Online Bachelor's Programs in Psychology

Rankings, Salaries & Courses

Updated on: 12/19/2019
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Students interested in studying human behavior and mental processes should consider pursuing an online psychology degree. In a psychology program, learners examine human emotion and cognition and analyze how people react to their environments. Courses may also cover abnormal behaviors or social contributors to deviance. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, now is a great time to pursue a career in psychology. Psychologists earn an average salary of $77,030 in a field with a projected growth rate of 14% by 2026, much faster than the average occupational growth rate of 7%.

As the curriculum provides a thorough and well-rounded education, graduates may also pursue lucrative careers in marketing, human resources, or social services. This guide covers helpful information for students hoping to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology including rankings, possible career paths and their salaries, sample coursework, and options for funding and scholarships.

Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Psychology

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Best Online Psychology Programs

Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2018 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factors

Data Sources: Eligibility Criteria:
  • Each college must be accredited
  • Each college must be a not-for-profit institution
  • Each college must be located in a state (US territories and Washington DC were excluded)
  • Each college must have at least one online program 1
  • Each college must have a maximum four-year tuition of $25,000 or a maximum two-year tuition of $5,000
Ranking Factors:
  • Affordability
  • Quality
  • Flexibility
  • Program

Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.

1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.

2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.

2-Year Schools

Many factors create a good online psychology program. From the graduation rates and cost of tuition to the availability of courses and student-teacher ratio, students need to look at the big picture to gain a thorough understanding of the different programs available.

The list below shows our ranking of the best online bachelor’s degrees in psychology programs. The ranking, complete with school profiles full of useful information, is based on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia $15,105 88% - 55% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Liberty University is an accredited evangelical liberal arts school that seeks to provide its students with a strong education along with a biblical worldview. Its psychology program can be completed 100% online, totaling 120 hours over the course of 3.5 years. Interested students should submit their application along with application fee, college transcripts, a high school self-certification form and proof of English proficiency. The Psychology program falls under the School of Behavioral sciences. As part of the program, student select specific electives that directly aid their professional goals by providing practical training. These electives include Advocacy, Affirmative Action Officer, Case Management, Community Relations, Laboratory Assistant, and Research Assistant. These skills can be used to pursue careers not in the psychology field, but also behavioral science and people focused industries. In addition to academic class work, an internship of a minimum of 125 hours will count for 3 credits. All undergraduates will be provided electronic textbooks, saving students the cost of purchasing actual books. Online students are supported by Liberty University's library staff, with virtual live video appointments and consultations available. The staff help students in navigating the library, sending resources such as articles and books to students, alerting them of the databases available, and research. There is also an online writing center which provides tutoring via Skype, and can assist students with writing as well as citations. An online community of students ensure that online students feel connected with their peers.

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2 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida $4,478 43% - 73% 1 Yes Yes Yes

The Psychology Bachelor's of Science Degree at the University of Central Florida equips its graduates for further education in psychology as well as related careers inside and outside of the psychology field. Graduates have found jobs as career counselors, counselors, in human resources or as researchers. Offered completely online, this degree requiring 49 credits can be completed in as little as 2 years after transferring with an Associate of Arts degree. While an AA degree is None, it is recommended. Students applying to the University of Central Florida must submit official transcripts from previous schools and SAT and/or ACT scores. Certain prerequisite courses are recommended, some of which may not be available at UCF. Once accepted, students have the choice of selecting a concentration of Clinical Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Human Factors Psychology, Neuroscience, Experimental Psychology, or General Psychology. All psychology majors are expected to participate in research with professors, partake in internships, as well as engage in extracurricular activities to supplement their academic studies as well as for the purposes of networking. UCF provides online students with a network of assistance including coaches that help with admission, financial aid, and creating study plans in order to stay on track. Academic advisors are also available to students for any academic questions or needs. Online students save on their tuition, however there is a difference in cost between in state and out of state students.

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3 Florida International University Miami, Florida $4,721 44% 1% 60% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Florida International University offers psychology students the opportunity to earn a BA completely online. Focused on 5 key areas of psychology -- experimental, social, applied, personality/abnormal and developmental -- this program is efficient and convenient for students in any location. Online students benefit not from the flexibility of online courses, but they also save money as they are not charged many of the fees that on campus students face. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are also available. Students applying to the program must submit an online application along with a $30 fee, official SAT or ACT scores, and official high school transcripts. While FIU does not have a minimum set GPA, students can submit all of their materials for review for potential entry to the program. Support and opportunities for community involvement include ongoing research, participation in student organizations and research labs. In addition, every online undergraduate student is assigned a success coach and have access to academic coaches and advisors. Success coaches are assigned to students specifically to help overcome any obstacles that online students may encounter. These coaches may provide tips for time management, study skills, or organization. Academic coaches provide support by answering questions regarding course material, while academic advisors can assist students by creating structure and charting out the steps to complete their major. Core courses along with major requirements totaling 120 credits along with a minimum "C" average are all required for graduation.

