Home > Top 25 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs for 2018

Top 25 Online Master’s in Psychology Programs for 2018

An online master’s degree in psychology gives you the ability to diagnose the psychological well-being of people, communities, and organizations. Your extensive skills in research methods, ability to analyze personalities, and deep understanding of cognitive and social behaviors mean you can address social issues that affect quality of life worldwide.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of jobs in psychology to grow significantly by 2026: the BLS projects a 14% growth in the employment of school, clinical, and counseling psychologists. This is a faster than the 7% average growth for all occupations.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMS?

1

Harvard UniversityCambridge, MA

Degree M. A. in Psychology
Admissions Rate 6%
Default Rate 1%
Retention Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 98%
Online Enrollment 7%

Harvard maintains a tradition of academic excellence going back to 1636. Few institutions enjoy similarly strong reputations for outstanding scholarship. Harvard boasts 32 heads of state and 48 Nobel Laureates among its alumni. The university maintains the largest academic library in the world, and draws its teaching faculty from top experts.

Harvard’s MA in psychology, offered through the university’s extension school, develops professional social science researchers. Undergraduate degree holders apply by simply enrolling in the core research methods and writing class, a statistics class, and a psychology elective. Upon completing these three courses with a grade "B" or higher, students apply for full admission and then select nine more classes relating to behavioral science. Students complete most classes for this master's in psychology online, but are required to attend at least three classes at Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Learners can complete the 12 courses and thesis in two years.

2

Sacred Heart UniversityFairfield, CT

Degree M. S. in Applied Psychology
Admissions Rate 59%
Default Rate 4%
Retention Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 64%
Online Enrollment 15%

Established in 1963, SHU remains one of the most highly regarded Catholic educational institutions in the United States. The university provides rigorous liberal arts educational paths to prepare community leaders. SHU offers more than 70 programs of study at its Fairfield, Connecticut campus and online.

SHU’s MS in Applied Psychology program offers three degree concentrations. The community psychology concentration prepares students to work in nonprofit and social service settings. The industrial-organizational concentration focuses on applications to workplace settings. The general applied concentration allows students to customize their course of study by selecting electives. Students must complete 12 courses and 38 credit hours of study, and the degree can be earned in two years. Admission to this online psychology master’s program is competitive, but candidates do not have to hold undergraduate degrees in psychology.

3

Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale, FL

Degree M.S. in Forensic Psychology
Admissions Rate 59%
Default Rate 4%
Retention Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 44%
Online Enrollment 39%

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU provides students the chance to learn from expert instructors in notably small classes. Operating since 1964, the university has a reputation for educational innovation, and now offers a broad range of classes on its campuses throughout Florida, in Puerto Rico, and online.

NSU's MS in forensic psychology program stands out from other online master's programs in psychology by focusing on the connection between psychology and the law. This 36 credit degree takes two years of study, including summers. The program prepares students for careers in corrections, law enforcement, the legal system, and national security. Courses teach how to assess subjects for mental illness and violent potential, how to approach sensitive issues such as sexual and domestic abuse, and how to provide expert testimony in court. To apply, candidates provide NSU with college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and statements of professional goals.

4

Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN

Degree M. A. in Educational Psychology
Admissions Rate 61%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 17%

Ball State, based in Muncie, Indiana, enjoys a reputation as one of the best universities in the Midwest region. Operating since 1913, Ball State now offers over 230 undergraduate and graduate programs on campus and online. The university is known as a strong research institution, and offers students opportunities to learn directly from professors shaping their fields.

Ball State’s MA in Educational Psychology trains students to research the psychological processes involved in learning. All candidates pursue courses addressing research techniques, human development, tests and measurements, and statistical analysis. Students choose to concentrate in gifted and talented education, human development, or statistics. This online master’s degree in psychology requires a total of 30 credit hours of study, and takes 18 months. Applicants submit undergraduate transcripts, and the program only considers candidates with GPAs of 2.5 or better.

5

LeTourneau UniversityLongview, TX

Degree M. A. in Psychology
Admissions Rate 45%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 57%
Online Enrollment 44%

LETU first opened its doors as a humble technical college in 1946. Today the Christian university offers more than 90 degrees in a range of academic subjects on its campus in the small town of Longview, Texas and online. LETU’s MA in psychology teaches student to help others in service roles as diverse as school counselors and sports psychologists. The course of study offers more flexibility than other online psychology master's degree programs. After completing core courses covering issues in applied psychology, candidates select electives that reflect their individual learning goals. The program requires 36 credit hours of study in an accelerated online format. Applicants submit undergraduate transcripts, and the program requires candidates to maintain GPAs of 2.5 or better.

