Top Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Programs

Written by: Psych Degree Starter Editorial Team   •  Apr 1, 2024


Choosing the right educational path is a pivotal decision for anyone interested in the fascinating field of human behavior and mental processes. In recent years, online bachelor’s degree programs in psychology have emerged as a popular choice for students seeking a flexible, accessible, and often more affordable way to pursue their academic and professional goals.

This guide explores some of the top online bachelor’s degree programs in psychology, designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for a rewarding career in psychology or related fields.

Our goal is to provide prospective students with comprehensive, accurate information to help navigate the selection process, ensuring a choice that aligns with their personal interests and professional aspirations.

Let’s explore what makes these online bacheloor’s degree in psychology programs stand out and how they can serve as a stepping stone to your future success.

Why Major in Psychology?

Psychology, the scientific study of mind and behavior, is a field that fascinates many due to its profound impact on understanding human nature.

Majoring in psychology offers a unique window into the complexities of human thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, laying the groundwork for a career that can truly make a difference in people’s lives. Here are several compelling reasons to consider a major in psychology:

Broad Application

The principles of psychology are applicable in virtually every aspect of human life. From education, healthcare, and business to sports, law enforcement, and beyond, understanding human behavior is a valuable asset.

Psychology majors gain insights that are beneficial in a variety of professional settings, making them versatile and employable across numerous industries.

Understanding of Self and Others

Studying psychology provides students with the tools to better understand themselves and the people around them. This knowledge can improve personal relationships, enhance communication skills, and foster empathy, contributing to personal development and the ability to help others effectively.

Foundation for Advanced Study

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is often the first step toward advanced graduate studies in psychology or related fields, such as counseling, social work, or psychiatry. For those interested in becoming clinical psychologists, therapists, or counselors, an undergraduate degree in psychology provides the essential foundation required for further specialization.

Diverse Career Opportunities

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology have access to a wide range of career paths. While some roles may require additional certification or degrees, many positions in human resources, marketing, education, and community services value the analytical and interpersonal skills developed through psychology studies.

Research and Analytical Skills

Psychology students learn to conduct research, analyze data, and think critically about complex issues. These skills are highly valued in many professions, including roles that involve data analysis, policy development, and strategic planning.

Making a Positive Impact

Many are drawn to psychology with the goal of making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and communities. Whether through clinical practice, educational programs, or community-based interventions, psychology majors have the opportunity to contribute to the well-being and mental health of society.

Choosing to major in psychology opens up a world of possibilities for understanding human behavior and making meaningful contributions to society. With the flexibility and accessibility of online programs, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology has never been more appealing for those looking to make a difference while advancing their own personal and professional goals.

Reasons to Study Psychology Online

Delving deeper into the advantages of pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in psychology, it’s clear that this educational path offers distinct benefits tailored to the diverse needs and goals of its students. Here are some compelling reasons to choose an online psychology program:

Accessibility to Quality Education

Online programs provide access to high-quality education regardless of your geographical location. This means you can enroll in top programs across the country or even internationally without the need to relocate. It breaks down barriers to education, making it possible for more students to pursue their passion for psychology.

Customized Learning Pace

Online learning often offers more flexibility in pacing compared to traditional classroom settings. Some programs allow students to progress through courses at a speed that suits their learning style and life commitments.

This personalized approach can lead to a deeper understanding of psychological concepts and more effective learning outcomes.

Enhanced Interaction and Networking

Contrary to the misconception that online learning limits social interaction, many online psychology programs foster a strong sense of community through discussion forums, group projects, and live online events. This environment enables students to network with peers and faculty members, building professional connections that can last a lifetime.

Immediate Application of Knowledge

Studying online allows you to immediately apply what you learn in your current job or personal life. This real-world application of psychological theories and practices can enhance your educational experience by providing practical examples of the concepts discussed in your courses.

Development of Self-Discipline and Time Management

The nature of online learning demands a high level of self-discipline and time management skills. Successfully navigating an online program demonstrates to future employers that you possess the initiative and self-motivation critical in many professional settings, particularly in roles that require independent work or remote collaboration.

