November 24, 2017

Selecting the Best Online Psychology Degree Program

With your list of possible online psychology degree programs narrowed down to the ones that fit your budget and your schedule and are consistent with your personal goals and career aspirations, you can now take the reviews and testimonials you have found and apply them to determine which online psychology schools will be the best match for you.

Since the courses will be provided online, be on the lookout for any complaints about inconsistent availability or other persistent technical problems, as this can have a serious impact on your learning experience. Also, pay close attention to what other students have said about the accessibility of the online course materials and examinations, as a difficult navigation experience can greatly increase the inconvenience factor, and impact your ability to complete the program. If you are considering scheduled online lectures and discussions, be sure to look for positive or negative testimonials about the class interaction experience, as this will tell you what to expect from the instructors or moderators of the online psychology courses.

Once you have used the available reviews and testimonials to narrow down your list of potential online psychology schools, it is time to apply for your online psychology degree. Be sure to take note of deadlines and what materials are required for admission. A school may need transcripts, recommendations, resumes, essays, or other documents in order for your application to be considered, and providing all of these within deadlines will give you more options to choose from in selecting an online psychology degree program.

Also, if you are applying for financial aid, you may be required to submit tax documents, financial records, and other information within a certain deadline in order to qualify, so never be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to from admissions counselors and other school representatives. Once you have been accepted by one or more online psychology schools, you can choose whichever one is best suited to you, and begin your online psychology degree, opening the door to new possibilities for new jobs in psychology.

Review Feedback on Online Psychology Degree Programs

Now that you have trimmed your list of degree programs down to the ones that meet your requirements, and put them in order of suitability, you will need to figure out which ones deliver an enjoyable and rewarding educational experience. The best way to judge an online psychology degree program is by the testimonials of students who have taken the program in the past. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to find out how good a course actually is, and to predict whether you will like it or not.

Some of the independent school review websites are a good source of word-of-mouth recommendations and student testimonials. These sites invite students to log in and submit positive or negative reviews about their experiences with different universities, and they can be a very useful tool in determining which online degree programs are worthwhile. Our Online Degree Reviews features reviews from nearly four hundred colleges, searchable by school or by subject. Other sites also have a great selection of reviews of web-based degree programs, including a number of online psychology programs, which you can look through to narrow down your prospective list of degree programs.

Online psychology schools themselves can also provide a useful source of student testimonials. Students who have enjoyed the experience of earning a degree from an institution are often encouraged to express in their own words what they liked about the program, so that the institution can post it on their website as a positive viewpoint. Schools such as Baker, University of Phoenix, and Kaplan all provide several reviews from students at different levels and in different programs, to give potential applicants a look at a cross-section of the learning experience. Naturally, a school isn’t likely to post a negative review, so the reviews provided about a school by that school should be read carefully. Even so, school-provided testimonials can tell you what the strengths are of a given institution, and can also give you an idea of what to expect by what isn’t said.

We recommend you check out our featured psychology schools as these are some of the largest and most established psychology degree programs.

Set Objectives for Your Online Psychology Degree

Now that you have evaluated several key elements of your current situation, it is time to take a detailed look at what you want to get out of your online psychology degree. Understanding what your goals are, and how different kinds of psychology degrees can help you reach those goals, will help you choose the best fit for you from your list of online universities.

  • Are you looking to add to your skill set or increase your prospects for promotion at your current job, or are you interested in launching a new career?
  • If you want to head off in a new career development, does the prospect of doing research and instruction in an academic environment interest you, or would you like to work at a clinic, hospital or counseling office as a psychology professional?
  • Do you want to obtain an advanced degree to have a richer depth of knowledge of the field, or will a bachelors degree provide you with the depth of knowledge that you are looking for?

If you are working in marketing, management, human relations, customer service, or another field that works with people on a regular basis, you may be able to advance your career goals through a psychology degree. Psychology courses can provide you with a better understanding of how people think, interact, and make decisions, which can be beneficial to a variety of career paths. Many schools such as Ashford University offer degrees that are designed to augment the skill sets of professionals in jobs that have a high degree of personal interaction.

