online MA in Psychology degree through the School of Psychology. In addition to concentrations in Health Psychology and Educational Psychology, a unique Media Psychology concentration is provided completely online and can be completed in a year if pursued full-time. Six start dates allow students to conveniently begin the 36-credit hour program when they desire, and the curriculum is constructed of 27 core credit hours and nine concentration electives. Core classes include topics such as “Developmental Issues Across the Life Span,” “Principles of Consumer Psychology,” and The Psychological Impact of Media and Technology.” Additionally, through the School of Business an MA in Industrial & Organizational Psychology is offered. Also requiring 36 credit hours, three concentrations are provided to customize the degree: Coaching and Consulting, Human Resource Management, and Occupational Health Psychology. Although the degree does not lead to licensure, the “program is consistent with the values and guidelines of the Societies of Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Human Resource Management, and Consulting Psychology.
#24. Liberty University
Lynchburg Baptist College was the original name of Liberty University, the institution of higher education founded by religious right-wing evangelist and pastor Jerry Falwell. In the early 1970s, Falwell wanted to extend his vision across the United States and determined to found a school that would influence “the moral and ethical course of America.” In 1971, along with the support of the congregation he pastored, Reverend Falwell established the school in Lynchburg, Virginia—the large campus sits in the mountains of Virginia. In 1985, the school was granted university status and also began the distance education program that has grown exponentially as Liberty Online. With 110,000 online students joining the 15,000 on-campus students, Liberty University is the largest Christian university in the world. Seventeen academic schools and colleges provide more than 600 degree programs, many offered online, and the school’s regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Liberty University’s online Master of Arts in Applied Psychology degree program is designed for individuals who have the “heart for serving others by helping employees or organizations work through problems and create positive work environments.” Taught from a clear Christian perspective, the 36-credit hour program is housed in the School of Behavioral Sciences. Offering specializations in both Developmental Psychology and Industrial/Organizational Psychology, students may be able to transfer in up to half of the credits required. Both concentrations require fifteen hours of core classes in topics like “Psychology & Christianity” and “Research Methods & Statistics in Psychology.” Concentration courses include classes such as “Organizational Ethics” and “Human Resource Training & Development” for the Industrial/Organizational track and “Intervention & Behavior Support” and “Developmental Neuropsychology” for the Developmental Psychology track. Most students complete the program in about eighteen months, and Liberty Online makes sure that during the time a student is in a Liberty program they feel fully supported.
The New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science was opened by a husband and wife pair in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1932. Originally a for-profit institution, the school would change names several times: Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is now a non-profit university with a strong online presence. The non-profit status was achieved in 1968 and the permanent location was established in 1971—the 300-acre campus is now in-between Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. Both a residential and online institution of higher education, SNHU educates about 5,000 students on-campus and 75,000 through distance education programming. The six academic schools and colleges—College for America, College of Engineering, Technology & Aeronautics, College of Online & Continuing Education, School of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, and School of Education—comprise SNHU, and regional accreditation is granted by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Students can complete the online MS in Psychology degree program in as little as fifteen months and will come out of the program with an “understanding of research methods, cognitive psychology, social psychology, personality, learning theory and ethical practice.” The 36-credit hour program offers three concentrations: Child and Adolescent Development Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Industrial-Organizational Psychology. If students come in to the program without an undergraduate degree in Psychology or at least a solid understanding of several necessary foundational classes, they may need to take several prerequisite courses. For all others, classes begin with a core made up of subjects like “Social Psychology,” “Cognitive Processes,” and “Theories of Personality.” A final Capstone in Psychology completes the program. As one of over 200 online academic programs, the MS in Psychology program provides plenty of student support services and resources.
One of three schools claiming to be the earliest public university chartered in the United States, the University of Georgia was established by the Georgia General Assembly in 1785. A year earlier, nearly 40,000 acres were allocated by the state with the intention of endowing a college or seminary. Classes began in 1801 on the Athens, Georgia campus, and now this comprehensive research institution enrolls over 36,000 students in more than 140 academic degree programs. The flagship university in the University of Georgia System, the school is made up of seventeen schools and colleges and is designated as both a land- and a sea-grant institution. Main campus in Athens covers over 750 acres; smaller campuses are located in Tifton and Griffin and there are extensions in Atlanta and Lawrenceville. The University of Georgia (UGA) has regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: The University of Georgia has an online Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Psychology, Applied Cognition and Development degree program provided through the College of Education. The 34-credit hour program progresses students in cohorts of ten—together they engage in classes like “Foundations of Motivation for Education,” “Nurturing Independent Learners,” and “Applied Statistical Methods in Education.” Focus areas are available to customize the degree—students can choose electives to satisfy tracks in Learning with Technology, Learning Across the Lifespan, Qualitative Approaches to Education, or Development of High Intellectual Capability. In addition to the assistance and guidance offered by fellow students in the cohort and faculty members, UGA offers various video tutorials to provide support specifically to online students. These tutorials are on top of the online student services already offered, such as academic advising, disability resources, financial advising for graduate students, tutoring, a career center, the UGA Library, and testing services.
