Online Colleges for Psychology & Mental Health

Training is a crucial part of becoming a psychologist; not only do you need to know how to communicate with others, you also need the knowledge to understand human behavior in order to help people improve their lives. The necessary skills and knowledge can be obtained from a variety of online psychology and mental health programs.

Psychology and Mental Health Online Colleges

You can find online psychology and mental health degrees at all levels of education. Whether you want to start out learning the basic building blocks through an associate degree in psychology or focus on a specific field through a master's degree in crisis management and response, you'll find options that suit your academic needs and personal interests. In fact, the more you progress in your education, the more you'll find programs centered on specific areas. For instance, at the advanced levels, you can find degrees such as a Doctor of Counseling Psychology or a Doctor of Health Psychology. Some of these advanced psychology and mental health programs focus more on theory, while others may focus more on practical application, so be sure to understand the context of the program and its emphasis before signing on for advanced training.

If you've obtained a master's degree, you could pursue a career as a mental health counselor, an occupation that pays a mean annual salary of $43,990, according to May 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In addition to being able to help people with their problems, this occupation could also be rewarding since the BLS predicts job growth to increase by 29 percent between 2012 and 2022. Related occupations include work as a marriage and family therapist or rehabilitation counselor. If you want to become a psychologist, you'll need a doctoral degree. Psychologists earned mean annual wages of $89,810 in 2014, according to the BLS, with growth in the field expected at 12 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Best States to Get a Psychology Degree

A psychology degree can lead to a healthy career in helping others. When researching programs of study, you might want to consider the states in which the need for psychologists is the strongest. Keep in mind that many psychologists do open their own practices, while others work for health care facilities, clinics, government and research organizations, and more.

Using 2013-2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), here is a list of the four states with the highest employment rates for psychologists. Note: The BLS reports that the annual mean wage for psychology occupations across the nation as of May 2014 is $89,810. The national figures for employment per thousand jobs for this industry is 0.872. For more information on our ranking methodology, see our Methodology section.

#1 - D.C.

BLS stats:

  • Employment in the psychology field, per thousand jobs: 0.33
  • Annual mean wage for business and financial operations occupations: $91,400

Washington D.C. is home to psychology degree programs at schools including American University, Georgetown University, Howard University, and more. What's more is that the American Psychological Association (APA), which is the largest association dedicated to the advancement of psychology and mental health, is based in D.C.

D.C. also has the highest representation of licensed psychologists per 100,000 population at 173.3, according to the American Psychological Association, giving it the unofficial title of "capital of psychology."

#2 - Florida

BLS stats:

  • Employment in the psychology field, per thousand jobs: 0.22
  • Annual mean wage for psychologists: $87,910

From the University of Florida to the University of Miami, it's little wonder why the Sunshine State attracts psychology students. The Florida Psychological Association Graduate Students (FLAPAGS) offers volunteer opportunities, mentoring, and leadership development for its members. Upon graduation, students are well prepared to attain state licensing and get their practices started.

#3 - Massachusetts

BLS stats:

  • Employment in the psychology field, per thousand jobs: 0.21
  • Annual mean wage for psychologists: $80,320

When you think about excellent colleges and universities offering psychology degrees, there's a good chance that a few Massachusetts schools will make the cut, including: The University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Brandeis University; Harvard; and MIT.

Becoming a member of the Massachusetts Psychological Association can have its perks, too, in the form of internship leads, networking opportunities, and other resources.

#4 - Maryland

BLS stats:

  • Employment in the psychology field, per thousand jobs: 0.18
  • Annual mean wage for psychologists: $100,710

What's most notable about psychology careers in Maryland is that the mean wage is remarkably higher than in other areas of the country, according to BLS statistics. If that doesn't get your attention, consider the fact that Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, College Park, and other excellent schools for studying psychology are located in the state. The Maryland Psychological Association offers professional development for graduate students of psychology.


  1. American Psychological Association, "How many psychologists are licensed in the United States?", http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/06/datapoint.aspx
  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Mental Health Counselors, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211014.htm
  3. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Mental Health Counselors, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm#tab-6
  4. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Psychologists, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm
  5. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
  6. Maryland Psychological Association, https://www.marylandpsychology.org/mpags/mpags.cfm
  7. Massachusetts Psychological Association, http://www.masspsych.org/?Students
  8. U.S. News University Connection, "Best Psychology Schools & Programs in the United States," http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/graduate-schools/social-sciences-humanities/psychology.aspx

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