Understanding the way other people think can give you a decided advantage in life, arguably regardless of the career you choose. An online bachelors degree program in Psychology studies can give you this sort of advantage, and there are a significant number of career paths possible, as shown in the scrolling list in the Careers section below. According to the BLS, Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists and Psychologists are two potential occupations, each with a jobs growth expectation of 19% between 2014 and 2024. Of course, they both require graduate degrees and certification, but there are many other job options, including marketing, social work, nursing, HR, criminal justice, etc., which can incorporate applied psychology principles.
In this top-20 colleges ranking list, we look at online baccalaureate programs in Psychology and related studies, with either a fully online or hybrid curriculum and possible in-person requirements for classes, orientation, exams and/or internships.
Careers in Psychology Studies
The following scrolling list shows over 100 possible careers for graduates of a bachelor’s program in psychology studies, as well as some organizations/ industries that have shown a need for people with similar skills. Some of these occupations do require graduate studies – possibly in other topics – and/or professional certification.
- addiction counselor
- admissions counselor
- affirmative action officer
- applied social research
- behavioral disorder counselor
- behavioral health technician
- business executive
- business management
- business manager
- career counselor
- case manager
- case worker
- child protection worker
- claims specialist
- clinical psychologist
- community mental health centers
- community organizations
- community relations
- community relations officer
- correctional officer
- correctional programs
- correctional treatment specialist
- counseling services
- counselor’s aide
- criminal justice
- crisis intervention centers
- customer relations specialist
- data analysis
- day care center supervisor
- detoxification units
- educational institutions
- employment counselor
- financial services specialist
- food banks
- forensic psychologist
- group home attendant
- halfway houses
- human resources manager
- human resources specialist
- industrial relations specialist
- insurance agent
- labor relations specialist
- law enforcement
- loan officer
- market researcher
- marketing manager
- marketing representative
- mental health clinics
- mental health counselor
- mental health rehabilitation technician
- military service
- occupational analyst
- occupational therapist
- parole officer
- personnel administrator
- personnel analyst
- personnel manager
- pharmaceutical sales rep
- physician’s assistant
- police officer
- policy implementation
- probation officer
- professional counselor
- professional therapist
- psychiatric hospitals
- psychiatric technician
- public health administrator
- public management
- public relations manager
- public relations specialist
- real estate agent
- rehabilitation counselor
- rehabilitation specialist
- research and development
- retail sales manager
- sales manager
- sales rep
- school counselor
- school psychologist
- social service aide
- social service director
- social service manager
- social service worker
- social services agencies
- social welfare agencies
- social worker
- social-urban planner
- special education teacher
- sports psychologist
- substance abuse counselor
- training and development specialist
- training specialist
- vocational counselor
- vocational rehabilitation specialist
- youth counselor
If you are interested in a career in psychology, or closely-related fields, this rankings list of relevant and affordable online bachelor’s degrees may help you find a suitable college/ university. Check the NOTES section at the end of this article, after the college rankings, if you need info on the ranking process, selecting colleges, etc.
Rankings: Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology Studies
Sparks Hall, Chadron State College (source)
Chadron State College (CSC) is a public institution established in 1911 and located in Chadron, Nebraska, about 105 miles south and slightly east of Rapid City, SD, and around 297 miles north-northeast of Denver, Colorado. It is part of the Nebraska State College System. Original name: Nebraska State Normal School.
CSC offers two online Psychology programs: one Bachelor’s, one minor. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology requires 120 credit hours, with 36 for the major and at least 18 for a required minor. (Depending on the minor or electives chosen, not all courses may be available online.) The degree provides students with a foundation in psychological principles, and key skills in communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and scientific reasoning. This allows students to pursue graduate studies in psychology or a closely related field (counseling, sociology, social work), or careers in fields such as business, community services, computer science, education/ teaching, or medicine. To help students expedite their studies, CSC offers many courses in an 8-week, accelerated format and has alternative ways to earn college credit, such as AP (Advanced Placement), CLEP (College Level Examination Program), and course challenge exams. In terms of affordability, CSC has no out-of-state fees. Finally, students in other majors can take CSC’s 21-hour Psychology Minor.
