Online Associate’s Degree in Psychology

By Derick de Souza

Updated March 21, 2024

Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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The Psychology Associate Degree prepares students for a career in psychology in an entry-level role. With an associate degree in Psychology online, students can gain a better understanding of the mind, human motivation, and behavior, as well as improve their professional opportunities. Students graduate with a well-rounded foundation in psychology, covering everything from human growth and development to the variables that create personality. This program teaches students the importance of understanding human needs, values, and beliefs in interpersonal relationships, learning about human and group behavior, prejudice, stereotypes, culture, and more.

Online Associate’s Degree in Psychology

Mental health caseworker, counselor’s assistant, crisis intervention, family support positions, dealing with the elderly, and assisting people with developmental impairments are all possible jobs in psychology.

The associate degree in psychology provides a platform for further career progression; students who desire to work as licensed counselors will require a master’s degree. An associate degree prepares students for a bachelor’s program, a stepping stone to a master’s degree.

This article sheds light on all the crucial aspects of an online associate’s degree in psychology, such as what to expect from the program, the best colleges to pursue the program, funding options, timelines, degree types, and more.

Best Online Associate’s Degree
in Psychology Programs

There are several online schools for associates in psychology across the United States. Picking the best one can be tricky, as one needs to check up on several aspects of the program, such as the institution’s reputation, the quality and experience of faculty, infrastructure, student services, affordability, accreditation, and more. FBD’s team of experienced professionals has vetted many psychology associate degree programs and created a list of the best ones. *

Founded in 1878 as Ashland College, the name of the institution was changed to Ashland University on May 12, 1989. Ashland University, guided by our Christian heritage, is a comprehensive, private university that provides a transformative learning experience, shaping graduates who work, serve and lead with integrity in their local, national, and global communities. The tuition and graduation rate are as below:
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Ashland University 401 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio 44805

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

Find Online Associate’s Degree
In Psychology Near Me

Colleges often tend to charge their students either in-state or out-of-state tuition. Although online associate degree programs may carry one standard fee, irrespective of where one resides, some students may feel comfortable pursuing their degree in their home state. In contrast, others may want to cross borders and look for a specific college instead. Whatever the personal choice, several teams at FBD have worked to make the find easier than it would be for most. Here is a list of ‘associate’s degree in psychology near me’:

What to expect from the Online Associate’s
Degree In Psychology Program?

The online associate’s degree in psychology program combines a core set of general education courses with specialized psychology courses to give students a well-rounded education. With general education classes in various areas, the program lays the groundwork for a better understanding of topics and a deeper insight into psychology. Students will grasp topics that will help them as they continue their education and pursue a career in psychology, from the relationship between environment and behavior to the variables that determine personality. Most associates degree in psychology programs require the completion of 60 credit hours – General Education (30 hours), Psychology Major (18 hours), and Electives (12 hours).

Some of the core courses in the associate degree in psychology program include but are not limited to:

Some of the electives in the associate degree in psychology program include but are not limited to:

After completing an associate degree in psychology, students will be able to demonstrate:

Familiarity with the major concepts and perspectives in psychology.

Knowledge of psychology, including psychological research, biology and behavior, and the effects of the environment on behavior.

The ability to recognize and use critical thinking to solve behavioral and mental health problems.

Knowledge of human growth and development, social psychology, aberrant psychology, and personality psychology.

A fundamental grasp of computer applications as well as the broad consequences of technological progress on a social organization from various perspectives such as personal, political, economic, and environmental concerns.

The ability to present the four major issues in human relations – self-awareness and management, successful interpersonal communication, job success, and personal management.

Knowledge of English composition, particularly writing essays and rewriting and editing one’s own work.

The ability to discuss the biological, intrapsychic, dispositional, cognitive, and experiential, social, and cultural variables that influence personality, as well as responses to daily events.

Time management, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, textual comprehension, communication, and research capabilities.

The ability to recognize and use critical thinking to solve behavioral and mental health problems.

The ability to identify and apply public speaking fundamentals, speech criticism, audience analysis, and effective delivery tactics.

Basic mathematical ability by describing mathematical reasoning and logic as the foundation for data analysis, as well as applying college-level algebra’s major principles.

The ability to understand and apply basic research methods, including design, data analysis, and interpretation of results.

