ba in psychology online

Last Updated on January 7, 2022

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The 5 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs In Psychology for 2021

Danika Miller pictureDanika Miller | Education ReporterJune 9, 2021

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Thinking about majoring in psychology? An undergraduate psychology degree online will not only open doors to what could become a versatile career, but it can also offer you the opportunity to continue your education and become a psychologist, which is a field with high average salaries and steady career growth. 

As of 2020, the median annual wage for psychologists was about $82,180. The field also had a projected job growth of about 3% through 2029  — which is on par with the national average in all fields.

To accomplish your goal of becoming a psychologist or obtaining a position in a similar field, you’ll need to start with a bachelor’s degree. Online bachelor’s programs in psychology will offer you both the flexibility and affordability you are looking for in a school. And, some of the best schools also offer the cheapest online psychology degrees, making the cost of obtaining your bachelor’s degree in psychology more affordable.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

The 5 Most Affordable Online Psychology Degrees of 2021

COLLAPSE ALL EXPAND ALL

  1. University of Louisiana at MonroeLOCATIONMonroe, LATUITION$$$$$
  2. Florida International UniversityLOCATIONMiami, FLTUITION$$$$$
  3. Eastern Washington UniversityLOCATIONCheney, WATUITION$$$$$
  4. Fayetteville State UniversityLOCATIONFayetteville, NCTUITION$$$$$
  5. McNeese State UniversityLOCATIONLake Charles, LATUITION$$$$$
  • Methodology: Here’s How We Rank Schools

Here Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Online Psychology Degrees

  • How much does an online psychology degree cost?
  • How long does an online psychology degree take to complete?
  • How can I choose the best online psychology degree program??

Psychology Online Degree Overview

A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree earned at a college after about four years of education. If you wish to pursue a career in psychology, a bachelor’s degree is the first step.

You can major in psychology with a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. The psychology courses will generally be similar, but a bachelor of arts will include some humanities-based general education requirements, while a bachelor of science will emphasize science and math classes. A B.A. in psychology may require more counseling and theory classes, while a B.S. in science may require more research and clinical courses.

Depending on the career in psychology you’re aiming for, you may choose to pursue a master’s and doctoral degree as well. After a four-year bachelor’s degree program, you’ll spend another two years working on a master’s degree, and two to four more years in a doctoral program. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to put your education into practice at clinical residencies and practicum rotations.

Best Value Schools created a psychology career guide to help you determine if the degree is right for you.

Degree Requirements

The admissions requirements and prerequisites will vary from program to program. In general, you will need to meet the requirements for admission to the college or university you are considering, which will be at least a high school diploma or GED. You may also need to submit standardized test scores, like SAT or ACT results, for admission. Other application requirements will vary.

After you are admitted to the school you’ve applied to, you may also need to apply for admission to the psychology program at the school. Some majors require special applications to be admitted into the program.

Common Psychology Courses

You’ll have to complete a wide range of classes to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, including general education classes like math and English, as well as the required psychology courses in your major independent of the psychology concentration you choose.

In general, this degree plan for this major will require you to take psychology classes like child and adult development,  industrial-organizational psychology, and other behavioral science courses. You’ll likely need to complete electives as well, though the elective and graduation requirements will vary from school to school.

Curious what your classes will look like if you pursue this degree? Let’s take a look at what some of the typical psychology classes are for this degree:

Abnormal Psychology

Most programs will require students to study abnormal psychology, which focuses on the biological, environmental, and psychosocial factors that are involved in psychopathology and behavioral maladjustment. This course covers a wide range of psychological disorders, including substance abuse, anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, mood disorders, and personality disorders.

Psychological Assessment

In a psychological assessment course, you’ll learn how to assess a client’s personality, cognitive abilities, interests, and values. The subject matter for this course can include test administration, development, reliability, scoring methods, validation, and test results interpretation.

