Getting a Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology – Everything You Need to Know in 2024


A Bachelor’s degree in psychology is an undergraduate level degree that usually takes around 4 years to complete, it is an excellent starting point to jumpstart your career in psychology.

With a Bachelor’s degree, you will be able to spend a few years getting to know your field of work, gaining insight and understanding into how the human mind works and why we behave the way we do. This can help you learn about the world of psychology,  and understand the field in a wide focus. What this means is that no speciality areas of psychology are zoned in on, and you will receive more of a well rounded education on psychology rather than a specific field.

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is a challenging but rewarding experience. You will learn about the many different aspects of human behavior, from the biological basis of behavior to the social and cultural factors that influence it. You will also develop critical thinking skills, research skills, and the ability to communicate effectively. If you are interested in understanding the human mind and behavior, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is a great way to start your journey.
Dr. Eric Landrum, Professor of Psychology at Boise State University

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BA or BS?

In the field of psychology, either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is awarded upon completion of an undergraduate program. A BA is geared toward those interested in research and teaching, while a BS is the intended degree for those who want to practice clinically.

Depending on whether you choose a Bachelor Of Arts or a Bachelor Of Science, you may receive a different education. For instance, in a Bachelor of Science in psychology degree, you will have a more scientific or technical approach where the course may refer to the more clinical applications of the degree such as cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

What Does a BA in Psychology Mean?

A BA, or Bachelor of Arts, in psychology refers to the degree that is awarded at the culmination of an undergraduate program of study in the subject. This degree allows students to go on to pursue further education, research opportunities, or a career in the field of psychology.

What Does a BS in Psychology Mean?

On the other hand, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology will be more about the aspects of the mind and how it works with children, the elderly and other populations. This will give you a more open idea of psychology, so that you are open to more career paths. A Bachelor’s degree can get you started on your career path in psychology, and will be the perfect stepping stone towards a Master’s or a Doctorate degree in psychology in the future.

Why study for a psychology Bachelor’s degree?

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is a versatile degree that can open up many doors for students. With a psychology degree, you can pursue a career in a variety of fields, including counseling, social work, business, education, and law. You can also use your psychology degree to start your own business or become a research psychologist. No matter what your career goals are, a psychology degree can help you achieve them.
Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor of Psychology at University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Gateway to further education – for many students, a Bachelor’s degree is the first step in a much longer educational journey. Most Master’s and Doctorate programs require a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Highly flexible degree – it can open the door to further education but a degree in psychology can also provide a strong foundation for a variety of careers.
  • Earning potential – the median salary for individuals with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology is around $50,000 per year.

What is covered in a psychology Bachelor’s degree?

Your program will vary but there are some common core concepts and areas covered:

  • Foundations of Psychology: students will learn about the history of psychology as a field of study, as well as the major theoretical approaches.
  • Research Methods and Statistics: learn how to design and conduct research studies in psychology, as well as how to analyze and interpret data.
  • Biological Bases of Behavior: expect to learn about the structure and function of the brain and nervous system, and how these systems influence behavior and mental processes.
  • Developmental Psychology: learn about how individuals develop and change over the lifespan, including physical, cognitive, and social development.
  • Social Psychology: students will learn about how social factors such as culture, norms, and interpersonal relationships influence behavior and mental processes.
  • Abnormal Psychology: learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of mental health disorders.
  • Personality Psychology: gain an understanding of the different theories of personality, and how these influence behavior.
  • Cognitive Psychology: the study of mental processes such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving.
  • Learning and Memory: the study of how we acquire new information and store it in memory, as well as how we retrieve and use that information.
  • Motivation and Emotion: study psychological factors that drive behavior and emotion, including needs, desires, and goals.

Here is a sample curriculum for a 4 year program:


First Year

  1. Introduction to Psychology
  2. Statistics for Psychology
  3. Research Methods in Psychology
  4. Developmental Psychology
  5. Cognitive Psychology
  6. Social Psychology
  7. Biological Psychology
  8. Introduction to Psychological Disorders
  9. Introduction to Psychological Testing
  10. Elective Course (e.g., Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Anthropology)

Second Year

  1. Advanced Statistics for Psychology
  2. Abnormal Psychology
  3. Personality Theories
  4. Learning and Behavior
  5. Sensation and Perception
  6. Cross-Cultural Psychology
  7. Psychopharmacology
  8. Psychology of Motivation
  9. Applied Psychology (e.g., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Health Psychology)
  10. Elective Course (e.g., Introduction to Neuroscience, Cognitive Development)

Third Year

  1. Experimental Design and Analysis
  2. Psychological Assessment
  3. Psychopathology
  4. Psychological Research Methods
  5. Psychology of Memory
  6. Psychology of Emotion
  7. Counseling and Psychotherapy
  8. Group Dynamics
  9. Elective Course (e.g., Forensic Psychology, Positive Psychology)
  10. Elective Course (e.g., Psychology of Aging, Psychology of Gender)

Fourth Year

  1. Senior Capstone Project
  2. Internship/Practicum in Psychology
  3. Advanced Topics in Psychology (e.g., Advanced Social Psychology, Advanced Cognitive Psychology)
  4. Psychology of Human Relationships
  5. Psychology and the Law
  6. Psychology of Trauma
  7. Psychology of Addiction
  8. Ethical Issues in Psychology
  9. Elective Course (e.g., Educational Psychology, Sport Psychology)
  10. Elective Course (e.g., Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology of Creativity)

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for bachelor’s degrees depend on how demanding the degree is and how prestigious the university is. However, for the most part, you may require a high school diploma, with one, two or more A graduation grades. The grade requirements may also differ from university to university. Typically speaking, you will need:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent qualifications
  • At least three high graduation grades
  • Relevant qualifications or work experience if no diploma

Most bachelor’s degrees are the first step in a psychology degree, and do not require extensive experience or difficult entry requirements.

What is the cost?

In-person study you can expect to pay $50,000-$150,000 for obtaining your degree. Online programs are generally cheaper than their on-campus alternative and will typically be $30,000-$70,000.

How much can you earn?

The median salary for individuals with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology is around $50,000 per year. Salaries vary based on the specific field and geographical area they are employed in and range from about $20,000 to nearly $100,000 annually.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?

Nearly all fields of psychology require an advanced degree to practice in the field. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you can pursue an advanced degree, participate in research, or enter into an internship.

That being said here are some jobs that require no additional education after your Bachelor’s degree:

  1. Mental Health Technician
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Social Service Assistant
  4. Behavioral Health Technician

Be sure to upload your resume with us and setup job alerts to find the right opportunity.

Outside of the field of psychology there are a wealth of career options for holders of a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Here are some common jobs where a psychology degree might be most relevant though:

  1. Human Resources Assistant
  2. Sales Representative
  3. Customer Service Representative
  4. Childcare Worker
  5. Career Counselor

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