Mental health is an increasingly important aspect of America’s public health, for a variety of reasons: an epidemic of opioid addiction; rising suicide rates; PTSD among servicemembers, police officers, first responders, and prisoners; and an aging population affected by dementia and other cognitive disorders. The job market for psychological practitioners is expected to grow substantially (as much as 14% in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), making it a good time for working professionals in counseling, psychology, and related fields to consider earning their PhD or Doctor of Psychology degree, or a specialization like an EdD in School Psychology
How to Choose an Online PhD Psychology Program
For working counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals, online doctorate programs in psychology make all the difference. Earning the highest degree in the field is by no means easy, but the opportunity to do all coursework online, without having to leave their current careers, means that students can continue their practice while learning new concepts and techniques. Even better, current practitioners can immediately apply their learning to their current practice, becoming better clinicians and leaders in the process. Whether students are working toward their PhD with the intention of becoming advanced practitioners, researchers, educators, or administrators, an online PhD program in psychology has a real-world benefit.
While there are many fully online PhD programs in psychology available (many of which do not even require GRE scores), most programs are presented in a hybrid form, with brief, intensive residencies on-campus or as a convenient location. Particularly in a field like psychology, where human interaction and support are crucial (both to patients and practitioners), these residencies can have a powerful positive impact. Students have the opportunity to get to know their cohort and professors personally, establishing supportive connections, being exposed to alternative ideas, and developing mentoring relationships, that can continue even into the online portion of the coursework. Often, these residency experiences are just a single week or weekend a year – as convenient as they are formative.
Ranking the Top Online PhD Programs in Psychology
With such a need for well-prepared, licensed practitioners, colleges and universities have created a variety of convenient, often highly affordable PhD programs. To rank the Top 25 Online Doctorates in Psychology, Online PhD researched the reputable, regionally-accredited colleges, graduate schools, and universities offering hybrid or fully online PhD psychology programs. From our initial list, we measured programs against three variables:
- Reputation (Niche grade)
- Cost (IPEDS data)
- ROI (average alumni salary data from College Scorecard)
All of the institutions featured on the Top 25 ranking are regionally accredited, while many are further accredited by the American Psychological Association or another professional accrediting agency.
Professionals in counseling may also consider an online Doctorate in Social Work degree program, depending on their career goals.
1. Texas Tech University – Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech University, flagship of the Texas Tech system, is a top-tier R1 research university in Lubbock, TX – a place nicknamed “Hub City,” as it is west Texas’ central location for healthcare, business, and higher education. Texas Tech is the biggest part of the higher education system, providing practical professional and technological programs for Texans since 1923. Long ranked one of the top regional colleges in the West, Texas Tech has earned a national reputation in recent years, especially in areas like engineering, business, and teacher education. The College of Education is one of Texas’ top institutions for teacher education and education research, including respected research centers focusing on autism and visual impairment.
Texas Tech’s PhD in Educational Psychology degree program is available in a hybrid format, with a mix of face-to-face weekend classes and online coursework, as well as some 1-week summer intensives. The hybrid format provides working adults in education or counseling to earn their degree without having to leave their current positions. As a PhD program, the Educational Psychology degree is primarily intended for students who wish to go into academia as professors, or enter research careers in academic, government, or private industry setting. Students will develop their skills in research and writing, particularly in educational assessments, with a focus on improving educational quality for diverse student populations.
Degree: PhD in Educational Psychology
2. University of Georgia – Athens, GA
The University of Georgia was the first public university founded in the new United States, in 1785, and has long been known as a Public Ivy – a public university with the reputation and influence of an Ivy League institution. For most of Georgia’s history, UGA has been the center of education, research, and culture for the Peach State (though Georgia Tech may give it a run for its money these days). A top-20 ranked public university, and known nation-wide for one of the most beloved college towns and music scenes in the US, UGA is also a nationally ranked leader in everything from business and law to education. The College of Education – founded in 1908 – has led the state in education and educational psychology for more than a century.