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Culture and Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Empirical Research Project; History of Psychology; Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience; Measurement and Research Designs; Psychology of Cognition and Learning; Statistics for Psychologists; Theories of Personality
Sam Houston State University (source)
Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is a public research university established in 1879. SHSU is part of the Texas State University System and its main campus is in Huntsville, Texas, some 70 miles north and slightly west of Houston, TX, and about 155 miles northeast of Austin, TX. Original name: Sam Houston Normal Institute.
SHSU has one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. This BS requires 120 credit-hours, with 18 for a required minor and 38 for the major: 14 for the core, 6 for electives, and 18 (6 each) for courses from three blocks: Clinical Adjustment, Experimental, and Personality-Social Development. The degree provides students with the foundation needed to pursue graduate studies and then a career as a clinical psychologist or psychological researcher. Other students utilize the broad liberal arts background and understanding of human behavior to pursue careers in fields such as advertising, business, criminal justice/ corrections, health care, law enforcement, public relations, rehabilitation, retail sales, or social services. The BS is mainly available online: SHSU states that about 75% of the coursework can be taken online. The remainder will need to be taken on-campus (check with SHSU to determine if some or all of these courses can be taken online or on-campus at another accredited institution).
Sample courses: Close Relationships; Comparative Psychology; Divorce: Psychological Impact; Human Sexuality; Humanistic Psychology; Intro to School Psychology; Psychology and the Law; Psychology of Adjustment; Psychological Testing; Psychopharmacology
18: Columbia College
Downtown Columbia, MO (source)
Columbia College (CC) is a private, nonprofit college established in 1851 as Christian Female College. Its main campus is in Columbia, Missouri, about 125 miles west and somewhat north of St Louis, MO, and around 125 miles east and slightly south of Kansas City, MO. Columbia College has an affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), but admits students of all faiths.
CC offers one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology — with two areas of emphasis. This BA requires 120 semester hours, with 18 for psychology core requirements and 33 for the chosen emphasis: Psychology or Sports Psychology. CC also has two 18-hour psychology minors that may be available for online study: one in Psychology, one in Sports Psychology (check with the university for confirmation/ details). Online classes are now available six (6) times a year, in eight (8) week sessions, to provide students with more flexibility and the opportunity to finish their degrees in a shorter time frame. CC’s programs and offerings are well-suited to the needs of adult students, but military personnel in particular. Some of CC’s military-specific benefits and opportunities include military spouse/ dependent grants and scholarships, military transfer credits, Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges membership, Virtual Veteran Services, and Yellow Ribbon Program participation.
Sample courses: Advanced Psychology Internship; Integrative Psychology (Capstone); Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology; Introduction to Theory-Based Research and Writing; Lifespan Developmental Psychology; Neuroscience; Sensation and Perception; Psychology Internship; Psychology of Sport; Quantitative Research Methods
Western New Mexico University campus (source)
Western New Mexico University (WNMU) is a public university established in 1893. Its main campus is in Silver City, New Mexico, about 235 miles southwest of Albuquerque, NM, and around 155 miles northwest of El Paso, TX. Original name: New Mexico Normal School.
WNMU has two online Psychology programs, both Bachelors degrees. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology both require a minimum of 120 credit hours, with 34-35 for the major: 13 for core requirements; 12 to 13 for content domain courses (one from each of the Biological, Cognition and Learning, Developmental, and Socio-Cultural categories); and 9 for guided electives. Both the BA and BS also require at least 18 hours for a minor. The four minors currently available online are: Criminal Justice, Digital Forensics, English, and Political Science. The main differences between the BA and BS are that the BA has a minimum 3-hour, upper-division Spanish language requirement, while the BS requires 6 hours of additional math, stats, or computer science courses (although the statistics course in the psychology major can count towards this). WNMU’s 18-hour Minor in Psychology may also be available online (check with the university for details).
Sample courses: Cultural Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Directed Research Senior Seminar in the Psychology; Educational Psychology; Experimental Psychology and Lab; Human Motivation; Internship in Psychology; Physiological Psychology and Lab; Psychopathology; Theories of Personality
Brescia University chapel (source)
Brescia University is a private, non-profit university that was established in 1925. Brescia is located in Owensboro, Kentucky, about 110 miles southwest of Louisville, KY, and around 135 miles north and slightly west of Nashville, Tennessee. Original name: Mount Saint Joseph Junior College for Women. Religious affiliation: Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph (Catholic Church).