6

University of GeorgiaAthens, GA

Degree M.ed. in Educational Psychology
Admissions Rate 53%
Default Rate 4%
Retention Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 85%
Online Enrollment 1%

Chartered in 1785 and based in the famous college town of Athens, UGA enjoys a venerable reputation for academic excellence while attracting some the nation's top educators. UGA students learn from subject area experts, and develop the skills they need to serve communities throughout Georgia and beyond.

UGA’s MEd in educational psychology allows students to explore connections between human cognition and learning. This program requires completion of 34 credits of study and generally takes students two years to complete. Core courses cover human development, research methods, and statistical analysis, and candidates choose to focus on learning and technology, learning across the lifespan, or qualitative research. UGA’s degree includes an educational psychology project, and students conduct applied research under faculty supervision. Applicants submit undergraduate transcripts and GED or MAT scores, three letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose describing their learning goals.

7

California Baptist UniversityRiverside, CA

Degree M. S. in Counseling Psychology
Admissions Rate 65%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 21%

Founded in 1950, CBU remains one of the top Christian universities in the country. The school offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees on its campuses in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, and many of its courses of study are now available online. CBU's degrees reflect the needs of working adults, preparing students for leadership roles in professional fields.

CBU’s MS in counseling psychology teaches candidates the skills they need to work as therapists or clinical counselors. Courses cover current counseling theories and practices, assessment and testing techniques, the use of medication in treating psychological disorders, and related legal issues. CBU offers courses in asynchronous and hybrid formats. The degree takes two years to complete and, unlike most psychology master's programs online, CBU’s degree requires students to pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam at the end of their studies.

8

Grace College and Theological SeminaryWinona Lake, IN

Degree M. A. in Clinical Mental Heatlh Counseling
Admissions Rate 77%
Default Rate 4%
Retention Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 11%

Founded in 1948, Grace College is a Christian liberal arts college based in Winona Lake, Indiana, Grace now also operates on its Akron, Ohio campus and online. The institution offers 72 undergraduate and graduate majors designed to give students the skills they need to succeed in professional roles.

Grace College’s MA in clinical mental health counseling guides learners through a survey of social scientific theories to prepare them to serve the needs of community members in clinical settings. Courses cover theological, ethical, and legal issues, human development, psychotherapy, and counseling. This degree requires 60 credit hours of study and can be completed in two years. Grace’s degree stands out from others by including two clinical residency experiences.

9

Pennsylvania State University-Main CampusUniversity Park, PA

Degree M.P.S. in the Psychology of Leadership at Work
Admissions Rate 51%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 93%
Graduation Rate 86%

Penn State, founded in 1855, remains one of the most respected public research universities in the United States. The university boasts the largest alumni network in the country. Penn State now offers classes on 24 campuses throughout Pennsylvania and online. The university particularly emphasizes a global perspective.

Penn State’s MPS in the psychology of leadership at work trains workplace leaders to understand the psychological foundations of social interactions. The degree focuses on applied approaches to workplace psychology. Courses investigate decision making, the psychology of leading and following, conflict resolution, and creativity. Penn State's degree requires 33 credit hours of online study, and generally takes students two years to complete. Candidates interested in this unique program apply with college transcripts and three letters of recommendation.

10

Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityWaxahachie, TX

Degree M. A. in Counseling Psychology, Counseling Psychology - Human Services (non clinical), Clinical Psychology
Admissions Rate 28%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 38%

A Pentecostal university committed to academic excellence, SAGU trains future community leaders. Founded in 1943, SAGU now offers more than 70 degrees on its Waxahachie, Texas campus and online. The university prides itself on providing affordable Christian education catered to meet distance student needs.

SAGU offers three psychology master’s degrees. First, the MA in counseling psychology program prepares students to provide professional counseling in clinical settings. This degree requires 60 credits of study, and follows a hybrid format with 69% of course work online. Second, SAGU's MA in counseling psychology degree requires 60 credits, and features 65% online classes. This program covers a variety of counseling types, including counseling for marriages, families, addiction treatment, and career advancement. Third, the school's MA in counseling psychology-human services (non-clinical) requires 30 credits completed entirely online. This degree prepares students for counseling roles at human service agencies and churches.

