Psy.D. programs are available in online formats, and require video conferencing software, web cameras, and microphones. These programs examine concepts in personality theories, pharmacology and human behavior and may include specializations. While these programs are mostly online, students may be required to attend on-campus seminars at a convenient time. They are also required to complete in-person internships prior to graduation. A master's degree in psychology or a related area are necessary prerequisites to these programs.
Students should look for programs approved by the American Psychological Association (APA). Licensure as a psychologist requires completing an APA-approved program and passing an exam, as well as completing continuing education. Important details about these programs are listed below.
Doctor of Psychology
Students enrolled in a distance learning Doctor of Psychology program are trained to research and evaluate human behaviors and relationships. Prior to program admission, students must have earned a master's degree in psychology or a related field from a properly accredited college or university. Some online Psy.D. programs offer specializations, such as non-profit management. To successfully earn this online degree, students are required to submit a dissertation. The degree must typically be earned in no less than two and no more than ten years.
While the majority of the Psy.D. coursework is completed entirely online, students are sometimes required to attend on-campus instruction or seminar sessions. Before being awarded the Doctor of Psychology, students must usually complete a supervised internship as well.
Online courses may be accessed at the student's convenience and are in the form of audio, video and text files. In order to adequately participate in online coursework and class discussions, students may be required to have access to video conferencing software, a web camera and microphone. All Doctor of Psychology distance learning students are required to have high-speed Internet connectivity, a recent browser and up-to-date media player.
List of Common Courses
Psychology doctoral level courses are typically research oriented. Classes also focus on advanced neurological and emotional functions.
This distance learning course examines the effects of medication on patients' neurological and biological functions. Psychopharmacology courses also look at how social pressure and placebos affect behavior.
Students enrolled in this online psychology course are introduced to the major psychotherapy theories. Similarities and differences between individuals' personalities are studied.
Emotions and Motivations
This online psychology course explores memory, decision making, problem solving, consciousness and imagery. The four theories of emotion, such as the James-Lange theory, are examined.
Students enrolled in a distance learning group process psychology course are taught to facilitate group therapy sessions and techniques. In addition, students learn to properly explain therapy purposes and methods to groups undergoing therapy.
Online psychological research courses train students to collect, verify and analyze psychological data while preserving the privacy of their human subjects. Research is usually conducted under the direct supervision of a faculty member.
Psychologists seek to understand human behavior and to help patients with emotional or behavioral problems. Areas of specialization include clinical, social, developmental, school and industrial psychology. Psychologists typically either open their own practices or work within rehabilitation organizations, hospitals or research universities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for psychologists between 2014 and 2024 is expected to grow by 19% (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS listed a median wage of $70,580 for clinical, counseling and school psychologists.
Continuing Education Information
According to the BLS, licensing requirements for psychologists vary from state to state; however, all states require psychologists to pass a licensure examination and some require continuing education. The American Board of Professional Psychology also awards specialty certifications in such areas as forensic psychology, school psychology and psychoanalysis.
Students wishing to pursue an online doctoral program in psychology will need a relevant master's degree, and should look for a doctoral program approved by the American Psychological Association (APA). The job growth for psychologists is projected to be above the average of all occupations from 2014-2024.