Online Child Psychology Degree Programs

Child psychology is concerned with the cognitive, behavioral and personality development in young children and adolescents. Online undergraduate and graduate programs in child psychology are available, though they typically require some on-campus clinical components in addition to online coursework. Read on for information on the typical curricula and the licensure requirements for psychologists. Schools offering Child Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Child Psychology?

You can take the first step towards becoming a licensed clinical child psychologist by earning an online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in child psychology. Many such programs are actually in general psychology with concentrations in child psychology or developmental studies. In an online format, these degrees may be primarily available through for-profit institutions.

Required courses will typically give you a foundational understanding of psychology and basic theories of brain functions. Topics may include neuropsychology, personality development, psychological research, cognitive functions, abnormal psychology, sociology and learning theory.

You'll also become educated in the foundations of child and adolescent psychology. You might study developmental psychology, child testing and assessment, counseling special needs children and group behavior. You'll also learn about the influence of factors like culture, gender, family and peers on child psychological development.

Common Courses Personality development, research methods in psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology
Online Graduate Options General psychology master's degree, child psychology graduate certificate
Continuing Education Doctoral degree usually required for licensure
Online Program Components Online coursework plus in-person practicum and applied projects.

What Online Graduate Education Options are Available?

While master's degree programs specifically in child psychology are not currently available online, you can still pursue a related online learning program at the graduate level. One option is to earn an online master's degree in general psychology. Like the bachelor's degree programs described above, these may be offered largely through for-profit schools. You can also pursue a graduate certificate in child and adolescent psychology or a related area, such as autism behavioral intervention.

Online master's degree programs in psychology typically include courses in cognitive behavior, theories of learning, social psychology, psychopathology and personality development. Master's degree programs also place increased emphasis on psychological measurement and research. You'll likely be required to take at least one course each in psychological research methods, psychological analysis and patient assessment. You'll also need to complete a thesis or applied research project before graduating.

Graduate certificate programs in child psychology will generally provide you with specific skills in the clinical assessment and counseling of children and adolescents. You'll become educated in the theories of abnormal child psychology, behavioral disorders and juvenile delinquency. You'll also learn to perform services common in child psychology, such as trauma identification, crisis intervention, family counseling and psychological testing. In a specialty program like the above-mentioned autism intervention certificate, courses may follow a similar framework, but are geared specifically towards disabled children.

What Additional Education Do I Need to Become a Licensed Child Psychologist?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the practice of clinical psychology - of which child psychology is considered a branch - is regulated by all states ( This requires all child psychologists performing counseling services to pass a state board licensure examination. You'll need a psychology doctorate - generally a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) - in order to obtain licensure in virtually all states (

Largely due to extensive clinical and research requirements, doctoral degrees in psychology are rarely available online. In some cases, you may be able to earn an online doctoral degree through a for-profit institution. Doctoral programs are usually offered in campus-based format.

A typical doctoral program curriculum might cover topics like personality assessment techniques, validation studies and cognition theory. You'll also take several in-depth courses in research design and parametric statistics; you may learn how to use statistical analysis software like SPSS to enhance your research skills. Completion of 1-2 clinical practica and a mandatory dissertation featuring original research is required.

How Do Online Programs Work?

When child psychology and related degree programs are offered online, you generally complete the majority of your required coursework through interactive learning platforms. The only exceptions to this come in the form of applied projects and clinical practica. You can generally fulfill these hands-on requirements at a clinical site near you and submit proof of completion online.

Campus visits aren't usually required. Most programs are asynchronous, meaning you can log on whenever is convenient for you, so long as you adhere to assignment due dates. Some programs may occasionally require you to log on at specific times for mandatory lectures or seminars.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Colorado Technical University

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  • Walden University

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  • George Fox University

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    Popular programs at George Fox University:

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