Psychology permeates every human endeavor, and its rich field of study boasts many specialties that address psychological matters from varied perspectives. The American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes no fewer than 15 subfields, ranging from the individual to the organizational. 

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program—ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Psychology Programs—enables you to customize your degree to your interests with one of four optional focus areas drawn from the most popular specializations in the field. Each of these areas has a designated set of courses that give you deeper insight into the specialization: 

  • Clinical psychology  
  • Developmental psychology 
  • Forensic psychology 
  • Health psychology 

Here we’ll look at each of these focus areas in greater depth to help you understand whether they align with your professional goals and desired psychological studies. We’ll also highlight why you may want to consider a career in psychology and why earning a BA in psychology may be a smart move no matter what career you intend to pursue. 

Clinical Psychology  

Clinical psychology is a multifaceted and intricate field within the broader scope of psychology. It deals with a wide array of mental, emotional, and behavioral issues, blending psychological science with strategies for preventing, evaluating, diagnosing, and addressing various complex human challenges. Clinical psychologists offer clinical or counseling assistance aimed at assessing and managing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Their approach involves merging psychological science with problem-solving methodologies to foster positive changes. 

Developmental Psychology 

Developmental psychology is central to understanding the processes of learning, maturation, and adjustment in humans. Individuals undergo distinct developmental stages throughout their lives, and developmental psychologists examine how people evolve, develop, and adjust during these phases. Research in this field aims to help individuals reach their maximum abilities, such as investigating disparities in learning approaches between infants and adults. Developmental psychologists’ work encompasses physical, cognitive, social, intellectual, perceptual, personality, and emotional development. 

Forensic Psychology 

This emerging discipline utilizes psychological principles in forensic assessment. It offers a spectrum of in-demand services and specialized knowledge used by social welfare agencies, law enforcement agencies, the military, and judicial bodies. As often depicted in mainstream media, forensic and public service psychologists hold positions within public safety and legal frameworks, though they work in other sectors as well. They perform assessments that shape legal proceedings and may appear in court to testify and provide professional guidance to the proceedings. 

Health Psychology 

Health psychology investigates the impact of biological, social, and psychological elements on health and disease. Professionals in this field analyze the factors that empower individuals to stay healthy, reclaim their health following illnesses, or manage chronic conditions. They also endeavor to understand the motivation behind healthy lifestyle choices. Health psychologists work at the nexus of health and behavior and are sought-after members of healthcare teams, collaborating with other healthcare professionals to address individuals’ holistic needs. 

The Wisdom of Psychology as a Degree and a Career  

One fact that too few people understand is that a psychology degree provides a route to a wide variety of careers within psychology and beyond. A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is so marketable and versatile because it helps you develop broadly applicable career skills, such as: 

  • Communication 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Collaboration 

These are among the skills that authoritative sources including the Department of Labor, Forbes, and Indeed say today’s employers seek. Many employers consider soft skills to be more crucial than “hard” skills, yet they often have difficulty finding qualified job candidates. Developing these skills through our psychology program can give you an edge at hiring time for a diverse range of jobs. 

See potential careers and salaries related to this degree. 

A High-Growth Field 

If your ultimate goal is to become a psychologist, you’ll need additional education and licensure after completing this degree. The focus areas of our BA in psychology provide a strong foundation for both. By earning your BA in psychology, you’ll be on track to enter a rewarding career field that’s growing at a faster-than-average rate of 6% and has median annual pay of $85,330

Put Your Mind at Ease With a Convenient, Flexible, Affordable Degree 

Our online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology—available online exclusively from this UT System institution—is a valuable degree no matter what direction you may take professionally. Our asynchronous online format enables you to complete your degree from any location, on your own schedule, while maintaining your personal and professional commitments. And our tuition rates are acknowledged as some of the most affordable of accredited institutions. 

What’s holding you back? Get more details or apply now! 

Note: Focus areas are optional. If you elect to pursue a focus area, it will not appear on your degree or student transcript.