Choosing a Bachelor’s Degree Program in Psychology
People with an interest in human behavior and the mind tend to pursue a bachelor's degree program in psychology as a way to enhance their knowledge and prepare to enter a career field related to the subject. In addition to assuming a range of entry-level positions related to the field, graduates with a bachelor's degree in psychology often apply to jobs pertaining to social work and human resources, such as psychiatric technicians, caseworkers, public relations officers, and probation officers.
Psychology Bachelor's Education Prerequisites
High school students can prepare to enter a psychology degree program by taking any related courses to the field that are available at their school, which include psychology, statistics, and other sciences.
Graduates of an associate degree program in psychology are equipped with medical terminology knowledge and the basic skills (such as patient care, patient communication, general psychology, human relation, clinical procedure, and diagnostic abilities) that make it easier to obtain a bachelor's in psychology. Many times, credits earned with an associate degree in psychology can be used toward the pursuit of a bachelor's degree.
To apply to a bachelor's degree program in psychology, schools typically require high school transcripts, SAT test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.
Bachelor's in Psychology Coursework
A bachelor's degree in psychology provides an undergraduate-level course of study that generally takes four years to complete. Most programs require students to complete a specific number of designated courses, such as core psychology classes and psychology electives. Depending on the school, a program may have requirements for students, such as taking general psychology, statistics, experimental psychology, and personality psychology.
The coursework of a bachelor's degree in psychology aims to strengthen a student's critical thinking, communication, and organizational skills. A student often gains research experience, and also sharpens his or her abilities to analyze data. In addition to intro-, math and life science classes, common courses in a psychology B.A. degree program include:
- Developmental psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Psychology of learning
- Cognitive psychology
- Social psychology
- Ethical issues in psychology
- History of psychology
The coursework for a psychology degree program not only prepares students to enter entry-level job positions, but to also pursue advanced studies, which may include other fields, such as medicine and law. A student also takes clinical practicum courses before graduating from his or her program.
Factors to Consider
One of the first things to consider when pursing a bachelor's degree in psychology is whether a student wants to obtain a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in the field. A B.A. in Psychology tackles a greater range of issues relating to the field, while a B.S. in Psychology focuses more on the scientific aspect of the subject, and heavily concentrates on neuroscience, clinical psychology, clinical social work, behavioral neuroscience, as well as developmental or cognitive psychology.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's in psychology is one of the most popular degrees in colleges and universities across the United States. It is also one of the most sought-after degrees regarding online learning programs. Since many students have an interest in obtaining a psychology degree, competition for applying to school programs is high.
Other factors to consider when applying to a bachelor's degree program in psychology include:
- School curriculum
- Location and availability of online courses
- Student-to-instructor ratio
- Future career goals
- Interest in pursuing an advanced degree after graduation
- Cost and availability of financial aid
- Status of clinical facilities
Options for Psychology Continuing Education
With a bachelor's degree in psychology, a student qualifies to fill administration and management positions on the corporate and government level, and can work in sales, social work, and in marketing. The next step to furthering an education is to pursue a master's degree in psychology, which creates more opportunities to obtain higher-paying employment, or to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology if they have an interest in teaching on the academic level, or wish to conduct psychology research.
To learn more about the many different options available to students interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology, consider the following selections: