This ranking focuses on the most affordable small colleges for a master’s degree in psychology.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that available positions in psychology are expected to grow much faster than average, making psychology a popular choice for graduate studies, especially master’s degrees in psychology. Although there are many factors to consider when choosing a graduate program that fits an individual’s needs, preferences, and career goals, cost is a top concern for many of today’s students. In order to assist those individuals achieve their dreams, we’ve curated this ranking of the country’s most affordable options for acquiring a master’s degree in psychology.
This list was compiled after searching College Navigator for all schools in the United States offering master’s degrees in psychology with a total undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 7,000. Tuition figures are taken from the same source. This is a subjective list.
#48 – University of Baltimore
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,622
The University of Baltimore offers a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology with concentrations in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Counseling Psychology. The Counseling concentration allows students to choose between a Science specialization and a Practitioner specialization. Both of these psychology master’s degree options give students knowledge in counseling theory, ethics, and psychopathology, but only the Practitioner specialization leads to licensure. The Industrial and Organizational concentration trains students to work in global, government, and business settings as leaders. Both of these concentrations offer classes in the evening to accommodate working students.
#47 – Emporia State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,994
Emporia State University offers a Master of Science in Psychology with concentrations in Experimental Psychology and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The Experimental concentration prepares students to work in a lab or enter a doctoral program through projects and a research internship. Students in this master’s degree in psychology program also have ample opportunities to participate in research and presentation opportunities. The Industrial/Organizational concentration takes a more applied approach to psychology and prepares students to work in human resources and business settings. Some graduate assistantships are also available.
#46 – Montana State University – Billings
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,839
Montana State University – Billings offers a Master of Science in Psychology program. This program can be completed in five semesters and prepares students both for study at a doctoral level and work in mental health, government, and business settings. Master degree in psychology students at MSBU enjoy small classes that foster meaningful interactions with faculty and peers. Students have the opportunity to conduct research alongside faculty and work as graduate assistants. Students can also choose between a thesis and a clinical internship for their final project.
#45 – Goddard College
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,578
Goddard College’s Master of Arts in Psychology program provides quality instruction at an affordable price. Faculty and coursework are demanding, but students are still given some flexibility to incorporate their interests into their work. The master’s degree in psychology program includes an internship for credit, a capstone or thesis project, and elective courses. The amount of electives required depends on the licensure criteria in the student’s anticipated state of employment and concentration requirements. Students are also able to use their elective credits to pursue the Expressive Arts Therapy Emphasis or Sexual Orientation Concentration.
#44 – Golden Gate University – San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,200
Golden Gate University – San Francisco offers a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. This program is designed for individuals who wish to become licensed Marriage and Family Therapists or Professional Clinical Counselors. In this psychology master’s degree program, students gain hands-on experience in settings such as hospitals and private practices. They are required to complete at least 350 face-to-face clinical contact hours – more than the amount required for licensure from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. This program also offers both full-time and part-time enrollment options.
#43 – North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,984
Located in one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S., North Carolina Central University’s Master of Arts in Psychology program prepares its students for a wide variety of fields as well as further graduate study at leading to the doctorate. However, this clinical concentration is primarily designed for those interested in practicing psychology and providing health services as defined by the North Carolina Psychology Act. While enrolled in the NCCU master degree in psychology program, students enjoy a diverse and competitive community of their peers as well as a low student to faculty ratio.
#42 – Virginia State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,912
The Department of Psychology at Virginia State University offers a Master of Science degree with concentrations in Clinical Psychology and General Psychology. The Clinical Psychology concentration is recommended for students interested in working as counselors in the public health sector. Many of these students go on to pursue the Licensed Professional Counselor credential and work in settings such as hospitals, mental health agencies, or prisons. Students who wish to become teachers, become researchers, or study towards the doctorate are encouraged to choose the General Psychology concentration as part of their master’s degree in psychology program.
#41 – Pittsburg State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,110
Students at Pittsburg State University can pursue a Master of Science in Psychology with either a General or Clinical Emphasis. Students who choose the General emphasis may not enroll in internships or practicums, and they do not qualify for any licensure or certification upon degree completion. Students taking the program in Clinical Psychology, however, are required to complete a 750 clock hour internship and practicum sequence. This psychology master’s degree program is also accredited by MPAC (Masters in Psychology Accrediting Council).
