Welcome to our ranking of great deals on online master’s in clinical psychology degree programs for 2018.
- #1 – Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
- #2 – Saint Leo University
- #3 – University of West Alabama
- #4 – Indiana Wesleyan University
- #5 – Angelo State University
- #6 – Lamar University
- #7 – West Virginia University
- #8 – Arizona State University
- #9 – Bellevue University
- #10 – Wake Forest University
Careers in clinical psychology are projected to see healthy growth in the foreseeable future, so that in addition to providing an important service to the general public, those who earn a master’s degree in the field may expect to receive a lucrative salary. Clinical psychologists not only provide help for people with mental disorders, but they also bring their skills to bear in the traditional working world in a wide range of places.
If you are drawn to the field of clinical psychology and have attained a bachelor’s degree in psychology (or the requisite emphasis on psychology in your undergraduate coursework), it may be easier than you think to achieve your master’s degree. The relatively new world of online colleges has multiplied the opportunities to improve your life, your lot, and the lives of those whom you will impact–at the same time that pursuit of an online, advanced degree gives you the freedom to fulfill your day-to-day responsibilities at work and at home. Because of the sensitive nature of studies in mental health, some clinical psychology degree programs may call for your on-campus presence for a brief and specified amount of time, so it is in your interest to explore each college’s requirement in this regard. This list combines classic clinical psychology programs and clinical mental health counseling programs so that you can better find the program that meets your interests.
In ranking the ten best deals on online master’s degrees in clinical psychology, we considered many factors. The breakdown of those factors appears in the chart below, and they are tuition cost, student to faculty ratio, and bonus points (if applicable) for tuition breaks for out of state, online students. Where applicable, rankings by nationally known entities (such as US News & World Report) are considered. If a tie in points occurs, the tuition cost is the deciding factor.
Tuition figures are the out of state, graduate tuition figures for the year, and they are courtesy of the National Center for Education Statistics, an information clearinghouse of the US government. The NCES is also the source for the student to faculty ratios and enrollment numbers. Credit per hour tuition rates, if given, come from that school’s website, and they may show a discount from the rate reported to the government.
Ranking Methodology for the Top Master’s in Clinical Psychology Online Degrees
- Under $30,000—1 point
- Under $27,000—2 points
- Under $24,000—3 points
- Under $21,000—4 points
- Under $18,000—5 points
- Under $15,000—6 points
- Under $12,000—7 points
- Under $9,000—8 points
Student to Faculty Ratio Points
- Above 35-1 point
- Above 30-2 point
- Above 25-3 points
- Above 20-4 points
- Above 15-5 points
- Above 10-6 points
- Top 40-1 point
- Top 30-2 points
- Top 20-3 points
- Top 10-4 points
- Top 5-5 points
Bonus for special tuition discount for online students
- Has special online discount for tuition-3 points
- Online students charged standard tuition-0 points
#10 – Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Online Master of Arts in Counseling
Wake Forest University is a private, independent institution that was established in 1834. The school mascot is the Demon Deacon. With a student to faculty ratio of 10 to 1, the online master of arts in counseling with a specialization in clinical mental health is a 60 credit hour program including coursework in appraisal procedures and addiction counseling. Wake Forest University charges a graduate tuition rate of $1340 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#9 – Bellevue University
Online Master of Science in Clinical Counseling
Bellevue University is a private, not for profit institution that was established in 1966. The school mascot is the Bruin. With a student to faculty ratio of 31 to 1, the online master of science in clinical counseling is a 60 credit hour program that includes coursework in counseling theories and ethical issues. Bellevue University offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $565 per credit hour, regardless of residency. Bellevue’s career services department is helpful in preparing resumes, career coaching, and locating a job or internship. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#8 – Arizona State University
Online Master of Science in Psychology
Arizona State University was founded in 1885, and the school mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil. With a student to faculty ratio of 23 to 1, the online master of science in psychology is a 33 credit hour program that includes coursework in professional issues in psychology and quantitative research methodology and statistics. Arizona State University offers an online graduate tuition rate of $612 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#7 – West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
Online MS in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling
West Virginia University was founded in 1867, and the school mascot is the Mountaineer. With a student to faculty ratio of 19 to 1, the online master of science in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling is a 60 credit hour program that includes coursework in medical aspects of rehabilitation and theories of human appraisal. West Virginia University offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $561 per credit hour, regardless of residency. WVU also has enrollment coaches to simplify the registration process and academic advisors to work with students throughout their school career. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
#6 – Lamar University
Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Lamar University was established in 1923, and the school mascot is Big Red, the Cardinal. With a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1, the master of education in clinical mental health counseling is a 60 credit hour program that includes coursework in human growth and development and counseling skills. Lamar University charges an out of state, graduate tuition rate of $924 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#5 – Angelo State University
San Angelo, Texas
Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Angelo State University was established in 1928, and the school mascot is Dominic the Ram. With a student to faculty ratio of 20 to 1, their online master of science in applied psychology is a 36 credit hour program that includes coursework on social perception and forensic psychology. Angelo State University charges an out of state graduate tuition rate of $1130 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#4 – Indiana Wesleyan University
Online MA with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Indiana Wesleyan University was founded in 1920, and the school mascot is the Wildcat. With a student to faculty ratio of 14 to 1, the online master of arts with a major in clinical mental health counseling is a 60 credit hour program that includes coursework in multicultural counseling and appraisal of individuals and families. Indiana Wesleyan University offers an online graduate tuition rate of $533 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#3 – University of West Alabama
Online MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The University of West Alabama was founded in 1835, and the school mascot is the Tiger. With a student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1, the online master of science in clinical mental health counseling is a 60 credit hour program including coursework in the counseling relationship and technology and the counseling profession. The University of West Alabama offers an online graduate tuition rate of $429 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#2 – Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida
Online MS in Psychology
Saint Leo University was founded in 1889, and the school mascot is Fritz the Lion. With a student to faculty ratio of 16 to 1, the online master of science in psychology is a 36 credit hour program that includes coursework in research methods and lifespan development. Saint Leo University offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $650 per credit hour, regardless of residency. Saint Leo was one of the first schools to offer online learning, in 1998, and their online learning kit is available free to interested applicants. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#1 – Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
MA in Counseling Online
The Edinboro University of Pennsylvania was established in 1857, and the school athletic teams are known as “The Fighting Scots.” With a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1, the online master of arts in counseling with a clinical mental health specialization is a 30 credit hour program that includes coursework in family counseling and clinical diagnosis. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania offers an online, graduate tuition rate of $550 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
FAQ on Clinical Psychology, Career Options, and Program Selection
Many people who go into the field of clinical psychology often do so out of concern for family members or friends who may be suffering from psychological or behavioral problems, mental illness, and related conditions. Some may even enter the field out of a desire to better understand their own behavior. A trained and dedicated professional is often able to make a difference for good in the lives of individuals and families who are affected by psychological dysfunction. If this field appeals to you, and if you have studied the essential coursework in your undergraduate career, then clinical psychology may be a fit for your particular skills and interests. You can obtain a master’s degree in clinical psychology online while you continue to fulfill your responsibilities in your current job. With an advanced degree in clinical psychology, you will be on your way to a personally rewarding and lucrative career.
What is clinical psychology?
Clinical psychology combines clinical knowledge, science, and theory in order to comprehend, prevent, and ameliorate distress or impairment that has psychological causes, as well as to advance healthy psychological development. The field began, according to widely accepted belief, in the 1890s at the University of Pennsylvania, simply as a method for conducting psychological evaluations. Only after WWII did practitioners move into the area of treatment for perceived dysfunctions.
What does a clinical psychologist do?
Clinical psychologists may fill a wide variety of roles, from research to teaching to providing assessment and psychotherapy. They may work with individuals, families, couples, or larger groups in settings like hospitals, schools, businesses, and private practice.
How is a master’s in clinical psychology online different from a straight counseling master’s?
A counseling psychologist works with healthy individuals and those with fewer pathological mental problems. A clinical psychologist works with those who have a psychosis or other severe mental illness.
Do you need a specific kind of bachelor’s degree or background?
Applicants for a master’s degree in clinical psychology online usually have relevant clinical and research experience. Undergraduate required courses include statistics, history and systems of psychology, abnormal psychology, research methods, and other areas of the field of psychology.
A minimum of 32 quarter hours (24 semester hours) in psychology is often required. Although not essential, math, science, computer courses–as well as research experience–will be helpful on an application. More desirable applicants have usually logged a good bit of research experience during undergraduate study.
Psychology is the preferred undergraduate major, but other majors are acceptable if students attained credit hours in a significant number of psychology courses, such as personality theory, abnormal behavior, psychological statistics, developmental and social psychology, and biological psychology.
Where do clinical psychologists work?
