SuperScholar’s first ever Smart Choice ranking of the best schools for online psychology degrees will help you make a smart choice about where to pursue your online education in psychology. If you’re looking to complete a degree in psychology online, you won’t find a more comprehensive or objective online psychology ranking anywhere. Our ranking includes top online psychology schools offering online bachelor’s degrees in psychology, master’s degrees in psychology online, and online psychology doctoral programs.
The Value of an Online Psychology Degree
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job market for careers in psychology will grow at a faster than average rate. This is good news for those interested in earning a degree in psychology online. Students graduating with a degree in psychology have a variety of different careers they can pursue. Among the fastest growing career positions in psychology are school psychologist, clinical psychologist, industrial/organizational psychologist, genetics counselor, forensic psychologist, career counselor, sports psychologist, and engineering psychologists. All of these positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology or behavioral science, with most positions requiring a master’s degree in psychology or higher.
The Advantages of Pursuing a Psychology Degree Online
For those with significant commitments to work or family who wish to earn a degree in psychology, an online psychology degree program can make a lot of sense. Most degrees in psychology online are designed with working adults in mind, allowing far more flexibility than a traditional degree program and eliminating the need to move or travel to campus for class. Students pursuing their psychology degree online can complete their coursework and other assignments at the time that is most convenient for them and from any location with an internet connection. Most of the best online psychology schools allow students to complete any required internships or practicums in their hometown.
How We Selected the Smart Choice Schools for Online Psychology Degrees
SuperScholar’s Smart Choice online psychology rankings are based on several factors. To begin with, only regionally accredited colleges and universities listed in the National Center for Education Statistics database and offering online bachelor’s or online master’s degrees in psychology were considered. Qualifying schools were then evaluated based on publicly available data related to market reputation, program selection, academic quality, student satisfaction, and cost. The resulting list represents the top twenty-five schools offering online psychology degrees we could find, and a great place to begin your search for the online psychology school that is right for you.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private university Manchester, NH, founded in 1932. SNHU has been ranked by US News and World Report as a top regional university, and its online programs have been recognized for their quality and affordability in a number of publications. SNHU deserves serious consideration by anyone looking for a degree in psychology online.
Programs: SNHU offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology with concentrations in Child and Adolescent, Forensic Psychology, Mental Health and more. One of the leading provider of online psychology degrees, all programs can be completed entirely online at a reasonable cost.
Accreditation: SNHU is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Capella University is a for-profit online university owned by the Capella Education Company and based in Minneapolis, MN. Originally founded in 1991 to provide education for underserved adult learners, Cappella became an online university in 1996 and now serves over 37,000 students at any give time. Capella has been ranked as a top online school, and one of the bet colleges in the US. Whether you’re in the market for an online bachelor’s degree in psychology or looking to do a Phd in psychology online, Capella has programs for your consideration.
Programs: Capella University offers accredited online Bachelor’s, Master’s and PsyD degrees in Psychology. The Bachelor of Science in General Psychology can prepare a student for specialization in a master’s program, or for employment in a field that benefits from psychological knowledge. The Master of Science in Psychology offers thirteen potential concentrations, from Child and Adolescent to Sports Psychology. The Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) provides students with the knowledge they need to pursue instruction positions in higher education, or leadership in research institutions.
Accreditation: Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
Grand Canyon University is the first private, for-profit Christian university located in Phoenix, AZ. Originally founded by Arizona Southern Baptists in 1949, as a school that would provide Baptist education to students in Arizona, financial difficulties led to its sale in 2004 to Significant Education, LLC. Since its switch to for-profit education, Grand Canyon has expanded its reach and improved its reputation, leading to acclaim from Forbes magazine. It’s one of the few online schools for psychology with both online undergraduate degrees in psychology and online psychology graduate programs.
Programs: Grand Canyon University Online offers an accredited online Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology as well as an online psychology degree Masters and online psychology doctoral programs. The bachelor’s degree is 120 credit-hour program that prepares students to understand human behavior, forge relationships, and obtain employment in institutions that people in need. As a Christian university, Grand Canyon encourages its students to apply their faith to all aspects of the professional and personal life, and teaching psychology students to integrate their faith into their psychological practice.
