With each passing year, the number of accredited online schools offering psychology programs grows. This makes choosing the right school an increasingly difficult decision. To help make your research a little easier, we’ve put together this list of 2014′s Top 15 Online Psychology programs. The criteria we used in selecting the top schools began with accreditation. As of 2014, all included schools were listed as accredited by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
From there we looked at a combination of factors, including program availability, affordability, the school’s reputation and the academic quality. When considering academic quality, we paid particularly close attention to the school’s online academics. For example, a great psychology program with poor online technology would not be included because the online nature of the school is an essential factor in this list.
The Top Accredited Online Psychology Programs of 2014
Start by clicking on any school to get information on each of the top programs.
1. Capella University
2. Ashford University
3. Grand Canyon University
4. Walden University
5. Kaplan University
Is Earning an Online Psychology Degree Right for You?
Before you choose an online psychology program, you should consider a number of factors including your own learning needs, the cost of attendance, the type of degree available and the school’s accreditation status.
In 2001, the American Psychological Association (APA) appointed a task force to investigate the issues and demands of online psychology programs. According to the task force, the key concerns of a quality distance education course or program focus on: access; learning community; faculty support; student support; curriculum and instruction; evaluation and assessment; institutional context and commitment; facilities and finance; library and learning resources. When considering an online program in psychology keep these key factors in mind, as it could affect future APA accreditation of the program.
When choosing an online psychology program, look for a school that is accredited by an institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The best online psychology programs will also be APA-accredited. Although the APA only accredits doctoral programs, schools with this accreditation also typically have high-quality undergraduate psychology programs. You may also want to consider schools that offer opportunities to participate in student research projects, to work with faculty or to intern in real-world settings.
Earning an online psychology degree requires strong time management skills. While online education can be either synchronous or asynchronous, you will be expected to manage your own study and homework schedule without much direct oversight from your instructor. Be honest with yourself. Are you able to set a definite schedule and stick to it, or do you like to procrastinate? Your ability to stay on task and keep up with the readings will play a large role in your success.
Top 15 Schools Offering Psychology Programs Online in 2014
1. Capella University
With an online psychology degree from Capella, you will develop an understanding of human learning, emotions and behaviors utilizing specialization criteria that are designed around American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines. Whether you’re pursuing a new career or looking to continue your studies at the graduate level, their online Bachelor’s program in Psychology provides the skills to help you develop and achieve your goals.
With your Bachelor’s in Psychology from Capella, you’ll learn skills in research, writing, problem solving, and synthesizing and evaluating information, which are valued in a wide range of professions beyond psychology.
With Capella’s Combined Bachelor’s-to-Master’s degree options, you can start building for your future by completing master’s-level credit as your earn your bachelor degree. Combined degree options are designated bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, with a set of shared master’s-level courses applied to both degrees. This enables you to save significant time and money when combining the degree options.
Capella provides a flexible online learning environment designed for working adults who want to advance in their profession. Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
Click here for additional information about Capella University’s Psychology program.
2. Ashford University
Ashford University offers a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. With this degree, you can understand how human behavior impacts the dynamics of a business or organization. You will complete coursework in physiology, human development, group dynamics, research and statistics, as well as current therapies and theories. The curriculum includes courses in child and adolescent development, theories of personality, physiological psychology, psychology of learning, industrial/organizational psychology, and abnormal psychology. Students complete a simulated research project as part of their program and may choose to specialize in Health Care Informatics. Applicants must be at least 22 years of age or hold an Associate’s degree.
Ashford University was founded in 1918 by the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton, Iowa, as a junior college for women. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and it is a member of the North Central Association.
Click here for additional information about Ashford University’s Psychology program.
3. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University is an Arizona-based private school that offers an online psychology degrees at the Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral levels. The curriculum covers a range of courses on topics including social psychology, human sexuality, lifespan development, fundamentals of counseling and guidance, and health psychology. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have some college credits to be considered. Established in 1949, GCU is a Christian school and is regionally accredited by the North Central Association.
