Psychology degrees can be earned anywhere from an associate’s degree all the way to a post-doctoral certification. Psychology students have the ability to pursue a generalist psychology degree or choose to specialize in a more intensive area within the broader field. Regardless of your level and area of interest, there is a psychology degree to meet your needs.
Undergraduate Psychology Degree Options
Students at the undergraduate can choose from the following degree options in psychology:
- Associate of Arts in Psychology
- Associate of Science in Psychology
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology
An associate’s degree is an excellent preparatory program for those students who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Many students choose to earn their associate’s degree first as most community colleges offer prerequisite courses at a much cheaper price. These credits are typically accepted by four-year schools as transfer credits. A bachelor’s degree in psychology can prepare students for a limited number of entry-level positions in the field but anyone interested in becoming a professional psychologist, counselor or therapist will be required to complete graduate level training.
Master’s Level Psychology Degree Options
Psychology students can earn either a master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS) in psychology. Typically students who plan to work towards a doctoral degree will opt to complete a master of science, as this course of study involves more research experiences. The majority of master’s programs will require students to complete a thesis. The MA program thesis generally consists of a literature review of existing research, while the MS thesis involves conducting original research. Those graduating with a master’s degree can begin offering their professional services in some states, while others will require completion of a doctoral degree in psychology.
Doctoral Level Psychology Degree Options
At the doctoral level, graduate psychology students can choose to pursue a doctor of philosophy (PhD) or a doctor of psychology (PsyD). The PhD is ideally suited to someone who wants to conduct research or teach at the collegiate level. Many PhD holders will also provide counseling services. The PsyD course of study focuses much more heavily on applied counseling skills and knowledge to train doctoral candidates the best practices for providing mental health counseling services.
Psychology Certification Options
Students with a graduate degree can further hone their skills by earning a graduate certification. It is uncommon to earn a certification in general psychology, but many psychologists choose to earn certifications in more specialized areas of the field, such as cognitive therapy, industrial/organizational psychology or sports psychology.
Online Psychology Degree Options
A final degree option, and one that can be earned at all levels, is an online psychology degree. Regardless of the level being pursued, students can earn their psychology degree in a flexible fully online or hybrid-learning environment. This allows students to continue working while they also earn their colleges degree.