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Best Online Psychology Bachelor's Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 2/22/2021
Quick Facts
Accreditation: APA
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Certificate
Average Tuition: $24,767
Average Salary: $69,440

The scientific study of human behavior is a fascinating and complex endeavor. Psychologists analyze thought patterns, brain functions, and emotional responses to gain a better understanding of the human experience. Psychology is a popular subject of study, in part because there are so many areas where it can be applied. Concepts of psychology are used in nearly every sector, from creating user-friendly technology to guiding effective marketing campaigns. There are also a range of concentrations within the field. The need for marriage and family therapists, for example, is projected to grow by 22% in the next decade and the need for substance abuse, behavioral, and mental health counselors will grow by 25% from 2019 to 2029. Continue reading for our ranked list of the best online psychology degrees, and for more information on specializations, licensing, and frequently asked questions about psychology.

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Online Bachelor’s in Psychology with the Highest Return on Investment

2021 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology Badge

The top online psychology degrees below are ranked by their return on investment (ROI), and each has an ROI that is higher than the national average of $281,100. We calculated ROI by estimating alumni salaries 10 years after graduation and subtracting student loan payments. ROI rankings illustrate real alumni outcomes by including projected income and debt to help students determine how profitable a degree may be in the future. At #1 on this list, Marian University-Wisconsin has an ROI of $428,300 and an annual tuition of $14,100.

ROI amounts are based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education. Tuitions are manually researched in order to determine tuition amounts specific to online degrees. Read our methodology for more details.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Median Starting Salary Median Debt 10-year ROI
# 1 #1 $14,100 $44,384 $22,966 $428,300
# 2 #2 $15,300 $42,682 $12,500 $423,800
# 3 #3 $12,570 $42,682 $22,620 $411,200
# 4 #4 $23,850 $40,580 $27,000 $384,100
# 5 #5 $14,250 $40,089 $26,000 $380,300
# 6 #6 $16,230 $41,377 $24,232 $377,000
# 7 #7 $47,740 $39,741 $27,000 $375,500
# 8 #8 $16,650 $39,832 $28,770 $374,200
# 9 #9 $45,120 $39,467 $27,000 $372,700
# 10 #10 $11,940 $38,289 $25,000 $363,100
# 11 #11 $10,620 $37,424 $18,499 $362,200
# 12 #12 $13,600 $37,748 $25,000 $357,500
# 13 #13 $14,640 $38,048 $28,289 $356,500
# 14 #14 $25,440 $36,717 $22,450 $350,000
# 15 #15 $12,544 $36,941 $27,000 $346,700
# 16 #16 $43,154 $36,139 $24,525 $341,500
# 17 #17 $14,640 $35,060 $17,000 $339,800
# 18 #18 $19,507 $35,823 $23,551 $339,500
# 19 #19 $8,092 $35,213 $18,750 $339,200
# 20 #20 $14,970 $34,984 $21,000 $334,000
# 21 #21 $13,503 $34,883 $20,333 $333,800
# 22 #22 $11,700 $35,164 $23,250 $333,100
# 23 #23 $12,990 $35,546 $27,000 $332,300
# 24 #24 $13,170 $34,348 $17,912 $331,300
# 25 #25 $10,950 $34,259 $18,000 $330,300

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology Rankings Details

#1

Marian University - Wisconsin

Fond du Lac (WI)
  • 10-Year ROI: $428,300
  • Median Salary: $44,384
  • Annual Tuition: $14,100
  • Median Debt: $22,966

At Marian University - Wisconsin, a Catholic college, the online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is delivered on an accelerated schedule of seven-week courses called the MPath Platform. The curriculum covers all of the major concepts, theories, and historical developments in psychology. Students will also be required to take courses in Christian theology and theological... studies. Psychology majors have opportunities to participate in research projects, field experiences, externships, and internships. More than 85% of Marian psychology program graduates are employed in the field, and 93% find employment within six months of graduating.

Marian students use the Canvas learning management system to access course materials, submit assignments, and communicate with peers and instructors. The school offers transfer credits for prior education, as well as previous work and military experience. Online students are eligible for more than a dozen school-sponsored scholarships and other forms of financial aid. At Marian, 99 out of 100 students receive aid, with an average first-year student award being $25,800. Marian is also a Yellow Ribbon school, offering tuition discounts and other benefits for veterans. Alumni stay connected through networking events and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities.

The MPath online program offers six start dates throughout the year. Prospective students can apply anytime and start with the next available session if accepted.

Cost per Credit: $470
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 53%
Acceptance Rate: 68%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 900 - 1090
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 165

#2

Excelsior College

Albany (NY)
  • 10-Year ROI: $423,800
  • Median Salary: $42,682
  • Annual Tuition: $15,300
  • Median Debt: $12,500

The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Excelsior College is a 120-credit program that provides students with a broad background of scientific principles and ethical practices in psychology. Prior to graduation, students must complete a psychology capstone course that requires research and addresses real-world issues.

Delivered through Canvas, online coursework includes... lectures, discussions, textbook readings, and links to articles. Excelsior offers a transfer credit program, enabling students to earn credit for previous education, work experience, and other professional certifications. In addition to offering a number of school-sponsored scholarships and other forms of financial aid, Excelsior has set up more than 200 partnerships with corporations, associations, and government agencies. Employees or members of these partner organizations may be eligible for reduced tuition rates. Active military members and their families are also eligible for lower tuition rates. The school offers several payment plans, including monthly installments. Excelsior’s alumni network is led by its leadership council, which sponsors events, webinars, and other means of providing career services to alumni. Current students are encouraged to work with alumni mentors and take advantage of other career development resources online.

