Psychologists offer assistance to clients who experience mental, behavior, or emotional disturbances within schools, businesses, and medical or research facilities. Individuals seeking careers in the field of psychology will find a multitude of employment opportunities as the demand for professionals formally trained in psychology is expected to increase at an above average rate over the next five years. A psychology degree provides individuals diverse employment options in public and private sectors. As an associates, bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree in psychology is necessary for employment, individuals seeking careers in this field must gain classroom and work experience to enter or advance in the profession. Training to gain employment within the field of psychology is often difficult while managing work or family responsibilities within a traditional, on campus setting. Many individuals choose online degree programs to advance educational and career goals due to the flexibility and convenience of these programs.
Recommended Psychology Programs
Creating a solid educational background for a career in psychology is necessary for success. Choosing a top online psychology program begins by researching best accredited universities to ensure a quality education necessary for future career success. Though the selection process for online psychology programs is quite difficult, individuals must base the decision upon a program which best meets their educational needs and career preferences. Additionally, students interested in psychology also should choose an online learning program from top ranked accredited universities. To assist in that process, we’ve compiled a list of the best online psychology programs:
1. Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, better known as Standford University or Stanford, is a private research institute for higher learning situated on an 8,180 acre campus close to Palo Alto, California. Stanford is a nondenominational and coeducational university founded by Leland Stanford, a Californian politician and railroad tycoon, during 1891 to honor his late fifteen year old son, Leland Standford, Jr., who succumbed to typhoid. Just two years after founding, Stanford suffered financially after Stanford’s deal and again following the San Fransisco Earthquake of 1906. Provost Frederick Terman led faculty and alumni to assist in the entrepreneurialism of the university which lead to local self sufficiency well known as Silicon Vally. The university quickly became one of the most internationally prestigious and highly selective schools. During 1970, Stanford housed a linear accelerater, identified as one of the first original four ARPANET nodes and is presently one of the largest research facilities in the fields of computer science, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences. Many Stanford faculty and alumni have advanced to found today’s most prominent businesses including; Google, Hewlett-Packard, LinkedIn, Cisco Systems, Netscape Communications, Yahoo, Rambus, Cilicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, and Varian Associates. Stanford has one of the best faculties and staff available to students, instructing over 6,900 undergraduates and 8,400 graduate students within its seven academic schools divided into humanities and sciences, earth sciences, business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. For students with job or family responsibilities, Stanford has a top of the line online distance learning program for psychology majors. Courses include: brain and behavior, perception, learning and memory, cognitive neuroscience, cognition and the brain, developmental psychology, social psychology, cultural psychology, personality and affective science, clinical psychology, and abnormal psychology.
2. University of Phoenix
In 1976, upon realizing that “working adult students were often invisible on traditional campuses and treated as second class citizens” in Phoenix, Arizona, John Sperling founded the University of Phoenix. The for profit institute for higher learning began with just 8 students and quickly grew to a second campus in San Jose, California, within two years. In 1989, the University launched its first online programs and opened to international students. In the days since, the University has expanded to over 200 campuses worldwide with more than 100 degree program offerings at associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree levels. Presently, the University has the second largest student body throughout North America to over 200 campuses worldwide. The University has over 420,700 undergraduate students, 78,000 graduate students, and 224,880 full time students enrolled in various degree programs. Additionally, the University provides students with a unique open enrollment admission policy and only requires a high school diploma or GED for a prerequisite. The University has an advanced placement option for associate or bachelor degree applicants who complete learning assessment, previous coursework, experiential learning essays, corporate training, licensing, or certificate qualifications. The University offers online programs which are highly personalized and career specific for individuals managing job or family responsibilities which make attending on campus instruction difficult. Students who wish to expand training within the field of psychology. The university’s offers one of the best online bachelor or master’s degree psychology programs for students seeking to expand educational or career goals. Courses at the bachelor level include: general psychology, human motivation, cognitive psychology, theories of personality, and organizational psychology. Courses at the masters level include: personality theories, multicultural psychology, lifespan development and learning,psychology of learning, and physiological psychology. The University of Phoenix allows online psychology students the ability to earn the educational background necessary for furthering personal goals in a format best suited to fit into his or her schedule.
4. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is a non profit, private, Roman Catholic university based in Saint Leo, Florida. St. Leo’s principal founder and first president was Leo Haid. Monks from the Saint Vincent Archabbey based in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, chartered the school which was transferred to the North Carolina based Mary Help of Christians Abbey (or what is presently known as Belmont Abbey) in 1888. The school enrolled 32 students for classes upon the dedication of its main building in 1890 and offered instruction in liberal arts and commercial ventures which lead to a Master of Accounts degree. The college initially required students to wear uniforms and participate in daily drills as it followed a strict military discipline to increase order and instill self control. In 1921, the college was accredited by the Southern Educational Association and changed its name several times before assuming the name Saint Leo College Preparatory School. The college operated as an “English style prep school,” reopened as a college in 1959, and retained this name until 1964. The Benedictine Sisters of Florida at Holy Name Monastery assisted as the school transitioned from a preparatory school to a college and offered its first associates and bachelor’s degrees by 1967. The college was then reorganized and included the Order of St. Benedict of Florida’s title transfer, an independent board of trustees, and an expanded mission. In response to armed service requests in 1973, the college increased its military history to become what is presently known as one of the largest institutes providing higher education to the U.S. military’s service members. By 1996, the college offered master degree programs in the field of business administration. In 1999 Saint Leo College assumed the name Saint Leo University and launched its first online degree programs, named the Center for Online Learning. Initially the University’s online programs were geared toward bachelor degrees and by 2002, the university expanded to award masters degrees. Presently, Saint Leo has over 40 online and on campus degree and certificate programs with over 15,000 students enrolled at its campuses located within 7 states. Saint Leo features one of the top online bachelor degree programs in psychology by offering individuals flexibility and convenience to accommodate nearly any schedule. Courses include: introduction to psychology, fundamentals of psychology, academic and professional issues in psychology, research methods, cognitive psychology, psychology of learning, social psychology, personality theory, physiological psychology, psychology of motivation, sensation and perception, developmental psychology, psychology of aging, child and adolescent development, social and cultural foundations of behavior, the human behavior perspective, forensic psychology, military psychology, educational psychology, and industrial and organizational psychology.
5. Liberty University
Liberty University was founded as the Lynchburg Baptist College by Jerry Falwell, Sr. during 1971 within Lynchburg, Virginia. As the Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, Falwell founded the college to promote Christianity based spiritual development and extend higher education to residential and online students. Falwell cultivated the vision to build a world renown higher learning institute based upon biblical truth, academics, and athletics. The college changed its name to Liberty Baptist College five years after it was established and settled on Liberty University in 1984 after gaining university status. Liberty is the largest Christian college in the world which has grown to offer over 230 different programs of study from its 6,000 acre campus and from online studies. Liberty students must follow a strict code of conduct identified as The Liberty Way, a solid doctrinal mission statement which promotes the balance between freedom, spirituality, and academics. Liberty’s programs of study have received the highest accreditation offered by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1980. Additionally, Liberty was also accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges from 1984 until 2008. Liberty has a high acceptance rate for traditional, on campus studies and for students with family or job responsibilities, Liberty offers a Distance Learning Program entitled LU Online, with 36 different degree programs. LU Online features various degrees ranging from an associates to doctoral programs in a 16 week format similar to on campus studies. LU Online also features 8 week subterm course sessions. Liberty’s online psychology degrees prepare students to understand research, psychological development, behavior, and counseling through a program accredited by the American Association of Christian Counselors. Liberty offers a unique, Christian based psychology degree with studies into the complexities of behavior, emotions, and the human body with core courses based in understanding the mechanisms and origin, classification, and symptoms of neurotic or psychotic behavior. Additionally, Liberty offers four areas of specialization within the field of psychology in substance abuse, Christian counseling, crisis counseling, and life coaching. Students seeking an online psychology degree may pursue one of the best associates, bachelors, masters, or doctoral programs from LU Online.
