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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 130,917 degrees awarded. This is approximately the same as the 131,061 graduates the prior year.

There are 1,563 schools offering degrees in general psychology in the United States. This year's Best Colleges for General Psychology ranking compares 779 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom psychology rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting 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.

Getting Accepted Into a General Psychology Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional psychology certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of General Psychology Degrees

There are many different psychology degree levels. You can get anything from a associate's degree in general psychology to the highest psychology degree, a professional practice doctorate. The time it takes to complete a psychology degree varies depending on the program.

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. See the the most common levels of education for psychology workers below.

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%

69.2% of psychology workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in general psychology careers have.

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This of course varies depending on which psychology career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Psychology Majors

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%

Psychology Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated general psychology students earned an average of $28,983 in 2017-2018. 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.

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Highest Paid Psychology Careers

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 2,961 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.

One of 3 majors within the Psychology area of study, General Psychology has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 30,532
Child Development & Psychology 13,150
Other Psychology 3,056

View All Psychology Related Majors >

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