Inside Look at Top Online School Psychology Programs for 2023

From a rundown of degree options to a list of top-ranked universities, learn key info about convenient online school psychology programs that let you advance your education and career on your terms.

Last Updated: 05/02/2023

Search hundreds of schools for the degree you want ......

I want my
Focusing on

If you have a desire to support both students and teachers in the public school system, pursuing a career in school psychology may be a great fit for you. As a school psychologist, you will work with students to address school, home, and personal issues, while also supporting teachers in creating effective teaching plans that meet student needs. Pursuing an online school psychology degree can provide an affordable and flexible path to advance your education and enter this rewarding field. Read on to learn about common courses, available degrees and certifications, top programs for 2023, and job opportunities in school psychology.

2023’s Best Online School Psychology Programs

Finding the best online school psychology programs can be time-consuming, as not all programs are created equal. We have conducted extensive research to identify the top programs based on proper accreditation, affordable tuition rates, and the flexibility needed by working students. Below are three of the best online school psychology programs for 2023.

About the ranking

Methodology for the STEPS Best Online Programs in 2022

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 subject area offered partially or fully online.

Assign Impact of Data Points

After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability. Online program availability and overall affordability received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. When unable to verify this number, a star-based system was used to signify the number of programs relative to peers.


  • Cost:
    Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid:
    Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling:
    Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement:
    Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 20:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 65%
Online Students 24,765
Baylor University

Waco, Texas

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 15:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 93%
Online Students 13,988
Yeshiva University

New York, New York

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 7:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 86%
Online Students 31

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 68%
Online Students 4,961
Emporia State University

Emporia, Kansas

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 71%
Online Students 1,131
Wichita State University

Wichita, Kansas

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 65%
Online Students 4,377
Adelphi University

Garden City, New York

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 12:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 89%
Online Students 3,989

Explore Top-Ranked School Psychology Programs in Popular States

What Are Online School Psychology Programs Like?

Online programs for school psychology are available in different formats, depending on the degree level and the school offering the program. Doctoral programs typically have the highest demands on students, requiring them to complete coursework, internships, a practicum, and a portfolio. Some programs at this level may also mandate in-person residencies to fulfill degree requirements. However, it is often possible to earn certificates online without the need to attend on-campus classes.

Successful completion of a school psychology program may equip students with the ability to assess learners and devise impactful interventions, a comprehensive grasp of data and research concerning school psychology methods and frameworks, and the capacity to collaborate with educators and administrators to achieve common student outcomes. Advanced programs also aim to cultivate leadership and consultancy skills that can be leveraged in high-level positions.

Which School Psychology Degrees Can I Earn Online?

A variety of school psychology programs offering both fully online and hybrid studies are available these days. You can also find different degree levels to suit your professional goals. If you aren’t sure which program is the best match, explore the options in this section and learn more about each.

Master’s Degrees in School Psychology

Individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field can enroll in these programs, which usually take two to three years to complete. Coursework covers subjects such as the history of school psychology, fundamentals of behavioral theory and intervention, and multicultural counseling. In addition to coursework, students are required to complete a three-semester practicum and a two-semester internship. While some programs mandate GRE scores, others may waive this requirement, so it’s advisable to confirm with program administrators.

Graduate Certificates in School Psychology

Graduate certificates in school psychology are designed for professionals who already possess a master’s degree in psychology but require additional specialized training to work in a school environment. These programs typically take one year or less to complete and consist of approximately 15 credits. They provide learners with the necessary knowledge and skills to translate their advanced psychological education into this particular area of the field. Many universities provide these programs, with both online and in-person options available.

Specialist Degrees School Psychology

You can select from several different school psychology specialist degrees that are between master’s and doctoral programs. Options include the Specialist in Psychology (Psy.S.), the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP), and the Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) to help yourself stand out in the field without committing to a longer doctorate. Some schools also provide master’s and specialist combined programs through online or hybrid studies.

Doctoral Degrees in School Psychology

Doctoral programs in school psychology can be pursued in three different forms: the Ph.D., the Psy.D., and the Ed.D. The Ph.D. program is most suitable for individuals interested in pursuing research and/or academia. On the other hand, the Psy.D. program is tailored for students who aim to work as clinical practitioners and offer psychological services. The Ed.D. is a viable alternative if one wishes to teach psychology courses or work in other educational settings. These programs differ in their coursework, graduation requirements, clinical experiences, and timelines.

