Associates in Psychology
Psychologists study the relationship between behavior and mental state. Unlike related fields such as sociology and anthropology, psychology focuses on improving mental health. Psychology students typically pursue a specialization, such as abnormal, biological, clinical, or developmental psychology.
Psychology professionals typically need a curious mindset and honed communication and problem-solving skills. Psychologists and other professionals who work with patients must also demonstrate patience and a commitment to practicing with integrity.
Aspiring psychologists can prepare for their career by earning an associate degree or online psychology degree. Associate programs typically feature more affordable tuition rates, along with opportunities to explore other majors before committing to a four-year degree.
Learn What to Do with an Associate Degree in Psychology
What can I do with an associate degree in psychology?
Some graduates of online psychology associate programs secure entry-level positions such as teacher's aides, home care aides, and youth counselors. Others transfer to bachelor's degree-completion programs.
How long does it take to earn an associate degree in psychology?
Most associate-level online psychology programs take two years to complete. Students who take courses in an accelerated format may graduate faster, while part-time learners may need longer.
Can I earn an associate degree in psychology online?
Many of the top colleges and universities offer online psychology associate programs. Online programs feature the same curricula and learning outcomes as their on-campus counterparts.
What is the difference between psychology and counseling?
Although psychologists and counselors perform similar job duties, psychologists work with clients who have more severe psychological disorders. Psychologists may also conduct research and testing.
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Online Psychology College Programs
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How Much Does an Associate Degree in Psychology Cost?
Tuition rates vary based on factors including the type of institution. Public schools typically offer the most affordable psychology associate online programs. State universities and community colleges usually charge state residents reduced tuition rates. However, many public institutions also offer in-state tuition rates to active-duty service members and other select groups.
Additionally, some schools offer reduced tuition rates for distance learners. Online students may also save on expenses related to transportation, on-campus housing, and meal plans. Some of the best online psychology associate degrees also feature discounted textbook costs.
Prospective students should also budget for expenses such as technology and school fees. Online learners need a laptop or other device, as well as a stable internet connection. Some companies offer discounts on computers and devices to degree-seekers with a valid college email address.
Career and Salary Outlook for Psychology Associates
Online psychology programs at the associate level train students for entry-level jobs, such as social services assistant, psychiatric technician, and mental health technician. Professionals in these occupations can earn a bachelor's degree to increase their salary potential. Associate degree-holders typically earn their bachelor's in psychology in two additional years of study.
Aspiring psychologists need more than an associate degree to practice. States require psychologists to possess a doctorate and meet other requirements. Doctoral program application requirements may include a bachelor's or master's in psychology, recommendation letters, and standardized test scores.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that psychologists earn a median annual salary of $80,370. The BLS projects employment for psychologists to increase 3% from 2019-2029.
Licensing in Psychology
Psychologists in all states need a license to practice. Qualifying for a license involves numerous steps and typically requires a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology. Individuals often need up to eight years to earn a Ph.D. Aspiring psychologists who plan to work directly with patients often earn a Psy.D., which usually takes less time to complete.
Licensure requirements vary by state. For example, psychology licensure candidates in California need a doctoral degree and at least 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. Candidates must also pass two examinations, including a professional ethics exam. Psychologists qualify to renew their license every two years by earning at least 36 continuing education credits.
Some states maintain licensure reciprocity agreements, which allow psychologists to transfer their credential to participating states. Candidates for licensure by reciprocity may need to pass an examination and satisfy graduate course prerequisites.
Accreditation for Psychology Associate Degrees
Schools offering the best online psychology associate programs hold regional accreditation from one of six agencies chartered by the U.S. Department of Education. Institutions delivering online programs should also hold national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
No programmatic accrediting agencies evaluate associate-level psychology programs. However, doctoral students should only consider Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs with American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation. APA accredits more than 350 programs in the United States.
Online Psychology Associates Degree Course Work
Most online psychology associate degrees require approximately 60 credits and feature courses on topics such as relational psychology, behavioral psychology, and psychology through the lifespan. Associate degrees also require general education courses in areas such as American history, biology, and algebra.
The following sample curriculum features three psychology courses common to associate-level psychology programs. These classes provide foundational knowledge that learners can apply to bachelor's studies in the field. Course names and requirements vary by college and program. Prospective students can contact admissions counselors for information regarding the academic experience.
