Find a School >
Healthcare Colleges Home > Healthcare Programs > Psychology Programs

Psychology Programs

Psychology Programs

What are Psychologists?

Psychologists focus on how the human mind works and how people behave toward each other and their environment according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They collect information through scientific studies, observation, interviews and tests. This information allows them to treat individuals, couples, families, and others with psychological issues affecting their emotions, behaviors and thoughts. For more information, see our psychologist career page.

Psychology Program Information

Psychology programs can be found in a variety of formats, including on campus, online and in a hybrid fashion, combining virtual with classroom-based education. In addition to core psychology courses, psychology programs can consist of general education classes, lab work and school-sponsored experiential learning opportunities. Students may also get the chance to do an internship with a professional psychologist or at a clinic. For those looking to become licensed psychologists, earning a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited program is fundamental, so it's important to check whether psychology programs are accepted by the regulatory organizations in the state they wish to practice in.

Psychology Program Types

Those interested in studying psychology can find programs at many levels, including:

  • Diploma/Certificate: Psychology diplomas and certificates introduce students to the field and can prepare them for associate or bachelor's studies. More advanced certificates are also available at some psychology schools. These programs are designed for those who have earned their bachelor's degrees in another field and wish to enter graduate psychology programs, or for professionals looking to augment their current career skills. Program lengths vary, but students can expect fewer credit requirements than degree programs.
  • Associate Degree: Associate degree programs typically take two years to complete and teach students the core concepts of psychology. While more advanced degrees are needed to become a psychologist, skills gained from these programs may translate to other career fields, including marketing research. Credits earned may also transfer to some bachelor's programs.
  • Bachelor's Degree: Four years of full-time study are usually required to earn a bachelor's degree. These programs typically provide students with a more well-rounded education than associate or certificate programs. Bachelor's psychology programs can provide a solid foundation for master's and doctoral level studies.
  • Master's Degree: Aspiring school or industrial-organizational psychologists need at least a master's degree according to the BLS. A master's may also be required as a prerequisite to some doctoral programs. Typically, a full-time student can complete a master's degree in psychology in two years, but this can vary. To demonstrate their mastery of the material, students may need to write a thesis, complete a capstone project or pass a comprehensive exam.
  • Doctoral Degree: Clinical, counseling and research psychologists usually need doctoral degrees to practice, according to the BLS. Earning a doctorate could also lead to research and teaching positions. Doctoral programs can entail examinations, practical work and/or a dissertation. The length of these programs varies considerably, but may take upwards of seven or more years.

Psychology programs may help students fulfill certification or state licensing requirements. Before enrolling, potential students should check to see if psychology schools and programs are approved by their state's regulatory boards.

Psychology Course Descriptions

While every psychology program is different, they often share similar core curricula. Here are a few courses psychology students may see during their studies.


  • Psychology Foundations: Surveys the basics of psychology, exploring how individuals behave according to their environments. Other areas of focus include learning and memory, motivations and emotions, and sensation and perception.
  • Psychology as a Science and Career: Examines psychology as a social science and explores psychology-related professions, paying special interest to issues such as ethics.
  • Social Psychology: This class investigates how individuals interact with one another and explores topics such as conformity, group dynamics, anti-social behavior and self perception.


  • Psychopathology: Contrasts normal versus pathological behaviors, examining the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.
  • Psychological Research Methods: Examines various research techniques used in the field, including performing tests and analyzing findings.

Psychology Specialties

At psychology schools, students may gain knowledge about particular specialties to later pursue careers and professional certification in those areas. According to the BLS, psychology courses and programs in the following specialties may be available:

  • Clinical Psychology: Focuses on the treatment of behavioral, emotional and mental disorders.
  • Counseling Psychology: Teaches individuals how to deal with personal challenges.
  • Forensic Psychology: Helps judges and juries understand the behavior and mindset of those involved in criminal cases.
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology: Examines ways to improve quality of life for employees and tackle other challenges through the use of psychology.
  • School Psychology: Examines strategies for helping students overcome learning and behavioral problems.
  • Social Psychology: Centers on social interactions between individuals and groups, and how they can be improved.

Related Career Options

Students considering psychology programs may also be interested in pursuing education paths that could lead to similar careers, including:

  • Mental Health Counselors: Work with individuals who are suffering from mental and emotional disorders. Requires master's degree in counseling as well as state licensure.
  • Postsecondary Teachers: Instruct students at the college level. May also conduct research and publish papers. Typically require a Ph.D.
  • School and Career Counselors: Help students develop social skills and succeed in school. Also assist in the career decision-making process. Requires master's degree and a state license.

Links to Sources and Associations

Visit the following websites to find more about the field of psychology:

American Board of Professional Psychology

American Psychological Association

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards

National Association of School Psychologists

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Psychologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Explore these online and campus healthcare programs

Refine School Matches
Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
Clear All




Results:  7
Matching School Ads
M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
AA in Psychology
  • Liberty University's online programs ranked in the top 5 of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level**
  • No standardized testing if you meet admission requirements
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Psychology (BA)
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • We're now Non-Profit.
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
AA in Psychology

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

New England College was founded in 1946 to educate soldiers coming home from war. The same great support system that welcomed returning GIs is still a hallmark of NEC today. From enrollment services representatives who’ll guide you through the application process to interactive tools that help you collaborate with instructors and classmates, NEC inspires you to reach the milestones of your educational journey.

  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology
  • SJU provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts
  • A Jesuit school with 8,415 students in all programs for 2016 grads &undergrads
  • Institutionally Accredited by the MSCHE and the AACSB (Haub School of Business)
  • 96% of 2016 graduates employed, pursuing graduate study or volunteering full time
  • Qualifying students can receive financial assistance with tuition costs
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
B.A. in Psychology
Good for Working Adults
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
MA Psychology
  • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
  • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
  • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
  • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
  • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits