Ranking Top 20 Online Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2014

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Badge - Online Psyc Degrees - Top Graduate Degree Programs

By Kristen Fescoe
Posted February, 2014

An Online Graduate Psychology Degree can be the start of an exciting and fruitful career in psychology or a related field. Psychologists and mental health counselors are trained professionals who study thoughts, emotions, behaviors and social interactions of people. They also work directly with clients to help individuals better understand their own thoughts, feeling and emotion. The field of psychology continues to grow each year in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011-2012 employment grew in this field 12 percent. With a Master’s Degree in Psychology an individual is qualified as a mental health professional who can work in private practice, rehabilitation facilities, schools, mental health facilities and many other related areas.

Ranking Methodology

This ranking list is created to outline the top ranked Online Psychology Master’s Degree programs in the United States according to a combination of several ranking bodies, including US News and World Report, The Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s 2013 edition of Best Values in Public Colleges. The list is then ranked according to how much coursework can be completed online. While many of these psychology graduate programs are offered as a hybrid of on-campus and online learning, those ranked highest offer fully online programs or a stronger online presence. The goal of this ranking list is to summarize the highest ranked online psychology programs while considering the cost of tuition and the achievements earned by the college or university. Also noted are additional achievements, awards and benefits of each program.

Ranking Top 20 Online Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology

#20. Florida International University: Miami, Florida

florida-international-university-online-masters

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College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science in Psychology

Program Website

Florida International University (FIU) offers students a wide range of both graduate and undergraduate degrees. The Psychology program offers a Master of Science degree with a specialization in Behavior Analysis, Counseling Psychology, Developmental Science, Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Legal Psychology. FIU was ranked among the top “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. US New and World Report ranked the psychology program 191st in the United States and recognized FIU as a “best buy” in higher education, ranking students among the least indebted college students in the nation.

US News and World Report Ranking: #191
Tuition: 2013-14 Full Time Estimate $10,368
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid, Strong Online Presence
Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

# 19. University of Central Florida: Orlando, Florida

University of Central Florida Online Master's

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College of Sciences

Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Program Website

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a member of the State University System of Florida. With a total enrollment of over 60,000 students, on campus and online, UCF is the second largest university in the country. With a strong foundation and rich history, students at UCF have the opportunity to learn in the classroom, online and a combination of the two. The psychology department offers students in the Graduate Psychology Degree Program the opportunity to delve into many areas of psychology. Many of the high caliber faculty members teach the same courses both on campus and online. This affordable graduate psychology degree program is an excellent option for students on a budget.

US News and World Report Ranking: #170
Tuition: Estimated 2013-14 cost – $6,317
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid, Strong Online Presence
Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS)

#18. Arizona State University: Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University Online Master's

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New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Master of Counseling
Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Program Website

Arizona State University (ASU) is the largest university in the United States based on enrollment numbers. This allows rapid growth and developmental of the university, both online and on campus. ASU is ranked 73rd in the world and 46th in the country by the Center for World University Rankings. Additionally, The Princeton Review ranked the university 7th for “Best Bang for the Buck” and 49th for “Contribution to the Public Good.” The Psychology Department offers four Psychology Graduate Degrees in various fields of psychology. With curriculum covering most aspects of the field of psychology, students reap the benefit of experienced faculty.

US News and World Report Ranking: #142
Tuition: $554 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid, Strong Online Presence
Accreditations: North Central Association Higher Learning Commission (HCL-NCA), Council for Accreditation of Counseling and
Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

# 17. University of South Florida: Tampa, Florida

University of South Florida Online Master's

College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science in Psychology

Program Website

The University of South Florida (USF) is a public research university and a member of the State University System of Florida. USF was ranked #6 in Florida by accreditedonlinecolleges.org, a site that evaluates the best and least expensive online accredited colleges and universities. The Department of Psychology is a cornerstone of the College of Arts and Sciences. The graduate psychology degree course work has been broken into three specializations: Clinical Psychology, CNS (Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social Psychology), and Industrial Organizational Psychology. Students can choose coursework that will help them achieve their career goals. This fully accredited graduate psychology program offers a strong curriculum to students interested in psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking: #78 in Psychology
Tuition: Estimated 2013-14 – $20, 728
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid, Strong Online Presence
Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

# 16. Florida State University: Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University Online Master's

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Department of Psychology

Master of Sport Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology – Applied Behavior Analysis

Program Website

Florida State University is a space-grant and sea-grant public research university that is ranked as a research university with very high research activity as determined by the Carnegie Foundation. FSU was ranked #7 in Florida by accreditedonlinecolleges.org, a site that evaluates the best and least expensive online colleges and universities. The graduate psychology degree program places a strong focus on the application of science and the scientific method to psychological principles. The program brings in acclaimed scholars and researchers. Student’s benefit strongly from these faculty members and their research projects.

