Best Online Ph.D. In Psychology | Accredited Schools Online (2022)

After earning an online Ph.D. in psychology, graduates can work as licensed psychologists at universities, research laboratories, and inpatient hospitals. However, Ph.D. programs often appeal to learners who want to perform original research in academic or clinical settings. Typical application requirements include a bachelor's or master's degree, standardized test scores, and recommendation letters.

Curricula vary by program. Students earning a Ph.D. in psychology online typically complete core classes in the teaching of psychology, research foundations, and consulting for organizational change. This article covers the benefits of earning a psychology degree online, along with typical tuition costs and program requirements.

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Questions About Psychology Degrees

What can I do with a Ph.D. in psychology?

Graduates with a Ph.D. in psychology can obtain a license and treat patients. Because of the degree's research emphasis, most graduates pursue academic careers.

How long does it take to earn a Ph.D. in psychology?

Some programs require only five years of full-time studies. However, with the complex dissertation process, some degree-seekers need up to eight years to graduate.

Can psychologists specialize?

Some online Ph.D. in psychology programs feature specialization options such as research in psychology, teaching in psychology, and social psychology. Students in some programs can design a custom specialization.

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Why Get a Ph.D. in Psychology?

Professionals with an online Ph.D. in psychology can become biopsychologists, child and adolescent psychologists, and clinical psychologists. Ph.D. candidates often choose a specialization aligning with their career goals. Many psychology careers feature high median salaries and personal fulfillment.

Students can earn a Ph.D. in psychology online from anywhere in the world. Many top public institutions charge all online learners in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency. Additionally, asynchronous coursework allows students to schedule coursework around professional or personal responsibilities.

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How Much Does a Psychology Degree Cost?

Many factors impact tuition costs for online Ph.D. in psychology programs. According to the Education Data Initiative, Ph.D. programs cost an average of ​​$98,800 in 2021. However, the cost of a Psy.D. averaged $132,200. Public schools typically charge lower tuition rates than private institutions.

When considering overall program costs, prospective degree-seekers should consider institutional and government aid. Many of the top graduate programs provide partial or full funding to doctoral students with financial need.

Additional Online Student Fees

Some Ph.D. in psychology online programs feature in-person requirements, such as an on-campus seminar or dissertation defense. Degree-seekers should budget for related commuting costs as soon as possible. Learners also pay for textbooks and supplies. Many institutions charge a graduation fee.

Many graduates of online Ph.D. in psychology programs earn a license. Licensure examinations require fees, and state licensure boards typically charge application and renewal fees. Degree-seekers and recent graduates should check their state board's website for the latest fee schedules.

How Much Do Psychology Majors Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), licensed psychologists earn a median salary of $81,040 per year, compared to the median of $45,760 for all occupations. Industrial-organizational psychologists earn a median of $105,310 annually. The highest-paid psychologists work in government agencies and hospitals.

Geographic location also impacts licensed psychologists' earning potential. According to BLS data, California, Oregon, and Alaska feature the highest average salaries for psychologists not specializing in clinical or school psychology.

Courses in a Psychology PhD Program

Classes in Ph.D. in psychology online programs vary by school and specialization. Degree-seekers in general psychology programs may take classes in survey construction and administration, multivariate statistics, and advanced qualitative analysis. Coursework trains learners to complete the original dissertation research.

Students who have not chosen a professional path can consider programs with many specialization options. Academic and career advisors help learners choose the right specialization. Educational experiences and graduate outcomes vary by school. Prospective students should contact an admissions advisor for details about online Ph.D. in psychology programs.

  • Survey Construction and Administration

    Professionals can use psychological experiments to assess individuals' mental states. This course trains doctoral degree-seekers in survey best practices. Students analyze various comparative studies, sampling techniques, and data-collection methods. Participants learn to create accurate surveys without bias or interference.
  • Multivariate Statistics

    Psychology researchers use statistics to analyze data. This class emphasizes discriminant analysis, multiple analysis of variance, and regression. Degree-seekers review the latest psychology research and prepare to interpret data they gather for their dissertation. Typical prerequisites include undergraduate and graduate coursework in statistics.
  • Advanced Qualitative Analysis

    Psychology researchers use various methodologies to gather data. This class explores case studies, heuristics, and qualitative research. Degree-seekers examine each method's benefits and drawbacks by reading books, journal articles, and primary sources. Students learn to choose the best research methods for specific situations. Learners may design a small qualitative study.
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How to Become a Psychologist

Candidates for psychology licensure must meet education, experience, and examination requirements. Licensed psychologists must hold either a Ph.D. or Psy.D. However, some psychology careers require only a master's. Degree-seekers develop their communication and research skills during an internship.

