Earn Your Master's in Psychology Online
- $627/credit (36 credits total)
- Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
- Experiential learning opportunities
- Choose from 3 specialized concentrations
- Learn from experienced faculty
- No application fee or GRE/GMAT scores required
Online Master's in Psychology Program Overview
Gain the expertise you need to advance your career with the Master of Science (MS) in Psychology online degree program at Southern New Hampshire University.
This accredited online master's degree program can help prepare you to play an important role in the mental health and wellness of diverse populations in various environments – from hospitals to schools, government facilities and beyond.
You'll deepen your understanding of research methods, cognitive psychology, social psychology and personality, learning theory and ethical practice, while focusing on the real-world application of psychological research.
Our master's in psychology online degree program offers the flexibility to pair your psychology studies with the exploration of complementary disciplines. The 8-course core features classes in psychology research, measurement, ethics and more.
Learn how to:
- Explain psychology's ability to promote agency and wellbeing
- Address issues by evaluating the relevance, priority and appropriateness of responses
- Plan, conduct and evaluate research to advance knowledge in psychology and promote wellbeing
- Use theories, methods and research to generate new ideas and findings
- Incorporate empathy, reflectivity and an appreciation for collaboration and diversity of perspectives into work
- Demonstrate a clear understanding of professional ethics
Diversify your knowledge by sticking with the general track or develop a deeper understanding of your interests when you choose one of 3 concentrations: child and development psychology, forensic psychology and industrial organizational psychology.
Please note that the MS in Psychology at SNHU is not a clinical psychology program and will not lead directly to licensure.
8 Types of Psychology with Real-World Perspective
The study of psychology can be personally and professionally rewarding. Among the many concentrations in the field you can find diverse opportunities to learn about how people interact with one another in relationships, in the workplace and more.
Psychology (MS) - Child and Development Psychology
Help support the wellbeing of children with your master's in psychology with a concentration in child and development psychology. In this program, you'll develop assessment, intervention and consultation strategies that address the unique individual, cultural and psychological needs of children.
Note: If you're looking to work in a clinical position in child psychology, you may have to seek state certification or licensure (and additional educational requirements may need to be met).
Learn more about earning your master's in child psychology.
Adding a concentration in child development to your master's in psychology degree could be advantageous for getting positions in organizations that focus on children. You could find work developing, coordinating and administrating childhood programming for community centers, daycares, schools and nonprofits.
This concentration puts you in a great position to move onto doctorate studies in child psychology so that you can pursue a career as a child psychologist.
Courses may include:
- Developmental Psychology
- Cognitive Neuropsychology
- Intervention Strategies
- Child and Developmental Psychology Seminar
Psychology (MS) - Forensic Psychology
Ready for a psychology career working with lawyers, police officers, victims and offenders? In the master's in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology, you'll learn the research, analysis, assessment and human behavior skills needed to apply psychology principles in the criminal justice system.
Learn more about earning your master's in forensic psychology.
With your concentration in forensic psychology, you could pursue jobs like crime analyst, forensic case manager and jury consultant.
Roles like forensic psychologist will likely require that candidates have completed their doctorate degrees.
Courses may include:
- Forensic Psychology
- Assessment for Forensic Psychology
- Intersection of Law and Psychology
- Psychology in the Courtroom
Psychology (MS) - Industrial Organizational Psychology
Improve employee performance, motivation and general well-being with the master's in psychology with a concentration in industrial organizational psychology. Industrial organizational psychology – also known as I/O psychology – is the study of individual and group behavior in the workplace.
Learn more about earning your master's in industrial organizational psychology degree.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that industrial-organizational psychologists will be required to help select and retain employees, create training opportunities, increase productivity and efficiency, handle conflicts and improve morale.1
Courses may include:
- Motivation in the Workplace
- Psychology of Leadership
- Organizational Consulting
- Seminar in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Our master's in psychology online degree program will put you in a great position to pursue doctoral-level coursework or a career in any number of fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can expect to see a heightened demand for psychology-related positions through 2030:1
- Psychologists: 8% growth (on pace with the national average for all occupations).
- Market research analysts: 22% growth.
- Post-secondary teachers: 12% growth.
- Training and development specialists: 11% growth.
While this online degree does not lead to any form of licensure, you'll graduate from SNHU with an understanding of psychological theory and methods applicable in a variety of nonprofit, corporate and education settings. Upon graduation, you’ll possess the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for affecting change within organizations.