Exposure to Diverse Perspectives

Online programs attract students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, enriching class discussions with diverse perspectives on psychological issues. This exposure can broaden your understanding of how cultural, societal, and individual differences influence behavior and mental processes.

Cutting-edge Content

Online psychology programs often feature curricula that include the latest research, theories, and practices in the field. This ensures that your education is current and relevant, preparing you for contemporary challenges and opportunities in psychology.

Choosing to study psychology online is not just a matter of convenience; it’s a strategic decision that offers a rich, interactive, and flexible educational experience.

With the benefits of accessibility, personalized pacing, enhanced networking, and exposure to cutting-edge content, online psychology programs stand out as a compelling choice for those seeking to delve into the complexities of the human mind and behavior.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Cost?

Understanding the cost of an online bachelor’s degree in psychology is crucial for prospective students. The investment in your education is significant, not only in terms of time but also financially. The cost can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of institution (public vs. private), residency status for state schools, and additional fees beyond tuition. Here’s what to consider:

Tuition Rates

  • Public vs. Private Institutions: Public universities often offer lower tuition rates for state residents compared to non-residents and private institutions. However, some private colleges may offer competitive tuition rates and financial aid packages.
  • Per Credit vs. Flat Rate: Some programs charge per credit hour, while others may offer a flat rate for full-time students. Understanding the pricing structure can help you estimate the total cost based on your planned course load.

Additional Costs

  • Books and Supplies: While online courses may utilize digital resources, some classes might require textbooks or specific software, adding to the total cost.
  • Technology Fees: Online students may incur technology fees to access learning management systems and other online resources.
  • Student Services Fee: Fees for library access, career services, and other student support services may be charged separately.

Estimating Total Cost

To accurately estimate the total cost of an online bachelor’s degree in psychology, consider not only the tuition but also the additional expenses. Moreover, compare the cost against the potential return on investment, such as career opportunities and earning potential in the field of psychology.

Financial planning is an essential step in preparing for your degree. Prospective students should research and reach out to financial aid offices at potential schools to understand the full scope of costs and financial support available.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Curriculum

The curriculum for an online bachelor’s degree in psychology is designed to provide a broad foundation in the principles of psychology, along with the opportunity to specialize in areas of interest. Here’s a closer look at what students can expect:

Core Courses

Most programs begin with core courses that cover essential topics in psychology, such as:

  • Introduction to Psychology: An overview of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and historical trends in psychology.
  • Research Methods in Psychology: Training in research design, data analysis, and interpretation, emphasizing both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
  • Biological Bases of Behavior: Exploration of the physiological, genetic, and neurobiological factors that influence human behavior.
  • Developmental Psychology: Study of human growth and development across the lifespan, from infancy through old age.
  • Social Psychology: Examination of how individual behavior is influenced by social interactions, including group dynamics, social perception, and social influence.
  • Abnormal Psychology: Analysis of psychological disorders, their symptoms, etiologies, and treatments.

Elective Courses and Specializations

In addition to the core curriculum, students have the opportunity to take elective courses that align with their specific interests or career goals. Examples include:

  • Cognitive Psychology: Focus on mental processes such as perception, memory, thought, and problem-solving.
  • Forensic Psychology: Application of psychological principles to legal issues, including criminal behavior, the legal system, and victim advocacy.
  • Health Psychology: Study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness, and healthcare.
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology: Examination of workplace behavior and how psychological principles can be applied to improve work environments and productivity.

Fieldwork and Practical Experience

Though more common in graduate-level programs, some online bachelor’s programs in psychology may offer opportunities for fieldwork or practical experience, especially for students interested in applied areas of psychology.

Accreditation and Quality

When selecting an online bachelor’s degree in psychology, ensure the program is accredited by a reputable accrediting body. Accreditation ensures the program meets high academic standards and graduates are prepared for further education or entry into the workforce.

What Are the Admission Requirements for Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Programs?

