If you’ve ever wanted to pursue graduate work but didn’t take the GRE (or didn’t score well), now you can earn a master’s degree in psychology without a GRE. Moreover, you can study this discipline online rather than attending in-person courses. Unlike a typical degree, you’ll take classes like psychotherapy, psychological disorders, childhood development, and behavioral science in a digital learning environment and engage with instructors via webinars, live streams, online workshops, video tutorials, forums, and email.
Studying for an online master’s in psychology could increase career opportunities and earning potential. Upon graduation, you could get a job as a psychologist, therapist, counselor, or mental health practitioner. In addition, many online learning providers have connections with local healthcare organizations and public health agencies, allowing you to get hands-on experience in a real-world medical setting and develop the skills required for your future career.
Read on to learn more about earning an online master’s degree in psychology with no GRE required. This guide tells you the costs associated with these programs, course content, learning methods, grading systems, and the job outlook for graduates.
What Is an Online Master’s in Psychology Degree?
An online master’s in psychology is a graduate-level degree primarily taught over the internet. You won’t have to attend school in person or stay in a dorm room on a college campus in a faraway city. That means you can maintain any family, travel, or existing work requirements.
Instead of earning your master’s in a physical location, you will communicate with tutors through a learning management system (LMS). Here, you will submit all course content and assignments and receive feedback from academic staff.
Online psychology degrees typically consist of group work, video tutorials, live debates, and digital workshops. In addition, you will communicate with tutors and support staff via email and video conferencing tools.
Do I Need to Take the GRE Test to Apply?
You can enroll in an online psychology master’s program even if you have no GRE. Many online schools look beyond this traditional admissions requirement, opening up new learning and career opportunities for those interested in psychology.
Here are some skills you might learn in a no-GRE psychology master’s program:
- Knowledge of cognitive and social psychology concepts
- An understanding of the mind, brain functions, and behavior
- Psychological research methodologies
- Therapeutic skills
Depending on the program, you might take all your classes over the internet or mix online lessons with real-world psychology experience at a local hospital or mental health facility. Many programs let you specialize in specific areas, like forensic psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and biopsychology.
What Can You Do with a Master’s in Psychology?
There are many job opportunities for people with a master’s degree in psychology. Here are just a few common examples:
Clinical psychologists help their patients become healthier individuals and improve their mental well-being. While most clinical psychologists have a Ph.D., there are also jobs for master’s degree holders.
School psychologists play a vital role in the emotional well-being of their students. If students are having problems with emotions or behavior, the psychologist works to address these issues with both parent and teacher involvement.
A counselor has similar duties to a clinical psychologist, although neither prescribes medication. However, they are both integral to people with mental health struggles using reflection and discussion.
Many social workers help families in a crisis, whether through a social welfare agency like Child Protective Services or a healthcare setting like a hospital.
Academic Advisor or Career Counselor
People with a master’s degree in psychology can work as career counselors, academic advisors, or professors in universities or colleges.
If you have an interest in criminal investigation and criminal behavior, you might be interested in becoming a forensic psychologist. They can assess criminal behavior by interacting with criminal offenders, prisoners, and victims.
Sports and Exercise Psychologist
A sports psychologist helps sports players with their emotional well-being, whether competing as an individual or part of a team.
Benefits of an Online Master’s Program in Psychology No GRE
The benefits of studying for your psychology master’s online include the opportunity to balance existing work or family commitments while you develop new skills that further your career. You might also learn transferrable soft skills in your psychology master’s that could increase future career opportunities. These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. You might not acquire these skills in a traditional classroom learning environment.
Additionally, a key benefit of attending an online master’s in psychology program that doesn’t require the GRE is that you know the faculty and program leadership care more about your direct field experience and expertise, instead of being evaluated solely on a GRE test score. Many psychology master’s students enjoy knowing that they were accepted into a program that took the time to research their portfolio and industry experience.
How do I Choose the Right Master’s Program in Psychology?
