Psychology is one of the fields of study that deals with human behavior, which is why there are typically some research requirements for online psychology degree programs. When you take psychology courses on campus, your professors expect you to learn both in the classroom and on your own. With online psychology programs, you should expect to spend more time doing research on topics that you learn about in class and a good program will require some serious research on your part.
Undergraduate psychology programs hope to give students a basic understanding of different topics and types of psychology. The one thing that most of these programs have in common is an experimental research course. These courses show you how to develop a hypothesis and perform research and experiments to prove or disprove that hypothesis. In a face to face psychology program, students often work in small groups and perform experiments on other students. When you attend an online course, you won’t have the chance to do those same experiments. Your professors will expect you to do research on different experimental methods on your own.
Specific Course Research
The chance to study so many different topics is one of the biggest benefits of studying psychology. The type of classes that you take determines the amount of research you’ll do. A class on aging might require that you look at how different risk factors plague the elderly and what happens as the body ages. For a class on social psychology, you can expect to research different age groups and social factors that can make people act in different ways. You may even take a class on surveying that asks you to look at different surveying techniques and then create your own survey.
Working on Your Thesis
The research requirements for online psychology degree programs increase at the master’s level. It is impossible to earn a graduate degree in psychology without writing a thesis or completing a capstone project. A capstone project lets you create an experiment or a project that deals with some area of psychology. You might look at how music or light affects mood, how local school districts can better the ways in which they deal with students or how a pet or small animal responds to different situations. Writing a thesis will take even more research on your part. Your online college might require that you write a thesis of 50 to 100 pages.
Beware of No Research Programs
One potential warning sign of a bad school is if it doesn’t require any type of research. Psychology students must learn how to think independently, pay attention to new research and find ways to incorporate established findings with their own thoughts. A school that asks you to regurgitate the information you read online and in your textbooks won’t teach you these skills. Kelsey Sheehy also suggests looking at the support services available. A good school will provide you with instant help for technology programs and let you remain in constant contact with your psychology professors.
The research that you do as a psychology student can help you remain informed about new changes in the psychology field and prepare you to write your own articles for journals and other publications. The research requirements for online psychology degree programs typically vary based on the classes you take and your educational level.