According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is 23% from 2016 to 2026. This may be due in part to the increased emphasis on rehabilitation for drug offenders in the criminal justice system. As the public becomes more aware of mental health issues and as social stigmas decrease, more jobs will become available for candidates qualified to provide care in this field.
An online psychology degree provides graduates with skills to obtain entry-level positions or to pursue a master’s in psychology.
Choosing a Program
Students in online psychology degree programs will learn about the foundations of human cognition and behavior. Course material covers the history of the field and a variety of theories that provide understanding of how thoughts and behaviors are formed and maintained. Students may also learn about the impact of familial attachments, social influences, and trauma on an individual’s attitudes and coping strategies. Graduates with an online psychology degree will find that they can apply this knowledge to work with individual clients or communities to enhance connection and fulfillment for those they serve.
Learners who wish to earn their psychology degree online may have the option to specialize in a particular area of interest. Common specializations in an online bachelor’s degree in psychology program include social psychology, developmental psychology, criminal or forensic psychology, clinical psychology, organizational psychology, and addictions and recovery.
Online programs may differ from each other in terms of available specializations, required curriculum, or online resources. Some programs may involve an internship as a graduation requirement, while others do not. Prospective students should decide which factors are important to them when choosing between the best online psychology degree programs.
For career information, skip down:
- What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Program?
- Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Careers
- Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Degrees
- Psychology Professional Organizations
See also: What can I do with a Psychology degree?
Online Bachelor’s 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.
The Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs
1. University of Florida
Based in Gainesville, the University of Florida offers affordable, high-quality online degrees in nearly 20 majors. The school’s online programs cost significantly less than its residential programs for in-state and out-of-state students alike, making it one of the best online psychology degree programs for students on a budget. To allow distance students access to one of the most popular majors on campus, UF offers an online BA in psychology. Students leave the program ready for a career or to enter a graduate program in psychology, education, business, or law.
The psychology program boasts faculty comprising experts in five fields of study: social psychology, developmental psychology, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, counseling psychology, and behavior analysis. The school grants students earning their psychology degree online the same access to this faculty and coursework as their on-campus peers. A new program called PaCE also provides a pathway for online freshmen to transfer into an on-campus program, allowing students to save money on fees and living expenses before transitioning to on-campus life.
The online psychology degree requires 120 credit hours of courses, 30 of which involve psychology courses and subject-adjacent coursework in math, statistics, and biological science. Students must take at least 18 of these 30 hours at UF, but they may transfer the remaining hours from another accredited university. Students must take at least one course in each of the major’s following foundation areas: socio-cultural approaches and influences, developmental changes, biological bases of behavior and mental processes, and learning and cognition. Students must also take a course on laboratory methods in psychology.
The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
2. University of Central Florida
UCF’s fully online bachelor of science in psychology prepares students for careers as counselors, administrators, and mental healthcare providers. Tuition for online courses at UCF costs less than tuition for courses at the school’s Orlando campus, making the online degree in psychology an affordable option for both Florida residents and out-of-state students.
Students earn their degree fully online and may graduate in as few as two years. Most students take four years to earn their degree. Course requirements include 31 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of electives (four courses in the track and one diversity elective), six credit hours of math and science, and a foreign language. All students pursue one of six tracks within the major: clinical psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, human factors psychology, neuroscience, experimental psychology, and general psychology. UCF encourages students to participate in internships, fieldwork, and research related to the field.
In addition to regular admissions requirements, the school’s online psychology program recommends that distance students possess the following requirements before they apply: basic biology and statistics courses, college-level foreign language credits at the 2nd level or higher, and a humans/living things science credit.
The University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
3. Northeastern University
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University offers more than 50 online degrees, including an online accredited psychology degree. All students, including distance learners earning their BS in psychology, must complete the university’s NUpath requirements — a set of 10 general-education competencies designed to create successful, globally-minded students. The competencies include writing across audiences and genres, analyzing and using data, and interpreting culture. While students must fulfill all competencies, some courses count toward multiple competencies.
Students complete 31 credits of major coursework in areas like the social sciences, mathematics, information technology, biology, and management. The online degree in psychology requires 21 credits in the major. These credit hours comprise courses in human behavior, cognition and development, research, and a capstone project. Human behavior courses include abnormal psychology, social psychology, and human behavior in the social environment. Courses in cognition and development include cognition and language, sensation and perception, and development across the lifespan. Students also take 15 hours of major-related electives and fill the remaining credit requirements with electives.
Students can enroll in the fall, spring, or summer semester. Although the school welcomes transfer students, students earning their online bachelor’s in psychology must earn a minimum of 60 credit hours from Northeastern University.
Northeastern University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
4. University of Memphis–UM Online
Based in Tennessee, the University of Memphis Global offers more than 60 distance programs, including an affordable, fully online BA in psychology.
The online psychology degree requires 120 credits of coursework comprising 41 hours of general education requirements, six-to-nine hours of college and bachelor of arts requirements, 35 psychology major requirements, and electives. For the major, students must take at least one course from each of the following areas: the cognitive and neuroscientific basis of behavior, applications of behavior, and the social and developmental basis of behavior. Students then spend 24 credits concentrating in either general psychology, behavioral neuroscience, or cognitive science. Students also take two labs in either social psychology, health psychology, or alcohol/drugs/behavior - — taking a psychology field test during their senior year.
The school features two alternative degree pathways — a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and a Finish Line Program — that help non-traditional or returning students earn their degree. Through the school’s PLA, students demonstrate how their experiences and certifications outside of academia translate into experiential learning credits. Students can earn credit through an exam or by having their portfolio reviewed for relevant experiences, such as military training, licensure, and credentials. The Finish Line Program provides a pathway to graduation for returning University of Memphis students who left their studies because of financial, professional, or personal reasons.
The University of Memphis is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
5. LeTourneau University
LeTourneau University (LETU) offers several online programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in psychology. The program features an accelerated course format that allows distance learners to earn their degree faster than they would in a face-to-face program. The online psychology degree prepares students to enter careers in psychology, social work, counseling, Christian education, and ministry. The program also prepares students for graduate programs in psychology, counseling, and family therapy.
Those earning their online bachelor’s degree in psychology take 120 semester hours of coursework, including 42 hours in major coursework, 50 hours in general education coursework, 12 hours in theology and vocational coursework, and 16 hours in general elective coursework. Major courses explore subjects like personality theory, social psychology, and human growth and development. Courses in the theology and vocational requirement include biblical literature and biblical theology for the Christian life. For the general electives, LETU encourages students interested in careers in marriage and family therapy or professional counseling to take elective psychology courses like child and adolescent interventions, marriage and the family, and group therapy.
As a Christian-based institution, the school’s online degree in psychology stresses Christian counseling approaches and delivers a faith-centered curriculum.
LeTourneau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
6. University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Located in the town of Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota delivers more than 50 online programs. Online learners at UND pay the same tuition rate as in-state students, making the school’s online BA in psychology one of the cheapest online psychology degrees available. Distance students begin their studies in the fall, spring, or summer.
The online psychology degree consists of fully-online coursework. Online learners connect through virtual classrooms and participate in occasional live web discussions. They also watch pre-recorded lectures and access coursework and learning materials through the Blackboard LMS. UND supports online students in a variety of ways, including online advising, a digital library, tech support, and online tutors.
