2022 Best Online Associates in Psychology Degrees

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An associates in psychology is a versatile college degree that could help set you up for success in a variety of areas.

Best Online Associates in Psychology Degrees

Whether you want a degree that prepares you for the workforce or gets you ready for more schooling, a psychology associates degree could be a strategic choice.

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To help you decide whether this is the program for you, let’s take a look at the course topics, the career opportunities, and the earning potential associated with psychology studies.

Online Associates in Psychology Degrees

Woman taking Online Associates in Psychology Degree

Perhaps you’ve always enjoyed working with others. You may enjoy spending time with different people, getting to know their personalities, and learning more about the inner workings of their minds. If so, you might have your sights set on a career in psychology.

An online associate degree could be the first step toward achieving that goal. Associate degrees are two-year college programs that introduce students to the basics of a field. Psychology is a popular choice for associate degrees because of its relevance. People’s thoughts and behaviors influence nearly everything in life.

Whether you want to work in business, counseling, law enforcement, education, or another field, your psychology classes may influence your work. In this program, you’ll learn about many different subfields of psychology, such as:

  • Behavioral psychology
  • Cognition and memory
  • Lifespan development
  • Personality theory
  • Social psychology
  • Social science research and writing

In addition, you may learn practical skills, such as conflict resolution or introductory counseling strategies. Your college coursework may also provide an overview of career opportunities in psychology so that you can make a plan for what you’d like to do after graduation.

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Job opportunities for graduates might include being a school paraprofessional, a psychiatric or psychological aide, a police officer, or a human service assistant. Many entry-level jobs that don’t require a specific degree might welcome someone with your background. Several semesters of college study and a foundational understanding of human thought and behavior can be useful in a variety of sectors.

Getting an associate degree in psychology could also encourage you to keep going with your schooling. The work you do in your associate degree program could potentially put you halfway toward a bachelor degree, which could open up additional job opportunities. For example, some federal jobs in law enforcement or corrections might require a bachelor’s degree.

If you want to become a therapist or a psychologist, you might choose to go to graduate school for a master’s degree or a doctorate.

Psychology Careers & Salaries

Associates in Psychology Careers & Salaries

Studying psychology could help prepare you to work effectively with people. If you’d enjoy being with kids all day, you could pursue a job in a childcare center or as a classroom assistant. If you’d prefer to use your interpersonal skills for a job with adults, you could think about being a customer service representative or an administrative assistant.

You might be an especially fitting candidate for secretarial or administrative jobs in a counseling center or a social service organization. There are other jobs you could consider along those lines. An associate degree is usually sufficient training to work as an assistant in a social or human service organization. That can include community service agencies and residential facilities.

Home care organizations may have openings for health or personal care aides. There may be some on-the-job training in addition to your associate degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following list is representative of potential career paths you can consider with a social science associate degree.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Police and Detectives $66,020
Social Science Research Assistants $49,720
Correctional Officers and Jailers $47,920
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants $39,680
Social and Human Service Assistants $37,610
Customer Service Representatives $36,920
Psychiatric Aides $30,260
Home Health and Personal Care Aides $29,430
Teacher Assistants $29,360
Childcare Workers $27,490

If your eventual goal is to work as a psychologist, that job requires at least a master’s degree and usually a doctorate. The median annual salary for psychologists is $81,040 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Some associate graduates work as aides in psychiatric facilities, whether inpatient or outpatient. Psychiatric technician might be another career option, but it could require some training beyond an associate degree.

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In some cases, graduates are able to do related research. Some social science research assistants need only a few years of college experience. Finally, jobs in criminal justice could be another place where your psychology knowledge would be beneficial. You might have opportunities to work in law enforcement or corrections.

Associate of Arts in Psychology Curriculum & Courses

Professor & Associate in Psychology students discussing

An associate degree program will include a variety of courses on psychology-related topics so that you can gain an entry-level understanding of this field. Here are some course examples:

  • Abnormal Psychology: In this class, you’ll learn about normal and abnormal thought patterns and behaviors, and you’ll study ways that clinical providers diagnose and treat such issues.
  • Biology of Behavior: A course on behavioral science will explore how biological factors play a role in a person’s thoughts and actions.
  • Conflict and Discrimination: There may be a class about problems that arise between people and ways that psychology professionals can help.
  • Counseling Profession: You may spend time exploring counseling career paths and learning about the principles and ethics that guide this profession.
  • Family Dynamics: This course could cover marriage and family relationships and provide an introductory overview of family therapy.
  • General Psychology: An introductory psychology class can set the course for your future studies and introduce you to the foundational principles in this field.
  • Human Development: This class will cover the human lifespan and the various growth and changes that take place physically and mentally.
  • Personality Theory: You’ll learn about various theories of personality and consider how personality plays a role in thoughts, behavior, and psychological practice.
  • Social Psychology: Your studies in social psychology will address people’s understanding of themselves and their social interactions and relationships.
  • Social Science Research: You may take a class that introduces you to the principles and practices used in social science research.

