How To Choose A Psychology Program


The field of psychology studies human behavior and mental function in order to understand and solve problems within various areas of human activity. Psychology combines science, philosophy, and statistics and, because of the complexities of the human brain and the ever-changing human dynamic, psychology continues to be a growing field of study. Some general and common fields of psychology include behavioral health and medicine, cognitive psychology, and psychotherapy. More specific fields include social, abnormal, experimental, and cultural psychology. There are many various sub-fields within these disciplines, such as developmental, social, child, emotional, and perceptive psychology. Choosing the right path for your psychology education depends upon your interests and you may choose to begin schooling in an undergraduate program to gain more knowledge before deciding where your particular interests lie. Obtaining your bachelor’s degree in psychology may then lead to graduate school for you, where your education will hone in on your more specific field of study, such as educational psychology or psycholinguistics.

What To Look For In A Psychology Program

Choosing an undergraduate psychology program in which to earn your bachelor’s degree can seem like an overwhelming task, but if you know what to look for you will find it is easier than you may think. You will want to think about if you would like to attend a community college, which may have smaller class sizes but no student housing, or a traditional college or university. When possible, visit the schools you are interested in, and talk to faculty members and advisors. The reputation, accreditation, size, admission criteria, cost, location, co-op opportunities, job placement and career services programs, and financial aid options of the school are also very important things to consider when making your decision.


Make sure, first and foremost, that the college or university is accredited and has a good reputation within the psychological community. Accreditation by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation is a must because this ensures that the school meets certain requirements and will provide a good quality education to its students. Also, many reports, accessible by doing a simple online search, rank schools according to a certain subject area, in this case psychology. Pick a high-ranking college or university as degrees from these are more valued by graduate schools and potential employers.

Size And Location

The size and location of the schools that you are looking at for your undergraduate studies in psychology are something to consider. While many people prefer a larger, more popular university, others may benefit more from a smaller college which may offer smaller class sizes. State colleges and universities are subsidized by their state, so tuition tends to be lower for in-state students and higher for out-of-state students. Again, this is something to think about since many people may wish to go far away to study, maybe because the school has an excellent psychology department, but affordability is a concern for all of us as well. Look at all of your financial aid options as well, should you need help affording the program you desire.


Admission criteria will vary among colleges and should be researched and considered. Community colleges are easier to get accepted into because their criteria for GPA and test scores is more broad than that of traditional colleges and universities. Also research the schools’ co-op programs to see if they would provide quality experiences for you to sharpen your skills. These vary quite a bit from school to school, so be sure to compare them and decide what would be a good fit for you. Job placement and career services at the school of your choice should provide top-notch advice and direction, assisting you in identifying your career path, helping you direct your education toward your final goals, and putting you on the right path to that exciting career you’ve set out to achieve.

Online Psychology Programs

Many students prefer an online education as opposed to going to classes on-site. An online education is accessible and convenient, allowing you to set your own schedule and study full-time or part-time. Online education is increasingly popular as the range of options in it continues to grow. If you would like to earn your psychology degree online, consider your time-management skills as you will need to set time aside to accomplish your educational goals. Also, as with on-campus colleges and universities, make sure the program is accredited. You should also be comfortable with using computers.