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Psychology can be a lucrative occupation. Psychologists earn an average salary of $81,040, with the top 10% of earners making more than $133,890.

While a doctorate is typically needed for clinical and counseling roles, you may be able to find work as a school psychologist or industrial-organizational psychologist with just a master’s degree. You’ll also become qualified for several other career paths, including social work and human resources.

Did you know it’s possible to get into a Master’s in Psychology program without taking the GRE? In this guide, we’ll show you how.

How To Get Into a Master’s in Psychology Program Without Submitting GRE Scores

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) used to be an essential part of the application process for master’s degree programs. Developed in 1936 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, this standardized test measures thinking, reasoning, and writing skills. For decades, a student’s GRE results could make or break their chances of getting into a competitive graduate school program.

This is no longer the case. In recent years, there have been several significant concerns raised about the GRE. Studies have shown that the test supports systemic bias against women and minorities and is ineffective at predicting which students will actually succeed in grad school. As a result, many programs have already dropped the GRE as an admissions requirement, and many more programs will likely drop this requirement in the near future.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), in the 2021-22 academic year, 22% of Master’s in Psychology programs required applicants to submit their scores for the quantitative section of the GRE, 21% required the verbal section, and 15% required the writing section. In the 2020-21 academic year, just one year before, these figures were 36%, 37%, and 28%, respectively.

Of course, even if a given program doesn’t require you to take the GRE, there will likely be several other requirements that you’ll need to meet to get accepted, such as:

Undergraduate transcript

At the very least, you’ll need to prove that you’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree program to get into graduate school. There’s a good chance that you’ll also need to show that you got good grades. The APA found that 81% of Master’s in Psychology programs require students to submit their undergraduate GPA.

Many graduate programs list their minimum undergraduate GPA as 3.0. You’ll need a higher GPA than that to get into somewhat selective schools and a near-perfect GPA to get into the most selective schools.

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are required by the vast majority (92%) of Master’s in Psychology programs.

Planning ahead is especially important for this part of the application process. Ideally, you will have taken the time to establish a genuine rapport with several faculty members or supervisors during your time as an undergraduate. The more specific your letters of recommendation are about your strengths and accomplishments, the more compelling they will be to admissions committees. You won’t get a high level of specificity by just meeting with a professor once or twice over office hours.

Also, we recommend requesting your letters of recommendation several months before your graduate application is due. This provides plenty of time for writing and submission, and you can always send a friendly reminder as the deadline approaches.

Statement of purpose

A statement of purpose, required by 90% of Master’s in Psychology programs, is a short essay that describes your career aspirations and explains why graduate school is a necessary step in reaching those goals.

This is a chance to showcase your personality and distinguish yourself from other applicants. Why are you interested in your area of study? What do you want to accomplish in this field? When executed well, your statement of purpose will help convince admissions committees that you are a qualified candidate who would be a good fit for their program’s culture.


Graduate school interviews are now more common than GRE requirements but still less common than the other admissions requirements listed above. If you find yourself called in for an interview, the following tips will help you make an excellent first impression:

  • Do your homework: By thoroughly researching the program, you’ll get a better idea of what kind of answers they want to hear. Also, you’ll be able to ask well-informed questions that show you are genuinely excited about this opportunity.
  • Arrive on time: Showing up late will indicate that you’re not taking the opportunity seriously. Plan on arriving early just in case there are any unexpected delays.
  • Dress the part: Even if you’re participating in the interview at home over video chat, you should still dress well (think business casual). In addition to intelligence and subject matter expertise, graduate school programs also want applicants who know how to conduct themselves as professionals.
  • Follow up: Sending a thank-you note within 24 hours of the interview will make you look even more enthusiastic and professional. This will also set you apart from any of the other interviewees who didn’t take this extra step.

Our Research

This list features some of the country’s best online Master’s in Psychology (no GRE) programs. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution, either public or private, with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of the best online Master’s in Psychology (no GRE) programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The 50 Best Online Master’s In Psychology (No GRE) Programs

Best Online Master’s in Psychology Programs No GRE Badge 2024

Pepperdine University

Lynn University

Mercy College

Northcentral University

NSU Florida

Ball State University

Medaille University

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

University of North Dakota

University of Hartford

Purdue University Global

Penn State World Campus

Southern New Hampshire University

Touro University Worldwide