Top 25 Online PhD in Psychology Programs for 2022

best online PhD programs in psychology rankings

In this article, we profile the top 25 online Ph.D in psychology degree programs.

The importance of mental health awareness is ever-increasing. Thus, the job market for trained psychologists and therapists is also growing. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14 percent employment growth for those working as counseling professionals, therapists, and psychologists through the year 2026.

Top 25 Online Ph.D in Psychology Programs Methodology

To develop this ranking, we looked at 69 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College and across the web that offered at least one PhD in psychology degree via a distance education format. We reviewed online doctoral degree programs in various psychology disciplines like educational psychology, international psychology, and organizational psychology. We narrowed our pool of schools by applying the following criteria: national or regional accreditation, online or hybrid degree completion pathways, and school or program ranking with one major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the schools in order of affordability.

Online PhD in Psychology

Best Online PhD Psychology Programs Reviewed

#25 – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

PhD in International Psychology

Chicago, Illinois

Website

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - Top 25 Online PhD in Psychology

In terms of quality education, one of the top Ph.D in psychology programs for online learners on our list is offered at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The psychology degree program from this online college offers an international psychology PhD with a concentration in trauma services. Courses are delivered online and with full-time enrollment, and the degree can be earned in three to four years. A sampling of the courses comprising the doctoral degree curriculum includes:

  • Assessment of Psychological and Mental Health Reactions to Traumatic Stress
  • Mental Health Interventions
  • Self-Care Strategies in Humanitarian Efforts

Students may also choose from elective courses to give them a more in-depth understanding of peripheral concepts. Admission to the doctoral program requires a completed application, official transcripts, a personal statement, and preparatory coursework, not to mention standardized test scores. U.S. News and World Report recognizes the institution among other online doctorate in psychology schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,554

#24 – Saybrook University

Online Ph.D in Psychology

Oakland, California

Website

Saybrook University - logo

Saybrook University offers a Ph.D in psychology online degree program guided by experienced psychology professionals committed to quality academics. Students enrolled in the online doctorate in psychology may select one of four specialization areas, including:

  • Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health
  • Creativity Studies
  • Existential, Humanistic, and Transpersonal Psychology
  • Psychophysiology

These PhD in psychology specializations allow students to tailor their psychology degrees to meet personal interests or specific college careers. The doctoral program is non-clinical and is considered preparation for individuals to expand on their existing licenses. Saybrook is an accredited institution with recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,856

#23 – Pacifica Graduate Institute

PhD in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies

Carpentaria, California

Website

Pacifica Graduate Institute - logo

The PhD in psychology online degree program at Pacifica Graduate Institution is a fully online doctoral degree designed for psychology professionals. Following Jungian and archetypal traditions, the psychology degree program is designed to prepare clinical psychologists through advanced psychological theories and practices as well as professional ethics. Psychology coursework is delivered via online instruction, and students learn concepts like:

  • C.J. Jung in Context
  • Depth Psychology and the Mythic Tradition
  • Post-Jungian Critiques and Perspectives

Successful admission to the PhD program requires a comprehensive application packet, including letters of recommendation, official transcripts from all attending colleges or universities, a completed resume or curriculum vitae (CV), and minimum five to ten-page academic writing sample. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Pacifica as among the top graduate programs for doctoral degrees in psychology.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,000

#22 – Keiser University

Ph.D in Psychology

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Website

Keiser University - logo

Keiser University offers a hybrid format for earning an online psychology PhD. Unlike a fully online program, classes are delivered both online and on-campus and are taught by Keiser’s esteemed faculty. Two residency requirements must be completed at the time of orientation and toward the end of the psychology program. Most courses required for the online doctorate in psychology are delivered online, and students learn concepts like:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive and Affective Basis of Behavior
  • Human Development
  • Research Design and Qualitative Methods
  • Theories of Learning and Motivation

The GRE is required for admission to online PhD programs, but scores may be waived if the applicant holds an undergraduate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. U.S. News and World Report ranks Keiser #56 in best regional universities in the South.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $29,632

