2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Psychology Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 9/23/2021
2020 Most Affordable Psychology Bachelors Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 9/23/2021

Since psychology is one of the most popular programs at U.S. colleges and universities, there are many options for students seeking affordable online psychology degrees. Further, psychology is a versatile degree that can lead to a variety of careers. The 24 schools ranked below offer the most affordable online psychology degrees at the bachelor's level, with tuition rates ranging from $4,200 to $8,500 a year. Following the list, we've provided detailed information about this degree, including accreditation, costs and funding options, and whether this degree will be worth it for graduates in the long run.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online master's in psychology. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Tennessee State University $4,200
# 2 #2 Aspen University $4,500
# 3 #3 California Coast University $4,725
# 4 #4 Tarleton State University $5,298
# 5 #5 Fort Valley State University $5,363
# 6 #6 Clayton State University $5,490
# 7 #7 Valdosta State University $6,060
# 8 #8 Kennesaw State University $6,180
# 9 #9 University of the Cumberlands $6,368
# 10 #10 Wichita State University $6,708
# 11 #11 Claflin University $6,744
# 12 #12 Fort Hays State University $6,778
# 13 #13 Columbia Southern University $6,900
# 14 #14 Ohio University-Main Campus $7,290
# 15 #15 Louisiana State University-Alexandria $7,500
# 16 #16 Fayetteville State University $7,556
# 17 #17 Central Methodist University $7,800
# 18 #18 Lipscomb University $8,000
# 19 #19 University of Alaska Fairbanks $8,070
# 20 #20 American Public University System $8,100
# 21 #21 University of Idaho $8,304
# 22 #22 Clarion University $8,334
# 23 #23 University of Arkansas at Little Rock $8,400
# 24 #24 John F. Kennedy University $8,500
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $4,200
Annual Tuition: $4,200
Annual Tuition: $4,200

Tennessee State University's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology requires 120 credits, including 38 credits of general education, 33 credits of major-specific coursework, and 49 credits of elective courses. The 120-credit online Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies requires students to choose two cognates (focuses) to study. A cognate in Psychology is available, and other options include English, Informational Technology, and Organizational Leadership. Study abroad opportunities,... service learning, work-based learning, and research experiences are all available to online psychology majors.

Students log in to myTSU to access course materials, check grades, and submit assignments. They may take classes through TN eCampus, an online platform offering courses from 19 Tennessee institutions. Resources for distance learners include an online orientation, virtual tutoring, technical support, career services, and counseling. Students may be able to accelerate their education and save money by testing out of general education requirements or by taking courses during spring or summer break.

Prospective students need a high school diploma with at least a 2.5 GPA and ACT/SAT scores of at least 19 or 900, respectively. Application requirements include an online application, transcripts, and test scores. Students with a GPA of 3.2 or above are guaranteed admission.

  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 200
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 256
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (615) 963-5000

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Learning and Memory, Physiological Psychology, Social Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies - Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
#2
#2

Aspen University

Denver (CO)
Annual Tuition: $4,500
Annual Tuition: $4,500
Annual Tuition: $4,500

The curriculum for Aspen University's online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Studies focuses on psychology, addiction theory, and sociology. Courses span eight weeks, and students can complete the program on a part-time or full-time schedule. The average time to completion is four years. In addition to fulfilling all of the required coursework, students take a final proctored exam and pursue an individualized learning experience for a senior capstone project.

Virtual learning occurs asynchronously... through the Desire2Learn learning management system, which organizes students' reading materials, video lectures, interactive assignments, and email. Instructors set specific due dates for assignments, but students can log in at their convenience. Courses are offered with start dates every two weeks. Students can save time and money by receiving credits for prior experience or by applying up to 90 transfer credits. Students can work with an academic advisor to determine their eligibility for prior experience or transfer credits. Student resources include career services and a strong alumni network.

Prospective students can apply by submitting an online application, official academic transcripts, and documentation for a transfer credit evaluation. Competitive applicants have at least a 2.0 GPA. However, students can gain conditional acceptance and begin their degrees after successfully taking an Introduction to Communications course.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 0%
  • Graduation Rate: 0%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,413
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,356
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (303) 333-4224

Example Classes: Child Psychology, Crisis Intervention and Prevention, Group Therapy, Psychology of Addiction Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Studies
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $4,725
Annual Tuition: $4,725
Annual Tuition: $4,725

The curriculum for California Coast University's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology focuses on understanding human behavior, the science of emotion, industry best-practices, and research strategies. Students complete a total of 126 credits, comprised of general education, core, and elective courses. Students can choose to study on a full-time or part-time basis and may begin classes at any time. Although the coursework is self-paced, students are encouraged to complete courses within six months... and must complete their degrees within five years.

