Best Online Master’s in Educational Psychology Programs

Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleMaster’sin Educational Psychology2017
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An online master’s in educational psychology prepares students to enter the exciting world of human development. Degree-candidates become experts in the field of research and work closely with industry professionals to conduct groundbreaking analyses. Students select a specialization to further their knowledge and capabilities. Graduates often join the public school education system as instructors and researchers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19% job growth rate for psychologists within the next seven years. Learners who hold an online master’s in educational psychology boast high-earning potential.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 University of Georgia 73.09 3/5 3% Athens, GA

UGA offers a master’s of education in educational psychology with an emphasis in applied cognition and development. Coursework focuses on learning with technology, qualitative approaches to education, and the development of intellectual capacity. Graduates pursue careers in teaching, psychology, and institutional research. UGA’s online master’s degree in educational psychology requires 34 credits, which most students complete in one to two years.

Transfer students may bring up to six credits, and distance learners are admitted in cohorts of 10 students per term. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of 2.6 or higher, along with GRE or GMAT scores.

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2 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 72.72 3/5 25% Champaign, IL

UIUC’s online master’s in educational psychology program offers multiple specialization options: cognitive science of teaching and learning, childhood development, studies in interpretive statistical measurement, and evaluative methodologies for education and counseling psychology. The degree requires 32 credits, 12 of which comprise 500-level courses. Online coursework is delivered asynchronously; there are no set start dates, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a 3.0 GPA—though UIUC prefers applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or better. GRE or GMAT scores are not required. Tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students, and distance learners have no residency requirements.

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3 Florida State University 63.38 3/5 28% Tallahassee, FL

U.S. News & World Report ranks FSU’s master’s in educational psychology as one of the best programs of its kind in the country. The fully online degree in cognitive learning and cognition provides students with a broad education applicable to careers in government, nonprofits, classroom settings, and private or public enterprises. FSU’s master’s of education in counseling psychology program requires 33 credits, the majority of which are major-focused, but students also complete core classwork.

In-state students do not receive preferential admission, and tuition is the same for all students, regardless of residency. Most full-time students complete the program in two years, but many distance learners choose to enroll part-time.

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4 Marist College 62.07 4/5 15% Poughkeepsie, NY

Marist offers an MA in educational psychology; the online master’s degree in educational psychology is available in two tracks. One track prepares students to apply for professional certification in childhood education (teaching grades 1–6), and the other prepares students to apply for professional certification in adolescent education (teaching grades 7–12). Each concentration requires 36 credits, and most full-time students complete the program in two years.

MC is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. All required courses may be completed online, but students are required to attend a residency program each summer. Tuition for online and hybrid students is significantly more affordable than tuition for on-campus students.

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5 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville 59.63 3/5 26% Knoxville, TN

UTK’s master’s in educational psychology program is designed for students currently employed in a classrooms or government agencies; students learn skills to further their careers. The degree requires 36 credits, 24 of which are core classes and 12 of which are focused on the student’s chosen concentration—either adult education or applied educational psychology. The adult education concentration focuses on professional issues in adult academics, including planning and research. The applied educational psychology concentration explores human development and psychoeducational intervention.

Classes may be taken fully online, with no on-campus requirements. Distance learners outside Tennessee typically pay out-of-state tuition, but accepted residency classification appeals allow out-of-state students to pay in-state tuition for online programs.

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6 The University of Alabama 58.08 4/5 24% Tuscaloosa, AL

Students pursuing an MA in educational psychology online at UA often specialize with a concentration in learning and assessment. This program is available to educators and non-educators and prepares graduates for careers in education, youth-focused government agencies, business, and the social sciences. Coursework is delivered fully online and asynchronously, with no on-campus requirements.