Accreditation: Grand Canyon University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is a private Christian university located in Lynchburg, VA. As the largest evangelical Christian university, Liberty combines well-respected online education programs with an explicitly Christian worldview. It is one of the few online psychology schools offering an accredited online associates in psychology.
Programs: Liberty University offers an accredited online Associate of Arts in Psychology and an online Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. The bachelor’s program requires 45 credit hours in the major field beyond the core curriculum, and can prepare students for employment in child development centers, group homes, addiction treatment centers, and Christian counseling. Liberty’s program is designed to instruct students in understanding and influencing human behavior in ways that glorify God.
Accreditation: Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC).
Arizona State University, founded in 1885, is spread over four campuses around the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, but they are one institution. Recent advances in several areas have led to ASU’s reputation as an up-and-coming university and higher rankings across the board. Not only one of the best online psychology programs we could find, but one of the most affordable as well.
Programs: ASU Online offers an accredited online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. This program is part of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and emphasizes critical thinking, methodological flexibility, and diversity. Students learn to approach the mind from artistic as well as scientific perspectives, and communication is foregrounded.
Accreditation: Arizona State University(ASU) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (or the Chicago School for short) is the largest non-profit graduate school dedicated to psychology. Founded in 1979 by the nonprofit Midwestern Psychology Development Foundation, the Chicago School gained a reputation for its dedication to diversity and multiculturalism. The Chicago School has campuses not only in Chicago, but also on the East and West coasts, and offers a number of online psychology graduate programs as well.
Programs: The Chicago School offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology degree in several concentrations, including Sports and Exercise, Gerontology, Generalist, Child and Adolescent, International, Organizational Leadership, and BSBA Foundation. Most of these program concentrations can be completed in two years part-time, or in an 11-month accelerated format. Online courses at the Chicago School combine online learning with a virtual residency program, though some programs are blended online/live combinations.
Accreditation: The Chicago campus is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
Drexel University is a private research university founded in 1891 by financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel, in Philadelphia PA. Drexel is known for its cooperative education program, possibly the best in the nation, with a broad range of corporate partners. Students at Drexel follow a unique 5-year track that includes 18 months of real internship, giving them an exceptional degree of experience and a wide network of contacts upon graduation. Drexel students completing their degree in psychology online will benefit from the same faculty and academic rigor as on-campus students.
Programs: Drexel University offers an accredited online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. This totally online program prepares students for future graduate education, or for employment in business, law, forensics, counseling, or other professions that benefit from psychological knowledge. Online students get the same instruction as real-world students, and benefit from a mix of research and practical application.
Accreditation: Drexel University is accredited by MSCHE (Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools).
Robert Morris University is a private, co-ed university located in Moon Township, a suburb of Pittsburg, PA. (This institution is unrelated to Robert Morris University in Illinois, named for the same historical figure.) Named for the financier of the American Revolution, RMU has resided in a number of interesting locations, including the William Penn Hotel, the Rust Engineering Building, and the mansion of Oliver Kaufmann. A number of its programs now reside on the internet, allowing students to earn a degree in psychology online.
Programs: RMU offers an accredited online Bachelor of Science in Psychology. This 120 credit-hour program includes a required minor and prepares students to apply practical psychological understanding to business and everyday life. Students will learn critical thinking and decision-making skills, conduct research, and practice professional writing.
Accreditation: Robert Morris University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Founded in 1855, Penn State is highly regarded “public ivy” (a public university fit to compete with the Ivy League). Today Penn State is one of the largest public universities in the nation due to its many campuses and robust online program. Beginning with mail programs in 1898, Penn State was a forerunner in distance-learning. The Penn State World Campus (PSWC), Penn State’s online-learning program, launched in 1998 and now offers over 70 degrees from associates’ to bachelors’. PSWC is our choice for this year’s top online psychology school.
Programs: Penn State World Campus offers two accredited online psychology degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Each of these degrees gives students a different focus. The BA in Psychology gives a broad, well-rounded education in humanities, social sciences, and science, while the BS in Psychology prepares students for more practical applications in business and management. These 123-credit hour programs can be completed completely online, and help students find entry into social work, public relations, and other professions in which people work with people.
