M.S. in Psychology Online Degree

The M.S. in Psychology online degree program at Divine Mercy University is a unique 33-credit hour program that equips students to use psychological knowledge and practical skills to promote flourishing in a vast variety of settings from business and leadership to human services and ministry. Students learn to integrate a Catholic-Christian vision of the person with best practices in psychological theory, research, and intervention. This non-licensing program focuses on training for broader interventions and the development of work and ministry cultures that foster well-being. In order to provide specialized training for a variety of applied settings, the program offers concentrations in:

  • Marriage and Family Studies
  • Leadership
  • Pre-PhD
  • Human Services Counseling
  • Bioethics
  • Self-designed (free choice of electives)

M.S. in Psychology Program Concentrations

Marriage and Family Studies

This concentration allows students to take three additional courses in the area of Marriage and Family Studies from the perspective of the Catholic-Christian teaching on marriage and family in historical, bio-psycho-social-cultural, philosophical, and theological contexts. The program prepares students to encourage couples and families toward flourishing in a variety of settings such as marriage preparation and marriage enrichment relationship education programs, training mentor couples, becoming directors of marriage and family in churches and other ministry settings. In their coursework, students gain insight into foundational systems-oriented theories and will be introduced to models and methods of psycho-educational interventions.

Leadership Psychology

The Leadership Psychology concentration is designed for individuals who are responsible for leading people, programs, and organizations in a variety of settings. These might span from ministry-related leadership positions to leadership positions in business, education, and nonprofit settings. Initially, students appraise tenets of self-leadership by examining personal biases, using critical self-reflection, and affirming the fundamental goodness and innate dignity of the person. In addition, students learn to analyze the evidence base of transformational leadership from a Catholic-Christian perspective, analyze strategies to build growth-oriented learning organizations, and foster personal and professional growth in others.


The Pre-PhD concentration is designed for individuals seeking careers in research-related fields (such as research associates) or wanting to pursue doctoral-level studies in psychology-related fields such as Psychological Sciences, Human Development, Applied Experimental Psychology, Clinical Psychology and others. This concentration guides students through all the phases of planning and executing a scientific project that results in a master’s thesis. The thesis must have an applied science emphasis informed by the Catholic-Christian vision of the person with the overarching goal of supporting the flourishing of the whole person.

Through this thesis work, students have the unique opportunity to research a topic in depth related to an area of interest, work, or ministry. The topic may be informed by but is not required to be related to prior work on the capstone project. Students will generate research that can be shared professionally with others through their thesis, conference presentations, or peer-reviewed published articles to engage with the scientific and broader community. Students in this concentration will register for a one-credit research course for six consecutive terms (equivalent of two electives) that will be taken parallel to the other coursework. Students will take one additional elective course of their choice.

Human Services Counseling

This concentration is intended for students who want to work in settings that focus on meeting human needs and promoting flourishing by focusing on the prevention and remediation of problems. Graduates will be able to engage in professional and paraprofessional occupations in a variety of settings such as group homes, hospitals, correctional centers, day treatment centers, and social service agencies. Job titles and duties can vary considerably by employment setting. In their three electives, students will demonstrate interpersonal skills in helping relationships and group dynamics and analyze helping approaches for individuals struggling with addictions. Working in a human services career can be extremely rewarding by walking alongside individuals in difficult situations and aiding them towards flourishing.


The bioethics concentration empowers students to morally evaluate complex ethical issues that arise in healthcare and other settings, while also providing them with the psychological tools to offer compassionate care. Anchored in the Catholic tradition and focused on the dignity of the human person, students will analyze ethical issues from the beginning of life until its end. Students complete their studies in bioethics through the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s certificate program which grants nine graduate credits towards the Master’s in Psychology program at Divine Mercy. Students take the remaining 24 credits in the MSP program.


The self-design option is created for students who are in work or ministry situations in which they would benefit from a variety of electives. Students in this track can freely choose three electives based on their interests and professional goals. Electives can be taken in the areas of marriage and family, leadership psychology, or human services counseling. This option might be especially beneficial for individuals in ministry leadership positions as it allows them to design an individualized degree plan. 


How long does it take to get an M.S. in Psychology degree from DMU?

The MSP can be completed in as little as 16 months or 26-30 months depending on the students’ time availability. Students who wish to complete the program in 16 months should have a GPA of 3.0 when applying to the program.

I’m not planning on being a licensed mental health professional. Is this the right degree for me?

Yes, this degree will be a great fit if you are fascinated by understanding others’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and want to apply that knowledge to lead others to flourish. This degree is designed for professionals and those working in fields where having a deeper understanding of the human condition can enhance their effectiveness. Whether you are working in a ministry, business, health care, human services, or other settings, this degree can be a fantastic asset in increasing your effectiveness in working with and leading others.

What jobs can I get with an M.S. in Psychology degree from DMU?

With these skills and scientific knowledge of psychology, through Catholic-Christian teachings on human dignity, students are equipped for a wide variety of job opportunities of over 60+ career options such as but not limited to:
– Case Management
– Human Services 
– Market Research Analysis
– Directing Volunteer and Ministry Programs
– Teacher of Psychology
– Psychological Associate
– Residential youth counselor.

In addition, graduates have found this degree to be extremely helpful to enhance their work in:
– Business and leadership settings
– Health care 
– Parish Ministry
– Spiritual formation
– Marriage and family work 
– and many more settings.

What skills will I learn with a M.S. in Psychology degree from DMU?

Each concentration provides advanced skills that enable students to become transformational leaders. These skills include:

– how to effectively communicate and negotiate
– interpersonal relationship skills
– ways to lead a team through a crisis
– strategies for program evaluation
– psychological research skills
– analyze decision-making processes
– fostering increased cultural awareness
– recognize mental health challenges and refer as needed

From our alumni

Anne Burghart

What I’ve really appreciated about this program specifically is how the professors and administration have built a program that beautifully integrates faith and science. We learn to serve the whole person.

DMU gave me the qualifications that I needed to take the next step in my career, but I think even more importantly, it gave me language to start being more fruitful in my ministry and in my desire to serve the church.

Emily Leedom

Get Started

What are you waiting for? Through DMU’s uniquely designed curriculum, you will thrive in your career and vocation, and excel as a mental health professional and advocate in your local community! Start your application today or schedule a call with an Admissions Advisor who can help guide you through the process.