#27. Sacred Heart University
With the progressive vision of providing a university to serve all peoples without regard to sex, race or religion, the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, second bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, founded the Sacred Heart University in 1963. The first class of students numbered less than 200, but over time the school has become the second-largest Roman Catholic university in New England with around 8,500 students currently. Over 70 academic degrees and certificates are offered in the seven schools and colleges: College of Arts & Sciences, School of Communication & Media Arts; School of Computing, Jack Welch College of Business, College of Health Professions, College of Nursing, and Isabelle Farrington School of Education. This private Catholic liberal arts institution of higher education “inspired by the Gospel of love and mercy” sits on a 300-area campus in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sacred Heart University has regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The online Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MSAP) degree program at Sacred Heart University is ideal for both those who want to work in an industry to “improve employee and organizational performance” and those who want to continue into a doctoral program. In addition to the general track, there are two additional concentrations available: Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Community Psychology. A research-based program as opposed to clinical, the program doesn’t require clinical hours and can therefore be completed in just two years on a part-time basis. Students can choose from six start dates a year, and all are welcome to apply—this program is not just for students with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Virtual Open Houses are offered periodically to inform prospective students of the programs of their interest. Attendees can interact with admissions advisors, faculty, and alumni to learn more about the programs and have their questions answered.
#28. Medaille College
Medaille College can trace its history all the way back to the Sisters of Saint Joseph founding an institute in 1875 to train teachers in New York. It would be 1937 when a charter allowed the school to grant four-year degrees in education to nuns—the name became Mount Saint Joseph Teachers College. Just over 30 years later, the school requested another charter to transition the school into a coeducational institution. Named Medaille College, the school was renamed after the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Father Jean Pierre Médaille. The main campus is in Buffalo, New York, a branch campus is in Rochester, and a thriving online program also exists. Almost 3,000 students are currently enrolled in programs in the eight academic divisions of this private institution. Medaille is chartered by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York and regional accreditation comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: The MA in Psychology degree program at Medaille College can be completed online or at the Buffalo campus. A 36-credit hour program, a new optional concentration in Sports Psychology is offered online as well. Students can take as few as one or as many as four courses per seven-week term, starting in the spring or the fall, and can finish in just one year full-time. The Sport Psychology option gives students a “thorough grounding in advanced principles of psychology and also provides an understanding of the tools suitable for building careers in sports management, sports psychology, coaching, business, education, human services, community-based agencies, and health and recreation.” The general psychology track coursework can also help to prepare students to go on for doctoral work if they desire. An Online Student Services team is on hand to provide students with the support and guidance they need to be successful.
William James College started as the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in 1974 in Newton, Massachusetts. Adopting the new name in 2015 (named for William James, an influential philosopher who is often called the “Father of American psychology), the College aimed “to be a preeminent school of psychology that integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and close attention to professional development.” A graduate-level institution, William James offers multiple centers to the nearly 700 enrolled students (The Center of Excellence for Children, Families, and the Law, The Multicultural & Global Mental Health Center of Excellence, The Dr. Leon O. Brenner Center for Psychological Assessment and Testing, The Freedman Center, The Lucero Center for Latino Mental Health, and the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies). William James College is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MAOP) degree program at William James is an accelerated 30-credit hour program that can be completed in less than a year (although students can pursue it part-time if desired–then the program generally takes up to two years). Students can complete the degree completely online or participate in a “blended program,” which provides online coursework but an intensive Weekend-in-Residence experience after each of the six core courses. Classes include “Performance Development and Management Psychology and Training,” “Diagnosis, Intervention, and Evaluation in Organizational Development,” and “Consulting Skills,” and students can pursue an optional Talent Management concentration, taking courses such as “Talent Acquisition and Management” and “Business Strategy and Organizational Life Cycle.” An online webinar is available to provide information on the MAOP program for prospective students, and several Organizational and Leadership Psychology lectures are archived online for those interested in the program to peruse.