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4 Barclay College Haviland, Kansas $12,500 89% 1% 42% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Barclay College's history can be traced back to the Quaker settlers in the region. Originally a Bible college, Barclay now has programs that are not directly related to biblical studies or Christianity, and it is open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. However, any student that applies to Barclay should be prepared for a Bible-intensive education. The school is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation, of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Most of its curriculum is largely based on Christian faith, including programs such as its online bachelor's degree in psychology. While Christianity plays a large role in this degree program, students will still get a strong foundation in psychology. Like the 3 other bachelor's degrees offered online at Barclay, the bachelor's in psychology is a 39-credit degree-completion program. Students can come into Barclay with varying amounts of transfer credit, but they should expect to finish their degree in 18-20 months if they study full time. Courses are offered in convenient 6-week periods, allowing students to complete their educations quickly. Outcomes for the psychology degree include readiness for faith-based roles such as in the ministry or teaching, or readiness for a graduate program. Students also get a personalized experience thanks to Barclay's low student enrollment. On campus, fewer than 200 students are studying toward their degrees, and the online program has a total of fewer than 50 students enrolled. At any given moment, a student might even be one of the students earning that degree, allowing for an incredibly personalized education.

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5 John Brown University Siloam Springs, Arkansas $24,218 96% 1% 62% 1 Yes Yes Yes

With a small student body of over 2,000, John Brown University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is able to pay special attention to each of its students. This extends to its JBU Online programs where just a couple hundred students are currently enrolled. Despite the small size of its online programs, JBU offers plenty of reasons for students to pay attention. It offer courses in accelerated 8-week formats, letting students study at their own pace in either full-time or part-time plans. While some students take their time, JBU encourages them to complete their studies faster than normal. Because its online bachelor's degree programs are degree completion programs, students can earn their degrees from JBU in as little as 12 months, with many students taking 15-18 months to finish their education. Courses are asynchronous, allowing students to meet deadlines while accessing activities at times convenient for them. In terms of speed, this is one of the quickest online programs. JBU's online bachelor's in psychology is one of 4 programs offered entirely online. On top of the accelerated courses, there are 5 start dates per year, giving students more flexibility. Because the program is degree completion, students will need a minimum of 45 transfer credits prior to applying for the program, and GPAs of 2.0 or better. Students can transfer more than 45 credits, though, as long as they satisfy any of the specific courses required by JBU. One unique facet of JBU's psychology program is the integration of faith. Christianity is a big part of JBU's philosophy, so students should expect to use Christian ethics in conjunction with their psychology studies. After earning their degrees, some students choose to continue their educations with graduate degrees in psychology (also offered online by JBU). Tuition rates are fixed and include all fees, and students need calculate the total cost by multiplying the per-credit rate by the number of credits required to finish their degrees, which keeps calculations simple.

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6 Bemidji State University Bemidji, Minnesota $7,360 47% 1% 47% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Bemidji State University is a local leader in career-focused education with some of its unique degree programs focusing specifically on local industries. The vast majority of students receive some type of financial aid, keeping education affordable. For online students, tuition costs are even lower. On top of a having a flat-rate tuition per credit, Bemidji offers in-state tuition to all students. Combined with financial aid, this makes for an affordable education. Of the degrees offered entirely online, the most popular option is the bachelor's in psychology, which the school claims to be the Minnesota State program offering online bachelor's degree completion in psychology. This program is so popular that Bemidji caps the number of students that can enter the program. That being said, it admit new students each semester and during the summer term, so students have 3 separate chances during the year to get into the program. Once in, students will have to choose between a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts. In terms of credits and requirements, these programs are the same; however, the outcomes for each program will be different. Students who earn the B.S. in psychology will be prepared to enter graduate school upon earning their degrees, while B.A. graduates will be ready to begin their careers immediately. Because the core classes for both programs are the same, students will have time to decide which option is best for them. It is also worth noting that this a degree-completion program, and students will need to have earned at least 24 credits prior to applying. Online students complete courses using the D2L Brightspace learning environment, and they enjoy resources such as advising, tutoring, technical support and more. Bemidji State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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7 Park University Parkville, Missouri $11,730 49% 1% 27% 2 Yes Yes Yes

Located in Parkville, Missouri, Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is home to more than16,000 students. Its traditional education program is well-respected, and it's applied the same quality of education to its distance education programs. Park currently has more than 40 locations across the country where students can complete most of the school's degree programs. While it's still relatively small compared to other schools, Park's Online Operations Department is committed to delivering high quality, even committing to certification through the Quality Matters quality assurance program. Parks' online Bachelor of Arts in psychology is an ideal option for those looking to enter the field. This 122-credit-hour program can be completed entirely online, or through a hybrid of on-campus and online courses. If students choose to study in the hybrid format, they can choose to complete their on-campus studies at any of the 41 locations. The outcome for this program depends largely on how students choose to complete their degrees. While there are no explicit specializations offered, elective courses can be used to dive more deeply into specific areas. Depending on how students structure their educations, they can prepare themselves for careers immediately after earning their degrees - in such fields as counseling and helping professions, research and development, advertising, teaching, criminal justice or government - or for graduate school. Courses for the online psychology program are offered in accelerated 8-week terms at 5 start times throughout the year, so students can begin their studies whenever they're ready, and students don't have to commit to studying during all of them. Depending on how many courses and terms a student chooses each year, this degree can be completed in the traditional 4 years, and potentially less. Online students pay less per credit hour than on-campus counterparts. Student resources available to online students include dedicated technical support desks.