Graduates of the online master's in psychology program will find that there is opportunity for employment in a variety of fields, including:
- Business. Drive human resources strategies and develop better business operations using insights you've gained.
- Marketing. Research and survey key audiences to help drive sales for all kinds of products and services.
- Education. Prepare the next generation of psychology majors by teaching college courses as an adjunct instructor.
- Health services. Design programs for at-risk populations that aim to prevent or intervene in negative behaviors for better outcomes.
- Criminal justice. Provide psychological context for police officers, attorneys and judges in criminal cases.
- Sports management. Set realistic goals and help athletes overcome mental obstacles to perform better in their sport.
- Information technology. Inform decisions made about how new technology looks and is used with your knowledge of human behavior.
And if you're already in one of these fields, the new skills and knowledge garnered from the online graduate psychology program will serve as an asset to your work.
For Karen Raquel Quezada '21, her master's degree helped her get promoted within her organization.
"My supervisor expressed her excitement when I was in my last term," she said. "She encouraged my growth within the company and requested my transcripts as soon as I finished my last semester so I could be offered a new position. This degree helped me to get promoted – I am officially an in-home therapist and I love my job."
Interested in working hands-on with patients in a clinical setting? Consider enrolling in our CACREP-accredited online master's in mental health counseling. This program was designed to prepare students to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a clinical mental health counselor in most states.
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Psychology Degree
Why SNHU for Your Master's in Psychology
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
As part of our mission to make higher education more accessible, we’re committed to keeping our tuition rates low. In fact, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 150,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 300,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU (according to a 2019 survey of 9,200+ online students). Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Expanding access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials:
- Completed free application
- Undergraduate transcripts, which we can retrieve for you by submitting a transcript request form
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms.
If you don't have a background in psychology or a related field, you may need to take up to 3 foundation courses. For those who do not meet the minimum requirements, the following courses may be required:
- Foundations of Psychology
- Foundations in Statistics
- Foundations in Research Methods
Note: This program does not prepare you for state licensure.
Courses & Curriculum
Taught by instructors with professional credentials and experience, the MS in Psychology curriculum will provide you with a solid foundation in psychology aligned with the industry's expectations and standards. Throughout your courses, you'll deepen your understanding in crucial areas of psychology including:
- Cognitive psychology. Understand how mental processes such as memory, language, attention, learning and decision-making inform psychology.
- Ethical practice. Study moral principles within the field of psychology and apply expected professional standards of conduct.
- Personality. Explore the theories, research and approaches pertaining to personality and its variation throughout populations.
- Research methods. Learn how to gather and analyze data to plan and conduct research in real-world applications.
- Social psychology. Examine contemporary and classic theory on how people interact with the environment, technology and society as a whole.
You'll also sharpen your critical thinking and problem-solving skills while applying theory to practical applications.
Whether your bachelor's degree was in psychology or you've decided to begin a new career, enrolling in the master's in psychology program could be a great choice for you. Because psychology is such a widely applicable discipline, the statistical analysis and research skills you gain in the MS in Psychology program will prepare you for work in a surprising variety of professions and contexts including:
- Advocacy, social services and law enforcement
- Business and marketing
- Employee training and human resources
- Consultancy and project coordination
- Technology, research and data analysis
- Course instruction and more
The master's in psychology curriculum culminates in a capstone and seminar, in which you'll integrate all you've learned into a faculty- and peer-reviewed project centered on a contemporary issue in psychology. In this capstone, you'll synthesize what you've learned, integrating the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout your coursework.
The capstone work was the most important work that Karen Raquel Quezada '21 said she did at SNHU.
"The reason this class stood out to me was because it allowed me to get a sense of everything that I learned in my program throughout those last two years," she said. "I was able to incorporate everything that I learned into that one final paper. The takeaways that I use frequently are practicing being ethical and creating healthy boundaries in my workplace and reminding myself to do no harm."