Students typically complete 125 credits of coursework in four years. In addition to the school’s essential studies requirements, the online psychology degree demands at least 36 hours of major coursework, second-level proficiency in a foreign language, and two science labs. Required major courses explore topics like perception, professional development and ethics, and diversity psychology. Psychology students also complete two credits of an applied experience, such as volunteering, working, assistant-teaching, or training in the field.
The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
7. University of Massachusetts–Lowell
Mass Lowell’s online accredited psychology degree targets working professionals and accommodates students who want to study fully online or integrate online, face-to-face, or blended coursework in their studies.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard LMS, the school’s online learning platform. Curious students can even preview what an online course will look like at UMass Lowell through Blackboard. The school offers online courses in the fall, spring, and summer, allowing online students to study year-round. The school also gives online students access to 24/7 online technical support and support from online academic advisors and program coordinators.
The online BA in psychology requires 120 semester hours. In addition to the university’s general education requirements, the major requires a variety of psychology-specific courses, electives, and seminars. The program’s higher-level elective courses include psychology and women, human sexuality, and an introduction to disability studies. Students complete one advanced elective involving either a practicum, a directed study, a graduate level course, or an additional higher-level elective. Online psychology students must also achieve intermediate-level proficiency in a foreign language of their choice.
The University of Massachusetts–Lowell is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
8. Florida International University
Florida International University offers a range of affordable, flexible, and fully online programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in psychology. Based in Miami, the school offers online students an affordable way to pursue a degree. Distance students save thousands of dollars on campus fees while still receiving academic support through a an academic coach.
The online psychology degree requires 120 credits of coursework. This requirement includes 12 credits of major prerequisites, 10 credits of a research sequence, two credits of career development, 36 credits of major coursework, and 15 credits from one of the following subject areas: cognitive and neuroscience, social, applied, clinical/personality, and development.
The program’s curriculum prepares students for careers in psychology, education, law, medicine, social work, and business. Courses cover niche topics like animal cognition, memory and memory improvement, the psychology of women, legal psychology, children’s learning, and psychology of health and illness. Students also take nine credits of upper-division electives which can include independent research or an independent field experience.
Online students use a variety of tools and technologies to access coursework, take exams, participate in discussions, and turn in assignments. Students need a reliable internet connection and the ability to download required software.
Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
9. Oregon State University
Based in the pacific northwest town of Corvallis, Oregon State University offers two fully-online psychology degree options: a BS in psychology and a BA in psychology. Instructors deliver coursework through the school’s Ecampus. However, online students living in or near Portland can supplement their online coursework with face-to-face class sessions, resume workshops, and a guest speakers series held in OSU’s new satellite location in Pioneer Square. Regardless of where they live, the school provides all Ecampus students with access to digital support services like free tutoring, career guidance, success counseling, and libraries.
Online psychology students at OSU take 180 credits (quarter credit hours, equivalent to 120 semester hours) of coursework. Upon enrollment, students create a plan of study with their academic advisor to make sure they complete all five required course areas. These areas include a 48-credit baccalaureate core, a 15-credit liberal arts core, 15 — 24 credits of BA or BS requirements, 65 credits of psychology major requirements, and the remaining courses in electives. Featured courses in the major include human lifespan development, health psychology, and consciousness.
OSU offers four different start times throughout the year. The school also honors transfer credits so long as students earn 45 of the degree’s final 75 required credits through OSU. Online students can also select a minor; OSU recommends a business or environmental studies minor.
Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
10. Washington State University
Based in the city of Pullman, Washington State University’s Global Campus offers an online psychology degree. The school partners with two-year colleges to create a bridge between the associate degree and the bachelor’s degree. Those interested in the school’s online psychology degree should determine whether their associate degree will transfer and whether their associate coursework fulfills the psychology major’s core requirements.
In addition to core requirements, psychology students complete 35 credits of major coursework, roughly half of which come from upper-level courses. At least 10 of these credits must come from psychology classes at WSU, but qualifying transfer credits can fulfill the remaining requirement. Students then take two classes from each of the following three electives areas: neuroscience/cognition, social/motivation, and clinical/counseling. Sample courses from each area include biopsychological effects of alcohol and other drugs, human sexuality, and behavior disorders of children and adolescents. Students also take one general psychology elective course, fulfill a writing and a foreign language requirement, and take at least one lab.
Online students at WSU connect with their peers and teachers through live chats, study groups, and team projects. The school’s own media team designs interactive animations, graphics, and games to improve students’ education experience. The school also gives students access to virtual mentors and a streaming media center to view course lectures. Students order their books online, though some courses automatically send students materials — including books and lab kits if necessary.
Washington State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
11. Keiser University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In addition to face-to-face classes, Keiser’s Fort Lauderdale location offers a selection of online programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in psychology. As a military-friendly school, Keiser boasts an admissions team exclusively dedicated to serving military members.
Students earning their BA in psychology complete 120 credits of coursework, including 18 credits of lower division psychology courses, 12 credits of upper-division psychology courses, 36 credits of lower-division general education courses, and 21 credits of concentration courses. All psychology students must complete two major prerequisites: introduction to psychology and statistics.
Students choose from the following four concentrations: human services, developmental psychology, business, or healthcare and fitness. Concentrations allow students to focus their studies on an area of interest that informs their career goals. Sample courses in each concentration include forensic psychology, human exceptionality, industrial/organizational psychology, and coaching and team building. Students concentrating in human services or healthcare and fitness may earn up to six credits through a psychology internship experience related to their concentration.
Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
12. University of Massachusetts–Amherst
Part of the UMass system, University of Massachusetts–Amherst offers an academic major called University Without Walls (UWW). Designed for working professionals who want to start or complete their degree, the UWW major allows students to create a program that fits their lifestyle through fully online or hybrid courses. Students in the UWW major choose from several areas of study, including applied psychology.
Students in the UWW program learn at their own pace and can transfer or earn up to 105 credits through previous coursework, life experience, or professional experience. Examples of qualifying experiences include military training and professional certifications. All UWW students compile a portfolio illustrating how their experiences translate into credits; most students earn 15 credits through this portfolio, but they can earn a maximum of 30.
Like traditional online psychology degree programs, the UWW major requires 120 credits of coursework. Students concentrating in applied psychology must earn 45 of these credits through psychology courses (15 of which must be upper-level courses) but can earn the remainder through either coursework or relevant experience. Students must also complete the UWW major’s four core courses: a course planned with a faculty advisor, a portfolio-creation course, and two critical thinking and writing courses. UWW students must also fulfill the university’s 13 general education requirements.
University of Massachusetts–Amherst is regionally accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
13. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk Virginia, offers an online bachelor of science in psychology. The online psychology degree provides a well-rounded approach to the study of the human mind and behavior and prepares students for careers and advanced degrees in clinical psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, social work, education, and probation and corrections.
Students earning their degree online take 120 credits of coursework, 30 of which they must earn at Old Dominion. In addition to the school’s general education requirements, students choose between four areas of concentration within the major: biological bases and cognition, personality and social process, developmental changes, and applied psychology. Course options include, human cognition, theories of personality, psychology of adulthood and aging, and health psychology. Students also complete five elective courses in the major.
Online students at Old Dominion take a blend of synchronous and asynchronous courses. Students also take most of their exams online, from any location. The faculty that teaches at the school’s Virginia campus also delivers the online courses, meaning distance students receive the same quality education as their on-campus peers.
Old Dominion University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
14. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana
For the last 40 years, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has delivered quality distance programs to students interested in a Catholic-based education. Today, students select from a variety of online programs, including an online bachelor’s of science in psychology. The school offers all psychology courses both online and on campus.