The UGA Ed.S. in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education degree program prepares teachers for a gifted endorsement for the state of Georgia. The online Specialist of Education in Educational Psychology gives working professionals a strong foundation in the philosophy of gifted education, particularly the ways that giftedness and creativity manifest differently in diverse populations. This 31-credit program (with a comprehensive exam) can be completed entirely online, and an expert faculty – along with affordable tuition rates – makes the online Ed.S. a solid choice for Georgia teachers.
Degree: Ed.S. in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education
3. Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI
The model of the American land-grant university, Michigan State University was a pioneering agriculture and engineering college from the time it was founded in 1855, catching the attention of the federal government when the Morrill Land Grant Act passed in 1862. From there, MSU has developed into a center of research and learning for Michigan, ranking as one of the top public universities in the US. MSU is crucial to the professional workforce of Michigan, not only in fields like engineering and business, but in education as well; in fact, the College of Education at MSU is ranked in the top 25 graduate education programs in the nation.
The MSU PhD in Education Psychology and Educational Technology degree program is intended to prepare teaching professionals for leadership positions. This hybrid program focuses on the use of original and current research to develop teaching strategies and programs based in technology. The majority of coursework is fully online, with a two-week intensive each summer that covers two courses; students working online with two courses in the summer, and one course each for fall and spring semesters, can complete their PhD in five years without having to leave their current jobs. MSU is one of the most trusted names in the Midwest, and the online PhD psychology program is a top opportunity for Michigan’s education leaders.
Degree: PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology
4. Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ
Founded as the Arizona Territory’s teacher training school in the 19th century, Arizona State University is the most inspiring higher education story of the 21st century. Beginning in 2002, when ASU committed to their plan of modeling the New American University, Arizona State has embraced accessibility, technology, and innovation, becoming the largest university in the US by student body and an international leader in online education. In addition to status as a top-tier public research institution, ASU has long been ranked the most innovative university in the US, earning its reputation by accepting more than 80% of applicants (giving them a chance to prove themselves) and making more of its degree programs available fully online.
The ASU online Doctor of Behavioral Health degree program comes from the College of Health Solutions, one of the nation’s top schools of its kind. Designed for working clinicians who have a master’s degree, the Doctor of Behavioral Health is oriented toward providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s healthcare marketplace. With a deep grounding in both behavioral diseases, and in entrepreneurship and leadership, students come out of the DBH program prepared to treat patients with the most current strategies, and to take the lead in healthcare reform in the field. It’s an online doctorate program in psychology that delivers.
Degree: Doctor of Behavioral Health
5. Oregon State University eCampus – Corvallis, OR
Oregon State University goes way back in the history of Oregon, founded in Corvallis as the state’s first primary school in 1856, when the waves of new settlers created a need for basic education. When the Morrill Land Grant Act started the creation of agricultural and mechanical colleges all over the US, Corvallis was tapped for Oregon’s in 1865. Oregon State has built on that heritage, becoming a central part of higher education in Oregon, and the only public university to be named a land, sea, space, and sun-grant institution. The highest level of research university, Oregon State is also known for its commitment to the people of Oregon, given the Community Service Classification by the Carnegie Foundation.
OSU’s hybrid PhD in Counseling degree program is intended for counseling professionals who wish to move their careers into advanced clinical practice, higher education, or clinical management and administration. Designed for the convenience of working adults, the hybrid PhD program consists of on-campu classes twice each quarter, with all other coursework completed online. Students learn the skills, theory, and methodology they need in an interactive and supportive environment, one that centers on the contributions students can make to the field. OSU’s online PhD psychology program especially emphasizes justice and diversity, seeking counselors who want to make a difference in lives.
Degree: PhD in Counseling
6. Loyola University Chicago – Chicago, IL
Founded in 1870 by Jesuit priest Arnold Damon, Loyola University Chicago played a significant part in helping establish Chicago as a major metropolitan city, with a highly educated professional class. While Chicago was still growing, Loyola brought medical, nursing, law, and business schools to the city, educating, executives, political leaders, artists, and more than 150,000 other alumni. The Loyola University Medical Center is a key part of Chicago’s healthcare system, while the Quinlan School of Business is one of the nation’s best. The School of Education, however, makes one of the most important ground-level impacts, as a force for education and social justice in Chicago, Illinois, and beyond.