An online psychology degree can also be a gateway to an entirely new psychology career. Do you like the thought of being a family counselor, helping parents and children get along better, or a school counselor, aiding students in making good life decisions, or an occupational therapist, who helps people to prosper in existing job situations or find more fulfilling employment? These and many other roles are available to individuals with degrees in psychology, and an online degree can put these careers within your reach. Examining the details of courses offered by institutions you are considering can help to determine if the programs offered can lead to the kind of new career you are thinking of.

If you are interested in a change of pace from the professional workplace, a psychology degree can also open the door to a rewarding academic career at a college or university. With a masters degree in psychology or a doctorate in psychology, you can embark on a new role as an instructor or professor at a college or university, helping interested and motivated students attain their own education in psychology. You might also enjoy working as a researcher in an academic setting, building on the wealth of knowledge in the field of psychology to uncover new insights into human cognition and behavior. Many opportunities for teaching, studying, and discovery are available at colleges and universities for hardworking individuals with degrees in psychology.

Evaluate Your Personal Situation

The first step in choosing the online psychology degree that is best for you is to figure out what you would like to spend. Tuition can range from the low tens of thousands of dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars, depending on which institution is offering the degree. Figuring out how much you can spend on tuition is a good first step in evaluating psychology degree programs. Determining your budget will also help you figure out if you need to apply for financial aid, which many institutions offer to prospective students. If you do apply for financial aid, figuring out the details of your finances ahead of time may also save you time in filling out the paperwork for tuition assistance.

Figuring out how much time you have each day or each week to dedicate to an online degree is another important step in choosing between online psychology degree programs. Different institutions offer classes and instructional programs at different paces, so knowing how much room you have in your schedule for online classes will let you know whether a fast-paced course will work for you, or if a more gradual degree program will better suit your needs. You should also look at your daily schedule to figure out what times during the day you can participate in online psychology courses. This will help you figure out if you can commit to attending live lectures and discussions broadcast over the internet, or whether you should choose a self-study program that allows you to work on your own time. These factors will help you determine what online learning format will be most helpful to you.

A third consideration that can be helpful in choosing an online degree in psychology is what kind of learning environment you most enjoy. Do you like listening to information presented in a lecture format and taking notes, or do you learn better from guided class discussions? Does it help to have a set class schedule so that you can incorporate your psychology degree into your routine, or will you learn better if you are able to work on course materials when you feel like it? Questions like these can help you figure out if you should look for scheduled lecture-based classes like the ones offered by the University of Maryland, or a self-guided online degree program. Choosing the learning format that suits you best will not only make your online learning experience more enjoyable, it will also aid you in learning and understanding the material.

How to Select an Online Psychology Course

Now that you have an idea of what kind of online psychology schools are available, and what some of the available formats are for a psychology degree program, it’s time to select the course that is right for you. With only so much spare time, money, and attention to devote to classes, it is a good idea to take a little extra time to evaluate your circumstances carefully, and choose the online psychology school or training company whose online psychology matches your scheduling requirements, budget constraints, and learning style. Here are several steps that will help you make that decision:

We’ll take a look at each of these steps to show you how best to choose an online psychology degree that will be enjoyable, rewarding, and compatible with your schedule and finances.

Comparing to Traditional Psychology Classes

Do Online Psychology Degrees sound expensive?

They can be, but there are many financial advantages to degree programs from online universities. Online degrees are frequently less expensive than traditional classroom-based classes from the same institutions. The University of Maryland, for example, offers an undergraduate online degree in psychology for $28,180, while similar four-year undergraduate psychology degrees offered on campus cost an estimated $85,908 for in-state residents and $149,656 for non-residents. Duquesne University also offers an online degree for $76,560, while a four-year degree in psychology from a physical campus would cost $97,540. Many institutions that include both classroom-based and online psychology training are able to take advantage of the lower overhead expenses made possible by making degree programs available online, and offer these programs to the student at a reduced cost.