Excelsior College offers three 15-week trimesters annually. Prospective students can apply any time, and if accepted, may register for courses in the next available trimester. Online students may utilize academic advising services, 24/7 technical support, an online writing center, and electronic library resources.

Cost per Credit: $510
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 27,207

#3

Charter Oak State College

New Britain (CT)
  • 10-Year ROI: $411,200
  • Median Salary: $42,682
  • Annual Tuition: $12,570
  • Median Debt: $22,620

Charter Oak State College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree. The program is designed to teach students how to analyze and apply different domains within psychology, such as the behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic domains. Psychology majors will learn problem-solving and communication skills while obtaining hands-on experience with research methodologies.... Students must complete a minimum of 39 credits in the major. These include a three-credit capstone course and 15 credits in courses related to their chosen concentration: general psychology, life span, social/behavioral, or cognition and learning.

Charter Oak's online classes are conducted through the Blackboard learning management system. Adult undergraduates are encouraged to take a prior learning assessment to determine if they are eligible to earn credits for previous college and work experience. Many types of financial aid are available to Charter Oak students, but internal funding is limited, so enrollees should apply as early as possible. Veterans are eligible for tuition discounts, and active military members are exempt from certain fees. Charter Oak offers two support programs for low-income Connecticut residents—the Women in Transition Program and CT-WAGE—that provide loaner laptops and other benefits. The school has an active alumni association, and members regularly meet for networking events and volunteer projects.

Prospective students may submit their applications online.

Cost per Credit: $419
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,549

#4

Drexel University

Philadelphia (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $384,100
  • Median Salary: $40,580
  • Annual Tuition: $23,850
  • Median Debt: $27,000

The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Drexel University can be completed on a full- or part-time basis and requires 180 quarter credits to graduate. The curriculum covers foundational concepts of psychology and research methodologies while building valuable critical thinking and analytical skills. Online psychology majors must complete a sequence of courses in... biology, chemistry, or physics, as well as a senior thesis.

Most of Drexel's online courses are delivered asynchronously. Students log on to Blackboard to access weekly course presentations, complete homework assignments, take exams, and interact with fellow students and instructors. Transfer students can bring in 36-135 quarter credits (the equivalent of 24-90 semester credits) and may be eligible for discounted tuition rates if they attended one of Drexel's 35 partner community colleges. Special tuition rates are also available to employees or members of one of the university's 500+ partner organizations, as well as to active military members and their families. Veterans may be able to attend tuition-free. Drexel's alumni network offers many resources and services, including membership in professional networking groups organized around specific career fields.

Deadlines for applying online vary, but most are scheduled in October and November. Online students have access to many services, including career development, writing assistance, and an online library.

Cost per Credit: $530
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 74%
Acceptance Rate: 79%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1170 - 1380
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 559

#5

Regis University

Denver (CO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $380,300
  • Median Salary: $40,089
  • Annual Tuition: $14,250
  • Median Debt: $26,000

The online Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology program at Regis University requires 120 credit hours to graduate. The curriculum, which includes either a capstone course or one term of experiential learning, provides a broad foundation in the science of human behavior. At this Jesuit-founded Catholic college, incoming first-year and transfer students with fewer than 45 credits... are also required to complete the Cornerstone Program, which includes an Intro to Religion course. Online Regis students will find additional opportunities to study abroad and to participate in service-study programs.

Courses are taught asynchronously in five- and eight-week terms. Transfer students can bring in up to 81 credit hours from previous educational institutions. First-year students, adult undergraduates, undocumented students, and military members may be eligible for various types of financial assistance. At Regis, 99% of full-time, first-time undergraduate students receive financial aid, and the average award is $21,748. All students, including alumni, have access to the Career Center, which offers networking advice, salary negotiation tips, and graduate school assistance. Alumni are entitled to a range of other benefits, and many graduates connect through regional alumni groups and clubs across the country.

Prospective students may apply online anytime, and the online applied psychology degree program offers six start dates per year. Enrollees gain access to many student services, including an online library, writing center, and academic advising.

Cost per Credit: $475
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 69%
Acceptance Rate: 60%
Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
Average SAT Scores: 1050 - 1230
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,301

#6

Northeastern University

Burlington (MA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $377,000
  • Median Salary: $41,377
  • Annual Tuition: $16,230
  • Median Debt: $24,232

At Northeastern University, the online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree-completion program offers opportunities for experiential learning through research projects, case studies, co-op programs, or virtual projects with partner organizations. Once enrollees have completed the core curriculum courses in behavioral health, stress management, cognition and language, and biology,... they can customize their degrees by opting for one of three professional tracks. Students must complete a practicum as part of the 120 credits required to graduate. The program's focus on understanding human behavior and developing critical-thinking skills prepares students for careers in counseling, management, social work, and more.

Northeastern's courses, including real-world learning projects, are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Incoming students may be able to earn transfer credit for prior learning, military, and work experience. Online students are eligible for various forms of financial aid, including scholarships and employee tuition reimbursement. About 45% of Northeastern students receive financial aid, with an average award of $10,200 in institutional aid. Veterans and active duty service members are eligible for military tuition assistance and other benefits.

Applications are accepted online on a rolling basis, and accepted students may start their education with the fall, spring, or summer term. Online students can consult with academic and career advisors whenever needed.

