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Why Are Online Psychology Degrees So Popular?

Why Are Online Psychology Degrees So Popular?

Online degrees have becoming increasingly popular with students of all ages, and psychology has emerged as one of the most popular options. A quick perusal of any listing of online school and programs quickly reveals that there are many schools offering various degrees in psychology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. According a report by the Babson Survey Research Group, the number of U.S. students taking at least one online course increased by nearly four percent between 2012 and 2013.

Just how popular are online psychology degrees?

Estimates suggest that online psychology degrees are growing in popularity.

According to Boston-based research firm Eduventures, psychology ranked as the eighth most popular online bachelor’s degrees in the year 2009. A 2011 study by found that the bachelor’s in psychology degree ranked at number one while the master’s in psychology degree ranked at number three on their list of the 20 most popular online degree programs.  The same 2001 study from eLearners ranked online doctorate degrees in psychology at number 16 on their list of most popular online degrees.

Why Are Online Psychology Degrees So Popular?

So what is it that makes psychology so popular with online students? There are a number of factors that contribute to their popularity.

Psychology Is a Popular Subject Online and Offline

Psychology has also been one of the most popular majors at traditional brick-and-mortar campuses for many years, so the popularity of the subject itself is likely a large contributor. After all, what could be more interesting than the human mind and behavior? Students are often motivated by a desire to learn more about themselves and to discover why people behave the way they do. Many students are also interested in a career that will allow them to help others and make a real difference in the lives of people struggling with psychological and emotional problems.

Online Psychology Degrees Offer Flexibility to Students

Flexibility is another appealing point of an online psychology degree. Online programs are convenient and allow students to follow a schedule that works for them and their lives. Instead of moving to a different city to attend traditional courses or even commuting long distances to attend lectures, online students can pursue their studies all from the comfort of their own home. New technology and delivery methods mean that students can even access their courses, assignments and readings right on their mobile phone or tablet.

Students Can Pursue Diverse Careers

Online psychology degrees are also popular because they can also be highly adaptable, allowing graduates to pursue careers in a wide range of fields. Possible job choices post-graduation include probation officer, psychiatric treatment worker, market researcher, and human resources specialist. For those who decide to continue their studies at the graduate level, job options are even more diverse. Students may opt to pursue a general psychology degree or may specialize in a field such as industrial-organizational psychology, forensic psychology or clinical psychology. More and more psychology graduate programs are also becoming available entirely online. When choosing a program, however, it is important to check that it offers the training and credentials that you need to practice in your chosen field post-graduation.

Undergraduate Degrees Provide Preparation for Graduate School

In addition to opening up entry-level job opportunities, earning an online bachelor’s degree in psychology can also be a springboard toward further study at the graduate level. After earning a degree, students might choose to continue studying psychology in graduate school. Or they might also switch to a related field such as counseling, education, or social work. While traditional graduate programs are always an option, an increasing number of schools are offering online master’s programs. Depending on the school and degree, your program might be entirely online or may require an on-campus component or an internship.


Haynie, D. (2015). Study shows sluggish online learning growth for second year. U.S. News and World Report.

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