ONLINE BACHELOR’S DEGREE PROGRAMS IN CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY

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Child psychologists work with people from infancy to the brink of adulthood. These professionals spearhead efforts to understand and address challenges faced by their target population. Earning a bachelor’s in child psychology provides students with foundational knowledge and pertinent skills, which can be used in the field immediately or applied toward advanced degrees that lead to licensure. Coursework includes child and adolescent development, experiential learning, assessment, and behavioral analysis. Additionally, students who wish to pursue their degree online have access to an array of flexible programs equal in content to on-campus programs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for all professionals in this field is projected to grow 14% by 2026. This guide covers vetted programs, earning potential, strategies for choosing the most suitable program, potential occupations, funding options, and ways to offset school costs through scholarships.

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Programs in Child Psychology

Rank School Location
1 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
2 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
3 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
4 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
5 University of Bridgeport Bridgeport, CT
6 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
7 Auburn University Auburn, AL
8 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
9 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
10 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
Advertisement AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Child Psychology

Online universities vary in quality and accreditation, which means that identifying suitable programs requires research. Below is a list of online bachelor’s in child and adolescent psychology programs that outlines what students need to qualify and succeed. All programs have been vetted through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System by examining information such as the cost of tuition, graduation rate, program specific resources, and overall student services.


  • Methodology

    Best Colleges for Online Master’s Degrees

    To find the best colleges for earning an online master’s degree, our researchers and higher education experts collected and analyzed data from every accredited postsecondary institution in the United States. The goal? To see which colleges offer the most notable balances of academic rigor, student support and affordability for online learning. The specific criteria and scoring metrics for the ranking are as follows:General criteria:

    • Must be an accredited 4-year public or private not-for-profit institution
    • Must offer at least 1 online master’s degree program in subject
    • Annual in-state net price below $20,000

    Scoring metrics:

    • Average net price for in-state undergraduate students
    • Count and breadth of online master’s programs available in subject
    • Student-to-faculty ratio
    • 6-year graduation rate
    • Percentage of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college
    • Average amount of scholarship/grant aid students receive from the college
    • Availability of academic/career counseling services
    • Availability of job placement services for students and graduates
    • 3-year loan default rate
    • AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*

    *PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or “bang for your buck”– of an online degree.


  1. Eastern Michigan University
    Location

    Ypsilanti, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  2. Canisius College
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  3. University of Southern Mississippi
    Location

    Hattiesburg, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  4. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  5. University of Bridgeport
    Location

    Bridgeport, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  6. University of Saint Joseph
    Location

    West Hartford, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  7. Auburn University
    Location

    Auburn, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  8. North Carolina State University
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  9. Adelphi University
    Location

    Garden City, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  10. University of Northern Colorado
    Location

    Greeley, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

How Much Can You Make in a Child and Adolescent Psychology Career?

Earning a child psychology degree online positions graduates to qualify for career opportunities geared toward helping children. The job outlook for positions related to child and adolescent psychology should increase faster than average growth rates. According to the BLS, psychological services in schools, social service agencies, hospitals, and mental health centers are growing because of raised awareness about factors that influence children psychologically. While no degree secures a career or salary, this degree does ensure students possess pertinent skills required for the careers listed in the table below.


  • Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

    Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $77,030

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +14%

    Job Description
    Psychologists focus on the influence emotional, social, and cognitive processes have on behavior. These professionals observe, interview, and conduct studies on their patients. Other duties include diagnosing disorders, writing scholarly articles, and managing others. Most professionals work in schools or state-funded facilities. These positions often require additional licenses, certifications, or advanced degrees. Requirements vary by state.


  • Social Worker

    Social Worker

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $47,980

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026:+16%

    Job Description
    Child and family social workers strive to protect vulnerable children. These professionals assist clients in solving and coping with everyday life dilemmas. Other duties may include intervention when neglect or abuse is present. At times, professionals may place children with a foster or adoption family. There are entry-level positions available with a bachelor’s in child psychology.


  • Social and Community Service Managers

    Social and Community Service Managers

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $64,100

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +18%

    Job Description
    As a social and community service manager, professionals identify and oversee administrative duties for programs needed in their community. Other duties include managing outreach activities and writing proposals for funding. These professionals often work for individual and family services. While a bachelor’s degree is mandatory, employers also like to see work experience.


