9 One Year Masters in Psychology Programs (And How to Find a Psych Program That May Save You Time!)

one year masters in psychologyWhether you’re seeking one year Masters in Psychology programs or a slightly longer program that’s ideal for your timeline, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up a list of partner schools with Master’s in Psychology programs that may be earned in as few as 12 months!

List of 9 Schools With One Year Masters in Psychology Programs (or Longer Programs That May Still Suit Your Timeline)

Hoping to earn a Master of Psychology degree in a hurry? These partner schools offer Psychology master’s programs with features that may save you time, like flexible online courses or a 6-semester academic year. So, you just might be able to earn that degree in as little as a year – depending on your program, schedule, and other factors.

written by Shannon Fandler

1. Pepperdine University


Program Length: As few as 12 months

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Online courses
  • Foundation courses may be waived if, in the past seven years, you earned a “B” or better in courses covering the same material.

Pepperdine is a Christian university based in Malibu, California. (They also have five graduate campuses throughout Southern California, six international locations, and flexible online programs.) Welcoming students of all faith backgrounds, Pepperdine values diversity as well as making the world a better place through service.

Pepperdine University’s Master of Arts in Psychology program features online courses designed to suit your busy life, plus in-person volunteer work. In this non-licensure program, you’ll study psychotherapy techniques, multicultural counseling, career development, and more. The online MA in Psychology program is available in many but not all states.

2. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology


Program Length: One year (for full-time students) - One Year Psychology Masters Programs Online

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Online courses

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is an accredited institution dedicated to education in Psychology and beyond. They offer over 20 advanced study degree programs in areas like Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis, and more. Many programs are offered online, and others may be pursued at campuses in Chicago, New Orleans, Dallas, Southern California, and Washington, D.C.

TCSPP is home to an MA in Psychology program that may be earned in as little as one year, for full-time students. Choose from potential concentrations in areas like Social & Community Psychology, Organizational Leadership, Forensic Psychology, Theory and Practice and more. Generally, students take 21 credits and foundational courses, in addition to 9 credits in their concentration.

3. Tiffin University


Program Length: 1.5 years on average for a full-time student; but, students may transfer credits and potentially save time.

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Accepts transfer credits
  • Online courses
  • Two 7-week terms per semester in January, March, May, July, August, and October

Tiffin is a private, nonprofit university founded in 1888 in Tiffin, Ohio. They serve over 3,000 students, across 50+ undergraduate majors and more than 25 graduate programs. Tiffin University's popular programs include Psychology, Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Management, and more.

Tiffin’s online MS in Psychology program in their psychology department takes an interdisciplinary approach, with courses taught by faculty across the fields of both mental health and criminal justice. This non-licensure program focuses on scientific and experimental psychology, not counseling or clinical psychology. So, you’ll study areas like social psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and more.

4. Walden University


Program Length: 24 months, on average; however, students may transfer up to 24 credits and potentially save time.

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Online courses
  • Transfer up to 24 credits
  • Thinking of pursuing a future PhD? Transfer up to half of your master’s coursework to Walden’s PhD in Psychology program.

For over 45 years, Walden University has served adult students in online programs across diverse disciplines. Committed to positive social change, Walden emphasizes ethical integrity, diversity, information literacy, and a passion for lifelong learning. The university enrolls over 57,000 students.

Walden’s online M.S. in Forensic Psychology programs features ten career-focused specializations, so you can zero in on the area you’re most interested in – from Cybercrimes to Terrorism. You’ll study the biological, psychological, and social factors that lead to crime, as well as research and assessment methods that may be used in forensic cases. The program’s interactive online coursework includes case studies, podcasts, expert interviews, and other ways to engage with what you’re learning.

5. University of Southern California


Program Length: 16 months (taking two courses per term)

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Online courses
  • Fall, Spring, and Summer start dates

The University of Southern California is a private research university based in Los Angeles. Founded in 1880, USC developed alongside (and became a key part of) the city of LA. Today, the university serves about 44,000 students across diverse degree programs that focus on interdisciplinary study, research, and collaboration.

USC’s online Master of Science in Applied Psychology is designed for working professionals with interests in both business and psychology. The program features 34 credits in core coursework and electives within your concentration, plus a required internship. Students who take two courses per term may earn the degree in 16 months – just a little over one year!

6. Sacred Heart University


Program Length: May vary; students taking just one course at a time typically earn the degree in two years

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • No clinical hours required
  • Online courses
  • Six start dates each year

Did you know students at Sacred Heart University volunteer over 100,000 hours every year? A private, Catholic university based in Fairfield, Connecticut, Sacred Heart takes pride in offering contemporary education true to its faith-based roots. The university serves over 8,500 students across more than 80 academic programs – both on campus and online.

