How to Get a Psychology DegreeHow to Get a Psychology DegreeHow to Get a Psychology Degree

The need for psychological expertise is not solely reserved for a therapist’s office. An increasing number of industries are realizing the correlation between understanding 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?

Reasons to Get a Psychology Degree

Earning a degree in psychology confirms your training in human behavior and mental processes, attesting to a particular standard of academic knowledge, research skill, and subject matter expertise. This degree can yield a number of personal and professional benefits, including the following:

  • Earning a psychology degree lays the foundation for further studies in multiple areas of human behavior, such as sleep, memory, concentration, and cognition.
  • A psychology degree can open the door to many potential career paths in psychology, from clinical and therapeutic roles to more research-based positions.
  • A psychology degree also provides a firm foundation for interdisciplinary pursuits, such as criminal justice, biology, education, and law.
  • Completing a psychology program can help cultivate practical skills including research, analytical thinking, communication, and empathy.
  • The practical skills attained are also an asset for a variety of jobs in the corporate world, with many psychology majors finding work in career paths such as human resources, sales, marketing, management, and customer service.
  • Because psychologists often play direct clinical and therapeutic roles, this is also a good degree path for those who simply want to help people.

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

The length of time it takes to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology can depend on your program. Most commonly, it takes four years to complete a bachelor’s in psychology. With eligible transfer credits, 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; with a part-time schedule, students could earn the degree in about three and a half years.

3 Steps for How to Get a Psychology Degree

Here are three steps you should consider on the pathway to getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

1. Choose 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 (BA) 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 students’ 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.

To learn more about enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Maryville, connect with the admissions office directly.

2. Complete a Senior Research Project>

The typical bachelor’s in psychology curriculum will culminate with a major research project. Completing this project is an invaluable way for students to gain hands-on experience in their field, and to cultivate skills including research design and critical thinking. In addition, students will learn how to document and present their research findings in a way that complies with American Psychological Association standards.

3. Take Advantage of Hands-On Learning Opportunities

While classroom education is pivotal, it’s equally important for psychology students to seek opportunities to engage in real research and hands-on clinical work. Internships and postdoctoral fellowships often create the best opportunities and can also be meaningful stepping stones to licensure. Other opportunities may include working with a faculty member on research or finding your own hands-on field experience through volunteering, nonprofit work, or part-time jobs.

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 $48,520 as of May 2021.
  • 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 $62,290 as of 2021.
  • 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 2021, survey researchers earned a median salary of $59,740, 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.

How to Get a Psychology Degree: The Curriculum

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 right bachelor’s in psychology program curriculum can help students stand out in this burgeoning field.

Courses in Maryville’s online psychology degree program include the following:

  • 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.

Earn Your Psychology Degree with Maryville

Maryville has designed its online bachelor’s in psychology program to equip students with a firm grasp of modern psychological principles. Additionally, the Maryville curriculum is carefully designed to ensure compliance with the standards set out by the American Psychological Association.

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

Recommended Readings

What Is Telepsychology?

History of Women in Psychology

What Is Social Psychology? Definition, Key Terms & Examples 


Indeed, 14 Reasons to Earn a Psychology Degree (and Why It’s Important)

The Muse, “What to Do with a Psychology Major: 8 Jobs You Should Consider”

Verywell Mind, “5 Types of Psychology Degrees”

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

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

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey Researchers

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