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Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Explore the most affordable online bachelor's programs in psychology, including common concentration areas and courses. Also, learn how to make your degree more affordable and how to choose the right program.

Top Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree Programs for Affordability

When coming up with our list of the most affordable online bachelor's degrees in psychology, we considered a program's total cost, including the price per credit tuition rate and extra fees. Other factors we considered were program flexibility and concentration areas. Below, you can explore the best, most affordable online bachelor's programs in psychology.

1. Purdue University Global-Mason City

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Mason City, IA $14,343 95%

Purdue University Global-Mason City offers the following 3 degree programs in the field of psychology:

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addictions
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Each of these degree programs require 180 semester credits, feature short 10-week terms, and have multiple start dates throughout the year. The addiction psychology BS program is approved by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) and prepares students to take and pass the National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) Level I and II certification exams. Similarly, the BS in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis program prepares students for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst examination. For the 2019-2020 academic year, these programs had the affordable per credit tuition rate of $371. Additionally, Indiana residents paid a lower rate of $280 per credit.

2. Charter Oak State College

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
New Britain, CT $8,301 100%

Charter Oak State College's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree program allows students to concentrate in one of the following areas:

  • Social/behavioral psychology
  • Cognition & learning psychology
  • Life span psychology
  • General psychology

Along with classes within their chosen specialty, students take core psychology courses on the history of psychology, statistics and psychology, and research methods for the behavioral science field. Students also complete a cornerstone and a capstone course. This 120-credit program accepts a range of transfer credits, such as credits earned at other universities, from college-level exams, and ACE-evaluated military credits. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Connecticut resident students paid only $319 per credit hour, while their out-of-state peers paid $419.

3. University of Florida-Online

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Gainesville, FL $3,876 88%

University of Florida-Online has an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree that exactly mirrors the on-campus degree and features the same experienced, highly-regarded faculty. In this online program, students take courses in the following subjects:

  • Comparative psychology
  • Introduction to statistics
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Developmental psychology

Students must also complete 3 coursework hours of individual work, which could consist of volunteer work in their local community, supervised research experiences, a senior thesis, or a formal written report on a psychology topic. Online, Florida resident students paid a very low $129.18 per credit for the 2019-2020 academic year, while online non-Florida residents paid $552.62 per credit.

4. Park University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Parkville, MO $11,572 95%

Park University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program that requires 122 total credits with 42 of those credits being psychology major requirements. In this program students get to take classes on research methods, statistics, and various psychology topics, such as life span development and psychotherapy. Students must also complete a capstone seminar and a supervised field placement. For the 2020-2021 academic year, online undergraduate students pay just $427 per credit hour. Park University offers discounted rates as well, and active duty military pay just $250 per credit and veterans pay $374 per credit.

5. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fort Collins, CO $11,707 80%

Colorado State University-Fort Collins' online Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree program features a mix of lab-based and lecture-based courses. Students are able to take a range of classes, such as:

  • Mind, brain, and behavior
  • Organizational psychology laboratory
  • Psychology of gender
  • Sensation and perception
  • Psychology of personality

Students also take courses in research design and methods and a capstone seminar. Classes are small, averaging about 21 students, and consist of collaborative learning methods, such as chats, video conferences, and discussion forums. For the 2019-2020 year, all students, regardless of their residency status, paid only $476 per credit in this online psychology program.

Rank School Name Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OR $10,118 88%
7 National Louis University Chicago, IL $10,710 93%
8 Peru State College Peru, NE $7,512 97%
9 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR $11,166 86%
10 Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN $8,858 95%
11 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND $8,695 90%
12 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA $8,072 90%
13 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Green Bay, WI $7,878 86%
14 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ $12,467 92%
15 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA $10,560 93%
16 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OR $8,679 98%
17 Troy University Troy, AL $8,908 94%
18 University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle, ME $8,035 93%
19 University of Memphis Memphis, TN $9,317 98%
20 Ohio University-Main Campus Athens, OH $12,192 94%
21 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL $6,368 90%
22 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ $13,697 84%
23 Kean University Union, NJ $12,348 90%
24 Alabama State University Montgomery, AL $11,068 93%
25 University of Louisville Louisville, KY $11,656 97%
26 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA $8,554 97%
27 Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ $14,974 69%
28 Franklin University Columbus, OH $12,649 86%
29 Wilmington University New Castle, DE $11,210 89%
30 Ottawa University-Online Ottawa, KS $12,361 88%
31 University of Houston-Downtown Houston, TX $6,500 85%
32 Indiana University-East Richmond, IN $7,344 95%
33 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA $6,347 91%
34 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY $7,405 94%
35 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX $7,292 89%

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 Psychology Bachelor's Degree Programs

Online psychology bachelor's programs prepare students for careers in a range of fields, including counseling, business, health care, and education.

Credits and Degree Requirements

These programs typically require 120 total credits. Students must take general education coursework in math, the social sciences, the biological sciences, the humanities, and composition and English along with psychology-focused coursework.

Many online psychology programs require a final capstone project or course that consists of a research-based project or thesis, an exam, or a professional development experience.

Format

Online psychology programs are able to be completed in 100% online format; however, some programs do give students opportunities to complete real-world field placements.

Length

Generally, students can earn an online psychology bachelor's degree in 4 years, if they are incoming freshman. Those with an associate or technical degree or with prior college credit can usually earn their degree in less than 4 years.

Concentrations

Many online psychology bachelor's programs allow students to choose a specific area of study within the field of psychology. Below are examples of concentration areas that are found in online programs.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Industrial/organizational psychology is a subfield that applies the study of psychology topics and methods to workplace and business environments. Students in this concentration area take courses on personality assessment, the psychology of leadership, and HR functions, such as employee recruitment and management.

Child Psychology

This concentration focuses on the study of how children grow and develop from birth into their adolescent years. Students study a range of child development topics, such as child psychopathology, psychological disorders in children, and life span development.

Substance Abuse/Addictions Psychology

Substance abuse and addictions psychology centers on the study of how to diagnose, treat, and prevent addictive behaviors and issues. In this concentration, students study behavioral therapy, the psychological basis for substance abuse, and the psychopharmacology of drugs and alcohol.

Forensic Psychology

This area connects the field of criminal justice and investigation to the field of psychology. Students study the areas of criminal behavior, psychological interviewing, criminal profiling, and treating criminal offenders.

What You'll Learn in an Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree Program

In an online psychology bachelor's program, you will study a wide range of psychology topics. While your exact coursework depends on university requirements and your chosen area of concentration, below you can explore some common subjects you will likely study.

  • Abnormal Psychology - This is the study of abnormal mental conditions, such as psychoses and neuroses, and their causes. Students study how these conditions develop and how to treat them.
  • Psychology of Personality - Students study the hows and whys of personality development and structure. This course covers the major theories of personality as well as topics related to both group and individual behavior.
  • Cognitive Psychology - This is the study of how the human mind learns, processes information, makes memories, and problem solves.
  • Life Span Development - Students learn about the social, physical, and emotional development of humans throughout the entirety of their lives.
  • Social Psychology - This class examines the different social and group factors that affect individual behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Specific concepts that are covered include conformity, social interaction, and prejudice.

How to Choose an Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree Program

When deciding what online bachelor's degree program is right for you, it's important that you consider several different factors, including cost, the concentrations a program offers, and accreditation.

Cost

The first thing you should consider when choosing a psychology program is the total cost of earning your degree. Generally, the price per credit tuition rate for online psychology programs varies from $129 to $552 per credit (and sometimes much higher), depending on your choice of school and whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student. Full-time attendance for in-state students can range from around $15,000 total for four years to around $60,000.

Your residency status can sometimes determine the price per credit you pay. Out-of-state student, even if they attend an online program, can sometimes be charged more than online, in-state students. However, some universities offer all students, no matter what their residency status, the same price per credit rate.

Universities usually also charge additional fees on top of the tuition price. These fees include technology fees, online delivery fees, registration fees, and course fees. The price of individual fees can range from $10 to $200 and higher.

