Popular Accredited Online Psychology Degrees in Connecticut [2024 Guide]

Though Connecticut is one of the smallest states in the nation, it’s big on education. With dozens of public and private colleges to choose from, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to getting a higher education. That goes for on-campus and online programs alike!

As a prospective psychology student, you have the advantage of choosing between many different types of online programs, too. You can get an undergraduate degree in psychology or human services, a graduate degree in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, counselor education, or a graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling, to name a few. Let’s explore some of the popular programs in more detail!

Best Accredited Online Psychology Degrees in Connecticut - Psychology Bachelor's and Master's Programs in CT

Online Psychology Degrees in Connecticut

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering online psychology degrees in Connecticut:

  • University of Bridgeport
  • Charter Oak State College
  • Post University
  • Western Connecticut State University
  • University of New Haven
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Purdue Global
  • Capella University
  • Grand Canyon University

University of Bridgeport

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Bridgeport follows a traditional 120-credit, four-year sequence. The difference is that the program is 100 percent online, so you can reap the benefits of a completely flexible degree program.

The degree’s curriculum is divided into four components: university core, general electives, psychology core, and psychology electives. Together, these components represent a comprehensive education that lays the foundation for entry-level work or attending graduate school.

The university core component includes basic coursework that all students must take. These courses are at the introductory level and encompass a broad range of subjects, from math and natural sciences to social sciences and humanities. The general elective portion of the curriculum is much the same, though you get to pick the courses you take.

The psychology core portion represents the foundational courses in psychology that are critically important for understanding this field as a science. The courses you will take include the following:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology

You will also take courses in psychology research methods and psychological statistics. These courses are particularly helpful in understanding how to apply psychological principles in laboratory settings and analyzing psychological data for meaning. All told, the psychology core component represents 24 credit hours of the 120 total credits needed to graduate.

Another 15 credits of psychology elective courses are needed to graduate. The University of Bridgeport offers numerous courses that fulfill this part of the curriculum, including Human Sexuality, Animal Behavior, and Biological Psychology. Additional elective options include:

  • Current Topics in Psychology
  • Psychology of Women
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology

These and other electives allow you to specialize your degree to an extent. For example, if you are especially interested in child psychology, you might take courses like The Exceptional Child, Adolescence, and Educational Psychology. Conversely, if you are interested in issues related to aging, you might take courses like Lifespan Developmental Psychology, Maturity and Aging, and Health Psychology.

Another interesting elective option is to complete a senior thesis or an internship. A senior thesis requires you to conduct original, independent research and report your findings in an extensive paper. Typically, a thesis must be defended in an oral presentation, but that is most common at the graduate level as opposed to the undergraduate level.

An internship offers a different kind of learning experience. Rather than focusing on psychology research and writing, you spend time observing psychologists in a workplace setting. So, for example, you might shadow a school psychologist for a few weeks to learn more about their career, their responsibilities, and how they interact with students.

To be considered for admission, you must:

  • Submit an application for admission
  • Provide official high school transcripts
  • Provide official transcripts from every college or university you have attended
  • ACT or SAT scores (this is optional)

You may also submit supporting materials like letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement if you wish.

Charter Oak State College

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Charter Oak State College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology that is more flexible than most – with six start dates over the course of the year, you can begin your studies when the time is right. Of course, all classes are completely online, too, so you can earn your degree no matter your location or the time of day.

This 120-credit program requires about four years of full-time studies to complete (or five to six years of part-time studies). During that time, you will take a host of courses that introduce you to basic topics in many different fields.

For example, required and elective general education courses comprise more than half of the credits needed to graduate. These courses include math, science, social science, and humanities. You will take courses in the arts, physical education, and communications as well.

The focus of your work during the third and fourth years of the degree is on psychology. You must complete at least 39 credits in psychology during this time, including required courses like the following:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Statistics in Psychology
  • Research Methods for Behavioral Sciences

After completing these courses, you are given greater latitude regarding the classes you take. For example, the university requires you to select two of the following four options:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Introduction to Neuropsychology
  • Learning and Memory
  • Adolescent Psychology

Then, you can choose one among the following three classes: Social Psychology, Psychology of Personality, or Abnormal Psychology. These courses are usually taken prior to the final required psychology course: Psychology Major Capstone. A capstone course usually involves detailed research in a field of psychology that interests you.

For example, if you are interested in the relationship between the brain and behavior, you might conduct a literature review on the relationship between dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, and the incidence of schizophrenia, a psychotic disorder in which a person experiences hallucinations, delusions, and social withdrawal, among many other symptoms.

Alternatively, let’s say you are interested in childhood disorders like ADHD. Your capstone project might review the efficacy of different ADHD medications as well as their side effects. Whatever topic you choose for the capstone, you will spend a great deal of time researching it and writing a detailed paper.