  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

    Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $43,300

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +23%

    Job Description
    Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors evaluate their clients’ problems or addictions to develop a treatment plan. Professionals may need to educate immediate family members about assisting with the patient care. While these professionals can work with people of all ages, graduates with a child psychology bachelor’s degree qualify to work in facilities that provide specialized care to children and adolescents.


  • Probation Officers and correctional treatment specialists

    Probation Officers and correctional treatment specialists

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $51,410

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +6%

    Job Description
    Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists help law offenders through their rehabilitation process. Duties often include evaluating clients to determine a care plan, testing clients for drug usage, and writing reports. This role requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree to qualify. Professionals with a child psychology degree are great candidates for juvenile detention centers.


Sources: BLS 2018

While overall salary projections are valuable for formulating general expectations, there are multiple factors that can influence wages. For instance, projected income varies by geographic location, demand, credentials, and experience. According to the BLS, New Jersey, Alaska, and Hawaii are the three top paying states for this field in general. In addition, schools, health practitioner offices, and family services facilities have the highest levels of employment. This list below examines salaries and job growth data for all states in this field.


  • Alabama
    Median Annual Salary: $18,580

    Number Currently Employed: 15,570

    Projected Job Growth: +5.3 percent


  • Alaska
    Median Annual Salary: $24,940

    Number Currently Employed: 1,850

    Projected Job Growth: +5.8 percent


  • Arizona
    Median Annual Salary: $23,380

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Arkansas
    Median Annual Salary: $19,380

