Psychology is an in-demand field, and a master’s degree in psychology provides a solid foundation for a variety of different career paths. Job opportunities for psychologists are expected to grow, but those in certain specialties — such as substance abuse and family therapy — are even more sought after. And with many companies putting a greater emphasis on their employees mental wellbeing, professionals who have advanced psychology degrees are in greater demand.
Our well-rounded curriculum exposes you to a range of topics in psychology, cognitive science, and human development. Under the guidance of renowned faculty from Harvard and peer institutions, you’ll develop a greater understanding of how environmental and biological factors interact to determine cognitive, emotional, and psychological functioning.
Customizable path, stackable certificates, & experiential learning
Instructors who are academics and professionals at the top of their fields
Personalized academic advising
Faculty research and internship opportunities
A faculty-supported thesis or applied research project
Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation
Customizable Course Curriculum
Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your career goals. In the program, you’ll experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person.
As you work through the program’s core courses, you’ll deepen your knowledge of essential psychology concepts, tools, and strategies. You’ll then build on that foundation by selecting elective courses that enable you to focus on the areas that are most important to you — for example, neurobiology, racial equity, or mindfulness. And you’ll culminate the experience with either a capstone or thesis.
Along the way, you can choose to earn a graduate certificate in Topics in Human Behavior by selecting courses that stack toward both credentials.
11 Online Courses
- Synchronous and asynchronous formats
- Fall, spring, January, and summer options
You’ll complete 1 on-campus course, choosing between an accelerated or standard pace:
- 2 weekends (1 in fall and 1 in spring)
- A 3-week summer session
Capstone or Thesis Track
- Thesis: features a 9-month independent research project with a faculty advisor
- Capstone: includes exploring a topic and completing a project in a classroom community
The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.
First, you’ll register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.
We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.
A Faculty of Psychology Experts
You’ll learn from Harvard faculty and industry leaders who will help you gain real-world perspectives. Our instructors are renowned experts in clinical psychology, neurobiology, psychopathology, and more. They bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.
Our Community at a Glance
Many of our students in the Psychology Master’s Degree Program are established professionals looking to make a career change (33%). Others are earning the degree for career advancement (23%) or as preparation for further advanced study (25%).
Course Taken Each Semester
Work Full Time
Would Recommend the Program
Professional Experience in the Field
Pursued for Career Change
Career Opportunities & Alumni Outcomes
Graduates of our Psychology Master’s Program work in the fields of mental health, research, healthcare, human resources, and education. Some alumni continue their educational journeys and work toward a PhD, including at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, or Harvard School of Public Health. They have also pursued further studies in other nationally ranked degree programs, including those at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and Brown University.
Our alumni have gone on to work in a variety of roles, including:
- Postdoctoral Fellow
- Guidance Counselor
- Clinical Psychologist
- Academic Coordinator
- Research Program Manager
- Clinical Supervisor
- HR Consultant
Career Advising and Mentorship
Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, online tools, employment opportunities, career fairs — including the Ivy+ Just in Time Virtual Career Fair — and connections to Harvard alumni mentors.
Your Harvard University Degree
Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will earn your Harvard University degree — the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Psychology.
Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network
As a graduate of the master’s degree program in the psychology field, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).
Tuition & Financial Aid
Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.
|Our Tuition (2023–24 rate)||$3,220 per course|
|Average Tuition of Peer Institutions||$4,330 per course|
|Average Total Cost||$38,640|
After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.
How long does it take to complete the psychology graduate program?
Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.
For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.
While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.
What can you do with a master’s degree in psychology?
A master’s degree in psychology can open doors to a range of psychology-related careers, such as a behavioral counselor, career advisor, or drug and alcohol specialist.
This type of degree can also enhance non-psychology careers, like those in the fields of advertising, human resources, and retail sales.
Understanding human behavior is an invaluable skill that spans industries and careers.
What is the difference between a master’s degree in psychology and clinical psychology?
Both types of master’s degrees provide a detailed look into human behavior.
However, a psychology master’s degree can be broader in scope and more widely applicable to a variety of careers, while a clinical psychology masters is more specialized for analyzing and treating a range of mental health disorders.
What skills do you need prior to applying for the psychology master’s degree program?
Harvard Extension School does not require any specific skills prior to applying, but in general, it’s helpful to have solid communication, critical thinking, and active listening skills if you are considering a psychology master’s degree.
Initial eligibility requirements can be found on our psychology degree requirements page.