The Instituto Psicológico de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Institute of Psychology) was founded in 1996 by Dr. Carlos Albizu-Miranda, a psychologist in Puerto Rico. The intent was to provide a MS in Clinical Psychology degree program in Puerto Rico so that psychologists in the area did not have to travel to other countries for their education. Dr. Albizu-Miranda also founded the Miami Institute of Psychology in 1980 to provide “graduate psychology programs sensitive to cultural and ethnic issues in the continental United States.” In the winter of 2000, the two schools combined as Carlos Albizu University; the school is often simply called “Albizu University.” The vision of the school is to contribute “to the growth of human knowledge and the promotion of social justice and a culture of peace,” and the two campuses in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Miami, Florida enroll over 2,000 students. A private non-profit university, Albizu University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: Offering a fully online MS in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology degree through the Miami campus, Albizu University prepares each student to be “a culturally competent I/O practitioner who develops and applies scientific knowledge to solve problems in the workplace.” Requiring 42 academic credits and six capstone project credits to graduate, the relevant curriculum is taught by expert faculty members who are “active professionals” and practitioners in the field. Core courses are full of depth and include topics like “Psychological Assessment Techniques in the Organization,” “Criterion Theory and Development Performance Appraisal and Feedback,” and “Work Motivation.” The MS in I/O Psychology degree is one of only two completely online degrees offered through the Carlos Albizu University’s Virtual Campus (CVC). The degree offers students a solid grounding, and through it does not lead to licensure in the United States, students are provided with “practical training in the areas of selection and placement, training and development, performance measurement, organizational development, and quality of work life” in order to pursue their own chosen profession.
Military service men and women have unique educational needs, and American Public University was created in response to those needs. Retired Marine James P. Etter established the school in 1991, originally named American Military University (AMU), and the intention was to provide a distance education institution with relevant and career-focused academics. Although designed to meet the needs of students in the military, the programs are open to all who desire a high-quality, online education. Initially the school was located in Manassas, Virginia, but the administrative offices have since moved to Charles Town, West Virginia. The name changed to American Public University (APU) in 2002, and this private, for-profit institution of higher education provides more than 200 academic degree programs through its six schools. Almost 100,000 students are enrolled online in this member of the American Public University System, and regional accreditation for APU comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The two-year, 39-credit hour MA in Psychology degree program through the APU School of Arts & Humanities offers students a grounding in “scientific theory and principles with academic research and applicable skills.” The curriculum provides classes such as “Personality and Counseling Theories,” “Multicultural Issues in Human Behavior,” and “Contemporary Issues in Psychology” and there are monthly start dates to allow students to begin at their convenience. Added perks of the program include allowing up to fifteen credits to be transferred in and a grant for students in the military. Online learning is a hallmark of APU and as such there are many support services and resources offered to online students. From an Online Lab Experience and blogs offering tips for online learning success to academic advising and a Help Center, APU has many avenues and opportunities to help online students have a smooth academic experience.
#32. Adams State University
Adams State University started in 1921 as the Adams State Normal School due to the advocacy of Colorado legislator and future state governor William “Billy” Adams. It would be a school to train teachers for the less-populated parts of Colorado, particularly the San Luis Valley area. Located on 60 acres in Alamosa, Colorado, over 100 students came to study when the school first opened. Programs expanded and the school grew, and the name changed to Adams State University (ASU) in 2012. Now 2,500 students are enrolled in on-campus programs and more than 10,000 through the Extended Studies programs. A state-supported liberal arts university with a mission “to educate, serve, and inspire our diverse populations in the pursuit of their lifelong dreams and ambitions,” the Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation to Adams State.
Program Details: For students who want to go into the field of sports psychology and a proven online program in “applied sport psychology . . . . using a scientist-practitioner model,” the MA in Applied Sport Psychology degree at Adams State is the first completely online degree program offered in the United States. Housed within the Human Performance and Physical Education Department, the 36-credit hour degree program helps students work towards Certified Consultant licensure through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Taking about two years to complete, the degree provides students with the opportunity “to gain applied experience and to conduct research” through both coursework and hands on experience. The curriculum is AASP-approved and includes classes such as “Methods of Coaching,” “Sports Psychology,” and “Mental Strength and Conditioning.” Student testimonials attest to the support provided by faculty and staff who understand the challenges of distance learning.
The University of North Texas (UNT) started out as the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute in 1890. Located in Denton, Texas, the first classes were held in leased space above the B.J. Wilson Hardware Store in the downtown area. There were 70 coeducational students first in attendance, and the school was initially a private institution. The state took control in 1901 and the institution became public. Changing names and locations, the school grew to become UNT in 1988 and is the flagship university in the University of North Texas System. Over 38,000 students are currently enrolled in the 225-plus academic degree programs offered through the thirteen schools and colleges at this public research institution. UNT is “deeply committed to advancing educational excellence and preparing students to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world,” and regional accreditation for the institution is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: For students who want to help assess educational programs and make them better, the MS in Educational Psychology degree at UNT has an online Concentration in Research and Evaluation (R&E). A 33-credit hour program that can be completed in as little as fifteen months, the R&E degree trains individuals to be “the go-to person in your educational organization in understanding why and how your educational programs are working, for whom they work, and if changes are required.” Offered through the Educational Psychology department in the College of Education, classes include research-based topics like “Foundations of Psychoeducational Measurement,” “Statistics for Educational Research,” and “Grant Proposal Writing Skills.” The program is ideal for current educators—students can start in the summer and take four accelerated courses, take only two courses each fall and spring, and finish the following summer. College of Psychology students are eligible for a number of scholarships, so in addition to convenience, the degree can be affordable for anyone.
