Best Online Psychology Degrees 2018
Guide to Earning an Online Psychology Degree
If you are interested in earning a degree in psychology and want to learn more about online options, you’ve come to the right place. As technology advances and traditional brick-and-mortar schools look to boost enrollment, the options for earning a psychology degree entirely online are expanding. This page is designed to help those who are interested in earning an online psychology degree learn about career options with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, determine whether distance learning is right for them, and research degree options with our unique ranking of the best online psychology degree programs.
Comparing Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes – Is Online Learning Right For You?
The pros and cons of online classes are similar to the pros and cons of traditional classes and depend in large part on your educational background and preferred learning styles. There are various success factors to consider to determine if studying online is right for you.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is self-direction. Students who succeed in an online learning environment are self-motivated and are able to set and meet their own deadlines for coursework, since in an online course learning is often self-paced. In addition, while many courses rely on web conferencing and include some real-time discussion, not all do; face-to-face interaction with professors and peers is generally limited compared to the campus involvement that traditional students experience.
Another thing to consider is that concentration or specialization options that are offered on-campus are not always available when earning your psychology degree online. However, informal concentrations such as child psychology, school psychology, or forensic psychology can often be arranged depending on a given school’s selection of online psychology courses. Related to this, many online psychology degree programs require students to complete an internship or practicum experience. Those who are attending courses online from another state than that in which their school is based may need to arrange an appropriate internship in their own local area.
Benefits of Earning a Psychology Degree Online
Of course, there are also pros to taking online classes to earn your psychology degree. As campus-based schools extend their online offerings, students have access to an expanding list of options. One of the top benefits of earning an online psychology degree is the flexibility. Since many courses are asynchronous – that is, completed at the student’s pace (within certain limits) – students can “attend” classes on the weekends, before or after work, or at other convenient times. This makes online learning a good option for full-time workers, stay-at-home parents, and others who have responsibilities that make on-campus scheduling difficult.
Another benefit to earning a psychology degree online is the option of attending an out-of-state school without relocating. If you live in an area that is not within commuting distance to the top schools for psychology, distance learning may be an option for you. In addition, while some programs allow you to earn your psychology degree entirely online, others are degree completion programs that are geared towards students who already hold an associate’s degree or a certain number of college credits. Transferring these credits to a four-year school can reduce the time that it takes to earn your bachelor’s.
Finally, online courses can also reduce the cost of earning your bachelor’s degree. Many schools offer in-state tuition rates to students attending courses online, even if those students are residents of another state. Many programs also offer special tuition rates for online students that are lower than the traditional on-campus tuition for state residents.
Things to Know Before Choosing an Online Psychology Program
In addition to considering the success factors above for pursuing a psychology degree online, before choosing and applying to an online psychology degree program, you should know that accredited online psychology degree programs are not “easier” than on-campus programs. At any reputable school, online students must complete the equivalent coursework to and meet the same requirements as traditional campus-based students.
You should also consider your career goals and understand the careers available with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. A bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) in psychology can prepare you for employment in human resources, communication, marketing, and a host of other careers that deal with human decisions and behavior. However, don’t expect to land a position as a researcher or psychologist based on a four-year degree alone. These positions generally require graduate school; a master’s degree is appropriate for management specializations and some positions in research, while a doctoral degree is required to work as a psychologist or professor and in the majority of research positions.
With that in mind, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is a popular option for beginning a career in the social sciences or humanities because it provides broad preparation for such a variety of occupations. Continue reading to find the best online psychology degree program for your needs and goals.