Schools around the country are making the path to earning an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology simpler than ever. This is thought to be a direct response to the increased need for psychologists, counselors, and analysts in the field. And now that so many working professionals are calling for graduate programs in the field to be held in a convenient format, space in these programs are filling up fast.

Working professionals in the behavioral psychology field do not have the time in their schedule to attend a traditional college program. Their education must be offered to them in a convenient online format, one that allows them to complete a degree in two years or less, and all the while remaining affordable so that once they begin the degree, they can finish it. That is what this ranking offers; each school here will fit the needs of professionals in this field.

Methodology

This ranking was made possible by the research conducted at the National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available and free College Navigator database. An initial list of 30 schools was identified by searching for online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology. The list was then narrowed down by comparing schools to each other based on key factors; this included tuition rates and estimated time to completion rates for the program. The final 20 schools were chosen based on their total estimated in-state graduate tuition rates for the entire program.

Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Behavioral Psychology

20. Pepperdine University

Los Angeles, California

Online Master of Science in Behavioral Psychology

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Behavioral Psychology requires 38 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $44,100

The accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral psychology that is available from Pepperdine University was designed for professionals seeking eligibility to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board examination. This is an online degree program that takes roughly 18 months to two years to complete; students may also choose to complete the degree as a hybrid program by taking classes at the school’s West Los Angeles Campus. Students in this program will find that the degree is heavily focused on autism spectrum disorders and will graduate with the knowledge and experience to work with children and adults in this field. The degree is delivered as an evening program; online students will need to attend live evening sessions during the week to meet the participation requirement. Courses are delivered in the sequential format through the school’s virtual portal, where assignments and papers are submitted. Students will note that this degree does require a three-semester practicum in the field; this can be completed in their community with the approval of the school’s department. Other requirements for this degree include 38 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, Multicultural Counseling, and Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis for Behavior Change.

19. Simmons College

Boston, Massachusetts

Online Master of Science in Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Behavior Analysis can be completed in 19 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $42,200

Simmons College confers an affordable and accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that can be completed online and within 19 months. This degree was designed for professionals interested in becoming eligible to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam for certification in the field. This is an interdisciplinary program that adheres to the guidelines necessary for the board exam and is delivered 100 percent online. Courses are held live through the school’s learning management system and are delivered in the evening to better accommodate all students. Students will find that this school has small class sizes, online professor office hours, collaborative projects, and more. Each student is also paired with a mentor for the duration of their program to ensure that they meet the requirements for graduation as well as are prepared to sit for the exam after graduation. This is a practice-based degree; students will be required to complete an intensive one-year practicum at an approved site in their community. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 40 quarter credit hours, the supervised practicum, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Assessment, and Introduction to Single Subject Research Designs.

18. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Chicago, Illinois

Online Psychology Master’s Degree Program, Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Psychology can be completed in one year of study.

Website

Tuition: $41,904

Students interested in a one-year Master’s in Behavioral Psychology online degree will find what they are looking for at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. This school offers students the chance to complete a degree that will meet the educational requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam; all students will note that this program does not meet the supervised practicum requirements, which must be met before applying to sit for the exam. Courses for this degree are available online through the school’s virtual portal; delivery formats vary depending on the type of class that a student is enrolling in. This degree can be completed in just one year with full-time study and two years with part-time study. This program’s culminating experience is an applied research project, which takes place of the need for an internship or thesis. Other requirements for this degree include 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis, Professional Ethics and Issues, and Observation and Measurement.

17. College of St. Elizabeth

Morristown, New Jersey

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA  in Applied Behavior Analysis requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $36,036

The College of Saint Elizabeth provides professionals with an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that focuses on developmental and behavioral disabilities. It is a program that will lead to a student becoming eligible to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analysis exam. It is possible to complete this degree in two years as an online or hybrid course of study. Students will find that the curriculum is focused on the BCBA Fourth Edition Task List and include a supervised practicum that will help them meet the 1,500 clinical hours needed to sit for certification. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, the supervised practicum, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Interventions and Evidence-Based Practice, Writing for Publication, and Foundations in Applied Behavior Analysis.

16. Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, Florida

Online Master of Arts in Professional Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA in Professional Behavior Analysis requires 45 credit hours of coursework.