Brescia offers one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology. The BA requires 128 credit hours, with 36 for the major: 24 for required courses, 12 for electives. This degree completion program requires students to have a suitable Associate’s degree or at least 45 credit hours from another accredited institution. (For students with less than 45 transferrable hours, or no college experience at all, Brescia has its online Associate’s degree programs.) The BA in Psychology is largely used by students as the foundation for careers and/ or advanced study in a variety of fields, including advertising, behavioral sciences, business, counseling, human resources, law, medicine, psychology, social sciences, or social work. Since Brescia’s online programs were designed primarily for working adults, most classes are available in an accelerated 8-week format; and the university allows some credit to be earned through non-traditional means (incl. AP, Challenge Exam, CLEP, and Dantes).
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Biopsychology; Cognitive Psychology; Developmental Psychology; History and Systems of Psychology; Introduction to Counseling; Introduction to Psychology; Personality Theory; Research Methods; Topics in Psychology
The University of Maryland-University College (UMUC) is a public university established in 1947 as the College of Special and Continuation Studies. UMUC is part of the University System of Maryland and has multiple locations, including its headquarters in Adelphi, Maryland, which is about 10 miles northeast of Washington, DC, and some 30 miles southwest of Baltimore, MD.
UMUC has two online Psychology programs: one Bachelors, one minor. Its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology requires 120 credit-hours, with 33 for the major, 3 for a capstone course, and 15 for a recommended minor (incl. in Business Administration, Diversity Awareness, Emergency Management, Forensics, Homeland Security, Political Science, or Terrorism and Critical Infrastructure). The BS provides students with a background in major psychological principles and current research findings, along with skills in analytical thinking and scientific reasoning, to enable them to analyze an individual’s behavior and understand their personal relationships and workplace interactions. This helps prepare students for a variety of mental health careers, including those requiring additional study, or helps them pursue options in related fields, such as criminal justice, human resources, or social services. Students in other majors who want to study psychology can take UMUC ‘s 21-hour Minor in Psychology.
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Biological Basis of Behavior; Introduction to Clinical Psychology; Lifespan Development; Memory and Cognition; Research Methods in Psychology; Senior Seminar in Psychology; Sensation and Perception; Social Psychology; Theories of Personality
University of Maine at Presque Isle (source)
The University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) is a public university that was established in 1903. It is part of the University of Maine System and is located in Presque Isle, Maine, around 160 miles northeast of Bangor, ME, and about 245 miles east and slightly south of Quebec City, QC. Original name: Aroostook State Normal School.
UMPI offers one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology, General Concentration. This BA requires 120 credit hours, with 42-48 for the major. While many students utilize the BA as the foundation for a variety of non-psychology careers (accounting, advertising, business, financial services, healthcare, insurance, real estate), many others pursue careers in social services or continue on to graduate studies with the intent of getting into clinical practice or psychological research. (UMPI also has a 21-hour Psychology Minor that may be available online; check with the school for details.) Online courses are available all year long at UMPI, including during two summer sessions. To help with affordability, UMPI has a monthly payment plan option and a variety of financial aid options (incl. merit awards for Canadian and international students, and Opportunity Maine tax credits for state residents with student loans).
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Advanced Research; Cognitive Psychology; Drugs and Behavior; Lifespan Development; Principles of Counseling; Practicum; Probability and Statistics; Psychobiology; Psychology of Learning
University of Houston-Victoria (source)
The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) is a public university established in 1973. UHV is part of the University of Houston System and is located in Victoria, Texas, about 120 miles southeast of San Antonio, TX, and around 125 miles southwest of Houston, TX. Original name: University of Houston Victoria Center.
UHV has three online Psychology programs — all Bachelor’s degrees. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology both require at least 120 semester hours, with 27 for upper-division psychology courses. The two degrees have very similar curriculums, with the main difference being that the BA has a 6 hour foreign language requirement, while the BS requires 5 additional hours of natural science courses and labs. Both degrees prepare students for careers in human services or for graduate studies in various areas of psychology. Students who already have an Associate’s in AAS or have completed at least 24 hours of vocational or technical courses can take UHV’s Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) with a Concentration in Psychology. This degree completion program requires 120 hours in total, with 18 for the upper-division Psychology specialization/ concentration. Finally, UHV also has a 15-hour Psychology Minor that may be available for online study (please check with the school for details).
