If you’re interested in how someone’s behavior is affected by social situations, then you might consider earning a social psychology degree.
A BS in Psychology degree program will expose you to a wide variety of theories and topics relating to how people interact in the social sphere. A bachelors could be a first step toward graduate studies in this field. A social psychology major could also help you qualify for career opportunities in a variety of fields.
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Read on to learn more about online degrees in psychology and social psychology programs and associated career paths.
Social Psychology Degrees Online
Social psychology is a subfield within the larger discipline of psychology. Social psychology, at its core, studies how social factors and situations affect individuals and their behavior.
This discipline seeks to understand how groups can affect individual actions and how our own perceptions and thoughts influence the way that we socialize with others. Within this broad subfield, social psychologists may study subjects such as bias and prejudice, group dynamics, mob mentality, bullying, crime, and addiction and substance abuse.
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In order to become knowledgeable in the field, social psychology majors take many different classes to build a solid foundation and develop versatile skill sets. In a social psychology bachelors program, you may be expected to take classes in some of the following courses:
- Social work
- Research and methodology
After earning a degree in social psychology, you may be prepared for a wide variety of career opportunities. Some potential positions for social psychology majors include:
- Market research analyst
- Human resource specialist
- Management analyst
- Social worker
- Social or community service manager
- Community health worker
- Research Assistant
In these types of positions, social psychology graduates can apply their understanding of human behavior to help businesses or communities. If your goal is to become a fully-fledged social psychologist, then a bachelors in the field can help you prepare for graduate studies. Most social psychologists are required to hold a doctorate, though there are some positions that only require a masters.
Social Psychology Careers and Salaries
Social psychology majors can work in a variety of fields. Some graduates go on to work in social and community services, business, or research. Those who want to become psychologists go on to earn a masters or doctorate, such as an on-campus or online PhD in Developmental Psychology or in Social Psychology, for example, depending on their preferred position.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of potential career paths related to the study of social psychology.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Training and Development Managers||$120,130|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,920|
|Human Resources Specialists||$62,290|
|Training and Development Specialists||$61,570|
|School and Career Counselors and Advisors||$60,510|
|Social Science Research Assistants||$49,720|
|Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers||$48,860|
Those in business may utilize their social psychology skills in human relations or marketing departments.
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Those in academia may work as admissions counselors or research assistants. This interest in social and community services may pursue positions in social work or community health.
Social Psychology Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
Different universities and programs will have different requirements in terms of the courses they want their social psychology students to take.
As a student in a social psychology program, you may be required to take courses that are similar to the following:
- Introduction to Psychology: This course is an overview of the field of psychology and is meant for students who are unfamiliar with the discipline.
- Social Psychology: This course introduces you to the subfield of social psychology and its major theories and trends.
- Statistics in Psychology: This course teaches you how to use statistical modeling methods in psychological research.
- Psychology and Personality: This course describes how personality is formed by a person’s psychology.
- Developmental Psychology: This course introduces you to the field of developmental psychology and how a person’s psychology changes throughout their life.
- Experimental Psychology: This course introduces you to the principles, design ideas, and methodologies behind experiments in psychology.
- Sociology: This course introduces you to the discipline of sociology, which is a social science that studies human relationships.
- Psychological Ethics: This course goes over the importance of ethics within psychology.
- Health Psychology: This course explores the impact of psychology and psychological processes in healthcare.
- Evolutionary Psychology: This course examines the subfield of evolutionary psychology and how psychology developed through the biological evolutionary process.
In addition to the courses listed above, you may be required to complete an internship or some sort of work experience to graduate. This depends on the program you attend.
How to Become a Social Psychologist
The path to becoming a social psychologist can vary depending on your preferred position, but here are some common steps in the process:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree. Holding a bachelors from an accredited school is a common requirement for graduate programs. Earning a degree in social psychology could help you build a solid foundation for further studies in this field.
