Best Online Associate in Psychology Programs

Begin on your path toward an online associate's degree in psychology today. Read through our higher education experts' rankings to figure out which psychology associate degree program is right for you.
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An associate degree in psychology can be parlayed into many professions. The ability to understand the mind is essential in a variety of fields. Possible careers include teacher's aide, family advocate, correctional officer, home care aide, youth counselor, or social services assistant.

To earn an associate degree in psychology, students must complete a minimum of 60 credits. Usually this translates into two years of full-time coursework. Graduates often go on to pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology.

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition cost of a two-year public college in 2019-2020 was $3,800 per year. The cost of an online associate degree in psychology is similar to on-campus programs. Online students can save on transportation costs and may be able to access in-state tuition rates even from another state.

If you're interested in helping others, an associate degree in psychology can be a stepping stone to a fulfilling career.

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Psychology Programs

Is an associate degree in psychology worth it?

Yes, an associate degree in psychology is worth it. With an associate degree in psychology you are qualified to enter the workforce. Credits from an associate degree can often be transferred to complete a bachelor's degree in psychology or counseling. Earning an associate degree before transferring to a bachelor's program can often save you considerable tuition expenses.

If you want to earn an associate degree in psychology without traveling, you can pursue an online associate degree. Online degrees are rapidly gaining credibility and acceptance by both employers and students.

How fast can I get an associate in psychology degree online?

It usually takes full-time students about two years to complete an associate psychology degree online. The time to completion can be accelerated in some cases with additional coursework.

Online associate in psychology degree programs require all the same core courses and curriculum as on-campus degree programs. Some students prefer to enroll in an online associate degree program while working full-time.

Online programs may provide an asynchronous option that allows students to adapt classes to their schedule. With a full course load, they should still be able to complete the degree in two years.

Is an online associate degree in psychology credible?

Yes, an online associate degree in psychology is credible. Be sure to choose an accredited institution to enroll in the online degree program.

An accredited associate degree ensures that the online program adheres to national educational standards. Credits earned for an associate degree in psychology from an accredited institution are often transferable to a bachelor's program.

Some online associate in psychology programs are also accredited by the American Psychological Association. This accreditation is usually held by graduate-level programs, but can indicate the quality of program coursework.

How much money can I make with an associate in psychology?

How much money you can make with an associate in psychology degree will depend on the career path you choose. Work experience can also lead to increased salary over time. With online and part-time degree programs, you can even pursue further education while working, increasing earning potential.

Salaries can range from $28,900 as a teacher's assistant to $48,430 in family, child, or school social services, according to May 2020 median salary data from the BLS. The average salary for assessment specialists was $59,770, according to Payscale data from February 2020.

Is an associate degree in psychology in demand?

Many jobs that you might pursue with an associate degree in psychology are currently in demand.

According to the BLS, teacher's aides, research assistants, assessment specialists, and psychiatric technicians are projected to experience above-average job growth between 2020-2030. Social and human service assistant jobs are projected to increase 17% in that same time frame, which is much higher than average.

What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Psychology Program?

Students often pursue an associate degree in psychology out of a desire to help others or to further research in psychology. If you enjoy problem-solving and have excellent communication skills, patience, and listening skills, an associate degree in psychology could be a good fit.

Students with facility in technology and who demonstrate integrity, collaboration, leadership, and information management may do especially well in online psychology programs.

An online associate degree in psychology typically requires a minimum of 60 credits. Full-time students can complete this in two years. Some programs may offer self-paced or part-time options.

Programs focus on general education and foundational courses in psychology. An associate degree in psychology typically does not require internships, practicums, or labs beyond standard coursework.

Students can choose between an associate in arts (AA), an associate in science (AS), or an associate in applied science (AAS) degree in psychology. The AA degree will have humanities and theoretical concepts as cornerstone content. The AS or AAS degrees will include more math and science coursework. Concentrations are uncommon for associate degrees in psychology.

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Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Psychology Program?

General Psychology

General psychology gives students an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include sensations, perceptions, abnormal behavior, and research methods. After the course, students should be able to describe major concepts of psychology, including human development, social behavior, and learning.

Childhood Psychology

Childhood psychology covers the development and behavior of infants, children, and adolescents. Topics include environmental influences, gender roles, language, genetics, and personality development. By the end of the course, students should understand theories, research, and cultural perceptions related to childhood development.

Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal psychology examines various psychological disorders. Topics include the clinical, theoretical, and experimental perspectives on psychopathology. The legal and ethical issues associated with treatment are also discussed.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology covers the study of human growth and development throughout the lifespan. Discussions cover social, psychosocial, physiological, and cognitive development from prenatal stages to death. Course objectives include understanding major theories and research in human growth and development.

