Online Psychiatrist Degree Program Information

Online psychiatrist degree programs aren't available. Get info about online programs in psychology and psychiatric-mental health nursing. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education information.

Essential Information

The article below describes online master's degree programs in two fields of study related to psychiatry: psychology and psychiatric-mental health nursing. Both types of programs often allow students to complete all or the majority of coursework in an online format, although clinical training is required to meet graduation requirements. Students should inquire if online programs in these fields can prepare them to meet licensing or certification requirements.

Online master's degree programs in psychology can be focused on various specialty areas, like marriage and family counseling psychology or forensic psychology. These programs are fairly common in an online format, and practical training may vary depending on focus area.

Psychiatric-mental health nursing master's degree programs are not as common in an online format. Applicants need to hold a bachelor's degree and current registered nurse licensure. Students learn how to care for patients who are receiving psychiatric care, and they must spend time receiving supervised training at a local hospital or other medical center.

Master's Degree in Psychology

Students can choose different areas of study within psychology, such as cognitive, forensic and family. They study concepts in psychology and methods of application. The program introduces students to practical skills enabling them to analyze and evaluate psychological methods and ways to apply such methods. Eligibility for a master's degree program in psychology requires a bachelor's degree. Graduates interested in becoming psychiatrists should pursue medical school.

Program Requirements and Information

The online master's program takes 2-4 years to complete, depending on full- or part-time status. This program is available entirely online and has no on-campus or residency requirements. To access courses, students log onto the school's Web-based application to watch video lectures, complete assignments and interact with classmates. Students can use the online tutoring options and complete research projects with the Internet library.

Completion of these programs requires access to a working computer, reliable Internet access, anti-virus software, disc drive and speakers. Software programs also require Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office and Adobe Flash.

Common Online Psychology Courses

Students may need to complete a comprehensive exam or final project to prepare for graduation. Some programs lead to licensure as therapists.

Psychopathology and Maladaptive Behavior

Students study common psychological disorders that affect behaviors. They also analyze treatments of the disorders.

Psychology Ethics

This class covers common ethical issues, dilemmas and conflicts related to the field of psychology. They discuss conflicts in the legal system and cover regulations and laws.

Physiological Psychology

Students learn how the neural system reacts to drugs and ways pharmaceuticals affect the body's physiology. They also study motor systems and neural systems.

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Master of Science in Nursing in Psychiatric-Mental Health

Nurses learn the process for working with patients who have mental illnesses. They acquire skills in providing such patients with treatment and preventative care. Some programs have different paths, such as clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner. To be eligible for this master's program, students must be a registered nurse and have a bachelor's degree in nursing. While this program prepares students to work in the field of psychiatry, it doesn't qualify them to work as psychiatrists.

Program Requirements and Requirements

This online program typically takes two years to complete. Courses are available entirely online, but some programs require brief campus residencies. Students must also complete clinical experiences at local hospitals or other facilities. They access the school's online courses through Web-based applications, such as Blackboard, where they can receive and complete assignments, finish projects and watch lectures.

In addition to a computer and reliable Internet access, the program requires students to have Acrobat Reader, Quicktime, Windows Media and Adobe Flash.

Common Online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Courses

Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center's certification exam in psychiatric-mental health nursing.


This class discusses drugs commonly used in psychiatry. Students discover their effects and how they react when combined with other drugs.

Psychiatric Conditions

Students analyze the promotion, maintenance and prevention of common psychiatric problems. They learn about different disorders, including depression, anxiety, bulimia and anorexia.


Instructors teach students about various mental diseases and general conditions. The class also learns about syndromes and symptoms of different illnesses.

Career Information for Graduates

Psychologists work with individuals in a mental health capacity and study their processes and behavior. Unlike psychiatrists, they're not permitted to prescribe medications. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary for counseling, school and clinical psychologists was $70,580 in 2015 (

Psychiatric-mental health nurses work with patients who have mood and personality disorders. According to the BLS, the demand for registered nurses was expected to increase 16 percent between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for all registered nurses in 2015 was $67,490.

Continuing Education Information

Individuals interested in becoming a psychiatrist need to attend medical school, where admission is fiercely competitive. Medical school takes an additional four years to complete after earning a bachelor's degree. Once graduates are licensed doctors, they complete a three-year residency program in psychiatry. Due to the rigorous curriculum and requirements, online options don't exist.

Psychology and psychiatric-mental health nursing programs generally allow students to complete coursework online but a clinical element is required. Different programs have different requirements and not all programs lead to immediate licensure or certification.

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