Online Psychology Degree Programs
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WHAT IS AN ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE?
Online psychology degree programs offer a comprehensive study of the human mind and behavior, exploring the intricacies of brain function and development, as well as the various factors that shape our thoughts and actions. These programs provide an opportunity to delve into new theories, analyze case studies, and apply practical experience towards the development of a skill set applicable in any field where human behavior plays a crucial role.
In addition to studying normal behavior, psychology programs also delve into areas where things can go awry, such as substance abuse, criminal psychology, and crisis counseling. By developing a deep understanding of these topics, graduates can gain the skills necessary to assist individuals in overcoming their problems and living healthier lives.
Obtaining an online psychology degree can serve as a launching pad for a variety of career paths, including the pursuit of a doctorate in psychology, which is typically required to become a licensed psychologist. However, a psychology degree can also appeal to those interested in gaining insight into human behavior, including the reasons behind both positive and negative actions.
Moreover, psychology concepts are widely applied in diverse fields such as business, healthcare, and education. By studying psychology, individuals can acquire a valuable toolkit of ideas and theories that can help them better understand human behavior, and apply this knowledge to achieve success in their chosen profession.
TYPES OF ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE PROGRAMS
Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Organizational Behavior
The bachelor’s degree program in psychology is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the fundamental principles of human behavior and its application in group settings. The curriculum covers a range of topics, including social ethics, human relations, and leadership psychology, which help students to develop a nuanced understanding of how psychology concepts can be applied to real-world scenarios.
Moreover, the program emphasizes the impact of group dynamics on individual decision-making, preparing students to excel in collaborative work environments. For those seeking advanced education or career advancement opportunities, similar psychology programs are also available at the master’s and doctoral levels. Pursuing a graduate degree in psychology can provide more in-depth knowledge and open up research and teaching positions in the field.
Master of Science in Psychology
Master’s degree programs in psychology offer a comprehensive education that combines coursework, research, and internships. These programs are tailored to not only expand students’ general knowledge of psychology, but also provide them with the opportunity to delve deeper into specific areas of interest.
The curriculum typically covers a range of topics, including psychology theories, ethics, and research methods. Graduates of these programs can pursue a variety of career paths, such as becoming a therapist, counselor, or research specialist. Students can also opt to specialize in niche fields like forensic psychology, clinical psychology, or consumer psychology, among others.
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology – General Psychology
The PhD program in psychology is geared towards building upon students’ existing knowledge and fostering critical thinking and advanced research skills. Through a combination of coursework and hands-on research, students deepen their understanding of the key concepts and theories that underpin the field.
The curriculum covers a range of foundational topics in psychology, including statistics, data collection, and analysis. As with most PhD programs, a heavy emphasis is placed on research, with students expected to conduct independent research and contribute original insights to the field.
While the program provides a broad overview of psychology, students also have the flexibility to specialize in an area of interest such as health psychology. By the end of the program, graduates are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and research experience needed to pursue a wide range of careers in academia, research, and industry.
ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE PROGRAMS
In recent years, there has been a surge in popularity for psychology degree programs. Perhaps this is due to our society becoming more receptive to the ideas and insights that psychology has to offer. People are increasingly curious about the ways in which psychology can enhance our lives and help us better understand ourselves and others.
As a result, there are now a wide variety of degree programs available to cater to different interests within the field of psychology. Whether you’re interested in clinical psychology, forensic psychology, or any other area of specialization, there are degree programs out there to help you pursue your goals and expand your understanding of the human mind and behavior.
If you have a passion for understanding human behavior, an online psychology degree may be the perfect choice for you. These programs delve into topics such as human emotions and responses to the world. A comprehensive curriculum can equip students with a solid foundation of knowledge that can lead to a diverse range of career opportunities in the field.
Advanced degrees are often required for many positions in the field of psychology. For example, a master’s degree earned online can qualify you to work as a school psychologist. However, to diagnose or treat mental health issues, a PhD is typically necessary. Additionally, earning a master’s degree can increase the likelihood of being accepted into a PhD program.