6. Post University
Founded during 1890 as Post College in Waterbury, Connecticut, Post University has grown to become on of the top private for profit educational institutions for higher learning. Since originally developing its first business school during 1896, Post has offered students a unique ability to pursue educational and career goals. Post presently offers a variety of day, evening, and online courses within three branches located at Meriden, Dansbury, and Norwalk, as well as through online courses. The university offers a variety of degree options for students seeking an associates, bachelors, or masters degree in accounting, business administration, biology, criminal justice, computer information systems, environmental science, equine management, finance, early childhood education, legal studies, human services, sociology, and psychology. Since 2005, Post has offered students with job or family responsibilities the opportunity to pursue online degrees after the university was purchased by Generation Partners, a Greenwich, Connecticut based organization. Post is well known for its Cooperative Education Program which combines work experience and classroom instruction to maximize a student’s knowledge and overall learning experience. Post’s online degree programs deliver highly specialized training based upon its students’ schedules and accredited by The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Students seeking an online degree in psychology participate in courses like: fundamentals of psychology, theories of personality, abnormal psychology, learning theory, psychological tests and measurements, neuropsychology, sensation and perception, child development, adolescent psychology, drugs and behavior, educational .psychology, organizational studies, cross cultural psychology, and social psychology,
7. Capella University
Capella University is a for profit online university based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Established by Stephen Shank, the former CEO of Tonka Corporation, Capella was founded by what would become Capella Education Company in 1991 to instruct adult students whose educational needs were not often met by traditional, brick and mortar campuses. Two years later, Dr. Harold Abel, a higher educational professional and former president of three universities, joined Shank to establish the Graduate School of America, presently known as Capella University. The school originally offered online masters and doctoral degrees in management, human services, and education to students from any location. Since founding, Capella has grown to over 1,450 courses, 48 undergraduate and graduate degrees, and 139 areas of specialized education to nearly 40,000 students located within the U.S. and 59 other countries. Capella allows students to earn a limited amount of credits based upon a learning assessment program geared toward rewarding real life experiences prior to attending. Since Capella is primarily an online university (with the exception of residency programs for masters or doctoral students) each online course is based on the Blackboard Learning System software. Each course is designed so that students may gain the maximum amount of knowledge based on individualized components of courses. Capella offers one of the best online psychology degree programs accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Capella’s Harold Abel School of Psychology assists students in developing skills and applying knowledge gained from classroom instruction to advance educational and professional goals while earning a masters or doctoral degree in psychology.
8. University of Minnesota
Twin Cities The University of Minnesota Twin Cities (U of M) was founded in 1851 as a preparatory school. As the oldest and largest U of M campus, the college has grown to accommodate and instruct students from all walks of life. Despite financial problems during the Civil War, and the resulting shut down shortly after founding, the university reopened during 1867 with the financial assistance of entrepreneur John Sargent Pillsbury. Pillsbury acted as the University regent, state senator, and governor and facilitated funding and public interest from the Morrill Land-Grant Act to secure, establish, and develop the university. In 1869, William Watts Folwell was appointed as the U of M president, and just 4 years later the university awarded its first bachelor of arts degrees. During 1888, the university awarded its first doctoral degree. The university quickly expanded to become the fourth largest U.S. university campus and the second largest university in the Midwest. With a present enrollment of over 51,721 students attending the Duluth campus, which opened in 1947, the Morris campus, which opened in 1960, the Crookston campus, which opened in 1966, and the Rochester campus in 2006, the university offers 143 undergraduate degree programs and 150 graduate degree programs all accessible internationally since the launch of the U of M’s Digital Campus. Students interested in a degree in psychology who are unable to attend on campus instruction may find one of the best educational opportunities through the U of M’s online program. The U of M offers fully online degree programs for students working on their degrees from a distance without on campus courses and hybrid online programs which limits the number of on campus or community site courses. The U of M offers psychology majors access to nearly all of the same resources which students on campus receive or have access to. The U of M offers multiple online psychology degrees to prepare students for future career success with courses like: introduction to psychology, psychology of design, research methods, sensation and perception, cognitive psychology, biological psychology, personality, social psychology, abnormal psychology, history and systems of psychology, clinical psychology.