Degree Types for Online Associate’s Degree
in Psychology Program

There are three types of associate degrees in psychology, prospective students can choose from, depending on their personal goals and career objectives:

Associate of Arts in Psychology

The Associate of Arts in Psychology, or AA Psychology, is more generic in nature and can assist students to extend their education or enter a variety of occupations. This degree type provides a foundational education usually based on an area in the liberal arts and includes general education.

Associate of Science in Psychology

The Associate of Science in Psychology, or AS Psychology, is primarily based on science and math. It is reasonably more technically oriented than the AA degree type and prepares students for science, business, or technical-based careers.

Associate of Applied Science in Psychology

The Associate of Applied Science in Psychology, or AAS Psychology, usually does not prepare students for further study at the bachelor’s level. Instead, this degree type concentrates on the practical abilities that a student requires to begin working immediately upon graduation.

Areas of Specialization for Online Associates Degree in Psychology Program

Because psychology is such a broad subject, it makes sense for students to concentrate on one aspect of it. Such a focus or specialization will provide in-depth knowledge in a vital sub-area of psychology, leading to specific employment with better pay and career prospects. Here are some examples of specializations in an associates degree in psychology.

Specialization Description Careers
Associate’s Degree in CounselingThis specialization introduces students to psychological theories and models that are employed in practice, as well as the academic and professional abilities needed to pursue further education or in a variety of entry-level counseling positions.
Entry-Level: Counseling Assistant, Human Service Assistant, Substance Abuse Counselor, Caseworker, Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, School Counselor, Rehabilitation Counselor.
Associate’s Degree in Child PsychologyActually termed Associate’s Degree in Child Developmental Psychology, this specialization prepares graduates to work with children and gain more significant insights into how the human mind develops, analyze the facts to build applicable theories, and then apply those theories to better children’s lives and the environment in which they grow up.Preschool Teacher, Teachers Assistant, Extended School Program Coordinator, Professional Nanny, various roles in institutions like the YMCA.
Associate’s Degree in Clinical PsychologyThis specialization focuses on clinical psychology through the liberal arts and scientific research. It dives into the many aspects of human development, from prenatal through late adulthood. Students learn how to integrate the science of psychology with clinical practices.
Entry-Level: Counseling Assistant, Human Service Assistant, Caseworker, Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Rehabilitation Counselor, Technician.
Associate’s Degree in Behavioral Health Online
This specialization can be an asset in the human services field in psychology, sociology, social work, and counseling. Students will learn the fundamentals, concepts, and theories of psychology, sociology, and deviant behavior, among other subjects. The application of psychological and sociological ideas to personal, social, and organizational concerns is also covered.

Entry-Level: Health and Human Services Aide, Case Aide, Community Support Worker, Counseling Assistant, Human Service Assistant, Caseworker, Mental Health Counselor, Rehabilitation Counselor, Child, Family, and School Social Worker, Health Educator, Marriage and Family Therapist.
Associate’s Degree in Forensic PsychologyThis specialization focuses on critical areas of general psychology, forensic science, and criminal justice and applies the principles of psychology to the criminal justice and legal fields.Forensic Science Technician, Criminalist, Mental Health Worker, Youth Counselor

Note: Associates in psychology requirements vary by college and specialization. Students are advised to read the program guide to specific information.

Why should I do an Online Associate’s Degree
in Psychology?

Most prospective students will ask the question – “what can you do with an associate’s degree in psychology?” Although most psychology jobs necessitate a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree and specialized training, an associate degree in psychology can still pursue a range of professional paths. It can be a great way to get started in a variety of industries that need human connection, such as business, counseling, etc.

So, what jobs can you get with an associate’s in psychology? Among other options, individuals can work as psychiatric technicians and aides who provide care for people with mental diseases and impairments in hospitals and psychiatric institutes. They are also qualified to work as social and human services aides who provide services and support in areas such as psychology, social work, and rehabilitation in several settings.

Many firms and organizations value an associate degree in psychology online because it entails abilities that can be utilized across the board, from customer service and human resources to sales and management and more.

Apart from access to jobs, a psychology associate degree online also provides students with a variety of marketable skills and prepares them to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the subject. The degree offers students flexibility and accessibility, which they can use to begin their higher education and career.

More information on careers and salaries is available further down on this page.

