online psychology bachelor’s degree California
In response to heightened awareness around mental health issues among its large and diverse population, California offers one of the best job markets in the U.S. for psychologists.
Online psychology degree-holders in California can expect a 12.5% increase in the projected growth of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists from 2016-2026. Licensed psychologists, counselors, therapists, and other professionals earn competitive salaries across the state.
Nearly 20,000 licensed psychologists worked in the state of California as of 2018, and jobs for these professionals are projected to grow substantially by 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you want to someday call yourself a “psychologist,” be prepared to spend several years enrolled in postsecondary education. You’ll need to complete a doctorate degree and meet licensure requirements before using this coveted title.
Students interested in pursuing careers in mental health will find some of the nation’s highest-ranked psychology colleges in California. This guide provides useful information about online degrees in the field, licensing requirements, career and salary prospects, internships, fellowships, and professional resources.
How to Become a Psychologist in California
Becoming a psychologist in California requires years of focus and dedication. While working as a mental health counselor requires only a master’s degree, you must earn a doctorate to use the title of psychologist. Read up on requirements to become a psychologist below.
- Complete a bachelor’s degree: Undergraduate psychology schools in California serve as the first stop on your journey towards working as a psychologist. A bachelor’s in psychology usually requires four years of full-time enrollment and sets the foundation for advanced study in graduate programs.
- Undertake a master’s degree: Master’s degrees in psychology are sometimes a stepping stone to a doctorate program, but other students stop after undertaking a master’s. Students who typically select these programs want to work as mental health counselors or in another role that doesn’t mandate a doctorate.
- Earn a doctoral degree: Ph.D. and Psy.D. in psychology degrees take approximately five to seven years and help you get closer to working as a licensed psychologist. In most cases, the course work will include master’s level work if you have not already completed a master’s program.
- Pick a specialty: The specialty you choose dictates the type of licensure you must pursue.
- Meet licensure requirements: Examples of requirements include completing your doctorate, undertaking supervised hours, and passing examinations. We discuss licensing requirements later in this guide.
Online Psychology Degrees in California
California Southern University: Online Master of Science in Psychology
Residents of California that are searching for convenient and flexible learning alternatives in the field of Psychology should consider online programs for their learning experience. California Southern University is a reliable and recommended provider of online master’s programs in your field.
This university currently has an online Master of Science in Psychology available to interested learners that are prepared to further their professional opportunities in the field. Through learning in this program, students can gain skills relevant to leadership within multiple fields, psychological research, and even towards their pursuits of doctoral programs in the future.
This program consists of 42 credit hours that can be finished within 2-3 years of beginning the program. Courses related to psychological development across the lifespan, social aspects of Psychology, and learning and cognitive development may be included within your program’s curriculum.
At the master’s level, students may be required to engage in research opportunities that test their skills and abilities within this skill area. Near the end of your program, you may be responsible for the development of a graduate project that reflects your understanding of theory and application of psychological concepts to a particular social issue.
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
College of Liberal Arts
California Polytechnic State, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) is a public university located in San Luis Obispo, California. The university was founded in 1901 as a vocational high school. It is currently one of only two polytechnic universities in the 23-member California State University system. The university has the distinction of being among a small group of polytechnic universities in the United States, which tend to be primarily devoted to the instruction of technical arts and applied sciences. Cal Poly is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). US News& World Report ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo #9 amongst colleges and universities in the Western Region.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
The Department of Psychology and Child Development at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is dedicated to enhancing the health of individuals, families, and communities. It does this through scientific understanding and the application of psychology and child development. The department promotes wide-ranging knowledge of psychological and developmental science. Faculty challenge students to be actively engaged in the learning process.
The Learning Objectives for this degree program include:
1. Appreciation of human diversity and multicultural perspectives
2. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills as applied to psychological issues
3. Appreciation of psychology as science
4. Understanding how attitudes, attributions, and social psychological principles explain behavior
5. Knowledge of maturation processes and stages of individual development across the lifespan
6. Understanding how conditioning, reinforcement, discrimination, and aversion affect behavior
7. Knowledge of cognitive processes such as perception, memory, problem solving
8. Knowledge of psychological disorders, their causes, and approaches to treatment
Bachelor of Science in Child Development
The Bachelor of Science in Child Developmental Degree Program is designed for students who wish to gain a solid understanding of development from conception through emerging adulthood. The learning objectives for this program include:
1. Appreciation of the importance of scientific research for addressing human concerns
2. Develop skills as critical consumers of research
3. Knowledge of various theoretical perspectives on development from conception through adolescence (e.g., biological, cognitive, environmental, cultural/contextual)
4. Ability to apply developmental knowledge to current practice
5. Ability to think critically and problem-solve regarding important issues in the CD field
6. Ability to use various methods appropriate for child study and assessment
7.Understanding of the role of technology in developmental science
8. Demonstrate skills as a developing professional (e.g., interpersonal, oral and written communication, leadership) and awareness of ethical standards
9. Appreciation of human diversity and multicultural perspectives
How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in California Work?
California is home to over 440 colleges and universities and has championed access to online learning in recent years. Students will find a wealth of online program options that offer the same high academic standards as campus-based degrees. Due to California’s reputation for quality postsecondary education, employers view both online and traditional on-campus degrees from California schools as equally legitimate.
Some online psychology degrees in California offer accelerated programs, enabling students to move quickly through coursework, while others allow students who have work or personal responsibilities to enroll part-time on a flexible schedule.
While many schools offer the convenience of fully online formats, some degrees incorporate hybrid courses with face-to-face components or rely on cohort learning models, which require online learners to progress through courses as a group. Most schools require in-person residencies, especially at the master’s and doctoral levels.