Accreditation: The Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
#11. Colorado State University (CSU Online)
Colorado State University is a public land-grant research university in Fort Collins, Colorado. The university was founded in 1870, six years before Colorado even became a state, and was originally an agricultural college. Many of CSU’s graduate programs rank in the top 100 in their areas by US News and World Report, and CSU online offers a number of highly respected programs, including a unique masters degree in psychology online.
Programs: CSU Online offers an unusual Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology. This 38-credit hour program prepares students for practical application of psychological research and findings in the business world. Students will learn to recruit employees, manage development programs, survey employee satisfaction, and other real-world business functions that benefit from psychological research. This program emphasizes quantitative research and requires coursework in statistics and mathematics.
Accreditation: Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Founded in 1956, the University of the Southwest is a private, Christian university in Hobbs, New Mexico. Originally Baptist, the university is now inter-denominational, with an explicitly Christ-centered approach to higher education. Highly ranked as a regional university by US News and World Report, the University of the Southwest has a growing online distance learning program that includes a bachelor’s in psychology online.
Programs: The University of the Southwest offers an accredited Bachelor of Science in Psychology with four potential concentrations: Applied, Forensic, General, and Religion. The psychology degree prepares students for practical application of psychological principles in business, education, and other fields with research, analysis, and effective professional writing.
Accreditation: University of the Southwest is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#13. University of Massachusetts (UMassOnline)
The University of Massachusetts, founded in 1863 in Amhert, MA, is the largest and one of the most respected public research universities in New England. UMassOnline has earned numerous accolades for its distance degree programs, and has earned its spot as one of the top 5 online schools for psychology degree programs.
Programs: UMass Online offers an accredited online Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. This is a four-year programs of 120 total credit hours, with 36-45 credits specializing in psychology. The program offers a theoretical grounding in all forms of psychology, with a special emphasis on application. The program can be taken completely online, or in a blended online/live format.
Accreditation: The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Upper Iowa University is a small, private university in rural northwest Iowa. Founded in 1857, UIU expands its small residential student body with large distance learning, online programs, independent studies, and branches in Asia. This arrangement allows UIU a very favorable student to instructor ratio, and 8-week terms allow students to double their coursework, helping the school to a top-10 spot in our online psychology ranking.
Programs: UIU offers an accredited online Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. This full 120 credit-hour program prepares students for fields such as business, education, human services, and law, with 36 credit hours of major courses. Students will graduate with a grounding in psychological research and knowledge and may pursue graduate education in clinical psychology, counseling, and other psychological concentrations.
Accreditation: Upper Iowa University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association
#15. Bellevue University
Bellevue University is a private university located in Bellevue, Nebraska. Founded in 1965, Bellevue was intended to provide an educational option for the growing city, Offutt Air Force Base, and students who could not travel to the University of Omaha. It has since developed into a comprehensive university with a top ranked online degree division offering an outstanding bachelor’s degree in psychology online.
Programs: Bellevue University offers an accredited online Bachelor of Science in Psychology. This program requires 36 major-field credit hours beyond the core curriculum, and prepares students for graduate study, or for employment in human services and counseling. Students will perform empirical research and may have the opportunity to report their findings at conferences sponsored by the Nebraska Psychological Society, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and regional organizations.
Accreditation: Bellevue University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#16. Saint Leo University
A Catholic university founded in 1889, Saint Leo was the first Catholic institution in Florida, and today operates as a highly-ranked liberal arts university, with a grounding in Benedictine education. Recognized as a top-ten provider of military education, and a leader in online learning, having begun its Center for Online Learning in 1999, Saint Leo has a reputation much larger than its small size would suggest. The school’s bachelor degree in psychology online deserves serious consideration by students looking for a distance learning psychology degree.
Programs: Saint Leo University offers an accredited online Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. This 120 credit-hour program provides a broad, well-rounded foundation in psychology theory and practice to prepare students for further graduate study, or for employment in fields such as human services and mental health. Students may, but are not required to, take part in field research or internships.