This online psychology degree is unique in that you can choose from four concentration areas:

  • Life Span
  • Social and Behavioral Psychology
  • Cognition and Learning
  • General Psychology

Whichever concentration you choose, you must complete at least 15 credits of related coursework. For example, the Social and Behavioral Psychology concentration includes courses on Lifespan Development, the Psychology of Play, and the Psychology of Gender. Social Psychology and Deviance and the Psychology of Addiction are also required.

You can apply to Charter Oak State College online. Requirements for admission are as follows:

  • Submit an application for admission
  • Submit proof of high school graduation or completion of its equivalency
  • Have a 2.0 high school GPA or higher (if your GPA is lower than this, you will be placed on academic probation)
  • Be able to write and speak English

Post University

Bachelor of Science in Human Services

If you want a broader degree that’s related to psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Human Services like the one from Post University might be a good fit. Rather than focusing narrowly on psychology as a science, a human services degree introduces you to various topics, like case management, counseling, and human development.

This degree also includes coursework in crisis intervention, advocacy, and ethics, all of which are necessary for working in the human services field. Speaking of work, this degree prepares you for entry-level careers upon graduation, such as working as a case manager for a social services agency, a career counselor with an agency like the Department of Workforce Services, or as a probation agent, to name a few.

The largest part of this degree is the general education requirements. These courses, which total 60 of the 120 credits needed to graduate, are first- and second-year introductory studies in areas like English composition, social sciences, liberal arts, and math. Though most of these credits entail specific required courses, 15 credits are electives, so you can take classes that interest you the most.

The major core courses in human services include 30 credits that explore the major tenets of this field. For example, you will take classes such as:

  • Social Welfare
  • Multicultural Issues in Human Services
  • Case Management
  • Human Services Administration
  • Sex and Gender

Another component of the major core coursework is a two-part practicum experience with six total credits. The purpose of the practicum is to provide you with experiential learning opportunities in a real-world human services setting. You will spend 120 hours observing a human services professional, which you can do at an approved agency in your community.

This program also requires you to complete a 15-credit concentration. You can choose from four options: Child and Family Studies, Counseling, Criminal Justice, or Diversity, Social Justice, and Multicultural Practice.

For the most part, the coursework for each concentration consists of required classes. However, some of these concentrations give you greater choice regarding the courses you take. For example, the Criminal Justice concentration allows you to choose between Introduction to Law Enforcement or Introduction to Corrections. Whichever course you choose is supplemented by required classes in the following:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Race, Ethnicity and Crime
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Theoretical Criminology

Since this major prepares you for a service-oriented career, its focus is on social organizations, human services systems, and program administration. You will also graduate with enhanced skills and abilities related to ethical decision-making, program management, and advocacy. Likewise, you will learn methods of self-care that help prevent burnout due to the intense nature of human services work.

You must complete the following steps to be considered for admission:

  • Complete an interview with an academic advisor
  • Complete a Professional College Advisory Session
  • Submit an application for admission
  • Submit your high school diploma or equivalency

First-year online students are further required to complete an English placement test. The results of this test determine which English course you are required to take as part of your degree program.

Western Connecticut State University

Master of Science in Counselor Education

After obtaining an undergraduate education in psychology, human services, or a related field, you can explore getting a master’s degree, like the Master of Science in Counselor Education from Western Connecticut State University.

This 60-credit, three-year program offers two distinct concentration areas: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Both programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and lead to state-level licensure.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling track prepares you for certification through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). With this credential, you can work in therapeutic settings with individuals, couples, families, and groups seeking mental health care.

To gain the necessary skills to work in a clinical setting, you will take courses like the following:

  • Counseling Theories
  • Counseling Techniques
  • Group Therapy
  • Psychological Assessments
  • Multicultural Counseling

Aside from theory and technique-driven coursework, you will also take courses focusing on psychopathology, diagnosis of mental disorders, and professional ethics. You might also take specialized courses such as Crisis Counseling, Couples and Marriage Counseling, or Psychopharmacology.

As a licensure track program, you must also complete practicum and internship experiences. Practicums can be considered entry-level experiential activities because you typically observe professional counselors in a job shadow setting. Though you might sit in on therapy sessions between your supervisor and their clients, you would most likely not participate in those sessions in a therapeutic manner.

However, the internship phase of this program does provide you with opportunities to work directly with clients. For example, you might intern at a community mental health center and oversee group counseling sessions for people with a specific disorder, like anorexia. You aren’t thrown into the fire, though – your coursework prepares you for providing clinical services as an intern, and you will be supervised throughout the internship experience by a licensed counselor.

