Whether you are a recent college graduate or a professional who has been working in your field for years, an online Ph.D. in psychology will dramatically improve your career prospects.

If you’re considering a Ph.D. in psychology, you’re in good company. While there are plenty of entry-level jobs in psychology available, getting a Ph.D. can secure your future and open up a whole new world of opportunities. 

Not only will you be able to engage in private and public research projects, but you’ll also make it possible for you to teach at the college level. You will be able to share your knowledge and passion with the next generation of aspiring psychologists. After all, helping others is likely the reason you got into this field of work in the first place. 

Earning a Ph.D. in psychology isn’t easy—but trust us, it’s worth it. 

Admissions Requirements for a Ph.D. in Psychology

The admissions requirements for a Ph.D. in psychology will vary depending on the university to which you apply. However, for the most part, you will be required to meet the following standards.

Most online universities offer application forms that can be completed entirely online. You’ll need to submit evidence of a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent (and in many cases, also a master’s degree). You should submit a statement of purpose along with three (or sometimes more) letters of recommendation. 

What Are the Best Psychology Degrees?

Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We factor in how robust the school’s online education is, how well that school delivers on its promises, how affordable the program is, and how selective the school is as a whole. For more information, see our methodology page.

  1. MERIT: 100

    As the only veterinary medicine school in the state of Texas, Texas A&M University has a big reputation to live up to. The university is known as a research institution and offers many highly-ranked graduate programs both on-campus in the College of Education and Human Development, the Mays Business School, and the Dwight Look College of Engineering as well as off-campus in places like Qatar. 

    The doctoral program in psychology at Texas a&M is offered by the College of Liberal Arts. With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 2:1, this program offers some of the best attention to student success. All candidates will have the opportunity to develop their professional and research skills. Each student is automatically provided with a fellowship or assistantship that pays a competitive salary, with support available for up to four or five years.

    Students in this program are trained in five core areas of psychology: behavioral and cellular neuroscience, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, social and personality psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and clinical psychology.

    More Information
  2. MERIT: 97.12

    At Liberty University, students gather several times a week for convocation, a unique speaker series that draws more than 80 well-known professional figures to campus every year. This is just one example of the many ways students can improve their professional networks while enrolled at Liberty. With a proud alumni network all over the globe, Liberty offers one of the best settings for students who want to get a leg up in their careers.

    With 60 total credit hours required, the psychology program at Liberty features a specialization in counselor education and supervision. It’s perfect for aspiring clinical practitioners, researchers, and leaders. The degree includes core classes like Advanced Theory Application and contains several intensive internships so students can hone their skills in a real-world setting. 

    The program can be completed in just four years. Tuition is affordable and has not increased in the last four years, making this program one of the most accessible for working adults.

    More Information
  3. MERIT: 94.20

    With more than 900 clubs, 275 study abroad programs, and countless athletic teams, Michigan State University has so many ways for students to get involved that it might seem like academics have to take the backseat. That’s not the case. This university also has one of the best reputations when it comes to offering some of the country’s best online degrees.

    The hybrid doctoral program in psychology at Michigan State University is best for aspiring educators. It provides the opportunity for students to come to campus for face-to-face classes and also includes potential fellowships and graduate assistantships. Core classes include Cultural Perspectives on Learning and Development and Teachers and Technology. 

    A rigorous five-year degree, this program allows plenty of opportunities for research in educational psychology and educational technology. The program also includes courses that focus on teacher education and professional development.

    More Information
  4. MERIT: 93.77

    Texas Tech University offers numerous student services, including career placement, health services, nonremedial tutoring, and more. Many of these services aren’t exclusively for on-campus learners, either. Several are offered online, too.

    The educational psychology Ph.D. program at Texas Tech meets standards developed by the American Psychological Association, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and many other sound professional bodies. It emphasizes teaching and research and comes with an optional practitioner-oriented track like developmental and learning sciences or school psychology.

    It’s offered as a face-to-face program as well as a fully online degree. Courses can also be completed via intensive one-week summer sessions and during weekend hours. To apply, you will need to submit college transcripts, GRE scores, three professional recommendations, and an academic writing sample.

    More Information
  5. MERIT: 93.33

    The University of Georgia has one of the best origin stories, making history at its founding in 1785 as the first public, state-supported college in the United States. Today, the university is large, home to an undergraduate population of more than 29,000 students. Many of these students study partially or exclusively online—and the online population includes a robust group of doctoral candidates, too.