#40 – Auburn University at Montgomery
Out-of-State Tuition: $14,094
Auburn University at Montgomery’s Master of Science in Psychology program lasts roughly two years and uses a scientist practitioner model. This master degree in psychology program is intentionally kept small, giving students plenty of individual attention from professors. The program also gives its students a broad understanding in theory, research, and application in order to prepare them for a variety of opportunities, including counseling, research, and further education. A few graduate assistantships are available in teaching, research, and administration on a competitive basis.
#39 – Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Out-of-State Tuition: $14,039
Fayetteville State University’s Psychology Department offers its students a Master of Arts in Psychology. This program has two tracks – Counseling and Experimental Psychology. The longer, 60-semester hour Counseling Track prepares students for a career in counseling in a variety of settings. Students in this track are encouraged to develop a personal counseling style and apply it to both individual and group practice experiences. The 36-semester hour Experimental Psychology Track is designed to give students a foundation in research methodology, experimental design, and statistics. Most students in this particular psychology master’s degree program go on to earn a Doctorate in Psychology.
#38 – Clayton State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $13,507
Clayton State University offers an MS in Clinical/Counseling Psychology as well as an MSP in Psychology (Applied Developmental). Both of these master’s degrees in psychology are meant to be terminal degrees that use a community-oriented training model and extensive research preparation. Both programs also prepare students for doctoral training. The MSP in Psychology (Applied Developmental) program is designed for students who plan to work specifically with children and adolescence, whereas the MS in Clinical/Counseling Psychology program prepares its students to work with a broader range of individuals.
#37 – Governors State University
University Park, Illinois
Out-of-State Tuition: $13,392
Governors State University’s Master of Arts in Psychology program offers both a sequence in Clinical Psychology and a sequence in Theoretical Psychology. The Clinical Sequence uses the scientist-practitioner model to prepare students to work in various clinical settings and earn licensure as professional counselors. The Theoretical Sequence prepares students to work in research settings or teach at a community college. Both master’s degrees in psychology prepare students to enter a doctorate program, and both foster sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.
#36 – University of Phoenix – Colorado
Lone Tree, Colorado
Out-of-State Tuition: $13,290
The University of Phoenix – Colorado offers a Master of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. In this 63-credit master’s degree in psychology program, students are trained to apply critical thinking and communication skills to community intervention and human services programs. Students also gain practical, hands-on experience with diverse patients in a variety of settings. Classes are small and held in the evenings to accommodate working students’ schedules. Curriculum addresses current issues and trends in counseling, and all faculty members have direct experience in the field. By graduation, students are expected to be competent and ethical counselors.
#35 – Cambridge College
Out-of-State Tuition: $13,240
The School of Psychology and Counseling at Cambridge College offers several master’s degrees in psychology, including Counseling Psychology, School Adjustment and Mental Health Counseling, and Psychological Studies. These programs are especially well-known for serving an older-than-average demographic as well as both new and experienced practitioners. Students who complete these programs are well-prepared for licensure and other professional credentials, and the programs are updated to account for changes to state licensure regulations. Degrees can also be augmented with certain concentrations such as Trauma Studies and Addiction Counseling.
#34 – University of the Virgin Islands
Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,600
The University of the Virgin Islands offers a Master of Arts in Psychology with a Counseling concentration. This psychology master’s degree does not lead to licensing, but it equips students with the experience and knowledge to work in several different counseling and social service settings. The program uses a scientist-practitioner model to give students a foundation in research, human development, and psychopathology. Because fieldwork is a significant part of this program, students are required to complete at least 1,200 clock hours of supervised internship.
#33 – Washburn University
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,456
Washburn University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program. Students in this program have several opportunities to gain hands-on experience. They begin interacting with clients during their first semester, and a large number of internship sites are available for students to choose from. After graduation from this master degree in psychology program, students are eligible for licensure as a Temporary Licensed Master’s Level Psychology. WU graduates are highly sought after by employers for their experience and training in empirically supported treatments.
#32 – Calumet College of Saint Joseph
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,420
The Master of Arts in Psychology program at the Calumet College of Saint Joseph combines both clinical and theoretical psychology to give students a strong foundation in research and therapy. Classes are offered in a concentrated format over seven or 14-week time periods, and most students take at least one course each summer. Courses comprising this psychology master’s degree include Crisis Intervention, Intellectual and Cognitive Assessment, and Brief Therapeutic Approaches. All students complete an internship. The Calumet College of St. Joseph also offers some graduate assistantships.
