A degree in psychology provides a solid foundation to launch a versatile career. Those schooled in psychology learn and train in many aspects of human behavior that apply to a variety of industries. Online interactions with fellow students around the world also provide invaluable experience in diversity and collaboration. This enhances a student’s understanding of human psychological behavior and interaction, further strengthening their educational experience.
Experiences like these make an online bachelor’s in psychology highly valuable. Skills in critical thinking, communication, research and diversity – all developed through psychological studies – create a strong candidate for many fields. Potential job markets include case management, business, human resources, social work, research, administration and psychology.
With these and many other options available, an online degree in psychology allows graduates to enter a growing and potentially lucrative field. According to findings by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when looking at all possible occupations for psychology majors combined, median annual wage came in at $31,410. However, the range in earnings tell the real story of professional outlook in psychology, with clinical, counseling and school psychologists in the top 90th percentile of their field enjoying an annual wage of nearly $105,000; speech-language pathologists in the 90th percentile earnings come in just under $100,000. The BLS also ranked one field of psychology, industrial-organizational, as the fastest growing occupation, at 53% predicted growth between 2012 and 2022.
While an online bachelor’s degree in psychology will open doors in many industries, students seeking a professional career directly in the field of psychology will most likely need additional schooling. By completing the bachelor-level degree online in an accelerated and potentially less-expensive format, students are able to get ahead in this career path. To help choose where to best begin this journey, take a look at the top online bachelor’s in psychology programs for 2016.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
East Carolina University
|Greenville||East 5th Street|
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
East Carolina University is at the forefront of distance education, offering over 80 online programs (including a bachelor's in psychology online), with 6,000 students currently pursuing degrees without ever setting foot on campus. Students completing their online bachelor of psychology will do so through Blackboard, the online platform used for coursework. ECU’s OneStop provides students access to class registration and financial aid information. Additional services for online students include career services, exam proctoring and a distance education student organization.
ECU's BA in Psychology will prepare graduates to:
Students typically complete the first two years of their coursework at a local community college, then apply to the psychology program for completion of their degree. Admission requirements include a minimum GPA of 2.3, 40 hours of completed college credit and at least a "C" grade in intro psychology courses. The degree requires a total of 120 credit hours and a minor. Suggested minors include biology, business, sociology and mathematics.
Due to current regulations, ECU is unable to accept online students from Alabama, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland and Ohio.
|Lynchburg||1971 University Blvd|
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Liberty University’s online bachelor of psychology includes an overview of personality theories, group dynamics, human biological structure and function and neurotic and psychotic behavior. These studies, like all programs at Liberty, maintain a Christian perspective. Completion of the program requires a total of 120 credit hours, 30 of which must be taken through Liberty. A three-credit-hour internship is also mandatory.
Classes are set up in eight-week formats. Coursework is completed asynchronously, meaning students are able to log in and complete coursework any time. This is accomplished through the Blackboard platform, which allows submission of coursework, test completion and classmate interaction.
The online Bachelor of Psychology offers several optional specializations:
Admission to the online psychology program requires a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA from an accredited college or high school.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester||2500 North River Road|
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
An online bachelor’s of psychology from Southern New Hampshire University offers several options for concentrations.
Completion of the degree occurs at each student’s own pace. Coursework is asynchronous, offering flexibility for students to log in and access assignments 24/7, through Blackboard. Six nine-week terms per year provide multiple start dates for additional flexibility. Students can also transfer up to 90 credits to SNHU toward the completion of the psychology bachelor's.
Students with high success in the program are eligible to join the International Honor Society in psychology. Additional opportunities include membership in research groups with faculty. These groups present at psychology conferences and publish in psychological journals.
Further resources for online students include a writing center, tutoring, career services, academic advising, online library and online bookstore. Additionally, SNHUconnect is an online student union, designed as a virtual lounge for students to connect with other distance learners as well as faculty and staff.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale||3301 College Ave|
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
Distance learners enrolled at Nova Southeastern will access the Blackboard platform to complete their online coursework. The curriculum focuses on helping students develop strong analytic skills and scientific knowledge. Independent research and a practicum in clinical psychology provide valuable experience with direct work in the field. Completion of the bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 credits. Students can select courses to focus their studies in one of several concentrations, including social, clinical, health and developmental psychology.
Those completing an online psychology bachelor's at Nova Southeastern University may be eligible to take advantage of their Dual Enrollment Program. For students seeking to continue their education at the master's or doctoral level, this program allows qualified undergraduates to gain early acceptance into one of NSU’s graduate programs. Additional program opportunities include membership in Psi Chi, the International Psychology Honor Society, and submission of research for presentations and publications.
