15 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology

bachelor's degree in psychology

A bachelor’s degree in psychology can open you up to a variety of psychology careers. While a graduate degree is generally the minimum degree for those interested in working as licensed psychologists, this is not to deter an individual from pursuing a bachelor’s degree. There are more options available to graduates of an undergraduate psychology degree than one would imagine.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Right for You?

You may hear from many people that a bachelor’s in psychology is just not worth it. After all, if you can’t use it to become a psychologist, why bother, right? The truth of the matter is that a bachelor’s degree can open many doors for you. There are very good reasons for all the undergraduate degrees around today, psychology is one of the most popular.

The curriculum offers students the option of studying not just psychology but also various specialties in the field. In fact, this undergraduate degree is the ideal choice for a student who wants a curriculum loaded with psychology without spending many years in college.

If you’re interested in learning about psychology but don’t want to spend years and years in college and don’t necessarily aspire to be a psychologist, a bachelor’s degree in psychology might be the ideal degree choice.

Many counselors or coaches have bachelors degrees in psychology and have life-long, satisfying careers. Other specialties will require the next level of education, the masters degree, or even a doctorate degree. Clinical psychologists and forensic psychologists, for instance are two of those specialties. Most of the time, psychologists within private practice have at least earned their master’s degree.  But understand, these practitioners started their education with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In the field of psychology, it forms the basis for your career.

Many of the psychology career paths available to professionals with a bachelors degree that are related to helping people with family issues in general, including school counselors, divorce counseling, and social work. Once you have your degree, the possibilities really open up for you.

Pros and Cons of a Bachelor’s in Psychology

Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology can be a real boost to your career. It can open up many doors for you. Most people find that careers that were out of their reach in the past were within their grasp after they earned the bachelor’s degree. However, like with many other degrees, there are both pros and cons to having a bachelor’s in psychology.

Pros of the Bachelor’s in Psychology

  • It offers many more career opportunities than an associate’s degree in psychology.
  • The bachelor’s degree offers a diverse number of potential jobs and career opportunities.
  • The degree is flexible in that it not only prepares students for the workforce but also acts as a foundation for graduate degrees.
  • Due to the popularity of this degree and the large number of students pursuing it, there are many grants, scholarships, and funding opportunities for students.

Cons of the Bachelor’s in Psychology

  • Because the bachelor’s degree is generally the minimum degree for a psychology job, graduates with higher degrees may see better job offerings.
  • The bachelor’s degree may not be sufficient to obtain the certification and licensure required for many clinical jobs.
  • Although it’s cheaper than a graduate degree, the cost to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology is still quite expensive.

Admission Requirements for a Bachelor’s in Psychology

Every college and degree program has specific admission requirements the applicant must meet in order to be approved or accepted into the program. Some students choose to work with college admissions consultants to guide them through the process.. Although some requirements might vary by school or department, these are the admission requirements most commonly found for bachelor’s in psychology programs according to general requirements from the University of Milwaukee.

  • High school diploma, GED or equivalency
  • High school transcripts
  • Personal and professional recommendations (two to five)
  • Standardized tests (SAT/ACT)
  • Personal statement of intent
  • Proof of current immunization records

Students hoping to be admitted into a bachelor’s degree in psychology program may wish to go the extra mile to improve their chances. One way is to find work in a relevant field to gain experience. Another way is to perhaps complete an internship with a licensed clinical psychologist.

The experience and knowledge gained from working in a psychology office can be very beneficial in terms of improving admission chances. In some programs, this experience may be used for credits in the undergraduate program.


The bachelor’s degree in psychology program is typically a four-year program that requires completion of about 160 credits. The program consists of not just coursework in the form of courses, but also research-based projects, practicums, and internships. Students in the program will perform a lot of research for the courses and the practicums.

They will also develop skills like written communication, critical thinking, social development, oral communication, collaboration and interpersonal effectiveness. In addition to general education courses, the program includes the following course topics.

  • Careers in Psychology
  • Statistical Methods
  • Intro to Statistics
  • Research Methods
  • Social-behavioral Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Social Development

Undergraduate psychology programs often offer areas of concentration such as:

  • Mental Health/History of Psychology
  • Exercise/Sports Psychology
  • Family Studies
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology
  • Child Developmental Psychology

Towards the second half of the program, the student is typically required to complete research-based projects as well as supervised internships in a psychology-based environment to obtain hands-on training.

15 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology

Take a look at our ranking of 15 of the best online bachelor’s degrees in psychology. Some are bachelor of arts degrees and some are bachelor of science degrees. Take a look at our more detailed methodology to find out how we rank schools.

1. Oregon State University

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Oregon State University launched its bachelor’s in psychology online program in 2001. At just $350 per credit hour, it’s one of the more affordable options for students. With a rolling admissions policy, you can apply whenever you want and start classes the following semester. Oregon State looks at your school record, class rank, GPA, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores. The program has four start dates every year and does not require any on-campus work. U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the best online psychology program. Courses include General Psychology, Careers in Psychology, and Brain and Behavior.