11

University of IdahoMoscow, ID

Degree M. S. in Human Factors
Admissions Rate 72%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 57%
Online Enrollment 8%

Founded in 1889, UI offers more than 170 undergraduate and graduate degrees at its main campus in Moscow, extension campuses throughout the state, and online. The university keeps student faculty ratios low, and places an emphasis on making sure all students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

UI’s MS in human factors degree provides a unique course of study investigating how humans interact with their environments. The degree prepares students to understand how psychological research can be applied to workplace safety, marketing, and social planning. Courses cover the psychology of perception, biomechanics, and advanced research methods. Applicants submit undergraduate transcripts proving GPAs of at least 3.0 and GRE test scores. Full admission is contingent on completion of an introductory statistics class.

12

University of MemphisMemphis, TN

Degree M. S. in Educational Psychology
Admissions Rate 40%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 45%
Online Enrollment 11%

Founded in 1912, UofM remains one of the most prestigious research institutions in the region. The university offers more than 250 courses of study online and on its campus in Memphis, Tennessee. UofM takes pride in its ability to provide personalized educational experiences, and hopes to empower graduates capable of addressing social challenges.

UofM’s MS in educational psychology prepares students to conduct theoretical and applied research into the psychological aspects of learning. Courses cover research techniques, statistics, human development, cognition, critical thinking, and motivation. The degree follows an apprenticeship model, and students team with faculty members to create authentic experiences conducting research in educational psychology. The degree requires students to complete 36 credits and may be finished in two years. Prospective students apply to this program with undergraduate transcripts and GRE scores.

13

Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS

Degree M. S. School Psychology
Admissions Rate 86%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 43%
Online Enrollment 66%

Based in Hays, Kansas, FHSU takes pride in being one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial educational institutions in the Midwest. Its history dating back to 1902, FHSU provides students with the skills they need to thrive in professional roles. FHSU estimates that over 95% of its graduates go on to rewarding work or academic opportunities.

FHSU’s MS school psychology degree prepares students to work as licensed school psychologists. The degree requires students to complete 30 credits of study, and with the exception of a five day workshop on campus, may be pursued entirely online. This program takes two years to finish, including summers. Classes cover statistics, experimental design, learning and motivation, and professional ethics. The program includes observation in schools. Candidates provide undergraduate transcripts with their applications and may need to submit ACT or SAT scores.

14

Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH

Degree M. S. in Psychology
Admissions Rate 92%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 88%

Founded in 1932, SNHU helps students improve their lives through education. The school offers hundreds of courses of study online, at its main campus in Manchester, New Hampshire, and at its satellite campus in Brunswick, Maine. SNHU emphasizes its commitment to veterans, and the school maintains transfer and scholarship programs friendly to military personnel.

SNHU’s MS in psychology provides students with a solid understanding of psychological research methods, statistics, and cognitive processes. The program can be completed in 15 months, and the school delivers courses online asynchronously (meaning that students can learn whenever they please). This degree culminates in a capstone project, provide students with opportunities to conduct research with the benefit of faculty oversight. Applicants must hold undergraduate degrees in psychology or must have completed coursework in psychology, statistics, and social science research methods.

15

Touro University WorldwideLos Alamitos, CA

Degree M. A. in Psychology Default Rate 4% Retention Rate 100% Online Enrollment 90%

A nonprofit educational institution stemming from Jewish roots, TUW helps students pursue their individual educational goals and work for social justice. A subsidiary of the Touro College and University System founded in New York City in 1970, TUW provides classes entirely online. The university focuses on endowing students with skills to build stronger communities.

TUW’s MA in psychology program covers core topics within the field of psychology, including cognition, social factors, development, research methods, and learning theories. The program requires candidates to complete 12 courses, and may be finished in two years. Students choose to concentrate in media psychology or educational psychology. Applicants must hold undergraduate degrees and possess GPAs of at least 2.5. Students may also transfer from other graduate psychology programs if they hold GPAs of 2.75 or above.

16

The University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleKnoxville, TN

Degree M.S. in Educational Psychology
Admissions Rate 76%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 70%
Online Enrollment 2%

Founded in 1794, UT aims to improves the lives of the Tennessee residents by encouraging innovation and scholarship. The university strives to recruit top faculty, and aims to be counted among the best research institutions in the United States.

UT’s MS in educational psychology requires 36 credit hours of online study, and generally takes takes two years to complete. Degree courses teach educational research methods, learning theories, and the role of motivation in education. Students choose from two concentrations, adult education and applied educational technology.

The adult education concentration explores issues pertinent to adult learners, such as workplace learning, adult psychological development, and related ethical issues. The applied educational psychology concentration focuses on educational technologies, measurement techniques, and how theories of learning can inform pedagogy. Admission is competitive, and candidates submit undergraduate transcripts.

