2023 Best Online Bachelor’s in Developmental Psychology Degrees

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Developmental psychology degrees allow you to study how humans grow and develop over the course of a lifetime.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Developmental Psychology Degrees

Developmental psychology is a growing field that studies human development. It can study changes that are physical, intellectual, emotional, and mental in nature in order to better understand the human condition.

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Earning a developmental psychology bachelor’s degree can be a strategic step toward graduate studies in the field. This major can also help you develop versatile skill sets for a variety of positions and industries.

Online Bachelor’s in Developmental Psychology Degrees

Woman taking Online Developmental Psychology Bachelor's Degree

The study of developmental psychology is focused on how humans develop, change, and mature throughout their lives.

Developmental psychologists study these changes in three essential areas of human development: physical, cognitive, and social-emotional changes. A key to this is understanding human features like motor skills, executive functions, language acquisition, personality, and other topics.

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Developmental psychology is a broad field with various specialty areas, such as child psychology. As a developmental psychology major, you may be expected to take classes in multiple subjects to give you a solid foundation, such as:

  • Developmental psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Statistics
  • Writing
  • Culture and psychology

Students who earn online developmental psychology degrees are then prepared to apply best practices and procedures to help people and families of all ages address important issues.

Graduates of developmental psychology programs may work in a variety of positions in counseling, healthcare, social service, and education settings. Some professionals with a bachelors in developmental psychology pursue work as case worker, helping clients with their needs. Others may work as community health workers, psychiatric technicians, advocates, or childhood development specialists.

Many graduates go on to pursue on-campus or an online masters in developmental psychology and doctoral degree in developmental psychology programs. With a doctorate in the field, you can pursue licensure as a practicing developmental psychologist or work as a researcher.

Developmental Psychology Careers and Salaries

Developmental Psychology Careers and Salaries

A developmental psychology degree may help you enter into many varied professions, especially in the fields of healthcare, social service, education, and counseling.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some possible career paths related to the study of developmental psychology.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Psychologists $81,040
Social and Community Service Managers $74,000
Training and Development Specialists $61,570
Health Education Specialists $60,600
Social Science Research Assistants $49,720
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors $48,520
Preschool and Childcare Directors $47,310
Community Health Workers $46,590
Social and Human Service Assistants $37,610
Psychiatric Technicians $36,570

Practicing psychologists are typically required to hold a doctorate in psychology. A bachelors in developmental psychology could help you build a solid foundation for graduate studies.

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Studying this field could also help you develop versatile skill sets that are applicable in a range of industries. Graduates may go on to help others as caseworkers, behavioral specialists, or psychiatric technicians. Others use their psychological expertise as training and development specialists in companies or businesses.

Developmental Psychology Bachelors Curriculum & Courses

Students taking Bachelor's Degree in Developmental Psychology

Each developmental psychology program will have its own requirements and curriculum, but there are certain similarities in terms of courses between programs that you may have to take.

Developmental psychology students take foundational courses in psychology, courses in their specialty, as well as a broad range of liberal arts courses. As a student in a developmental psychology bachelor’s program, you may take courses similar to the following:

  • Foundations of Psychology: This course introduces you to the study of psychology by going over its history and the major themes of the discipline.
  • Applied Statistics: This course teaches what applied statistics is and how to use them for research purposes.
  • Biology: Students majoring in developmental science will likely take a course in the basics of the field of biology.
  • Developmental Psychology: This course introduces you to the field of developmental psychology and its current theories.
  • Social Psychology: This course covers the behavior of human groups and the various conditions arising from it.
  • Cognition: This class studies the cognitive processes, including memory and the actions associated with it.
  • Abnormal Psychology: This class looks at the theories and treatment strategies for different conditions.
  • Psychology of Sex: This class studies the intersection of psychology, sex, gender, and other topics.
  • Psychology and Ethics: This class explores the ethical and moral topics that come with the psychological profession.
  • Healthcare and Psychology: This class looks at psychology’s role in the healthcare system of the United States.

Apart from the courses listed above, you may also have the opportunity to complete an internship or another form of practical experience.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Developmental Psychology Bachelor's Degree

Each university and program sets its own requirements for admission, but you may expect to see some of the following admission requirements for programs in developmental psychology:

  • Official high school transcript or GED equivalent
  • SAT or ACT test scores (not required by all schools)
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Letters of recommendation

To ensure that the process goes smoothly, it’s beneficial to submit all required application materials on time.

Online Developmental Psychology Programs Accreditation

University offering Bachelor's in Developmental Psychology

Attending a school with regional accreditation is one way to ensure that you’re receiving a high-quality education. Accreditation is a process where an independent agency reviews a university’s practices and determines if it delivers a high-quality education.

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Earning a degree from an accredited institution is essential and may affect your future prospects of employment or attending graduate school. To see if the universities you are applying to are accredited, you can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Bachelor's in Developmental Psychology financial aid

Earning a college degree can be costly, but it does not have to break the bank. There are many sources of financial aid available for college students who qualify.