Loyola Chicago’s hybrid EdD in School Psychology degree program is designed for professionals who are already working as school psychologists and who want to advance their career. Two tracks are available: Mental Health, for those who wish to take on advanced clinical roles such as a Licensed Professional Counselor; and Data-Based Decision-Making, for those who want to enhance their analytical skills to understand and use large samplings of data to make educational policy. Students take a blended set of on-campus and online courses, with some evening classes during the academic year and either on-campus or hybrid courses in the summer. Loyola’s online doctorate programs in psychology provide all a motivated professional needs.
Degree: Ed.D. in School Psychology
7. Endicott College – Beverly, MA
Endicott College began as a junior college for women founded by spouses George Bierkoe and Eleanor Tupper, with the progressive intention of expanding career opportunities for women in professional life. Endicott provides students with the low student:faculty ratio and exceptional support of a small liberal arts college, but with a focus on professional education and career development. Since 2014, when the college offered its first doctoral program, Endicott has enjoyed a growing reputation as a graduate educator, including fully online programs. Endicott is ranked one of the top regional colleges in the North, and is also known for its outreach to adult students, such as the Keys to Degree program, which provides housing for single parents and their children.
Endicott College’s PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis degree program is available for on-campus students, and for online students in a synchronous format, allowing students who cannot attend on campus to take part in the class from a distance. This online PhD psychology program focuses on research, preparing students for a career as a scientist-practitioners using scientific methodology to analyze behavior and better match behavior to goals. Students may find careers in education, public policy, business, and other fields where behavioral analysis can have positive results. Applicants must have a relevant master’s degree, and an active license as a behavioral analyst is preferred.
Degree: PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis
8. Liberty University – Lynchburg, VA
When Liberty University was founded in 1971 by evangelist Jerry Falwell, it was one of many Christian colleges that started up in a wave of renewed evangelical fervor. However, beginning in the late 1990s, Liberty pulled ahead of its fellow Christian universities by radically rethinking Christian higher education. Liberty had long been invested in educational opportunities for working adults, but when fully online education came along, Liberty jumped in with both feet, coming out as the single largest Christian university in the world. With well over 100,000 online students, in addition to its 15,000 traditional on-campus students, Liberty has become one of the world’s foremost names in online higher education.
Liberty University offers two online doctorate programs in psychology, both from the School of Behavioral Sciences and both ideally designed for working professionals and career-changing adults. Liberty’s online Ed.D. in Community Care and Counseling program offers three specializations for counselors and Christian ministers: Marriage and Family, Pastoral Care and Counseling, and Traumatology. The Liberty online PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision is offered in an intensives-based format, mixing 1-week or weekend long on-campus courses with online coursework for the support and networking of a traditional class, with the convenience of online. Both online PhD psychology programs carry the trusted Liberty reputation.
Degree: EdD in Community Care and Counseling; PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision
9. Alaska Pacific University – Anchorage, AK
Founded in 1957 by the first native Alaskan Methodist minister, Alaska Pacific University is a small liberal arts college in Anchorage, AK, with a campus that borders both the University of Alaska, and the Alaska Native Medical Center. It’s clear that the needs of Alaska’s people is central to APU’s education, especially the needs of Alaska’s native population. APU is part of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the largest native organization in Alaska, which focuses on educational and cultural programs to improve Alaska’s health and well-being. With the challenges of travel in Alaska, APU has also made online education a priority in recent years, reaching out to students who cannot come to Anchorage.
Alaska Pacific’s hybrid Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology degree program provides psychology and counseling professionals with the opportunity to earn the highest degree in the field without leaving their careers. This strengths-based program focuses on equipping counseling professionals with the skills and knowledge to become licensed psychologists and to work independently or in clinical settings. Students work through the program with a mix of weekend on-campus intensives and online coursework, using a cohort model to provide added support and encouragement. APU’s online doctorate programs in psychology are a crucial part of Alaska’s mental health.
Degree: Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology
10. Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon University has quickly become one of the most recognizable names in higher education, thanks to their track record of quality programs, and some successful marketing. Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon began as a Baptist college started in the hopes that Arizona Baptist youth would stay in the state to study, rather than leave Arizona (and potentially not bring their professional accomplishments back). In 2004, after financial difficulties, GCU became the first for-profit Christian university, growing massively over the next decade by aggressively expanding its online degree offerings. As of 2018, GCU has been approved to return to nonprofit status, signaling the start of a new era in Grand Canyon’s history.
