Can I Get a PhD in Psychology Online?

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Psychology and counseling doctorates are among the top online PhD programs often selected by students looking to pursue careers as counselors, educational psychologists, or family psychologists.

Can I Get a PhD in Psychology Online

There are many reasons you may find an online PhD more accessible. Many colleges and universities support both PhD and PsyD doctorates through virtual seminars, lectures, study, and research.

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What Does an Online Psychology PhD Involve?

Psychologist studying online

Your program will differ depending on the major or focus of the program you choose, the college or university you enroll in, and the flexibility of the program. In most cases:

  • Students spend between 5 to 7 years completing a PhD
  • Internships and fieldwork can be fit into online study or may be mandated as in-person program requirements
  • PhD candidates can work at their preferred pace, with lectures available on-demand and multiple exam dates available

Are online PhD programs respected in the field of psychology and counseling? Qualified doctors with PhDs in many different areas of psychology have demonstrated their abilities across the scope of academic and clinical research.

A PhD is a credible and valued achievement whether you have studied in person at a prestigious school like Stanford or online at one of the many accredited institutions nationwide that offer online programs.

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In many cases, employers respect candidates who have engaged in online study because it indicates a commitment to professional progression and demonstrates excellent time management skills.

Can I Complete a Virtual Doctorate in Less Than Five Years?

female psychologist taking her PhD online

The nature of distance learning means that your priorities might include a program that supports self-led study and research, allowing you to decide how best to structure your program.

Some PhD programs have set schedules, which may involve:

  • Defined class schedules
  • Live lectures
  • In-person sessions
  • Set examination dates

Other more flexible online programs allow students to select their preferred schedule and access on-demand resources and a self-paced curriculum. If your objective is to achieve your PhD in minimal time, you may seek an online program that provides more flexibility.

Which Focus Topics Can I Select for an Online Psychology Doctorate Degree?

psychologist getting his doctorate degree online

Online PhDs offer the same scope of subjects and areas of concentration as many conventional doctorate programs. Many PhDs allow students to select their chosen area of learning, which is applied to their elective study, internships, and dissertations.

Some popular PhD psychology programs include:

  • Educational Psychology: These programs typically cover learning approaches and how to manage student interactions in classroom settings, one-on-one environments, and educational systems. Potential topics of study include methodologies to make learning more accessible and different ways to enhance cognition and engagement.
  • Organizational or Business Psychology: Programs in these fields are typically designed for consultants and aspiring professionals looking to study areas of psychology related to diversity, creativity, psychometrics, decision-making, and leadership behaviors.
  • Mental Health Counseling: These focused PhDs typically emphasize cognitive, biological, and affective factors influencing psychosocial treatment approaches and assessments of triggers behind mental health conditions and behaviors.

Whichever psychology PhD you believe is right for you, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a 6% job growth over the next decade for psychologists, making psychology an attractive career path for many.

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Isaac Scott
WRITTEN BY Isaac Scott

Isaac has a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. His primary focus is accredited schools offering degrees online or in a hybrid format.