BS in Psychology Pre-Counseling Psychology

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Build the skills to help others

Fuel your passion for helping others while also setting the stage for graduate-level work with the online bachelor’s in psychology, pre-counseling from Capella University. In this program you’ll gain a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to prepare you to pursue a wide range of professions. With three graduate-level courses built into the program, you can make progress toward your master’s degree in counseling from Capella during your undergraduate studies. You’ll also be able to choose a focus to start building skills in the areas that most interest you. This program incorporates three master's-level courses, allowing you to make progress towards a Capella MS Clinical Counseling degree and potentially saving you up to $5,844.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 10-13 General education courses
  • 9 Core courses
  • 3 Master's level courses
  • 11-12 Elective courses
  • 180 Total credits (135 max transfer)

Classes Start October 11th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo FALL21).

Bachelor’s in psychology, pre-counseling program highlights

Make progress toward a master’s degree

Build a foundation of psychology skills while choosing from three leading areas to prepare you for future studies in the field of counseling.

Reduce your tuition by $5,000

Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $5K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your bachelor’s degree.

Apply now »

Credit for prior learning

Earn credit for knowledge you’ve gained through professional experiences, training, and industry certifications with our Prior Learning Assessment.

Learn about PLA »

Gen ed courses included

 Capella students receive access to ACE® Credit-recommended courses for college-level credit from our affiliate, Sophia Learning.*

Discover Sophia Learning »

Expertly designed

Professionally aligned curriculum that is designed around APA guidelines to ensure you’re learning the latest theories and practices.

Study with scholar-practitioners

Learn with faculty who are active within their professions and bring real-world experience to the courseroom.

*All transfer and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit must be completed prior to starting any program in the FlexPath format. Any professional certification or external courses taken concurrently with FlexPath enrollment cannot be recognized in the Capella degree program.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines.

  • Based on the quarter system; 1–3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$357 per 1000-2000 level credit $411 per 3000-4000 level credit, 180 total quarter credits, 135 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

15% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

$5K toward your bachelor's

Apply for a $5K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your bachelor's degree.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

BS in Psychology, Pre-Counseling sample courses

Capella’s online bachelor’s in psychology, pre-counseling curriculum focuses on psychological concepts, theories, empirical findings, and current trends. It also provides master’s-level courses that can prepare you for graduate work in counseling.

Show course with description
PSYC2320 *
Introduction to Counseling and Psychotherapy

This course introduces learners to a variety of mental health disciplines and settings, and presents an overview of the diverse populations with which the disciplines work. Learners build a working knowledge of the communication and psychotherapy skills used in current professional mental health practices, such as addictions counseling, marriage and family therapy, individual counseling, and college counseling. Learners also apply knowledge of psychotherapeutic methods and research findings to problems in living. Prerequisite(s): PSYC1000.

3 quarter credits
PSYC2900 *
Introduction to Psychology of Personality

In this introductory course, learners gain and demonstrate knowledge of theories of personality psychology. Learners apply these theories to human traits, behaviors, and emotional issues within the field of psychology. Prerequisite(s): PSYC1000.

3 quarter credits
PSYC3110 *
Abnormal Psychology

The focus of this course is abnormal behavior, which learners investigate using the framework of mental pathology. Learners evaluate scientific, empirically based analyses of mental disorders and deviant behavior. Learners also examine the range of psychological disorders and assess the disorders’ biological, psychological, and social consequences. In addition, learners demonstrate their knowledge of abnormal psychology treatment methods. Prerequisite(s): PSYC1000.

6 quarter credits
Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors

Learners in this course examine theories of lifespan development and behavior from a counseling perspective. Learners describe effective approaches in counseling, evaluate its historical and philosophical relevance to current practice, and apply theories and practices to advocate for diverse clientele. ​​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling degree programs and the Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, and Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services graduate certificate programs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer

4 quarter credits
Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations

This course introduces theory, research, and models that inform ethical and culturally competent counseling, as well as social justice advocacy, in a variety of settings. Learners assess how biopsychosocial characteristics and concerns of diverse populations impact access to and utilization of community-based resources, optimal development across the lifespan, and equity. Learners also present strategies to address the influence that their own heritage, attitudes, beliefs, and acculturative experiences has on the counseling process. In addition, learners identify effective counseling and advocacy strategies with diverse individuals, couples, families, and groups, and explore the role of the counselor and advocate in promoting social justice at multiple levels.  For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits

Choose the path that fulfills your passion

Develop your skills in counseling with one of these pathways.

Marriage & family therapy

Discover the knowledge needed to differentiate roles and practices in counseling, and apply theory and skills to behavioral health topics for diverse populations.

Clinical mental health counseling

Explore foundational psychotherapeutic theories and evidence-based practice for culturally diverse populations.

School counseling

Learn to assess cases and design ethically sound interventions for culturally diverse populations of children and adolescents in school settings.

What you’ll learn

By learning to apply psychological theory and concepts to individual, organizational, and social issues, our BS in Psychology, Pre-Counseling can help you build skills as a psychology professional.

  • Apply psychological theory and concepts.
  • Think critically and analytically.
  • Communicate effectively with diverse populations.
  • Integrate your knowledge with your desire to help others.
  • Understand psychological approaches.
  • Obtain graduate-level counseling knowledge.

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Career center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Perspectives in psychology

Collaborative Efforts in Counseling, Clinical Psychology, and Social Work

An overview of the similarities, differences, and collaborative opportunities among counseling, clinical psychology, and social work.

Narrow your degree options, find your path, evaluate your goals

Find your helping professions path by answering five quick goal-related questions.

Diving into Psychology Research as an Undergraduate

Capella offers BS in Psychology students a unique opportunity to develop creativity and analytical skills through research projects.

Pre-Counseling professional paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online bachelor's in psychology pre-counseling degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Human resources manager
  • Mental health technician
  • Case manager
  • Human resources generalist
  • Mental health specialist
  • Residential counselor
  • Academic advisor

Employment settings to explore

  • Hospital
  • Land - based or online college or university
  • Individual and family services
  • Government - local, state, federal
  • Insurance carrier
  • Nursing care facility

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Three career paths to explore with a BS in Psychology, Pre-counseling

While the psychology field offers a variety of career paths and focus areas, here are some of the more common paths:

Demonstrate your expertise in staffing an organization, recruiting and training effective employees, maintaining a fair and equitable compensation system, and establishing human resource policies and procedures.

Prepare for a human resources manager role in hospitals or in other health care facilities.

Construct meaningful educational plans and encourage students to stay on track as they progress toward earning their degree.

Prepare for an academic advisor role in land-based or online colleges and universities.

Help identify patient needs by assisting in patient assessment, monitoring and documenting care, and coordinating mental health services.

Prepare for a mental health technician role in hospitals, nursing care facilities, or other health care organizations.

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.