Popular Accredited Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology in Alabama [2024]

Alabama has emerged as a hub for students seeking to advance their careers through online learning. Among the diverse offerings, online master’s degrees in psychology stand out for their flexibility, accessibility, and comprehensive curriculum designed to meet the needs of working professionals.

Whether you are looking to enhance your career in mental health services, research, or any field requiring a deep understanding of human behavior, Alabama’s online master’s programs in psychology offer a pathway to achieving your goals while accommodating your schedule.

In this guide, we will explore some of the popular online psychology master’s programs in Alabama, highlighting the unique features, opportunities, and potential career paths.

Best Accredited Online Master's Degrees in Psychology in Alabama

Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology in Alabama

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering online master’s in psychology in Alabama:

  • University of Alabama
  • University of West Alabama
  • Faulkner University
  • Troy University
  • Auburn University at Montgomery
  • Northwestern University
  • Capella University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Southern New Hampshire University

University of Alabama

Online Master of Arts (MA) – Educational Psychology

The University of Alabama offers a 30-credit online MA in Educational Psychology program that prepares you to help learners across various industries by employing assessment, measurement, and evaluation processes, grounded in fundamental psychological theories. By completing this program, you will be equipped to design a safe, inclusive, and effective learning environment as you advance in your career.

This program is designed to offer you a comprehensive understanding of current theories and practices in cognition and learning sciences, educational research and program evaluation, social and cultural bases of behavior, and human development throughout the lifespan.

Whether you are evaluating K-12 education or assessing employees in Fortune 500 companies, this 100% online program combines the study of human behavior with educational assessment and measurement. It trains you to consider numerous factors, including aptitude, personality, behavior, and learning preferences.

If you are considering further education towards an educational specialist or doctoral degree in educational research or educational psychology, the MA in Educational Psychology can act as a bridge. However, this degree does not qualify you for certification or to become a school psychologist.

A critical component of your graduate training involves active participation in courses. The coursework requirements for the MA degree options in Educational Psychology are outlined below, requiring 30 graduate credit hours. During the program, you will take the following courses:

  1. Introduction to Education Research
  2. Statistical Methods in Education
  3. Evaluation of Classroom Learning
  4. Evaluation I: Theory and Practice
  5. Advanced Educational Psychology
  6. Motivation and Self-Regulation
  7. Learning and Cognition
  8. Social and Cultural Basis of Behavior
  9. Life Span Development
  10. Non-Thesis Research

Upon your initial acceptance into the program, you will be assigned a temporary faculty advisor. You have the option to choose a permanent advisor after starting your coursework. Advisors are there to help you with planning your coursework, registering for courses, completing program planning records, portfolio evaluations, and other activities. You are expected to keep your Program Planning Records updated with your advisor to ensure you are meeting your coursework requirements.

As a degree candidate in this educational psychology program, you must successfully pass written comprehensive examinations before being awarded your degree. The specific procedures for these examinations are developed in collaboration with your advisor.

This degree paves the way for career opportunities in both the education and business sectors. In education, potential roles include a testing coordinator for school districts, administering special education and state-mandated testing. In the business world, you might work in roles assessing prospective employees’ fit within a company or analyzing employees’ work styles. It is important to note that this degree does not lead to a career as a school psychologist.

Graduates also find employment in assessment and testing services, education and curriculum design, and leadership roles within government agencies, corporations, nonprofits, and in youth ministries and counseling.

Admission to the Master of Arts in Educational Psychology requires:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0, or a 3.0 average for the last 60 hours in a degree program, or a 3.0 or higher in a completed graduate degree program for regular admission consideration.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A completed UA Graduate School application.
  • Three letters of recommendation that align with the program’s goals.
  • You may start the program in the fall, spring, or summer semester as applications are accepted each semester.

To be eligible for UA Online scholarships, you must complete a scholarship application annually and be currently enrolled or admitted to the University before applying. The application is available online through myBama.

University of West Alabama

Online Master of Science (MS) –  Experimental Psychology

You can fain a solid foundation in the principles of scholarly research with the University of West Alabama’s online master’s in experimental psychology. You will enhance the research skills acquired during your undergraduate studies, including critical thinking, search methods, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and research presentation.

The courses are delivered by faculty members who hold PhDs in various experimental psychology fields. You will benefit from one-on-one mentoring by a psychology faculty member from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at UWA, allowing you to complete your degree entirely online at one of the state’s most affordable institutions.

This program is perfectly suited if you are looking to add a research component to your education or experience, aiding in preparation for a PhD program. It is also ideal for if you are seeking training in statistics and research methods, which are highly sought after by employers.

As a graduate, you could find research assistant positions in a broad range of clinical and academic settings within social or behavioral sciences, health psychology, medical research, and similar fields.