Cost per Credit: $541
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 88%
Acceptance Rate: 27%
Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
Average SAT Scores: 1360 - 1540
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 21

#7

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $375,500
  • Median Salary: $39,741
  • Annual Tuition: $47,740
  • Median Debt: $27,000

The online Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) - Psychological Studies program at Saint Joseph’s University is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. The program aims to prepare students with the research and analytical skills necessary for career opportunities in various clinical, counseling, and healthcare settings. Founded by the Jesuits, this Catholic college requires students... to take either Faith, Justice, & the Catholic Tradition or Intro to the New Testament plus one additional religious studies course to fulfill general education requirements.

The Canvas online learning platform allows students to submit assignments, access lectures, and communicate with peers and instructors asynchronously. St. Joseph’s offers a wide range of school-sponsored scholarships and other types of financial aid, as well as discounted tuition rates for veterans and for alumni who are returning to earn advanced degrees. The college's alumni are encouraged to participate in lifelong learning events and networking events, such as webinars and tours.

After submitting an online application, prospective students will be connected with admissions counselors experienced in helping both traditional and nontraditional students. Distance learners receive full access to university resources, including 24/7 tech support, academic advising, and the writing center.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 80%
Acceptance Rate: 77%
Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
Average SAT Scores: 1120 - 1290
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 166

#8

National University

La Jolla (CA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $374,200
  • Median Salary: $39,832
  • Annual Tuition: $16,650
  • Median Debt: $28,770

National University (NU) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology. Both programs require students to complete 180 quarter units and a senior project. The general psychology program focuses on foundational theories and concepts and examines different views of behavior and emotions. The sport psychology program explores how an athlete's... emotions and mental state can affect their performance and how to mitigate these factors to help them improve.

Online classes run in four-week sessions, and coursework is delivered asynchronously and includes assigned readings, recorded lectures, and participation in web-based discussion boards. NU accepts transfer credits from other educational institutions, and it has articulation agreements with 110 community colleges. As a Yellow Ribbon school, NU offers tuition discounts for active military service members, veterans, and their dependents. To celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary in 2021, NU is investing $30 million in a new scholarship program called Opportunity Scholarships. NU’s financial aid team is available to assist students in applying for these school-sponsored scholarships and other financial aid. Online students can utilize the school’s career services to develop job search skills and find employment opportunities.

Because NU’s classes run in four-week increments, prospective students can apply online anytime and begin taking classes within one month if accepted. Online students have access to virtual tutoring in writing and math, electronic library resources, and academic advising through the Student Academic Success Center.

Cost per Credit: $370
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 36%
Accreditation: WSCUC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,130

#9

Rider University

Lawrenceville (NJ)
  • 10-Year ROI: $372,700
  • Median Salary: $39,467
  • Annual Tuition: $45,120
  • Median Debt: $27,000

Rider University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree designed to teach students relevant theories, concepts, scientific methods, and practical applications. Graduates prepare for careers in counseling, public health, and social work. The university also offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Psychology degree, which combines elements of psychology... and business with a focus on human behavior in the workplace. Graduates of this program are prepared for work in human resources and business leadership. Both degrees require a senior seminar, independent study, or internship, and both require the completion of 40 credits in the major. Online students may opt to study abroad. Rider also offers a unique Leadership Development Program. Concurrent with general education and major-related courses, students complete a number of courses in leadership. Having met program requirements, graduates earn a Certificate in Leadership in addition to their diploma.

Students engage in online course materials, class discussions, and assignments through Canvas. Incoming students are encouraged to take a prior learning assessment to determine transfer credits for earlier education, work, and military experience. Rider also offers a Yellow Ribbon program featuring tuition discounts and other benefits for military personnel.

Prospective students may apply online. Once enrolled, students can utilize services such as career counseling, academic advising, and tutoring.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 65%
Acceptance Rate: 67%
Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
Average SAT Scores: 1000 - 1190
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 79

#10

Franklin University

Columbus (OH)
  • 10-Year ROI: $363,100
  • Median Salary: $38,289
  • Annual Tuition: $11,940
  • Median Debt: $25,000

Franklin University's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Psychology majors may pursue a general degree or opt for one of three areas of concentration: Forensic & Criminal Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, and Sports Psychology. Developed based on the American Psychological Association guidelines, the program,... which includes a capstone course or practicum, is designed to give students real-world experience through research projects and service-oriented fieldwork.

Coursework is delivered asynchronously through the Canvas learning management system. Approximately 90% of Franklin enrollees are transfer students, who can bring in up to 94 credits. Online students are eligible for a range of financial aid options, such as school-sponsored scholarships. Employees and members of one of Franklin's partner organizations may be able to save on tuition costs. Veterans and military service members may be eligible for tuition discounts, transfer credits, and other benefits. Franklin also offers a tuition guarantee, meaning a student's first-term tuition rate is locked in for the duration of their enrollment in a degree program. Current students and alumni alike can utilize the school's career development services, including interview coaching, job search assistance, and job fairs.

Prospective students can submit their applications, register for classes, and schedule their orientation appointments online. Enrolled students gain access to many services, including tutoring, research assistance, and financial coaching.