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Adult Development and Gerontology; Child and Adolescent Development; History and Systems; Physiological Psychology; Principles of Learning; Research Methods for the Social Sciences; Social Psychology; Statistics for the Social Sciences; Tests and Measurements
12: Troy University
Bibb Graves Hall, Troy University (source)
Troy University is a comprehensive public university established in 1887 as Troy State Normal School. The university has four campuses in Alabama, including its main campus in Troy, Alabama, about 50 miles southeast of Montgomery, AL, and around 160 miles northwest of Tallahassee, Florida.
Troy University offers two online Psychology programs: one Bachelor’s, one minor. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology requires at least 120 credit hours, with 36 for the major and 18 for a required minor. This program helps students further their critical thinking, decision-making, and problem solving skills, and utilizes a variety of psychological principles to give students the ability to understand others’ thoughts and behaviors. That foundation and those skill sets will give students the chance to pursue career options in a number of different fields; or continue on to graduate studies in psychology or a related subject (such as counseling, sociology, or social work). For students in other majors who want to study psychology, Troy has its 18-hour Minor in Psychology. Troy also has an 18-hour Minor in Psychological Research that may be available online (check with the school for details).
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Applied Behavior Analysis; Cognitive Psychology; History and Systems of Psychology; Physiological Psychology; Psychology of Learning; Research Methods; Senior Seminar in Psychology (Capstone); Social Psychology; Theories of Training and Evaluation
Student Center, Louisiana State University at Alexandria (source)
Louisiana State University at Alexandria (LSUA) is a public university established in 1959. LSUA is part of the Louisiana State University (LSU) System and is located in Alexandria, Louisiana, about 135 miles southeast of Shreveport, LA, and around 190 miles northwest of New Orleans, LA.
LSUA has two online Psychology programs, both Bachelors degrees. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology requires 120 credit-hours, with 40 for foundational psychology courses and 21 for approved electives (drawn largely from criminal justice-related courses). This degree prepares students for careers (some requiring additional study) that demand a high-level of public interaction and the ability to understand and manage human behavior. This includes such fields as business, education, health care, human services, law enforcement, politics, or public relations. For students who want a Psychology degree that is combined with complementary areas of study, LSUA has its Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) with a Concentration in Psychology. This BGS also requires 120 hours for graduation, but with 27 for the concentration, 30 for approved electives, and 24 (12 each) for two enrichment blocks (chosen from Business, Criminal Justice, and Disaster Science and Emergency Management courses).
Sample courses: Advanced Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences; Cultural Diversity; Drugs and Behavior in Psychology; Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Psychology; Introduction to Abnormal Psychology; Personality Psychology; Principles and Theories of Learning; Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences; Senior Seminar in Psychology; Statistics for Behavioral and Social Sciences
American Public University System (source)
American Public University System (APUS), which includes APU (American Public University) and AMU (American Military University), is a private, for-profit system of universities founded in 1991 and based in Charles Town, West Virginia, about 65 miles northwest of Washington, DC. APUS is organized as an entirely online learning institution and has no campus.
APUS offers two online Psychology programs — one Bachelors, one minor — at each of its two universities (APU and AMU). The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology requires 121 credits, with 51 for the major: 33 for core requirements, 15 for specialty requirements (courses in Social/ Developmental Psychology and Clinical/ Forensic/ Applied Psychology), and 3 for capstone requirements. The degree provides an understanding of human behavior and mental processes that prepares students for careers involving a significant amount of personal and public interaction. For students in other majors who want to supplement their primary career focus, APUS has its 18-credit Minor in Psychology. To help with affordability, APUS has a variety of options available for all students (book grants, payment plans, prior learning assessment/ PLA credits), but also some additional benefits for military personnel and veterans, including technology fee and tuition grants, and Yellow Ribbon Program participation.
Sample courses: Biopsychology; Human Life Span Development; Human Sexuality; Learning and Cognition; Professional Careers and Education in Psychology; Psychology of Addiction and Substance Abuse; Psychology of Terrorism; Psychopathology; Research Methods in Psychology; Senior Seminar in Psychology
Main entrance, Northwestern State University of Louisiana (source)
Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is a public university established in 1884 as Louisiana State Normal School. NSU is part of the University of Louisiana System and its main campus is in Natchitoches, Louisiana, about 75 miles southeast of Shreveport, LA, and some 230 miles northeast of Houston, Texas.