Relational PsychologyStudents in this class consider the interactions between factors such as society, gender, and aggression. Psychologists study these interactions to generate hypotheses regarding how and why people make certain decisions. Students also examine the relationship between psychology and culture, along with the role prejudice plays in influencing minority members.
Behavioral PsychologyBehavioral psychology hypothesizes that people make decisions based on their interactions with the environment. Students in this course examine the history of behavioral psychology, which spans more than 100 years. Degree-seekers learn about key figures including John Watson and B.F. Skinner. Learners also analyze famous behavioral psychology studies, and they explore how these studies continue to affect psychological research and psychologists' relationships with patients.
Psychology Through the LifespanThis class explores how biological and cultural forces influence and drive individuals' psychological development. Students examine various life stages, including embryonic development, infancy, childhood, and adulthood. Degree-seekers also examine the leading theories and best practices that psychologists apply to assist patients in various age groups.
Best Online Associate in Psychology Degrees
Copiah-Lincoln Community College
Based in Wesson, Mississippi, Co-Lin provides a fully online AA in psychology. The program caters to distance learners seeking to advance their education after work. Co-Lin's 60-credit associate in psychology program includes interdisciplinary general education coursework in humanities, arts, and sciences. Psychology associate degree enrollees also take core courses in public speaking, mathematics, and composition.
Co-Lin's online psychology program explores personal adjustment psychology and child maltreatment and advocacy perspectives. Psychology elective offerings include child psychology, adolescent psychology, and developmental psychology. Course recommendations for psychology AAs include several Spanish language courses and a computer course.
Applicants submit official transcripts, GED scores or a high school diploma, and ACT scores. Applicants without ACT scores may complete Accuplacer standardized testing.
Co-Lin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Barton County Community College
BCC in Great Bend, Kansas features an online AS degree with an emphasis in psychology. This associate in psychology serves learners planning to pursue psychology bachelor's programs. To help streamline credit transfer for online learners, BCC participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement initiative. BCC offers course-length options for BARTonline students, who comprise 51% of BCC's student body.
This 60-credit, online psychology program requires 15 credits of foundations coursework in composition, communications, and algebra. Learners also must complete 24 introductory credits, including general psychology, sociology, and biology. Psychology students take 21 credits of emphasis-specific courses in abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology. Additional required psychology-emphasis coursework includes death and dying, human sexuality, and statistics.
The school admits any applicants who submit evidence of a GED or high school diploma. BCC does not charge an application fee. Some students qualify for Foundations Scholarships. For placement purposes, BCC applicants submit standardized test scores or complete placement testing.
BCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Finger Lakes Community College
Located in Canandaigua, New York, FLCC runs an AS in psychology. The program emphasizes psychological science skills and strong scientific reasoning. FLCC's program serves learners planning on progressing to a related four-year degree elsewhere. FLCC maintains articulation agreements with four schools, making transfer a simpler process. Many FLCC graduates pursue careers in counseling, social work, or human services.
This 64-credit program entails general education coursework in biology, composition, and mathematics. AS students also fulfill requirements in humanities, arts, and social sciences. Psychology AS enrollees complete six core psychology courses, including abnormal psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology.
FLCC's psychology students learn APA style and psychology research methods. Participants also examine the ethics of psychology study and practice. Enrollees complete a final semester capstone portfolio, which includes a presentation.
FLCC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
A public community college resting in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College offers a 60-credit online AA in psychology. The program emphasizes skills in critical thinking and cultivates a scientific attitude. Its core curriculum includes several courses in history and government. South Texas College's alignment with core bachelor's in psychology curricula enables easy transfer to four-year colleges.
This Texas college requires several history and government courses. The recommended psychology AA course sequence begins with courses in history, composition, and psychology. Learners progress to electives in required areas such as philosophy, psychology, and arts. Additional required courses include lifespan development, statistics, and social psychology.
Eligible psychology students may join Psi Beta Honor Society and three psychology clubs.
Applicants need a highschool diploma, GED, or satisfactory placement test results. Application requirements include official transcripts. South Texas College boasts a low average net price of $1,610. Military students receive tuition discounts.
South Texas College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Allen County Community College
Established in 1923, Allen maintains campuses in Iola and in Bulingame, Kansas. Allen offers many degree and certificate options. Three quarters of learners study online. Allen's online AA in psychology provides a solid foundation in general education and psychology. The program is compatible with degree requirements for Kansas Board of Regents universities. Enrollees often transfer to four-year programs and pursue careers in social services or counseling.
