What is psychology? “Psycho” means “the human mind” and “logy” means “the theory of”, so “psychology” is the theory of the human mind. And so the importance of psychology is that it can give us some idea of why we behave in a particular way and in this way enable us to help people function more effectively.
Psychology is sometimes classed as a science and sometimes as a social science – in fact there has been a philosophical debate about this for many years. In the end, it really depends on the exact nature of the program, the specializations offered and the department within which it is offered. Some of the specializations available include: clinical psychology, counseling psychology, educational psychology, and health psychology. This section will help you to find out more about psychology study and to locate suitable degree programs.
Many students who are are unable to attend on campus classes take psychology programs online rather than on-campus. This page is particularly for those students. However, if you wish to explore schools where campus-based psychology programs are available, you can go to the campus universities page for more details.
What do you study in a psychology program?
Psychologists study the human mind and human behavior. In a general psychology program you learn about physical, cognitive, emotional, or social aspects of human behavior. You are introduced to a variety of research methods including controlled laboratory experiments, observation, interviews, questionnaires, clinical studies, and surveys. You also learn how to administer personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests.
Psychologists are required in a variety of settings, including health and human services, business, education, law, and sports. They usually specialize in one of a number of different areas. So in addition to studying an online psychology degree program, you would be given an introduction to applied psychology in your choice of many different specialties. Psychology study online is possible at the associate, bachelor, master and doctoral levels.
A typical bachelor’s degree program may include: Introduction to Psychology; Statistics; Conditioned Learning; Physiological Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Perception; Motivation, Health Psychology; Psychology of Stress; and, Human Communication.
Psychology masters programs may include the following: Biology; Contemporary Issues in Psychology; History and Systems of Psychology; Statistics; Research Design; The Cognitive Approach; Clinical Psychology; Tests and Measurement; Social Psychology; The Developmental Approach; and, Culture and Psychology. A thesis may be required in addition to or in place of some of the courses.
Make sure the program you take is accredited by an appropriate accrediting body, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
What are the prospects for psychology graduates?
Accredited online psychology degrees provide many career opportunities in private sector (e.g., marketing, personnel management), public sector (e.g., teaching, social/community work, mental health care in hospitals, clinics and schools). The American Psychological Association says that psychology is the third fastest-growing field in America requiring a college degree.
Salaries are high among the more popular specializations, especially for those with masters or doctors degrees. In the US, with an appropriate PhD psychology degree, forensic psychologists average around US$79,000, clinical psychologists over US$76,000 and school psychologists around US$55,000 (PayScales.com).
List of schools and programs