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8 Westfield State University Westfield, Massachusetts $970 29% 1% 64% 1 Yes Yes Yes

An important part of the Massachusetts higher education system, Westfield State University, accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, prides itself on being the first coeducational college in America to offer education without barrier to race, creed or economic status. It's a local leader in producing career-ready graduates, with liberal arts and sciences studies complemented by professional studies curricula. While many of its students study in a traditional manner, Westfield's school of continuing education is a popular option for nontraditional adult learners who want to complete their educations. In the College of Graduate and Continuing Education, students can earn their bachelor's degrees in a variety of ways, including full-time and part-time formats, as well as online. Prior to applying to the online bachelor's degree program in psychology, students will need to have earned previous school credit. This degree-completion program is meant for students that have earned 2-year degrees from Massachusetts community colleges who have completed the Mass transfer compact to complete their junior and senior years entirely online. However, students aren't required to have studied at state community colleges prior to entry. Transfer credits can be used to satisfy at least some of the credits, and the majority of the required prerequisite courses can be completed online prior to starting the psychology program. Once students are accepted into the psychology program, they'll study in a traditional 15-week format during the fall and spring semesters. The requirements also include capstone experiences, which might be practicums or independent studies. For students who want to speed up their educations, Westfield also offers 2, 6-week summer sessions and a 2-week accelerated winter session. The online psychology degree completion program is 39 credits long and is designed primarily for working adults who are looking to further their careers. While graduate school is always an option after earning a bachelor's in psychology, most graduates of this program begin a career related to psychology after earning their degrees.

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9 Washington State University Pullman, Washington $9,324 72% 1% 70% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Washington State University, accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has started to expand its distance education program, called Global Campus, offering degrees to students around the country. It offers 21 different degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Among the undergraduate degrees offered online is WSU's Bachelor of Science in psychology. Students in this program must complete their College of Arts and Sciences graduation requirements in addition to 35 credits in psychology course work, at least 15 credits of which must be from 300- and 400-level courses. Students must maintain at least a C average in all courses to graduate. Courses are offered entirely online or through a hybrid of on campus and online. This B.S. degree provides a general education in psychology, as well as options for focus areas, also offered online: neuroscience/cognition, social/motivational and clinical/counseling. Each of these has a clear career outcome and prepares students to continue the education and specialize further if they want. On top of offering high-quality degrees, WSU online also offers flexibility and affordability for online students, especially those who are in state, as the tuition is the same for both on-campus and online students. Another highlight is WSU's global connections program, which connects students around the world who have common interests. Not is this resource fun and engaging, but it can also be used for networking. Along with this program, WSU's extensive alumni network is an excellent resource for building a professional network and potentially finding an internship or career. Global Campus students have their own dedicated student services and technical support, academic advisers to help guide their educational journeys, face-to-face events for online students and even an opportunity to participate in ASWSU Global student government.

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10 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan $11,745 81% 1% 59% 1 Yes Yes Yes

One of the largest schools in the state, Central Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It began as a teachers' college and has grown to have more than 225,000 alumni around the world. Many of its CMU Online programs can be completed fully online, and courses are offered in flexible 8-, 12- and 16-week formats. Among its online offerings is the Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, a 124-credit hybrid program that will require students to spend some time on-campus. The majority of courses are general education and the rest are core courses in psychology, concentration courses and electives. On-campus courses may be completed at any of 7 physical locations. Each course is taught by the same faculty that teaches on campus, and students get access to many of the same resources that full-time traditional students do, as well as resources designed specifically to help online students, including tutorials and helpful articles available online about everything from using the online classroom system to managing time, formatting papers and using cloud storage. Online courses are delivered in the Blackboard system, and most courses are asynchronous, so that students can log on and participate in activities at times that are convenient, as long as they are meeting deadlines. Some online courses may require students to take exams in proctored, or supervised, settings. Other student resources include the Writing Center, the Math Assistance Center and Online Student Ally, a program in which successful, experienced online students are paired with incoming online students to help them navigate their programs and address certain academic issues.

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11 Troy University Troy, Alabama $7,224 57% 1% 39% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Throughout its history, Troy University, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, has seen itself grow from a teacher's school into multiple universities. However, the school combined its campuses a decade ago to become the modern Troy, offering quality education at all its campuses - including online. TROY Online has become one of the most impressive parts of the university. The school offers flexible course offerings, with most courses being 9 weeks long instead of the traditional 16, and low tuition costs, with tuition discounts and application fee waivers available to students employed full time with certain area partner associations and employers. Troy's online bachelor's in psychology is 120 credits and fully online, so students won't have to commute to either campus. However, if they want, students can study in a hybrid format. That being said, many of the students in Troy's online program aren't able to regularly commute to campus, so it's adapted the program to be the same both on and off campus. The psychology program offers a general education in the field, letting students structure it to fit their own interests. One way students can personalize their education is through one of 4 minors, each of which is designed to lead down a specific career path. These minors are applied behavioral analysis, general psychology (for non-majors), psychological research and substance addiction education. While many of the graduates of Troy's online psychology program begin their careers right after graduating - the program prepares students for careers in business administration, education, human resources, management, public relations, sales, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling and more - the curriculum is structured to also prepare students for graduate school. The number of potential careers increases with a graduate degree, and Troy offers that option to all students.

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12 University of Minnesota-Duluth Duluth, Minnesota $11,896 64% 1% 61% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Students at the Higher Learning Commission-accredited University of Minnesota Duluth may appreciate the school's commitment to helping graduates find career opportunities in the metropolitan areas nearby. While at UM Duluth, most students get some form of financial aid, reducing the cost of education. This includes students that choose to study through University of Minnesota Online. While paying a flat rate per credit, many online students find additional aid in the form of scholarships. Students who are interested in studying psychology and already possess Associate of Arts degrees may opt to pursue a psychology major to earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree through UMD's degree-completion program. This 120-credit program follows the same curriculum and is taught by the same faculty as the on-campus version of the major, and all courses may be done online. The program admits 15 new students per year and enrollment takes place during the fall semester. Students applying must have earned GPAs of 2.5 or higher in their associate programs and have met all UMD undergraduate admission criteria, including general psychology coursework. Those maintain GPAs of 3.8 or higher in the major and a minimum 3.0 overall may graduate with honors by completing projects or a 500-level psychology course with a B or better. The program requires students to complete a minor or 18 additional credits outside the major, and students are encouraged to participate in community engagement activities, such as membership in Psi Chi or taking on research assistantships.

