Psychology A.A. [Online]

The Associates of Arts degree in Psychology prepares you for future careers in a variety of psychology-related or social service support positions or for pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. This degree opens the door for significant, lasting, and meaningful service to Christ through service to humanity.


Credit Hours


Years (Avg.)

Next Start Date

August 29, 2022

Class Type
100% Online,  7-Week Terms, Asynchronous




Why an Associate’s Degree in Psychology from Cairn University?

Faith and Truth Do Matter

Cairn University is committed to the centrality of Christ and the Word of God which is reflected in the curriculum and instruction. At Cairn, faith and truth do matter. We teach our students accordingly, challenge you to think deeply on these things, and strive to make you ready to serve Christ in the church, society, and the world as biblically minded men and women who not only give assent to truth but think and live in light of it.

Community Happens Here

Community is about more than simply taking classes together. It’s more than having a similar experience. Community is powerful, instructive, encouraging, and biblical. And at Cairn, community is intentional. It’s attended to closely as an outworking of the University’s biblical commitment and understanding that in Christ, we are one.


There’s quite a bit of talk these days about the cost of higher education and the question of value. Many assume that you can’t have both value and affordability, so they settle for lesser options or assume that the costliest options must have the most value. But when Cairn talks about walking a different path, value is no exception. It’s possible to get a college education that is both affordable and valuable.

Simple, flat $425* per credit rate or 12K/year. Why spend 30K+/year when you can complete your degree wherever you are for much less?
      *Applies to 2022–2023 academic year. 

Committed Faculty Mentors

Our online courses are taught by faculty who are committed to your professional and spiritual growth. In addition to the carefully crafted learning activities, our faculty are substantively engaged throughout the course delivery. You don’t just have professors, you have mentors who invest in you throughout the program and often remain connected long after graduation.

Seamless Integration

If you choose to remain at Cairn for further study, this program integrates seamlessly into the B.A. in Psychology and most other online bachelor’s degree programs.

Career Paths

  • Behavioral & Mental Health fields
  • Social Services
  • Business (e.g. Human Resources)
  • Research
  • Education
  • Private Practice

Program Curriculum

The A.A. in Psychology program has been designed with input from our expert faculty in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, ensuring you graduate with the in-demand skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. The program requires 61 credits. View a sample curriculum sheet for a snapshot of the courses you will complete.

COM 111 – Introduction to Communications (3 credits)
A course designed to develop effective, professional oral and written communication for a variety of settings.

ENG 101 – English Composition (3 credits)
A course that examines the principles and practices of clear, concise, and literate writing, focusing on the content, style, organization, and mechanics of academic writing. This course provides the skills necessary for critical thinking, research-based writing, and correct documentation.

INT 010 – Life Management Seminar (0 credits)
An introduction to topics relevant to the first year college student including wellness, time management, and personal finance.

PSY 101 – General Psychology (3 credits)
A course designed to provide students with the fundamental principles of psychology, emphasizing basic research and applications in psychology’s major theoretical areas of study.

MAT 131 – Introduction to Statistics (3 credits)
An introduction to measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, the normal distribution, statistical models, quantitative research models, and critical evaluation of statistical data.

THE 111 – Life and Calling (3 credits)
An introduction to living faithfully as servants of God, with particular emphasis on the calling of the student. The course engages students in the biblical and theological rationale for biblical education and Christian discipleship.

POL 101 – US Government and Civics (3 credits)
An examination of the founding, structure, and operations of the United States government and the corresponding political processes and dynamics, with special emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of US citizens and residents.

PSY 321 – Human Development (3 credits)
A study of human growth and development in the biological, cognitive, affective, and social domains. Emphasis is placed on the impact culture and socioeconomic status have on human growth and development.

THE 100 – Introduction to Christian Theology (3 credits)
An introduction to major doctrines of Christianity and to theological method: biblical, systematic, and historical theology. The relevance of the truths of these doctrines to life is explored.

BIB 202 – Narrative of Redemption (3 credits)
An overview of the unfolding of God’s redemptive story from creation to new creation with a focus on the fall into sin, the plan of redemption through Christ Jesus, and the effective communication of the message.

BIB 203 – The Pentateuch (3 credits)
A study of the five books of Moses as the foundational text to the Old and New Testaments.

BIB 204 – The Old Testament (3 credits)
A study of the Old Testament, building upon the foundation of the Pentateuch. Attention is given to the Old Testament as the context for the New Testament.

SCI 211 – Mathematical and Scientific Reasoning (3 credits)
A study of selected mathematical and scientific topics that expand a student’s understanding of the nature and scope of mathematics, engage a student in an evaluation of the philosophical foundation of science, and compel a student to think biblically about science and mathematics.

SOC 202 – Sociocultural Studies (3 credits)
A study of culture, social structure, anthropology, and human interaction through the social institutions of society. Special attention is given to the family, government, economy, education, and religion.

