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How Do I Choose the Best Psychology Courses Online?

B. Miller
B. Miller

Taking psychology courses online can be a great way to obtain a degree on your own time, or even to just increase your existing knowledge and earn a few college credits. The type of psychology courses you can take online largely depends on your existing level of education, as well as what your goals are; taking courses for a degree, for example, will be a more rigorous course of study than simply taking courses for personal enrichment. One way to choose which psychology courses online to take is to view the syllabus for the course. Many universities make this information available for prospective students for decision making purposes.

When selecting psychology courses online, it is best to begin by looking at the university, and what type of accreditation the university has. At the very least, an online university should have national accreditation, but regional accreditation is a more rigorous process and is therefore preferable for a quality education. A for-profit university that is not accredited may seem like a good option, but it may be completely useless if you ever want to transfer credits to another university, or even apply for a job and list those courses on your resume.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

If you are pursuing a degree program, the psychology courses online you choose will generally be dictated by the requirements of the college. You will generally need to take a mix of introductory and general courses before you can specialize in anything. Of course, this also depends on whether you are pursuing a bachelor's degree or a more advanced master's or doctoral degree. If you are not pursuing a degree program, you might have more freedom to choose according to personal interests.

There are many different areas of study in the field of psychology that you might want to learn more about. Clinical or counseling psychology and research psychology are two broad areas, but there are a number of different subdisciplines in these fields as well. For instance, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, or child and adolescent psychology are common specialties, just to name a few.

Before selecting psychology courses online, you will also want to consider the length of the course, the tuition and other fees, and the amount of time you will be expected to be online. For instance, are there weekly or daily discussions, or are you expected to log on at a specific time? This could be an issue if you have a job or other commitments. Also consider the amount of work that each class will demand, such as for reading and written assignments, and the amount of time you have available to devote to it.

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