There are hundreds of psychology master’s degrees available on the internet. So, which one should you choose? There are many things to consider when choosing a master’s program, some of which are below:
Do I need to take the GRE?
Online learning providers have different admissions criteria, so it’s essential to choose a program that’s right for you. For example, if you have a low GRE score or no GRE, select a school that lets you earn a psychology master’s degree without that requirement.
What is the course content like?
You should also consider course content in a psychology degree program. Some programs take a generalized approach to psychology and teach popular topics such as criminology, sociology, and child development. Other programs let you specialize in the topics that interest you or pertain to your future career.
What kind of experience do the instructors have?
Whatever you do, choose a school that provides the most outstanding learning and employment opportunities. The best programs have tutors with years of psychology experience who teach students the required skills for a career in this field. Learning skills from these instructors could increase your earning potential when you graduate and kick-start an exciting new career in psychology.
Can you gain real-world experience during the program?
Many schools have links with local healthcare organizations and public health agencies, allowing you to garner real-world psychology experience. There could also be opportunities to work for these organizations when you graduate. Learn more about internships, work experience, and post-graduate training, and employment opportunities by talking to program directors and reading about the course content on a learning provider’s website.
Is an Online Master’s Program Worth It?
You might still be reluctant to enroll in a digital psychology program. That’s because online qualifications used to carry a stigma, and some recruiters favored traditional college degrees over those earned on the internet.
Thankfully, perceptions towards online education have changed over the last few years, and most employers consider internet degrees equal to traditional college-based ones. These employers look at students’ grades, previous academic history, and work experience during the job application process. They don’t care whether that student earned a degree online or in a physical location.
What is the Application Process for an Online Psychology Master’s Program that Doesn’t Require the GRE?
Applying for a master’s degree in psychology differs from a bachelor’s in psychology. First, you will submit your application to the school that teaches the program and wait for a response, which can take several weeks or even months. Submitting the correct documents with your application will prevent delays.
Most schools will ask you to provide the following paperwork:
- Evidence of previous academic experience: You should demonstrate previous educational experience by submitting academic transcripts and other documents from schools and colleges you have attended in the past. Your transcripts will typically show your Grade Point Average (GPA) and the courses you studied. You can also include a reference from a tutor or program director.
- Evidence of internship and work-related opportunities: You should also demonstrate previous work experience with your application. You might want to submit proof of prior internships and work-related programs, especially if these opportunities were psychology-related. You can also include a reference from an internship coordinator or previous manager.
- Personal statement: This is your chance to tell the program director why you want to study for a master’s degree in psychology at that particular school. You might want to include your career aspirations in your statement and aspects of the program that will benefit you the most.
After you have submitted your application, you will typically have an interview with the program director online, over the phone, or in person.
How Much Does a Master’s in Psychology Cost?
According to The National Center for Education Statistics, whether you study for your master’s in psychology online or at a college campus, expect to pay an average of $19,749 in tuition. However, these costs usually don’t include registration fees, exam fees, program supplies, travel costs, or room and board rates. One important thing to note- an online master’s degree in psychology may cost less than a classroom degree because you don’t have to pay for room and board or commuting costs.
Receiving a scholarship or another type of financial aid could offset the costs associated with a master’s degree in psychology. There are many funding opportunities for students who want to enroll in online programs, and there are no limits on the number of scholarships you can apply for within the academic year. In addition, many scholarships cater to students from low-income backgrounds and cover some or all of the costs of a psychology master’s degree. You can find funding opportunities for psychology programs online or by talking to your program director after you enroll at a school.
Average Salary for a Master’s in Psychology
The median annual salary for someone with a Master of Science (MS) in Psychology degree is $81,040 per year, based on data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics in 2021. More specifically, the mean annual wage for a school psychologist is $78,780, whereas for industrial-organizational psychologists, it is $105,310. There are many jobs that one can get with a master’s in psychology, and the salary ranges with each position. It’s also important to note that some industries, metropolitan areas, and states pay higher, so those are important factors to consider when researching potential employers.
