How to Choose an Online Psychology Class

A Few Factors You Need to Consider

Woman taking online psychology class
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Online psychology classes are a great way to earn college credit and learn more about psychology. For many students, such classes allow them to get ahead in their studies. For other students, particularly those who work full-time or who live in very rural areas, online classes are sometimes the most feasible education option.

Things to Consider 

Not all online courses are created equal, however. Before you choose a distance education course, you should first consider a few important questions.

Is the Course Offered by an Accredited School?

Accreditation is important because it means that the school offering the course has met the minimum criteria established by an outside organization. It helps protect students from being taken advantage of by diploma mills.

Class Schedule 

If you are taking a summer course, it is especially important to ask about the schedule. Summer courses are usually much more condensed and accelerated than those offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. Make sure that you have the time and energy to take on the workload.


Let's face it, when it comes to choosing an online psychology class, the cost is often a primary concern. Finding a way to fund classes can be a challenge for students whether they are taking classes online or offline. Check out the total cost of the class, including tuition and textbooks, before deciding if you can afford it. You might want to also contact the school's financial aid department to talk about scholarships, loans, or grants that might be available.

Can You Transfer the Credits to Another Academic Institution?

If you plan to take an online course from a different college or university later on, make sure that you will be able to transfer the credits. This is a factor that students sometimes overlook, but it can come back to haunt you later on when you want to enroll in a formal undergraduate or graduate program.

Checking into credit transferability now can save you major headaches down the road.

So how do you begin to find the answers to these important questions? The first step is to locate a course that you might want to take. Once you have found a class, you can ask the academic institution offering the course to send you more information about accreditation, tuition rates, class schedules, and other pertinent details.

How do you even find out about online classes? There are a number of different ways to find online psychology courses. Start by checking with colleges and universities in your state to see if they offer any distance education courses. Also, be sure that you know where to find free online psychology classes.

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."