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Associate of Arts (AA): Psychology Degree Overview

An Associate of Arts in Psychology is typically an entry-level degree program. Students can use this degree as a stepping stone toward long-term goals in advanced education, or they can seek out entry-level employment working under the supervision of licensed psychologists. While completing the program, students can gain fundamental knowledge in behavior theories and explore the causes of abnormal and normal thought processes.

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Associate of Arts in Psychology

An associate degree program in psychology typically requires a high school diploma or the equivalent. In this program, students may study behavior analysis and explore factors that affect how individuals respond to stress and unexpected circumstances. Programs often focus on how the actions of individuals are influenced by their own thought processes and by people's interactions with others. Students may gain a broader understanding of mental processes by investigating how variables such as gender, race, sexuality and ethnicity influence both normal and abnormal behavior.

Course Topics

An associate degree program in psychology typically involves two years of full-time study adding up to a minimum of 60 semester hours. These programs focus on introductory topics in psychology and delve into more complex theory and research in the field. Courses could include:

  • Emotional and social disorders
  • Adult development
  • Biological psychology
  • Family and marriage counseling
  • Methods of research
  • Abnormalities in psychology
  • Personality theories
  • Psychology in education

Popular Career Options

Individuals who complete 2-year degree programs in psychology often transfer into bachelor's degree programs. Graduates might also find employment in entry-level jobs related to human resources or social work. They may also qualify for select entry-level positions related to psychology, such as in counseling assistance, which usually require the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Some possible job titles include:

  • Social services clerk
  • Elderly home recreation aide
  • Paraprofessional counselor
  • Drug counseling assistant
  • Patient admission record keeper

With an associate degree in psychology, one can become a human service assistant. This broad category was expected to have a 22% growth in jobs from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary was $28,850 for human service assistants in 2012.

Continuing Education

Individuals who have earned an associate degree in psychology may pursue advanced opportunities by earning a bachelor's degree in psychology. Some schools offer an integrated program that incorporates the associate degree program into a bachelor's degree program. Those interested in becoming counselors, therapists or clinical psychologists typically must hold graduate degrees in psychology as well as state licensure.

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Popular School

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must be 22 years of age or have active military status
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AA in Applied Psychology

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Psychology, General
  • School locations:
    • New Hampshire (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Hesser College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Psychology, General
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Cognitive Science
        • Psychology, General
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Psychology, General
        • Social Psychology
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Psychology
      • Developmental Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Cognitive Science
        • Counseling Psychology, General
        • Psychology, General
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
        • Psychology, General
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Psychology, General
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Psychology, General
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Psychology
      • Psychology and Human Behavior
        • Psychology, General

Popular Schools

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics