Divine Mercy University Online Master of Science in Psychology

Why Divine Mercy University? 

This small private Catholic graduate-level university in Sterling, Virginia recruits applicants for its online program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Psychology.  There are no requirements for applicants to have completed specific courses in their undergraduate degree. While no standardized test results are required, the university expects applicants to have earned a 2.5 Grade Point Average during prior study.  The program is managed by the university’s Institute for the Psychological Sciences.

Program Snapshot

University Name Divine Mercy University
Location Sterling
State Virginia
Niche.com Grade none
Name of Degree Master of Science in Pyschology
School or Department Administering Program Institute for the Psychological Sciences
Credits 33
Cost per credit $826.00
Tuition for Entire Program $27,258.00
Test Requirements GRE recommended if GPA below 2.75
Minimum GPA 2.5
Prerequisite Courses and Skills none
Campus Visit Required? no
Typical Time to Complete 16-26 months
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall
Program Concentrations Marriage and Family Studies; Leadership; Pre-PhD; Human Services Counseling; Self-designed (free choice of electives)
Synchronous classes The curriculum is conveyed primarily asynchronous with a synchronous, virtual residency in course one.
Required Courses
  • Helping People Flourish: A Catholic-Christian Approach to Psychology
  • Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan
  • The Catholic-Christian Vision of Flourishing: Vocations & Virtues
  • Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation
  • Statistical Analysis for Psychology and the Social Sciences
  • Developmental Psychopathology: Risk and Resilience
  • Research Methodology and Design, Evidence-based Practice, and Program Evaluation
  • Social Psychology, Groups, and Diversity
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the program include a practicum or internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Catholic mindset
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program)
  • Analyze and deepen knowledge of the major concepts, theories, and methodologies in psychology for science and applied practice
  • Develop a holistic, Catholic Christian understanding of the flourishing person that permeates all aspects of psychological study
  • Synthesize the Catholic Christian vision with contemporary philosophical, theological, and psychological theories, research, and interventions
  • Utilize psychological literacy and scientific methodology and mindedness to formulate plausible psychological explanations for behavior and to solve problems as transformational leaders employing culturally appropriate, innovative approaches in diverse settings
  • Evaluate critically their own biases, assumptions, attitudes, etc., and their effect on decision-making, planning, interpersonal communication, and working in teams
  • Engage in behavior that is in accordance with the ethical standards of the discipline and the dignity of the person in order to bring about flourishing
  • Develop human interpersonal skills for working with individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds either in person or through the use of technology
  • Articulate insights effectively and empathically to individuals and groups
  • Exhibit continuous self-reflection and improvement of professional knowledge, skills, and abilities for authentic development and growth in personal and professional identity
  • Evaluate the attitudes, skill sets, and strategies for being a transformational leader in a variety of applied settings.
Program Description The program’s 33 credits can be completed within 16-26 months. No capstone is required, and students do not complete an internship. Students can specialize within one of five concentration areas: Marriage and Family Studies, Leadership; Pre-PhD, Human Services Counseling, or a Self-designed concentration pathway. Students learn foundational concepts while developing the skills and self-reflection to become effective professionals. 

What will I Learn?

Graduates of this program will be equipped with the analytical skills and knowledge to formulate plausible explanations for human behavior and select interventions to solve problems as transformational leaders. They develop a holistic, Catholic Christian understanding of the flourishing person that permeates their understanding of the psychological project. As ethical professionals, they will display self-reflection and critical thinking skills, as well as exemplary communication skills and interpersonal competencies. 

Core approaches are covered in Helping People Flourish: A Catholic-Christian Approach to Psychology, Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan and The Catholic-Christian Vision of Flourishing: Vocations & Virtues. Students investigate theory and practice in further depth in Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation, Social Psychology, Groups, and Diversity and Developmental Psychopathology: Risk and Resilience. Statistical Analysis for Psychology and the Social Sciences,  Research Methodology and Design, Evidence-based Practice, and Program Evaluation provide comprehensive training in research methodology.

Students can choose to specialize in one of the following concentrations: Marriage and Family Studies, Leadership, Pre-PhD, or Human Services Counseling. Students may also choose to pursue a self-designed concentration pathway in which they select from a range of electives. 

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 16-26 months and pay $826.00 per credit for a total of 33 credits, or just under $27,258.00 for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

Most courses are taught asynchronously, meaning that students are not required to attend an online class at a specified time, but instead complete online activities on their own schedules.  Students are required to attend a virtual, synchronous residency during course one, during which they attend in-person sessions and build relationships with instructors and other students. No campus visit is required. 

Students complete the program within 16-26 months. Students can start the program in the Fall semester every year. The curriculum is flexible, providing students with the opportunity to design a course pathway that provides balance with their other life responsibilities.


 Some applicants may be attracted by the opportunity to study intensively and build relationships with classmates during the required virtual residency in their first required course. The program may interest candidates who would prefer to complete their Master’s through coursework only, without the scheduling challenges presented by capstone or internship requirements. Applicants should investigate the role played by Christianity in the program’s curriculum and approach.