UA’s educational psychology degree online program is taught by the same instructors as the on-campus program, and both programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. UA accepts applications on a rolling basis, and tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

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7 University of Northern Colorado 57.59 3/5 6% Greeley, CO

UNC’s MA in educational psychology prepares graduates to apply research to the classroom, to deliver lessons that inspire critical thinking, and to increase students’ confidence in their learning abilities. Coursework emphasizes the effects of both psychological and environmental factors on learning. Most full-time students complete the program over five semesters.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of at 3.0 or better. Applicants with GPAs below 3.0 must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Residents of some states (Arkansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Maryland, and Tennessee) are not eligible to take online coursework through UNC. Applications are accepted each spring.

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8 Ball State University 55.16 3/5 32% Muncie, IN

BSU’s MA in educational psychology helps students begin or further a career in education or human development. The online program is taught by the same instructors who teach the on-campus bachelor’s in educational psychology. However, only the master’s is currently available online. The program offers three specializations: gifted and talented, human development, and statistical research methodology.

Students outside Indiana should consult BSU’s eligibility map to ensure the program is authorized in their state. Full-time students typically complete the 30-credit program in 18 months, though many online students opt for part-time enrollment. BSU also offers certification programs such as gifted and talented education, neuropsychology, and human development and learning.

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9 University of Memphis 48.50 3/5 30% Memphis, TN

UM’s online master’s degree in educational psychology prepares graduates for careers in child education, psychology, social work, and law. The program requires 36 credits and offers two degree concentrations: educational psychology and educational research. Educational psychology coursework focuses on human development and quantitative and qualitative research methods. The educational research concentration explores learning and cognition and motivation.

Applicants to the online master's in educational psychology program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. GRE scores are required. Applications are accepted twice per year, in April and November. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

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10 University of North Texas 47.85 3/5 31% Denton, TX

Every student in UNT’s MS in educational psychology program chooses one of two concentrations: research and evaluation or gifted and talented. Graduates with the research and evaluation concentration pursue careers in higher education and childhood teaching and advising. Graduates of the gifted and talented program are equipped to work in classroom settings, with exceptional students. Regardless of concentration, the educational psychology program requires 33 credits, which full-time students complete over 15 months.

When enrolled in UNT’s educational psychology master’s programs, online students have no on-campus requirements. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and classes begin throughout the year.

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Each online program features a unique curriculum designed to teach specific course objectives and learning outcomes. Online master’s degree in educational psychology curriculums are comprised of core courses, specialization courses, and a capstone requirement. Programs also require enrolled students to complete a minimum number of credit hours. Details vary based on the school and program chosen.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

While program details vary by school, below readers will find an assortment of sample curricula. This sample includes core courses you can expect to encounter while enrolled in an online master’s in educational psychology program.

  • Introduction to Educational Psychology: This introductory course is a core component of the master’s in educational psychology curriculum. Students explore the basic learning principles and motivations that drive human development. Degree candidates learn the premise of educational psychology and its teachings. Graduates go on to design curriculums, study learner performance, and pedagogy.
  • Lifespan Development: Lifespan development courses center on the development of learning process among human beings from infancy to adulthood. Learners study theories that address the processes humans go through to reach learning milestones. Students analyze human development and the relationship between education and the human brain. Degree candidates apply this knowledge to their specialization.
  • Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology: Learners explore the impact ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender have on an individual’s educational outlook. Students learn how these elements affect the pupil’s objectivity. Degree candidates analyze issues that plague different cultures and the impact they have on learning capabilities. Learners study the application of ethical principles to different environments.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY?

The time it takes a student to complete an online master’s degree in educational psychology depends on credit requirements, enrollment status, and individual pace. Minimum credit requirements vary by school and some programs require more credit hours than others. Programs may also require that students complete a capstone or research program for graduation. Learners choose to enroll as full-time or part-time students. Compared to part-time students, full-time students complete a heavier courseload and take less time to complete their degrees. Most programs allow students to transfer credits from approved courses, resulting in shortened program lengths. On average, students complete approximately 30 to 50 credit hours or 10 to 12 courses before earning their master of education in counseling psychology.