Because Associate of Psychology programs typically require only 60 credit hours, your curriculum may not include all of these courses.

How to Choose an Online Associates Degree in Psychology Program

Man choosing Online Associates Degree in Psychology Program

Many colleges offer online psychology programs. You may want to check out the following characteristics to help you select the right school for you:

  • Accreditation. To make sure you get as much out of your educational investment as possible, it’s necessary to choose a regionally accredited school.
  • Cost. Tuition can vary greatly among schools. Community colleges specialize in associate degrees, and they typically offer tuition discounts to local residents.
  • Curriculum. Each school has its own unique course requirements, and some allow more space for electives. The psychology degrees available may include an Associate of Science (AS), an Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS).
  • Format. An online program may be full-time or part-time. Students might participate in live classes or watch recorded material. Some colleges offer extra services, such as tutoring or clubs, for online students.
  • Professional connections. A college with internship programs could be valuable for building your network. Some schools may also have career services departments that help you transition to the workforce as you approach graduation.
  • Transfer opportunities. Some two-year colleges have articulation agreements with other schools so that graduates can seamlessly enter bachelor’s degree programs.

Different students have different priorities, so it’s helpful to consider your personal preferences as you pick your college.

Admissions Requirements

Student preparing requirements for Online Associates in Psychology

Pursuing an associate degree can be a beneficial way to try out the college experience and see if it’s right for you. First, though, it’s necessary to apply and be accepted. Here’s what you might need for the application process:

  • Application form and a small processing fee
  • Examples of college readiness, such as writing samples or reference letters
  • Proof of high school graduation or GED certificate
  • Scores from the ACT or SAT (not always required)

Many schools have admissions counselors who can guide you through the application process.

Accreditation

University offering Online Associates Degree in Psychology Program

Regional accreditation is the mark of a credible school, so it’s helpful to prioritize it when searching for the right college.

Regional accreditation is granted by regional accrediting organizations that have been recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It is given only to colleges that meet specific standards of excellence.

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Regional accreditation is essential to your academic and professional future. Without it, your college credits may not transfer to other schools or help you transfer into a bachelor program. Employers, too, may be skeptical of a person’s workforce readiness if they did not receive their education from an accredited school.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid for Online Associates Degree in Psychology

Associate degrees require fewer credits than bachelor’s degrees, so they usually cost less. Also, associate degrees are often available from community colleges, which are known for lower tuition rates. Even still, you don’t have to count on lower costs as the only way to save on your education. You can also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you can get state or federal grants or loans.

Scholarships make a difference for many students as well. Sometimes, schools give them out directly. Other times, scholarships are administered by outside organizations. Some employers assist their employees in paying for school, too.

What Is a Psychology Associates Degree?

A psychology associates degree is a two-year undergraduate program that gives students an introduction to college-level psychology studies. In addition to psychology-focused courses, this degree program also includes a variety of general education classes.

The coursework for an associate degree is usually comparable to what’s covered in the first two years of psychology bachelor’s degree curricula. Graduates can often transfer their associate degree credits into bachelors degree programs. Then, they may be able to graduate with a bachelors after just 2 more years of study.

Is Psychology a Good Career?

Research Assistants and project manager in a meeting

Yes, psychology is a good career for many professionals. Many different jobs require understanding people and relating to them, and psychology studies can help you grow in these areas.

Some professionals who follow this career path end up in community service, business, education, or criminal justice organizations. You may be able to earn a reliable income working in this field. For example, correctional officers typically make between $34,600 and $79,340 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

If you continue your education, even more opportunities may be available. Many psychologists make $47,850 to $133,890. The median for industrial-organizational psychologists is $105,310 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What Can You Do with an Associate’s Degree in Psychology?

An Associate of Science in Psychology could help get you ready to work with people. Some graduates find work being a teacher’s aide, a childcare worker, or a customer service representative.

