Psychology is pervasive in all areas of the human experience and the scientific examination of the discipline began in the mid-19th century. You’ve heard the famous names in the field: Darwin, Freud, Skinner, Pavlov, Watson, etc. Today, the study of psychology is based on research, assessment, and evidence-based strategies designed to improve people’s lives. An affordable college degree can set you up for a career in psychology without a lot of student debt.
Best Health Degrees has researched some of the best and, most affordable, online psychology degree programs for this ranking. We reviewed programs based on classes offered, program length, institutional accreditation, as well as the estimated cost. All these programs are regionally accredited and many follow the recommendations of the American Psychology Association (APA), even though the APA doesn’t accredit undergraduate programs.
Online students are eligible for Federal Financial Student Aid, so be certain to apply by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® to determine qualification. Most schools use the FAFSA to determine scholarship consideration. NOTE: As an online degree, you’ll want to check that the school you choose has a state reciprocity agreement with your home state.
Our Method: Ranking the 10 Most Affordable Online Psychology Bachelor’s Programs
To rank the 10 Most Affordable Online Psychology Bachelor’s Programs 2021, Best Degrees editors researched accredited, trusted programs of all kinds. From our initial pool, we ranked programs according to price, accreditation, reputation, and salary potential, using data from IPEDS and Niche, U.S. News and World Report, and other higher education rating publications.
1. Fayetteville State University
The degree completion degree in BS in Psychology is one of the most popular majors at this North Carolina university and can be completed 100% online.
Offered through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this affordable psychology degree requires you to complete general education classes to meet the university requirements. In the curriculum you’ll study General Psychology, Social Psychology, Research Methodology, Professional and Career Development in Psychology, Statistics for Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, as well as a Senior Seminar, in addition to other courses. This program offers a wide selection of electives to augment your studies and meet your career goals.
The online program has three admission options: Under Age 21, Age 21 and Over, or finished your Associate Degree. You’ll complete an application (with a $50 processing fee) and supply documentation as requested, such as academic transcripts.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $125-$311/per credit hour
Fast Fact: FSU ranks #24 in U.S. News and World Report’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
2. Indiana University East
Offered through IU East’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, this is an online BS in Psychology.
The affordable psychology degree requires 120 credit hours (the university accepts up to 64 from an accredited two-year community college or up to 90 hours from a four-year college or university.) Among the core courses in the psychology major are studies in General Psychology, Life Span Development, Methods of Experimental Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Readings and Research in Psychology or Senior Seminar, Capstone Project, and more. The curriculum is designed to improve your skills in communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Admission requires you to file an application, IU East is ACT/SAT test scores optional, and depending on your admission status (first-year or transfer), you’ll need to provide high school and/or college academic transcripts.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $239-$347/per credit hour
Fast Fact: Niche ranks IU-East #65 in its Best Online Colleges in America
3. University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers numerous classes online in psychology that apply to the BA in Psychology.
This affordable psychology degree program appears to be hybrid in nature, with many classes offered online and has a solid roster of classes available. The courses cover a wide range of disciplines such as natural science, developmental, clinical/abnormal, industrial/ organizational, social, and cognitive areas. Your choices in topics include Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Mental Health and Adjustment, Careers in Psychology, Psychology of Prejudice, Adolescent and Child Development, and many more. You’ll be asked to complete core coursework as well.
You can apply for admission as either a first-year or transfer students, depending on which describes you best. ACT/SAT test scores are optional and you’ll need to provide academic transcripts from all schools attended. The UM-Dearborn application is free to submit but you will need to pay a $50 enrollment fee.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $559-$1152/per credit hour
Fast Fact: The University of Michigan-Dearborn rates #4 in U.S. News and World Report’s Top Public Schools
4. University of Maine-Presque Isle
You probably won’t have to travel to Maine to earn this hybrid BA in Psychology from UMPI but you’ll earn the same degree on-campus students receive.
The affordable psychology degree program requires core classes in General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Lifespan Development, Research Methods, Animal Behavior, Personality, Sex and Gender, Psychobiology, Cognitive Psychology, etc. A practicum experience may be required under the supervision of a qualified proctor or a capstone project. This 120 credit hour degree requires general education classes in addition to 42 hours in your major. You won’t have to navigate your UMPI experience alone, since all students are assigned a full-time advisor. The school also offers concentrations in business psychology or biopsychology (it’s unclear, however, if these concentrations are available online.)
UMPI accepts either the Common Application or the ApplyMaine Application for admission. First-year students will need to supply academic transcripts and a letter of recommendation. Transfer students will complete the application and provide academic transcripts.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $245-$392/per credit hour
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report ranks UMPI #17 in its Top Public Schools ranking
5. NC Central University
NCCU Online offers a BS in Psychology which requires 120 credit hours in general education and the psychology major. NCCU is a Historically Black College and University that was established in 1789 and is part of the University of North Carolina.
You’ll find the curriculum has departmentally required psychology classes. Among the foundational courses in the major are General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Statistics, Introduction to Black Psychology, as well as others. Beyond the required classes are clusters, from which you must choose one course from each segment. The clusters include classes covering Clinical & Developmental Psychology, Applied and Social Psychology, Applied Experiential Learning, and Behavior, Brain, and Cognition. The program also requires non-departmental courses in ethics, sociology, and health behavior.
Admission uses a rolling process and offers several categories. You can request additional information on applying through the Office of Extended Studies.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $184-$584/per credit hour
Fast Fact: NCCU is ranked #42 in Best Value Schools and #21 in Top Public Schools
6. Fort Hays State University
Long known for its quality online programs, Fort Hays State University awards both an online BA and BS in Psychology.
