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2021 General Psychology Degree Guide

General Psychology will allow you to explore the way humans and animals respond and interact to their circumstances and environment. This major involves the study of human and animal behavior through scientific research. Your coursework will help you understand the inner workings of a person including personality types, how we learn language, inherited traits, what role environment plays in development and more.

Classes that you can expect when majoring in General Psychology include: abnormal psychology, sensation and perception, research methods, cognition, personality, learning, social psychology, general psychology, developmental psychology, and neuroscience.

#4 Most Popular Major
131k Degrees Awarded
-0.1% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, general psychology was the 4th most popular major nationwide with 130,560 degrees awarded. This represents small change only -0.1% from the prior year's total of 130,686 psychology degrees awarded.

The United States has 1,563 different schools where you can get a degree in general psychology. Our 2021 Best Colleges for General Psychology ranking analyzes 779 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for general psychology students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of psychology programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in General Psychology

General Psychology requires a great deal of memorization as you learn specific terminology and theories. A sense of curiosity will help you investigate and understand behavior and genetics. Students should be adaptable and work well with others. This major requires a lot of group work and interaction with people from diverse backgrounds.

In addition to people skills, you should also be comfortable working with numbers and performing scientific experiments. Learn to quickly extract important information from readings and data. Problem solving skills will help you work through difficult labs, as well as apply theories and strategies to life situations.

Prior Education for a Psychology Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most psychology degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic general psychology program qualifications, to serve in some psychology careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

General Psychology Degree Types

Psychology degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in general psychology to something that takes less time like a . Depending on the general psychology degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to psychology, with approximately 26.9% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to psychology tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 26.1%
Master’s Degree 25.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 20.2%
Doctoral Degree 15.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate 5.6%

Most workers in psychology have at least a master's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in general psychology have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the psychology career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Psychology Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$29k Average Starting Salary
9% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Students interested in becoming a clinical, counseling, or research psychologist will need a doctoral degree. You will need to obtain a master's degree to become a school psychologist. Psychology graduates who don't wish to continue their education can also find jobs in social work, marketing, human resources, advertising or public health programs.

Solid Growth Projected for Psychology Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your psychology degree? General Psychology careers are expected to grow 9.1% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to general psychology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists 168,500 14.2%
Psychology Professors 54,000 15.1%
Psychologists 19,200 10.3%
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists 1,800 5.9%

How Much Money Do People With a Psychology Degree Make?

General Psychology graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $28,983 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $11,300 to as high as $93,100. As you might expect, salaries for psychology graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Psychology Majors

Salaries for general psychology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers psychology grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists $109,030
Psychologists $95,610
Psychology Professors $88,490
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists $85,340

Getting Your General Psychology Degree

With over 2,894 different psychology degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased psychology school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in General Psychology

General Psychology is one of 3 different types of Psychology programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 28,126
Child Development & Psychology 12,985
Other Psychology 2,784

View All Psychology Related Majors >


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