Education

Best Online Applied Psychology Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Applied Psychology programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Applied psychology is the study of how psychological principles can be applied to real-world problems. Applied psychologists work in a variety of settings, including schools, businesses, and government agencies. They use their knowledge of psychology to solve problems in areas such as education, health, and the workplace.

Applied psychology degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in applied psychology, including industrial-organizational psychology, human factors psychology, and health psychology. Students in applied psychology degree programs learn about the different theories and techniques of psychology, and how to apply those theories to real-world problems.

How to Choose the Right Applied Psychology Program

When choosing a program, students need to consider the type of psychology they want to study, the school’s location, the cost of tuition, and the length of the program.

There are many different types of psychology, such as clinical, counseling, developmental, educational, forensic, health, industrial/organizational, and social psychology. Each type of psychology has its own set of subfields and specializations. For example, students interested in clinical psychology might specialize in child psychology, while students interested in industrial/organizational psychology might specialize in human resources.

The location of the school can also be important. Some students prefer to stay close to home, while others want to study in a different city or state. Some students may also want to study abroad.

The cost of tuition is another important factor to consider. Some programs may offer scholarships or financial aid.

The length of the program is also a consideration. Some programs may offer an accelerated track for students who want to finish their degree in less time.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology Programs

The best online programs for Applied Psychology ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Oregon Institute of Technology
Klamath Falls, OR

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Oregon Institute of Technology is a skills-based program that prepares students for a career in psychology. The core curriculum covers topics such as developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and counseling psychology. In addition to the core curriculum, students can choose from a variety of electives to tailor their degree to their specific interests. The program culminates in an externship, which gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in their chosen field of psychology.

Rank 2
Abilene Christian University
Abilene, TX

Abilene Christian University’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is a 128 credit-hour course of study that covers theories of human behavior and mental processes, and their applications. The program helps students develop a versatile skill set rooted in observation, communication and analysis that is applicable across a broad range of fields. The curriculum includes courses on cognition and learning, social psychology, experimental psychology methods, psychological measurement, abnormal psychology, counseling theories and practices, and the history of psychology. The program also offers elective courses on topics such as stress and emotional health, conflict management, applied sports psychology, child psychology, and team leadership and development.

Rank 3
Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, IL

The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology from Loyola University Chicago provides students with training in business principles, social psychology, personality studies, and industrial psychology. This concentration is designed for those pursing careers in leadership and management, career development, employee relations, training, coaching, worker productivity, and human services. The program offers adult learners training in the scientific study of human behavior, emotion, cognition and motivation.

Rank 4
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Counseling and Applied Psychological Science degree from Arizona State University is a unique program that focuses on cultural diversity and promoting psychological well-being. The program provides a foundation in counseling theories, addiction, trauma, lifespan development, group counseling, and professional ethics. Students in the program will learn active listening, cultural sensitivity, and group dynamics. The program includes a hands-on internship where students can shadow a licensed therapist and practice counseling theory.

Rank 5
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, WI

The University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology is a 100% online program that is designed to be flexible and tailored to individual interests and goals. The program offers courses in applied areas such as Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Consumer Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The program is designed to prepare students for graduate school admission.

Rank 6
Biola University
La Mirada, CA

Biola University’s Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology is designed to integrate the scientific study of human behavior with a biblical understanding of human nature. The program is developed for students at any point in their academic journey and will equip them with the tools to communicate more effectively with others, shape their biblical worldview, and cultivate practical skills such as critical thinking, writing, and interpersonal skills needed in the workplace. The program is also designed to prepare students to elevate their education through graduate studies and to minister in real-world situations that will influence the lives of individuals within their local church, workplace and community.

Rank 7
Florida Institute of Technology
Melbourne, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology is a scientific approach to understanding human behavior with a broad-based liberal arts curriculum. Students will study how psychological principles can improve health, business management, product design and law. They will identify, understand and develop practical solutions to problems facing individuals and organizations. Students will also review theoretical perspectives, historical trends, empirical findings and ethical behaviors in applied psychology.

Rank 8
Wesleyan College
Macon, GA

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Wesleyan College is designed to equip women with the skills needed to put their knowledge of the science of behavior and mental processes into practice. The program offers courses across multiple areas of applied psychology, including the psychology of gender, industrial and organizational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, and community psychology.

Rank 9
Multnomah University
Portland, OR

The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology from Multnomah University is designed to help students develop the critical thinking, research, communication, and inquiry skills needed to function effectively in individuals, groups, and organizations. The program provides an opportunity to analyze biological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral constructs, and courses are taught with a practical approach to psychology that equips students to apply psychological concepts to everyday issues.

Rank 10
Bryan College-Dayton
Dayton, TN

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Bryan College-Dayton is a degree that allows students to explore psychological theory and research methods from a Christian worldview. Students learn to evaluate human behavior by applying Christian principles in a practical setting. With this degree, students have the ability to make a difference in fields such as human services, early childhood development, and many more. This degree program prepares students for advanced training or graduate study in a variety of areas such as professional counseling, marriage, and family therapy, education, and school psychology.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology Program

Applied psychology programs focus on the practical applications of psychological theories and principles. The goal is to prepare students for careers in fields like human resources, marketing, and social work. Most programs require around 120 credits, including general education coursework, major classes, and electives.

Applied psychology programs typically have a strong focus on research methods. Students learn how to design and conduct research studies, as well as how to analyze and interpret data. Other common courses include human development, social psychology, and abnormal psychology.

Most applied psychology programs are offered online, and they do not require any in-person attendance. Some programs may have a practicum or internship requirement, but this can usually be completed in the student’s community. Students in an applied psychology program should be comfortable with research methods and have strong critical thinking skills.

Common Applied Psychology Courses

The curriculum for an applied psychology degree will vary depending on the school and program. However, there are some common courses that are frequently taught in these programs. The following list looks at five of these courses.

Cognitive Psychology

This course covers the scientific study of mental processes such as perception, attention, language, memory, and thinking. Topics include the history and theories of cognitive psychology, research methods, perception, attention and consciousness, memory, language, and thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to apply cognitive psychological principles to real-world problems and explain how cognitive processes are measured.

Psychological Testing

This course covers the use of psychological testing in applied settings. Topics include the history and theory of psychological testing, intelligence testing, academic achievement testing, aptitude testing, personality testing, and special topics in psychological testing. Upon completion, students should be able to apply psychological testing principles to the selection, administration, interpretation, and evaluation of psychological tests.

Experimental Psychology

This course covers experimental methods used in psychological research. Topics include research design, ethical considerations, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of results. Emphasis is placed on the application of experimental methods to the solution of psychological problems. Upon completion, students should be able to apply experimental methods to psychological research, understand and apply ethical standards to psychological research, and understand the role of statistics in psychological research.

Research Methods

This course covers the basic concepts and methods used in psychological research. Topics include scientific method, research design, ethics, data collection, and data analysis. Emphasis is placed on the application of these concepts and methods to psychological research. Upon completion, students should be able to design and conduct psychological research, understand and apply ethical standards to psychological research, and understand and apply basic statistical methods to data analysis.

Psychology of Gender

This course examines the psychological development of gender identity and the role of gender in human social interaction. Topics include the impact of gender on self-identity, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior; the influence of family, friends, the media, and society on the development of gender identity; and the psychological consequences of gender role stereotyping and discrimination. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze the impact of gender on self and others, and apply psychological principles to promote gender equity and social change.

Career Options for Applied Psychology Graduates

Graduates of applied psychology programs work in a variety of industries, including counseling, human resources, and marketing. They may also work in fields such as education, research, and social work.

Social Worker

Social workers are professionals who help people cope with the challenges they’re facing in their lives. Social workers may work with individuals, families, or groups, and their clients may be dealing with anything from addiction and mental health issues to relationship problems or unemployment. No matter who they’re working with or what the specific problem is, social workers aim to provide support, advocate for their clients, and connect them with resources that can help them improve their lives. Social workers can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, private practices, and government agencies.

Recruiter

Recruiters are responsible for finding and screening candidates for open positions at a company. This can involve posting job descriptions, conducting initial phone screens, coordinating interviews, and performing reference checks. Recruiters typically work in-house at a company, but there are also third-party recruiting firms that work with multiple companies. In either case, the goal is to find the best possible candidates for each position.

Human Resources Generalist

Human resources generalists are responsible for a wide variety of HR-related tasks in an organization. They may be involved in everything from recruiting and hiring to onboarding and training new employees, as well as administering benefits and managing employee records. HR generalists may also be responsible for developing company policies and procedures, conducting investigations into workplace issues, and managing employee relations.

School Guidance Counselor

School guidance counselors work with students in grades K-12 to help them navigate the academic, social, and emotional challenges of school. Counselors typically have a caseload of students and meet with them regularly to discuss any issues they may be having. Counselors also work with parents and teachers to develop individualized education plans (IEPs) for students with special needs, and they may coordinate with other school staff to provide support services like tutoring. In some schools, counselors may also teach classes on topics like college prep or conflict resolution.

Psychiatric Technician

Psychiatric technicians work with patients who have mental illness, developmental disabilities, or substance abuse issues. They provide direct care and support under the supervision of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or other licensed mental health professionals. Psychiatric technicians typically work in hospitals, residential treatment facilities, or outpatient clinics. They may also work in correctional facilities or private practices.

Insights From an Applied Psychology Graduate

Aarav Mccoy is a Customer Success Manager at HubSpot. He has a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology from the University of San Francisco. Aarav has over 3 years of experience in customer success and account management.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Applied Psychology degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Aarav Mccoy: I made sure to get involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible. I was a part of the psychology club, which gave me the opportunity to network with other students and professionals in the field. I also did an internship in a psychiatric hospital, which gave me first-hand experience of working with patients. I think these experiences helped me stand out when I was applying for jobs.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Aarav Mccoy: The most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to help people and see the direct impact of my work on people’s lives. The most challenging aspect of my career is dealing with difficult customer situations.

ClimbtheLadder: What misconception(s) do people have about an Applied Psychology degree, and what would you tell them?

Aarav Mccoy: I think the biggest misconception is that people think an Applied Psychology degree is only useful for becoming a counselor or therapist. While that is one potential career path, there are actually a lot of other options for people with this degree.

For example, I work in customer success, and my degree has been incredibly helpful in understanding human behavior and how to best communicate with people. I would definitely recommend this degree to anyone interested in working with people or understanding human behavior.

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