Best Online Ph.D. In Psychology | Accredited Schools Online (2023)

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.

Featured Online Psychology Programs

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.
Best Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Psychology Students

PhD in Forensic Psychology

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


    Waco, TX

    Graduation Rate


    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.

  • Boston University


    Boston, MA

    Graduation Rate

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    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


    Bronx, NY

    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


    Jacksonville, AL

    Graduation Rate

  • Loma Linda University


    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


    Chicago, IL

    Graduation Rate


    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.

  • Michigan State University


    East Lansing, MI

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    Graduation Rate

  • Northern Arizona University


    Flagstaff, AZ

    Graduation Rate

  • Graduation Rate

  • Oregon State University


    Corvallis, OR

    Graduation Rate

  • Pacific University


    Forest Grove, OR

    Graduation Rate

    (Video) What Psychology Grad School is Really Like
  • Pennsylvania State University


    University Park, PA

    Graduation Rate


    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


    El Cajon, CA

  • Temple University


    Philadelphia, PA

    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


    College Station, TX

    Graduation Rate


    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.

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  • The University of Tennessee


    Knoxville, TN

    Graduation Rate


    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


    Cincinnati, OH

    Graduation Rate

  • University at Buffalo


    Buffalo, NY

    Graduation Rate


    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


    Richmond, VA

    Graduation Rate

    56% 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.

Online Doctoral Degrees in Educational Psychology

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

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Which psychology PhD is best? ›

National Research Council Rankings
1.0Stanford UniversityPsychology
3.5University of Michigan--Ann ArborPsychology
3.5Yale UniversityPsychology
3.5University of California--Los AngelesPsychology
103 more rows

What is the easiest doctorate to get online? ›

Typically, there are three areas of concentration that students focus on if in search of an “easy” doctoral degree program through an online distance learning format. Specifically, they are in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education (EDD).

Is Liberty University PhD in psychology accredited? ›

Academic Excellence

Liberty University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and certain programs have earned additional field-specific accreditation as well.

How many years is a doctorate degree in psychology Philippines? ›

The typical program length of a PhD is three years; this is comprised of one semester of additional study and 2.5 years of dissertation work and research.

Is PhD in clinical psychology worth it? ›

Earning your doctoral degree in psychology provides you with many job opportunities and a shot at earning a top salary in the field. It is a worthy educational goal that can “result a high level of personal and professional satisfaction.

What is the best degree to get in psychology? ›

Like the bachelor's degree, students can usually choose between a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in psychology. Jobs at the master's level are far more plentiful than those at the bachelor's level, which is why this is one of the most popular degree options.

Which PhD is most in demand? ›

Top PhD programs include physical therapy, education, administration, chemistry, and more. Political science, for example, allows you to work in one of the highest paying PhD jobs, which makes this one of the best options. PhDs involving technology are also popular.

Which PhD pays most? ›

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

Are online PhDs 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.

Is getting a PhD in psychology hard? ›

Admission to PhD programs in clinical psychology is very competitive. Ratios of 300 applicants to 8 positions are common (though perhaps 10-15 people would have to be accepted to fill the 8 slots; some who are accepted decide to go elsewhere, or enter a different kind of graduate or professional program ).

Can I get a PhD in psychology without a Masters? ›

In many cases, you do not need to hold a master's for admission to a Ph. D. program in psychology. Many programs accept candidates who hold a bachelor's in the field.

How long does it take to get a PhD in psychology after a Master's? ›

Steps to Become a Clinical Psychologist
Steps to Become a Clinical PsychologistNumber of Years
Earn a master's in psychology followed by a PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology, or enroll directly in a PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology program4-8 years of full-time enrollment
2 more rows

Is it possible to get a PhD in psychology online? ›

An online doctoral degree in psychology generally takes 5-7 years to complete. The duration depends on whether students pursue a doctor of psychology (Psy. D.) or a doctor of philosophy (Ph. D).

Is Liberty PhD respected? ›

If you plan to choose Liberty for your PhD, you can rest assured that your degree will be respected. Liberty University is regionally accredited through SACSCOC. This means our program has to meet rigorous academic standards that are respected by future employers.

Is Liberty Online legit? ›

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor's, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Who makes more money PhD or PsyD? ›

Both are usually highly respected. A PhD is typically viewed as a research-oriented degree. A PsyD is typically viewed as an appropriate degree for someone with clinical aspirations.
Doctoral Psychology Careers & Salaries.
CareersAnnual Median Salary
Exercise/Sports Psychologist$49,170
9 more rows
8 Oct 2022

Which is better PsyD or PhD? ›

The PsyD degree focuses more on hands-on clinical training along with research whereas the PhD degree focuses more on the research aspect. While both prepare you for promising careers in psychology, a PsyD degree positions you well for "in the field" careers, such as a clinical psychologist.

