A doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) degree online prepares students for careers as highly trained clinical or counseling psychologists. Psy.D.-holders also pursue positions in mental healthcare administration. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 3% increase in employment for psychologists between 2019 and 2029, which translates to 198,100 new positions. A psychology doctorate confers advantages for landing a job, as does specialization in rehabilitation or working with the elderly.
Online Psy.D. programs take 4-6 years to complete, including a one-year clinical internship. Online Psy.D. curriculums typically feature a mix of distance learning and in-person instruction. Students may attend online classes, along with on-campus practicums, intensives, and onsite clinical experiences.
Online course delivery may include asynchronous classes that can be accessed 24/7 or synchronous sessions that occur at scheduled times. Courses cover topics in ethical and professional issues, psychological assessment, psychopharmacology, psychopathology, and statistical methods and analysis.
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Top Psy.D. Degree Programs Online
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Best Psy.D. Degree Programs Online
Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, CA
At Touro University Worldwide, the online doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) in human and organizational psychology program attracts individuals seeking to develop the professional skills needed to improve organizational workforces. From its campus in Los Alamitos, California, TUW runs an accredited online Psy.D. program with courses such as applied media psychology, scholar-practitioner model, and research methods. Upon completion of this 66-credit program, graduates can use the scholar-practitioner model to solve real-world problems.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, organizational psychologists earn a median annual salary of $111,150. Organizational psychologists find employment providing research and development services, in technical consultancies, and with the state and federal government.
To qualify, applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.4 GPA. They must submit an application, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a doctoral entrance essay. The tuition for this online Psy.D. program is $700 per credit.
The online doctorate of psychology (Psy.D.) from the University of Arizona allows students to select a specialization that aligns with their specific career and research interests. Operating in Tucson, UofA's 62-credit Psy.D. program features courses such as adult psychopathology and treatment, assessment tools for organizational leadership, and scholarly arguments. This APA-accredited Psy.D. program has six specializations that fit specific career and academic interests. The tuition is $1,082 per credit.
UofA's Psy.D. graduates can choose from a wide variety of career fields, including mediation and conflict resolution, sports and performance psychology, criminal justice, and industrial organization. For students or alumni in need of career guidance, UofA provides one-on-one sessions with career advisors and access to a comprehensive body of career-related resources.
This online Psy.D. program requires applicants to have earned a master's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Applying to an Online Psy.D. Degree Program in Psychology
Psy.D. program admission generally requires a master’s degree in psychology or a closely related field with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants often need to submit GRE scores, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and resumes. Some programs may admit students without a master’s degree, but the curriculum will include master’s-level work prior to advancing to doctorate-level instruction. Previous employment, volunteer, or research experience strengthens an application.
Specific state licensing regulations vary, but to practice psychology, Psy.D.-holders must obtain a license. In most states, a doctoral degree meets the minimum requirement for licensure along with an average of 2,000 clinical internship hours logged as a Psy.D. student and 2,000 hours of postdoctoral experience. Licensure applicants take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Psy.D. and a Ph.D. in psychology?
A Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy) program emphasizes research, while a Psy.D. program focuses on clinical practice and administration. Ph.D. programs typically take 5-7 years to complete, and students usually receive funding that covers tuition and includes a stipend. Psy.D. students do not receive a stipend for their studies but tend to earn higher salaries after graduating.
What is accreditation and why is it important?
Many state licensure boards require doctoral degrees from programs accredited by the American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA). APA-accredited online Psy.D. programs undergo rigorous evaluation that ensures high-quality career preparation and instills public trust in program graduates. APA-CoA also accredits internships and postdoctoral residencies, which many employers prefer or require.
How much do you make with a Psy.D. degree in psychology?
The BLS lists the median annual wage for psychologists at $80,370, with the lowest 10% making less than $45,380 and the top 10% earning in excess of $132,070. Clinical and counseling psychologists fare the best in Oregon and California, earning annual mean wages of $112,010 and $111,750, respectively.
What can I do with a Psy.D. degree in psychology?
Graduates of online Psy.D. in clinical psychology or counseling programs work in private practice and at hospitals and mental health facilities. They help clients with behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues. Potential specialization areas include child and adolescent psychology, couple and family therapy, geropsychology, rehabilitation psychology, and serious mental illness psychology.