Partnered with the Springfield Child Advocacy Center, Missouri State University is a public, civic-engaged Great Plains research hub endowed for $138 million that's seen enrollment spike from 543 to 23,537 Bears since 1905 at its 40-building, Neoclassical campus and online. MSU was declared America's 325th best student life college on Niche, 185th top public school by Forbes, 131st best university in the Social Mobility Index, and 112th best value on WalletHub. The College of Health and Human Services led by Dr. Helen Reid logs 22,000 service hours annually in 17 graduate programs, including the Forensic Child Psychology Graduate Certificate Online. Offering funds like the $2,000 Stewart Memorial Scholarship, the 12-credit curriculum strives to protect youth with practitioner-taught courses in Child Exploitation, Child Abuse, and Forensic Psychology Research Methods.
10 Most Affordable Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology Online in 2021
The child and adolescent psychology field is growing, especially after the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on children’s and young adults’ mental health. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that career opportunities for school, counseling and clinical psychologists should increase 3% between 2019 and 2029.
Job opportunities are expected to continue growing. An online master’s in child and adolescent psychology could cost around $19,200. The current median pay is $82,180 per year or $39.51 per hour for a school counselor or psychologist, providing a worthwhile return on your investment over time. Read our guide below to learn more about affordable programs, concentrations, and career outlooks for this rewarding path.
Accredited Online College Programs
Most Affordable Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology Online
Our Methodology, ExplainedGrad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 40% Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 40% Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 15% Program Offerings Number of program options 15% Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.
How Much Can Child and Adolescent Psychology Master’s Online Graduates Earn?
Cheap child and adolescent psychology master’s online are smart. Average wages range from $22,930 for childcare staff to $184,240 for pediatricians. Psychologists receive a median pay of $75,230 on the Department of Labor website. Youth counselors earn mean profits of $46,050. School counseling teams are compensated $57,620 on average. Juvenile justice officers expect a median annual wage of $50,160. Master’s-trained recreational therapists snag mean incomes of $46,410. Child and family social work provides an average payment of $47,510 yearly. On Salary.com, child life specialists earn a median wage of $50,760. Other averages include $76,512 for childcare directors, $49,558 for case managers, and $51,490 for child welfare workers.
Answering your questions about online child and adolescent masters programs
What can I do with a master’s degree in child psychology?
To become a child psychologist, you’ll need to earn a doctorate of PsyD or Ph.D. Most doctoral programs will require you to obtain a graduate-level degree in the field of psychology of your choice. However, you could work using your master’s degree as a child or family therapist or as an entry-level school psychologist or counselor.
How many years does it take to become a child psychologist?
The amount of time it takes to become a child psychologist will depend on how much time you can commit towards study. If you’re able to dedicate yourself to a child psychology graduate program full-time, you should be able to complete your master’s degree in 18 months to two years.
Do I need a doctorate degree to become a child and adolescent psychologist?
You will need a Ph.D. or PsyD to become a child and adolescent psychologist. However, you could work with a master’s degree in related entry-level positions, such as a teacher or counselor while you continue to study for your doctorate. You could enroll for a joint degree program and earn your masters while you work on a PsyD or Ph.D. Doing so could save you up to one year of work.
What does the coursework look like for this program?
Nearly all child psychology graduate programs require courses in statistics, ethics, developmental psychology and research methods. You may specialize further in child-related conditions, such as autism spectrum or learning disabilities. Even if you plan on studying online, you’ll need to complete an independent study capstone project and related fieldwork.
Online Child and Adolescent Masters Program Overview
An online master’s in child and adolescent psychology is possible, although it’s closer to a hybrid due to the possible requirement of fieldwork. It all depends on whether you’re seeking a terminal or non-terminal degree. Terminal degrees require you to complete an internship or fieldwork to earn experience and satisfy the supervised hours required by your state. If you elect to earn a non-terminal degree, you’ll be assigned a capstone project instead of fieldwork.
Full-time students could complete the workload in 18 months to two years. If you choose to work while obtaining your master’s earning your degree will likely take longer. The benefit of choosing an online curriculum is the flexibility to set your own pace and work in your free time.
Admissions and Requirements
Before you’re able to start your master’s degree in child psychology, you’ll need to fulfill certain requirements to get admitted into the program. Most online schools require a 3.0 GPA or higher before they consider you. Recommendation letters from your previous professors or a current employer could help if your GPA is below the minimum grade requirement.
To start the child psychology graduate program, nearly any type of bachelor’s degree is acceptable. However, the school of your choice may ask you to complete prerequisite coursework in statistics, psychological theory and research methods. You’ll likely need to take the GRE unless you’re enrolled in certain terminal master’s degrees or you can prove you have a high GPA or substantial professional experience.
Career and Salary Outlook for for Child and Adolescent Master’s Graduates
Although the American Psychological Association warns that online master’s in child and adolescent psychology jobs will be limited by Ph.D. or PsyD preference, the degree proves useful in many other human services fields.