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|MS in Psychology|
|Courses May Include|
|MS in Psychology Online|
|PSY 510||Research Methods in Psychology I||In this course, students will learn methods commonly used in psychological research. As part of these methods, students learn how to gather and analyze data across a variety of settings. These newly acquired skills and techniques will be reinforced by application to a contemporary issue in psychology.|
|PSY 520||Research Methods in Psychology II||In this course, students will develop a deeper understanding of the research process and data analysis by applying skills learned in Research Methods in Psychology I and building on them with new skills and techniques including advanced research design and use/interpretation of higher-level statistical tests (ANOVA, regression, etc.). These newly acquired skills and techniques will be reinforced by application to a contemporary issue in psychology.|
|PSY 530||Social Psychology||The focus of this course is on contemporary social psychology issues and research related to people's interactions with the environment, technology, and society, as well as classic studies and theories in the field-including those related to conformity, obedience, identity, and attitudes that remain relevant. Students will evaluate the perspectives, relevancy, and usefulness of social psychology to real world issues and problems.|
|PSY 540||Cognitive Processes||Students will investigate topics in cognitive psychology, including memory, language, attention, learning, and decision-making. Students will evaluate the perspectives, relevancy, and usefulness of cognitive psychology to real world issues and problems.|
|PSY 550||Measurement and Assessment||Learn and apply psychometric techniques commonly used in psychology. Explore measurement techniques and strategies used in the development and administration of psychological tests and assessments. Analyze and assess test and assessment results. Examine the ethical issues related to test and assessment administration and interpretation.|
|PSY 560||Theories of Personality||This course will emphasize contemporary theories, research, and approaches in personality psychology, connecting these to classic theorists such as Freud as well as other historical traditions and perspectives. The past and present impact of these theories within the ever-changing field of psychology will be explored, as well as the impact they have on culturally diverse clients and special populations.|
|PSY 570||Ethical Practice in Psychology||This course provides a comprehensive overview of the principles of ethical practice within the field of psychology. Topics include experimentation, confidentiality, respect, resolving ethical dilemmas, professional standards of conduct, and the psychology of ethical behavior.|
|PSY 790||Capstone in Psychology||This capstone course is the culminating experience for the M.S. in Psychology program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.|
|Total Credits: 36|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Graduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 15 credits|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with an online master's in psychology?
Psychology is a broad field, and earning your MS degree in psychology can open doors when it comes to the job market. Before enrolling, it’s important to understand what you can do with a master’s in psychology.
“Your master’s degree is a great tool and gateway to many opportunities,” said MS in Psychology alumnus Weston Corbitt '15G.
A graduate degree in psychology may open opportunities in corporate training and development, market research analytics, sales and a plethora of additional career paths.
“One of the best things about a graduate degree in psychology is that it’s so wide-ranging in its career applications,” said Dr. Barbara Lesniak, senior associate dean of social sciences at SNHU. “For example, there are many options in the corporate world, like training and development, management, sales and marketing. Virtually any job in which you deal with people and need to know how to relate to them and what influences their behavior will benefit from a graduate degree in psychology.”
Can I get my psychology degree online?
Yes, it is possible to get your psychology degree completely online. Many highly regarded, accredited schools provide online psychology degrees.
You can earn your MS in Psychology online at Southern New Hampshire University, a nonprofit, award-winning school with learners across the globe. SNHU is committed to expanding access to education. With affordability at top-of-mind, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, helping you keep your dreams of earning your degree within reach.
Earning your degree online also allows you to do your coursework on your schedule, too.
"Studying online made me feel in control of my learning," said Karen Raquel Quezada '21. "It gave me the freedom to still be a mother and a full-time worker, and still have the time to complete my work for school."
Can you be a psychologist with a master’s?
According to the American Psychological Association, the term psychologist is reserved for professionals with doctoral education and training, and many states have licensing laws prohibiting the use of “psychologist” in a job or professional title of a person who does not meet those requirements.2
But you'll find that earning your master's in psychology is a great benefit when it comes to landing other jobs within the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a master’s degree is highly desired when it comes to teaching psychology and for many industrial-organizational psychology positions.1
BLS also suggests that while the majority of positions in clinical counseling and research psychology require a doctoral degree, you might be able to find work in those fields as an assistant under the supervision of a doctoral psychologist.1
However, if a doctorate degree is your goal, SNHU’s psychology master’s program is designed to set you up for success at the doctoral level, which will open doors in most types of psychology.
Can you be a therapist without a PhD?
The short answer is yes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a therapist usually needs at least a master's degree and a license to practice.1
It's important to note that several different education pathways can help lead you to a career practicing psychotherapy. For example:
- Psychiatrist, which requires either an MD or a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy).
- Psychologist, which requires a doctoral degree, usually a PhD or a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) in clinical or counseling psychology.
- Clinical mental health counselor, which requires an MA (Master of Arts) or MS (Master of Science) in mental health counseling. An MEd (Master of Education) is a common pathway for those working as school counselors.
In addition, becoming licensed to practice independently requires another 1-2 years of post-master’s supervised work experience.
