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Overview of Psychology Associate Degree Program

Majors Overview March 12, 2014

Those interested in general psychology, which features the concepts behind human development and study of abnormal behavior, should look into an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in psychology. Students will use critical and creative thinking to connect theories of psychology to everyday life.

A.A. Programs in Psychology

An Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Psychology is the most suitable option for prospective students interested in general psychology. Students enrolled in these programs can expect to become adept at data collection, research and application pertinent to theories in psychology. They could also be imparted instruction in statistical analysis and scientific methods. Students can also use these programs as preparation to transit to a 4-year university or college to enroll into a bachelor’s degree program in psychology. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in psychology programs is devised to teach students about memory and mental health, aging, and child and adolescent development. Incoming students may also be expected to complete general education courses, such as communication, math and physical and life science. Coursework may include topic areas specific to psychology such as:

•Research methods in psychology
•Educational psychology
•Social psychology
•Personality theory
•Lifespan development
•Abnormal psychology

Career Choices

Employers generally prefer to hire holders of a bachelor’s or higher degree for jobs in the psychology field; (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). However, earning an associate’s degree in psychology can help candidates to choose from various career options such as:

•Drug and alcohol counseling aide
•Youth counselor
•Mental health assistant

Continuing Education Choices

Once they successfully complete an associate’s degree program, students can seek admission to a bachelor’s degree program in psychology. Graduates of a bachelor’s program who wish to gain employment as psychological assistants or psychologists should seek admission to a master’s or doctoral degree program in psychology. Graduates must obtain licensure in order to work as psychologists (BLS).

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