    The Ed.S. in educational psychology, gifted and creative education at the University of Georgia is a unique program that prepares aspiring educators. It requires at least 31 semester hours of coursework along with a final written comprehensive examination but enables graduates to apply for the gifted in-field endorsement for the state of Georgia. 

    Graduate programs at the University of Georgia are ranked fifth in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The online degrees are incredibly flexible, requiring only high-speed internet access for completion.

    More Information
  6. MERIT: 93.18

    The University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY is ranked one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report—but you don’t have to be a veteran in order to benefit from this school’s dynamic programs. The school offers one of the best learning environments for online students, too, offering ample financial aid, library resources, counseling, and much more.

    The clinical psychology program at the University at Buffalo follows a unique “clinical-science” training model. The degree focuses on the key elements of psychological science while also implementing key scientific evidence and methods of inquiry to understand, treat, and prevent human problems. 

    This degree is accredited by the American Psychological Association and prepares candidates for licensure as clinical psychologists in New York State. Students in this program regularly compete for the best internships and professional placements, rising quickly in their careers upon graduation.

    More Information
  7. MERIT: 92.13

    A proprietary university, Ashford University is located in sunny San Diego, CA. The Doctor of Psychology at Ashford is one of the best online programs you will find, complete with 24/7 technical support and a variety of specializations that can align with your unique career and research interests. 

    The program consists of 62 credit hours and is divided into several 6-9 week courses. Specializations include criminology and justice studies, health and wellness psychology, mediation and conflict resolution, educational leadership, industrial-organizational psychology, and sport and performance psychology. 

    While enrolled in this program, you’ll take a variety of courses in organizational leadership, psychology, and research. You’ll also complete a final doctoral capstone or dissertation, depending on your professional goals.

    More Information
  8. MERIT: 88.47

    Arizona State University has the reputation of being one of the largest public schools in the nation. In fact, the undergraduate population tops out at close to 43,000 students! Many of these students also study partially or wholly online, benefitting from a host of support services along with a close-knit student-to-faculty ratio of just 20:1. 

    The online Doctor of Behavioral Health at Arizona State University has a hands-on practical focus that helps to support masters-level clinical experiences. A variety of advanced learning opportunities are offered in medical literacy, entrepreneurship, and behavioral interventions, too. With 84 required credit hours, most students will take a total of 13 classes. 

    Classes are short, with each lasting only seven and a half weeks. As a result, learners can move quickly through their requirements. Course material is delivered through live webinars with faculty, independent assignments, and even internships in practical health care settings.

    More Information
  9. MERIT: 87.44

    With over 1000 clubs and organizations, Pennsylvania State University offers learners plenty of ways to get involved. You don’t have to study on campus in order to benefit from these programs, either. The university extends its opportunities for networking, professional development, and community service to online learners, too.

    The Department of Psychology at Pennsylvania State University is housed within the College Of Liberal Arts. Here, there are several program areas available for students with varied interests. Not only can you pursue a concentration in clinical psychology for professional licensure, but you can also explore areas like cognitive, developmental, social, and industrial-organizational psychology.

    More Information
  10. MERIT: 86.61

    Grand Canyon University is known for two things: its location, and its academics. Although this school is located a full four hours away from its namesake, the iconic tourist destination, it has a prime location in Phoenix, AZ that provides learners with plenty of access to career and experiential learning opportunities. When it comes to academics, the school offers programs in more than six different colleges, ensuring that the programs of study are broad but also personally tailored for career success.

    The Doctor of Philosophy in general psychology at Grand Canyon University has an emphasis on cognition and instruction. This program is best for those who want to work with adult educational communities with diverse economic and cultural backgrounds. The program is incredibly research-based, allowing learners to conduct their own research and apply their findings to formal education settings. 

    This program is highly affordable and convenient, allowing learners to transfer in up to nine doctoral credits. Tuition starts at just $670 per credit hour, with 60 total credits required for graduation.

    More Information
  11. MERIT: 83.99

    If you are looking for an online degree where you won’t just be an anonymous face behind a screen, you need to consider Northcentral University. This school mentors aspiring psychology professionals on a one-to-one basis, connecting each candidate with highly credentialed faculty so that they can become valuable contributors to their professions. Because of this, the student-to-faculty ratio is an unprecedented 1:1.