Grand Canyon’s online PhD psychology programs represent a wide number of convenient, affordable options for working professionals in psychology, counseling, and related career paths. For students looking for the highest degree in their field, GCU offers five different online PhD programs in Psychology: Performance Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Counselor Education, I/O Psychology, and Pysch Tech. All of these programs are available fully online, and feature an emphasis on original research and contributions to the field of psychology. Graduates can pursue jobs with any number of agencies and organizations, as well as their own independent practice, giving GCU students more options than just about any other online educator.
Degree: PhD in Performance Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Counselor Education, I/O Psychology, and Psych Tech
11. University of the Cumberlands – Williamsburg, KY
University of the Cumberlands was founded in 1889 by Kentucky Baptists, in order to confront the lack of higher education opportunities in Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains. At the time, education in Kentucky coal country was very poor, and from the very beginning Cumberlands made outreach its primary goal, including community service, cultural events, and educational programs for adults. Today, Cumberlands is particularly known for its top-notch online degree programs, having begun a focus on graduate programs and online education in the mid 2000s. With online programs, Cumberlands is able to reach even more students from Kentucky and beyond.
Cumberlands’ online PhD in Clinical Psychology degree program offers working professionals an excellent opportunity to earn the educational credits they need to become licensed psychologists in Kentucky. The Cumberlands PhD uses a hybrid format to provide students with the convenience of online coursework with the support and clinical practicum of a traditional on-campus program. In the first year, students take fully online courses, while the remaining years of the program combine online coursework and clinical practicum experience in Florence, KY. For an online PhD psychology program from a noted Christian institution, Cumberlands’ program is the best of its kind in Kentucky.
Degree: PhD in Clinical Psychology
12. Regent University – Virginia Beach, VA
Regent University began in 1977 as the Christian Broadcasting Network University, founded by televangelist and evangelical leader Pat Robertson. While Regent originally began with a focus on communications – fitting its CBN origin – the university quickly expanded to all sorts of liberal arts and professional programs. Today, Regent has earned nationwide attention for its programs, especially for its commitment to education for working adults, which began with outreach programs for teachers in the Washington, DC, region. Regent’s online degree programs are especially well-regarded, frequently ranking among the best in the nation.
Regent’s online PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision degree program comes from the School of Psychology and Counseling, one of only a few Christian universities accredited by both the APA and the CACREP. Regent’s program combines Christian faith and values with the most current psychological science for a fully-rounded perspective on psychology and counseling. With fully online coursework, Regent’s online PhD psychology program provides working professionals with a convenient means to earn the highest degree in the field, while three week-long residencies help cohort members develop supportive connections. Regent’s online doctorate programs in psychology are a Christ-centered means to career advancement.
Degree: PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision
13. Nova Southeastern University – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University is one of Florida’s foremost institutions for health sciences, including medicine, nursing, physical therapy, and psychology. Originally founded as Nova University, a merger with Southeastern University in 1994 combined the two schools’ strengths – health sciences for Southeastern, technology for Nova – into a major private research university, one that is growing and developing at a rapid pace. In recent years, Nova has become known nationally for their fully online degree programs, earning national rankings as an online educator; the university is also known as one of the most diverse universities in America, awarding more doctorates to minority students than any other single university.
Nova Southeastern’s online PhD in Conflict Analysis & Resolution is a unique degree program from the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies. Designed for mid-career, working professionals, the the online Conflict Analysis PhD prepares students for work as advanced practitioners, educators, researchers, industry consultants, and more. The PhD program gives students the full spectrum of conflict studies and theory, from interdisciplinary research to cultural and historical analysis. All coursework is fully online, with two on-campus Residential Institutes per year. Students can also choose concentrations in Community-Based Conflict, Conflict in Organizations, Global Conflict, and Interpersonal Conflict, tailoring their education to their career goals.
