Top Online School Psychology Programs 2021

School psychology explores the research and practice of addressing emotional, mental, and behavioral issues that challenge student learning and well-being.

October 20, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Top Online School Psychology Programs 2021 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Online School Psychology Degrees

Online school psychology programs explore the emotional, mental, and behavioral factors that affect student learning and well-being. School psychology emphasizes practical tools and skills for working directly with clients and their families.

School psychologists work to improve students' academic performance, often by supporting learners with behavioral issues, special needs, or inadequate home support. This profession values compassion, education, and social equity. School psychologists also need advanced skills in observation, analysis, and communication.

School psychologists need a master's degree to qualify for licensure. A bachelor's degree prepares students to apply to master's programs. This guide ranks the best online school psychology degrees. It also covers other important information for students, such as common courses and scholarship opportunities for students earning an online school psychology degree.

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Top Online Programs for School Psychology

#1 University of Georgia Athens, GA
#2 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
#3 Ball State University Muncie, IN
#4 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
#5 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

School Psychology Common Questions

true Q. What is school psychology?

School psychology researches and applies best practices for teaching and supporting students. Most school psychologists work at schools. They collaborate with faculty and teachers and meet with clients and their families.

true Q. How long does it take to earn a degree in school psychology?

Bachelor's degrees traditionally take four years of full-time study to complete. However, compared to standard online psychology programs, many online school psychology degrees offer accelerated pacing that can reduce degree-completion time.

true Q. What are the requirements for getting into a program in school psychology?

Undergraduates typically apply to the school psychology major during their sophomore year. To enter the major, applicants may need to successfully complete prerequisite coursework and meet minimum GPA requirements.

true Q. What is the difference between school psychology and counseling?

School psychologists design strategic interventions and programs. School counselors play more of a coaching role, supporting students emotionally and encouraging future planning.

How Much Does a School Psychology Degree Cost?

According to the College Board's report on 2020 college pricing trends, full-time undergraduate prices at four-year, in-state colleges averaged $10,560 annually in 2020-2021. Out-of-state students paid over twice as much, averaging $27,020 per year, and tuition and fees at private colleges averaged $37,650 annually. 

However, many schools allow all students earning an online school psychology degree to pay in-state tuition regardless of residency. Online students also save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as commuting costs.

Career and Salary Outlook for School Psychology

Graduates from online school psychology programs can work in various settings, including schools, juvenile justice programs, community mental health centers, and treatment centers. Bachelor's-level jobs for school psychology graduates may include case manager, career counselor, childcare worker, and teacher.

Additional education can qualify graduates for careers as school psychologists, school administrators, training and development managers, and instructional coordinators. Some school psychology graduates seek careers as licensed social workers.

Many graduates pursue a master's degree to work as licensed school psychologists. These professionals work closely with teachers, administrators, students, and families to address student behavioral and learning issues. The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups school psychologists with other psychologists and projects 3% growth for this profession during 2019-2029. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $80,370.

Career Salary Potential
Career Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Psychologists Less than $45,380 $80,370 More than $132,070

Source: BLS

Licensing in Psychology

School psychologists need to obtain licensure through their state board. Licensure requirements vary by state, but they often include relevant graduate degrees and at least 1,200 supervised practicum clock hours. Prospective psychologists in Washington state, for example, need a doctoral degree in psychology, 3,300 supervision hours, and passing scores on licensure examinations.

Professionals with psychology licenses in one state sometimes qualify for licensure in other states by reciprocity. To obtain this license, applicants must prove that their previous state's licensure board upholds similar licensure standards.

Accreditation for School Psychology Degrees

Students should consider institutional and programmatic accreditation when choosing online school psychology programs. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to factors like academic rigor, student learning outcomes, and teacher qualifications.

Schools may receive regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many professional licenses and certifications require an accredited degree.

Programs within a school may also hold accreditation. The National Association of School Psychologists and the American Psychological Association accredit psychology programs.