US News and World Report Ranking: #60 in Psychology
Tuition: Estimated 2013-14 – $27,348.00
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)

# 15. Michigan State University: East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University Online Master's

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College of Social Science

Master of Arts in School Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology

Program Website

Michigan State University (MSU) boasts a number of national and regional rankings and awards. Times Higher Education ranked the university in the top 100 Universities by Reputation 2013 list published. They also achieved the acclaim of being ranked 29th by US New and World Report among the countries public universities. With 17 Fulbright students in 2012–13, MSU ranks 14th among all research universities nationally and 7th among public institutions, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Psychology Department offers students a strong curriculum and excellent faculty both online and in the classroom.

US News and World Report Ranking: #46 in Psychology
Tuition: $621.25 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS), Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)

# 14. Purdue University: West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University Online Master's

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College of Health and Human Sciences

Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Master of Science in Education in Educational Psychology
Master of Science in Educational Psychology
Master of Science in Psychological Sciences

Program Website

Purdue University in West Lafayette is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University System. With almost 40,000 students it is one of the largest academic institutions in Indiana. Purdue was ranked #2 in Indiana by accreditedonlinecolleges.org, a site that evaluates the best and least expensive online colleges and universities. The psychology department offers graduate psychology degree specialization in Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Social Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking: #46 in Psychology
Tuition: $ 347.85 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC), American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (CAMFTE), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

# 13. University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida


University of Florida Online Master's

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The College of Liberal Arts and Science

Master of Arts in English – Literature and Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology

Program Website

The University of Florida (UF) is public land grant, sea-grant, and space-grant Research University and a member of the State University System of Florida. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is responsible for the core Liberal Arts curriculum for the entire university. This means a strong curriculum and excellent faculty across all areas of study. The Department of Psychology is one of the largest departments within the college and throughout the university.

US News and World Report Ranking: #40 in Psychology
Tuition: Estimated 2013-14 graduate student living off campus – $28,050
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

# 12. New York University: New York, New York

New York University Online Master's

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Master of Arts in Education and Jewish Studies – Applied Psychology
Master of Arts in General Psychology

Program Website

New York University (NYU) is located in New York City. The Graduate Psychology Degree Program is among the most prestigious in the country. US News and World Report ranked NYU’s psychology program #9 in Behavioral Neuroscience and #9 in Social Psychology in addition to their rank of #30 for all psychology programs overall. The Master Arts in General Psychology allows students to earn a specialization in Cognition, Forensic Psychology, Social and Consumer Psychology or Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The faculty of 35 esteemed full time members and many more adjust faculty creates an atmosphere of diversity and variety for all psychology graduate students.

US News and World Report Ranking: #30 in Psychology
Tuition: The Graduate School of Arts and Science charges tuition on a per-point basis. A student must 32-42 points for the master’s degree (depending on the program) The 2013-14 rate is $1,494 per point.
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (HLC-MSCHE), New York State Education Department, American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and National Association for Drama Therapy (NADT)

#11. Penn State University: University Park, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University Online Master's

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College of the Liberal Arts

Master of Science in Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology – Applied Linguistics
Master of Education in School Psychology
Master of Science in Educational Psychology
Master of Science in School Psychology

Program Website

Penn State University (PSU) is a public, state-related research university with campuses spread throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Throughout all of the campuses, PSU has an enrollment of almost 100,000 students. PSU is ranked as one of the top 10 clinical programs by the United States University Ranking and is regularly ranked in the top 10-20 clinical programs by the US News and World Report and the Gourman Rankings system. The psychology department is one of the largest programs in the entire university. The department has 45 tenure-track faculty members to help guide students through both study and research.

