Find your offline psychology program in minutes!

Most schools have rolling admissions and financial help so you can start your degree in a few weeks!

Understanding human behavior is essential to a wide variety of careers, including social services, education, healthcare, and business. An associate degree in psychology equips students with a foundational knowledge of psychological principles and methods, which can be used for entry-level positions and as a stepping stone to further education.

Although individuals must have an advanced degree to become a licensed psychologist, an associate degree can lead to several other roles. This includes social and human service assistants, who earn a median salary of $38,520 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment in this field will increase by 9% by 2032. Other employment opportunities include teaching assistants and correctional treatment specialists.

Associate degrees in psychology typically require a minimum of 60 credits and can be completed in two years of full-time study. The average tuition and fees at two-year institutions was $3,598 at public two-year institutions and $17,408 at private colleges in the 2022-23 academic year.

How to Choose an Associate in Psychology Degree Program

Choose your area of study

Finding the associate in psychology degree program that’s right for you first means determining what your specific educational and career goals are.

Associate degrees in psychology provide students with an introduction to general psychology concepts and practices, as well as different specialties such as social psychology, clinical psychology, organizational psychology, and more. This type of degree can be an excellent way for students to explore the field and take foundational coursework before pursuing a bachelor’s degree or employment. Students who have an area of specialization in mind should seek out associate degree programs that include coursework in that area.

It’s also helpful to reflect on logistical needs so you can find a program that aligns with your schedule. Some in-person psychology degree programs offer courses in the evenings or on weekends, which may be easier for working adults to accommodate. Others may offer courses in a hybrid format, with a mix of in-person and online classes.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve established what you’re looking for in an associate degree in psychology, you can begin researching available programs.

You can start your research on a school’s website, which should include information about the curriculum, faculty, completion time, tuition and fees, and available financial aid resources. You can also speak to an admissions counselor or visit the school for an open house or information session to get more specific information. Professional organizations like the American Psychological Association also have resources that can help students explore programs.

It’s crucial for students, especially those who plan to pursue further post-secondary education in psychology, to confirm that the program they’re attending is offered by a regionally accredited institution. Not only does this ensure that students receive an education that meets high standards of quality, but it also impacts their eligibility for financial aid and their ability to transfer their associate degree credits to accredited bachelor’s and master’s programs. Most schools publish accreditation information on their websites, but you can also search for accredited institutions in the Department of Education’s database.

Other information that you should gather when researching schools includes:

  • What is the curriculum, and does it align with my interests and goals?
  • Are there any experiential learning components, like an internship?
  • Does the program offer full-time and part-time enrollment?
  • What support services are available?
  • Who are the faculty members, and what are their qualifications?
  • What is the program cost, and what financial aid resources are available?

Prepare for tests and applications

Students should also gather information about admissions requirements and procedures when researching programs. Each school sets its own application processes, so it’s helpful to consult with admissions counselors for the most accurate information.

A standard application to an associate in psychology degree program typically consists of:

  • Completed application and application fees
  • Official high school transcripts or GED
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume or CV
  • SAT or ACT scores

Verify application deadlines and start dates as well. Some schools have multiple start terms throughout the year, while others only enroll new students once or twice per academic year. Missing deadlines can impact your ability to start your program when you want.

Select your program

If you apply to and are accepted by multiple programs, you can use your initial criteria to select the program that best aligns with your needs and interests. This can include evaluating programs based on schedule and completion time, curriculum, specialization options, cost, and faculty. If you haven’t already visited the schools you’re considering, now is a good time to get a closer look.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

During the research phase, you should also collect information about the program’s tuition and fees, as well as financial aid resources available from the school. You can find this information on the school’s website or by contacting the financial aid office.

In order to obtain need-based aid, including federal student loans, grants, and scholarships, you

must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools use the information from this application to determine students’ eligibility for these forms of need-based financial aid. You can also find out if the school offers merit-based scholarships that aren’t dependent on financial need. Many external organizations, including nonprofits, professional associations, and religious and community groups, also offer scholarships and grants based on merit or financial need.

Students who are planning on working while earning their associate degree should inquire with their employer to see if they’re eligible for tuition assistance benefits. Active duty service members and veterans can ask about GI Bill benefits and military discounts.