It could also train you for work in a helping industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human and social service assistants are in demand. Potential employers include government agencies, nursing facilities, and rehab programs. Criminal justice opportunities could include working as a police patrol officer or a jailer.

Is Psychology Hard?

Student taking Associates in Psychology online

Studying psychology at the associate degree level will require you to study theories and think about how they apply to real-world people and situations. For example, you may have classes on behavior theory and personality theory.

Psychology courses often require a lot of reading and writing. It’s helpful to be a clear communicator, and you can develop your ability to conduct research and provide citations. People skills are also important in this field. Many psychology careers involve working with others. In preparation, your college courses could include opportunities to refine your interpersonal skills. For instance, you might have class discussions or group projects.

Can I Get an Associates in Psychology Online?

Yes, online study can be a strategic option for people who want to study psychology. Online programs often allow you to earn your degree at your own time and pace. A growing number of universities offer fast psychology degrees online, designed to help you earn your degree in less time.

Many colleges offer online psychology associate degree programs, so you might have your pick of schools that are located fairly close to home or on the other side of the country. Plus, you can earn an online degree without compromising on quality. Accredited schools offer a robust education that’s similar to what’s provided in traditional college classrooms.

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The virtual format may allow you to watch lectures, complete assignments, engage with resources, and dialogue with your peers and professors.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree in Psychology Online?

With full-time enrollment, you can typically earn an associate degree in 2 years. This is considered the standard timeframe.

Online programs are often set up for quicker completion. Some people can finish online programs in about 18 months. Characteristics that often contribute to speedy completion include 8 week class terms and year-round course offerings.

If you’ve taken college courses before, you could look into transferring credits. The more coursework you transfer in, the closer you’ll be to graduation from the very beginning.

What Are the Highest Paying Jobs with an Associate’s Degree in Psychology?

Social Service Assistant & Psychologist talking

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social science studies can be helpful when working as a police officer. Most police and detectives earn between $40,420 and $105,540 each year. The median income for patrol officers is $64,610. Some universities offer online applied psychology degree programs for working police officers.

The research field can also be profitable for people with psychology training. The median annual salary for social science research assistants is $49,720. Working as a correctional officer is another career option with a steady salary. The median pay for that role is $47,920 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Federal government jobs pay the most but may require a bachelor’s degree or relevant work experience.

What’s the Difference Between an AS vs. AA in Psychology?

Your associate degree could be an Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Science (AS).

AA in Psychology AS in Psychology
  • May focus more on human society and relationships
  • Sometimes includes a foreign language requirement
  • Suitable for those who want to the enter the workforce after undergraduate graduation
  • May focus more on behavioral science and research
  • Doesn’t usually require foreign language study
  • More suitable for those who plan to go to graduate school

Whether an AA or an AS in Psychology is best for you will likely depend on your professional and educational goals.

Is an Online Associates Psychology Degree Worth It?

Social Science Researcher and his secretary looking at reports

Yes, an online associates psychology degree is worth it for many students. The principles of psychology are relevant to many fields of work. Whether you’re interested in education, criminal justice, community improvement, or business, you may be able to apply the lessons learned in your psychology program.

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Some related career fields are also experiencing growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that positions for human and social service assistants will grow at a 17% rate over the next 10 years. Jobs for psychiatric technicians and aides could increase at an 11% rate.

Universities Offering Online Associates in Psychology Degree Program

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.

Brescia University

Brescia University

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

Brookdale Community College

Brookdale Community College

Brookdale is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Cairn University

Cairn University

Cairn University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Casper College

Casper College

Casper College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Community College of Philadephia

Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Drury University

Drury University

Drury University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Foothill College

Foothill College

Foothill College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Georgia Military College

Georgia Military College

Georgia Military College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University

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

Liberty University

Liberty University

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

Monroe Community College

Monroe Community College

MCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Point University

Point University

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

Regent University

Regent University

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

South Texas College

South Texas College

South Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands

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

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Waldorf University

Waldorf University

Waldorf University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Associate in Psychology Online.

Man getting his Associate in Psychology online

Psychology is a fascinating field of study, and pursuing an associate degree could be a strategic place to start. As you work toward a psychology AA degree or AS degree, you can learn about lifespan development, abnormal psychology, and personality theory. You could also gain direction for your future school and career options.

Plus, all of this can be done online. If you’re a working college student or need flexibility for other reasons, online college classes could be the solution. An accredited college will provide a solid online education that helps prepare you for the future.

You can start exploring accredited schools today to find the online psychology associate degree program that’s right for you.

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Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.