Federal student aid is one of the most common forms of aid given to college students. To see your eligibility for federal aid, you can visit the Federal Student Aid website to create an account and file a FAFSA. In addition to federal aid, individual states can have their own aid programs. You can check with your state to discover any available options.

Scholarships granted by private organizations, businesses, schools, and other sources, are another form of aid. Typically, you’ll seek and apply for scholarships in order to be considered. If you are employed, your employer may offer scholarships, professional development programs, or other forms of financial aid for workers who are earning a college degree.

What Is a Developmental Psychology Degree?

Developmental Psychologist interacting with a child

A developmental psychology degree is a bachelor’s level program that studies how humans develop over the span of a lifetime.

Developmental psychology is a subdiscipline of psychology, and it covers the growth and development of children, adolescents, and adults. Some programs allow students to focus on a specialty area or age group. The field of developmental psychology can study various changes that humans undergo, including changes related to physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and personality development.

A bachelors can help you understand the fundamentals of developmental psychology and prepare you either for graduate studies or for entry-level roles in the field.

What Can You Do with a Bachelors Degree in Developmental Psychology?

Social & Community Service Manager discussing to community

A bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology may help you qualify for a number of positions within the fields of healthcare, social services, education, and counseling.

Some graduates go on to become community health workers, case workers, psychiatric technicians, and behavioral specialists. Those with an interest in child psychology may pursue work as childhood development specialists or a type of childcare workers.

If you want to become a practicing developmental psychologist, then you can use your bachelors as a stepping stone toward a masters and doctorate in developmental psychology. Advanced degrees in the field could also help you qualify for research and postsecondary teaching positions.

What Education Do You Need to Be a Developmental Psychologist?

Childcare Director observing the new kid

In order to become a licensed developmental psychologist, it’s necessary to earn a doctoral degree in developmental psychology.

Professionals may choose to earn either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the field. A PsyD is most common for professionals who want to practice in a clinical setting, while a PhD is more common for aspiring researchers and postsecondary teachers.

Earning a bachelors degree in developmental psychology is a strategic first step in your educational journey.  After earning a masters in psychology, you can then pursue a doctorate in the field.

What Do Developmental Psychologists Do?

Psychologist in a session with an adult man

Developmental psychologists study human growth and development throughout the lifespan. They may find employment in a variety of settings, including academia, government organizations, and private or community health institutions.

Developmental psychologists who work in academia often focus on teaching as well as contributing research to the field. Those who practice in clinical settings work to identify, assess, and treat patients who have developmental disabilities.

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Developmental psychologists may choose to work with specific age groups. For instance, while some focus on early childhood development, others work with aging adults. Their duties can vary greatly depending on their specialty and work setting.

Are Developmental Psychologists in Demand?

Developmental Psychologist assessing a child doing artwork

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not give a specific job outlook for developmental psychologists, it does give information for psychologists overall.

Overall employment for psychologists is expected to grow by 6% over the next ten years. This is as fast as the average for all occupations. Breaking it down further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 10% job growth for clinical and counseling psychologists and 6% job growth for school psychologists.

Meanwhile, positions for industrial-organizational psychologists are expected to increase by 4%, and employment for all other psychologists is projected to grow by 3%. Psychologist positions are expected to increase due to demand in schools, social agencies, and mental health clinics.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Developmental Psychologist?

student completing her Developmental Psychology Degree online

The traditional route to becoming a developmental psychologist requires earning a bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree. Once you’ve earned your doctorate, you can pursue licensure.

For starters, earning a bachelor’s degree typically takes 4 years to earn with full-time study. A master’s degree in psychology can generally be earned in 1 to 2 years. Finally, earning a doctorate degree in psychology may take 3 to 5 years, depending on whether you pursue a PsyD or a PhD in Developmental Psychology. PhDs often require a dissertation, which could extend your time to completion.

It may be possible to finish each degree in less time if you enroll full-time, take classes year-round, and take advantage of accelerated online degrees in psychology.

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelors in Developmental Psychology vs. Child Psychology?

Though they may have some overlap, there are significant differences between developmental and child psychology.

Bachelors in Developmental Psychology Bachelors in Child Psychology
  • Focuses on human development through the whole lifespan
  • Studies social, physical, and cognitive changes as humans develop
  • Focuses on the development of children
  • Studies all elements of psychology in children

It’s beneficial to choose the program that interests you the most and best fits your career goals.

Is a Bachelor’s in Developmental Psychology Degree Worth It?

Mental Health Counselor in a session with father and teenage son

Yes, a bachelor’s in developmental psychology degree is worth it for many professionals. If you are interested in studying how humans develop throughout their lifetimes from multiple points of view, then this degree may be a good fit.

A developmental psychology degree can help you develop versatile skills that are applicable in a number of growing fields. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 10% job growth for the community and social service occupations, which is faster than average.

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If you want to work toward becoming a practicing developmental psychologist, then a bachelor’s in the subject can help you prepare for graduate school.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Developmental 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.