A typical online Bachelor’s degree program in psychology includes introductory courses in subjects such as math, natural sciences, and social sciences. As you progress, you will delve into more advanced courses, such as personality theory and social psychology, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the workings of the human mind. This program can serve as a foundation for further education and career advancement.
There are two main types of Bachelor’s programs:
- The online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology program typically emphasizes the social sciences. Through this program, you can explore how psychology can be applied in fields such as social work and education. Additionally, you can delve into specialized areas of psychology, such as child psychology and forensic psychology.
- The online B.S. program in Psychology has a stronger emphasis on mathematics and science. Students can expect to gain a solid foundation in the natural sciences, including courses such as statistics. This program may be particularly appealing to those interested in pursuing advanced degrees in the field.
By enrolling in an online psychology master’s degree program, you’ll delve into advanced-level concepts and research methodologies. These courses could include training on designing research and interpreting results, as well as discussing and analyzing complex theories in the field. If you opt for a clinical concentration, you may also learn how to provide counseling to patients.
In some programs, you might be asked to choose a focus that interests you, such as:
- Forensic Psychology: Forensic Psychology is a field that applies psychological knowledge and theories to legal cases. As a student in this area, you may learn how to evaluate mental states in criminal cases or assess the psychological impact of victimization.
- Educational Psychology: Online degree programs in educational psychology focus on the intersection of psychology and education. Through these programs, students can gain knowledge about the various factors that can impact learning and development, and learn how to use research to improve educational practices. Areas of study may include how individuals learn, the role of motivation in learning, and how to design effective educational interventions. Graduates of this program may go on to work in a variety of roles, such as instructional designers, curriculum developers, or school psychologists.
- Addiction Psychology: An area of psychology that deals with helping individuals struggling with addiction to overcome their addiction, whether it’s drug or gambling addiction. Students in this field will learn about prevention and treatment strategies for substance abuse. The focus will be on developing counseling techniques to help individuals struggling with addiction.
It is important to distinguish between applied and clinical psychology master’s programs. Applied psychology programs use the principles of the field to solve problems in various areas, such as using forensic psychology in the legal field. Clinical psychology, on the other hand, focuses more on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues.
Clinical psychology programs focus on providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to work with patients who have mental health issues. Graduates of these programs can become mental health counselors and help individuals dealing with addiction or mental illness, among other issues.
Doctoral programs in psychology are designed to provide students with advanced skills in research methodology, data analysis, and critical thinking. These programs aim to develop students’ ability to conduct independent research and communicate their findings effectively. To graduate, students are required to demonstrate a strong research capability, in addition to a comprehensive understanding of psychology, through exams, research projects, and dissertation defense. Graduates of doctoral programs in psychology are well-prepared to pursue careers in academia, research, clinical practice, or other related fields.
Some common Doctoral programs include:
- General (Ph.D.) in Psychology: A Ph.D. in Psychology provides students with the skills and knowledge to address diverse mental health issues that people face. Although students may choose to specialize in a particular area, this program offers a comprehensive understanding of the field, enabling graduates to conduct research and treat various patients.
- School (PsyD) Psychology:The PsyD in School Psychology is an alternative to a Ph.D. program that emphasizes the practical application of treatment rather than research. This program prepares students for careers as school counselors and offers greater career options and earning potential compared to a master’s degree.
WHAT DO PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE COURSES LOOK LIKE?
A psychology degree can offer graduates a diverse range of career opportunities beyond private practice. The skills and techniques taught in these programs can be applied in various settings, such as hospitals, schools, and other industries. With their expertise in communication and observation, psychologists can effectively solve problems in individual or group settings.
Most degree programs will include the main courses.
Some common courses include:
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN A MASTER’S DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY?
The duration of an online psych degree program varies based on the degree level and the time a student can allocate to their studies. A full-time student pursuing an Associate’s degree would need to complete 60-65 credit hours of coursework and can complete the program in less than three years.
The length of time required to complete an online psychology degree depends on the degree level and the amount of time students can dedicate to their studies. For those pursuing a bachelor’s degree, there are two options: a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Typically, it takes around four years to complete an online bachelor’s degree, with an average of 120-125 credits required. Students who have earned an associate’s degree may transfer credits toward a bachelor’s degree program, which can save time and prevent them from having to start from scratch.