    Number Currently Employed: 12,090

    Projected Job Growth: +13.4 percent


  • California
    Median Annual Salary: $25,570

    Number Currently Employed: 101,600

    Projected Job Growth: +6.8 percent


  • Colorado
    Median Annual Salary: $26,200

    Number Currently Employed: 14,040

    Projected Job Growth: +27.2 percent


  • District of Columbia (DC)
    Median Annual Salary: $29,810

    Number Currently Employed: 3,560

    Projected Job Growth: +12 percent


  • Connecticut
    Median Annual Salary: $24,690

    Number Currently Employed: 19,630

    Projected Job Growth: +7.4 percent


  • Delaware
    Median Annual Salary: $21,230

    Number Currently Employed: 2,280

    Projected Job Growth: +8.4 percent


  • Florida
    Median Annual Salary: $20,980

    Number Currently Employed: 56,900

    Projected Job Growth: +15.5 percent


  • Georgia
    Median Annual Salary: $19,830

    Number Currently Employed: 37,590

    Projected Job Growth: +11.5 percent


  • Hawaii
    Median Annual Salary: $22,130

    Number Currently Employed: 4,020

    Projected Job Growth: +5.8 percent


  • Idaho
    Median Annual Salary: $18,800

    Number Currently Employed: 1,730

    Projected Job Growth: +11.8 percent


  • Illinois
    Median Annual Salary: $22,410

    Number Currently Employed: 31,260

    Projected Job Growth: +3.9 percent


  • Indiana
    Median Annual Salary: $20,000

    Number Currently Employed: 19,350

    Projected Job Growth: +6.9 percent


  • Iowa
    Median Annual Salary: $19,130

    Number Currently Employed: 15,770

    Projected Job Growth: +10.3 percent


  • Kansas
    Median Annual Salary: $19,240

    Number Currently Employed: 10,350

    Projected Job Growth: +7.9 percent


  • Kentucky
    Median Annual Salary: $19,300

    Number Currently Employed: 19,560

    Projected Job Growth: +11.3 percent


  • Lousiana
    Median Annual Salary: $18,610

    Number Currently Employed: 12,320

    Projected Job Growth: +2.6 percent


  • Maine
    Median Annual Salary: $23,250

    Number Currently Employed: 5,810

    Projected Job Growth: -1.6 percent


  • Maryland
    Median Annual Salary: $23,480

    Number Currently Employed: 15,530

    Projected Job Growth: +6.8 percent


  • Massachusuetts
    Median Annual Salary: $26,510

    Number Currently Employed: 21,700

    Projected Job Growth: +4.5 percent


  • Michigan
    Median Annual Salary: $20,990

    Number Currently Employed: 27,560

    Projected Job Growth: +9.3 percent


  • Minnesota
    Median Annual Salary: $23,450

    Number Currently Employed: 27,760

    Projected Job Growth: +8.5 percent


  • Mississippi
    Median Annual Salary: $18,380

    Number Currently Employed: 11,420

    Projected Job Growth: +3.8 percent


  • Missouri
    Median Annual Salary: $20,730

    Number Currently Employed: 25,720

    Projected Job Growth: +9.3 percent


  • Montana
    Median Annual Salary: $20,460

    Number Currently Employed: 4,110

    Projected Job Growth: +8.4 percent


  • Nebraska
    Median Annual Salary: $21,480

    Number Currently Employed: 13,890

    Projected Job Growth: +12 percent


  • Nevada
    Median Annual Salary: $21,610

    Number Currently Employed: 5,080

    Projected Job Growth: +6.4 percent


  • New Hampsire
    Median Annual Salary: $22,430

    Number Currently Employed: 4,360

    Projected Job Growth: +7.1 percent


  • New Jersey
    Median Annual Salary: $23,930

    Number Currently Employed: 30,340

    Projected Job Growth: +9.2 percent


  • New Mexico
    Median Annual Salary: $20,080

    Number Currently Employed: 3,910

    Projected Job Growth: +7 percent


  • New York
    Median Annual Salary: $25,760

    Number Currently Employed: 70,110

    Projected Job Growth: +8 percent


  • North Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $20,510

    Number Currently Employed: 39,160

    Projected Job Growth: +10.6 percent


  • North Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $21,960

    Number Currently Employed: 4,750

    Projected Job Growth: +9.8 percent


  • Ohio
    Median Annual Salary: $20,500

    Number Currently Employed: 41,160

    Projected Job Growth: +7.5 percent


  • Oklahoma
    Median Annual Salary: $18,930

    Number Currently Employed: 13,790

    Projected Job Growth: +11.1 percent


  • Oregon
    Median Annual Salary: $23,810

    Number Currently Employed: 9,900

    Projected Job Growth: +15.6 percent


  • Pennsylvania
    Median Annual Salary: $20,190

    Number Currently Employed: 44,830

    Projected Job Growth: +3.1 percent


  • Rhode Island
    Median Annual Salary: $24,580

    Number Currently Employed: 3,210

    Projected Job Growth: +1 percent


  • South Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $19,030

    Number Currently Employed: 16,180

    Projected Job Growth: +6.4 percent


  • South Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $20,130

    Number Currently Employed: 5,760

    Projected Job Growth: +10.1 percent


  • Tennessee
    Median Annual Salary: $19,290

    Number Currently Employed: 22,670

    Projected Job Growth: +7.1 percent


  • Texas
    Median Annual Salary: $19,670

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Utah
    Median Annual Salary: $19,870

    Number Currently Employed: 8,640

    Projected Job Growth: +40.1 percent


  • Vermont
    Median Annual Salary: $26,440

    Number Currently Employed: 2,910

    Projected Job Growth: -0.2 percent


  • Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $18,820

    Number Currently Employed: 23,610

    Projected Job Growth: +6.9 percent


  • Washington
    Median Annual Salary: $25,620

    Number Currently Employed: 19,670

    Projected Job Growth: +14.1 percent


  • West Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $19,790

    Number Currently Employed: 5,450

    Projected Job Growth: +2.7 percent


  • Wisconsin
    Median Annual Salary: $20,850

    Number Currently Employed: 16,280

    Projected Job Growth: +5.8 percent


  • Wyoming
    Median Annual Salary: $23,180

    Number Currently Employed: 2,830

    Projected Job Growth: -3 percent


What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Child and Adolescent Psychology Degree?

A bachelor’s in child and adolescent psychology should always include foundational knowledge and theories. However, programs tend to differ because universities develop their own curriculum and do not follow the same standards. Some schools are influenced by national or regional accreditation requirements, and specific programmatic accrediting agencies may have stipulations. Furthermore, schools may also consider the specific needs of their geographic location. Below are sample courses that may be included in a child psychology degree online:

Introduction to Psychology

Students are introduced to psychology from a broad perspective by learning key figures and theoretical perspectives that have contributed to contemporary psychology. Students also develop research methods.

Introduction to Child Psychology

Students explore theories, methods, and concepts used in child psychology. Students learn how to differentiate the specialized needs and processes for dealing with young patients. Course content includes intervention and communication styles.

Child and Adolescent Development

This course helps students understand the developmental needs of children and adolescents. Coursework covers theories of development, learning, personality development, functioning, and behavior. Students learn to identify both normal and abnormal development.

Research Methods

This course helps students to view psychological processes as a science. Students engage in methods that prove or disprove hypotheses, which provide evidence to support theories. Students should have some statistical background knowledge for this course.

