Top 10 Online Colleges for Psychology Degrees in 2014

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Individuals who obtain a degree in the field of psychology have the opportunity to pursue careers in a range of fields. Graduates of qualified degree programs within the field of psychology will be able to apply for jobs in the private and public sectors and within a variety of settings. Psychologists provide assistance to individuals experiencing emotional or mental disturbance in a variety of settings including schools, sports and jobs. Professionals trained in psychology are equipped with the skills necessary to successfully work within criminal justice agencies and human service agencies. Additional career opportunities exist in fields such as marketing which require an in depth understanding of human behavior. Careers in the field of psychology are expected to experience faster than average job growth over the next five years. Careers in psychology will provide extensive opportunities for those with training within the field. Here are the top 10 online colleges for psychology degrees in 2014.

1. University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix was established in 1976 for the purpose of providing flexible educational programs with an industry relevant and high quality curriculum. A range of options are offered at the University of Phoenix intended to facilitate educational and professional advancement. Students can elect to take individual courses for the purpose of augmenting their knowledge and skills for their profession or complete a degree program to successfully achieve personal or professional goals. The degree programs have been developed through based on the recommendations of industry experts and faculty members with professional experience. Students enrolled at the University of Phoenix have access to the institutions extensive electronic library. The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a member of the North Central Association and has attained accreditation for a number of their degree programs.

The College of Social Sciences at the University of Phoenix offers both undergraduate and graduate online psychology degree programs focused on developing a general understanding of human behavior and mental processes focused on cognitive and affective processes. Clinical studies of psychology are not the basis for this program. The programs analyze and examine research methods and statistics and explore theoretical principles. The curriculum is designed to develop problem solving, communication, collaboration, information utilization and critical thinking skills. Courses included in the undergraduate program include human motivation, cognitive psychology, theories of personality, organizational psychology and general psychology. Graduate courses include psychology of learning, lifespan development and learning and multicultural psychology. Instructors are accessible to students through email and the online learning portal.

[Click here for more information about UOP's online psychology degrees]

1. Kaplan University

Kaplan University is a well regarded institution of higher learning offering a range of educational services and opportunities. Students of Kaplan University are offered the opportunity to complete high school programs, undergraduate degree programs and continuing education programs, most of which can be taken at one of their multiple campuses or online. Kaplan University was initially established to effectively prepare students for successful completion of standardized tests, though it was a widely accepted belief that this could not be accomplished. Continuing in this pioneering tradition and recognizing a need for more flexible and accessible programs, Kaplan University expanded its offerings to include many other programs to facilitate the advancement of educational and/or professional goals. The career focused programs offered at Kaplan University provide the skills, knowledge and training necessary to ensure the success of their graduates.

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree offered at Kaplan University explores human behavior and cognition. The liberal arts curriculum provides a comprehensive education in general core areas of study developing skills in problem solving, analytical and critical thinking and communication. The in-depth psychology aspect of the program equips students with the knowledge and skills to evaluate and analyze concepts, theories, research methods, statistics and trends as they apply to human development and behavior. Students also explore diversity and cultural differences as they affect human behavior. The program offers three areas of specialization; child development, applied behavioral analysis and substance abuse. Courses included in the program include contemporary issues in psychology, introduction to cognitive psychology, history of psychology, child and adolescent psychology, personality development, screening and assessment and general biology. Students enrolled in the Bachelor program are offered the option of completing the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Psychology to Master of Science which permits them to complete four core Master courses while pursuing the undergraduate degree.
[Click here for more information about Kaplan's online psychology degrees]

2. Walden University

Walden University, founded in 1970, has emerged into a global leader in online education. Walden University provides high quality degree programs with flexible scheduling options to meet the needs of the working adult population. Students who choose to pursue a degree through Walden University are able to fulfill the responsibilities of their everyday lives while accomplishing their educational goals and advancing their career opportunities. Walden University strives to produce graduates who are socially aware, ethical leaders who exhibit high standards within their professions. At Walden University, the international student body is able to select from a range of degree options which can be tailored to accommodate their schedules. In addition to the quality instruction providing by experienced and committed faculty members, Walden University provides support services to their students, both educational and career planning and placement, intended to ensure success. Students attending Walden are able to attain financial assistance through scholarships or loans. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Walden University offers several degree options in the psychology major with a number of areas of specialization. Students have the option of pursuing a bachelor, masters, doctorate or certificate program in psychology, some of which will qualify the graduate for licensure. The Bachelor of Science in Psychology offers a curriculum which provides students a comprehensive understanding of human behavior, incorporating the increasingly relevant areas of diversity and global outlooks. The curriculum includes studies in cross-cultural competence, civic engagement and social awareness and responsibility and examines contemporary theories. Areas of concentration offered within this degree program include child development infant and toddler, child development preschool, criminal justice, human services, psychology applied to everyday life, psychology applied to the helping professions, psychology applied to the workplace and preparation for graduate studies. Specialized learning certificate programs are offered in clinical assessment, clinical child psychology and online teaching.

