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Kendra Cherry

Distance Education in Psychology

By , black-rose-bielefeld.de GuideNovember 8, 2011

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distance education in psychology

Reader Question
I'm considering earning my undergraduate degree in psychology through an online program. How do I choose an online psychology program?

The accessibility and convenience of distance education have made online programs a great solution for students who cannot attend traditional classes. As more and more accredited colleges and universities offer courses and degrees via distance education, the range of options for online students continues to grow. Before you choose an online psychology degree, you should consider a number of factors including your own learning needs, cost of attendance, type of degree available and the school's accreditation status.

In 2001, the American Psychological Association appointed a task force to investigate the issues and demands of online psychology programs. According to the task force, the vital concerns of a quality distance education course or program focus on "(1) access; (2) learning community; (3) faculty support; (4) student support; (5) curriculum and instruction; (6) evaluation and assessment; (7) institutional context and commitment; (8) facilities and finance; and (9) library and learning resources." If you are considering an online program in psychology or another subject area, assess how the program addresses each of these concerns.

About's Guide to Distance Learning, Jamie Littlefield, offers many great tips for choosing an online program. Check out the following resources before you select a school.

  • Is Distance Learning Right for You?
  • How to Choose a Distance Education School
  • Tips for Identifying Fake Online Schools
If you plan to continue your study in graduate school, it is also important to consider factors that might affect your future educational plans. Before you choose a distance education program, look at the specific courses that are offered. Does the school offer a range of courses? Will you be able to take prerequisites needed for graduate study? The following resources provide more information on class selection and graduate study in psychology. Photo courtesy Tom Denham
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