Last Update: March 1, 2017
Online programs in psychology are an affordable, accessible, and flexible way to earn your undergraduate degree, especially if you find yourself in a situation that makes going back to school either logistically or financially problematic. Despite the stigma online programs once held, they have mostly shed those stereotypes and have increasingly solid reputations, in large part because online programs are developed and taught by the same faculty who teach the traditional, on-campus courses. And in most cases, the diploma looks exactly the same as those garnered by “traditional students,” yet it was obtained at half the price.
What are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs for 2017?
Below are the thirty-five best online psychology programs in the country. While some programs emphasize clinical psychology and others are more research based, they all share one thing in common despite the difference of name and emphasis: they are the best at equipping students for fulfilling careers in a number of industries.
Here at College Choice we’ve collated and compared the academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and average annual salary of graduates from online psychology programs across the country to create a definitive ranking of the nation’s thirty-five best. We first chose programs with the most renowned academic reputation and from those pared the list down to those with high retention rates—a reflection of student satisfaction—added those with the most economical accessibility, and finally we included the averages of early career salaries (care of PayScale) to arrive at a list marked by thorough research and extensive data aggregation. Our figures come from the university and colleges’ websites as well as nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
Oregon State University
College Choice Score: 100
Average Tuition: $200.00
Through Oregon State University’s (OSU) eCampus you can earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree at an affordable rate. Offered through the School of Psychological Science, OSU online students learn why humans behave, feel, and think in certain ways as well as how they behave, feel, and think. This dual-focused foundation gives students insight into human diversity while teaching them how to approach complex problem-solving issues.
This 180 credit-hour degree is comprised of a liberal arts core that trains in research methodology, quantitative analysis, statistics, and data interpretation. As an OSU online undergrad student studying psychology you will take a range of courses covering everything from brain and behavior to human lifespan development, abnormal psychology, cognition, behavior modification, and health psychology. OSU’s eCampus also makes over two dozen minors available to students, encouraging them to pair the psychology degree with another field as a way to amplify your diversity of skills and knowledge. Minors include those in business, languages, the sciences, health, and more.
OSU’s online and distance learning model serves students across the globe, offering over one thousands classes in nearly one hundred subjects. Students learn from the same faculty and earn the same diploma as on-campus students, and they also are supported through online tutoring, online career and library services, and more. Oregon State University, based in Corvallis, is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
College Choice Score: 96
Average Tuition: $542.00
By getting your BA/BS in Psychology degree through Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus, you’re giving yourself access to not only a fantastic education from a renowned institution, but to its extensive research projects, facilities, and opportunities. Collaborating closely with faculty and leaders in the field, you will gain a solid foundation in psychological research and analytics. This major specifically trains students on methodology, application, and psychology as a profession.
As an online psych student at Penn State you will also have the opportunity to join the world’s first online psychology club, founded and led by online undergrad psychology students. With over one hundred members, this club utilizes social media, video conferencing, and other technologies to create a close cohort experience and to keep one another apprised of graduate school options, internship opportunities, and career leads. Other incentives to join Penn’s World Campus include its broad approach to education that combines the arts with social sciences. Students thus graduate fully prepared to enter graduate school (including medical or law school) or to find a rewarding career in social work, probation and corrections, at-home aid care, recreational therapy, and more.
Penn State is nationally and globally recognized university, ranked fiftieth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 93.25
Average Tuition: $500.00
Offered through the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University proffers an online BA/BS in Psychology degree that emphasizes independent thinking and research in a complex, dynamic world. This means that in conjunction with the general and psychology core, you will experience a curriculum that introduces cultural, socio-historical, and transnational issues. As an ASU online student you will hone your skills in writing, both quantitative and qualitative research methodology, and critical thinking while taking a variety of psychology classes that cover clinical perspectives, cognitive systems, behavioral neuroscience, social psychology, and more.
Studying primarily online through ASU is a great choice for many reasons. Foremost, the curriculum is designed and delivered by an award-winning faculty board. Secondly, you will receive an enormous amount of support as an online student, from enrollment counselors, academic advisors, and success coaches. And finally, ASU has gone to great lengths to ensure every student as the opportunity to get involved in the university’s community by offering online clubs and student organizations.
Arizona State University is a top-ranked research institution with accolades from U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Washington Monthly. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 92.5
Average Tuition: $500.00
The University of Florida offers an online BA in Psychology that combines a general education core with a psychology core comprised of classes on biological bases, developmental changes, learning and cognition, and sociocultural and individual differences. Florida’s online students also take laboratory methodology courses to enhance their research techniques and their quantitative and qualitative analysis skills.