Social Psychology

A course in social psychology will help you explore how social context plays a role in people’s behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. These courses teach you how social influence can shape group behavior or how social environments contribute to issues with aggression or attraction. These types of courses also cover topics like gender norms and other social constructs related to psychology.

Psychology Career Paths

There are a number of different career paths you can venture down with a degree in psychology. While some will require a graduate degree, others offer a feasible path to employment with just an undergraduate degree in psychology.

Potential career paths include:

  • Human resources manager
  • Psychology professor*
  • Psychology teacher, high school
  • Child psychologist
  • Mental health professional
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Drug and alcohol counselor
  • Behavior analyst*
  • Clinical psychologist*
  • Correctional officer
  • Industrial psychologist
  • Mental health counselor
  • Program evaluation consultant
  • Social behavioral scientist

Job Outlook and Salary

With an online bachelor’s degree in psychology, you have the ability to choose from a wide range of careers. Among the most popular career options for psychology students is working as a psychologist. This career path had a median wage of about $82,180 as of 2020, with a projected job growth rate of about 3%, according to BLS. But, while this is a popular path to pursue, you’ll need a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology to pursue it — and the licensing required to practice.

You can also pursue other career paths with this type of degree, including fields like social work and sociology. The average wage earned by social workers was about $51,760 per year as of 2020, and the field had a high projected job growth rate of about 13% through 2029. Sociologists earned a median annual wage of about $86,110 per year as of 2020, and the field had a projected job growth rate of about 4% through 2029.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Psychology Students

Coming up with the funds to attend a college or university is one of many challenges many students face. Luckily, there are psychology scholarships you can apply for if you’re a student pursuing an undergraduate psychology degree. These include:

Future Counselors of America Scholarship

Offered by DatingAdvice.com, this scholarship is for undergraduates and graduates pursuing degrees in psychology. In order to qualify for the Future Counselors of America Scholarship, you’ll need to have at least a 3.5 GPA and submit a 500- to 900-word essay on the psychology of online dating.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: June 30

Sharon Stephens Brehm Undergraduate Psychology Scholarships

The Sharon Stephens Brehm Undergraduate Psychology Scholarships is available to psychology undergraduate students who show financial need. To qualify, students must have at least a 3.5 GPA and be enrolled as a psychology major for the upcoming semester.

Amount: $5,000
Deadline: July 1

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship

The NIH offers this undergraduate scholarship to students with disadvantaged backgrounds who are seeking degrees and careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. The NIH program also offers paid research training and employment at the NIH after graduation.

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: March 17

Related Degrees

  • Social workIn a social work degree program, you’ll focus your studies on improving and empowering the lives of groups and individuals. While psychology is focused on the science of the mind, social work focuses on the wellbeing of an individual or group, though both professions seek to improve the lives of others. Should you choose to study social work, you may be able to pursue positions as a social worker for government entities and hospitals.
  • SociologyWhile psychology often focuses on the individual, sociology focuses on group dynamics. Sociologists study how humans are impacted by society and how society is impacted by humans. As a sociologist, you can find work as a sociologist, an educator, or social worker.
  • EducationBoth psychologists and educators focus on teaching others how to improve their lives and acquire skills. However, education takes a more day-to-day generalized approach to building life skills as opposed to being focused on just mental health. With an education degree, you can become a teacher, an administrator, or work in other areas of education.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Online Bachelor’s in Psychology?

Tuition costs for an online undergraduate degree in psychology will vary depending on the program you chose and your residency status. Some schools will charge about $100 more per credit if you live out of state. Other programs will offer a flat price for online students, regardless of where you live. 

The programs we ranked ranged in price between $100 per credit and $460 per credit on average, and programs usually require you to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. After four years of education, that can total between $12,000 and $55,000 for tuition costs. There will likely be fees and other associated costs as well.

The 5 Most Affordable Online Psychology Degrees of 2021

RankSchoolLocation
1University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroe, LA
2Florida International UniversityMiami, FL
3Eastern Washington UniversityCheney, WA
4Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, NC
5McNeese State UniversityLake Charles, L

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