Best Online Master’s In Child And Adolescent Psychology Degrees

Earning a master's in child and adolescent psychology can lead to a rewarding career helping youth. Here, we list the best online programs available.

Updated August 30, 2022

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Best Online Master’s In Child And Adolescent Psychology Degrees

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Child Psychology Masters Programs Online

A master's in child and adolescent psychology helps learners build knowledge in general and child psychology. Applicants need a bachelor's degree. Some programs require an undergraduate psychology background. Online child and adolescent psychology programs prepare learners for various counseling and social work careers.

Professionals need a doctorate to work as clinical child psychologists. These professionals study cognitive and behavioral processes in younger populations. They often work with children and families to address emotional and social issues. Child psychologists may also work in research to better understand the child and adolescent mind.

This guide lists the best child and adolescent psychology degrees. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and how to become a child psychologist.

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Questions About Child and Adolescent Psychology

How many years does it take to become a child and adolescent psychologist?

Child psychologists need a doctorate. Learners can complete a bachelor's in four years, a master's in 1-3 years, and a doctorate in 4-6 years.

Is a child and adolescent psychologist a licensed psychologist?

Clinically practicing child psychologists need state licensure. This requires completing advanced education and supervised professional experience. They must also pass a state licensure exam.

What is the difference between a child and adolescent psychologist and a school psychologist?

Child psychologists and school psychologists both work with children and adolescents. Child psychologists always need a doctorate. School psychologists may only need a master's.

Featured Online Psychology Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get a Degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology?

Earning a child and adolescent psychology degree prepares students for various psychology careers. A master's degree also serves as the next step toward a doctorate. Graduates can work in school counseling, family counseling, or social work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth for many psychology careers. For example, the BLS projects jobs for school and career counselors to grow 11% from 2020-2030.

How Much Does a Child and Adolescent Psychology Degree Cost?

A master's degree costs an average of $66,340, according to EducationData.org. However, degree costs vary by school type, program length, and learners' residency status. Students attending in-state public schools usually pay the most affordable tuition. Learners pursuing a degree from a private or out-of-state school may spend more.

Many schools offer online psychology programs, which can help students continue working while earning their degree. An online format also lets degree-seekers attend top programs without relocating or commuting.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners should budget for extra expenses. Schools may charge fees for online enrollment to cover technology costs and other online resources. Online enrollees may also need to pay other administrative expenses, such as graduation fees.

Master's in child and adolescent psychology programs often include in-person clinical requirements. Students may need to budget for travel and lodging to fulfill these requirements.

How Much Do Child and Adolescent Psychology Graduates Make?

A master's in child and adolescent psychology prepares graduates for family therapist, social worker, and school counselor careers. While the degree builds advanced knowledge in psychology, practicing psychologists need a doctorate. This degree requires many extra years of education.

Salaries vary by field. Family therapists earn an annual median salary of $51,340, while social workers earn $51,760. Professionals who earn a doctorate, such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D., can work as psychologists. These professionals earn an annual median salary of $82,180.

Courses in a Master's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Program

Master's in child and adolescent psychology programs include general psychology classes. Degree-seekers also take specialized child psychology classes. Students develop skills in research, program evaluation, and professional ethics.

Master's degree-seekers usually complete a thesis or capstone. These experiences may involve original research or a project that addresses an issue in child psychology practice.

See below for three common classes in master's in child and adolescent psychology programs. Keep in mind that class titles vary by program.

  • Developmental Psychology

    This class introduces major concepts in childhood and adolescent development. Students gain a strong foundation for understanding child psychology. Learners explore various developmental psychology perspectives and their relevance to professional practice. Coursework covers biology, cognition, and emotional development.
  • Child Psychology Research

    Research plays a major role in child psychology. It informs both clinical practice and the field's overall direction. This class introduces students to research methods and tools for childhood psychology. Students gain the skills to design, conduct, and evaluate their own research.
  • Ethical Practice in Psychology

    Both clinical and research psychologists commonly encounter ethical issues in their work. This class highlights key topics such as confidentiality and experimentation. Students also learn about professional conduct standards. Coursework may also address ethical issues of working with children and families.

Featured Online Psychology Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

How to Become a Child Psychologist

Practicing child psychologists need a doctorate, such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D. Doctoral applicants typically need a master's in child psychology or a related area. Some school psychologist positions may only require a master's degree.

Child psychologists work with children and families in various settings. In clinical practice, they work directly with children experiencing emotional or behavioral conditions. In schools, they counsel students experiencing similar challenges. In social work organizations, child psychologists assess children's wellness and connect them to other social services.

Licensure for Child and Adolescent Psychology

Licensure requirements vary by state. However, all states require practicing psychologists to hold a doctorate in psychology. They must also complete multiple years of supervised practice and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards offers information on specific state licensure standards.

The American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology also offers board certification in clinical and adolescent psychology. Certification candidates need a doctorate in psychology and internship training. They also need three years of supervised postdoctoral experience. Candidates must also pass the board certification exam, which costs $825.

Practicing child psychologists must complete regular continuing education to keep their knowledge of the field current. Psychologists can fulfill continuing education requirements through webinars, seminars, and classes. The American Board of Professional Psychology keeps a list of continuing education requirements for each state.

Best Online Master's in Child and Adolescent Psychology 2022

#1 Best Online Master’s In Child And Adolescent Psychology Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Child and adolescent psychology students attend Southern New Hampshire University for top-ranked degrees such as the master's in child psychology and development. Learners acquire advanced skills that employers want in middle- to high-level professionals. The program prepares students for doctoral degrees and other terminal programs.

The school’s online format appeals to busy learners with various work or family obligations. This flexibility gives enrollees more control over their schedules and makes it easier to juggle multiple priorities. Degree-seekers enjoy a student-focused environment, whether they study remotely or on campus.

Unless otherwise stated, applicants need a bachelor’s degree. Those who apply can expect an acceptance rate of about 88%. Tuition stands at around $18,810 annually for people who live in New Hampshire. Students can help fund their education with grants, loans, and scholarships.

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Online Master’s In Child And Adolescent Psychology Degrees

Palo Alto University

  • Palo Alto, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Palo Alto University, prospective graduate students can earn degrees while they work or juggle other responsibilities. A master's in counseling program is among the three online master's degrees delivered from the school's Palo Alto, California, campus. The program’s appeal includes a flexible online format that lets degree-seekers work and pursue other interests.

Unless otherwise stated, a bachelor’s degree in the major or the equivalent is usually required for admission. The program's intensive coursework provides enrollees with advanced preparation in their field. Another benefit of this degree is preparation for a doctoral program or another terminal credential.

The school charges all enrollees, regardless of residency, $22,184 annually. Learners can pay for their education with institutional and external grants and scholarships. Many students use loans to help pay tuition.

Average Tuition
In-state
$17,454
Out-of-state
$17,454
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,075
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Best Online Master’s In Child And Adolescent Psychology Degrees

Adler University

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Without significantly interrupting their lives, graduate students can earn degrees at Adler University, an institution that emphasizes flexibility and accessibility. The Chicago, Illinois-based school offers many top-ranked programs, including a master's in psychology. A busy schedule is no barrier to graduate education with degrees such as this program.

A bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the major, or a related field, is usually required for admission unless otherwise stated. Master's degree-seekers complete rigorous coursework they couldn’t access in a bachelor’s degree alone. The program also provides the foundational knowledge for a Ph.D.

The school charges an average of $35,888 annually for tuition. Many learners receive grants and scholarships, both from the school and outside sources, to help finance their degrees. Many students use loans to help pay for tuition.

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,558
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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