We have ranked the Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Applied Psychology in the US for students. All of our ranking are designed to help students make sense of the best college options. We rank schools and degree programs by criteria that most benefits students.
Applied Psychology is a broad field that covers numerous subdivisions of psychological practice. Students who graduate with a degree, and become professionals in the field of Applied Psychology, may work in family counseling, mental health counseling, substance abuse therapy, and many other areas (with appropriate certifications, which may require a master’s degree). Each area of specialty is distinct in its emphasis. Regardless of the issues being addressed, the overall goal in applied psychology is the same: to help others.
Work environments for applied psychologists are as varied as the subdivisions. Professionals may be self-employed or may work along side of social workers, healthcare professionals, teachers, and others. The overall employment rate is expected to have an average three percent growth rate over the next several years.
Potential students in this field should recognize that applied psychology is generally recognized as different from the field of experimental psychology. Students should keep their career goals in mind when selecting a program and any course specializations.
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- The Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Applied Psychology
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Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology at the top-tier in the heart of New York City.
The Applied Psychology program begins with a foundation in liberal arts. Students then advance into coursework covering research and three areas of psychology: developmental, social, and counseling. If interested, students can choose a particular area of concentration in order to become specialized in a certain field.
A major component of the Applied Psychology program is the sequence of field placements and seminars. Field placements allow students to volunteer at places like schools, psychiatric hospitals, legal clinics, and youth centers for 8-10 hours a week. Each field placement is closely monitored by a professional in the field, which provides students the unique opportunity to develop mentorships and network in the profession. The seminar courses teach students to apply their learning to real-world situations. Seminars and field work directly prepare students for their career post-graduation.
NYU’s program also provides students the opportunity to study abroad during their time in the degree. Students can choose from a variety of courses, taught across the globe. For instance, students can study Community Psychology in Accra, Ghana or Social Psychology in Berlin, Germany. This allows students to gain exposure to the psychology field and experience how they can make a difference around the globe.
Coursework in the program includes Community Psychology, Social Intervention in Schools & Communities, and Multicultural Counseling and Mental Health.
Credit Requirement: 128
Selection of Courses:
- Sexual Identities Across the Lifespan
- Educational Psychology
- Parenting and Culture
- Child Development and Social Policy in Global Society
Admissions information: Interested students must submit high school transcripts, one to two Teacher Evaluation forms, and standardized testing scores.
New York University receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Development at Boston College.
This practical major at Boston College prepares students to serve their communities through service. Faculty members have worked diligently to create a program that focuses on issues directly tied to real-world issues in local, national, and international communities. Students gain experience in Applied Psychology through integrated field placements. Field placements are important in helping students discover their career goals and redefine their life purpose.
Students can choose to focus in one of four focus areas including Human Services and Health Sciences; Organizational Studies and Human Capital; Policy, Advocacy and Community Change; or Science Learning. These areas of focus help students become experts in a certain area of practice and find field placements in these same areas. Interested undergraduates can also be involved in research opportunities on campus. Research helps students get to know faculty and teaching assistants better through research labs.
Coursework in the program includes Child Growth and Development, Adolescent Psychology, and Adult Psychology.
Credit Requirement: 33
Selection of Courses:
- Family, School and Society
- Gender Roles
- Social Issues and Social Policy
- Psychological Responses to Humanitarian Crises
Admissions information: Admissions takes into consideration high school transcripts, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, recommendations from teachers, and a writing sample.
Boston College receives accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education
Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago, located on the shores of Lake Michigan. The BA program is available online.
Loyola University teaches undergraduate students how to apply psychological principles to individual and social problems. Throughout the curriculum, undergraduates make connections between biological and psychological disciplines. Students learn how to apply their learning in communities, organizations, and institutions.
Students can personalize their degree by choosing one of several interdisciplinary minors including Neuroscience, Peace Studies, and Psychology of Crime and Justice. Loyola also offers a unique five-year program in Applied Social Psychology. This five-year program allows students to earn their BS in Psychology as well as their MA in Applied Social Psychology. Undergraduates can also earn course credits through internships. Many choose to intern in group homes, mental health facilities, or homeless shelters. Students are expected to intern for a minimum of 100 hours during the semester of their internship.
Loyola has an active Neuroscience Society that annually sponsors a team in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. There is also a large Psychology Association for students to build relationships with one another and with faculty and professionals in the field. High achieving undergraduates can also join Loyola’s chapter of the Psi Chi Honor Society.
Courses in this degree include Health Psychology, Psychology and Law, and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.
Credit Requirement: 120
Selection of Courses:
- Psychology of Religion
- Psychopathology of Childhood
- Maturity and Aging
- Understanding Prejudice
Admission information: Interested students must submit high school transcripts and a letter of recommendation. Starting in 2021 standardized testing scores are optional. Students may also choose to submit an essay and evidence of extracurricular activities.