Coursework is accessed through the university’s student portal, Coast Connection. Through this platform, students can download lesson materials, stream lectures, email instructors, submit assignments, and check grades. There are no set exam dates or class times, which allows students to work independently. Students have access to academic advising, writing resources, and library services. CCU offers discounts to veterans and active duty military, firefighters, law enforcement, and government employees. Up to 93 credits can be transferred, and previous specialized training or challenge examinations can be applied to fulfill course requirements.

Prospective students should submit an online application, official transcripts, a resume, and evidence of any specialized training. Following this, students will receive a proposed degree plan, which accounts for transfer credits and previous training. Once students agree to their individualized program, they may enroll and begin their coursework.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • School Accreditation: DEAC

Example Classes: Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, Personality Theories, Psychology of Gender, Test and Measurements in Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. Psychology
#4
#4

Tarleton State University

Stephenville (TX)
Annual Tuition: $5,298
Annual Tuition: $5,298
Annual Tuition: $5,298
  • Online Degrees: 5
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,700
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,033
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (254) 968-9000

Example Classes: Elementary Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, History of Psychology, Psychology of Learning, Writing in Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Applied Science - Psychology
  • BS in Psychology
  • BS in Psychology - Educational Psychology
  • BS in Psychology - General Psychology
  • BS in Psychology - Pre-Clinical Psychology
#5
#5

Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley (GA)
Annual Tuition: $5,363
Annual Tuition: $5,363
Annual Tuition: $5,363
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 44%
  • Average SATs: 850 -960
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 40
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 68
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (478) 825-6211

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Behavior Modification, Careers and Issues in Psychology, Child Psychology, History of Psychology, Personality, Psychology of Learning, Psychology of Religion, Psychopharmacology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $5,490
Annual Tuition: $5,490
Annual Tuition: $5,490
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 30%
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,153
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 275
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (678) 466-4000

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Interpersonal Comm & Helping, Multi-cultural Psychology, Social Psychology, Theories of Personality

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $6,060
Annual Tuition: $6,060
Annual Tuition: $6,060
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,107
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,886
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (229) 333-5800

Example Classes: Adult Psychology and Gerontology, Human Memory, Psychology and Law, Rehabilitation Psychology, Sensation and Perception

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $6,180
Annual Tuition: $6,180
Annual Tuition: $6,180
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Acceptance Rate: 61%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,315
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,792
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (470) 578-6000

Example Classes: Cognitive Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, International Psychology, Life-Span Developmental Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Psychology of Gender, Psychology of Prejudice and Privilege

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
#9
#9

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg (KY)
Annual Tuition: $6,368
Annual Tuition: $6,368
Annual Tuition: $6,368
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,640
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,852
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (606) 549-2200

Example Classes: History And Systems Of Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psych, Learning And Cognition, Psychological Testing, Psychology Of Religion, Sports Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $6,708
Annual Tuition: $6,708
Annual Tuition: $6,708
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1270
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,272
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 632
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (316) 978-3456

Example Classes: Cognitive Psychology, Psychological Testing and Measurement, Psychology of Personality, Social Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of General Studies - Psychology
#11
#11

Claflin University

Orangeburg (SC)
Annual Tuition: $6,744
Annual Tuition: $6,744
Annual Tuition: $6,744
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Acceptance Rate: 41%
  • Average SATs: 830 -1050
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 130
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 49
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (803) 535-5000

Example Classes: Counseling & Therapies, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Death & Dying, Forensic Psychology, Psychology of Religion

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
#12
#12
Annual Tuition: $6,778
Annual Tuition: $6,778
Annual Tuition: $6,778
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,411
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,453
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (785) 628-4000

Example Classes: Child and Developmental Psychology, Drugs & Behavior, Evolutionary Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Human Sexuality, Introduction to Therapeutic Skills, Perception, Psychology of Aging, Social Psychology, Testing and Psychological Measurement

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of General Studies - Psychological Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
#13
#13

Columbia Southern University

Orange Beach (AL)
Annual Tuition: $6,900
Annual Tuition: $6,900
Annual Tuition: $6,900
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 14,364
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 5,670
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (251) 981-3771 x1278

Example Classes: Cognitive Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Psychology of Learning, Theories of Personality

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. Psychology
#14
#14
Annual Tuition: $7,290
Annual Tuition: $7,290
Annual Tuition: $7,290
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,926
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,892
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (740) 593-1000