You have the option to choose from one of the following tracks:

  • General Track: Prepares you for a doctoral program in psychology, requiring you to complete a Thesis – an original research project. You will engage in general coursework and select electives that match your interests.
  • Clinical Psychology Track: Enhances critical thinking and research skills along with a clinical perspective. While this degree can help meet some requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), it does not, by itself, fulfill all the requirements for LPC or other counseling licenses. This track also prepares you for a PhD in research or a clinical field.
  • Health and Sports Psychology Track: Prepares you for clinical roles in health and sports psychology, focusing on skills needed for careers in these areas. This track is also suitable for those aiming for doctoral studies or other career paths.

Your academic journey at the University of West Alabama is designed to be seamless and supportive. From your application process, you will receive guidance from an enrollment counselor, and once enrolled, a personal success coach will be available to assist with any needs or questions you might have.

Application deadlines are March 15 for Fall admission and August 15 for Spring admission, with programs starting at the beginning of these semesters.

To apply, ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • Graduation from an accredited institution with a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA or a Master’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Completion of at least 9 hours of undergraduate psychology courses.
  • A minimum score of 280 on the GRE (Verbal and Quantitative combined) and a minimum of 3 on the Written portion.
  • Submission of a complete application packet including all transcripts, GRE scores, a statement of purpose detailing your research interests and potential faculty mentors, a 3-5 page writing sample, and a list of 3 academic references with comprehensive contact details.
  • Completion of an online application and submission of official transcripts.

UWA may accept up to 9 hours of graduate-level coursework from other programs that match its curriculum. The University of West Alabama is committed to affordability, offering a wide range of financial aid options, with approximately 80 percent of students receiving some form of financial assistance.

Faulkner University

Online Master of Science (MS) in Psychology

Faulkner University offers a fully online Master of Science in Psychology program. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, Faulkner University offers two Master of Science in Psychology pathways within the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. You have the option to specialize in either a Disability Services Track or a General Track in psychology.

If you are interested in deepening your understanding of psychology or seeking career paths that leverage insights into human behavior and psychological principles, the General Track is tailored for you. This track features courses led by faculty members with a wealth of experience in the field, integrating Christian perspectives into the study of psychology.

On the other hand, the Disability Services Track is designed to prepare you for impactful roles in human and social services, focusing on working with individuals with disabilities and special needs.

The Disability Services Track aims to prepare you for dynamic careers in various sectors by offering a curriculum that combines essential psychology courses with specialized electives. You will explore the legal, organizational, and sociocultural dimensions of disability rights, needs, and services. Completing this track means earning a Master of Science in Psychology with a total of 36 credit hours of graduate-level psychology coursework.

Depending on your preference and life commitments, you can choose to accelerate your studies and complete the program in one year by taking two courses simultaneously, or spread your coursework over two years by taking one course at a time.

As a graduate of the Disability Services Track, you will be well-equipped for a range of roles in disability services and related areas. Whether you are interested in direct support positions such as counseling and case management, or administrative roles coordinating support services, you will find opportunities in diverse settings, including public and private schools, higher education institutions, government agencies, healthcare systems, community organizations, and private corporations.

Choosing the General Track will equip you with the technical and analytical skills needed for careers in education, public health, consulting, human resources, social services, marketing, and medical research. This track also serves as a foundation for further academic pursuits, including doctoral studies.

The Master of Science in Psychology program can be completed swiftly in a year if you opt for a full course load, or you can extend it to two years by taking a more measured pace with your studies.

Admission to this psychology degree program requires a solid foundation in undergraduate psychology coursework, including General Psychology, Human Development, Research Methods, and Statistics. If you haven’t completed these prerequisites, you may still be considered for conditional admission, provided you agree to an approved plan to fulfill these requirements.

To apply, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and submit a comprehensive graduate application, including:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities you’ve attended (you’ll need to request these transcripts using an Official Transcript Request form, which may involve a fee).
  • A personal statement of 500-600 words.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

It’s important to note that the Master of Science in Psychology program at Faulkner University does not meet the licensure requirements in Alabama. If you are considering working in other states, it’s crucial to investigate the specific licensure and certification prerequisites in those regions.

Troy University

Online Master of Science (MS) – Psychology

If you are seeking a graduate degree that paves the way for careers in post-secondary education, government and social services, or within both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, you should consider the Master of Science in Psychology at Troy University.

With expert faculty researchers guiding you, Troy’s in-depth psychology graduate program is also an excellent stepping stone for doctoral studies in psychology and related fields. Opting for full-time study, you can complete this entirely online master’s degree in psychology in just 17 to 19 months, without the need for a GRE. You have the flexibility to choose between a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on your career aspirations and academic goals.

Troy’s program stands out for its comprehensive, customizable nature, and its delivery is 100% online, maintaining the high academic standards you would expect from an in-person graduate psychology program. By selecting psychology classes that align with your specific interests and career objectives, you will build upon foundational core courses, such as Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues.

