If you want a career helping to nurture the mental health of today’s youth, then getting a bachelor’s in child psychology is a critical step on the path to becoming qualified. The best online bachelor’s in child psychology is the perfect place to start your educational and professional career. While you’ll certainly need more than just a bachelor’s to reach your ultimate goals, the best online bachelor’s in child psychology will get you started on the right track toward becoming a qualified child psychologist.
After receiving your bachelor’s, you’ll be ready (and qualified) to tackle your master’s and even a doctorate in the field of child psychology.
Child psychology–and other psychology-related degrees–are some of the most popular choices for prospective bachelor’s students each year. In fact, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics, around 115,000 psychology degrees were conferred between 2012 and 2013.
Related Resource: What is a Bachelor’s Degree?
What is a Child Psychology Bachelor’s Degree?
As the first step toward becoming a child psychologist, an online bachelor’s degree will equip you with the foundations needed to pursue higher education and gain licensure. Modules on the course will include subjects such as child development and growth, disorders of childhood and adolescent age, behavioral analysis and assessment, and experiential learning. You’ll also gain an understanding of ethics and laws surrounding modern psychology practices.
The best online bachelor’s in child psychology programs offer a more flexible study arrangement than classroom-based teaching. Undergraduates can access lectures and reading lists online, take part in virtual collaboration and discussions with fellow peers, submit work, take assessments, and communicate with their professors through an online portal or website. Thanks to modern technology, today’s courses allow remote study using computers and laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other innovative study methods.
Child psychology programs are extremely competitive; the top-rated schools accept less than 3% of applicants. All applicants are expected to have taken the GRE test, with those lacking a related undergraduate degree expected to have also taken the advanced test in psychology. Applicants will also need to submit transcripts along with their GPA, in addition to letters of recommendation and a personal statement.
Careers for Child Psychology Majors
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between the years 2018 and 2028, the employment opportunities available to psychologists are expected to grow by 14%, which is higher than the average across all other professions. A degree in psychology may lead to becoming a psychologist, with a child psychology degree having the potential to lead to a career as a school psychologist. Other careers pursued by child psychology majors include clinical or counseling positions, social service assistants, or community health coordinators.
Some areas are more competitive among graduates than others. According to the BLS, industrial-organizational psychologists face greater competition due to a large pool of qualified applicants. Those who have further training in quantitative research might stand a better chance of ranking more highly as part of the selection process.
If you’re looking to become a qualified child psychologist, then a bachelor’s in child psychology won’t be enough on its own. The minimum level of education required for the majority of psychologist positions is a master’s; some roles will even ask for a doctorate. That said, there are alternative careers in this field that can be undertaken with a bachelor’s degree as the highest level of education, such as social workers and social service assistants.
Child Psychologist Salary Potential
Statistics from the BLS show that the median annual wage for psychologists in May 2018 was $79,010, with half earning more and half earning less. Those at the bottom of the ladder earned below $44,000 and those in the highest 10% were earning just shy of $130,000. Those earning the lowest salaries tended to be in clinical settings, such as private, local and state hospitals, counseling services, or working as a school psychologist.
Most states require practicing psychologists to have attained the proper licensure before offering their services to patients. The specific laws surrounding licensing vary from one state to another, as well as differing between roles. Most counselors and clinical psychologists require a doctorate in psychology, as well as an internship with one or two years of supervised practical experience. They also need to have passed the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
Many states require continued professional development to maintain licensure for psychologists. There are also specialty certifications available from the American Board of Professional Psychology, covering areas such as clinical health psychology, rehabilitation psychology, and more. Continued certification and training can also raise the salary potential for all qualified psychologists.
What are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Child Psychology?
