Why This Matters

  • 46% OF SCHOOL COUNSELORS NEED AT LEAST A MASTER’S

    School counselors must possess a master’s degree at minimum. Job duties are varied and may include providing mental health support to students and designing psychological treatment programs.

  • 26,800 NEW JOBS EXPECTED

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a growing need for school counselors. It’s expected that the number of jobs will rise 8% between 2019 and 2029.

  • SCHOOL COUNSELORS EARN MORE THAN $50,000/YEAR

    The median salary for a school counselor is $58,120 per year, which amounts to an hourly wage of $27.94. Counselors may earn more depending on factors such as location and experience.

Our Research

This list features an array of master’s degree programs — including Master of Arts and Master of Science programs. There are also programs for aspiring teachers, such as the Master of Education in Special Education degree program. Most are online, although there are hybrid degree program formats. Some degree programs offer specialties and concentrations.

Regional accreditation is important when choosing a degree program. Students who attend an accredited school can transfer their credits or degree if they want to change schools. In addition, many professional organizations only recognize degrees from accredited institutions. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is one such accreditation; one of the non-regional accreditations to look for is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  • 75 hours to write this article
  • 64 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 105 education programs we compared

The Top 32 Online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology Programs

Best Online Master's in Behavioral Psychology Programs Badge
01
Intelligent Pick
University of South Florida
01
Best Private Institution
Bay Path University
01
Best Preparation for BCBA Exam
Simmons University
01
Best Focus on Autism
Drexel University
01
Best Two-Year Program
Ball State University
01
Best Cohort Program
Southeast Missouri State University
01
Best Public Institution
St. Cloud State University
01
Best Practicum Opportunities
The University of Kansas
01
Best in the South
Florida Institute of Technology
01
Most Recognized Faculty
Russell Sage College
01
Best Part-Time Program
Northeastern University
01
Best focus on Applied Behavior Analysis
George Mason University
01
Best for Full-Time Students
Arizona State University
01
Best Career Preparation
Oregon Institute of Technology
01
Best in the West
University of Houston-Victoria
01
Best for Working Professionals
Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University
01
Best Synchronous Program
University of Washington
01
Best for Board Certification
McNeese State University
01
Best Catholic Institution
Saint Elizabeth University
01
Best for Military Students
Arcadia University
01
Best in the Midwest
Southern Illinois University
01
Best for International Students
University of Cincinnati
01
Best Faculty Mentors
University of West Florida
01
Best Concentration Options
Saint Joseph's University
01
Best in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Daemen College
01
Best In-State Tuition Rate
Montana State University Billings
01
Best Focus on Instructional Design
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
01
Best for Veterans
National University
01
Most Affordable
University of Nevada, Reno
01
Best Research Opportunities
Eastern Kentucky University
01
Most Flexible Program
University of North Texas
01
Best in New England
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

What You Should Know About This Degree

One degree that’s similar to a master’s in behavioral psychology is the bachelor’s in behavioral psychology. Graduates of the master’s program can go on to provide counseling services while those with a bachelor’s can work as a mental health aide.

Regional accreditations — like the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) are good to look for when searching for a degree program. The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is an industry-specific accreditation that’s also recommended.

The need for school counselors with a master’s in behavioral psychology is growing rapidly. The BLS estimates a growth rate of 8% over the next 10 years — which amounts to as many as 26,800 additional jobs for graduates.

Although there aren’t any particular certifications required for master’s in behavioral psychology graduates, degree concentrations may be helpful when it comes to career options and earnings.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online master’s in behavioral psychology programs:

  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? It’s a good idea to find out whether classes are held synchronously or offered asynchronously before applying. The synchronous format requires student attendance at a certain time, which is good if you prefer a real-time class experience. Asynchronous programs let students access and complete their work on their own schedule, although there are still deadlines for assignments.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? The required credits to earn a master’s in behavioral psychology degree range from 30 to 63 on average. Some schools have fast-track programs for students who want to accelerate the process; there are also part-time programs for working students who need plenty of flexibility.

When researching degree programs, take note of application requirements and deadlines. You can contact the admissions departments of schools you’re considering with any questions or visit the school’s website for more information.