Psychology B.A. [Online]

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree prepares students for professional graduate studies in psychology and social service support positions in clinical and institutional settings.

co psychology

Credit Hours


Years (Avg.)

Next Start Date

March 13, 2023

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




A degree in psychology is one of the most sought after undergraduate degrees with a large range of career options. Students choose from a variety of electives to tailor the program to their own professional interests. This degree opens the door for significant, lasting, and meaningful service to Christ through service to humanity.

  • Acquire a strong intellectual foundation in psychological science.
  • Articulate the importance of diversity and multi-culturalism in the study of human behavior.
  • Think critically about theories and practices in psychology from a Christian worldview.
  • Participate in an internship within your respective field of study.
  • Prepare for graduate education in both academic and applied areas of psychology.

Why an Online B.A. 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.

An Education That Has Value

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.

Learning Should Inspire Serving

The Cairn mission statement begins with education and ends with character because we believe that education should change not only what you know, but who you are and what you do. Faculty mem­bers understand that education involves more than the transfer of ideas, but also the giving of themselves to teach, train, and inspire their students both in and out of class.

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 be an outworking of the University’s biblical commitment and understanding that in Christ, we are one.

Flexibility to Learn From Anywhere

Complete coursework anywhere, anytime, through our asynchronous course design, reinforced by substantive faculty engagement. It’s the same courses, the same degree, the same faculty as the onsite program.

Committed Faculty Mentors

Our online courses are taught by faculty who not only have successful experience in the field of psychology but are committed to your professional and spiritual growth. Students don’t just have professors, they have mentors who invest in them throughout the program and often remain connected long after graduation.

Career Paths

  • Behavioral & Mental Health fields
  • Social Services
  • Business (e.g. Human Resources)
  • Administration
  • Research
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice (e.g. Probation Officer)
  • Private Practice
  • Residential Treatment
  • Substance Abuse


Simple, flat $425* per credit rate or ~12K per year. Why spend 30K+ per year when you can complete your degree for much less while you work?

*Applies to undergraduate online programs for the 2022–2024 academic years.

Financial Aid

Scholarships, veterans benefits, federal grants and loans, and discounts are available to Cairn Online students. Please refer to this page for details.

Program Curriculum

The B.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 the ministry and workplace needs.  The program requires 66 credits from the University Core, 37 credits from the specialization courses, 18 credits from electives. View a sample curriculum sheet for a snapshot of the courses you will take.

The core curriculum (66 credits) is a collection of courses common to all majors that sharpen students’ intellectual skills, help them critically engage with new ideas, guide them to articulate biblical perspectives on cultural forces, events, and ideas, and compel them to display virtues that are consistent with biblical teaching. The list of courses along with the course descriptions are available from this page.

PSY 121 – Psychology as a Profession and Practice
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
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
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.

PSY 321 – Human Development
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.

PSY 324 – Cognitive Psychology
A course designed to introduce students to basic theoretical models and current issues in the field of cognitive psychology. This course explores the research methodologies and theoretical frameworks used to study cognitive abilities.

PSY 341 – Theories of Personality, Social, and Emotional Development  or PSY 421 – Abnormal Psychology
PSY 341: A review of major theories and models of personality development, social development, and emotional development, including their applications, research methods, and assessment instruments. This course examines the impact of empirical research on these theories within a historical framework.

PSY 421: An examination of historical perspectives, principles of clinical diagnosis, possible causes of behavior, and classical schools of therapy.

PSY 351 – Biological Foundations of Behavior
An introduction to research and perspectives on the interrelations of the brain, the mind, and behavior. A study of the brain and its anatomical and functional organization provides context for studying the origins of behavioral neuroscience.

PSY 422 – Theological Integration in Psychology and Psychotherapy
A course evaluating basic approaches to the relationship between Christianity and psychology, with special emphasis on models of psychotherapy.

PSY 491 – Senior Seminar
A culminating course for Psychology majors that leads to a general synthesis of and specific research in the field of study.

Psychology/Counseling Electives Credits: 9

Other Electives: 18 credits
Any course that is not already required. Please refer to the list of courses from    the course catalog under School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The variety of electives will enable you to select a concentration that interests you for your career goals.

Cairn Online 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