University of North Dakota
|Grand Forks||264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193|
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
University of North Dakota bachelor's in psychology online students follow the same curriculum as on-campus students. In order to graduate, students must complete 125 credit hours of semester-based courses; semesters start in the fall, spring and summer.
Coursework focuses on the theories of human behavior, with an emphasis on the scientific aspect of psychology. A bachelor’s in psychology from UND prepares professionals for a variety of psychology careers, including therapy, education, substance abuse counseling, market research analysis and crisis support.
For distance students, all coursework is completed entirely online. Courses are conducted via the Blackboard learning management system. These virtual classrooms let professor hold live online lecture where peers can interact with the material as it is presented and also engage with one another. These lectures and discussions are also recorded, meaning students can access and review them at any time.
Blackboard also maintains forums for each course, allowing students to respond to their coursework outside the classroom, which helps further a sense of an ongoing discussion of the material.
Resources made available to all online students include tutoring, tech support, academic advising, career services and an online library. Additionally, distance learners are charged in-state tuition, regardless of residency.
Old Dominion University
|Norfolk||5115 Hampton Blvd|
Norfolk, VA 23529
ODU online coursework is delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Synchronous courses require students to log in at a specified time each week. These experiences allow online psychology bachelor's degree students to interact with live classes and participate in discussions. Asynchronous courses are accessed online through Blackboard at any time, allowing distance learners to complete work at their own pace, with deadlines for submissions.
The online bachelor's of psychology requires 120 total credit hours. At least 30 of these must be completed with ODU. The program focuses on a broad overview of the field, giving students the skills needed for advanced study. For those wanting to enter the workforce immediately, the degree will qualify you to immediately enter occupations in social work, corrections, human resources, public relations and other related fields.
ODU offers guaranteed admission for Virginia community college students. After completion of 15 credit hours at a Virginia community college, students can apply to ODU and be considered a student of both the community college and ODU. These students will have a dedicated academic advisor.
Further resources available to online students include free tutoring, mentoring, study groups, writing center, and access to ODU libraries for home book delivery.
Upper Iowa University
|Fayette||605 Washington St|
Fayette, IA 52142-1857
Distance learners at Upper Iowa University have the option of enrolling in the online program or the self-paced program. The online bachelor's of psychology program offers an online classroom interactive environment with weekly deadlines. Enrollment periods are eight weeks, with six start dates per year. The self-paced web-based program also offers online classroom environments, but gives students flexibility to work at their own pace, with six-month enrollment periods and twelve start dates per year.
In UIU's psychology program students discover how to interpret psychological theory using the scientific method. With a focus on analyzing, predicting, describing and shaping human behavior, graduates are equipped to become leaders in fields such as human services, law, education, communications and health. Those wanting pursue an online psychology bachelor's degree will be well prepared for advanced coursework.
Students may transfer up to 90 hours of undergraduate credit toward their bachelor's in psychology online degree. The major includes completion of the general education core, plus 36 semester credits in the major, with at least 18 in upper division coursework. Distance learners have access to an online library, Read & Write Gold literacy software, tutoring services and writing resources. Coursework is completed using a learning management system supported by Pearson Learning Studio.
Washington State University
|Pullman||French Administration Building|
Pullman, WA 99164-5910
An online bachelor’s in psychology from Washington State prepares students to launch careers in business, management, research, administration and health and human services. It also provides a foundation for continuing on to graduate work in business, education, law, social work or psychology. Coursework for these studies emphasizes involvement. They include interactive discussions with students and professors, study groups and team projects.
Students can access materials 24/7 through WSU’s learning management system via Blackboard. Tech support is always available. Online learners are also provided with virtual mentors and online book ordering capabilities from the WSU library and bookstore.
|Denver||3333 Regis Blvd|
Denver, CO 80221-1099
Regis University offers two specializations in applied psychology: positive psychology and health psychology. The Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology covers a number of broad subfields, including social psychology, cognitive psychology and addictive behavior. The positive psychology specialization specifically prepares students for a career in leadership, organizational and human resource roles. Specializing in health psychology prepares for roles that deal with the biological and psychosocial factors of psychology, such as assisted living, counseling, medical consulting and substance abuse.
Completion of the degree requires 128 credit hours. Courses are offered in five- or eight-week accelerated formats, with six start times per year. Classes have a structured schedule with weekly assignments, but can be accessed any time through the school’s WorldClass learning management system. Students can complete their degree entirely online, or create a combination of formats with online, on-campus, and directed study.