NSU offers one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology, which has three concentration options. This BS requires 120 semester hours, with 48 for the major. The degree with no concentration option provides students with an overall understanding of human behavior, along with the communication, critical thinking, data analysis, and research skills, to pursue careers in a variety of fields. Students will also have the foundation to pursue advanced studies in psychology with the goal of becoming a researcher or clinical practitioner. Students who want to work in addiction after graduation can use 12 hours of their electives to earn a Prevention Specialist Concentration or Substance Abuse Concentration. Both options allow students to apply to the Louisiana state government for certification, licensure, or in-training status as an addiction professional. (NSU also has a 21-hour Psychology Minor that may be available online; check with the school for details.)
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Advance General Psychology (Capstone); Development Psychology; Diversity Issues in Psychology; Ethics in Psychology; Field Experience in the Mental Health Agency; Intro to Experimental Methods; Physiological Psychology; Seminar in Alcoholism; Test and Measurement
Park University, Mackay Hall (source)
Park University is a private, non-profit university established in 1875. Its main campus is located in Parkville, Missouri — a suburb of Kansas City, MO, which is about 10 miles southeast of Parkville.
Park has five online Psychology programs: two Bachelors, two minors, one certificate. Its Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology requires at least 122 credit-hours, with 42 for the major and at least 18 for a required minor. This BA is well-suited to students who want to continue on to advanced studies in psychology and become licensed psychologists or psychological researchers. For students who want to combine the strengths of sociology and psychology, Park has its 120-hour Bachelor of Science (BS) in Social Psychology. All the major courses in both degrees can be taken online, although some major electives, if chosen, may need to be taken on campus. For the remainder of the courses needed to complete each curriculum (liberal education courses and electives), many are available online, but some may need to be taken on campus. Finally, Park also has three other online Psychology options: a 15-hour Certificate in Industrial Organizational Psychology, an 18-hour Minor in Psychology, and a 21-hour Minor in Social Psychology.
Sample courses: Adult Development and Aging; Career Counseling and Development; Cognitive Psychology; Cross-Cultural Psychology; Experimental Psychology; Field Placement in Psychology; Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Research Methods; Senior Capstone in Psychology; Social Influences and Persuasion
Blue Mountain College (source)
Blue Mountain College (BMC) is a private, not-for-profit, Christian college that was established in 1873. BMC is located in Blue Mountain, Mississippi, some 80 miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee, and about 170 miles northwest of Birmingham, Alabama. Original name: Blue Mountain Female Institute. Religious affiliation: Mississippi Baptist Convention.
BMC offers one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. This BS requires 120 credit hours, with 30 for the major and 18-24 for a required minor. The degree utilizes mainstream psychological principles, approached with a “Christian worldview,” to provide students with an understanding of human behavior, emotion, and mental processes. It combines this with a broad liberal arts education to prepare students for a variety of career options (some requiring advanced study), including in business, counseling, criminal justice, law, medicine, politics, psychology, social services, or sociology. BMC also has an 18-hour Minor in Psychology that may be available for online study (please check with the university for details.) In addition to a dual enrollment option that allows qualified high school students to earn college credit through early admission, BMC allows for a few other non-traditional ways to earn college credit, including via AP, CLEP, or DSST exams, and through military service.
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Addictions; Experimental Psychology; Family Psychology; Human Growth and Development; Internship in Psychology; Introduction to Counseling; Psychological Evaluation and Testing; Seminar in Psychology; Theories of Personality
McNeese State University (source)
McNeese State University (MSU) is a public university established in 1939 as a division of Louisiana State University. Today it is part of the University of Louisiana System and is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, some 210 miles west and somewhat north of New Orleans, LA, and about 145 miles east and somewhat north of Houston, Texas. Original name: Lake Charles Junior College.
MSU has one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. This BS requires 120 credit hours, with about 42 for psychology courses and at least 15 for a required minor. The degree is most often utilized as the foundation for careers in business or social services, but many students also use it as the starting point for advanced studies in law, medicine, psychology, or sociology. (MSU also has an 18-hour Minor in Psychology that may be available for online study; please check with the university for details.) The online learning program at McNeese has been created specifically for non-traditional students (i.e., those who work full time and/ or have families). Consequently, admission is reserved for qualified adult students who don’t need to take developmental math or English courses. To help with affordability and to accelerate a student’s progress, MSU offers a variety of ways to earn transfer credits that leverage one’s life, military, and/ or work experiences.