We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of College Rank utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:
40% Potential Salary After Graduation: Average mid-career salary of school alumni
30% Institutional Accreditation: Regional and national accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year
30% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school
At College Rank, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. Please feel free to visit our dedicated methodology page for a step-by-step breakdown. For questions, comments, badge downloads, or data corrections, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Southern Mississippi
Average Net Price
The University of Southern Mississippi’s mission statement revolves around creating well-rounded graduates with a focus on ethics, equipped to tackle a changing, multicultural world. Their teachings focus on equipping students to succeed in various contexts, helping children, families, couples, and working in differing settings, such as the education system, mental health practices, and social services.
In this program, you’ll specialize in one of two emphasis areas: either Family Sciences or Child Development. A focus on Child Development is suited to students who want to pursue a career in the field of early childhood education, while a focus on Family Sciences is for those who want a career relating to social services, non-profits, or parent education.
Whether a student is specializing in Family Sciences or Child Development, the tuition fees are the same. The average annual cost of tuition for Southern Mississippi’s child psychology program is $12,506, falling below the national average. However, the School of Child and Family Sciences offers 13 scholarships to prospective students every year.
The University of Alabama
Average Net Price
The university’s Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences, Human Development & Family Studies is geared toward those working within Head Start agencies. These services are a combined public improvement effort from more than 1,700 private and not-for-profit agencies, which design community services for children and families.
Tuition for the University of Alabama’s course runs at $375 per credit hour, with 120 credit hours required to pass the course. There’s also a $10-per-hour HES undergraduate fee that applies to the online programs. Professionals who have prior work experience can also apply for credits that count toward their degree.
Students in this course will understand how children grow and develop from birth to eight years of age. They’ll understand the child-parent relationship, as well as the social, physical, emotional, and cognitive developmental stages that children go through.
This course from the University of Alabama was ranked #1 for “The Best Online Bachelor’s in Human & Family Development Programs” by TheBestSchools.org (2019). It also came in 8th position in a list of the “Top 15 online ‘Human Development and Family Studies Degrees’” by AffordableColleges.com (2018).
University of Saint Joseph
West Hartford, Connecticut
Average Net Price
The University of Saint Joseph focuses on a rigorous professional education with a background that places heavy emphasis on ethical values, personal and professional integrity, and the need for responsibility toward fellow members of society. The university welcomes prospective applicants from all backgrounds, though the institution is grounded in its Catholic heritage, which is woven through its principles.
To apply for this Connecticut program, students require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher. Those who are accepted onto the course must maintain this GPA as a minimum throughout their studies. To successfully complete the course, you’ll need to attain 39 credits; this is made up of a combination of 3-credit modules, 6 credits of supporting coursework, and 6 additional credits from approved, related courses.
As part of your Child Study BA with The University of Saint Joseph, you’ll undertake two internships from a range of over 80 approved partner agencies. These might be with religious charities, juvenile and family courts, sexual health clinicals, and more.
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Average Net Price
Central Michigan University is a nationally-ranked institution with more than 50 locations across the states. Students can involve themselves in almost 400 clubs and societies, as well as participating in a volunteering program that could get them into helping places like New Orleans and Brazil.
To pass the course, students will need to complete 120 credits, with the tuition cost per credit standing between $417 and $434, depending on specialization. These may consist of four distinct course types, including general education courses, core courses, concentration courses, and planned electives.
The two subtypes of general education courses consist of university program courses–designed to give you a foundation in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and global studies, as well as competency requirements, focusing on skills in writing, speaking, math, and quantitative reasoning.
Those with less concrete academic foundations may find a place at Central Michigan University. While students are asked to possess a GPA of at least 2.0, the department will consider applicants with a GPA of between 1.50 and 1.99 for conditional admission.
Average Net Price
Drexel university comes within the top 100 universities according to national ranking. Some of the notable alumni from this institution include astronauts Christopher Ferguson and Paul W. Richards. Admissions criteria for this course are fairly stringent; applicants are expected to have a GPA of at least 2.5, with high school transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores from the past five years.
Drexel’s tuition fees are above average compared to competing institutions, standing at $513 per credit. As far as overall costs go, it’s the most expensive course on our list of the best online bachelor’s in child psychology.