Students earning their online accredited psychology degree take 43 credit hours of psychology coursework. Required courses include biological psychology, the psychology of women, and abnormal psychology. Students also take one of two required ethics electives: law, ethics, and society or ethical and legal issues in the helping professions. They then choose six more electives in courses like stress management, drug and alcohol addiction, and crisis intervention. Students can choose to complete an internship or research practicum as part of their elective credits.
The school offers online students a variety of paths to earning credit. In addition to online coursework, students near the school’s campus in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods can take up to half of their credits on campus. Students may choose to enroll in alternative format courses, which typically meet on Saturdays, for three-to-five class sessions total. Students can also transfer credits or earn up to 30 credits through a Prior Learning Assessment that substitutes experience for credit. Other ways to earn credit include certifications and exams.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
15. Pennsylvania State University–World Campus
University Park, Pennsylvania
The school’s online BS and BA in psychology include a few differences. The BS allows students to choose from two concentrations: a life sciences option and a business option. The life sciences option prepares students for graduate-level coursework in psychology by focusing on biology, anthropology, and behavioral health. Students in this track take courses like humans as primates and the biology of sex. The business option focuses on coursework related to leadership, ethics, business, and diversity — preparing students for careers in business, HR, and management. Sample courses in this area include the history of work in America and human resources ethics. In contrast, the online BA provides an introduction into the field of psychology through a humanities and liberal arts lens, giving students a foundation to enter a career or go into graduate-level study.
Both degrees require 123 credits of coursework, 50 of which come from courses in the major. The BS requires students to earn 24 credits from their concentration area. Both degrees require 13 hours of electives and allow students to earn credits through an internship experience. Required courses for both degrees include psychology as a science and profession, basic research methods in psychology, and a senior seminar.
Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
16. Colorado State University–Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado
The online psychology degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins prepares students for several careers paths and graduate-education pursuits. The degree focuses on five main areas of study: social psychology, organizational psychology, industrial psychology, cognitive psychology, biological psychology, and psychological measurement and testing. Psychology majors may elect to minor in one of nine subjects, including agricultural business and media studies.
Students earning their BS online at CSU take courses with their peers, interacting regularly through video conferences, live chats, and discussion forums on the school’s Canvas LMS. About 20 students constitute the average class size.
The degree requires 120 credits of coursework, 42 of which constitute upper-division courses and 30 of which constitute courses taken at CSU. Students hoping to transfer credits in meet with an advisor to determine their plan of study. Those wanting an estimate of what courses will transfer to CSU can use Transferology. After completing CSU’s general requirements, all psychology students take 19 credits of core courses, 12–15 credits of lecture/lab pairings, six credits of upper-division courses, 17 credits of additional required courses, and eight- to-15 credits of electives. Required courses in the major include mind, brain, and behavior, psychology of the individual in context, and a capstone seminar.
Colorado State University in Fort Collins is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
17. Drexel University
Drexel University offers an array of online programs, including an online bachelor of science in psychology. The degree prepares students for careers in law, forensics, education, the health sciences, business, and counseling. A focus on statistics and research also builds a foundation for students interested in pursuing graduate-level studies.
Drexel’s online psychology degree follows a quarter-system. Students take ten-week courses for four quarters a year, allowing them to cover lots of material in less time than the traditional semester system. The program requires 180 quarter credits (120 semester credits), and allows students to transfer up to 135 quarter credits (90 semester credits) from another accredited institution.
Students earning their BS in psychology take 10 required major courses and choose four courses from a list of advanced elective courses. Required courses include experimental psychology, the psychology of learning, and two levels of computer-assisted data analysis. Advanced electives explore niche topics like sports psychology, human-computer interaction, and autism spectrum disorders. Students finish their coursework with a sequence of senior seminars or advanced electives.
In addition to a liberal transfer policy, Drexel partners with more than 500 employers, school districts, and organizations to offer tuition discounts for online learners. The school also offers discounts to military members.
Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
18. Liberty University Online
Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, the online bachelor of science in psychology degree at Liberty University allows students to choose from eight specializations. These specializations, ranging from Christian counseling to criminal psychology, prepare students for graduate-level studies and for careers in human services, education, government, research, and criminal justice.
The school offers the 120-credit BS in psychology fully online. Students may transfer up to 90 credits from an accredited institution. In order to graduate with the school’s accredited online psychology degree, students must earn at least 30 of their hours through Liberty. In addition to coursework, students must complete at least 125 hours of an internship experience.
After completing the major’s core requirements, students pursue a specialization. Courses in the program’s eight specializations explore industry-specific topics like acute stress, grief, and trauma (crisis counseling); skills in life coaching (life coaching specialization), and the resilient warrior (military resilience specialization). Those not interested in a specialization simply earn a general degree in psychology.
Students at Liberty earn credits for prior military training, life experiences, professional experiences, and by passing certain exams and courses. The school maintains a list of 40 job skills that translate into academic credits. The school defines credits earned through these avenues as transfer credits.
Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
19. Troy University
Located in Alabama, Troy University’s online department brings affordable, quality programs to students in Alabama and around the world. One of the schools most popular online programs is its online bachelor of arts in psychology. The online BA prepares students to begin careers as educators, business administrators, HR managers, researchers, and counselors.
Students earning their BA in psychology at Troy take 48 hours of sub-requirements, 36 hours of major coursework (24 required courses and 12 electives), 18 hours of a minor, and 18 hours of free electives for a total of 120 hours of coursework. Required major courses include the psychology of learning, social psychology, and cognitive psychology. Students choose one of three minors: applied behavior analysis, psychological research, and substance addiction education. The school also allows students to pursue another major in lieu of the minor. Those outside of the major can minor in general psychology.
As a military-friendly school, Troy offers the TROY for Troops Center as part of its online learning platform, Canvas. This digital center provides support in the form of veterans affairs counseling, career counseling, academic support, study tools, and a place for military members to connect with one another.
Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
20. Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University, located in Georgia, offers more than 70 online programs, including an online bachelor of science in psychology. The program provides a liberal arts education that allows students to enter a variety of careers or pursue graduate-level education in psychology and related disciplines. Featured courses in the program include human development, personality and social behavior, diversity and multicultural issues, and learning and cognition.
The school’s Brightspace by D2L user-friendly platform streamlines the online learning experience, allowing students to focus more time on their coursework. Although instructors at KSU deliver coursework asynchronously, some include optional synchronous components. The school highly recommends that students participate in at least some synchronous learning. Most synchronous lectures and discussions occur in the evening. If students cannot attend the course in real-time, they can access audio or video recordings through Brightspace at a later time.
KSU provides distance learners with a variety of online support resources. The school grants students earning an online psychology degree access to a digital library, academic tutors, an online writing center, testing services, and a virtual computer lab called Virtual Owl within which students can access programs and software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite.
Kennesaw State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
21. South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
In fall of 2017, South Dakota State University began offering a bachelor of science in psychology online. The new program is one of the school’s many online offerings, including a variety of bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programs. Online students complete their coursework and access course materials from any location at any time of day, creating an affordable, flexible way to earn a degree.
Students who earn their online degree in psychology at SDSU often dual-major in subjects like nursing, journalism, or sociology. The school also offers a wide selection of minors, including criminal justice, rehabilitation services, gerontology, and mental health services.