Admission requirements for online bachelor’s degree programs in psychology vary by institution but generally include several common elements. Understanding these requirements can help prospective students prepare their application packages effectively. Here’s an overview of what you might expect:

High School Diploma or Equivalent

  • Transcripts: Applicants are typically required to submit high school transcripts. Some programs may also consider GED scores as equivalent to a high school diploma.

Standardized Test Scores

  • SAT/ACT Scores: While many online programs have become test-optional, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some may still require SAT or ACT scores as part of the admissions process.

Application Materials

  • Application Form: A completed application form, which includes basic information about the applicant and their educational background.
  • Personal Statement: A personal statement or essay detailing the applicant’s interest in psychology, career goals, and reasons for choosing the program.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters from teachers, counselors, or other professionals who can attest to the applicant’s readiness for college-level work and interest in psychology.

Additional Requirements

  • Interviews: Some programs may conduct interviews (either in person or virtually) to better understand the applicant’s motivations and fit for the program.
  • Work Experience: While not commonly required for undergraduate admissions, relevant work or volunteer experience in psychology or related fields can strengthen an application.

Potential Exceptions

  • Transfer Students: Students transferring from another college or university may have different requirements, such as providing college transcripts and meeting specific GPA criteria.
  • International Students: Additional requirements for international students can include English language proficiency tests (TOEFL or IELTS) and transcripts evaluated by a recognized credential evaluation service.

Tips for Applicants

  1. Start Early: Begin gathering materials and preparing your application well in advance of the deadline to ensure you have time to complete every component thoughtfully.
  2. Highlight Your Interest: Use the personal statement to clearly articulate your passion for psychology and how the program aligns with your career objectives.
  3. Seek Meaningful Recommendations: Choose recommenders who are familiar with your academic abilities, character, and interest in psychology.
  4. Research Program Requirements: Carefully review the specific requirements of each program to which you are applying, as they can vary significantly.

Admission to online bachelor’s degree programs in psychology is competitive, and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. A strong application demonstrates not only academic readiness but also a clear commitment to pursuing a career in psychology.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Programs

When considering an online bachelor’s degree in psychology, one of the most critical factors to evaluate is the program’s accreditation. Accreditation is a process by which independent agencies evaluate the quality and standards of educational programs to ensure they meet certain criteria. For students, attending an accredited program is crucial for several reasons:

Ensures Quality Education

Accreditation is a mark of quality assurance. It indicates that a program has met established standards for its curriculum, faculty qualifications, student services, and administrative practices. This ensures you receive a comprehensive and rigorous education that is respected by professionals and employers in the field of psychology.

Facilitates Transfer of Credits

If you plan to transfer credits between institutions or pursue further education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, attending an accredited program is essential. Most institutions only accept credits from programs that are accredited by recognized accrediting bodies.

Required for Licensure and Certification

For those who wish to pursue licensure or certification in psychology or related fields, graduating from an accredited program is often a prerequisite. Accreditation ensures that the education you receive meets the professional standards required to qualify for licensure exams.

Enhances Employment Opportunities

Employers often prefer or require candidates to have degrees from accredited programs. This is because accreditation provides assurance that the candidate has received an education that prepares them adequately for professional practice in psychology.

Types of Accreditation

  • Regional Accreditation: This is the most prestigious form of accreditation. In the United States, regional accrediting commissions evaluate institutions as a whole. If a university offering an online bachelor’s degree in psychology is regionally accredited, its programs, including online offerings, are considered to meet high standards of quality.
  • Programmatic Accreditation: While there is no specific programmatic accrediting body for undergraduate psychology programs, the American Psychological Association (APA) accredits doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology. For bachelor’s programs, the presence of regional accreditation is a strong indicator of quality.

How to Check for Accreditation

Before enrolling in an online bachelor’s degree program in psychology, verify the program’s accreditation status by:

  • Consulting the Institution’s Website: Accredited institutions typically display their accreditation status prominently on their website.
  • Using the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs: Maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, this database allows you to search for accredited institutions and programs.
  • Checking with the Relevant Accrediting Agency: Visit the website of the accrediting body mentioned by the institution to verify the accreditation status.