Bloomfield College

Bloomfield College campus

Bloomfield College offers a Bachelor’s in Psychology that can be earned online. Classes in the program use an asynchronous format for maximum convenience and flexibility. The program also offers the chance to participate in internships to gain real-world experience. The curriculum covers topics such as developmental psychology, human cognition, and research methods.

Bloomfield College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University campus

Fayetteville State University offers a BS in Psychology that can be completed online after completing core requirements. The online courses are asynchronous. Potential courses include Professional and Career Development in Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Introduction to Biopsychology.

Fayetteville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Johnson & Wales University

Johnson and Wales University campus

Johnson & Wales University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology that can be earned 100% online. Some courses are 8 weeks long, while others are 16 weeks long. Multiple start dates are offered each year. Potential courses include Developmental Psychology, Intro to Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, and Anatomy and Physiology. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 15-to-1.

Johnson & Wales University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Liberty University

Liberty University campus

Liberty University offers a Bachelor’s in Developmental Psychology that can be earned 100% online. Each course in the program is 8 weeks long. On average, the program can be completed in 3.5 years. The curriculum is informed by both biblical standards and current research.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University campus

Northern Michigan University offers a BS in Psychology that can be earned 100% online. The coursework is designed to be flexible but rigorous and is supplemented by industry-relevant internships. Potential courses include Introduction to Psychology, Seminar for Psychology Majors, Lifespan Developmental Psychology, Learning and Cognition, and Topics on Brain and Behavior.

Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College campus

Notre Dame College’s online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program is highly customizable. The program is designed to allow students to continue working while earning their degrees. Courses are 8 weeks long and taught by instructors with real-world experience. Potential courses include Behavioral Science Research Methods, Psychological Tests and Measurements, and Professional Development in Psychology.

Notre Dame College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Pennsylvania Western University – Clarion

Pennsylvania Western University Clarion campus

Pennsylvania Western University — Clarion offers a BS in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Developmental Psychology. The program is often a good fit for those that want to work with a specific age group. Potential courses include General Psychology, Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, and Research Methods.

Pennsylvania Western University – Clarion is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University campus

Saint Leo University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a specialization in Developmental Psychology. Classes are available online and at multiple campus locations. Coursework may be tailored to suit individual interests. Undergraduates at Saint Leo have internship and research opportunities and have even presented research at regional and national conferences.

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Simmons University

Simmons University campus

Simmons University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Potential courses include Introduction to Psychological Science, Introductory Statistics, Biological Psychology, and History and Systems in Psychology. The program also requires students to spend one semester collaborating with their classmates on an original research project.

Simmons University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville campus

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville offers a BA and a BS in Psychology that can be earned through its online degree completion program. Potential courses include Research Design and Statistics I and II, Foundations of Psychology, and Careers in Psychology. Students in the program are also required to complete a minor.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico campus

The University of New Mexico offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology This accelerated program features 8 week courses. Potential courses include Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Learning and Memory, and Statistical Principles of Psychology. This is a degree completion program designed for those who have already completed at least 60 credit hours of college coursework.

The University of New Mexico is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida campus

The University of Central Florida offers an online program for a BS in Psychology. There are six tracks offered: General, Clinical Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Human Factors Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Neuroscience. Courses are 16 weeks long. Students in the program are encouraged to participate in research and internships.

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Colorado – Denver

University of Colorado Denver campus

The University of Colorado—Denver offers an online program for a BA in Psychology. Potential courses include Introduction to Psychology I, Statistics and Research Methods, and Principles of Learning and Behavior. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and scientific problem-solving. Many students go on to graduate study in the field.

The University of Colorado – Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Florida

University of Florida campus

The University of Florida offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology that can be earned online. The program aims to provide the same education as its on-campus counterpart but with greater flexibility. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for graduate study and a wide range of career options.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

William Jessup University

William Jessup University campus

William Jessup University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology that can be completed online. Potential coursework includes Intro to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Psychology and Christian Thought, and Research Statistics for the Social Sciences.

The program’s professors have real-world experience and emphasize a hands-on approach to learning. The online courses are 7 weeks long and designed to be highly interactive.

William Jessup University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Getting Your Developmental Psychology Bachelor Degree Online

student pursuing his Developmental Psychology Bachelor's Degree online

If you’re interested in how humans grow and mature at different stages in life, then you might consider pursuing a bachelors degree in developmental psychology. This major could help prepare you for graduate studies in psychology, but it could also help you develop knowledge and skill sets that are applicable to various fields.

Many graduates pursue entry-level roles in healthcare, education, social services, and counseling. Whether you’re working or busy with other responsibilities, online programming can allow you to earn a college degree according to your own schedule.

If you’re ready to begin your educational journey, you can start exploring online bachelor programs in developmental psychology from accredited schools.

Ready to start your journey?
Leon is currently pursuing an M.A. in History from Florida Atlantic University. He holds both a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Leon's research interests include the Cold War in Latin America and US-Latin American relations.