Now you can earn a master’s in psychology online without a GRE. You can study this discipline over the internet even if you didn’t take the GRE test or get a high enough score. 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 tutors 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. 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, as well as salary information, 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 that’s primarily taught over the internet. You won’t have to attend a school 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. You will communicate with tutors and support staff via email and video conferencing tools.
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 on a no-GRE psychology master’s:
- 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.
Psychology is a multifaceted discipline. Many online master’s programs let you specialize in specific areas of the field, like forensic psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and biopsychology.
After graduating from your no-GRE psychology master’s degree, you could get a job as a:
- Clinical psychologist
- Developmental psychologist
- Mental health specialist
- Behavioral scientist
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 will also learn specific soft skills that might prove valuable to future employers, such as independence, self-motivation, and self-discipline. You might not acquire these skills in a traditional classroom learning environment.
There are hundreds of psychology master’s degrees available on the internet. So where do you start? Online learning providers have different admissions criteria, so it’s important to choose a program that’s right for you. Select a school that lets you earn a psychology master’s degree even if you have a low GRE score or no GRE school at all.
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. Whatever you do, choose a school that provides the greatest 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 tutors could increase your earning potential when you graduate and kick-start an exciting new career in psychology.
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 course content on a learning provider’s website. It’s always a good idea to research a program before enrolling at an online school.
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 toward online education have changed over the last few years, and most employers consider internet degrees to be equal to traditional college-based ones. These employers look at student’s grades, previous academic history, and work experience during the job application process and don’t care whether that student earned a degree online or in a physical location.
Applying for a master’s degree in psychology is different from applying for a bachelor’s in psychology. 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 academic 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 evidence of previous 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: Your personal statement tells the program director about 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, as well as 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?
Whether you study for your master’s in psychology online or at a college campus, expect to pay between $18,000 and $45,000 in tuition fees, according to U.S. News & World Report. Individual credits range from $4000 to $945. These costs don’t include any registration fees, exam fees, program supplies, travel costs, or room and board rates.
An online master’s in psychology might cost less than a classroom degree because you won’t have to pay for accommodation or commuting costs.
Receiving a scholarship or another type of financial aid could mitigate the costs associated with a master’s 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. 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 around $60,000, according to PayScale. (Data correct as of July 14, 2021.)
The mean annual wage for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists — some of the most popular jobs for those with a psychology master’s — is $89,290, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $42.93.
The top-paying states for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists are:
- California: $115,830 (mean annual wage)
- Hawaii: $110,780
- Louisiana: $109,180
- Oregon: $108,000
- District of Columbia: $106,920
The top-paying metropolitan areas for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists are:
- Santa Rosa, CA: $138,550 (mean annual wage)
- Jefferson City, MO: $133,640
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA: $125,020
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: $121,490
- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA: $120,830
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA: $120,660
- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA: $119,350
- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI: $118,050
- Modesto, CA: $117,960
- Napa, CA: $117,860
The mean annual wage for all other psychologists is $100,130, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $48.14.
The top-paying states for psychologists (other) are:
- California: $124,910 (mean annual wage)
- Alaska: $118,270
- Illinois: $115,340
- Virginia: $109,060
- Colorado: $103,560
The top-paying metropolitan areas for psychologists (other) are:
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA: $138,810 (mean annual wage)
- Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA: $126,040
- Jacksonville, FL: $125,230
- Salinas, CA: $122,360
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI: $118,550
- Anchorage, AK: $116,710
- Fresno, CA: $116,490
- Dayton, OH: $115,120
- Richmond, VA: $107,130
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $104,890
The mean annual wage for psychiatrists — another popular job for those with a psychology master’s — is $217,100, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $104.38.
The top-paying states for psychiatrists are:
- North Dakota: $288,060 (mean annual wage)
- Kansas: $281,410
- Minnesota: $278,380
- New Mexico: $268,290
- Nebraska: $268,200
The top-paying metropolitan areas for psychiatrists are:
- Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL: Exact data not available but wage equal to or greater than $208,000 (mean annual wage), according to BLS
- Rochester, MN: Exact data not available but wage equal to or greater than $208,000 (mean annual wage), according to BLS
- Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL: Exact data not available but wage equal to or greater than $208,000 (mean annual wage), according to BLS
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL: Exact data not available but wage equal to or greater than $208,000 (mean annual wage), according to BLS
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA: $297,710
- Santa Rosa, CA: $289,580
- Kansas City, MO-KS: $287,220
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $279,450
- Tucson, AZ: $279,240
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA: $ 278,900
The mean annual wage for psychiatric technicians is $38,080, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $18.31.
The top-paying states for psychiatric technicians are:
- California: $58,400 (mean annual wage)
- District of Columbia: $53,670
- Connecticut: $52,970
- Massachusetts: $47,860
- Hawaii: $44,520
The top-paying metropolitan areas for psychiatric technicians are:
- Stockton-Lodi, CA: $69,970 (mean annual wage)
- Bakersfield, CA: $69,960
- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA: $69,140
- Fresno, CA: $63,740
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA: $62,960
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $62,710
- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA: $62,520
- Visalia-Porterville, CA: $60,820
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: $60,460
- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI: $57,780
The mean annual wage for rehabilitation counselors is $42,080, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $20.23.
The top-paying states for rehabilitation counselors are:
- New Jersey: $66,880 (mean annual wage)
- Rhode Island: $64,190
- Nevada: $56,680
- Colorado: $52,570
- District of Columbia: $52,210
The top-paying metropolitan areas for rehabilitation counselors are:
- California-Lexington Park, MD: $74,170 (mean annual wage)
- Trenton, NJ: $66,330
- Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA: $64,940
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV: $63,920
- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN: $59,410
- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA: $59,200
- Manchester, NH: $58,840
- Kennewick-Richland, WA: $58,790
- Muskegon, MI: $57,650
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $57,400
Those with several years of experience in a psychology-related job role might earn a higher salary than the averages above.
What Is the Job Outlook for Psychology Master’s Degree Holders?
The employment outlook is positive for those with a psychology master’s degree. There will be a 14.7% increase in job opportunities for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists from 2018 to 2028, according to research from Projections Central/Department of Labor. That’s significantly higher than the average rise for all occupations (around 5%).
Courses in 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. Research course content before you enroll in a program so you can develop the required skills for your chosen career.
You might also learn transferrable soft skills on your psychology master’s that could increase future career opportunities. These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication.
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 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.
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 knowledge on topics such as cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and behavioral psychology.
Many online learning providers offer credit for completing a training program or internship at a local hospital or medical facility. Here you can get hands-on experience in a real-world healthcare environment and network with industry professionals. You might also get credit for activities such as presentations and group work.
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.