#21 – California Southern University

Online PsyD

Irvine, California

Website

California Southern University - logo

An online psychology PhD differs from the online PsyD offered at California Southern University in that the latter program is more clinically focused. While online learners still conduct research in human development, less emphasis is placed on scholarly publication but rather how it applies clinically to patients. Courses required for this online doctorate in psychology are delivered online and include a series of core requirements and electives. Once enrolled, students progress through PhD in psychology courses online, including advanced theories of personality, cultural diversity, ethical and professional development issues, research methods in psychology, psychological assessment, and statistical methods and analysis. Toward the end of the program, students complete a comprehensive exam and a doctoral project/ research practicum. Through its online college, Cal Southern offers accredited and affordable doctoral degrees designed for working students.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,185

#20 – Sofia University

Ph.D in Psychology

Palo Alto, California

Website

Sofia University - logo

Sofia University’s Ph.D in psychology provides a flexible, hybrid and online educational experience designed for working professionals. Through a combination of online classes, in-person seminars, and a dissertation process, students earn a global doctor of philosophy (PhD) in psychology. Five concentrations in the psychology field allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. These concentrations include applied transpersonal psychology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, consciousness and creativity studies, transpersonal education and research, and whole systems approach to health and well-being. Admission to the online doctorate in psychology program requires a statement of purpose, curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation. Also, program applicants must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,415

#19 – Meridian University

Online PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Petaluma, California

Website

Meridian University - logo

One of the top Ph.D in psychology online programs on our list is the PsyD in clinical psychology from Meridian University. The program requires four years of coursework through the online college, or three years for advanced standing students, which cover clinical and psychological research topics. Concentrations are offered for online learners wanting to further tailor their degree toward an area of interest or to meet career aspirations. Some of the concentrations include integral psychology, somatic psychology, and yoga and psychology. Degree candidates may enter the online doctorate in psychology program with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students who enter with a bachelor’s degree must complete four years or 166 credits. Students with a master’s receive advanced standing for the PhD in psychology and must complete three years or 135 credits. The program is fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,632

#18 – Loyola University

Online EdD in School Psychology

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Loyola University - logo

One alternative to an online Ph.D in psychology is an EdD in psychology from Loyola University Chicago. This blended doctoral program is designed for practicing school psychologists who want to advance their careers by earning a doctoral degree. Applicants must hold a valid professional teacher education license or psychology license from another state. Coursework for this online doctorate in psychology consists of 72 semester hours covering topics like action research to improve teaching and learning, assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse populations, ethics and the law for school psychologists, and introduction to statistics and research in applied settings. The school also offers a developmental psychology program for on-campus students. U.S. News and World Report ranks Loyola University Chicago #89 in best national universities and #60 in best value schools for educational programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,990

#17 – Felician University

Online PsyD in Counseling Psychology

Lodi, New Jersey

Website

Felician University - logo

One of the top and most affordable online psychology programs on our list is offered by Felician University. Successful doctoral students earn a PsyD in counseling psychology that takes approximately 4-5 years to complete. Classes are primarily offered on campus with one online course per semester. The PhD in psychology program is considered a hybrid degree, though minimal online coursework is required. Students explore topics in behavioral neuroscience, clinical theories and evidence based theories, health care systems, human behavior, and learning and cognition. Requirements for admission to this online doctorate in psychology program for aspiring clinical psychologists include a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, research and clinical interest statement, and official undergraduate and graduate transcripts. The school is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,440

#16 – California Coast University

Online EdD in Educational Psychology

Santa Ana, California

Website

California Coast University - logo

California Coast University’s online PhD programs in psychology include the EdD in educational psychology. The program is designed for working educational professionals who wish to earn a doctoral degree through a self-paced learning format. An applicant to the psychology program must have earned a master’s degree in education, though another field may be accepted if approved by the admissions committee. Online classes for aspiring clinical psychologists include advanced educational psychology, analysis of current issues in education, organizational behavior and adaptive leadership, and philosophical foundations of education. A comprehensive examination and dissertation and oral defense are also part of the program requirements for doctoral students seeking online degrees. California Coast is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,140

