Best Online Psychology Degrees

by TBS Staff Writers, Sherry Christiansen
reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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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.

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

#1 Online College in Florida

University of Florida-Online

School Information
Location Gainesville, Florida
Admission Rate 32%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available:  Experimental psychology, social psychology, applied psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

The University of Florida-Online  (UF Online) in Gainesville, Florida, was founded in 2014; the institution offers fully online baccalaureate degree programs to first-year, transfer, and in-state as well as out-of-state students. 

UF Online's psychology degree in liberal arts is a fully online program aimed at preparing students for a variety of careers including healthcare, personnel management, education (for example, preschool teacher), or marketing and business professions. The program provides a foundational curriculum for continuing on to graduate and professional courses. Students are considered first-year with up to 11 college credits plus a high school diploma or GED diploma equivalent.

Although distance learners pay out-of-state tuition, the online tuition is set at a reduced rate, compared to traditional costs of on-campus classes. Admissions requirements include a nonrefundable $30 application fee, a 3.0 GPA or higher for college transfer credits, and official ACT or SAT scores for students who graduated from high school within the last five years. You can learn more about psychology majors offered at the University of Florida Online by attending a virtual degree information session.   

Available Scholarships: N/A

#2 Online College in New York

Excelsior College

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: No

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

Excelsior College is a nonprofit, private online university in Albany, New York, launched in 1971. 

The bachelor of science in psychology program is a 100% online course designed to prepare students for occupations in industries such as healthcare, education, personal coaching, communication, and more. Transfer students are allowed to transfer up to 113 credits. A competency-based capstone course is required at the senior level; it involves demonstration of learning outcomes.

Students must link researched theory to real-life scenarios to complete the capstone course. The online psychology degree includes 120 total credit hours for course completion.

Available Scholarships: Fred L. Emerson Foundation Scholarship Fund

#3 Online College in Florida

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Cognitive/neuroscience, social psychology, applied psychology, clinical psychology, developmental, industrial-organizational

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

FIU in Miami, Florida, is a public research university; the institution offers fully online and on-campus degrees for bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. 

FIU's online bachelor's of science in psychology program is taught by the same faculty that teaches on campus. The online psychology degree course focuses on experimental psychology, social psychology, applied psychology, personality/abnormal, and developmental psychology. All students are entitled to individual sessions with a personal success coach. Enrollment is open in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Admission requirements include an online application, a $30 application fee, official high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students with less than 60 transferable credits must submit official college or university transcripts along with high school transcripts. Students are required to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. 

Available Scholarships: Presidential Premier

#4 Online College in Florida

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Clinical psychology, experimental psychology, general psychology, human factors psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, neuroscience 

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

UCF is a public research institution, located in Orange County, Florida, northeast of Orlando. UCF was founded in 1963; the university has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 61,000 students on its 1,400-acre campus. A total of more than 220 degree programs are offered at UCF's 13 colleges and nine regional campuses.

The online bachelor's of science in psychology degree at UCF involves the study of the history of psychology, statistics, research, physiology, and more. Internships, fieldwork, and research projects are encouraged. A capstone project is optional for students who want an in-depth learning experience. There are six concentrations available. Students who select the clinical psychology track will learn about the treatment and diagnosis of various mental health conditions, emotions, and behavioral disorders. Experimental psychology involves a focus on how research studies are structured to observe behavior. Human factors psychology explores how human behavior is linked with external systems and environments.

Students interested in working in a field involving management of employees can select the industrial-organization psychology track. Those interested in how the brain is involved in the field of psychology, like how the brain impacts behavior, can select the neuroscience track. The general psychology track involves a curriculum that focuses on an overall understanding of psychology.

Available Scholarships: Dana S. Zeiher Memorial Scholarship

#5 Online College in Texas

Parker University

School Information
Location Dallas, Texas
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: No

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Parker University is a private institution located in Dallas, Texas. The university is primarily focused on healthcare education; its sister organization is in Irving, Texas.   

Parker's bachelor of science in psychology online degree is focused on behavioral change theories such as those that apply to health problems including obesity, alcoholism, and smoking cessation. The fully online program aims to prepare students for working with diverse populations in the community and involves a curriculum on responding to public health issues. 

The minimum time to complete the program is 10 terms with 15 terms being considered the maximum satisfactory time span. Students must complete a total of 120 credit hours to graduate.  

