25 Best Online PhDs in Psychology

Are you interested in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating mental illnesses? A PhD in Psychology will pave the way to a rewarding career as a licensed psychologist.

BOPhD Pschology CollegeChoice

As our understanding and development of effective treatments for mental illnesses continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for highly educated psychologists who are able to implement them. If you want to learn more about how the brain works and have a desire to serve others in need, a degree in Psychology might be the right choice for you.

What kind of psychology degree should you get?

All of the colleges we have included on our list are highly accredited – meaning they have the backing of the psychology community and have strong, impactful curricula. Although there are multiple sub-concentrations within the field of Psychology (which many of these programs offer), each reviewed degree contained a strong core of research-based classes.

When you graduate with an online psychology degree, you have the choice of pursuing a career in the medical, academic, or scientific field. Not sure if one of these degree programs is the right choice for you? Be sure to check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities for a more comprehensive overview.

How much money do people make with psychology degrees?

Psychologists are some of the highest paid professionals in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as a psychologist you can expect to earn an average salary of well over $77,000 per year. While graduates who went on to work for the government or within large hospital settings earned the highest salaries, wages are high across the board in this degree.

These jobs are in high demand, with an anticipated 23,000 new jobs expected to be created by 2026. This reflects a change of 14 percent – which is much higher than the national average. The highest demand for psychological services is in schools and hospitals, along with public and private mental health centers.

What can you do with a degree in psychology?

A degree in psychology will open you up to a wide variety of career paths. Psychologists study cognitive, social, and emotional functioning by analyzing behavior and scientific findings. They look closely at how people relate to each other and to their environments and use their research to develop targeted interventions for people with mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders.

There are several subcategories of psychology you can explore upon graduation. Many students go on to become clinical psychologists, who work to assess and treat a range of disorders. Counseling psychologists work directly with patients to help them understand their strengths and weaknesses, while developmental psychologists work mostly with children and adolescents. Other branches of psychology include forensic psychology, rehabilitation psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology.

What are the requirements for a degree in psychology?

To become a licensed psychologist, you will need a minimum of a master’s degree in psychology. While a master’s degree typically suffices for positions in schools and other smaller settings, those in clinical practice must have a PhD.

A PhD is a degree that is research-heavy, requiring students to take comprehensive examinations and write dissertations based on their original research. You will take classes in statistics and research procedures and will likely need to complete a minimum of a one-year internship. Depending on whether you choose to pursue a specific concentration in your field, you may need to take additional coursework in things like student development or organizational behavior.

What are the best psychology degrees?

The best psychology degree will be one that allows you to work at your own pace, while also receiving access to the top curriculum and instructional techniques around the country. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the academic quality of your program for the convenience of online delivery – these programs will help you check off all your boxes as you search for the best online PhD in Psychology.

We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer fair not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line – just how much is this going to cost? Check out our methodology page for a more in depth description of our data.

Once we determine all of the above, we curate a list of stellar schools for you! These not only represent the best degrees you can get, but also ones that will fit your budget. Check out our picks below!

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

1

Michigan State University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $16,684

Program Website

Overview:

Michigan State was founded in 1855, and as a large public school offers some of the most affordable and high-quality online programs around. As one of the country’s first land-grant universities, it offers candidates exceptional opportunities to diverse research programs. Offered within the dynamic College of Education, the hybrid PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology is a rigorous, five-year program of study that is completed almost entirely online.

Program Features:

This program is designed in a hybrid format to allow students the hands-on experiences of a Michigan State education while allowing for more flexible course completion. It includes extensive training in technologically sound pedagogies and prepares students to pursue roles in K-12 school systems and institutes of higher education. Students will take classes such as:

  • Quantitative Methods in Educational Research
  • Teachers and Technology
  • Intellectual History of Educational Psychology
  • Practicum in Research Design and Data Analysis

Notables:

Michigan State University offers enduring partnerships with top research organizations and medical facilities. As a result, students may engage in research at one of the top research universities in the world – even when studying from afar. Ranked as one of the Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, this school boasts an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of just 16:1.

