Explore Psychology Degrees Online

Updated November 14, 2022

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Discover types of psychology degrees you can earn online and the different careers you can pursue with your degree.

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Earning an online psychology degree is the first step to beginning a career in a growing industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs in psychology to grow by 6% from 2021-31, the average growth for other occupations.

Pursuing an online program gives you the flexibility to continue balancing other obligations while earning an online psychology degree.

A psychologist must hold at least a graduate degree to earn licensure. Learn more about what to expect from an online psychology degree, along with how to earn credentials in this lucrative industry.

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Degrees Online

Can you get a psychology degree online?

Yes. Many schools offer an online degree for psychology. However, while a program may offer online coursework, all graduate psychology programs require in-person internship or practicum experiences. Online students often complete these at sites in their home communities.

Students should seek out accredited online psychology degree programs, which might be hybrid programs. The American Psychological Association (APA) does not accredit fully online programs.

Why is accreditation for online psychology programs important?

To earn licensure in psychology, you must hold a degree from an accredited institution. Psychology licensing exams require candidates to graduate from an accredited program. Credits earned at an unaccredited institution do not transfer to accredited schools, and employers often do not recognize degrees from unaccredited institutions.

Should I get a BA or BS in psychology?

These degrees offer similar foundational courses in psychology. Graduate programs in psychology often look for those foundational courses. Occasionally, graduate psychology programs will look specifically for a BA or BS, but more often, they require a bachelor's in psychology.

A bachelor of science degree tends to require more general education courses in the sciences, while BA tracks emphasize the liberal arts.

What job can I get with a master's in psychology?

Although most states require a doctoral degree in psychology to earn clinical licensure, many states allow those with a master's degree to practice in certain areas, such as counseling and some psychotherapy roles.

Some students may choose to pursue an educational psychology degree, allowing them to practice as a school counselor in many states. Industrial and organizational psychology positions also often require a master's degree rather than a doctorate.

How long does it take to earn a psychology degree?

This depends on which degree track you select, whether you enroll full or part time, and the program requirements. For example, a bachelor's in psychology may take 3-4 years, and a doctorate can take an additional 6-8 years beyond the bachelor's degree.

Which psychology degree makes the most money?

Often, higher degrees earn higher salaries. Those with a bachelor's in psychology earn an average salary of $59,000 according to July 2022 Payscale data, while master's degree-holders earn an average of $61,000, and doctoral-level graduates earn an average of $90,000 per year.

These numbers can vary based on experience, geographic location, employer, and practice setting.

Featured Online Psychology Programs

Types of Online Psychology Degrees

Students can pursue degrees in psychology at all levels. Each degree builds on the one before it to prepare students for clinical positions.

  • Associate Degree in Psychology

    An associate degree in psychology requires about 60 credit hours or 1-2 years to complete. These degrees consist primarily of general education courses and serve as a stepping stone toward a four-year degree in the field.

    Length of Program: Two years
    Median Salary: $47,000

  • Bachelor's Program in Psychology

    A bachelor's program in psychology requires about 120 credit hours or 60 hours beyond the associate degree. These programs offer foundational courses in psychology, preparing students to pursue some entry-level careers or enter graduate school. Graduates who enter the job force with this degree often pursue careers in other fields.

    Length of Program: Four years
    Median Salary: $59,000

  • Master's Degree in Psychology

    A master's degree in psychology can take 2-3 years to complete. This degree allows graduates to practice as counselors in some states or work as industrial-organizational psychologists.

    Length of Program: 2-3 years
    Median Salary: $65,000

  • Doctoral Degree in Psychology

    Most states require a doctorate in psychology to earn clinical licensure. This degree can take anywhere from 4-6 years to complete and serves as the minimum requirement for practice.

    Length of Program: 5-7 years
    Median Salary: $90,000

Source: Payscale

Careers For Psychology Degree Graduates

Depending on your chosen degree track, you can pursue potentially lucrative careers in psychology. Jobs in psychology should continue to grow, which includes many of the subfields outlined below.

Career options vary by education level, professional experience, and individual credentials.

  1. 1

    Marriage and Family Therapist

    These therapists work with couples and families to overcome emotional and relationship-based issues, using cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, and other methods.

    Recommended Degree: Master's
    Required Credentials: State license

  2. 2

    School and Career Counselor

    These counselors work in schools, helping students deal with academic, personal, and career struggles. They collaborate with school administration and teachers to provide student support.

    Recommended Degree: Master's
    Required Credentials: State license; some states require additional teaching license

  3. 3

    Social Worker

    Social workers provide crucial support to families and children in need, connecting them with available community resources. Those with a master's degree sometimes offer counseling services.

    Recommended Degree: Master's
    Required Credentials: State license

  4. 4

    Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor

    These counselors work with clients dealing with alcoholism, drug use, and other addiction and behavioral conditions. They often work in mental health and rehabilitation centers.

    Recommended Degree: Master's; bachelor's minimum requirement
    Required Credentials: State license

  5. 5

    Psychologist

    General psychologists work with many different patients, providing mental health counseling and behavioral therapy, and diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.

    Recommended Degree: Doctorate
    Required Credentials: State license

Source: BLS

What Psychology Degree Concentrations are Offered Online?

Psychology degree concentrations prepare students to work with a specific population or type of practice. Each of these concentrations as part of an online psychology program can lead to a career in that particular field of psychology.

While you need a doctorate to become a psychologist, you also can use applied knowledge of specific groups for other jobs. For example, a concentration in child psychology could prepare you to help design computer games for children, or a concentration in sports psychology could prepare you for a career as a youth sports coach.

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