Looking Ahead to Bachelors Degree Considerations

At this point in my life and fledgling college career restart, I’m fairly certain that I’d like to go into clinical mental health counseling. My first choice for my undergrad major would naturally be Psychology with a minor in Sociology.

University of South Carolina offers this program, but not completely online. This is a problem, as I work full-time. And while my boss is AMAZING and super supportive of me going back to school to become a counselor, it’s not going to go over well if there’s classes I need that are only offered on-campus during the day with no night or online options. I can’t risk getting myself into that situation, so I strongly feel it’s best for me to ensure that after TCL I transfer to a university with a bachelors degree program that’s able to be done fully online.

I’d also like to stay in-state if possible, for tuition reasons mainly, but also because it would be nice to be able to have a campus within a reasonable driving distance just in case for any unforeseen reason I need to pay an in-person visit to the registrar, financial aid office, my academic advisor, etc. (As we all know, issues do arise and sometimes showing up gets business handled better/faster than over the phone/email/etc.)

That being said, from what I can tell, it looks like there are no schools in South Carolina that offer a fully online Bachelors in Psychology.

However! I just discovered that USC currently DOES offer a completely online Bachelors in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Behavioral Sciences and a cognate (kind of like a minor) in Arts/Humanities. Which means my curriculum would consist of Psychology, Sociology, and English. Plus I would do as many of my electives as allowed in Psychology also, just to beef up that section of my transcript and better prepare myself for the field.

Another plus to this degree is that it seems to have more built-in flexibility. You know, just in case over the course of the next 5 years or so I decide to go in a different career direction than clincal counseling (because there’s a big part of me that is still hoping to stumble upon a career that I would love and would make me buckets of money with only a bachelors).

So while this sounds kinda perfect in a way, if I don’t change my mind and DO decide to pursue a Masters in Mental Health Counseling, I worry about how this course of study will translate when I go to apply for grad schools. While I know this degree would satisfy the minimum requirements for acceptance to most programs, I can’t help but be concerned about getting passed over for candidates who apply with actual degrees in Psychology. I don’t want an admissions board to see that Liberal Studies degree and assume that I’m not serious about the field.

(If I was a Florida resident, this wouldn’t be problem. University of Florida has a fully online BA in Psychology, and while it’s SUPER cheap for in-state tuition, it’s anything but for out-of-state folks like me. Knew I should have moved to Orlando years ago, dammit.)

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