2

Arizona State University

College Choice Score: 96.17

Average Net Price: $12,947

Program Website

Overview:

Arizona State University has one of the largest student populations in the nation. With over 500 different clubs and organizations, this university is a great place for students to get involved at a hands-on level with their learning. Founded in 1973, the doctoral program in Social Psychology at Arizona State prepares researchers to explore and utilize cutting-edge scientific methods to address social behavior.

Program Features:

This 84 credit-hour program has greatly expanded since its inception and is now viewed as one of the best programs in the country. Faculty conduct research at the national and international level while teaching full-time, allowing for exceptional collaboration between mentors and graduate students. Coursework overcomes cultural bias and geographical hurdles, giving students proficiency in topics such as:

  • Advanced Social Psychology
  • Intermediate Statistics
  • Multiple Regression in Psychology Research
  • Designs of Experiments in Social Psychology

Notables:

While this program can be completed online, students receive unlimited access to all of Arizona State’s seven research laboratories. These laboratories support the schools’ highly-ranked doctoral programs and contribute to Arizona State’s repeated ranking as the top school in the country for innovation by U.S. News & World Report. Students can pursue a wide range of research in these first-rate laboratories while completing their studies in either 7.5 or 15-week semesters.

3

Oregon State University

College Choice Score: 95.74

Average Net Price: $19,205

Program Website

Overview:

Located in Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon State University offers over a hundred different graduate and doctoral-level programs. Oregon State is ranked as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans and one of the Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report, offering both academic quality and affordability. The state’s largest public research university, this school was founded in 1868 and remains a leader in providing students with extensive academic research opportunities. The PhD in Counseling is a hybrid program that begins each summer and requires 150 credit hours to complete.

Program Features:

This program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, a testament to the program’s reputation and high-quality curricula. Courses are offered in a collaborative cohort model, allowing students to work with other professional and pre-professional counselors from around the world. Most students graduate in three to five years, following extensive coursework in topics such as:

  • Diversity and Social Justice
  • Counselor Education
  • Group Counseling
  • Career Counseling
  • Advanced Theory and Practice

Notables:

Starting at just $567 per credit hour, this program is a bargain among its peers. The university has a commitment to affordability, and nearly half of all graduates leave school with absolutely no debt. Although it is not a teacher or professional licensure program, students can begin to work immediately on implementing learned solutions in their daily work setting and educational practices. Offering degree partnerships with every community college in Oregon as well as dozens of other schools across the country, this college is an ideal spot for new and transfer students alike.

4

Regent University

College Choice Score: 95.39

Average Net Price: $17,820

Program Website

Overview:

Regent University is a private institution in a suburban setting. As a relatively new university, founded only in 1978, this school offers one of the best PhD programs in Counseling and Psychological Studies – Research in the country. Requiring no GRE for admission, this program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. With financial aid offered to over 86 percent of all graduate students, it is an affordable option that cannot be overlooked.

Program Features:

This program recognizes the pivotal role that groundbreaking research drives in overall change, preparing students for careers in mental health counseling, education, research, and psychological science. This Christian-focused degree requires 150 hours of preapproved on-site experiences and human services work. Required courses, leading to 51 credit hours of study, include:

  • Addictive Behaviors
  • Research Methods in Psychological Sciences
  • Indigenous Mental Health Care
  • Grant Writing and Dissertation Proposal

Notables:

This degree is offered entirely online, with each course offered in 16-week sessions. All classes are taught by award-winning faculty located in Virginia Beach as well as around the country. The university offers related programs in topics like General Psychology (with a concentration in Industrial-Organizational Psychology), Human Services, and Counselor Education and Supervision. The average retention rate at this school is 78 percent, indicating high student satisfaction and academic success.

5

Texas Tech University

College Choice Score: 95.31

Average Net Price: $15,820

Program Website

Overview:

Texas Tech is a top research university located in Lubbock, Texas, and has provided the best professional programs since 1923. The Educational Psychology PhD program is located within the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership. It trains students to apply both qualitative and quantitative research skills in a way that enhances academic discovery while maintaining and valuing diversity and collaboration at the same time. It was designed based on the standards set forth by the American Educational Research Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Psychological Association.