Dallas Baptist University
|Dallas||3000 Mountain Creek Parkway|
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
An online bachelor's of psychology degree from Dallas Baptist University integrates psychological studies with the teachings of Christianity. Coursework covers counseling subjects as well as more technical and research-oriented studies. The degree prepares students for entry-level positions in fields such as mental health, business, education, and industry. Completion involves 120 credit hours including 42 upper-level credits.
Coursework is delivered in asynchronous format through the Blackboard learning management system. While students are not required to log in at specified times, courses are divided into weekly sessions, with assigned tasks for each session. Additionally, most instructors require weekly participation in threaded discussions. Many courses require completion of timed exams and quizzes. Students should expect to spend 10 to 15 hours per week online completing coursework, including participation in "Discussion Board."
|Longview||2100 S Mobberly Ave|
Longview, TX 75607-7001
LeTourneau University offers an online psychology bachelor's degree with faith-based curriculum emphasizing Christian counseling techniques. Classes develop and strengthen analytic skills and cover human behavior basics. Studies prepare students for careers including counseling, child development, clinical psychology, and missions. Potential job titles include Community Relations Officer, Case Manager, Career Counselor, and Rehabilitation Specialist.
Completion of the degree requires a total of 126 credit hours. Previous studies are transferable to LeTourneau if they earned a grade of C or better, and are from an accredited institution. Coursework is accessed through Canvas learning management system.
|Irvine||16355 Laguna Canyon Road|
Irvine, CA 92618
Brandman University’s online bachelor's of psychology degree is developed in the Brandman iDEAL ™ model (Instructional Design for Engaged Adult Learning.) Online coursework is accessible 24/7 through the Blackboard learning management system. Students can also access support services and financial aid, as well as communicate with classmates and faculty, all online. Course sessions are available year-round.
The psychology curriculum emphasizes research methodology, psychology processes, methods of inquiry, and application of psychological principles. Independent research projects and fieldwork are encouraged and incorporated into degree completion. In addition to general psychology coursework, students can specialize in Child psychology, Industrial/Organizational psychology, or Preclinical psychology. Degree completion requires 120 credits, 36 in upper-division coursework.
University of Central Florida
|Orlando||4000 Central Florida Blvd|
Orlando, FL 32816
Students completing the online bachelor's of psychology degree at University of Central Florida are encouraged to complete research, fieldwork and internships. Upon degree completion, students have a strong basis in statistical and research methods, physiological psychology and psychology history and systems.
For students to qualify for admission to the online program, they must have completed:
Once admitted with these prerequisites, students must earn 61 additional credits. These are typically completed in five semesters. All online coursework is accessed through WebCourses@UCF. Due to current regulations, UCF is unable to offer online courses to residents of Minnesota and Oregon.
University of Maryland - University College
|Adelphi||3501 University Blvd East|
Adelphi, MD 20783-8010
Admission to the online bachelor's of psychology degree program requires a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better on all previous college coursework at accredited institutions. Students who have graduated from a U.S. college or university automatically qualify. Completion of the degree involves 120 credit hours, 45 of those upper-level.
Coursework emphasizes theory, research, practice, and the application of biological, social, and professionals principles to psychological needs. A popular choice due to its versatility, the program opens doors to a number of pursuits upon completion. Graduates can choose to continue with their education at the master's level, or enter the workforce in healthcare or a field like human resources.
Classes and other resources are accessed through University of Maryland’s Learning Experience Online (LEO) system. This provides an online classroom, progress updates, audio messaging, and an interactive calendar. LEO is compatible with smartphones and tablets usage. Technical support is available 24/7.
Fort Hays State University
|Hays||600 Park St|
Hays, KS 67601-4099
Online students at Fort Hays State University have the options of choosing either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Both require completion of 124 credits. Core coursework is the same, but the BA requires 10 hours of foreign language, and the BS requires 20 hours of Natural Sciences and/or Mathematics. Whether enrolled in the BA or BS track, students are prepared to enter the job market upon graduation; however, those looking to pursue a graduate education will be more competitive if they graduate with a BS.
Courses for either online degree are offered in asynchronous and synchronous formats. Asynchronous mode includes CD’s, DVDs, and the internet. Synchronous mode includes face-to-face and internet protocol television. Online coursework is accessed and completed through the Blackboard platform. Distance learners are provided access to online library services, technical support, and free tutoring. Transfer students can receive credit for previous coursework from accredited institutions. The Virtual College also offers credit for military experience or credit-by-exam.
|Beverly||376 Hale Street|
Beverly, MA 01915
Online students obtaining a bachelor's of psychology degree from Endicott College have the option of several concentrations:
Regardless of the concentration, students receive an overview of research techniques, behavior disorders, counseling techniques and forensic psychology, through core coursework and electives. Coursework is completed through the Canvas Learning Management System, which allows students to interact with faculty and fellow learners online.
