Most Affordable Online Master’s in Psychology

This page highlights top accredited online master’s in psychology programs that rank highly on affordability and discusses other ways to lower the cost of your master’s degree. Read on to learn if these affordable online master’s programs are right for you and find out how to fund your master’s degree.

A master’s in psychology is a solid choice for anyone interested in leadership positions within a range of professions, including business, counseling, human resources, social services, education, and mental health. It’s also an excellent choice for those intending to earn a psychology doctorate. However, no degree is a worth it if you have to go deep into debt to afford it.

This guide looks at the most affordable online master’s degree psychology programs available from some of the best colleges and universities in the U.S. It also includes information on what makes an online psychology master’s degree affordable and how you can tap into a variety of cost-cutting resources to save you even more.

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Psychology Programs for 2022

Even if cost is your main concern, there are several other critical factors such as accreditation, concentration offerings, and flexibility, that should be considered in your decision. Our rankings of the most affordable programs for 2022 are based on a combination of several key affordability and quality metrics taken from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For detailed information on how these rankings were calculated, click on the “About the Ranking” button below.

About the ranking
1
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

The Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at Salem State University combines psychology, business, and STEM-related subjects to prepare graduates for leadership in human resources, personnel testing, corporate performance, and more. The program follows guidelines set by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) for master’s degree programs in the I/O psychology field. Students complete nine core curriculum courses in subjects like statistics and data analysis, psychometrics, and research in organizations as well as a 300-hour customized internship at a program-affiliated agency or organization in fields like government, healthcare, human resources, and research labs located in and around Boston. Students round out their curriculums with five elective courses to specialize in either organizational development or human resources.

Although described as primarily in-person with classes at the school’s main campus in Salem, the program does offer some online and hybrid courses. All courses are offered in the evening to accommodate working students.

Program Highlights:

MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: Two to four years
  • Cost: $499.20/credit (in-state); $591.60/credit (out-of-state)
  • Format: Partially-online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
2
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Fayetteville State University in North Carolina offers a highly-affordable Master of Arts in Psychology program with 100% online fully asynchronous coursework. It’s a great choice for anyone interested in non-clinical licensure careers in psychology-related leadership positions in education, business, research and data analysis, human resources, and social services. It also prepares students for psychology doctoral programs.

The 36-credit curriculum combines core required and elective courses in subjects like research methods, developmental psychology, biological aspects of behavior, psychology of diversity, and more. The program culminates with a capstone seminar where students create professional portfolios with samples of academic work, professional resources, and more to prepare for launching and advancing their psychology-related careers. Admission requirements for this MA in Psychology program include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum of six credit hours of undergraduate coursework in the psychology field.

Program Highlights:

  • MA in Psychology
  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $191/credit (resident); $477.50/credit (outside NC); $805.75 (non-resident)
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
3
Lawton, OK
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Cameron University is a public university with an affordable online Master of Science in Behavioral Sciences with General Psychology Track program. All courses are entirely online in an asynchronous format, and the program is designed for students not intending to pursue careers as licensed counselors. This program does not include an internship or practicum requiring in-person participation.

This general psychology MSBS curriculum starts with 21 credit hours of core coursework covering topics like statistics, research methods, human development, and psychopathology. Students also complete track-specific courses in advanced human cognition and advanced social psychology along with six credit hours of psychology-related electives. Graduation requirements include completing all courses with a 3.0 GPA or higher and passing a comprehensive examination.

Program Highlights:

MS in Behavioral Sciences – General Psychology Track

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: At least two years
  • Cost: $255.00/credit (resident); $628/credit (non-resident)
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
4
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Curriculum options and specialized studies are key features of the Master of Science in Psychology program at Texas A&M University – Commerce. Students choose from three degree tracks:

  • Psychology: Prepares graduates for research careers and continued graduate work.
  • Clinical Psychology: Prepares graduates for Psychological Associate licensure and careers in clinical, educational, and organizational psychology.
  • Educational Diagnostician for School Psychology: Re-specialization program for the Educational Diagnostician looking to become a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP).

Both thesis and non-thesis options are available for all three tracks. The thesis option is recommended for Psychology Track students intending to earn their PhDs. All tracks are presented in blended formats that combine 50% to 85% online coursework with on-campus coursework.

Admission requirements for the MS in Psychology program include an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA in Psychology or a related field from a regionally-accredited institution. GRE test scores are also required, though applicants with bachelor’s or master’s degrees with a 3.25 or higher GPA are exempt from the GRE requirement.

Program Highlights:

MS in Psychology

  • Credits: 36 to 66
  • Length: One to three years
  • Cost: $2,578/semester (resident); $5,026/semester (non-resident)
  • Format: Partially-online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
5
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Fort Hays State University offers two psychology master’s program options featuring online study. The Online/Hybrid Clinical Psychology Program is for students seeking to practice psychological assessment, psychotherapy, and other professional functions requiring state licensure. It also prepares graduates for doctoral study. The program’s hybrid format combines online coursework with five-day workshops attended on the school’s campus in Fort Hays, Kansas over two summer semesters. The program also requires an on-site practicum followed by a 600-hour internship at a program-approved off-campus mental health agency. Graduates are eligible for licensure in Kansas and many other states through the State’s Behavioral Science Regulatory Board.