PSY 121 – Psychology as a Profession and Practice (3 credits)
A course introducing students to historical and emerging areas in applied psychology in preparation for careers in psychology and related fields.

PSY 221 – Social Psychology (3 credits)
A course designed to introduce students to the study of human social influence and interaction through an overview of the principal theories in social psychology.

PSY 231 – Research Methods (4 credits)
An introduction to psychological research techniques and methodology. Students develop skills in conducting, analyzing, and evaluating adequate psychological research. Special attention is given to accurately reading and interpreting popular media and academic research in psychology.



One course from the Psychology/Counseling elective (3 credits).

Three courses from general electives from Liberal Arts and Sciences (9 credits).  A listing of courses can be also accessed from the undergraduate course catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

The tuition for post-secondary education has become expensive in general. However, Cairn Online programs rank amongst the most affordable online bachelor’s and master’s programs. While the tuition costs vary by program level, the rate is typically $425 per credit or 12K per year for A.A. and B.S. programs and $300-$725 per credit for graduate programs. 

The current tuition rates are available from this page. Scholarships and financial aid are also available. 

Currently there are over 6 million online learners in the United States, and those numbers are growing every day. Online degrees that have regional accreditation are held to the same standards as traditional universities, ensuring that students earn a valuable degree that will prepare them with the skills and credentials for their career. Do research to find an online degree that is accredited and reputable, such as those offered at Cairn University.

Cairn Online courses based on Cairn’s 100+ years tradition of excellence in biblical education. Our on faculty has carefully designed them taking into consideration what works best for the online learner. The modular design and asynchronous delivery enable you to complete your studies while you pursue your career, ministry and spend time with your family.

Courses typically contain seven units and are delivered in 7-week terms*. Each unit contains 5-7 modular activities. Each learning activity includes instructional videos accompanied by reflections, quizzes, discussion forums and other assessments. Courses also utilize adaptive learning technologies such as Cerego for long-term retention of concepts and VoiceThread for enhanced collaboration.

The asynchronous delivery provides flexibility around your daily busy schedule. In most courses, interactive activities are typically due by Wednesday while the rest of the unit’s work is due by Sunday night. The MBA, M.A. in Music and Criminal Justice programs use the 7RD2 process and require the completion of certain activities daily to optimize learning.

Our own Cairn faculty intentionally participate in the course throughout the week to provide you with an incarnational experience.

*Few capstone courses are intentionally offered in 14 weeks to optimize student learning.

A.A. programs usually take 2 years and B.S. and B.A. programs typically take 3-4 years to complete.

Graduate programs vary in length by program. As an example, Cairn’s traditional MBA typically takes 20 months to complete but then there is also the accelerated One-Year MBA that you can complete in 12 months.

If you are looking to complete your program sooner, you can consider taking more 7-week courses at a time. 

All courses are developed by one or more course developers and taught by our own faculty. The instructors are also intentionally involved in the course throughout the week by providing direction in the course activities, participating in the forum discussions, grading the student work and providing substantive feedback. Most courses also offer optional office hours weekly via Zoom or similar video conferencing tools.

Our instructional design team works very closely with the course developers and carefully plans the courses to balance the technology requirements. Most courses use the eLearning platform for hosting the course materials, Panopto for video capture and storage, VoiceThread for enhanced discussion forums, and Cerego for adaptive learning. Zoom is used at times for virtual office hours. These sessions are optional.

Except for the Hebrew and Greek language courses for the B.S. in Biblical Studies program, typically there are no required meeting times for the completing the course activities.  

The course transfer depends on where you are transferring from, and what program you are transferring to. If you are coming to Cairn Online from another institution, it is very likely you will have some credits that will transfer. Because there are so many options, we encourage you to talk to an enrollment counselor. If you are transferring out, Cairn is a regionally accredited school and some credits should transfer with relative ease. Each college sets their own transfer criteria, so be sure to check their policies for specifics.

Cairn Online offers a variety of options for prior learning and experience. You can receive up to 6 credits for prior learning for graduate programs. At the discretion of the program advisor, three to six credits for prior learning (CPL) can be awarded for students with extensive background in areas addressed by specific courses. Additionally, advance standing may be granted for Bible or theology credits earned at an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts college or university, or seminary. Credits will be granted on a course by course basis.

Cairn is approved to offer financial aid because of its regional accreditation. There are many options available and typically students qualify for at least one type of federal aid. Many students receive scholarships and grants that make earning their degree even more affordable. Cairn offers a variety of scholarships and discounts in addition to options for loans and grants. Please refer to this page for details. 

The requirements depend on the program you are considering. Please refer to this page for details. 

Program Details

Additional Information

NC-SARA Approved InstitutionCairn Online has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which regionally oversees postsecondary online education.

Additional Accreditation Information