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Earning an online bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology paves the way to several career opportunities. Graduates can continue their education and pursue graduate studies to become child psychologists or enter the workforce as behavioral disorder counselors or community service managers.

Students interested in helping children and adolescents overcome emotional and mental difficulties and offering support for those living with autism and other disabilities often find that this degree leads to a rewarding and lucrative career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of behavioral disorder counselors will grow by 25% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average 4% job growth rate for all occupations.

Our bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology program guide offers a comprehensive look into career opportunities, admission requirements, and how to choose a program.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 2:

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Rank School Location
1 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
2 Brandman University Irvine, CA
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2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Bay Path University

Longmeadow, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Founded in 1897, Bay Path University is a private school headquartered in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Its all-women, online bachelor's programs are the first of their kind in the nation. Annual enrollment reaches approximately 3,500 learners, including about 1,900 undergraduate women and 1,500 coeducational graduate students.

Among Bay Path's online offerings is a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology. The major core curriculum covers topics like human development, parenting and family dynamics, and the educational system. Prior to graduation, students complete a culminating research, community-based, or service learning project.

Admission requirements include a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and submission of official high school and/or college transcripts. Prospective students must also participate in an in-person or phone interview.

2

Brandman University

Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 81%

Dedicated to serving working professionals since 1958, Brandman University oversees more than 25 campuses in California and Washington, flexible online learning options, and a host of academic and professional support services. Brandman's online bachelor's degree in child and adolescent psychology requires 120 credits.

Students can complete the program entirely online or in a hybrid format. The curriculum covers areas like child development, learning, and treatment options, emphasizing working with children facing developmental challenges. Required courses include pediatric neuropsychology, applied behavioral analysis, and scientific writing.

Admission into the program requires at least 12 transferrable credits and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Brandman offers a four-course introductory program for prospective students who do not meet these transfer credit requirement.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Program?

Most online bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology programs require 120 credits and take approximately four years of full-time study to complete.

Students interested in working with children and adolescents often find that a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology leads to fulfilling careers helping youths navigate developmental challenges and mental illnesses. Those pursuing this career need empathy, interpersonal skills, and strong communication.

Most online bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology programs require 120 credits and take approximately four years of full-time study to complete. Some programs offer accelerated tracks that may lead to a degree in 3.5 years.

Generally, a bachelor of arts offers more flexibility and the ability to tailor coursework to students' specific interests and career goals. General education classes focus more on the humanities and a broad, widely applicable educational foundation.

By contrast, a bachelor of science serves students interested in science or medicine and features more courses in statistics, research methods, and data analysis. This degree is well-suited for those that plan on pursuing a graduate degree or working in entry-level positions in government or business. However, both options tend to offer the same major coursework, and employers and graduate schools accept both.

At the bachelor's level, most schools offer a general bachelor's in psychology with a concentration in child psychology and development or a similar field. A few possible concentration options include:

Concentration Description
Child Psychology Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree to become a psychologist or counselor should consider this concentration.
Adolescent Psychology This specialization prepares students to work in juvenile facilities and in school settings supporting special needs adolescents.
Counseling and Child Welfare This concentration prepares students for graduate programs in counseling and social work.
Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology This specialization focuses on human development, including social, physical, and cognitive changes.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Program?

Most online bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology programs offer similar core courses that teach students the skills needed to pursue careers helping children, adolescents, and their families. The following list covers common courses found in online bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology programs.

Child and Adolescent Development

This course covers the developmental stages of children and adolescents, including how they mature and how outside influences can alter their development. Covered topics include Freud's theories of development and Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory of development. Additional topics include contemporary theories and common defense mechanisms like denial, repression, and projection.

Childhood Psychopathology

This course delves into the emotional, social, cognitive, and genetic causes of childhood disorders. Students explore contemporary research in the treatment and recognition of mental disorders, classification of these disorders, and research methods in psychopathology. Students learn about specific disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity and oppositional defiant.

Introduction to Child Psychology

Students explore the basic concepts of child psychology, including the scientific analysis and evaluation of the behaviors and disorders common to children and adolescents. Additional topics include child psychologists' role in supporting children and varying responsibilities in different clinical and educational environments.

Psychology of Special Needs in Children and Adolescents

This course focuses on the identification of special needs like autism, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and cerebral palsy. Students explore intervention and inclusion practices and learn how to recognize common symptoms. Learners also discuss how schools can support students with special needs.

Internal Family Dynamics

Students learn the essence of family dynamics and how they relate to child development. Covered topics include communication issues, theories of family conflict, enmeshment in family dynamics, signs of an emotionally destructive household, and common responses to stress.

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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Degree?

Students pursuing an online bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology can go on to graduate school to pursue careers as psychologists working in private practices, educational settings, and research facilities. Other graduates enter the workforce as behavioral disorder counselors, social workers, and community service managers.

The BLS projects that employment of social and community service managers will grow by 17% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average employment growth for all occupations.

Learn more about child and adolescent psychology careers and see where a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology can take you.

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers supervise social service programs. These professionals work for nonprofits, government agencies, and other organizations that support communities and individuals. Targeted demographics may include children, the elderly, homeless individuals or families, and veterans. As supervisors, they are often responsible for hiring, budgeting, and overseeing the effectiveness of programs.

Child, Family, and School Social Worker

Social workers assess clients and help them overcome challenges like trauma, substance abuse, and mental health issues with the help of community and government resources. Clinical social workers need a master's and state licensure. These professionals can work for government agencies, schools, and nonprofits.

Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Behavioral disorder counselors help individuals and groups modify their behavior. Counselors in this field use principles of reinforcement therapy to help people stop unwanted behavior and replace it with positive, productive behavior and habits. Behavioral disorder counselors and substance abuse counselors considering private practice must have a master's degree and state licensure.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Graduates pursuing careers as substance abuse counselors often work in prevention and intervention, offering high-risk youths alternatives to drug and alcohol abuse. Some addiction counselors work with psychologists, physicians, or psychiatrists, developing treatment plans and supporting patient care.

Market Research Analyst

Some graduates use their acquired knowledge in youth psychology to work for companies that sell products to children and adolescents. A market research analyst researches market conditions to help companies determine in-demand products, target markets, and price structure. Students interested in entering this field must ensure that they take courses in statistics and research methodology.

Child and Adolescent Psychology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs

Is a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology worth it?

Whether using this degree as a stepping stone for graduate school or directly entering the workforce, a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology paves the way to fulfilling career opportunities. Graduates often work in social service industries, providing support and counseling to at-risk youths and their families.

What can I do with a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology?

Students with a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology go on to become behavioral disorder and substance abuse counselors, social workers, and social and community service managers. Some graduates choose to enter marketing and research, working for companies that develop and sell products geared toward today's youth.

Are child and adolescent psychology majors in demand?

Yes. The BLS projects that employment of social and community service managers will grow by 17% between 2019 and 2029. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors should experience even greater demand, with a projected job growth rate of 25% during the same period.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology?

Salaries vary by exact job and location. According to PayScale, adolescent psychologists earn an average annual salary of $64,200. The BLS reports that child, family, and school social workers earn a median annual wage of $47,390. Social workers employed in elementary and secondary schools earn an average annual salary of $63,810.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in child and adolescent psychology?

The BLS reports that social and community service managers earn a median annual salary of $67,150. Those that work in government agencies earn a median annual wage to $85,550. The marketing sector also offers additional lucrative career opportunities. Market research analysts in the publishing industry earn a median annual salary of $75,720. Graduates can earn more money by pursuing jobs that require a master's or doctorate.