Fielding Graduate University recently earned a top 20 ranking for its Master’s in Media Psychology program., America’s consumer-oriented online college guide, published its 2013 online university rankings of the best affordable online master’s programs for psychology, counseling and human services professionals, which included the Fielding in the top 20 ranking.

The online university rankings are based on an a comprehensive national review of 43 regionally accredited graduate schools that offer 71 online master’s in psychology and allied human services careers.

“I’m pleased that our media psychology master’s program has been recognized as a good value,” said Fielding School of Psychology’s acting dean, Kristine Jacquin, Ph.D. “Others are learning what we already know — that we have a great program. The faculty brings great experience, knowledge and energy to the program. Faculty members are highly involved, making the online learning experience richer and more rewarding for students.”

Fielding Graduate University Best Buy Ranking

Fielding Graduate University, a private nonprofit university headquartered in Santa Barbara, is a regionally accredited graduate and post-graduate institute. The university has been a leader in distance education since its founding as a distributed learning institute for adult scholar-practitioners in 1974.

“Given its unique pioneering role in developing distributed learning networks tailored to the needs of adult students, Fielding is a true educational-innovator among online grad schools,” said Get Educated founder Vicky Phillips, who has been researching online learning for more than two decades. “The scholar-practitioner model developed by Fielding through the use of nationally distributed learning networks and study clusters has, in the last decade, become the venerated standard copied by newer online graduate schools nationwide.

“Fielding’s top 20 ranking on the Get Educated national online master’s degree affordability survey reveals the school is committed to making higher education financially accessible to psychology professionals across the United States at a time when the debate over higher education cost and value has reached critical pitch.

“Dedicated to bringing higher education to adult scholars in the communities where they live and work Fielding’s online Master’s in Media Psychology is a unique academic gem. Fielding blends affordability and quality by offering a low-cost, high social impact online learning program that is rooted in critical liberal arts traditional while simultaneously supporting practical new research on the transformative role of social, mobile and immersive media on personal and cultural identity.

“Fielding’s master’s in media psychology, available 100 percent online, represents one of the most innovative online degree curricula Get Educated editors have reviewed in the last decade. Nothing has altered social and cultural identity more than digital media. Fielding’s online master’s allows researchers and practitioners to study how new media is being harnessed for social advocacy and political disruption as well as for commercial persuasion. The online media courses allow marketing professionals to study emerging trends, such as branding and trans-media storytelling, as they unfold in real time, online and across media channels. Break-through courses like the Psychology of Neuromarketing represent some of the first university sponsored efforts to explore the power, promise and perils of new media. This program is a great online learning value in terms of its contribution to new media research and it extremely reasonable cost structure when compared to it national peers.”

Online Master’s Costs Rising

According to the national online learning survey the average cost, tuition and online education fees included, for a professional master’s in human services (regionally accredited) is $27,416. Fielding’s online Master’s in Media Psychology ranks No. 19 and is significantly lower.

“Graduate education is only a best buy if the program is a truly valuable educational experience,” said Fielding’s media psychology program director, Garry Hare, Ph.D. “Our media psychology faculty has designed an innovative, contemporary and very participatory curriculum. The result prepares our graduates for rewarding careers centered on the social impact of digital media and mobile communications.”

— Hilary Edwards is the manager of university relations for Fielding Graduate University.