Social Psychology

Social psychology explores how group dynamics affect individuals' emotional well-being, behavior and cognitive functions. Topics include implicit bias, prejudice, social behavior, and diversity. Social psychology also explores cultural influences, attitude formation, and decision-making.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Psychology Program?

Admissions requirements for an online associate in psychology degree program vary by school and specific program. Most programs require an application and proof of high school graduation or a GED certificate. Some programs also ask for high school transcripts, a minimum GPA, standardized test scores, or work experience. Here are the most common requirements:

  • Application essay: Programs that require one or more essays look for applicants who reflect individuality, reflection, and deep thinking.
  • Standardized test scores: Some programs require SAT or ACT scores, while others set minimum exam score requirements.
  • Letters of recommendation: Programs may ask applicants for recommendation letters from teachers, supervisors, or colleagues to confirm students' college readiness.
  • Work experience: Many programs value relevant work experience and may even offer credit for experiences related to courses offered.

What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Psychology Degree?

Career Outlook

An online associate in psychology degree can prepare you for a bachelor's program in psychology. This type of degree can also be a stepping stone to careers in many fields, from psychiatry and medicine to education, research, and social services.

Many of these fields are growing: Jobs for social and human service assistants are projected to grow 17% from 2020-2030, according to the BLS. This is much faster than the average projected job growth in that period of 8%. The BLS also projects that jobs for psychiatric technicians and aides will likely grow 11%.

As of May 2020, median annual salaries for professionals in common career pathways for associate-degree holders in psychology were as follows:

See where an associate in psychology degree can take you. Learn more about psychology careers.

Career Paths

Psychiatric Technician or Aide

Psychiatric technicians or aides work in healthcare settings including psychiatric hospitals and mental health facilities. Responsibilities focus on caring for individuals with disabilities or mental illness. This career requires a lot of time on your feet. Job opportunities are projected to grow 11% from 2020 to 2030.

Median Annual Salary: $33,140

Assessment Specialist

Assessment specialists work in educational or business settings to create learning or employment assessment materials. Tests include student placement exams and employee performance or suitability assessments. Some assessment specialist positions may require an internship or previous experience.

Average Annual Salary: $59,770 (as of February 2022)

Correctional Officer

Correctional officers oversee those awaiting trial or who are sentenced to prison. Correctional officers can choose to work with juvenile offenders or may also serve the general public.

An associate degree in psychology can open more senior positions. The number of correctional officer jobs is projected to decline from 2020 to 2030.

Median Annual Salary: $47,440

Teacher's Assistant

Teacher's assistants work with teachers to give students additional instruction and personal attention. If you're considering a career in teaching, becoming a teacher's assistant can provide valuable experience. Teacher's assistant positions are available at all levels of education. The BLS projects an average 9% job growth from 2020-2030.

Median Annual Salary: $28,900

Social and Human Service Assistant

Social and human service assistants can work in psychology, rehabilitation, or social work. Activities include helping clients find services and benefits or assisting social workers. These jobs are available with nonprofits, companies, and government agencies. The BLS projects a 17% growth rate from 2020-2030, which is much faster than average.

Median Annual Salary: $35,960

Psychology Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Many graduates with an associate degree in psychology go on to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology. Those who earn an associate degree in psychology can also choose to pursue degrees and certifications in counseling.

Many degree programs allow you to transfer credit from an associate to a bachelor's program. With a credit transfer, it is possible to finish a bachelor's degree in psychology in an additional two years or less. This is also a cost-saving strategy as two-year schools often have lower tuition rates than four-year colleges and universities.

At the bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D. level, you may specialize in various areas of psychology such as clinical, educational, counseling, organizational, or forensic psychology.

In addition to bachelor's and master's degrees, associate degree holders can earn psychology-specific certifications. These include mental health or psychological first aid.

How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Psychology Program?

Cost

Cost is a major deciding factor for many students. Online programs often have lower total costs than in-person programs. Of course, you'll want to factor in fees, books, transportation, technology, and other expenses to estimate the true program cost. In-state public institutions and community colleges are usually the least expensive choice.

Program Format

Depending on your school, you may be able to choose between full-time or part-time programs and synchronous and asynchronous program formats. Accelerated programs make it possible to complete an associate degree in under two years. An asynchronous online degree program offers flexibility to earn a degree while working full time.

Location

Even in an online program, some students prefer a nearby college. Many schools also offer hybrid learning. In this case, choosing a location with an easy commute becomes more important. If the program has an on-campus requirement, you'll need to account for travel time and costs. These requirements vary by program.

Accreditation

Program accreditation is important. Look for institutional and programmatic accreditation. Students can search for their program to ensure the associate degree in psychology is widely accepted. An accredited associate degree will allow you to transfer your credits to a four-year bachelor's program. It is also more valued in the workforce and can open higher-paid positions.

