Best Online Associate's in Psychology Degree Programs

Online associate's degree programs in psychology are flexible degrees that give students an overview of the field and can help prepare for various careers. Find out what makes some of these programs the best, as well as some career opportunities. Schools offering Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Best Online Associate's Degree Programs in Psychology

Online associate's degree programs in psychology help prepare students for further education while providing a broad overview of psychology. Some of the best programs in the field are taught by expert faculty, provide unique learning opportunities, such as specializations or mentorship programs, and accept transfer credit. Compare and contrast some of the top online associate's degree programs in psychology here.

1. Regent University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Virginia Beach, VA$18,38097%

Regent University is a Christian institution that offers an online Associate of Science (AS) in Psychology. Students are taught by well-educated faculty here: 90% of full-time faculty members have earned the highest degree in their field. The program requires a minimum of 64 credits and is taught in 8-week courses. The private university also ranks at the top for most affordable private Christian institutions; online students pay $395 per credit hour.

2. Saint Joseph's College of Maine

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Standish, ME$35,650100%

Saint Joseph's College of Maine has an online AS in Interdisciplinary Studies that offers a minor in several different areas, including psychology. Students in the program learn from experienced faculty and benefit from one-on-one attention. The program includes 66 credits and is designed to serve as a foundation for the school's Bachelor of Science (BS) in Interdisciplinary Studies. The school requires students to complete at least 18 credits at Saint Joseph's.

3. Liberty University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Lynchburg, VA$22,58497%

Liberty University provides an online Associate of Arts in Psychology that totals 60 credits and can be completed in 1.5 years. Students in the program can specialize in Christian counseling and learn from faculty with work experience in the psychology field. The institution does offer military benefits and allows students to transfer in up to 75% of their degree credits. Students in the program study psychology with a Christian perspective and can benefit from a number of networking opportunities the school provides.

4. University of the Cumberlands

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Williamsburg, KY$23,000100%

The University of the Cumberlands has an online Associate of Psychology degree program that requires 61 credits. The curriculum covers major concepts in psychology, as well as basic research methods, and allows students to take multiple elective courses to pursue their interests. University of the Cumberlands boasts a robust online community: there are over 1,500 undergraduate online students, which represents nearly 40% of the student body.

5. Point University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
West Point, GA$20,600100%

Point University offers a 60-credit AA in Psychology degree program that helps prepare students for bachelor's degree programs in psychology, human relations, or criminal justice. Students learn from the same expert faculty who teach the on-campus program and complete coursework in a self-paced format. The school offers a unique mentorship program for online students and allows up to 30 transfer credits. The university does provide students with a biblical worldview through the curriculum.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
6Upper Iowa UniversityFayette, IA$30,45099%
7Foothill CollegeLos Altos Hills, CA$1,56340%
8Northeast Community CollegeNorfolk, NE$3,48089%
9Copiah-Lincoln Community CollegeWesson, MS$3,18092%
10Northern Wyoming Community College DistrictSheridan, WY$4,17094%
11Allen County Community CollegeIola, KS$3,80886%
12Casper CollegeCasper, WY$3,07293%
13East Mississippi Community CollegeScooba, MS$3,44096%
14Canada CollegeRedwood City, CA$1,36060%
15Holmes Community CollegeGoodman, MS$3,11091%
16Clarendon CollegeClarendon, TX$3,26483%
17Barton County Community CollegeGreat Bend, KS$3,58491%
18Amarillo CollegeAmarillo, TX$3,16875%
19Northeast Mississippi Community CollegeBooneville, MS$3,59699%
20Finger Lakes Community CollegeCanandaigua, NY$5,15887%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Associate's Degree Programs in Psychology

Online associate's degree programs in psychology typically provide students with knowledge of basic foundational concepts in the field and help prepare them to continue their education at the bachelor's degree level. These degree programs are most often offered as AA or AS degrees and may range from around 60 to 66 credits.

Most of these degree programs can be completed fully online. Depending on the program, courses may be offered in 5-week to 8-week terms. Some programs may offer self-paced courses, while others may require students to meet online one night a week or more. Many online associate's degree programs in psychology offer small class sizes, quality transfer policies, and education from experienced faculty members. Get more details about online associate's degree programs in psychology below.

Program Length

Usually online associate's degree programs in psychology take 2 years to complete. However, there are some programs that may allow students to complete the program in as little as 1.5 years. There are also some programs that may allow students to complete the program in a part-time format, which may take longer than 2 years.

While many of these programs are designed to be completed in 4 semesters, there are several ways that students can cut that time. For example, many of these programs allow students to transfer in credit, with some programs allowing students to transfer as much as 75% of the degree. Transfer credit, technical credit, and military status can all help students complete their online degree faster than the average 2 years.

