If you’ve thought about starting or continuing your education in psychology, chances are you’ve debated about going back to school. This prospect can be intimidating, especially if you’re looking at a traditional educational model, which involves dropping everything in your life, potentially moving across the country, and spending upwards of $20,000 in tuition every year.
What if we told you that you could earn your psychology degree online? Whether you’re looking for a certificate or a doctorate, there are programs out there specifically tailored to your needs. That way, you can attend classes on your own time, study at your own pace, and keep the financial cost down. You’ll also be able to work while you study, which means that you can keep your career on track while improving your educational credentials.
If you’re looking to explore getting a psychology degree online, you’ll need to find a school that’s accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), or another regional or national agency. Even though you won’t be attending classes on campus, you should still make sure that the school’s policies and educational structure works for you.
After exploring a wide variety of options, we’re profiling 10 of the top online schools for your next psychology degree.
1. Oregon State University
Oregon State University offers more than 50 online degree programs to more than 23,000 students through their e-campus. They offer both a B.A. or B.S. in Psychology, which is administered by their College of Liberal Arts, which is widely considered among the top of its kind in the U.S. Students studying online have the choice of whether they’d like their course material delivered entirely online, or through a blend of online and in-person classes, which take place at their campus in Portland, Oregon.
Students can approach their studies from a liberal art or scientific perspective and will graduate with the appropriate degree. This 180-credit degree will typically take four years, and students will study everything from human lifespan development to abnormal psychology and behavior modification. Tuition for the full degree costs around $53,000.
After obtaining their Bachelor’s degree, many students go on to rewarding careers in market research or law enforcement or continue their education to become registered psychologists or therapists.
2. Colorado State University – Global Campus
If you’re hoping to approach your studies in psychology from a scientific perspective, Colorado State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online through their Global Campus. Students study the basic theories and principles of psychology and learn how to think critically using the latest scientific methodology. Online students study on their own, but CSU encourages lots of online discussions and even group projects with their peers. Students may also take a degree minor, further developing their specialization in subjects like sociology or gerontology.
Tuition to CSU’s online Psychology program is $476 per credit hour or approximately $57,000 for the whole degree. Depending on their specialization, after graduation, many students go on to work in fields like health and human services, data analytics, market research, advertising, or public relations. If you’d like to continue working in social services, you can continue your education at CSU with a Master’s in Social Work degree through their online program.
3. Utah State University
Another school that offers the option to do a Bachelor of either Arts or Science in Psychology is Utah State University. This ancient school — they were initially founded in 1888 — has specifically designed their bachelor’s degrees to set up students to take the next step in their psychology education.
Their online programs are designed to fulfill all the prerequisites for competitive graduate programs, so this is a great choice if you want to continue your education at a later date. Students take courses in all the fundamentals, including introductory psychology, statistics, and behavior analysis, while also mastering the basics of the scientific method, and a foreign language (if they’re getting a B.A.).
Tuition at USU starts at $4,056 per semester for online students, but some students may have lower costs if they’re able to apply AP or previous university credits to their degree. After graduation, most students who get their B.A. or B.S. from USU go on to continue their education, with the hopes of achieving a Master or Doctorate in Psychology and entering full-time practice.
4. Pennsylvania State University – World Campus
At Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus, students enrolled in their B.A. in Psychology receive a broad education in the arts, social science, and humanities. The program is administered through Penn State’s College of Liberal Arts and prepares students to either enter graduate school for further study or begin a career in a rewarding field like social work, caregiving, or recreational therapy.
Basic courses cover the overview of psychology as a profession through studying research methods, statistics, and social and behavioral science. There’s also an optional three-credit internship, where students can observe practicing psychologists at work. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the online Psychology Club, which was formed to connect students and share career advice, opportunities, and support. Tuition starts at $7,297 per semester for full-time students.
5. Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University offers students the opportunity to complete their Bachelor of Science in Psychology online, with some in-class courses required. Their program is one of the best in the country and gives students a solid baseline education while also offering the option of specializing further in areas like social development, clinical counseling, or experimental psychology.
Tuition starts at $4,148 per semester, which averages to around $33,000 for the entire degree. Graduates of this program typically enter the business world, equipped with the necessary skills for the management track, or return to graduate studies to further their career in psychology.
6. Saint Leo University
Although Saint Leo University was originally established as a Catholic institution, it supports one of the most impressive online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology programs in the country. All of their curricula is based on the American Psychological Association’s model for programs of distinction, and many of their students have presented their research at top psychological association conferences while enrolled in their program.
Their courses are focused on understanding the human experience through qualitative and quantitative research, so students learn the basics of cognitive psychology, the biological bases of behavior, and child and adolescent development. They also offer specialized classes in unique topics like military psychology and the psychology of criminal behavior. Many of their students go on to post-graduate studies or work in social services, counseling, human resources, or even advertising.
Tuition is currently around $4,320 per semester for their undergraduate programs.
7. University of Massachusetts-Lowell
UMass Lowell is one of the oldest online schools in the country — they established their online degree programs in 2001 in order to accommodate busy professional students. Their Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is specifically geared towards students who are interested in social and behavioral sciences and want to deepen their education in the theoretical foundations of psychology. The arts focus of this degree means that students will also receive a well-rounded liberal arts education, with elective courses in subjects like political science, language, and education.
Tuition begins at $380 per credit hour. The full 120-credit degree will likely cost students around $45,600 without financial aid. Students often use UMass’s alumni network of more than 330,000 graduates to help make career connections after graduation.
8. University of Florida
The online psychology program at the University of Florida is offered through their reputable College of Liberal Arts and Science and uses an interdisciplinary approach to ensure a balanced perspective. Students take courses in everything from neural development to sociocultural approaches and influences on behavior but must first cover the basic foundational courses of psychology, statistics, biology, and mathematics.
The University of Florida is one of the best-valued colleges in the United States as online tuition for Florida residents is only $129 per credit hour. If you’re not a resident, you’ll pay $552 per credit hour. Many students who have started their educational journey at the University of Florida’s Psychology department have gone on to careers in psychology, corrections, human resources, or rehabilitation.
9. Arizona State University
The online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Arizona State University educates students using both theoretical and applied coursework. The goal of the program is for students to develop excellent qualitative and quantitative research skills and improve their critical thinking so they can interact effectively with future employers, clients, and peers. Through foundational and specialized classes, students will be able to understand psychology’s place in our modern world. Many students have found meaningful jobs after graduation in fields like customer relations, forensic science, human resources, and law, all of which are fast-growing industries ideal for upward career mobility.
Tuition for ASU’s psychology program is around $13,000 per academic year for non-Arizona residents.
10. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology is offered entirely online and is focused on developing research skills, and teaching students practical applications for psychology. Students are also encouraged to do fieldwork and internships as part of their education, so they’re able to benefit from both theoretical and hands-on knowledge. There are also several College of Science-affiliated student organizations that help students succeed both academically and professionally. After graduation, students from UCF have gone on to continue their education with a post-graduate degree, but have also entered the workforce as career counselors, psychiatric technicians, and mental health care providers.
In-state online tuition is only $179 per credit hour, while out-of-state students pay $383. For the 120-credit B.S. program, this totals to either $21,502 or $46,063.
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