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13 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida $4,477 29% - 88% 1 Yes Yes Yes

With over 400,000 alumni in its network, the University of Florida, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, has been careful to make sure that the quality of its online programs matches the quality of its on-campus equivalents, and graduates of the online programs receive the same level of training as those who were trained on campus. UF's undergraduate degrees offered online are focused on getting students employed, which extends to the Bachelor of Arts in psychology. This program is structured to give students a general education in psychology, preparing them for careers in a wide range of fields, including education, personnel management, business and marketing, health care or counseling, or for graduate school so they may pursue higher-level psychology or other professional studies. This entirely online bachelor's degree is designed to be completed in 4 years, although transfer students can complete their degrees in less time if they have enough credits. Because its psychology degree is one of the most popular online options, UF has brought in faculty with expertise in most niche areas, all to teach online students. Coursework covers psychology, of course, as well as statistics, mathematics and biology, and the program calls for students to take elective psychology courses, too. The overall online experience at UF is flexible and affordable, particularly for Florida residents. The online in-state tuition is one of the lowest flat rates per credit of any institution, and students can study at their own pace and take semesters off without any penalty. UF also goes to great lengths to make online students feel a part of the Gator community, with Gator Clubs around the world open to online students at a discounted rate; regular events outside Gainsville for socializing and networking; The UF Online Student Plaza, a gathering place for online students to organize study groups, plan outings or more; and special fee rates so that online students can access on-campus resources such as the fitness center.

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14 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona $8,698 82% 1% 54% 1 Yes Yes Yes

One of Northern Arizona University's distinctive features is its student-first approach. NAU has structured its degree programs to fit the needs of students, beyond just the academics. Through its online school, students can create their own learning experience thanks to mentorship by faculty and programs that enable students to design their own degree structures and schedules. NAU's online bachelor's degree in psychology is a 120-credit, career-oriented program that provides students with a general foundation in psychology, as well as required courses in computer literacy, communications and a choice of science or foreign languages. Students also can choose to pursue a more specialized psychology education through a minor (18 units) or certificate (15 units). While many graduates choose to begin their careers right after graduating - pursuing fields such as social services, law enforcement, marketing or management - the general psychology degree is also useful for students interested in graduate school to pursue counseling, nursing or other advanced fields. Students must maintain GPAs of at least 2.0 throughout the program to graduate successfully with the bachelor's degree. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and academic accreditation for psychology is granted by the American Psychological Association. An aspect unique to Northern Arizona is the way it has structured its online school tuition. Students can pick the traditional method of paying per credit and starting courses at specific dates, or they can try NAU's self-paced program, which is a 6-month subscription that allows students to study as much as they want during the period. Courses can be started at any time, and students can complete as much schooling as they want in that period. For anyone who is planning on taking online school full-time, this can be an incredibly quick and affordable way to earn a degree.

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15 Peru State College Peru, Nebraska $4,800 76% - 40% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Despite being a public school, Peru State College has the look and feel of a private school, from its small size to its curriculum structure, which emphasizes independent inquiry and a culture of innovation. Regardless of how students choose to study, they'll be offered in-state tuition, keeping its education affordable. For distance learners, Peru State Online, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offers the same quality education as its on-campus program with a few extra benefits. Online students not have access to in-state tuition, but the flat per-credit rate for online courses is also lower than their on-campus equivalents. It's also easy to receive additional credit to go towards a degree. Pesru allows up to 90 transfer credits - or roughly 75% of a degree - as well as the chance to turn life experience into college credit. Along with the low cost and potential to decrease the amount of time it takes to earn a degree, students also get to pick from 8-week or 16-week courses. This flexibility lets students complete their degrees at their own pace and potentially even more quickly than some on-campus students. Among the most popular programs online at Peru is its bachelor's in psychology. This 4-year program prepares students for careers in psychology and can be combined with a minor to give students experience in niche areas. Through this program, students can also qualify to become provisional licensed alcohol and drug counselors. Faculty members are practitioners in the field and provide advisement and individualized guidance to students. Courses are all offered both online and on campus, expect for the drug and alcohol counseling courses, which are available on campus .

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16 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas $5,172 25% 1% 56% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Sam Houston State University has carved out a space for itself thanks to the growth of online education. Drawing upon its nearly 140 years of experience educating students, SHSU has created one of the most well-rounded online platforms available, complete with offerings that mirror on-campus courses, small class sizes and 100% online courses. Plus, students enrolled in online programs pay a lower tuition rate than those students attending school on-campus. Not all of the programs offered at Sam Houston are entirely online, however, including the Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, which is about 75% online. Depending on how students conduct their studies, they may be required to occasionally commute to campus. All programs are fully accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Students in this 120-credit psychology program are required to take particular courses in psychology as well as to sample at least 2 courses each from various blocks of courses (e.g. social development, clinical counseling, experimental), to provide a broad foundation to students to prepare them for a wide range of careers. These may include psychotherapy, mental health services, law enforcement, advocacy, case management, social research, higher education administration or even management. For students wishing to pursue graduate degrees, they'll need at least a 3.0 GPA upon graduation, as well as a passing grade on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). All students may benefit from SHSU's SAM (Student Advising & Mentoring) Center, career counseling and other valuable student resources.

