Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree Programs

Written by: Janice Monti, Ph.D. | Edited by: Courtnee James | Reviewed by: Megan Pietrucha, Psy.D.

An undergraduate degree in psychology can open doors to many career possibilities. Whether you plan to enter the job market after finishing your degree or continue your studies in graduate school, an online bachelor’s in psychology offers a flexible and convenient stepping stone for achieving your personal and professional goals.

Explore this ranking of the best online colleges for psychology to find out what to expect from a bachelor’s in psychology and available pathways after graduation.

Popular Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree Programs

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1University of Arkansas at Little RockLittle Rock$$$$$2801 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204
(501) 569-3000

Topping the list of online colleges for psychology, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers a bachelor of arts in psychology fully online. The 120-degree program requires completion of the major and a minor program through the school's online campus. The curriculum focuses on applying psychological principles, problem-solving skills, and scientific reasoning to understand behavior. Learners prepare for graduate study in psychology or entry-level positions in the field.

Distance learners apply to the university for unconditional admission, complete prerequisites in rhetoric and math with a C or higher, and declare psychology as a major. Undergraduate applicants submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.

2Franklin UniversityColumbus201 S Grant Ave
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 797-4700

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin University includes a bachelor of science in psychology among its online programs. Students complete 120 credits through six- and 12-week courses, and learners can transfer up to 75% of the total credits. The curriculum emphasizes helping people manage their mental health, leverage their talents, and realize their full potential. Distance learners participate in field experiences in their communities, conduct and present research, and can tailor electives to their interests.

Applicants with a high school diploma or college degree work with an admissions advisor. Those without prior college credit may need to take placement exams in English, math, and writing.

3Franciscan University of SteubenvilleSteubenville1235 University Blvd
Steubenville, OH 43952
(740) 283-3771

At Ohio's Franciscan University of Steubenville, online learners can major in clinical psychology. The Catholic university awards a bachelor's degree that focuses on service and healing through awareness of the different elements that shape individuals. During the program's senior year, 150-hour internships provide hands-on experience in students' local areas and a capstone seminar or thesis helps learners identify areas of interest.

The Canvas-based curriculum was developed for working professionals and allows them to complete their degree at their own pace. Graduates apply to psychology master's or doctoral programs or enter the workforce as case managers, counselors, social service specialists, and therapists.

4Spalding UniversityLouisville901 S Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 585-9911

Spalding University offers a bachelor's in psychology online. The Louisville, Kentucky-based school allows learners to customize their degree. Psychology majors can choose a general track or a specialized track in pre-clinical/pre-counseling. Students complete either a senior capstone or an applied internship. Graduates are prepared for positions in child protection, rehabilitation, residential youth counseling, and substance abuse counseling.

Online students apply to the university with high school or college transcripts. After admission, enrollees meet with an advisor and attend an orientation. New classes begin every seven weeks.

5McKendree UniversityLebanon$$$$$701 College Rd
Lebanon, IL 62254-1291
(618) 537-4481

Lebanon, Illinois' McKendree University provides busy adults with an online psychology degree option. The undergraduate program features eight-week or 16-week sessions and awards a bachelor of arts in psychology. Graduates continue to master's or doctoral programs in psychology and related fields or find employment in the criminal justice system, crisis centers, education, eldercare facilities, or mental health clinics.

Online coursework includes abnormal psychology, applied behavior analysis, psychology of human sexuality, and sport and health psychology. Students complete research methods and senior thesis capstones, along with professional seminars.

McKendree University offers tuition discounts for Illinois and Kentucky community college graduates with an associate degree, active military and veterans, and educators.

6Fresno Pacific UniversityFresno1717 S. Chestnut Ave
Fresno, CA 93702
(559) 453-2000

Central California's Fresno Pacific University offers an online bachelor of arts in psychology that includes internships, research, and career development opportunities. The curriculum focuses on examining behaviors from philosophical, physiological, religious, scientific, and socio-cultural perspectives. The degree completion program requires 50-53 units, which learners finish in an average of 24 months.

Admission requires six transferable bachelor's-level credits, a minimum 2.4 GPA, and two years of post-secondary experience. The program requires an additional 60 baccalaureate credits, a 2.75 GPA, and prerequisites in general psychology, introduction to statistics, and research methods.

Graduates apply to master's and doctoral programs or work in child advocacy, counseling, human services, and law enforcement.

7Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityWaxahachie$$$$$1200 Sycamore
Waxahachie, TX 75165
(888) 937-7248

The pre-professional bachelor's degree in psychology at Southwestern Assemblies of God University prepares students for graduate study or work in a paraprofessional field. Based in Waxahachie, Texas, the program emphasizes a deep understanding between Christian faith and psychology. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in behavioral science research, cultural issues in the helping professions, pharmacology of addiction, and a field practicum. Enrollees must take a general biblical studies course each semester.

Online learning features 15-week or accelerated seven-week semester options and awards credit for life experiences. Admission requires religious experience and a Christian character reference, transcripts with a 2.0 GPA, and placement test scores.

8Ottawa University - OnlineOttawa$$$$$1001 South Cedar
Ottawa, KS 66067
(785) 242-5200

The accelerated online psychology program at Kansas's Ottawa University leads to a bachelor of arts. The curriculum offers learners a foundation in intellectual, mental, physiological, and social development. Students can opt to add a communication concentration.

Terms span eight weeks and include courses in ethnic relations and multiculturalism, history and systems of psychology, and research design and analysis. The program culminates with a capstone project and presentation. Graduates qualify for advanced study in behavioral health that prepares them for careers in counseling, ministry, psychotherapy, research, and teaching.

Applicants should contact an enrollment counselor to schedule an advisory session.