Click here for additional information about Grand Canyon University’s Psychology program.
4. Walden University
With an online B.S. in psychology from Walden University, you will gain the knowledge and experience you need to make a difference in your profession and help advance your career. Broaden your understanding of psychology as you develop a wide-ranging perspective on the field and learn to apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues. Through a range of concentrations, you can explore theories, concepts, and techniques to help you enhance your psychology education in an area that matches your career interests.
Available concentrations include: Addictions; Applied Psychology; Child and Adolescent; Psychology; Criminal Justice; General Psychology; Human Services; Infant and Toddler Development; Preparation for Graduate Studies; and Workplace Psychology
As an accredited institution with over 40 years of experience, Walden has graduated more than 61,000 alumni, all of whom now have the credentials and desire to make a real difference and be a force for good. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of The North Central Association.
Click here for additional information about Walden University’s Psychology program.
5. Kaplan University
Working as a psychologist requires a doctoral degree; however, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kaplan University you may qualify for many entry-level jobs in community mental health centers, vocational rehabilitation centers, and correctional programs. The Kaplan University Bachelor of Science in Psychology program offers a broad liberal arts education combined with an in-depth look at how psychology relates to your everyday life.
With an emphasis on child development, you will explore behavioral development from birth to adolescence. Study the various approaches to understanding and helping children with special needs and diverse backgrounds. Gain insight into the importance of social relationships created and maintained during childhood. Career options for graduates include coordinating services for children with developmental disabilities or serving as a child care worker or a child welfare caseworker.
Kaplan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Click here for additional information about Kaplan University’s Psychology program.
6. Keiser University
Keiser University offers online Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral programs in Psychology. The school boasts a diverse curriculum, providing a broad-based education in many facets of behavior, mental processes, communication, research and writing. Courses include forensics, sports and positive psychology, as well as the traditional courses needed to prepare students for graduate studies. Student learning objectives include the application of the scientific method, neuroscience relations to behavior, and the ethical treatment of human and animal research subjects.
Keiser University has been conferring degrees for more than three decades. The school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels.
Click here for additional information about Keiser University.
7. University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix offers online Masters and Bachelors degrees in Psychology.
Courses in the Bachelor program are designed to provide supervisors, managers and other professionals with greater skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration and information utilization. The Bachelor program does not have a clinical emphasis nor does it lead to professional licensure. The same is true of the Master of Science in Psychology program which focuses on the general rather than clinical psychological study of individuals, including their behaviors, thought processes and emotions. It provides an understanding of the processes that underlie behavior and research methodologies.
University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission which is a member of the North Central Association. As of 2013 and continuing into 2014, University of Phoenix was placed on Notice by the Higher Learning Commission. Notice is a Commission sanction indicating that an institution is pursuing a course of action that, if continued, could lead it to be out of compliance with one or more Criteria for Accreditation. An institution on Notice remains accredited.
Click here for additional information about University of Phoenix’ Psychology program.
8. Liberty University
Liberty University offers online Associates and Bachelors Degrees in Psychology, as well as a Master’s of Arts in Professional Counseling Degree program, a Master’s of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Degree program, and a Master’s of Arts in Human Services Degree program to individuals who possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree. These programs are affordable, offered through a distinguished school and come with a variety of concentration options. The following courses are included in each program: Theories of Counseling, Human Growth and Development, and Career Development and Counseling.
Liberty University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, Liberty University, a Christian school, is the largest, private, non-profit university in the country.
Click here for additional information about Liberty University’s Psychology program.
9. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University offers an online BS in Psychology. The CTU Bachelor of Science in Psychology is designed to provide an overview of the major psychological concepts, perspectives and skills that explain human behavior. The curriculum has four themes threading through it: workplace application of psychology, career advancement, technological acumen and service to society.
