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Associate's Degree in General Psychology: Program Overview

Students interested in human development or the study of abnormal behavior may enroll in an associate's degree program in general psychology. Learn about common coursework and post-graduation opportunities.

Essential Information

The associate's degree in general psychology gives students a foundational knowledge of psychology and an opportunity to study such topics as human development, personality theory and educational psychology. In addition, general psychology majors in associate's degree programs must complete general education courses, including science, English composition and algebra.

Applicants to these 2-year programs will need a high school diploma or GED. Once accepted, students may be required to participate in internship opportunities.


Associate's Degree Programs in Psychology

Students may explore research, scientific methods, data collection and statistical analysis. The associate's degree program can prepare students to transfer to a 4-year school to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology. Popular course topics may include:

  • Lifespan development
  • Research methods in psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Educational psychology

Popular Career Options

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree or higher is required to work in most psychology careers. Still there are a few positions open to a student with an associate's degree in psychology. These options may include:

  • Mental health assistant
  • Youth counselor
  • Drug and alcohol counseling aide

Continuing Education Information

After earning an associate's degree, students can apply to a bachelor's program in psychology. Once they're completed additional training through a bachelor's program, students who want to work as psychologists or psychological assistants will need to enroll in a master's or doctoral program in psychology. According to the BLS, in addition to a graduate-level degree, a license is required to work as a psychologist (www.bls.gov).

An associate's degree program in psychology gives students the foundation in psychology and research methods to prepare for entry-level careers in the field. Most graduates go on to pursue advanced degrees, but could work as mental health assistants or counseling aides.

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