Online Psychology Courses with Certificates (2021)

Yes, you can take psychology courses online! And a bunch with certification too, meaning you can pick up those all-important prereqs and qualifications you need.

I’ve researched the top courses that deliver exactly that and listed them in this article.

Here’s what else we’ll cover:

  • Accredited online psychology courses from top colleges
  • Recommended free/cheap options
  • What to expect from studying psychology online

Ready to learn more about what’s out there? Let’s go.

Online Psychology Courses With Certificates Listings

Here’s a quick overview of the recommended courses in this article: 

Course InstitutionLevelPrerequisitesLengthHoursCost
B.A. Psychology University Of FloridaUndergraduate Biological Sciences 4 YearsSelf-paced $553/credit
B.A. PsychologyFlorida International UniversityUndergraduate None 4 Years Self-paced  $346/credit
Various Psychology DegreesArizona State UniversityUndergraduate High school diploma2.5 to 4 yearsSelf-paced  $13,360 /semester
Various Psychology Courses University Of IllinoisUndergraduate & GraduatePSY 201 or equivalent1-2 yearsSelf-paced$601/credit
General PsychologyUniversity Of ConnecticutUndergraduate (Credits: 3) Vary8 weeks18-20 hours$1,260
Introduction To PsychologyYale University/CourseraN/ANone2 weeks15 hoursFree
Positive PsychologyUniversity Of Pennsylvania/CourseraN/ANone1 month Self-paced Free

Best Accredited Online Psychology Courses

The following online psychology courses are offered by some of the leading universities in the U.S.

1. B.A. Psychology – University of Florida (With Lab)

The online psychology course of the University of Florida includes a 120-credit curriculum, covering areas such as principles of behavioral analysis, comparative psychology, and lab methods. 

It was named number two in the Best Online Programs Bachelor’s Program in Psychology by U.S. News and World Report in 2021.

The degree can help prepare professionals for careers in the following:

  • Mental Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Behaviour Analysis

And a ton more!

The university follows a GPA cutoff process for high school graduates and transfer students. Interested students who have done the GED can also apply. Freshmen who live in Florida may be eligible for the Presidential Scholarship of US, which awards between $5,000 and $10,000 annually.

You can learn more about the online experiences of students at UF in the video below…

Details:

  • Name: Psychology
  • Institution: University of Florida
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Prerequisites: Biological Sciences, or General Psychology, Pre-calculus: Algebra and Trigonometry, Knowledge of Statistics
  • Length: 4 years
  • Hours: 23 hours per week
  • Website: ufonline.ufl.edu
  • Price: In-state $129 per credit; Out-of-state $553 per credit

2. B.A. Psychology – Florida International University

Florida International University offers an online 120-credit Bachelor’s psychology program containing a broad curriculum that helps students learn about multiple psychology topics. The coursework also includes human biology and elementary statistics. 

The program has five main areas of focus in the field:

  1. Experimental
  2. Social
  3. Applied
  4. Personality/abnormal
  5. Development

The program has start dates for the Spring, Fall, and Summer terms. Applications should be submitted with official SAT or ACT scores, high school transcripts, and an online application fee of $30.

International students can also take this course.

Completing this degree involves taking the following major prereqs (12 credits total):

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Human Biology
  • Any Additional Lower Division Psychology Course

There is also a 10 credit research sequence option available and a host of electives across the five areas of focus mentioned above.

See the video below for an introduction to the platform…

Details:

  • Name: Psychology
  • Institution: Florida International University
  • Level: Graduate
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Length: 4 years
  • Hours: 23 hours per week
  • Website: fiuonline.fiu.edu
  • Price: In-state $223 per credit; Out-of-state $346 per credit

3. Various Psychology Degrees – Arizona State University

There are several online psychology programs available at Arizona State University. Each major has a fast-track option where students can study at an accelerated pace. 

The best part of ASU courses is that over 90 percent of undergraduates receive a job offer within three months of completing their degree. The reasons for ASU’s impressive success rate are due to helping students with career interest inventories, informational articles, and networking sites.

ASU offers the following online psychology courses:

  • B.A. in Psychology
  • BS in Psychology
  • BS in Counselling and Applied Psychological Science
  • B.A. in Forensic Psychology
  • BS in  Forensic Psychology

ASU is another platform consistently ranked in the Top 10 for best online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Even if you don’t meet the admission requirements you can still gain entry via Earned Admission. This pathway enables you to study any of the courses above with a 2.75 GPA or higher.

YouTuber Summer’s Journey has put together a nice testimonial of the platform based on her experiences studying psychology through ASU in the video below…

Details:

  • Name: Psychology
  • Institution: Arizona State University
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma and having studied mathematics, English (non-ESL/ELL courses), social sciences, or lab sciences.
  • Length: 2.5 to 4 years
  • Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Website: asuonline.asu.edu
  • Price: In-state $11,350 per semester; Out-of-State $13,360 per semester

4. Various Psychology Courses – University of Illinois

The online psychology courses at the University of Illinois can be taken individually for credit or grouped together to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.

The course lists in the online catalog of the Department of Psychology detail what’s available to both affiliated and non-affiliated University of Illinois students.

