Bachelor of Psychology Degrees
Professionals looking for entry-level jobs in psychology should consider gaining a Bachelor's degree in the discipline. These degrees typically offer wide-ranging topics and positions in the field, such as becoming an assistant that helps in treatment analysis or a school counselor that helps children improve their studying capacity and prepare them for higher education.
Holding a license in psychology will open the door to clinical work and practicing under an independent firm, and a Bachelor's degree is the first step in gaining that opportunity. Entrance into the Master's degree and doctorate programs in psychology all require undergraduate education. There are different types of Bachelor's degrees to consider when looking for a job after graduation or pursuing further studies to receive state licensure.
Who is the Bachelor of Psychology For?
Gaining a Bachelor's degree in psychology opens the door to many entry-level positions in different industries that involve communication and critical thinking skills. Many licensed professionals require assistants to perform therapeutic duties or analyze patient information, or graduates can become counselors that may work with students or help those struggling with substance abuse.
Students that are looking to become a licensed psychologist will need to gain additional education beyond a Bachelor's degree. All state licensures across the country require at least a Master's degree in the application requirements. Psychology positions may require a doctorate degree for advanced studies in behavior and mental capacity, but medical school is not necessary for this position.
Differences between a BA and BS in Psychology
There is a difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in the Psychology discipline. Arts degrees will typically focus on liberal arts general education and requires less psychology-based courses for the major. This leaves further customization potential to pick a specialized psychology field and is an ideal pathway for graduates looking to get into an entry level position.
While not exclusive, science degrees in psychology will require the completion of statistics and research methods courses in addition to the specialization selected. The major often requires more courses dedicated to psychology, including lab sessions that analyze patient information and hold discussions with faculty members and other students in the program. This pathway is geared toward further studies at the graduate level in order to receive psychology licensure.
Consider a Featured Online Psychology Program
University of West Alabama
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Saint Joseph's University
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Bachelor's in Psychology Programs
Online Degree Availability
Numerous options exist for students to consider an online education with their Bachelor of Arts or Science in Psychology. If a local university does not offer a Bachelor's degree in psychology, there may be alternative options at other schools in the same state or elsewhere in the country. This is also helpful if a student is looking for a specific field in psychology that may not be available at certain institutions.
While a Bachelor's degree is a significant time commitment with over 120 credit hours needed in a span of four years as a full-time student, pursuing this education online offers flexibility in studying methods. Students have an opportunity to study on their time while maintaining professional work depending on format. Lab sessions and internships will often require specific times for students and workers, but will be completed locally based on approval from the program faculty.
Certain technical requirements need to be met based on the learning management system used by the college and supplemental application compatibility depending on the course. Basic requirements are a modern computer with a Windows or Mac-based operating system with high-speed internet access. Popular applications include web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Office for presentations and word processing.
Compatibility to watch online lectures and access course material is improving on mobile devices. This provides opportunities to study or complete assignments while on the go without the need for a computer. Students should review if their devices are able to utilize some features, but most universities will recommend that students have access to a desktop or laptop computer.
Online Bachelor's Degrees
Many online programs will be identical to the program being offered on-campus, and students will follow a cohort model and complete the degree in four years. Students may consider completing a hybrid version of the program, with both online and on-campus courses, where available. Other programs may offer select courses, such as general education and various elective opportunities, if psychology courses are not available online.
The Department of Psychology has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology for students that are looking to gain an education in critical thinking and analysis when it comes to human behavior. Students will work directly with faculty members and have access to state of the art resources that will prepare them for a career or future graduate work.
Major Graduation Requirements
A total of 124 credit hours are needed to graduate with the Bachelor's degree, and 33 credits go toward the Psychology major. All students will take the following courses: Foundations of Psychology, Research Methods Lab, and Statistics. The remaining credits will be toward high-level psychology courses, electives, and a capstone course.
One of those high-level courses is Adolescent and Adult Development, which explores psychological issues related to the development of the human body. Another example is Abnormal Psychology, a course that emphasizes diagnosis and treatment of various mental disorders. There are also numerous lab courses at the 2000-level that prepares students to analyze patients and write reports.
Fordham Community Mental Health Clinic
The Fordham Community Mental Health Clinic provides multiple services at a lower cost to clients in the New York City area while also giving students the direct client experience needed to become a successful psychologist. Services that the health clinic offers include child and adult psychotherapy, cognitive assessment for ADD, ADHD, and other learning disabilities, and detecting other disabilities formed.