Cost per Credit: $398
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 14%
Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,578

#11

The University of Texas Permian Basin

Odessa (TX)
  • 10-Year ROI: $362,200
  • Median Salary: $37,424
  • Annual Tuition: $10,620
  • Median Debt: $18,499

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) offers an accelerated online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree. The curriculum is designed to give students a deeper understanding of human behavior, thought, and emotion. Courses cover common theories in psychology, research methods, and ethics while building applicable creative and critical-thinking skills. Online students... must complete 120 credit hours, including a senior seminar and two life science courses, to graduate.

Coursework is delivered asynchronously through the Canvas platform, which students use to view course materials, participate in class discussions, and submit assignments and exams. Transfer students may bring in up to 90 credit hours of previous educational experience. UTPB offers a pay-by-the-course tuition program, and financial aid is available to eligible students.

The accelerated program is divided into eight-week sessions. Prospective students who have applied online and been accepted can begin their studies at any one of the six start dates available each year. Enrollees will find additional support through the online library.

Cost per Credit: $354
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 41%
Acceptance Rate: 89%
Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
Average SAT Scores: 970 - 1130
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,165

#12

Bellevue University

Bellevue (NE)
  • 10-Year ROI: $357,500
  • Median Salary: $37,748
  • Annual Tuition: $13,600
  • Median Debt: $25,000

Bellevue University offers four online bachelor's degrees in psychology, all of which require the completion of 127 credits. The online Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science degree is a skills-based cohort program preparing students to work in clinical counseling, human resources, and social services environments. The online Bachelor of Science in Professional Psychology cohort... program teaches students to bring problem-solving skills and cultural leadership to organizations. The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program and the online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program cover the fundamentals of psychological concepts. However, the B.S. is more research-oriented, while the B.A. is focused on clinical practice.

All coursework is delivered asynchronously, allowing students to access course materials, submit assignments, and communicate with faculty and peers on their own schedules. Bellevue grants transfer credits for students with prior college, work, and military experience, and offers a range of scholarships and other financial aid. Active duty military members and veterans may be eligible for Military Preferred Tuition and other benefits. All online students have access to career guidance and job search assistance through the Career Services office.

Bellevue's classes start on an ongoing basis, so prospective students can apply online at any point and start with the next available session if accepted. Online students can take advantage of tutoring, the digital library, and 24/7 technical support.

Cost per Credit: $425
School Type: Non-Profit
Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 5,052

#13

Upper Iowa University

Fayette (IA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $356,500
  • Median Salary: $38,048
  • Annual Tuition: $14,640
  • Median Debt: $28,289

Upper Iowa University's (UIU) online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program provides students with a broad overview of the field of psychology. Core courses, taken two at a time, cover essential concepts and research methods in psychology. Seniors are required to complete a capstone internship project in psychology, social science, or human services. Additional professional development... opportunities include a Psychology Club, the Psi Chi Honor Society, research projects, and a biannual study abroad program in Ireland.

Psychology majors use the D2L Brightspace platform to view course content, engage in class discussions, and submit assignments. Transfer students may bring in up to 90 credits from other educational institutions. Financial aid, including school-sponsored scholarships, is available to online students, and 88% of psychology majors currently receive financial assistance. Employees or members of any of the 50 organizations in the CAP program may be eligible for grants and other services. Tuition assistance and other benefits may also be available for active military members, veterans, and their families.

Classes are offered in eight-week sessions with one six-week session each summer, and newly enrolled students may begin their studies on one of six start dates throughout the year. Prospective students can sample a demo course through UIU's website. Academic advising, tutoring, and an online library are among the services available to online students.

Cost per Credit: $488
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 44%
Acceptance Rate: 56%
Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
Average SAT Scores: 935 - 1170
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,538

#14

University of Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage (AK)
  • 10-Year ROI: $350,000
  • Median Salary: $36,717
  • Annual Tuition: $25,440
  • Median Debt: $22,450

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree with an optional concentration in behavior analysis. The program provides students with a scientific foundation for understanding behavior and mental processes from the perspective of cultural and social behavior. A senior thesis is required, and there are opportunities for personal... research projects and service-oriented fieldwork. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as mental health technicians, protective services specialists, and more. Students who opt for the behavior analysis concentration will discover how biology and environment relate to behavior and social issues. Verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis, the concentration-related courses lead to professional certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. Psychology majors can expand on their professional development by participating in the Psychology Club or the Psi Chi Honor Society, which host the annual Behavioral Sciences Conference of the North. At UAA, 53% of alumni go on to earn graduate degrees, which is higher than the national average.

Coursework is delivered asynchronously through the Blackboard learning management system. Incoming students may be able to earn transfer credit for previous college classes, satisfactory scores on national exams, and prior military service. UAA students are eligible for financial aid, including several scholarships specifically for psychology majors.

Prospective students should apply online through the UAA website.

Cost per Credit: $848
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 28%
Acceptance Rate: 71%
Financial Aid Recipients: 82%
Accreditation: NWCCU
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,451

#15

Endicott College

Beverly (MA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $346,700
  • Median Salary: $36,941
  • Annual Tuition: $12,544
  • Median Debt: $27,000

With Endicott College's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree, students can choose a general program or opt for one of five concentration areas: early childhood education, homeland security studies, integrative health, Montessori education, or trauma studies. The program provides a broad understanding of human behavior while teaching research practices and critical thinking... and analytical skills. Graduation requires the completion of 126 credits, including a senior thesis. Endicott students are strongly encouraged to pursue internships—in all four years of the program, if possible—and more than 99% of graduates leverage this experience into finding a job or entering graduate school within one year of completing their degrees.

