Master’s in Psychology in USA: Top Universities, Cost & Jobs

ms in psychology in usa

A graduate degree in psychology will allow you to work in educational institutes and health facilities. So, if you want to pursue a master’s in psychology in the USA, you are absolutely on track for a great career! Your MS in psychology in the USA may cost you anywhere around $25,000-60,000 or INR 18.56 lakhs to INR 44.56 lakhs. Psychology students may opt for independent degrees or complete them under their doctoral courses with theses. The course is available at 200+ institutions with varying requirements. 

While the initial costs may appear steep, a look at the average salaries of graduates will convince you that it is worth it! Average salaries for skilled graduates usually hover between $25,000-100,000 or INR 18.56 lakhs to INR 74.26 lakhs, making psychology a rewarding profession for aspirants. Most degrees given by USA colleges cover counseling, clinical psychology, and even organizational/industrial psychology. 

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Doing master’s in psychology in the USA- Biggest Reasons for Going Ahead:

Here are some of the many reasons for pursuing an MS in psychology in the USA: 

  • The USA has the world’s most reputed educational institutions teaching psychology through varied programs. 
  • American institutions offer 50+ sub-topics and divisions of psychology, ensuring vast career options for aspirants. 
  • Psychologists are in high demand throughout schools, universities, colleges, outpatient centers, hospitals, and family services. 
  • Demand is said to increase for psychologists over the next five-six years as well. 
  • Psychologists earn good salaries in the USA, with senior professionals making upwards of $100,000 or INR 74.26 lakhs per year. 

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MS in Psychology in the USA- Top Universities:

Here are the best universities in USA for master’s in psychology courses: 

InstitutionProgramCourse TenureCourse Cost
Northwestern UniversityMA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling18 months$20,020 per quarter or INR 14.89 lakhs
University of ChicagoMA in Social SciencesOne year$26,800 or INR 19.94 lakhs
Columbia UniversityMA in PsychologyTwo years$31,420 per semester or INR 23.37 lakhs
New York University (NYU)Master of Arts (MA) in PsychologyTwo years$31,072 per term or INR 23.11 lakhs
MA- Industrial and Organizational Psychology
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignMS in Psychological SciencesTwo years$28,464 or INR 21.17 lakhs
MS in Educational Psychology
Ohio State UniversityMA- Educational PsychologyOne year$37,140 or INR 27.60 lakhs
Michigan State University (MSU)MA in PsychologyTwo years$44,520 or INR 33.08 lakhs
Boston UniversityMA in PsychologyOne year$58,560 or INR 43.57 lakhs

There are many online programs available as well. For example, the University of Pennsylvania offers a one-year hybrid course, while Harvard University has a two-year hybrid course. There is an 18-month online course available at Arizona State University too. For the best courses at affordable prices, you can simply head to upGrad Abroad. 

Read More: Reasons to Study at Northern Arizona University (NAU)

Expected Study & Living Costs: 

Here are the costs that you need to budget for: 

  • $100-200 or INR 7,431-14,862 in application costs. 
  • $160 or INR 11,901 in charge for visa application. 
  • $185 or INR 13,768 on TOEFL charges. 
  • INR 14,700 on IELTS charges. 
  • $213 or INR 15,852 on GRE costs. 
  • $250 or INR 18,607 on GMAT charges. 
  • $700 or INR 52, 017 on flight fare. 
  • $25,000-60,000 or INR 18.58 lakh to INR 44.59 lakhs on tuition fees. 
  • $1,000-2,000 or INR 74,310 to INR 1,48, 620 on accommodation (monthly). 
  • $300-500 on study materials and books (monthly) or INR 22,293 to INR 37,155. 
  • $120-160 or INR 8,917 to INR 11,890 on monthly food and groceries. 
  • $100-300 or INR 7,431 to INR 22,293 on public transportation facilities every month. 
  • $300-600 or INR 22,293 to INR 44,586 on miscellaneous expenses (monthly). 
  • $450-700 or INR 33,440 to INR 52,017 on costs of health insurance. 

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Requirements for Admission: 

There are several master’s in psychology in the USA requirements that you should keep in mind. Here’s taking a look at the same. 

  • An undergraduate degree in a related discipline or psychology. 
  • 3 to 3.5 GPA on a four-point scale. 
  • GRE scores of 300-310 at least. You may also apply for a master’s in psychology in the USA without GRE at some universities/colleges. 
  • An academic background in general or introductory psychology with statistics or a laboratory course. 
  • You need TOEFL scores of 79-102. If you are taking the IELTS, then you should score at least 6.5-7.5. 

Now that you know the MS in psychology in the USA eligibility criteria, here’s taking a closer look at the documents required: 

  • Filled-up application form. 
  • GRE scoresheet. 
  • Academic transcripts of all your educational institutions. 
  • IELTS or TOEFL score sheet. 
  • Two-three LORs (Letters of Recommendation). 
  • Resume or CV. 
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP). 
  • Work experience details, if applicable. 
  • Financial proofs for covering costs for academics and living for 12 months.  
  • Compulsory health insurance proof. 
  • Valid passport copy. 

