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Today’s Most Affordable Online Master’s Programs in Psychology

Earning your master’s degree in psychology doesn’t have to land you in debt. Explore how you can save money by attending one of 2024’s most affordable online master’s programs in psychology.

Author: Michael Hoffman

Editor: Staff Editor

FIND YOUR ONLINE DEGREE…

Search hundreds of schools for the master’s YOU want……

Two women engaging in a conversation while sitting across from each other in a brightly lit office setting.

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.

Psychology’s Most Affordable Online Master’s Programs in 2024

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 list of the most affordable programs for 2024 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
Stephenville, Texas
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Students seeking entry-level roles in the psychological sciences or doctoral studies can consider the Master of Science in Applied Psychology at Tarleton State University. This master’s degree includes 24 credits of coursework and one of three six hour capstones, depending on the student’s goals. To complete the program, students can choose from a pre-doctoral thesis track, an applied project track suitable for non-research careers, and a teaching track with an internship intended for community college instructors. Classes are delivered in online, hybrid, and face-to-face evening classes on the Stephenville and Fort Worth campuses.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Applied Psychology

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: Two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
2
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Fayetteville State University’s Master of Arts in Psychology program is designed for students from a variety of backgrounds who want to prepare for work in psychology-related careers. The program includes 27 hours of core coursework, six hours of psychology electives, and three credit hours of free electives. Additionally, students have the option to earn two 12-credit graduate certificates in behavioral research or professional psychology. While this general education program does not lead to clinical licensure, it can still serve as stepping stone for those who want to continue on to doctoral studies.

Program Highlights:

Master of Arts in Pyschology

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Two to three years
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
3
Lynchburg, Virginia
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$

Liberty University offers a fully online master’s in applied psychology, focusing on applying psychological theory in various settings such as schools, corporations, and clinical environments. Students can customize their degree with specializations in general psychology, developmental psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, and public mental health. These specializations allow students to tailor their learning to their interests and career goals, whether it’s understanding human development, applying psychological principles in the workplace, or developing mental wellness programs for communities and organizations. Accelerated, eight-week course formats mean students can graduate in 18 months.

Program Highlights:

Master of Arts in Applied Psychology

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: One and a half years
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

School Services & Accreditation

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

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
5
San Angelo, Texas
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
6
Vermillion, South Dakota
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
7
Alamosa, Colorado
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
8
Livingston, Alabama
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
9
Irvine, California
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation WSCUC
10
Las Vegas, Nevada
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NWCCU
11
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
12
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
13
Owosso, Michigan
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
14
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
15
Mississippi State, Mississippi
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
16
Tiffin, Ohio
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
17
Muncie, Indiana
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
18
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
19
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
20
Lubbock, Texas
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
21
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
22
Ferrum, Virginia
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
23
Scottsdale, Arizona
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
24
Boca Raton, Florida
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
25
Athens, Georgia
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
26
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
27
Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
28
Providence, Rhode Island
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
29
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
30
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
31
Springfield, Massachusetts
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
32
Troy, New York
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation MSCHE
33
Tallahassee, Florida
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
34
Owensboro, Kentucky
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
35
Moscow, Idaho
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NWCCU
36
Saint Louis, Missouri
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
37
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
38
Longview, Texas
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
39
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
40
New York, New York
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation MSCHE
41
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
42
Type:
Private for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation WSCUC
43
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
44
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
45
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC

Funding Your Master’s Degree in Psych: 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. Below 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.