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Doctor of Psychology (PsyD): Online Psychology Degree

Get info about online Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) programs. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Although there are online Doctor of Psychology programs, these programs require practicums, internships, and residencies that must be completed in person, making them a blended format. Online Psy.D. programs provide the training needed for state licensure. However, professional experience may also be needed before one is eligible to sit for his or her state licensing exam. Students must also have completed their master's degree in pyschology or a related field to participate.

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Doctor of Psychology

Through an online Doctor of Psychology program, scholars explore human development, intervention strategies, and the influences of biology on behavior and methods of diagnosis. A Psy.D. program is generally available with a specialization in clinical psychology. These programs are different than Doctor of Philosophy programs, which focus on psychological research and prepare students for academic careers. Psy.D. applicants must have a master's degree in psychology or a related field.

Students who are interested in psychology may be interested in earning a degree in related fields, such as counseling, social work, or sociology.

Program Information and Requirements

It typically takes about five years to complete the online Psy.D. in Psychology program, including finishing course work, writing and defending the dissertation, completing clinical practicums, and participating in an internship. Both the practicums and the internship requirements must be completed in-person, working under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. The program includes a selection of campus-based, online, and hybrid courses. Online, students can access courses, lessons, lecture notes, videos, assignments, the online library, and discussion boards.

Some things necessary to complete the online program include high-speed Internet access, an e-mail address, Microsoft Office, and Flash Player. Some necessary hardware includes a printer, a CD-ROM, anti-virus protection, and the ability to watch videos.

List of Common Psychology Courses

Online doctoral-level courses in psychology include a combination of core and elective courses in the field. Students complete foundational and advanced courses and choose electives based on their areas of interest.

Psychopathology

This class covers a wide range of mental disorders and modern methods for diagnosing and treating them. It addresses both adult and child disorders.

Conducting Assessments

Scholars explore methods for conducting physiological and cognitive assessments. This class provides information and techniques for conducting assessments on children, teens, and adults to determine their psychological health.

Social Behavior

Participants analyze current issues in social behavior, including how these things affect our perceptions, thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. They research social cognition and how interacting with others affects social behaviors.


Career Information for Graduates

With a doctorate, graduates are eligible to become licensed psychologists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that approximately 105,600 individuals worked as clinical, counseling, and school psychologists as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected that employment for clinical, counseling and school psychologists would increase by 20% from 2014-2024, which is approximately 30,500 new jobs during that decade. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for clinical, counseling and school psychologists was $70,580, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

To become psychologists, the BLS reports that graduates must pass their state's licensing exam and requirements, which typically include experience and training. They can also earn board certification in one of 15 different specialties. After gaining some experience, psychologists can open their own practice, but they may have to take exams every few years to keep their licensure up-to-date.

Those wishing to pursue an online education for their Doctor of Psychology, (PsyD), may do so in combination with in-person internships, practicums, and residencies. This blended experience will prepare students to sit for state licensing exams.

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