Childhood and adolescence can be a turbulent time. Turns out it’s less about middle school drama and more about actual physical changes happening in young people’s brains. Do you have a knack for talking with young people? Are you a brainiac when it comes to studying the brain? Sounds like you’ve come to the right place. Child and adolescent psychologists combine talk therapy with science to make huge changes in the lives of young people.
What kind of Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology should you get?
Depending on where you’re hoping to work, this master’s degree might need to be a stepping stone on the way to a doctoral degree. Psychologists in a clinical practice typically need a PhD and a license. However, for school and organizational settings, a master’s degree is more than sufficient.
It’s probably obvious by now, all of these programs are delivered online. These programs are flexible, affordable, and just as rigorous as any traditional program. If you’re mostly interested in the psychology aspect of this field, but don’t want to earn your degree online, check out our list of the Best Colleges and Universities of 2018.
How much money do people make with an Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology?
What if you could be generously rewarded for the work that you love. Surprise! With this career, you can have both! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists make on average $77,030 per year – but that’s just the average. That figure increases to $97,740 for psychologists in a specialized field. That means you!
Are you ready for more good news? In general, psychologists are expected to see an employment increase by 14 percent by 2026. Working on your master’s degree now will get you that much closer to securing a job as a child and adolescent psychologist in a few years.
What can you do with an Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology?
Your career as a child and adolescent psychologist will be anything but boring. You are going to be working with a demographic that is in the turbulence of early life. The child and adolescent brain is a dynamic thing. Your career will likely be equal parts observation, research, writing, and patient interaction. You’ll certainly stay busy.
Child and adolescent psychologists will work in a variety of settings. You could be asked to work in a school environment. This could range from an elementary to a high school. But you could also work in a private practice setting or as a researcher for government agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, and more.
What are the requirements for an Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology?
In order to qualify for these programs, it’s a given that you’ll need to have at least some background in psychology. Since advanced degrees only involve 30 to 50 credit-hours, schools will want to see that you have a basic understanding of the core concepts. About half of the schools require you to take the GRE or GMAT as an entry exam.
All of the programs last between one and two years. The great thing about online programs is that you can make school fit with your schedule in whatever way it works for you. With a number of these schools, you can look forward to applying your skills in a career setting through an internship or practicum.
What are the best Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology degrees?
Below you’ll find the 10 Best Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology degrees. The data team at College Choice took a number of steps to find this list. First, they gathered the academic quality of each online program. Then they factored in affordability and the return on investment, and student happiness using retention rates and graduation rates of each program. The methodology comes from our data team at College Choice, as well as the quality resources at U.S. News & World Report and Payscale.com.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $16,242
Kicking off our list is the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The oldest and largest of the University of Minnesota system, this public research institution is considered one of the nation’s “Public Ivy” schools. The university is a leader in innovative research, pushing forward new ideas in the world of health, technology, and psychology.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities stands out above the rest for its MA in Applied Child and Adolescent Development. This program is offering 100 percent online and covers 32 credit-hours of classes. Your curriculum will be defined by prerequisites, and 15 credits in an emphasis area. Here’s a quick look:
- Early Childhood Assessment
- Prevention and Intervention in Early Childhood
- Child Life Theory, Practice, and Program Development
- Early Childhood and Public Policy
Within the program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in one of three areas: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Child Life, Individual Studies. Each track includes 13 customized courses. This is a fantastic way to elevate your resume.
University of South Florida
College Choice Score: 96.18
Average Net Price: $11,398
Located in Tampa, the University of South Florida is a three-fold institution that maintains three schools: USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg, and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The Tampa campus is by far the largest, with over 41,000 students. As an overall school, USF ranks #68 among the 100 Top Public Schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Through the fully online MS in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health degree at USF, you’ll jump into a world of engaged professors and streamlined courses. A total of 39 courses are required for this degree. The program can be delivered as a thesis or a non-thesis degree. All students will take a series of core courses that include:
- Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health
- Cultural Competency in Children’s Mental Health
- Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Policy
- Evaluation & Research Methods in Community Health
Within your full curriculum, you will cater your degree to one of four concentrations: Developmental Disabilities, Leadership in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health, Research & Evaluation, or Youth & Behavioral Health. Pursuing one of these areas gives you a huge head start in a career.
College Choice Score: 93.21
Average Net Price: $24,794
The hub for conservative Christian higher education, Liberty University is one of the largest Christian universities in the world. It was founded in 1971 by conservative leader Jerry Falwell. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University also maintains LU Online that was started in 2009.
At Liberty University, you’ll complete a fully online MA in Applied Psychology / Developmental Psychology. Your classes will be delivered in 8-week cycles, totalling 36 credit-hours. Most students finish their degree within about a year and a half. This curriculum is infused with faith-based teachings. Some of your core classes will include:
- Developmental Psychology
- Intervention & Behavioral Support
- Adolescent Psychology
- Developmental Neuropsychology
Liberty University is committed to its military students. Whether you’re an active service member or a spouse of a military member, the school will have your back. Military members receive a whopping $275 tuition discount per credit-hour. Veterans also receive a generous tuition discount package.
College Choice Score: 86.25
Average Net Price: $16,538
Primarily an online institution, Capella University is a for-profit school that operates out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over 36,000 students attend Capella University and are enrolled in its nearly 150 unique degree programs. The majority of the students at Capella University are enrolled in master’s programs.
