What is psychology?
Are you fascinated with human behavior and mental processes?
If so, the Associate of Arts degree with a Psychology focus is for you. You can complete this AA degree!
Psychology is the scientific study of the relationship between brain function, the environment, and behavior.
As a graduate of psychology, you’ll be able to show:
- Familiarity with the major concepts, perspectives, observations, and historical trends in Psychology
- Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including:
- Research Design
- Data Analysis
- Interpretations of Findings
- Respect and use:
- Critical & Creative Thinking
- Skeptical Inquiry
- Scientific Approach to Problem Solve
- Understand & apply psychological principles to personal, social, & organizational issues
Courses include, but are not limited to:
- General Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Research Methods in Psychology
- Applications of Statistics in Psychology
- Psychology of Aging
- Psychological Aspects of Death & Dying
- Abnormal Psychology
These courses give you a full view of the AA psychology degree’s applicable areas.
A Career in Psychology
An associate degree in psychology prepares students for a variety of careers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14% job growth rate for psychology positions in the future. This is much faster than the rate for all other occupations. Many jobs in psychology need a bachelor’s or graduate degree. But, an associate’s in psychology can lead to promising careers & other opportunities.
Many students use an associate’s in psychology as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Associate-level programs provide the educational foundation needed to pursue more advanced psychology careers.
You’ll need a high school diploma or GED before you can pursue an associate’s degree in psychology.
Others follow a cohort learning format, in which students advance through their coursework at the same pace as their peers.
While identical in coursework and academic quality, the experience of earning a psychology associate degree online is different from that of a traditional, on-campus program. Prospective students should examine what they want from a psychology degree and decide whether online learning fits their lifestyle, personality, learning preferences, and career goals. As for tuition, online classes will likely cost the same as a traditional program
Students who want a more traditional college experience can find plenty of psychology classes that allow them to take all of their classes on campus. Students advance through their coursework at the same pace as their peers.
These classes are ideal for those students who are working or taking care of children. Online classes lead to the same kind of job opportunities after graduation. While an online degree provides flexibility, independence, and freedom, it also requires considerable self-motivation, organization, and discipline.
In addition to what is stated for the Online description, Remote classes require you to participate in classes virtually at a certain time/day weekly.
This class blends a mix of online and on-campus courses. You may take most of your classes online and go to campus just 1 or 2 times a week.
These classes are offered in a 16-, 12-, 9-, or 6-week duration each Fall and Spring semester. Since several of these classes are offered in a duration of fewer weeks, students have the possibly of an early graduation.
Typical Degree & Career Paths in Psychology
Though you can get your start in the psychology field with an associate degree, most professionals eventually pursue advanced education. Higher degrees, Master’s degrees or Doctorate degrees, can prepare you for roles such as a clinical, educational, and forensic psychologist. You could also go on to become a psychology professor or researcher.
Though psychology career options are somewhat limited with an associate degree, there are several of job opportunities to consider.
- The American Psychological Association Divisions (new window) (or groups) reflect the vast diversity of psychology as a scientific discipline.
- The American Psychological Association Research in Action (APA) (new window) website provides examples of the application and value of psychological research in our everyday lives.
- The Association for Psychological Science (APS) (new window) also offers resources on how psychological science contributes to the improvement of human welfare.
What are my career choices?
Having an associate’s degree is valued by employers in everything from child care to human services. Schools offering psychology associates degrees cite the following as possible associate level career choices.
- Psychiatric Nursing Assistant or Orderly
- Youth Counselor
- Case Technician
- Human Service Assistant
- Home Care Aide
- Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that psychiatric technicians typically complete certificate programs geared toward the job role while psychiatric aides (a lower designation) may benefit from some postsecondary education in areas like psychology.
Correctional officers work directly with prison inmates and have responsibilities that include supervising activities, overseeing rehab efforts, and providing counseling. They might also make recommendations for changes to facilities or activities that may impact the psychological health of the inmates.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), correctional officers earn a median annual wage of $47,440.
Though each state and agency has its own requirements, correctional officers typically attend a training academy and also undergo on-the-job training.
