Best Online Psychology Degrees
Updated September 26, 2022
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Online Psychology Degrees
A bachelor's degree in psychology qualifies graduates for jobs like substance abuse counselor and behavioral disorder counselor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for these psychology jobs to grow 23% between 2020 and 2030 — much faster than the national average for all jobs.
Students in online bachelor of psychology programs take courses like abnormal psychology, human development, and school psychology. This builds critical thinking and research skills. Students also learn about social, emotional, and behavioral psychology.
The flexibility of an online psychology degree lets students balance their studies with professional and personal responsibilities. It also allows learners to attend the best psychology schools in the country without relocating. This guide ranks the best online schools for psychology and reviews common courses, potential careers, and salaries for graduates.
Choosing an Online Bachelor of Psychology Degree Program
Students should consider factors like cost, available specializations, and a school's reputation to find the best online psychology degree for their interests and professional goals. For example, students planning to earn a master's or doctorate in psychology may prefer a program with a strong reputation for graduate placements.
In-state public schools typically offer the lowest tuitions. However, many out-of-state public schools offer in-state tuition for online learners. Transfer credits can also save students time and money on their online psychology degrees, especially if they attended a community college.
Students should also research what specializations a program offers. Potential specializations include abnormal psychology, social psychology, and school psychology.
Many psychology careers require a graduate degree. After completing a bachelor's degree in psychology, graduates often enroll in online master's programs in psychology. Aspiring counselors can also earn a master of social work.
Featured Online Psychology Degree Programs
What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor of Psychology Program?
An online psychology degree covers topics like behavioral development, the influence of social context over behavior, and mental health disorders. Here are a few common bachelor of psychology courses.
- Psychological Foundations of Learning: This course covers human development, including the cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. Students explore research into effective teaching methods, educational practices, and environments to encourage student learning. The course may incorporate a field experience that allows learners to directly observe child development in a classroom.
- Social Psychology: Social psychology explores how social context influences people's thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Students learn about the role of social influence on group behavior and how social environments shape behavioral attributes like aggression and attraction. Students also explore gender norms and apply social psychology to practical problems. This prepares them for psychology jobs like industrial-organizational psychologist or social psychologist.
- Physiological Psychology: This class covers the connection between the brain and human behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. Students examine the role of neurons in the central nervous system and how neuron communication shapes behavior and mental health disorders. The course may also cover biological psychology, gender, and culture. The class prepares students for advanced courses in neuropsychology and related fields.
- Abnormal Psychology: These courses explore the causes of and treatments for mental health disorders. Students learn to classify mental health disorders and treat them. The coursecovers addictive disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders. Coursework emphasizes critical thinking, psychology theory, and clinical practice.
- Behavioral Psychology: This course examines the mind-behavior connection. It covers behavior across the lifespan, behavioral disorders and treatments, and behavioral research. Students learn to assess and diagnose common behavioral disorders and to design and implement behavioral research projects. Some behavioral psychology courses incorporate a lab or practicum. The course prepares graduates for research careers and graduate study.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor of Psychology Degrees
Psychology students should always check that a school is regionally accredited. Degrees from non-accredited schools may not meet licensure and certification requirements, and many graduate programs only admit students with an accredited undergraduate degree. To earn accreditation, schools submit to a voluntary review from an independent accrediting agency. The agency assesses the institution's faculty qualifications, graduation requirements, and student learning outcomes.
Programs within a school can also receive accreditation. There are no programmatic accrediting agencies for bachelor of psychology programs, but several agencies accredit graduate psychology programs, such as the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation, the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, and the National Association of School Psychologists.
The Best Online Psychology Degrees
University of Florida
With its main campus in Gainesville, the University of Florida provides competitive bachelor's degree programs to learners from all walks of life. The public school supports distance learners across 21 online bachelor's degree programs. Of these, the bachelor of arts in psychology stands out as a competitive option for students interested in the field.
Learners benefit from a rigorous curriculum that enables flexible study. The psychology program curriculum equips students with industry-relevant knowledge. Students can work with their academic advisor to customize their courses.
Typically, undergraduate students pay $15,000 in tuition. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited institution. Learners can expect to be awarded $7,670 in financial aid, on average.
University of Florida at a Glance:
Total Online Programs: 22
Online Bachelor's Programs: 21
Admission Rate: 32%
|Location||Albany, New York|
Learners seeking advanced online study should consider one of Excelsior University's 101 online degree programs. The college offers 54 online bachelor's programs, reaching distance learners worldwide. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the psychology field can enroll in the online bachelor of science in psychology program. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.
Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the psychology field. Students also complete general education requirements, gaining additional knowledge. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.
Graduates can easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The median salary for graduates six years after their degree completion is $60,200, according to the college. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements, application materials, and financial aid opportunities should directly contact the psychology department.
Excelsior University at a Glance:
Total Online Programs: 101
Online Bachelor's Programs: 54
Florida International University
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Learners seeking competitive online study in psychology should consider Florida International University's online bachelor of arts in psychology. The Miami college boasts 36 fully online bachelor's degree programs. The bachelor's in psychology prepares remote learners for the demands of the psychology field.
The rigorous curriculum enables flexible study through an adaptable curriculum. Enrollees can also customize their studies, with the help of an academic advisor.