Free Courses for Online Associates Degree
in Psychology

Free associate degrees are uncommon. Those that exist will likely not have any accreditation, making them a risky proposition for students. However, there are several free courses and programs online that can complement an online associates degree in psychology to help students broaden their knowledge of psychology. Here are a few popular ones:

Course Description Offered by
Psychology & Psychology-related TopicsMIT Open Courseware by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a variety of courses intended for undergraduate and graduate students. However, many of these courses are excellent for associate studies as well.MIT Open Courseware
Psychology & Psychology-related TopicsEdX is a well-known platform where popular universities host many programs and courses, free and paid. The site has a host of psychology and related courses, many of which are free from universities such as the University of California at Berkeley.EdX
Psychology & Psychology-related TopicsCoursera offers many free guided projects, courses, specializations, and professional certificates in psychology, from reputable universities such as Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and more.Coursera

How to get into the Online Associate’s Degree
in Psychology?

It is relatively easy to enroll in an online associate’s degree in psychology. Unlike a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, the requirements for entry are not many or demanding. While some colleges may have additional or specific requirements, the main associates in psychology requirements are generally:

How long does it take to complete the Online
Associate’s Degree in Psychology?

The length of online associate’s degree in psychology programs is determined by criteria such as program format, availability of summer terms, and the chosen coursework. Most programs require 60-65 credits of coursework. In general, full-time students complete the curriculum in two years. While some programs allow students to study at their own pace asynchronously, potentially leading to early graduation, others use a cohort learning approach, in which students progress through their curriculum at the same time as their classmates. However, this slows down the rate at which they can earn credits, thus resulting in a 2-year psychology degree taking longer to complete.

Accelerated Online Associates Degree
in Psychology Program

In rare instances, some universities offer fast-paced associate degree programs from which students can pass out faster than from regular-paced programs. Unfortunately, there are no such accelerated online associate degree in psychology programs, as this degree generally requires 60-65 credits that take up about 2 years. However, depending on the coursework, it is possible to finish the degree 2-3 months earlier, at most.

University of the Cumberlands

Associate in Psychology

Liberty University

Associate of Arts in Psychology

Ashworth College

Associate in Psychology

Accreditations for Online Associate’s Degree
in Psychology Program

Accreditation is an indication that an institution has met or exceeded the criteria for assessing institutional excellence, as defined by a peer-review process. When a college or university gets accredited, it means that it has the financial and human capital to deliver on its declared educational objectives and can show that it will do so for the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is considered as part of the accreditation process, which is unconditional and applies to the entire organization. Therefore, accreditation is essential because it gives students peace of mind and assurance about the quality of the courses and programs they can choose from.

Associate-level psychology degree programs are not evaluated by any program accrediting authorities. Therefore, prospective students should look for programs that are accredited by one of the six accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, which are:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Colleges that offer online degree programs should be accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) on a national level.

More information on accreditation can be found in the Accreditation Guide.

How to Pay for an Online Associate’s Degree
in Psychology Program?

Although online learners typically do not have to pay for transportation, course materials, childcare during class hours, or meals, they still must pay for tuition. Only tuition, distance learning fees, and course materials/textbooks are charged to students who take online courses. The most significant benefit of online education is that it allows students to continue working while they finish their degrees. Moreover, most online students pay in-state tuition for schools not based in their home states, which is a huge advantage. Nevertheless, the cost of an associate degree can be high enough for students to look for ways to lower tuition fees. Fortunately, several funding mechanisms can help reduce the program’s overall cost considerably. Some such funding mechanisms are:


Scholarships are easily the first and best alternative for students to support their education because they are based on academic success and other factors like community service, cultural heritage, religious affiliation, etc. Scholarships might be merit-based, privately provided, alumnae-funded, or awarded by cultural, religious, or commercial organizations. (Note: Read about Scholarship Scams to avoid being scammed.)


Unlike scholarships that are generally merit-based, grants are frequently awarded based on the family’s finances. However, universities that award these need-based grants do consider an applicant’s grades and test scores as well.

Graduate Assistantships

Students can consider a Teaching Assistantship, where they are provided a fee waiver or stipend for working as assistants for professors – assisting them with instructional constraints, assisting in a lab or workshop, or teaching and demonstrating for undergraduates. Another option is the Research Assistantship, which provides a fee waiver or stipend, but differs by allowing students to help a professor with their research.

Student Loans

Students can look at raising a loan from federal agencies, banks, or private financial institutions. Loans drive up the cost of education because of payable interest. Delayed or missed payments drive up student debt.


The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form that students can fill in and submit to evaluate whether or not they are eligible for financial aid. More FAFSA-related information is available here.