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Child and Adolescent Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
#15
#15
Annual Tuition: $7,500
Annual Tuition: $7,500
Annual Tuition: $7,500
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Acceptance Rate: 31%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1050
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,035
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Cultural Diversity, Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Psychology, Social Psychology, Statistics for Behavioral and Social Sciences

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Clinical Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Family and Community Dynamics
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
#16
#16

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville (NC)
Annual Tuition: $7,556
Annual Tuition: $7,556
Annual Tuition: $7,556
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Average SATs: 870 -1010
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,714
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 603
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (910) 672-1111

Example Classes: Advance Seminar Sex and Gender, History and Systems of Psychology, Moral Principles and Contemporary Moral Issues, Multicultural Psychology, Sensation and Perception, Theories of Learning

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Degree Completion)
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Degree Completion): Health Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Degree Completion): Work and Organizational Psychology
#17
#17
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1100
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,734
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 159
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Applied Psychology, Cognitive Processes and Applications, Health Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Psychology of Adjustment, Sport and Exercise Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
#18
#18

Lipscomb University

Nashville (TN)
Annual Tuition: $8,000
Annual Tuition: $8,000
Annual Tuition: $8,000
  • Online Degrees: 9
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 1080 -1290
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 164
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 114
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (615) 966-1000

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Behavior Modification, Personality Theories, Psych Measurement, Social Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies - Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - Psychology Leadership
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Integrated Studies - Psychology
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Psychology - Psychology Leadership
#19
#19

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks (AK) (and 1 other)
Annual Tuition: $8,070
Annual Tuition: $8,070
Annual Tuition: $8,070
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1280
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,350
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 598
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU

Example Classes: Brain and Behavior, Community Psychology, Drugs and Behavior, Learning and Cognition, Sport Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
#20
#20
Annual Tuition: $8,100
Annual Tuition: $8,100
Annual Tuition: $8,100
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 37,335
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,914
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (877) 468-6268

Example Classes: Adult Development, Human Sexuality, Perception, Psychology of Addiction & Substance Abuse, Psychology of Combat, Psychology of Terrorism

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
#21
#21

University of Idaho

Moscow (ID)
Annual Tuition: $8,304
Annual Tuition: $8,304
Annual Tuition: $8,304
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 431
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 590
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (888) 884-3246

Example Classes: Gender and Communication, Persuasion, Psychology of Action, Psychology of Emotion, Psychology of Personality, Sensation and Perception

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.A. in Psychology
  • B.S. in Psychology
#22
#22

Clarion University

Clarion (PA)
Annual Tuition: $8,334
Annual Tuition: $8,334
Annual Tuition: $8,334
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Acceptance Rate: 95%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 699
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 741
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Phone #: (814) 393-2000

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Academic Enrichment, Developmental Psychology, Intermediate Foreign Language & Cultures, Speech and Theater, Women & Gender Studies

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology
#23
#23
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,676
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 757
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (501) 569-3000

Example Classes: Cognitive Psychology, Human Factors Psychology, Learning and Memory, Personnel Psychology, Psychology of Consumer Behavior, Sensation-Perception

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BA in Interdisciplinary Studies - Psychology
  • BA in Psychology
#24
#24

John F. Kennedy University

Pleasant Hill (CA) (and 2 others)
Annual Tuition: $8,500
Annual Tuition: $8,500
Annual Tuition: $8,500
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 319
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 145
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC

Example Classes: Abnormal Psychology, Counseling, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Psychology of the Family, Social Psychology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BA in Psychology
  • BA in Psychology - Criminal Justice
  • BA in Psychology - Early Childhood Education
  • BA in Psychology - Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Overview of Affordable Online Psychology Degrees

For students who would like to pursue a degree in psychology, there are many fully online options. Provided students have attended credible, accredited schools, their online degrees should command the same respect and create similar opportunities as on-campus degrees. The curriculum will also be comparable, as online courses are often taught by the same faculty.

Online degrees are available at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, which means students may be able to become psychologists entirely through online education. Of course, this process often integrates in-person requirements with remote study, especially at the higher degree levels. Also, before a person can practice, they must adhere to their state's licensing laws, which often require an internship and 1-2 years of supervised experience in the field.

In some cases, online programs provide more affordable options for earning a degree. We outline the cost of attending college below, in addition to financial aid options that can help with affordability.


How Long Does It Take to Earn a Psychology Degree Online?

Typically, an online psychology program requires students to complete 120-126 credit hours. About half of these credits are general education courses, while the other half consists of psychology courses. Most programs are designed to be completed in four years of full-time study. A few schools also offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as two years.

For those who are intent on saving time and money while earning a psychology degree, three options are available:

Students with completed college-level coursework may transfer those credits to apply them toward their total.

