Best Online Psychology Degree Programs
Here you can explore online psychology degree programs and compare schools to help you consider what you might do after graduating with a degree in psychology.
If you’ve ever considered a career in psychology but don’t have time to commute to college for years, why not work toward an online psychology degree in the comfort of your own home?
There are plenty of online and traditional universities all over the U.S. now offering degrees in this popular field.
What Are the Best Online Psychology Degrees?
There are several types of online programs in psychology-related fields. Click on an area that you’re interested in to jump to that part of the page.
The key is finding the specialty that suits your interests.
Psychology – General
Earning a degree in general psychology can help you develop a broad understanding of the field of psychology in general.
Instead of focusing on one specific area, general psychology programs give an overview of things related to the human mind and how it works.
Depending on whether or not you’d like to attend medical school one day, you can potentially use a bachelor’s degree in psychology to work towards a job as a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
Either job, like most psychology-related jobs, is typically well-suited for someone who likes to listen to others, is empathetic, and wants to help people cope with the stresses of their daily lives.
Depression, anxiety, phobias, and addiction are studied in general psychology.
Addictions and Recovery
Addiction is a disease, and those with it need treatment, like with other diseases. There are all kinds of addictions, including drug, alcohol, and smoking addictions. However, those are only the tip of the iceberg.
People can become addicted to all types of things, including gambling, shopping, the internet, food, and more.
Psychologists specializing in addiction work with addicts to treat the underlying causes of their addictions, not just the addictions themselves.
Psychologists help people overcome their addictions by helping them identify the causes of their addictions.
Being empathetic can be a very beneficial trait for addiction and recovery specialists. Many addicts have had horrible trauma in their pasts and have often degraded themselves in pursuit of feeding their addictions.
Behavioral psychologists are psychologists who specialize in changing a person’s behavior, particularly those behaviors considered negative or harmful.
Negative behaviors may include things like addictions and anxiety-related behaviors, but the field encompasses more than just those.
For example, behavioral psychologists work with patients with OCD tendencies, ADHD, and other behavioral disorders. They also work to treat various compulsions, such as binge-eating, self-harm, hair pulling, scab picking, etc.
Behavioral psychologists almost always go on to get their higher-level degrees because most of these behaviors must be treated with a combination of one-on-one communication, therapy, and some type of medication.
Child & Adolescent Development
In addition to all the qualities we’ve listed above, a love of children is a beneficial trait for psychologists who work in the child and adolescent development field.
It takes a certain type of person to comfortably spend his or her entire workday surrounded by kids. If you can’t do that, this probably isn’t the field for you.
Child psychologists work with adolescents of all ages and help them overcome a vast array of problems. Some of these kids come from broken, abusive homes and need counseling.
Others have conditions, such as ADHD, OCD, ODD, depression, and anxiety, that require regular therapy sessions.
Simply put, educational psychologists help people learn how to learn. Many people, children and adults both, are born with or suffer injuries that result in impairments to their cognitive functions. For whatever reason, they’re unable to learn new information in normal ways.
While most educational psychologists work with children and teens, there are some that specialize in working with adults with cognitive disabilities.
Educational psychologists’ potential job duties are numerous. They give patients diagnostic tests and psycho-educational assessments to determine what type of learning disabilities the patients have.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Mindhunter or seen Dr. Lance Sweets questioning suspects in Bones, you likely have an idea of what a forensic psychologist does. These psychologists are also known as “criminal psychologists.”
These psychologists question and study the responses and behaviors of criminals, especially violent criminals, such as murderers, sexual offenders, and terrorists.
In addition to helping investigators interrogate potential suspects, forensic psychologists do other things too, including:
- Preparing witnesses to take the stand
- Examining crime scenes
- Helping compile criminal suspect profiles
- Recommending sentencing to prosecutors (e.g. jail vs. psychiatric hospital)
- Providing counseling to inmates
If you wish to pursue a career in forensic psychology, being shrewd, intelligent, and good with puzzles can be helpful. You may also need quite a bit of fortitude to be able to sit across from hardened criminals and listen to some of their stories.
Mental Health Counseling
Mental health counselors often have similar job duties as general psychologists.
They usually work one-on-one with patients on a variety of psychological issues, such as addiction or substance abuse, depression, overcoming trauma or grief, and unhealthy relationships.
There are other numerous topics that counselors work with patients to overcome, including:
- Fear of aging
- Anger management
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Parenting and relationship skills
- Self and body image issues
In addition to working with individuals, professional counselors sometimes hold group sessions. These can be group therapy sessions, couples or family sessions, or larger group sessions for people with similar problems, such as substance abuse groups or domestic violence victims groups.
Organizational psychology is one of the lesser-known fields of psychology, but it’s a very important one.
Organizational psychologists work for businesses, companies, and other organizations. They assess employees and see how they fit with the overall company dynamic.
Organizational psychologists usually report directly to management. They give them insight into which employees might do well in upper-level management, which employees could handle the stress of a challenging promotion, and even which employees just aren’t working out in the company.
However, this isn’t all organizational psychologists do. They also, at management’s request, work directly with a company’s employees. They often implement team-building exercises and strategies to help the company function more cohesively as a unit.
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