#15 – Lesley University

PhD in Expressive Therapies

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Website

Lesley University -logo

Lesley University offers an online PhD low-residency program in psychology. This 45-credit degree was established 40 years ago and was the first graduate psychology program in the U.S. to train professionals in the emerging field of expressive therapies. The PhD in psychology program is structured by year with a blend of online courses and residency hours. On-campus seminars also take place each year. Admission to the program requires an earned master’s degree from an accredited college or university, certification or registration in one of the expressive therapy modalities (art therapy, dance, drama therapy, music therapy, or psychodrama), and satisfactory scores on the GRE or MAT. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lesley #183 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,900

#14 – Northcentral University

Online Ph.D in Psychology

San Diego, California

Website

Northcentral University - logo

The online Ph.D in psychology degree program at Northcentral University was designed to prepare individuals with an advanced knowledge of psychology through research. The 60-credit hour program offers twenty online courses that start every Monday. For degree seekers wanting to further tailor their degree to their research interests, eight professional relevant specializations are available, including a standout option for aspiring industrial organizational psychologists. Specializations for online learners include addiction, gender diversity studies, general psychology, gerontology, health psychology, industrial organizational psychology, mental health policy and practice, and trauma and disaster relief. While the PhD program requires research and applied experiential learning components, it does not include a clinical internship and does not lead to licensure. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Northcentral among the top national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,881

#13 – Michigan State University

PhD in Educational Psychology

East Lansing, Michigan

Website

Michigan State University - logo

Michigan State University’s PhD in psychology online programs include the PhD in educational psychology. This hybrid program for degree seekers is designed to develop educational leaders who grasp the need to create new technologically sound pedagogies in research and practice. The rigorous, five-year plan is comprised of online and on-campus courses, seminars, and doctoral dissertation research and defense. Once enrolled, students explore current issues in motivation and learning, design of media for learning, intellectual history of educational technology, and psychology of learning school subjects. U.S. News and World Report ranks Michigan State #85 in best national universities, and several of the online graduate programs have received top 20 recognition.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,714

#12 – Fielding Graduate University

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Santa Barbara, California

Website

Fielding Graduate University - logo

Fielding Graduate University offers an accredited online psychology doctoral program that aims to graduate entry-level scholar-practitioner psychologists. The clinical psychology degree takes five to six years to complete and consists of online coursework, practicum, research projects, and dissertation. Once enrolled in the PhD in psychology, students learn biological bases of behavior, cognitive and affective bases of behavior, clinical interviewing, cognitive development, cognitive assessment, developmental bases of behavior, and foundations of doctoral study. The Ph.D. offers a master’s degree along the way, as well as training in a specialized area of psychology. Specializations available to the doctoral student aspiring toward clinical practice include forensic psychology, neuropsychology, parent-infant mental health, and social justice and diversity. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Fielding Graduate University among the top accredited programs for psychology and clinical psychology.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,718

#11 – Regent University

PhD in Counseling and Psychological Studies

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University -logo

Regent University offers an online Ph.D in psychology that can be completed as a distance learning program. With 16-week course sessions offered in an online format and a wide array of concentration options, prospective students and degree seekers will receive a flexible and customizable education. Concentrations include psychological principles such as addictions counseling, biblical counseling, grief counseling, human services counseling, human services for student affairs, life coaching, marriage and family ministry, and trauma and crisis counseling. To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a regionally accredited 30-hour master’s in a mental health field, have a minimum of 3.5 GPA in graduate level coursework, and have at least one year of experience in a mental health field. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regent #201 in best national universities. Regent University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,590

#10 – Alaska Pacific University

Online PsyD in Psychology

Anchorage, Alaska

Website

Alaska Pacific University - logo

Alaska Pacific University offers a PhD in psychology online degree program designed to prepare doctoral-level psychologists. Developed in 2011, the program offers accessible curriculum and comprehensive training model for students earning credentials while living in the geographically challenging state of Alaska. Most classes are delivered online and taught by Alaska Pacific University faculty, who are experts in the field of psychology knowledge and cognitive neuroscience/ brain research. Courses for prospective students and degree seekers include counseling theories and skills, diagnosis and treatment planning, cognitive development, ethics of professional practice, and research methods in counseling psychology. U.S. News and World Report ranks Alaska Pacific #64 in best regional universities in the West.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,700

#9 – Arizona State University

Online Doctor of Behavioral Health

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University -logo

Arizona State University’s DBH (Doctor of Behavioral Health) appeals to those researching online programs for a PhD in psychology. The DBH with a clinical concentration is designed to train master’s level clinicians to explore medical literacy and integrated behavioral interventions. A total of 13 classes and 84 credits make up the doctoral program. Courses for online students and degree seekers include applied project research, models of integrated primary care, and population-based health management. Successful admission to the doctorate in psychology program requires prospective students to submit an official graduate transcript, copy of the applicant’s license or license eligibility, and one professional letter of recommendation. ASU is a top-ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #115 in best national universities. Institutional and federal financial aid may be available to eligible students.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,720

#8 – Removed by Editor

#7 – University of Georgia

Online Ed.S. in Educational Psychology

Athens, Georgia

Website

University of Georgia - logo

One of the top PhD in psychology online doctoral degrees on our list is the affordable online Ed.S. in educational psychology at University of Georgia. The program requires a minimum of 31 semester hours of coursework for degree seekers and a final written comprehensive examination. Admission requires online students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, provide valid GRE or MAT scores, and present three letters of recommendation from people who know the applicant professionally and as a scholar. Core courses for the doctorate in psychology are delivered online and prepare students in myriad subjects such as assessment of gifted children and youth, methods and materials for the gifted, and programming and curriculum for the gifted. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Georgia #46 in best national universities. The school is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,878

#6 – Grand Canyon University

PhD in General Psychology

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University -logo

One of the most affordable PhD in psychology programs on our list is offered by Grand Canyon University. GCU’s general psychology PhD offers an emphasis in cognition and instruction. Courses for this doctorate in psychology are delivered online, and the program consists of 60 credits. Degree seekers learn concepts in behaviorism (including behavioral disorders), cognitive science, ethical issues in psychology, human learning and cognition, qualitative research methods, social cognition, and theories of inquiry. Each course runs approximately eight weeks in length, and students submit assignments via an online learning platform to demonstrate skills gained. Admission is based on the unweighted GPA and/or GRE or GMAT scores. GCU is an accredited institution and U.S. News and World Report ranks the university #230-#301 in best national universities. Federal financial aid may be available to help adult learners fund the degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,621

#5 – Touro University Worldwide

Online PsyD in Human & Organizational Psychology

Los Alamitos, California

Website

Touro University Worldwide -logo

One of the PhD in psychology online degree programs on our list that requires no residency or GRE scores is Touro University’s online PsyD. This online doctorate program offers an accelerated admissions process and affordable tuition. Students seeking to enroll must have earned a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a graduate GPA of 3.4. Courses are delivered online and taught by Touro’s experienced faculty. Faculty are also available to promote research skills, assist with technology, and provide learning opportunities for graduate students. This degree does not lead to any form of licensure but is relevant to aspiring industrial organizational psychologists. While Touro is not ranked with U.S. News and World Report, the school is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WASCUC).

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,000

#4 – Liberty University

Online PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - logo

Liberty University’s PhD in psychology online degree is a 60-credit program that takes approximately four years to complete. The online PhD in counselor education and supervision from this Christian university includes online classes (intensives-based), three-credit hour practicum, nine-credit hour internship, and nine-credit hour dissertation. Classes reflect a Biblical worldview and prepare degree seekers for successful psychology careers include advanced group counseling, advanced theory and application, counseling leadership and advocacy, issues in integration, qualitative research, and supervision and consultation. An online doctorate in psychology with an emphasis in developmental psychology or social psychology is also available. Admission eligibility for this clinical psychology program includes official college transcripts for all conferred bachelor’s and master’s coursework, two recommendations, and letter of intent. The GRE or MAT is also required for students earning terminal degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks the private Christian university #230-#301 in best national universities. Doctorate in psychology students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,847