The School Counseling track focuses on developing your skills as a comprehensive counselor in a K-12 setting. You will explore the many different roles of school counselors, the functions you will be expected to fulfill, and practice counseling techniques to provide services to children with mental, emotional, and behavioral concerns. Though the application of your skills is in a school setting, the school counseling program is much more broad in its coursework. For example, you will take courses like:

  • Theories of Counseling
  • Career Development
  • Prevention and Intervention Methods
  • Substance Abuse
  • Marriage and Family Counseling

Additional coursework prepares you to work with specific populations within a school. These classes might include Multicultural Counseling, Counseling Special Education Populations, and Counseling Gifted Children.

Of course, practicum and internship experiences are required for this degree track as well. Again, practicums are intended to be initial experiences in which you take on an observational role in a school setting. You might shadow a certified school counselor as they go about their day, providing assistance with tasks like counseling program development, academic advising, and consulting with classroom teachers.

Then, during the internship experience, you would be responsible for taking over tasks like those listed above. A good example of this is in the area of program development. Let’s say your supervisor wants to implement a new anti-bullying campaign in the school. You might be asked to provide suggestions for the program’s construction and implementation.

As another example, your internship will include direct contact with students in a therapeutic setting. You might offer counseling services before and after school or during the lunch period. These counseling sessions are often audio or video recorded, so you can debrief with your supervisor and professors afterward. Doing so allows them to provide expert feedback that helps you hone your counseling skills even further.

It should be noted that while the coursework for these concentrations is online, on-campus clinical skills labs are required.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Submit transcripts from every college or university you have attended showing a 3.0 GPA or higher for all undergraduate coursework
  • Submit an essay espousing the reasons you wish to enroll in the program
  • Provide three letters of recommendation
  • Provide a resume or curriculum vitae
  • Participate in an interview with the faculty admissions committee

University of New Haven

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The University of New Haven’s online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit CACREP-accredited program that requires three years of full-time studies to complete. The program includes coursework in a wide range of counseling areas, plus fieldwork components that help you develop your skills as a counselor.

The university describes the program’s curriculum as “competency-based.” This means that you will learn the skills and techniques in an online classroom environment, and then put those skills and techniques into practice in real-world settings. Core coursework includes the following:

  • Professional Orientation and Ethics in Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Family Therapy
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Assessment in Counseling

But the curriculum is much broader than the courses above. You will also be trained in specialties like Career Counseling, Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders, and Multicultural Counseling, to name a few.

This program also includes an optional specialization in forensic mental health. This specialization includes 12 credits of courses in the following subjects:

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Forensic Assessment
  • Forensic Treatment Models
  • Mental Health Law

If you do not wish to specialize in forensic mental health, you can complete a general counseling curriculum instead.

As noted earlier, coursework is only one component of this degree program. You will also participate in practicum and internship opportunities, which you can complete in your local community. This clinical training includes a minimum of 700 hours of supervised practice in individual and group settings in your chosen specialization.

For example, you might complete your internship at a residential treatment center for people with addictions. As part of your 700 hours of clinical training, you might be responsible for intake interviews with new residents, individual counseling, and group counseling. Your training might also include diagnosing mental health disorders, conducting psychological assessments, and treatment planning.

Alternatively, let’s assume you’re interested in family therapy. In that case, your internship might take place in a private practice setting with your supervisor. Your clinical activities might include marriage counseling with a couple, family counseling sessions with a couple and their children, and individual sessions with each member of the family.

Whatever setting your clinical work takes place in, you will be responsible for tasks like detailed note-taking, insurance-related paperwork, and completing the required number of supervisory hours with your internship supervisor. Internships often include related coursework, too.

You must complete the following tasks to be considered for admission:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university showing a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Provide official transcripts from every college or university you have attended
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Provide your resume or curriculum vitae
  • Submit a statement of purpose

If selected for advanced consideration, you must also participate in an interview with the program’s admissions committee.

The University of New Haven accepts applications to this program on a rolling basis, meaning you can apply at any time. However, your best chance of being accepted to the program is if you submit your application materials by the priority deadline, which is mid-October of each year for a spring start the following year.

What Can I Do With a Psychology Degree in Connecticut?

Pursuing a career in psychology in Connecticut can lead to a variety of opportunities across different settings such as hospitals, schools, private practices, and research institutions. The state offers a robust healthcare system and a strong emphasis on education and mental health services, providing a conducive environment for professionals in psychology.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology may also find their skills in high demand across several other sectors. For instance, human resources departments within corporate and manufacturing settings often value the insight into human behavior that psychology graduates bring.

Similarly, roles such as case managers in social service agencies and non-profit organizations, sales representatives in diverse industries, and research assistants in academic and private research institutions are well-suited to those with an undergraduate background in psychology.

But, with an advanced degree like an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, you can obtain licensure and work in private practice with individual clients. Licensed counselors can also work for public school systems, colleges and universities, or non-profit mental health organizations throughout Connecticut.

Marriage and family therapists, who focus on treating emotional and psychological issues within relationships, and clinical social workers, who offer therapeutic services to individuals and groups, are professions that require a master’s degree along with supervised clinical experience for licensure in Connecticut.

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