online phd psychology

Online PhD In Psychology

Every year a large number of students in the United States apply for psychology degree programs, including at the doctoral level. Psychology is one of those subjects that has direct and indirect impact in anyone’s lives – regardless of the job, hence its popularity and usefulness. You’ve got a wide range of accredited online psychology programs to choose from, all of which can help you achieve a better understanding of people and better results in your personal and professional life in general. An advertising or marketing professional can design better campaigns, if he or she understands human behavior and how the human brain functions. Similarly, a law enforcement officer can catch or interrogate a suspect more efficiently with knowledge of human psychology. With a degree in psychology, you can also work with students and teachers, in consultancies, etc.

At the doctoral level, opportunities in academia open up as well. Most doctoral degree holders in psychology become teachers or researchers or both. You get to teach students about the various facets of human psychology and at the same time continue researching new facets and adding to the knowledge base. You can also write books and papers on the same.

For those interested in clinical work such as a therapist or counselor also require a doctoral degree in psychology. You will also have to get licensed to be able to offer your services as a therapist or counselor.

It’s not possible for every student to physically attend college for various reasons. Maybe the college they like is located in a different state, maybe they can’t afford the tuition fee, maybe they have a job and need to keep hold of it, etc. In such a situation, an online PhD in psychology is a viable alternative. Online programs offer greater flexibility in the scheduling of classes and exams, the accessibility is better as well and the cost is lower than traditional courses. However, there’s no difference in terms of the curriculum, credit requirements and faculty.

Online PhD Programs In Psychology

Here are some of the best online PhD in Psychology programs – all fully accredited.

Fielding Graduate University

online phd programs in psychologyThe online PhD in Clinical Psychology program offered by the Fielding Graduate University is one of the best in the country. While it’s not completely an online degree, a majority of the teachings are imparted online.

As a student, you will have to attend what Fielding calls cluster meetings, once a month, close to where you reside. And you will have to attend at least one national session, where faculty, students and alumni get together to share knowledge and learn. Other than this, you will have access to one of the best faculty in clinical psychology from around the country.

Each student starts with a month-long online orientation program. The program is taught through online courseware, virtual sessions and the above mentioned once-a-month cluster meetings. Each student also has to go through a clinical practicum, followed by a year-long clinical internship, as well as research training and dissertation. The specializations offered include forensic psychology, health psychology, neuropsychology and social justice and diversity. The tuition cost for the program is $9,560 per term, plus additional fees.

The doctoral program at the Fielding Graduate University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC) Senior College and University Commission. The PhD in Clinical Psychology program is also accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) on a probationary basis.

Fielding also offers a PhD in Media Psychology.

Touro University Worldwide

The School of Psychology at Touro University Worldwide offers a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Human and Organizational Psychology. This is a fully online degree. Students will be taught courses on theory and research in the fields of organizational psychology, leadership psychology and industrial psychology. They will then have to develop a dissertation proposal and then work on the research required to complete the dissertation. During this phase, students will be assisted by a faculty dissertation chair and committee. The primary focus of this doctoral program is to train students to effectively translate theory into real life applications.

To be able to apply for this doctoral program you must have completed a master’s degree from an accredited institute and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 in the said master’s degree. The tuition for the PsyD program is $700 per semester credit unit.

The doctoral program is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Northcentral University

The Northcentral University offers over 20 doctoral degree programs, including Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology. This program will teach students about the various nuances of psychology and how to utilize the same to understand individuals, organizations, the society and the world better. The critical thinking ability of the students will be honed and research methods will be taught. By the end of the program you will successfully transition from a doctoral student to a practicing scholar. Students will be taught using case studies and real-life situations to ensure they learn to apply their knowledge. Note that this program doesn’t train you become a licensed psychologist or counselor.

The specializations offered as part of the PhD in Psychology include addictions, gender diversity studies, general psychology, gerontology, health psychology, industrial organizational psychology, mental health policy and practice and trauma and disaster relief.

The program is made up of total 60 credit hours and 20 courses. Typically, it takes about 48 months to complete the program. The total cost of tuition and other fees is $69,950. There are no expenses for books or other supplies.

The Northcentral University also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy (PhD-MFT).

The doctoral programs are accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, as well as the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).


In some cases, to get the necessary license to practice as a clinical psychologist, therapist or counselor and work with patients, it’s mandatory to complete an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited doctoral program. However, APA doesn’t accredit online-only doctoral programs and even Fielding Graduate University’s probationary accreditation may be stripped at any point. If clinical work is what you want to pursue, then an online course might not be the right option. Make sure you find out everything about the employment options after completion of a particular online doctoral program, before signing up.