A closer look at our “top five” reveals why these bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees are excellent choices for online degree programs.

A teenage boy speaks with a psychologist.Psychology degree programs are among the most popular programs at both on-campus and online colleges and universities. This field’s popularity stems from human fascination about how the mind works and what makes us do the things we do. Future psychologists are often motivated to help others deal with emotional problems and psychological disorders.

Psychology is a broad field that offers graduates a diverse range of careers in areas such as research, clinical work, public health, criminal justice, workplace psychology, and even marketing.

Salaries for Psychologists

The median annual salary for psychologists was $69,280 in May 2012, and the top 10% earned more than $110,880.* Here are some specific degree programs to consider:

Top 5 Psychology Degree Programs

  1. PhD in Psychology
    Doctoral students in online psychology degree programs may be able to choose from a wide variety of specializations ranging from clinical psychology and forensic psychology to health psychology and social psychology. This terminal degree can help prepare you for some of the most influential positions in the psychology profession including researcher, consultant, college professor, staff psychologist, and political strategist, to name a few.
  2. PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    In this emerging, highly focused area of psychology, doctoral students can learn to address important issues in a range of settings, including organizations, colleges, and universities, and as independent consultants. Industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists use their skills and insights into human behavior to help organizations become more successful and productive. Online psychology degree programs in this field may offer specializations in areas like consulting psychology, general practice, and leadership development and coaching.

    “With demand for I-O psychologists expected to grow by 53% by 2022,* our graduates will have exciting career options,” says Dr. Lori K. LaCivita, program director for the MS and PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology programs in Walden University’s School of Psychology. The median annual salary for I-O psychologists in 2012 was $83,580.*

  3. MS in Clinical Psychology
    With this specialized master’s degree, you will study the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of behavioral health conditions. Depending on your online degree program, you may be able to choose from various degree tracks and specializations like general clinical psychology, or a counseling focus that teaches empirically supported models of counseling and therapy. A master’s in clinical psychology can prepare you to enroll in a doctoral degree program in psychology as well.
  4. MS in Forensic Psychology
    A popular specialized master’s program, this online degree program prepares students to study criminal behavior, assess forensics, and apply their knowledge to enhance criminal facilities and programs. Online universities offering this degree program may also feature specializations to further focus your studies, such as forensic psychology in the community, mental health applications, program planning and evaluation in forensic settings, and psychology and legal systems. With a master’s in forensic psychology, graduates can pursue many career tracks, such as forensic treatment specialist, law enforcement advocate, jury consultant, and victim’s advocate.
  5. BS in Psychology
    On-campus or online bachelor’s degree programs cover current theories, approaches, and perspectives within the practice of psychology. Depending on the specific psychology degree program curriculum, students may be able to choose from concentrations in areas such as addictions, child and adolescent development, workplace psychology, and more. Career options are plentiful for those who start with this degree, ranging from drug abuse counselor and behavioral management aide to researcher and laboratory assistant.† The median starting salary for those with a bachelor’s degree in psychology was $32,418 in 2012.

Explore Walden University's online psychology degree programs for graduates and undergraduates. Get the help you need to continue your education and advance your career goals. Earn your degree in a convenient online format that fits your busy life.


*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012 Edition, Psychologists; Industrial-Organizational Psychologists; Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists; All Other Psychologists; on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-5.

†Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of a degree program.

‡National Association of Colleges and Employers. NACE Spring 2015 Salary Survey, Psychologists (page 3), on the Internet at www.naceweb.org/uploadedFiles/Content/static-assets/downloads/executive-summary/2015-spring-salary-survey-executive-summary.pdf.

Find information on costs, occupation types, completion rates, and median loan debt for these programs at www.WaldenU.edu/programdata.

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