    The Doctor of Philosophy in psychology at Northcentral is research-focused, helping learners hone their critical thinking skills as they prepare to solve major problems in individual, organization, and social psychology. Students will learn in an applied, hands-on manner as they engage in experiential learning opportunities like real-life situations, vignettes, and case studies. 

    With 60 credit hours required, the program is broken down into 20 total courses. Most students can complete their courses in just four years, engaging in one of eight professionally-relevant speculations. Options include addictions, gender diversity studies, gerontology, general psychology, health psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, mental health policy and practice, trauma and disaster relief, counseling psychology, and a licensure track for counseling psychology.

    More Information
  12. MERIT: 83.07

    A public research institution, the University of Tennessee Knoxville is located in one of the largest cities in the state. As the flagship campus for the state school system, the University of Tennessee Knoxville is home to a variety of research centers and partnerships. In fact, it helps to manage the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National laboratory. The opportunities for research and networking are carried forth into the online Ph.D. programs, too.

    The Ph.D. program in psychology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville has an experimental concentration that allows students to choose from a variety of specializations geared toward careers in teaching, research, and direct application. It is flexible and individualized, with most students completing their studies in fewer than five years.

    While coursework will vary depending on which specialization you choose, most students will take classes like Lifespan Development, Social Psychology, and Cognitive Science. Fifteen semester hours in general psychology are required.

    More Information
  13. MERIT: 80.71

    With more than 300 programs for students to choose from, Oregon State University provides learners with plenty of ways to meet their professional goals. Located in Corvallis, OR, this school has one of the best online Ph.D.’s in psychology.

    The online Ph.D. in psychology at Oregon State has cohorts that begin each term. The degree has an applied focus, using psychological research to solve some of the most common problems in psychology. Although the degree does not prepare students for licensure or direct work in clinical psychology, it allows students to concentrate in one of three different areas.

    Options for specializations include health psychology, applied cognition, and engineering psychology. The program is laid out in a mentorship model, through which each accepted student will work closely with a single faculty member for the duration of his or her studies. All students enrolled full-time are also considered for annual teaching assistantships, too.

    More Information
  14. MERIT: 79.27

    The University of the Cumberlands is ranked one of the Top Performers on Social Mobility in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings. What does this mean? In addition to making it possible for students of all backgrounds to continue their education, the university also offers some of the best support services to online learners, too. 

    The Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of the Cumberlands involves extensive academic research. It allows each student to complete a number of research-focused internships to gain competence in evidence-based clinical practice. The university has been providing high-quality instruction for more than 125 years, helping students build their competencies as they prepare for rewarding careers.

    More Information
  15. MERIT: 78.49

    Virginia Commonwealth University is one of only 28 public universities in the country to be designated by the Carnegie Foundation as both “Community Engaged” and as having “Very High Research Activity.” The school has a variety of professional and doctoral programs that are ranked among the top 50 nationally. The online Ph.D. in psychology is equally impressive, offering several different pathways leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

    This university offers pathways in clinical, counseling, developmental, health, and social psychology. While you will work with faculty and students across all programs, each one has unique emphases and requirements. All concentrations emphasize research and applied skills, connecting students with research and hands-on work opportunities in settings like early intervention centers, hospitals, clinics, and more.

    More Information
  16. MERIT: 78.17

    The online program in psychology is just one of the three fully online doctoral degrees offered by the University of West Georgia. Other choices include education and nursing education, with all three programs existing in some of the most flexible course scheduling formats around. 

    The Doctor of Education in professional counseling and supervision is best for students who aspire to work directly in education and other community-oriented settings. It culminates in a professional practice dissertation and is available completely online. Most students will complete just two classes at a time for a total of two to three years. 

    The program has two tracks, depending on your goals and your previous education. Those who already have experience in counseling can pursue an accelerated track consisting of 39 credits and two years of coursework, while those without are placed in the 60 credit hour track. Popular course titles include Program Evaluation and Ethical Leadership in Education.

    More Information
  17. MERIT: 77.33

    Boston University has a long legacy of providing a variety of unique learning choices for its students. The school offered one of the country’s first study abroad programs and now has international programs in more than 90 different areas. It also has a robust online campus, too, that’s perfect for working adults. 

