An online psychology bachelor's degree program is for students looking to explore the meaning behind human behavior and the ways in which humans develop. Students deal with challenging social and scientific concepts in their coursework.
A bachelor's degree in psychology doesn't qualify an individual to work as a psychologist in a clinical setting or treatment role; psychologists typically need to complete a doctoral program to earn licensure. However, an undergraduate psychology degree can open doors for careers in social work, corrections or recreational therapy.
Schools that offer online psychology bachelor's degree programs require that enrolling students have access to a reliable computer and the Internet. Applicants must also hold a high school diploma or a GED. Students who have completed some college courses or have obtained a lower-level degree, such as an associate's degree, may be able to transfer credits to their online psychology bachelor's degree programs.
An online psychology bachelor's degree program is unlike a traditional classroom-based program because classroom lectures will be mimicked by pre-recorded audio or video files or substituted entirely by readings. Professors in an online psychology degree program use Internet message boards to post readings from psychology journals, important passages from psychology textbooks and any other important writings about the field. They also give out assignment deadlines and details through online services, such as Blackboard and e-mail. Many professors will set up some kind of communication service between students and themselves to create simulated class discussions. This may take the form of a forum system or a more immediate real-time electronic chat system.
Because of the intellectually demanding nature of online bachelor's degree psychology programs and the fact that much of the material is self-taught, students must be able to work independently. Students enrolled in online bachelor's degree programs in psychology typically take courses in the following areas:
- Behavioral science
- Personality theory
- Cognitive psychology
- Medical ethics
- Clinical psychology
- Psychological abnormality
- Research methodology
Online psychology bachelor's degree programs prepare students for jobs in fields such as social work or recreational therapy, or for a graduate degree in psychology. A high school diploma or associate's degree is typically required for application to the program.