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Students entering an online master’s in educational psychology program can pursue multiple career paths, such as a guidance counselor or school psychologist, earning a median annual salary of $60,500 annually, or a school social worker earning a median salary of $50,390 annually.

Both public and private institutions offer online master’s degrees in educational psychology. The average tuition for graduate degrees at private institutions was $26,621 for the 2020-21 academic year, while a master’s degree at a public university cost students an average of $12,394 in the same time period.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Educational Psychology Program

Choose your area of study

Choosing an area of study means choosing between a master of science (M.S.) and a master of arts (M.A.) degree. Master of arts degrees focus more on theories and applying evidence-based approaches in a clinical setting. In contrast, master of science degrees focus on research methodology, data analysis, and designing experiments.

Once students establish their career goals, they can search for a master’s program to help them get where they want to go. Popular degrees in the educational psychology field include the following:

  • Master of Arts in School Counseling
  • Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Science in Educational Psychology

Research schools and programs

Students must research multiple online master’s programs and schools to compare what the different options offer. Results can help students make better decisions regarding the best online master’s in educational psychology.

First, determine if the programs you’re researching and the schools that offer them are accredited. You can check with the National Association of School Psychologists to determine if a program is accredited and the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs for an institution’s accreditation status.

Once you have a list of accredited programs, factors to investigate include the following:

  • Faculty expertise in the industry
  • Faculty accessibility
  • Base tuition costs and extra fees
  • Student learning experiences
  • Student support services
  • Core curriculum and electives
  • Graduation requirements

Other ways to gain valuable information include following the university and master’s program on social media, reading online reviews, attending virtual tours and orientations, and contacting school representatives.

Prepare for Tests and Applications

Some of the best master’s in educational psychology programs require passing the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Every school has application deadlines, so it is vital to complete the GRE in time to submit it with the following items:

  • Application
  • Application fees
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume

The testing and application process can sometimes feel overwhelming unless you stay organized. Develop a digital file system, make copies of all documents, and create a spreadsheet for tracking and meeting deadlines.

Select your program

Before selecting their school and program, students should verify everything, including total program costs, online classes, acceptance of transfer credits, accreditation, and graduation rates and placements.

Students entering an online master’s program may not think the university’s location is a factor. However, some schools may charge out-of-state tuition and fees for students living in different states.

The key to making a good decision is gathering accurate information. The more you know about a program, the easier it will be to select one.

Determine how you will pay for your degree

Students who plan to continue working full-time and attending an online master’s in educational psychology program in the evenings and weekends may want to check with their employer about tuition assistance benefits. Tuition reimbursement is an exchange between a student and an employer. Typically, the employer agrees to pay part of your master’s degree program in exchange for the student continuing to work for the company after graduation.

Students benefit from contacting the financial aid office of a university. A financial aid officer can assist with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process and share available scholarships, grants, fellowships, work-study opportunities, and assistantships for which students can apply.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Educational Psychology Programs

Best Online Master's in Educational Psychology Degree Programs

University of Georgia

University of North Texas

Texas A&M Education & Human Development

University of Missouri

Ball State University

University of South Carolina

University of Alabama

Florida State University

University of Southern Maine

University of Northern Colorado

Eastern Michigan University

National University

University of Memphis

University of Nevada at Las Vegas

The College of Saint Rose

Texas A&M University at Central Texas

Fort Hays State University

Pennsylvania Western University

Touro University Worldwide

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

University at Buffalo

Miami University

Rutgers Graduate School of Education

Oklahoma State University

University of Missouri at St. Louis

Regent University

Kent State University

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How We Rank Schools

This list focuses on master’s degrees in educational psychology. Students can earn a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Education (M.Ed).

All of the programs on our list can be completed remotely with fully online courses. Some programs also offer their coursework on campus or give students the option of completing classes in person or online.

To ensure a high standard of quality, we only included institutions with regional accreditation. Many of the degrees on this list also have programmatic accreditation through accrediting bodies like the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

We reviewed the programs for flexibility, course offerings, cost, faculty, and reputation. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Educational Psychology Program?

Online programs for a master’s degree in educational psychology take about two years to complete unless a student attends part-time. Most programs require at least 30 hours of core and elective curriculum, a practicum in an educational or counseling setting, research projects, and final exams.

Instruction focuses on human development and learning, research foundations and applications, assessment and diagnosis, counseling theories and techniques, mental health disorders, and neuropsychology.

A graduate working in the school system will need to pass criminal history checks as well as professional skills assessments (e.g., the Praxis Core tests) to become qualified for teaching roles. Certification requirements vary by state.

Graduates working as mental health counselors or social workers may need to pass their state’s licensing exams before applying for state licensure.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in educational psychology degree program 

  • Behavior Assessment. Students will learn to evaluate a student or client’s behaviors to determine a diagnosis, treatment plan, or learning improvement plan. They learn to identify why people behave the way they do and connect them with appropriate resources. Some students may go on to create behavior assessments for educators and counselors.
  • Learning and Development. Students learn the developmental stages from childhood to adulthood. They also learn about cognitive, social, behavioral, and emotional changes throughout a lifetime, how these changes affect learning abilities, and how culture, economics, lifestyle, and environment influence learning.
  • Research and Data Analysis. Students learn the various ways in which statistics apply to education and psychology. The course covers making decisions based on statistical evidence and how to use software to analyze data.
  • Educational Technology. Technology has advanced throughout history, including in education and psychological fields. Students will learn the history and evolution of technology and how to integrate it into education and counseling settings.
  • DSM5. Students will learn about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, the fifth edition (DSM5), created by the American Psychological Association to assist professionals in diagnosing mental health disorders.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Educational Psychology?