9. Walden University
Walden University is a for profit, private higher learning institution specializing in distance learning owned by Laureate Education, Inc. With headquarters based in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Mills District, the university offers students a unique experience individualized for a variety of degrees. Founded by teachers Bernie and Rita Turner, the university was devised to allow working adults the ability to pursue higher degrees while maintaining family or job responsibilities. During 1970, the Turners collaborated with Harold “Bud” Hodgkinson, faculty of the University of California at Berkeley to create a student centric learning environment focused upon social change and education. One year after founding, Walden offered its first classes in Naples, Florida, based in school administration. The school expanded quickly and in 1972, offered over 46 PhD and 24 EdD programs to its graduating class. During 1990, Walden was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools with many of its programs of studies accredited individually. During 2001, forty one percent of Walden was purchased by Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., which gained its control interest in 2002. Sylvan later became Laureate Education Inc. led by Honorary Chancellor and former President Bill Clinton. With a reputable faculty delivering a standard of educational excellence largely unmatched by other online programs, Walden has grown to be one of the top international online colleges. Walden presently offers a large variety of bachelor and master degrees in business, administration, health, education, and various fields to its nearly 47,500 students. Walden also offers some of the best online programs available with courses designed to increase social awareness, responsibility, and civic engagement while promoting cross cultural competence and evidence based decisions. Students seeking psychology degrees may find one of the best online degree programs ensuring a broad understanding of psychology based in concentrations like: infant/toddler child development, preschool toddler development, criminal justice, human services, psychology applied to everyday life, psychology applied to the helping professions, and psychology applied to the workplace. Depending upon field of specialization and degree program, online psychology students participate in courses like: introduction to psychology, psychology as natural science, psychology as a social science, cross cultural psychology, methods in psychological inquiry, child development, human development, social influences in behavior, psychology of learning, human development, criminology and social control, intergroup conflict and peace building, critical incidents and cross agency coordination, introduction to human services, crisis and intervention, psychological disorders, brain and behavior, psychology of gender, the psychology of leadership, and judgement, choice, and decision making.
10. Kaplan University
Kaplan University was founded as the American Institute of Commerce during 1937. Kaplan was one of the very first open admission, for profit higher learning institutions. Within a few years of founding, Kaplan was renamed Quest College and quickly expanded its degree programs and course offerings. In 2004, Quest was purchased by the Davenport, Iowa based Kaplan University and moved its main campus to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Kaplan then expanded enrollment to over 66,000 students with courses led by 3,600 licensed instructors. Kaplan also extended its campus locations offering online courses and on campus instruction within Iowa, Nebraska, and Maryland. Individuals with an interest in psychology may find one of the top online degree programs available through Kaplan’s bachelor of science program. Courses like: interpersonal communications, statistics, psychology and the profession, introduction to cognitive psychology, child and adolescent psychology, research methods, personality development, screening and assessment, biology and human perspectives, and introduction to psychology allow students to learn skills required for future career success. Kaplan offers online students flexibility and specialization through weekly course assignments, live seminars, audio lectures, and Power Point presentations. Kaplan’s psychology program, as well as all programs offered by the university, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Kaplan is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Kaplan is a great choice to expand online learning and maximize career potential.