Home Care Aide
Home health and personal care aides assist clients who have disabilities, chronic illnesses, or mental impairment. In the patient’s own home, they help with daily activities such as eating, getting dressed, taking care of household duties, and delivering medication. Job opportunities for the position are rapidly growing, as the BLS projects an employment increase of 33% through 2030.
Though the career can be incredibly rewarding, you shouldn’t expect to earn much as a home health aide. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $27,080 per year.
Requirements typically involve some sort of on-the-job training.
Human Service or Social Work Assistant
While an associate’s degree doesn’t let you serve on your own as a social or human services worker, it’s possible to find a role as an assistant. In this position, you might help organize cases, coordinate service plans, interview clients, file reports, and help others understand the resources that are available to them.
The BLS lists the median salary for these assistants to be $35,960 per year.
On-the-job training is usually required.
Psychiatric Nursing Aides
Like home health aides, psychiatric aides help patients with mental or developmental disabilities with their daily duties but do so in a healthcare setting such as psychiatric hospital or mental health facility.
Psychiatric aides earn a median annual salary of $33,140, according to the BLS.
Expect to undergo short-term on-the-job training.
Psychiatric technicians work in the same settings as psychiatric aides but instead of helping with daily duties, they provide therapeutic treatment and monitor their patients’ conditions.
The BLS lists the median annual salary for a psychiatric technician as $35,030.
While a psychiatric technician will also undergo some sort of on-the-job training, they typically also need to gain certification through the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians. There are various certification levels depending on your education.
What are my Degree, Diploma, or Certificate Options?
Students earning an Associate in Arts degree can explore Psychology in more depth by completing several classes. Students planning to transfer after earning an Associate in Arts degree can fulfill several pre-major requirements. Completing these classes, however, does not mean that a student has fulfilled all pre-major requirements for a four-year degree at the University of Kentucky or elsewhere.
PSY 110 - General Psychology
PSY 212 - Applications of Statistics in Psychology
PSY 213 - Research Methods
PSY 223 - Developmental Psychology
PSY 230 - Psychosocial Aspects of Death and Dying
PSY 297 - Psychology of Aging
PSY 298 - Essentials of Abnormal Psychology
Psychology - minimum 17 hours
PY 110, PSY 212, PSY 213, PSY 223; choose one from PSY 230, PSY 297, PSY 298
Introduces the history, methods and content of modern psychology. Covers the history
and systems of psychology, psychological research, physiological psychology, psychological
processes, developmental psychology, personality, abnormal behavior, and social psychology.
Prerequisite: ACT, COMPASS, or ASSET scores for college level reading OR completion of Transitional reading course(s).
Introduces students to descriptive and inferential statistics in design, analysis,
and interpretation of psychological research.
Prerequisite: ACT, COMPASS, or ASSET score for college level mathematics or completion of Transitional math course(s); PSY 110.
Applies scientific methods to psychological research. Provides practical experience
in designing and executing a research project using observational, survey, and/or
true experimental design methodologies. Requires application of descriptive and inferential
statistics and written report of research project results.
Prerequisite: PSY 110.
Introduces the principles of developmental psychology as seen in human growth over
the entire lifespan, focusing primarily on infancy through adolescence. Emphasizes
theory and data relating to developmental aspects of cognition, language, and personality.
Prerequisite: PSY 110.
Examines the biophysiological, psychological, sociological, and cultural aspects of
death and dying in the evolving global world. Explores variations in the behaviors
and attitudes associated with death, dying and bereavement, with particular attention
to the contexts (e.g., cultural, familial, historical, life span developmental) in
which these variations occur.
Fulfills the Cultural Studies requirement.
Prerequisite: PSY 110 or SOC 101, or consent of instructor.
Provides an overview of the demographics of aging, theories of aging, and research
methods used to study adult development. Examines the biological, psychological, and
social impact of aging, longevity, work, retirement, death and bereavement.
Prerequisite: PSY 110 or consent of instructor.
Provides an overview of the theories, diagnoses, and treatments of psychological disorders.
Covers the biological, psychological, and social factors that influence the etiology,
understanding, and management of psychopathology within society.
Prerequisite: PSY 110 or consent of instructor.
Length of Program
You can earn an associate in applied science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status.
This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.