#3 – Texas Tech University

Online PhD in Educational Psychology

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Texas Tech University -logo

Texas Tech University offers a PhD in psychology online degree program designed to prepare students for a psychology career in the field of educational psychology. While the program is considered to be a face-to-face program, some of the coursework is offered exclusively online, on weekends, and in intensive, one-week summer sessions. The doctorate in psychology program requires official GRE scores for admission. Scores must be no more than five years old at the time of application. The estimated hours to completion for the PhD in school psychology is 91 credit hours. Thirty hours of coursework completed within the last seven years with a B grade or better may be considered transferrable. U.S. News and World Report ranks Texas Tech #187 in best national universities and #100 in top public schools. Financial aid is available.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,956

#2 – University of West Georgia

Online Ed.D. in Professional Counseling

Carrolton, Georgia

Website

University of West Georgia -logo

University of West Georgia offers an alternative path to a PhD in psychology online degree for licensed psychologists. The online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in professional counseling and supervision is designed to prepare degree seekers for successful psychology careers and to positively impact clients and communities of service through effective practices. Courses are delivered online and taught by doctoral faculty with a high level of psychology knowledge. These courses include seminars like advocacy for marginalized and underserved populations, program evaluation, professional issues, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Eligibility for admission requires an accredited master’s in counseling or related field, official GRE scores not older than five years (verbal: 151 and quantitative: 142), and licensing or attainable licensing in counseling or a related field. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of West Georgia #230-#301 in best national universities. Applicants are encouraged to apply for financial aid.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,338

#1 – University of the Cumberlands

Online PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Website

University of the Cumberlands -logo

The PhD in psychology program at University of the Cumberlands offers a doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision with an emphasis on professional and research skills. This psychology program for degree seekers consists of a fully online format with 66 credit hours of coursework being offered online. Admission eligibility for online psychology programs requires official transcripts, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, and a graduate GPA of 3.5 or above, if applicable. GRE scores are strongly preferred. Courses taught by distinguished faculty members include program planning and assessment, advanced counseling theories and skills, multicultural issues in counselor education and supervision, and leadership and advocacy in professional counseling. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of the Cumberlands among the top 300 national institutions.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,282

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a PhD in psychology?

Psychologists conduct a variety of duties depending on the field in which they work. Overall, licensed psychologists study behavior, cognition, emotion, and social processes in individuals and groups. They utilize their findings to help improve individuals or organizations.

The following are examples of different types of psychology careers for licensed psychologists:

Clinical psychologist – A clinical psychologist assesses, diagnoses, and evaluates behavioral and mental disorders. They provide mental health care that may range from short-term personal issues to chronic conditions. Clinical psychologists may specialize in treatment or age groups, working only with children or the elderly population. They may practice psychology in private practice or work for community health centers.

Counselor or counseling psychologists – Working directly with clients, counseling psychologists address problems with individuals at home, work, or in other areas of their lives. The counseling psychologist is one of the most common types of psychologists in clinical practice.

Forensic psychologist – Forensic psychologists work closely with law enforcement, courts, and the criminal justice system to analyze the psychological aspects of a case.

Industrial/ Organizational psychologist – An organizational psychologist, also known as an industrial psychologist, applies psychology principles to the workplace. In industrial psychology and organizational psychology programs, they often study workplace productivity, address employee morale, and assist management in the development of leadership styles.

School psychologist – School psychologists apply psychological methods and techniques while working in an educational setting. Common aspects of the job include assessment of student learning and addressing behavioral issues. They hold leadership positions in schools and may also communicate learning strategies with teachers and administration.

What are the admission requirements for online psychology programs at the PhD level?

As with all PhD programs, online doctorate in psychology programs look for qualified students with academic promise. According to the PhD in psychology online programs on our list, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is generally the first step in admission eligibility. Some programs that do not offer a terminal master’s degree while enrolled in the PhD program require a master’s degree in psychology prior to admission. If the required degree is pending, most doctoral programs accept a letter from the registrar listing the applicant’s anticipated date of graduation.