Should I see a PsyD or PhD? ›

If you wish to pursue a position that involves research or teaching, a PhD will better prepare you for those roles. If you know you only want to apply your psychology training in a more client-facing way, a PsyD can provide you with advanced knowledge in that area.

Which field of psychology pays the most? ›

Psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. The average salary is $217,798, according to PayScale.

What is the easiest psychology degree to get? ›

Psychology Studies at the Undergraduate Levels

Two-year degrees in psychology offered by community colleges and junior colleges are the easiest psychology programs you will find. Available on campus and online, associate's degrees in psychology typically require around 60 credits of college coursework.

Where is the best place to study psychology? ›

2023 Best Psychology Schools
University of California--Berkeley Berkeley, CA #1 in Psychology (tie) Save4.8
Harvard University MA #3 in Psychology (tie) Save4.7
University of California--Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA #3 in Psychology (tie) Save4.7
9 more rows

What is the best PhD program? ›

#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.

What is the difference between a PsyD and a PhD in clinical psychology? ›

Like a PhD in Psychology, the Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) prepares students to practice psychology in a wide range of clinical settings. A PsyD, however, focuses more on clinical practice and less on research. As a result, this degree requires fewer research and statistics courses and thus takes less time.

What is PH psychology? ›

Ph.D. in Psychology is a 3-year full-time doctorate degree in Psychology. In this 3 year program, aspirants learn a total of 9 subjects, 3 in each year. The course mainly focuses on the clinical psychology part, and explore the various psychological treatments and methods.

What is a clinical psychologist? ›

Psychologists who provide clinical or counseling services assess and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. They use the science of psychology to treat complex human problems and promote change. They also promote resilience and help people discover their strengths.

Is an 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.

Which PhD is most in demand? ›

Top PhD programs include physical therapy, education, administration, chemistry, and more. Political science, for example, allows you to work in one of the highest paying PhD jobs, which makes this one of the best options. PhDs involving technology are also popular.

What is the easiest PhD to get? ›

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

Who makes more money PhD or PsyD? ›

Both are usually highly respected. A PhD is typically viewed as a research-oriented degree. A PsyD is typically viewed as an appropriate degree for someone with clinical aspirations.
Doctoral Psychology Careers & Salaries.
CareersAnnual Median Salary
Exercise/Sports Psychologist$49,170
9 more rows
8 Oct 2022

Can a PsyD be called Doctor? ›

Is someone with a PsyD a doctor? Yes, as a doctorate-holder, a person who has earned a PsyD could definitely refer to themselves as “Dr.,” though it's good to note that PsyDs are not medical doctors and in most states cannot prescribe medication or conduct medical treatments.

Can I do PsyD without a Masters? ›

Yes! The PsyD in Clinical Psychology program does not require a master's degree for admission. In 2021, approximately 67% of the incoming clinical psychology students did not report a graduate GPA in their application.

Is it hard to get PhD in psychology? ›

Doctoral programs in psychology tend to hold high admissions standards, making them very competitive. On-campus programs may be even harder to get into, as they sometimes offer competitive funding and assistantship positions. Applicants should demonstrate a strong academic record with a high GPA.

Can I get a PhD in psychology without a Masters? ›

Some general psychology PhD programs accept students without a master's, but you'll need at least a bachelor's degree for admission. Programs that don't require a master's are often called dual or joint-degree programs.

Should I see a PsyD or PhD? ›

If you wish to pursue a position that involves research or teaching, a PhD will better prepare you for those roles. If you know you only want to apply your psychology training in a more client-facing way, a PsyD can provide you with advanced knowledge in that area.

Is a psychologist better than a therapist? ›

Psychologists can do research, which is a very important contribution academically and clinically, to the profession. A therapist is a broader umbrella term for professionals who are trained—and often licensed—to provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation for people.

Which course is best for clinical psychology? ›

Top Diploma and PG Diploma courses in India include Psychological Medicine, Applied Psychology, PGD in Counselling Psychology. Offered by many Colleges and Universities and can be of 1-2 years of duration.

Is there a difference between a psychologist and a clinical psychologist? ›

A typical distinction is that general psychologists focus on healthier people, while clinical psychologists focus on people with more serious mental health issues.


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