Total transfer credit accepted: 64 from a two-year institution, no limit from a four-year institution. A minimum of 45 consecutive credits must be from Loyola.
Loyola University Chicago receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Regis University offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology.
Regis University maintains a values-centered education following its Jesuit roots. The School for Professional Advancement caters to the busy adult student with flexible scheduling and professional emphasis. Starting with a solid foundation in liberal arts, students in the Applied Psychology program then can delve into a wide range of psychology topics including:
- Abnormal behavior
- Positive psychology
- Stress and Well-being
Courses are available both online and on campus and can be completed in either five or eight week terms.
Students without prior higher education credits, or less than 45 transferable credits, paritcipate in Regis’s Corner Stone program. This program introduces students to their academic success coach, the cohort of peers they will work with, and provides foundational classes for career skills development.
Graduates of the program find career paths as behavior analysts, social workers, or counselors. Students may also pursue graduate level training in areas such as counseling, criminology, or non-profit management.
Credit Requirement: 120 total credits
Selection of Courses:
- Lifespan Development
- Social Psychology
- Brain and Behavior
- Health Psychology
- Psychology of Intimate Relationships
Admissions information: Interested applicants must submit prior transcripts and a resume in addition to the online application.
Total transfer credit accepted: 87 credit hours
GRE or GMAT requirement: Yes, for most programs
Regis University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology at Christian Brothers University, located in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Applied Psychology program at Christian Brothers University (CBU) is a practical degree program that helps students connect their classroom knowledge to real-world problems. This degree prepares graduates to help clients, employees, and individuals navigate the systemic and personal obstacles.
CBU is home to an internationally recognized Cognitive Neuroscience Lab where undergraduates can learn how to conduct research and analyze data. In turn, students have the ability to present their research to regional, national, and international conferences. Many undergraduates have also successfully published or co-authored articles that have been featured in prominent publications.
With a campus population of just under 2,000 students, Psychology majors have unique access to a personalized educational experience. Students can build lasting connections with professors which will be critical when applying for jobs or graduate school. The student to faculty ratio at CBU is 11:1 and boasts one of the most diverse student populations in the country.
Coursework in the Applied Psychology program includes Psychology of Leadership, Psychopathology, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Credit Requirement: 122
Selection of Courses:
- Psychology of Persuasion
- Stereotyping and Prejudice
- Cognitive Psychology
Admissions information: In coming students must submit previous transcripts showing GPA, a writing sample, and an academic letter of recommendation. Standardized testing scores are optional.
Christian Brothers University receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Students may earn their Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology from Mayville University.
The psychology program at Mayville University starts with a liberal arts foundation covering education, health, science, and business. This broad foundation gives students a starting point for critical thinking and future success. Students then move on to study the basics of psychology such as human behavior and social processes. Throughout the program students become adept at using scientific prediction, observation, and explanation.
With this firm foundation in liberal arts and introductory psychology students can then branch out into applied psychology. Here students focus on applying the theories of the classroom to interpersonal and vocational settings. Creative thinking, critical evaluation, and effective communication are skills students develop. Students must choose a minor to complete the Applied Psychology major.
Additionally, students must complete at least one internship for hands-on experience. Students complete this program prepared for introductory careers or further study at the graduate level.
Credit Requirements: 120 credits total
Selection of Courses:
- Developmental Psychology
- Psychology of Abnormal Behavior
- History and Systems of Psychology
- Group Dynamics
- Behavior Modification and Management
Admissions information: Freshman applicants must submit high school transcripts and standardized testing scores.
Mayville State University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Students may obtain a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from the State University of New York at Canton.
With the rise of homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, and other similar human struggles there also comes the need for an increase in professionals trained to help others in these areas. The Applied Psychology program at SUNY Canton strives to educate such professionals. Students gain a broad foundation in psychological principles as well as necessary career skills. Students also have the option of completing the Addiction Treatment Training Certificate Program as part of the psychology major.
The program strives to reach as many students as possible with flexible scheduling. The degree is available completely online, through in-person classes, or a combination of the two if desired.
Graduates of the Applied Psychology program can obtain non-licensed, entry level career positions. SUNY maintains several connections with local and national agencies that provide internship opportunities for hands-on experience as well as immediate hire after graduation. Students may also pursue higher level education.
Credit requirements: 121 total credits
Selection of courses:
- Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
- Abnormal Psychology
- Personality & Individual Differences
- Working in Human Service Agencies
- Crisis Intervention
Admissions information: Students must submit high school transcripts along with their application.
SUNY Canton receives accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Belhaven University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology.
Working within a Christian context, Belhaven University provides a solid foundation of psychological theory and practices while maintaining a unique biblical worldview. The Applied Psychology degree is flexible for the working student and can be completed entirely online. Classes are seven weeks in length and are available year-round. Class sizes are kept small for a more personalized experience.
