Online Master of Science Degree in Psychology

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Ready to learn more about the Master of Science in Psychology?

Program at a Glance
  • Choose one of five concentrations: applied behavior analysis, addictions, forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, or general psychology.
  • Prepare to meet the educational requirements for certifications in behavior analysis or addictions.
  • Learn from psychology practitioners with extensive experience in the field. All faculty possess a doctorate degree and relevant industry credentials.
COURSE EFFORT 15 Hours per Week
How Do I Get Started?

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Master of Science in Psychology Overview

Our online master’s degree in psychology offers you an opportunity to blend the rich, academic tradition of psychology with the contemporary applications of science while allowing you to focus your studies in one of five concentrations: applied behavior analysis, addictions, forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, or general psychology.

This program emphasizes practical application so that you gain the tangible skills necessary to make a difference helping others, empowering people, and driving change. The master’s in psychology online program is designed to help you with the following:

  • Understand how contemporary theories relate to real-world situations faced in various psychology professions.
  • Evaluate and apply general psychological theories and concepts, as well as theories from your selected area of concentration, to various client-based situations within the field of psychology.
  • Apply theoretical and conceptual foundations of psychology as they relate to your area of concentration to arrive at evidence-based professional practice strategies.
  • Apply ethical, legal, individual, and sociocultural standards and guidelines set forth within your area of concentration and the field of psychology.

Before graduation, you have the choice of completing a thesis or passing a comprehensive exam.

Program Concentrations

Choose a concentration to develop specialized expertise in your chosen career path:

  • Addictions: Prepare to counsel clients who have problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling, and eating disorders.
  • Applied behavior analysis (ABA): Learn to use behavior concepts and theories and develop assessment and intervention skills that prepare you for a broad range of opportunities in applied behavior analysis working with individuals with different behavior-related issues, including those who are on the autism spectrum, have developmental delays, or experience cognitive and neurological issues.

    The program incorporates the Behavior Development Solutions Certified Behavior Analyst (BDS CBA) learning modules in all applied behavior analysis concentration courses to help you prepare for the BCBA exam (fee included).
  • Forensic psychology: Apply evidence-based psychological theories and concepts to develop strategies that advocate for populations in settings across the criminal and civil legal systems.
  • Industrial/organizational psychology: Apply psychological principles to the business world and explore the theories, methods, and practice of I/O psychology.
  • General psychology: Study learning and behavior approaches, neuropsychological perspectives and technologies, issues in psychopathology, and cognitive psychology.

See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to this program.

NAADAC Approved and NASAC Accredited

Purdue Global is a NAADAC Approved Education Provider. In addition, The Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in addictions is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).

Students who complete the addictions concentration will meet the coursework requirements to take the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) Master Addictions Counselor (MAC) certification exam.*

Applicants must meet additional requirements to qualify, including field experience and licensure requirements.

Course Sequence Verified by ABAI

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the course sequence of the applied behavior analysis concentration toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination®.*

View BACB exam pass rates.

Note: Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. Refer to the BACB’s website ( for full eligibility requirements. This program meets certification requirements for the BCaBA® examination in specific states. Refer to Licensure and State Authorization for additional information on licensure and state authorizations.

Career Opportunities

Due to the increased demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, and mental health centers, employment in this field is expected to grow from 2019 to 2029. Overall employment of substance abuse, behavior disorders, and mental health counselors in the U.S. is expected to grow 25% during the same period, more than six times the average for all occupations.

With a master’s degree in psychology from Purdue Global, you could find opportunities in areas such as human resources, employee assistance groups, business research facilities, educational settings, drug and alcohol treatment programs, criminal justice organizations, and law enforcement and civil legal settings.

Top 5 Skills Employers Are Looking for:

  1. Active Listening
  2. Service Orientation
  3. Social Perceptiveness
  4. Speaking
  5. Complex Problem Solving

Top Jobs With This Degree

Labor market, salary, and projected growth information are supplied by Emsi. Average salary range is based on national data. Projected growth represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018–2030) at the state level and is based on your geographic location. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement.

The professional practice of psychology is regulated by each state, and the degree requirements of this program do not guarantee or prepare you for licensure in any state upon graduation. It is important to note that, while earning a master’s degree in psychology may qualify you to work in the helping professions, a doctorate degree is required to become a psychologist and a medical degree is required to become a psychiatrist.

Explore Other Learning Opportunities

Learning Resources

The graduate resource center, ABA student site, and addictions student site offer resources to support students in the psychology master’s program.

You’ll also have access to CBA learning modules for ABA to supplement coursework and help you prepare to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination.

Connect Outside the Classroom

Students are invited to join organizations such as the Psychology Club, Psi Chi International Honor Society, and Autism Speaks U.

Free webinars are also available to support your learning outside of the classroom.

Take a Career Assessment

Discover your work interests and use them to chart your ideal career path.

Learn More

Curriculum focuses on the processes that guide the individual human experience and behavior, as well as the core knowledge, theories, and research in the field of psychology.

Select a thesis or a comprehensive exam as the program's culminating experience.


Sample Courses
  • Foundations of Professional Psychology
  • Testing, Measurement, and Assessment
  • Applied Statistics for Psychology
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Life Span Development
See All Psychology Courses

Choose from five concentrations: 

  • General psychology
  • Addictions
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Forensic psychology
  • Industrial/organizational psychology
Credit Breakdown
  • Core Credits40
  • Elective Credits25–35
  • Total Credits65–75
Credit Breakdown
  • Core Credits35
  • Elective Credits25–35
  • Total Credits60–70

Ways to Save

Program Cost Estimator

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Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.

View Psychology Faculty Directory
grad hat icon 98% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
diploma icon 48% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
tablet icon 264 Faculty publications in 2019–2020
student at desk icon More Than 45,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2019–2020

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, July 2020. 2019–2020 academic year.

Program Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about the master's degree in psychology and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.

View Brochure

*Refer to and for full eligibility requirements. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. The University cannot guarantee students will be eligible to sit for or pass exams. In some cases, work experience, additional coursework beyond the Purdue Global program, fieldwork, and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists,; Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.