SNHU offers a CACREP-accredited MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling for students interested in pursuing counseling licensure. The MS in Psychology is not a clinical psychology program.
How long does it take to get your master’s in psychology?
Like most graduate-level programs, a master’s degree in psychology can generally be completed in 1-2 years.
Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Science in Psychology program is 36 credits (12 3-credit courses). Offering 5 graduate terms a year, learners at SNHU can advance at a pace that is comfortable and provides for a healthy balance between education, work and other life priorities.
Do I need a bachelor's in psychology to get a master’s?
No. While you do need a bachelor's degree to pursue a master's in psychology, your undergraduate degree does not have to be in psychology – or even a related field.
At Southern New Hampshire University, we find that many of our MS in Psychology students do not have a psychology background but are looking to take on new responsibilities, add new insights to their current profession or even switch up their careers completely. For this reason, we've developed 3 foundation courses to help all of our master's in psychology students succeed:
- Foundations of Psychology
- Foundations in Statistics
- Foundations in Research Methods
If you've earned your bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field, you shouldn't have to take these foundation courses. Likewise, if you don't have a background in psychology, but you've completed coursework, including introductory classes in psychology, statistics and social science research as part of your undergraduate studies, you can apply to waive the prerequisite foundation courses.
How much can you make with a master’s in psychology?
Earning a graduate degree in psychology can create new opportunities for you, but your salary will ultimately depend on whatever field and role you choose.
“Getting a graduate degree in psychology will help in applying for and obtaining higher-paying jobs in the field such as administering social services programs, being an administrator in a nonprofit, conducting research or working toward becoming a licensed professional,” said Thomas MacCarty, associate dean of social sciences at SNHU.
Overall, the BLS reported that psychologists had a median annual salary of $82,180, with clinical, counseling and school psychologists specifically earning $79,820 in 2020.1 Note: These positions, along with most jobs listed as "psychologist," typically require a doctorate and licensure.
Interested in teaching? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teachers made a median annual wage of $80,790 in 2020.1
Are a psychologist and a counselor the same thing?
While psychology and counseling are closely related fields, the occupations of psychologist and counselor are not interchangeable.
Let's start with how psychologists and counselors are alike. First off, it's important to understand that neither are medical doctors. Medical doctors who diagnose and treat mental illness issues are known as psychiatrists. As physicians, psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe medication to patients. Read this article on the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist if you're interested in learning more.
Overall, both psychologists and counselors use their knowledge of the human mind to make lives better.
How are they different? Clinical psychologists, like counselors, work 1-on-1 with clients in therapeutic settings. In these instances, psychologists make use of testing to help clients while counselors rely on different therapeutic approaches to address patient issues.
But unlike counseling, many psychology roles are not clinical and do not involve therapy or case management. Since the science of psychology is so widely applicable, graduates of psychology degree programs could find themselves working in fields like advertising, business operations, traffic safety, education, criminal justice, recruitment, research and more.
How do you become a counselor?
Typically, professional licensed counselors will need to earn an MA (Master of Arts) or MS (Master of Science). This may vary slightly with school counselors, who usually earn an MEd (Master of Education).
Generally, these degrees require 2-3 years of coursework including an internship.
Our online Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, for example, requires 60 total credits, including a combination of coursework, face-to-face residencies and supervised fieldwork.
This CACREP-accredited program also integrates hands-on learning experiences, including face-to-face and virtual residencies to help you apply your skills in professional environments.
What is the best accredited school for psychology?
There are many great accredited schools providing psychology degrees, but choosing which is best depends on what you prioritize in your own life.
When it comes to affordability and flexibility, Southern New Hampshire University is a great choice. At $627 per credit, SNHU offers some of the lowest online graduate tuition rates in the nation – rates that haven't been raised in a decade. With 5 graduate terms per year and no set class times or login requirements, studying online at SNHU gives you the flexibility to earn your degree without forcing you to make any drastic changes to your life.
In your research, you might find mentions of the American Psychological Association – a renowned scientific and professional psychology organization. Note that SNHU's master's in psychology is not APA-accredited because the American Psychological Association only accredits doctoral, internship and postdoctoral residency programs. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologist.htm (viewed Sept. 23, 2021).
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm (viewed Sept. 23, 2021).
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm (viewed Sept. 23, 2021).
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm (viewed Sept. 23, 2021).
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2American Psychological Association, Careers in Psychology, on the internet, at: https://www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers (viewed Sept. 23, 2021).