Online Psychology Degree

Many online colleges offer psychology degrees to meet its varied uses. Psych majors apply their skills in counseling, business, research, marketing and forensics. If human behavior interests you, it may be a perfect time to earn a psychology degree online. 

A psychology degree studies behavior and the mental processes that mold the way we act. It does this through the lens of science, research and testing. You may find online psych degrees at all levels. Bachelor’s, master’s and PhD. At each stage, you are likely to study psychology as an applied profession and science.  

Bachelor’s in psychology introduce you to the field. You often find out how the brain works and develops through the lifespan. Many programs also prep you to continue your education. Master’s in psychology probe further into theory and practice. Some programs help you prep for a doctorate. And others deepen your applied skills for use in a career. A PhD in psychology may prep you to teach, consult and research. There is also the PsyD if you want a psychologist license. Most clinical, counseling and research psychologists have one or the other. 

Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Many online colleges offer either a BA or BS in psychology. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) often entails more classes in humanities. And a Bachelor of Science (BS), more in statistics and testing. The BA or BS in psych is an entry level degree. It often has one of two aims. One is to help you gain skills and insights about behavior. This might allow you to move into another area, say sales or marketing.  

Another use is to prep you to pursue a grad degree. Jobs in psychology and counseling need one, if this is your goal. Classes in an online bachelor’s program frames key terms, ideas and theories. They also take you through biology, history and life span. To get into an online college’s psych program you need a high school diploma. Or its equal. Other standards may vary and include GPA, ACT and SAT scores. 

Another thing that varies is tuition. The cost at a public school averages $6,904. But if you pursue your degree out of state, a private college costs about $30,132.  

Master’s Degree in Psychology

Online grad level psych programs award Master of Arts (MA) and Science (MS) degrees. Both forms allow you to refine expertise and deepen into an area of interest. There’s no hard and fast rule, but an MS may stress research and behavior sciences. And an MA may lean towards liberal arts and literature review. The classes for MS and MA degrees are often alike too. Most programs discuss the motivators that underlie actions. As such, you may study brain chemistry, anatomy, ailments and also, abnormality. 

While you study psych as a science, you often gain quality research skills. Things like learning to conduct an experiment and writing up findings.  At this point, an MS and MA may differ. Some will be terminal and stand on their own programs. So, they often prep you to pursue a career when you graduate. Yet other programs may entail a thesis and a lot of research. This work is to prep you for the rigors of a PhD or PsyD. And may hone your grasp of theory and method.  

To gain entry into a master’s program you need a bachelor’s degree. You may also need to support this with other material. Like GRE scores, a certain GPA, CV, and strong references. One other thing that varies is the cost of a master’s degree. If you choose a public school with an online program, it may cost about $11,617

PhD in Psychology

If you aim to become a psychologist, you need a doctorate degree. Many online colleges confer either a PhD in psych or PsyD, and both are the highest awards. PhD and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) each have a distinct focus. For the PhD it is research and academia. And for the PsyD it is clinical practice. 

Many who pursue a PhD strive to teach, consult, research and publish. So even an online program may ask you to visit your campus. To student teach, test lab skills or work with a mentor. To personalize your studies further you can choose an anchor point. This becomes the focus of the research you do. And so, defines your dissertation.  

Online PsyD programs may be harder to find than PhDs. If you do, keep in mind these may be license tracks. So, make sure you look for APA accredited programs. You might enroll in a PhD program with a bachelor’s and / or master’s degree. And this often needs to be in psychology or a related area. Many online schools set other standards also. GPA ranges and GRE scores for example. Often you need strong references and a goals statement too. This is your chance to explain about the research you want to do. And, how your interests line up with the program.  

What can I do with an Online Psychology Degree?

A psych degree may be the gateway to a range of high paying jobs in fields with high growth. Some of these are in counseling and others, in emerging areas like market research. There are 2.54 million people in the workforce now who have a psych degree. Since the field is evolving, there may be jobs for all levels of education. And ones that tap into diverse interests.  