    The Ph.D. in psychology at Boston University is best for students who wish to pursue positions in academic or clinical settings. It culminates in a final comprehensive examination as well as a dissertation. Each student is also required to satisfy a research requirement during the first year of study. To be eligible for admission, you must have an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field, like neuroscience.

    More Information
  18. MERIT: 76.95

    If you haven’t applied for an undergraduate program in psychology yet, Nova Southeastern University might be your best bet. The school offers a unique dual admission program through which career-focused students can apply for their graduate or doctoral program at the same time they apply for undergraduate admission.

    The Doctor of Psychology program in clinical psychology at Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. Founded upon a practitioner-informed-by-science model, this degree teaches students to produce evidence-based intervention and assessment methods, gaining skills through practicums, academics, internships, and research experiences.

    You will have the option to concentrate your learning in several areas, including clinical forensic psychology, clinical neuropsychology, psychodynamic psychology, clinical health psychology, and more.

    More Information
  19. MERIT: 73.96

    Home to some of the best law, medicine, and business programs in the country, Loyola University also offers one of the best online doctoral degrees in psychology. A blended program, it is best for current school psychologists who wish to advance their careers by earning a doctoral degree. 

    An Ed.D. program, this degree consists of 72 total credit hours of study. Each student can transfer in up to 36 semester hours of previously earned coursework. All classes can be completed in just two years of part-time study, with evening and online classes offered for maximum flexibility. 

    While enrolled in this program, you will study with a supportive cohort of students and move with them throughout the program. You can obtain optional additional certifications as a Licensed Professional Counselor or a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois. You can even take classes during the summer to help accelerate your progress toward earning a degree.

    More Information
  20. MERIT: 73.15

    With over 25,000 alumni in more than 135 countries, Regent University prepares graduates to become accomplished professionals who can change the world through Christian leadership. The Ph.D. in counseling and psychological studies at Regent includes pathways for students seeking to work in psychological science, scholarship, research, and mental health counseling. 

    All courses in this program are offered in sixteen-week segments. No GRE is required for admission, yet up to 86% of all graduate students receive some form of financial aid. Regent is ranked as one of the top National Universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2020 and features several fully-accredited pathways in the mental health field. 

    51 credit hours are required for this program, which includes a variety of applicable concentrations. You will take a handful of electives to satisfy the requirements for these concentrations. Areas of specialization include addictions counseling, biblical counseling, human services counseling, life coaching, research, trauma and crisis counseling, and several others.

    More Information
  21. MERIT: 66.74

    Temple University is home to a variety of research institutes and centers, including the Center for Sustainable Communities and the Center for Asian Health. Even if you aren’t interested in pursuing a research-focused career in psychology, conducting sample research while enrolled in a Ph.D. program is a smart choice. 

    The Department of Psychology at Temple University offers a doctoral degree with four distinct areas of study: social psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, cognition, and neuroscience. While you are enrolled, you will also have the option to complete a separate interdisciplinary neuroscience specialization via the neuroscience program in the College of Liberal Arts. 

    This degree is perfect for students seeking postdoctoral research positions. It is heavy in research, allowing learners to work in research settings within various industries both before and after graduation.

    More Information
  22. MERIT: 66.41

    At Baylor University, students are connected by religion, service, and academic excellence. Faculty and students get to know each other through extensive research, with opportunities that extend to learners studying via the online campus. 

    The doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Baylor University is most easily described as a practitioner-scientist model of training. In this program, you will be continuously reading, learning, and developing to improve your proficiency in mental health services. While extensive coursework is required in this program, so, too are significant amounts of clinical experiences, practicum placements, and other supervised experiences. 

    Baylor holds a Carnegie classification as a “high-research” institution and is the world’s largest Baptist university. The program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1976, making this program one of the most prestigious of its kind.

    More Information
  23. MERIT: 65.95

    Fordham University is located in New York City and known as one of the metropolitan area’s premier Jesuit institutions. Here, the school combines individualized attention with intellectually challenging coursework to create some of the country’s best online programs.

    The clinical psychology doctoral program at Fordham has been around for more than fifty years, training students for careers in teaching, clinical practice, and research. It develops students’ competencies in major areas of study like forensic, health, clinical, and child and adolescent psychology. 