US News and World Report Ranking: #30 in Psychology
Tuition: $736
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

# 10. Liberty University: Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University Online Master's

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College of Arts and Sciences and College of Seminary

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling
Master of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling

Program Website

Liberty University (LU) is a Christian university founded in the teachings of the Baptist Church. LU has over 90,000 students enrolled on campus and online throughout the world. With counseling and pastoral degrees focused on psychological principles, students in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Seminary learn the theoretical framework and history of counseling and psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking: #89 in the Southern Region
Tuition: $320 per credit hour
Degree of Online Learning: Both Hybrid and Fully Online
Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

#9. Texas A & M University: College Station, Texas

Texas A&M Online Master's

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Liberal Arts College

Master of Education in Educational Psychology (Online and Hybrid Programs)
Master of Education in School Counseling (Fully Online or Hybrid)
Master of Science in Educational Psychology (Hybrid)
Master of Science in Psychology (Hybrid)

Texas A & M at College Station is the flagship of the Texas A & M University System. It is the fourth largest university in the country and is designated as a land, sea, and space grant institution. The university is ranked in the top 20 American research institutes in the United States. The Department of Psychology offers degrees with specializations in several areas. Focus in areas like Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Industrial/ Organizational Psychology and Social Psychology allow students to determine the direction of the degree.

US News and World Report Ranking: #67
Tuition: $742 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: Both Fully Online and Hybrid
Accreditations: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (COC-SOCS), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

# 8. University of Minnesota: Minneapolis, Minnesota

University of Minnesota Online Master's

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The Department of Psychology

Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology

Program Website

The University of Minnesota (U of M) in Minneapolis is a public research university located just five miles from its’ sister school, U of M Saint Paul. The Psychology Department has received commendation from a variety of educational ranking systems. US New and World Report has named the psychology department 9th in the nation, but also ranked the Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Developmental Psychology programs as 1st in the entire country. The MA in Education Psychology offers specialization in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, Psychological Foundations, Quantitative Methods in Education: Evaluation, Quantitative Methods in Education: Measurement, Quantitative Methods in Education: Statistics, Quantitative Methods in Education: Statistics Education, School Psychology and Special Education. The Master’s of Arts program offers specialization in Biological Psychopathology, Clinical Science & Psychopathology Research, Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Counseling Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Personality, Individual Differences, & Behavior Genetics, Quantitative/Psychometric Methods and Social Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking: tied #9 in Psychology
Tuition:
Part time, per credit: $1,167.67 (resident and nonresident)
Full time, 6–14 credits: $7,006.00 (resident and nonresident)
Each credit over 14: $1,167.67 (resident and nonresident)
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFT)

# 7. University of Wisconsin – Madison: Madison, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Online Master's

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The Department of Psychology

Master of Science in Educational Psychology
Master of Science in Educational Psychology – Professional Educator
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology
Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Psychology
Master of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology

Program Website

The University of Wisconsin (UW-Madison) at Madison is a public research university established in 1848. UW-Madison is the flagship university in the University of Wisconsin System. The university is ranked #1 in Wisconsin by accreditedonlinecolleges.org, a site that evaluates accredited online colleges and universities. With a strong psychology department, US New and World Report ranked the department 9th in the country. Additionally, the Behavioral Neuroscience program was ranked 9th in the nation and the Developmental Psychology program was ranked 5th nationally.

US News and World Report Ranking: tied #9
Tuition: $484.44 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA)

# 6. University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign: Champaign, Illinois

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Online Master's

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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Master of Arts in Educational Psychology – African American Studies
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
Master of Science in Educational Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology

Program Website

University of Illinois (U of I) at Urbana-Champaign is a public research-intensive university and is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois System. U of I is a member of the Association of American Universities and is designated as a Research University with very high research activities according to the Carnegie Foundation. The Psychology Department is a proud member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science and is a founding member of the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). In addition to the general ranking of 9th in psychology, US News and World Report ranked the Cognitive Psychology program #3. The Master’s of Education in Educational Psychology offers specialization in African American Studies and Quantitative Literacy. The Master of Science in Educational Psychology program offers a degree specialization in African American Studies.

US News and World Report Ranking: #7 in Psychology
Tuition: 2013-14 estimate $29,594 – 34,514
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid
Accreditations: Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) and Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).

# 5. University of Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Michigan Online Master's

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The Department of Psychology

Master of Science in Psychology

Program Website

The University of Michigan (UM) is a public research university with high research activity. UM was ranked #2 in Michigan by accreditedonlinecolleges.org, a comprehensive site that evaluates online degree programs. The Department of Psychology is one of the largest programs in the university. The graduate psychology degree program offers six focuses including Biopsychology, Clinical Science, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Personality & Social Contexts and Social Psychology. There are also three joint programs of study including Social Work and Psychology, Education and Psychology as well as Women’s Studies and Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking: #4
Tuition: $921 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid, Strong Online Presence
Accreditations: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC)

#4. Argosy University: Phoenix, Arizona

Argosy University Online Master's

College of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology
Master of Arts in Sport-Exercise Psychology

Program Website

Argosy University is a system of for-profit colleges owned by Education Management Corporation. With 28 campus locations and an extensive online campus, students have the benefit of a large educational system. Argosy University’s College of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences was created by a group of clinical psychologists and professors who, in 1975, banded together to create the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. Since that time the faculty has continued in this tradition of teaching both the theoretical groundwork of psychology as well as various areas of specialized focus.