1. Psychologists 

The work of a psychologist is to study the brain, behavior, mental and social processes. They observe, record and asses these things to help people make better choices. To become a clinical, counseling or research psychologist you need two things. A doctorate degree and state license. Many people also choose a niche, and this may entail other credentials.  

2. Market Research Analysts 

Skilled in analysis, market researchers study buyer behavior and market conditions. They do this to assess the potential for products and services to sell. In doing so, their clients learn valuable things. Like what products people want. Who to target in an Ad campaign and what price to charge. If this area if of interest to you, you may want to study two main things. Marketing analytics and consumer psychology. You also need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree if not a master’s or MBA. 

3. Marriage and Family Therapists 

A marriage and family therapist (MFT) studies relationships and family systems. They often work with couples and families to help them manage or overcome issues. To become an MFT, you need two things. A master’s degree and a license to practice. You might earn a master’s degree in psych. Or, marriage and family therapy or mental health counseling.   

4. School and Career Counselors 

As a school counselor your role is to help students grow social and learning skills. Career counselors nurture people so they develop skills for a specific job. They also help students map studies to line up with a certain career choice. Most school counselors need a few credentials. One is a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field. The other, a state issued credential. Career counselors also need a master’s degree and may need a state license.  

5. I/O Psychologists  

Industrial organizational psychologists apply their skills to the work place. They do this to improve quality, performance and productivity. Other tasks involve planning policy, screening new hires and employee training. Many also coach execs and solve labor conflicts. If this interests you, you need a master’s degree in I/O

6. Psychology Professors and Researchers 

Most (55%) psychology professors have a doctorate, and 31% have post doctoral training. With their degree they often lead research and publish findings. Many also teach in colleges. 

Is a Degree in Psychology worth it?

Psychology majors may gain skills that transfer to in demand areas with above average earning potential. In fact, most psychologists earn $79,010 per year, and up to $129,250. Jobs for psychologists are among the fastest growing too. Veterans, people with autism, trauma and mental health issues need help. As such 14% more opportunities are on the horizon for 2028.  

You might instead want to parlay your psych degree into a counseling career. Many jobs in this field call for a master’s degree and feature high growth. Marriage and family therapists are one. Due to integrated care, the forecast is 22% more jobs by 2028. It’s a lower growth rate for school counselors. But this area is still growing at a faster than average clip of 8%

Not all people with a psych degree stay in counseling though. Studying how people think and act has uses in many other settings too. Like business coaching, advertising, marketing and criminal justice. To that end, if you can break down big data, you might seek a job in market research. The field expects 20% more jobs by 2028. It also reports annual average salaries of $63,120.  

Psychology Degree Jobs & Salary

Occupation Average Salary Jobs
Psychologists $80,370 181,700
Market Research Analysts $63,790 681,900
Marriage and Family Therapists $49,610 55,300
School and Career Counselors $57,040 324,500

Top States for Jobs as a Clinical Psychologist

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
CA 16,960 $111,750
NY 11,030 $96,170
TX 8,430 $73,920
FL 5,270 $77,460
IL 5,100 $75,050

What classes will I take with an Online Psychology Degree?

The classes you take for an online psych degree depend on a few things. One is the level of the degree. Another is any focal point you add to tailor your studies. At each level, you are likely to study human behavior from all sides. You may learn about thoughts, feelings, actions and how they impact us. Understanding the motivators that underlie behavior is another goal. This insight may help to address pressing social problems. And, is often an aspect of applied psych programs.  

Bachelor’s Degree Courses 

A bachelor’s program aims to teach you to the terms, theory, history and research. It often helps you understand major approaches. And you may do this in about 120 credits. As you study these areas, you also learn about life span. How the brain develops, for instance. And how we learn to think, act and feel. 

Studying normal growth, you may also learn about abnormal patterns. This may shed more light on how people react to diverse contexts. Plus, what social factors impact deviance. Another mainstay of psychology is research. Things like how to conduct a lab experiment and present data. These are also common topics.

Development Psychology

The goal of this course is to discuss the life cycle as it relates to psychology. The topics vary but may include how genetic factors and psych factors impact a person’s development. Students may also learn about maturational and social factors in this area.