Tuition: $34,965

Professionals interested in earning the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst certification will want to check out the affordable accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology. This program was designed to be completed as a hybrid program; however, students will note that all coursework is available online except for seminars that must be attended during their one-year practicum at an approved site. This means that students from all over the country are eligible for this program. This degree offers its online courses as on-demand offerings; students can attend class whenever it is most convenient for them. After the courses have been completed, students will move into their supervised practicum, which will consist of 1,500 contact hours at an approved site. This degree requires a minimum of 45 credit hours of coursework and practicum hours as well as a comprehensive final exam. More information on this program’s sample courses as well as practicum requirements can be found by contacting the department directly.

15. Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Applied Behavior Analysis is available entirely online.

Website

Tuition: $30,390

Northeastern University offers students the chance to complete an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology. This is a fully online program that has a course sequence structure that is approved by the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board; students who complete this course of study will be eligible to sit for the certification exam once they have graduated. Students who already have a master’s degree may also choose to earn an online graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis online. Students will be able to choose between live or on-demand courses depending on their scheduling needs and course availability, providing them with the convenience they need to stay on track. Students may also choose to complete the Learning Partnership Program, which offers interested individuals the chance to complete the required supervision hours to sit for the certification exam. As this degree is highly customizable, students are encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions advisor about program requirements and sample course offerings.

14. Purdue University Global

West Lafayette, Indiana

Online Master of Science in Psychology, Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Psychology require 70 quarter credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $27,300

The accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that is provided by Purdue University Global is offered as a practical degree with a concentration in applied behavior analysis. This particular concentration is verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and will prepare students to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. The school currently provides students with the educational requirements to sit for certification; those who wish to meet the work requirements will need to take advantage of the program’s optional practicum, which can be completed in their community. Students will take their courses online through the school’s virtual portal, where live and on-demand classes are held in 16-week sessions. This degree can be completed in two years. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 70 quarter credit hours of coursework, an optional practicum, and a thesis for graduation. Sample courses include Implementing Behavioral Change, Research Design in Applied Behavior Analysis, and Clinical Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis.

13. Capella University

St. Paul, Minnesota

Online Master of Science in Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis Specialization

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Psychology requires 55 quarter credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $26,675

Capella University confers an excellent accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that is focused on preparing professionals to work with children and adults that have behavioral disorders. This degree was designed to meet the educational requirements needed to sit for the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst certification; students will note that this program will not meet the experiential requirement for this exam. Students will take this degree as a 100 percent online course of study; courses are delivered live and in 10-week quarters, making it possible to complete this program in less than two years. This program requires a minimum of 55 quarter credit hours of coursework, the Integrative Project for Master’s Degree in Psychology, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Techniques in Applied Behavior Analysis Research and Application, Basic Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, and Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions.

12. Bay Path University

Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Applied Behavior Analysis requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $25,020

Professionals interested in an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that has been verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board will want to take Bay Path University’s program into serious consideration. This degree was designed to be completed in two years as a wholly online program; students may also opt for the hybrid format if they live close to the campus. Students will note that while this course sequence has been deemed to meet the requirements for the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst certification, students will need to do additional supervised practicum hours to become eligible to sit for the exam. All courses can be found online through the school’s virtual portal; courses may be offered as live or on-demand sessions. This degree also requires 1,500 contact hours in a supervised practicum in their community. Other graduation requirements include 36 credit hours of coursework and contact hours plus a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Ethical Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Change Systems in Education, and Interventions and Behavior Change Procedures.

11. The Sage Colleges

Albany, New York

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism requires 34 credits hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $24,120

The Sage Colleges confers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that was designed to be offered 100 percent online. This two-year program meets the educational requirements for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification exam. Students who are interested in becoming eligible for the exam will also need to complete the optional practicum experiences to fulfill the work experience requirement. Courses are available online through the school’s learning management system and can be completed as live or on-demand sessions. Students who opt to complete the practicum experiences will need to coordinate with the school to ensure that their site is approved for their program. This degree requires a minimum of 34 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Professional Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Assessment, and Advanced Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis.

10. The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Online Master of Arts in Psychology, Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA in Psychology requires 39 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $23,868

The accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that is available from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth was designed for professionals who are interested in sitting for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination. This degree is offered online and was designed to be completed as a part-time, three-year program; however, full-time students will find that it is possible to graduate in two years. This degree will help students meet the educational requirements necessary to sit for licensure; experience hours may also be offered to students who work in a setting with a certified BCBA. Courses can be found online through the school’s virtual portal and are delivered in 16-week terms that are held asynchronously or synchronously. Students will be expected to complete 39 credit hours of coursework, fieldwork, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Behavioral Interventions, Topics in Child Development, and Implementing Behavior Analysis in Educational Settings.