2. University of Louisville

Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology

The University of Louisville in Kentucky designed an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program for students who live in other states or cannot attend on-campus classes. Active-duty students pay just $250 per credit hour, while all other students pay $514 per credit. The 121-credit program is entirely online but features internships and other offline opportunities for enrolled students. You must apply by the deadline before each semester of August first, December first, or April first. The University of Louisville requires a GPA of 2.5 or higher and a minimum ACT score of 20. Research Methods for Psychology, Brain and Behavior, and Statistics for Psychology are some of the required courses.

3. University of Utah

Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

More than 31,000 students take classes at the University of Utah every year. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online program that includes 53 credits of general education courses and social sciences classes for a total of 122 credits. All online undergrads pay just $260 per credit hour. You must take both required classes and at least one course from each of the five cores that include behavior, development, and social. The program has an emphasis on research to prepare students for their graduate studies. A less intensive Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program is available with less research work, too.

4. Loyola University of Chicago

BA in Applied Psychology

You don’t need to live in or near Chicago to apply to the Loyola University of Chicago, which offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. You need a GPA that shows you can handle work at a higher level. The university asks for an official transcript to view your past work and grades, but you do not need to submit a test score or an essay. This program allows students to declare a co-major in psychology and neuroscience or social work. The Loyola University of Chicago offers financial aid to defray its $730 per credit hour cost.

5. Arizona State University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The classes in the online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Arizona State University last for just 7.5 weeks. While the courses are more intensive, you only need to take 40 classes to graduate. You can submit all required information online or request help to work with an admissions counselor. Online students pay $661 or less per credit hour and qualify for scholarships and other types of financial aid. The online program does not include emphasis areas but lets you pick from a variety of courses like Personality Theory and Research, Developmental Psychology, and Psychological Disorders in addition to the required courses. They also offer a Bachelor of Science in Psychology for a more research-focused degree.

6. University of Massachusetts Global

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Formerly known as Brandman University, the University of Massachusetts Global has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program that is open to students around the world. Sessions begin every semester and twice in the summer, with courses costing $500 per credit hour. To apply, you must have your GED or high school diploma. The university asks for an official transcript, too. Though you do not need to do much research in this program, you have the chance to do fieldwork to gain practical experience and complete an internship for added credit towards the 120 required for graduation.

7. Indiana University

Psychology, BS

Complete 120 hours of work to earn a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University. This 100% online program charges $243 to $353 per credit hour for in-state residents and non-residents, which makes it an affordable option for many students. Twelve of the required credits make up the psychology core and include Experimental Psychology, Life Span Development, Social Psychology, and Psychology of Learning. Indiana University asks that you apply online with your official high school transcript. It does not require standardized test scores or essays and accepts students year-round.

8. University of Florida

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The University of Florida charges full-time students $15,000 per semester if they live in a different state and $3,358 if they are a resident of Florida. Though students can transfer up to 59 credits, those with up to 11 credits will enroll as new freshmen. Though the University of Florida does not require on-campus visits, it does ask that prospective students submit an ACT or SAT score and a high school transcript. You can begin in the fall, spring, or summer semesters, but each one has its own deadline. This bachelor’s program prepares students for graduate school and allows them to pick any related minor.

9. Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Pennsylvania State University launched its World Campus to meet the needs of online students. This school has a psychology program that charges $642 per credit hour. The rolling admissions policy gives you the option of applying during the year and starting classes quickly. You need a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 and submit a standardized test score when you apply. This is one of the few online B.S. programs that let students do internships in their communities for course credit.

10. Trine University

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Trine University offers a Bachelor of Science program with a major in psychology. It asks students to complete 120 credits and take classes such as Research Methods in Psychology, Human Sexuality, Political Psychology, and Child and Adolescent Psychology. All students must take a minimum of two classes from the core subject areas of social, clinical, and developmental psychology. Also available is a concentration in addiction counseling. Trine University charges $399 per credit hour and drops the price to $250 for military and veteran students.

11. University of Central Florida

Online Psychology, B.S.

Another of the top psychology undergrad programs located in Florida is the one available through the University of Central Florida. You’ll pay less than $180 per credit hour as a Florida resident or $716 as a non-resident. Courses last for 16 weeks and are worth three credits each. You can choose from different tracks based on your career goals. Those tracks include experimental psychology, human factors, neuroscience, industrial and organizational psychology, and clinical psychology. You must apply by the first of July, November, or March to start in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

12. CUNY School of Professional Studies

BA in Psychology Online

Since 2006, the CUNY School of Professional Studies offered a bachelor’s degree program in psychology. It charges just $350 per credit hour and has a rolling admissions policy. Though it doesn’t have a strict deadline, you can only apply on or after February first to start in the following months. You need to write a short application essay and provide a transcript that shows you have a high school diploma. The school allows students to enroll in multiple schools and take courses at any of its physical locations to earn credits but also lets students do all their work online.

13. Regent University

B.S. in Psychology Online

Complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to earn your Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree online through Regent University. Regent allows students to earn credits on its Virginia campus or take all classes online. You can apply online and submit your transcript, FAFSA, and a copy of your photo ID through the portal. Regent University undergrads pay $630 per credit hour in the online program, but the university offers a variety of scholarships for incoming students. Introduction to Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and a capstone seminar are some of the requirements of the program.