Indiana Institute of Technology was founded as Indiana Technical College by John A. Kalbfleisch in 1930 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The following year incorporation was granted and the first students began classes. A for-profit technical school, only males were admitted initially. It would be rechartered as a non-profit institution in 1948 and ten years later the first female student would graduate. In 1963 the school would gain its current name—Indiana Institute of Technology (known as Indiana Tech), and five schools and colleges (College of Business, College of Engineering, School of Computer Sciences, College of General Studies, and School of Education) make up the institution. With a main campus still in Fort Wayne, Indiana Tech has several regional campus locations in Indiana and Kentucky. Over 10,000 associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students are currently enrolled in this comprehensive university. Regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: A 33-credit hour program, Indiana Tech’s online MS in Psychology is ideal for students who want to advance in their career and those who want to pursue doctoral work. The program offers a curriculum that is aligned “with the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Commission on Accreditation Educational Guidelines,” making it easy for graduates to transition into a PhD program if they desire. Coursework provides a solid foundation in psychology that can help lead to licensure—classes include “Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology,” “Advanced Biopsychology,” and a final “Capstone Course: Master of Science in Psychology.” Located in the College of Arts and Sciences, the program has an expert faculty that provides students with the grounding in “advanced psychological principles, theories, practices and research” needed to be successful in the field.
The University of Memphis (UofM) started as the West Tennessee Normal School in 1912. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the school was initially opened to train teachers, but as the school grew and expanded its programs it changed names multiple times. The University of Memphis since 1994, the UofM was the flagship institution of the Tennessee Board of Regents system until the six Universities in the system became self-governing in 2017. Over 21,000 students are currently enrolled in nearly 100 academic degree programs in this public research university with thirteen schools and colleges and multiple research centers—including the FedEx Institute of Technology and Center for Earthquake Research and Information. A campus of over 1,600 acres makes up this “learner-centered metropolitan research university providing high quality educational experiences,” and regional accreditation comes from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: The UofM Global MS in Educational Psychology degree program offers a comprehensive program for students of any background. Classes are offered completely online through the “Desire to Learn” online learning management system and taught by the same experienced faculty as the on-campus program. The 36-credit hour curriculum provides core coursework covering topics such as “Introduction to Educational Research,” “Qualitative Methods in Education,” and “Learning and Cognition” for a distinct focus on human development and research methods. Part of the Educational Psychology and Research (EDPR) Program in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research, the online MS in Educational Psychology degree prepares students to be practitioners or researchers. UofM Global desires for each online student to succeed and provides many services to ensure that—from academic advising and tech support to career services and tutoring, UofM Global is invested in online education and the students who participate in the programs.
California Baptist University was begun by the Los Angeles Baptist Association as California Baptist College in 1950. Located in El Monte, California, the school welcomed 42 students when classes began—the student enrollment increased to 120 by the end of the year. The institution continued to grow rapidly, moving to a larger campus in Riverside in 1955. At that point the California Southern Baptist Convention had taken over leadership of the school, and now this private coeducational liberal arts university is attended by nearly 10,000 students. University status was achieved in 1998, and ten schools and colleges on the 75-acre campus are now joined by the online programming offered. A Christian university with a focus on “living your purpose,” California Baptist University (CBU) has been continuously regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1961.
Program Details: CBU Online offers a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology (MSCP) degree program for students who want to pursue “either marriage and family therapy or professional clinical counseling with a firm understanding of psychological science from a distinctly Christian worldview.” Requiring 62 major units, most students complete the program in just two years. Core course requirements include classes such as “Marriage and Family Therapy Counseling Theory,” “Human Growth and Development,” and “Psychodiagnostics.” An optional licensure component adds an additional eighteen units to the requirement: The Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) Concentration satisfies the educational requirements set forth by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. To culminate the program, students take a comprehensive exam (either on-campus or with an approved location and proctor), which includes the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE). Offering many benefits, CBU Online provides support and services to help online students succeed.
#37. Mercy College
Mercy College was founded by the Sisters of Mercy (a Roman Catholic religious order in the Jesuit tradition) in 1950, and eleven years after its inception the school began offering full four-year degrees. With a 66-acre main campus located in Dobbs Ferry, New York, this private, nonsectarian, coeducational research institution has additional campus locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Yorktown Heights. Five academic schools (School of Business, School of Education, School of Health and Natural Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, and School of Social and Behavioral Sciences) provide just under 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs. Mercy has provided online programs since the 1990s, and 40 degrees are currently available online. With a commitment to “offering liberal arts and professional programs in personalized and high quality learning environments,” nearly 10,000 students are enrolled at Mercy College, which has been continuously regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1968.