If you are aiming to kickstart or advance your career in psychology or a related field, or if you are eyeing roles in the corporate or private sectors, the non-thesis track is ideal for you. On the other hand, if you are aiming to pursuing an education specialist degree or a doctorate, the thesis track would be the better choice for you.

The Master of Science in Psychology at Troy equips graduates with a solid psychological foundation in research and theory, making you well-prepared for employment opportunities not only within psychology but also in fields such as social sciences and human services.

During the program, you will develop advanced skills in critical thinking, interpersonal communication, research design and reporting, ethics, cultural diversity, the American Psychological Association (APA) writing skills, and in-depth knowledge of psychological theories.

Depending on your choice between the non-thesis, 33-credit track, or the thesis, 36-credit track, you can complete your master’s in psychology at Troy in 17 to 19 months. To graduate, you must complete 36 semester hours, including 6 hours of thesis research for the thesis option, or 33 semester hours, including 3 hours of a capstone course and a successful written comprehensive exam for the non-thesis option, all while maintaining an overall grade point average of 3.0.

Upon completing this degree, you will be capable of:

  • Identifying, describing, and applying psychology’s concepts and principles.
  • Outlining psychological research, including experimental design, measurement, analysis, and application.
  • Demonstrating cultural competence in a global environment.
  • Utilizing  Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct to make ethical decisions.
  • Applying psychological theory and research skills to professional work and/or further study in psychology.

By earning your master’s in psychology from Troy, you will enhance your ability to understand people and their behaviors, preparing you for a variety of career paths, including those in the business and education sectors.

After graduating, you will be ready to apply the knowledge gained from Troy’s psychology graduate program across a range of careers. You will find opportunities in nonprofit and for-profit organizations, business, governmental agencies, social and community outreach organizations, and educational institutions. Potential job titles include post-secondary psychology instructor, research assistant, residential advisor, social service worker, academic advisor, and family services coordinator.

To enroll in this program, you must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited or equivalent foreign university with a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, or a 3.0 grade point average on the last 30 semester hours.

Additionally, you are required to provide an official Troy University Letter of Recommendation that speaks to your potential for success in the chosen graduate program and your written and oral communication skills.

What Can I Do With a Master’s in Psychology in Alabama?

With a Master’s in Psychology in Alabama, you have a wide array of career paths and opportunities available to you, spanning across various sectors including healthcare, education, business, and government.

The specific job you can get might depend on your area of specialization within psychology, as well as any additional certifications or licenses you may pursue. Here’s an overview of potential career options:

  1. Mental Health Counselor or Therapist: With additional certification or licensure, you can work in mental health services providing counseling to individuals, groups, or families. Alabama requires licensure for counselors, so you’ll need to meet the state’s specific requirements.
  2. School Counselor: After obtaining the necessary certification, you can work in K-12 schools, helping students with academic, personal, social, and career development issues.
  3. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist: Although some positions in this field may require a doctoral degree, with a master’s, you can start working in human resources, organizational development, or employee training and development sectors.
  4. Higher Education Instructor or Administrator: You can teach psychology courses at community colleges or some universities, or work in administrative positions within higher education institutions.
  5. Behavior Analyst: Specializing in behavior analysis can lead to opportunities working with individuals with autism or other developmental disorders. Certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) may be required.
  6. Human Services Manager: You can manage programs and oversee staff in organizations that provide social services to the public.
  7. Correctional Treatment Specialist: Work within the criminal justice system to assess and rehabilitate offenders.
  8. Healthcare Facility Administrator: Oversee operations, staff, and provide administrative support in mental health clinics, hospitals, or other healthcare facilities.
  9. Policy Analyst: Work for government agencies or non-profit organizations analyzing policies related to mental health, education, and social services.
  10. Substance Abuse Counselor: With additional certification, you can specialize in counseling individuals struggling with addiction.

It’s important to note that while a Master’s in Psychology provides a strong foundation for these careers, some positions may require specific licensure or additional certifications, especially those involving direct clinical work.

What is the Difference Between an MA and MS in Psychology?

The difference between an MA and MS in psychology often lies in the focus and curriculum structure of the programs, although the distinctions can vary by university.

MA programs tend to emphasize the liberal arts aspect of psychology. They often focus more on qualitative research methods and theoretical foundations of psychology. MA degrees might lean towards the understanding and application of psychological principles in counseling, education, organizational psychology, and other applied psychology fields. Courses may include more humanities and social sciences electives, and the program might be more suited for students interested in direct clinical practice or further doctoral studies in psychology or counseling.

MS programs usually have a stronger emphasis on the scientific and quantitative aspects of psychology. They often focus more on research methodology, statistical analysis, and experimental psychology. An MS degree is typically geared towards students interested in the scientific research side of psychology, including working in research positions, pursuing a PhD, or specializing in areas like neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, or experimental psychology. The curriculum might include more coursework in science and math, and a thesis based on empirical research is often a requirement.

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