Accreditation: Saint Leo University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Located in San Antonio, Texas, The University of the Incarnate Word is a private Catholic university founded in 1881 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. UIW, the largest Catholic university in Texas, remains committed to its educational mission with campus extensions in China and Mexico, 93 sister schools throughout the world, and an unparalleled study-abroad program. The UIW Virtual University has earned top national rankings for its online degree programs, which include an online bachelor in psychology.
Programs: UIW offers an accredited online Bachelor of Science in psychology. This 120 credit-hour program offers students a strong theoretical and scientific foundation, with a convenient online format. Students who are interested in applying psychological knowledge to the workplace and management may do a concentration in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Accreditation: The University of the Incarnate Word is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
#18. Ottawa University
Ottawa University is a private, non-profit liberal arts university located in Ottawa, Kansas. Originally founded by the American Baptist Church in 1865 to provide education for the dislocated Ottowa Indians, Ottowa University has adult education campuses in several locations in Kansas and still offers tuition-free undergraduate education for members of the Ottowa Tribe. It’s respected and growing online campus offers a number of excellent online degree programs, including a uniquely values-based online psychology program.
Programs: Ottawa University offers an accredited Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. This 128 credit-hour program is designed to give students a well-rounded liberal arts education and expertise in the discipline of psychology, learning all aspects of human behavior, from physiological to emotional. The combination of psychology and liberal arts emphasizes ethics, self-awareness, and empathy.
Accreditation: Ottawa University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Ohio Christian University is a private Christian university in Circleville, OH. Affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union, the university was founded in 1948 as a Bible college for the Churches of Christ. This small university offers numerous degrees in professional fields, including a religiously oriented online bachelor’s in psychology.
Programs: Ohio Christian offers an accredited online Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. This program requires 55 credit hours beyond the Associate’s degree, and prepares students for conducting research and counseling from a Biblical perspective. Designed for working adults, the program is flexible to work around the needs of family and career.
Accreditation: Ohio Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Golden Gate University is a private, coeducational university located in the South of Market district of San Francisco. Founded in 1901, Golden Gate emerged from reading groups at the San Francisco YMCA to provide a college education to underserved young men and today educates professional students in law, business, and accounting. It has since grown into a comprehensive university with a growing number of internet-based degrees, including a masters degree in psychology online.
Programs: Golden Gate offers an accredited online Master of Arts degree in Psychology with concentrations in marriage and family therapy and counseling or industrial/organizational psychology. This program is designed to provide students with professional skills as counselors, therapists, mediators, and business consultants.
Accreditation: Golden Gate University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
#21. Post University
Post University is a private, for-profit university based in Waterbury, Connecticut, offering full-time and online degrees. Originally founded in 1890 as Post College, Post University offers a number of distance degree programs, including a bachelor’s degree in psychology online.
Programs: Post University offers an accredited online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with the potential for a minor in Forensic Psychology. The 8-week, six-term Post format allows full-time students to complete their degree in an accelerated format, but part-time students taking one course at a time can finish in seven years. The skills in human behavior and problem solving obtained can be used for entry-level employment in a number of business and social service fields.
Accreditation: Post University is also accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
#24. University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix was founded by John Sperling in 1976 to cater to working adults who wish to have access to higher education. It provides its educational programs through various campuses and learning centers located in at least forty (40) states and several foreign countries. It also uses the online portal to offer online programs to students worldwide while providing access to important resources such as an electronic library, textbooks, learning materials and software required for the assigned coursework. Easily one of the most well known and identifiable online schools for psychology degrees.
Programs: The University of Phoenix offers accredited online Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Psychology. The BS and MS online psychology programs emphasize general rather than clinical psychology, making them useful for students who wish to use their psychological knowledge to pursue employment in business, marketing, and human resources. Both provide a foundation for further graduate education, but not for clinical licensure.
Accreditation:University of Phoenix is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. University of Phoenix was placed on Notice by The Higher Learning Commission, effective June 27, 2013. For additional information, contact The Higher Learning Commission, ncahlc.org.
UPDATE: A school that made the top 25 asked to be removed from the list. Now we only have 24.