Some online schools allow students to take exams for certain classes in lieu of taking them. A passing grade demonstrates thorough knowledge of the material.

Some schools offer credit for prior work or military experience by examining a student's records and past job performance in a prior learning assessment to determine whether they can bypass a related course.


Common Psychology Courses

The following presents a list of common courses for those pursuing an undergraduate psychology degree. Depending on the school, some of these topics are taught as core courses while others are considered electives. In addition, some courses may be required for admittance into graduate programs.

  • Abnormal Psychology: This class surveys common mental disorders, including their causes and treatments. These illnesses include schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, and eating disorders. The coursework explores how psychologists assess patients and implement treatment plans in their clinical practice.
  • Clinical Psychology: Clinical psychologists evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients experiencing psychological distress and mental illness. A course in clinical psychology gives students a broad overview of essential topics, such as patient assessments, common disorders, and ethical considerations.
  • Developmental Psychology: This course delves into the study of human development, from infancy to adolescence and late adulthood. The coursework may cover topics, such as family relationships, emotional development, and adaptations to aging. Most psychology majors take a course on the full spectrum of human development or one that focuses on a specialization, such as early childhood development.
  • General Psychology: General psychology is a popular liberal arts elective for undergraduate students. The coursework often begins with a brief introduction to the history of psychology before moving into a broader range of topics, including consciousness, motivation, perception, emotion, learning, and abnormal behavior.
  • Human Behavior: This course invites students to study the way biological, psychological, and social factors influence human interaction. Specifically, students examine how social norms, ethics, and diversity shape values, perspectives, and identities. The curriculum may also cover the evolution of human behavior across the lifespan.
  • Neuroscience: This introductory course touches on a diverse array of science-oriented topics related to human development. Neuroscientists combine elements of psychology with biology, chemistry, and other sciences to better understand how the brain and nervous system affect human behavior.
  • Social Psychology: This course focuses on how people view, interpret, and respond to their social environments. Specific areas of discussion often include the self, attitudes, emotions, peer pressure, competition, and prejudice. Many students find that they can practically apply this content to improve their daily lives.

Accreditation

Each prospective student should determine whether their chosen school is accredited. The process of accreditation confirms whether a program is credible and of high quality. A school's academic programs, faculty, facilities, and student services are evaluated according to national standards. Accreditation is often required if a student wants to transfer credits between schools, enter a graduate level program, or be eligible for federal financial aid. Students can search the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation databases for more information.

Accreditation is often required if a student wants to transfer credits between schools, enter a graduate level program, or be eligible for federal financial aid.

Not only can schools earn accreditation for the entire institution, they can receive programmatic accreditation for the individual programs they offer. The recognized accrediting authority for online psychology programs is the APA's Commission on Accreditation. The APA-CoA website contains a list of accredited programs that meet industry standards and expectations.


Applying to an Online Psychology Program

The admission requirements and school selectivity for prospective psychology students are the same at most schools — whether the program is on campus or online. Applicants must have a high school diploma or an equivalent. Additional prerequisites vary by school but often include a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and favorable scores on standardized college entrance exams. Students who are transferring to a school after completing some college coursework elsewhere may also be required to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.

When applying for an online bachelor's program, potential students often need to submit the following items:

  • An application fee
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended schools
  • Scores on standardized tests, such as the ACT or SAT
  • Letter(s) of recommendation from former teachers, coaches, clergy, or supervisors who are familiar with the applicant's character
  • Personal essay(s) about the applicant’s interests, goals, and personality
  • A resume or list of extracurricular activities demonstrating teamwork, service to the student's community, and/or leadership abilities

How Much Does an Online Psychology Degree Cost?

Tuition is an important factor for many students in their college decision.


Based on our analysis of 52 schools offering online bachelor's degrees in psychology, the median annual tuition is $13,567.50. Of the more affordable online options in this subject, tuition ranges from $4,200 to $8,500 a year.


There are ways to make college more affordable. For example, at some schools, out-of-state distance learners pay the same tuition rates as in-state students, but this varies according to a student's specific situation, from the number of transfer credits they have to their program's length. Therefore, students should compare the in-person and online tuition costs for the psychology program of their chosen school before applying.

Aside from tuition, all students pay for books and supplies, but online students usually don't pay for room and board, transportation, or other campus-based fees.

Some online schools advertise themselves as "tuition-free" colleges, but students should investigate these programs carefully before enrolling. Although they don't charge tuition, these schools generally charge other fees that are equal to the tuition rates at many schools. Additionally, some of these schools are not accredited, which poses a significant problem for psychology students. To practice psychology, most states require licensure, but to become a licensed psychologist, the degree obtained needs to be from an accredited college.


