A bachelor’s degree in psychology is among higher education’s most valuable and popular choices.
This value and popularity stem from many reasons, not the least of which is that you can use an education in psychology to go into many different career fields. Each year, thousands of people pursue this subject because of personal interest as well. Learning about psychology often means learning about oneself. This self-discovery has great personal value but can also help you achieve more in school and your career.
There are many affordable psychology degree programs available online. The question is, which one is right for you?
What is a Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree?
An affordable psychology degree online focuses on human behavior. This includes trying to answer critical questions like:
- What factors influence human behavior?
- Why do some people develop mental illnesses and others don’t?
- How can we improve our memory?
- What does intelligence mean?
- How can we communicate more effectively?
This is just a tiny sample of the questions you’ll study in your bachelor’s degree program, but it’s all about the human condition and discovering why we do the things we do.
Most undergraduate psychology programs are in general psychology. This means online students like you take introductory courses in a wide range of topics, from psychological statistics to physiological psychology to social psychology, to name a few. Typically, 120 credits are needed to graduate with a psychology degree, of which about half are required and elective psychology courses. Enrollment as a full-time student requires about four years to complete that many credits.
Some bachelor’s programs in psychology enable you to focus or specialize your online learning in a particular aspect of the field. For example, you might take courses at a state university or private school in human development, child psychology, or the psychology of learning. These specializations can help prepare you for specific entry-level jobs (e.g., a research specialization can help you get a job as a research assistant). Moreover, having an undergraduate specialty is advantageous for continuing your education in a graduate program. So, if you want to join the ranks of clinical psychologists, school psychologists, or work in the nonprofit sector, a bachelor’s degree is a good place to start your studies before completing a graduate program.
You might wonder, “how many psychology degrees are there?”
There are quite a few from the perspective of types of psychology degrees. You might first pursue an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science in psychology online. After that, an online Bachelor of Arts or online Bachelor of Science would be the next step.
Many psychology students continue their online education to receive a master’s degree in the subject (either a Master of Arts or Master of Science). This allows learners to specialize further, such as in forensic psychology. Terminal degrees in psychology, or the highest degrees offered, include a Ph.D. or a PsyD.
A bachelor’s degree is necessary to proceed into these advanced studies in the field. In addition, many psychology positions in organizations or companies require that applicants have a graduate degree in the subject, if not a doctoral degree from an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited program. Thus, a bachelor’s degree is among the prerequisites to proceed in this field no matter what. An affordable online bachelor’s degree in psychology is the right place to start!
How Much Can You Earn with a Bachelor of Psychology Degree?
Once you graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, your earnings potential depends on various factors. Primarily, your level of education determines how much money you can make. Since a bachelor’s degree is the entry-level education requirement in this field, you should expect to earn a salary that’s below the median of $81,040 per year. The lowest ten percent of earners in psychology make $47,850, which is typically where the pay range is for bachelor’s-level workers.
However, other factors influence your earnings potential. For example, the field in which you work is important for your pay. If you become a probation officer, you can expect to earn a median yearly salary of around $60,000 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. If you become an admissions officer, you might make far more – the median is $107,300 per year, though that type of salary usually comes with a higher degree and years of experience. Nevertheless, as you gain more education and experience, you can expect to earn more money.
Even the type of industry in which you work affects your income potential. As an example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that psychologists working for school systems make far less than psychologists specializing in industrial-organizational psychology. Again, part of this disparity is the level of education needed for these positions. But, by and large, psychologists that work in the business world tend to make more money.
Yet another factor to consider is where you live and work. Some areas, like Oregon, California, and Washington, D.C., have the highest salaries for psychologists in the nation – all in the low-six figures. So, it isn’t just the type of psychology degree you get and how much experience you have. Practical factors like where you work and your geographic area – like working in Arizona, Texas, Kentucky, or another state – can greatly affect how much you earn.
What is Required for an Affordable Psychology Degree?
A cheap online psychology degree requires that prospective students like you first complete all of your general education requirements. These are the courses that all students, regardless of major, have to take. Math, science, history, and language arts are a few examples of general education courses.
After that, you’ll take psychology courses, beginning with lower-level classes like:
- Introduction to Psychology
- Careers in Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Biological Psychology
- Social Psychology
Then, as you advance in the major, you’ll take more advanced upper-level courses that might include:
- Experimental Psychology and Research Methods
- Educational Psychology
- History and Systems of Psychology
As noted earlier, most programs require you to complete roughly 60 credits in the major, though this number varies from one school to the next. Regardless of the number of credits required, you can be sure you’ll take a variety of psychology courses that expose you to the many facets of understanding human behavior. In many cases, this means combining coursework with lab research or fieldwork, though not all programs have these components.
What’s certain is that no matter if you live in Louisiana, Indiana, Colorado, or somewhere in between, you can enroll in an affordable online psychology program!
What are the Most Affordable Online Colleges for Psychology Degrees?
So, how do we determine the cheapest online psychology degree programs?
Below, you’ll find our rankings sorted by the Average Net Price for attending the school. Net price factors in fees and financial aid, in addition to tuition. In other words, we’ve done the hard work for you! This valuable information helps you narrow your search for the ideal online psychology program rather than simply Googling “psychology degree online cheap.”
Additionally, you’ll find that OSR displays six data points for each school: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide factors, OSR uses student satisfaction, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific factors, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department. Because this is a ranking based on affordability, these data points are not factored into the score, but are provided to give you a greater depth of detail about each program.
The six statistics are displayed by each of the best colleges in our rankings. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other U.S. institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.
Let’s have a look at the ranking for the cheapest psychology degree online!