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Bachelor of Arts (BA): Psychology Degree Overview

Students in a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program learn about concepts, theories, strategies and tactics that apply to human behavior. They also gain fundamental training in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

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Essential Information

Bachelor of Arts programs in psychology cover several areas of the field, such as abnormal, physiological and developmental psychology. Some programs offer a concentration in a relevant field, such as human development or organizational psychology. Furthermore, psychology students are encouraged to engage in research and participate in internships or other hands-on activities.

Individuals interested in applying to a four-year Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology program need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Majoring in psychology at the bachelor's level can lead to entry-level work in human or social services agencies and prepare students for graduate school.


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Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

This program generally offers education in human behavior and related sciences, along with core psychology coursework. Students explore topics such as the following:

  • Perception
  • Psychological research methods
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Child development
  • Personality theories

Popular Career Options

A bachelor's degree in psychology doesn't quality graduates to become psychologists; a graduate degree, most often a doctorate, is necessary for that profession. However, individuals who obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology can apply to psychologist positions in federal government agencies and a variety of other careers. Other possible career paths a graduate can take include social work or social services, human resources, community relations, education, research or counseling assistance. Individuals can choose to pursue such jobs as:

  • Case managers
  • Human resource specialists
  • Counseling aide

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resources specialists had a median wage of $58,350 in 2015. This career field was expected to see employment growth of 5% from 2014-2024. Psychiatric technicians, another job for bachelor's holders, were also projected to see 5% growth in employment from 2014 to 2024. They earned median annual wages of $31,140 in 2015.

Continuing Education, Licensure and Board Certification

The B.A. in Psychology is ideal for students who intend to pursue graduate study in psychology or a related field. Graduate programs, such as Master of Science in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology, allow students to focus on personal interests, and graduation from these programs can meet eligibility requirements for licensure as a clinical, counseling or school psychologist. All states require licensure for psychologists who work directly with patients. Professionals can also opt to obtain board certification through organizations, such as the American Board of Professional Psychology or the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, to establish their expertise.

A B.A. in Psychology program trains students in topics such as cognitive psychology, child development and related topics. This degree can lead to careers in social services, counseling, human services, or community relations.

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