Admission to the program requires a written essay, letter of recommendation, high school transcript or GED, minimum age of 24 years and minimum two years of full-time work experience. Distance learners can register for online programs any time year-round.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Natchitoches, LA 71497-0002
Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers online bachelor's of psychology students the opportunity to specialize in two areas: Prevention Specialist and Substance Abuse. Either concentration includes a broad understanding of the field of psychology and human behavior. The program also offers valuable research participation opportunities.
Online coursework is accessed through the Moodle learning management system. Faculty and students use Powerpoint lectures, blogs, webinars, group projects and discussion boards to complete coursework. Online classes are offered in 8-week sessions in the fall and spring, and three, five and six week sessions in the summer. Degree completion requires 120 total credit hours.
Robert Morris University
|Moon Township||6001 University Boulevard|
Moon Township, PA 15108-1189
Students enrolled in the online bachelor's of psychology degree program at Robert Morris receive the same curriculum and instruction as on-campus students, with the flexibility of completing coursework online. Distance learners also receive a dedicated student counselor, career advisor, wellness counselor, financial aid counselor and 24/7 technology support.
With a curriculum focused on critical thinking and decision making, students are given the tools to excel in human services. Coursework teaches students to address common workplace and social issues through the lense of psychology, allowing them to understand human behavior and emotions from a scientific perspective.
Learning materials are accessed and completed through the Blackboard learning management system. Classes are delivered in eight-week sessions with six start times available each year. Degree completion includes 120 total credit hours. Admission to the program requires a high school diploma or GED, a minimum 2.0 GPA and financial qualifications.
Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus
|University Park||201 Old Main|
University Park, PA 16802
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus offers a fully online Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology as well as a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology. Courses are asynchronous, completed via Blackboard access. Distance learners use video conferencing, chat, email, bulletin boards and social media to connect with faculty and fellow students. Classes are 12-15 weeks, with weekly assignments, readings and discussions.
There are two options for students to pursue in their online psychology education: Life Science or Business. These different specialities allow students to learn the core curriculum of an undergraduate psychology degree while maintaining a focus on their future career aspirations. Life science students focus more on the mental health side of psych, while business students will look at the field's commercial applications.
Online student resources include advising, career counseling, exam proctoring, tech support, tutoring services and access to university libraries. The program also offers a fully online student-based organization, The World Campus psychology Club, which provides newsletters and events for members.
Middle Tennessee State University
|Murfreesboro||1301 East Main Street|
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Distance learners obtaining an online psychology bachelor's from Middle Tennessee State University can choose a psychology B.S. or a psychology B.S. with a Pre-Graduate School concentration. Admission to the program begins with application for candidacy. To apply, students must have completed at least 30 hours of coursework, including General Education requirements and introductory psychology courses, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Candidacy can be applied for three times per year, at the end of the Fall, Spring and Summer terms.
MTSU concentrates their psychology curriculum on the broad applications of psychology across professions. By building students' skills in human relations, communication, creativity and research, the program provides a foundation from which students can excel in the workplace or in further studies. Online coursework is delivered through the Desire2Learn learning management system. Student resources include advising, free tutoring and continued learning through professional development courses available after graduation.
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
|Standish||278 Whites Bridge Rd|
Standish, ME 04084-5236
Students completing an online bachelor's of psychology at St. Joseph’s have two format options. The self-directed format is available 12 months of the year and allows students to begin a course at the end of every month. Students work independently over a 15-week period. Cohort learning format involves 10-15 students following a specific start and end date for a 10-week course. Members of the cohort can access their virtual classroom any time and participate in online discussion boards at their convenience. All online coursework is accessed through Desire2Learn, the institution’s learning management system. Online students also have access to the library, career services and the business and registrar’s offices, all online.
Psychology students at St Joseph's benefit from having an interdisciplinary curriculum that expands the already wide number of fields open to psychology students upon graduation. By enveloping an understanding of human behavior and emotion within the context of other academic fields, students can tailor their degree to find employment in almost any occupation. A total of 128 credits are required for completion of the degree. St. Joseph’s offers a generous credit transfer policy. As little as 25% of the required credits must be completed through St. Joseph’s.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Waxahachie, TX 75165
SAGU’s bachelor's in psychology online is available for students aged 22 years or older. It is designed as a flexible option for students to study at their own pace from the convenience of home, accessing everything through the Blackboard learning management system. Taught with a Christian-based perspective, the goal of the program is to provide students with the ability to help others with their struggles with a firm foundation of psychological studies.