Common Courses

The curriculum for online associate's degree programs in psychology typically consists of general education courses, core psychology courses, and electives. Although course topics and titles vary by school, some common core psychology courses for these degree programs include topics in:

  • Introduction to Psychology- Students may take one or more introductory courses that examine some of the foundational concepts in psychology and behavior. Students may explore biological functions, psychology research, social and cultural factors in psychology, and applications to mental and physical health.
  • Social Psychology- Social psychology explores how individuals feel and behave in social situations. These courses also explore psychological issues in society as a whole and may cover topics in conformity, conflict, group influence, prejudice, leadership, and more.
  • Abnormal Psychology- Courses in abnormal psychology examine defiant behavior and the biological, sociocultural, and psychological factors that may contribute to this behavior. Students may learn about a variety of psychological disorders, such as anxiety, chemical dependency, sexual, and developmental disorders.
  • Developmental Psychology- Some programs may offer a general course in developmental psychology, a course in psychology across lifespans, or divide the lifespan into separate courses, such as the psychology of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In general, these courses examine the cognitive, physical, and psychosocial growth humans experience throughout their life and the different factors that help shape this growth.
  • Research Methods/Statistics- These introductory courses give students an overview of research methods, research design techniques, and statistics that are used in the field of psychology. These courses usually cover qualitative and quantitative methods and may require a research project of some kind.

Admissions Information and Prerequisites

Students wishing to apply to online associate's degree programs in psychology generally need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may require students to have a GPA of 2.0 or higher, especially if they have taken any college credit prior to applying to the institution. Other than these requirements, most online associate's programs in psychology do not have prerequisite coursework.

Applicants applying to these programs typically need to fill out the appropriate application and may need to include official or unofficial transcripts. Generally, these programs require international students to demonstrate English proficiency by including Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test scores. Some programs may also require a copy of a government-issued ID and/or answers to a questionnaire.

How to Choose an Online Associate's Degree in Psychology

Primarily, students need to search for a program that meets the needs of their personal schedules and needs. Some students may need a self-paced program that can be completed more quickly, while others may prefer a structured format, and still others may need a program that accepts a lot of transfer credit. Students may also need to consider their personal preferences for online learning, such as small class sizes, one-on-one attention with professors, and/or course length. Here we discuss a couple of other important considerations for choosing an online degree program in more depth.

Accreditation

Students planning to attend any online program should always look for an accredited school and/or program to ensure that they are receiving a quality education. Regional accreditation bodies are responsible for making sure that institutions meet academic standards and provide students with quality academic programs.

Although most online associate's degree programs in psychology do not have program-specific accreditation, many of the schools that offer these programs are accredited by regional organizations like the Higher Learning Commission or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Cost of Program

Tuition rates vary from school to school with a number of factors, including in-state versus out-of-state residency, online versus on-campus learning, military status, and more. That said, some online associate's degree programs in psychology may cost between $200 and $450 per credit hour.

Depending on the program, students may also be required to pay for a range of fees. Students may want to research if their school of interest requires some of these fees in addition to tuition rates, such as application fees, graduation fees, technology fees, university services fees, and more.

Career Options for Graduates with an Associate's in Psychology

Associate's degrees in psychology are often designed to launch students into a bachelor's degree in the field but there are some roles associate's degree holders might be able to pursue. They may work as assistants or beginning professionals in areas like:

  • Career counseling
  • Human resources
  • Community relations
  • Programming
  • Advocacy
  • Healthcare
  • Administration

Social and Human Service Assistants

Social and human service assistants had a median annual salary of $33,750 as of 2018, and a job outlook of 13% from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These assistants need to have at least a high school diploma and some on-the-job training.

Social and human service assistants may work for the government, nursing and residential care facilities, family services, community service organizations, and more. These assistants work to provide a range of services for their clients and may work with a specific population of people, such as the elderly, immigrants, those with mental illness, those with disabilities, or children and families. In general, they help research and coordinate various services that their clients need to help their clients live better lives.

Psychiatric Technicians

Psychiatric technicians care for people suffering from mental health issues. They may observe behaviors, administer medication, lead therapeutic activities and help them live fuller, healthier lives. These professionals typically need a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree with coursework in counseling, psychology and biology.

The BLS reported in 2018 that psychiatric techs made a median annual salary of $30,860; the field is expected to see job growth of 12% between 2018 and 2028, which is quite a bit faster than the average for all occupations.

Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides

In 2018, the BLS reported that home health aides and personal care aides made a median annual salary of $24,060 and had a job outlook of 36% from 2018 to 2028. These aides typically need a high school diploma, some on-the-job training, and some positions for specific organizations and/or in specific states may need to have additional certifications or training.

These professional aides help people who need assistance in doing their daily activities. Their clients may be elderly, disabled or cognitively impaired. Home health and personal care aides may assist their clients by scheduling appointments, doing the housework, buying groceries, and/or helping their clients dress and perform other daily routines.

Paths to Advancement

Many students with their associate's degree in psychology may go on to pursue a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree program in the field. Typically, psychologists in research, clinical, or counseling settings need to have a doctoral degree, while other positions, such as industrial-organizational psychologists and mental health counselors, usually need a master's degree, and still others, like substance abuse or behavioral disorder counselors, only need a bachelor's degree.

Some positions, in addition to an advanced degree, may require so many hours of hands-on experience through an internship or practicum experience. Some of these experiences may be completed during a degree program, while others may occur after earning a degree. Typically, these internship experiences and/or additional work experience may be required to earn a state license to practice in a particular career.

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:

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