Biological Principles

This psych course often looks at the biological element of this field. It may include how biology impacts a person’s health. A historical look of this and the survival of man in modern society is often a component. This program may provide an overview of the way psych influences outcomes.

General Psychology

This is an intro level course in most cases. In many situations, it covers the basic principles and theories of psych. Most often, schools teach a modern understanding of psych. This may include some discussion and work in the area of human diversity.

Physiological Psychology

The focus of this course is often to discuss the physiological basis of topics related to behavior. This may focus on relationships that link the nervous system with behavior. Students may learn in a lecture format but may also engage in many studies and research as well as in practical skill building.

Apart from your classes, you may need to complete a capstone. This might allow you to combine theory and practice. If you have any gen ed classes, you must satisfy those credits too. 

Graduate Degree Courses

An online Master of Psychology may provide a solid base in two key areas. Research methods and psychological principles. These key points may help you learn how to affect change in people and business. And may nurture skills in critical analysis. You may learn how to intervene and counsel others as well. Classes like this may help you observe and come up with a therapeutic plan. Another mainstay of your study plan is your area of focus. These may cover theories and methods as well as how to apply them in real life.

Most PhD course plans stress research. As such, you are likely to learn how to test a theory, gather data and present it. Most people earn a PhD in a certain area of psychology. Like forensics, education, health or neuroscience. So you can also expect to land on an anchor point for your research too. This area of interest impacts the other classes you take. To give you a general idea though, here are a few common topics of study at this level.

Research Methods in Psychology

In this type of course, students may learn the methods most often used in psych research. This may include learning how to gather info. They may then learn how to analyze that data in many settings. Students may then use these skills to reinforce the application of modern psych efforts.

Social Psychology

This type of course often looks at modern social psych concerns. It may include research on the way people interact, like with the environment, society, and tech. They may also offer some historical context on these theories. Students may also engage in topics such as attitudes, identity, and conformity.

Theories of Personality

Those who take this course are likely to learn modern theories and research as it relates to personality psych. This may include linking classical topics, such as Freud, with modern perspectives and details. Students may learn about how this field is always changing and how cultural diversity plays a role.

Ethical Practice in Psychology

This master level course often looks at the principles of ethical practice. It tends to be an overview course. Students may find a concentration later. The topics range from confidentiality to respect. They may also include resolving ethical dilemmas and a professional standard of conduct. Students may learn about experimentation, as well.

Note that you may need to put in some time for field work or write a thesis. Also remember you may need to take classes for your dissertation. These may help you gain skills as a writer, researcher and presenter.

8 Popular Psychology Concentrations 

At many online schools you can tailor your psych degree to line up with career goals. These are some of the popular anchor points in psych to give you an idea.  

1. Media Psychology 

A focus in media psych may prep you to pursue a career in TV, radio, movie studios and broadcasting. As you study these areas, you may learn to create effective educational materials for them.  

2. Psychology 

One goal of educational psych is to make learning more effective. As such you may look closely at how people learn. And, ways to optimize the process.  

3. Health Psychology 

The area of health psych is about promoting healthy minds and bodies. You may learn ways to help people cope with stress, stop smoking and eat well.   

4. Forensic Psychology 

This area studies issues about the law, criminal acts and psych. It may help you work with related issues such as how to assist victims. And may deepen your grasp of the legal system.  

5. Industrial Organizational Psychology 

I/O psychology focuses on using skills to work in enterprise. You often learn how to improve employee training and assess internal problems. Then craft solutions to better productivity and employee relations.  

6. Sport Psychology 

Central to sport psychology is the science behind success and failure. As such, you may study athletes, coaching and behavior. All with an eye on optimal performance.   

7. Positive Psychology  

This area studies positive emotions and traits to see how they form. You may also learn how to coach and counsel others to help them flourish. 

8. Counseling Psychology  

If you want to counsel groups or work one to one, counseling psych may be ideal. As a focus, it may help you learn how to assess and treat others using diverse methods. 

How long does it take to get a Psychology Degree online?

You may need four years to earn a psych degree online. Shorter programs are for those who study full time and bring in transfer credits and may take about two years. For a master’s degree, you may need upwards of one year. And, for a PhD or PsyD at least three. 