Program Details: Through the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mercy College offers an MS in Psychology degree program that can be pursued entirely online. Requiring 36-credit hours, the program “surveys all aspect of advanced psychological study” and prepares students to work in advanced psychological employment or go on to doctoral work. Students have up to five years to complete the degree, and they engage in eight core classes, including “Professional Issues and Ethics,” “Group Experience,” and “Contemporary Theories in Psychology.” The remaining credits are determined by the student’s choice in a culminating comprehensive written exam or the completion of a master’s thesis. Students participating in the program online have access to all the online student resources and supports provided. In addition to the dedicated faculty members whose goal is to help all students succeed, services include a comprehensive online-learning orientation, an online learning center, academic advising, career services and tech support.
#38. Harvard University
The oldest institution of higher education in the nation, Harvard University began in 1636 when the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted it into existence. It was determined that the school would be located in Cambridge (originally called Newetowne). Minister John Harvard bequeathed his library and a portion of his estate to the school, and it was named in his honor in 1639. The first class of students—ten individuals—graduated in 1642, and now more than 22,000 students are enrolled in the ten academic schools and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. This private Ivy League research institution boasts a living alumni network of over 371,000 graduates all over the world and offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees to currently enrolled students. Harvard has been regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1929.
Program Details: The hybrid-online Master of Liberal Arts in Psychology degree program through the Harvard Extension School offers students the convenience of online coursework and the prestige and exceptionality of a Harvard degree. With the unique combination of both online classes and on-campus requirements, students are “immersed in a rich academic community and have access to extensive resources.” The program consists of twelve courses, at least three of which must be taken on-campus, and students choose between a final thesis or capstone project to complete the degree. Both options provide one-on-one guidance and support to the student, and the capstone offers community support as well. Additionally through the Harvard Extension School, students have access to resources such as advising, a Writing Center, and Career Services. The Extension School also offers articles, student testimonials and spotlights, and faculty highlights to provide prospective students with insight into the School and to provide resources and pertinent news to current students.
#39. University of Idaho
The University of Idaho (UI) was founded when the territorial legislature’s Council Bill No. 20 passed in 1889. Located in the Idaho territory, the school was voted into existence just a year before the state joined the union. With a site in Moscow, the institution of higher education welcomed 40 coeducational students when classes began for the first time in 1892. As the oldest public university and the flagship institution of the state, UI had from its beginning a “commitment to enhance the scientific, economic, social, legal and cultural assets of our state and to develop solutions for complex problems facing our society.” The main campus in Moscow encompasses nearly 1,600 acres, and there are branch and extension campuses throughout the state. Designated as a land- and space-grant institution, UI offers nearly 200 academic degree programs to almost 12,000 students through ten schools. The University of Idaho has regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Program Details: Offered through the Psychology and Communication Studies Department within the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), University of Idaho’s MS in Psychology degree program with an emphasis in Human Factors can be completed on-campus or entirely online. Taking classes such as “Sensation & Perception,” “Human Factors in Engineering Design,” and “Ergonomics & Biomechanics,” students move on to advanced careers in non-profit or industry settings or are prepared to pursue doctoral work. The program can be completed in about two years, and students learn from faculty members who are also practitioners. A choice is offered between a comprehensive final exam or a Master’s Thesis. Students choosing the thesis option must be prepared to defend the program on-campus. Additionally, for students who desire to go on for doctoral work, the Master’s program leads into the IU PhD in Psychology program.
In 1889, at the request and petition of residents of Greeley, Colorado, the governor of Colorado signed a bill establishing the Colorado State Normal School to train teachers for the area. The following year classes began with four instructors and 96 students. The school grew and added academic programs through the years, changing names multiple times to reflect the changes. In 1970 the school became the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), and now over 200 academic degree programs are offered to nearly 13,000 currently enrolled students. A public research university, UNC is the fifth largest by enrollment in the state and has online programs, multiple satellite campus sites, and six colleges (College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural and Health Sciences, College of Performing and Visual Arts, Monfort College of Business, and University College). UNC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Beginning each summer, the online MA in Educational Psychology degree program with an emphasis in Teaching Applications is ideal for educators who want to study psychology in order to “develop student confidence and interest in learning.” Through the UNC Online Extended Campus and housed in the School of Psychological Sciences, the MA degree program requires 30 credit hours and can be completed in just nineteen months. Students entire the program at the same time and progress through the classes sequentially as a cohort. Coursework includes classes such as “Life Span Developmental Psychology,” “Motivation in Education,” and “Cultural Issues in Educational Psychology.” A final Comprehensive Examination completes the degree and includes a written paper in which students apply their “knowledge of Educational Psychology to a topic or issue that is relevant to their practice as teachers or in other educational settings.” Online learning resources are provided, along with a list of “tips” for online learners and specific library services.