[Click here for more information about Walden's online psychology degrees]

3. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University, founded in 1889, is a catholic, liberal arts institution located in Florida offering more than 41 academic programs to a student body of more than 14,000 individuals. Programs offered at Saint Leo University include undergraduate, graduate and continuing education. The majority of the students attending Saint Leo University are online students who benefit from the flexible schedules and high quality teaching instruction. The curriculum for the degree programs offered at Saint Leo University provide challenging and rigorous coursework intended to develop the analytical and critical thinking skills and communication skills of each student. The programs instill within the students an understanding of the global perspectives related to their discipline. Saint Leo University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Saint Leo offers both the Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, both of which examine the behavior and mental processes of humans. The Bachelor of Arts curriculum requires students to complete 39 credits within the psychology major while the Bachelor of Science requires 53 hours and incorporates places substantial emphasis on research. Both programs provide a comprehensive general education program which prepares graduates for a range of career or advanced education options. The Bachelor of Science degree permits students to participate in advanced research training. The curriculum includes studies in the areas of development, biological basis, social processes, diversity and applied psychology. Courses offered within the psychology major include comprehensive psychology examination, cognitive psychology, psychology of learning, social psychology, personality theory, psychology of motivation and emotion, psychology of aging and the human behavior perspective.

[Click here for more information about Saint Leo's online psychology degrees]

4. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), founded in 1932 as a school for accounting and secretarial science, has been recognized for its contributions to college education. In fact, SNHU was featured as No. 12 in Fast Company’s 2012 “World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” for its work in both online and campus-based higher education. The school tracks several student progress factors, such as the length of breaks students may take between enrolling in online courses and the average length of a student’s discussion post, to determine whether an online learner is in danger of falling behind in class. In addition, SNHU keeps watch on the involvement of its online faculty to ensure that instructors maintain a strong presence, even in a virtual environment. All of this dedication to student success could have contributed to the university’s boost in undergraduate retention, which jumped from 36% to 69% since 2008, according to Fast Company.

SNHU’s Master of Science in Psychology degree is available online, and students can choose to either earn the general degree without any concentrations, or earn the degree with a concentration in either child and developmental psychology or industrial and organizational psychology. The MS in Psychology program from Southern New Hampshire University doesn’t lead to licensure or certification, but it can prepare students for the necessary examinations that result in professional licensure, as well as for doctoral-level course work later on. This program was designed to align with the standards set by the American Board of Professional Psychology, with courses that delve into psychology research methods, social psychology, the ethics in psychology practice, and theories of personality. In addition, students can choose from a variety of psychology-related electives to round out their education, such as the ethics of leadership, negotiation in the workplace, and conflict management. A GMAT or GRE is not required for admission into SNHU’s MS in Psychology program, but students will need to have previously earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field.

[Click here for more information about SNH's online psychology degrees]

5.Ashford University

Established in 1918 as Mount St. Clare College, present-day Ashford University offers quality degree programs with flexible schedule options. The online programs at Ashford University are offered in an asynchronous scheduling format with no pre-determined schedule for attending classes or lectures allowing students to complete class work at the times most convenient for them. Classes are offered on a continuous basis without interruption. Classes are taken one at a time for the duration of five weeks within the online program. Students are also offered the option of pursuing a Smart Track degree program which permits them to earn credits towards a master’s degree while completing a bachelor’s degree program.

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree offered at Ashford University is a challenging program which provides a thorough understanding of human behavior, mental processes and emotions. Students are required to complete credits in general education courses, psychology courses and in elective credits. The curriculum includes study in human development, group dynamics, physiology, research and statistics and explores contemporary theories and therapies. Courses included within the program include introduction to psychology, adult development and life assessment, child and adolescent development, social psychology, abnormal psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, statistics for the behavioral sciences, theories of personality and physiological psychology. Ashford permits students to transfer up to 90 credits towards the completion of their bachelor’s degree program. Certain program restrictions may apply to residents of Arkansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and non-US residents.

For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit:

[Click here for more information about Ashford University's online psychology program]

6. Capella University

Capella University was established in 1991 for the purpose of providing high quality degree programs centered on the needs of non-traditional, working students. The 42 undergraduate and graduate degree programs along with the 137 specializations offered at Capella University are tailored to meet the scheduling and educational needs of their busy student body of 37,000 students. The interactive online courses permit students to participate in classroom discussions and allow students to post work and attend classes at times most convenient for the students. Capella University also provides support services in academic and professional areas. In its short history, Capella University has earned the regard of the academic and business communities, evidenced by the many awards and recognitions given to the institution including the learning impact award, outstanding institution practices in student learning outcomes award (given by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation) and best in class, interactive media awards. Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning commission North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Capella University offers a range of undergraduate and graduate psychology degree programs with various specializations based on the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. The general psychology specialization studies the areas of human learning, behaviors and emotions. The curriculum is designed to develop the students’ skills in research, written and verbal communications, problem solving and analytical and critical evaluation of information. The 180 credit bachelor degree program requires students to complete 45 general education credits in mathematics, social sciences, natural science humanities and communications. Courses within the major include ethics, introduction to psychology, developing a psychological perspective, biological psychology, human lifespan development, learning and cognition and culture, ethnicity and diversity. The program includes a capstone project and 63 elective credits. Other programs offered include a master in general psychology and school psychology and doctorate programs in educational psychology and industrial/organizational psychology, all of which can be completed entirely online.