Program Features:

Upon graduation from this program, students may go on to a number of diverse, well-paying careers. Alumni currently work in educational research settings, as well as for government agencies and testing companies. The degree, which is offered online as well as on-campus and an intensive summer-based program, also includes options in school psychology and developmental and learning sciences. Required classes for the stand-alone degree, which lead to 91 credit hours of study, include:

  • Foundations of Educational research
  • Motivation in Academic Settings
  • Human Development in Education
  • Cognition and Instruction

Notables

Texas Tech is home to multiple research centers and institutes, including the world-famous National Wind Institute. This commitment to research and development means that students seeking professional degrees in psychology have some of the best access to academic resources and funding in the nation. Ranked as one of the top public schools by U.S. News & World Report, the school has an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of just 20:1.

6

Loyola University Chicago

College Choice Score: 93.87

Average Net Price: $34,526

Program Website

Overview:

Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago offers a classic PhD program in Psychology that is customized for online learners. The school has clinical partnerships with major organizations such as the Loyola University Health System and Trinity Health, and offers over 140 different graduate, professional, and graduate-level certificate programs. With all programs taught by distinguished faculty who are leaders in the field, this school is a top choice for studies in Psychology.

 

Program Features:

The PhD in Developmental Psychology at Loyola prepares students to pursue developmental training and research. The program incorporates hands-on coursework, teaching, and research training, allowing students to gain the professional skills needed for non-clinical academic or professional careers. Students will complete a critical review paper, master’s thesis, written qualifying exam, oral qualifying exam, and a PhD dissertation, all while taking integrated classes such as:

  • Cognitive Development and Social Development
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Research Methods

Notables:

Over 93 percent of all Loyola faculty members hold the highest academic degrees in their respective fields, bringing a wide range of research and practical experiences into the classroom. Classes are small, emphasizing student-to-faculty interaction and allowing for extensive impactful learning. The school emphasizes community service and cooperative learning experiences. With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 14:1, students are granted one of the most attentive, hands-on training programs in the country.

7

California Southern University

College Choice Score: 91.84

Average Net Price: $21,611

Program Website

Overview:

California Southern University, or CalSouthern, is a regionally accredited online university offering degrees in a range of fields, such as business, law, criminal justice, nursing, and, of course, psychology. The school was founded in 1978 and focuses on making higher education of high quality both convenient and affordable. Offered within the School of Behavioral Sciences, the Doctor of Psychology is one of the most popular degree programs at California Southern, culminating in a doctoral project on a topic about which the student is the most passionate.

Program Features:

Students will need to earn 66 credits to graduate, with most students taking four-years of full-time study to finish. This program is an applied degree that is clinically focused, emphasizing counseling and therapy as well as a range of other topics. Students may engage in community-based action research projects, critical analysis of literature in a field of study, or a clinical application and analysis. Other required courses include:

  • Advanced Theories of Personality
  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Ethical and Professional Issues
  • Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation

Notables:

This degree can lead to licensure as a clinical psychologist, with alumni successful in obtaining licensure in California as well as many other states. The degree is offered via an online learning platform that is both flexible and convenient. Tuition is reasonably priced and does not increase throughout the duration of a student’s enrollment. Each student is granted a personalized support team including faculty, advisors, deans, and other staff to help him or her reach both academic and professional goals.

8

Endicott College

College Choice Score: 90.46

Average Net Price: $35,097

Program Website

Overview:

Located in Beverly, Massachusetts, Endicott College is a private college that was founded in 1939. A small school, Endicott holds its own against larger research institutions in that it emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning and internship experiences. As one of the first schools in the country to require all students to complete a yearly internship, Endicott offers three different doctoral programs: one in Education Leadership, one in Nursing, and, of course, an exceptional program in Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Program Features:

The PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott is a research-based program that allows graduates to teach at the university level or to work as scientist-practitioners in various fields like public policy or developmental disabilities. The degree is offered both online and on-campus, giving students maximum flexibility in designing their degrees. The degree requires 60 total credit hours, with core courses in topics like:

  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Analysis and Intervention in Developmental Disabilities
  • Technology of Teaching Seminar
  • Bridging the Gap: The Scientist-Practitioner Model

Notables:

Endicott is ranked as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans as well as one of the Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News & World Report, accolades that are no doubt due in part to the university’s commitment to hands-on learning. The school boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of just 14:1, with over 60 percent of all classes enrolling fewer than 20 students. The retention rate is a whopping 85 percent, indicating high student satisfaction with Endicott’s exceptional degree programs.

9

Lesley University

College Choice Score: 90.41

Average Net Price: $31,298

Program Website

Overview:

A small private institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley University offers an impressive PhD program in Philosophy with an emphasis in Expressive Therapies. Classes at Lesley, including those offered online, are small and inquiry-based, including up to 650 hours of internships and field experiences that begin right in the first year of studies. The school offers significant research and study-abroad opportunities, supporting students in their learning both on-campus and off.

Program Features:

The doctoral program in Philosophy with an emphasis in Expressive Therapies at Lesley is designed to be a low-residency program, combining research with artistic expression and inquiry. The program is taught by world-renowned faculty who are committed to helping students explore the theory and practice of expressive therapies. The degree requires 45 total credit hours, with courses broken down into several key segments such as:

  • Residency I
  • Doctoral Seminar I
  • Residency II
  • Doctoral Seminar II

Notables:

The school is ranked as one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. With a student satisfaction rating of 79 percent, along with a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 12:1, this school is top on our list for the most hands-on PhD programs. Lesley was the first university in the country to offer a degree in Expressive Therapies, and it has offered one of the most profound degrees for well over 40 years.

10

Touro University

College Choice Score: 89.91

Average Net Price: $21,122

Program Website

Overview:

An independent private college, Touro is a comprehensive school under Jewish sponsorship. The Doctor of Psychology in Human and Organizational Psychology at Touro is offered entirely online, with zero residency requirements. With an accelerated admissions process, affordable tuition, and no GRE required, this degree is a highly sought-after credential by employers and industry professionals alike.

Program Features:

Although this degree does not lead to licensure, it is a high-quality option for any student seeking an affordable program in Psychology. Students have access to support systems that are dedicated to student success at the doctoral level, as well as an academic environment that fosters innovation, high quality research, and the use of technology and other hands-on learning opportunities. Required courses include:

  • Applied Cognitive Psychology
  • Applied Media Psychology
  • Application of Research Methods in Professional Settings
  • Survey Design

Notables:

Touro University has a lot to be proud about – it has been ranked by Money magazine as one of the best value-adding colleges, and with a global network of nearly 100,000 alumni, this school offers serious professional connections. An affordable option, Touro offers financial aid to 83 percent of all undergraduate students. With plenty of graduate and professional degree and certificate programs (well over 150) to choose from, this school is a smart choice for students seeking a high-quality PhD program in Psychology.

11

Felician University

College Choice Score: 89.10

Average Net Price: $19,225

Program Website

Overview:

A private university founded in 1942, Felician University is a small college with an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students. This school is ranked as one of the Best Regional Universities by U.S. News & World Report. With a commitment to educating a diverse population of students within a strong liberal arts framework, Felician offers an exceptional Doctor of Counseling Psychology Program. This degree is offered within a Roman Catholic context and emphasizes scholarship along with hands-on experiences.

Program Features:

This degree consists of 88 total credit hours, with coursework spanning topics related to professional practice, research design, and psychopathology. Each student is required to compete 1750 supervised hours of clinical experience, and to take and pass the Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology. Other required classes include:

  • Health Psychology
  • Health Care Systems
  • Learning and Cognition
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • History and Systems of Counseling Psychology

Notables:

This program prepares students to become psychologists within the healthcare system. Students are trained to provide collaborative care that connects both physical and behavioral health, improving the overall efficacy of treatments. This kind of unique, hands-on curriculum prepares students to develop cost-effective treatments that can be implemented in all areas, promoting access to healthcare in underserved populations.

12

Alaska Pacific University

College Choice Score: 88.89

Average Net Price: $17,866

Program Website

Overview:

Alaska Pacific University is another small college that was founded in 1957. This school emphasizes the importance of liberal arts and pre-professional education, giving students valuable leadership experience as they actively pursue their degrees. The Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology at Alaska Pacific is designed to meet the needs of working professionals as they receive the credentials necessary to work as licensed psychologists in the state of Alaska.