To obtain a Master’s degree in psychology, you typically need to complete around 30 credit hours after completing your bachelor’s degree. This usually takes around two years of online study. On the other hand, earning a PhD in psychology can take between four to six years of dedicated study.
HOW MUCH WILL A MASTER’S DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY COST?
The cost of earning a psych degree online varies a lot. Psych majors paid a median in state public tuition of $7,178. For out of state private colleges, they paid a median tuition of $30,746. Of course, many schools fall between those two extremes. Compare the tuition costs for these schools offering psych programs:
COLLEGES THAT OFFER PSYCHOLOGY DEGREES
|SCHOOL||2017 DEGREES AWARDED||2019/20 TUITION (OUT OF STATE UNLESS *)|
|Florida International University||1,260||$18,963|
|University Of Central Florida||1,190||$22,467|
|Southern New Hampshire University||1,095||$31,136*|
|University Of California Los Angeles||1,070||$42,994|
|California State University Northridge||901||$18,857|
|University Of California-Irvine||873||$43,481|
Estimated for full time, beginning undergrad students
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ACCREDITED PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE PROGRAM
Accreditation is essential to ensure that your program meets specific standards and objectives, such as program quality and whether graduates of the program are well-prepared for their field. It also helps address updates and changes in the field of psychology. As the field evolves, accredited programs should adapt their curriculum to provide the latest knowledge to their students. Accredited psychology programs undergo regular reviews and continuously seek ways to enhance their program.
FINDING ACCREDITED PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMS & SCHOOLS
To begin with, it’s essential to ensure that the school you choose has regional accreditation, which confirms that the institution adheres to specific standards. In the United States, there are six regional accrediting bodies responsible for this task.
Next, it’s important to check if the program you’re interested in has program-specific accreditation. The American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation accredits doctoral programs in Psychology. The APA reviews programs in several areas, including:
- Clinical psychology
- Counseling psychology
- School psychology
Furthermore, the APA Commission on Accreditation also accredits some psychology internships and post-doctoral residencies. However, it’s important to note that CoA doesn’t accredit psychology Bachelor’s or Master’s programs.
CAREERS IN THE PSYCHOLOGY FIELD
According to recent statistics, there are approximately 2.64 million psychology graduates currently employed in various fields, such as counseling, social work, and psychology. The job prospects for these graduates are promising, with a growth rate of 3.83% between 2017 and 2018 alone. Interestingly, a majority of psychology graduates are female, with 78.2% of degrees awarded to women. On average, psychology graduates are around 41.2 years old.
TOP STATES FOR PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE HOLDERS
This table shows states with the highest employment levels for Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists. State data varies for psych degree holders in other careers.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|District Of Columbia||710||$95,500|
PSYCHOLOGY CAREER PATHS AND POTENTIAL SALARIES
The employment outlook for psychology positions is diverse, with some roles projected to grow at an average rate and others expected to grow faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here is a guide to some of the popular career paths that many psychology graduates choose. It includes the minimum education required for each role, as well as the 2018 median salary and job outlook through 2028.
CLINICAL, COUNSELING, & SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST
Psychologists in this field specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health, emotional, and behavioral conditions. They employ various therapeutic techniques, such as psychotherapy, to assist their patients. Some psychologists concentrate on particular populations, such as school psychologists who collaborate with students to address problems related to their behavior and academic performance.
INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS
Industrial-organizational psychologists use their knowledge of psychology to improve the workplace. They study topics such as work style, employee morale, and leadership. By doing so, they can help managers develop happier and more productive work environments. In this field, you will learn about how psychological principles apply to companies and organizations. You may also gain experience in research design and statistical analysis as you explore the field.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST
Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) specialize in helping individuals, couples, and families navigate and overcome relationship issues. MFTs utilize various therapeutic techniques to help patients communicate their emotions and work through their problems in healthy ways. MFTs have a systemic perspective, meaning they view problems within the context of relationships and systems. They often work with couples, children, and families, including parents.