Asynchronous coursework is delivered through Canvas. Incoming students may bring in up to 85 credits. All students are eligible for many types of financial aid, and approximately 89% of the student body receives financial assistance. Of the $53 million in financial aid disbursed to Endicott students each year, the school provides almost $32 million. Alumni have access to many services and are invited to participate in the Gull2Gull Mentoring Program, networking events, and career development courses.

Early action and early decision application deadlines are November 1, with a regular admission deadline in mid-February. Students can apply online or by mail. Online students have access to writing assistance, tutoring, and a virtual reference library.

Cost per Credit: $392
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 76%
Acceptance Rate: 81%
Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 123

#16

Hamline University

Saint Paul (MN)
  • 10-Year ROI: $341,500
  • Median Salary: $36,139
  • Annual Tuition: $43,154
  • Median Debt: $24,525

Hamline University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology through the College of Liberal Arts. This degree completion program requires a minimum of 56 credits to be taken at Hamline, 16 of which must be within the psychology major. Students complete courses in general and abnormal psychology, research methods, and social and cultural psychology. A capstone in positive psychology... is required. Incoming transfer students are also required to complete a transfer seminar and courses in Argumentation and Advocacy and Professional Writing to help develop critical thinking and communication skills.

Online coursework is delivered asynchronously through the Canvas learning management platform. Students use this web-based tool to access course content, submit assignments, and interact with peers and faculty. Active military members and veterans are eligible for tuition discounts and other benefits, and all students can consult with the financial aid office regarding tuition assistance. All online students have access to the Career Development Center, where they can receive assistance in developing resumes and cover letters, enhance job search skills, and conduct practice interviews.

Transfer applicants should submit their online applications in late July for a fall semester start date or early December for a winter/spring semester start date. Distance learning students have access to technical assistance, electronic library resources, and a military student center.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 63%
Acceptance Rate: 69%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Average SAT Scores: 1060 - 1280
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1

#17

University of Virginia

Charlottesville (VA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $339,800
  • Median Salary: $35,060
  • Annual Tuition: $14,640
  • Median Debt: $17,000

The University of Virginia's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) offers an online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies - Psychology program. This degree-completion program requires 120 credits to graduate, and transfer students may bring in 45-60 credits from regionally accredited institutions. In addition to completing core courses in psychology, students must... complete electives in other disciplines, such as anthropology, art, religion, or business. Students must complete a two-term capstone project in their final year. Most students finish the online degree in three to four years.

Many SCPS students use tuition reimbursement programs from their employers, while others utilize alternate forms of financial aid, including a range of need- and merit-based scholarships that the school has set up specifically for online students. The SCPS also offers several benefits, including possible tuition discounts, for current military and veteran students. The university has an active alumni organization that provides graduates with a host of benefits, including ongoing educational opportunities and career development assistance. A program called Bridges, available through the Career Center, helps connect current students with alumni for job networking.

Transfer students may apply online at any time, and if accepted, may start with the next available fall, spring, or summer term. Once enrolled, students have access to internship placement services, a digital library, clubs and organizations, and other services.

Cost per Credit: $488
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 94%
Acceptance Rate: 27%
Financial Aid Recipients: 59%
Average SAT Scores: 1330 - 1500
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 344

#18

University of Houston-Downtown

Houston (TX)
  • 10-Year ROI: $339,500
  • Median Salary: $35,823
  • Annual Tuition: $19,507
  • Median Debt: $23,551

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree on a full-time or part-time basis. The 120-credit curriculum covers the biological and physiological underpinnings of human behavior and thought. Coursework is designed to help students develop research, analysis, communication, and project management skills. Online students must complete... an internship, special project, or directed study. While enrolled, psychology majors have opportunities to network and advance their professional development through membership in the Psychology Club and the Psi Chi Honor Society.

At UHD, online students use the Blackboard platform to access course content, submit assignments, and interact with fellow students and instructors. In addition to external sources of financial aid, students are eligible for need- and merit-based scholarships offered by the school, the psychology department, and the University of Houston Foundation. Veterans may be eligible for discounted tuition rates and other services. Graduates of UHD are entitled to a wide range of benefits, including alumni networking events and adult education courses.

Prospective students should apply online through the ApplyTexas college application portal. Once enrolled, students have access to a number of services, including a career center, counseling, academic advising, tutoring, and a digital library.

Cost per Credit: $650
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 20%
Acceptance Rate: 84%
Financial Aid Recipients: 85%
Average SAT Scores: 940 - 1080
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,578

#19

Bemidji State University

Bemidji (MN)
  • 10-Year ROI: $339,200
  • Median Salary: $35,213
  • Annual Tuition: $8,092
  • Median Debt: $18,750

Bemidji State University's online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology programs are both degree-completion programs that can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. Incoming students must transfer in at least 24 college credits and earn a total of 120 credits to graduate with either degree. The core required courses are the same for both online... programs, and students have the option of participating in research labs and internships.

Most online instructors at Bemidji State use the D2L Brightspace learning management system to deliver asynchronous coursework. Students use the online system to access course materials, view videos, complete homework assignments, and participate in class discussions. A career services office offers career guidance and job search assistance. Students may be eligible for financial aid, and 82% of Bemidji students receive some form of financial assistance. Graduates may choose to join the alumni association, which entitles them to a number of benefits, including networking opportunities.

Bemidji State's priority application deadline is February 1. Prospective students may apply online or by mail. Online undergraduate students have access to a variety of services and resources, such as an online library, academic advising center, the Northwoods Queer Outreach support program, and the American Indian Resource Center.