While movies and television may make it seem that psychologists work from the cozy office of their own private practice, many other job options exist for those with an advanced degree. The American Psychological Association (APA) provides data that psychologists are employed in the following places and at the percentages shown:
Universities and four-year colleges–25.9 %
Hospitals/Other health services–25 %
Government/VA medical centers–16.3 %
Business/Non-profit organizations–10.4 %
Schools/Other educational settings–8.1 %
Medical school/Other academic settings–6.3 %
Independent practices–5.7 %
A master’s degree in psychology permits one to have an independent practice, but most states require that a fully trained psychologist (Ph.D.) must work in the same location or be on-site in order to approve a particular recommendation or diagnosis. It would be in your interest to determine the laws of the state in which you intend to work.
What is the expected salary for a clinical psychologist?
A clinical psychologist may anticipate earning a high salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median national yearly salary as of May 2015 for clinical psychologists is $76,040, but salaries range from $40,920 to $116,960. Several factors affect the actual salary, including one’s specialization, years of experience, and region of the country. The top ten percent of clinical psychologists earned upwards of $120,000. Around the fifth year, the salary may increase significantly and will likely increase each year. Earnings for those working in private practice will be higher than that of those working in educational institutions or in research fields.
What is the expected growth for this profession?
As long as people need help with comprehending and managing their problems, there will be a need for clinical and counseling psychologists. It is projected that as the population ages, even more psychologists will be required to help people deal with the changes associated with aging. Employment in the field is predicted to grow 14%, faster than average for all occupations.
What are the applications of this degree in the business and health industry world?
Clinical psychologists are not confined to the private-office setting. Forensics is a burgeoning field for clinical psychologists as practitioners are called on to provide expert testimony in legal procedures. Some other job titles include case coordinator for a government agency, clinical therapist, school psychologist, substance abuse clinical psychologist, mental health social worker, and industrial-organizational psychologist.
What are the duties of a substance abuse clinical psychologist?
Counselors who work with addicted clients provide help for working through problems that are related to drugs, alcohol, food, or gambling–or a combination of these addictions. Substance abuse counselors may create educational outreach programs to communities. Work may be performed in a private office or with groups of people. Typically, the substance abuse counselor will work out of a hospital, clinic, or treatment center.
What are the duties of a mental health social worker?
In many states, clinical psychologists with a master’s degree must work under the supervision of a doctor of psychology in order to serve as a mental health social worker. Responsibilities would include helping recovering clients or patients move back into their community, leading crisis intervention groups, creating educational programs for youth who are at risk, and even such day-to-day tasks as helping clients find work, housing, or daycare for children, and driving them to doctor’s appointments.
What exactly does an industrial-organizational psychologist do?
Industrial-organizational psychologists, as the name states, are employed in workplaces where they are tasked with solving difficulties by utilizing the principles and tools of their field. Among the difficulties and situations, they may analyze labor output and the relationships between employees and managers. Industrial-organizational psychologists work alongside managers to train employees and prepare development plans for the workplace.
A usual day for an industrial-organizational psychologist will involve lots of communication with employees and management, from reading and sending emails, to directing webinar training, to gathering information for meetings, to interventions in disputes. You will evaluate workers’ performance, help with interviewing, hiring, and training. You may often be more of a questioner/listener than a speaker, but may need to develop confidence when speaking with and to individuals or groups as well.
What career paths can I take in industrial-organizational psychology?
Employment opportunities as an industrial-organizational psychologist are quite varied and include clinics, hospitals, factories, corporations, and schools–anyplace, in fact, where a trained professional can apply principles that promote well-being and improved performance.
Why should I study online instead of in traditional face-to-face college?
If you are already working in a career or you have personal obligations, attaining your degree clinical psychology degree online provides many advantages. An online education allows you to operate on your own schedule while fulfilling your daily responsibilities. Many colleges and universities will offer tuition at a reduced rate for online classes. An online education has the added perk of saving time and money on gas, vehicle upkeep, and parking fees. Accelerated courses of study are available, and a degree may be completed in fewer semesters or quarters, which saves even more time and money.
If you are interested in an online master’s degree in clinical psychology, you should make certain that a particular online degree fulfills your state’s requirements for licensure. Online master’s degree programs in clinical psychology usually include an internship, which affords the real-world opportunity to put to use your classroom knowledge and experiences. In addition, many schools require a certain amount of on-campus attendance, so you should ascertain whether this requirement applies to the program you are interested in.
How do I find the online master’s program that is right for me?
One can evaluate online colleges in some of the same ways as traditional schools, without, of course, actual attendance at the institution. Viable colleges and universities are accredited and maintain an attractive faculty to student ratio. Students may enroll in the courses they wish. Tuition is affordable. Applicants may assess each of these factors electronically.
By Jennifer W. Eisenberg