#31 – Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,258
The Master of Science in Psychological Science at Shippensburg University offers a Research Track, an Applied Track, and a General Track. The Research Track is designed for students interested in entering a doctoral program, and the General/Reading Track is for individuals who need basic courses for professional credentials or career advances. Students who plan to work in the industry should select the Applied Track. This track includes two semesters of field experience and courses with more applied emphases.
#30 – University of West Alabama
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,024
The University of West Alabama offers a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology in both online and on-campus formats. All students receive ample specialized attention, even students taking the online format. This psychology master’s degree program includes travel abroad opportunities, publication opportunities, and teaching assistant opportunities. Several related electives are also available, allowing students to take courses that match their interests and intended occupation. Students graduate with the training in statistics and research methods required to successfully find employment or enter a doctoral program.
#29 -California University of Pennsylvania
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,258
California University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Science in School Psychology. This program focuses on special education by combining child psychology, education, and human development. It aims to train future school psychologists in crisis intervention, group counseling, and assessment of disability and risk. Most full-time students can complete this master degree in psychology program in 14 months. The degree alone does not qualify individuals to practice as a school psychologist; the MS plus certification program is also available to give students the extra coursework and internship required for state certification.
#28 -Bowie State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,132
Bowie State University offers an MED in School Counseling, MA in Counseling Psychology, MA in Mental Health Counseling, and MA in School Psychology. All of these master’s degrees in psychology require the completion of an internship or practicum experience. The MA in Counseling Psychology gives students the broad foundation needed to work in non-educational settings. The MA in Mental Health Counseling gives students the option to meet the criteria for initial state licensure. Both of these programs focus heavily on interpersonal relationships, which demands student commitment.
#27 – Madonna University
Out-of-State Tuition: $11,700
The Psychology Department at Madonna University offers a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. Students in this program learn to assess, diagnose, and treat psychological distress and mental distress in a wide variety of patients. The program prepares students for clinical work through demanding practicum training and assessments as well as rigorous coursework. Topics studied over the course of this master degree in psychology program include psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytic approaches, research design, and advanced clinical methods. Practicum training is taken over a three-semester sequence with each semester focusing on a different area of clinical psychology.
#26 – Carlos Albizu University – Miami
Out-of-State Tuition: $11,160
Carlos Albizu University – Miami offers several master’s degrees in psychology, including an MS in Industrial Psychology (available in both online and on-campus formats), an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, and an MS in Mental Health Counseling. Classes are small, and AU’s location in Miami, Florida enables its graduate programs to connect with more than 100 nearby practicum sites. Most professors are highly experienced and practice in the field, allowing them to bring relevant knowledge and examples to the classroom.
#25 – Alaska Pacific University
Out-of-State Tuition: $11,120
The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program at Alaska Pacific University is designed to give a wide variety of students the community, experience, and support they need to reach their personal goals. Students gain plenty of hands-on experience through year-long internships and work with highly-qualified faculty and closely-knit learning communities. This experience and networking help students find employment quickly after graduation. This master’s degree in psychology program is demanding, but flexible scheduling and few pre-requisites make it accessible to working professionals.
#24 – Brandman University
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,800
Brandman University offers a Master of Arts in Psychology program with concentrations in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Professional Clinical Counseling. A combined Marriage and Family Counseling and Professional Clinical Counseling concentration is also available. All of these master’s degrees in psychology meet the education requirements for state licensure, and some exceed the requirements. They also include work under supervision in a counselling setting. The amount of concentrations and California campuses available make it easy for students to take courses that are relevant to their career path.
#23 – University of Guam
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,602
The Master of Science in Clinical Psychology program at the University of Guam uses a scientist-practitioner model to train its students for work in Guam and the Micronesian region. Because of the region’s multicultural communities, this psychology master’s degree places an emphasis on the cultural and political contexts of clinical psychology. Students who complete the program are not only prepared to study at the doctoral level, but also prepared to work with a wide range of patients in the Guam, Micronesia, and Asia Pacific region.
#22 – Martin University
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,314
Martin University offers a Master of Science in Community Psychology program. This program is designed for students who plan to enter mental health professions, specifically professions in addiction facilities, correctional facilities, public and private mental health counseling centers, and other community settings. This master degree in psychology program includes experiential learning opportunities and incorporates a multicultural approach to both hands-on experiences and coursework. While this is not a general program, it still thoroughly prepares students to enter a doctorate program.