Best 50 Accredited Associate in Psychology Degree Programs

Best Associate in Psychology Degree Programs

Cuesta College

Drury University

Allan Hancock College

Austin Community College

College of the Siskiyous

Moorpark College

Chabot College

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

East Mississippi Community College

Alpena Community College

Mt San Antonio College

Pasadena City College

San Diego Miramar College

Saddleback College

Itawamba Community College

Delta College

Skyline College

College of the Canyons

West Valley College

Orange Coast College

Diablo Valley College

Los Angeles Pierce College

Glendale Community College

Holmes Community College

Citrus College

Los Medanos College

Ventura College

Clovis Community College

College of San Mateo

Southwestern College

Golden West College

American River College

City College of San Francisco

Alvin Community College

Barton County Community College

Fullerton College

Cochise County Community College

Casper College

Mission College

Sierra College

Coastline Community College

Snow College

Gavilan College

Berkeley City College

Napa Valley College

Discover More Options

How we rank schools

This list covers associate programs that prepare students to pursue further education, such as a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Graduates of these programs are also qualified for lower-level jobs in mental health and human services.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect From an Associate in Psychology Degree Program?

There are a few different types of associate degrees that students can earn in psychology, with an Associate of Arts (AA) and an Associate of Science (AS) being the most common. While different types of degrees can vary in their pedagogical approach, they all offer students the opportunity to learn the basics of psychology.

Core courses in associate in psychology degree programs cover topics related to understanding human behavior, such as human development, human sexuality, social psychology, and more. Students will also learn about research methods commonly used in the psychology field. There may also be an experiential learning component, such as an internship, allowing students to implement their theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting. Students should also expect to take some general education courses in areas like English, mathematics, and physical science.

With in-person programs, courses may be delivered during daytime hours, in the evenings, or on weekends. Before selecting a program, find out when you will be expected to attend classes so you can confirm that you can accommodate attendance in your schedule.

Potential courses you’ll take in an associate in psychology degree program

  • General Psychology: Introduces students to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes with an overview of major psychological concepts and theories in areas such as consciousness, learning, memory, motivation, perception, personality, stress, and social behavior.
  • Social Psychology: Examines the theories and concepts that explain individual behavior in social settings, with topics including research methods, social perception, social cognition, beliefs, prejudice/discrimination, interpersonal relationships, aggression, and group behavior.
  • Methods on Social Science Research: Reviews the language of research, the elements of quantitative and qualitative approaches, and ethical principles and challenges.
  • Applied Human Development: Provides an overview of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional milestones from conception through death, with an emphasis on the ways in which biological, familial, sociocultural, and diversity factors interact to influence developmental trajectories.
  • Introduction to Counseling Theory and Skills: Examines the various counseling styles and techniques, theoretical foundations of counseling, and the basic educational, ethical, and professional responsibilities of mental health counselors.

Associate in Psychology Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an associate in psychology degree program?

The first step is reviewing the program’s admissions requirements on the school’s website or speaking to an admissions counselor. Every school establishes its own requirements and procedures, so if you’re applying to multiple programs, it can be helpful to create a checklist or spreadsheet to keep track of different submissions.

Most schools accept applications and supplemental materials online through an admissions portal. In addition to the application itself, students typically must submit high school transcripts or proof of a GED, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a resume, and SAT or ACT scores.

Students should also check to see if there are eligibility requirements, such as a minimum GPA.

How much does an associate in psychology degree cost?

The average tuition at public two-year institutions was $3,598 during the 2022-23 academic year, while private two-year colleges charged an average of $17,408.

A number of factors determine what tuition is for an associate in psychology degree program. Public institutions tend to have lower tuition rates than private schools. However, most public institutions also charge different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state residents. All schools also typically charge fees for on-campus activities and resources, which students should factor into their budgets.

Students can lower their out-of-pocket payments by finding resources like scholarships, grants, employer tuition reimbursement, student loans, and work-study funding.

How long does it take to earn an associate in psychology degree?

Most associate in psychology degree programs require 60 credits and are designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. Students who enroll on a part-time basis may take longer to finish their degree, as they are taking fewer classes each term. Conversely, some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to complete their degree in less time by condensing coursework into a shorter time frame.

Compare School Options

Related Degrees