This four-semester, 64-credit associate in psychology begins with coursework in algebra, social science, and composition. Learners also take women's studies, history, and public speaking. During their final semester, enrollees complete various electives.
Allen's open admissions policy admits all applicants who complete admission requirements. These requirements include standardized test or Accuplacer test scores and transcripts or GED scores. Allen enrollees pay an average net price of $7,850. Some eligible students receive grants or scholarships, and 36% of students receive loans.
Allen is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Georgia Military College
A state-funded junior college based in Milledgeville, GMC offers online AA and AS in psychology degrees. These programs combine liberal arts coursework with psychological science principles and concepts. Many associate degree graduates transfer to bachelor's programs in psychology or seek entry-level jobs in social services-related fields.
The AA in psychology includes 25-56 quarter-credits of concentration credits. It also requires 70-73 quarter-credits of core coursework in composition, mathematics, humanities, and sciences. The AS degree entails similar coursework, but requires only 65-69 core credits. Psychology course offerings include educational psychology, psychology of adjustment, and abnormal psychology. Psychology students also complete courses in psychology research methods and human development.
Applicants submit official transcripts or GEDs. Associate degrees in psychology average $13,230-$14,550.
GMC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
North Central State College
A public community college located on Ohio State University's campus in Mansfield, Ohio, NC State provides an online AA in psychology that prepares enrollees for further psychology education. To ensure smooth transition to bachelor's programs in Ohio, NC State's psychology degree meets Ohio Transfer Module and Transfer Assurance Guides' requirements.
Psychology AA enrollees complete 20 required courses in general education and psychology. General education coursework covers the standard bases of mathematics, sciences, and humanities. Participants also take foreign language courses and English courses that cultivate written and oral communication skills. Psychology coursework covers social psychology, abnormal psychology, and personality theory.
NC State offers rolling admissions. Applicants receive notification of admission within three days of completing the online application. NC State's online students may utilize various support services, including tutoring, career development, and advising. This school also provides technical support, disability services, and testing services for online learners.
NC State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
East Georgia State College
A public college within the University System of Georgia, EGSC in Swainsboro serves many online learners in rural Georgia's coastal plain. EGSC's online AA in psychology degree can help learners transfer to four-year schools. Graduates often seek work in mental health fields. Other graduates find jobs in government, business, or ministry.
The psychology curriculum includes 46 credits in five core general education areas, 12 credits in psychology, and six elective credits. Core coursework covers mathematics, composition, and public speaking. Learners also take various courses from the humanities, arts, and sciences. Psychology coursework includes an introduction to general psychology, abnormal behavior, and psychological adjustment. EGSC offers elective options in French, Spanish, and statistics. Electives also include sociology, social problems, and marriage and family.
EGSC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Sinclair Community College
Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, features an online psychology AA program that meets Ohio Transfer Module requirements. Graduates often transfer to bachelor's programs in related fields. Some AA graduates enter the workforce directly, obtaining entry-level jobs in mental health, education, or community service fields.
Associate in psychology students complete required software applications, composition, and first-year experience courses. Participants also take electives in arts and humanities, social and physical sciences, and mathematics. Required psychology coursework covers general psychology, social psychology, and human development. Learners also take personality psychology and abnormal psychology courses.
Sinclair offers both synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid distance learning options. Some learners opt for FlexPace courses that enrollees can complete at their own pace. Applicants must complete placement tests. Sinclair's optional Get Started days help prospective students complete all application steps (including placement testing and academic advising) in one visit.
Sinclair is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Oklahoma's largest two-year college, TCC serves around 25,000 learners per semester. About 40% of TCC students attend classes online. TCC enrollees can pursue an associate in psychology online that transfers to four-year schools. TCC's psychology program teaches learners to employ psychological principles in addressing various social issues. This associate in psychology also provides foundational knowledge of psychology research methods, writing conventions, and ethics.
General education requirements for this 60-credit AA degree include public speaking, humanities, and composition. Learners also take courses in science and U.S. history. TCC learners enjoy more curriculum options and choices than many students at smaller schools. The psychology curriculum includes an introductory psychology course and a developmental psychology course. Enrollees choose three additional psychology courses from 13 psychology elective options.
Psychology course offerings include child psychology, conflict resolution, and human sexuality. Additional courses cover death and dying, brain and behavior, and social psychology. Associate in psychology enrollees may participate in TCC's social sciences club.
TCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.