The University of Florida has a long history of providing distance and online education to adult learners. For this reason, they are known for the support resources they provide their online students, especially the one-on-one advising that each student undergoes as they plan out their academic schedule and learn how to effectively manage education with other life responsibilities. The cost of attendance is about average at the University of Florida, approximately $552 per credit hour (tuition plus fees) for non-residents. However, residents of Florida pay only $129 per credit hour. Payscale also lists the early career salaries of Florida graduates at nearly 50k annually, making this a solid return on investment.
Graduates from the University of Florida’s online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program have found rewarding work in a diverse range of fields, including education, personnel management, healthcare, counseling, business and marketing, and graduate education. The University of Florida, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, is a solidly ranked university with national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, ARWU, Forbes, and Washington Monthly.
Utah State University
College Choice Score: 92
Average Tuition: $310.00
Through Utah State University’s distance education program you can earn either a BA or a BS in Psychology online and specialize in a number of ways; developmental psychology, health psychology, abuse and neglect, educational psychology for teachers, behavioral assessment and intervention, and the history of systems of psychology are just some of the areas of focus at USU.
Globally renowned, the psychology department at Utah State is lauded for its innovative research, teaching, and scholarship programs. Faculty works closely with students (both online and traditional) to prepare them to become professionals in mental health, education, and human services. This program specifically has been designed to funnel undergraduate psychology students directly into graduate study (since so many career paths in psychology require additional education and degrees), but it can still stand alone for those who want to work as a career counselor, rehabilitation specialist, psychiatric technician, a probation or parole officer, or something similar.
Utah State University, based in Logan, is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It is a space-grant, land-grant university noted for its research contributions in and commitments to environmental sustainability.
Fort Hays State University
College Choice Score: 90.25
Average Tuition: $207.00
Depending on your interests and your projected career path, at Fort Hays State University you can earn either a BA or a BS in Psychology. Both are fully online, but the BA requires ten completed hours of a modern foreign language and the BS requires twenty completed hours of coursework in math or the natural sciences (or both). Regardless of the track you choose, the psychology core at Fort Hays establishes a strong foundation of psychological histories, narratives, methodologies, and theories.
As a Fort Hays student you will take online classes in abnormal psych, cognitive introduction, child development, applied statistics, and social psychology, and you’ll have the option to go on to specialize in forensics, sexuality, drug and behavior, adolescence, or evolutionary psychology. And as an online student you will collaborate with your personal academic advisor throughout your academic experience, to design a curriculum and completion process program that works best for you and your schedule. You’ll also be in good company. Fort Hays’ Virtual College is home to over 6,000 students who hail from dozens of states and countries.
Fort Hays State University’s Virtual College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Washington State University
College Choice Score: 89.5
Average Tuition: $569.00
Through Washington State University’s global campus you can earn an online BS in Psychology degree that will prepare you to identify and problem-solve an array of human-related issues that crop up in both public and private settings, such as at work and in the home. This notably liberal arts curriculum will set you up nicely for either a graduate degree or to enter health and human services, the business sector, a management role, research and development, or the sales industries.
Once you’ve completed your core courses in introduction to psychology, psychology as a science, elementary statistics, and experimental methods, you will then choose from among three areas of specialization: neuroscience and cognition, social and motivational psychology, and clinical and counseling psychology. You can further individualize your degree by including a minor, which can also be completed through online coursework. Washington State offers over a dozen to choose from, many of which pair nicely with the psychology degree. You can minor in economics, aging, environmental science, American Indian studies, sociology, and more.
Washington State University—a research institution based in Pullman, Washington—is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It is ranked among the top 150 best universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Central Florida
College Choice Score: 89.25
Average Tuition: $300.00
The University of Central Florida (UCF) has a substantive track record of providing excellent online education to adult and returning learners. UCF thus offers many degree options, including a number of degree completion programs, among them the BS in Psychology degree. In order to enroll you must have already completed your general education requirements, one year of a college-level foreign language, three science classes, and a statistics class. This is therefore an ideal program for those students who got at least half way through their degree but needed to take a break for whatever reason, or for those who have an Associate’s degree in hand.
This online completion program in psychology will lead you toward a fulfilling career in case management, counseling, education, HR, research, sales, or therapy, among other avenues of practice. And since UCF encourages students to participate in internships, fieldwork, and research, most students experience a hands-on learning initiative that serves them throughout their careers.
