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How To Get A Psychology Degree

A psychology degree is a valuable asset for any program graduate. Four-year psychology degrees open up far more doors for a person than just those in the field of psychology, but most people choose psychology as a major to become a psychologist or an instructor.

Research Jobs And Degree Paths

Students start with a four-year degree program in psychology. After completing a bachelor's degree, it is possible to go on and earn a master's or doctoral degree. Prospective students should research the jobs they desire to decide which degree they need. For example, clinical psychologists, teachers and counselors typically have at least a master's or doctoral degree. A regular four-year degree is a useful tool for obtaining an administrative job in the medical field. It can also help a person get a job in a variety of other administrative positions. For example, some HR managers in non-medical businesses have psychology degrees.

Choose A School

The next step is to research different schools and their degree programs. It is important to choose schools that accept transfer credits of any past applicable courses taken. Most students choose a school based on tuition rates, program length and how the courses are delivered. Some people prefer an online or hybrid degree program, but some people learn better in a classroom setting. Also, some schools offer accelerated programs with extra credits each semester, which help a student finish the degree program faster. There are usually minimum GPA requirements to qualify for these.

Psychologist Salary And Projected Job Growth

For those who earn a four-year degree, salaries vary based on the job chosen. Some jobs only pay $20,000 annually, and some may pay as high as $50,000 or more in government positions requiring any form of four-year degree. For psychologists who earn a master's or doctoral degree and gain certifications necessary for becoming counselors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the annual average salary is about $69,000. Over the next decade, jobs are expected to grow by about 12 percent for psychologists. The best candidates for jobs, according to the BLS, will be those who have a doctoral degree and an applied specialty.

Top Online Psychology Programs

Rank School FT to PT
Faculty Ratio
Institution
Fin. Aid Rate
Acceptance Rate Retention Rate Graduation Rate Accred.
Years
Default
Rate
Job Place. Rate
1 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

201 Old Main,
University Park, Pennsylvania 16802-1589

(814) 865-4700

6.42 to 1 30% 52% 92% 86% 93 0% 83%
  Whether students want an online psychology education with a business focus or an emphasis in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, the online psychology program at Penn State will help learners meet their career goals by offering both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. In addition, the Penn State World Campus is the founder of the world's first fully online Psychology Club, connecting you to more than 100 members all over the world.
2 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

1 St Mary of Woods Coll,
Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana 47876-1099

(812) 535-5151

63.00 to 1 100% 64% 74% 62% 95 0% N/A
  The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods online program provides students with a solid liberal arts education. The school has 40 years of distance education experience and a learning approach tailored for adult students. The same doctoral-level instructors who teach the campus program also teach online psychology courses.
3 Arizona State University

University Drive and Mill Avenue,
Tempe, Arizona 85287

(480) 965-2100

11.79 to 1 75% 89% 80% 57% 83 0% 65%
  Through the ASU online program, students can learn from internationally recognized faculty, access collections and resources from ASU's eight award-winning libraries, and connect with tens of thousands of alumni and members of the community. The psychology program is part of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences that offers a broad range of courses in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
4 University of North Dakota

264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193,
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-8193

(800) 225-5863

9.82 to 1 48% 71% 77% 54% 101 2% N/A
  At the University of North Dakota, learners have the choice of completing their online psychology degree through two options: semester-based courses which follow the standard schedule of the university in a virtual classroom, or open-enrollment, independent study courses that allow students to take online courses at their own pace within a nine-month timespan.
5 Widener University-Main Campus

One University Place,
Chester, Pennsylvania 19013-5792

(610) 499-4000

0.94 to 1 95% 66% 71% 55% 60 0% 80%
  Widener University offers various research opportunities, membership in their Psychology Club and Psi Chi chapter, and access to student services and support. For undergraduate psychology majors interested in clinical studies, the preclinical psychology program is a gateway into Widener's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology Doctor of Psychology Program, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is the longest-running doctor of psychology program in the U.S.
6 Oregon State University

1500 S.W. Jefferson,
Corvallis, Oregon 97331

(541) 737-0123

2.36 to 1 64% 78% 81% 61% 90 2% N/A
  Oregon State University's online bachelor's degree in psychology is earned through the OSU Ecampus, and is offered by the School of Psychological Science within the College of Liberal Arts. The Ecampus provides readily available support services, including 24/7 library help and assistance, tech support, online tutoring, career services, and an academic adviser for every degree-seeking student.
7 Saint Joseph's College of Maine

278 Whites Bridge Rd,
Standish, Maine 04084-5236

(207) 892-6766

1.17 to 1 100% 80% 76% 51% 53 0% 89%
  With more than 30 years of experience in distance education, Saint Joseph's College of Maine provides students with the appropriate online degree to advance in a career, along with a personal academic advisor who will offer guidance and support throughout the program. Core requirement courses for the Bachelor of Science degree include lifespan development, psychopathology, and learning theories.
8 Washington State University

French Administration Building,
Pullman, Washington 99164-5910

(509) 335-3564

2.57 to 1 50% 76% 82% 67% 96 4% N/A
  Washington State University's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is part of a liberal arts education. Students must fulfill the WSU General Education Requirements (GER) as well as the College of Arts and Sciences graduation requirements to earn their degree. Instructors of the program have particular expertise in the areas of experimental and clinical psychology.
9 Drury University

900 N.Benton,
Springfield, Missouri 65802-3791

(417) 873-7879

3.97 to 1 71% 87% 83% 51% 99 8% 63%
  The Behavioral Sciences Department at Drury University's College of Continuing Professional Studies offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Through this program, students take a series of scientific core classes that are endorsed by the National Science Foundation, as well as complete an internship at an approved site.
10 University of Memphis

Southern Avenue,
Memphis, Tennessee 38152

(901) 678-2000

1.32 to 1 26% 62% 76% 40% 87 0% N/A
  The undergraduate psychology program at University of Memphis outlines five goals for their students to reach: a strong knowledge base of psychology, an understanding of research methods, critical thinking skills, the application of psychology, and awareness of personal and professional ethics in psychology. Concentrations in the department include general psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and cognitive science.