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
University of Central Florida Bachelors 120 3 24
Barclay College Bachelors 128 Rolling 18
Bemidji College Bachelors 49 3 24
University of Pennsylvania Masters 27 2 12
Touro University Worldwide Masters 36 6 12
University of Georgia Online Masters 34 3 24
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology PhD N/A 6 36
Michigan State University PhD 42 1 60
Walden University PhD 65+ Multiple 36

15 Online Psychology Degrees

Many online schools offer psych degrees. Here are 15 schools with online degrees in psychology at all levels.  

  1. University of Central Florida
  2. Barclay College
  3. Bemidji College
  4. Park University
  5. Washington State Global Campus
  6. University of Pennsylvania
  7. Touro University Worldwide
  8. University of Georgia Online
  9. Golden State University
  10. University of Southern California Online
  11. The Chicago Schools of Professional Psychology
  12. Michigan State University
  13. Walden University
  14. Capella University
  15. Arizona State University

FIND AN ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE

Let’s take a closer look at the online psychology degrees that these 15 schools have to offer. 

1

University of Central Florida

Bachelor of Science in Psychology  

Fully Online


UCF online offers a BS in psychology. In it, you study psychology terms, physiology, research and statistics. There are also six tracks to choose from. Clinical, experimental, general, human factors, I/O, and neuroscience. So, you can personalize your studies while also taking part in internships and fieldwork.  

Sample courses include:

  • Developmental psychology 
  • Biology 
  • Cognitive psychology 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $22,467
Grad $27,715
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,631

Average Net Price:
$11,617

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)  

2

Barclay College

Bachelor’s in Psychology  

Fully Online


Barclay offers an online bachelor’s in psych from the Christian point of view. You take a core list of psych courses as well as Bible studies. They also offer a course, “Integration of Psychology and Christianity” to bridge the areas. You only have to complete 39 credits if you bring in enough transfer credits.  

Courses may include:

  • Family systems 
  • Abnormal psychology 
  • Doctrine of holiness 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $20,400
Grad $7,710
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,509

Average Net Price:
$24,479

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC), ABHE

3

Bemidji State University

BA or BS in Psychology  

Fully Online


Bemidji offers an online bachelor’s in psych where you can choose a BA or BS track. You must transfer in at least 24 semester credits to begin. This is because it is a degree completion program. And, aims to prep you for human services or applied psychology at the bachelor’s level. Or grad study if that is your goal.  

Sample classes include:

  • Learning and cognition 
  • Lifespan development 
  • Multicultural psychology 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $8,940
Grad $8,731
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,950

Average Net Price:
$14,945

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

4

Park University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology  

Fully Online


Park U offers an online BA in psych. It delves into human behavior and mental processes. And covers. As well as covers the science angles of research and statistics. You can pursue psych as a major or minor, both are available online.  

Topics include:

  • Learning and motivation 
  • History of personality 
  • Cognitive psychology 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $11,190
Grad $6,012
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,951

Average Net Price:
$14,695

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

5

Washington State University Global Campus

Bachelor of Science in Psychology 

Fully Online


WSU’s online BS in psych offers a choice of focused areas to tailor your degree. Neuroscience, social and clinical counseling. It also covers key principles and the field’s use of scientific methods.   

Courses may include:

  • Statistics 
  • Experimental methods 
  • Psychology as a science 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $26,419
Grad $26,850
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$9,841

Average Net Price:
$18,002

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

6

University of Pennsylvania

Master of Applied Psychology

Fully Online


UPenn offers an online MAPP program. It aims to train you in the history, theory and research methods of positive psych. And explores the uses of positive psych in coaching, clinical and other settings. The program’s hybrid model allows you to study online and entails 10 visits to campus.  

Classes may include:

  • Perspectives on well being 
  • Positive education 
  • Humanities and human flourishing 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $57,770
Grad $40,182
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$42,401

Average Net Price:
$24,771

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact & recognized student vet organization.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

7

Touro University Worldwide

Online Master of Arts in Psychology 

Fully Online


Touro offers an online MA in psych. It aims to sharpen your skills and uses case studies to help you understand theory and methods. In the general program, you study buyer behavior and marketing strategy and how to craft a marketing plan. You can tailor your program too. There are focal points in media, education, health and forensic psychology. 

