The best online master’s in psychology with no GRE requirement

    Jeremy Coppock
    Jeremy Coppock

    Jeremy is an education researcher, journalist, and editor for Degreechoices. He majored in Slavic languages and has a master’s degree in Eastern European studies.

    He has previous experience as a fraud analyst, in-house translator, teacher, and truck driver.

    The best online master's in psychology with no GRE requirement

      Fewer and fewer master’s in psych programs are requiring the GRE.

      The best-value no-GRE online master’s in psych programs are at St. Cloud State University, Alliant International University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

      These programs outperform the average on-campus master’s in psych degree in terms of economic outcomes. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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      Did you know that psychology is the 7th most popular master’s degree in the country?

      With so much demand for psych programs, an increasing number of respected universities are offering degrees online. This, combined with a national trend away from standardized tests, means that people looking for an affordable online master’s in psychology with no GRE requirement have more and more quality options.

      In this article, we rank the best-value online master’s in psychology programs that don’t force you to take the GRE. Skip to the bottom of this article to find out how we made this list, and how we define “good value.”

      The best online master’s in psychology with no GRE

      1. St. Cloud State University

      St. Cloud State University, often abbreviated as SCSU, is a public university in Minnesota. Historically a teaching college, SCSU offers an online Master’s of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis.

      Students specialize in autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, community integration strategies, program evaluation, and organizational development and staff and training development.

      You can choose between a fully online and on-campus format for this program. To apply, you will need to submit your CV, undergraduate transcripts, a personal statement, and 3 letters of recommendation. No GRE required!

      2. Alliant International University

      Alliant International University is a private for-profit university with a main campus in San Diego and 5 additional campuses in San Francisco, LA, Irvine, Sacramento, Fresno, and Phoenix. Despite its brick-and-mortar appearance, many of its programs are also available entirely online!

      Psychology is no exception; AIU offers 4 online psychology degrees: an MA in Clinical Counseling, an MA in Marital and Family Therapy, an MA in Organizational Psychology, and an MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology.

      While these master’s level degrees do not require the GRE, you will need a 3.0 GPA, several letters of recommendation, and an interview with the school.

      3. University of Wisconsin Madison

      The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large public research university and the largest and oldest institution of higher learning in Wisconsin.

      It offers a 2-year master’s in educational psychology 100% online. The course is intended for educators who wish to apply the principles of psychology to become more effective teachers. While the GRE is not required, applicants will need 1 year or more of teaching experience and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Moreover, students must continue to teach during their studies.

      4. Touro University

      Touro University is a private Jewish university system with headquarters in New York, though it has campuses throughout the country and even abroad. Despite its religious affiliation, its graduate programs are open to people of all creeds.

      At the graduate level, Touro offers multiple psychology degrees, none of which requiring the GRE. These include its MS in Behavior Analysis, Master’s in Counseling: Addiction Specialization, MS in Forensic Psychology, MS in Industrial Organizational Psychology, among others.

      Check each program’s description on the site to find out which ones lead to licensure, and which are better suited to students who plan to pursue a doctorate.

      5. University of Southern California

      The University of Southern California is a prestigious research university in Los Angeles. It is one of the oldest private institutions of higher learning in the state.

      USC’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences offers a fully online Master of Science in Applied Psychology. This program blends consumer psychology with organizational psychology to prepare graduates to work in marketing, talent management, recruitment, and more. Its flexible curriculum allows students to balance their work life and studies.

      To apply, you will need undergraduate transcripts, a personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation, and a resume.

      6. National University

      National University is a private university headquartered in San Diego that offers a variety of online programs specifically designed for adult learners. These leverage a mix of asynchronous learning and real-time virtual classrooms.

      NU offers several online master’s degrees in psychology. Among them is the MA in Counseling Psychology, which sets up graduates to become professional counselors in the state of California. Students can choose between a traditional Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) option and a combined MFT/Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor option. This latter option is only for residents of California.

      You can also opt for an MA in Performance Psychology or an MA in Human Behavior.

      You do not need to take the GRE unless your undergraduate GPA is lower than 2.5.

      7. Western Connecticut State University

      A respected public university, Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), also known as WestConn, was founded in 1903 as a teacher’s college.

      It offers a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis – no GRE required. This online degree paves the way to becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. Courses include advanced concepts and principles of behavior analysis, behavior assessment, ethics and professional issues, behavior change procedures, and much more. There is also a Capstone Project.

      Potential applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8, submit a CV, and answer an essay question.

      8. Shenandoah University

      Shenandoah University is a private university is based in Winchester, Virginia that offers a variety of online programs. It is officially affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

      Shenandoah University offers a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis that can lead to a job in a variety of settings, including classrooms, homes, mental health centers, and corporations. Graduates work with people with autism, parents of challenging children, corporate executives, and more.