The psychology degree requires 42 credits of major coursework and two courses from the major’s four domains. Courses include psychology testing and measurement, child psychopathology, environmental psychology, and cross-cultural psychology.
South Dakota State University is part of the Great Plains IDEA (Interactive Distance Education Alliance) partnership, a group of 20 public universities that offer quality distance education programs. Online students in certain programs at SDSU enroll through the school and pay that school’s tuition, but may take courses from faculty members at participating IDEA universities. This allows distance learners to take advantage of the best courses in their field.
South Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
22. City University of Seattle
Known as a leader in mental health services education, City University Seattle provides a variety of health and human services programs. In addition to courses on its Seattle campus, the school also offers an online BA in applied psychology that prepares students for advanced degrees in counseling, psychology, and social work. With this degree on-hand, graduates can enter the human services field as case managers, coordinators, educators, and agency managers.
The school’s online psychology degree requires 180 quarter hours (120 semester hours) of coursework comprising 90 credits of lower-division requirements and 90 credits of upper-division requirements. Most courses constitute five credits. The lower-division requirements consist of general education courses in math, composition, science, and two introductory psychology courses. The upper-division core requirements explore neuropsychology, organizational behavior, and sociology of the family. As part of their core requirements, students also complete a five-credit-hour seminar. The seminar functions as a practicum in which students apply their studies in a real-life setting within their community. Students also choose five credits of upper-division electives and 25 credits of courses within a specialized study emphasis.
In addition to scholarships and credits for prior learning and experience, City University of Seattle offers tuition discounts for military members. The school also partners with several programs to offer military students additional resources.
City University of Seattle is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
23. Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The online bachelor of science in psychology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida stresses scientific research and prepares students for both entry-level careers and to enter graduate programs in psychology.
Outside of general education requirements, the psychology major at Nova requires 54 credits of coursework, including 21 credits of core courses, 18 credits of foundational courses, and 15 credits of electives. Core courses include multicultural issues in psychology, applied statistics, and a senior seminar. The senior seminar functions as a capstone course and explores a new theme each semester.
The program emphasizes six core areas of psychology and organizes its foundational course offerings into these categories. The six areas include learning memory and/or cognition; sensation, perception, and/or biological bases of behavior; human development; clinical, abnormal, and/or personality; research measurement, design, and methodology; and social influences on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Students take one, three-credit-hour course from each category. Sample courses include cognitive processes, evolutionary psychology, adolescent psychology, abnormal psychology, experimental psychology, and psychology of gender.
The program encourages qualified students to join Psi Chi, an international academic honor society for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing an education in psychology. Qualifying students must declare their psychology major at NSU and possess a 3.30 GPA or higher.
Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
24. University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska–Fairbanks offers an online bachelor of arts in psychology. The degree is one of only a few psychology degrees online in Alaska accredited by a regional accreditation agency. The degree prepares students to enter graduate programs in psychology, medicine, education, biology, nursing, and counseling. Those uninterested in pursuing a graduate degree can enter the workforce in science, business, and human services.
The degree consists of 120 credits of coursework. The school breaks these credits down into foundation coursework, theoretical coursework, applied coursework, and breadth coursework. Foundation coursework focuses on things like introductory statistics for social science and psychology and culture. Theoretical coursework focuses on things like the psychology of women across cultures, personality, and human sexualities across cultures. Applied courses focus on practical, industry-related topics in the discipline like sports psychology, health psychology, and industrial and organizational psychology. Students use breadth coursework to fulfill nine elective credits.
For distance students wanting to supplement their online coursework or for students interested in the school’s on-campus programs, the University of Alaska–Fairbanks now operates an Alaska Dreaming program that provides free round-trip airfare from Seattle. Students choose from over 100 summer courses, including introduction to psychology, the psychology of stress, and general education courses. Since summer classes typically meet four days a week, students have long weekends to explore Fairbanks and the surrounding area.
University of Alaska–Fairbanks is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
25. Chatham University
Along with its innovative, self-sustaining campus architecture, Chatham University is known nationwide for its forward-thinking initiatives designed to make higher education accessible and affordable for all. The school’s online BA in psychology completion program allows students to transfer up to 90 previously earned credits toward their degree. Students may also receive credit for related work experience or prior learning assessments.
Chatham’s accredited online psychology degree incorporates ideas and theories from biology, neuroscience, and developmental psychology. With courses in psychological and behavioral research methods, statistical analysis, and critical thinking strategies, the program encourages students to develop a scientific mindset. The interdisciplinary program culminates in an integrative capstone course. Candidates work alone and with a group to develop a final project. Distance learners also complete an internship in a nearby clinical setting.
Applicants must provide official high school or GED transcripts demonstrating a GPA of 2.5 or better. Prospective students should also submit a personal essay describing their professional and academic intentions and how earning an online psychology degree will help them to accomplish their goals. Pennsylvania residents and non-residents pay the same tuition. Chatham offers numerous merit and need-based scholarships for first-time and transfer students.
Chatham University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
26. Regis University
Located in Denver, Colorado, Regis University began when a group of exiled Italian Jesuits founded Las Vegas College in 1877. While its name and location have changed over the years, Regis has maintained its reputation for offering top-notch programs in the rigorous Jesuit academic tradition. After launching its first accelerated undergraduate program for adult students in 1977, the university’s distance learning catalog quickly grew to include over 25 fully online undergraduate degrees.
The 120-credit BS in applied psychology provides a comprehensive overview of human lifespan development, abnormal psychology, addiction, and organizational behavior. Along with 45 credit hours of general education coursework, students complete 15 credit hours of foundational classes that explore major theories in personality development, behavioral science, and cognitive development. Upper-division courses examine contemporary issues in the field, including PTSD and the psychology of gender.
Undergraduates can add a minor to their online psychology degree. Advanced students may pursue a combined bachelor’s-to-master’s degree.
Applicants should hold a high school diploma or equivalent, transferable credit from a regionally accredited institution, and relevant work experience. Candidates without professional experience may file an admissions appeal. Prospective students must also provide a personal statement of academic intent. In-state and out-of-state distance learners pay the same tuition rate. Numerous institutional scholarships and grants are available.
Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
27. Oregon Institute of Technology
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Founded in 1947, Oregon Tech is best known for its renowned engineering programs and hands-on approach to STEM education. Over the last few decades, the school has expanded in both size and available programs. Today, students have their choice of 43 majors through campuses in Klamath Falls, Wilsonville, and Salem. The Oregon Tech Online initiative was founded in 2003, and has since grown to encompass 18 web-based programs, including a BS in applied psychology.
Emphasizing experiential learning, Oregon Tech’s unique approach to curriculum design lets students shape their online degree in psychology to meet their personal, professional, and academic goals. Working with an adviser, distance learners develop an individual degree plan, selecting 54 elective credits from an area of their choice. In addition to applied courses in general, abnormal, and social psychology, students explore cutting-edge research in behavior modification, biopsychology, and counseling. Learners must also complete an externship at a local facility, which is arranged through Oregon Tech.
Courses are presented asynchronously over three 10-week terms each year. To remain eligible for financial aid, students must enroll in at least two classes each semester. Oregon residents and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate. Prospective undergraduates must submit an eligibility verification form and official college and/or high school transcripts. Oregon Tech provides tuition assistance and support services to veterans and Oregon National Guard members.
Oregon Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU).