Florida International University
The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is available through the Department of Psychology, both at the Miami campus and completely online. Both formats of the program are identical to each other and requires 120 total credit hours to fulfill curriculum requirements. This program is ideal for students that are looking to break into the psychology field or pursue graduate-level education within the discipline.
There are multiple concentrations to consider for the major, including experimental, social, and developmental psychology. Each student pursuing online education is complemented with a success coach, which will be a guide throughout the program. To complete the program, the vast majority of courses (core curriculum, major, foreign language, etc.) must be passed with a grade of C or higher and 36 total credit hours are needed for the major.
Minor in Psychology Requirements
For students looking to gain overall theory in psychology along with a different major, they can consider a minor in the discipline. This is a fully customizable minor that requires 15 credit hours of upper-level courses. Courses selected will need to be approved by the school faculty, and there are some courses and lab sessions that are not eligible in the minor.
Program Admission Requirements
In order to get into the program, applicants must submit an online form with fee, along with SAT or ACT testing scores and proof of obtaining a high school transcript. Transfer students that have less than 60 credit hours completed will also need to send their high school transcript. Applicants should note that there are different deadlines for first-year and transfer students.
Kansas State University
The Department of Psychological Sciences provides a major and minor opportunity in psychology. A Bachelor's degree is available in both the sciences and arts depending on career preference. This undergraduate degree is recommended for those that are looking at a career in therapy, human services, or law enforcement.
Major Admission Requirements
For the major requirement, students will need to complete approximately 30 credit hours worth of courses. This allows for the student to easily add another major to their focus, or if desired, another degree. In order to get into the major, the student must have a 2.5 cumulative or higher with 15 credit hours earned at KSU and have sophomore standing, which requires 30 credit hours.
Alternative Credit Hour Opportunities
There are multiple ways to earn credit for courses outside of the classroom, including work experience and research activities. In order to gain work experience, a detailed log of what the student learned during their employment or volunteer work must be kept and this is verified with a supervisor. Students can also connect with faculty members for lab sessions if they meet class and GPA prerequisites.
Graduate School Preparation
Students looking to enter graduate-level education should consider a number of recommendations set by the school in order to succeed. Recommended courses that satisfy the core curriculum include Foundations of Social Behavior, Cognitive Psychology, and Psychology of Personality. They should also focus their early education on various sciences, statistics, and participate in research activity with faculty members.
Portland State University
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers undergraduate programs in psychology, including majors and minors that can be added to the Bachelor's degree. 56 total credit hours are needed for the psychology major, which requires a course in research methods, up to 16 credit hours of elective credits, and 20 credit hours in the 300 and 400 course level.
Minor Completion Requirements
For students pursuing the psychology minor with a different major, 28 total credit hours are needed. Regardless of major or minor studies, the student must take a course in Psychology as a Natural Science and Social Science. The remaining 20 credit hours are needed in the 300 and 400 course level, similar to the major requirement.
Students should be prepared to take statistical courses in social science as much of the curriculum requires analysis and knowing various research methods. This is also required if the class has statistics designated as a prerequisite or it is a 400-level course.
Pathways Through Psychology
Instead of having a set of core courses that students take, there is an ability to take up to three sets of concentrations through the Pathways Through Psychology program. This includes categories in education, research methods, neuropsychology, and social psychology. In the neuropsychology concentration, students are able to take a mixture of courses that best fit their career pathway or what will meet prerequisites of graduate-level education.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology available for students to pursue. Students will select one of many different concentrations to graduate with in the major, having the option to experience focuses before declaring into the major itself. There is no ability to focus on more than one concentration within the program, with a customizable option being the Intradisciplinary Psychology concentration.
One of the concentrations available is Clinical or Community Psychology. Students will gain the skills for direct clinical contact with clients and be able to consult with family members or group sessions. Another is Developmental Psychology, where the emphasis will be on how the individual has grown on a mental and personal level over the course of their life.
Major Declaration Requirements
In order to declare the major, students will need to complete an introductory psychology course. They also need to pass a biological or cognitive course, and then a specialty course that focuses on one of the concentrations. For the minor, the same requirements are needed, along with an introductory statistic course and six credit hours worth of 300 or 400-level courses in psychology.
Transfer admission for the sophomore level includes already meeting the completion of an introductory psychology and statistics course. At least one more psychology course should also be completed, and both are recommended to have a 3.0 GPA or higher. The same requirements apply for a junior transfer, but with an additional psychology course needed.