Concentration Areas

Another factor you should base your decision on is whether or not the programs you are looking at offer a concentration area that matches your career goals. For example, if you want to pursue a career in employee training or organizational psychology, then choose a program that offers that concentration area. Likewise, if you want to work in addiction counseling, then choose a program that gives the opportunity to specialize in that area of psychology.

Regional Accreditation

You should also consider whether the school you want to attend is accredited. Regional school accreditation is done through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which approves agencies that accredit schools that are based in a specific regional area. The biggest reason you need to choose an accredited school is that only students who attend an accredited school can receive federal financial aid.

Below are examples of agencies that accredit schools.

  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Your school will clearly state which agency it is accredited by.

Program Accreditation

While the American Psychological Association (APA) is the leading organization for psychology program accreditation, the APA only accredits doctoral-level programs. However, there are a limited number of agencies that accredit specific types of psychology bachelor's programs. One example is National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), which accredits addiction studies programs. NASAC requires that programs meet certain curriculum standards in terms of counseling skills, pharmacology and physiology topics, treatment modalities, and other subjects.

How to Afford Your Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree

To help you make your online psychology degree program even more affordable, you can apply for federal financial aid and scholarships.

Federal Aid

The first step in discovering the types of aid you qualify for is filling out and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the US Department of Education. Generally, as an undergraduate student, you may be eligible for the following types of aid:

  • Pell Grants
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans (for parents of dependent undergraduate students)

You could also be eligible for work-study programs that allow you to work part-time and earn money that can help you afford your degree.

Scholarships

There are a number of different organizations that offer scholarship opportunities for psychology degree students. These scholarships are based on different criteria, including merit, need, career goals, or the specific area of psychology you study.

  • The Sharon Stephens Brehm Undergraduate Psychology Scholarships - These are $5,000 scholarships for students currently enrolled in an undergraduate psychology program and who demonstrate financial need.
  • The Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarships - Offered by the International Honor Society in Psychology (Psi Chi), these are $3,000 scholarships for undergraduate students who are Psi Chi members.
  • The NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program - Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this scholarship offers up to $20,000 to low-income students who want to pursue careers in social science, biomedical, or behavioral research.

What You Can Do with an Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree

While becoming a psychologist requires an advanced, graduate degree, there are several psychology-related careers you could pursue with only a bachelor's degree.

Health Educators and Community Health Workers

Health educators and community health workers work within a community to help educate different populations about health and mental wellness. Generally, these types of workers develop different kinds of outreach programs and materials that educate people.

Depending on their work setting, health educators could inform people about addiction, immunizations, nutrition, and specific health conditions. They also design and conduct health programs and work with a range of people, such as students and health care professionals.

Community health workers have similar job duties as health educators but can conduct counseling sessions and report to health educators about certain concerns in a community.

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers create and administer social services programs to local communities. These programs can center on a range of subjects, such as mental health or addiction, or could center on specific populations, such as veterans or children.

Social and community service managers must complete administrative tasks, including creating proposals and budgets, and must constantly work to improve the outcomes of their programs.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors specialize in helping those who have mental and physical health issues that are related to addiction, alcoholism, or mental disorders. They interact with clients in a counseling setting, where they must evaluate them and create treatment plans.

These types of counselors teach clients coping skills, help them find the right social services, and counsel clients who have emotional issues, such as depression or anxiety.

Depending on their work environment, they might also conduct interventions, conduct group counseling, or create outreach programs.

Training and Development Specialist

Training and development specialists have specific job responsibilities that center on creating, implementing, and evaluating employee training programs. Generally, they will conduct surveys or consult with management about what kinds of skills or knowledge are lacking among employees. Then, they create training programs, materials, courses, and manuals that can address specific concerns.

Training and development specialists can also lead training sessions that could consist of group or individual learning exercises, videos, lectures, and discussions.

Salary and Job Outlook Information

The chart below illustrates the salary and job outlook data for the abovementioned psychology-related careers.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2018) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Health Educators and Community Health Workers $46,080 11%
Social and Community Service Managers $65,320 13%
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors $44,630 22%
Training and Development Specialists $60,870 9%

Salary information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018