However, compared to the on-campus cost per credit, this represents a saving of 40% on each credit. The program is also eligible for financial aid, with a range of special tuition rates also available for alumni, members of the armed forces, and members of some partner organizations.
The course itself is broken down into four 10-week quarters each academic year, rather than two semesters. This allows students to take a larger number of courses over a shorter study period. The course consists of 180-quarter credits rather than the usual 120 credits, owing to the university’s system of using four quarters instead of two semesters.
University of North Florida
Average Net Price
The University of North Florida ranks high for quality and value, often finding itself at the top of national lists by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and more.
All applicants to the University of North Florida must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered. In addition, there’s an application fee, and students will have to provide official high school transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. It’s also recommended that a letter of recommendation and personal statement be provided with the above materials.
The degree requires 120 credits for graduation and depending on your prior experience, these should be made up of a number of course types. These include prerequisites, foundation modules, experimental courses, major requirements, major electives, free electives, and upper level hours.
South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
Average Net Price
This 120-credit course gifts students with knowledge and understanding of the developmental stages children go through during their early years. You’ll also learn about the influences of society on the development of individuals and families, and interpersonal skills needed for effective relationships. Students will also learn how to apply theoretical knowledge to understand and promote stronger family connections.
Tuition fees for online-only courses taken at South Dakota State University stand at $351.25 per credit hour. For some students, it may be possible to qualify for financial aid. In other cases, scholarships are available, requiring a personal statement and letters of recommendation if you qualify to apply.
Bay Path University
Average Net Price
Whereas some programs look at the full spectrum of age, the BA in Child Psychology at Bay Path University focuses on all aspects of child development. By graduation, you’ll understand the significant milestones and stages of a child’s growth and development, the causes of childhood mental illness, behavioral analysis and interventions, and diagnostics.
You’ll also engage with active projects and be given the opportunity to undertake an internship with a partner organization. This will prepare you to gain the professional skills needed to enter a role as a child psychologist, school counselor, social worker, or special education teacher, for example–though some roles will require further study.
Tuition for the online course stands at $34,225, making it above the national average for this type of program. However, the university has a range of scholarships available, ranging from $12,000 to $20,000, including the “Pathways Award,” “Seize the Day Award,” “Dean’s Scholarship,” “Provost’s Scholarship,” and “1897 Founders Scholarship.”
Pennsylvania State University
University Park , Pennsylvania
Average Net Price
As an online learner at Penn State, you’ll be studying as part of the “Penn State World Campus.” Launched in 1998, this branch of the official university allows learners from around the world the ability to earn their degree solely online. The platform has been nurtured and developed well since its launch and there are now more than 150 programs to choose from.
In 2017, Penn State’s online bachelor’s degree programs were recognized for the sixth year running as one of the “Best Online Programs” according to the U.S. News & World Report. Thanks to investments in the platform, it’s one of the better online learning environments you’ll find today.
The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies looks at the full age spectrum for children, from birth to old age. It examines how this process can be influenced by society, families, and the communities we live in. The program also teaches on how to apply this thinking to create interventions that improve people’s well being.
Tuition rates for this university depend on the number of credits taken per course and the number taken per semester. As a course requiring 120 credits for graduation, the flat rate for tuition is $7,549 per semester (the cost per credit otherwise is $617).
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Average Net Price
The University of Nebraska established the world’s first undergraduate psychology laboratory, and was one of the first institutions to award doctoral degrees. It’s no wonder that it is still seen as a leading teaching and research institution, with numerous grant-funded projects designed to help students in their studies.
The Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society program is broken down into 120 credit hours for online learners. At the end of the course, students must hold a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 to graduate. Learning is split across 10 terms, consisting of a combination of core requirements, electives, and other modules, with most terms requiring 15 hours worth of study.
For Nebraska residents, the cost per credit is $252 per hour, whereas for non-residents, it’s significantly higher at $800 per credit hours. Numerous scholarships are also available for students from different backgrounds.
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