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17 Columbia College Columbia, Missouri $7,887 27% - 40% 1 Yes Yes Yes

A lot has changed throughout Columbia College's history. What began as a small, 2-year women's school is now a 4-year institution for all students. While Columbia also has ties with the Christian faith, it has grown to accept students from all backgrounds, making religion a smaller part of its curriculum than it was in the past. Along with these changes, Columbia College, which receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, has also expanded across the nation, with more than 35 different locations, along with the addition of its online campus. Students who want to earn bachelor's degrees in psychology from Columbia College can do so on campus, entirely online or through a hybrid format. The Online; Hybrid options are popular thanks to the benefits that online Columbia students get. For example, tuition is a flat rate per credit hour, lowering the cost of education. Also, degrees can be accelerated to 8-week classes. These courses have 6 start dates throughout the year, and if students study full time, they should be able to complete their degrees in just 3 years and 5 months - and potentially less if they have transfer credits. Along with that edge, its 120-credit psychology program offers specializations that other schools don't. Depending on what students want to do after graduating, they should pick a practical or experimental specialization. Practical specializations (clinical, school, counseling) prepare students for careers immediately after graduating, while experimental specializations (neuroscience, developmental, social, cognitive) prepare students to continue their education toward graduate degrees. Students also have the option to emphasize their studies in sports psychology. This program lets students dive into the research being conducted around sports, health, nutrition and training. Students also should understand that among the degree requirements are 6 semesters of foreign language.

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18 Judson College Marion, Alabama $16,248 97% 1% 44% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Founded in 1838, Judson College, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, is one of the oldest private 4-year institutions in the South that was designed specifically for women. It has stayed consistent with its original vision and continues to teach women how to integrate faith into their future careers. One of the largest changes that Judson has experienced over the past few decades is the introduction of its online education programs. Available to all students, its distance learning programs are a modern extension of its mission that blends faith with degree curriculum to create a one-of-a-kind education. One example is Judson's online bachelor's degree in psychology, which can be earned as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in as little as 3 years. A minor in psychology is available to students as well. Students have 2 to 4 months to complete each course, though they have the option to complete it more quickly as the program is self-paced and customizable. In fact, Judson's psychology programs stand out for their high degree of personalization. Students in the program have the chance to conduct their own, original psychological research, all while continuing to study entirely online. This prepares students for graduate school or professional research while also exposing them to some of the work they may be doing after earning their degrees. Students can also bring in transfer credit to speed up their educations. Two-year school transfers can bring in up to 64 credits, while anyone transferring from a 4-year institution can transfer as many credits as he or should would like. Another unique aspect of Judson's psychology degree program is its B.S. concentration option in equine-facilitated mental health. This niche concentration leads toward a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certification, and students would be hard-pressed to find another online psychology program that offers this same concentration.

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19 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, Texas $4,312 78% 1% 37% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Located in Odessa, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is one of the smaller institutions in the UT system, with 7,000 students. Despite its relatively small size, UTPB, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, is often considered to be among the top schools in Texas in terms of quality and affordability. This is extended to its online programs, which enable students to earn affordable, flexible degrees in one of 17 areas. Of its online programs, the Bachelor of Arts in psychology is among the most popular and the most well-respected. This psychology degree provides flexibility for distance education students. Courses are offered in convenient 7-week periods, so students can jump in and out of their studies as they see fit. Also, there are 6 start dates throughout the year, so anyone interested in getting a psychology degree can begin almost immediately whenever they are ready. Every course in this 120-credit program is 100% online, and tuition is just over $300 per credit hour. Coursework is comprised of 42 hours of general education, 36 hours of psychology core courses, 18 hours of minor courses and 24 hours of electives. Because the program is comprised of a wide variety of general and elective courses outside psychology, students receive a well-rounded education. While many public universities are best suited for residents of the state, UTPB offers the same benefits for all its students. Tuition is a flat rate charged per credit, and courses are taught by the same faculty whether they're online or on campus. Instead of preparing students for graduate school, the online bachelor's degree is meant to earn students jobs upon graduating, including counseling, management, law enforcement, marketing or even sales.

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20 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, Illinois $13,020 97% 1% 51% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Lincoln Christian University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, began in 1944 as Lincoln Bible Institute, and while it has since brought on a number of other programs, it has still stayed true to its original purpose. Any student that studies at LCU will get some exposure to Christian faith through their education, although the amount will vary depending on the program. The school boasts a 14:1 student to faculty ratio and an average incoming GPA of 3.3. The online Bachelor of Arts in psychology at LCU places a heavy emphasis on the Christian faith. Students may opt to take the program online or as a hybrid with up to two-thirds of their courses online and the rest in week-long intensives. Students are required to take Bible courses along with traditional psychology courses, which include such topics as personality theory, abnormal psychology, social psychology and research methods. Also, many psychology courses are approached with a Christian perspective. This program prepares students for such psychology careers as case manager, social worker, pastor or chaplain, human resources representative, educational adviser or others. Along with majoring in psychology, students can also choose to minor to diversify their educations. For any students interested in a career in the ministry, this could give them the best chance at securing a position. The major and all minor options are offered entirely online, and there is no set timetable to earn the degree, so online students can study at their own pace.

