Associate’s Degree in Psychology

Associate's degree in psychology

Whether you want to enhance your current job skills or embark on a new career journey, a psychology associate’s degree can put you on the path to success. Allowing students to develop a broad understanding of human behavior, an associate’s degree in psychology is an undergraduate-level degree that generally requires you to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours in order to graduate. It is possible to earn an associate’s degree in psychology online or at a traditional campus and the degree takes about two years to complete if you attend class full-time. If you would like to kick start your psychology education, read on to learn more about what it entails.

Psychology Associate’s Degree Requirements

The prerequisites for entrance into psychology degree programs at the associate’s level are usually just a GED or high school diploma. Associate’s programs in psychology are offered at community colleges and technical schools.

An associate’s degree is often used as a stepping-stone towards a bachelor’s degree and then a graduate-level degree in psychology, as there are not many jobs in the psychology field available to associate’s degree holders. Entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree at the minimum. However, even psychology jobs for bachelor’s degree holders are scarce, as most positions require applicants to have a master’s degree or PhD in psychology.

That being said, an associate’s degree is not only a great way to gain a solid background in psychology and prepare for advanced studies in the field, it also provides you with a basis for understanding human behavior that can serve you in a variety of settings, including juvenile detention centers, correctional facilities, social welfare agencies, group homes, mental hospitals, daycare centers, and vocational rehabilitation services.

Psychology Curriculum

Associate’s degree students explore the role of psychology in society and learn to apply their knowledge of psychological principles. Graduates of associate’s programs in psychology are not considered psychologists, but they can perform the same tasks as entry-level professionals in human services and other helping professions. In addition to completing general education requirements, students in associate’s programs in psychology might be required to take the following courses:

  • Introduction to psychology
  • Theories of personality
  • Positive psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Abnormal psychology

Career Opportunities in Psychology

Psychology is a broad field with many specialties, including clinical psychology, forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, family psychology, and counseling. Graduates of associate’s degree programs may directly enter a psychology-related field or choose to further their education by transferring to a four-year college or university. Other career areas in which a psychology background can be beneficial include business, law, teaching, and medicine.

With an associate’s degree, you could qualify for a job as a human services assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of social and human services assistants is expected to grow 28% from 2010 to 2020, which is a rate that is faster than average. The median annual salary for social and human service assistants was $28,850 in 2012. In social and human services careers, additional education is almost always necessary for advancement.

In order to become a psychologist, one must earn a doctoral degree in psychology. The median annual wage of psychologists was $68,640 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow 22% from 2010 to 2020, which is also a faster than average rate.

From laying a solid foundation for further study to preparing you for entry-level jobs in helping professions, an associate’s degree in psychology can aid you in achieving your academic and career goals. Explore associate’s programs now if you would like to start building a rewarding career in psychology.