Childhood Psychological Assessment and Intervention

Through the study of formal assessment implications and theories, students examine procedures for reporting assessment results. This course also discusses legal implications and ethical practices.

How to Choose the Best Online Child and Adolescent Psychology Program

There are multiple factors to consider when choosing a child psychology degree. A great place to start is by identifying if the program is regionally accredited and if there are programmatic accreditations. While students should certainly consider tuition, there are also other costs that may be incurred through program requirements, such as internship or clinical fees. This section addresses common questions about online bachelor’s degrees in child and adolescent psychology.

What accrediting agencies should I look for when researching online child psychology programs?

At the bachelor’s level, child psychology degrees are not accredited programmatically. However, students may want to consider advanced degree programs accredited by the American Psychological Association because their curriculum is structured to satisfy accreditation requirements. Students may also want to consider regional accreditation for the school as a whole.

How much is tuition for an online child psychology bachelor’s degree?

Tuition costs vary. Students should consider what they value in a program to help narrow down the type of university that fits their needs. For instance, if students want their degrees from a brick-and-mortar school that offers online programs, they may pay higher tuition than at a fully online university that can afford to make tuition less expensive.

How long does it usually take to complete a bachelor’s in adolescent psychology online?

There are multiple formats for distance learning programs. Many programs offered by brick-and-mortar schools often follow traditional semesters and credit hours, which allows students to graduate in about four years. Students who wish to or can afford summer courses can graduate in under four years. There are also accelerated programs that use eight-week semesters and continue classes during the summer, which allow students to graduate in three years or less.

Do online child psychology programs require practicums or internships?

Similar to traditional schools, online programs must satisfy state licensing requirements to stay in compliance with accreditation standards. Therefore, most programs that require hands-on experience do require an internship or practicum. Students are allowed to complete these hours at an approved, local facility. However, not all career paths require licensure. Students should identify their ideal role to see if internship hours are necessary.

Are there professional organization that child psychology students can join while in school?

There are many professional organizations that offer membership to students in school. Additionally, student membership creates opportunities for networking, tuition assistance, and mentorship. The American Psychological Association is the leading professional psychological organization in the U.S. Student members receive access to academic journals and career services upon graduation. There are also psychology organizations for specific job roles and specializations.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs

Affordability is a major concern for students considering an online bachelor’s in child psychology. Many students immediately consider FAFSA grants and loans. While grants are ideal because those funds do not have to be repaid, loans must be repaid and they collect interest. Therefore, in addition to grants, students should consider applying for scholarships. There are many foundations and professional psychology organizations that set aside funds to help students pay for their tuition.

Ann-Marie Ogletree Child Development Scholarship

Students who come from underrepresented or low-income homes can apply for the Ann-Marie Ogletree Child Development Scholarship. This scholarship is for students who wish to study child and adolescent related fields, which is a great option for child psychology students. This is a one time award. Students must be enrolled full time and have a 2.75 GPA to qualify. Awards range from $500 to $1,000.

American School Health Association Scholarship

The American School Health Association offers a $250 scholarship to one undergraduate student who plans to use their degree in school-related mental health positions, such as school nurse, school counselor, or school social worker. Child and adolescent psychology majors in their junior or senior year are welcome to apply. This scholarship requires students to submit a 2-3 page personal statement describing their professional goals. Students must also have at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify.

APA Society Convention Research Awards

The APA Society Convention Research Awards are provided by PSI CHI, the international honor society in psychology. PSI CHI strives to encourage exemplary research and application of research findings. Students must submit a research poster and proposal to be considered. Selected candidates must be physically present at the PSI CHI annual convention to receive their award. The top two undergraduate presenters receive $400 scholarships. To be considered, students must apply prior to April 15.

AP-LS Award for Best Undergraduate Paper

The American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) recognizes undergraduate students who submit exemplary research papers that emphasize the relationship between psychology and law. Students are responsible for creating and conducting research on their own unique topic. Winners are expected to present at the AP-LS Conference. The thesis must be less than 20 pages and students must submit a letter of support from a faculty supervisor. The first place winner will receive $500, second place $300, and third place $150.

Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship

With a growing need for professionals committed to improving mental health, the American Addiction Center offers undergraduates a $2,500 to $5,000 scholarship to offset school costs, which is perfect for students majoring in child psychology. To apply, students must submit a 500-word essay discussing potential challenges and solutions for getting patients into addiction treatment. Students must hold a minimum 3.2 GPA to qualify.

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