Best Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology 2021

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Psychology bachelor’s programs examine human emotions, thought processes, personalities, and behaviors. Students in bachelor’s in psychology programs typically complete general education coursework, core psychology classes, and electives. Schools may offer BA, BS, or BAS psychology programs.

BA programs emphasize liberal arts and social science courses, supporting careers in diverse areas, like social work, criminal justice, journalism, and business. BS programs focus more on science coursework, covering topics like statistical analysis, neuroscience, and clinical psychology. BS degrees often prepare students for graduate study. Meanwhile, BAS degrees emphasize practical skills to prepare students to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.

This guide ranks the best online bachelor’s in psychology programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, such as answers to frequently asked questions and scholarship opportunities for psychology students.

FAQs

  • What can you do with a bachelor's in psychology?

    Common careers for psychology bachelor’s graduates include crisis services worker, behavioral health technician, community organizer, and child services counselor. Graduates can also pursue master’s and doctoral degrees.

  • Is a BA or BS in psychology better?

    BA programs often support learners seeking careers in diverse sectors and industries. Alternatively, BS programs better suit aspiring graduate students and mental health professionals.

  • How long is a bachelor's in psychology program?

    Psychology bachelor’s degrees usually require 120 credits and take about four years of full-time study to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs.

  • Is a bachelor's in psychology program hard?

    The best psychology bachelor’s programs challenge most students. However, enrollees with strong analytical and interpersonal skills often do well in these programs.

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Why Get a Psychology Degree?

Bachelor’s in psychology enrollees gain many personal and professional advantages, several of which we outline below.

Career Advancement
Many working professionals pursue a bachelor’s in psychology to increase their career options and salary potential.
Salary Increase
PayScale data from February 2021 indicates that psychology associate degree graduates make an average salary of $46,250 annually, while bachelor’s graduates make $64,910.
Diverse Opportunities
Psychology graduates can apply their knowledge and skills to careers in diverse fields, including business, human services, criminal justice, and journalism.
Powerful Insights
Psychology often yields insights regarding human minds, emotions, and behaviors. As a result, psychology graduates often benefit from heightened self-awareness and relational skills.
Prepare for Master’s Programs
Psychologists need a graduate degree to practice. Earning a related bachelor’s degree can help learners receive admission to graduate programs.

How Much Does a Psychology Major Make?

Bachelor’s in psychology degrees prepare graduates for diverse roles, such as behavioral health technician and corrections caseworker. These jobs often pay between $30,000-$50,000 annually. However, with additional training, education, and/or professional experience, bachelor’s in psychology graduates may qualify for higher-paying roles such as community services manager, counselor or psychologist, training development manager, or psychology professor.

Bachelor’s in Psychology Program Requirements

Admission requirements vary by school. Many bachelor’s in psychology programs require applicants to hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts, recommendation letters, and standardized test scores. Online bachelor’s in psychology degree-completion programs may expect applicants to possess an associate degree or 60 transferable credits. The best psychology bachelor’s programs may require applicants to meet minimum GPA requirements.

Once admitted, students complete general education requirements in areas like humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and sciences. Enrollees also complete core and specialized psychology courses. Many programs also incorporate an internship requirement.

Accreditation and Online Colleges

Bachelor’s in Psychology Specializations

A broad discipline, psychology includes many specializations, several of which we outline below.

Clinical Psychology


Clinical psychology focuses on best practices for the clinical treatment of emotional, mental, and behavioral issues. Clinical psychologists may specialize in working with specific populations, such as LGBTQ+ individuals, the elderly, or young people.

Counseling Psychology


This field focuses on clinical practices that encourage understanding, healing, and empowerment. These professionals use psychotherapeutic and counseling techniques to support individuals and groups in various contexts, including schools, businesses, and community agencies.

Educational Psychology


Concentrating on teaching and learning issues and methods, educational psychology focuses on topics such as motivation, diversity, and ability. Educational psychology may involve research, program design, and direct therapeutic support.

Forensic Psychology


This specialization prepares students to apply psychological principles and practices to legal cases and settings. Forensic psychology learners study psychological phenomena influencing eyewitness testimony, criminal behavior, and jury behavior.

Health Psychology


This field examines psychological, social, and biological influences on health. Common research areas include pain management, health habits, medical advice compliance, and responses to illness.

School Psychology


This concentration focuses on research and practice that support student well-being, learning, and behavior. School psychologists usually work at schools, collaborating with parents, teachers, and administrators in supporting students.

Courses in a Psychology Bachelor’s Program

Psychology bachelor’s programs usually require about 120 credits, including around 30-60 credits of general education coursework. BA programs require more general education courses, while BS programs feature more psychology courses. Core psychology courses often cover topics like statistics, research methods, psychology theory, and ethics and diversity. Enrollees may also complete senior seminars, which often feature a capstone experience or project.

Courses vary by program, but the following three courses appear in many online bachelor’s in psychology programs.