Program Features:

The curriculum of this program is strengths-based, allowing students to gain a broad developmental perspective as they explore the entire range of psychological functioning. Coursework is delivered through synchronous evening classes, with students required to attend campus once every six weeks during the semester. Required classes include:

  • Ethics of Professional Practice
  • Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
  • Interventions I: Prevention, Wellness, and Resiliency
  • Counseling Theories and Skills

Notables:

Alaska Pacific prides itself on offering education that is innovative and collaborative. Students are encouraged to engage with their communities as they receive a powerful educational experience. Graduates go on to join a proud alumni network, working in fields such as clinical psychology and counseling. The school has a profound commitment to its heritage of Alaska Native education and is also a Methodist-affiliated institution. This diverse blend allows the university to emphasize rigorous academics alongside extensive fieldwork in the liberal arts and sciences.

13

Andrews University

College Choice Score: 85.83

Average Net Price: $21,566

Program Website

Overview:

Andrews University is a rural university that was founded in 1874. This private school may be small, but it is making a profound impact when it comes to undergraduate and graduate-level education. The school has well over 100 different degrees in areas like business, education, technology, arts and sciences, and, of course, psychology. The Doctor of Philosophy Counseling Psychology program has an internationally diverse population of faculty and students, and prepares graduates for licensure in the United States as well as many locations worldwide.

Program Features:

Most students will complete this degree with just 106 credit hours of study, although individualized course plans allow each student to meet their specific career goals. The program integrates both science and practice, and students begin their research right in their first years of study. Clinical skills are integrated into most first-year cohort classes, allowing students to learn the importance of diagnosis, assessment, and intervention. Required courses include:

  • Theories of Personality
  • Multicultural Issues for Counselors and Psychologists
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Applied Statistical Methods

Notables:

Despite its small size, Andrews prides itself on its diversity. Students, faculty, and staff come from over 90 different countries and are distinguished representatives of the global community. The school is ranked as one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. Alumni boast high average starting salaries of $47,500 (across all disciplines). With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 10:1, the faculty attention to student success cannot be surpassed within Andrews University.

14

Keiser University

College Choice Score: 84.17

Average Net Price: $26,730

Program Website

Overview:

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University is ranked as one of the best Regional Universities South by U.S. News & World Report. Admitting students on a rolling admissions basis, this school has a commitment to providing diverse programs in both traditional and online formats. The university has 14 campuses within the state of Florida, as well as satellite campuses in both China and Nicaragua. The online Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology combines community partnerships, rigorous academic preparation, and cutting-edge research to create an award-winning degree program.

Program Features:

This program prepares students to enter into the profession by involving them in independent learning, research, and extensive academic preparation. Students will learn how to approach industrial and organizational psychology as a science, and use scientific research methods to apply psychology to the problems faced in a workplace setting. Required courses, leading to 81 total credit hours, include topics such as:

  • Psychopathology
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Research, Ethics, and Scholarly Writing
  • Cognitive & Affective Basis of Behavior

Notables:

Class sizes at Keiser are small, with over 95 percent of all classes containing fewer than 20 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 12:1, allowing students to interact with their fellow students and faculty members to the fullest extent possible. In addition, this school is affordable. Almost all students are offered some kind of financial aid package, with the average need-based scholarship or grant awarded at $6,219.

15

Liberty University

College Choice Score: 83.78

Average Net Price: $26,954

Program Website

Overview:

Liberty University is a leader in the field of online education, with online programs that rank in the top five of over 2,100 online colleges and universities. In particular, the school has been recognized for its academic quality, accessibility, and overall affordability. In fact, tuition for all doctoral degrees has not increased in three consecutive years. The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision is just one of several high-quality doctoral degrees offered at Liberty.

Program Features:

This degree is comprised of 60 credit hours, which most students will take around four years to complete. It prepares students for a range of careers, including those as educators, clinical practitioners, researchers, and advocates. Each course implements a biblical worldview and prepares graduates to ethically serve diverse populations of patients. Featured courses include:

  • Dissemination of Research and Scholarship
  • Advanced Theory Application
  • Teaching Internship
  • Counseling, Research, and Leadership Internship

Notables:

In addition to the rigorous curriculum offered by Liberty University, each student is also required to complete several advanced field experience. These internships allow students to network with other professionals in the field and to gain the kind of hands-on experience employers want to see. The degree is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, giving students extra prestige when they apply for highly sought-after Counselor Education positions at colleges and universities.