U.S. News & World Report recognizes UCF as having one of the best online undergraduate experiences in the country. The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a high-research university that collaborates closely with corporations such as Lockheed, Boeing, and Siemens.
Loyola University Chicago
College Choice Score: 88.5
Average Tuition: $751.00
A distinctly practical psychology degree from a renowned institution of higher learning, the BA in Applied Psychology degree from Loyola University in Chicago combines business principles with social psychological theory and coursework on industrial psychology. This unique approach to psychology is specifically for those who plan to pursue careers in employee relations, training, coaching, leadership and management, human resources, or career development.
This 120 credit-hour degree is structured in eight-week sessions but can be flexibly adapted for your unique schedule. After finishing the general education core, Loyola online students are then introduced to foundational psychological courses, such as social psychology, research methods, psychology of personality, and statistics. However, unlike many of the other programs comprising this ranking, Loyola students take classes on consumer psychology, leadership culture and ethics, organizational development, and industrial psychology, best preparing them for finding work in business administration or management roles.
Loyola University’s online degree programs also allow students to take on-campus classes too, creating a hybrid learning experience. Loyola is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is affiliated with many Catholic and theological organizations in Chicago and nationwide.
California Baptist University
College Choice Score: 87.5
Average Tuition: $547.00
Another school with a long history of providing excellent distance education, California Baptist University (CBU) is known for its commitment to student formation and its flexible degree completion programs, including its BA in Psychology. For those who have an Associate’s degree or approximately half of their undergraduate degree completed, this program allows students to earn a BA online in as little as sixteen months. That’s because the online model is accelerated: courses start every eight weeks and three semesters are offered year round. Other perks to online education at CBU include the dedicated personal enrollment counselor you’ll get to work with, the student service advisor who helps you navigate your education experience, and 24/7 online tutoring support.
California Baptist students, both traditional and online, gain from this psychology degree the ability to effectively employ research methodology; they display an understanding of all the major schools of thought housed under psychology; they know how to implement contemporary theories of therapeutic counseling; and, perhaps most unique to CBU, students graduate knowing how to integrate the Christian faith with basic principles of the behavioral sciences.
California Baptist University is a private, Christian, liberal arts school that is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Southeast Missouri State University
College Choice Score: 86.5
Average Tuition: $265.00
Gain a knowledgeable background in cognitive process, social psychology, developmental theory, clinical and personality psychology, research design, and statistics while gaining specialized training in sales, marketing, business, human resources, or social service. This online BA in Psychology from Southeast Missouri State University (SMSU) is a perfect fit for those who have no undergraduate experience or transfer credits. At SMSU it’s a clean slate for their online community!
As a SMSU student not only will you develop skills in analyzing human behavior, you’ll learn how to best apply those analytics and data interpretations to business or marketing initiatives. SMSU has gone to great lengths to ensure core psych classes, such as learning and memory or cognitive processes, dovetail nicely with classes such as cultural anthropology and industrial/organizational psychology. You will also have the opportunity to supplement your psych degree with a minor that can help expand your skill and knowledge base while diversifying your academic transcript. SMSU minors range from accounting and business administration to criminal justice and industrial management.
Based in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University is a public institution offering over 200 areas of study. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
College Choice Score: 86.25
Average Tuition: $310.00
Designed specifically for students holding an Associate’s degree or at least sixty completed hours of transferable college credit, the BS in Psychology online program through Indiana University’s IUEverywhere campus is ideal for those with busy schedules and who need flexibility in their academic experience.
Indiana online students take twelve general psychology core credits—psychology of everyday life, general psych, life span development, and methods of experimental psychology—plus fifteen credits that explore advanced psychological topics: behavioral neuroscience, sensation and perception, evolutionary psychology, cognition, psychology of learning, abnormal psych, sociology, and organizational psychology. Finally, all IU students (online included) must participate in an advanced, 400-level capstone course, of which there are two options to choose from: readings and research in psychology or the senior seminar in psychology. IUEverywhere also just introduced a brand new honors program specifically for online and distance education students. This program for exceptional students comes with many perks: faculty mentorship, scholarships, curriculum control, conference opportunities, and (of course) it looks great on a resume.
Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system known for its prestigious academic programs, notable research contributions, and globally recognized faculty. Its East campus is based in Richmond, Indiana and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Westfield State University
College Choice Score: 85.5
Average Tuition: $297.00
Westfield State University, based in Westfield, Massachusetts, offers a completion degree program in psychology for those students holding either an Associate’s degree in a related field or for those who have enough transfer credits to enter their junior or senior year at Westfield. Through the Department of Psychology, Westfield students are uniquely trained to blend flexibility and imagination in their approach to care and service. The curriculum highlights the complex intersections of human need and societal structures, teaching students how to think critically and ethically both in the classroom and in the workforce. As a Westfield student you will take classes during the traditional Fall and Spring semesters, each of which are fifteen weeks long, plus two six-week sessions and one accelerated two-week Winter session.
On average, graduates from Westfield’s psychology degree completion program make nearly 44k annually in the first few years of their career. That number increases by nearly fifty percent once Westfield graduates enter mid-career. And being that the tuition rate for this online completion program is among the lowest on our ranking, this program is undeniably a sound return on investment.
Westfield State University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
CUNY School of Prof. Studies
College Choice Score: 85
Average Tuition: $275.00
Part of the renowned CUNY system, the School of Professional Studies (SPS) offers an online BA in Psychology for those with or without transfer credits, as this program is designed to meet their students exactly where they are. Thus, students can transfer up to ninety academic credits from another school; they can immediately earn eighteen credits through a prepared portfolio that demonstrates knowledge and skills learned outside the classroom; and they can receive credit for any earned professional certifications, exams, or other courses taken outside of the traditional degree program.
This highly flexible and adaptable program is for those students who wish to equally learn how to conduct research, interpret behavioral circumstances, and communicate effectively while also building a foundation in psychological explanations for social behavior and development across the lifespan. SPS online students choose among three tracks of specialization for their advanced coursework: organizational psychology, psychological development, or psychopathology. Regardless of your focus, each meets the American Psychological Association’s stated educational goals in equipping students for a career in psychology.
Part of the City University of New York System, CUNY School of Professional Studies is known for its online bachelor’s degrees in health, business, nursing, sociology, and psychology, among others. CUNY SPS is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Massachusetts
College Choice Score: 84.75
Average Tuition: $370.00
The University of Massachusetts system, and specifically UMass Lowell, is a highly regarded provider of both traditional and online education. UMass Lowell offers a BA in Psychology that is one of the most popular degree programs in the system as well as one of the most flexible and student-centric programs. Umass Lowell online students are introduced to the theoretical foundations of many fields and subfields occupying the psychology discipline, including experimental, developmental, social, personality, and clinical psychology. Likewise, students are guided through the curriculum by faculty who are experts and leaders in this broad spectrum of subfields.
Uniquely designed to serve working professionals, the UMass Lowell program gives students the options of studying full or part-time and of either taking classes fully online or mixing online coursework with on-campus classes. Students must complete at least 120 credit hours to earn the degree, but once the general education classes are completed, they can choose among many electives to further specialize their program experience. UMass Lowell online students will also be expected to complete at least one of the following: a practicum, a directed study, or a graduate seminar.
Ranked among the best online programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report, UMass Online is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Sam Houston State University
College Choice Score: 84
Average Tuition: $216.00
Most important to note about Sam Houston State University’s (SHSU) online BS in Psychology degree program is that though students may study from a distance, approximately 75 percent of the program is online while the rest requires campus visits. However, if you find yourself living and working near Houston and eager to earn your degree, this one from SHSU is a fantastic option. Not only do they fully prepare students for vocational success in an array of psychology fields, they ensure that those students who wish to apply to graduate school will find themselves accepted and successful in advanced education.
The SHSU curriculum guides students through the foundations of psychological history, theory, and applications, then requires students to take at least two electives in social development, clinical counseling, and experimental psychology, so as to gain a broad understanding of psychological approaches to care, diagnosis, and prescription. Graduates from SHSU’s online psychology degree have found work in everything from the police force and pharmaceutical firms to human services and public relations.
Based outside of Houston, Texas, SHSU is a member of the Texas State University System with accolades from U.S. News & World Report regarding its online degrees. SHSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Colorado State University
College Choice Score: 83.75
Average Tuition: $444.00
The online psychology curriculum at Colorado State University (CSU) brings together a diverse range of disciplines—social psychology, organizational psychology, psychological measurement and testing, industrial psychology, cognition, and biological psychology—to ready students for career opportunities in literally dozens of fields. In fact, CSU graduates have found work in human services, advertising, media representation, data analysis, real estate, direct care, and much more.
