Masters abroad: preps and steps

Study Masters in Psychology in USA: Best University, Costs, Requirements & Career Prospects

Yocket Editorial Team

A Masters degree in psychology is typically completed within one to two years in the United States. Universities in the USA offer masters degrees in psychology with a variety of specialties, including the Masters of Science (MS) and the Masters of Arts (MA). An MS in Psychology deals with scientific understanding of the human mind and its behaviour whereas MS in Psychology is all about its practical applications.

So, if you want to gather in-depth information of behaviour, actions, thoughts, interactions and reactions of people then a Masters in Psychology USA is the right choice for you. Compared to other destinations, the graduate schools in the US have strong rankings in terms of educational and career opportunities. If you are interested in pursuing your master degree psychology USA, this blog will give you more about top Psychology universities for masters, requirements and more.

Table of Contents

Why Study Masters in Psychology in the USA?

Universities in USA offering MS in Psychology is available in abundance and are currently experiencing a large number of international applicants for the program. Let's look at it.

  • Top Universities: A majority of the top US universities offering a Master's degree in Psychology are ranked among the top 100 universities globally in QS World University Rankings 2023. Even some universities like Northwestern University, Yale University, and Carnegie Mellon University are ranked in the Top 50 QS Rankings For Psychology Subject.
  • Scope: According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, there are about 178,000 job openings for Psychologists in 2020, which is projected to grow by 8% in the year 2030, with about 13,400 openings each year, on average, over the decades.
  • Salary: The average median pay of a psychologist in USA is around 81,040 USD per year, with a maximum salary of 133,890 USD. In the USA, they are likely to get a salary increase of about 13% every 17 months. The annual increment for all combined professions is around 8%, granted to the employees every 16 months.

Highest paying jobs in US for international students

Course Curriculum For Masters in Psychology in USA

To pursue post graduation in Psychology in USA, you may have two different options i.e MS or an MA in Psychology. Let's discuss the different aspects of masters in psychology in the universities in USA.

  • Duration: A typical master's degree in Psychology in USA is of a duration between two to three years, depending upon your selection of course and the university.
  • Content: The Psychology masters degree at most of the US universities focuses on social psychology, cognition, perception, neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, forensic psychology etc. However, some may have different areas of focus.
  • Curriculum: The masters in psychology program curriculum consists of 12 courses and a thesis or comprehensive exam. You are required to take statistics, research methods and three psychology courses to complete the degree at most of the universities.

In order to get admission to MS in Psychology USA, you must fulfil certain eligibility criteria which has been discussed in the next section.

Eligibility Criteria and Admission Requirements for Masters in Psychology in USA

The eligibility criteria and requirements for Masters in Psychology in USA depends upon the program and the university you choose. However, the basic ones remain the same at most universities. These may include

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Language Requirements
  • GRE or GMAT Score
  • Passport and Visa

Let us now discuss each one.

Bachelor's Degree

The nominal MA or MS in psychology in USA eligibility is to have a bachelor's degree either BA or BSc in related subjects with a minimum of 3.0 GPA. A few of the universities also ask for a certain research experience. This is usually achieved after completing an undergraduate research course, writing a thesis or working with a research assistant during studies.

Language Requirements

The language test scores are required for all international students to get into universities in the USA for psychology masters admission. The minimum scores as per two popular tests are TOEFL (90-100) and IELTS (6.0-7.0). Also make sure you appear in the tests at least 6 to 8 weeks prior to the deadline to get the scores in time.

GRE or GMAT Score

A GMAT or GRE score is also required by US  universities. The average GMAT score must be   range from 650 to 700 or a GRE score of 290 or above. However, there are some colleges that offer admissions to Masters in psychology in USA without GRE scores.

Passport and Visa

A valid passport Id and US student visa are a must for international students to study in the USA universities. Do keep in mind to apply for your student visa as early as possible before travelling to the country.

Documents Required for Masters in Psychology in USA

Apart from MA or MS in psychology in USA eligibility, you must require some sets of documents to submit in the application. These may include:

  1. Official Academic Transcripts
  2. Bachelor's Degree Certificate
  3. Test Scorecards
  4. DS-160 Form
  5. Letter of recommendation
  6. Statement of Purpose
  7. Updated CV or Resume
  8. Work Experience Certificate (if required)
  9. Proof of Financial Resources

Admission Process for Masters in Psychology in USA

A step by step guide to apply for different Masters in Psychology universities in USA is as follows

  • Choose the specialisations you want to pursue and find out the best university offers it.
  • Visit the official website of your selected university and gather information about entry requirements.
  • Fill out the desired application form with the required details.
  • Scan and upload the required documents such as transcripts, scorecards, resume, etc.
  • Complete the admission form and pay the application fees.
  • Appear in the university interview (if required) with the respective director and show your soft skills.
  • Once you are selected, you will get a conditional letter, accept it and book a seat at the university.
  • You have to pay the deposit fees to book your seat by agreeing to all terms and conditions.