Core courses in the program include managerial psychology, historical perspectives in modern psychology, learning and cognition, organizational psychology, positivist psychology and leadership, theories of personality, and careers in psychology. CTU is a private, for-profit school. Military Times ranked it as the best online school for veterans. Colorado Technical University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Click here for additional information about Colorado Technical University’s Psychology program.
10. Saint Leo University
The School of Arts & Sciences at Saint Leo University offers an online psychology degree that introduces you to the broad spectrum of theories used in understanding human behavior. The program provides a well-rounded education in the discipline, with the opportunity to tailor the curriculum to meet your individual needs. Graduates are prepared for advanced study in psychology and related disciplines, as well as employment in professional entry-level positions in human service settings and mental health facilities. A psychology major is also an excellent way to prepare for a career in law, business, human resources management, advertising and sales.
Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees.
Click here for additional information about Saint Leo University’s Psychology program.
11. Post University
The online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program at Post University will help you make a positive impact on people’s day-to-day lives. This program is designed to help you enhance your social maturity, interpersonal effectiveness, critical thinking, collaboration, persistence, initiative, and oral/written expression. Post boasts a faculty whose extensive backgrounds in the social sciences, social services, and business allow them to provide hands-on experiences that integrate theory and practice. This program includes two applied concentration tracks: Human Development, Education and Health; and Organizational Studies
Post University offers a wide range of quality Certificate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a highly interactive online format that emphasizes flexibility, convenience, and support. Whichever program you choose, you can take classes in 8-week modules, six times a year from faculty members with advanced degrees and extensive real-world experience. You’ll also enjoy access to a full array of academic support services, including advising, tutoring, writing center assistance and Post’s virtual library at no additional charge. Post University is accredited through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
12. Drexel University
Although Drexel University offers several highly-regarded Psychology degrees, only its APA-accredited Bachelor degree is available to online students. The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology is designed to provide students with the same strong foundation in psychology that on-campus students receive, combined with the flexibility and convenience of online learning. The online curriculum allows students to explore a broad range of topics, issues, and methods in psychology while preparing them to meet today’s challenges in the field. Drexel offers a top-quality online BS degree that prepares students for future graduate study in a wide range of applied fields including business, the health sciences, forensics and law, education, counseling, and applied neurosciences. The Department of Psychology is at the forefront of areas like neuropsychology, forensic psychology, cognitive neuroscience, health and clinical psychology.
Philadelphia-based Drexel University is accredited by MSCHE (Middle States Commission on Higher Education). It’s School of Psychology is further accredited by the APA.
13. NorthCentral University
NorthCentral University offers online psychology degrees at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral levels. In addition, the university’s School of Psychology also confers post-Masters and post-Baccalaureate certificates in Psychology. The school offers a unique, one-one-one teaching model in which each student is paired with a faculty member in each course for a highly personalized experience. Available concentrations include: Gender Diversity Studies; General Psychology; Health Psychology; and Industrial Organizational Psychology.
NorthCentral University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
14. Ohio Christian University
Offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology since 2011, Ohio Christian’s degree program equips students with a strong foundational understanding of human behavior and mental processes. This program prepares you to integrate Christian principles into your personal and professional life, conduct research in the field of psychology, and articulate various counseling methodologies and their diagnostic application. Ohio Christian University understands and supports your commitments to your family and career. Our program has been designed specifically for working adults. You take one class at a time from academically and experientially qualified instructors with textbooks and materials mailed directly to your home.
Ohio Christian University is accredited by Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is also accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The school is authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents to offer associate, baccalaureate, and masters level education.
15. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology, online. The SNHU online degree in Psychology format provides a small class environment, enabling our professional faculty to give you the personalized attention you need. Concentrations include: Child and Adolescent Development; Forensic Psychology; and Mental Health. You will also have opportunities to join the Psych Club and Psi Chi, the Psychology International Honor Society.
SNHU is a private, nonprofit university that has been offering degree programs for nearly a century at its five regional campuses, as well as online. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.