Bachelor's Degree in Applied Psychology: Program Summary

Essential Information

Students are trained to observe and assess a variety of everyday problems and offer solutions to them. Some programs focus on social or organizational psychology, while others look at health psychology. They may be trained in designing, carrying out, analyzing and interpreting research on various human relationships, such as those with friends, family, co-workers, organizations, the environment and cultures. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in applied psychology can often work in entry-level positions as rehabilitation assistants, market research analysts or administrative assistants. Those seeking employment in the field of psychology will probably need a graduate degree. A high school diploma or its equivalent and possibly previous college experience are necessary for all 4-year bachelor degree programs. Some programs may also require research projects or internships.

Bachelor's Degree in Applied Psychology

Applied psychology programs culminate in either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The curricula are similar, but they typically concentrate on different psychology specialties. B.A. programs may emphasize organizational or social psychology, while B.S. programs may concentrate more on health psychology. Students can acquire practical and professional skills such as leadership, organization, effective oral and written communication, presentation, critical thinking, decision-making and creative thinking. They learn through readings, lectures and case studies as well as through hands-on approaches like laboratory experiments, research projects and internships. Students will typically need to take courses like psychology theory, research and ethics classes. They may choose other courses that are most relevant to their interests within applied psychology, such as:

  • Social psychology
  • Organizational psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Child and adolescent psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Cognitive psychology

Popular Career Options

Although most psychology careers require advanced education, applied psychology degree holders can find a job that demands skills in organization, clear communication and understanding human behavior. Graduates may be able to find entry-level work in administration, business or social services as:

  • Administrative assistants
  • Rehabilitation assistants
  • Social service workers
  • Consultants
  • Market research analysts

Continuing Education Information

Most career opportunities in psychology are only available to individuals with advanced degrees. Graduates of a bachelor's degree program can apply to post-baccalaureate certificate, master's and doctoral programs in psychology. At the graduate level, students will typically choose a subfield such as community psychology, school psychology or health psychology. Students who earn a doctoral degree can take specialty certification tests, seek diverse careers and set up private practices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees both offer similar coursework but may differ in possible concentrations. In addition to psychology, graduates may find employment opportunities in business and social services.

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