Accreditation for Online School Psychology Programs

Enrolling in an accredited online school psychology program is a crucial aspect of your academic path. Choosing an unaccredited program may pose obstacles when it comes to obtaining employment and licensure. Accreditation exists in two forms: institutional and programmatic.

When looking at institutional accreditation, try to find a school that holds regional accreditation as this is seen as more desirable than national accreditation. In terms of programmatic accreditation, the National Association of School Psychologists designed the Program Accreditation Board to help students find top-tier programs.

What Can You Do with a School Psychology Degree?

Career opportunities in school psychology are determined by the level of degree attained. While a master’s degree can provide access to some jobs, many roles require specialist and/or doctoral qualifications. Whether you choose to work in support, research, academia, or private practice, positions in this field typically offer salaries above the national average for all occupations and potential growth and advancement opportunities over time.

School Psychologist

School psychologists typically possess at least a master’s degree, a qualification that provides them with essential training to support students and teachers. Common responsibilities include assessing learners’ behavioral and emotional needs, providing counseling, resolving conflicts, developing coping skills, and helping students communicate their needs.

Special Education Teacher

These educators work with learners facing emotional, learning, mental, and physical disabilities. Some schools require a bachelor’s degree, while others prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Special education teachers with school psychology backgrounds can use their knowledge to serve students better and meet their individual needs.


Whether working in an elementary, middle, or high school setting, principals oversee the running of their institutions. They manage teaching and administrative staff, work with the community to address behavioral concerns, and communicate with parents/guardians to ensure each learner receives the support they need.

Instructional Coordinator

These professionals help develop curricula and teaching standards based on the latest research about teaching and learning outcomes. A school psychology degree can give instructional coordinators the insider knowledge and tools needed to create learning plans that encourage and support instruction that meets each child where they are. Instructional coordinators need a master’s degree at a minimum.

School Counselor

Working in primary, secondary, and postsecondary settings, school counselors evaluate student needs, identify the issues that affect their school performance, provide counseling services, and help students develop needed social and emotional skills. They also work closely with teachers, parents, and administrators.

Licensing and Certification for School Psychologists After Online Degree Programs

Since licensure and/or certification is a prerequisite for practicing as a school psychologist or many related professions, it is crucial to choose a school that enables you to obtain such credentials. If you intend to enroll in an online school psychology program outside your state, it’s important to inquire with both the program administrator and the board of licensure to confirm whether the program is recognized in your area.

Requirements for receiving licensure and/or certification vary by state, but the National Association of School Psychologists sets standards for what you need to complete in a program to qualify. For instance, if working toward a specialist degree, you must complete a program comprising at least 60 credits and an internship lasting at least 1,200 hours.

In addition to the required qualifications, you can also gain optional certifications that help you stand out against other job seekers. The National Association of School Psychologists provides the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential as an example.

10 Helpful School Psychology Resources for Students

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
    The APA provides a section of its website dedicated to school psychology, offering information on what this specialty area entails and the skills gained through an educational program.
  • Journal of School Psychology
    With a focus on critical literature reviews and original empirical articles, the Journal of School Psychology encourages both research and publishing in the field and is issued quarterly.
  • National Association of School Psychologists
    This professional association provides accreditation, professional development opportunities, industry publications, research, and other helpful resources for school psychology students and professionals.
  • A Day in the Life of a School Psychologist
    Alliant International University takes a close look at the work school psychologists do in a typical day and provides information on what to expect.
  • Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools (KAPS)
    KAPS operates as a state-level professional association for school psychologists. Plenty of states maintain their own membership organizations, so search for one in your region.
  • Society for the Study of School Psychology (SSSP)
    SSSP works to further the amount of research done in school psychology and ensure the findings reach a broad audience. The group also provides an early career forum for recent graduates.
  • Trainers of School Psychologists
    This membership group, designed for those who train the next generation of school psychologists, organizes an annual conference, publishes research, and provides resources to help educators stay on the cutting edge of the discipline.
  • School Psyched!
    Follow this regularly updated Twitter account of school psychologist Becca Comiz to get an insider’s look at what it’s like to work as a school psychologist.
  • School Psychologist Files
    A practicing school psychologist put together this expansive website filled with helpful resources on assessment, intervention, disabilities, and other important school psychology subjects.
  • School Psyched Podcast
    This podcast provides current and regularly updated episodes that feature interviews with professionals in the field and discussion of contemporary topics.