Many online programs are individually-paced or cohorts. Individually-paced programs allow students to work on assignments individually and communicate primarily with the program instructor. Cohort-learning groups are comprised of students that work together to complete assignments and projects.

There are three primary types of program accreditation: regional, national, and specialized. Of the three, regional accreditation is both the most prominent and common. All state universities and colleges in the United States and colleges take the steps to earn regional accreditation. Six agencies oversee the regional accreditation process and preside over each region of the United States. All regional accreditation agencies are recognized by the US Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Tuition at regionally accredited schools can be costly but students are eligible to receive federal financial aid.

National accreditation is common for technical and vocational schools. Accreditation agencies evaluate institutions every three to five years. Learners may experience difficulty transferring credits from these schools to regionally accredited institutions (for example, schools may reject transfer credits earned at nationally accredited institutions).

Agencies award specialty accreditation to qualifying programs that focus on a specific industry, such as a master’s in educational psychology.

A federal agency, the ED oversees the allocation of federal funds to school programs, and enforces federal standards and guidelines. The ED works closely with CHEA to monitor accreditation agencies and schools. To find a list of accredited schools, please visit the ED or CHEA website.

Graduates who hold a master’s degree in educational psychology go on to work at colleges, universities, research organizations, and government institutions. Their knowledge affords them the opportunity to work with instructors, researchers, and administrators to analyze and develop effective student assessments and curricula. Graduates enjoy employment options that range from creating educational technology to human development research. Degree candidates enter specialty fields that notably impact the research community and significantly advance learning objectivity.

Research Assistant

Research assistants work at universities or research institutes to conduct academic research, and work under the supervision of a principal investigator to analyze and develop efficient data. They may benefit from the opportunity to teach at the university while pursuing their postgraduate degree: research assistants may be hired as temporary contractors of the university.

Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $26,000
Mid-Level: $37,000
Late Career: $37,000

Test Developer

Test developers create questions and passages for student assessments. Questions focus on subjects such as English, mathematics, science, and history. Usually, test developers have a background in teaching, instruction, or curriculum design, and find employment with individual companies, districts, or agencies. Some developers create software programs for educational purposes.

Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $45,000
Mid-Level: $70,000
Late Career: $100,000

Educational Program Manager

Educational program managers work with other directors to execute educational strategies. Managers create programs that adhere to an institution’s academic guidelines and identify program outcomes, goals, and objectives. They review program data, report data findings, and ensure program standards meet accreditation guidelines.

Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $49,000
Mid-Level: $56,000
Late Career: $70,000

Curriculum Developer

Curriculum developers create instructional materials and educational programs for teachers and administrators. They work closely with schools and educational organizations to develop effective materials. Curriculum designers have experience managing educational professionals or instructing classes. Developers boast strong technical writing skills and knowledge of the latest educational technology.

Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $40,000
Mid-Level: $59,000
Late Career: $87,000

Instructional Activities Manager

Instructional activities managers improve the effectiveness of lesson plans and educational programs. They strive to develop learning activities that engage students while helping them process information, and implement techniques based on lifespan development and multiculturalism. Instructional activities managers also identify learning objectives that can be met or surpassed by students.

MASTER’S IN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY SALARY

The median salary for graduates with a master’s in educational psychology depends on experience, chosen career path, and location. Working professionals in the research world (such as research assistants) tend to have lower salaries due to the short-term nature of the position. Graduates involved in test development and curriculum design enjoy a higher earning potential due to their knowledge of computer and educational technology. Many educational psychology jobs require applicants to possess multiple skills with instructional or management experience. Prerequisites determine potential salary negotiations. The table below lists common career options for graduates with an online master’s degree in educational psychology.

Students pursuing educational psychology master’s programs online choose from a variety of finance options. Working professionals who desire to apply for federal grants and loans should do so by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA requires income tax information and must be completed by the given deadline for consideration. Students seeking private loan options or scholarships should research private loan companies, which may be available to learners pursuing a master’s in educational psychology. The American Psychological Association (AMA) website features a list of scholarships.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.