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An online associate degree in psychology serves as an important first step for individuals who desire to work as psychologists. Earning an associate degree in psychology online gives students an excellent overview of general psychology principles. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects psychology jobs to increase 14% through 2026. Median pay in 2017 hovered around $77,030 for professionals with advanced degrees. Keep reading to learn more about an online associate degree in psychology and what you can expect in this field of study.

The Best Online Associate in Psychology Degree Programs

  1. Foothill College
    Location

    Los Altos Hills, CA

    Tuition

    $3720

    A junior college situated in Los Altos Hills in California, Foothill offers an extensive suite of associate degrees delivered fully online. The school’s AA in psychology, which features 90 quarter units, trains learners to eventually pursue positions such as psychiatric aides, mental health workers, and probation officers. The degree requires learners to complete general education credits or the state’s Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum.

    The program features 35 major-related units, including core courses that introduce learners to psychology, statistics, and research methods. Participants also cover social psychology, positive psychology, child and adolescent development, and abnormal psychology. Learners pursuing an online associate degree in psychology gain access to support services, such as tutoring in math and English, experiential employment opportunities through internships, and career planning. Foothill boasts affordable tuition rates and access to financial aid options, including loans and grants.

  2. Holmes Community College
    Location

    Goodman, MS

    Tuition

    $4896

    Situated in Mississippi, Holmes Community College offers academic, career-focused, and technical educations, as well as dual-enrollment programs on campuses in Goodman, Grenada, and Ridgeland. Holmes Community College also hosts fully online degrees, such as its AA in psychology. This 62-credit degree requires students to complete general education courses in subjects such as history, sociology, and literature.

    Major-related coursework for this psychology associate degree features the study of child psychology, social problems, human growth and development, and marriage and the family. Completion of an AA degree at Holmes Community College ensures transfer to a four-year college in Mississippi, where learners can pursue further education in psychology or another major. Students in need of academic assistance receive free online tutoring from NetTutor in subjects such as writing and math.

  3. Bucks County Community College
    Location

    Newtown, PA

    Tuition

    $6742

    Bucks offers learners in Pennsylvania an affordable education on three campuses. Additionally, through a virtual platform that offers associate degrees, online learners gain access to the same professors and many programs as their on-campus counterparts. The school’s portfolio of 19 online programs includes an AA in psychology track with an interpersonal emphasis.

    This 63-credit program requires general education in areas such as digital literacy, English, math, and science. Designed for transfer to a four-year college, Bucks' online associate degree in psychology covers topics that include social psychology, human growth and development, and abnormal psychology.

    Additionally, the school offers a 62-credit AS in neuroscience that students can complete 74% online; this hybrid program also prepares learners for transfer to a four-year college. In addition to general education classes, the degree covers topics such as biological principles, an introduction to psychological statistics, and clinical neuroscience.

  4. South Texas College
    Location

    McAllen, TX

    Tuition

    $920

    Founded in 1993, South Texas College stands as the largest postsecondary college in the U.S. south of San Antonio. The school offers 33 affordable online programs. Its AA in psychology requires 60-61 credits and can serve as the first two years of a baccalaureate degree in psychology.

    Students who earn this associate degree in psychology online complete general education classes in subjects such as history, math, and physical sciences. The curriculum also requires 18 major-related credits that delve into topics like social psychology, lifespan growth and development, and statistical methods in psychology. Additionally, a learning framework course examines the psychology of learning, helping students use psychological principles to identify their own academic strengths and apply learning strategies to facilitate academic success.

  5. Odessa College
    Location

    Odessa, TX

    Tuition

    $4280

    Located in Texas, OC enrolls 5,500 students in workforce development, career, and technical education, and academic transfer programs. The school also oversees a comprehensive virtual college of associate degrees, including a fully online AA jn psychology, which provides learners with a degree that can be transferred to a four-year program in psychology or another field.

    The 60-credit degree plan includes general education classes in subjects such as math, U.S. history, and Texas government. Additionally, major coursework covers basic psychology topics, including human sexuality, social psychology, child psychology, and lifespan growth and development. One of the top online colleges for an associate degree in psychology, OC offers affordable tuition and various institutional scholarships. High school graduates and transfer students pay nothing for their first three credits at OC. Furthermore, dual-enrollment students in the county can take six credits at no cost.

  6. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $23428

    A large Christian school, Virginia-based Liberty enrolls about 100,000 students -- many of whom study online. Liberty Online administers roughly 400 online programs, including its 60-credit AA in psychology. Faculty deliver the AA fully online using eight-week courses, facilitating accelerated degree completion. The program incorporates a strict Christian worldview, preparing graduates for work in the field of human services or further study.

    The degree plan requires 36-39 credits of general education classes. Students also complete 24 credits related to general psychology, developmental psychology, the psychology of personality, and an intro to research class. One of the best online colleges for an associate degree in psychology, Liberty also mandates that learners complete courses examining theology, Christian life, and biblical worldviews. The school offers e-textbooks at no cost to undergraduates.

  7. Fisher College
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $27393

    Fisher offers affordable education programs on four campuses in Massachusetts and online. The school has served nontraditional students with its accelerated programs for many years. Fisher’s growing portfolio of online degrees now includes an AA in psychology. This 60-61-credit program requires students to study math, English, social sciences, and other general education courses.

    The major-related coursework of this associate degree in psychology provides learners with a well-rounded introduction to the field. Students study the psychology of learning, human development, abnormal psychology, and the psychology of personality. Upon completion of the degree track, learners can pursue further study in psychology or another social science field. For example, they may choose to transfer their AA credits into Fisher’s BA in psychology program. Online students pay the same tuition, regardless of their residency status.