School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 46%
Acceptance Rate: 66%
Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,022

#20

University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi (MD)
  • 10-Year ROI: $334,000
  • Median Salary: $34,984
  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Median Debt: $21,000

The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is offered on a full-time and part-time basis. The 120-credit program combines theoretical concepts in psychology with real-world research and clinical applications. The curriculum, which includes a senior seminar, is designed to help online students develop effective communication, analytical,... and critical thinking skills.

Coursework is delivered asynchronously through the Desire2Learn (D2L) portal. UMGC has replaced textbooks with no-cost digital materials in nearly every course, and distance learners use the D2L system to access course content, submit assignments, take exams, and interact with fellow students and faculty. Incoming students can earn up to 90 transfer credits for prior college, work, and military experience. They may also be eligible for more than 100 school-sponsored scholarships and other types of financial aid. Military personnel and their families may be eligible for discounted tuition rates and other benefits. All students may utilize UMGC's career services to learn job search skills and find an alumni mentor.

UMGC offers multiple online sessions with staggered start dates throughout each semester. This allows prospective students to submit their online applications anytime and start in the next available session once they're admitted. All students who enroll have access to advisors, an online library, technical support, and tutoring services.

Cost per Credit: $499
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 15%
Financial Aid Recipients: 53%
Accreditation: MSCHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 36,550

#21

University of Colorado Denver

Denver (CO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $333,800
  • Median Salary: $34,883
  • Annual Tuition: $13,503
  • Median Debt: $20,333

At the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), the online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree can be earned on a full-time or part-time basis. The program explains the scientific principles and methods used to understand human behavior while imparting critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Upon completing the required 120 credit hours, graduates will... be prepared to enter the workforce or pursue a graduate degree.

CU Denver's online courses are delivered asynchronously through the Canvas learning management system. All courses are taught by on-campus faculty, and coursework may entail research, writing, group projects, and exams. The school will accept up to 90 transfer credits, but not all credits are transferable. Once accepted, online students may be eligible for one of the university-funded scholarships or other types of financial aid. Out-of-state online students pay a tuition rate that is 120% of in-state online students.

CU Denver offers three semesters a year in fall, spring, and summer. The deadline to apply online is in late May, and most newly enrolled students start in the fall. Services available to online students include a 24/7 digital library, online writing tutoring, and a technology help guide for troubleshooting issues. Active military and veteran students are eligible for additional services.

Cost per Credit: $450
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 48%
Acceptance Rate: 65%
Financial Aid Recipients: 76%
Average SAT Scores: 1020 - 1210
Accreditation: HLC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 967

#22

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Amherst (MA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $333,100
  • Median Salary: $35,164
  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Median Debt: $23,250

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology or a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology through their University Without Walls (UWW) distance learning platform. Both fully online programs are degree-completion programs intended for students who have earned at least 12 prior college credits. Online students are encouraged... to customize their degrees by incorporating courses from other disciplines, such as health science, education, or business. UWW students are also eligible for study abroad programs.

Online coursework follows an asynchronous format and is delivered through the Blackboard learning platform. The school’s website provides several useful resources to improve the distance learning experience. Degree-completion students may transfer up to 105 credit hours from previous college experience or professional training. In addition to offering external scholarships, loans, and grants, UMass Amherst sponsors a number of internal scholarships, including several specifically for adult learners. Veterans also enjoy a number of discounts and other benefits, including a virtual Student Veteran Resource Center.

UMass Amherst offers three start dates in the fall, spring, or summer terms. Application dates are generally four to five months prior to the start dates, and prospective students who apply early will pay a lower application fee. Online students have access to academic advising, financial aid assistance, technological support, and off-campus library resources.

Cost per Credit: $390
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 80%
Acceptance Rate: 58%
Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
Average SAT Scores: 1200 - 1390
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,224

#23

Roger Williams University

Bristol (RI)
  • 10-Year ROI: $332,300
  • Median Salary: $35,546
  • Annual Tuition: $12,990
  • Median Debt: $27,000

At Roger Williams University, the online Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology degree is offered through the University College (UC). Taught by practicing psychologists, the online program is designed to develop critical thinking skills while teaching students about human behavior, quantitative analysis, and common research methods used in the field. Students must complete 120... credit hours to graduate, including a senior seminar and either an applied practicum, a research project, or a term-long lab in experimental psychology.

Students use the Bridges learning management system to access course materials, view video lectures, submit assignments, and participate in online class discussions. Adult undergraduates are encouraged to take a prior learning assessment to obtain credit for previous educational, military, and professional experience. UC students are eligible for various financial aid options, and they may be able to utilize an interest-free monthly payment plan. Military service members and their spouses may be eligible for discounted tuition rates and other benefits. Upon graduating, alumni can join any of the alumni chapters for community and professional support. All students and alumni have ongoing access to career path and job search assistance at the Center for Career and Professional Development.

Prospective students may apply online at any point for multiple start dates throughout the year. UC's Center for Student Academic Success provides tutoring services.

