Best Online Psychology Courses and Programs for a Rewarding Career in Psych


Updated January 25, 2023

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Find out what types of online psychology courses you can take and discover the best online psychology programs you can apply for today. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Psychology is all about the mind. In online psychology courses, you'll study subjects like personality theory, social psychology, and human sexuality. Coursework prepares you for various psychology careers — you may choose to work as a psychologist, in social services, or in human resources.

Taking psychology courses online offers many benefits. Online psych programs allow you to complete coursework on your own schedule. Learn more about the advantages of online psychology classes and how to choose the best program for you.

Benefits of Taking Psychology Classes Online

  • Online psychology courses allow you to set your own schedule.
  • You can take psychology classes online from anywhere — at home, at a local library, or even at a coffee shop.
  • Online courses in psychology often cost less than in-person classes.
  • You can improve your online literacy while taking psychology courses online.
  • You don't have to worry about commuting, transportation costs, or other on-campus fees.
  • You might have more options for online psychology classes than you would for on-campus courses.

Explore Our Featured Psychology Programs

What Programs Offer Online Psychology Classes?

Some psychology programs are 100% online, some use a hybrid approach with both online and on-campus classes, and some offer only in-person classes.

Many types of psychology programs offer online courses, including bachelor's in psychology programs, master's in psychology programs, and doctoral programs in psychology.

If you're enrolled in a hybrid program, make sure you know which classes take place in person — you'll have to arrange your schedule around those classes.

Online psychology courses may or may not meet in real-time. Some classes are asynchronous, allowing you to log in and view lessons whenever convenient. Other classes, however, may require you to attend live sessions over video chat.

Did You Know?

  • Psychologists earned a median annual salary of $81,040 in May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • The BLS projects that jobs for psychologists will increase by 6% between 2021 and 2031.
  • Clinical psychologists typically need a doctorate in psychology.

What Types of Online Psychology Courses Can You Take?

The types of courses you encounter in your online psychology degree will vary from one school to another. Your course options will also depend on whether you're seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Here are some online psychology courses you may be required to take for your psych degree.

  • Introduction to Psychology

    This first-year undergraduate course typically focuses on different theories and the evolution of the field of psychology. You'll study the relationship between personality and biology and develop a basic understanding of psychology subfields.
  • Lab and Research Methods

    Research influences how licensed psychologists treat patients. In this course, you'll compare and contrast research methods, which involves analyzing studies. You'll learn how to perform effective research and how to analyze studies' strengths and weaknesses.
  • Memory and Cognition

    Cognition refers to how the human mind works. This course teaches you how to research studies on memory and cognition and work with different theoretical models. Students enhance their critical thinking skills while memorizing the brain's structures.
  • Brain and Behavior

    In this course, you'll study basic brain physiology and learn how the brain controls behavior. Topics covered include brain structure, memory, and attention. You'll also study socialization, motivation, sensation, and perception.
  • Lifespan Development

    This online psychology class covers the stages of human development, theories, and factors that influence development. You'll learn about emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development at every stage of life.
  • Psychology and Social Change

    This advanced course examines how psychology professionals can influence society. You'll research how famous psychologists' theories advanced social change. In addition, you'll learn how to promote more inclusive communities.
  • Forensic Psychology

    Forensic psychology is where psychology meets the legal system. This online psychology class looks at laws and how social psychology affects courtroom procedures. You'll examine case studies, the credibility of witness testimonies, and the role psychologists play in trials.
  • Community Psychology

    In this psychology course, you'll study community support systems and individual wellness. You'll learn how psychology experts can effect positive change at both the individual and community levels.
  • Educational Psychology

    You'll typically take this course if you aspire to be a school counselor or educational psychologist. You'll study how people learn and retain knowledge and how motivation and individual differences can affect learning.
  • Health Psychology

    This interdisciplinary course focuses on how people cope with illness or injury. You'll examine the relationship between body and mind. Other topics include healthcare deficiencies, people's healthcare preferences, and various medical conditions.
  • Abnormal Psychology

    In this online psychology class, you'll learn about psychological disorders, including clinical, theoretical, and experimental views on psychopathology. This course emphasizes the classification, terminology, evaluation, and treatment of major psychological disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Psychology Courses

Is it possible to learn psychology online?

Yes, it is possible to learn psychology online. Many colleges and universities offer fully or mostly online degree programs in psychology. These programs are available at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Some programs offer 100% online psychology courses, while others offer a combination of online and in-person courses. In-person courses usually include on-site practicums and training.

Are online psychology classes hard?

Online psychology courses are generally neither more nor less difficult than in-person psychology courses.

That said, psychology can be a difficult subject for some. Some classes introduce a lot of terminology. If you are good at memorizing facts, you should be able to pass your online psychology classes easily.

Where can I learn about psychology for free?

You can take or audit online courses in psychology for free through massive open online course (MOOC) providers like Coursera and edX. Some colleges and universities also let you audit in-person psychology classes for free or for a nominal fee.

Other options for learning more about psychology include borrowing psychology books from a local library and reading news articles and blog posts on authoritative psychology websites.

Is an online psychology class worth it?

An online psychology class can be worth it if you're truly interested in learning more about psychology and prefer an online course format over an in-person one.

Online psychology courses are also well suited for those who work full-time jobs and have other responsibilities but still want to pursue a degree in psychology.

Can you become a psychologist with an online degree?

Yes, you can become a psychologist with an online degree, so long as your degree is accredited and is either a Ph.D. in psychology or a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.). Note that online psychology degrees still normally require in-person practicums and clinical experiences.

Once you complete your online Ph.D. in psychology or Psy.D., you can apply for state licensure.

All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the ASO Rankings Team.

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