- Earn a master’s degree. After earning your bachelor’s, you can pursue a master’s degree in social psychology to further your expertise in the field. A masters can also be the minimum educational requirement for certain social psychologist roles in business or research.
- Earn a doctoral degree. A doctorate in social psychology is usually required to become a social psychologist. You may choose to earn a PhD or a PsyD in the field. A PhD is often geared toward research and academia, while a PsyD is more practice-oriented for the field.
- Complete supervised internship experience. An internship allows you to build experience and conduct research under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. For APA accredited social psychology doctorate programs, an internship is a requirement within the program.
- Obtain state license. Licensure is generally required for social psychologists who work with patients, and license requirements can vary depending on the state you wish to practice in. Those who are in a position that doesn’t involve the treatment of patients, such as researchers or professors, typically don’t need a license.
Licensed social psychologists can also pursue board certification to enhance their professional credentials.
Each college and university has its own admission requirements, but here are some common elements:
- Online application. Many universities require you to submit an online application as part of the admissions process.
- Standardized test scores. Though this has become less common in recent years, some colleges still require you to submit recent SAT or ACT scores.
- Statement of purpose. To assess applicants more holistically, some schools have you explain your interests and goals.
For bachelors programs, schools will also ask for official high school transcripts or proof of GED completion.
When researching colleges and universities, it’s strategic to discover whether they are regionally accredited. Regional accreditation is a process whereby a regional accrediting agency ensures that a university is providing its students with a high-quality education.
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To see if the schools you are applying to are accredited, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website and utilize their database of schools. Earning a degree from a non-accredited institution may impact your chances of attending graduate school or finding employment related to your degree.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you qualify, there are a number of financial aid resources that may be able to reduce the upfront costs of your college degree. Many students apply for federal student aid, which often comes in the form of student loans, grants, and work-study programs.
To see if you are eligible for this type of need-based aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). States may have their own financial aid programs as well. In addition, other organizations may offer scholarships that you can apply for. Scholarships might be awarded based on academic merit, life circumstances, or area of study.
Some employers also offer professional development or other sorts of programs to help their employees pay for college.
What Is a Social Psychology Degree?
A social psychology degree is focused on how people respond to their social environment. This bachelors program teaches the fundamentals, theories, and methodologies that form the field of social psychology.
Social psychology is a subdiscipline of the field of psychology, and it is often thought of as a combination of psychology and sociology. Social psychology majors study human behavior in regard to the way people act with others and how social factors influence their behavior.
Professionals in this field may conduct research to better understand how behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and feelings are changed by society, social norms, and social challenges.
What Can I Do with a Social Psychology Degree?
A social psychology degree can be applicable for a wide variety of positions in business, academia, and community and social service.
Some bachelors graduates pursue research positions, such as survey researchers or social science assistants. Others pursue service professions, such as social workers or social service managers. Many social psychology majors work in the business field. They might pursue careers as marketing consultants, management analysts, or human resources specialists.
Bachelors degrees in social psychology can also help you prepare for graduate studies in the field, such as earning an on-campus or online social psychology masters, for example. Social psychologists are typically required to hold a masters or a doctorate, depending on their position.
What Does a Social Psychologist Do?
Social psychologists can have different responsibilities depending on where they work and how much experience they have working in their field.
In addition to teaching students, a social psychologist working in academia typically undertakes original research within the social psychology field. Other social psychologists are employed by large-scale organizations. They may analyze a business’s operations and consult and advise clients on how to produce better processes and more efficient results.
Other companies, such as marketing or advertising companies, may utilize social psychologists to better understand how to market products to consumers. Licensed social psychologists may work directly with patients.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Social Psychology Degree Online?
The time it takes to complete a social psychology degree online can depend on a variety of factors. If you are attending a college or university that follows a traditional 16-week semester, then you can generally complete a bachelors degree in 4 years with full-time study.
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If your online program follows an 8-week semester, you may be able to finish your degree in less time if you stay continuously enrolled year-round. Part-time students often take longer to complete their degree programs.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor Degree in Social Psychology vs. Sociology?