Student Support

Strong student services support every part of student life. Consider whether a program offers mentorships, career services, tutoring, internships, alumni connections, or other student services.

Online students should have access to much of the same resources and materials as on-campus students. This is especially valuable for online students who do not have in-person networking opportunities.

Best Accredited Online Associate in Psychology Programs

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Best Online Associate in Psychology Programs

  1. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $27432

    An evangelical Christian institution founded in 1971, Liberty now serves more than 100,000 students through its 17 colleges and schools. Liberty offers 600 areas of study, including psychology. Psychology undergraduates may pursue an online AA in psychology or psychology with an emphasis on Christian counseling.

    Requirements for the psychology associate degree include 36-39 credits in foundational skills, such as English, math, and Christian life, and 24 credits for the major. Psychology course requirements include developmental psychology, introduction to research, and psychology of personality. Students interested in the degree in Christian counseling also take courses introducing Christian counseling.

    Online classes at Liberty run for eight weeks and start eight times per year. Liberty provides electronic textbooks at no additional cost for undergraduates.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Arts in Psychology
    School Status: Private
    Available Concentrations: Christian counseling
    Tuition: $390/credit
    Credit Requirements: 60 credits
    Program Length: 1.5 years (average)

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.0 (for good standing)

    Contact

    Phone: (800) 424-9595
    Email: luoundergrad@liberty.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  2. Colorado Christian University
    Location

    Lakewood, CO

    Tuition

    $25031

    Established in 1914, CCC serves more than 8,000 students, including more than 5,500 adult undergraduates enrolled in online programs taught from a Christian perspective. CCC typically offers online courses in five-week blocks, designed to take one at a time. Students may access the school's 60-credit AS in psychology online or in a hybrid format.

    The psychology AS includes 30 general education credits in subjects like philosophy, Biblical studies, humanities, math, science, and English. Major core requirements include relational psychology, interpersonal relationships, transformational psychology, and behavioral psychology.

    Applicants must submit a recommendation from a spiritual leader. Students may earn up to 45 credits for life experience or transfer up to 45 credits. Graduates may transfer their credits into CCC's BS in applied psychology.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Science in Psychology
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $469/credit
    Credit Requirements: 60 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online or hybrid
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.8 minimum
    Standardized Tests: 21 ACT or 1460 SAT (1060 new SAT)

    Contact

    Phone: (303) 963-3311
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  3. South Texas College
    Location

    McAllen, TX

    Tuition

    $1610

    Founded in 1993, STC serves more than 31,000 students online and at five campuses in southern Texas. STC offers 123 degrees and certificates, including 36 online undergraduate programs that do not require students to come to campus. Associate degree options include a 60-credit, online AA in psychology.

    Ideal for students looking to transfer to a four-year college, STC's psychology degree requires core courses in history, philosophy, government, and composition. Psychology classes offered include general psychology, social psychology, and statistical methods in psychology.

    STC admissions remain open to any high school graduate. The school provides 24-hour online tutoring and gives every student three free hours of tutoring each semester. STC holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Arts in Psychology
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $77/credit in-district; $87/credit in-state; $200/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 60 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Contact

    Phone: (855) 468-6782
    Email: support@southtexascollege.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  4. Regent University
    Location

    Virginia Beach, VA

    Tuition

    $16779

    A private, Christian university in Virginia, Regent serves nearly 11,000 students through online programs for adults age 24 and above and on-campus programs for traditional students. Regent offers a 64-credit online AA in psychology taught from a Christian perspective.

    General education requirements for psychology majors include courses in the Bible and Christianity, economics, history, math, science, and literature. Psychology students take five eight-week online classes to complete the major, including theories of personality and research methods, and select from additional course topics in abnormal psychology, social psychology, and psychological assessments.

    Online applicants must complete an admissions questionnaire and may submit unofficial transcripts. Psychology majors must complete half of their psychology credits at Regent and maintain a 2.0 overall GPA. The university caps tuition for military students.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Arts in Psychology
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $395/credit
    Credit Requirements: 64 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

    Contact

    Phone: (800) 681-5906
    Email: psycounadmissions@regent.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  5. Northeast Community College
    Location

    Norfolk, NE

    Tuition

    $8457

    Northeast offers day, evening, and online classes through its main campus, three extended campuses, and two regional offices. Northeast provides 11 associate of arts degrees online, including a 60-credit, AA in social science.

    Recommended core courses for the social science major include history, government, sociology, and economics. Northeast also requires general education courses in science, math, and English. Psychology course offerings at the school include lifespan psychology, social psychology, and abnormal psychology.