Cost per Credit: $433
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 69%
Acceptance Rate: 82%
Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 312

#24

University of Southern Maine

Portland (ME)
  • 10-Year ROI: $331,300
  • Median Salary: $34,348
  • Annual Tuition: $13,170
  • Median Debt: $17,912

The online Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science program at the University of Southern Maine (USM) requires the completion of 120 credit hours. The fully online program is a blend of psychology, sociology, and anthropology courses designed to prepare students for careers in a range of fields from mental health and social services to public policy and law. Enrollees are... required to complete an internship and a capstone course. Those students who plan to go on to graduate school may opt for an Accelerated Graduate Pathway, enabling them to complete some graduate work while finishing their bachelor's degree. USM also offers two concentrations in counseling and public health, but some required courses are only offered on campus.

Online coursework is delivered through the D2L Brightspace platform. Online students are eligible to apply for a number of school-sponsored scholarships and grants to help fund their education. Veterans, active military service members, and their families may be eligible for tuition assistance, scholarships, and other services. USM's alumni network includes more than 58,000 members who have the opportunity to connect, share employment opportunities, and engage in professional development courses.

Interested students should apply to USM online, either directly through the school's website or through the Common Application portal.

Cost per Credit: $439
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 39%
Acceptance Rate: 83%
Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
Average SAT Scores: 940 - 1150
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 551

#25

Granite State College

Concord (NH)
  • 10-Year ROI: $330,300
  • Median Salary: $34,259
  • Annual Tuition: $10,950
  • Median Debt: $18,000

Granite State College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree with five areas of concentration to choose from: Addictions Studies, Adult Court Advocacy, Child Court Advocacy, Counseling Foundations, and Education Advocacy. All psychology majors take courses in the fundamentals of psychology, research methods, and statistics. They may then customize their degrees... by selecting electives related to their chosen concentration. Critical thinking skills and ethics are important components of the program.

Asynchronous classes are delivered online through the Moodle learning management system. Granite State's Transfer Pathway offers credit for prior education, work, and volunteer experience, and 80% of enrollees are transfer students. Additional benefits may be available to those who attended community college in New Hampshire. Granite State is also a military-friendly school, which means active service members and veterans may be eligible for tuition discounts and transfer credits. Among the various types of financial aid available are school-sponsored scholarships. Alumni, who are entitled to a range of benefits, are an active part of this college community. Many serve as mentors to current students.

Online applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and students who've been admitted may start in the next available semester. Online students have access to services such as a 24/7 digital library, academic advising, and counseling.

Cost per Credit: $365
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 19%
Financial Aid Recipients: 84%
Accreditation: NECHE
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,431

Online Psychology Degree Overview & Career Information

Associate degrees in psychology are often used as a first step before transferring to a four-year program; bachelor’s degrees are considered the basic foundational program in this discipline. Both associate and bachelor’s degrees provide a significant amount of coursework in liberal arts and science topics like math, humanities, natural science, and history. Core classes within the psychology major explore topics such as social psychology, personality, psychology of learning, and depression and mood disorders. Many online psychology programs require that students work in psychology labs or on research projects.

Online master’s programs in psychology are available in specialization areas like forensic psychology, industrial organizational psychology, counseling, or sport psychology. Most master’s programs require a thesis project or fieldwork. The doctoral degree in psychology is the minimum requirement to work as a licensed psychologist who treats patients. Students take advanced coursework, do clinical assessments, and perform research. Most programs require a lengthy internship prior to or after graduation.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology

Psychology careers generally require a master's degree or higher, but jobs for bachelor's graduates do exist. Common positions at this level include psychological assistants or aides to established doctors and professionals. Bachelor's degree holders may also work at psychology offices or schools to help patients under the supervision of a licensed doctor. With a background in psychology, students can also get jobs managing people or working in human resources within many kinds of businesses.

Program Requirements

Bachelor's degrees in psychology require students to have completed high school and achieved good scores on a college-entry exam such as the SAT or ACT. Bachelor's programs in psychology take about four years to complete with a total of approximately 120 units of coursework. Psychology degrees at the bachelor's level may also include some fieldwork, which plays an important role in the education program; fieldwork allows students to see how psychology works in offices and healthcare facilities.

Curriculum

The first year or two of a psychology bachelor's program will focus on general education courses such as introduction to psychology, biology, English, statistics, history of psychology, human lifespan development, research methods, learning cognition, and culture, ethnicity and diversity. Once the general education is complete, the courses will get more specific, and students will be able to choose electives depending on the field of psychology they're most interested in. Common courses include child development, abnormal psychology, criminal psychology, family and marriage, human sexuality, and psychology of personality.

The Importance of an Accredited Online Psychology Degree

Accreditation can be thought of as a qualification that a school or degree program earns by meeting a set of criteria. Accreditation is an important part of the US higher education system because it is one of the few mechanisms by which independent organizations can evaluate a program or a school and ensure that students who are attending the school are getting a quality education.

Each regional or specialized accreditation board has its own standards that schools or programs must meet in order to be granted accreditation. In general, a program must cover certain topics in their curriculum, provide students with appropriate resources through libraries and faculty, and possibly even provide certain nonacademic services.

The American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the US Department of Education as being the main accrediting agency for doctoral psychology programs in the United States. Other accrediting agencies provide institutional accreditation to many colleges and universities that offer psychology programs at the bachelor's and master's levels. The US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation each offers a current list of accredited schools and psychology programs.

It is important for schools to maintain their accreditation and important for students to ensure that the schools to which they are applying are accredited, because only accredited schools can use federal money. This means that only accredited schools can provide students with federal student loans, work study, or federal grants, and the majority of postsecondary students utilize these resources. It's also important for students who plan to continue their education at the graduate level to attend an accredited school so that their credits will transfer. Students who plan to become a licensed psychologist will also need a degree from an accredited institution.

