If you want to study psychology or complete a psychology degree, you can attend university or enroll in an online program. A psychology university offers both classroom and clinical training for students who wish to complete a bachelors degree or obtain a masters in psychology. Having a psychology degree can prepare you for a rewarding career in the field of human services, psychology research or counseling.
Types of Psychology Degree Programs
Most colleges and universities offer several types of psychology programs in both offline and online formats. Some of the most common programs include:
- Bachelors Degree in Psychology
- Masters in Psychology
- PhD in Psychology
- Online Psychology Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs typically focus on social science and behavioral sciences and students pursuing this type of degree program must have at least a high school diploma, GED or an associate's degree in a related field.
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Students interested in a masters in psychology must have completed at least two years of full-time graduate study and complete courses in the field of mathematics, social sciences, physical sciences and biology. Most masters degree programs also require students to complete a clinical internship and a research project or thesis.
Individuals interested in advanced research can complete a PhD in psychology. Doctoral programs typically require between five to seven years of graduate study and include advanced classes in quantitative research, methodology and a dissertation.
Students who have completed a masters may be eligible to pursue certification in a specialized field. Educational Specialist (EdS) psychology programs prepare students to work as school psychologists or directors of special education.
About Online Psychology Degree Programs
An accredited psychology university or college may also offer online programs at the undergraduate or graduate level. Online psychology degree programs typically have the same curriculum as regular programs but are structured slightly differently. Students enrolled in an online program will still take courses in areas such as organizational psychology, family therapy, sports psychology and counseling, but most of the coursework, lectures and tutorials are completed over the web.
Online psychology degree programs may be in an accelerated learning format or allow students to work at their own pace. These programs provide students with more flexibility with their schedule and permit some to work full or part-time while completing their courses.
A psychology university may also offer a hybrid program where some of the courses are taken at a psychology school and the rest are completed online. Hybrid programs are a good match for students who can travel to a campus only on certain days of the week, or for those who want the flexibility of completing some of their courses at home.
Types of Psychology Courses for Different Degree Programs
Most degree programs, whether they are offered at the bachelors or masters level, include the following core courses:
- Principles and Strategies of Successful Learning
- Information Literacy and Research Methods
- Contemporary Oral Issues
- Social Psychology
- Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Biological Basis of Behavior
- Introduction to Counseling Psychology
- Sensation and Perception
- Memory and Cognition
- Child Psychology
- History of Psychology
- Principles of Psychological Assessment
Students completing a PhD in psychology, certificate programs or other advanced programs may be required to take specialized courses and complete clinical research projects.
Psychology University Accreditation
Most states that grant licenses for psychologists require students to have attended an accredited psychology university. Most psychology schools and universities are accredited by one or several of seven regional accrediting bodies, including the American Psychological Association (APA). Online schools are accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council, an organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Career Options after Psychology University
Students who have successfully completed their education can explore a number of rewarding career options, including:
- Career Counseling
- Psychiatric Technician
- Case Manager
- Social Services Manager
- Psychology Researcher
- Child Psychologist
- School Counselor or School Psychologist
Since psychology degree programs provide students with a wide range of skills in the field of human behavior, social science and general psychology, graduates can also find work in the business field, in social services, and education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of salary, clinical, counseling and school psychologists were $64,140 in May 2008. Median annual wages of wage and salary industrial-organizational psychologists were $77,010 in that same year. Approximately 31 percent of all psychologists were members of a union in 2008.