Educational psychologists are growing in demand as it becomes increasingly clear that these professionals are needed in the classroom; that's why online Master's in Educational Psychology programs are becoming more popular among working professionals. This field is known to require a graduate education for employment, especially if professionals are interested in working as academics or researchers at the university level. Master's degrees also pave the way for advanced licensure, a requirement for any professional interested in working in K-12 public schools as a counselor.
But with so many professionals already working full-time, going back to a traditional program is not an option. These working students need flexible and affordable programs, ones that work around their responsibilities and provides them a path forward to comfortably earning a degree. The 10 programs listed below can help facilitate the dream of earning an online Master's in Educational Psychology, so students are encouraged to research the programs more in depth when they find one that fits their needs.
The National Center for Education Statistics was the starting point for the research necessary to create this ranking. The College Navigator database, a publicly available tool, revealed 35 schools that matched the criteria for this ranking. Of the original 35 schools, the 10 below were chosen based on their in-state graduate tuition rate.
Ranking Low-cost Online Educational Psychology Master's
10. Walden University
Online Master of Science in Psychology, Educational Psychology Specialization
Walden University provides an online Master's in Educational Psychology that students will find give them a macro view of the field that is supplemented with applied learning courses. The degree is delivered as a 100 percent online program that is delivered in 11-week asynchronous courses. Students who choose to take on this degree may be eligible for a $2,000 grant if they are United States residents and apply early. This program has several final project options for students, including the choice between a course-only degree plan or a capstone project; these options were built to help prepare students for either a career in the field straight after graduation or to help them with prerequisite courses for study at the doctoral level. Regardless of which option a student chooses, it is possible to complete all of the necessary requirements in around two years of full-time study. The degree requires 48 total quarter credits, an optional capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Theories of Learning, Psychology of the Exceptional Individual, and Research Theory, Design, and Methods.
9. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Online Master of Science in Psychology, Applied Educational Psychology Concentration
Students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville are treated to an online Master's in Educational Psychology that was designed specifically for working professionals in the field. This program's coursework is delivered 100 percent online and is delivered synchronously on a six-week term schedule; students will note that all courses are set to Eastern Standard Time. This is a non-thesis plan of study that can be completed in two years with part-time study. As an applied practical degree, students will be presented with an educational foundation on how to utilize educational psychology in classroom settings, including K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Meeting Needs of Nontraditional and Underachieving Learners, Program Planning and Operations, and Reflective Practice in Education and Psychology.
8. The University of Southern Maine
Online Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis
The University of Southern Maine offers students a Master's in Educational Psychology online degree that is available both as a fully online degree plan or as a hybrid program; those seeking a hybrid program will need approval by the school in order to complete the requirements in this format. This program offers students the chance to earn a Behavior Analyst Certification, which is administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. This program is delivered asynchronously and in the traditional 16-week academic format; it can be completed in two years with full-time study. Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Learners Who are Exceptional in General Education, Behavioral Principles of Learning, and Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis.
7. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Online Master of Science in Educational Psychology
Professionals interested in entering the field as licensed psychologists will be interested in the online Master's of Educational Psychology that is provided by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. This program is delivered 100 percent online to most students; certain states, however, do not approve 100 percent online degrees and so it is advised that students check with their state to ensure they are able to follow a wholly online format. This program is divided up equally between required core courses and free electives, enabling students to choose a specialty or concentration within the field; this will be of particular interest to students who are on the road to pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology. This degree requires 34 credit hours of coursework, a capstone seminar or thesis, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include An Introduction to Descriptive and Inferential Statistics, Human Growth and Development, and Foundations of Learning and Cognition.
6. Ball State University
Online Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Ball State University offers students a research-based online Master's in Educational Psychology. This degree is geared towards educators and psychologists who work in parallel fields, providing them with a fresh perspective on education and how it can affect other aspects of an individual's life. Students will find an exceptional 100 percent online program that is taught by the same nationally renown faulty who teach the curriculum on campus. The program can be completed in 18 months with part-time study and less than one year if students choose to study full-time. The program gives students an in-depth education in human development: Gifted and Talented, Human Development, Statistical and Research Methods, and Neuropsychology. Students will be required to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a research paper, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Adult Development and Aging, Psychology of Human Development, and Statistical Methods in Educational and Psychological Research.
5. Oklahoma State University at Tulsa
Online Master of Science in Educational Psychology
Students at Oklahoma State University at Tulsa are treated to an educational psychology master's online degree that is primarily a theoretical and research-based program. This degree is available entirely online with the school choosing to offer online courses throughout the year in both the asynchronous and synchronous formats. Students can complete this program in 18 to 24 months of full-time study. The program also offers options for their final project: a thesis or a capstone project. This enables students to make a choice on their project that fits into their everyday responsibilities and educational needs. This program requires 36 credit hours of coursework, including an emphasis area that is approved by the department, a final project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Developing Resources to Support Educational Programs, Human Development in Psychology, and Creativity for Teachers.
4. The University of North Texas
Denton, North Texas
Online Master of Science in Educational Psychology, Concentration in Research and Evaluation
The University of North Texas confers an educational psychology master's degree that is found 100 percent online. This program can be completed in just 15 months, making it a great choice for professionals who are looking for an advanced and accelerated degree. Courses are delivered in the traditional academic schedule with the exception of the summer term; it is possible to take immersive courses that last for just two to three weeks per course. Students will also find that courses are provided in an asynchronous format, making it easier for them to log into their courses when they have the free time. This program focuses on research and the creation, implementation, and assessment of educational programs. This degree requires 33 credit hours of coursework, a research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Educational Research and Evaluation, Survey Research Methods in Education, and Grant Proposal Writing Skills.
