Can You Get a Psychology Degree Online?

PSYCHOLOGYFor prospective students who are interested in the study of the human mind and behavior, completing a psychology degree online can be the first step for beginning to gain the qualifications to enter into the field. Psychology is a rewarding and challenging career field that offers diverse opportunities in all industries from education to health care to business.

Undergraduate Online Psychology Curriculum

Students enrolled in a psychology online curriculum at the bachelor’s degree level complete many courses in and out of the major field of study. For most beginning courses, undergraduate students will finish general education classes such as composition, calculus, sociology, chemistry, and biology. These courses offer not just a well-rounded educational foundation, but they also help to prepare students for the courses within the field of psychology.

Advanced course work, typically beginning in the second year of study, is also diverse within the psychology major. Common preparatory courses include introduction to psychology, statistics for behavioral sciences, psychology and the scientific method, and developmental psychology. Upper level courses often include social psychology, experimental psychology, psychology systems, and the history of psychology.

Graduate Online Psychology Curriculum

For many students who complete an undergraduate degree in psychology, the next step will be to complete a master’s or a doctorate degree. Courses at the master’s degree level are likely to include cognitive psychology, neuroscience, physiological factors in behavior, and psychopathology foundations. At the graduate degree level, psychology degree online students are also likely to be able to add specific focus to one particular area of clinical psychology such as addiction and substance abuse or family counseling.

Certification Requirements for Clinical Psychology

In order to work in counseling professions, there are additional qualifications that may be required in order to practice and work directly with clients. For most states, in addition to a master’s degree, prospective professionals will be required to hold certification that includes a number of hours that have been spent in the field, observing and working with an experienced psychologist. In part due to this requirement, most online programs in psychology offer opportunities for internship, externship, and field work courses in addition to class work. Additional information on specialty certifications required or preferred for clinical-based positions can be reviewed at the American Board of Professional Psychology website.

Additional Specializations in Psychology

Many graduates of an online program in psychology will consider pursuing clinical positions in which the majority of time is spent working with clients. However, there are a number of other careers to consider outside of counseling services, working in the health care industry, or working in schools. Additional careers for psychology graduates to consider include those in marketing and advertising, human resources, and management. Adding focus in areas such as consumer behavior, organizational behavior, and leadership can be helpful when planning for future careers in these types of fields.

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With numerous options for completing an undergraduate or graduate degree, future professionals in the field of psychology can choose the best fit for future career goals. Whether pursuing a career in clinical psychology in order to work with clients or considering a position in management with a Fortune 500 company, a psychology degree online offers the courses to gain the knowledge and skills needed for success.