Choosing an accredited online bachelor’s degree in psychology is a step towards ensuring that your education will be recognized and valued, paving the way for future academic and professional opportunities.

Career Options for Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree Holders

Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology opens a wide array of career paths. While some positions in psychology require advanced degrees, a bachelor’s degree can serve as a strong foundation for entry-level roles in various fields or as a stepping stone to graduate studies. Here are some career options for graduates with a bachelor’s in psychology:

Human Resources (HR) Specialist

HR specialists utilize their understanding of human behavior to manage recruitment, training, employee relations, and benefits administration. They play a key role in shaping organizational culture and enhancing employee satisfaction.

Market Research Analyst

These professionals analyze consumer behavior, preferences, and trends to help companies understand how to market their products or services effectively. A background in psychology is beneficial for understanding consumer motivations and decision-making processes.

Case Manager

Case managers work in social services to support individuals and families in need. They assess clients’ needs, develop plans to address those needs, and connect clients with resources and services. A psychology degree equips case managers with the empathy and understanding necessary to work effectively with diverse populations.

Sales Representative

Sales roles require an understanding of psychology to effectively communicate with and persuade customers. Psychology graduates can apply their knowledge of human behavior to develop effective sales strategies and build strong customer relationships.

Childcare Worker

Childcare workers can benefit from a background in developmental psychology to support the emotional and developmental needs of children. They may work in daycare centers, preschools, or as nannies, providing care and educational activities.

Social Services Assistant

These assistants support the work of social workers and psychologists by helping clients locate and utilize community resources, assisting with paperwork, and providing direct support to individuals in various settings.

Psychiatric Technician

Psychiatric technicians work in mental health facilities, hospitals, and residential care facilities, providing care and support to individuals with mental health conditions. A bachelor’s degree in psychology provides a foundational understanding of mental health that is crucial for this role.

Graduate Studies

Many graduates choose to further their education by pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology or a related field such as counseling, social work, or applied behavior analysis. Advanced degrees open up opportunities for clinical practice, research, and teaching positions in psychology.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Salary and Job Outlook

The salary and job outlook for individuals with an online bachelor’s degree in psychology can vary widely based on the specific career path chosen, geographical location, and level of experience. However, understanding the general trends can provide valuable insights for prospective students considering this degree. Here’s an overview based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and other industry sources:

  • Diverse Opportunities: Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology have access to a range of career paths in sectors such as healthcare, business, education, and social services. The versatility of a psychology degree allows for opportunities in both psychology-specific roles and positions that value analytical and interpersonal skills.
  • Growth Areas: Certain areas within psychology and related fields are experiencing faster-than-average growth. For example, positions in healthcare, social services, and market research are projected to grow due to an increased awareness of mental health issues and the importance of data-driven decision-making in business.

Salary Expectations

  • Varies by Field: Salaries for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can vary significantly based on the job. For instance, HR specialists and market research analysts typically earn median annual salaries in the range of $60,000 to $70,000, depending on experience and location. Entry-level positions in social services or administrative roles may start lower but offer room for growth with experience and additional qualifications.
  • Advanced Degrees: For those pursuing further education, advanced degrees in psychology or related fields can lead to significantly higher earning potential, particularly in clinical positions or specialized areas of research.

Job Outlook

  • Steady Demand: The overall demand for professionals with a background in psychology is expected to grow in line with or slightly above the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by a greater focus on mental health services, educational support, and human resources management.
  • Impact of Technology: The increasing use of technology in education and healthcare provides new opportunities for psychology graduates, particularly in roles that support mental health services delivered through digital platforms or involve analyzing data on consumer behavior.

Scholarships and Financial Aid Information for Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology online can be financially challenging, but numerous scholarships and financial aid options are available to help ease the burden.

