Bachelor's degree programs in psychology that offer concentrations in child development are available fully online. These programs may offer students credit for approved on-site internship experiences. At the master's degree level, online programs are available, although these programs may require a small amount of time on campus for clinical experiences or a capstone. To access online courses, students may need specific software. Practicing psychologists are typically required to be licensed.
Bachelor's Degree in Child Psychology
This online program awards graduates either a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology or Bachelor of Science in Psychology upon completion. Some programs offer concentrations of child advocacy or child development. Studies focus on the science of psychology, and students learn foundational information about child development. A minimum high school grade point average (GPA) and formal application are typical requirements for entry consideration.
Program Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's degree programs in child psychology take the same amount of time to complete as traditional programs. The entire program can be completed online; however, some schools offer an optional credit internship to students, requiring registration and school approval. Students may complete assignments and take exams through a virtual classroom. Instructors may also require students to purchase certain software or textbooks.
Coursework in these programs vary by school, degree and specialty; however, some classes are common to all programs. The science, research, theory and application of psychology are core courses applicable to all bachelor's degree programs in the subject.
Introduction to Psychology
Students in this course explore the basic principles of human behavior. The class also teaches application of fundamental psychological theories and procedures to solve problems related to human activity.
Adolescent and Child Psychology
This class concentrates on psychological theories, research and principles related to children. Typical topics covered include the development of a child's personality, morals and social skills.
This course gives an introduction to the career opportunities available to the psychology major, as well as the history of psychology and methods of application. Students also assess personal goals, values, ethics, abilities and interests to create a career plan.
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Master's Degree in Child Psychology
These online programs teach student's in-depth child psychology theory. Upon completion, a Master of Science in Psychology degree is awarded. Some schools offer their master's degree program in conjunction with bachelor's degree studies as a fast track option. Students in this program learn advanced techniques to assist children in their development, communication, behavior and academics.
Program Information and Requirements
Online master's degree programs in child psychology can be completed online; however, some programs have an additional on-campus requirement at the end of the program. Instructors may require participation as part of a class, and students may be able to communicate through message boards, discussion boards and instant messenger.
Master's-level coursework in child psychology varies by school, but courses cover topics in the diversity, development and assessment of children. The core coursework further develops the participant's knowledge in the science and theory of psychology in children and adolescents.
Affective and Cognitive Psychology
This class studies thoughts and emotions in humans and the cognitive science theory related to them. Students also study attention, perception, reasoning, intelligence, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills.
Behavioral Screening and Assessment
In this class, the history and purpose of assessment are explored, as well as the tools and strategies used in different stages of child development. Studies also include behavioral challenges and other psychological issues in children and how to treat them.
Diversity and Multicultural Behavioral Perspectives
This course examines diverse cultural backgrounds, groups and populations, and their impact on childhood development. Participants also analyze the interaction between diverse cultural groups and how to effectively apply psychology in practice.
A bachelor's degree in psychology qualifies graduates to work as social workers with not-for-profit organizations and after school care programs. Individuals may be responsible for providing counseling and advise, mentoring and looking after kids. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2015, child, family and school social workers earned a median annual salary of $42,350. The BLS reports that social workers can expect a faster than average 12% job growth between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
Graduates with a master's degree are eligible for careers in academic settings. A master's degree may be sufficient educational preparation to work as a school psychologist, although some school psychologists earn a post-baccalaureate educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree in school counseling. As of May 2015, the BLS reported the mean annual wage of psychologists in elementary and secondary schools at $71,300 per year. Overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow by 20% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of master's degree programs in psychology can continue on to doctoral degree programs. The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits doctoral internships for students in counseling, clinical psychology and doctoral training programs in psychology. After obtaining a doctoral degree and state licensure, certification is available through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in 13 specialties.
Those interested in child psychology programs offered online can complete a bachelor's degree, and may choose to continue with an online master's degree. A bachelor's degree typically leads to careers in social work, while a master's degree leads to becoming a psychologist.