3. Eastern Michigan University
Online Master of Arts in Educational Psychology (EPDL)
Educational psychologists will find an exceptional online Master's in Educational Psychology at Eastern Michigan University. This is an advanced professional program that focuses on preparing students to enter the workforce as educational psychology professionals. There are two concentrations that are available for this online program: Developing Learner and Research and Assessment. Courses are delivered both asynchronously and synchronously, so students are advised to check the requirements for each course for live participation requirements. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a seminar, a culminating project or thesis, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Nature and Identification of the Gifted, Psychology of Adolescence, and Basic Concepts in Educational Psychology.
2. Marist College
Poughkeepsie, New York
Online Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Students interested in a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education-accredited online master's in educational psychology will need to look no further than Marist College. This program meets the necessary requirements for students looking to pursue New York State Professional Teaching licensure. There are two concentrations available for this degree: Professional Certification in Childhood Education and Professional Certification in Adolescent Education. While most coursework can be completed online, this school does require a summer residency for students; all other work is delivered asynchronously at the school's virtual portal. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or creative component, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Introduction to Educational Psychology, Educating Exceptional Learners, and Research Methods and Statistics for Educational Psychologists.
1. Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
Online Master of Education in Educational Psychology with an Emphasis in School Counseling
Texas A&M University confers a cheap educational psychology master's degree that is perfect for professionals seeking qualification to become a school counselor. This program is offered entirely online through both asynchronous and synchronous formats; the program is designed to be completed in two years with part-time study. Students will find that there is a practicum requirement for this degree that takes place in the second year of the program. The curriculum for this degree is straightforward and focuses on the practical application of educational psychology within educational settings. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, two practicums, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master's in Educational Psychology Degree?
Educational psychology has a wide range of career options available to students. Some may require additional on-the-job training or licensure which are relatively easy to obtain. Some may also require certification or professional development courses. This field offers the following careers:
- Educational Researcher
- Educational Psychologist
- Freelance Educational Writer
- Program Evaluator
- Educational Program Director
- College Professor
- Human Resource Education Specialist
- Professional Development Course Curriculum Director
How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
Educational psychology professionals can make anywhere between $40,000 to $97,000. This takes into account various career positions available, work and education levels of experience, their area of residence, credentials, licensures, and more. It also takes into account additional education and professional development programs that may increase a professional's chances to earn more.
The lowest-paid professionals in this field are college counselors, who can make anywhere between $45,000 to $68,000 a year in the middle of their career. The highest paid professionals are educational psychologists and researchers, who have salaries that top out at $84,000 and $100,000, respectively. It is important to note that private sector jobs, both in and out of the classroom, routinely make more than those in public sector.
What are the Various Disciplines of Educational Psychology?
Educational psychology focuses on the relationship between psychology, human development, psychology, and learning. Because these disciplines can change and evolve depending on a professional's chosen workplace, some disciplines may be more at the forefront than others.
However, there are other disciplines that show up in this field. Assessment, evaluation, research, and problem solving of curriculum design issues are necessary disciplines. So, too, is the study of statistics, public policy, law, ethics, and economics. Then there is the need for leadership, interpersonal, communication, and administrative skills.
The list can go on because educational psychology has its own subfields and areas of expertise. Students will find, however, that the disciplines mentioned above are generally the ones in which they will work during the course of their career.
Are Practicums Necessary for This Degree?
Practicums are generally not required for an online Master's in Educational Psychology. This is because, at the graduate level, professionals are already working within the field or preparing themselves for doctoral study. It's also not a requirement because many professionals in the field work as researchers and not in the classroom, making practicums a redundancy in their program of study.
Students rarely decide at the graduate level to move into educational psychology. On the occasions that they do, they always move into the field from either education or psychology. This means that these professionals have at least two years of work experience in the field prior to entering the program and will most likely be holding that job while completing their degree.
Educational psychology programs also vary; many are practical and professional-based degrees while others are geared more to academia and research. Practicums often slow a student's progress down when in school, especially in this field, because research is already part of most curriculums and practically-based degree candidates often are already using the information they gleaned from their courses into their professional setting.
Some schools do require practicums; these are often the schools that can provide a pathway to an advanced teaching licensure. Some other schools offer credentials for applied behavior analysis and may require practicums to meet the requirements for the exam. However, practicums are generally seen as a waste of time at the master's level, especially in the field.
Is Licensure Necessary for Educational Psychologists?
No, although some states, such as California, do offer separate licensure options for these professionals. It is unusual, however, to find a state that will require an educational psychologist to hold specific certification in the field. This is because professionals who already hold licensure as a psychologist or a teacher will find the license redundant.
The truth is that educational psychologists are more educators and researchers than practicing psychologists. While it is possible for a professional to have earned licensure as a psychologist prior to entering the educational psychology field, most professionals working in this space are not licensed psychologists. This is evidenced by the fact that most graduate programs do not require proof of licensure as a psychologist or an undergraduate degree in the field.
However, states like California do actually require licensure for educational psychologists. This means that professionals who wish to work in this capacity will be required to obtain this licensure through the government, a qualification that is best earned by obtaining a degree from a California university. The test is rather simple to pass and reapplying to keep the license happens every five years.
For all other states, students will find it difficult to find licensure. Credentials do exist for educational psychologists, but by no means are they a requirement for any workplace. Students are advised, however, to seek out specialty credentials from the American Psychological Association in their field if applicable.
Educational psychology is a field that while precise is nevertheless growing in reputation and influence in America. Now that educators and researchers understand the relationship between psychology, development, and education, these professionals are in high demand in order that schools can meet the diverse needs of their students. An online Master's in Educational Psychology is a great choice for any professional who is considering a move into work in the classroom, providing them with advancement in their career while they secure the educational future of the students under their supervision.
Updated: March 4, 2020