Child mental health expertise could help nurture careers in pediatric nutrition, educational diagnostics, school counseling, art therapy, recreation services, coaching, and other disciplines, especially if industry certified. For example, the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association credentials Child and Family Resiliency Practitioners (CFRPs) with master’s degrees and 6+ months of relevant experience. The Council for Professional Recognition has also granted 420,000 Child Development Associate (CDA) designations for early intervention work from birth to five-years-old. It’s possible to transfer master’s credits toward doctoral developmental and clinical psychology admission, but these five sample jobs are available with a cheap child and adolescent psychology masters.
Career and School Counselor: The BLS indicates that counselors can expect above-average growth in the field of 8% through 2029. Median pay is $58,120 per year. Some child and adolescent psychology master’s online offerings fulfill LPC qualifications for assessing mental health, conducting crisis intervention, empathizing with strife, customizing treatment plans, performing personal or group therapy, referring social services, strengthening family relationships, and reinforcing positive behaviors.
Child Life Specialist: Getting an online child and adolescent psychology masters may establish eligibility for taking the $300, 150-question Association of Child Life Professionals certification exam to counsel youth diagnosed with acute or chronic illnesses. Child life specialists generally work in pediatric wards to explain tough diagnoses, give pre-admission hospital tours, lend emotional support, teach relaxation techniques, allay fears before surgeries, implement play therapy, encourage self-expression, and provide grief counseling to young siblings.
Child, Family and School Social Worker: Adding a master’s in child and adolescent psychology online to BSW training can aid social workers who investigate maltreatment claims, evaluate living environments, create intervention plans, refer family therapy, help apply for benefits like Medicaid, take protective custody if needed, and arrange safe foster homes. They currently earn between $32,300 and $80,290 with a median wage of $48,430.
Equine-Assisted Therapist: Since 1969, PATH International has accredited 881 U.S. centers with over 6,100 horses total that teach youth with behavioral, learning, emotional, and physical disabilities important life lessons while fostering inner peace. Equine-assisted therapists might utilize online masters in child and adolescent psychology to identify clients’ needs, set treatment plans, give horse care workshops, schedule counseling sessions, implement riding or ground activities, supervise patient-pony interactions, and document rehab progress.
Juvenile Justice Officer: Juvenile justice officers might finish child and adolescent psychology online master’s degrees to evaluate parolees’ psyche, interview families, develop rehabilitation plans, make frequent home visits, improve school attendance, suggest resources like drug therapy, write case reports, and keep youth from trouble. The field in general is forecast to increase in demand by 4% by 2029. The median pay is $55,690 per year, but salaries are as high as $98,510.
What is the Job Outlook With a Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology Online?
Entering child and adolescent psychology master’s online study is wise since The Key Reporter proclaimed that graduate degrees are the new undergrad in job qualifications. That’s especially true in the human services where a master’s is crucial to rising above entry-level titles like psychiatric aide, social work assistant, and caseworker. The BLS predicted a 4 percent increase in psychology jobs by 2029. The hiring of youth counselors will increase faster than average at 8 percent, adding 26,800 new positions. Child and family social work is expanding by 13 percent to reach 803,900 total employment this decade. Other sunny 10-year outlooks include 22 percent for family therapists, 17 percent for social services managers, 8 percent for recreational therapists, and 3 percent for special needs educators.
Concentrations in a Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology
You may want to choose a concentration to further specialize your master’s degree. Pursuing a master’s requires you to choose an MA – Master’s of Art or an MS – Master’s of Science. MAs typically pursue a career in counseling, social work, non-profit or governmental work and mental care. Some concentrations include trauma and crisis intervention, assessment and treatment of juvenile offenders and identifying and child development.
Master’s of Science studies may lead to work as behavioral analysts, case managers, mental health educators, coaches, or human services managers. You could choose concentrations in autism spectrum or ADHD disorders and may choose to undertake at least 100 hours of fieldwork.
Program Organizations for Child and Adolescent Master’s Graduates
If you’re pursuing a child psychology master’s, joining a professional association could be a beneficial networking opportunity and a way to keep up to date on industry-specific developments. The following associations are available for Child Psychology Master’s and often come with reduced membership fees for grad students:
- American Psychological Association: Also offers books, publications, and discounted professional liability insurance.
- Association for Psychological Science: Peer review, online networking, digital resources, and video recordings of past sessions are available to members.
- Association for Research in Personality: Members receive online access to the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal and a significant registration discount for the ARP’s biennial conference.
Scholarships for Students in Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs
- APF Graduate Student Scholarships: The American Psychological Foundation awards $2,000 to $5,000 scholarships to 21 graduate students per year.
- Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowships: Child psychology graduate students involved in related research may earn a $25,000 fellowship.
- Esther Katz Rosen Fund Grants: $1,000 to $50,000 awards available for research related to the psychological understanding of gifted kids and youth.
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