The Online School Psychology Program meets State of Kansas requirements for a school psychology practice. Students intending to practice in other states should confirm that the program provides eligibility for practice in that state. The program features 100% online coursework plus a single five-day workshop on the appraisal of children during a summer session.

Program Highlights:

MS in Clinical Psychology; MS in School Psychology

  • Credits: 30 to 62
  • Length: One to three years
  • Cost: $298.55/credit
  • Format: Partially-online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
6
San Angelo, TX
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
7
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
8
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC

Funding Your Online Master’s Degree in Psychology: 5 Ways to Save

The most affordable online master’s in psychology program is not necessarily the one with the lowest tuition rate. You also need to consider the many resources available to help you pay for your education. Here are five of the most common resources to help you save on your online master’s degree in psychology:

  1. Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships for Psychology Master’s Students

    Scholarships, grants, and fellowships are the most popular types of funding resources because they’re essentially “free money” since they aren’t paid back. Scholarships and fellowships are typically awarded based on merit, while grants are usually awarded based on financial need. Most scholarships and fellowships and even some grants are competitive. For more on these valuable funding opportunities, check out our scholarships and resources guide.

  2. Work-Study or Assistantships

    Assistantships are typically positions as teaching and research assistants for department faculty. They’re normally awarded based on student merit and department need and provide compensation through tuition waivers and money stipends. Work-study jobs are often administrative and provided to students with financial needs. Finding a work-study position or a graduate assistantship can be more difficult as an online student, but it’s not necessarily impossible. Missouri State University, for example, offers a partially-online psychology master’s program and several graduate assistantships.

  3. Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

    Employer tuition reimbursement programs provide employers with a great tool for recruiting and retaining quality workers, both during and after their degree studies. In most cases involving graduate-level psychology students, employers offering tuition reimbursement will most likely be in a psychology-related field. It’s always worth asking your supervisor or HR officer about the availability of tuition reimbursement for your psychology master’s education.

  4. Payment Plans

    Tuition payment plans allow students to pay their tuition over time, typically in monthly installments. These plans are often interest-free but do have a program enrollment fee. Not all schools offer them, though. Examples of programs offering tuition payment plans include Arizona State University’s Online MS in Psychology and the Online MA in Psychology at Fayetteville State University.

  5. Paid Internships

    Internships are often a requirement of master’s in psychology programs, particularly those leading to licensure. Internships may be paid or unpaid. Whether your degree program requires one or not, they’re a great way to gain valuable experience working with patients in practice settings. Contact your program’s department for information on paid internship opportunities with program-affiliated agencies. You can also search for paid internships using employment websites.

FAQs about Affordable Master’s Programs in Psychology

Q. What impacts the affordability of an online master’s program?

There are many factors affecting the affordability of online psychology master’s programs. Private colleges and universities commonly charge higher tuition rates than their public school counterparts, and public schools sometimes charge a higher tuition rate to students whose legal residence is outside the school’s home state. Financial aid can also play a significant part in lowering your online master’s degree in psychology price tag.

Q. What is the ROI of an online master’s degree in psychology?

Return on investment (ROI) refers to a measure of the additional income earned by a degree holder resulting from possessing the degree minus the costs (e.g., tuition, books, supplies, lost wages while in school, etc.) associated with earning that degree. Calculate ROI by looking at the variables specific to your circumstances, such as the occupation you intend to pursue, as compared to the cost of the specific degree type and program.

Q. How can I ensure that an affordable master’s in psychology program is high-quality?

The foundational factor in determining a program’s quality is accreditation. Institutional accreditation of U.S. colleges and universities is administered by several national and regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, some specialized psychology master’s degrees are programmatically accredited by private organizations affiliated with a particular discipline. For example, school psychology degrees may be accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Making sure your school and program are properly accredited is the first step in assuring it is a high-quality program.

Q. Is an online master’s degree more affordable than an in-person?

This depends on the program you’re considering and factors like additional fees for online courses and discounted tuition rates for online programs. Most students save money with an online master’s in psychology program over an on-campus one based strictly through the absence of costs (e.g., gas, parking, etc.) associated with transportation to and from campus for class.

Q. Can job experience count towards a master’s degree and help cut costs?

This depends on the specific degree program. You can help defray degree costs with a paid internship position if your program requires completion of an internship. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an online psychology master’s degree program that awards credit for work experience.

Q. How can I know if an affordable master’s degree program is right for me?

Begin by considering your academic and career goals and determining if a particular master’s degree in psychology will help you reach those goals. Also consider if you should choose the cheapest online master’s in psychology program you can find in terms of tuition or if other factors might influence program choice. Affordability is also determined by whether a program is 100% online, if it leads to licensure eligibility, and if the program is part-time or full-time.