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21 North Greenville University Tigerville, South Carolina $17,594 99% 1% 51% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Along with offering a quality education to students on campus and online, North Greenville University also adds Christian faith to its curriculum. While some degrees offered are directly related to Christianity, most of NGU's programs are more traditional options that lead toward secular careers. Students in NGU's online programs are designed specifically for adult learners, and the 6 online degrees offered by NGU place the same emphasis on Christian values and their connections to psychology as their on-campus counterparts. For its bachelor's degree in psychology, a holistic approach was taken to curating the curriculum. Through this 4-year program, students will end up learning psychology while also gaining real-world experiences through interviews and group studies; students also will take Portfolio Development, in which they will create portfolios to showcase their work and earn credit. With some courses, students may opt for a blended learning experience, so that they can study online on their own time, in virtual real-time sessions or in face-to face classes. Internships are a big part of the program for upperclassmen, and NGU works to connect students with opportunities. These aren't required, but they give students a unique chance to gain real-world experience while also earning credit toward their degrees. Upon graduating, students will have a strong portfolio and will be prepared to begin a career related to psychology, such as counselor, educational psychologist, human resources, law enforcement, researcher or others. Because this program is designed for adult learners, the goal is to prepare students for careers rather than continuing education.

School website
22 University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle, Maine $6,600 74% 1% 49% 1 Yes Yes Yes

One of the smaller schools to offer online programs, the University of Maine at Presque Isle offers just 22 bachelor's degrees on its main campus. UMPI, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., prides itself on its focus on a personalized student experience at an affordable price. Its online offerings are no exception. Among the 3 programs offered online at UMPI is the bachelor's degree in psychology. This entirely online, 4-year program requires 120 credit hours to complete; 40 hours are spent in general education and a minimum of 42 are within the psychology program. On top of the required credits, students can also choose to add a minor to their degree, although it may require extra credits. Both the major and minor can be completed entirely online at an additional fee for online courses - just $25 per credit hour or $750 per year. Students who already have some college credit can transfer their credits, too, further reducing the cost of education and the time it takes to complete the program. Coursework covers such subject matter as social and cognitive psychology, drugs and behavior, lifespan and personality development, research methods and psychological assessment. Courses are taught by the same faculty who teach their on-ground counterparts, at the same student-faculty ratios, and sessions run year round. After earning their degrees, students will be equally prepared for careers or graduate school. The goal of the psychology program is to allow students to take their degree any direction they choose. Along with traditional fields that psychology leads to, some of UMPI's students have ended up working in marketing, nursing and accounting, or have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in clinical, industrial-organizational or educational psychology or in academic and corporate research.

School website
23 Wichita State University Wichita, Kansas $6,385 74% 1% 50% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Wichita State University has been booming in popularity, doubling in size in just 4 years. One of the biggest draws of WSU is its affordable education, particularly for its online programs. In- and out-of-state students will pay separate rates, but both online options are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. Before students commit to Wichita State's online bachelor's degree in psychology, they should know that it is a degree-completion program. Students will need to transfer previous school credit prior to applying to the program. Because students need previous credit, those usually can be easily transferred. This also reduces the total cost of education through Wichita State. Also, WSU's psychology degree is technically a 120-credit bachelor's degree in general studies with a concentration in psychology, which means it will not lead to licensure in the field. Strong workforce preparation is the outcome of this program, as it is meant for students that already have careers and want to advance into psychology-related fields. Depending on how many transfer credits students bring with them, the total amount of time a degree takes to complete can vary. WSU doesn't force students to follow a specific timetable, so nontraditional students can work at their own pace. At the same time, a degree can be earned more quickly through online delivery if students choose to study full time and year-round. Wichita State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

School website
24 Utah State University Logan, Utah $5,814 58% 1% 58% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Utah State University has grown into one of the largest schools in the region, despite being in a relatively remote area. With nearly 28,000 undergrad students enrolled, USU, which is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, makes up the majority of Logan, the town that houses the school's main campus. On top of its success with bringing education to students in person, USU has found success with nontraditional forms of education, including USU Online, which is celebrating its 21st birthday this year. With so much experience online, USU has found a way to offer over 30 degree programs entirely online without sacrificing academic quality, at an affordable tuition rate. While out-of-state students will pay more than in-state students, the difference in the cost of education is slim. It's also worth noting that some courses - including some that are required in order to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology - may end up costing slightly more. Before students start their degrees in psychology online, they should understand that the cost can vary depending on which elective courses they choose to study. There are a few other important things to know about USU's online psychology program. First, both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science are available entirely online. Both of these degrees are 120 credits and designed to prepare students for graduate school rather than the workforce. Second, the online courses at USU are offered both in 7- and 14-week periods, so students can accelerate their educations by choosing the abbreviated periods.

School website
25 University of Charleston Charleston, West Virginia $20,564 94% 1% 37% 1 Yes Yes Yes

A private school that focuses primarily on undergraduate degrees, the University of Charleston, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offers career-oriented programs across both their campuses, as well as online. Because of its career-focused approach, UC's online school has been growing in popularity. Many nontraditional students who are currently employed want to advance their careers, and UC's online programs offer that opportunity. One of the most popular online programs at UC is its bachelor's degree in psychology. Available entirely online, students can opt to spend some time studying in person, either through internships or clinical experience, both of which will give them an edge when they look to begin their careers. Students may select from one of 2 tracks: a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. They share similar curricula but have slightly different outcomes. Students working toward the B.A. will be prepared for employment right after earning their degrees, while B.S. students will be preparing themselves to continue on to graduate school to pursue advanced degrees in psychology or related fields. While the B.S. doesn't immediately prepare students for employment, it does prepare them to specialize in such fields as social work. Online students don't always feel like they're a part of the community, so Charleston takes steps to make sure they do. All online students have access to academic advisers who will review students' needs to help them pick the right psychology program track. Also, since the psychology program is career-oriented, UC takes steps to help students plan their future careers.