The online Master's in Applied Psychology (MSAP) program at Sacred Heart is designed to cover the ins and outs of behavioral and workplace psychology. Candidates may choose from concentrations in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Community Psychology, and General Applied Psychology. The psychological research based program may be perfect even for those with an undergraduate degree in a field other than Psychology.

7. Grand Canyon University


Program Length: 20 months on average; however, you may transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree and potentially save time.

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Transfer up to 12 credits
  • Eight-week online courses
  • No thesis required

Chartered in 1949, Grand Canyon University has undergone decades of evolution to become a diverse institution offering graduate programs and online learning in addition to a traditional, undergraduate college experience. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the university serves over 19,000 students on campus and 60,000+ students online.

GCU’s Master of Science in Psychology program focuses on contemporary issues, offering a general overview of the field in addition to concentrations in Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Social Service, and more. Students may choose to study online or on campus, in a format featuring once-per-week evening classes designed for working adults.

8. Pennsylvania State University


Program Length: 33 credits; time to earn the degree varies

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Online courses designed for working professionals

Pennsylvania State University is a public, land-grant, doctoral university serving around 100,000 students across 24 campuses. The second-largest campus in the university system, Penn State World Campus, makes learning accessible to students beyond Pennsylvania via over 150 online degree and certificate programs.

The online MPS in the Psychology of Leadership program offered through Penn State World Campus is designed for working professionals looking to explore the social, cultural, and psychological components of leadership. The 33-credit program covers areas like motivation, mentorship, human resources strategy, human development, team dynamics, leadership psychological theory, and research related to the field. Candidates pursue core coursework, electives, and a Capstone Experience.

9. Northcentral University


Program Length: Recommended time is 18 months for the MA programs and 20 months for the MS programs; however, individual pace may vary.

Program Features That May Save You Time:

  • Start dates every Monday
  • Flexible online courses

University is a regionally accredited online institution designed to serve students with diverse goals. Northcentral’s programs feature 100% doctoral faculty and a one-on-one learning model, meaning you partner with a professor in each of your courses. With weekly course starts, you may even be able to launch your studies right away.

Northcentral offers multiple paths to earning a Master’s in Psychology online. The program with the shortest average length is the MA in Psychology, which requires 30-36 credit hours depending on your specialization. The program focuses on behavioral, emotional, and cognitive processes, with an emphasis on critical thinking, research, and writing.


Sigmund Freud, considered the father of psychoanalysis, was his mother’s favorite out of eight children.

3 Things You Should Know About Finding a One Year Masters in Psychology Program

Pressed for time and hoping to earn your Master’s in Psychology in as little as a year? For starters, it’s important to make sure your goals align with the programs you’re considering, since not every Psychology master’s program is designed with the same outcomes in mind.

While some programs are intended to help you prepare for and pursue licensure, others focus on the academic and research side of the field. The type of degree you’re hoping to pursue may affect how long it takes you to earn your master’s.

How Long is a Masters in Psychology Program?

Psychology master’s programs not intended to lead to professional licensure may take as few as 12 months to earn, though many are designed to take 1.5 to 2 years. On the other hand, if you’re pursuing a career path that requires licensure, such as Mental Health Counselor, your preparation time may be longer.

While state requirements vary, you’ll generally need to earn a master’s degree and perform 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience to pursue licensure as a Mental Health Counselor.[i] As an example, the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is designed to take about 2.5 years of full-time study, whereas their M.A. in Psychology may be earned in about one year.

In other words, pursuing a one year Psych masters program is not the ideal path for everyone. That said, here are some tips for finding a Master’s in Psychology program that may be perfect for your timeline:

1. Look for One Year Psychology Masters Programs Online 

You may be able to find online programs that offer as many as six terms per year, courses that are friendly to your busy schedule, and the chance to study at your preferred pace. If time is a concern as you pursue your educational goals in Psychology, the ability to study from the convenience of home in online masters degrees – or squeeze that class assignment into your lunch break at work – may make all the difference.

2. Took Previous Graduate Courses?

Look for Transfer-Friendly Psych Master’s Programs. If you already have some credits under your belt, you could potentially save some time while earning your Master’s in Psychology at a transfer-friendly graduate school.

3. Be Open to a Longer Program, If It Feels Like a Better Match

Good things can’t always be rushed. Even if you’re eager to launch a new phase of your life and career, it may be a mistake to hurry into a one year Masters in Psychology program just because it’s temptingly short. Take your time to evaluate programs based on your career goals – like pursuing licensure or preparing for potential doctoral studies in Psychology. Hopefully, you’ll find a program that’s perfect for both your short-term and long-term aims.

Search One Year Masters in Psychology Programs

Browse our sponsored listings for 1 year Psychology masters programs (or longer programs that may still be ideal for your goals). Alternatively, fill out our form to get matched to Master’s in Psychology programs for free!

[i] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm#tab-4

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