Sample Courses:

  • Social psychology 
  • Personality 
  • Learning theory 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,600
Grad $9,000
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,007

Average Net Price:
$20,390

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program & dedicated point of contact.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission  

8

University of Georgia Online

Master of Education in Educational Psychology  

Fully Online


U of Georgia offers an online MEd in educational psych. It focuses on applied cognition and development. The program also comes with a second focus in one of many areas. Learning with technology and learning across the lifespan are a few.  

Courses may include:

  • Cognition  
  • Motivation  
  • Human growth 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $31,120
Grad $27,476
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$9,843

Average Net Price:
$15,961

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
SACSCOC

9

Golden Gate University

Master of Arts in Industrial / Organizational Psychology 

Fully Online


GGU offers an online MA in I/O psychology. In it, you may study how to identify and improve employee training. You may also learn to conduct market research and work to better employee relations.  

Sample courses include:

  • Human resource management  
  • Group dynamics 
  • Executive coaching 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $16,095
Grad $19,705
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,475

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & recognized student vet organization.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission 

10

University of Southern California Online

Master of Science in Applied Psychology 

Fully Online


USC offers an online MS in applied psych. The program studies theory, research and practice in business settings. It also comes with a choice of focal points. One in I/O psychology, another in consumer psychology. Either one takes 8 credits of your total and many complete the program in 16 months. 

Classes may include:

  • Human behavior 
  • Psychology and interactive media 
  • Applied social psych research methods 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $58,195
Grad $47,107
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$39,516

Average Net Price:
$37,521

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission

11

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

PhD in Business Psychology 

Fully Online


TCSPP offers an online PhD in business psychology. It focuses on I/O issues such as conflicts and performance. At the same time, it helps you gain the skills to intervene and boost outcomes. You also study ways to manage teams, counsel and coach executives. 

Topics include:

  • Adult development and work  
  • Systems theory 
  • Virtual and global leadership 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,316
Grad $21,934
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission

12

Michigan State University

PhD in Educational Psychology 

Fully Online


MSU offers a hybrid PhD in educational psych and educational technology. It aims to help you gain teaching skills grounded in research and practice. As such it may ready you to pursue leadership roles in K 12 school systems and other settings. It also comes with a five year study plan and most classes are online. 

Sample classes include:

  • Psychology of learning school subjects 
  • Cognitive growth and lifespan 
  • Current issues in motivation and learning  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $39,766
Grad $37,056
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$11,366

Average Net Price:
$16,579

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

13

Walden University

PhD in Psychology  

Fully Online


Walden offers an online PhD in psychology. It aims to prep you to teach, lead, research and consult. You study various practices in your area of interest. And may choose a teaching or research practicum. The program also comes with a choice of emphasis. Health, social and self designed are a few. There are multiple start dates and ways to fast track your studies.  

Sample courses include:

  • Lifespan development 
  • Teaching psychology 
  • Research foundations  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,150
Grad $12,539
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,900

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

14

Capella University

PhD in General Psychology 

Fully Online


Capella offers an online and in person PhD in general psychology. It delves into human behavior while also covering research and methods. If you prefer to narrow your focus, there are areas of emphasis to choose from. Behavior analysis, developmental, educational or I/O psychology. 

Topics may include:

  • Psychology of personality 
  • Social psychology 
  • Advanced statistics  

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $14,540
Grad $15,233
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,781

Average Net Price:
$17,368

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

15

Arizona State University

Doctor of Behavioral Health (Clinical) 

Fully Online


ASU offers and online DBH degree program with a clinical focus. It aims to prep you to take a leadership role in integrated care. And so, delves into the nuances of disease and ways to engage patients. Apart from your courses, you take part in a 400-hour internship. As long as you have a license or are eligible for one.  

Classes may include:

  • Population based health management 
  • Health care systems 
  • Interventions in primary care 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $19,398
Grad $6,592
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,907

Average Net Price:
$14,568

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.