Degree: PhD in Conflict Analysis & Resolution
14. Argosy University – Orange, CA
Argosy University formed in 2001 from the merger of three previous colleges, solely to provide convenient higher education opportunities for working adult and traditional-aged students. In recent years, Argosy has made its name and reputation on distance education, but the university provides degree programs in a wide range of fields both on-campus and online. Argosy is especially recognized for programs in the health sciences, such as nursing and psychology. Argosy was recently acquired from the Education Management Corporation by the Dream Center Foundation, an education group affiliated with the Pentecostal church; the Dream Center plans to transition Argosy from a for-profit to a non-profit institution.
Argosy’s online EdD in Counseling Psychology degree program is intended for working professionals with a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, such as social work, family counseling, or psychiatric nursing. The EdD degree prepares students for leadership or teaching positions within the counseling field, with a specific focus on applying current and up-to-date research to real counseling needs. In addition to 15 courses, which can be completed entirely online, students will perform their own original research to write a dissertation. Argosy’s online doctorate programs in psychology provide an affordable and convenient way for counselors to enhance their careers.
Degree: Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology
15. Capella University – Minneapolis, MN
Capella University began in 1993 as a distance-education institution devoted to the educational needs of working adults. Within just a few years, advances in technology made fully online degree programs a real option for students, and Capella leapt into the field early. Today, nearly all of Capella’s programs are available fully online – and many only online – and the university has earned regional accreditation (rare for a for-profit institution) and subject accreditations for many of its degrees. Capella’s competency-based education model has been recognized as a leading method for online education, combining asynchronous coursework with online interaction with classmates and faculty.
Capella’s online PhD in General Psychology degree program is designed for professionals who want to advance their career with the highest degree in the field. A wide range of elective courses, in addition to the core psychology program, gives professionals in psychology the freedom to tailor their learning to their career goals, whether they want to work as advance practitioners, educators, researchers, or in some other capacity. The Capella online PhD psychology program focuses on leadership, ethics, and diversity, preparing students for professional life. Capella’s method also incorporates dissertation research and writing from the beginning so that the dissertation is not as overwhelming as other PhD programs.
Degree: PhD in Psychology
16. Walden University – Minneapolis, MN
Walden University began as an experiment, and stands today as a model of innovative distance education. Beginning in 1970, when Walden was founded to provide convenient doctoral degrees for working teachers, Walden has been dedicated to creating opportunity for nontraditional students. Originally, students met with faculty in Walden’s first home, Naples, FL, then returned home to work on their dissertations; today, all of Walden’s programs are fully online, giving students a flexible, convenient way to earn graduate degrees and advance their career in a variety of disciplines, from business and public administration to education and health sciences.
Walden’s online PhD in Psychology programs provide working professionals in psychology and counseling with the opportunity to take on advanced clinical and leadership roles. Students can earn their degrees in a variety of psychology subjects: Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Behavioral Health Leadership, Counselor Education and Supervision, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Developmental Psychology. All coursework is fully online, and new students can earn up to $10,000 in scholarships, as well as waiving courses for prior master’s degree credits. Walden’s online doctorate programs in psychology are an affordable and reputable way forward for a psychology career.
Degree: PhD in Psychology (multiple specializations)
17. Felician University – Lodi, NJ
Founded by the Felician Sisters in 1923, Felician University began as the Immaculate Conception Normal School, a teacher training school preparing students for state certification in New Jersey. Over nearly a century, Felician has expanded its program offerings, earning a strong reputation in areas like computer science, nursing, and other health sciences. Students benefit from a low student:faculty ratio and small class sizes, getting the exceptional student support and mentorship that defines a small liberal arts college. Felician has been ranked one of the top online educators in the nation, and a best value for their combination of affordability and quality.
Felician’s Doctor of Counseling Psychology degree program is offered in a hybrid format, mixing on-campus courses in Lodi, NJ, with online classes. The Felician PsyD is designed around the expectations of the APA, and deeply rooted in Felician’s Catholic commitment to service, engagement, and justice. Students are prepared for the changing mental health field, with an emphasis on collaboration in a primary-care health model. In addition to a supervised clinical experience, students will complete a dissertation based on original research; further clinical hours can qualify students to sit for the EPPP exam.
Degree: Doctor of Counseling Psychology (Psy.D.)
