How Long Is a Psychology Degree?

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Expertise in psychology is an asset not only in a career such as counseling but also in other fields in which knowledge of human behavior can be essential. For example, the American Psychological Association reported in 2021 that roughly 12% to 15% of individuals who have undergraduate or graduate degrees in psychology find their first jobs in management. Other fields open to individuals who earn degrees in psychology include social science research, market research, and human resources.

A student taking notes while attending an online class.

Psychology Degree Program Completion Timeline

How long a psychology degree program is going to take depends on several factors. Whether you take online or on-campus classes and whether you attend full time or part time will make a big difference.

Online vs. On-Campus Psychology Programs

One of the foremost factors in the length of a psychology degree program is whether you pursue an online or on-campus education. Both online and on-campus psychology degree programs will generally require students to earn the same number of credits — usually around 128. But depending on an individual’s schedule and competing demands for their time, the enhanced flexibility associated with online courses may enable them to earn those credits more efficiently.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time Psychology Programs

Whether you take online or on-campus courses, you can pursue a psychology degree program on a full-time or part-time basis. A full-time student can generally complete a bachelor’s degree in about eight semesters, but that time frame can be shorter if summer courses are available. A part-time student will need longer to complete a bachelor’s degree in psychology; exactly how long depends on the course load the student can manage.

Another factor to consider is eligible transfer credits. Any transferable credits a student may bring to a psychology degree program can expedite completion of the program, as long as the institution accepts those credits.

How Long Is the Psychology Program at Maryville University?

Students with eligible transfer credits can complete Maryville University’s online bachelor’s in psychology program in:

  • Fewer than two years if they enroll full time
  • Fewer than three and a half years if they enroll part time

The Maryville University program is completely online, so the convenience and flexibility of the program could be a significant factor for individuals with busy schedules. Students can work at their own pace and begin the program in the semester (fall, spring, or summer) that works best for them.

Benefits of Online Psychology Programs

While it’s good to know how long a psychology degree program will take, it’s also important to recognize the benefits of pursuing a program online. For example:

  • The flexibility of online programs can enable students to maintain a balance between their educational goals and their work and family commitments.
  • Students can eliminate travel to on-campus classrooms and can obtain an education from any program that offers online learning.

According to Every Learner Everywhere, a network of partner organizations that advocates for digital learning advancement:

  • Innovations in digital education can improve success rates in foundational courses and reduce the time it takes to complete courses and programs by improving convenience and access to education.
  • Advances in digital education can reduce the cost of tuition and increase the rate of degree completion.

The World Economic Forum has highlighted additional benefits of learning online. For example:

  • Online learning provides students with a great opportunity to develop organizational skills, self-discipline, and emotional intelligence that will benefit them later in their careers, particularly if they work remotely from home.
  • When taking online classes, students often can strengthen their skills in presentation and digital collaboration.

Credit Breakdown of Maryville University’s Psychology Program

The length of a psychology degree at Maryville University depends on the rate at which a student completes the 128-credit curriculum. Maryville’s online psychology program consists of:

  • General electives: 50 credits
  • General education courses: 39 credits
  • Psychology major core courses: 24 credits
  • Social science research sequence: 15 credits

Examples of the program’s psychology major core courses include:

  • Social Psychology. In this course, students gain the ability to analyze human behavior in social situations by applying the social psychology methods and theory they learn.
  • Multicultural Psychology. In this course, students learn about issues of human diversity theory and research in areas such as religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, race, ethnicity, and language.
  • Human Cognition. In this course, students learn about processes such as memory, perception, attention, problem-solving, language, and decision-making.
  • Biological Psychology. In this course, students make the connection between human behaviors and biological systems, covering topics such as sleep, memory, psychological disorders, and emotions.

The program’s social science research sequence courses include:

  • Research Design. In this course, students learn about scientific research in the social and behavioral sciences, and related matters such as the principles, methods, and ethics associated with social science research. Students can develop original research questions, related hypotheses, and strategies for investigation as part of this course.
  • Understanding Statistical Inference. In this course, students learn about descriptive and inferential statistics, including concepts such as central tendency and variability, sampling distributions, correlation and regression, and hypothesis testing. Students complete a statistical software project as part of this course.
  • Senior Project. In this course, students complete a capstone project. They work with a faculty member to conduct a research project that encompasses data collection, analysis, a written paper, and a presentation.

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Investing the time it takes to earn a psychology degree is a worthwhile endeavor. Having expertise in psychology can prepare individuals for a variety of career opportunities in which they have a chance to make a difference in society. If you have an interest in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, explore Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program. Offering the flexibility of online learning and the chance to work at your own pace, the program could be what you’ve been seeking. Embark on your study of human behavior today.

Recommended Reading

Going Back to School for Psychology

Psychology vs. Counseling

Social Psychology vs. Clinical Psychology

Sources

American Psychological Association, “Datapoint: Management Career Trajectories of Psychology Graduates”

American Psychological Association, APA Dictionary of Psychology: Neuromarketing

American Psychological Association, “A Psychologist at PepsiCo”

Cogent Social Sciences, “The Current Phase of Social Sciences Research: A Thematic Overview of the Literature”

Every Learner Everywhere, “Digital Learning Innovation Trends”

World Economic Forum, “The Unexpected Benefits of Virtual Education”