#41. Tiffin University
Established in 1888, Tiffin University of Tiffin, Ohio is a private, coeducational institution of higher education. Predominately a residential campus for many years, Tiffin has transitioned to additionally providing a strong online presence and seeks to be known for being a “premier university for challenging students to enhance their global competencies and 21st century skills, for success in a diverse world.” Three schools (School of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, and School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences) offer programs for the more than 4,000 currently enrolled students. Main campus is 130 acres in the northwestern part of Ohio, and satellite programs are available in the cities of Cincinnati, Columbus, Fremont, Toledo and Cleveland. Also offering many programs at the University of Bucharest in Romania, Tiffin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Tiffin University provides an online MS in Psychology degree program offering an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on a wide range of disciplines within the field. The program is ideal for students who are “innately curious about what makes people tick” and want a research-based, scientific approach to their psychology program as opposed to studying clinical or counseling psychology. Requiring 37 credit hours, courses in the program are taught by faculty who have worked in the field and include topics such as “Advanced Theories of Personalities,” “Cross Cultural Issues in Psychology,” and “Social Psychology.” Multiple start dates are available (January, March, May, July, August and October), and most full-time students can complete the degree in about eighteen months (part-time students generally finish in two and a half years). Two two-credit Capstone Research courses complete the degree program, and students will find that the online support at Tiffin is structured to help them succeed.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) was established as Ouachita Parish Junior College in 1931. There were 416 students that enrolled, and it was the only junior college in Louisiana at that time. Located in Monroe, Louisiana, the school changed names multiple times and grew to offer full four-year degrees and graduate degrees before becoming ULM in 1999. Four academic divisions—College of Arts, Education, and Sciences; College of Business and Social Sciences; College of Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and the Graduate School—offer the just over 9,000 students various degree programs, both on-campus and online. A member of the University of Louisiana System, ULM is a public coeducational institution sitting on almost 250 acres. With a vision to be known as a top university for “excellence in teaching, research, and innovation, with an emphasis on the health sciences,” ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: The University of Louisiana at Monroe has a Master of Science in Psychology degree program that provides a completely online Forensic Psychology concentration. Requiring 36-credit hours, three core courses are joined by forensic concentration classes such as “Counseling in Criminal Justice,” “Sociology of Law,” and “Minorities, Crime, and Criminal Justice.” Students have a choice between a comprehensive exam or a master’s thesis to culminate the degree, and, although not a requirement, the thesis option is recommended for students who want to go on to doctoral work in order to achieve a PhD. ULM declares a commitment to online students and recognizes that they are just as much a part of the University’s learning community as residential students—there are resources and services to provide assistance, with a specific webpage devoted to suggestions, tips, and “netiquette” to help guide the distance learner find success in their academic journey.
#43. Bellevue University
Conceived of in 1965, Bellevue University (at that time Bellevue College) was the vision of the Chamber of Commerce in Bellevue, Nebraska. Established the following year, the school was founded with a mission to prepare students “to thrive in a connected, competitive world.” With a student body that is mostly made up of individuals already in the workforce and over the age of 25, Bellevue has found a niche of serving the non-traditional student. A university since 1994, Bellevue is one of the largest private institutions of higher education in the state of Nebraska with nearly 9,000 students currently enrolled. Since 80% of the enrollment is working adults, many classes and programs are offered both on-campus and online and there are accelerated program options as well. This non-profit university has an alumni network of over 50,000, and regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Bellevue University’s MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology guides students in the “scientific study of human behavior in the workplace . . . to improve the performance, motivation, job satisfaction, safety, and health and well-being of employees.” The program is offered in an accelerated format online, and students progress through the coursework together in a cohort. The core curriculum requires 36 credit hours in classes such as “Job Analysis and Performance Appraisals,” “Organizational Development,” and “Measurement and Design” and both a practicum and a final research capstone project culminate the program. Bellevue has been an ally of working adults seeking education by providing “career-relevant degree programs” for over 50 years and desires to make sure that the online learning experience is just as enriching and positive as an on-campus experience. Online resources are provided to the online student, as well as services such as academic advising and a tech support desk.
Devout Christian and philanthropist R. G. LeTourneau founded LeTourneau Technical Institute along with his wife Evelyn in the winter of 1946 in Longview, Texas. A few months later, classes began for the all-male student body. By 1961, the school became coeducational and was renamed LeTourneau College; it officially became LeTourneau University (LETU) in 1989. The Christian faith is central to the institution, and there are more than 85 academic degree programs available to the nearly 3,000 currently enrolled students. LETU has six schools: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Aeronautical Science, School of Business, School of Education, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, and School of Nursing. The main campus is still located in Longview, with online programs and learning centers located in Houston, Dallas and Bedford. This “unapologetically Christian university” is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Only offered online and in an accelerated format, the MA in Psychology at LeTourneau helps guide each student to become “a compassionate Christian professional.” A 39-credit hour program, students engage in core classes such as “Group Counseling Methods” and “Family Assessment,” and the remaining credits are constructed of electives (options include classes like “Advanced Abnormal Psychology,” “Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development,” and “Counseling Diverse Populations”). Students can transfer up to nine credits into the program and are expected to participate in a practicum for hands-on experience. Online MA in Psychology students will discover that the faculty and staff of the School of Psychology & Counseling are fully invested in their success and that there are many opportunities to find support and professional resources. The MA in Psychology degree is not a licensure program, but students who desire to pursue licensure can transfer the credits they’ve earned through the MA program into LeTourneau’s MA in Counseling program.
#45. Baker College
Educator Eldon E. Baker established Baker Business University in 1911 in Flint, Michigan (having previously founded a successful business school in Kansas). A few decades earlier, future Governor of Michigan and United State Senator Woodbridge Ferris had founded Muskegon College. The two schools were both placed under management of the Jewell family (who owned Muskegon) in 1965, and in 1985 the Baker College System was formed to manage the two schools, the extension campuses, and the junior colleges that had formed. Baker College has a mission “to provide quality higher education and training which enable graduates to be successful throughout challenging and rewarding careers.” Over 150 certificates and associate, bachelor, master and doctoral programs are offered throughout the system and online to the more than 23,000 enrolled students, and this not-for-profit private institution of higher education is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Baker is ideal for students who wish to “learn how principles of psychology can be utilized for organizational success.” Offered online through the College of Social Science, the 36-credit hour program provides required classes such as “Psychology of Personnel Management and Human Resources,” “Individual and Group Factors in the Workplace,” and “Organizational Development, Change, and Consultation.” Students gain the skills to transform their workplaces “through the application of the theories, methods and principles of psychology to individuals, teams and organizations.” Though the degree does not lead to licensure, students earn a solid grounding in the areas that make a successful practitioner in human resources, organizational development and training in both businesses and non-profits. In addition to plentiful on-campus Baker resources, many services are available to online students as well.
An Act of the Tennessee General Assembly created the Austin Peay Normal School in Clarksville, Tennessee in 1927. Established as a teacher training school and named for Austin Peay, the governor at that time, the school was located on a site that for nearly 200 years has been used as some form of educational institution or college. Austin Peay State University since 1967, the school aims to be a “comprehensive university committed to raising the educational attainment of the citizenry, developing programs and services that address regional needs, and providing collaborative opportunities that connect university expertise with private and public resources.” The fastest growing university in Tennessee, enrollment has surpassed 10,000 students. Six colleges and two schools construct Austin Peay and over 60 majors and 100 different concentrations are made available. Austin Peay State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Austin Peay’s entirely online Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (MSIO) degree program enjoys the same rigor and support as any on-campus program. Following the Guidelines for Master’s Level Training established by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the 34-credit hour program “follows the scientist-practitioner model of graduate education” and offers foundation and core courses, electives, and either a final comprehensive exam or thesis. Required coursework includes classes in topics such as “Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology,” “Leadership and Organizational Change,” and “Personnel Psychology.” Most students complete the degree in about two years, and all students receive a specific MSIO academic advisor, with whom they meet at the beginning of each semester—online students “meet” virtually. This program is ideal for professionals who want to “contribute to the success of organizations by improving employee performance and wellbeing.”
The honorable history of National Louis University began with the vision of Elizabeth Harrison to establish a college in Chicago, Illinois to train women to be kindergarten teachers. For 1886, the idea that kindergarten was formative for the well-being of the community was an unusual view, and even more radical was the notion that teachers needed a formal college education. Miss Harrison’s Training School was renamed Chicago Kindergarten College within a decade, and by 1990 the school would be renamed National Louis University (NLU) in honor of both benefactor Michael W. Louis and his family and the National Kindergarten Association (for which NLU is the professional school). Multiple campuses join the flagship Chicago, Illinois campus, and two colleges (National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement) provide over 50 academic degree programs to nearly 7,400 enrolled students. NLU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Through its College of Professional Studies and Advancement, NLU “draws on expertise and subject matter” from the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Business and Management to form a comprehensive, interdisciplinary MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology degree program. Offered entirely online and developed with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s Guidelines for Education and Training at the Master’s Level, the degree is provided at an accelerated pace and can be completed in just 20 months. Up to nine credit hours can be transferred into the program, which requires at least 36 and up to 42 credit hours for completion. Courses include “Psychological Statistics, Design and Analysis,” “Work Motivation and Job Attitudes,” and “Measurement of Individual Differences,” and a final Capstone completes the degree. From Enrollment Specialists to help applicants begin the process to the caring and experienced faculty, online students are provided with all the assistance they need to have a positive educational experience.