14. Grand Canyon University

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Maintain a good balance between school and work or home with the Bachelor of Science program available from Grand Canyon University. Based out of Arizona, this private university lets you request more information and will pair you with an admissions counselor to help you apply. Classes last for 15 weeks and include Child and Adolescent Psychology, Health Psychology, and Adult Development and Aging. Online students can take as many courses each semester as they would like for a price of $485 per credit hour. In addition to the psychology program, the university offers forensic psychology and performance and sport psychology emphasis areas.

15. Capella University

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Capella University ranks as one of the best schools for online psychology undergrad programs because it has accreditation at the program and regional levels. Each a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in four years or less or enter the B.S. in Psychology Pre-Counseling to prepare for graduate school. Incoming students qualify for a $15,000 scholarship based on their past experiences, which also lets them complete their studies in only 15 months. You pay $350 to $415 per credit hour. Capella University only asks for your official transcript and an application fee when you apply.

What can I do with a Bachelor’s in Psychology?

The answer to this question is far from a simple answer because it all depends on your career goals and aspirations. Although most people assume choosing a psychology degree automatically means wanting to become a licensed clinical psychologist or a licensed mental health counselor, there are so many other career paths in psychology.

While you may find some clinical positions in psychology, you will also find many non-clinical careers. In fact, there are many entry-level positions possible with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Bachelor’s in psychology programs provide students with various skills in not just communication but also the social sciences, which may make them eligible for many careers and jobs.

Graduates of undergraduate psychology programs may find work in the following areas.

  • Business
  • Human Resources
  • Social Services
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Marketing
  • Sales

One example of a job for a baccalaureate degree holder would be working in a psychology office in an administrative position or as a psychology assistant. You might also find a job as life coach or career counselor. The possibilities are almost endless.

Graduates of a psychology undergraduate degree program can choose different paths. Of a large number of holders of psychology bachelor’s degree, 25 percent go on to earn graduate degrees in psychology, 18 percent earn advanced degrees in non-psychology fields and 57 percent are in the workforce, according to the American Psychological Association.

One way to look at it is if the bachelor’s degree in psychology were not a good choice, there would not be so many graduates working today at jobs they could not otherwise have. While the bachelor’s degree in psychology may not qualify the applicant for one particular job, it definitely qualifies him or her for a large number of jobs. Here is just a small list of the many jobs that may be available to an individual with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Labor Relations Manager
  • Personnel Recruiter
  • Career/Employment Counselor
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Child Welfare/Placement Counselor
  • Loan Officer
  • Probation/Parole Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Research Assistant
  • Correctional Treatment Specialist
  • Computer Programmer
  • Customer Service Representative Supervisor
  • Psychological Stress Evaluator
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Occupational Analyst

Types of Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology

There are generally two types of bachelor’s degrees in psychology: A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). While they both require general education courses, the B.S. degree is more science-based general education courses while the B.A. degree has more liberal arts-based general education courses.

You’ll find more courses in mathematics, chemistry, and biology in the B.S. program. Students who want to join the workforce upon graduation generally choose the B.S. program. The B.A. program is usually the choice for students who want careers in psychology and plan to advance their education.

Many colleges offer a bachelor’s in psychology through distance learning. The online programs are a great choice for an individual who can’t attend college on campus on a full-time basis. Studying online allows the student to continue working while earning the degree.

Students in the B.A. program often work in a psychology setting while earning the degree. This is very beneficial because they can gain experience working in the field, possibly earn academic credits and even complete an internship.

Careers and Salaries with a Bachelor’s in Psychology

While it’s impossible to list all the careers for someone with a bachelor’s degree in psychology because there are so many, here is a list of some of the most popular careers and their average annual salaries nationwide according to a May 2021 salary report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It also lists the wages earned in the lowest ten percent and the highest 90 percent.

  • Psychiatric Technician – Annual average wage of $36,570 with wages ranging from $26,980 to $56,380.
  • Rehabilitation Specialist – Annual average wage of $46,020 with wages ranging from $29,120 to $71,270.
  • Labor Relations Specialist – Annual average wage of $87.470 with wages ranging from $38,900 to $131,660.
  • Loan Officer – Annual average wage of $63,380 with wages ranging from $32,520 to $132,680
  • Probation/Parole Officer – Annual average wage of $60,250 with wages ranging from $37,380 to $99,090.
  • Career Employment Counselor – Annual average wage of $60,510 with wages ranging from $37,550 to $98,190.
  • Research Assistant – Annual average wage of $57,760 with wages ranging from $33,860 to $82,350.
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager – Annual average wage of $127,530 with wages ranging from $77,040 to $208,000.

It’s important to realize that although these wages are averages, there are many factors that can affect earning potential. The most common factors are experience, degree level, certifications, employer, and geographic location to name a few.

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is a great entrance into the field of psychology and counseling. The more specific and licensed opportunities start to open up when you move beyond a bachelors degree and move on to earning your master’s degree.