Courses in a School Psychology Program

Bachelor's in psychology programs usually require about 120 credits, including around 60 credits of general education coursework. The other 60 credits typically cover core and specialized school psychology courses. Core coursework often covers topics like human development, research methods, and learning theory.

Students may also need to complete internships and/or capstone projects. Elective coursework and concentrations allow students to specialize their studies in areas such as program development, instructional design, and testing and assessment.

Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in online school psychology programs.

Scholarships for Psychology

Schools, nonprofits, private companies, and governmental agencies frequently award scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for students earning online school psychology degrees.

Scholarships for Psychology
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Morris K. Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship for Tribal Policy, Native Healthcare, and the Environment

Up to $7,000 This scholarship supports college sophomores and juniors with a history of public service and an interest in serving Native populations or the natural environment. Applicants must submit three recommendation letters and an 800-word essay related to the Udalls' impact.

Bethesda Lutheran Communities Lutheran Student Scholastic and Service Scholarship

$15,000 Undergraduate learners pursuing studies related to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be active members of a Lutheran congregation, hold junior or senior status, and possess a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Top Online School Psychology Programs

University of Georgia View School Profile Athens, GA $15539

Athens-based UGA offers a master of education in educational psychology, applied cognition, and development. This school psychology degree prepares students to work directly with students.

This online school psychology program runs asynchronously. Students can choose from specializations such as technology and qualitative approaches to education. They can also focus on development across different age groups or in gifted students. UGA's psychology program accepts 10 students per cohort. Each enrollee must complete a minimum of 34 credits. Graduates may work in educational technology or lifespan development.

Students can transfer up to six credits. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Application materials include three recommendation letters and a statement of purpose.

Florida State University View School Profile Tallahassee, FL $13318

Tallahassee-based FSU offers a master of science in educational psychology. This 33-credit educational psychology program runs fully online. Graduates may work in schools, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Students work with their advisor to create their own program of study based on their career goals. They can choose between thesis or coursework tracks. Enrollees complete coursework in areas such as research, adult education, and human services. Many graduates pursue doctoral programs. Others continue or begin careers in education research.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Some applicants must submit GRE scores.

Ball State University View School Profile Muncie, IN $13642

Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State offers an online master of arts in educational psychology. This 30-credit program runs asynchronously. Enrollees can typically earn this school psychology degree in 18 months.

Students take classes with the same faculty who teach campus courses. Learners can choose from specializations such as human development, neuropsychology, and applied behavior analysis. Enrollees take required courses such as advanced educational psychology and statistical methods. Many graduates go on to earn a doctorate in education. Others pursue careers as teachers, developmental specialists, or human resources directors.

Some courses require a webcam and microphone. Indiana residents benefit from affordable in-state tuition.

Texas A & M University-College Station View School Profile College Station, TX $19118

A public school located in College Station, Texas A&M offers a master of education in educational psychology with an emphasis in school counseling. This school psychology degree prepares students to work as school counselors.

Faculty teach fully online through both asynchronous and synchronous courses. Required courses include multicultural counseling, career counseling, and counseling techniques. Enrollees choose from electives such as educational psychology and applied behavior management. Learners must complete an intensive two-semester internship in a public or private school. Students also complete 400 hours of onsite counseling activities and participate in weekly one-hour supervision.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Texas A&M prefers applicants with classroom teaching experience. Out-of-state students must consider their state's certification requirements before graduating from the program.

The University of Alabama View School Profile Tuscaloosa, AL $20465

Tuscaloosa-based UA offers an online master of arts in educational psychology with an emphasis in learning and assessment. This 30-credit online school psychology program combines cognitive training and research methods.

Students complete required coursework in research and development. They also enroll in a non-thesis research course. Learners complete a capstone course in their final semester. Some graduates go on to pursue a doctoral degree. Others begin careers as counselors, youth ministers, or leaders in children's agencies.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and at least a 300 on the GRE. Prospective students do not need professional educator experience to apply. Applicants submit three recommendation letters, official transcripts, and a statement of purpose.

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