An associates in psychology degree is an undergraduate-level program that introduces students to the basic fundamentals of research and psychology.
You may choose this degree program to develop key skills for entry-level careers in fields related to psychology. You could also earn an associates degree as a precursor to an on-campus or online psychology degree at the bachelor’s level.
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You might consider this type of degree program if you’re interested in studying the human mind and behaviors and want to enter a career that involves helping others.
Associates in Psychology Degrees Online
Completing an associate degree in psychology online may be a flexible way to earn your degree and enter an entry-level career in the psychology field. Psychology coursework can also help you acquire valuable skills that can be applied to careers in other industries.
Associate degree curriculum typically includes general education coursework and core studies in a specific subject area. Foundational psychology coursework can be taken at the associate’s level. This can give you a basic understanding of psychology, different roles in the field, and various psychological theories and methodologies.
Topics are explored more in-depth at the bachelor’s level or higher. Introductory courses offered through an online associate in a psychology degree program can include:
- Introduction to psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Human growth and development
- Social psychology
You may learn about different mental and behavioral disorders, the psychology of social interactions, and how humans develop across their lifespans.
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A master’s or doctoral degree in psychology is required to become a practicing psychologist. Earning an associate’s degree could be a strategic place to start if you’re looking to gain experience in the field and wish to pursue an advanced degree in the future.
Some entry-level positions that could help you gain essential skills in the field through on-the-job training include:
- Psychiatric aide or technician
- Personal care aide
- Community health worker
- The social or human service assistant
Professionals in these careers may monitor a patient’s or client’s behaviors, help patients perform daily activities, and educate patients or clients about health services and resources.
Psychology Careers and Salaries
An associates degree in psychology can help prepare students for entry-level psychology careers, or it can act as a stepping stone toward a bachelors degree.
Some positions may require professionals to seek certification to perform certain duties. Entry-level psychology positions don’t involve clinical work, such as clinical assessments and diagnoses. Responsibilities are often limited to assisting other healthcare professionals, administrative duties, helping patients perform various tasks, and providing clients or the public with useful resources.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some careers, along with their annual median salaries, that are associated with the study of psychology.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Social Science Research Assistants||$49,720|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||$48,520|
|Correctional Officers and Jailers||$47,920|
|Community Health Workers||$46,590|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$37,610|
|Customer Service Representatives||$36,920|
|Home Health and Personal Care Aides||$29,430|
Mental health counselors are often required to have a masters, but some associate-degree holders are able to gain substance abuse counseling positions with certain employers.
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If you’re interested in working with children, you might consider using an associate’s in psychology to gain an understanding of child development and learning. This knowledge can be applied to a career as a childcare worker or teaching assistant. Job availability and salaries can vary depending on your level of education, work experience, and geographic location.
Online Psychology Degree Associate’s Curriculum
An associates in psychology introduces students to the basic fundamentals of psychology and human development. These are common foundational courses that you may take in a psychology associate degree program:
- Introduction to Psychology: You’re introduced to the study of the human mind and behaviors.
- Social Psychology: This course examines psychology from a broad perspective by looking at human behaviors in larger groups and ways behavior can be influenced.
- Human Growth and Development: Human development across the lifespan is explored in this course, including sensory, cognitive, and language development beginning in infancy.
- Abnormal Psychology: You’ll learn about the difference between normal and abnormal psychology and various disorders that reflect abnormal behaviors.
- Psychology of Personality: This course introduces you to basic theories of personality from a psychological approach, including psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioral theories.
- Human Relations: You can learn about managing one’s behaviors and personal life.
- Developmental Psychology: This course examines key periods in the human lifespan that are important to human growth and development.
- Introduction to Research: Research techniques and methodologies used in the field of psychology are studied in this course.
- Cognitive Psychology: This course introduces you to theories in cognitive processes, such as learning, problem-solving, and memory.
- Marriage and Family: You’ll examine family and relationship dynamics, such as communication, conflict resolution, gender roles, and parenthood.
Students can develop a basic understanding of psychology, learn how to conduct research, and develop skills that can be helpful for a career in the field. Credit hours completed in an associate degree in psychology online may be transferable if you decide to earn a bachelor’s in psychology or a related area of study.
How to Know If an Associates Degree in Psychology Online Is Right for Me
An associate in psychology online program can help you gain a deeper understanding of influences that affect human behaviors, various stages of human development, and how the human mind works.
This degree program might be a good fit for you if:
- You’re passionate about helping others
- Understanding human development and behaviors can benefit your desired career
- Learning outcomes meet your expectations and support your goals
Many social science careers involve working closely with others to help them improve their daily lives. Exploring the learning outcomes of different programs may help you decide whether this is the right path to help you achieve your goals.
