Associate of Arts (AA): Psychology Degree Overview

Oct 08, 2019

Essential Information

An associate's degree in psychology is typically for students interested in later entering bachelor's degree programs in psychology. While completing the program, students can gain fundamental knowledge in behavior theories and explore the causes of abnormal and normal thought processes. An associate's degree program in psychology typically requires a high school diploma or the equivalent to enroll and involves two years of full-time study or a minimum of 60 semester hours.

Associate's Degrees in Psychology

Associate's programs in psychology focus on introductory topics and delve into more complex theory and research in the field. In this program, students may study behavior analysis and explore factors that affect how individuals respond to stress and unexpected circumstances. Programs often focus on how the actions of individuals are influenced by their own thought processes and by people's interactions with others. Courses could include:

  • Emotional and social disorders
  • Adult development
  • Biological psychology
  • Family and marriage counseling
  • Methods of research
  • Abnormalities in psychology

Popular Career Options

Individuals who complete 2-year degree programs in psychology often transfer into bachelor's degree programs. Graduates might also find employment in entry-level jobs related to human resources or social work. They may also qualify for select entry-level positions related to psychology, such as in counseling assistance, which usually require the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Some possible job titles include:

  • Social services clerk
  • Elderly home recreation aide
  • Paraprofessional counselor
  • Drug counseling assistant
  • Patient admission record keeper

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

With an associate's degree in psychology, one can become a social and human service assistant. This broad category was expected to have a 13% growth in jobs from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary was $33,750 for social and human service assistants in 2018.

Continuing Education

Individuals who have earned an associate's degree in psychology may pursue advanced opportunities by earning a bachelor's degree in psychology. Some schools offer an integrated program that incorporates the associate degree program into a bachelor's degree program. Those interested in becoming counselors, therapists or clinical psychologists typically must hold graduate degrees in psychology as well as state licensure.

Students wishing to study psychology can begin by earning an associate's degree in the field. Many graduates go on to earn a bachelor's degree, but can also work as social and human service assistants, a field which is expected to have positive job growth.

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