The affordable psychology degree requires 120 total credit hours, 42 hours of which are in the major and the remainder in general education studies. Psychology core courses offered apply to both the BA and BS degree and are in General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Child and Developmental Psychology, Science of Psychology, Neuropsychology, Social Psychology, etc. You’ll choose from electives classes and, if you’re in the BS program, you’ll be required to take additional math and science classes and the BA requires a foreign language requirement.
Admission is open to first-time and transfer students and is fairly simple in its requirements using the MyStripes Application for Admission Portal which requires a $30 fee, academic transcripts, as well as ACT/SAT test scores. The school offers free transcript evaluation for transfer students.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $227/per credit hour
Fast Fact: Both Niche and U.S. News and World Report place FHSU #53 and #107, respectively, in their best online undergraduate colleges
7. University of Maryland Global Campus
Here’s another highly reputable school offering a BS in Psychology you can earn online.
As with most undergraduate degrees, you’ll need 120 credit hours including general education classes as well as those in your psychology major. The psychology degree requires core classes in areas such as research methods, biological behavior, social psychology, abnormal psychology, lifespan development, as well as statistics. You’ll also take a senior seminar which serves as a capstone project for the degree. You can follow the department’s recommended course sequence. Some select courses may be available only in a hybrid format.
The admission process to UMGC couldn’t be simpler, is free and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Have your academic transcripts ready.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $306-$499/per credit hour
Fast Fact: This university ranks #9 in Most Innovative Schools as determined by U.S. News and World Report
8. Arizona State University
ASU is a school that typically is ranked for its online degree programs and the BA in Psychology is one of those degrees.
The academic road map for this degree covers core classes and upper-division electives in psychology. ASU offers ad robust catalog of pertinent courses in psychology topics in development, social, abnormal, human sexual behavior, aging, organizational behavior, addiction, substance abuse, and many others. You’ll also be required to take research methods and introductory statistics. You can opt for an accelerated BA/MA degree in ASU’s 4+1 program. Also offered online is a BA and BS in forensic psychology.
You’ll complete an online ASU admission application (with a $70 fee), file a FAFSA (for scholarship consideration), academic transcripts, and provide ACT/SAT test scores. If you’re a transfer student, you’ll start your admission process by talking with an enrollment counselor, filing a FAFSA, providing academic transcripts, and completing the online application. The admission application for all online students takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $608/per credit hour
Fast Fact: ASU is ranked #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs and #6 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News and World Report
9. Utah State University
You can earn a BS or BA in Psychology completely online from this Logan, Utah university.
A review of the university’s catalog shows the degree requires 120 credit hours for completion which includes general education courses. Your degree studies will include Analysis of Behavior: Basic Principles, Psychological Statistics, Introduction to Statistics, Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, etc. Psychology electives requires 9 credit hours and you won’t be hard-pressed to find classes to meet your interests in topics such as abnormal, social, health, lifespan development, and others. You’ll complete a Capstone Project to finish your program.
You’ll begin your admission process by talking with one of USU’s admission advisors and creating an online account. This university is dedicated to your success and provides a wide range of student resources for their online students.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $332-$369/per credit hour
Fast Fact: USU ranks #8 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs and #21 in the publication’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
10. University of Memphis Global
Finally, this is a 100% online BA in Psychology awarded from the well-regarded University of Memphis.
Along with general education studies, this affordable psychology degree covers core classes in General Psychology, Careers in Psychology, and Research and Statistics. The program offers three content areas in Cognitive and Neuroscientific Bases of Behavior, Applications of Behavior, and Social and Developmental Bases of Behavior. You’ll enroll in classes to meet those areas in topics such as Thinking/Cognitive Processes, Child Psychology, Industrial/Orgnizational Psychology, etc. The department offers three psychology concentrations: General Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Cognitive Science.
The same admission application is used for both first-time and transfer students. You’ll need to provide academic transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores, and other documents as requested.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $597/per credit hour
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report considers this school to offer one of its Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
How Do I Save Money on an Affordable Psychology Degree?
There may be a few ways you can save money while getting your undergraduate psychology degree.
Attending school online does two things: it allows you to continue to work while you earn your degree and online tuition is frequently set at in-state rates, regardless of where you may live.
If you have an Associate degree, you’re probably more than halfway to the baccalaureate degree, and can enroll in a degree completion program. These programs allow you to transfer your community or junior college credits toward the BA or BS. Typically, your general education classes (English, humanities, arts, sciences, etc.) will meet the criteria of your new school. So, you reduce your undergraduate degree length from four to two years. Some schools will allow you to earn credit for your life experiences, prior work in the field, etc.
Of course, you’ll want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® for not only federal assistance, but school scholarships.
How Much Can I Make with a Bachelor’s in Psychology?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites a median salary for entry-level psychology majors is at $48,000 annually. PayScale surveys show the average salary for a BA in Psychology is going to depend on your job. For instance, if your diploma leads you to work in Human Resources, you may find annual salaries range from $57k-$69k. ZipRecruiter reports a national $59,037 median salary with 25% of careers paying $37,500 annually.
Salaries will also be affected by where you live, experience, and where/what your employment may be. As a health career, the more education you have in psychology, the more you can earn.
What are Some of the Most Common Psychology Jobs?
A psychology major is one of the most popular degree paths in the U.S. and an excellent foundation for advanced degrees. As a broad discipline, an undergraduate degree in psychology can lead to employment in teaching, career counseling, social work, child care employee, public relations, writer, Human Resources, management, etc.
Perhaps, the American Psychological Association (APA) is the best resource to detail potential careers with an undergraduate psychology degree.