Online PhD Programs in Psychology

Below are online PhD in psychology programs recommended by our editors. This is not a ranking of online psychology PhD programs, but a curated list of all the best psychology PhD programs offered by reputable, accredited online universities. If there’s a program you think should be added to the list, tell us why through our contact page.

Recommended Online PhD Programs in Psychology

  1. Capella University – Psychology
  2. Grand Canyon University – General Psychology
  3. Walden University – Clinical Psychology

California Southern University

California Southern University is a private university founded in 1978 as a correspondence school offering only associates degrees. Over time, its mission has expanded to online programs and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Based in Irvine, California, CalSouthern is now regionally accredited and offers distance-learning programs exclusively.

Online PsyD in Psychology Program
For students seeking an advanced graduate degree in psychology, CalSouthern offers an online Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD). The PsyD differs from a PhD in that it focuses on applied practice and clinical experience, rather than academic research. Completion of the PsyD requires 66 graduate-level credit hours, including required foundation courses as well as electives chosen by the student. The four-year degree program culminates in a doctoral project, unlike the dissertation required by PhD-granting programs. This project can take a variety of forms, depending on the student’s interests and professional goals.

Accreditation
CalSouthern is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.

Meridian University

Meridian University was founded in 1993 in San Francisco, California, as an institution of higher learning specializing in business, education, the arts and psychology. Online programs are delivered in one of two formats, monthly or blended learning, that are designed for individuals with prior commitments to work or family. The goal of Meridian University is to educate leaders to make transformations in organizations and communities.

Online PhD in Psychology Program
The online PhD in psychology program from Meridian University draws upon a diversified set of late 20th century knowledge and research, including depth psychology, humanistic psychology and somatic psychology. PhD students may choose from one of several concentrations, such as somatic, dance movement/expressive arts, clinical, integral, and leadership & social transformation. Coursework meets the needs for licensure in the state of California.

Accreditation
Meridian University is currently in the accreditation process with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College Commission. The institution is licensed through the California Bureau for Private and Postsecondary Education. In addition, the online PhD in psychology program is approved by both the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and Board of Psychology.

Northcentral University

Northcentral University, headquartered in Prescott Valley, Arizona, is a completely online educational institution that serves a variety of students, including international and military students. Emphasis is placed on personal instruction, and no physical residency is required, which makes it perfect for working professionals seeking to advance or change careers. More than 90 percent of Northcentral University students are seeking graduate degrees, and 100 percent of the faculty holds doctoral degrees.

Online PhD in Psychology Program
Northcentral University’s online PhD program in psychology is designed to facilitate the personal growth of students and to develop the knowledge and skills required for psychologists to contribute to both local and international communities. Students learn through the evaluation of research and communicating via several forms of media with the goal of improving the human condition from the viewpoint of psychological health. Because the program is completely online, an emphasis is placed on applied learning and real-life situations.

Accreditation
Northcentral University holds regional accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC).

Saybrook University

Saybrook University offers graduate programs and certifications in the areas of psychology, organizational system, human science, and mind-body medicine. The university was founded in 1971 as the Humanistic Psychology Institute. The name has changed as the programs expanded, and the university now has four schools to cater to each area of study.

Program Overview
The PhD in Psychology program offers clinical and psychophysiology specializations. Both specializations have online components, but the programs do require onsite or residential coursework. There is a required order to some of the coursework, but many of the courses can be taken in an order determined by the student.

Accreditation
Saybrook University is accredited by the Senior Colleges and Universities Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The university also has accreditation and authorization from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is one of the largest and most respected nonprofit schools of psychology and behavioral health sciences in the United States. For more than 30 years, the institution has provided top educations to students through traditional and custom programs that suit personal interests and career goals. In addition to its three campuses, online courses are available to help students achieve their education goals while maintaining current living standards.

Online PhD in Psychology Program
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers several online programs leading to a PhD in psychology. Among them are specializations in international psychology, organizations and systems, organizational leadership and trauma services. Students learn through a mentorship program with practicing professionals who have real-world expertise in their fields. In addition, an online community of students is provided for help and support.

Accreditation
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools (ACS) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition, the institution is a recognized member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology.

Union Institute & University

Union Institute & University was founded in 1964 as a conglomerate of 10 independent liberal arts institutions, including Bard College, Antioch College and Hofstra University. It is currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, with two other campuses in California and one each in Vermont and Florida. However, Union Institute & University was established on the principle of being an institution without walls where students may receive a quality education regardless of their location.

Online PhD in Psychology Program
Union Institute & University offers an online PhD program in psychology, which includes requisite and elective courses, supervised clinical practice and an internship in addition to the dissertation. The program requires a two-day orientation, one of which is online and one in person. While most of the coursework can be completed online, bi-annual academic meetings are mandatory.

Accreditation
Union Institute & University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC). The PhD in psychology program has also been approved by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists Designation Committee.

University of Phoenix

Founded in 1976, the University of Phoenix was created with a commitment to provide working adults with higher education options at times convenient to them. University of Phoenix currently offers online programs around the world at associate, bachelor, masters and doctoral level degrees. Flexible schedules, an extensive military program and 20 years of online education experience make the University of Phoenix a leader in its field.

Online PhD in Psychology Program
The School of Advanced Studies at the University of Phoenix offers an online PhD program in Psychology. This program will prepare students with a bachelor’s degree for careers in industrial and organizational psychological research, consulting and instruction with an emphasis on employee issues, human resource management and organizational development. Students will develop the psychological understanding of human behavior and development that businesses need to stay competitive. Normal completion time of the PhD in Psychology program is 55 months.

Accreditation
The University of Phoenix meets the highest of educational quality standards in its Higher Learning Commission accreditation. It is a member of the North Central Association.

Walden University

A pair of teachers named Bernie and Rita Turner founded Walden University in 1970. In 1995, Walden began offering some of the first fully online degree programs in the nation. As of 2009, Walden was ranked second among universities awarding doctorates to African American students by the National Science Foundation.

Online PhD in Psychology Program
Walden University’s Ph.D. in Psychology program is a combination of academic research and first-hand experience. Any student with a bachelor’s degree is eligible for the program, and many students are able to transfer credits from their master’s degree programs. Students can choose to specialize in clinical, counseling, educational, forensic, general, health, organizational, or social psychology.

Accreditation
Walden University has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1990. The North Central Association is one of six regional accrediting organizations recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Recommended Online PhD Programs in Psychology

  1. Capella University – Psychology
  2. Grand Canyon University – General Psychology
  3. Walden University – Clinical Psychology