16

Hampton University

College Choice Score: 82.72

Average Net Price: $26,031

Program Website

Overview:

Hampton University was founded in 1868 and is a private, historically black institution. Over 80 undergraduate and graduate programs are available. The online PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Hampton University is designed for licensed counselors, and prepares students by training them in foundational counseling principles along with supervisory and clinical skills. This versatile degree allows graduates to go on to better serve the counseling community.

Program Features:

This program is offered in an accelerated format, taking most students just a few years to complete. The program requires 64 credit hours, with concentrations available in school counseling and community mental health counseling also available. This degree prepares students to become agents of change by requiring them to take collaborative, innovative coursework such as:

  • Ethics and Legal Aspects of Counseling
  • Advanced Counseling Theory and Techniques
  • Analysis of Behavioral data
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Grant Writing

Notables:

This affordable program provides financial aid to those who qualify. Combined with affordable tuition that starts at just $695 per credit hour, this degree’s value cannot be surpassed. Each course lasts just 16 weeks, allowing students to complete their studies in an average of three and a half years. As a result of this and the university’s other major hallmarks, it is recognized as one of the Best Online Colleges in Virginia by Affordable Colleges Online.

17

Northcentral University

College Choice Score: 82.27

Average Net Price: not reported

Program Website

Overview:

Northcentral University is a regionally accredited online university. This school is unique in that students work with highly credentialed faculty – all of whom have terminal degrees – via advanced course delivery formats, completing their studies in a one-on-one format. The university focuses on doctoral and master’s degrees, as well as a few online bachelor’s degrees. All classes are offered with personalized instruction and enhanced accessibility, and the online PhD in Psychology is no exception.

Program Features:

The online PhD in Psychology at Northcentral prepares candidates for exceptional performance in the profession by giving them applied experiential learning opportunities. These are provided in the form of scenarios, case studies, vignettes, and real-life situations that represent real-world issues faced in the psychology field. Students work with dedicated professors who serve as mentors throughout their coursework. The program requires 60 credit hours, with a total of 20 courses needed for graduation. Multiple specializations are available, including those in:

  • Addictions
  • Health Psychology
  • Trauma and Disaster Relief
  • Gerontology
  • General Psychology

Notables:

Northcentral is unique in that students can start their studies at any time throughout the year – if it is on a Monday. Courses start fresh every Monday, and most students can complete their degrees in 48 months. The multitude of available concentrations allow students to pursue the topics about which they are the most passionate, without requiring them to enroll in separate degrees. This saves students both time and money, which is only part of the reason why Northcentral is regarded as one of the best online schools in the country.

18

California Institute of Integral Studies

College Choice Score: 80.49

Average Net Price: not reported

Program Website

Overview:

The California Institute of Integral Studies is located in San Francisco, California and is a relatively young university founded in 1968. The school offers dozens of interdisciplinary programs in topics such as the arts, counseling, women’s spirituality, integrative health, and, of course, psychology. The degrees offered at this university all respond to the growing need to blend contemporary thought and culture with intellectual, experiential, and applied learnings. In most programs, students work together in cohorts over the course of their studies, allowing them to learn with and from one another in an experiential, hands-on setting. The PhD program in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology is offered entirely online and can be completed in as little as three years of part-time study.

Program Features:

This degree requires 36 units of study to complete. Most candidates will complete their degrees online with residential intensive seminars in the Bay Area twice a year. The curriculum of this program focuses on the spiritual and mystical components of healing and transformation, giving students a whole-person approach to psychology. All classes are taught by senior scholars who help to guide student research as they engage in classes such as:

  • Transpersonal Psychologies
  • Quantitative Research Methods with Neuroscience of Consciousness
  • Integral Research Methods with Creative Expression
  • Somatic Psychology with Exceptional Human Experiences

Notables:

California Institute of Integral Studies prepares students to deepen their professional skills as they enhance their credentials. All candidates gain skills in critical thinking, scholarly research and writing, and creative problem solving. Throughout the duration of their studies, students will work with a planned research laboratory and a peer-reviewed journal produced by students. In the final year of study, students may elect to add a second focus area to their studies giving them greater independence in designing a degree path that meets their individual career goals and personalities.