17

University of North TexasDenton, TX

Degree M.S. in Educational Psychology
Admissions Rate 70%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 52%
Online Enrollment 8%

One of the largest universities in the United States, UNT offers over 200 degrees online and at its Denton, Texas location. UNT exists to prepare thoughtful global citizens and future leaders. The university takes pride in its reputation for research excellence, among the strongest in Texas.

UNT’s MS in educational psychology concentrates on research methods and program evaluation techniques. This course requires 33 credit hours of online study, and can be completed in 15 months. Students can start one summer and finish at the end of the next. Courses cover both quantitative and qualitative research techniques, statistical analysis, survey development, and best practices in evaluating educational programs. Candidates apply with undergraduate transcripts, and must maintain GPAs of at least 3.0 as they progress through the program.

18

National UniversityLa Jolla, CA

Degree M.A. in Performace Psychology
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 33%
Online Enrollment 60%

A nonprofit institution operating since 1971, National University aims to make quality educational opportunities accessible to all students. The university takes pride in its expert faculty and student service representatives, and makes an effort to ensure that each learner’s needs are met. National University offers more than 200 degrees online and in person at its 28 campuses throughout California, Hawaii, and Texas.

National University’s MA in performance psychology teaches psychological principles that may be applied to performance enhancement in business, military, fine arts, sports, and many other fields. The program involves 67.5 quarter units of study in 15 online classes. Course offerings include sports psychology, organizational behavior, and behavioral research. This program involves a fieldwork component, where students apply what they have learned to conduct research in authentic professional settings.

19

University of West AlabamaLivingston, AL

Degree M. S. in Adult Continuing Education: Counseling/Psychology
Admissions Rate 73%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 29%
Online Enrollment 51%

With a history dating back to 1835, UWA remains committed to helping Alabamians enrich their lives through specialized higher educational opportunities. Expert faculty teach classes on UWA’s campus in Livingston, Alabama and online.

UWA's MS in adult continuing education: counseling/psychology degree endows students with a foundational knowledge of adult psychology and best practices in counseling. Candidates must complete 33 credits, and this online degree can be completed in one year. Courses teach core skills in educational research, statistics, and counseling. Students also choose from electives including career counseling, tests and measurements, and psychotherapy. The degree terminates with an applied study developed around the learning interests of individual students.

20

University of Northern ColoradoGreeley, CO

Degree M. A. in Educational Psychology: Teaching Applications
Admissions Rate 89%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 48%
Online Enrollment 8%

UNC exists to facilitate lifelong learning, and features small classes taught by expert faculty. Founded in 1890, the university now offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees online and at its campus in Greeley, Colorado. UNC has won numerous awards for its personalized approach to education, and for its innovative asynchronous online platform.

The university’s MA in educational psychology: teaching applications reviews current best practices in classroom instruction. Designed around the needs of working teachers, this online degree explores issues of human development, motivation, and culture in learning. Courses cover basics of educational psychology, research methods, developmental psychology, and the role of the brain in education. With faculty guidance, students develop and implement customized educational projects. The degree takes 20 months and 30 credits to complete.

21

Edinboro University of PennsylvaniaEdinboro, PA

Degree M. A. in Educational Psychology
Admissions Rate 96%
Default Rate 9%
Retention Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 44%
Online Enrollment 15%

Founded in 1857, EU remains one of the most distinguished higher education institutions in Pennsylvania. The university offers more than 140 courses of study on its campus in Edinboro and online. With small classes led by internationally recognized instructors, EU maintains its commitment to academic excellence and personalized education.

EU’s MA in educational psychology gives students a thorough understanding of the connections between human psychology and pedagogy. This degree requires students to complete 30 credits. Designed for working teachers, the students may complete the program over two years of part-time study. Delivered entirely online, classes cover topics including learning theories, personality and development, statistics, and behavior management. Candidates must pass a comprehensive terminal exam. Applicants submit undergraduate transcripts along with essays describing personal motivations for choosing this course of study.

22

University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroe, LA

Degree M. S. in Psychology
Admissions Rate 88%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 13%

Preparing students to succeed since 1931, ULM continues to provide quality educational experiences at its picturesque campus in Monroe, Louisiana and online. The university prioritizes innovation, and strives to be one of the strongest research institutions in the state. Faculty and staff provide students with the personalized attention they need to achieve their learning goals.

ULM’s MS in psychology offers students a choice of three concentrations. All require 36 credits of online study. The program's general psychology track presents a thorough overview of the field, emphasizing research techniques and statistical methods. The psychometric track covers issues of psychological and educational testing, such as intelligence tests, psychological assessments, and learning theories. The forensic track surveys the relationships between psychopathology and the law, including issues of assessment and ethical concerns.