Top Universities in USA for Masters in Psychology 

Psychology Masters programs are offered by many top academic institutions in USA. Each of them has their own specialisations and course curriculum. Talking about the universities, here we have curated a list of the best universities in USA for masters in psychology.

  1. Columbia University
  2. New York University
  3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  4. Pennsylvania State University
  5. Michigan State University

Let's discuss each university one by one.

Columbia University

The Masters in Psychology USA program at Columbia is designed to provide a broad base in the subject offering an opportunity for intensive research. It provides three areas of  psychology which are cognition psychology, neuroscience and personality and social psychology. This program provides an opportunity for graduates to become acquainted with all research conducted in the department by faculty and their fellow graduate students.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Psychology Rankings


Type of University


Average Annual Fees

55,000 USD

Programs Offered

Master of Arts in Psychology

New York University

The MA in Psychology in USA at NYU prepares the students in different areas of study such as social, clinical, cognition, consumer, forensic psychology. The program helps you to examine the situational influences on behaviour in individuals and groups and how to identify the psychological processes to explain those behaviours. It also gives an opportunity to students to work in faculty research labs investigating several psychological topics.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Psychology Rankings


Type of University


Average Annual Fees

50,638 USD

Programs Offered

Master of Arts in Psychology

MA in Industrial & Organizational Psychology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The MS in Psychology in USA program at this university provides you with the requisite knowledge to conduct independent research in academics or applied settings in specific areas of study within the field of psychology. The program is designed to prepare the students for academics and research oriented careers. During the first semester, students get the chance to be involved in the research with their faculties.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Psychology Rankings


Type of University


Average Annual Fees

31,464 USD

Programs Offered

MS in Psychological Sciences

MS in Psychology

Pennsylvania State University

PSU offers admissions to psychology programs demonstrating an integrated understanding of major psychological concepts, theories and scientific foundations across multiple disciplines of psychology. This will develop the critical thinking skills of an individual in the evaluation and critique of empirical and theoretical research in a specific area. The course disseminates the knowledge and skills  of students to enhance psychological awareness to the general population.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Psychology Rankings


Type of University


Average Annual Fees

36,974 USD

Programs Offered

MS in Psychology

Michigan State University 

Michigan State University provides a collegial and collaborative environment fostering high quality research to their students. Its program is research intensive and offers students with the expertise in methodological and theoretical aspects of psychology in different areas. The core interests of the psychology programs include social cognition, social psychology, community engaged research and processes, individual differences etc.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Psychology Rankings


Type of University


Average Annual Fees

29,904 USD

Programs Offered

Master of Arts in Psychology

Suggested: USA Universities with most Indian and International Students 

Cost of Studying Masters in Psychology in USA

 The fees to pursue psychology masters programs USA will depend on various factors. Broadly speaking the majority of the fees will be spent on your tuition fees and the cost of living. Let's discuss each one.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for psychology in the USA may vary based on the type of programs and the university you choose. On an average, the fees for an MA in psychology in USA ranges from 25,000 USD to 60,000 USD. Whereas for MS in psychology in USA it is slightly more.

Cost of Living 

The living costs in the USA will depend upon your lifestyle and preferences. An estimated cost for international students varies from  1,250 USD to 2,700 USD per month. It may covers your all essential amenities such as transportation, housing, food, stationery, study materials etc. 

Moving on from the cost of studying, let us take a look at the scholarships for psychology courses in the USA.

Scholarships For Masters in Psychology in USA

If these costs seem high to you, then don't worry. As in order to pursue MS in Psychology in USA, you can avail different types of scholarships to manage your expenses. Here we have given a list of scholarships you can apply to study in the country.

Scholarship Name



Columbia University International Merit Scholarship

Students must have good academic records

Upto 3,000 USD

Michigan International Tuition Grant

International students with considerable academic performance and an application essay

Upto 21,000 USD

Michigan Honors College Excellence Scholarship

Selected group of non residential students who are in honors college

13,000 USD

Foreign Fulbright Program

International students studying a masters programs at NYU

Covers the cost of attendance

Find scholarships for international students in US

Jobs After Masters in Psychology in USA

Masters in Psychology in USA will equip you with the necessary skills to grow your career. After completing MA or MSc Psychology in USA you can land into various well paid positions across the world. Some of the popular job roles are given below.

Job Profile

Average Salary


239,846 USD

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

96,270 USD

Forensic Psychologist

72,727 USD

Engineering Psychologist

82,815 USD

Clinical School Psychologist

79,820 USD

Sports Psychologist

75,076 USD

Now that you know all about the top universities in USA for Masters in Psychology, it is easy for you to filter out the best option and begin your higher education. To know more on Masters in Psychology USA, do connect with our Yocket Professionals now.


Frequently Asked Questions About Masters in Psychology in USA

What is the minimum GPA required for an MA in Psychology in USA?

Do you need GRE scores to study MS in Psychology in USA?

Is a psychology degree a stem in the USA?

Does UCLA offer a Masters in psychology?

What is the scope of psychology in the USA?

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