28. Fort Hays State University
Based in Hays, Kansas, FHSU is a profession-oriented, entrepreneurial university with a student body of around 15,000 individuals. More than half of FHSU students are distance learners enrolled in the award-winning Virtual College. With more than 50 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, the Virtual College has received praise for its academic rigor and exceptional affordability. Many individuals seeking the cheapest online psychology degree find that FHSU’s BA/BS in psychology program is a suitable choice.
Students may choose whether they want to earn a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts in psychology. While both curricula consist of 124 credits, including 42 hours of core psychology coursework, each program approaches the discipline in a different way. Emphasizing the technical aspects of psychology, the bachelor of science program requires seven additional hours of STEM classes. Students pursuing a bachelor of arts must fulfill a 10-credit modern language requirement. Both majors include 17 hours of elective courses, including options in human sexuality and forensic psychology. Courses use a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous formats.
Admission requirements vary considerably depending on the applicant’s state of residence, previous education, and standardized test scores. While tuition for Kansas residents and non-residents differs, FHSU participates in both the Midwest Student Exchange Program and the Contiguous State Resident Tuition Program. Both programs offer discounted rates for residents of select states.
Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Undergraduate psychology programs follow guidelines defined by the American Psychological Association (APA).
29. Concordia University–Saint Paul
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Since 1893, this private Christian liberal arts university has offered career-focused degrees with an emphasis on professional skills. Concordia’s Partnership Advantage program grants a $2,000 tuition discount and priority admission to employees of any partner corporation enrolled in an accelerated program.
Concordia’s online accredited psychology degree follows asynchronous seven-week courses. The accelerated 120-credit curriculum explores the theoretical foundations of developmental psychology, personality, cognition, and psychotherapy. The program also includes an eight-credit internship in a local setting. General education coursework addresses unique topics such as stagecraft, Hmong history, and household chemistry. Distance learners must also complete six to eight credits of religious and theological studies.
Applicants should provide official transcripts demonstrating a high school or undergraduate GPA of 2.0 or better. Individuals without college-level transfer credits must also submit ACT or SAT scores. All prospective students provide a 300-word statement of intent describing their interest in the program and academic and professional goals. All distance learners pay in-state tuition. While distance learners receive an automatic tuition discount that disqualifies them from applying for institutional scholarships, the university offers other forms of financial aid for online students. Concordia participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and active duty military personnel, veterans, and their spouses are eligible for additional financial assistance.
Concordia University-Saint Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school holds membership in the North Central Association.
30. Rowan University
Glassboro, New Jersey
Rowan University was founded in 1923 as a teacher preparation college. While Rowan continues to host world-class teaching programs, the school now offers more than 80 undergraduate and 60 graduate degrees in many different fields. The university’s distance learning division, Rowan Global, was founded to provide accessible higher learning options for returning college students and working professionals nationwide. Rowan Global offers nine undergraduate completion programs, including an online bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Intended for students with some transferable college credits, the psychology completion program includes 33 credits in major coursework. While completion times vary according to the number of credits transferred, some distance learners may finish the 60-credit degree in as few as four semesters. Major courses introduce fundamental psychological theories and practices, including the psychology of scientific thinking, social psychology, statistics in psychology, and learning and behavior. Learners gain an understanding of human cognitive and emotional development, as well as the developmental roots of psychological abnormalities.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or at least 24 semester hours of college credit from a regionally accredited institution. Candidates should provide official transcripts demonstrating a GPA of 2.0 or better. Students without sufficient college credits may be required to complete up to 27 additional hours of coursework through Rowan Global. New students begin in fall and spring.
Rowan University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
31. Northern Arizona University
Widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier research universities, Northern Arizona University is home to 12 research centers and cutting-edge innovations such as unmanned aerial vehicles and mobile video technologies. NAU’s tradition of academic excellence continues in its distance learning programs, which encourage scientific thinking and technological expertise.
Students earning an accredited online psychology degree from NAU may choose a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science, both of which consist of 120 credits. While the BA curriculum includes a foreign language component, learners pursuing a BS must complete 12 additional hours of science coursework. All psychology students also take six units of communications studies, a computer literacy class, and a minor or certificate.
Foundational coursework focuses on core psychological theories, as well as data collection and research methods common to the discipline. Upper-division classes examine advanced concepts in cognition and memory, emotion, and organizational and group psychology. Prior to graduation, students demonstrate their knowledge by designing, conducting, and presenting an empirical research project.
Freshman applicants who have completed prerequisite coursework must demonstrate a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students with a GPA of 2.5 may receive admission if they have no more than one prerequisite deficiency. Applicants who earned a GED, completed an associate degree, were homeschooled, or are over the age of 22 may be exempt from course requirements. NAU offers numerous need-based and merit-based scholarships.
Northern Arizona University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
32. Arizona State University–ASU Online
Founded 30 years before Arizona achieved statehood, ASU has been the region’s premier institution of higher education for nearly 140 years. In recent decades, the university has received recognition for its cutting-edge innovations, groundbreaking research, and Nobel prize-winning faculty members. More than 30,000 students around the country attend one of the university’s over 150 online programs.
ASU offers two four-year online psychology degrees: a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science. Both 120-credit curricula take an interdisciplinary approach to psychology, with major coursework incorporating themes from neuroscience, sociology, statistics, and law. Students receive a broad introduction to the qualitative and quantitative research methods employed by both graduate students and psychology professionals. BS majors must complete two additional lab-based science courses, several of which address methods in forensic detection. Students pursuing a BA also study a foreign language and pursue upper-division cultural studies coursework.
Freshman applicants must meet core competency requirements. Applicants should either hold a GPA of at least 3.0 or be in the top 25% of their graduating class. ASU may waive these conditions for Arizona students with an ACT score of 22 or out-of-state students with a score of 24. The school also accepts residents who score 1040 or higher on the SAT or out-of-state applicants who score 1110.
Arizona State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
33. Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, California
Rooted in the Judaic tradition, the Touro College and University System operates dozens of campuses around the U.S., as well as three campuses in Moscow, Berlin, and Jerusalem. Launched in 1998, the school’s first distance learning program educated military and government students. The program’s unprecedented success led to the founding of Touro University Worldwide in 2008. Today, TUW offers 17 web-based degrees, including a psychology degree online.
Consisting of 120 credits, TUW’s bachelor of arts in psychology features flexible, self-paced courses, allowing full-time students to complete the program in as few as three years. Major coursework provides a broad survey of developmental, community, and cognitive psychology. The program places special emphasis on ethical and research guidelines outlined by the American Psychological Association. Unlike many undergraduate psychology programs, the BA curriculum features several areas of concentration, including child and adolescent psychology, special education, and industrial/organizational psychology.
Prospective TUW students must hold a high school diploma, GED, or transfer credits from an accredited institution. Applicants may transfer up to 90 credits from colleges and universities or up to 48 credits from yeshivas in the U.S. or Israel. TUW may also award credit for military training or standardized examination.
Touro University Worldwide is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). The BA in psychology curriculum aligns with undergraduate curriculum guidelines set by the American Psychological Association (APA).
34. University of Alabama at Birmingham–UAB Online
With 24 research centers, labs, and core facilities on campus, UAB is home to pioneering research studies, inventions, and clinical trials. While the university is best known for performing groundbreaking research on the AIDS virus, its dedication to scholarly inquiry spans across multiple disciplines. More than 7,000 undergraduates contribute to UAB research initiatives every year.