Tailored more towards students interested in the interpersonal side of psychology, SAGU's curriculum teaches students how to help others with their internal issues "through the lens of christ's teachings." Coursework addresses a range of issues from personal faith systems to clinical disorders. Upon graduating, students will be able to resolve conflicts and guide personal growth with the skills they have learned.
SAGU provides a generous Experiential Learning Credit option. With this, students have the opportunity to earn up to 30 hours of credit by demonstrating knowledge and work experience. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
|Lowell||1 University Ave|
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
The Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology can be completed fully online or as a hybrid of online and on-campus coursework. Fall, Spring and Summer semesters are available. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED. Degree completion is a minimum of 120 credits. Students earning this degree will graduate with a foundation in experimental, social, personality and clinical psychology.
Online coursework is accessed through the Blackboard platform. Chat Hours are highly recommended opportunities to communicate with faculty and fellow students in "real time." Sessions are archived for students who miss the scheduled chat time. Additional online resources for distance learners include the UML library and tutoring services.
Oregon State University
|Corvallis||1500 S.W. Jefferson|
Corvallis, OR 97331
Focusing on the development of written and oral communication, the scientific method, critical and creative thinking, and problem solving skills within the context of psychology allows OSU's graduates to be well-prepared for a variety of careers. Students will not only learn why humans behave and think the way they do, but how these processes take place. Online students enrolled in the psychology bachelor's program receive the same diploma as on-campus students. They also have access to online tutoring, career services, library services, and an academic advisor. Students may choose to further their degree with an online minor.
Distance learning is completed through Canvas, OSU’s online learning portal. Courses are asynchronous, providing flexibility for online students. Interaction between students and faculty as well as fellow learners is accomplished through online discussion boards, video conferencing and email.
For first year students, admission to the program is based on test scores and academic performance. If a student has more than 36 previously-earned credit hours from an accredited institution, they are considered a transfer student and do not need to provide test scores or high school transcripts for admission.
|Midway||512 E. Stephens St|
Midway, KY 40347-1120
Online students at Midway University benefit from asynchronous coursework, providing the flexibility of not having to attend classes at a scheduled time. Classes are eight week modules generally worth three credit hours. Distance learners interact with fellow students and faculty through Skype, Moodle, email, social media and bulletin boards. This combination of independent study and peer interaction creates a strong online learning system.
Midway's program distinguishes itself by requiring a one semester practicum, as well as a senior seminar in which students may produce original research. All students in this program will be given a strong foundation in basic psychology concepts, as well as research and statistics. Alongside their general psychology bachelor's, Midway offers students a chance to concentrate in Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling. Those who choose to pursue the this focus will participate in the general online psychology program; however they must attend courses for this concentration in person at the Lexington campus.
The psychology bachelor's requires completion of 120 credits. Students may transfer in up to 21 credits for prior learning upon completion of a faculty evaluation.
A bachelor’s in psychology provides a versatile foundation to pursue everything from teaching to technology, research to rehab. Career prospects include case management, social work, psychiatric technician, career counselor and rehabilitation specialist, to name a few. With growing numbers of psychologists needed in many industries, the job outlook is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 12% growth in psychology jobs between 2012 and 2022.
Beginning with an online bachelor’s in psychology, students can start their journey on the following career paths. Median salaries for each title are shown below:
- Psychologist – $69,280
- Mental Health Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist – $41,500
- School Psychologist – $68,900
- Social Worker – $44,200
- Organizational Psychologist – $76,950
Keys To Online Success
When enrolled in an online psychology program, it is important to fully utilize the online collaboration tools available. Because this degree is based on human behavior, interaction and analysis, it is important to include human interface as much as possible. Most programs offer opportunities to participate in discussion boards, video conferencing, live chats, group projects and other shared learning experiences. Distance learners in psychology should take advantage of these opportunities as much as possible.
Once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, it is highly beneficial to remain in school and seek a master’s or doctorate. This will open up the most opportunities and provide the best pay. In psychology, the outlook is best for those with doctorates, followed by master’s, then bachelor’s. In fact, few BA recipients end up working in a field related to psychology. Many jobs are attainable with a bachelor’s, but they are often in other fields. Common industries include business administration, sales and education.
For those deciding to stay in school for the additional degree attainment, job prospects are best for those with a doctoral degree in an applied specialty. Certifications include psychoanalysis, rehabilitation, forensics, school and group specialties.
Beyond the diploma, licensing is also important in this field. For those seeking higher-level opportunities in psychology, such as private practice, it is necessary to acquire a license. This process involves obtaining a doctorate degree, accruing supervised hours, passing an exam and receiving approval by your state licensing board.