Psychologists are trained to analyze human thoughts, behavior, emotions and interactions with other people. Child psychology is a specialized branch of this field dedicated to subjects ranging in age from infancy to late adolescence. Some child psychologists observe and evaluate children in a private practice setting, and may recommend medication and other treatment measures for subjects exhibiting certain symptoms. Child psychologists may also find work in schools, hospitals and government agencies.

What Are the Best Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 2:

Rank School Location
1 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
2 Brandman University Irvine, CA

'Psychology' and its subfields (including child psychology) are among the most popular majors for bachelor's degree-seekers. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 114,000 bachelor's degrees in psychology were conferred during the 2012-13 academic year.

However, an advanced degree ― typically a doctorate ― is considered the minimum educational requirement for child psychologists. Furthermore, child psychologists who work in public practice must be fully licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; licensure requirements vary by state, but typically include a comprehensive exam and a set number of supervised post-degree training hours. The best bachelor's in child psychology programs will prepare students for the demands and challenges of receiving an advanced degree and obtaining a license. Many of today's students are choosing to earn their bachelor's degree in child psychology online, rather than in a classroom. Online students follow the same rigorous curricula as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, often leading to the same number of employment opportunities after graduation. The asynchronous (or self-paced) format of most online programs is also ideal for students with part-time jobs, childcare commitments and other responsibilities that tend to interfere with campus-based learning.

Learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor's degree in child psychology and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

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.


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.

Choosing a Program


An online bachelor's in child psychology will equip students with foundational knowledge and skills needed to advance into graduate-level studies, earn licensure and eventually launch a successful career. The coursework will cover topics like child growth and development, childhood and adolescent disorders, assessment and testing, behavioral analysis and experiential learning, as well as the various laws and ethics guiding the field of modern psychology. Many bachelor's in child psychology online programs are supplemented with internships and/or clinical residencies; these onsite courses allow students to receive supervised training from experienced professionals. Comprehensive capstone projects are often required, as well.


Online child psychology degree programs offer a flexible alternative to traditional classroom coursework. Students are able to access course readings and lectures, participate in virtual discussions with fellow students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors on their own schedule. The latest learning technology also allows them to study away from their home computer using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable Wi-Fi devices. For added convenience, online organizational psychology students can normally coordinate internships and practicum courses at sites near their current residence.


A bachelor's in child psychology will not be sufficient a career in child psychology. The educational minimum for most careers in psychology is a master's degree, and many also require a doctorate; many states will not issue licensure to candidates without a graduate degree. However, the bachelor's will serve as a critical stepping stone for advanced studies in this field. Alternatively, some careers are attainable with a bachelor's in child psychology. These roles include child and family social workers, community health coordinators and social service assistants.


Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school's strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online bachelor's degree in child psychology programs in the United States. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online bachelor's in child psychology, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific bachelor's degree requirements and offerings.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who leave school with an online bachelor's in organizational psychology will be prepared for the demands of successive master's and doctoral degree programs. However, many bachelor's recipients choose to enter the workforce immediate after graduation without pursuing graduate-level credentials. Three common career paths for candidates with a bachelor's in organizational psychology are outlined below.

Child, Family and School Social Workers: This specialized branch of social work is dedicated to the financial, academic and psychological well-being of children and their parents. The duties of this job may include supporting children who have been neglected or abused, coordinating adoption and foster services, arranging legal and medical care and providing client advocacy.

Healthcare Social Workers: These social workers assist adults and children dealing with chronic injuries and illnesses. They help their clients coordinate, receive and pay for various medical and healthcare services. They also work within communities to promote nutrition, safe sex, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices.

Social and Community Service Managers: These managers coordinate various projects, programs and other activities designed to reach entire communities. They often oversee groups of personnel working in different areas of health and social services.

Social and Human Service Assistants: Social and human service assistants provide a wide range of services for children, families and other clients. Their often coordinate appointments with psychologists, behavior specialists and other mental health professionals.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $46,610
Healthcare Social Workers $54,020
Social and Community Service Managers $63,530
Social and Human Service Assistants $30,830

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in child psychology often go on to pursue a master's degree in the same field. For more information about opportunities for grad students and more advanced careers in this field, please visit our Guide to Online Master's in Psychology Programs.

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to child psychology is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you'll find three of the country's most prominent organizations established for child psychology professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

  • American Psychological Association: The nation's leading organization for professional psychologists, the APA today boasts more than 117,000 members. The website features a vast online library, a job board, continuing education opportunities, and a Psychology Help Center with links to blogs and articles about various psych-related topics. The APA also serves as the official accreditation agency for collegiate psychology programs.
  • American Board of Professional Psychology: Established in 1947, the ABPP oversees the standards and criteria used to certify and license practicing psychologists. The board awards certification to qualifying applicants in 15 different niche areas, including clinical psychology, couple and family psychology, and school psychology.
  • Division 53: The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: This branch of the APA was created to "encourage the development and advancement of clinical child and adolescent psychology through integration of its scientific and professional aspects". The society publishes bi-monthly and quarterly journals, as well as an online newsletter.

Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Child Psychology Program

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.


Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.


Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.


Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.


Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We've curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.


Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.


Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.