Choosing an Online Associate Degree in Psychology Program
You might consider the following to narrow down your options and choose a psychology associates program that best supports your goals:
- What is your desired career choice? Thinking about your future career goals can help you decide what type of online associate’s in psychology degree is right for you.
- Do you plan on earning a higher degree in the future? If you want to pursue an associate’s degree as a step toward an advanced degree, you might take accreditation guidelines into consideration.
- Are your prospective programs recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA)? The APA provides resources to help prospective students find undergraduate psychology programs that align with quality educational standards.
- Do you want to have a balance between general education studies and major coursework? Some associate programs focus more on general education coursework, while others offer more major coursework. If you want your studies to focus more on your major, you might consider programs that offer more psychology coursework.
Most undergraduate degrees aren’t accredited by the APA, but if the educational institution you attend is accredited, this may be beneficial for future educational plans. Some schools also have articulation agreements that allow students to easily transfer between programs. Pursuing an advanced degree may not be necessary if your desired career choice can be obtained with an associate’s degree.
General admissions requirements for online psychology associate’s degree programs typically include:
- Official high school transcripts. Unofficial or official transcripts may be requested for admissions offices to review your educational background.
- Application questions and fee. Many schools require a fee to apply, but some schools don’t. An admissions application may include questions about extracurricular activities, awards, and other related achievements.
- Statement of purpose. A statement of purpose allows you to display your communication skills and tell the admissions office about your aspirations.
Admissions requirements can vary depending on the college and type of program.
Regional accreditation is a credential that colleges and universities can receive for meeting high-quality educational standards.
Schools aren’t required to be accredited, but accreditation lets students know that a school’s programs, faculty, and resources meet or exceed quality expectations. You can research the accreditation status of postsecondary institutions on the US Department of Education’s website.
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The accreditation status of your school can impact future education and employment opportunities as well as your eligibility for federal financial aid. Future employers often consider the accreditation status of institutions when reviewing job candidates.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify. Financial aid is income-based assistance that students can apply for at the state or federal level.
State aid eligibility requirements can vary depending on where you live. Federal aid is offered through the US Department of Education. Various factors are considered when determining a student’s federal aid eligibility, such as year of enrollment, tuition cost, and household income. You can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out if you’re eligible for federal financial assistance.
Scholarships are often granted to students based on academic or athletic merit, special interests, or income. You can apply to as many scholarships as you’re qualified for. A scholarship can be awarded by a college or university, charities or nonprofits, and other organizations.
What Is a Psychology Associate Degree?
A psychology associate degree is an undergraduate program that introduces students to basic theories and methodologies of psychology.
The program allows you to complete general education studies and some major coursework. If you want to enter the workforce after completing the program, you may pursue a number of entry-level social science careers. Examples of entry-level positions include psychiatric technician or aide, social or human services assistant, and community health worker.
This psychology 2-year degree can benefit students who want to start their educational journey by completing foundational coursework through a flexible online program. An accredited associate degree can often count toward a bachelors program in a related field.
What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Psychology?
You may use an associate in psychology to transition into a psychology bachelor’s program. You can also gain useful skills that can be applied to a variety of entry-level careers in the social sciences sector. Students interested in helping people with mental disorders or developmental disabilities may pursue a career as a psychiatric technician or aide.
Graduates may also pursue careers as teacher assistants, home health and personal care aides, correctional officers, and social and human service assistants. These careers are often geared toward helping people complete everyday activities and overcome challenging situations.
What Are Some Highest Paying Jobs with an Associate’s Degree in Psychology?
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people with an associate’s degree earn higher median pay than individuals with a high school diploma or some college experience but no degree.
These are the annual median salaries reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some of the highest-paying jobs that may be pursued with an associate’s in psychology:
- Social Science Research Assistants — $49,720
- Social and Human Service Assistants — $37,610
- Psychiatric Technicians — $36,570
Some employers may desire job candidates who’ve gained on-the-job training. Salaries can be impacted by location, specific employer, and amount of experience in the field.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate in Psychology Degree Online?
A traditional, 16-week semester associate’s degree program takes 2 years to complete if you attend full-time. If you choose an 8-week semester program and stay continuously enrolled year-round, you may be able to finish in less time.
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On the other hand, enrolling as a part-time student could add more time. A typical associate’s degree includes 60 credit hours, which equals around 20 courses. Full-time students usually take at least five courses per semester in a traditional 16-week program. If you want to accelerate your timeline, you may have the option to complete more credit hours each semester to finish in less time.
What’s the Difference Between an AA vs. AS Degree in Psychology?
An Associate of Science (AS) and an Associate of Arts (AA) in Psychology are two types of associate programs with slightly different focuses.
|AS in Psychology||AA in Psychology|
An AS in Psychology helps students develop more technical skills that can be applicable to careers in the healthcare field. Psychology falls under the humanities category, so an AA in Psychology is common for students who want to supplement their major coursework with other humanities coursework.