This program is ideal for those students who need the flexibility of online learning but desire the community of a traditional program, because at CSU “studying online doesn’t mean studying alone.” Online students participate in small classes (usually around twenty students on average) and they have the opportunity to collaborate closely with both teachers and classmates. Discussion forums, live chat, and video conferencing make this all possible. But this isn’t the only reason to consider earning your BS in Psychology at CSU. This program is also lauded for its emphasis on application; online students take several labs in a range of subject areas, preparing them to problem-solve with confidence and efficacy once in the work force.
The flagship university in the Colorado State University System, CSU is a public research institution based in Fort Collins and accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
Robert Morris University
College Choice Score: 83
Average Tuition: $725.00
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University is a private school recognized for its excellence in distance education. Their model is notably student centric and emphasizes the mentoring relationship between faculty and student. Not only that, but each online RMU student works with their own dedicated academic counselor, wellness counselor, financial aid counselor, career advisor, and has access to 24/7 technology support.
This online psychology degree is equally reputable, as it has a proven track record of preparing students for careers in child care, counseling, research, law, and social work. Robert Morris online psychology students learn to cultivate and apply critical thinking, integrate both traditional and contemporary theories and research methodology, and communicate efficiently and cogently in professional writing, presentation, and scholarship. They take classes that cover everything from child development and human growth to abnormal psychology, sensation and perception, cognition, and industrial psychology. RMU students, including online students, are required to complete both a three-credit psychology practicum and a three-credit psychology thesis in order to graduate.
Consistently well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report (among other ranking publications), especially for its online degree programs, Robert Morris University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
College Choice Score: 81.75
Average Tuition: $475.00
A leader in online, distance, and adult education, Palm Beach Atlantic University offers a BS in Psychology degree that combines biblical, historical, theoretical, and practical perspectives to equip students to become community service managers, behavioral skills therapists, rehabilitation specialists, corporate recruiters, or case managers. So whether you see yourself as a leader and caregiver in business, ministry, or direct practice, this degree from Palm Beach Atlantic can help you get there. Of the required 120 credits, forty-five consist of general education courses, twenty-six are psychology foundational courses, and the rest are electives. Meaning, your degree at Palm Beach contains ample room for exploration and specialization.
Many of Palm Beach Atlantic’s online students are those leading full lives, either working professionally and/or raising a family. For that reason, the university has gone to great lengths to ensure a high-quality distance program that can meet their students where they’re at and help them advance their careers. The Office of Online Learning is part of the Center for Teaching Excellence and it provides connections, resources, and services to both its students and faculty, including training on the e-learning platform.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Palm Beach Atlantic University is an interdenominational Christian institution that emphasizes leadership and service in addition to learning.
Old Dominion University
College Choice Score: 81.5
Average Tuition: $255.00
This online bachelor’s degree in psychology from Old Dominion University takes students through the entire undergraduate experience, providing a general education core plus introductions to psychological topics. Students gain broad exposure to psychological theory and applications, learning how to refine their analytic thinking, improve interpersonal relations, and implement quantitative methodology and experimental design. There is also room within the curriculum to explore more niche areas of psychology, such as physiology, the psychology of adolescence, and cross-cultural perspectives. The breadth of this program has rewarded students with equally diverse vocational outcomes; graduates have found work in human resources, recreational therapy, education, corrections, and social work.
The online experience at Old Dominion does not veer far from the traditional experience. The online programs are taught by the same ODU faculty who teach on-campus; likewise, the curriculum is the same as that being taught on campus; and your diploma looks identical to those students who earned their degree on campus. And in a recent survey, 96 percent of students said they were very satisfied with the online ODU experience.
Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University is a large research institute known for its contributions to the fields of engineering, climate change, maritime studies, and coastal energy. Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
College Choice Score: 79.25
Average Tuition: $337.00
One of the largest public higher education systems in the nation, the University of Wisconsin system boasts a similarly large online and distance learning platform. Through each campus they offer a number of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including through their Milwaukee branch, where they offer an online BA in Psychology. Students can take all of their classes online or they can choose hybrid or blended coursework, which includes on-campus attendance.
This two-tiered program trains in both experimental and clinical psychology while encompassing three subsets of focus: behavioral analysis, health, and neuroscience. While behavioral analysis covers the study of child psychology, OCD, learning, and depression, the health specialization covers anxiety, PTSD, violence, abuse, stress, aging, and social services. Finally, the neuroscience track is for those who want to delve into the biological aspects of psychology, including the study of memory, rehabilitation, and addiction.