#21 – Northern Michigan University
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,152
The Department of Psychology at Northern Michigan University offers the following master’s degrees in psychology: Training and Human Performance Improvement, General Psychology, and Applied Behavior Analysis. The Training and Human Performance Improvement program prepares students to become effective team leaders and contribute to organizational success. Students in the General Psychology program are prepared to enter a doctoral program or find employment in a research setting. The Applied Behavior Analysis program also prepares students to pursue education at a doctoral level, but prepares them to work in applied settings as well.
#20 – Angelo State University
San Angelo, Texas
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,146
Angelo State University’s Master of Science in Applied Psychology program is offered completely online. All required courses and electives are offered in an online format, but students have the option to take some electives in a traditional format. Students also have the opportunity to work alongside expert faculty on research projects. Additionally, this master’s degree in psychology allows students to take courses that are relevant to their career goals. This flexibility coupled with the online format makes Angelo State ideal for working adults who want to enter the field or advance in their current workplace.
#19 – Texas A&M University – Texarkana
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,096
Texas A&M University – Texarkana offers master’s degrees in psychology including programs in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling, as well a Master of Science in Psychology. The Clinical Mental Health program prepares its students to take the state licensing exam. Students who complete the School Counseling program can go on to pursue certification as an All-Level Counselor in the State of Texas or employment in other counseling positions. The MS in Psychology program is for individuals interested in researching or teaching psychology. Elective counseling courses available include Psychopharmacology for Counselors and Child and Adolescent Psychology.
#18 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,080
The master’s degree in psychology program at Southwestern Assemblies of God University prides itself in its support and flexibility. Courses are offered online and on campus during the evenings to accommodate working students. Both formats give students access to all on-campus support and facilities. The program is divided into a professional component, research component, and a practicum component. Students must complete 300 clock hours of fieldwork experience to graduate. Courses include Clinical Psychopathology, Methods and Techniques in Counseling, and Cognitive Assessment.
#17 – University of South Dakota
Vermillion, South Dakota
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,061
The University of South Dakota offers a Master of Arts in Psychology. However, this degree is not offered as a terminal degree, but is earned in the process of earning the PhD degree. Available specializations include Clinical Psychology and Human Psychology. Topics studied over the course of the psychology master’s degree include Personality Theories, Research Design and Statistics, and Developmental Psychology. This program includes several seminars and an oral examination. Students who complete this program are well prepared to work in a variety of settings and quickly find employment.
#16 – Texas A&M International University
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,882
Texas A&M International University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology. The MA in Counseling Psychology prepares students to become licensed psychology associates or licensed professional counselors. TAMIU’s location in border city Laredo, Texas also gives students in this master degree in psychology program the opportunity to work with Spanish-speaking populations and pursue a bilingual (Spanish-English) counselor certificate. Students in the MS in Psychology program study topics such as Research Design and Statistics, Cognitive Science, and Human Memory.
#15 – The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,538
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a Master of Arts in Psychology with concentrations in Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychology. The Clinical Psychology concentration has two tracks: a practitioner track and a doctoral preparation track. This concentration uses the scientist-practitioner model to prepare students for either practice as licensed counselors or enrollment in a doctoral program. The Experimental Psychology concentration prepares students to work in research settings. This master degree in psychology program is small and places an emphasis on working closely with faculty on research projects.
#14 – National Louis University
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,378
The Master of Arts in Psychology program at National Louis University is designed to accommodate working adults with a wide range of career goals. Courses can be taken both online and in the evening, and an accelerated format allows students to complete the program in 18 months. Classes are small, allowing students to have meaningful interactions with peers and highly-qualified faculty. The cohort model used in this master degree in psychology program also gives students the support and professional community they need after graduation.
#12 – Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, California
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,000
Touro University Worldwide’s Master of Arts in Psychology program is completely online and offers concentrations in Media Psychology and Educational Psychology. Students in this program learn to apply psychology to different industries by working through relevant and difficult case studies. Topics studied include social psychology, segmentation and marketing strategy, and research methods. This psychology master’s degree program does not lead to any licensure, but it prepares students to pursue doctoral education or career advancement in business, education, marketing, and media.
#11 – Frostburg State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $8,262
Frostburg State University’s Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program features small classes, community support, and experiential learning opportunities. One unique experiential learning opportunity is individual therapy that allows students to experience the role of the client. Students are also required to complete a year-long internship. This mater degree in psychology program can be completed in three years and prepares students for licensure as clinical professional counselors. Graduates from this program are reported to be successful in finding employment as college counselors, mental health counselors, and drug and alcohol counselors.
