Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Transfer up to
113 Credits
A median of 67 credits accepted
Receive credit for prior coursework

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Advance Your Education and Strengthen Your Career with a BS in Psychology

Psychology is the study of human behavior, thought, and feeling. It is a scientific field with broad application to human concerns and human conditions. Students develop familiarity with a variety of perspectives, including biological, social, and cognitive origins of behavior.

This fully online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program provides students a broad background, including a grounding in scientific principles and ethical practices, that prepare graduates for careers as varied as teaching, social work, sales and marketing, human resources, nonprofit leadership, and community development. Graduates also use their deep understanding of human behavior and motivation to thrive in diverse fields such as health care and personal training, communication, and organizational development.

Fast Facts:

Employment of psychologists is projected to grow 14 percent by 2026 (Source: BLS)

Bachelor’s degree holders can be found in specialties as diverse as organizational, educational, and social psychology (Source: BLS)

The average median psychologist salary is $77,030 (Source: BLS)


credit hours

Online BS in Psychology Program Details

120 credits are required for the Bachelor of Science in Psychology. As part of these credits, for the core component of this degree, a minimum of 33 credits must be earned in the field of psychology, of which 18 must be at the upper level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the major.

  • Cornerstone Course
  • INL 102 Information Literacy
  • Written English Requirements
  • Humanities
    • One ethics course
    • Two elective courses
  • Social Sciences and History
    • Any combination of three social sciences and/or history courses
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    • One mathematics course (minimum 2 credits)
    • One natural science course (minimum 2 credits)
    • Additional courses
  • Arts and Science Electives
  • Applied Professional Credits
  • Additional Arts and Sciences Courses

Psychology Course Requirements

  • Core Requirements
    • General Psychology/Introductory Psychology
    • Statistics
    • Research Methods/Experimental Psychology/Experimental Desgn
    • History and Systems/History of Psychology/Psychological Foundations
  • Intermediate and Upper-Level
    • Minimum of one course in each area:
      • Biological and Physiological Foundations
      • Developmental Perspectives
      • Social Influences
      • Abnormal Psychology
      • Cognitive Bases
  • Electives
  • Psychology Capstone Course

Core Psychology Courses

Introduction to Psychology

This course provides a broad overview of the field of psychology and lays a foundation for further study.  Topics include the historical roots of psychology, psychological research methods, biological mechanisms, influencing psychological processes, human development, cognition and learning, memory, intelligence and intelligence testing, basic theories of personality, psychological disorders, therapeutic approaches, and the role of psychology in everyday life and society.

Research Methods

During this course you will investigate how research is conducted in the social sciences. You will learn research methods and techniques that you are likely to come across in your professional and personal lives. Throughout the course, you will have opportunities to apply the different research methods and techniques that you have learned. Lastly, you will leave the course with an understanding of research methods that will give you the knowledge and skills needed to gather, evaluate, and apply information and research findings.

History and Systems

This course provides an overview of historical perspectives and theoretical developments that have contributed to the modern discipline of psychology throughout the world. Students learn about the major perspectives, including Gestalt psychology, structuralism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and cognitive psychology. Students also learn about the psychology of social change and the development of modern psychological branches and applications.

Research and Writing

Students develop a literature review and subsequent research paper in their discipline. The course is intended to demonstrate your ability to understand professional research and the style of writing expected in your discipline.

Intermediate and Upper-Level Psychology Courses

Biological and Physiological Foundations


This course examines how neurons work individually and together to enable behavior, feelings, and thoughts. Students learn about the structures and functions of the nervous system and how they contribute to the biological bases of behavioral development, perception, learning, memory, cognition, motivation, language, sleep, and psychological disorders.

Developmental Perspectives

Lifespan Developmental Psychology

This course introduces human development as a product of the interactions between individuals and their environment. It examines the development of learning, emotion, personality, and cognition across the lifespan. Students explore, analyze, and present theories and evidence associated with developmental science from conception through death.

Social Influences

Mind, Body, and Health

Students learn the psychology of behavior related to health and fitness, including the influence of stress and lifestyle, physical activity, and diet. Students examine health and fitness across the life-span, as well as how behavior affects health and behavioral changes to improve health outcomes. Students develop a holistic plan for diet and physical fitness for various target populations.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Industrial/Organizational psychology is the scientific study of workplace behavior. Learn about the principles of psychology that are critical for the effective functioning of organizations, including recruitment and selection of employees, training and development, motivating employees, performance appraisals, working in teams, healthy work-life balance, leadership, and organizational change.

Abnormal Psychology

Explore the history and models of abnormal behavior, analyze and present theories and empirical research associated with abnormal psychology, and discuss contemporary clinical assessment and treatment. Learn the characteristics of mental health diagnoses and use case studies to demonstrate synthesis of course material, including the effect of mental disorders on family, friends, coworkers, and the community.

Cognitive Bases

Educational Psychology

An overview of educational psychology, you’ll examine how people of all ages learn. Topics include social context and socioemotional development, cognitive and language development, sociocultural diversity, approaches to learning, managing the classroom, planning instruction, use of technology in teaching, assessment, and motivation.

Psychology Capstone Course

This is a competency-based, senior-level course designed for advanced students and working professionals to complete their bachelor’s degree in psychology. Course content focuses on demonstrating the competencies associated with the psychology student learning outcomes. The capstone requires students to research and connect psychological theory to real-world problems.

View our catalog for additional information.

Common Careers with an
Online BS in Psychology

  • Education
  • Health
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Public Affairs
  • Sales
  • Service Industries
graduates in their regalia
My psychology degree really taught me how to talk to different kinds of people. Knowing how the human mind works helps me get people to feel comfortable when I’m taking their picture. Excelsior also prepared me to be a business owner. You have to be a self-starter and hold yourself accountable to be successful in online classes, and the same holds true as an entrepreneur.

Stephanie Jump
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, 2016

Recognitions & Accreditations

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Institutional Accreditation

Excelsior University is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE or the Commission) Excelsior University’s accreditation status is accreditation reaffirmed. The Commission’s most recent action on the institution’s accreditation status on June 23, 2022 was to reaffirm accreditation. MSCHE is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct accreditation and pre-accreditation (candidate status) activities for institutions of higher education including distance, correspondence education, and direct assessment programs offered at those institutions. The Commission’s geographic area of accrediting activities is throughout the United States.

All of Excelsior University’s academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.