Online Master’s in School Psychology 2021

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School psychologists work with students to diagnose and treat problem behavior, psychological disorders, and developmental delays. They often collaborate with educators to design and implement modifications to instruction and assessment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that psychologists earn a median annual salary of $82,180. The BLS projects jobs for psychologists to grow 3% from 2019-2029.

A master’s degree in school psychology qualifies graduates for a school psychologist license in every state. This guide ranks the best online master’s in school psychology programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, such as common courses and certifications.

Frequently Asked Questions About School Psychology

  • Q. What can I do with a master's degree in school psychology?

    A master’s in school psychology prepares learners to work as K-12 school psychologists. The degree also prepares students to pursue doctoral study.

  • Q. How many years is a master's in school psychology?

    Master’s degrees in school psychology typically comprise around 60 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete. However, some programs offer accelerated formats.

  • Q. What degree do I need to become a school psychologist?

    Every state requires school psychologists to hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited university.

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Why Get a Degree in School Psychology?

School psychologists help students identify and address problems. These interventions can make a positive impact on learners and the community. School psychologists also typically earn above-average salaries and enjoy positive job growth.

Many online school psychology degrees feature an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

How Much Does a School Psychology Degree Cost?

Tuition varies by school, but most universities charge a flat per-credit tuition rate for every graduate-level course. However, learners at some schools pay more for upper-division courses than lower-division classes. Prospective students on a budget should research whether in-state public universities offer a master’s in school psychology, as these institutions offer tuition discounts to in-state students.

Students pursuing a school psychology degree online often save money compared to their on-campus peers. For instance, online students save on some of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs. Many schools also offer tuition discounts to online students. Additionally, the flexibility of online learning often allows students to work while pursuing the degree.

Additional Online Student Fees for School Psychology

Master’s in school psychology students should budget for fees and expenses beyond tuition, including technology expenses. Learners must also determine whether their program requires one or more hybrid components, such as on-campus seminars or intensives. These experiences may involve paying for travel, meals, and housing.

Other typical education costs include textbooks and graduation fees. Some scholarships and grants cover these expenses. Graduates must also pay a one-time fee to their state’s licensure board.

How Much Do School Psychology Majors Make?

Salaries vary by factors such as location, industry, and role. For instance, psychologists in California, Hawaii, and Louisiana earn approximately $25,000 more annually than the profession’s median salary. However, California and Hawaii feature higher costs of living than the national average.

Industry also affects salary. School psychology positions at junior colleges typically pay more than they do in K-12 school districts. However, learners may need additional training or education to work at the college level.

Workers can increase their salary potential by gaining professional experience and certifications. The latter may lead to an automatic raise and promotion. Other potential certification benefits include discounts on office products and professional development tools.

Courses in School Psychology

Master’s in school psychology programs emphasize education, human development, and instruction concepts. They cover topics like cognitive development, research methods, and intervention strategies. Graduation requirements may include a capstone course wherein learners develop an original research project.

Courses vary by program, but the following list highlights three courses commonly found in school psychology master’s degrees.

  • Introduction to Educational Psychology

    This introductory course covers different learning theories related to intellectual development. Students learn how mental disabilities affect intellectual and emotional growth. They also examine how to collaborate with educators to design curricula, work with students one on one, and track student progress.

  • Lifespan Development

    Lifespan development courses cover the physical, mental, and emotional changes people experience from birth to old age. Learners study different human development milestones and how each affects psychological processes.

  • Quantitative Design and Analysis

    Students in this course hone research design, measurement, and analytical skills. They study topics such as inferential statistics and hypothesis testing. The course also examines topics around the moral foundation of research studies and experiments, such as participant consent.

How to Become a School Psychologist

Aspiring school psychologists can start training for the career by earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Learners with a bachelor’s in another subject may need to meet prerequisite requirements to enroll in a master’s in school psychology program.

Degree-seekers must earn at least 60 graduate credits to obtain a school psychologist license. Other requirements include supervised on-the-job training. School psychologists must renew their license to continue practicing. Licensure renewal requirements vary by state.

The BLS reports that most school psychologists work at K-12 schools. Learners can explore these work environments through supervised training and internships.

Certifications and Licensure for School Psychology

All school psychologists need a state-issued license to practice, but obtaining optional professional certifications can help professionals advance their career. The following list outlines several certifications for school psychologists.

