To practice psychology clinically, you must earn at least a master’s, but preferably a Ph.D. To practice counseling, earning a master’s in psychology or social work is the minimum for licensure in most states. A bachelor’s degree in psychology prepares students for graduate education.
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
Is a Bachelor’s in Psychology Program for You?
A bachelor’s in psychology degree is the best fit for students with little or no college-level education who seek a strong foundational curriculum in psychology.
Elective courses offer students a glimpse of available specialties, such as abnormal psychology or psychiatry, a degree that includes a medical component. Graduates possess a clear understanding of the duties of nearly all psychology professionals. See below for some major traits of a bachelor’s in psychology, followed by the pros and cons associated with each trait.
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Pros | Cons
Many Employers in Psychology Insist That Applicants Hold a Bachelor’s in Psychology
Once students have earned a bachelor’s in psychology, a number of competitive career opportunities become available.
A diversity of careers to choose from, especially when compared to associate in psychology degree holders.
The bachelor’s in psychology may be the minimum degree required by an employer, meaning applicants with more advanced degrees or specializations will be favored.
It’s a Flexible Degree
Earning a bachelor’s in psychology degree grants an overview of psychology topics and specialties that encourages the development of career goals and pathways. The bachelor’s degree in psychology students earn gives students a strong basis to progress to either a career or further educational pursuits.
Prepared for further education, bachelor’s in psychology holders can enter workforce in a variety of career paths
Often need more education to pursue licensure in clinical fields
The Degree Has Predictable Costs
Because four-year bachelor’s degrees are so common, there are plenty of pathways and options to fund your bachelor’s in psychology degree. Scholarships are also very prevalent due the popularity of the bachelor’s in psychology degree. See our psychology scholarship database for more information.
Numerous payment plans, options and psychology scholarships
Despite financial support, a recent study by the American Psychological Association stated the median student loan debt for current psychology students is typically more than $100,000.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs
Which degree in psychology is the best?
I have a bachelor's in psychology, now what?
With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you can pursue some entry-level careers in the field. However, many psychology careers require a graduate degree. Many graduates of bachelor’s programs in psychology go on to pursue a master’s in the field to prepare for more advanced careers.
Where can you work with a bachelor's in psychology?
Bachelor’s programs in psychology give graduates a range of versatile skills in communication and the social sciences, making them great candidates for several careers. Individuals may pursue careers in employment counseling, human resource advising, writing, or customer service.
What's the difference between a BA and a BS in psychology?
Students can choose from a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) in psychology at some schools. Degree-seekers who wish to pursue a psychology career may benefit most from earning a BA. BS degrees emphasize studies in science, with more courses in topics such as biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
How much can you make with a bachelor's in psychology?
Earning potential varies based on several factors, including location, employer, industry, and experience. According to PayScale, those with a BA in psychology earn an average annual salary of $60,000.
What Are the Admission Requirements for a Bachelor’s in Psychology Program?
Minimum Education Level:
High school diploma or GED
Personal statement of intent, writing sample
Additional Required Materials:
How Can I Guarantee My Acceptance Into a Bachelor’s in Psychology Program?
Individuals can demonstrate their interest in psychology in many ways. Some students in bachelor’s in psychology programs, particularly those pursuing or who have pursued employment in a relevant field, can participate in an internship with a licensed psychologist in anticipation of their acceptance into a bachelor’s degree in psychology program. Aspiring psychologists can also subscribe to relevant psychological journals and join professional organizations in the field.
What Should I Expect in an Undergraduate Program in Psychology?
Degree Completion Specifics
- Number of Required Credits: 160
- Typical Length of Program: 4 years
- Culminating Experience Project/Paper/Exam: Program dependent
- Practicums/Internships: Program dependent
Students in a bachelor’s in psychology program build skills such as social development, interpersonal effectiveness, critical thinking, collaboration, and effective oral and written communication.
These lessons can focus on counseling strategies, prevention and treatment of several disorders, addictions, and hurdles.
Degree-seekers develop skills and strategies that, as psychologists, they can use to effectively analyze and treat adults and children.
Students explore how the body and brain change as individuals age.
This subfield gives special attention to the way social involvement impacts a person’s feelings, decision-making, sense of self, and general development.
Mental Health/History of Psychology
This concentration examines mental health over the course of the past century and how psychology has evolved throughout major social and cultural shifts. Students explore treatment, prevention, and diagnosis.
This concentration looks at psychopathology and provides an overview of abnormal, antisocial behavior.
This concentration focuses on childhood developmental psychology, covering topics such as cognitive skills in infants, toddlers, children, juveniles, and young adults. This topic often includes the psychology of sexual development.
Learners gain a glimpse into the psychology behind group functions, working together, and industrial conventions, which proves especially helpful for business-minded students.
These courses emphasize research and promotion of exercise science and the role psychology plays in the regular maintenance of the body. Courses typically focus on injuries, eating disorders, and the characteristics of successful athletes.
What Kinds of Psychology Careers Can I Pursue with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
Professionals with a bachelor’s in psychology degree often seek clinical practicum and may continue with their studies while interning or working. Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can look forward not only to opportunities with outpatient services, schools, nonprofits, and hospitals, but also in private businesses, sales, and the judicial system.
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can pursue some of the positions below. Read on to see average salaries for each position according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Social and Community Service Managers
Average Annual Salary: $65,320
Human Resource Specialists
Average Annual Salary: $60,880
Average Annual Salary: $35,630
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
Average Annual Salary: $57,620
What Do Higher Education and Career Advancement Opportunities Look Like After a Bachelor’s in Psychology?
Other Wages and Careers in Psychology by Degree Level
Typical Duration:2-3 years
Median Annual Wage:$61,000
Sample Careers:Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, School Counselors, Probation Officers/Correction Specialists, Geriatric Clinical Psychologist, Sports Psychologist, Licensed Counselor
Typical Duration:4-7 years
Median Annual Wage: $84,000
Sample Careers:Clinical Psychologist, Counseling Psychologist, Research Psychologist, Learning Disabilities Specialist, University Clinical Psychologist, School Psychologist, Forensic Psychologists, Human Factors/Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, Criminal Psychologist
This guide helps you choose the best online Ph.D. program in psychology. Learn about career prospects, admission requirements, and what to expect from a doctoral program.
Potential doctoral students in psychology who gravitate more toward clinical practice than academia should consider the accredited online Psy.D. programs ranked here.
An online doctoral in psychology prepares you for a psychology career, giving you the flexibility and convenience of distance learning. Here are the best online Ph.D. programs in psychology.
Discover Online Programs by Specialty
Find the psychology program that best fits your career plans and budget.