With virtual learning becoming increasingly popular, you may wonder if you can earn a doctorate degree online.
After all, you may earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree online. You may be happy to know that online PhD programs are popping up. They’re few and far between, right now, so it may be hard to find one in your chosen field, but more programs are being created as the popularity of online education grows.
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Here, we’ll discuss online psychology PhD programs and their prevalence. More importantly, we’ll talk about whether any are APA-accredited and what that accreditation means.
APA-Accredited Psychology PhD Programs
APA accreditation demonstrates that a doctoral, internship, or postdoctoral residency program has met the standards of the American Psychological Association (APA). These programs ensure that post-graduates are ready to provide excellent psychological service to the public.
While fully online psychology PhD programs do exist, none of them are currently APA-accredited. This is because psychologists need to complete practicum hours before they become licensed.
Enrolling in hybrid (a mix of online and in-person learning) programs may satisfy the APA accreditation requirements to apply for state licensure.
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You can check with your program’s guidance counselor to determine what options are available to you if you are currently enrolled in a program.
Why Earn an Online PhD?
As a student of psychology, there are a few reasons you may want to consider earning a degree online. If you’re a full-time counselor or social worker, you probably don’t have time to sit through in-person classes.
Virtual learning is often time-flexible, letting you complete coursework when you get the chance to, not at a set hour.
Additionally, in the world of psychology, behavioral sciences, and mental health, it may be difficult to make upward career moves without those higher education degrees. In these fields, a master’s degree can only get you so far.
It’s often faster to get an online PhD than it is to get one in person because many of these programs are accelerated, which will allow you to move through the course material quickly. You may even find online programs that take as little as 3 years to complete!
In-person programs may take as many as 5 to 7 years, perhaps even more, to finish, depending on the field. If you’re already used to taking online classes, it may make sense to continue doing so.
Earning a degree online may even allow you to more easily shift your studies to a different field, taking the prerequisite classes needed to do so at a faster pace, if needed. For example, you might be able to earn a psychology PhD after an online MBA.
What Can I Do with a PhD in Psychology?
As mentioned above, many roles in the fields related to psychology require higher degrees to achieve certain promotions or enter specific niches in the field. These are just a few career paths you may choose to pursue if you get a PhD in psychology:
- Clinical psychologist
- Research psychologist
- Psychology professor
- Medical and health services manager
- Business consultant
Your desired career will determine whether you need a PhD for entry into that role.
Where Can I Find Online Psychology PhD Programs?
If you’ve decided you want to get an online doctorate in psychology, you may spend some time looking for the right program. My College Guide is here to help. We’ll show you plenty of psychology programs at a variety of schools. You can use the My Degree Finder tool today to find the perfect fit for you!