18. Lesley University – Cambridge, MA
The Lesley University began in 1909 as a small teacher training school, preparing young women to teach in kindergarten – a revolutionary new educational concept at the time. Over the 20th century, the school great into a teacher’s college and eventually into a liberal arts college, merging with the Art Institute of Boston (a pioneering art school specializing in practical art – art and design emphasizing function and use – in 1998. Today, Lesley University is known for its world-class art and design programs, but also in related areas such as expressive therapy and counseling.
Lesley’s low-residency PhD in Counseling Psychology degree program is designed to give working clinicians and mental health professionals a way to earn their doctorate that will not disrupt their current career. Coursework in the first year is handled one weekend per month at Lesley’s Cambridge, MA, campus, while the second year focuses on applied research in a clinical practicum. From there, students develop their original research and write their dissertation. With its location in Cambridge – one of the nation’s central locations for mental health care and research – Lesley students have access to exceptional resources and opportunities, but in their program, and after graduation.
Degree: PhD in Counseling Psychology: Transformative Leadership, Education, & Applied Research
19. Keiser University – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Keiser University began in 1977 as a small technical school in Fort Lauderdale, FL, providing programs in business and healthcare for the developing workforce of the area. The growing population in greater Fort Lauderdale encouraged the school to continue adding programs such as paralegal studies and computer science, raising Keiser to the level of a college, then to a university, in less than 30 years. In 2011 the formerly for-profit school became a non-profit when it was acquired by Everglades College, Inc. Regionally accredited, Keiser remains best known for healthcare, and has been nationally ranked for its nursing and health sciences programs; in recent years, Keiser’s online degree programs have been a further source of pride and national attention.
Keiser’s online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology degree program is intended for experienced working professionals in mental health, business, and other fields where they can put the insights of organizational psychology to use. Students learn the most current research in areas like motivation, organizational behavior, talent development, and other aspects of industry and business that are influenced by emotions. In addition, students work to produce original, functional research that can be applied to real life settings. Fully online coursework combines with short residency periods that allow students to develop cooperation and teamwork skills that will contribute to their careers.
Degree: PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
20. Fielding Graduate University – Santa Barbara, CA
Fielding Graduate University was founded in 1974 by three educators: Frederic Hudson, Hallock Hoffman, and Renata Tesch. Together, these three laid out the vision for graduate education for the future that would take into account the changing nature of higher education, and the differences in learning styles between young adults and experienced working adults. Their model of self-directed, competency-based education has proven influential and successful for more than four decades, bringing together supportiveness and flexibility. Regionally accredited, Fielding Graduate University has been recognized with the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification for its outreach to the community, and has earned praise for its impact on higher education for minority students.
Fielding’s online PhD in Clinical Psychology is the only APA-accredited online doctorate program in clinical psychology that prepares graduates for careers as licensed mental health professionals. With a mission dedicated to social justice and access, Fielding makes their online PhD programs flexible and convenient for underrepresented populations, including rural and remote regions, military students, and minority students. Students learn the highest level of analysis and research, with a special emphasis on applying knowledge for practical care and social justice. A highly qualified, experience faculty also helps students specialize and tailor their online PhD psychology programs to their needs and goals.
Degree: PhD in Clinical Psychology
21. Northcentral University – San Diego, CA
Founded in 1996 by educational entrepreneur Donald Hecht, Northcentral University is a rarity – a regionally accredited, fully online, doctoral research university with national recognition. One of the first fully online universities in the world, Northcentral was designed to provide comprehensive degree programs from the bachelor’s to the doctoral level, especially for students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Today, Northcentral offers well-regarded online programs in business, technology, education, and health sciences, including the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Northcentral’s online PhD in Psychology degree programs are intended for working professionals who want to make the leap from clinician to independent scholar and researcher. As in all of Northcentral’s programs, the online PhD psychology program emphasizes practical, applied research, focusing on experiential learning that professionals can immediately put to use. Numerous specializations are available: Addictions, Gender Diversity Studies, Industrial Organizational Psychology, and many more. Made up of 20 intensive courses, Northcentral’s online doctorate programs in psychology can be completed in four years.