UAB’s commitment to research and experiential learning makes its 121-credit bachelor of science one of the best online psychology degree programs in the country. Beginning with lower-division courses in forensic psychology, adjustment theories, and human sexuality, the rigorous curriculum emphasizes the scientific method and statistical analysis. Advanced and elective courses cover challenging topics such as animal behavior, molecular neuroscience, the biology of autism, and the dynamics of pain. The program culminates in a research, teaching, or community-based practicum, which distance learners complete in a local setting. UAB also encourages students to select a minor.
Full-time students typically earn their degree in four years. Courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. The curriculum blends synchronous and asynchronous class formats.
While UAB takes a holistic approach to admissions, prospective students should have an acceptable GPA and SAT or ACT scores. To be considered for institutional scholarships, students must receive admission by December 1 of their senior year of high school.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
35. University of Arizona
Based in Tucson, the University of Arizona prides itself on a cultural identity founded in diversity. With a student body of more than 43,000 individuals from varied cultures and backgrounds, UA represents a broad variety of races, religions, and identities. The school hosts more than 600 clubs and organizations. UA Online attracts distance learners from around the world, providing valuable opportunities to discuss diverse perspectives.
One of the university’s most popular programs is its award-winning online psychology degree. This four-year bachelor of arts program provides an introduction to integral psychological theories, research methods, and recent innovations in the field. Major courses highlight introductory principles in cognitive neuroscience and abnormal psychology, as well as the social and environmental factors that influence psychological development. Students may fulfill the curriculum’s four-semester foreign language requirement through a wide array of courses, including Persian, Japanese, Navajo, and Russian.
All UA Online courses are self-paced, although a few feature scheduled virtual discussion meetings through VoiceThread. Some science courses utilize the university’s groundbreaking Online Science Academy to present at-home labs and experiments.
To receive admission, Arizona residents must rank in the top 25% of their high school class or hold a GPA of at least 3.0. In-state students who do not meet these requirements and out-of-state students must undergo a comprehensive academic review.
The University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
36. King University
Located in Bristol, Tennessee, King University is a liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. King began offering web-based business degrees in 2011, and has since expanded its online programs to include 17 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in numerous disciplines.
Consisting of 124 credits, King’s BS in psychology completion program is intended for students who have previously earned at least 45 semester hours of transferable credit. Most full-time students are able to complete major coursework in as few as 16 months. Along with foundational concepts in social, abnormal, and cognitive psychology, core psychology courses introduce major counseling and therapeutic techniques. Students must also complete classes in both counseling methodologies and introductory Christian counseling. The program culminates in an individual research project, as well as a comprehensive area exam and a final general education assessment.
All prospective undergraduates must hold a minimum GPA of 2.2 and provide official transcripts with their application. After receiving acceptance, individuals pursuing a completion degree must work with a student support specialist to develop a personal educational plan outlining their academic intentions. Some students may need to complete an ACT Compass Placement Test before pursuing major coursework. Students must earn at least 48 credit hours from King to graduate.
King University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). King is a member of the Tennessee College Association.
37. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Since 1943, SAGU has offered higher education from a Bible-based Pentecostal perspective. This Texas institution equips its students with the intellectual and spiritual capabilities needed to become dynamic leaders. Distance learners can choose from more than 45 degrees in a variety of disciplines, including an online bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Exploring the relationship between psychology and Christianity, this 127-credit pre-professional degree offers unique courses such as the psychology of religion and the psychology of selfhood and Christian faith. Learners examine foundational theories, introductory counseling principles, and statistical methods. The program culminates in a field practicum and a written philosophy of ministry. Full-time students complete one biblical studies course each semester.
Prospective undergraduates should provide official high school, GED, or college transcripts, as well as placement test scores. Applicants must also submit a letter of Christian character reference demonstrating their commitment to maintaining standards of Christian conduct. Both in-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition, and distance learners receive an automatic 15% tuition grant through the university’s Achieve initiative. The Experiential Learning Credit program offers up to 45 hours of college credit for professional and life experience.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
38. McKendree University
Established in 1828, McKendree University is the oldest college in Illinois. Over the centuries, this Methodist institution has expanded beyond its main campus in Lebanon to two Kentucky campuses, a center at Scott Air Force Base, and a robust online learning division. With an average class size of 14, McKendree prides itself on providing one-on-one student support and faculty attention, and its distance programs are no exception. The maximum enrollment for each online course is 20 students.
McKendree’s online degree in psychology was created with professionals in mind. The 120-credit curriculum features numerous career-focused course options, including military psychology, sport and health psychology, and counseling. Learners must fulfill a series of general education requirements, a senior survey in psychology, and a senior thesis. McKendree often affords undergraduate students with unique opportunities to work alongside faculty on research projects. Classes follow eight-week sessions.
Distance learners may transfer in up to 90 credits from a regionally accredited college or university. Prospective students who have not previously attended an institution of higher learning should submit official high school or GED transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a recommendation from a school counselor. The university does not charge an application fee. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same per-credit tuition rate. Institutional scholarships are available for first-year and transfer students, as well as certain majors.
McKendree University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
39. DeSales University
Center Valley, Pennsylvania
DeSales University was founded in the Catholic Salesian tradition, but it prides itself on providing an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and inclusivity. While most of DeSales’ 3,254 students attend classes on the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania campus, the ACCESS Lifelong Learning division is growing in popularity. ACCESS provides accelerated online courses presented in six-week and eight-week sessions. The school offers flexible learning options in 13 disciplines, including a online psychology degree.
In addition to general education, theology, and major core courses, bachelor of science candidates must complete six of DeSales’ unique upper-division psychology courses. These classes provide valuable opportunities to explore various subfields of psychology at length. Courses address challenging and engaging topics such as psychopathology, the psychology of religious experience, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Because ACCESS courses are offered in asynchronous, synchronous, and combined formats, degree completion times vary considerably between students.
Applicants need only provide high school or college transcripts. In-state and out-of-state distance learners pay the same flat tuition rate. Students may transfer in up to 75 previously earned credits or gain prior learning credit for relevant professional experience. As a Yellow Ribbon institution, DeSales University provides special accommodation to active duty military personnel and veterans. Working in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the university offers numerous benefits and resources for service members, including tuition assistance and course credit for qualifying military training.
DeSales University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
40. Central Washington University
Central Washington University has changed quite a bit since it opened its doors in 1891. While its dedication to quality education and creative expression remains the same, CWU has expanded beyond its Ellensburg roots to include eight campuses throughout the state. The university’s virtual campus, Finish Line, was established in 2011. The virtual campus offers unique web-based majors and minors, including aviation management and accessibility studies. Finish Line serves more online learners than any other Washington university.
CWU’s online accredited psychology degree is a completion program for students with at least 90 college-level credits. The 45-credit curriculum introduces fundamental theories and concepts related to cognitive development, social psychology, adjustment, and behavioral analysis. Upper-division courses highlight cutting-edge topics such as the psychology of gender, violence and aggression, and substance abuse. Prior to graduation, students sit for a cumulative senior assessment and, if eligible, an undergraduate honors thesis on the subject of their choice. Students also complete 10 hours of service learning or research experience. Throughout their studies, learners build a portfolio demonstrating their mastery of core knowledge. They present the portfolio for assessment in their final semester.
In addition to 90 transfer credits, prospective students must have previously completed an introductory course in psychology with a grade of “C“ or better. Out-of-state distance learners receive an online tuition waiver, making tuition comparable to that of Washington residents. Additional institutional scholarships are available to current and prospective students.
