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Psychology Master’s Degree Program

  • Online Courses

    11 out of 12 total courses

  • On-Campus Experience

    2 weekends or a 3-week summer course

  • Tuition

    $3,220 per course

psychologist working with pediatric client

Deepen your understanding of human behavior. Advance your career.

From emotions and thoughts to motivations and social behaviors, explore the field of psychology by investigating the latest research and acquiring hands-on experience. In online courses and a brief on-campus experience at Harvard, you’ll enhance your knowledge of mental processes and human behavior.

Program Overview

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.

Program Benefits

  • Map with a flag.

    Customizable path, stackable certificates, & experiential learning

  • Teacher speaking to class.

    Instructors who are academics and professionals at the top of their fields

  • Two people talking at a table.

    Personalized academic advising

  • Texbook.

    Faculty research and internship opportunities

  • Notebook and pencil.

    A faculty-supported thesis or applied research project

  • Graduation cap and diploma.

    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

On-Campus Experience

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

Admissions

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.

Getting Started

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%).

Download: Psychology Master's Degree Fact Sheet

  • 37

    Average Age

  • 1

    Course Taken Each Semester

  • 68%

    Work Full Time

  • 98%

    Would Recommend the Program

  • 36%

    Professional Experience in the Field

  • Most

    Pursued for Career Change

Harvard Extension graduate students at commencement

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).

Mariam.

As an international student, I could not have imagined that it’s possible that there would be this kind of community.

Mariam Khayretdinova

Mariam in an entrepreneur who launched her startup through the Harvard Innovation Labs.

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.

FAQs

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.