Is an Online Associate in Psychology Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online associate in psychology degree is worth it for many professionals. It’s a beneficial program for students who want to complete their general education studies and some major coursework before committing to a bachelors degree program.
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It can also benefit those who want to receive a degree within 2 years and begin their career in the field. Due to various demands, a number of psychology associate’s degree careers are expected to experience major job growth. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11% job growth for psychiatric technicians, which is much faster than average.
Universities Offering Online Associates in Psychology Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Coastline College offers an Associate of Arts in Psychology. Classes are available online to help students balance their commitments while in school. The program is designed so that credits earned in it may easily transfer into bachelor’s degree programs. The curriculum emphasizes statistics and research design.
Coastline College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Colorado Christian University offers an AS in Psychology. The program is taught from a Christian worldview and is designed to develop students’ critical thinking skills. Typically, one course is taken at a time in 5-week blocks. Coursework is offered online to help meet the needs of working adults.
Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Drury University offers an Associate of Science in Psychology that can typically be earned in 2 years. Classes are available online and at multiple campus locations. Potential courses include Methods in Social Science Research, Statistical Foundations for Behavioral Sciences, Applied Human Development, and Principles of Psychology.
Drury University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Florida Institute of Technology offers an AA in Applied Psychology that can be earned 100% online. The program aims to provide students with a strong foundation in psychological principles and the liberal arts. The curriculum is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and learn the basics of how to conduct scientific research.
Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Foothill College’s AA in Psychology program is designed to prepare students for a wide variety of further education options and careers in the mental health field. Potential courses include Research Methods and Design, General Psychology, and Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. Courses are available both online and on campus.
Foothill College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Georgia Military College offers an Associate of Arts and an Associate of Science in Psychology that can be earned online. The curriculum covers various theoretical perspectives in psychology and aims to teach students how to think scientifically. The program follows a quarterly calendar and provides a student-centered learning environment.
Georgia Military College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Georgia State University offers an online program for an Associate of Science with a pathway in Psychology. The pathway is an advising guide rather than an official major and will not be reflected on the diploma. The program is designed to prepare students for further study in psychology at the bachelor’s degree level.
Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Commission on Colleges.
Liberty University offers an online program for an Associate of Arts in Psychology. Classes are 100% online, and each one is 8 weeks long. Potential courses include General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Introduction to Research. On average, the program can be finished in 1.5 years. Credits earned in this program may be transferred into a bachelor’s degree program.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Loyola University—New Orleans offers an Associate of Arts in Psychology that can be earned online. The program is designed to allow students to work according to their own schedules from any place with an internet connection. The curriculum aims to teach students versatile skills and prepare them for many different career paths. The degree can usually be finished in 2 years.
Loyola University New Orleans is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Monroe Community College offers an Associate of Science in Psychology that can be earned 100% online. The program is designed for students planning to transfer to a 4-year college or university. Graduates may transfer to a SUNY institution and have junior standing as psychology majors.
MCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
New England College’s Psychology AA program is available online. The curriculum aims to teach students how to think analytically about human behavior and help them develop a strong foundation in the liberal arts. Each course is 7 weeks long, and there are multiple start dates offered every year.
NEC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Point University’s online Associate of Arts in Psychology program aims to prepare students for careers in mental health care or research. The degree can be completed entirely online, and schoolwork may be worked on anytime from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Classes are small and taught by the same instructors who teach on campus.
Point University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Regent University offers an AS in Psychology that can be earned online or on campus. The program requires the completion of 63 credits of coursework. All courses are taught from a Christian worldview. Potential classes include Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Philosophical Foundations, Abnormal Psychology, and Theories of Personality.
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
South Texas College offers an AA in Psychology that can be earned on campus or online. The curriculum is designed to be equivalent to the first two years of a 4-year bachelor’s degree program. Potential courses include General Psychology, Lifespan Growth and Development, Statistical Methods in Psychology, and Social Psychology, and several elective options.
South Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of the Cumberlands offers an online program for an Associate of Arts in Psychology. The curriculum is designed to teach critical thinking and basic scientific research skills. Potential courses include Intro to Counseling, Psychology of Personality, and Abnormal Psychology. The program requires the completion of 61 semester hours.
The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Psychology Associates Degree Online
An associate’s in psychology degree program teaches basic theories and methodologies of psychology. You can learn more about the area of study and develop skills that can be useful for entry-level social science careers.
Online psychology associate degrees can often be more flexible than on-campus programs. An associate can also act as a transitional program for students who wish to transfer into a bachelor’s program in psychology or a related field of study.
If you’re ready to take the next steps toward earning your psychology associates degree, you can start by researching programs from accredited institutions to find ones that best support your aspirations.