Highest Paying Industries
The top five highest paying industries as of 2021 for Clinical and Counseling Psychologists are:
- Employment Services $ 139,160
- Home Health Care Services $ 132,740
- Other Ambulatory Health Care Services $ 109,560
- Offices of Other Health Practitioners $ 106,870
- Offices of Physicians $ 106,520
Highest Paying States
The top five highest paying states as of 2021 for clinical and counseling psychologists are:
- New Jersey $ 143,150
- Delaware $ 129,450
- Oregon $ 126,230
- California $ 122,790
- New York $ 120,350
Highest Paying Cities
The ten highest paying metropolitan areas in 2021 for clinical and counseling psychologists are:
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $ 129,390
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $ 102,580
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $ 122,170
- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $ 95,390
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $ 129,880
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $ 111,920
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $ 86,300
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $ 136,630
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $ 87,880
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $ 92,750
There are many things to consider when applying for a job after earning a master’s degree in psychology. First, any employment experience and recommendations from previous employers will boost your resume. In addition, any internships or research completed within your program can also help with your job search. Salary will depend on many factors, such as location (city and state), position, industry, and previous work experience. So, those with several years of experience in a psychology-related job might earn a higher salary than average.
What Is the Job Outlook for Psychology Master’s Degree Holders?
The job outlook for psychology graduate students is good- with overall job growth expected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. However, the demand for clinical and counseling psychologists is increasing faster, with a projected growth of 10% over the next decade. The growth of jobs in the psychology sector is due to the high demand for mental health services in hospitals, schools, social service agencies, and mental health centers.
Courses within a Psychology Master’s Degree
There are various psychology courses to study. Here are some of the most popular:
- Clinical psychology
- Family psychology
- Developmental psychology
- School psychology
- Forensic psychology
- Engineering psychology
- Rehabilitation psychology
- Evolutionary psychology
- Experimental psychology
- Behavioral science
Different schools include different classes in their curricula. Therefore, research course content before you enroll in a program so you can develop the required skills for your chosen career.
Daily assignments and exams
A master’s degree in psychology will typically comprise essays and assignments where you will analyze topics such as biopsychology, personality disorders, and criminal psychology. You might also take exams after each course in your program or toward the end of the program. The frequency of exams depends on the learning provider. Your school will test your cognitive, developmental, and behavioral psychological knowledge.
Dissertation or thesis
You will also likely complete a dissertation toward the end of your program, where you focus on a topic that interests you and carry out independent research about that subject. You will communicate with tutors throughout the project and submit your dissertation via your school’s LMS. Your dissertation will influence your final grade.
Training program or internship
Many online learning providers offer credit for completing a training program or internship at a local hospital or medical facility. As a result, you can get hands-on experience in a real-world healthcare environment and network with industry professionals.
Typical Grading for an Online Master’s Degree in Psychology
You will usually receive grades for all completed coursework and exams during your psychology program, and the learning provider will convert those grades to a GPA. The typical grading system for a master’s degree in psychology looks like this:
These are the typical grading boundaries for each category:
- 50% for a pass
- 60% for a merit/credit
- 70% for a distinction
FAQs About a Psychology Master’s
- You can earn a psychology master’s degree online or at a college campus.
- You can get your master’s even if you don’t have a GRE.
- It takes around two to three years to complete your master’s degree. Studying at the weekend or during the evening can reduce the time it takes to graduate.
Benefits of an online psychology master’s degree include:
- Many programs don’t require a GRE.
- You can study from anywhere in the world.
- You don’t have to commute to a college campus.
- An average psychology master’s degree costs between $18,000 and $45,000 in tuition fees, according to U.S. News & World Report.
- You can apply for a scholarship or other financial aid to reduce these costs.
- An online master’s in psychology could work out cheaper than a regular degree because you don’t have to pay for accommodation or other college-related costs.