19

Grand Canyon University

College Choice Score: 79.81

Average Net Price: $20,912

Program Website

Overview:

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Grand Canyon University is a proprietary institution that awards hundreds of degrees in a range of broad topics. As a nondenominational Christian university, the school emphasizes the importance of spiritual education intermixed with a strong liberal arts core. The College of Doctoral Studies at Grand Canyon is comprised of an innovative community that connects faculty and learners with transformative learning experiences. The online PhD in Psychology comes with several options to allow students to tailor their studies toward their career plans.

Program Features:

In this degree, students have the ability to choose from multiple concentrations, including those in performance psychology, psychology and technology, learning and psychology, and cognitive psychology. These specializations allow students to gain greater proficiency in the areas they are most passionate about, while at the same time receiving a comprehensive education in teaching and conducting psychological research in any setting. The program requires 60 total credit hours, with each course lasting eight weeks. Required classes include:

  • Theories of Cognition, Motivation, Collaboration and Learning
  • Statistics
  • Technologies for Learning and Communication
  • Building Community and Social Networking

Notables:

Grand Canyon University is one of the most veteran- and transfer-friendly schools on this list. Allowing students to transfer in up to nine doctoral credits, students have maximum flexibility when designing their degrees. In addition, tuition starts at just $650 per credit hour, with flexible financing options available (including GI Bill compatibility). This convenient degree program is ideal for traditional students as well as busy working professionals seeking a more flexible degree completion option.

20

University of the Cumberlands

College Choice Score: 79.68

Average Net Price: $19,212

Program Website

Overview:

With a main campus in Williamsburg, Kentucky, the University of the Cumberlands is a rural school with a small enrollment. Nevertheless, this school was ranked as one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. The PsyD in Clinical Psychology at the University of the Cumberlands prepares students to pursue the integrative practice of health service psychology, particularly among traditionally underserved populations.

Program Features:

Students in the Clinical Psychology program complete 73 credit hours of coursework. While some of these credits must be completed during the executive weekend format, with classes held once a month on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the rest can be completed entirely online. Students must also complete nine credit hours of pre-doctoral internship experiences. Other required courses include:

  • Grief and Crisis Interventions
  • Existential Humanistic
  • Advanced Psychopharmacology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Advanced Human Sexuality

Notables:

This degree program includes comprehensive clinical training and enables graduates to go on to work in private practice, social service, or employment at hospitals, universities, or government agencies. Featuring hands-on, challenging content and dedicated, experienced faculty mentors, the degree is a top choice for students seeking a quality program in Psychology. With small class sizes and a retention rate at well over 65 percent, this school is a top choice for students seeking a degree in Psychology that will be valued by employers and professional organizations alike.

21

Argosy University

College Choice Score: 77.09

Average Net Price: $24,225

Program Website

Overview:

Argosy University is a new school, founded only in 2001 with the merging of three academic intuitions: the American Schools of Professional Psychology, the University of Sarasota, and the Medical Institute of Minnesota. Because of this background, the university has a profound commitment to quality programs in professional psychology. Today, the university hosts one of the largest graduate student communities in the nation, with 27 different campus locations as well as a vibrant online campus. Argosy offers a collaborative online doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. This degree is designed for candidates with previous backgrounds in mental health, school and pastoral counseling, psychiatric nursing, family counseling, and social work.

Program Features:

This program aims to improve the professional expertise of students seeking leadership and teaching positions in counseling. Nine core courses comprising 27 credit hours, along with nine credit hours of electives, are required. In addition, each student must take coursework in a concentration area and research skills, and must also complete a 12-credit-hour dissertation. Sample coursework includes:

  • Advanced Individual Counseling
  • Multicultural Issues in Counseling
  • Models of Clinical Supervision
  • Group Counseling Theory and Practice

Notables:

Through this program, all candidates must participate in coursework, a dissertation, and a qualifying exam. These experiences are designed to expose students to the challenges they will face in the actual counseling profession. Argosy has a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 14:1, allowing candidates to interact with well-trained faculty members as they complete their studies. The university is designed to support nontraditional students – the average age of Argosy University students is roughly 35 years old.

22

University of the Rockies

College Choice Score: 75.77

Average Net Price: not reported

Program Website

Overview:

The University of the Rockies, which merged with Ashford University in 2018, offers a range of high-quality doctoral programs. These programs are offered in an online format, granting students access to flexible class schedules and a wide range of students who don’t fit the profile of a traditional college student. Nearly ninety percent of all students are over the age of 25, with a quarter of those students receiving some kind of military benefit. All programs, including the Doctor of Psychology, are offered entirely online.