Psychologists' responsibilities vary by specialization. These professionals often conduct interviews and surveys, perform experiments, and write scholarly texts. They may also supervise less-experienced staff and work with patients individually. Tenure-track postsecondary psychology teachers instruct undergraduate and graduate classes.

Licensure for Psychology

Practicing psychologists in any state need a license. However, licensure requirements vary by state. In Washington, psychology licensure candidates need a doctorate from a program with American Psychological Association accreditation. Graduates then complete a one-year residency and earn 3,000 hours of professional experience.

After meeting the education and experience requirements, candidates take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and a state-specific jurisprudence exam. Candidates submit scores to the Washington State Department of Health. As of May 2022, candidates with passing scores pay $206 to receive their license.

Like other states, Washington requires continuing education classes for licensure renewal. Licensed psychologists must complete 60 continuing education hours every three years. Renewal costs $226. Individuals who miss the renewal deadline pay an additional $105. Washington charges additional fees to amend or reactivate a license.

Best Online Ph.D. in Psychology

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  • Baylor University

    Location

    Waco, TX

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Baylor University was chartered in 1845 in Waco, Texas as a private Christian university. Students can pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 115 major fields. The 78-hour Ph.D. psychology degree requires completion of 37 core courses, and specialty concentrations in behavioral neuroscience, social psychology, and general experimental psychology. Students must declare and pursue a minor. Or, they may substitute nine hours of elective courses. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum GRE total score of 300.

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  • Boston University

    Location

    Boston, MA

    Graduation Rate

    84%

    Boston University offers a doctoral degree in psychology. Students from over 130 countries have travelled to study in one of the 250 fields offered at Boston University. The students at BU run more than 450 clubs and organizations, allowing for a rich educational community. Students who wish to expand their cultural understanding can apply for one of BU’s numerous study abroad programs, which are spread throughout 26 different countries. On average, qualifying students are awarded almost $30,000 in financial aid.

  • Fordham University

    Location

    Bronx, NY

    Graduation Rate

    81%

    Fordham University was established as a Catholic, Jesuit institution in 1841. Only full-time students may enroll in Fordham’s graduate programs in psychology. The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (CPDP) is based on the Boulder Scientist-Practitioner training model. This model emphasizes theories and the practice of assessment and diagnosis with a strong laboratory component. During the first two years, doctoral students must complete courses in cognitive assessment, personality assessment, psychopathology, and clinical diagnosis. Supervised practicum experiences are taken in the second, third, and fourth years. Specializations include child and family, forensic, neuropsychology, and health.

  • Jacksonville State University

    Location

    Jacksonville, AL

    Graduation Rate

    29%
  • Loma Linda University

    Location

    Loma Linda, CA

    Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist educational institution focused on health sciences. Today’s university campus includes the school as well as the Loma Linda University Medical Center. The Ph.D. in clinical psychology degree takes six years to complete, including a required internship. Based on the scientist-practitioner model, the doctoral curriculum combines research and practice. The practicum provides supervised internships across various practice areas in multidisciplinary settings. Students can choose from optional concentration areas in clinical child psychology, health psychology, and neuropsychology.

  • Loyola University Chicago

    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate

    70%

    Since 1959, the Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago has been fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. The goal of the Ph.D. program is to provide students with a strong education in the practice and theory of clinical psychology, as well as in general psychology. The degree takes 4-5 years of studies with a minimum of 72-hours of coursework. Applicants must submit GRE scores. The school invites some applicants for an interview. Only 35 students are admitted to the program.