  8. Florida Institute of Technology-Online
    Location

    Melbourne, FL

    Tuition

    $24562

    Established in 1958, Florida Tech maintains a strong online college that offers degrees in various disciplines. The school’s fully online, 61-credit AA in applied psychology blends coursework in the liberal arts and psychology, providing theoretical knowledge that learners can apply to practical contexts.

    General education courses include the study of history, literature, and computer literacy. Students delve into psychology courses by examining topics such as human sexuality, social psychology, and psychology of personality. In addition to fostering learners' personal development, this degree plan develops students' critical thinking and research skills.

    Those who earn an online associate degree in psychology can pursue entry-level careers as benefits coordinators and addiction rehabilitation assistants. Alternatively, graduates seeking to further their education can enroll in Florida Tech’s online bachelor’s program in psychology, which offers a suite of specializations.

  9. Barton County Community College
    Location

    Great Bend, KS

    Tuition

    $4715

    Located in Kansas, BCC provides face-to-face courses on several campuses. Additionally, about 40% of its students study through BARTonline -- the school’s virtual college. Distance learners can pursue the school’s 64-credit AS with a psychology emphasis. Faculty designed the curriculum of this degree track to be readily transferable, providing learners with the first two years of a four-year program in psychology or psychology education.

    The curriculum of this psychology associate degree includes general education classes in subjects such as math, English, and public speaking. Additionally, major-related coursework covers topics like developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, human sexuality, and social psychology.

    Distance learners in need of academic assistance can access free tutoring in various subjects through Tutor.com. Students pay one affordable online tuition rate, regardless of their in-state or out-of-state residency status. Designated a military friendly school, BCC also offers special services and programs to military personnel and their families.

  10. Anne Arundel Community College
    Location

    Arnold, MD

    Tuition

    $12894

    One of Maryland’s top community colleges, AACC enrolls 50,000 students and offers 225 programs of study. The school’s 60-credit AA in psychology can be completed online and requires 31-36 credits of general education classes in areas such as arts and the humanities, computer technology, and biological and physical sciences. Students complete additional credits in their major, examining developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, and career development and assessment.

    Learners also choose elective coursework from a suite of options, including classes in child psychology, social psychology, and the psychology of women. Additionally, a notable course not often available to students pursuing an online associate degree in psychology examines sports psychology. This class delves into current psychological theories and research related to the psychological aspects of success in competitive and recreational sports. The school also offers affordable tuition and awards prior learning credits based on work, military, and other experiences.

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Online Associate in Psychology Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:

We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Choosing an Online Associate in Psychology Degree Program

The psychology associate degree starts with the general knowledge students need to succeed in the field. You can expect classes in general psychology, which broadly studies human behavior. Other courses include abnormal psychology, which studies mood disorders and personality traits, and the history of psychology, which studies the works of some of the field’s pioneers. Psychology encompasses many specialties, including sports psychology, forensic psychology, and clinical psychology.

After students complete core courses, they delve into interest-based areas. For example, sports psychologists receive more training in medicine, such as kinesiology, due to their work with athletes. Sports psychologists can further define their specialty by choosing to only work with children. Forensics courses contain more legal terminology and communication study since professionals work in the criminal justice system and could testify in criminal cases. Individuals with an associate degree in psychology may work with adults, children and families, or in law enforcement. Your associate degree in psychology online can lead to jobs in a healthcare setting, a government environment, schools, or in private practice.

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What Will I Learn in an Online Associate in Psychology Program?

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Online Associate in Psychology Careers

With an associate in psychology degree, you can work with patients in an office setting under a psychologist’s direction. This rewarding work can also lead to other opportunities for those who decide to continue their education.

  1. Psychiatric Technician: This professional works directly with patients by listening to their concerns and monitoring their behavior. They assist patients with daily activities such as eating and also check their blood pressure and other vital signs. Individuals work with healthcare professionals and dispense medication at their direction.
    • Median Annual Salary: $29,320
    • Projected Growth Rate: 6%
  2. Social and Human Service Assistant: These individuals work under a psychologist’s direction and provide a range of services to clients. You may help clients with paperwork when applying for services and benefits, assist clients with disabilities find services, or aid veterans as they acclimate to civilian life.
    • Median Annual Salary: $33,120
    • Projected Growth Rate: 16%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Educational Paths for Online Psychology Associate Programs

Earning a higher degree in psychology can yield a higher salary; this is especially true if you complete your bachelor's degree . According to payscale.com, applicants who have earned their associate degree psychology online earn an annual average salary of $33,000–$36,000. In comparison, those with a bachelor’s degree have salaries from the mid-$50,000 and up. Payscale.com also states that completing a four-year degree gives you more extensive job opportunities.

  1. Bachelor of Arts Psychology Degree: An associate degree in psychology is a great launching board for pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Upon completion, you can pursue a degree in psychology or enter the workplace in human resources, business, case management, or school counseling.
  2. Bachelor of Science Psychology Degree: This degree is much like the above-mentioned BA but requires more credits in science and math classes. With this degree, you can pursue a master's in psychology or enter the workforce in management, human resources, case management, school counseling, and business.
  3. Bachelor’s Human Resources Management Degree: An associate in psychology can open the door to roles working in human resource divisions at many corporations and organizations. Learners can pursue a more specialized degree by completing a bachelor’s degree in human resource management and working as a human resources director.

Source: Payscale.com

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