Understanding and accessing these resources can significantly reduce the cost of your education. Here’s a guide to navigating financial aid and scholarships for prospective psychology students:

Federal Financial Aid

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) : The first step in securing financial aid is completing the FAFSA. It determines your eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. Many states and colleges also use FAFSA data to award their own aid.
  • Federal Pell Grants : Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded based on undergraduate financial need and can be a significant aid source.
  • Federal Student Loans: These loans typically offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while you are in school at least half-time.


  • Psychology-Specific Scholarships: Many organizations and institutions offer scholarships specifically for psychology students. These can be based on academic achievement, research interests, or underrepresented backgrounds in the field.
  • General Scholarships: Broad scholarships not specific to psychology are also available and can be based on factors such as community service, leadership qualities, or financial need.

Work-Study Programs

  • Federal Work-Study: Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Work-study jobs are often related to the student’s course of study or community service.

Institutional Aid

  • University Scholarships and Grants: Many online programs offer their own scholarships, grants, and tuition discounts for eligible students. Check with the financial aid office at the institutions you are considering for available opportunities.

Tips for Applying for Financial Aid and Scholarships

  1. Start Early: Many scholarships and programs have early deadlines, so begin your search and application process as soon as possible.
  2. Research Widely: Utilize online databases, your school’s financial aid office, and professional psychology organizations to find scholarships and grants for which you might be eligible.
  3. Apply for Multiple Opportunities: Don’t limit yourself to just one or two options. The more scholarships and grants you apply for, the better your chances of receiving financial aid.
  4. Tailor Your Applications: Make sure your application essays and materials speak directly to the criteria for each scholarship or grant, highlighting your qualifications and interests in psychology.

Navigating the landscape of financial aid and scholarships requires diligence and persistence, but the effort can significantly reduce the cost of obtaining your degree. By taking advantage of the resources available, you can focus more on your studies and less on financial concerns as you pursue your education in psychology.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology FAQ

When considering an online bachelor’s degree in psychology, prospective students often have several questions about what to expect and how to make informed decisions. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions that can help clarify the process and the potential outcomes of pursuing this degree.

How Much Can You Earn With an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?

Earning potential with a bachelor’s degree in psychology varies widely depending on the career path chosen.

Entry-level positions in fields like human resources, market research, and social services typically offer starting salaries ranging from $35,000 to $50,000 annually.

However, roles that require additional certifications or specializations, as well as positions in certain industries like technology and healthcare, may offer higher starting salaries. Advancing in your career or obtaining further education can significantly increase earning potential.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?

The standard time to complete an online bachelor’s degree in psychology is four years of full-time study. However, some programs offer accelerated options that allow students to graduate in less time, while part-time students may take longer to complete their degree depending on their course load each semester.

Is Getting an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Worth it?

Obtaining an online bachelor’s degree in psychology can be highly rewarding for individuals interested in understanding human behavior and applying this knowledge in various professional settings. It provides a solid foundation for graduate studies in psychology or related fields and opens up diverse career opportunities.

The flexibility of online learning also allows students to balance their studies with personal and professional commitments, making higher education more accessible.

Can I Earn an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Entirely Online?

Yes, many institutions offer bachelor’s degrees in psychology that can be completed entirely online. These programs are designed to provide the same rigorous curriculum as their on-campus counterparts, including opportunities for research, internships, and interaction with faculty and peers through digital platforms.

What Careers Can an Individual With an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Get?

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology have access to a variety of career paths, including roles in human resources, market research, social services, case management, sales, and more.

While some positions in psychology and mental health care require advanced degrees, a bachelor’s degree can serve as a valuable stepping stone to those professions or offer entry into related fields where understanding human behavior is an asset.

Empowering Your Future with a Degree in Psychology

Embarking on the journey to earn an online bachelor’s degree in psychology is a decision that can open doors to a myriad of opportunities. This path not only lays the foundational knowledge necessary to understand complex human behaviors but also equips you with critical thinking, research, and interpersonal skills that are highly valued across various professions.

Your future in psychology begins with a commitment to understanding the depths of the human mind and heart. With dedication, resilience, and the right educational foundation, you can achieve your goals and contribute meaningfully to the field of psychology and the well-being of individuals and communities worldwide.

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