Available Scholarships: Undergraduate Academic Merit Scholarships

#6 Online College in California

Brandman University

School Information
Location Irvine, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Child psychology, industrial-organizational psychology 

Accredited By: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Brandman University in Irvine, California, is a private, nonprofit institution, that has been renamed University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global). The university has 25 campus sites in California and Washington. 

The bachelor's of art in psychology program at UMass Global offers a psychology degree online. The program focuses on psychology and human behavior, behavioral science research, statistical techniques, scientific writing, and psychology theories over the lifespan. Students are taught by experienced faculty members who help in the process of setting up internships and engaging in research projects.  

Available Scholarships: Orange County Community Foundation

#7 Online College in New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Addictions, applied psychology, child and adolescent development, forensic psychology, mental health, and social psychology

Accredited By: New England Commission of Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire, is a private, nonprofit university with over 3,000 on-campus students and nearly 135,000 online students.

The bachelor of arts in psychology from Southern New Hampshire University focuses on teaching the skills necessary to understand and use scientific data in the psychology field. It also teaches critical thinking skills, communication, and an understanding of how to work with diverse populations. The six terms, which are eight weeks in length, will involve study that will prepare students for diverse career paths such as research, human resources, healthcare, and more.

SNHU's online degree in psychology allows students to select 39 free electives, which may make this course an attractive option for transfer students. Internships and experiential learning opportunities can help students launch their career by providing opportunities to engage in real-life work experience that can be used as references for future employers.

Available Scholarships: Dr. Jeanette A. Ritzenthaler Scholarship

#8 Online College in Connecticut

Charter Oak State College

School Information
Location New Britain, Connecticut
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Life span, social/behavioral, cognition and learning, general psychology

Accredited By: New England Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Charter Oaks State College in New Britain, Connecticut, is an online institution; the college was founded in 1973 and offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral level degree programs. 

The bachelor's of science online psychology curriculum focuses on behavioral science across the lifespan. This includes normal and abnormal behavior. Students must select one of four concentrations::

  • Life-span track — developmental psychology and child psychology
  • Social/behavioral track — development, play, gender, and addiction
  • Cognition and learning track — neuropsychology
  • General psychology — outlined by the student's academic advisor 

Available Scholarships: The John & Elizabeth Blennerhassett Scholarship

#9 Online College in Utah

University of Utah

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 70%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, social and personality psychology, health psychology

Accredited By: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Salt Lake City, Utah, is home to the University of Utah, a public research institution founded in 1850. The university offers over 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate programs with an annual enrollment rate of more than 24,000 students on its 1,500-acre campus. 

The U's online bachelor of science in psychology degree is offered as a 100% online course. Students who want a bachelor's of arts in psychology will need to attend on-campus, in-person classes. The online course is taught by the same faculty who teaches on campus. Most of the faculty are actively involved in research in their respective fields of study. Fieldwork is available to enrich students' learning experiences for local Utah students; there are opportunities for internships such as research assistants, peer advisors, and as members of the Psi Chi Honor Society.

The bachelor's in psychology course can be completed in 3-4 semesters on a full-time basis. To graduate, students will need to complete at least 30 credit hours at the University of Utah and a total of 53 credit hours.

Available Scholarships: Tuition waiver – Psychology

#10 Online College in Ohio

Union Institute & University

School Information
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: General psychology, addiction studies, forensic psychology, holistic psychology

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Union is a private institution specializing in distance learning; the university is in Cincinnati, Ohio. The bachelor of arts in psychology program requires a minimum of 120-credit hours. Online students can choose to enroll in a part-time or full-time class schedule. Students can transfer up to 90-credit hours toward the total 120 hours required for graduation. Enrollment is open every other month. 

The online psychology degree program is aimed at preparing students for careers in clinical mental health and human services. The program aligns with graduate-level courses in clinical psychology and is a good fit for students who plan to pursue a professional counseling career. Students who want to incorporate a fast track to their master's degree in psychology are allowed to take six master's levels credits during their final semester.

Available Scholarships: Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship

Online Bachelor's in Psychology Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, 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.

Featured Psychology Programs

Psychology Jobs

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.

true 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.

true 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.

true Psychologists
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.

true Postsecondary Teachers
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.

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