    Applicants must submit transcripts for all schools previously attended. Services available to online students include tutoring, advising, career services, and counseling. Northeast reports a completion rate of 79.5% for eLearning courses.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Arts in Social Science
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $99/credit in-state; $100/credit IA and ND; $139/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 60 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online or hybrid
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or ASSET/COMPASS placement test scores

    Contact

    Phone: (402) 844-7260
    Email: admission@northeast.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  6. Sheridan College
    Location

    Sheridan, WY

    Tuition

    $8498

    One of two campuses of the Northern Wyoming Community College District, Sheridan serves about 1,700 students through on-campus, online, hybrid, and video conferencing classes. Sheridan offers a social science associate degree entirely online and a psychology associate degree that students may complete partially online.

    Sheridan's online AA in social science requires courses in anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Students interested in psychology may take psychology electives to fulfill requirements of the major, including forensic psychology, sports and exercise psychology, and educational psychology.

    Resources available to online students include technical support, a collaborative search tool for online classes, an orientation to online learning, and online access to the library and bookstore. Some exams in online classes may require proctoring.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Social Science AA
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $139/credit in-state; $188/credit WUE; $337 out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 60-61 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online

    Contact

    Phone: (307) 675-0505
    Email: admissions@sheridan.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook

  7. Casper College
    Location

    Casper, WY

    Tuition

    $6438

    Founded in 1945 as Wyoming's first junior college, Casper College now offers more than 140 on-campus, entirely online, and hybrid degree and certificate programs, including a hybrid associate of science in psychology. Students may take 70% or more of their courses online. Graduates may complete their bachelor's degree through a transfer agreement with the University of Wyoming.

    Casper's AS in psychology requires 32 credits of general education, such as math and English, and 29 credits in the major. Required psychology courses include research methods, developmental psychology, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. Additional course topics include drugs and behavior and biological psychology.

    Casper offers three start dates per year. Applicants may apply online and then submit placement scores and transcripts.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Science in Psychology
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $135/credit in-state; $184/credit WUE; $333/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 61
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: Hybrid (70% or more online)

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.0
    Standardized Tests: ACT/SAT or placement scores

    Contact

    Phone: (800) 442-2963
    Email: admissions@caspercollege.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  8. Upper Iowa University
    Location

    Fayette, IA

    Tuition

    $21630

    Founded in 1857, UIU serves 5,200 students from more than 20 locations in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Program offerings include self-paced, online, dual enrollment, and professional development programs. UIU offers a 60-credit online associate of arts in psychology that requires students to earn at least 15 credits from the school.

    The psychology major requires 36 general education and nine general elective credits, including one psychology class from each of the following categories: learning, individual differences, biological bases and behavior, developmental changes in behavior, and electives. Psychology course topics include social gerontology, personality, and motivation.

    UIU offers a free online application. Online classes at UIU run eight weeks (six weeks in the summer). Enrolled students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Arts in Psychology
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $488/credit
    Credit Requirements: 60 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

    Contact

    Phone: (800) 553-4150
    Email: info@uiu.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  9. Northwest Iowa Community College
    Location

    Sheldon, IA

    Tuition

    $10070

    Located in Sheldon, Iowa, NCC offers 60-credit associate degrees online. Students take courses on campus one day per week and complete all remaining requirements online. NCC graduates may benefit from transfer agreements with several colleges, including the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

    Associate degree requirements at NCC include 45 credits of general education and 15 elective credits from any area, such as psychology. Students must complete at least 15 credits at NCC. Psychology course offerings include introduction to psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, social psychology, and educational psychology.

    After completing an application, prospective students must submit official transcripts. After being accepted, students may apply for financial aid and must submit placement test scores before enrolling in courses.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Arts with Transfer Major in Psychology
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $189/credit
    Credit Requirements: 60 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online, on-campus, or combination
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: ACT or ACCUPLACER placement tests

    Contact

    Phone: (800) 352-4907
    Email: admissions@nwicc.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  10. Saint Joseph's College of Maine
    Location

    Standish, ME

    Tuition

    $27221

    Located on the shores of Sebago Lake outside Portland, Maine, SJC offers a private, Catholic education to about 1,000 on-campus students and 2,500 online students. Online undergraduates may select from among 11 degree options, including an AS in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in psychology.

    The SJC associate degree requires 24 general education credits in English composition, history, religion, human nature, environmental science, and social science. Requirements for the psychology minor include psychopathology, lifespan development, learning theories, and social psychology. All interdisciplinary studies students also complete a capstone course in which students apply their knowledge to professional situations.

    SJC offers rolling admissions and a free online application, or students may complete the Common Application. Students must earn at least 25% of the 66 credits required for an associate degree at SJC through the college.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Associate of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Psychology Minor
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $356/credit
    Credit Requirements: 66 credits

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: Optional

    Contact

    Phone: (800) 752-4723
    Email: onlineadmissions@sjcme.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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