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.
Here Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Online Psychology Degrees
The 5 Most Affordable Online Psychology Degrees of 2021
Opportunities for an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
These online programs offer students the opportunity to earn their degree in a flexible and customized format. Because an undergraduate psychology degree can lead to a psychology career, it can also serve as preliminary training for areas such as medicine, law, business, human resources and police work. While enrolled in an online psychology program, students will gain knowledge about the methods and theories that underlie the field of psychology. They will be introduced to the scientific method as it applies to psychological research. All of this serves as an excellent foundation for students who plan to enter graduate training programs in psychology. Some programs support local internships for students who want to work in the field to start to make decisions about what direction to take their academic career. By earning an online bachelor’s degree in psychology students can move in a variety of academic and career directions.
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.
Psychology Degree Online 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.
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.
Career Path in Psychology
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:
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.
Deadline: June 30
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.
Deadline: July 1
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.
Deadline: March 17
In 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.
While 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.
Both 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 Top 5 Online Affordable Bachelor’s Programs in Psychology for 2021
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Based in Monroe, ULM offers an affordable opportunity for students to earn a bachelor of arts in psychology 100% online. Students complete the degree requirements without any residency requirements, and all students, regardless of their home state, pay the same online tuition.
Course options include research methodology, history and systems of psychology, and a psychology laboratory. Students choose 12 credits of electives within the psychology department, allowing them to direct their interests. Notable options include sensation and perception, evolutionary psychology, and positive psychology. The program also includes general education and elective requirements totaling 120 credits.
- Graduation rate: 47%
- School status: Public
- Tuition cost: $9,070 in state; $21,170 out of state on average
- Number of programs offered: 66
- City location: Monroe, Louisiana
- Admission requirements: 850 SAT
- Contact: (318) 342-1000
- Website: www.ulm.edu/
Florida International University
Located in Miami, FIU offers an affordable online bachelor of arts in psychology.
Students take 120 credits in general education, electives, and psychology requirements to graduate. Major prerequisites include an introduction to psychology, an introduction to statistics, and human biology, as well as a ten-credit research sequence. Students progress through five areas of psychology, taking one course in each area, including cognitive and neuroscience, applied psychology, and developmental psychology. Psychology electives allow students to pursue further coursework in their area of interest.
- Graduation rate: 63%
- School status: Public
- Tuition cost: $6,565 in state; $18,963 out of state on average
- Number of programs offered: 100+
- City location: Miami, Florida
- Admission requirements: 1195 SAT
- Contact: (305) 348-2000
- Website: www.fiu.edu/
Eastern Washington University
Located in Cheney, EWU offers an affordable online bachelor of science in health psychology. Students begin the program with general education and elective requirements, as well as statistics for social science, general psychology, scientific principles psychology, and human memory and cognition. Notable elective choices include foundations of psychotherapy, social psychology, and happiness and positive psychology. The program requires field study or internships, and a capstone course allows learners to complete an empirical study. Learners may also participate in a virtual psychology conference each year and may join Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology.
- Graduation rate: 54%
- School status: Public
- Tuition cost: $7,733 in state; $25,702 out of state on average
- Number of programs offered: 100+
- City location: Cheney, Washington
- Admission requirements: 980 SAT
- Contact: (509) 359-6200
- Website: www.ewu.edu/
Fayetteville State University
Based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, FSU offers an affordable online degree completion bachelor of science in psychology. Tuition costs $101 per credit in-state and $252 per credit out-of-state.
The degree completion program includes 38-40 credits of upper-division courses. The required core includes both foundational and niche courses, including general psychology, theories of learning, abnormal psychology, and history and systems of psychology. From there, students choose electives to fit their interests. Notable choices include stress management and wellness, positive psychology, and sensation and perception.
- Graduation rate: 34%
- School status: Public
- Tuition cost: $5,309 in state; $16,917 out of state on average
- Number of programs offered: 42
- City location: Fayetteville, North Carolina
- Admission requirements: 970 SAT
- Contact: (910) 672-1111
- Website: www.uncfsu.edu/
McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA
Located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, McNeese offers an affordable opportunity for students to earn an online bachelor of science in psychology. Students complete 120 credits, including a required minor series. The program includes courses such as history and theory of psychology, procedures and psychology research, psychology of learning, and research methodology in psychology. You may also opt into an internship to gain hands-on experience or present original research during the senior thesis symposium. Students conduct research with the guidance of faculty mentors, culminating in a senior thesis during the final term.
- Graduation rate: 47%
- School status: Public
- Tuition cost: $8,382 in state; $16,420 out of state on average
- Number of programs offered: 48
- City location: Lake Charles, Louisiana
- Admission requirements: 1100 SAT
- Contact: (337) 475-5000
- Website: www.mcneese.edu/