GRE or GMAT test scores are required by top ranked doctoral programs. If an applicant does not wish to take the GRE or hasn’t taken the GRE within the last five years, application may be limited to those schools that do not require the evaluation of test scores. Some programs waive the GRE requirement if the applicant shows promise. Promise is typically proven by offering an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or above. Some programs waive the GRE for applicants with a lower undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Additional requirements vary with doctoral programs. However, most of the online PhD psychology programs on our list ask for letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose or goals. Some institutions may also ask for valid work experience or research in the psychology field prior to admission to online doctoral programs.

What is the job outlook for someone with an online psychology PhD?

The overall career outlook for psychologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is favorable. In fact, BLS reports a projected growth of 14 percent from 2016 to 2026. Of course, career opportunities will vary among industries, but psychologists should see job prospects increase over the next several years.

The favorable job outlook is anticipated due to the increasing demand for psychological services in clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, and social services agencies. BLS reports the greatest demand for psychological services will be seen in clinics and schools.

As demand increases, competition for jobs will also likely increase. Education, such as earning a PhD in psychology online or through a traditional platform helps. Also, industry will make a difference. Jobs in organizational psychology will face competition due to the large number of qualified candidates. To receive a competitive edge, consider training in quantitative research methods. Most online PhD in psychology programs that offer thesis pathways utilize quantitative research methods.

Another factor to consider is specialty. BLS reports better job opportunities for psychologists specializing in working with the elderly population and in rehabilitation psychology. As the overall population of baby boomers ages, a need for highly specialized psychologists will increase.

What is the earnings potential for someone with an online PhD psychology?

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for psychologists was $81,040 in May of 2021. PayScale, a global research compensation analysis organization, also reports the average psychologist salary in excess of $81,000 per year.

The BLS also reports that the lowest 10 percent earned an average annual salary of $47,850 while the top 10 percent earned $133,890. Bonuses, profit sharing, and commission added to these numbers.

The pay by experience trend for psychologists is favorable. In fact, the more experience or training a psychologist has, the more they will likely make. PayScale reports that an entry-level psychologist with less than five years of experience earns a total compensation of $69,731. The average annual salary for psychologists with five to ten years of experience is $85,426 per year. Psychologists with ten to twenty years of experience can expect to earn $93,282 on average. Late-career psychologists with more than 20 years of work experience earn an average annual salary of $96,475.

There are other factors to consider, though. For example, location also impacts earnings potential. Larger cities pay more while smaller communities pay less. Cost of living may impact these numbers and is something to consider when moving for a new psychologist job. These are all things to ponder when choosing from available online psychology doctoral programs.

How long does it take to earn a PhD in psychology online?

Individuals pursuing an online psychology degrees should expect to spend at least three to four years in the program developing comprehensive knowledge in the field. A traditional PhD program lasts between four and six years, though time may be cut off with an online PhD psychology degree program. Some of these online options allow students to develop professional skills through a five-year program emphasizing practical training.

The biggest impact on completion time for psychology degrees at the doctoral level is enrollment. Full-time enrollment means that a full load of classes will be taken during the early years of the program. As expected, this pathway for full-time students is shorter than a part-time PhD program. Part-time enrollment completion pathways take approximately 12 to 24 months longer than full-time programs. The average time to complete a PhD in psychology online when enrolled full-time is 36 months. For part-time online PhD programs, the average completion time is 48 months. The time to completion will vary with programs and schools.

Topping other factors in completion time for psychology degrees is research. Some PhD in psychology online programs offer thesis options for graduate students who wish to conduct their own original research. If the requirement to perform original research is not something you wish to pursue, you might consider a non-thesis program with or without a clinical practicum. These programs typically take less time to complete and rely less on scholarly research and publication.

Accelerated PhD in psychology programs exist online, though are not the norm. Prospective degree seekers should check with the program of interest to evaluate the average completion time of former students to assist in the decision making.

CVO Staff

Sources

Related Resources

This concludes our list of the top 25 online PhD psychology programs.