9University of BridgeportBridgeport$$$$$126 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604-5620
(203) 576-4000

Connecticut's University of Bridgeport's bachelor of science in psychology online offers distance learners a flexible and immersive virtual experience. In addition to studying theory and research, students hone marketable skills in critical thinking and written communication and develop an advanced understanding of human behavior.

Students can select from electives in drug effects and behavior, educational psychology, maturity and aging, and psychology of stigma, along with senior thesis and internship options.

The program accepts applications on a rolling basis and requires transcripts showing high school completion, college transcripts for transfer students, and a 2.5 GPA. First-year applicants submit a personal essay or SAT/ACT scores.

10Bay Path UniversityLongmeadow$$$$$588 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 565-1000

This list of the best online colleges for psychology degree programs concludes with Bay Path University's American Women's College. The bachelor's in psychology features majors in child psychology, counseling foundations, forensic psychology, foundations of drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and human services and rehabilitation. Asynchronous coursework includes the psychology of cultural diversity, theories of personality, and social psychology.

The program accepts up to 90 transfer credits, allowing learners to finish in 42 months. Applicants should demonstrate a 2.0 GPA on their transcripts, although those with lower GPAs will be considered.

Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree Overview

An undergraduate psychology degree provides a framework for understanding human behavior and mental processes by examining the factors that influence how people think, feel, behave, and interact. An online bachelor’s in psychology teaches you the core theories, concepts, and methods specific to the discipline while building your competencies in scientific inquiry, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

This versatile degree can prepare you to enter the job market or pursue graduate studies, which can lead to more specialized positions in psychology and other fields.

  • Sample Courses: Statistics and research methods, human development through the lifespan, biological basis of behavior, theories of personality, neuropsychology, memory and cognition, abnormal psychology, organizational behavior, psychology of substance use disorder, social psychology
  • Degree Concentrations and Specializations: Behavioral psychology, clinical counseling, counseling psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, forensic psychology, social psychology
  • Program Length: An undergraduate psychology degree requires about 120 credits, including general education and major courses. Full-time students typically complete an online bachelor’s in four years. Some online programs offer accelerated options, which can shorten this timeline.
  • Potential Jobs: Case manager, rehabilitation specialist, domestic violence advocate, probation and parole officer, human resources manager, marketing researcher
  • Average Annual Income: $69,000 (Payscale, April 2024)

Career Outlook

An online bachelor’s in psychology provides a strong academic foundation and transferable soft skills such as analytical reasoning, creative problem-solving, and interpersonal communication. This training can prepare you for careers in counseling, social services, marketing, and criminal justice.

The salary and career outlook for psychology graduates depends on many factors, including industry, employer, and location. Earning a master’s or doctorate in psychology can propel you into advanced clinical or leadership positions and boost your earning potential.

Salaries and Growth for Psychology Careers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for various psychology professions to grow from 2022-2032. While a bachelor’s can provide a pathway to the careers listed below, keep in mind that counseling and therapy positions require licensure, certification, or graduate training beyond the bachelor’s level in many states.

Salaries and Growth for Psychology Careers
Career Median Annual Salary Employment Growth 2022-2032
Addiction Counselor $49,710 18%
Human Resource Specialist $64,240 6%
Social and Community Service Manager $74,240 9%
Marriage and Family Therapist $56,570 15%
Source: BLS, May 2022

Keys to Success in the Field

Know the next steps.

Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you should explore the benefits of continuing your studies. A master’s in psychology, for example, gives you the academic foundation for doctoral studies and offers specializations that prepare you for careers not open to bachelor’s degree-holders.

Specializations in school psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and forensic psychology equip you with tangible skills and knowledge that enhance your marketability. In some states, a master’s in clinical or counseling psychology qualifies you to practice as a licensed professional counselor.

A doctorate opens up the most opportunities and is a requirement to practice as a licensed psychologist. A Ph. D. program prepares you to pursue academic or research positions, while a Psy .D. degree trains you for advanced clinical and administrative roles. Earning either doctorate leads to broader career opportunities and higher salaries than a master’s or bachelor’s degree alone.

Understand your licensure requirements.

Anyone who wants to work with clients in a clinical setting or private practice must obtain a license through their state’s licensing board. The licensure process begins by meeting your state’s educational and clinical requirements, along with passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and any other state-specific required exams.

A master’s degree is the minimum education requirement to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE) and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). Passing the NCE authorizes you to practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or licensed clinical professional counselor. The NCMHCE and two years of post-graduate supervision allow you to practice independently.

If you intend to use the title and practice as a licensed psychologist, you must complete a doctorate in psychology from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association and apply for licensure through your state licensing board. In addition to clinical hours completed during your degree, most state licensing boards require anywhere from 2,000-6,000 postdoctoral supervised hours.

Build a network of professional contacts.

Even before finishing a bachelor’s degree, you can maintain a network of professional contacts who share your interests and provide support. To build your network, consider joining professional organizations. The American Psychology Association — the largest organization for psychologists in the U.S. — offers a career center, continuing education, and opportunities to meet with others in your field.

You can also make connections by joining psychology organizations that represent specific interests or professional communities, such as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology or the Association of Black Psychologists.

Keep up with technological change.

Technology has changed the discipline of psychology. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, psychology has integrated digital forms of mental health treatment and has increasingly incorporated technological tools to conduct and disseminate research.

Technology’s prevalence in healthcare is apparent in the popularity of teletherapy and the growth of websites, apps, and AI to deliver therapeutic services. A successful career in psychology now requires you to develop technological competencies and learn how to apply these new platforms, operating systems, software programs, and data analysis tools.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Page last reviewed on April 3, 2024

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