How to Get a Psychology Degree

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The need for psychological expertise is not solely reserved for a therapist’s office. An increasingly broad range of industries are realizing the correlation between human behavior and reaching business goals. In turn, there is a growing interest in hiring job candidates who have a psychology degree. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology can provide students with the skills to take advantage of these professional opportunities, which could lead to fulfilling careers in a host of unique settings, from small businesses to healthcare facilities. But what does the pathway to getting a psychology degree look like?

A female mental health counselor comforts a female client

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Determining how to get a psychology degree entails more than finding the right course curriculum. According to the American Psychological Association, there are five comprehensive learning goals that should be present in any psychology program.

  • Cultivate a knowledge base in psychology
  • Develop scientific inquiry and critical thinking processes
  • Encourage ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world
  • Hone communication skills
  • Promote professional development

These tenets collectively cultivate essential professional skills, such as problem solving, time management, and the ability to work in a team environment. These diverse skills can enable students to apply their education in psychology in a broad spectrum of corporate settings and situations.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?

The length of time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology can depend on your program. Most commonly, it takes four years to complete a BA in Psychology. With eligible credit transfers, however, students may be able to earn their degree in less time.

In Maryville University’s online psychology degree program, students with eligible credits may be able to earn their degree in two years. This would involve a full-time schedule or three-and-a-half years with a part-time schedule.

Common courses in a psychology degree program include:

  • Critical thinking in social sciences. In this course, students learn the theoretical foundations behind the social sciences to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers in their field.
  • Multicultural psychology. Students in this course explore the research and theories of concepts such as human diversity, identity, and oppression, as outlined by the American Psychological Association.
  • Human cognition. This course covers concepts and theories behind neural basis, memory, language, decision-making, attention, and perception.

Choosing the Right Psychology Degree

Because graduates can apply their psychology expertise in fields beyond the realm of traditional therapy, it’s important to consider the numerous psychology programs that are available.

The most important part of this process is choosing a degree program that closely aligns with a student’s interests and career goals. A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, for instance, may be a good fit for students who would prefer to apply their skills in a corporate setting or in a business-related capacity, while a Bachelor of Science in Psychology may be better for students who are interested in a research-focused career.

A program’s flexibility may also play a vital role in this decision-making process, particularly for those pursuing a degree as they work. To that end, an online psychology degree program from a reputable university can offer unique solutions to students who are juggling academic life with real-world demands. While online curricula mirror the curricula offered on campus, the former option often offers less rigidity and more convenience to fit in with student’s busy schedules. Degrees obtained online also carry as much weight as those completed in a traditional classroom setting. Because of the power of the internet, students have ample opportunities to connect with faculty and obtain insight from their experience.

Careers in Psychology with a Bachelor’s Degree

Because a BA in Psychology hones several fundamental business-related skills, earning a psychology degree can open a wealth of career paths spread among an eclectic range of industries. These job opportunities feature a tangible element of human interaction that enables students to use their knowledge of human behavior to make a positive corporate impact.

Possible careers in psychology with a bachelor’s degree include the following.

  • Mental health counselors. These professionals help people with behavioral disorders, addictions, and mental health issues access resources for treatment and recovery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mental health counselors earned a median salary of $46,240 in 2019.
  • Human resources specialists. These specialists recruit and train employees, mediate workplace issues, and maintain policies and procedures relating to workers’ conduct. The BLS reports that human resources specialists earned a median salary of $61,920 in 2019.
  • Survey researchers. These researchers build surveys to gather data about people’s behaviors and beliefs. They also analyze survey data to help solve problems and propose new initiatives for companies, government organizations, and other entities. In 2019, survey researchers earned a median salary of $59,170, according to the BLS.

Obtaining a BA in Psychology can also lay the groundwork for pursuing advanced degrees, including those that go beyond the field of psychology, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Health Administration (MHA), or a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership.

Get a Psychology Degree at Maryville University

Determining how to get a psychology degree can be the first step toward a fulfilling career, one that doesn’t necessarily involve traditional therapeutic scenarios. The skills obtained through a BA in Psychology curriculum can prepare students to apply the basic principles behind human behavioral observation to the business world, an element that more industries are finding valuable. Choosing the proper bachelor of psychology program can help students stand out in this burgeoning field.

Maryville University has designed its online bachelor’s in psychology program to equip students with a firm grasp of modern psychological principles.

Regardless of what direction you’re looking to pursue, learn how earning a psychology degree through Maryville University’s bachelor’s in psychology program can help prepare you for the range of opportunities often available to psychology graduates.

Recommended Reading

How We Become Ourselves: Exploring Human Development in Psychology

Multicultural Counseling: Types, Strategies, and Techniques

The Future of Psychology: New Methods for Helping People


Maryville University, Online Psychology Bachelor’s Degree

Maryville University, Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Curriculum

Maryville University, Undergraduate Admission Requirements

American Psychological Association, APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major

American Psychological Association, Choosing a Program

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Human Resources Specialists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Psychologists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey Researchers