      The 4-semester online course does not require you to submit GRE scores, though you will need 3 letters of recommendation and your official transcripts.

      9. Lamar University

      Lamar University, also known as LU, is a public university in Beaumont, Texas. It has several online psychology degrees on offer for aspiring master’s students. These are listed under “Education,” as they result in an M.Ed. rather than an M.S. or M.A.

      Thus, psychology students can choose between a Master’s in Сlinical Mental Health Counseling, a Master’s in Counseling & Development – Marriage Couple & Family Counseling, and a Master’s in Counseling and Development with a Specialization in Professional School Counseling.

      All these programs comprise 60 credit hours.

      10. Simmons University

      Simmons University is a private university in Boston Massachusetts. Although it is mainly known as a women’s college, its graduate programs are coeducational. Many are available online. Simmons has no GRE requirement for master’s in psychology students.

      The university offers an online M.S. in Behavior Analysis that prepares graduates for the Board-Certified Behavior Analysis Exam in the state of Massachusetts, after which they can then practice as licensed professionals. The program is practice-based, and students must start working by the end of the first semester.

      11. University of North Dakota

      The University of North Dakota is a public research university with a main campus in Grand Forks.

      It offers a Master’s in Forensic Psychology that can be taken on-campus or online. The program takes 2 years (30 credits) to complete, and graduates can choose between M.A. and M.S. designations. The GRE is not listed as a requirement.

      Courses include psychology and law, behavior psychology, cognitive psychology, eyewitness testimony memory, and much more.

      12. Grand Canyon University

      Grand Canyon University is a private for-profit Christian university based in Phoenix. It is one of the largest Christian universities in the world by enrollment, and is affiliated with the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention.

      Grand Canyon offers many master’s in psychology programs, most of which are available online. These include master’s in clinical mental health counseling, mental health and wellness, addiction counseling, Christian counseling of substance use and addictive disorders, and many more.

      GCU does not ask for your GRE scores!

      13. Russell Sage College

      Russell Sage College, a private college established in 1916, has 2 campuses in New York State, although it also offers many online degrees.

      Students interested in an online psychology master’s with no GRE requirement can consider Russel Sage’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism. This online program, which takes 2 years to complete, satisfies coursework requirements and allows students to take the BCBA exam and become licensed behavior analysts.

      This program is unique for its special focus on autism. Courses include behavioral assessment, research in ABA, radical behaviorism and ABA, and much more.

      14. Franklin University

      Franklin University is a private university where most students study online. It is based in Columbus, Ohio. Its programs have a high proportion of older, non-traditional students.

      The university offers an online M.S. in Business Psychology that does not require the GRE. The program takes 14 months to complete. Classes are oriented towards the needs of business and involve learning from real-world professionals. You will learn about organizational intelligence, innovation & change management, marketing psychology, HR development, and more.

      15. American Public University

      Perhaps confusingly, American Public University is a private, for-profit university. APU is based in Charles Town, Virginia, and offers many online degrees that are flexible and well-suited for busy adult learners.

      Its online Master of Arts in Psychology doesn’t require the GRE, and it has a $0 application fee and transfer credit evaluation. The 40-credit program features concentrations in developmental/personality psychology, general psychology, military and trauma psychology, cyberpsychology, and more.

      16. Concordia University, Wisconsin

      A private Lutheran-affiliated university, Concordia University Wisconsin is based in Mequon, Wisconsin.

      For students interested in counseling psychology, it offers an entirely online Master of Science in Education – School Counseling Licensure/Professional Counseling Licensure degree. The program does not require the GRE. It comprises 45-60 credits and makes graduates eligible to become licensed professional or school counselors.

      Students must complete a practicum and submit a portfolio. They also take courses such as human development, counseling theories and issues, consultation strategies, trauma counseling, and more.

      17. Sacred Heart University

      Sacred Heart University is a private Catholic University based in Fairfield, Connecticut. It offers multiple online programs and does not require the GRE.

      Its online Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is a good choice for career-oriented students, as it prepares graduates to become licensed counselors. The degree takes only 2 years to complete.

      Courses include human development, counseling theories, assessment techniques, career counseling, crisis & trauma, and much more.

      18. Cameron University

      A public university in Lawton, Oklahoma, Cameron University offers multiple online graduate degrees.

      One option for aspiring psychologists is the M.S. in Behavioral Sciences (General Psychology option). This program is ideal for students who are interested in psychology and behavior but who do not want to pursue a counseling career. It is better suited for those interested in experimental psychology and who are considering a PhD.

      Courses include research methods, human development, advanced psychology of personality, and more.

      19. Southern New Hampshire University

      Southern New Hampshire University is a private university based in the towns of Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. It is one of the fastest-growing institutions of higher learning in the country. Over 135,000 students are enrolled in its online degree programs.