Degree: PhD in Psychology
22. University of the Rockies – Denver, CO
The University of the Rockies began in 1998 as a psychology school in Denver, CO, before being bought by Bridgepoint Education in 2007. A regionally-accredited for-profit institution, Rockies remains focused on psychology, having combined its three previous schools into a single school with a tightened administration and more focused set of degrees. With its narrow focus, UoR has developed a national reputation for its fully online degree and certificate programs; Rockies also offers no undergraduate programs, only degrees at the master’s and doctoral level. UoR is well known for its outreach to military personnel, veterans, and minority students.
University of the Rockies’ online Doctor of Psychology degree program provides working mental health professionals with a full knowledge of the highest expertise in theory, research, and practice. This fully online doctorate program in psychology makes the process convenient and accessible to students not only in Denver, but around the world, with accelerated 6-week classes and availability at any time. Students must attend three on-campus residency workshops during their degree program, but all other coursework is online. Students complete the degree with an Applied Doctoral Project or a conventional dissertation, depending on their particular research interests and career goals.
Degree: Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
23. Sofia University – Palo Alto, CA
Sofia University began as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, a small private school focused on using the mind and heart to heal. The first university rooted in transpersonal psychology, Sofia (the Greek word for “wisdom”) focuses on personal growth, cooperation, and learning in the name of service to the community and the world. Long devoted to spiritual learning, Sofia became a university in 2012, and in 2014 began offering programs that appealed to its location in Silicon Valley. Today, Sofia’s mission is to bring transpersonal learning to industry applications such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, human-computer interaction, and more, especially through its growing online degree programs.
Sofia’s online Global PhD in Psychology degree program brings together Sofia’s heritage and its present and future: on the one hand, the grounding in transpersonal psychology that was Sofia’s founding, and on the other, a 21st century commitment to technology and online education. Sofia’s fully online PhD psychology program focuses on using transpersonal concepts to promote healing and justice in individual lives and in communities. Several concentrations are available, including Applied Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness and Creativity Studies, and Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience. Sofia University is one of a kind, and its online PhD programs in psychology bring Sofia to students who need it, wherever they are.
Degree: Global PhD in Psychology
24. Saybrook University – Oakland, CA
One of the only universities of its kind in the world, Saybrook university was founded in 1971 as the Humanistic Psychology Institute at California State University, Sonoma, by pioneering researchers in somatic (holistic) studies, Eleanor Criswell and Thomas Hanna. Saybrook was named for the conference in Saybrook, CT, where the concepts of a somatic studies school was first laid out. In time, the research center became an independent institution, and today remains a progressive, experimental university devoted to educating practitioner-scholars in the field. Saybrook specializes in low-residency programs in leadership, holistic medicine, psychology, and counseling, focusing on whole-body connection from an interdisciplinary, humanistic perspective.
Saybrook’s online PhD in Clinical Psychology degree program is designed to help counseling and psychological professionals earn the credits they need for licensure in a number of states, as well as a foundation for professional practice. With a focus on holistic, patient-centered practice, students learn concepts ranging from data analysis to developmental psychology and humanistic-integrative psychotherapy. Saybrook’s hybrid format allows working professionals to earn their online PhD psychology degree, allowing them to continue their career while studying and applying their learning to their current work, with a focus on service and leadership.
Degree: PhD in Clinical Psychology
25. Chicago School of Professional Psychology – Chicago, IL
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology was founded in 1979 by working psychological professionals to provide convenient graduate education designed specifically for adult students. In time, the Chicago School expanded, opening branches in Southern California, but in recent years the school has become very well known for its online programs, offering numerous degrees in fully online or hybrid formats. The Chicago School has earned national attention for its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice, winning multiple awards from the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology in diversity and advocacy.
The Chicago School’s online doctorate programs in psychology offer graduate students a wide range of specializations and formats for learning. Nearly all of the school’s psychology degrees are available in fully online or online with residency format, including the PhD in International Psychology (fully online with no residency), or the PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis (online with residency). Online students have the opportunity to work with the same expert, experienced faculty as on-campus students, preparing for professional licensure with theory and research that can be applied to real-life situations. The Chicago School is regionally accredited and highly respected in the psychological community.
Degree: Numerous PhD programs