Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology

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Updated May 15, 2024

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Explore online and in-person bachelor's programs in psychology and learn what it will take to earn your degree.

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Are you ready to discover your college program?

Are you fascinated by human behavior? Do you want to work in the mental health, counseling, or social services field? Or are you looking for a major that hones in-demand transferable skills? Then, a bachelor’s degree in psychology might be a good fit. Learn more about what to expect with a psych major to decide whether it’s right for you.

Popular Online Bachelor's in Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

There’s a reason that psychology ranks among the most popular majors. But before declaring your major, weigh the benefits and downsides of earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Pros

  • As a psychology major, you’ll explore fascinating topics like human behavior, abnormal psychology, and social dynamics.
  • Psychology develops strong analytical, research, and critical thinking skills, which can help you pursue careers in many fields.
  • Many social and community services jobs report strong demand; a psychology degree is a great foundation for those careers.

Cons

  • A psychology degree may not lead directly to a career path, so you’ll potentially need to spend time on professional development.
  • Psychology is one of the most popular college majors, so competition for jobs after graduation may be high.
  • You’ll need a graduate degree to work in most psychology careers, including as a therapist or psychologist.

What to Expect from a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

In a psychology program, you’ll complete general education requirements, upper-division psychology classes, and electives. Depending on the program, you may also gain hands-on experience through an internship. Bachelor’s programs require a minimum of 120 credits and typically take four years for full-time students.

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Courses

  • Psychology Research Methods: Strengthen research skills by exploring experimental, qualitative, and quantitative approaches in psychology. You also learn about data collection, probability, and research design.
  • Social Psychology: Survey the impact of social environment on human behavior, including group dynamics, culture, and personality.
  • Abnormal Psychology: Explore mental health conditions with a focus on the diagnostic and treatment process. You also learn about rare psychological conditions.
  • Child Development: Examine human development focusing on birth through young adulthood. Topics include social-emotional development, learning processes, and parent relationships.
  • Neuropsychology: Learn about the relationship between the brain and human behavior. You study brain functions and their impact on emotions, learning, language, and other mental processes.

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Concentrations

  • Child Psychology: Examine the psychological development of infants, children, and adolescents, including language development, personality development, and socialization. You’ll also strengthen assessment skills.
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology: Explore psychology in workplace settings, including how psychology can improve hiring, training, and motivation. You’ll also learn about organizational leadership and employee well-being.
  • Counseling Psychology: Prepare for careers in mental health, therapy, or counseling with a counseling concentration. You’ll learn about the assessment and diagnosis process, counseling interventions, and counseling ethics.
  • Substance Use Disorders: Strengthen counseling skills with a focus on addiction counseling with this concentration. You’ll take courses in treatment methods, addictive behaviors, and substance use disorders.
  • Health Psychology: A concentration in health psychology explores the connection between psychological and physical health. You’ll learn about cognitive processes, personality traits, and health beliefs that shape well-being.

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Admission Requirements

Whether a first-time college applicant or a transfer student, you must meet admission requirements to get into college. You will need a high school diploma or the equivalent for four-year colleges, and many programs set a minimum GPA for admission.

Depending on the school, you may also need to submit letters of recommendation, a personal statement or essay, and standardized test scores. Contact colleges directly to learn more about their admission requirements.

Paying for a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

How much does a bachelor’s in psychology cost? Your expenses will depend on the school. Choosing a more affordable college can help you save money. For example, in-state public institutions typically charge the lowest tuition rates.

You can also save money by creating a student budget and exploring financial aid opportunities. Fill out the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants and loans. Psych majors also qualify for many psychology scholarships.

Annual Tuition and Fees at Four-Year Institutions, 2022-23
Institution Type Average Tuition and Fees
Public $9,750
Private $35,248
Source: NCES

What You Can Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

A bachelor’s degree in psychology prepares you for diverse career paths. The critical thinking, research, and analytical skills you’ll develop during a psychology degree can lead to opportunities in human services, business, the nonprofit sector, and government. Psych majors can apply their degrees in related fields like marketing, counseling, and human resources.

Careers with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Addiction Counselors

An addiction counselor works closely with individuals and groups to recover from substance use disorders. Also known as substance use counselors, they use therapeutic skills to help clients manage issues in their personal and professional relationships. Addiction counselors need a bachelor’s degree.

Median Salary (2023): $53,710

Human Resource Specialists

A human resource specialist handles recruiting, benefits, and training for organizations. They may interview job applicants, lead employee orientation sessions, or administer benefits programs. A background in psychology strengthens interpersonal and analytical skills for careers in HR.

Median Salary (2023): $67,650

Social and Community Service Managers

A social or community service manager oversees programs that provide mental health, housing, substance abuse, and other services. These managers evaluate program effectiveness, implement changes, and supervise social and community service workers. They typically need a bachelor’s degree and work experience.

Median Salary (2023): $77,030

Additional Education After a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Many psych majors pursue a graduate degree. With a master’s degree in psychology, you can become a therapist or counselor. Most psychologists need a doctorate to practice. Advancing your education can mean a higher earning potential and new career opportunities.

Master's Degree

  • Typical Duration: 2-3 years
  • Median Weekly Earnings: $1,661
  • Potential Careers: Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Doctoral Degree

  • Typical Duration: 4-7 years
  • Median Weekly Earnings: $2,083
  • Potential Careers: Clinical Psychologist, Counseling Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist

Is a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology Right for You?

Should you earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology? The answer depends on your academic strengths and professional goals. Psychology requires strong analytical and research skills. And while a psychology degree can lead to many career paths, you’ll need to do some career planning to decide what to do after graduation.

Psych majors get to explore abnormal behavior, human development, and cognitive processes. They participate in labs to strengthen research and experimental methods. And they graduate with in-demand critical thinking and communication skills.

If you’re on the fence about psychology, you can always consider a related major like sociology, marketing, or social work. Or take some psychology classes to see if the field interests you.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Is a bachelor's degree in psychology hard?

A bachelor's degree in psychology can be hard. You'll take research methods courses and labs requiring strong analytical skills. Psych majors also wrestle with complex topics like neuropsychology and social behavior. However, it could be a good fit if you're interested in psychology and have strong analytical skills.

Is a bachelor's degree in psychology worth it?

Earning your bachelor's degree in psychology can pay off. With a psych degree, you can pursue careers in social services, mental health, and social work. Psychology is also a good background for marketing, human resources, or public sector jobs. You can also apply to graduate school to continue your education.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's degree in psychology?

The highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in psychology include human resources manager, project manager, and marketing manager. These careers draw on the analytical and communication skills you'll develop as a psychology major. You can also work in many social and community service jobs with a psychology degree.

Is a BS in psychology harder than a BA?

A BS and BA in psychology typically require the same major coursework, which means your psychology classes will look similar with either option. However, a BS requires more social science, natural science, and math general education requirements, while you'll take more humanities and foreign language courses with a BA.

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