Best Psy.D. Programs Online [APA Accredited]

Ready to earn your Psy.D. degree? Learn more about the best APA-accredited online Psy.D. programs and check out career path and salary data.
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Updated on November 30, 2023
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Tyler Epps is an editor for BestColleges. He writes and edits content about higher education, specializing in degree planning and college rankings. He is passionate about helping students prepare for college and navigate their educational journey. He...
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  • With a Psy.D. from an accredited program, you can become a licensed psychologist.
  • APA accredits high-quality Psy.D. programs, including online Psy.D. programs.
  • Psychologists with a Psy.D. report an average salary of around $91,000 per year.
  • Popular specializations include clinical, counseling, school, and child psychology.

Want to practice psychology? Then a Psy.D. might be a good fit. As a practice-focused doctorate, a Psy.D. prepares you for clinical roles. But with so many options for a graduate-level psychology degree, is a Psy.D. right for you?

Our guide introduces the best accredited online Psy.D. programs and covers career paths and earning potential.

Featured Doctorate in Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Think an online Psy.D. program is right for you? Check out our resources and rankings on APA-accredited Psy.D. programs offered online.

Best Accredited Psy.D. Online Programs

How We Rank Schools

In order to create our directory list of doctorate in psychology programs, the BestColleges Rankings Team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). We identified five schools that qualify for our alphabetical list based on the following criteria:

  • Each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution.
  • Must offer a doctorate degree program in the given subject.
  • Must submit an annual report to NCES.

Review our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more about the standards we uphold.

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Best Psy.D. Programs Online [APA Accredited]

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $980
Out of State | $980

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Keiser University's online doctorate in psychology prepares you to make a difference in the world through psychological principles and insights. Keiser's curriculum includes topics from health to cognitive abilities, learning, and developmental psychology.

Prospective students need a master's degree in psychology to enter the traditional path. Or, you can join the baccalaureate track with an accredited bachelor's degree in psychology or a related behavioral science field. However, you'll need to complete 18 additional graduate credits and a thesis before graduation.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$19,808
Out-of-state
$19,808
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$27,162
Out-of-state
$27,162
Retention Rate
60%
Acceptance Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
20,330
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Psy.D. Programs Online [APA Accredited]

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $595
Out of State | $595

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

LU's online doctorate in psychology gives you an affordable and flexible option to earn a Ph.D. in psychology in one of five specializations: behavioral health leadership, developmental psychology, general psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, social psychology, or theology. 

Liberty's doctorate in psychology program prepares you to enter psychiatric research or teaching. You'll need an accredited master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or above to be accepted.  

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,791
Out-of-state
$14,791
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,935
Out-of-state
$7,935
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
93,349
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Psy.D. Programs Online [APA Accredited]

National University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,114
Out of State | $1,114

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

NU's online Ph.D. in psychology offers a flexible curriculum with 10 specializations. In NU's doctoral program, you can choose to specialize in anything from general psychology to addictive disorders to industrial-organizational psychology. 

You'll need a master's degree in psychology, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or social work to apply. Graduates must complete a dissertation and dissertation defense and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,064
Out-of-state
$11,064
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$16,983
Out-of-state
$16,983
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,471
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Best Psy.D. Programs Online [APA Accredited]

Saybrook University

  • Pasadena, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,514
Out of State | $1,514

Credits to Graduate
66

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

SU's online Ph.D. in psychology offers four unique specializations: consciousness, spirituality, and integrative health; creativity studies; existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology; and psychophysiology. All programs include a two-day residential orientation and an annual five-day residential conference. 

SU's Ph.D. in psychology program requires a master's degree. You'll also need to submit an application, resume, personal statement, writing sample, letter of recommendation, and official transcripts. You can transfer up to 12 psychology credits toward degree completion.  

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$20,856
Out-of-state
$20,856
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
785
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Psy.D. vs. Ph.D. in Psychology: What's the Difference?

Psy.D. vs. Ph.D.
Factor Psy.D. Ph.D. in Psychololgy
Program Focus Field- and clinical-based Research- and academic-based
Career Paths
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Sports psychologist
  • University professor
  • Research psychologist
  • Program director
Average Base Salary About $91,000/year About $93,000/year
Source: Payscale

Your specialization options depend on your degree type. If you choose a Psy.D. program with a clinical practice focus, you'll learn how to apply psychology methods and practices in different settings. If you choose a Ph.D. in psychology, you'll focus more heavily on research and theoretical approaches.

Types of Psy.D. Specializations

  • Psy.D. in child and adolescent psychology
  • Psy.D. in clinical psychology
  • Psy.D. in counseling psychology
  • Psy.D. in school psychology

Types of Ph.D. Specializations in Psychology

  • Ph.D. in clinical science
  • Ph.D. in cognitive psychology
  • Ph.D. in developmental psychology
  • Ph.D. in social psychology

Online Psy.D. Degree Program Specializations

At the doctoral level, you'll choose a field of psychology to specialize your degree. Popular specializations include clinical psychology and counseling psychology.

You can also choose a program focused on behavioral psychology, school psychology, or forensic psychology. Your specialization will shape your coursework and your clinical practicum.

Types of Psy.D. Degrees You Can Pursue

  • Behavioral psychology
  • Child and adolescent psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Counseling psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational psychology
  • School psychology
  • Sports psychology

Choose your psychology specialization when applying to programs or after taking general Psy.D. classes. Then you'll be ready to launch your career as a psychologist.

Featured Doctorate in Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Top Career Paths With A Psy.D. Degree

Psy.D. Career Paths
Psychology Careers Average Base Salary (2023)
Behavioral Psychologist $94,500
Child and Adolescent Psychologist $66,050
Clinical Psychologist $86,050
Counseling Psychologist $63,430
Educational Psychologist $69,040
Forensic Psychologist $74,810
Industrial/Organizational Psychologist $91,750
School Psychologist $66,350
Sports Psychologist $76,270
Source: Payscale

With a Psy.D. degree, you can work in specialized fields like child psychology, forensic psychology, and counseling psychology. During an accredited online Psy.D. program, you'll focus your training through coursework and practicum hours. After graduation, you can pursue psychology careers in your focus area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Psy.D. Programs

Is a Psy.D. harder than a Ph.D. in psychology?

Both Psy.D. and Ph.D. in psychology programs are challenging. As doctorates, a Psy.D. and a Ph.D. require strong analytical and research skills plus a significant investment of time and energy.

However, a Psy.D. emphasizes clinical applications while a Ph.D. focuses on theoretical and research approaches. During a Psy.D., you'll gain hands-on clinical experience. If you've got strong interpersonal skills and want to work in clinical roles, a Psy.D. is a better option.

Is a Psy.D. program worth it?

An APA-accredited Psy.D. program prepares graduates for careers as licensed psychologists. If you want to work as a clinical psychologist, child psychologist, or counseling psychologist, a Psy.D. is the most common degree.

Professionals with a Psy.D. report an average salary of $91,000 per year, according to data from Payscale. However, you can pursue other psychology careers without a doctorate.

For example, industrial-organizational psychologists typically hold a master's degree, and you can become a school psychologist with an Ed.S. degree.

What are the admissions requirements for a Psy.D. program?

Most Psy.D. programs require a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Many programs recommend a psychology major for your bachelor's degree. If you majored in another field, you may need to complete psych classes before starting a Psy.D.

Some programs prefer candidates with a master's in psychology. Depending on the program, you may also need GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Some online Psy.D. programs conduct interviews as well.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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