National Certified School Counselor

The National Board for Certified Counselors awards this credential to counselors with at least two years of experience. Other requirements include academic prerequisites in family, addictions, and trauma counseling. Candidates must also pass a comprehensive examination.

School Psychologist License

All school psychologists need a license to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state, but all states require a master’s degree and professional experience. School psychologists must renew their license periodically by completing professional development opportunities.

Teaching License

Although school psychologists do not need a teaching license to practice, the credential can help professionals advance their careers. Typical licensure requirements include earning a bachelor’s degree, completing an approved teacher-preparation program, and passing a criminal background check.

Online Master’s in School Psychology 2021

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  1. University of Georgia

    Athens, GA



    The oldest public university in the country, UGA dates back to 1785. Today, the flagship university offers in-person and online programs. The online master's in educational psychology program focuses on applied cognition and development. Graduate students choose a secondary focus area. Options include learning with technology, qualitative research in education, or development of high intellectual capability.

    UGA admits a cohort of 10 students each year. Learners complete 34 credits in the master's in school psychology program. Coursework covers applied educational assessment, educational motivation, and encouraging independent learners. The online program prepares graduates for non-clinical roles in education, training, and research. 

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. UGA requires a minimum 2.6 GPA and makes GRE scores optional. Applicants also provide three recommendation letters and a statement of purpose that describes their educational and career goals. UGA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. Florida State University

    Tallahassee, FL



    Founded in Tallahassee in 1851, FSU enrolls 44,000 students and offers 275 degree-granting programs. At FSU, graduate students can earn their master's in educational psychology online. The program emphasizes learning, cognition, and human development. FSU designed the program for teachers, training professionals, and supervisors. It trains graduates to design effective learning environments and evaluate education interventions.

    The 30- to 35-credit program offers a thesis track and a coursework track. The thesis track emphasizes research training. The coursework track offers a two-year online route to a master's degree. Graduate students can focus on school psychology and counseling skills.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. FSU requires GRE scores. Applicants also submit a personal statement, three recommendation letters, a resume, and a writing sample. FSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. Ball State University

    Muncie, IN



    From its campus in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State enrolls students as a public institution. Ball State offers online graduate programs, including a master's in educational psychology. Graduate students can earn their degree in as little as one year thanks to flexible enrollment options. The school psychology degree features asynchronous courses. Students can also choose their number of courses each semester.

    The 30-credit school psychology curriculum draws on current research on learning and human development. Learners strengthen their classroom assessment, training, and evaluation skills. Ball State lets graduate students choose 12 elective credits to customize the degree. Or, students choose a specialization like human development, applied behavior analysis, or institutional research.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college. Ball State also requires a minimum 2.75 GPA, two professional references, a resume, and a personal statement. The program does not require GRE scores. Ball State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Texas A & M University-College Station

    College Station, TX



    Texas A&M, founded in 1876 as the first public university in the state, enrolls 69,000 students on its College Station campus. The university also offers online programs, including an online master's in educational psychology with an emphasis on school counseling. The program trains degree-seekers for careers as school counselors.

    The 48-credit master's in school psychology includes coursework in multicultural counseling and career counseling. Students also learn child development, group interventions, and special education consultation. Texas A&M lets students customize the program by choosing school counseling electives. Examples include educational psychology and applied behavior management.

    Distance learners complete 400 hours of supervised counseling training in a school setting. The two-semester internship builds career-ready skills. The online program offers asynchronous and synchronous classes. Applicants with at least two years of classroom teaching experience receive a preference. The program does not require GRE scores. Texas A&M is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. University of Nevada-Las Vegas

    Las Vegas, NV



    A public university opened in 1957, UNLV offers an online master of science in educational psychology program. The school psychology degree strengthens research skills and builds educational experience. Learners analyze cognition theory, evaluate research in psychology, and study intervention strategies backed by evidence. The program also emphasizes assessment development and administration.

    Students choose between a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on their interests and career goals. Both options require 33 credits. They also include core courses in human development, research methods, and psychometrics. Graduates pursue careers as program evaluators, research analysts, and educational assessment coordinators.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The master's in school psychology program also requires GRE scores. Applicants must submit three recommendation letters, transcripts, and a writing sample. UNLV is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

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