Distance learning undergraduate degree programs in psychology are typically available at the bachelor's level. A number of schools - including public and private four-year institutions - offer these fully-online programs to students seeking foundational knowledge in psychology, which may be applicable to various entry-level positions in fields like human services, education or criminal justice. They also prepare students for graduate study in psychology. Some schools offering distance learning programs in this field may award a Bachelor of Science, while others offer the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Online students have the flexibility to complete assignments at their own convenience within certain due dates. Virtual classrooms let distance learners view instructional material but also engage in discussions with faculty and peers. Many are offered totally online, though some programs require an internship.
Coursework covers a range of topics related to the discipline that may include cognitive psychology, adolescent psychology and applied social psychology. Along with general education classes, online program requirements may include the following:
- Basic research methods in psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Elementary statistics in psychology
- Personality psychology
- Organizational psychology
Although most practicing psychologists hold a doctoral degree, a bachelor's degree in psychology may prepare students for certain entry-level positions. It is important to note that graduates of online bachelor's degree programs may begin their careers as assistants to experienced psychologists. Many clinical positions require a number of hours of supervised training. Psychologists must also be licensed to practice in the state where they work. Some of the positions an online undergraduate degree in psychology may prepare students for include the following:
- Career counseling
- Case management
- School psychology
- Sports psychology
- Art therapy
Students who earn a bachelor's degree in psychology online get a broad overview of the field and learn about different disciplines within psychology. These degrees can serve as a foundation for entry-level jobs within the psychology field or prepare students for advanced education programs that are required for clinical positions.