The most common doctorate degree that people pursue in the field of psychology is the Doctor of Philosophy or PhD. There are a lot of schools throughout the country that offer this type of degree program online. Online doctorate programs aren’t typically hard to find because schools understand the need for flexible academic programs at any level and the curriculum is usually designed to fit easily into the lifestyle of someone who has already entered their professional life. Some of the best possible options for an online psychology PhD include the University of Georgia, Michigan State University, and Endicott College.
A PhD in Psychology is the highest level of education you can pursue in the field of psychology; this degree opens up career opportunities in research, teaching, and in clinical practice. It is one of the most broadly applicable PhDs that you can earn, and psychologists with this level of education are in consistent demand. Because of the popularity of this degree, many schools are now offering online psychology doctorate programs. This is great for students who want to add depth to their psychology knowledge and prepare for the next stage of their career but don’t want to disrupt their lives by having to quit their jobs or move to be closer to a school that has this degree track available. While almost every online PhD program in psychology will require some visits to campus, they are specifically designed to fit into the schedules of working professionals and therefore have minimal requirements. Some programs may only have their students come to campus just once when it is time for them to defend their dissertation.
Currently, the only PhD programs in psychology that can be completed entirely online are the PhD in Counseling & Psychological Studies with a concentration in Research and the PhD in Counseling & Psychological Studies with a Clinical Concentration, which are available at Regent University. These two programs consist of 51 total credit hours and take three to five years to complete. The other fully-online program is the Applied Behavioral Analysis PhD program at Endicott University. This is a 60-credit program that also takes up to five years; all of the courses are synchronous, which means that this isn’t a self-paced program. The rest of the options that students currently have are all presented in hybrid formats. Hybrid or blended degree programs present courses online but still have mandatory face-to-face courses as part of the curriculum. Even though there are traditional requirements, schools do still try to make their programs accessible. For instance, all of the campus-based classes in the PhD in Counseling and Student Personnel Services at The University of Georgia are scheduled at or after 5 p.m. so that they can be attended after work. This program focuses on how to build a culture of self-advocacy in the education system by encouraging the students you would be working with after entering your career. This program is entirely synchronous, so all of the online classes are on a set schedule as well. This PhD at UGA takes an average of four years to complete.