Licensing and Certification Requirements for Psychologists

The path to becoming a psychologist is a long one, requiring many years of education and several more years of internships and professional development. It also mandates earning and maintaining a valid license. The type of psychology a person practices and the state in which they wish to practice may have some effect on the exact course a person takes to become a psychologist. There are some general licensing requirements that apply to all or nearly all states, such as a doctoral degree, an internship, a number of years of professional experience, and a passing score on a state examination. Many states require students to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), administered by the The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, or a variation of this test.

Licensed psychologists who specialize in a particular area of psychology, such as clinical neuropsychology, clinical psychology, cognitive and behavioral psychology, or counseling psychology, may also choose to earn professional certification. Certification is offered by several different professional agencies, such as the American Board of Professional Psychology, which issues credentials in many different areas. Although board certification is voluntary and not legally required for most specializations, many employers prefer hiring candidates with these credentials. Board-certified professionals are held accountable for their experience and knowledge, as candidates must fulfill extensive education, work experience, and continuing education requirements to earn these marks. Psychologists who have a specialized certificate will find it easier to market themselves to clients, and they will become part of ABPP's database of certified professionals.

Before beginning a specific educational or career path, it is recommended that students investigate the requirements for psychology practice in their particular state. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards provides helpful information about licensure and psychology education that an aspiring psychologist in the United States needs to know, as well as information for consumers who utilize the services of licensed psychologists. It is especially helpful for people who are still in school because there is information about which schools are accredited and the scores earned on licensing examinations by graduates of different doctoral degree programs. People who are already licensed will find resources to help them complete required continuing education hours.

Specializations in Psychology

There’s a big difference between studying psychology and training to be a psychologist. Prospective online students should be aware of these differences and evaluate their own career aspirations before enrolling in a program. While those with an understanding of psychology can act as consultants in a variety of capacities, only those with the proper training and credentials can become licensed psychologists.

Psychology is a very broad field, and a psychologist's job responsibilities will depend upon their chosen specialization. The following list represents just some of the areas in which professional psychologists can specialize:

  • Clinical Psychology: This is the area of psychology you are probably most familiar with from popular culture. Clinical psychologists meet with patients to treat their mental and emotional problems. They listen to the patient and help them find ways to change problematic or destructive behaviors. Clinical psychologists may work with different types of patients, such as children, families, or individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Developmental Psychology: These psychologists study the ways people's behaviors and thoughts change as they age. Some study the psychology of children and teens, while others focus on the elderly.
  • Forensic Psychology: Forensic psychologists apply psychology to criminal justice issues and often work on a particular type of case. For example, some might work in criminal court and offer insight on the motivations of criminals, while others work in civil and family court.
  • Health Psychology: Health psychologists work with people and families who are experiencing illness. The psychologist helps patients learn coping strategies to deal with the mental strain of being unwell. Some health psychologists educate doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners on behavioral aspects of illness.
  • Industrial Organizational Psychology: IO psychologists apply their understanding of psychology to business. They help businesses become more productive and healthy places to work. IO psychologists may work with managers to interview job candidates, create company policies, or make the workplace more enjoyable.
  • Rehabilitation Psychology: Rehabilitation psychologists help people cope with the aftermath of a serious illness or injury, especially when the illness or injury has resulted in a serious mental or physical disability. Rehabilitation psychologists support their patients so that they can accept and understand their new abilities and limitations and improve their quality of life.
  • School Psychology: School psychologists help students and education administrators. They may work with students who have behavioral or learning problems to help them do better in school. School psychologists also design educational programs, such as awareness campaigns about bullying or drugs. They work with teachers to make the classroom a better learning environment.
  • Social Psychology: Social psychologists examine the ways individuals act within a group. They study the ways social interactions affect people, and they may offer advice to improve group dynamics.
  • Sport Psychology: As an interdisciplinary field, sport psychology curricula draw content from various departments, including counseling, physical education, and psychology. Bachelor’s programs cover the foundations of sport psychology and engage in a historical analysis of sports and related behaviors. Master's programs give students the opportunity to develop their theoretical and practical knowledge in individual and team motivation, injury recovery, performance enhancement, and stress management in sporting activities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Degrees

Are online psychology degrees respected?

Online degrees in psychology are generally respected, but it depends on what program or school you get your degree from. Most of the time, employers and other schools can’t tell if a degree was earned online. However, they are able to check if the school you attend is accredited or not. Accreditation ensures schools and programs are held to high academic standards and provide a quality education. Degrees from schools that are not accredited are often not seen as legitimate.

Is it better to get a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in psychology?

Choosing between a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will depend on what your personal goals and interests are. BA programs are usually more focused on psychology from the social sciences aspect, and will give students a strong foundation in the subject. These programs give students a wide range of options for future career paths and specializations as the course load allows for some flexibility. A BS program will focus on mathematical, statistical, and scientific courses related to psychology. These programs are a better fit for those looking to pursue a career in science, or who plan to go on to medical or graduate school.

What can I do with a BA in psychology?

Students who earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology will likely graduate with a diverse skill set they can apply in any number of careers. While careers as a therapist or psychologist usually require higher levels of education, a bachelor’s degree often qualifies applicants for entry-level positions as substance abuse, mental health, and behavioral disorder counselors. A BA in psychology can also be useful for roles in marketing, human resources, social work, criminal justice or corrections, and even technology development.

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