Often called human development, lifespan psychology courses study how human psychology changes through infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Learners study major developmental psychology theories and issues. Bachelor’s in psychology programs typically require this course, particularly for students concentrating in child psychology or school psychology.

Social psychology studies the way that people reflect on, assess, and react to social experiences. Topics often include altruism, aggression, cooperation, and prejudice. Enrollees also study self concepts, socialization, group dynamics, and interpersonal attraction.

Usually appearing as a concentration or a core course, the psychology of cultural and ethnic diversity examines effective psychological theories and practices for diverse populations and contexts. Enrollees explore diversity theories to better understand group, organizational, regional, and global diversity.

Scholarships for Psychology

Students can take advantage of scholarships to help offset the cost of a degree. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for students earning a bachelor’s in psychology.

  • National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Learners studying a behavioral or social health-related field with a minimum 3.3 GPA qualify for this scholarship. Candidates must demonstrate exceptional financial need. Recipients commit to one, 10-week summer research experience and one year of work at an NIH research lab for each year they receive funding.

    Amount: Up to $20,000.

  • Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Psi Chi offers these scholarships to exceptional undergraduates pursuing psychology degrees. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and submit recommendation letters, transcripts, and resumes.

    Amount: $3,000

  • Sharon Stephens Brehm Undergraduate Psychology Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: This American Psychological Foundation scholarship supports current undergraduate psychology students. Eligible candidates must demonstrate financial need and hold a minimum 3.5 GPA.

    Amount: $5,000

Best Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology 2021

  1. Southeast Missouri State University
    Location

    Cape Girardeau, MO

    Tuition

    $12468

    A public university located in Cape Girardeau, SEMO offers an online bachelor of arts in psychology. Students complete coursework with no residency requirements and on a convenient asynchronous schedule.

    In addition to general education course requirements, students complete upper-division major courses. Notable options include an introduction to psychology, psychology and the law, psychological development across the lifespan, and ethics and diversity in psychology. In addition, the program includes online advising services and year-round classes so students can graduate faster. Along with a career services team, students can receive full admission support from experts in the school.

    Applicants need a high school diploma to qualify for admission. Students with a minimum GPA of 2.75 may waive the standardized test requirement. Prospective students with a minimum ACT score of 21 (SAT 1060) do not need to meet the minimum GPA requirement. The school accepts SAT and ACT superscores.

    SEMO holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. Fayetteville State University
    Location

    Fayetteville, NC

    Tuition

    $5685

    Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, FSU offers an online bachelor of science in psychology as a degree completion program. The program provides a path to degree completion for students with an associate degree or equivalent credits.

    The program provides asynchronous courses designed to offer flexibility and convenience. Students complete foundational psychology courses such as general psychology, history and systems of psychology, theories of learning, and research methodology. Degree-seekers can access advising support and career services online. Online students follow the same curriculum as traditional on-campus students.

    Applicants need an associate degree or equivalent credits or must make arrangements to take those courses before applying. Students need a minimum GPA of 2.0 and must complete general psychology with at least a "C" to remain in the program.

    FSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  3. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $9455

    A public university located in Monroe, ULM confers an online bachelor of arts in psychology. Students complete both general education requirements and psychology core online with no campus requirements.

    In addition to general education lower-division courses, students finish courses such as introduction to research methodology, history and systems of psychology, and advanced general psychology. The school provides career and academic advising services for online students, and both in-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate. In addition, some students may qualify for prior-learning assessment credits to graduate faster.

    Applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent to qualify for admission. Transfer students must complete college English and math before applying. The university does not require students to submit standardized tests to apply for the program.

    ULM holds regional accreditation under the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. Eastern Washington University
    Location

    Cheney, WA

    Tuition

    $10751

    A public university located in Cheney, EWU offers an online bachelor of science in health psychology. Learners complete both general education courses and psychology courses without any residency requirements. Students can enroll during four yearly start dates.

    Required courses include the science of stress and coping, scientific principles of psychology, human memory and cognition, cognitive and behavior change, and the biological basis of behavior. Students choose electives such as theories of personality, foundation of psychotherapy, and research methods in psychology. Learners must also complete general education courses to finish the required 120 credits. Students receive academic resources and advising services regardless of their location and complete courses on an asynchronous schedule for flexibility and convenience.

    Applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent to qualify for admission. The school does not require prospective students to submit standardized tests, but accepts them to strengthen an application. Students applying without standardized test scores may need to take placement exams for lower-division placement.

    EWU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

  5. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    A public university located in Orlando, UCF administers an online bachelor of science in psychology. Students conduct 120 credits online and do not need to come to campus to complete any residency requirements.

    Degree-seekers complete general education courses as well as electives. Students also take required courses such as research methods in psychology, history and systems of psychology, developmental psychology, and cognitive psychology. The program provides online academic advising as well as career services, and students study on their own schedule with asynchronous coursework.

    Applicants need a high school diploma or a GED equivalent with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to qualify for admission. The school also requires students to submit SAT or ACT scores. Students may begin at one of three yearly start dates.

    UCF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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