    100% of financial aid is offered to incoming students in this competitive program. This includes four full years of tuition remission as well as a stipend for each and every academic year. In addition to detailed, intensive coursework, each student also receives training in the assessment and diagnosis of mental health disorders via supervised practicum experiences.

    More Information
  24. MERIT: 65.40

    With inquiry-based classes and a required 400-650 hours of internships and field experiences that begin as early as the first week of the freshman year, Lesley University is one of the most community-focused schools you will find. Even online learners are encouraged to study abroad and to get involved in their local communities.

    The Doctor of Philosophy at Lesley University is one-of-a-kind, offering a unique focus in expressive therapies. Students can engage in significant artistic growth and opportunities for professional development, even if you don’t have much background in the arts. The degree consists of four years of study, with 15 credit hours completed most years. Each student is also required to attend campus for a three-week residency each summer.

    More Information
  25. MERIT: 64.73

    If you’re going to invest your time and money in earning a Ph.D. in psychology, why not go directly to a school that specializes in professional preparation in this field? The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles offers degrees in other fields, of course, but is best known for its well-ranked psychology degrees.

    The online Ph.D. in international psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a three-year, full-time program that is available entirely online. It features two real-world training opportunities along with required field experience. Concentrations are available in both trauma services and organizations and systems. 

    This innovative program features classes in topics like acculturation psychology, mental health interventions, and psychology of organizations and systems from a global perspective. Each student must complete two nine-day international field experiences to gain a more global perspective of the discipline, too.

    More Information
  26. MERIT: 64.64

    Just 20 miles north of Boston, MA, Endicott College offers one of the best locations for students looking to expand their professional networks. In fact, all undergraduates are required to complete two 120-hour internships while they are enrolled.

    The doctoral program in applied behavior analysis at Endicott College is heavily focused on research and analysis, helping students gain the experience necessary to work as scientist-practitioners or instructors at the university level. Offering in both a classroom-based and synchronous online format, the Ph.D. is perfect for students who live outside of the greater Boston area yet still want to be able to complete this high-quality degree.

    To apply, you must have completed a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis or its equivalent. Certification or licensure in this field is also preferred.

    More Information
  27. MERIT: 64.40

    Although Alaska Pacific University has an idyllic location in Anchorage, AK, you don’t have to travel all the way to Alaska in order to benefit from this university’s dynamic learning opportunities. The Doctor of Psychology at Alaska Pacific prepares graduates who are competent psychologists who have the ability to empower groups, communities, and individuals regardless of their backgrounds or geographical differences. 

    Developed in 2011, this relatively young program is one of the few in the state of Alaska—in fact, there is only one other training program for doctoral-level psychologists in the entire state. It serves students in the most remote areas of the state and is taught by faculty members who have diverse backgrounds in clinical practice, research, and cultural experiences. 

    The university fosters a collaborative environment, encouraging students to become members of psychological associations like the Alaska Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association. The curriculum is highly accessible, with classes offered synchronously through eLearning sessions as well as a few on-campus intensives.

    More Information
  28. MERIT: 64.15

    A private school located in Loma Linda, CA, Loma Linda University has one of the best online Ph.D. programs in psychology. Loma Linda’s School of Behavioral Health offers two fully APA-accredited clinical psychology programs, including both a Ph.D. and a Psy.D. Both programs are scientifically-oriented and produce prepared professionals who can work in health-related fields and beyond.

    The program takes most students six years to complete, including a required internship, and integrates one-on-one academic, clinical, and research-based mentoring in a health care setting. Students will also complete a variety of practical experiences within multidisciplinary settings, including both university-affiliated and non-university-affiliated sites. 

    A highly flexible program, there are even options for students who are serving as active-duty military members or are veterans. You’ll even learn what’s necessary to engage in embedded professional self-care, making this one of the most well-rounded programs you will find.

    More Information
  29. MERIT: 63.88

    Touro University may be best known for its highly-ranked medical programs, but its excellence extends beyond the medical laboratories. This school is also one of the best when it comes to its online Ph.D. programs in other areas, too.

    The online Doctor of Psychology in human and organizational psychology is offered 100% online with zero residency experiences required. GRE test scores are also not required for this program, which features a convenient accelerated admissions process and shockingly low tuition (just $700 per credit hour!).

