What Type of Courses are Included in Online Psychology Degree Programs?

There are many reasons to major in psychology, and it is possible to get your degree online because the classes are basically the same as those found in the traditional campus program. There is a core curriculum for students pursuing an online degree in psychology. The exact composition of these classes will be dependent upon the particular institution you are learning at as well as the area of psychology you wish to learn. There is also the issue of whether you are taking a standard or accelerated program and what type of degree you are looking to earn. However, assuming a standard program for a bachelor’s degree in general psychology, there are certain classes that all accredited online college programs will have.

Required courses for all psychology majors

Along with the core curriculum for an online degree with any major, there is also a core curriculum common to all students working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Among the classes is one teaching the history of psychology as well as basic concepts in personality and learning. Other fundamental topics explored in individual classes are abnormal, developmental, social, cognitive, physiological and experimental psychology.

Required classes that are not psychology specific

These are dependent on the particular online program but are classes in subjects that are not specific to psychology but relate to them. The knowledge and skill learned in these classes will help a student become successful in their field of choice in psychology. Examples of this type of class are classes in basic statistics. Often two semesters are required as statistics is an important tool in research. Data analysis is also an important area of study. Certain computer classes may be required as well. Because psychology is becoming more science based, there are often specific science classes that are required. Most notably, this can be seen in the areas of biology and chemistry.

Classes for specialty areas

There are classes that are designed for specific areas of psychology
and are only pertinent to those pursuing a career in that field. Although most people are familiar with clinical psychology, the field of forensic psychology is growing rapidly. Neuropsychology is another example and is a field of psychology that strongly embraces biology. These types of classes are almost always upper division, so a student doesn’t need to decide on which direction to take until the last semester of their junior year or their senior year.


Fundamentally, a bachelor’s degree earned online will be no different from one that is earned in a traditional campus university environment. In addition, an accredited online school will have classes that can be transferred to a traditional campus program. The reverse is also true. Good online colleges will accept much of the college work you have already done offline. Some universities offer both offline and online learning, and the courses are the same. They are often taught by the same instructors. The main idea to keep in mind is that a quality program for a degree in psychology will be approximately the same from any quality university taught online or offline.