Central Washington University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
41. Southwestern College
Based in Winfield, Kansas, Southwestern College is a public institution affiliated with the Methodist Church. In 1994, the college recognized a growing need for flexible, career-focused academic programs and subsequently founded the Southwestern College Professional Studies Center. Today, the majority of students enrolled in the professional studies program pursue their studies online. Each of Southwestern College’s 16 undergraduate majors features six-week classes and flexible schedules, providing an ideal program structure for working individuals.
The 124-credit bachelor of arts in psychology provides students with practical assessment, diagnostic, and research skills needed to pursue entry-level positions in the field. Learners examine the biological and developmental processes behind psychological issues, as well as social, cultural, and environmental factors. Lectures present diverse techniques for assessing client behavior, including observational methods and interview styles. The program culminates in a senior capstone experience, during which students create a holistic portfolio demonstrating their acquired understanding and skills. Foundational courses address professional development, communication skills, and information literacy.
Prospective students must have earned at least six college-level credits with a GPA of 2.0 or better. Candidates may transfer up to 64 credits from other institutions; full-time students who do so typically earn their psychology degree online in just over two years. Undergraduate students may enroll in two classes each session.
Southwestern College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school is a member of the North Central Association.
42. Brandman University
Brandman University was founded in 1861 to serve the needs of personnel stationed at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Orange, California. While Brandman remains a military-friendly institution, its mission to deliver accessible, high-quality programs has expanded to include adult learners and nontraditional students throughout the country. Brandman’s students may choose from more than 80 degrees and certifications, including an online psychology degree.
The 48-credit bachelor of arts in psychology completion program consists of 33 hours of core courses, including abnormal psychology, human development, critical thinking, and a senior capstone. Students select one of six concentrations: general psychology, gerontology, preclinical studies, community psychology, child psychology, or industrial organization. Each concentration includes 15 hours of upper-division courses addressing specialized topics in the student’s chosen field. Brandman also encourages students to pursue field experience and independent research opportunities arranged by the university.
Applicants must hold at least 12 undergraduate credits from a regionally accredited institution. California residents and out-of-state students pay the same per-credit tuition rates, although active duty military and their spouses receive a 50% discount. Brandman’s credit transfer policies also provide 46 credits for military experience, plus additional credits for qualifying CLEP and DSST results. The Military Services department assists service members with navigating the GI Bill, finding scholarships, and applying for other sources of funding.
Brandman University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC) Senior College and University Commission.
43. Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, Iowa
Located on the shores of Storm Lake, Iowa, Buena Vista University combines individual attention and faculty engagement with world-class academics and dedication to community service. With a student body of 1,196 and a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, BVU offers an intimate, close-knit academic community for on-campus students and distance learners alike.
BVU’s 33-credit online psychology degree completion program is one of the best options for individuals who have previously earned an associate degree or 60 college credits. Learners complete eleven courses, including a two-part experimental design and analysis course and an introduction to biological psychology. Upper-division courses explore topics such as gender, trauma advocacy, relationship violence, and stereotypes. Students have the option of enrolling in a three-credit advanced research course in place of one elective. The program culminates in a senior capstone.
Prospective students should provide copies of their official college transcripts. Although not required, BVU encourages applicants to contact an adviser for assistance with enrollment. All students pay the same tuition rate. BVU’s completion programs are approved for the Yellow Ribbon Program and G.I. Bill. The university also maintains tuition reimbursement agreements with many companies. While most of BVU’s competitive institutional scholarships are exclusively available to on-campus students, distance learners may apply for merit-based awards.
Buena Vista University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
44. Excelsior College
Albany, New York
Since its establishment in 1971, Excelsior College has sought to meet the needs of adult learners and other groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Excelsior’s mission is to make college accessible and affordable to all students without sacrificing academic quality or faculty engagement.
Excelsior College offers multiple online psychology degree programs. Students may choose either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Distance learners can also add a concentration in industrial/organizational psychology and strategic sales. While each curriculum consists of 120 credits, the BS requires 60 credits of applied professional or STEM courses. The BA curriculum requires only 30 credits of STEM. Instead of science, the BA emphasizes liberal arts and humanities coursework. Learners who pursue the concentration study the same core psychological principles and practices as those who do not. Concentration coursework explores psychological ideas from a marketing perspective. All students complete a capstone course prior to graduation.
Excelsior lets applicants apply up to 117 credits towards their degree, with no time limits. The school also grants credit for military service, professional training and certification, and prior learning assessments. Service members and veterans receive extensive financial assistance, including tuition waivers, payment plans, and special opportunities sponsored by partnership organizations. Tuition costs vary according to the individual student’s course load. State of residence has no bearing on tuition.
Excelsior College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). All of its programs have received approval from the New York State Education Department.
45. Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago is one of the largest Jesuit Catholic universities in the country, and the only one of its kind in Chicago. Like all Jesuit institutions of Ignatian heritage, Loyola emphasizes a commitment to social justice and serving the poor and needy. The university has received numerous awards and accolades for its community engagement, including recognition from the Carnegie Foundation. Loyola began offering online degrees in 1998 and quickly expanded its options to include unique majors such as bioethics and children’s law and policy. The university offers seven undergraduate degree completion programs, including a BA in applied psychology.
The 36-credit curriculum is designed for professionals seeking to enhance employee performance, workplace communication, and creativity through the application of psychological principles. After completing introductory coursework in general psychology, research methods, and personality, students examine the psychological theories behind organizational change and effective leadership. The program culminates in a service-learning capstone course, during which candidates apply their knowledge to a problem within the local community. The eight-week courses blend synchronous and asynchronous formats.
Loyola accepts applications on a rolling basis. Classes begin five times every year. Along with an application, prospective students must submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions and high schools. Loyola accepts up to 18 hours of transfer credit.
Loyola University Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
46. University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Based in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is a top-ranked public research university with a student body of around 31,000. The U has received international acclaim for its interdisciplinary Innovation Ecosystem initiative, which promotes innovative research and scholarly inquiry through department, community, and corporate partnerships.
Taking a similarly dynamic approach to distance learning, the U offers an online psychology degree that combines self-paced coursework with interactive learning sessions. In addition to introductory psychology courses, students enrolled in the 41-credit BS program explore concepts in development, clinical work, cognition, neuroscience, and social psychology. Learners may choose from four of the five core areas. Students also complete 12 credits of a field experience and courses in other departments. Depending on their area of interest, students may complete the field experience through volunteer work or teaching assistantships.
The U’s psychology program is highly competitive. The school evaluates freshman applicants based on GPA and standardized test scores, as well as personal characteristics and achievements. Applicants who graduated high school more than seven years prior and who have not previously attended college must hold a GPA of at least 2.6 and a composite GED score of at least 550.
The University of Utah is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The school has been continuously accredited since 1933.
47. Bay Path University
Although Bay Path University has relocated to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, the school continues its 100-year-long tradition of offering rigorous academic programs in flexible formats. The university’s American Women’s College offers more than 20 web-based programs for women who wish to earn a degree while still meeting work, family, and personal obligations. Most of these programs, including the bachelor of arts in psychology, take three years or less to complete.
Consisting of 76 credits, this online psychology degree explores foundational psychological theories as they relate to sociology, physiology, and human development. Courses examine neuroanatomy, counseling techniques, and the role of the family in psychological growth and well-being. The program culminates in a two-part senior seminar, during which students apply their knowledge through projects and groups discussions. Seniors also explore further academic and professional opportunities in the field.