School website
26 Touro College and University System New York, New York $16,380 88% 1% 59% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
27 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, Hawaii $23,180 98% 1% 51% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
28 Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado $8,716 53% 1% 67% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
29 Bellevue University Bellevue, Nebraska $6,840 62% - 32% 1 No No Yes School website
30 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Green Bay, Wisconsin $6,298 28% 1% 53% 1 No No Yes School website
31 Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide Middletown, Pennsylvania $13,868 54% 1% 69% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
32 Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri $6,150 54% 1% 57% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
33 Tarleton State University Stephenville, Texas $3,900 50% 1% 47% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
34 Colorado Christian University Lakewood, Colorado $22,360 96% - 41% 2 Yes Yes Yes School website
35 Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, New Jersey $11,408 46% 1% 86% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
36 Chadron State College Chadron, Nebraska $4,480 66% - 39% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
37 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, Florida $20,760 100% 1% 43% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
38 Louisiana State University at Alexandria Alexandria, Louisiana $4,984 75% - 28% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
39 Fayetteville State University Fayetteville, North Carolina $2,923 73% 1% 37% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
40 National University La Jolla, California $13,016 4% - 50% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
41 Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia $6,330 65% 1% 55% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
42 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, Louisiana $5,180 49% 1% 40% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
43 New England College Henniker, New Hampshire $23,162 77% 1% 36% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
44 University of Houston-Downtown Houston, Texas $4,843 33% 1% 24% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
45 Fort Hays State University Hays, Kansas $3,789 73% 1% 44% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
46 University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona $10,160 74% 1% 63% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
47 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, Oregon $6,073 83% 1% 37% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
48 San Diego Christian College Santee, California $20,635 96% 1% 44% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
49 McNeese State University Lake Charles, Louisiana $5,147 34% 1% 45% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
50 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota $6,679 54% 1% 57% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wesson, Mississippi $2,390 35% 33% 2 Yes Yes Yes School website
2 Sinclair Community College Dayton, Ohio $3,169 44% 16% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
3 San Joaquin Delta College Stockton, California $1,104 - 31% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
4 Barton Community College Great Bend, Kansas $2,304 69% 29% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
5 Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia, Mississippi $2,800 21% 22% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
6 Coastline Community College Fountain Valley, California $1,104 - 26% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
7 Alvin Community College Alvin, Texas $2,160 7% 21% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
8 Truckee Meadows Community College Reno, Nevada $2,745 21% 30% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
9 Eastern Oklahoma State College Wilburton, Oklahoma $3,140 21% 23% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
10 Merced College Merced, California $1,104 - 22% 1 No Yes Yes School website
11 Odessa College Odessa, Texas $3,144 29% 20% 1 No Yes Yes School website
12 Navarro College Corsicana, Texas $1,440 9% 14% 1 No Yes Yes School website

How Much Can You Make in a Psychology Career?

Much of the allure of earning a degree in psychology lies in its ability to prepare students for multiple lucrative career paths. The coursework covers all types of human behavior, and students graduate well-equipped for positions in healthcare, communications, marketing, counseling, and sales. Depending on the career path taken, learners can make handsome incomes in stable or quickly growing fields. While no degree guarantees a career or a salary, the following table demonstrates the average salaries and job growth data of five common careers that graduates of a bachelor’s degree in psychology often pursue.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +10.3%
Job Description

Although students need to complete a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology to pursue this career, working as a psychologist is a fascinating profession. Psychologists analyze thought processes and how humans react to their environments. Using their findings, they provide a diagnosis and treatment plan for their patients.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +12.7%
Job Description

Rehabilitation counselors specialize in helping individuals with disabilities lead fulfilling and productive lives. On a typical day, rehabilitation counselors may help clients locate resources, such as medical equipment or medicare. They may also develop care plans and provide individual and group counseling to assist in the patient’s treatment progress. Most employers require rehabilitation counselors to earn their master’s degree before practicing.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +7.1%
Job Description

Human resources specialists work with businesses and recruiting agencies to help screen and hire candidates. They conduct interviews based on their client’s needs and then take new hires through the onboarding process. They may also be responsible for outlining employee benefits and payroll. These specialists need to understand human behavior and demonstrate excellent communication skills to be successful.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +8.3%
Job Description

From illness to unemployment, social workers help people cope with the hardships in their life. A social worker’s day may include assisting clients in finding resources like childcare or food stamps and later providing counseling services to individuals struggling with mental disorders. A primary role of the social worker is to advocate for vulnerable populations and improve their access to resources.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +5.4%
Job Description

Marketing managers develop strategic plans to help generate business for their company. They plan promotional and advertising campaigns and develop competitive pricing for their products. These managers need to consistently conduct research on their target populations and analyze the market to develop effective marketing plans. Studying psychology provides an excellent foundation for the human analysis and behavioral component of advertising and marketing.