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Adolescent Psychology; Advanced General Psychology; Child Psychology; Experimental Procedures in Psychology; History and Theories of Psychology; Physiological Psychology; Psychology of Learning; Senior Thesis in Psychology; Social Psychology
University of Louisiana at Monroe Library and Conference Center (source)
The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) is a public university established in 1931 as Ouachita Parish Junior College. It is part of the University of Louisiana System and its main campus is in Monroe, Louisiana, about 270 miles northwest of New Orleans, LA, and 290 miles roughly east of Dallas, Texas.
ULM offers one online Psychology program — its Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology. This BA requires 120 credit-hours, with 36 for the major. The degree combines a strong liberal arts education with a foundation in both traditional and cutting-edge psychological principles. While this allows students to pursue a number of career paths, it is particularly useful for those who plan to continue on to graduate studies in psychology or a related discipline. (ULM also has an 18-hour Minor in Psychology that may be available for online study; please check with the university for details.) To help students more easily balance work, life, and academic obligations — and give them the opportunity to proceed more quickly through their degree program — ULM has begun offering more of its online courses in the eight (8) week, accelerated format. In terms of affordability, online tuition costs at ULM are of particular benefit to out-of-state students, as residents and nonresidents are charged the same rate.
Sample courses: Advanced General Psychology; Comparative Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Evolutionary Psychology; History and Systems; Human Learning and Cognition; Introduction to Research Methods; Positive Psychology; Psychological Measurement; Psychology Laboratory
U of Texas-Permian, Parker Ranch House building (source)
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) is a public university that was established in 1973. UTPB is part of the University of Texas System and is located in Odessa, Texas, about 350 miles roughly southwest of Dallas, TX, and about 280 miles roughly east of El Paso, TX.
UTPB has three online Psychology programs: two Bachelors, one minor. The two degree programs are both based on the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology, which requires a minimum of 120 credit hours with 36-45 for the major and at least 18 for a required minor. The BAs have similar requirements and curricula, but differ primarily in the semester format they’re offered in. One offers courses in an accelerated, 8-week format and has six (6) semesters per year. The other follows the more traditional 16-week format, with courses available during three (3) semesters each academic year. The BAs provide students with an understanding of human behavior, emotions, and thought processes, and teach them how to utilize research methods and apply the expanded creative and critical thinking skills they’ll develop. Students in other majors who require a minor, or just want to supplement their studies, can take UTPB’s 18-hour Minor in Psychology.
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Child and Adolescent Psychology; Drugs and Behavior; Experimental Psychology; History and Systems of Psychology; Independent Research in Psychology; Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Life Span Psychology; Physiological Psychology; Psychology of Sport
Indiana University East (source)
Third on our list of the lowest cost online Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology is an offering from Indiana University East (IUE or IU East), a public university established in 1971. IU East is part of the Indiana University System and its main campus is in Richmond, Indiana, some 70 miles east and slightly north of Indianapolis, IN, and about 70 miles northwest of Cincinnati, Ohio.
IU East’s online Psychology offering is its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology, a degree completion program that suits students who have already earned a suitable Associate’s degree or have completed at least 60 semester hours of courses (incl. general education and program pre-requisites). The BS requires at least 120 semester/ credit-hours in total, with 39 for the major. It prepares students for a number of career paths, including continuing on to graduate studies in psychology and eventually working in human services or psychological research. In regards to affordability, out-of-state (incl. international) online students pay about half the tuition rate that out-of-state on-campus students do. Ohio students in certain counties (and military members and their spouses stationed in Indiana) can qualify for in-state tuition rates. Meanwhile, military personnel can earn transfer credits for their service and training, while all students can earn credit through Advanced Placement, CLEP, and/ or DSST exams.