    The program focuses specifically on the applications of psychology in the workplace. It includes courses in theory, research, and theory-to-practice. Students in this program receive access to a doctoral-level academic environment with faculty research guidance as well as access to some of the most advanced technologies.

    More Information
  30. MERIT: 62.33

    Keiser University is ranked as one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. This ranking is a testament to the outstanding instruction, research, and learning opportunities provided on both the F. Lauderdale and online campuses of the school.

    The doctoral program in psychology at Keiser features rigorous coursework along with a variety of meaningful research and teaching activities. Following an innovative scholar-practitioner model, the program is offered at several Florida campuses, including Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Melbourne, Miami, and of course, completely online.

    It’s designed for students who wish to become researchers, professors, human resources managers, or even consultants. A leadership-focused program, it consists of 60 graduate hours of credit (plus an additional 18 if you only have a bachelor’s degree upon admission). Two residencies are required during the program to help provide students with enriching mentoring and in-person networking opportunities.

    More Information

What are the fastest-growing careers in psychology?

Earn a degree in psychology, and you’ll be equipped with the skills and credentials necessary to pursue a wide variety of careers. You will be able to address the ever-growing needs of a society that struggles socially and economically, with challenges that are reflected back in schools, relationships, and other settings. 

One of the fastest-growing careers in psychology is that of the school psychologist. The field has been growing rapidly since the turn of the century. You could also pursue a career as a vocational and career counselor, which will allow you to utilize your strong “people skills” to help others find direction in their lives. 

That’s not all, though. With a Ph.D. in psychology, you could also work as a clinical psychologist or an industrial-organizational psychologist. Although these careers are varied and require unique skill sets, what all psychology careers have in common is that the professions are growing steadily—and available just about anywhere in the country.

Can I complete my psychology degree entirely online?

If you’re considering a degree in psychology, you would be smart to choose one that is offered entirely online. You can earn your Ph.D. without ever setting foot on campus! There are lots of benefits to online classes. Not only can you complete assignments and watch lectures on your own time, but you’ll be able to fit the demands of earning a degree into your already hectic life. 

The format of your courses will be almost identical to what you would study on-campus, too. After all, you don’t need to sit in a classroom in order to learn. You can watch and rewatch materials as many times as you’d like, learning at your own pace so you’re sure to master the material. Plus, you’ll benefit from scheduling flexibility that you simply can’t match at a brick-and-mortar school.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

When you start researching Ph.D. programs in psychology, you might be confused about the differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Luckily, they’re pretty easy to differentiate.

Psychology is the broad study of human behavior, with many core threads in the discipline tied directly back to various schools of thought in philosophy. However, it’s interdisciplinary, too, often bleeding into other academic subjects like neuroscience and education.

A psychiatrist, on the other hand, is someone who works to correctly diagnose and treat mental health problems. While you will draw from many of the same disciplines as you would with a degree in psychology, a psychiatrist will pursue a career that is more concrete and clinically based.

Do I need work experience?

While some Ph.D. programs will require you to have a degree of experience in psychology, that’s not the case for all of them. Getting into the school of your dreams can be tough, but having a bit of work experience can only help you as you make the journey. 

Even volunteer experience can help. Not only will you have a better idea of what your future work will entail, but you’ll get a greater sense of direction, too. After all, the field of psychology has many specializations available – by getting some experience, you can get a better idea of which direction you would like to take with your career. 

Many programs also require letters of recommendation for admission. Often, you’ll need three letters—one of which should be from an employer or volunteer supervisor. The more work experience you have, the better equipped you will be to furnish those letters. 

Does my psychology degree need to be accredited?

Yes, your psychology degree should be accredited. With thousands of accredited psychology schools in the country, there’s really no good reason not to pursue an accredited degree. After all, you are paying good money for your program—you need to make sure your degree is recognized by employers and other universities.

National or regional accreditation is important, but it can also help to verify that your school has a programmatic accreditation by a regulating body in psychology. Although there are several bodies that do this, one of the most reputable organizations is the American Psychological Association. 

There are some risks in selecting a program that is not accredited. Not only will you not be able to qualify for state or federal financial aid, but you may not be able to pursue licensure as a psychologist upon graduation, either.

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out the Top 35 Fastest Online College Programs and the Top 20 Fastest Online Doctoral Programs!