This is a full degree program requiring the completion of 120 credit hours, at least a quarter of which must be in the psychology major. The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Central Washington University
College Choice Score: 78.75
Average Tuition: $657.00
Earning an online degree through Central Washington University (CWU) means an academic experience grounded in flexibility and options. Often praised for both its educational model and implementation, the online programming at CWU is ranked as among the best in the nation. Through this lauded program, CWU offers an online degree in psychology that provides a foundational understanding of the perspectives, contexts, and research methodology critical to the practice of psychology.
Specifically designed for students who are interested in an interdisciplinary approach to psychology, for those who want to incorporate social work, family studies, business, forensics, or other behavioral disciplines, this program may be a perfect fit. You will take wide-ranging classes such as multicultural issues, analysis of everyday behavior, and the psychology of language, as well as engaging in those topics that provide a sturdy foundation in psychological understanding, such as cognitive psychology, counseling, clinical studies, and community psychology.
As an online student at CWU you will still have the same opportunities as traditional students, as the school makes a point of connecting their distance learners with on-campus clubs and honors programs, such as the Neuroscience Club, PsiChi Honor Society, and more. Central Washington University is a mid-sized public university regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Central Michigan University
College Choice Score: 78
Average Tuition: $405.00
Central Michigan University’s (CMU) global campus is hard to beat. Considered among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, CMU offers a huge variety of academic programs that can be earned 100 percent online with flexibility, convenience, and affordability. The global campus is also home to the Online Learning Resource Center, which pairs students with academic advisors, career counselors, tutors, tech assistance, and more. CMU is a great place to earn an online degree. And currently over 7,000 students from more than sixty locations around the world are doing just that.
The online BS in Psychology program at CMU, offered through the nationally recognized psychology department, takes students through their entire undergraduate degree, from general education core to advanced, specialized psychology classes. The former creates a base in humanities, natural science, social science, and global studies while the latter allows students to customize their degree to their areas of interest and passion.
Located in Mount Pleasant, Central Michigan University is a public, research institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Illinois
College Choice Score: 77
Average Tuition: $359.00
The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) offers one of the most competitive online programs on our list. Admissions prefer students who can demonstrate why they are unable to attend classes on-campus, have at least sixty hours of undergraduate coursework or an Associate’s degree, and a GPA of at least 3.0. That said, the competitive nature of admissions reflects the high standards and the quality of the UIS online BA in Psychology program.
It is recommended students participate in the Individualized Concentration program, wherein they work closely with academic advisors to design a unique curriculum that reflects the goals, interests, and passions of the student. So, in addition to building a foundation in psychological theory and practice, you can tailor your specialization to the area and/or industry you specifically desire to work in after graduation. Regardless of how you design the degree, you can anticipate learning the historical development of psychology as well as the behavioral, biological, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural perspectives of your field. Finally, UIS makes a point to teach its students the APA Code of Ethics and expects them to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the code and applicable ethical issues.
The University of Illinois Springfield is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
College Choice Score: 77
Average Tuition: $395.00
If you are looking for a faith-integrated curriculum then you should consider earning your online BS in Psychology degree from private, Christian, research-driven Regent University. Supplementing your general education and psychology classes, you will take classes on biblical studies, Christian history and thought, Christian leadership, and the making of the Christian mind.
Regent offers two avenues of online education through their psychology department: a BS in General Psychology and a BS in Psychology with a focus on clinical and counseling psychology. The former helps students explore psychological theory and method to determine the cause of human thinking and behavior. It also teaches students how to conduct and interpret scientific research. The latter trains students on case management technique, treatment planning, effective referral methods, and crisis intervention skills. They also learn how to develop client trust, enact positive counseling techniques, and counsel clients in a way that promotes spiritual concerns.
Regardless of concentration, Regent graduates from the School of Psychology find themselves well-employed and have gone on to work in direct counseling, ministry, marketing and sales, high-level management, social work, and human services. Regent University—based in Virginia Beach, Virginia—is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The School of Psychology is specifically accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
Florida International University
College Choice Score: 75.25
Average Tuition: $329.00
Florida International University (FIU) offers a BA in Psychology that can be earned completely online. This program is comprised of six divisions, the first consisting of introductory courses, and the other five covering cognition and neuroscience, social behavior, applied psychology, clinical and personality psychology, and developmental psychology. These six areas complement one another nicely in order to equip students with the skills needed to conduct scientific research, analyze human behavior, and problem solve in direct care.
