Online Doctorate in Psychology
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.
Questions About Psychology Degrees Online
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
Key Resources for Psychology Students
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.
Best Online Ph.D. in Psychology
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.
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.
Survey Construction and Administration
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.
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.
Advanced Qualitative Analysis
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.