Typically, undergraduate students pay $16,529 in tuition. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray costs. The college averages financial aid award packages of $8,958 per degree seeker.
Florida International University at a Glance:
Online Enrollment: 39,863
Total Online Programs: 67
Online Bachelor's Programs: 36
Admission Rate: 58%
University of Central Florida
|Percent Online Enrollment||
The University of Central Florida delivers highly ranked bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Orlando. The psychology program is one of 19 online bachelor's degree programs available through the institution. Learners in the BS in psychology program prepare for the demands of the psychology field through rigorous study.
The psychology program curriculum equips students with industry-relevant knowledge. Electives, minors, and other modifications can benefit students and help them meet career goals.
Psychology students can expect to pay $19,810 in tuition. The school's accreditation status allows learners to access funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships. Degree-seekers can expect to be awarded $9,728 in financial aid, on average.
University of Central Florida at a Glance:
Online Enrollment: 41,097
Total Online Programs: 47
Online Bachelor's Programs: 19
Admission Rate: 44%
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Brandman University enrolls distance learners in 50 programs. Undergraduates choose from 16 online bachelor's programs at the private, not-for-profit, four-year institution. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the psychology field can enroll in the school's online BA in psychology program. The psychology program provides flexibility to learners from all walks of life through full- and part-time study options.
Students in the psychology program complete foundational and advanced coursework amounting to 120 credits. These classes equip students with psychology-specific knowledge and broad skills. After consultations with their academic advisor, enrollees can customize their studies through electives, minors, and concentration areas.
With a bachelor's degree, graduates can increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $48,300 six years after finishing their degree. To learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, students should contact the financial aid office.
Brandman University at a Glance:
Online Enrollment: 9,772
Total Online Programs: 50
Online Bachelor's Programs: 16
Admission Rate: 89%
Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted
Online Bachelor's in Psychology Programs Ranking Guidelines
We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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.
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.
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Featured Psychology Programs
A bachelor's degree in psychology can lead to jobs like substance abuse counselor and behavioral counselor. With more education, graduates can become psychologists or psychology professors. Learn more about what you can do with a psychology degree with our helpful guide.
Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
|Median Salary 2020: $51,340||Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 16%|
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help clients with mental health disorders and life challenges. Marriage and family therapists help couples and families process change and cope with difficult situations. Mental health counselors treat individuals and groups dealing with issues like anxiety, depression, and stress. These professionals may specialize in specific populations, such as children or the elderly.
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need a master's degree to practice. As with many psychology careers, they also need a professional license.
Substance Abuse Counselors and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
|Median Salary 2020: $47,660||Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 23%|
Substance abuse counselors and behavioral disorder counselors help people struggling with substance use and behavioral disorders. They meet with clients to evaluate their mental and physical health and create treatment plans. Through counseling, they help clients modify behavior and develop new skills.
In addition to providing counseling services, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors may refer clients to support services or lead outreach programs to educate the public about behavioral disorders. These professionals typically need at least a bachelor's degree.
|Median Salary 2020: $82,180||Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 8%|
Psychologists observe and interpret people's behavior to understand their cognitive and emotional processes and diagnose and treat disorders. Psychologists can specialize in clinical psychology, which focuses on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Psychologists may also specialize in an area like criminal behavior or student learning.
Most psychologists need a doctorate, but school and industrial-organizational psychologists usually only need a master's degree.
|Median Salary 2020: $80,560||Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 12%|
Postsecondary teachers -- also called professors -- educate college students. Psychology professors teach undergraduate and graduate classes on topics like human development, behavioral disorders, and abnormal psychology. They design syllabi, prepare and deliver lectures, and assess student learning through examinations and papers.
Professors also conduct research and publish their findings in academic journals. They may also present research at conferences and serve on academic committees. Most tenure-track professors have a doctoral degree. However, postsecondary teachers with a master's degree can sometimes work as adjuncts or at community colleges.
Common Questions About Online Psychology Degrees
Can I Get a Degree in Psychology Online?
Yes. An online psychology degree from a regionally accredited college meets the same educational standards as an on-campus psychology degree. Most online psychology degrees are at the bachelor's level.
Are There Any APA-Accredited Online Programs?
No, there are no fully online APA-accredited Ph.D. programs. APA only accredits doctoral programs in psychology. However, some APA-accredited doctoral programs offer some courses online.
Is a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Worth It?
If psychology is your chosen career path, earning a bachelor's in psycholog will be worth it. Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology prepares graduates for jobs like substance abuse counselor and behavioral counselor. This degree also meets the educational requirements needed to enroll in psychology graduate programs.
What Is the Best Online College for Psychology?
Which program is the best depends on each student's goals. Prospective students can use our rankings to find the best online colleges to help them reach their career goals.
Is a Psychology Degree a BA or a BS?
Many schools offer both a BA and a BS in psychology. Students who choose a BA will complete more humanities and foreign language requirements, while those with a BS complete more natural science and math classes.
Can You Get a Psychology Degree in Two Years?
Transfer students with an associate degree in psychology can earn an online bachelor degree in two years. Some online psychology schools also offer accelerated enrollment options.
How Much Does It Cost to Study Psychology?
The cost varies depending on program, financial aid opportunities, and a student's enrollment status. Most psychology jobs require at least a master's degree. In 2016, the median tuition for a master's in psychology at an in-state public school was $8,640.
Featured Psychology Programs
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