Students learn core concepts such as counseling theory and theories of personality. Students may choose from three concentrations:
- Christian Ministries
- Criminal Justice
- Human Services
The Applied Psychology degree prepares students for entry level work in a variety of settings. Career options include Child Protection Worker, Rehabilitation Advisor, Hospital Patient Service, and much more. Students may also go on to pursue higher education.
Credit requirements: 124 total credits
Selection of courses:
- Theories of Personality
- Learning and Memory
- Social Psychology
- Cross cultural/International Psychology
- Counseling Theory and Techniques
Admissions information: Students must submit an application, official high school transcripts, and standardized testing scores. Students may also submit an essay and letter of recommendation voluntarily.
Belhaven University receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Mount Saint Mary’s University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Psychology through the Weekend/Evening & Online College.
This program is geared towards busy adult students who benefit from flexible scheduling. The online format does not detract from the students experience. Classes are kept small and personalized with the same engaging professors as the on-campus courses.
In addition to the liberal arts background, students gain a solid foundation in psychological theories and principles. Courses for the Applied Psychology major cover more specialized areas such as counseling and clinical psychology. Students will find hands-on experience through internships. The surrounding Southern California area offers many opportunities for internships in a wide range of settings including healthcare, private clinical offices, and research companies. Advisors assist students in course selection in line with the students career goals.
Credit requirements: 54 units
Selection of courses:
- Applied Psychology
- Basic Communication Skills
- Communicating in a Diverse World
- Abnormal Psychology
Admissions information: In coming freshman must submit high school transcripts and a letter of recommendation with their application. For the 2021 applicants, Mount Saint Mary’s will be test optional.
Mount Saint Mary's University receives accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Pace University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Relations.
The Pace Path emphasizes three skills for professional success. Each class offered at Pace touches on self management, interpersonal relations, and organizational awareness. These learning goals build the foundation for well-rounded, professional students.
Students in the Applied Psychology and Human Relations major study in depth interpersonal relations skills. Classes include core topics such as psychological testing and interviewing techniques. In class group work helps students build communication and team work skills. Students also participate in hands-on practicums for real world experience. Successful graduates of the program have found entry level positions at companies such as:
- Blythedale Children’s Hospital
- NYC Board of Education
- PS 150
- Armonk Children’s Corner
Students may also pursue higher education.
Credit requirements: 128 total credits
Selection of classes:
- Social Psychology
- Psychological Testing
- Group Relations and Interviewing Techniques
- Lifespan Development Psychology
Admissions information: Freshman applicants must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a written essay or personal statement. Standardized testing scores are optional.
Pace University receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
|School||Tuition & Fees||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate||Median SAT||Median ACT|
|01. New York University||$52K||20%||85%||1410||31|
|02. Boston College||$55K||28%||93%||1405||32|
|03. Loyola University Chicago||$44K||68%||75%||1215||27|
|04. Regis University||$37K||60%||68%||1140||24|
|05. Christian Brothers University||$33K||56%||51%||23|
|06. Mayville State University||$7K||86%||29%||21|
|07. State University of New York at Canton||$8K||78%||39%||990||19|
|08. Belhaven University||$25K||52%||36%|
|09. Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles||$41K||84%||65%||1030||19|
|10. Pace University||$45K||76%||59%||1140||24|
|11. Cleveland State University||$10K||88%||41%||1080||22|
|12. Bethel University||$11K||66%||35%||946||20|
|13. Bryant University||$44K||76%||77%|
|14. Champlain College||$41K||75%||62%||1185||25|
|15. Tennessee Wesleyan College||$24K||60%||46%||1040||22|
- Applied psychologists work directly with a variety of clients. Clients present themselves with a range of struggles, from depression and drug addiction to a need for improved teamwork. Applied psychologists help clients identify the area or areas of struggle if needed, then both client and psychologist work together to develop and implement solutions. Applied psychologists must have a strong background in subject areas such as methods of counseling and theories of personality.
- Psychology is a generic term that covers the entire field of experimental and applied psychology and all of their sub-fields. Applied psychology is also a more broad term, but it is specific to areas of client/psychologist relationships. This is different from experimental psychology which tends towards studying aspects of human nature, gathering and evaluating data, and drawing conclusions.
- Some applied psychologist sub-fields include:
- Mental health counseling – Works with all ages in a wide range of settings. Clients may struggle with depression, behavior disorders, eating disorders, or any number of other issues.
- Sports psychology – Familiar with all aspects of a team and their game. Assists with areas such as motivation, appropriate nutrition, teamwork strategies, and rehabilitation.
- Industrial and Organizational psychology – Works with businesses to help increase productivity. Provides employee evaluations to help determine their areas of competency. Also assists with hiring, training, time management, organizational skills, and more.
- Applied Psychology means taking theoretical class work and using it in very practical, hands-on ways. Applied psychology means helping others to help themselves.
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