Online Colleges for Psychology Degrees

Online psychology degree programs can provide students with a foundational education that can be applied to several different industries and professions. By examining and understanding mental functions and behaviors, those with psychology degrees may find work in various occupations such as marketing consultants, teachers and mental health counselors. Individuals looking to become clinical or research psychologists require advanced education as well as more extensive training and special licenses or certifications.

Available Programs in Psychology

Associate Degree Programs in Psychology - Associate degree programs provide a basic overview of psychological theories and functions, such as personality development and human sexuality. Students who participate in these programs learn how to enhance relationships, evaluate human mental processes, and communicate research findings. Graduates of an associate degree program in psychology have the option to continue their education in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, or they may qualify for assistant-level positions, including psychiatric technicians, marketing assistants or public relations representatives. Working as a crisis hotline counselor or an assistant mental health aide are some other possible occupations for those who complete an associate degree in psychology.

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Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology - More in-depth than associate degree programs, bachelor’s degree programs in psychology focus on the history, research and theories of the field. Coursework discusses well-known or ground-breaking studies and research to help students understand the factors that affect human behavior and development in various settings and situations. Graduates may qualify for a variety of entry-level positions, depending on their location and prior work experience. Because psychology can have a practical application to a number of different fields, graduates may find employment in public affairs, education, business, health and biological sciences. Examples of potential occupations for graduates include special education teacher, career consultant, case manager, or probation officer. There is also the opportunity to further one’s education by pursing a graduate degree.

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Master's Degree Programs in Psychology - Online master’s degree programs in psychology enhance students’ understanding of the field. Many online schools offer a master’s degree with a concentration in a specific psychology-related area, such as behavioral analysis, health and wellness, crisis management or counseling. Social worker, mental health counselor, child treatment specialist and speech instructor are among the occupations filled by those who complete an online master’s degree program in psychology. Graduates can also choose to continue their education by pursuing a doctorate degree, which is often necessary for individuals who wish to become an academic, counselor, or industrial or clinical psychologist.

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Doctoral Degree Programs in Psychology - Doctoral degree programs focus on allowing graduates to apply their understanding of psychology principles and theories to make original contributions or expand knowledge in the field. Study involves the genetic, physiological, emotional and developmental factors affecting behavior. Coursework prepares students to take licensing and certification exams in order to begin work as psychologists, using their expertise to understand and explain human mental processes. Those who choose not to become psychologists generally enter the workforce in areas such as teaching, consulting and research, and may find employment in government agencies, healthcare organizations, mental health centers, community agencies and schools.

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How Online College Enhances a Psychology Degree

Distance learning puts a focus on collaboration, which is an important element of psychology. The study of psychology involves conducting studies, asking questions and acquiring information to determine mental functions and behavioral processes. Online degree programs stress independent learning, but also require effective communication with teachers and fellow students for feedback and increased understanding of course concepts. Many online programs feature a “cohort” system consisting of students who enter the program at the same time. Members of a cohort maintain communication with their peers throughout the duration of the program, reinforcing course material and assisting one another as they advance toward completion of their degree. Communication and collaboration are two important aspects of psychology, and graduates entering the workforce can benefit from these components of an online degree program.

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