Over the past decade, more colleges and universities are providing quality, online degree which are modeled after the in-class, on campus degrees. Online degree programs offer students flexible schedules which allow students to
continue to work while obtaining, or advancing, their education. Masters programs in psychology are available from both nonprofit schools and for profit educational companies.
In the field of psychology, students can find online, bachelor, master or doctoral degrees. While looking for the right program for you, some things to consider are:
If you're wanting to become a professional psychologist, you'll want to identify online programs which offer specific degree concentrations in your interest. Colleges and universities offer masters degrees in specialty areas in clinical psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, addiction and substance abuse psychology, etc.
Non Psychology Bachelors Degree
It's not always necessary that your bachelors degree be in psychology for admission into a graduate psychology program. Depending on the program, you may need to complete prerequisite coursework before starting on your core and specialty courses.
Perhaps, one of the most important things to consider in choosing a graduate program is the program's accreditation. Accreditation assures you that the school/program meets educational standards as developed by independent, Department of Education approved agencies. There are basically two types of accreditation, institutional and programmatic. It's important that the school you choose is accredited by an organization, such as the Higher Learning Commission; but, if you're pursuing a professional degree, you may want to find programs which hold program accreditation from an organization such as the American Pyschological Association.
The cost of online degrees has often mistakenly believed to be cheaper than on campus experiences. In some cases, this may be true; but, overall, students will pay comparable tuition and fees for online degrees. After all, the online degree is equal to that received by classroom studies. When calculating your budget, be certain to understand the costs that may assessed. For example, a college may offer a reduced, online tuition rate; but, the school may assess a distance learning fee per course (this can from $50-$100). Online schools may charge out of state students a higher rate, similar to the on campus courses. The length of the program will also impact your total tuition and fees paid.
Internships and Practicum Experiences
If you're pursuing a clinical psychology degree, the program may require an internship or practicum experience. For distance, or online, students, schools offer these experiences in your local community with a qualified, school approved preceptor. Other programs may require a capstone project before graduation.
While coursework is predominantly online, some programs require brief, on campus attendance. Most often, this on campus attendance is required during the summer or on the occasional weekend. Be sure to factor this in when choosing a school and program.
Licensure and Certification
Depending on your psychology specialty, you may be required to be licensed and certified by the state in which you want to practice. Because of federal and state reciprocity agreements, not all programs may qualify you for licensure in a particular state. School websites will post information on states that may not be eligible; but, students should be confident the psychology degree is recognized in your state.
There are many questions to be answered when selecting an online degree program; and, this list is certainly not definitive. To help in your research for the right Masters of Psychology program for you, Best Medical Degrees has researched 25 Most Affordable Online Masters of Psychology Degree Programs. The site provides links to accredited degree programs and estimated base tuition cost, program length and any awards or recognition achieved by the school or program.