The Harold Abel School of Psychology offers an MS in Psychology with a specialization in Child and Adolescent Development. This is a fully online program that requires 55 credit-hours in order to graduate. The first 20 credits are in core subjects, and the next 30 are specialization courses. Here’s a quick look:
- Adolescent Psychology
- Human Prenatal Development
- Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology
- Quantitative Design and Analysis
The degree at Capella University can be completed through either the Guided Path format or the Flex Path format. The Guided Path sets out a structured course schedule for you to follow in order to help you stay on track. The Flex Path is self-guided and self-paced. This is a great option if you want to finish your degree earlier.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
College Choice Score: 85.51
Average Net Price: $24,444
Specializing specifically in psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is unique in its focus. It was founded in 1979 by established psychologists who wanted to push forward high-quality training in the field. Today, it offers over 20 different programs within psychology to around 4,300 students.
The MA in Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology brings students into the Child and Adolescent concentration. This is an online program that you can complete either part-time or full-time. The curriculum dives into trauma intervention, addiction disorders, and more with classes like:
- Family Systems and Family Therapy
- Trauma and Crisis Intervention
- Evidence-Based Programs for Children and Adolescents
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has strong academic partnerships with a number of schools and organizations. For example, the school offers financial discounts for students transferring in from Kaplan International, LA County Community Colleges, Sophia Learning, UC Irvine Extension, and more.
College Choice Score: 85.46
Average Net Price: $26,520
Founded in 1996, Northcentral University is an online university that delivers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. It operates out of five academic schools, one of which is the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Around 10,000 students attend Northcentral University each year.
Northcentral University features an MS in Child and Adolescent Psychology that spans 30 credit-hours. This online degree encompasses 10 total courses and takes most students around 20 months to complete. You can look forward to classes that deepen your understanding of relevant topics such as:
- Socioemotional Development
- Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
In addition to your 30-credit-hour program, you’ll have the choice to participate in a 100-hour internship in an area organization. This is an optional feature to put your skills in action. An internship experience is often what sets you apart from the rest of the pack in a hiring situation.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 85.32
Average Net Price: $34,984
Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University is home to over 80,000 students. Most of its student population, however, attends through online learning. Southern New Hampshire University is made up of six unique schools and colleges—including the College of Online & Continuing Education.
At Southern New Hampshire University, you’ll undertake a 36 credit-hour MS in Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development Psychology. This program lets you accelerate your degree forward with 10-week terms. Most students finish in 15 months. You’ll find a wide variety of classes like:
- Cognitive Processes
- Theories of Personality
- Intervention Strategies
- Developmental Psychology
Southern New Hampshire University is widely known for being one of the fastest growing universities in the country. It also has been recognized for its ingenuity. In fact, last year U.S. News & World Report gave it the #1 spot in its list of Most Innovative Schools.
CUNY City College
College Choice Score: 84.88
Average Net Price: $8,547
One of the many institutions affiliated with the City University of New York system, CUNY School of Professional Studies offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It is located in Manhattan, but also delivers a number of online options for students. In fact, CUNY School of Professional Studies housed the CUNY’s first fully online program.
If you attend the MA in Psychology at CUNY School of Professional Studies, you’ll have two options for specializing: Industrial/Organizational Psychology or Developmental Psychology. The curriculum is divided out for you into core courses, research methods, specialization courses, and electives. You’ll meet 36 credit-hours with classes like:
- Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Child and Adolescent Development
- Atypical Development
- Group Dynamics
Other outlets have been abuzz about the program at CUNY School of Professional Studies. This year, it ranked in the top 25 Online Master’s in Psychology degrees by Online Psychology Degrees. It also recently made the list for the Top 20 Best Values for an Online Master’s in Psychology by College Values Online.
West Virginia University
College Choice Score: 84.83
Average Net Price: $10,814
A shining point for the state in higher education, West Virginia University is a public research university with land-grant and space-grant designations. Over 32,300 students are in attendance. It maintains an R1: Doctoral University according to the Carnegie Foundation, and continues to push collegiate research forward in innovative ways.
Within in the online MA in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University, you’ll find a major in Child Development and Family Studies. Through 33 credit-hours, you’ll sort through child development, family systems, research methods, and more. Here’s a deeper look into the curriculum:
- Comparative Study of Family
- Socio-Emotional Development of Children
- Survey of Family Studies
- Socialization Processes
West Virginia University is the proud home to a number of prestigious alumnus. In fact, the school ranks nationally for its numerous scholarship recipients. WVU claims 25 Rhodes Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars, 42 Goldwater Scholars, 46 Fulbright Scholars, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Montclair State University
College Choice Score: 82.68
Average Net Price: $15,131
Located just 10 miles from the “Big Apple,” Montclair State University is a public research university in New Jersey with a lot to offer. It is made up of 11 academic colleges and schools. Although Montclair State University is a mid-sized university of 21,000 students, it maintains an impressive student-to-teacher ratio of 23:1.
Offered through the Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy, you’ll tackle an online MA in Child Advocacy and Policy. This curriculum interweaves psychology, social work, and law. You’ll take two sessions per term in 8-week courses. Over 33 credit-hours, your course load might look like the following:
- Child Abuse & Neglect
- Substance Abuse and Family Crisis
- Family Empowerment Models
- Child Welfare Policy
Montclair State University is fully equipped to meet the multi-faceted demands of an online degree program. You’ll be set up with a graduate program coordinator assigned specifically to the Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy. You also will have complete access to a virtual library, writing center, and tech support.