Program Features:

The Doctor of Psychology requires 62 credit hours of study. Courses last between six and nine weeks each, during which time students have access to 24/7 technical support. The degree trains students to become practitioner-scholars through hands-on study of the research, evidence-based practices, and theories in their chosen specialization. Six specializations are available, including those in:

  • Criminology and Justice Studies
  • Educational Leadership
  • Health and Wellness Psychology
  • Meditation and Conflict Resolution
  • Sport and Performance Psychology

Notables:

The Doctor of Psychology at the University of the Rockies/Ashford University prepares students for a wide range of careers in exploring the human mind. Each candidate may choose between completing a dissertation or a doctoral capstone seminar, allowing them to demonstrate their newly acquired skills in the format that is most flexible for them. The school is highly affordable, offering doctoral students a range of financial aid options. With tuition starting at just $1,082 per credit hour, the program is a smart choice for candidates seeking an affordable, high-quality option.

23

Fielding Graduate University

College Choice Score: 75.30

Average Net Price: not reported

Program Website

Overview:

Fielding Graduate University is an accredited nonprofit university that is dedicated solely to graduate education. This school combines face-to-face and online learning to provide students with the skills they need to be successful in any career. With a small student enrollment of fewer than 957 students, this school is unique in that it offers a student-to-faculty ratio of just 5:1. The school has 190 dedicated faculty and nearly 80 committed support staff members.

Program Features:

The Clinical Psychology PhD program helps students learn how they can contribute to a more humane and sustainable world. The curriculum is designed to support students from under-represented populations as they pursue their doctoral studies, allowing them to interact with a dynamic group of colleagues. Students interact with and learn from expert faculty all over the country as they take coursework in topics like:

  • Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior
  • Psychopathology
  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • History and Systems of Psychology

Notables:

This program enables students to interact with other professionals from all over the world. The school sponsors monthly cluster meetings in their geographic areas, allowing them to engage with alumni, faculty, and other students. Multiple program concentrations are also available to allow students greater customization in designing their degrees. Candidates may choose from topics like Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Social Justice and Diversity to help them create degree programs that will fit into their busy lifestyles and meet their specific career goals.

24

Capella University

College Choice Score: 75.18

Average Net Price: $15,667

Program Website

Overview:

The degree in Clinical Psychology at Capella University prepares students to pursue professional licensure. Each candidate is uniquely supported by a professional licensure team to help give them expert advice while they complete the complicated process. The curriculum is designed around APA guidelines to give each student’s degree credibility in most states. This degree is unique in that it blends in-person and online experiences. Students engage in internships, original research, a clinical practicum, and face-to-face residencies as they are prepared for real-world clinical settings.

Program Features:

The Clinical Psychology degree at Capella is offered both online and in-person. It requires a brief residency as well the completion of a comprehensive examination. Students engage in nine core courses, seven specialization courses, and four elective courses along with a practicum to help them explore topics in clinical psychology in greater depth. Core courses include classes such as:

  • Advanced Psychopathology
  • Theories of Psychotherapy
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology
  • Strategies of Clinical Supervision and Consultation
  • Advanced Psychological Testing

Notables:

Throughout every step of the process, students are supported by a team of professionals, such as dedicated doctoral advisors, enrollment counselors, career counselors, and more. The university also offers GuidedPath, an original learning format in which students can pursue one to three courses per ten-week quarter. Instead of paying by the term, students only pay for the classes they want to take. Multiple financing options are available, including financial aid, military discounts, transfer credit eligibility, and employer and association discounts.

25

Amridge University

College Choice Score: 73.42

Average Net Price: $6,849

Program Website

Overview:

Amridge University specializes in online education – it was an early adopter school for distance education programs. The school is affiliated with the Church of Christ and makes service a core part of its mission.

Program Features:

Amridge has a PhD in Professional Counseling. The program requires 60 credit hours and focuses heavily on research. The program focuses on several aspects of counseling:

  • Abuse and Addiction
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Human Development

Notables:

By the end of the program students will have completed 48 credit hours of core program courses, 12 hours of dissertation research, and a qualifying examination.