Florida International University has a fantastic distance education program, with opportunities to get involved and participate in student life even from afar, to work closely with an academic advisor, and to even earn scholarships. You’ll study with renowned faculty who also teach on campus and design the curriculum (both traditional and online) themselves. Graduates from FIU have gone straight into the workforce as school counselors, education specialists, case managers, and rehabilitation counselors, while others have attended graduate school for advanced specialization and training.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Florida International University is known for its research activity and strong rankings recognized by Forbes, Washington Monthly, and U.S. News & World Report.
University of Arizona
College Choice Score: 75
Average Tuition: $490.00
You can earn a BA in Psychology from the University of Arizona that is fully online and that fully prepares you to diagnose and treat individuals through direct care while also conducting research on behavioral principles. Through one of the nation’s top-ranked psychology departments you will work with renowned faculty through four years of online study, or you can transfer previously earned credit hours to expedite your degree. You will take classes on cognition, neural systems, research methods, social-personality science, and clinical approaches, among others.
Because this is a BA (rather than a BS) degree, there is less emphasis on science and math; however, the University of Arizona ensures their students fulfill the same psychology major requirements as a bachelor of science student. Meaning, you will be ready to enter a variety of vocational fields, such as counseling, social services, HR, education, marketing, program design, outreach, or quantitative research.
The University of Arizona as a whole is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools while the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (and the Department of Psychology) is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
College Choice Score: 74.25
Average Tuition: $504.00
Northeastern University boasts a retention rate—a marker of student satisfaction—at 96 percent, way above the national average. The reasons behind this great retention grade are anchored in Northeastern’s academic reputation and student-centric emphasis. With a predominantly liberal arts curriculum that integrates experiential learning opportunities, study abroad programs, and co-ops, students at Northeastern (including those studying from a distance) are rewarded with a diverse learning experience unmatched by many.
Northeastern offers a number of online degree programs, including their Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree, which covers both integral areas as well as niche areas of psychological study, including social and abnormal psychology, sensory function, learning, memory, human development, emotion, and internal motivation. Northeastern graduates have worked in direct care and social services, but they have also found applicable and relevant positions in sales, teaching, advertising, public relations, and administration.
Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Northeastern University is a private, research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. They are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, ARWU, Forbes, The Princeton Review, Washington Monthly, and more.
Saint Leo University
College Choice Score: 72.75
Average Tuition: $470.00
For those who are looking for an education steeped in both a liberal arts and Roman Catholic approach to pedagogy, Saint Leo University is for you. Saint Leo is also known for its Center for Online Learning, which enrolls thousands of students each year and is often ranked among the top twenty online platforms in the nation. Saint Leo University offers two online psychology degrees: one that readies students for either graduate work in psychology or employment in human service and mental health settings, and another specifically in clinical psychology and counseling. The latter, in addition to introducing students to the theories and practices necessary for understanding human behaviors, emphasizes the cultivation of leadership skills, encourages students to participate in research, and requires they complete a field practicum or internship.
Though both programs vary in outcomes, the online coursework for both programs explores many of the same topics and issues related to psychological theory: social processes, biological bases of behaviors, developmental psychology, diversity, interviewing and counseling, military and forensic psychology, and industrial and organizational psychology. Both programs from Saint Leo allow students to start from the beginning or to transfer credits from past learning experiences, military training, subject exams, or certifications.
Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
College Choice Score: 72.25
Average Tuition: $450.00
LeTourneau University (LETU) offers an online, accelerated Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree that provides a faith-based curriculum with an emphasis on Christian counseling techniques. Through courses such as learning and cognition, personality theory, social psychology, and human growth and development, you will be trained in theory and graduate with the confidence, skill set, and knowledge base to enter a number of social service fields, such as case management, career counseling, community relations, rehabilitation, non-profit administration, missions, and more.
Even as a distance education student at LeTourneau you will have access to the university’s recognized faculty, who are leaders in psychological research, as well as the school’s research and development centers. For example, the Center for Faith and Work brings together faculty, students, and alumni to discuss the intersection of faith and vocation, a resource that serves its students before and after graduation. This is a highly conservative, religious degree program, which means it might not be for everyone, but it serves its specific population well.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, LeTourneau University is based in Longview, Texas and specializes in engineering, aeronautical science, education, and business. They are a private Christian university.
College Choice Score: 70.25
Average Tuition: $299.00
Through the Behavioral Sciences Department at the College of Continuing Professional Studies, Drury University offers an online BS in Psychology degree for students who want to find a career in counseling, social work, or education. The Drury University curriculum uniquely encourages its undergraduate students, both online and traditional, to collaborate with local community, social, or correctional agencies to gain tangible, real-world experience in direct care.