Funding an Online Psychology Program

In general, students in an online psychology program have the same financial aid options as students in other programs. The majority of financial aid programs require that students fill out the FAFSA form. To help with affordability, students may choose options that do not have to be repaid, such as grants, scholarships, fellowships, and work-study programs. Other forms of aid are only available to students of accredited schools, such as federal and private loans. When selecting an online psychology degree program, prospective students may want to consult the financial aid offices at the schools they’re interested in as part of their school search process.

To help with affordability, students may choose options that do not have to be repaid, such as grants, scholarships, fellowships, and work-study programs.

Additionally, some opportunities are designed specifically for psychology majors in bachelor’s programs or related graduate degrees and doctoral programs. Scholarships, grants, and other funding may be available through the following professional organizations:

Other organizations, such as the Pride Foundation, offer scholarships to promote the study of mental health. Certain colleges and universities, including the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and the University of Minnesota, provide funding to select undergraduate and graduate students interested in studying psychology and human behavior.


For additional information, students can check out our resources about paying for a college degree, which include details about the popular college savings plans, the student debt crisis, and more.



Does a Psychology Degree Pay Well?

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median wage for an early-career professional with a bachelor's in psychology is $35,000. This is at the low end of graduate salaries among other majors, but one of the reasons online psychology degrees are so popular is because they are flexible. A generalist degree in psychology allows students to follow a multitude of career paths, many of which offer more desirable salaries.

The BLS lists the top-employing occupations for workers with a bachelor's degree in psychology as follows: registered nurse, social worker, elementary school teacher, and personal service manager. Please note that some of these roles require additional certifications. The most common occupational groups were in the fields of management, community and social services, educational instruction and library, healthcare, and administrative support. The current median salaries and job outlooks for these occupations vary widely. For example, those in administrative support roles earn salaries between $31,110 and $47,560, while those in managerial roles may earn salaries ranging from $69,600 to $141,490.

An advanced degree is required for those who want to work as practicing psychologists, a career with a salary that pays well. In May 2020, a licensed, practicing psychologist earned an annual salary between $79,820 and $105,780. Similarly, clinical and research psychologists must have a doctoral degree, while school psychologists, industrial-organizational psychologists, and psychological assistants must have master's degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) data from 2018, 49% of psychology graduates went on to earn advanced degrees.

Below, we explore a few careers that psychology students might go into in further detail.


Career Options for Psychology Graduates

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists many career opportunities for psychology graduates, though graduate studies may be required.

School and Career Counselor

  • Median Annual Salary: $58,120
  • Job Growth Rate: 11%

Career counselors can work at public and private high schools, community colleges, and universities. They help students identify their aptitudes and interests while assisting them in researching educational expectations for specific careers. Career counselors are required to have a master's degree, and in some states, they must also obtain licensure.

Social Worker

  • Median Annual Salary: $51,760
  • Job Growth Rate: 12%

Graduates interested in social work may consider becoming case managers, helping individuals address problems in their everyday lives. For example, after evaluating a client's needs, they may provide counseling, identify useful resources, and support clients by enrolling them in services or programs.

Teacher

  • Median Annual Salary: $60,660 (elementary), $62,870 (high school)
  • Job Growth Rate: 7% (elementary), 8% (high school)

Graduates who've earned bachelor's degrees can qualify to become elementary or high school teachers by earning a teaching credential. Elementary teachers typically teach all subjects, while high school teachers specialize in specific subjects, earning slightly more.

For further guidance, the APA has employment resources to help psychology graduates find a career.


Is an Online Bachelor's in Psychology Worth It?

An online bachelor's degree in psychology may be worthwhile, but individuals must weigh the costs and advantages for themselves.

Potential Benefits

  • This is a versatile degree. Alumni may immediately join the workforce across a diverse range of fields or secure psychology-related work that may strengthen their graduate school applications.
  • Studying psychology may help students develop personal attributes, such as empathy and sensitivity, and it can also help workers gain valuable skills that they can apply in the field, from critical thinking to oral comprehension.
  • An online degree allows students to choose from a broader selection of schools without having to move to a new location. This allows prospective students to select a program that best meets their budget, interests, and career goals.

Potential Drawbacks

  • For those who'd like to become psychologists, a bachelor's degree is often only the first step in an educational path that can last up to 10 years. Students must go on to obtain doctoral degrees and licensure.
  • Without opportunities to connect in-person with peers and faculty, online learning may present challenges in terms of building relationships and networking.