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Students are able to pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology online through the College of Liberal Arts. Goals set by the institution for this program include preparing eventual professionals for statistical analysis and understanding the various research methods used in psychology. While the program is available nationwide, there are some states that may not be eligible for the program.
120 total credit hours are needed to fulfill degree requirements, which includes just over one-third of general education courses. For the major, 54 total credit hours are needed, which includes topics in social sciences, fine arts, and foreign language. Five foundational psychology courses and an additional nine credit hours worth of electives in the 300-400 course level are also required.
Foundational Course Topics
All of these courses within the major will cover theory and concepts in a variety of different psychology focuses. This includes developmental psychology at the child and adult level, abnormal behavior such as mental health problems, and cognitive capabilities in attention span and memory recollection. Students pursuing multiple subjects will guide them toward a specific career path.
Program Admission Requirements
To gain entry into an undergraduate program at UNLV, incoming freshman candidates must have a 3.0 GPA or higher in the core subjects of English, math, social science, and natural science. This must be documented in the high school transcripts, or a composite score of 22 on the ACT is achieved when submitting testing scores. Deadline for fall admission is on June 1st annually, and financial aid and scholarship deadlines are on November 1st.
Licensure Requirements for the Bachelor of Psychology
In order to become a licensed practitioner in psychology, a Master's or doctorate degree is required in addition to national examination and thousands of hours in supervised work. This requirements change slightly depending on the state that a licensure is being obtained in. Gaining a Bachelor's degree is a pathway to graduate-level education that includes foundational topics in psychology.
A Bachelor of Science is recommended for further studies due to the higher number of credit hours generally required for the major. Additional psychological courses will better prepare students for advanced studies in theories and analysis when pursuing a Master's degree.
While it is not possible to become licensed with a Bachelor's degree, it does open the door to other opportunities in the field of psychology. For example, social work assistants will help licensed professionals by organizing client information and keeping a connection with patients. They may also provide rehabilitation support in order to help recover a patient from their physical injury or mental disorder.☰ Search Online Psychology Programs
Holding a Bachelor’s degree in psychology does not limit professionals to administrative tasks and assistant duties within the field. There are other industries that candidates may consider, such as human resources, criminology, journalism, social services, and advertising. Psychology degrees will prepare students with strong communication skills and various liberal arts subjects, especially when pursuing a BA in Psychology.
According to PayScale1, the average salary for professionals with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology is estimated at $62,323. Therapists and project managers sit around this estimate, with therapy being an option for numerous categories, such as those struggling with addiction, gerontology, and marriage and family therapy. This jumps to approximately $88,000 for product managers and $143,000 for vice president positions within human resource.
Human resources specialists and managers help with employment and/or analyze employee performance in an organization. Specialist duties include reviewing applicants for job positions and they may conduct an interview to validate experience and education. They may also be part of the training process to get new employees established into their new position.
Many of the high-paying locations for HR workers are in the northeastern portion of the United States and states such as California, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics2, Washington ranks as the highest-paying state with an annual mean wage of $77,220. New Jersey and New York are the highest along the East Coast with estimates over $76,000.
Advertising positions, such as a market researcher or consulting expert, require strong communication skills and the ability to identify effective messaging to individuals or groups. Since a Bachelor’s degree in the discipline will often require courses in statistics and research methods, professionals will have the ability to collect and analyze information to develop successful marketing strategies for an organization.
Another career opportunity that takes advantage of statistical analysis is criminology, which identifies the reasoning behind criminal activity through qualitative reasoning. They may review information at the crime location and conduct interviews with suspects or witnesses. This could also include theory and evaluation of criminal behavior and identifying any patterns to detect potential activity prior to it occurring.
Top Organizations and Associations in Psychology
One of the most popular organizations in psychology is the American Psychological Association (APA). Their goal is to improve the public perception of the industry and successfully prepare those who are looking to gain education and enter the workforce in the psychology field. The APA offers educational accreditation, but this is for doctorate programs, internships, and residency after graduate education.
Even if the professional is not considering higher education beyond undergraduate studies, the APA provides plenty of resources. Graduates can improve upon their career opportunities by sharpening interviewing skills or touching up resumes that will further attract employers. They offer strategies for careers within academics or positions outside of academics, such as health care and criminal justice.
The Psychology Help Center at the APA can provide additional resources in specific segments of the industry. For example, they can help professionals understand the trauma their patients go through when recovering from a disastrous event in their lives, how financial responsibility can help improve relationships they have with others, or successfully moving on from a separation or divorce with a significant other.