Sources: BLS 2018

Not only is the job outlook for psychologists growing faster than the national average, but depending on where you practice the career can be incredibly lucrative. Browse the table below to see a breakdown of salaries and job growth data by state for psychologists. The differences in cost of living, educational requirements, average experience levels, and professional need within a specific location all contribute to the variations in salary and growth by state.

What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Psychology Degree?

Typically, learners earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology need to complete a selection of core classes first, and then they can choose from a variety of elective courses that apply to their future career goals. Read on for a description of five real courses offered in online psychology degrees. Keep in mind that these are only a fraction of the options out there; check each school’s course catalogue for more information on core courses, electives, and other degree requirements.

General Psychology

This class provides an introduction to the field of psychology. Students analyze case studies that highlight key concepts such as motivation and deviation. They will also examine research methods and perform their own basic research projects.

Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal psychology studies deviance in social behavior. Learners look at a variety of mental disorders and neuroses, triggers, and possible treatment options.


Neuropsychology looks at the brain’s effect on cognition and behavior. Specifically, students examine brain damage and trauma and the resulting impact on human behavior.

Sensation and Perception

This course delves into the basic makeup of our senses and perception. Students study central and peripheral neural processing and signal detection methods that help humans gauge their surroundings.

Psychology of Health and Illness

Psychology of health and illness provides an overview of health psychology and examines the various social, global, psychological, and cultural factors that can affect health. Students also look at behavioral medicine and healthcare law.

How to Choose the Best Online Psychology Program

Many important variables go into choosing the best online psychology program. Students need to review overarching considerations such as accreditation, cost, reputation, and graduation rates. Learners also need to examine the factors that impact their day-to-day experience, such as classes, degree requirements, and student-to-faculty ratio. Read on to see five commonly asked questions and their answers about earning a psychology bachelor’s degree online.

What type of accreditation should I look for and why does it matter?

Two types of school accreditation exist: regional and national. Regional accreditation is the most common and considered more prestigious. National accreditation tends to get awarded to technical and vocational schools. Both types of accreditation act as a form of quality assurance. Selecting the right form of accreditation ensures that you can take future certification examinations, transfer credits to other schools, and apply for higher education programs.

Will I follow the same curriculum online as I would on campus?

Yes, online programs are held to the same standards as on-campus programs. Online students complete the same coursework and need the same number of credits to graduate. The main difference lies in how the courses are taken. On-campus students complete classes with a cohort on a set schedule. Distance learners often take courses asynchronously and work more independently.

How do I pick the psychology courses I need to take?

Most online psychology degrees require students to complete foundational coursework first. Then, learners can select a certain number of electives. Check each school’s requirements to see which courses you are required to take, and then determine how many credits you have left to pick classes of your choosing. Select courses that appeal to your interest areas and future professional goals.

How much does an online bachelor’s degree in psychology cost?

Many factors affect the cost of an online bachelor’s degree including state residency, program length, and whether the school is a private or public institution. U.S. News & World Report states that students entering an online psychology bachelor’s degree can expect to pay between $50,000 and $60,000 for their degree.

Will a psychology degree prepare me to enter the workforce right after graduation?

The fact that human behavior provides so many employment opportunities makes psychology one of the most popular majors. Many graduates start on their career path in fields like marketing, sales, and human resources right away. On the other hand, the learners who wish to pursue careers in fields like clinical psychology, counseling, or rehabilitation services typically need to pursue a graduate degree.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Psychology Programs

Many types of financial aid are available for students pursuing a degree in psychology. All learners should start by filling out an application for federal student aid to check their eligibility for federal loans. Students should also apply for scholarships and grants. Unlike federal or personal loans, scholarships and grants offer great benefits and do not need to be repaid after graduation. Browse the following list to see a sampling of scholarships available to students earning their undergraduate degree in psychology.

AAC’s Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship

The American Addiction Center (AAC) offers three scholarships per year to undergraduate and graduate students studying psychology or another field related to mental health and substance abuse disorders. Applicants must maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA. For the application, learners must submit an essay detailing the challenges that individuals struggling with substance abuse face in getting treatment and their suggestions for ameliorating the problem. First place receives $5,000 with second and third place receiving $2,500 each.

AP-LS Award for Best Undergraduate Paper

The American Psychology-Law (AP-LS) society provides awards for outstanding research papers on topics related to psychology and law. Current undergraduate students must be a major research contributor to submit their work. The papers are judged on originality, quality of writing, and contribution to the field. First place recipients receive $500; second place $300; and third place $150.

Division 53 Student Achievement Award

Offered through the American Psychological Association, the Division 53 Student Achievement Award of $1,000 goes to one undergraduate student studying child and adolescent psychology. Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to the field through a research project, though students should also detail their clinical or teaching experience and community involvement. Learners additionally need to submit their resume and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program offers scholarships to undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Applicants must be committed to pursuing a career in behavioral health or social science and health-related research. Students must earn a 3.3 GPA or higher to be eligible. The NIH scholarship pays up to $20,000 towards tuition and educational expenses. In exchange, students must commit to a summer of employment at NIH and then one year of full-time employment after graduation.

Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship

The International Honor Society in Psychology, called Psi Chi for short, awards eight scholarships of $3,000 each year to undergraduate members enrolled in psychology programs. Psi Chi chooses recipients based on their involvement with the organization, financial need, and academic excellence. Applicants must submit their transcripts; a resume; a description of their financial need; a personal essay detailing their interest in science and the application to psychology; and letters of recommendation to be considered for the award.