Prospective students should submit official transcripts from all high schools and colleges they attended. Some students may submit GED scores. Applicants with less than 12 transferable college credits must provide a short personal essay. Students may transfer a maximum of 90 credits. Transfer credits must be 100-level or higher courses from an accredited institution. Bay Path only accepts transfer credits earned with a grade “C-“ or better.
Bay Path University and the American Women’s College are regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and College (NEASC).
48. University of Louisiana at Monroe
The University of Louisiana at Monroe is home to one of the state’s top-ranked distance learning programs. With more than 30 majors and a wide variety of resources available to online students, eULM focuses on making distance learners feel like they are part of the university community. The school also offers one of the best online psychology degree programs in the region.
Through 120 credits of general education, major, and elective coursework, eULM students gain a strong liberal arts background while receiving a thorough introduction to psychology. Beginning with a broad survey of historical trends in psychological theory, learners explore the development of psychology as a science and discipline. Coursework addresses fundamental concepts in the field, as well as more advanced topics in child psychology, the physiological aspects of mental health conditions, and behavioral research methods. Unique course offerings include positive psychology and evolutionary psychology.
Louisiana residents and out-of-state students pay the same flat per-credit tuition rate. While all courses are available entirely online, learners enrolled in lab-based courses must schedule two proctored exams per class. ULM’s virtual proctoring program allows students to schedule an on-campus session or an exam at an approved testing center. Distance learners also receive access to ULM library resources.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC). eULM is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) Electronic Campus.
49. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Northwestern State first offered courses in 1884 in Natchitoches’ Bullard Mansion. While only three columns of the mansion are still standing today, NSU remains one of Louisiana’s oldest and most respected institutions of higher learning. The eNSU Global Campus has received praise for its innovative addiction studies program and flat tuition rate for distance learners worldwide. The school offers more than 40 degrees in a wide array of disciplines, including an accredited online psychology degree.
NSU’s BS in psychology builds fundamental competencies in theory, experimental methods, and psychological assessment. Learners gain a solid understanding of the history and development of psychology as a profession, as well as common ethical challenges involved in experimentation and client confidentiality. Students may also choose between optional concentrations in prevention specialist or substance abuse. Both specializations qualify graduates to become certified addiction professionals or counselors-in-training with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Admission requirements differ considerably for first-time freshmen, transfer students, and new students over the age of 25. NSU accepts transfer credits earned at regionally accredited institutions. Students from nationally accredited schools may receive credit through a series of knowledge tests. Institutional scholarships are available for online freshmen, transfer students, and current students who maintain satisfactory academic progress. All undergraduate programs undergo periodic self-assessment to ensure academic rigor.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
50. Westfield State University
Westfield State University’s online bachelor of arts in psychology completion program caters to juniors and seniors in possession of an associate degree from a Massachusetts Community College and who have finished their transfer compact. Students without a degree from a Massachusetts College or who have not completed their transfer compact can still enroll in the program and earn credits online.
Online psychology students complete 39 credits in the major. Students take 12 credits of required courses and 18 credits of content courses. Content courses comprise the following four areas of psychology: basic processes, individual and social systems, development, and applied psychology. Courses include adaptation and animal behavior, psychology of the family, child development, and psychology of interpersonal relations and communications. Seniors in the major take a three-credit-hour capstone experience. Topics include ethics in psychology, psychology of film, and the psychology of depression.
Students take classes in the fall and spring semester, as well as during the summer and winter break. In the summer, WSU offers two, six-week sessions. Over winter break, students enroll in two-week, accelerated courses. Qualifying students can join WSU’s Psi Chi chapter, an international honor society for psychology students. Students near the school’s campus in Westfield, Massachusetts may also consider joining the school’s psychology club.
Westfield State University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Program?
Online psychology degree programs differ with regard to their curricula, so students should review the courses offered by schools when choosing a program. Below, we have listed courses that you may encounter as you pursue your online psychology degree.
- Psychological foundations of learning: This course teaches students about how modeling, conditioning, and cognitive development factor into the formation of high-level thought processes. This material helps students pursuing careers in social services, where they will use their knowledge of cognitive processing to elicit desired behavioral changes in their clients.
- Social psychology: Students in a social psychology class learn about the influences that other people in the environment can have on an individual’s thoughts and behaviors. Discussion may include interpersonal attraction, group decision making, non-verbal communication, and the effects that television and advertising exert. A social and community service manager may be especially interested in applying this knowledge to their field.
- Physiological psychology: In a physiological psychology course, students learn about the physiological structures involved in psychology, such as the nervous and sensory system. Course material focuses on the physiological bases for behavior, including brain functioning as it relates to psychopharmacology. A professional working in the field of substance abuse will need this knowledge to understand addiction and substance abuse treatment.
Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Careers
Graduates with an online degree in psychology can enter the workforce in many different settings. These professionals are equipped with an understanding of human behavior and are generally inclined to provide support and care through social services in various industries. Graduates with an online accredited psychology degree may pursue careers in counseling, community service, or the criminal justice system, among other fields.
- Social and Community Service Manager: Social and community service managers work with members of the community to identify areas of need and design and implement programs to meet those needs. A bachelor’s degree will qualify a candidate for many positions as a social and community service manager, although some employers prefer a master’s degree.
- Median Annual Salary: $64,100
- Projected Growth Rate: 18%
- Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor: Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors provide support and treatment to individuals suffering from addiction and other mental health issues. Some professionals in this field earn a bachelor’s degree, while others need a master’s degree, such as mental health counselors who plan to provide therapy.
- Median Annual Salary: $43,300
- Projected Growth Rate: 23%
- Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist: Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists participate in the rehabilitation of criminal offenders in custody, or on probation or parole. Most professionals at this level in the field have bachelor’s degrees, although a master’s degree may be necessary for career advancement.
- Median Annual Salary: $51,410
- Projected Growth Rate: 6%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Degrees
Agencies that award national accreditation generally evaluate programs for trade and vocational schools and do not always apply as rigorous of standards as regional accrediting agencies. For this reason, employers may prefer to hire graduates from programs with regional accreditation status. In addition, a degree from an accredited institution of higher learning may be a requirement for professional licensure in many fields. Students should pay attention to a program’s accreditation status when choosing a college or university in order to ensure that they are desirable job candidates upon graduation.
Students who are interested in earning their accredited online psychology degree may want to confirm that the school of their choice has been accredited by agencies overseen by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Psychology Professional Organizations
Professional organizations provide resources to students earning their psychology degree online, as well as recent graduates. These organizations enhance their members’ knowledge base with continuing education seminars, annual conferences, and academic publications. Members may also benefit from career services and job boards, as well as professional networking opportunities. Membership in these associations may signal to prospective employers or clients that a professional is invested in their field, connected to their colleagues, and updated on current trends and recent advancements in psychology.
- American Psychological Association (APA): APA has a membership base of more than 115,000, which includes researchers, teachers, mental health clinicians, and students. The benefits of membership include an annual convention, networking opportunities, academic publications, lesson plans, and discounts.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA): AMHCA provides resources for licensed clinical mental health counselors. Members have access to various publications, a job board, networking events, as well as discounts on professional liability insurance and clinical counseling software programs.
- Association for Psychological Science (APS): APS is an international organization dedicated to the advancement of psychological science. The association advocates on behalf of professionals in the field of psychological science and facilitates the sharing of research and collaboration among its members.