Career outlook

Educational psychology is a specialized field that focuses on understanding how students learn and develop. It plays a crucial role in shaping educational practices, curriculum design, and support systems for students. Earning an online master’s degree in educational psychology equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to positively impact educational environments and student outcomes.

The career outlook for individuals with a master’s degree in educational psychology is promising, driven by the increasing emphasis on improving educational experiences and student success. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of school and career counselors is projected to grow by five percent in the next decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is attributed to the recognition of the importance of mental health and well-being in educational settings and the need for skilled professionals to provide support.

Career paths

A master’s degree in educational psychology offers diverse career paths for individuals passionate about improving educational experiences and student outcomes. They can pursue roles as school counselors, providing academic and personal guidance to K-12 students. Alternatively, they can become educational psychologists, focusing on research and practice to improve teaching methods and educational policies. Special education teaching is also an option, where they work with students with special needs.

Here are some common career options:

  • Behavior analyst — works with individuals, including students, to assess and address behavior issues.
  • Academic advisor — assists students in setting and achieving their educational and career goals, offering guidance on course selection and degree planning.
  • Curriculum developer — designs educational materials and programs, ensuring they align with best practices in education and student development.
  • Researcher — conducts studies to advance understanding of learning, teaching, and educational policies.
  • Higher education administrator — manages college or university academic and student affairs divisions.

School Counselor

Earning Potential: $34,380-$92,610 annually

Education Required: Master’s degree in educational psychology or a related field

School counselors play a crucial role in supporting students’ academic, social, and emotional well-being. They provide guidance to students in K-12 educational settings, assisting with academic and career planning, personal development, and crisis intervention. School counselors create a safe and supportive environment, helping students overcome challenges, set and achieve goals, and make informed decisions about their educational and personal lives. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to enhance the overall quality of education and promote students’ success. By addressing academic and emotional needs, school counselors contribute significantly to students’ overall growth and well-being.

Educational Psychologist

Earning Potential: $45,960-$129,310 annually

Education Required: Master’s or doctoral degree in educational psychology

Educational psychologists are specialists in understanding how students learn and develop. They conduct research and apply psychological principles to improve educational practices and policies. These professionals work in schools, colleges, and research institutions, focusing on enhancing teaching methods, curriculum design, and student outcomes. Educational psychologists assess and address various challenges, including learning disabilities, behavior issues, and cognitive development. They also provide guidance on creating supportive learning environments, incorporating effective teaching strategies, and promoting positive student development. Their work is essential in shaping educational systems and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to thrive academically and personally.

Special Education Teacher

Earning Potential: $39,760-$101,250 annually

Education Required: Master’s degree in educational psychology or a related field

Special education teachers work with students with disabilities or special needs. They create individualized education plans (IEPs) tailored to each student’s unique requirements. Special education teachers adapt curriculum materials and teaching strategies to address diverse learning styles and abilities. They provide essential support, fostering academic and personal growth and ensuring students achieve their full potential. These educators collaborate closely with parents, other teachers, and support staff to create a nurturing and inclusive learning environment. Special education teachers are champions for their students, advocating for their rights and ensuring they receive the resources and assistance needed to succeed academically and in life.

Online Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master's in educational psychology degree program?

University admissions counselors can give students the most accurate information regarding application materials and deadlines. It’s crucial to contact the admissions department early in the application process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions like the following:

  • Do you require the GRE for the online master’s program?
  • Do you have open enrollment or specific deadlines each semester?
  • Do you prefer a written or digital personal statement?
  • Can I submit everything online, or do you need original documents? Some schools require students to have original transcripts and test scores sent directly to their admissions department.
  • What are the payment deadlines? Can you waive the application fee?

How much does an online master's in educational psychology degree cost?

Many variables influence the cost of an online master’s in educational psychology program, including whether the school is for-profit, nonprofit, or public. In addition, some schools charge a convenience fee for online instruction. Average tuition rates vary based on whether a school is public or private.

Some universities add extra fees to the base tuition, such as fees for the following:

  • Textbooks
  • Digital media
  • Laboratory
  • Technology
  • Academic records
  • Security
  • Activity
  • Maintenance
  • Advising
  • Student services
  • Library
  • Thesis
  • Graduation

Even with hidden fees, online master’s programs can save students significant money.

How long does it take to earn an online master's in educational psychology degree?

The time it takes to complete an online master’s degree may differ for every student. With online study, you have flexibility on your side. Online students can complete coursework at their own pace. On-campus courses require students to show up in person at a set schedule.

Those with more time may be able to complete a course faster. Another factor affecting completion time is how many courses a student can enroll in. Some online students may want to take classes part-time and enroll in one or two classes, while others may wish to enroll in more than the full-time allotment.

The number of semesters in a school year makes a difference. Additionally, how quickly a student can complete a practicum, finances, and life’s obstacles may contribute to how soon a student can graduate.

Is an online master's in educational psychology worth it?

Earning an online master’s degree in educational psychology can be highly valuable for individuals seeking careers in education and psychology. An online master’s degree in educational psychology opens up advanced career opportunities in education, counseling, research, and psychology. Individuals with a master’s degree are likely to find the door open to specialist and leadership positions in areas like school counseling, curriculum development, or education research.

Graduates with a master’s degree often command higher salaries and increased earning potential compared to those with only a bachelor’s degree. For example, a behavior analyst with a master’s degree makes a median salary of $71,086, according to

Online programs offer the flexibility to balance your education with work and personal commitments, making it accessible for working professionals and those with busy schedules. These programs attract a diverse group of students from around the world, providing networking opportunities and exposure to different educational practices and perspectives.

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