*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
A bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology is designed to take four years to complete. The first two years are usually general requirement courses that every college student takes, such as freshman English, biology, a foreign language and physical education classes. The last two years are when you take the bulk of your major courses and complete any internships that might be required. Some students can finish in less than four years by either going to summer school or getting credit for work and life experience. On the other hand, some students need more time to finish because of work or family obligations.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
When you know that you want to major in Applied Psychology, you should find out if the colleges and universities you're most interested in carry this major. You should check the academic catalogs of each university to verify which ones do carry an Applied Psychology major and verify with your state's department of education that the colleges you're considering offer the appropriate Applied Psychology education program you need for your field.
If a university you're considering doesn't carry an Applied Psychology major, then it's time to cross that school off your list. Keep checking the other schools. For those that do have an Applied Psychology major, begin looking over their programs so you get a better idea which university interests you the most.
Courses required to obtain a bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology consist of general core courses that Freshman and Sophomores take and Junior and Senior level courses focus more on the major concentration classes. Associate degrees, on the other hand, normally prepare grads for entry-level with the basic skills and expertise required in a field. Affiliate's levels can likewise allow students to finish general education and learning demands with a two-year program, then later transfer right into a four-year program. There are two major titles of bachelor's levels: BA (Bachelor of Arts) and BS (Bachelor of Science). There are bachelor's degree programs in a wide range of majors, consisting of STEM subjects, social sciences, arts, and all kinds of specific subjects. You can find some sample major concentration courses that you may be required to take below:
These days fewer and fewer students graduate in four years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a six-year term from starting a degree to graduation. Accredited programs in Applied Psychology, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 4-5 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in four years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 4 to 6 years.
Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for Applied Psychology education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.
There are two types of regional accreditation; they are Applied Psychology program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.
Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.
National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.
Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.
Colleges and universities generally charge per credit hour for Applied Psychology courses. Multiply the cost by the number of credits you're taking for your total semester's financial commitment. Program fees may not be included in the stated tuition rate. If a university charges $331 per credit hour, multiply this by 12 or 15 (the number of credits you're taking per semester). For 12 credit hours, this is $3,972; for 15 credit hours, it's $4,965.
The College Board's Trends in Higher Education Series reported that the average cost of a four-year public Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology program was $9,970 if taken in-state. It was as much as $35,260 if taken at a private university or college. And be aware that, even if you are comfortable with the per credit hour cost of the program you are looking at, there will be other costs for fees, textbooks, and room and board if you live on campus.
You can't afford to take time to redraft your resume, write attention-grabbing cover letters, schedule job interviews, practice your interview skills, or parry salary offers. Not when you're student-teaching and getting ready to graduate.
That is why most universities and colleges have offices where career and placement service professionals can help you with all of the above. If your resume needs to be updated or even totally rewritten, they will help you. If you need to brush up on your interview skills, they can assist you.
Some campuses even hold professional development workshops. These may include networking skills, resume writing, and interviewing skills.