[Click here for more information about Capella's online psychology programs]

7. Northcentral University

Northcentral University was founded in 1978 by an individual committed to providing flexible degree programs tailored to meet the needs of busy, working adults striving to advance their careers through higher education. The founder himself had experienced the difficult process of trying to attain an advanced degree while continuing in his profession. The institution was designed to alleviate the additional stress caused by trying to obtain a degree on a traditional university schedule through flexible distance learning programs. Northcentral evolved with the advancement of technology into an online institution. Northcentral University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, offers a unique, mentored approach to education. At Northcentral University, students receive individualized, personal attention by highly qualified and specially trained faculty members. This approach was designed to provide working students with the support required to successfully accomplish their educational goals.

Northcentral University offers a Bachelor and Master of Arts, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Psychology. The innovative 120 credit Bachelor of Arts degree program in Psychology offered at Northcentral University prepares students for careers in various agencies requiring the skills and knowledge of individuals trained in the psychology field. Students are required to complete 39 credits in general education courses, 42 credits in the psychology major courses of which 15 are in core courses. The curriculum provides a fundamental understanding of human behavior through studies in theoretical and applied psychology. Students enrolled in the major receive a liberal arts foundation incorporated into a comprehensive psychology curriculum. Students are permitted to transfer up to 90 credits from another institution and complete their degree program through Northcentral University.

8. Baker University

Baker College, founded in 1911, is an independent institution which endeavors to provide industry relevant, career focused education to working professionals. Students enrolled at Baker College are provided with high quality degree programs and educational training programs which ensure career readiness upon graduation. Baker College endeavors to equip students with the personal and professional skills essential to success. Baker College includes 9 campus and 6 branch locations in addition to their global online campus. The convenient, flexible scheduling options offered through the online programs allow working students the opportunity to tailor their academic schedule around their other responsibilities. Baker College boasts an impressive graduate employment success rate of 97%. Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has earned a number of program accreditations.

The 180 credit Bachelor of Science in Psychology offered at Baker College is offered exclusively and entirely through their online campus. The program is tailored to meet the competencies established for the major through the American Psychological Association’s Board of Educational Affairs Task Force to ensure students receive an industry relevant educational program. Students enrolled in the psychology major study the behavioral and mental processes of humans. The curriculum prepares students for careers in a range of fields, developing the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful professionals. The courses offered within the program include cross-cultural psychology, bio-chemical and neural psychology, psychology of gender, abnormal psychology, history of psychology physiological psychology, psychopharmacology for psychology majors, sensation and perception and research and quantitative methods. General education requirements must be completed, totaling 72 credit hours.

9. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Online

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a nonprofit, private institution, was founded in 1970 by a group of psychologists who wanted to inspire change in their community. They taught in rooms in a Chicago YMCA, but they have expanded in the years since their inception to have campuses in Chicago, California, Washington, D.C., and Online. They offer 20 programs at the graduate level and opportunities to learn through doing. The Chicago School provides real-world education opportunities, pairing students with a wide-range of community clinics and offices—both locally and internationally—where students are able to learn on the job. Their core values, on which they built their school and continue to grow their programs, are education, innovation, service, and community commitment. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology follows student-focused learning. They bring information and ideals to the students in ways that best work for the students. The Chicago School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Chicago School online programs provide a flexible environment that makes it possible for students with work or family obligations to earn their graduate degree in psychology. The online programs route provides conveniently presented courses that a student can take at his or her pace. They offer fully online and hybrid PhD and Masters programs. Whether a student is seeking a PhD in International Psychology with a Trauma Services Concentration or a Masters of Arts in Psychology with a Sport and Exercise Psychology Concentration, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology will strive to help a student succeed and grow.

10. Brandman University Online

Brandman was established by Chapman University in 1958 to delive quality education to El Tora Marine Corps Air Station. As the demand for high quality education grew, so did Brandman. It became Brandman University, a separate accredited institution, though it remains within the Chapman University System. Accredited by the western Association of Schools and Colleges, Brandman University provides a career-oriented curriculum designed to impart the knowledge and skills necessary for students to achieve their dreams. Brandman boasts over 25 campus locations and 53 accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees. Curriculum is designed to fit into the busy lives of the students, course instructors are experienced in their fields, and support services are individualized to meet students’ needs. Brandman University values the high quality education standards exemplified by Chapman University. They strive to make education for the students, based on their needs. Their dedication to their students put this nonprofit university at number eight on the “2013 Best Online Undergraduate Programs” list created by U.S. News.

Brandman University’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is offered on campus and online. It prepares students for a career or further education in the psychology field. Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits to earn this degree. The courses and topics they will study include: Introduction to Psychology, Scientific Writing in Behavioral and Social Sciences, and History & Systems of Psychology. They are encouraged to participate in independent research projects, practical field work, and they must complete a capstone project that applies their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations.

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