9. The University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

Online Master of Education in Foundations in Behavior Analysis, Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The M.Ed. in Behavior Analysis can be completed in 20 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $21,720

The University of Cincinnati is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that is rooted in education. This degree was developed for professionals who are currently working in or would like to work in, educational settings with children who have developmental disabilities. This degree is offered entirely online; there are no campus residencies. Students will note that the first six courses in this degree sequence will satisfy the educational requirements to become eligible to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam. This program does not offer practicum opportunities, so students interested in sitting for the exam will need to complete the work requirements in another setting. This degree can be completed in as little as 20 months and features on-demand coursework, a fully functioning learning management system, and more. Graduation requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Academic Assessment and Intervention, Child Development, and Frameworks for Disabilities and Disorders in Childhood.

8. The University of Kansas at Edwards

Edwards, Kansas

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA in Applied Behavioral Science incorporates asynchronous and synchronous coursework.

Website

Tuition: $21,000

The accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that is available from the University of Kansas at Edwards is offered as a wholly online course of study that can be completed in just two years. This degree fulfills the educational requirements necessary to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam; additionally, this program has received full accreditation by the Association for Behavior Analysis International. This is a practical degree and incorporates asynchronous and synchronous coursework with research and practicum experiences. Students will note that while this degree will satisfy educational requirements for the BCBA certification, it does not meet the work requirements; this experience may need to be completed through another institution. Students interested in this degree are highly encouraged to speak with a graduate admissions advisor to learn more about the program and its graduation requirements.

7. Arizona State University

Tucson, Arizona

Online Master of Arts in Special Education, Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA in Special Education can be completed in 15 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $18,147

Arizona State University provides students with an affordable, accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that can be completed in just 15 months with part-time study. This program is offered 100 percent online and students do not have to complete a practicum for graduation. This degree sequence adheres to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Fourth Edition Tasklist and will fulfill the educational requirements to sit for certification as a behavior analyst. Students will note that this degree does not fulfill work requirements for the exam. This degree is straightforward: students will complete all of their coursework online as live or on-demand sessions that run for seven and a half weeks. The program requires that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Philosophical Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis in Educational Settings, Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis, and Ethics of Applied Behavior Analysis.

6. Western Connecticut State University

Danbury, Connecticut

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS Applied Behavior Analysis requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $18,110

Students enrolled at Western Connecticut State University provides students with the chance to complete an accelerated online master’s in behavioral psychology that may prepare students to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification. This is a 100 percent online course of study; all courses are offered online as live or on-demand sessions that run in the traditional 16-week term format. Students will find that this degree does not require practicums or internships for graduation; this means that that pursuing certification will require finding other work experiences. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, the Capstone Project in Applied Behavior Analysis, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Assistive Technology for Applied Behavior Analysis, Grant Writing for Applied Behavior Analysis, and Research in Applied Behavior Analysis Literature.

5. The University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA in Applied Behavior Analysis offers courses on-demand.

Website

Tuition: $17,689

The University of South Florida is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology. This degree was designed to prepare students to sit for the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst certification exam; students will find that successfully graduating from this program will fulfill both the education and work requirements for eligibility purposes. Students who commit to a full-time plan of study will graduate in two years while part-time students will graduate in two-and-a-half-years. This degree was designed to be offered online through the school’s learning management system; courses are offered on-demand so students can study anywhere they choose. This degree also includes supervised practicums which will need to be completed under the supervision of a BCBA at an approved site in their community.

4. The University of Southern Maine

Portland, Maine

Online Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Educational Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $16,830

Professionals who are interested in an educational viewpoint when it comes to their accelerated online Master’s in Behavior Psychology will find a great program at the University of Southern Maine. This program was designed to help students meet the requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification exam. Students will find that most of their program adheres to the educational requirements for the exam with all courses offered online through live and on-demand sessions. However, as this degree does not require a supervised practicum for graduation, students will need to meet the work hours required to sit for the exam another way. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis, Single Case Research Methods, and Behavioral Principles of Learning.

3. Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis with an Emphasis in Autism

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA in Applied Behavior Analysis requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $15,360

Ball State University confers an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that is approved by the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board. This degree will meet the educational requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst certification exam; other requirements will need to be fulfilled in order to be eligible to sit for the exam. This program is accredited by the National Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and was designed for educators and academics. This degree is offered entirely online with asynchronous and synchronous courses; it can be completed in less than two years. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a field-based experience, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Behavioral Consultation, Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis, and Professional Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis.

