Best Online Psychology Degrees 2018

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.

Profiles of Top Psychology Schools with Online Programs

To provide further details on available programs and help you make an informed decision in choosing a school, we have provided additional profile information for select schools that placed in our rankings of online bachelor’s degrees in psychology. Where possible, we have also noted schools that have master’s, Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), and PhD degree programs in psychology. Clicking on the school name for each of the following profiles will provide an overlay with admissions, tuition, academic, and student support statistics. Due to limited space and resources, we have additional information for only select schools. However, as we revise our rankings, we intend to add to this resource collection as time allows.
University of Florida logo

University of Florida

University of Florida offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology that is based in both science and the liberal arts. The online psychology program at the University of Florida differs from the on-campus program in that it is a Bachelor of Arts, whereas the campus program is a Bachelor of Science. Over 1,500 students at the University of Florida are admitted as psychology majors, making this program one of the most popular programs offered by the school. The online program is designed for transfer students and requires specific general education courses and an overall GPA of at least 2.75 for admissions consideration. Once enrolled in the program, students explore the theory and application of psychology through both the natural and social science perspectives, preparing students for a broad variety of careers. The program requires 120 credit hours to complete, including 30 required credits in the psychology major core curriculum. Online students have opportunities to further explore areas of interest through electives. Students who anticipate pursuing graduate study or advanced work in psychology are encouraged to take research electives, such as an Individual Work seminar or a Senior Thesis. Academically talented students at the junior and senior levels may also request Teaching Assistant positions, which can earn credit towards the major as Introduction to Teaching in Psychology. >>Additional School Info
Oregon State University logo

Oregon State University

The Oregon State University (OSU) Ecampus, which was founded in 2002, allows students to earn their undergraduate psychology degree online as either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts. OSU’s online undergraduate programs were recently ranked #7 among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News and World Report. Once enrolled in the school’s psychology program, online students follow the same curriculum as on-campus students, learning the scientific approach to studying theories of human behavior while developing skills in research, statistics, and quantitative analysis. In addition to general biology and psychology study the curriculum includes courses such as Cognition Research, Social Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Learning and Memory. Undergraduate students may elect to round out their study with an internship-based field experience in psychology in their local area. Extracurricular involvement in research through collaboration with faculty is offered to undergraduates, and students who are interested in pursuing graduate-level education in psychology are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities. OSU does not currently offer graduate programs in psychology online, though it does maintain an on-campus PhD program with concentrations in Engineering Psychology, Health Psychology, and Applied Cognition. >>Additional School Info
Colorado State University logo

Colorado State University

Colorado State University Online offers a research-oriented program of online study leading to the award of the Bachelor of Science in Psychology through the school’s Department of Psychology. Courses are taken from both the liberal arts and the sciences, giving students well-rounded knowledge and skill sets as well as career flexibility. The online curriculum includes lecture as well as lab hours in topics such as Organizational Psychology, Psychological Measurement and Testing, and Industrial Psychology to prepare students for entry-level careers related to psychology as well as graduate-level study to prepare for professional psychology careers. The average class size in the online undergraduate psychology program is 21 students, which facilitates peer and student-faculty interaction. Students also have opportunities to tailor the curriculum to their personal interests by choosing to fulfill required courses from a wide selection of available study areas and electives. Colorado State University Online uses a unique online learning system called Canvas that pairs video, audio, text, and assessments in one accessible and easy-to-use system. As the majority of courses offered through the online campus are asynchronous, students are able to complete coursework on a flexible schedule. >>Additional School Info
University of Central Florida logo

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida (UCF) offers an online degree completion program for its Bachelor of Science in Psychology. With over 3,400 undergraduate majors in psychology and 180 graduate students, UCF has the largest psychology department in the Western Hemisphere and is the second-largest university in the US overall by student enrollment. The online psychology program is open to students from all states except Minnesota and Oregon, where enrollment is restricted due to these states’ individual laws. To be admitted as a psychology major students must have completed at least two years of college, including prerequisite courses in foreign language, biology, statistics, and human sciences. This allows the online curriculum focus to be on higher-level psychology study. Once admitted, students take courses such as Research Methods in Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Cognitive Psychology. Online students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and professional networking. Graduates are prepared for entry-level work or for graduate study in psychology. The Psychology Department at UCF also offers on-campus master’s programs in Clinical Psychology and Industrial and Organizational Psychology as well as on-campus doctoral programs in Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology; Clinical Psychology; and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. >>Additional School Info
University of Massachusetts Lowell logo

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology through its Division of Online and Continuing Education. Online psychology courses are designed for working professionals to allow a balance between work and study. The well-rounded curriculum develops students’ skills and knowledge in subfields of psychology and emphasizes the utilization of theoretical and applied knowledge and skills in practice. Students also take courses in various specialty areas and may choose additional electives to deepen their focus on experimental, developmental, community, clinical, social, or personality psychology. A professional specialization in Developmental Disabilities is offered. Students also have the option of pursuing a minor in a related area such as Gender Studies; Asian Studies; or Work, Labor, and Society. Due to legislative restrictions, residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, and Minnesota are not eligible to pursue UML’s online degree programs. UML does not currently offer graduate psychology programs online, but does maintain on-campus graduate programs for the Master of Arts in Community Social Psychology; the Master of Science in Autism Studies; the PhD in Applied Psychology and Prevention Science; and several graduate certificate programs. >>Additional School Info
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