Many schools have started to get on board with offering doctoral-level degrees in psychology online and some of them are even available in accelerated formats to help you to finish your degree faster. Sadly, there are not the same amount of opportunities for students who are seeking to complete this type of program on a part-time basis. The only institutions that we were able to find in our research included Walden University, Pace University, Marshall University, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. However, you can always talk to an advisor at a school you’re interested in to discuss your options when you need to pursue your degree on a part-time basis and it isn’t explicitly offered as such on their program website.
The average age of a student enrolled in a doctorate degree program is in the early thirties, and by that time, most people have a host of professional and personal obligations that might limit the time that they have to dedicate to their studies. To offer a solution to people in that situation trying to advance their education, a lot of schools now offer part-time programs. In the field of psychology, those programs are exceedingly rare. If a school that you’re interested in doesn’t say that they have a part-time option, you can talk to the program director or an enrollment advisor to discuss your options. In the research we conducted, we did find a few programs that fit the bill, though.
Walden University is a for-profit institution based in Minnesota that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Several students have gone on to sue the university. Walden currently holds a Niche grade of C- and has freshman retention and graduation rates of 19% and 11%, respectively. Walden offers seven different specializations in their PhD in Psychology program. 100% of the coursework is available online, but there are four residencies required as part of the program. OnlineCollegePlan does not promote, endorse, or guarantee the validity of any programs offered by for-profit institutions; further research into this option should be done at your discretion and with scrutiny.
The California Institute of Integral Studies is a private university that is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. There is no data available on its freshman retention rate or graduation rate, it has never been ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and there is very little information available on Niche. Very little information is available about CIIS overall; however, it is clear that this school takes a very “new-age” or “spiritual” approach to their teaching method which is what draws the majority of its students. The institute states that it combines “academic rigor, consciousness, and spirituality to foster personal and professional growth.” Some anonymous (and unverified) student reviews cite trouble with employment after graduation. The degree offered is a PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology. It is a part-time program that is entirely online with the exception of two intensives on campus in San Francisco each year. This program is not APA accredited.
APA accreditation is important; attending an APA-accredited program is required by many states to obtain licensure. As for the programs at Pace University and Marshall University, they are not distance-education programs but can be completed on a part-time basis. Both universities are reputable institutions with appropriate accreditation.