Sample courses: Behavioral Neuroscience; Cognitive Psychology; Evolutionary Psychology; History and Systems of Psychology; Lifespan Development; Methods of Experimental Psychology; Organizational Psychology; Psychology of Everyday Life; Psychology of Personality; Senior Seminar
University of Houston-Downtown Commerce building (source)
The second most economical online Bachelors degree in Psychology in the U.S. is from the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), a public university originally established in 1974 as the University of Houston-Downtown College. UHD became a standalone institution and a member of the University of Houston System in 1979. The university currently has four campuses, with the main one located in downtown Houston, Texas.
UHD’s online Psychology degree is its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology, a degree completion program that suits students who have already completed lower-level core coursework and program prerequisites at another institution. (UHD’s on-campus version of this BS is also one of the most affordable in the U.S.) This BS requires 120 semester credit hours in total, with about 45 for the major. The degree provides students with high-level insights into human behavior and thought processes, allowing them to better understand themselves and others. It also provides analytical, project development, research, and research presentation skills that prepare them for advanced studies in psychology or related subjects, or can benefit career options in a number of other fields. While the upper-level of the BS can be taken completely online, some courses, if chosen, may require some on-site attendance. Conversely, for students who want more flexibility, UHD also has hybrid, off-campus, and video conferencing options for some courses.
Sample courses: Behavioral Statistics; Biological Psychology; Child Psychology; Field Experiences in Psychology; Human Growth and Development; Introduction to Clinical Psychology; Psychological Assessment; Psychology of Memory; Psychology of Women; Theories of Personality
Downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina (source)
Number one our college rankings list of America’s most affordable online Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology is a program from Fayetteville State University (FSU), a public, comprehensive HBCU (Historically Black College/ University) established in 1867 as the Howard School. FSU is part of the University of North Carolina (UNC) System and is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, about 60 miles southwest of Raleigh, NC, and some 130 miles east and slightly south of Charlotte, NC.
FSU’s online Psychology program offering is its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. This BS requires 120 credits overall, with 82 for program requirements, including 29 for psychology courses and 18 for psychology electives. To gain admission into this online degree completion program, students must either be dual enrolled with a partner community college or have already completed the university’s core requirements and program prerequisites/ core requirements (either on campus at FSU or online/ on-campus at another suitable institution). This BS provides students with a liberal arts background and foundation in the biological, cultural, and social aspects of human behavior and thought processes, which is often used to pursue graduate or professional studies. Other students use the BS to pursue additional studies or careers in a range of other fields (incl. advertising, biological sciences, business, computer programming, education, health care, human resources, public affairs, or writing).
Sample courses: Abnormal Psychology; Cognitive Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Introduction to Biopsychology; Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology; Multicultural Psychology; Research Methodology; Social Psychology; Sensation and Perception; Theories of Learning
- In terms of topic categories searched in the NCES.ed.gov database, we queried only for programs in the “Psychology, General” category. However, if the final 20 colleges in this rankings article have interdisciplinary programs, they might be mentioned in a school’s ranking.
- For online degree rankings, if a college does not report graduation rate, it is shown as 0% for that institution, for the purposes of charting and statistical summaries.
- A college’s tuition for online programs may differ than that quoted for the on-campus program. This could be due to either or both of technology fees and out-of-state-portion waivers. Check with a college if you’re unsure. We have listed the tuition and net price values recorded in the NCES.ed.gov database.
- As accreditation can change or only be valid regionally, please verify accreditation of any college to which you are planning to apply.
- NCES data is subject to change and some of these “affordable degrees” guides may use more recent data than described in the Methodology.
- For the full list of programs covered to date, please check our School Rankings page.
- Online programs are strongly self-directed and recommended only for students who are self-driven when it comes to studying and researching.
- Some online program selection tips:
- Spend the time to carefully read the degree requirements.
- Browse the course curriculum and make notes of the courses that interest you most.
- Consider creating a spreadsheet to compare summaries of course/ programs across the schools referenced here. If you are looking for a minimum set of courses, make a list of those courses, one per column. Then list ranked schools vertically in the spreadsheet, one per row. Color code or make an annotation for each course offered by a given school.
- Add other columns to record information about tuition, net price, #credits/ courses required, etc., and color code their cells as suitable.
- This visual approach to online program selection can be quite effective compared to staring at bare numbers.
- The methodology for this series on online bachelor’s degrees is essentially the same as for our 15-school college rankings list. For example, see the “Methodology” section of the ranking list article 15 of the Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing for an explanation of the process we use to rank colleges in each topical bachelor’s list.