      SNHU offers an M.S. in Psychology that can be taken fully online. The GRE is not required. The program, which is 36 credits, does not lead to licensure, but it is a good steppingstone for students who wish to pursue a PhD.

      Concentration options include Child and Developmental Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Industrial Organizational Psychology.

      20. Ball State University

      Ball State University, also known as BSU, is a public research university in Muncie, Indiana. It offers multiple online psychology degrees at the master’s level, most of which do not require the GRE for most students.

      These programs include the MA in Applied Behavior Analysis (with an emphasis on autism), which prepares students to become Board-Certified Behavior Analysts; the MA in Educational Psychology, which is geared toward pedagogues; and the M.S. in Quantitative Psychology, which is ideal for students who envision a future in the corporate world or as researchers.

      How we made this list

      The cost and earnings data we used to make this list comes from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS tool. The same information can also be found on College Scorecard, a government initiative to make data on colleges and universities more accessible to the public.

      To rank colleges, we use a unique formula that combines data on cost, debt, earnings, and payback time to determine which colleges offer the best return on your educational investment. Our methodology relies exclusively on official government data.

      » Also read: You don’t need a bachelor’s in psychology to get an advanced psych degree!

      When compiling this list of psychology degrees, we analyzed programs assigned the 4-digit code “psychology” in the IPEDS CIP code classification system. This includes counseling programs, clinical psychology programs, applied psychology programs, and more. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

      Are online psychology degrees respected?

      Yes. Most employers don’t care whether you got your degree online or on campus.

      The numbers bear this out. People with an on-campus master’s in psychology earn an average of $53,801 just 4 years after leaving school. Meanwhile, people with an online master’s in psych earn $53,061 per year on average. This difference is pretty small.

      » Read: Check out the 7 Best online MFT programs

      Are the schools on this list good?

      The top 20 programs on this list unlock above-average earnings compared to other psychology master’s degrees – online or on-campus.

      Their graduates’ average (mean) paycheck, 4 years on, is $61,434. While this may seem low, remember that you need a doctorate to become a full-fledged clinical psychologist. Clinical psychologists earn an average of $85,330 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      These schools’ debt-to-earnings ratio is 0.6, which is significantly better than the average for all psychology programs (0.96).

      » Also read: How to become a therapist

      On the other hand, compared to other master’s degrees, psychology underperforms earnings-wise – the average salary for all master’s degree holders in any field is $69,400.

      Note that some of the highest earning degrees on this list offer terminal master’s degrees that prepare students for careers as behavior analysts, counselors, or organizational psychologists right after their master’s.

      Interested in psychology?

      See our rankings of the best undergrad psychology programs in the country

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      How important is the GRE?

      The GRE is becoming less and less important to admissions officers. This is especially true for online degrees, many of which are marketed to working adult learners who may be less willing to deal with the hassle of standardized tests.

      Some schools only require the GRE for students with a low undergraduate GPA, such as National University.

      What can you do with a master’s in psychology?

      A master’s-level degree in psychology can lead to multiple jobs:

      • Licensed professional counselor (LPC)
      • Marriage and Family Therapy
      • Licensed behavior analyst
      • School psychologist
      • Industrial-organizational psychologist
      • Mental health case manager

      Besides a master’s degree, most of these positions require licensure. This means you’ll need to pass a special exam and obtain supervised experience hours.

      Remember that you need a doctorate to become a clinical psychologist. Therefore, for many students, master’s programs are merely one step on their journey to attaining a PsyD.

      » Also read: The difference between a therapist and a counselor

      Types of psychology degree

      At the master’s level, psychology degrees can be grouped into 3 main types:

      • General psychology degrees focus on providing a broad overview of psychology.
      • Research and experimental psychology degrees train students to conduct experiments and research to determine the reasons behind psychological issues and come up with better treatment methods.
      • Clinical, counseling, and applied psychology degrees train students to provide psychological treatment to specific populations through therapy, counseling, diagnosis, etc.

      Additionally, both research and clinical psychologists can specialize in a subset of the field, such as:

      • Child psychology
      • Personality psychology
      • Behavioral neuroscience
      • Social psychology
      • Developmental psychology
      • Community psychology
      • Counseling psychology
      • Industrial-organizational psychology
      • Geropsychology
      • Forensic psychology
      • Sports psychology
      • Somatic psychology
      • And much more

      Final thoughts

      A master’s in psychology can lead to a rich, rewarding career in mental health. And don’t worry – an online degree will serve you just as well as one from a traditional brick-and-mortar college.

      Browse our rankings of the top online master’s in psychology programs in the country (some of these may require the GRE) to kickstart your new life as a trusted psychology professional! is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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