Published February 2016
The field of clinical psychology is growing as the need for educated professionals with an advanced degree continues; due to its flexibility, many are considering an online master’s in clinical psychology. Clinical psychology is a broad field involving the assessment and treatment of a variety of psychological dysfunction while promoting positive mental health. Clinical psychologists are needed in school, hospitals, government organizations, private practice, and service agencies. Working professionals seeking to obtain an advanced degree to earn a higher position or advance their current skills can benefit from the many online clinical psychology masters programs and PhD programs around the county. Clinical psychology programs online are an affordable and flexible alternative to traditional programs and can often be completed while working full time or attending to family responsibilities.
We have created a list of the most affordable online clinical psychology programs in the country. Programs selected for this list offer over 50% of their coursework requirements online but may require some degree of face to face interaction. Schools were selected for this list based on their offering of an online program in the area of clinical psychology. We then obtained their net cost from College Navigator and found the ten that were the least expensive. For our ranking of Most Affordable Online PhD/PsyD Programs in Clinical Psychology, we also collected data from College Navigator and have ranked each online PhD program in clinical psychology in order of cost. Many of these online clinical psychology degree programs lead to licensure or certification, but it is best to always confirm your own state’s requirements before enrolling in a program.
Online Master’s Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology
#10 – Palo Alto University-Palo Alto, California
Online MS in Psychology (PhD Prep for Clinical Psychology)
Palo Alto University offers an online clinical psychology degree that prepares students for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. The program can be completed in two years and can serve as a terminal degree if the student does not need a license to achieve their career goals. Courses blend real time live interaction with independent online study to allow student to complete coursework in the evening or on the weekend when it is convenient. Students are able to take advantage of chat sessions and discussion groups with peers.
Courses: History and Systems; Child and Adolescent Development; Adult Development and Aging; Cognitive Bases of Behavior; Affective Bases of Behavior; Psychopathology and Psychodiagnosis
#9 – Walden University-Minneapolis, Minnesota
MS in Clinical Psychology Online
Walden University offers an online clinical psychology master’s program that can be completed in 56-59 credit hours. Graduates are prepared to work with both individuals and groups in healthcare, education, and government organizations. Students are able to access course materials though an iphone, tablet or laptop. While the general program does not lead to licensure, students in California can select a counseling specialization that prepares them for a career as a professional clinical counselor (LPCC) in California.
Courses:Foundations for Graduate Study in Psychology; Psychopathology From a Clinical Perspective; Lifespan Development; Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice; Interventions
#8 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University-Waxahachie, Texas
Online Master of Science Clinical Psychology
Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers a clinical psychology degree online with a research component, practicum and professional education curriculum. Students complete coursework online and complete two practicums totaling 300 clock hours. The program can be completed with 48 credit hours and takes about two years. Online students have access to the same support, resources, and facilities as their on campus counterparts. SAGU is ranked by Best Counseling Degrees as a Top Small College.
Courses: Ethical and Legal Issues; Methods and Techniques in Counseling; Integrative Issues in the Behavioral Sciences; Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Psychopharmacology
#7 – Union Institute and University-Cincinnati, Ohio
Online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Union Institute and University offers a hybrid program for students looking for a career as a clinical mental health counselor. This unique program meets licensure and certification criteria by offering a supervised practicum and internship experience. Students complete online coursework and attend three anuual weekend residencies in either Vermont or Ohio. The program offers three different start dates each year and can be completed in about two years.
Courses:Psychopathology: Diagnosis, Assessment/Treatment; Counseling Theory and Practice; Helping Relationships; Professional Orientation and Ethics; Human Growth and Development
#6 – Harvard University-Cambridge, Massachusetts
Online Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology
Ranked as a top school by both Forbes and U.S. News and World Report, Harvard University has on of the best online clinical psychology programs in the country. The program is offered in a hybrid model and can be completed in just nine courses and a thesis. Before being admitted into the program, students need to complete three required courses and meet other requirements. A field placement of 150 hours is required to gain hands on experience.
Courses: Introduction to Social Psychology; Emotion; Evolution and Cognition; Abnormal Psychology, Memory
#5 – Lamar University-Beaumont, Texas
M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online
Lamar University offers an online clinical psychology degree program that can be completed in 27 months of study in an accelerated format. The program requires 60 credit hours of coursework and follows the CACREP objectives to ensure students receive a relevant and scientifically based curriculum. The program is ideal for students interested in working in clinics, hospitals or in private practice. Students will need to understand their state’s licensure requirements before beginning the program to make sure it meets licensure and certification requirements.
Courses: Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Individual Counseling Theories & Techniques; Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling; Group Counseling Theories & Techniques; Career Development
#4 – University of West Alabama-Livingston, Alabama
Online Master of Science in Experimental Psychology: Clinical Psychology Option
The University of West Alabama offers an MS degree in Experimental Psychology with a Clinical Psychology option that can be completed almost entirely online. This program allows students to gain practical and hands on experience in the field of clinical psychology through both a practicum and internship experience. Students have the option of completing either a thesis or taking a comprehensive examination to meet graduation requirements. The program can be completed in 39-54 credit hours depending on the needs of the student. There are two start dates during the school year.
Courses: Personality Assessment; Marriage and Family Therapy; The Therapeutic Relationship; Health Psychology; Psychopharmacology
#3 – Chadron State College-Chadron, Nebraska
Master of Arts in Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online
Chadron State College offers an M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that can be completed with limited time spent on-campus. The program is 60 credit hours and requires both an internship and a practicum as part of the curriculum. Students start off the program with a solid foundation of research design and data analysis with coursework being completed in the first 12 credit hours of study. This online clinical psychology degree is for students looking to work with individuals or groups in an educational or therapeutic setting.
Courses: Principles & Practices of Mental Health Counseling; Career and Lifestyle Development; Group Counseling; Family Counseling; Advanced Human Development
#2 – Southwestern Oklahoma State University-Weatherford, Oklahoma
Department of Psychology Community Counseling Program MS Degree Online
Southwestern Oklahoma State University offers a Community Counseling master’s program for students seeking licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The program is offered as a hybrid with the majority of coursework online and two courses (plus an exam) which must be completed on campus. The program is designed for the working professional who wants a career counseling individuals and small groups. This online clinical psychology degree program provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge through a capstone experience at the end of the program.
Courses: Introduction to Counseling and Guidance; Advanced Tests and Measurements; Life Span Development; Research Methods; Advanced Abnormal Psychology
#1 – Medaille College-Buffalo, New York
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online
Medaille College offers an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that fulfills the criteria for licensure as a clinical mental health counselor. Upon graduation, students need to complete two years of practice (3000 clinical hours) and pass a state exam to be eligible for licensure. This online clinical psychology degree is approved by the New York State Education Department and can be completed in approximately two years or 60 credit hours. Students are provided with a mentor to offer guidance throughout the program. This program is designed for those looking to work 1:1 with individuals in a therapeutic environment.
Courses: Children and Adolescent Counseling and Therapy; Family Counseling and Therapy; Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Career Development; Counseling Supervision and Practice; Clinical Counseling Comprehensive Examination
By Kelley Jacobs