Here are some of the differences between the fields of social psychology and sociology.
- Bachelors in Sociology: This broad field of study focuses on human interaction. It’s most interested in group behavior.
- Bachelors in Social Psychology: This area of study focuses on how individuals relate to social groups and environments. Even though it’s a subfield of psychology, the discipline of social psychology is often considered a combination of psychology and sociology.
Though they both study human society, sociology focuses on group behavior, while social psychology focuses on the individual within a group and how they’re influenced by the group. At the bachelors level, these fields of study often lead to similar career opportunities.
Is a Social Psychology Major Worth It?
Yes, a social psychology major is worth it for many professionals. You might consider a social psychology major if you’re interested in the study of human behavior in regard to social contexts and interactions.
A bachelors in social psychology can help you build a solid foundation for graduate school if you wish to pursue further training and advanced positions in the field. A social psychology degree can also help you qualify for a range of positions in fields like academia, business, and human services.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, community and social service occupations are expected to see 10% job growth over the next ten years, which is faster than average.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Social 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.
Baker University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The program’s accelerated, 6 week classes are held year-round and taken one at a time. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 10-to-1 to help provide personalized support. Students may be able to earn credit for past work experiences through Baker’s Prior Learning and Assessment Center.
Baker University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Belhaven University’s online Applied Psychology BA program teaches about human thought and behavior in a Christian context. The curriculum focuses on using psychological principles to help people in practical ways. The program offers concentrations in Christian Ministries, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.
Belhaven University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Colorado State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. While the program is online, it still provides opportunities to collaborate with classmates. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 17-to-1, and the curriculum emphasizes real-world problem-solving. Potential courses include Research Methods in Psychology, Social Psychology, and Psychological Measurement and Testing.
Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program blends the study of clinical psychology, social psychology, and social science. The program does not require any campus visits and has full-time and part-time enrollment options. Prospective students can apply to begin in the fall, spring, or summer, without taking any entrance exams.
Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
McKendree University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. This flexible, online program is designed with busy adults in mind. Courses are 8 or 16 weeks long, and students typically choose to take two courses at a time. The curriculum is designed to help students develop their critical thinking and communication skills and gain a better understanding of other people.
McKendree University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northern Michigan University offers a BS in Psychology that can be earned 100% online. The program is designed to be flexible but academically rigorous and provides industry-relevant internship opportunities.
Potential courses include Lifespan Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Learning and Cognition, and Topics on Brain and Behavior. The program offers concentrations in Interdisciplinary Psychology and Mental Health and Pre-Clinical Psychology.
Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ohio University offers a Psychology BS that can be earned in a flexible online format with mostly asynchronous courses. Potential courses include Social Psychology, Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Research Methods in Psychology. Internship opportunities are available. Graduates often pursue jobs in human services, business, and related fields.
Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Park University’s Social Psychology BS is available both online and on campus. The program offers many elective options. Potential core courses include Theories of Personality, Introduction to Sociology, and Self and Society. The program culminates with a capstone seminar and the creation of a professional portfolio.
Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southern New Hampshire University offers a 100% online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Social Psychology. The curriculum aims to teach students adaptable career skills and offer them the opportunity to earn a data literacy certificate. Courses have no set login times, and coursework can be accessed around the clock.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology that can be earned online. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and strong communication skills. Potential courses include Social Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, and Basis of Behavior. Some courses are also available in a hybrid format.
The University of Maryland Global Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Social Psychology Bachelor Degree Online
The field of social psychology combines methodologies from psychology and sociology in order to better observe and understand people’s behavioral responses to social groups and situations.
Social psychology majors may assist researchers in the field, and they can also apply what they know to help organizations run more efficiently. Others utilize their human relations skill sets to help others in social or community service professions. In addition to helping you qualify for a range of career opportunities, a bachelors degree in social psychology can also help you prepare for graduate studies in the field.
You can explore social psychology degrees from accredited schools to discover which program is right for you.