Classes open to anyone include:

  • Intro Psych (4 credit hours)
  • Intro to Social Psych (3 credit hours)
  • Learning and Memory (3 credit hours)

And a ton more. You can see the full course list (and who’s eligible for what) here.

Details:

  • Name: Psychology Courses
  • Institution: University of Illinois
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Prerequisites: Students first need to complete PSY 201 or equivalent with a grade of C (2.0) or better. 
  • Length: 1 to 2 years
  • Hours: 36 credit hours.
  • Website: uis.edu/psychology
  • Price: $305 per credit for both in-state and out-of-state.

Psychology Online Summer Courses

The following online psychology courses can be done during your summer break. Handy if you’re already studying/working but have that period free.

General Psychology – University Of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut offers a range of online psychology courses running throughout the summer that are open to students from any school and enable you to transfer credit.

Each course typically offers 3 credits but the prerequisites can differ depending on which class you choose.

Classes available:

  • General Psychology II (PSYC 1101)
  • Introduction to Multicultural Psychology (PSYC 2101)
  • Physiological Psychology (PSYC 2200, SS1)
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 2300, SS1)
  • The Study of Personality (PSYC 2301, SS2)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSYC 2400)
  • Learning (PSYC 2500)
  • Introduction to Clinical Psychology (PSYC 3301, AS1)
  • Social Development (PSYC 3405, SS2)

Details:

  • Name: General Psychology (& Others)
  • Institution: University Of Connecticut
  • Level: Undergraduate/Graduate Level
  • Prerequisites: Vary
  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Hours: 18-20 hours
  • Website: summersession.uconn.edu
  • Price: $601/credit for undergraduate courses & $940/credit for graduate courses.

Free Online Psychology Courses With Certificates

The following psychology courses are either free/low cost with the option to receive paid certificates on the completion of the course.

Introduction to Psychology – Yale University/Coursera

The Introduction to Psychology course by Yale University looks to find answers to many questions about fear, the reasons behind our dreams, what makes people become racist, the root cause of happiness, and mental illness. 

The course walks students through a detailed overview of the scientific studies behind thought and behavior. Students will also explore topics such as communication, learning, perception, persuasion, memory, decision-making, emotions, and social behavior. 

This course is one of the most popular on the platform, with a solid 4.8/5 rating based on 19,500 votes (98% approval rating).

The course is taught by Paul Bloom Ph.D. You can enroll any time.

The lectures from this course are also visible on YouTube (you obviously can’t complete the interactive quizzes Coursera offers)…

Details:

  • Name: Introduction to Psychology
  • Institution: Yale University/Coursera
  • Level: Beginner
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Length: 2 weeks
  • Hours: 15 hours
  • Website: coursera.org
  • Price: Free

Positive Psychology – University of Pennsylvania/Coursera

Through the psychology course at the University of Pennsylvania, you can learn to integrate various resilience interventions into your personal and work life.

The course explores elementary research into the field of resilience, studying protective factors such as optimism and mental agility. 

During your participation, you can also gain insight into cognitive strategies, such as managing anxiety and boosting positive emotions like gratitude, and more. 

This class has a 97% approval rating on Coursera and is taught by Karen Reivich, Ph.D.

Here’s what some of the top reviews say…

I truly felt like I was in a classroom learning all the material! I greatly appreciated all of the real-world applications and hearing all of the different perspectives throughout each week and topic!

Excellent! There was some common sense here, but plenty of new data and tools anyone can use in both their personal and professional life. A must for every human who wants to get the most out of life.

Check out an introduction to this course in the video below…

Details:

  • Name: Positive Psychology
  • Institution: University of Pennsylvania
  • Level: Beginner
  • Prerequisites: None 
  • Length: 1 month 
  • Hours: 5 hours
  • Website:  coursera.org
  • Price: Free

Related Questions

What Are The Most Important Things To Look For In An Online Psychology Course?

Learning psychology online can give you structure and motivation to complete studies with the support of a community and real-life professors.

To choose the right course for you, you may want to consider some of the following questions…

  1. Structure: how well are the course goals defined and the curriculum laid out?
  2. Time commitment: does the course give you a rough estimate of how much time you’ll need to commit to it each week?
  3. Cost: does it fit your budget?
  4. Instruction: is the teaching professor suitably qualified and delivering the classes in an easy-to-understand format?
  5. Prerequisites: what level of knowledge should you have before starting the course?
  6. Support: once signed up, how much support is available to you to help meet your goals?
  7. Assessment: how is your knowledge and progress assessed?

Many of these questions are answered in the introductory table at the beginning of this article.

Anything else should be researched via your own criteria and the contact you make with course providers.

What Can I Expect Learning Psychology Online?

There are a ton of resources you can use to learn psychology online. Yet despite YouTube being packed with authoritative lectures, it can be lonely trying to study the topic without structure, deadlines, or the community of other students coming along for the journey.

Most psychology courses will introduce you slowly to the topic, walking you through the basics before delving into more complex areas like neuropsychology, cognition, and emotional processing.

The video below is a good primer (again from the University of Arizona Online) as to what you can expect studying the subject online…


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