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Most Affordable Online Master’s in Psychology Degrees

Did you know there are ways to make earning a psychology degree more affordable? To show you how, we’ve compiled a list of 50 accredited colleges that offer more bang for your buck, as well as budget-friendly tips that can help you pay for grad school.

Author: James Mielke
Editor: STEPS Staff
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If you’re seeking a graduate degree that offers a diverse range of job prospects and enables you to analyze human behavior in fields ranging from education and marketing to sports and counseling, obtaining an online master’s in psychology can be an excellent option due to its flexible format. Moreover, online programs are typically less expensive than their on-campus counterparts while delivering the same quality of education.

This page highlights 50 accredited colleges offering the most affordable online psychology master’s degree programs and provides additional helpful tips to reduce the cost of your degree. Utilize it to commence your search for an online master’s in psychology program that aligns with your budget and career objectives.

Top 50 Most Affordable Online Psychology Master’s Degrees in 2024

There are multiple considerations when looking for an online psychology master’s degree. Elements like length of the program, specialization options, and program reputation are important, but affordability is often the deciding factor for many students. The following ranking of the most affordable online psychology master’s programs can help you find low-cost programs from accredited colleges that still deliver on quality. The ranking combines key affordability and quality metrics pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For more information on our ranking methodology, click the “About the ranking” button below for a complete rundown of how we calculate our rankings.

About the ranking

College Ranking Methodology

Generate List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
  • Career placement and academic counseling services.
  • Maximum tuition of $15,000 per academic year.

Assign Weightings

After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on their performance in a variety of key categories. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Learning

  • Number of online programs in subject area self-reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Percentage of graduate students at the school taking at least one class online

Affordability

  • Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on in-state tuition for undergraduates per academic year.

Academic Quality

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: Schools with lower ratios ranked higher.
  • Percentage of students admitted. More selective schools ranked higher.

About Our Data

All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: August 2023

Accreditation Glossary

ABHE: Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

ABHES: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

ACCJC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

ACCSC: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

DEAC: Distance Education Accrediting Commission

HLC: Higher Learning Commission

MSCHE: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

NECHE: New England Commission of Higher Education

NWCCU: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

SACSCOC: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

TRACS: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission

WSCUC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

1

Tarleton State University

Stephenville, Texas

Tarleton State University offers one of only three applied psychology master's programs in the state of Texas. This 30-credit program is offered in person at one of several campuses or through a hybrid format. Students may need to travel to complete their research or teaching experiences, depending on whether they choose the applied project track, teaching track, or master's thesis option. As a pre-doctoral master's, this program aims to prepare students for PhD studies and a subsequent career in academia, upper-level research, or a related field. Three start dates are available per year.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Applied Psychology -- Pre-Doctoral Program

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost: $509.27/credit (in-state); $775.37/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: In person, Online, Hybrid
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 21:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation SACSCOC
Online Students 97%

2

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville, North Carolina

The Master of Arts in Psychology at Fayetteville State University is a fully online, 36-credit program that is designed for flexibility. Students range from working professionals to full-time students to those who don't have access to a traditional university campus and related resources. In addition to 27 credits of graduate-level psychology core courses and nine hours of electives, students have the opportunity to earn two 12-credit certificates, one in Behavioral Research and the other in Professional Psychology. These certificates are also available separate from the MA degree. This program has a broad curriculum, exploring psychology from multicultural, biological, and cognitive perspectives. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 2.6 or higher.

Program Highlights:

Online Master of Arts in Psychology

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $191/credit (in-state); $477.50/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 15:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation SACSCOC
Online Students 88%

3

Angelo State University

San Angelo, Texas

Angelo State University's Master of Science in Applied Psychology is a fully online program that can be customized based on a student's needs and goals. Choose from a 30-credit nonthesis option or, for those who want in-depth original research experience, a 36-credit option that includes a thesis. While any student with an accredited undergraduate degree is welcome to apply, those with fewer than 18 credits of college-level psychology will be required to take a graduate-level training course in the foundations of psychology. Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and must apply online.

Program Highlights:

Applied Psychology MS

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost: $232.30/credit (in-state); $652.30/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation SACSCOC
Online Students 87%