Types of Psychology Degrees
Psychology degree holders pursue a variety of careers, including roles as behavioral health technicians and directors in mental health facilities. The type of degree you earn influences both your career outcomes and the cost of your education. Certificate and associate degree programs generally cost less than bachelor’s and graduate programs because they require fewer credits and few, if any, upper-level courses. Undergraduate and graduate programs, however, generally provide better employment opportunities.
A certificate or diploma in psychology introduces students to human growth and development, behavioral and social psychology, and biological and environmental factors of mental health.
Professionals with a certificate or diploma in psychology work as mental health program assistants, youth program assistants, and behavioral health technicians.
- Associate Degree
Students explore biological determinants of behavior, abnormal psychology, and psychological research. An associate degree provides career-focused training and examines social and environmental factors that influence growth and development.
An associate degree in psychology prepares graduates for careers as mental health and psychiatric technicians, youth specialists, and casework technicians.
- Bachelor's Degree
Bachelor’s programs cover psychological research methods, ethical issues in psychology, theories of human behavior, and neurobiology and cognition.
Potential careers for graduates include substance abuse recovery coach, juvenile court counselor, and research associate.
- Master’s Degree
With an emphasis in research methods, a master’s degree in psychology equips students with quantitative and qualitative research skills. Topics include cognitive processes, theories of personality, and ethical practice.
Graduates pursue careers as mental health counselors and human service coordinators.
- Doctorate Degree
Doctoral students concentrate in areas such as child psychology, substance abuse treatment, and industrial/organizational psychology. Students gain skills in clinical interviewing, research, and diagnosis and treatment.
Common career paths include college professor, clinical psychologist, and director of student counseling.
How Much Does a Psychology Degree Cost?
The type of school a student attends significantly affects the cost of a psychology degree. Public schools generally cost less than private and for-profit institutions. Government funding allows public schools to offer competitive tuition rates, while private and for-profit schools rely on tuition and contributions to operate. State of residency also contributes to the cost of a degree; out-of-state tuition rates are often double those for in-state students. Other factors contributing to overall cost include student fees, textbook prices, and completion time. Graduate degrees typically require internships and research projects, which extend the length of the program.
Financing Your Psychology Degree
Psychology scholarships provide financial assistance that does not have to be repaid, making grants and scholarships the best financial aid options. Scholarships for psychology majors are offered through university psychology departments and professional organizations. Strong writing and analytical skills help students earn essay scholarships and research grants. Furthermore, scholarship awards look excellent on résumés and graduate applications.
After exhausting free financial aid resources, students may apply for government and private loans. Federal and state loans should be sought before private loans, as they offer low interest rates and flexible repayment plans. In contrast, private loans tend to have higher interest rates and loan fees.
Types of Scholarships
While the cost of a degree may be high, psychology scholarships are available to alleviate your financial burden. Scholarships for psychology students frequently include features of several scholarship categories. For example, a scholarship may require applicants to be minorities with high GPAs who have community service experience. Students can apply for scholarships online or through their university.