#10 – Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $8,159
Northwestern Oklahoma State University offers a Master of Counseling Psychology program. This program gives its students the knowledge and experience required to become a licensed professional counselor. Students are required to complete 300 clock hours of practicum experience over two semesters. Courses include Counseling Strategies and Techniques, Advanced Abnormal Psychology, and Multicultural Counseling. Completion of this master’s degree in psychology program does not qualify students for any professional licensure, but the extra courses needed are offered at NWOSU.
#9 – University of the West
Out-of-State Tuition: $7,713
The University of the West offers a Master of Arts in Psychology program with unique tracks in Buddhist Psychology and Multicultural Counseling with Generalist Focus. Both tracks train students to work with a wide variety of clients, but the Buddhist Psychology track specifically explores Eastern and Buddhist concepts that can be used in Western counseling settings. Courses in these specialty tracks are taken in place of electives. This psychology master’s degree also meets the prerequisites for a Marriage and Family Therapy license.
#8 – William Carey University
Out-of-State Tuition: $7,560
William Carey University offers a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program that balances theory with practical experience. All students in this program complete a general core curriculum, but they can gain specialization through one of several concentrations and endorsements. Available concentrations include Christian Counseling, Gerontology Counseling, School Psychometry, and Child and Adolescent Counseling. This master degree in psychology prepares students to pursue licensure as professional counselors or employment in a variety of counseling settings, such as nursing homes, churches, and schools.
#7 – Kaplan University – Augusta
Out-of-State Tuition: $7,200
Kaplan University’s Master of Science in Psychology program is offered in an online format only. Students in this program can choose to specialize in Addictions, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, or General Psychology. Every specialization except for General Psychology offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a practicum. Kaplan University also offers multiple start dates for this program. These multiple start dates and the online format make this program great for working students. This master’s degree in psychology does not lead to state licensure.
#6 – Framingham State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $7,050
The Department of Psychology at Framingham State University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology that prepares its students for licensure as mental health counselors. This program trains students to be effective and ethical counselors by combining theory with practical experience. All students in this psychology master’s degree program complete at least 600 clock hours of internship over two semesters. Students are also required to complete three summer courses. Students whose career path will not require state licensure may choose to enroll in the non-licensure track.
#5 – Texas Southern University
Out-of-State Tuition: $6,592
Texas Southern University offers a Master of Arts in Psychology program with concentrations in School Psychology and Community Clinical Psychology. The Community Clinical Psychology concentration trains students to apply psychology to a variety of settings. Students in this concentration can also take courses more focused on developing research competencies. The School Psychology concentration is for students who specifically plan to work in school settings. Both of these master’s degrees in psychology require the completion of an internship. Students who complete either program are eligible for state licensure.
#4 – New Mexico Highlands University
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Out-of-State Tuition: $5,952
New Mexico Highlands University offers a Master of Science in Psychology with concentrations in General Psychology and Clinical Psychology. Students in both of these master’s degrees in psychology focus on the science and research aspect of the field. The General Psychology concentration is designed for students interested in enrolling in a doctoral program or working in a non-clinical position. The Clinical Psychology/Counseling track is for students who plan to conduct psychological assessment and training as a clinician. Neither of these concentrations are designed for students who are only interested in providing psychotherapy.
#3 – Westfield State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $5,040
Westfield State University offers a Master of Arts in Psychology with several concentrations, including Applied Behavior and Analysis, Forensic Mental Health Counseling, and School Adjustment Counseling. All master’s degrees in psychology prepare students for professional licensure except for the concentration in School Adjustment Counseling. Most students in this program complete a practicum. Students who graduate from this program are prepared to work in a variety of business, healthcare, and community settings or pursue education at the doctoral level.
#2 – Midwestern State University
Wichita Falls, Texas
Out-of-State Tuition: $4,842
Midwestern State University’s MA program in Clinical/Counseling Psychology is one of only two programs in the state of Texas that are nationally accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council. This program is primarily designed to prepare students to become master’s level clinicians, but also provides the knowledge and experience required to enter a doctoral program. Students in this master’s degree in psychology program are trained in various theories of personality, methods of therapy, and principles of assessment.
#1 – Salem State University
Out-of-State Tuition: $4,140
Salem State University offers an MS in Counseling and Psychological Services, an MS in Behavior Analysis, and an MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The MS in Counseling and Psychological Services program offers three concentrations and is flexible enough for working students to complete. The MS in Behavior Analysis is also flexible and offers several research opportunities. The MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology program is the only psychology master’s degree program of its kind in the Boston area.