To learn more about various funding mechanisms, read the best Financial Guide.

FAQs related to the Online Associate’s Degree
in Psychology Program

How to get an associate in psychology?

The first requirement to enroll in an associate in psychology is completing high-school education. Admission requirements are otherwise very generic and straightforward. Most colleges may ask for an ACT or SAT score and a Personal Statement.

What are the best universities providing associates in psychology?

What can you do with an associate’s degree in psychology?

What is the average fee charged by the colleges?

What is the associate of arts in psychology?

Do associate degrees in psychology require clinicals?

What jobs can you get with an associate’s in psychology?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after Online
Associate’s Degree in Psychology

Most psychology jobs necessitate a master’s degree and specialized training. However, an associate degree in psychology can be a great way to get started in a variety of industries that need human connection, such as business, counseling, and more.

Many employers highly value people with an online associate degree in psychology. This is because it indicates their keen interest in human connections and behavior, as well as the desire to learn at a professional level. In fact, several firms and organizations value this degree because it entails abilities that can be utilized across the board, from sales and management to customer service and human resources and more.

People who earn an associate’s degree in psychology can work in a range of satisfying, service-oriented roles, such as:

What a graduate of an associate degree in psychology will earn largely depends on the individual, the areas of specialization, and several other factors. Potential growth also varies by location and industry. One should also note that an associate’s degree leads to only entry-level jobs with lower salaries; a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. will tremendously improve job prospects and earning potential.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupations that typically require workers to have an associate’s degree for entry had a median annual wage of $52,830 in 2017, with occupations projected to grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the 7% average projected for all occupations.

Here is a quick run-down of jobs associates degree psychology graduates can explore, and their salaries and growth potential, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

OccupationJob DescriptionMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Home Health and Personal Care AideHome health and personal care aides keep track of the health of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses at home and assist them with everyday tasks.$27,08033% (much faster than average)
Correctional OfficerCorrectional officials are in charge of persons who have been arrested and are awaiting trial, as well as those who have been sentenced to jail or prison time.$47,440-7% (decline)
Occupational Therapy AssistantOccupational therapy assistants and aides support patients in developing, recovering, improving, and maintaining everyday living and working skills.$60,95034% (much faster than average)
Social & Human Service AssistantSocial and human service assistants provide client services in various areas of psychology, rehabilitation, and social work.$35,96017% (much faster than average)
Psychiatric TechnicianPsychiatric technicians and aides provide care for those who have mental illness and developmental disabilities.$33,14011% (faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online Associate’s
Degree in Psychology

Certifications are an extension of a student’s understanding of both the fundamentals and more advanced concepts and principles of psychology. A psychology job may require an individual to meet certain licensing, training, and other specific criteria, which vary by vocation and state. Psychology certification exams are in-depth and comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics that candidates should have studied in school, internships, and other experiences.

Although certification and licensure are required in most work settings, associate degree holders will seldom qualify for certifications or licenses, as this degree does not meet most eligibility criteria. For advanced careers, counseling, and clinical practice, students will have to have at least a master’s degree in psychology, if not a Ph.D.

Nevertheless, to determine what requirements for practice may be applicable in a particular state, graduates should contact their state, local government, and/or licensing board.

Additional Resources for Online Associate’s
Degree in Psychology

There is a world of information available on studying psychology. The more one reads up and networks with peers and mentors, the better the career prospects and pay one can expect. Besides, discovering more about psychology can help students make informed decisions and shape their personal goals and career objectives. Here are a few resources for associate degree in psychology students to get started:

Association for Psychological Science (APS)

The Association for Psychological Science (APS) has a Student Caucus that offers publications, a convention, grants and awards, opportunities for community involvement, and a financing database. All of them are intended to assist students to grow in the field of psychology.

The American Psychological Association (APA)

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the country’s foremost organization for psychology. It offers a lot of information on a variety of psychology topics, current issues, career advice, and much more.

Psi Chi

The International Honor Society in Psychology (Psi Chi), which boasts of over 700,000 members, provides networking, honors and grants, a career center, and chapter involvement, including mentorships, local conferences, leadership experiences, and more.

Psychology Tools

Psychology Tools is an excellent portal where students can download numerous resources, including worksheets, audio, books, scales and measures, and information for therapists and supervisors.


Although intended for the general public, Therapedia is a comprehensive encyclopedia of mental health subjects, which can also be used as a study aid for psychology students of all levels.

Author Bio:

Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.