Pepperdine University Online Master of Arts in Psychology

Why Pepperdine University? 

This online Master of Arts in Psychology offered by this mid-sized private Christian research university in Malibu, California. Students are not required to have completed any prerequisite coursework in their undergraduate program. No standardized test results are required for your application. The program is administered by the university’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

Program Snapshot

University Name Pepperdine University
Location Malibu
State California Grade A
Name of Degree Master of Arts in Psychology
School or Department Administering Program Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Credits 36
Cost per credit $1,770.00
Tuition for Entire Program $63,720.00
Test Requirements none
Minimum GPA none
Prerequisite Courses and Skills none
Campus Visit Required? no
Typical Time to Complete 18-24 months
When Can Students Start the Program? Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Program Concentrations none
Synchronous classes yes
Required Courses
  • Psychopathology
  • Theories of Counseling and Psychology
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders
  • Interpersonal Skills and Group Therapy
  • Individual, Couple and Family Development: A Lifecycle Approach; Multicultural Counseling
  • Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Research and Evaluation Methods for Mental Health Professionals
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Industrial Organizational Psychology
  • Behavioral Principles and Theories of Learning
  • Scientific Writing in Psychology
  • Assessment of Individuals, Couples and Families
  • Career Development Theories and Techniques OR Positive Psychology
  • Elective
Does the Program Include a Capstone? No
Does the program include a practicum or internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique small class experiences; integration with research-based department at large prestigious university; Christian perspective
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program)
  • theoretical and practical understanding of the principles of psychology within the framework of a strong clinical emphasis
  • Various aspects of the art and science of psychology as it is applied to the understanding of human behavior
  • Understanding of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional problems
Program Description Comprising 18-24 months of rigorous coursework, this program consists of 36 required credits. With focus on clinical skills, students gain an understanding of all facets of psychological theory and practice, with opportunities for some exploration of specialist topics. No capstone or practicum is offered. 

What will I Learn?

Compared to many other programs at the Master’s level, the Pepperdine online psychology degree pathway includes a strong focus on clinical skills of assessment and intervention. Students gain a foundation in both theory and practice, with the aim of understanding prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional problems. 

The curriculum for this program can be divided into three broad themes. Students gain an understanding and competence in professional psychological research in Research and Evaluation Methods for Mental Health Professionals and Scientific Writing in Psychology. Therapeutic techniques and contextual knowledge are the focus of courses in Psychopathology, Theories of Counseling and Psychology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders, Interpersonal Skills and Group Therapy, Individual, Couple and Family Development: A Lifecycle Approach, Multicultural Counseling, Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy, and Assessment of Individuals, Couples and Families. 

Students are then able to explore specializations within psychology in required courses in Physiological Psychology, Social Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology,  Behavioral Principles and Theories of Learning, and Career Development Theories and Techniques OR Positive Psychology. They can then explore further topics in one required elective course.

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 18-24 months and pay $1,770.00 per credit for a total of 36 credits, or just under $64,000 for the entire degree.

How does the program fit into my life?

Consisting entirely of synchronous “live” classes, this program offers many opportunities for students to build connections with instructors and peers. However, it does required that students set aside scheduled time each week to attend class. The curriculum is somewhat flexible, allowing students to make choices about which courses to take in order to balance work and school commitments. The required courses take most students 18-24 months to complete. Students can begin the program in Fall, Spring or Summer semesters.


Offering small classes and an intimate and supportive culture, the online psychology program at Pepperdine reflects the priorities of this prestigious university. The home department has an active research agenda, with faculty specializing in the treatment of children with neurodevelopmental conditions, Latinx psychology, and the societal trauma of oppression, among many other topics. 

Since Pepperdine University was founded as a Christian-influenced institution, aspiring students will want to investigate the impact of this perspective on their student experience. Another important consideration should be the high cost of this degree, and applicants will want to examine their options for financial aid carefully.