23

Medaille CollegeBuffalo, NY

Degree M. A. in Psychology
Admissions Rate 69%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 43%
Online Enrollment 12%

Medaille continues a tradition of practical education going back to 1875. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs on its campuses in Buffalo and Rochester, New York, and online. Emphasizing that learning proceeds from doing, Medaille provides students with authentic experiences by allowing them to solve problems in their chosen fields of study, and partners with the wider community to take education out of the classroom and into real working environments.

Medaille's MA in psychology program requires candidates to complete 36 credit hours of online study, and the usually takes learners one year to complete. The program endows students with a foundational knowledge of psychological research, and emphasizes practical applications of psychological theories. Students can choose a general course of study, or to concentrate in sports psychology. Candidates interested in this uniquely practical program apply with undergraduate transcripts.

24

University of Houston-VictoriaVictoria, TX

Degree M. A. in Counseling Psychology, Forensic Psychology, School Psychology
Admissions Rate 53%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 61%
Online Enrollment 44%

Operating since 1973, UHV places an emphasis on affordable, personalized education. With small class sizes, attentive faculty, and tutoring options, UHV works hard to help students succeed. UHV administers more than 70 degrees at its main campus in Victoria, Texas; its teaching site near Houston in Katy, Texas; and now online in asynchronous format.

UHV offers learners three social and behavioral science graduate programs. The School Psychology program prepares licensed school psychologists to support both students and educational leaders. This program requires 63 hours of study, 70% online. UHV's MA in counseling psychology teaches learners how to assess individual client needs and how to best help clients solve problems in their lives. 80% of its classes online, the program takes 60 credits and two years to finish. The MA in forensic psychology focuses on licensed mental health professionals working in the criminal justice system, and requires learners to complete 63 hours of study (60% online) over the course of two years.

25

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN

Degree M. S. in Industrial Organizational Psychology
Admissions Rate 88%
Default Rate 15%
Retention Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 36%
Online Enrollment 18%

With roots in quality education that reach back over 180 years, APSU emphasizes a collaborative approach to learning. Students enjoy the school's small class sizes, benefit from expert faculty, and pursue chances to conduct and publish their own research. Based in Clarksville, Tennessee, APSU offers more than 56 degrees, and many of the school's classes can now be completed online.

APSU's MS in industrial organizational psychology develops scientists who can apply psychological principles to workplaces processes. Students learn research methods, statistics, task analysis techniques, and group process theory. This degree requires 34 credit hours of online study, and students must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate. The program normally admits students with GPAs of at least 3.0. Candidates must have completed 12 credit hours of undergraduate study in courses related to psychology.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Psychology Program

Choosing the best online psychology master’s program requires examining which schools offer the academic rigor and career preparation you expect. Certain schools and programs may be a better fit for your lifestyle than others. For example, consider how long it takes to complete the degree program, if it is available fully online or requires on-campus classes, and the kinds of courses the program offers each term. The latter is especially critical if you want to concentrate or specialize in a specific area of psychology. You must also consider tuition costs and what, if any, kinds of scholarships and financial aid are available. In addition, be certain the program you select is accredited. You should also explore any information available about where graduates ultimately go on to work.

Careers for Graduates of Master’s in Psychology Programs

Career opportunities abound for graduates of online psychology master’s degree programs. The professional choices available to you mean you can follow your passion and pursue the kind of job you find most rewarding. Your commitment to helping others is both exciting and financially lucrative: the median salary for those with a master’s in psychology is impressive, so you can expect to be well compensated for your talents.

Job Outlook and Salary for Graduates of Psychology Master’s Degrees

The BLS expects the number of psychologists to increase by nearly 23,000 professionals – or 14% – by 2026. With nearly 200,000 psychology related jobs by that time, the anticipated growth of this profession outpaces the average for all occupations (7%) two-to-one. Your online psychology master’s degree well positions you to play an exciting role in the field. While your salary largely depends on the career you enter, the organization for which you work, and geographical location, your degree ensures competitive compensation. This not only makes earning your online psychology master’s degree a savvy decision, but a professionally and financially rewarding one.

Employment Growth for Psychology
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
166,600 189,200

Salary Growth by Experience for Graduates of Psychology Master’s Programs

What you earn after completing your online master’s degree in psychology will increase as you gain more experience. While entry level professionals do not typically earn what experienced professionals earn, their salary is nonetheless lucrative. Building your knowledge and skills over time means you are not only better able to perform your job responsibilities, but also able to earn an income that reflects your expertise. Without a doubt, your salary will increase as you gain years in the field.


To determine the best online Master’s in Psychology programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online Master’s in Psychology programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.