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  • Michigan State University

    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Graduation Rate

    79%
  • Northern Arizona University

    Location

    Flagstaff, AZ

    Graduation Rate

    49%
  • Nova Southeastern University

    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Graduation Rate

    42%
  • Oregon State University

    Location

    Corvallis, OR

    Graduation Rate

    61%
  • Pacific University

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    Location

    Forest Grove, OR

    Graduation Rate

    63%
  • Pennsylvania State University

    Location

    University Park, PA

    Graduation Rate

    86%

    What sets Pennsylvania State University’s psychology department apart from other universities are its veritable choices of doctoral degrees in psychology. Prospective students have the option of pursuing graduate studies in social, developmental, cognitive, industrial-organizational, and clinical (adult and child) psychology. Students should note that having an undergraduate psychology degree, without an MS degree, can still qualify them for a place in the Ph.D. program. Students without a master’s degree can choose to earn while enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

  • Southern California Seminary

    Location

    El Cajon, CA

  • Temple University

    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    In 1888, Temple College was founded in Philadelphia. Today, Temple University serves more than 40,000 students. Of those, more than 100 graduate students are enrolled in graduate psychology programs. The clinical psychology program prepares doctoral students for careers in research, education, and scientific clinical professions. Some Ph.D. program applicants participate in campus admissions interviews each year. Applicants are encouraged to take the GRE Advanced Test. The Ph.D. program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).

  • Texas A&M University - College Station

    Location

    College Station, TX

    Graduation Rate

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    80%

    Students attending the psychology program at Texas A&M University may choose between six areas of concentration, including behavioral and cellular neuroscience, clinical psychology, and cognition and cognitive neuroscience. Other options include developmental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and social and personality psychology. Texas A&M combines the science and practice of psychology to help students learn, research, apply knowledge, solve problems, and promote healthy human development. The program maintains a low student-teacher ratio so students can receive personalized attention and develop professional and research skills.

  • The University of Tennessee

    Location

    Knoxville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    66%

    Since 1949, the clinical psychology program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville has been accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. The program is based on the Tennessee Model, which regards practice and research as similar enterprises. The curriculum trains students to become clinical psychologists and contribute to their field as teachers, clinicians, and researchers. Students receive a balanced education in research, psychological assessment, psychotherapy, and teaching. They are provided internship opportunities in addition to innovative curriculum. Admission is based on a rigorous selection process.

  • Union Institute and University

    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Graduation Rate

    27%
  • University at Buffalo

    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    The department of psychology at the University at Buffalo offers several Ph.D. programs. Doctoral students may choose to enroll in the behavioral neuroscience program, the cognitive psychology program, the clinical psychology program or the social-personality program. The psychology doctoral program is research-based. Admitted applicants typically score within the 81st percentile on the GRE verbal and the 68th percentile on the GRE quantitative. Students do not need an undergraduate degree or graduate degree in psychology for acceptance into the program. Ph.D. students may pursue the teaching assistantship opportunities offered at the University at Buffalo.

  • Virginia Commonwealth University

    Location

    Richmond, VA

    Graduation Rate

    56%

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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FAQs

Can you do a PhD fully online? ›

And the great thing is it means you can study your PhD from literally anywhere! Online study is a great way to get a PhD, but of course, online study isn't suited to everyone, so before committing you need to make sure that a distance learning PhD program is right for you.

What is the easiest doctorate to get online? ›

This is a great chance to pursue one the easy doctorate degrees while saving money. Online DBA program focuses: DBA in General Management. DBA in Organizational Leadership and Development.
...
Examples of the easiest PhD programs:
  • PhD Psychology.
  • PhD Counselor Education and Supervision.
  • PhD Business Management.

Is online PhD valid in UK? ›

The online PhD UK is research based and does not require the same attendance record, giving international students the ability to work flexibly or in some cases from their own country and still fulfill the requirements for the UK PhD.

Is online PhD respected? ›

If you go to a quality school, many employers recognize and value an employee who obtains a PhD, no matter if it is online or at a traditional school. However, if you are still wary about the reputation of a particular school, then ask the students who have graduated from the program.

What is the easiest PhD to get? ›

Generally, education, humanities, and the social sciences are considered the easiest fields in which to pursue degrees.

Which PhD is most in demand? ›

#1 – PhD in Chemical Engineering

In recent years, chemical engineering has been recognized as the best doctoral degree by salary-offering steady job growth and high early career and mid-career salaries. Chemical engineers often work in biotechnology and business services as researchers.

Is getting a PhD in Psychology hard? ›

On the difficulty scale among college majors, it probably falls somewhere in the middle. That's where the easy part of earning a PhD in psychology ends. The first challenge is getting accepted into a doctoral program. When I applied, most graduate programs' acceptance rate ranged from 10 to 25% of all candidates.

Can I do PhD in 2 years? ›

A select group of students complete their PhDs in two years, while a tiny number of elite students can get it done in 12 months. It's hard to overstate how rare and impressive this is, but it is always a possibility. The key to a fast-track PhD is building up a strong academic CV before you even start.