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Future Employment Avenues: 

Those with a master’s in psychology may apply for employment across schools, universities, colleges, and even hospitals along with outpatient centers. Many students complete their PhD programs after the master’s course, putting them on track towards a doubly rewarding professional or research career. Completing a PhD in psychology enables graduates to earn average salaries of $88,000 annually or INR 65.39 lakhs. It is more than the annual median salary of $55,000 or INR 40.87 lakhs for master’s graduates. 

Those with master’s degrees often pursue research and employment under the supervision of qualified doctoral psychologists, particularly in fields like testing, clinical psychology, counseling, and even educational institutions. Organizational and industrial psychology are fast-growing avenues for graduates as well. Aspirants may consider private practices in the USA as well. They have to obtain a license via a doctoral degree, complete the required hours during their internships, and pass the EPPP (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology). Once an aspirant gets approval from any state licensing authority, they can readily practice in the USA. School psychologists also have to obtain licenses/certificates via state education departments. 

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School psychologists in the USA should go through specialist/master’s degrees while passing the Teacher Certification examination. Some states may require internships too. The official site of the American Psychological Association will help students get an idea about licenses and other official requirements. 

Counselors and mental health or wellness therapists are greatly in demand throughout the country. At the same time, psychology has spawned multiple career options like social psychology, neuropsychology, and many other subdivisions. A psychology degree from the USA has global recognition and opens the door towards many attractive professional prospects. 

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Student Visa Procedure: 

Those applying for foreign studies in the USA will require a suitable student visa. Visas granted in the USA include F-1, J, M, and F-2, among others. F-1 visas are usually applicable for international students. Here are the steps in the process: 

· You have to pay the SEVIS charge before obtaining the I-20 form from your academic institution. Fill up your form and make sure that you take it to the interview for your visa. 

· Pay the visa charge at the bank or financial institution while keeping the receipt carefully. Carry this to your F-1 visa interview too. 

· Schedule your visa interview at your nearest embassy. After the interview, you will get your visa within a maximum of four months if your application is successful. 

· Some of the documents needed include the non-migration application, valid passport copy, DS-160 form, passport-size photographs, receipt of payment for the application fee, and the eligibility certificate for F-1 or nonimmigrant student visas. 

Read More About: IELTS Score to study in the USA

Available Scholarships: 

Studying psychology in the USA may become a costly affair unless you have secured sufficient funding. Hence, you may consider applying for a good scholarship if you are eligible. Numerous organizations and institutions offer scholarships for meritorious international students wishing to pursue psychology in the USA. Here is a list of options: 

Name of the ScholarshipScholarship Amount
Inlaks Shivdasani FoundationMay Vary
Dr. Michael Horowitz or Dr. Jeannie Gutierrez Scholarship for Immigrant or First Generation applicants$10,000 or INR 7.43 lakh (approx)
QS Leadership Scholarship for Masters$10,000 or INR 7.43 lakh
American Psychological Foundation Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship$10,000 or INR 7.43 lakh
PEO IPS (International Peace Scholarship)$12,500 or INR 9.29 lakh
President’s Scholarship$7,000 or INR 5.20 lakh

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Can I do a Master’s in Psychology in the USA?

You can always apply for a psychology master’s degree in the USA. It is a graduate course that you may do independently or as a part of your doctoral program, with a thesis accompanying it. These degrees are either MS (Master of Science) or MA (Master of Arts) courses. The former emphasizes more on scientific and research aspects of the discipline, while the latter focuses more on the humanities aspects of the subject. You need your MS degree to start your professional journey in the USA. You can go on to do your PhD and take up research. To obtain your professional license to practice in the USA, you will require a doctoral degree, along with passing the national/state examination and fulfilling other criteria.

Is Psychology a STEM Course in the USA?

Psychology is a core discipline under the STEM category in the USA. Because of the subject’s direct technological, research, and scientific associations and its vast contribution towards the development of contemporary academia, technology, and science. Psychology has contributed immensely to education as well. Psychology is recognized as a science as per the National Science Foundation, making it a STEM discipline.

Can an International Psychologist Practice in the USA?

International psychologists applying for licenses in the USA should select the proper jurisdiction before applying for their license. Canada and the USA are two of the few global countries that need doctoral degrees from applicants to grant them licenses as psychologists. If you wish to practice psychology in the USA, you will require a doctoral degree as mentioned and work for 1,500-6,000 hours, based on the state guidelines for your internship. You also have to clear the EPPP or the professional practice examination successfully while passing a jurisprudence test, if required.

Can I do a Master’s in Psychology after B Tech in the USA?

Of course, you can complete your MS or MA in Psychology after completing your B Tech if you wish. Psychology master’s degrees are open to those who have not graduated in the subject. The eligibility criteria differ across educational institutions, and MA Psychology usually requires applicants to have scored 50% marks in their undergraduate courses. Some institutions may insist on undergraduate studies in psychology or related subjects, although you will still find those which grant admission to students without a definite background in the subject. However, you will have to fulfill varying admission requirements.

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