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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Applied Psychology

Majors Overview April 6, 2015

Students in bachelor’s degree programs in psychology learn about research strategies and psychology ideologies. They also learn about applied sub-fields, such as developmental and health psychology. They will be ready to assess and observe various everyday issues and provide solutions for them. Those who graduate may find careers in medical centers, social institutions, and businesses.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Applied Psychology

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in applied psychology are given a foundational grasp of psychology research methods and theories and the ways they find usage in real world settings. The focus of some programs is on organizational or social psychology; health psychology is the focus in others.

Students usually need four years of full-time study to complete a bachelor’s degree program, and admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. In some programs, incoming students are expected to have previous college experience.

Topic areas studied by students include spirituality, cognition, beliefs, behaviors, emotions, personalities, and thoughts. Students are introduced to applied disciplines such as school psychology and positive psychology. Specialization in a sub-field of psychology is offered in some programs, whereby students may be required to take five or six classes related to the chosen concentration.

Students may learn to design, carry out, analyze, and interpret research on a variety of human relationships, including those with cultures, the environment, organizations, co-workers, family, and friends. They learn through case studies, lectures, and readings, in addition to hands-on approaches such as internships, research projects, and laboratory experiments.

Students may gain professional and practical skills, including creative thinking, decision-making, critical thinking, presentation, effective written and oral communication, organization, and leadership skills. The knowledge of psychological principles and research findings can be integrated by graduates in enacting vocational and social improvements.


Coursework includes general education courses, whereby students are typically required to take courses such as ethics, research, and psychology theory classes. Core courses include statistics, research methods, and history of psychology.

Students learn about developmental and abnormal psychology and the way psychology finds usage in sports, schools, and business. Schools may also expect students to complete a practicum. Students may also choose other courses pertinent to their interests within applied psychology, including topic areas such as:

•Forensic psychology
•Child and adolescent psychology
•Abnormal psychology
•Psychology of addiction
•Psychology of personality
•Organizational psychology
•Social psychology
•Psychology of trauma
•Gender psychology
•Cognitive psychology

Career Choices

While advanced education is a requirement for most psychology careers, armed with an applied psychology degree, an individual can pursue occupations that require skills in understanding human behavior, in addition to commendation and organization skills. They may pursue entry-level careers such as:

•Social service workers
•Market research analysts
•Rehabilitation assistants
•Administrative assistants

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program can seek better career opportunities in the field by pursuing continuing education in the form of post-baccalaureate certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs in psychology.

Graduate level study typically require students to choose a sub-field, such as health psychology, community psychology, or school psychology. Earning a doctoral degree can entail taking of specialty certification tests, pursuit of diverse careers, and preparation of private practices.

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