Some of the classes you can expect to take at Drury are lifespan development, statistical foundations, abnormal psych, personality theory, social psychology, and research methodology. Other expectations you can have as a Drury online student include being well taken care of, as the school has guaranteed their distance students have access to all the services and resources as their traditional, on-campus students. Live chat, online tutoring, mobile connection and access, and online advising are just some of the ways you can be a successful, involved Drury student.
Drury University is a small, liberal arts college based in Springfield, Missouri. It is a private institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
College Choice Score: 70
Average Tuition: $572.00
Drexel University offers an online BS in Psychology program that inspires students to explore how brain function and cognition is influenced by various psychological, environmental, and social factors. Through a multidisciplinary curriculum that highlights a number of the subsets of psychology, students are given the tools necessary to find success in a breadth of vocational roles, including law, forensics, the health sciences, business, education, applied neuroscience, and counseling.
This program is held 100 percent online and has been specifically designed to serve working professionals. From general education classes to advanced psychology courses covering data analysis, experimental psychology, and psychological testing and assessment, classes through Drexel’s online platform make it possible for those who don’t have any undergraduate experience to start at the beginning and earn their entire degree through a flexible, convenient model. Drexel also stresses research and thesis writing, requiring students to either take four advanced psychology electives or take the three-tiered research seminar sequence.
Comprised of three campuses in Philadelphia, Drexel University is a private, research institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Azusa Pacific University
College Choice Score: 69.25
Average Tuition: $400.00
Another faith-based institution, Asuza Pacific University’s (APU) online BA in Applied Psychology degree grants students the opportunity to study psychological principles through a Christian Worldview. APU psychology students are guaranteed to develop an experimental, applicable, and practical approach to psychology while integrating a Christian perspective into their practice. These students also learn how to evaluate ethical behavior and decision-making within the industry, and they are able to demonstrate effective research methodology, theoretical navigation, and the utilization of empirical, analytical, and inductive reasoning.
Many of the programs on this ranking provide students with a foundational and working knowledge of psychological principles. At Azusa Pacific, students can actually choose an emphasis to customize their program experience, of which there are nearly a dozen: applied pastoral counseling, business psychology, criminal behavior, cultural psychology, health care management, educational psychology, and child and adolescent psychology are just some of the ways you can specialize your degree.
Azusa Pacific University is a well-known member of the CCCU (Council for Christian Colleges and Universities) and an evangelical university based outside of Los Angeles. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
College Choice Score: 69
Average Tuition: $600.00
With an online course load that focuses on theories, experimental and statistical approaches, and lab work as well as the opportunity to engage in actual field studies, DePaul University’s online BA in Psychology program is a hands-on, practical degree experience. Students will design and conduct their own psychological research studies, through which they learn how to read and analyze scientific data.
DePaul University, in addition to its renowned name and reputation, has a lot to offer its prospective students. Foremost, students can customize their degree through provided program concentrations, including those that focus on community health, human development, human services, and industrial-organizational psychology. DePaul’s psychology department offers two internship programs that place students in human service organizations or community service settings. This is a great way to gain experience and stand out from the crowd after graduation. Finally, for those who plan to go on and attend graduate school, DePaul has a combined, accelerated, five-year degree that encompasses both undergraduate and graduate coursework.
Located in Chicago, DePaul University is a private university affiliated with the Catholic Church. It is comprised of several colleges and schools and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Houston
College Choice Score: 68.75
Average Tuition: $322.00
Affordable and well-ranked, both online psychology programs through the University of Houston are a great choice for those who have their general education and psychology cores completed, or an Associate’s degree in hand already. Both the BA and BS in Psychology offer only upper level psychology coursework online.
The Bachelor of Arts program specifically prepares students for a number of careers in both private and public sectors, from social services to service-oriented industries and direct care. BA students at Houston learn about the cognitive and emotional growth of humans, how and why they interact with their environments, as well as the influence of genetics, biology, society, and culture on human behavior. BS students learn all these facets as well but take a more applied approach, learning the best practices in research methodology and analyzing research in order to enhance adaptive behaviors and to prevent and intervene with abnormal or maladaptive behaviors. With an affordable credit-hour cost and an early career salary for graduates hovering above 51k annually, the University of Houston is a great return on investment.
A state school known for its research contributions and its strong rankings from U.S. News & World Report, the University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.