Can I get a PhD without a dissertation? ›

Not always. In the past a dissertation was required for a PhD, but a growing number of institutions have started to offer online doctoral programs no dissertation. Instead, students may complete a capstone project to demonstrate their knowledge and provide new contributions to the field.

Can you study a PhD from home? ›

PhD by distance learning allows you to study at a time and place that suits you and, with a part-time option available, you'll have the flexibility to gain an advanced degree alongside work and other commitments.

Is an online PhD hard? ›

Contrary to this widespread myth, online courses can be just as difficult as classes offered in a traditional college setting. Many requirements for an online doctorate degree are the same as those for a PhD earned on campus.

How do you complete a PhD in 1 year? ›

Candidates can complete their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in One Year through One sitting Degree. We (APEX) offer Graduation & Post Graduation program through University which approved by UGC using credit transfer method.

Which countries offer free PhD? ›

Finland. Public universities in Finland charge no PhD fees to any students, regardless of nationality. This is different to Finnish Masters programmes which do charge fees to international students. Read our guide to PhD study in Finland for more information, or take a look at some current Finnish PhD opportunities.

What is the quickest PhD? ›

What is the Quickest Doctorate Degree to Get? Chatham University's DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) is probably the quickest PhD you can get today, as you can finish it in 12 months. Breyer State Theology University's Ethereal Accelerated Doctor of Psychology in Grief Counseling also takes only one year.

What is the hardest doctorate degree to get? ›

1. Boarded Medical Doctor: After spending about eight years to earn your first degree, you are faced with between three and six years of residency. This is the most competitive field in education which means you must have passed through a very rigorous process to earn this certificate.

Are you a DR If you have a doctorate? ›

In answer to the question, “Is a PhD a doctor,” the answer is yes. Both a PhD and a professional doctorate like an EdD earn you the title of “doctor.” But there are differences between the types of doctoral degrees. Learn more about a PhD vs.

Can you get a PhD by just writing a dissertation? ›

PhD by thesis only: It is possible nowadays to acquire a PhD by submitting only a thesis. You may research to find out which institutes offer such a program. While this might be more suited to your present circumstances, note that there may be some disadvantages to this compared with a PhD by coursework.

What's the difference between PhD and doctorate? ›

A PhD is an academic degree focused on original research, data analysis, and the evaluation of theory. A professional doctorate focuses on applying research to practical problems, formulating solutions to complex issues, and designing effective professional practices within your field.

Can you do a PhD Online Australia? ›

Course overview

The PhD is available to study on campus in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, offshore and online.

Do you call someone with a PhD Doctor? ›

Anyone who has earned a doctoral degree can be addressed as “Dr. Last Name”. The most common doctoral degree is a PhD, but you might also encounter instructors with other doctoral degrees such as a Doctor of Theology (DTh), Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), or Doctor of Engineering (DEng).

What is the highest paying doctorate degree? ›

What Are the Highest Paying Doctorate Degree Jobs?
  • #8 – PhD in Physics. ...
  • #7 – PhD in Engineering. ...
  • #6 – PhD in Physical Chemistry. ...
  • #5 – PhD in Pharmacology. ...
  • #4 – PhD Electrical Engineering. ...
  • #3 – PhD in Computer Science. ...
  • #2 – PhD in Organic Chemistry. ...
  • #1 – PhD in Chemical Engineering. Early Career Salary: $96,100.
17 Feb 2022

Is a PhD harder than a doctorate? ›

Bottom line: As the PhD is more academic, research-focused, and heavy on theory, an applied doctorate degree is intended for you to master a subject in both theory and practice.

How much do PhD students get paid in Australia? ›

In Australia, the standard scheme to fund the living costs of PhD candidates is a tax-free stipend from their university. The university is allocated the funds via the Research Training Program (RTP). This stipend is now $28,854 a year (indexed annually against inflation).

How much does a PhD cost in Australia? ›

The Australian government estimates that typical international PhD fees are between AUD $18,000 and $42,000 (USD $13,065-$30,485) per year. This is the approximate amount you'll pay if you're putting forth your own research proposal, or applying for a project without funding attached.

Does a PhD cost money? ›

While it can cost anywhere from $12,000 (public institution) to $28,000 (non-profit private institution) per year to attend a PhD program, there are fully funded PhD programs that allow students to get their degrees for free.

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