US News and World Report Ranking: Ranking Unpublished
Tuition: $731 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: 100% Online
Accreditations: Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (SOC-WASC), Tennessee Higher Education Commission

# 3. Walden University: Minneapolis, MN

Walden University Online Master's

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School of Psychology

Master of Science in Addiction Counseling
Master of Science in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
Master of Science in School Counseling
Master of Science in Clinical Psychology
Master of Science in Forensic Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology

Program Website

Walden University is a private, for-profit university and is part of a network of an extensive online campus as well as campuses across the country. The psychology program is designed to cater to individuals who need flexibility to earn their degree. The university has secured financing for this program, which is available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. The Master’s Level Psychology Program can be completed in as little as 21 months to save students time and money. The Master of Science degree can be earned in several specializations and students can also choose from a host of focus areas including Applied Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, Crisis Management and Response, Educational Psychology, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Leadership Development and Coaching, Organizational Psychology, Psychology of Culture, Psychology, Public Administration, and Social Change, Social Psychology and Terrorism and Security.

US News and World Report Ranking: Ranking Unpublished
Tuition: Estimated 2013-14 tuition and costs $28,500
Degree of Online Learning: Hybrid or 100% Online
Accreditations: The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

#2. Grand Canyon University: Phoenix, Arizona

Grand Canyon University Online Master's

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College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science in Christian Counseling
Master of Science in Christian Counseling of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders
Master of Science in Professional Counseling
Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Program Website

Grand Canyon University (GCU) if based in Phoenix, Arizona but offers classes online to students in many undergraduate and graduate fields of study. The school is a for-profit, Christian based school established in 1949. The graduate psychology program offers at GCU is extensive covering a variety of specialties and focus areas. With classes starting each month the faculty places a strong focus on allowing students the flexibility they need to earn the degree they desire.

US News and World Report Ranking: Ranking Unpublished
Tuition: $495 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: 100% Online
Accreditations: The Higher Learning Commission-North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HCL-NCACS), National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC)

#1. Capella University: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Capella University Online Master's

Harold Abel School of Psychology

Master of Science in Psychology

Program Website

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Capella University is a for-profit university owned by Capella Education Company. The vast majority of Capella University’s course work is offered online. According to the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Capella exceeds the national average among colleges and universities in the level of academic challenge offered to its students. This university has received numerous awards and accolades for their online undergraduate and graduate programs. Including being ranked 23 (out of 30) in the Guide to Online Schools.com 2012 Online College Rankings. Additionally the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), showed that Capella exceeds the national average among colleges and universities in the level of academic challenge offered to its students

Offering ten different specializations in the field of psychology, Capella’s Psychology department caters to a variety of interests. Students choose a focus area to specialize but also have the opportunity to become exposed to many areas of psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking: Ranking Unpublished
Tuition: $385 – $720 per credit
Degree of Online Learning: 100% Online
Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Opportunities for a Master’s Degree in Psychology Online

Individuals who hope to pursue a career in the field of psychology have even fewer reasons not to start right away. With fully online options as well as hybrid learning options, each student can find the program and institution that suits their individual needs. With everything from large universities, to small private colleges and everything in between there is a program for everyone. With so many options available, graduates will leave their programs ready to pursue a wide variety of career paths in the field of psychology. As the need for Master’s Level Mental Health professionals grows each and every year, the time to pursue your Online Graduate Psychology Degree  is now.

For More on the Best Graduate Programs in Psychology Please Refer to the Following Articles:

Ranking Top 20 Doctoral Programs in Clinical Psychology

About the Author

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University and then a Master of Science in Clinical and Forensic Psychology from Drexel University, Kristen began a career as a therapist at two prisons in Philadelphia. At the same time she volunteered as a rape crisis counselor, also in Philadelphia. After a few years in the field she accepted a teaching position at a local college where she currently teaches online psychology courses. Kristen began writing in college and still enjoys her work as a writer, editor, professor and mother.

 

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