2. St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MS in Applied Behavior Analysis requires 45 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $15,360

Students enrolled at St. Cloud University will be offered the chance to complete an affordable, accelerated online Master’s in Behavior Psychology. This degree is currently accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International; it meets the educational requirements for students who are interested in sitting for the Board Certified Behavior Analysis certification exam. This is a 100 percent online course of study; courses are delivered through the school’s virtual portal and are held in asynchronous or synchronous sessions. A full-time student will be eligible for graduation in two years or less. This degree requires that a student completes a minimum of 45 credit hours of coursework, an internship, and a thesis or comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavioral Assessment, and Ethics in Psychology and Behavior Analysis.

1. Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Behavioral Psychology Online for 2019
The online MA in Applied Behavior Analysis requires 42 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $14,585

Southeast Missouri State University confers an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology that was designed to be completed in two years with full-time study. This degree was designed in two stages: the first stage consists of online coursework with the second stage consisting of fieldwork. This sequence has made it possible for graduates of this degree to become eligible to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification exam. Students will complete their courses online through the school’s learning management system. Their second year will be dedicated to supervised work experiences in their community. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 42 credit hours of coursework, supervised practicums, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Basic Principles in Applied Behavior Analysis, Methods for Studying the Behavior of Individuals, and Skill Acquisition and Assessment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Affordable Accelerated Online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology?

  • Behavioral Psychologist
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Senior Behavioral Psychology Researcher
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor
  • Marketing Executive
  • Educational Consultant
  • Behavior Coach
  • Organizational Consultant
  • Human Resources Executive
  • College or University Psychology Professor
  • Therapist in the Prison
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Child and Family Social Worker
  • Motivational Speaker
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst

How Much Can You Earn in this Field?

The current average salary for behavioral psychologists is $81,330. However, there is a vast difference between professionals who choose a clinical path or those who choose to become behavioral disorder counselors. This means that professionals who are counselors can expect to make roughly half of their clinical practitioner counterparts, or about $40,000 a year.

The salary range for this field is between $39,000 to $108,500. Students will note that higher salaries may require licensure, additional school work, professional programs outside of university, and more. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they are following the correct career path for their salary ambitions.

What are the Various Disciplines of Behavioral Psychology?

Behavioral psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology. It is a field that is focused on the behaviors of humans and animals with a specific focus on determining whether a behavior is due to external or internal stimuli. This means that the field is squarely within the realm of behavioral sciences and is informed by disciplines within that field.

The major disciplines in this field are research, psychology, developmental psychology, measurement and assessment, applied behavior analysis, and intervention. Medicine, biology, and chemistry also play a role in the field and are often offered as free or directed electives in some schools. Students will also notice that a strong emphasis on the study of autism and related developmental disorders is common in the field, providing them with a concentration area that is in high demand.

Do You Have to be Certified or Hold Licensure to be a Behavioral Psychologist or Analyst?

Behavioral psychologists must hold licensure to practice in their state. There are no exceptions to this rule. Because behavioral psychology is considered a clinical practice and requires a doctoral degree, every state will require that a student pass licensure and relicense every few years to continue their work. This ensures that behavioral psychologists are not only adhering to the guidelines and standards that are common in the state but that they continuously educate themselves on the field.

Behavioral analysts are not required by law to earn certification, but it has become a common practice for employers to only consider professionals who have earned the Behavior Analyst Certification Board qualification. It is a certification that comes after a student graduates with their degree; many programs, including ones on this list, offer a pathway towards certification and provide students with both the educational and work requirements needed to sit for the exam.

Professionals outside of these two specific career paths will find that while qualifications and endorsements are not required for them, earning a few will provide them with a strong resume. It should also be noted that many employers look for endorsements in candidates, specifically when working with clients that have developmental disorders.

Entering the behavioral psychology field is a choice made by passionate individuals who are interested in learning how the field works and impacts people on a day-to-day basis. While the road to working in the field can be long, most professionals find it rewarding once they have entered the workforce and are implementing positive change in the people and clients that they talk with every day. It has never been easier to earn an accelerated online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology than it is today and with the help of this ranking, professionals will be able to find an affordable degree that will fit into their lifestyle so they can reach the heights of their career.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology Online.