The residents of San Angelo, Texas decided to fund a college for themselves after losing the bid to be the site of Texas Technological College. Through donations and county taxes, the Angelo Junior College opened in 1928 for 112 students. The school grew to first be renamed San Angelo College and then Angelo State University (ASU) in 1965. In 2007 ASU joined the Texas Tech University System and is now the second largest campus in the system. A campus of 268 acres is home to the residential students and the six colleges that offer over 100 academic degree majors and concentrations. Nearly 10,500 students are currently enrolled in this coeducational public doctoral-level institution, and ASU is designated as both a Hispanic Serving Institution and a Military Friendly School. Angelo State University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: The online-only Master of Science in Applied Psychology at ASU welcomes students with any undergraduate degree to apply. The program is housed in the College of Graduate Studies and Research and consists of 36 credit hours—students have a choice of a thesis or a non-thesis option. Employing a “multifaceted approach to behavior” through the curriculum, students choose electives from classes such as “Applied Economic Psychology,” “Social Perception,” “Applications of Psychopathology,” and “Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience” (even though it is an online program, students are free to take electives on-campus if they choose). Students who haven’t taken at least eighteen credit hours of undergraduate psychology will need to take a foundational graduate-level psychology course; all core course are taught by faculty members who have PhDs in psychology. Students have access to various support services such as academic advising, tutoring, and career development.
#49. Palo Alto University
The Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), founded in 1975 in Palo Alto, California, was the origin of Palo Alto University (PAU). With a stated mission of “Engaging Minds and Improving Lives Locally and Globally through Innovative Education,” PAU is a private, non-profit institution offering two undergraduate degree programs, two graduate degrees, a PhD and a PsyD, and maintains a relationship with Stanford University. Nearly 1,100 students are enrolled in this school that “was founded to improve lives, communities, and society through education and research anchored in psychology.” In addition to the main campus in Palo Alto, another campus is located in Los Altos, and PAU partners with four additional community colleges to provide their programs to more students. Regional accreditation was achieved in 1986—the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has provided the accreditation continuously since then.
Program Details: The PAU MS in Psychology degree program takes advantage of the nearly two decades of online academic experience the school has to offer, providing an “innovative and highly structured” program that can be completed part-time in just two years. All coursework is online and a one-week residency adds an enriching experience the first summer of enrollment. Requiring 44 quarter units, students begin the program in the fall and engage in classes such as “Child and Adolescent Development,” “Ethics in Clinical Psychology,” and “Cognitive Bases of Behavior.” No thesis is required and the program does not lead to licensure, however, if students desire, the program can transition conditionally right in to PAU’s PhD in Psychology program. In addition to other support services and resources provided for current students, prospective students are able to attend virtual information sessions to learn more about the program and if it is a good fit.
#50. Goddard College
Dating its history all the way back to the Green Mountain Central Institute, which was established in 1863, Goddard College is a “college for the living.” The Institute transitioned into the Goddard Seminary, but it was not successful. In 1938, seminary President Tim Pitkin led a group of the Seminary’s teachers to shift the vision of the school and move the whole operation to a sheep farm in Plainfield, Vermont. Forming an academic community, 50 students followed. A revolutionary learning model was developed by the school in 1963—a low-residency model, meaning students would come to campus for two-week seminars and then complete their studies at home. The low residency model appealed to the largely non-traditional, working adult students that attended Goddard at the time, and since 2002 all Goddard programs are presented in this format. More than 700 students are currently enrolled, and Goddard is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Utilizing the Goddard low-residency model, the MA in Psychology degree program offers students an opportunity to join the on-campus community while participating in the minimum 48 credit hours (and up to 60) required. Core classes include “Biological Bases of Behavior,” “Ethics and Professional Orientation,” and “Social and Cultural Foundations.” To complete the degree, students have a choice between a thesis or a capstone. There are two concentrations to customize the degree: Expressive Arts Therapy and Sexual Orientation. The Sexual Orientation Concentration is “designed to provide a fundamental understanding of sexual orientation from various perspectives of the human experience,” whereas the Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration helps students prepare for becoming an Expressive Arts Therapist or a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant Educator by exploring how the expressive arts have traditionally been part of “practices to grow healing within the individual, the family, and larger systems within cultures.”