Distance Learning Psychology Ph.D. Programs: Online School Options

Essential Information

The online Ph.D. programs in psychology offered through the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Northcentral University require students to possess a master's degree from an accredited institution prior to enrollment. The Sofia University program accepts students with either a master's degree or a bachelor's degree. Due to the intensive nature of the psychology field, in-person fieldwork is also required in these programs.

Although coursework for online Ph.D. programs in psychology is primarily offered online, real-time clinical practice is typically required, and occasionally on-campus seminars, internships or apprenticeships are necessary.

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology's distance learning Ph.D. in International Psychology is a 60-credit program that can be completed almost entirely online. Upon completion of the required 60 credits, students must perform fieldwork in the form of either an international internship or apprenticeship at the school.

Information & Requirements

Tuition for this program is set at $1,310 per credit hour, on top of the $50 application fee for prospective students. In addition to online courses, students must also complete a dissertation. Applicants to this program will need a master's degree from an accredited university, and three or more years of relevant work experience is preferred.


Common course topics found in this program include:

  • Mental health interventions
  • Acculturation psychology
  • Global perspectives on psychology

Sofia University

The distance learning Global Ph.D. in Psychology program at Sofia University focuses on the study of the human experience and the effect that other people and the surrounding environment have on it. If students choose to study full time, the program can usually be completed in three years.

Information & Requirements

Excluding two optional week-long, on-campus seminars each year, Sofia's Global Ph.D program in Psychology is available entirely online. Content is delivered through a streaming teleconference interface, which allows for maximum interactivity. Most courses deal with psychotherapy and transpersonal psychology, and the program culminates in a dissertation. This also is compiled largely online, but students can utilize seminars to ask questions about their dissertations, in addition to conducting research on campus.

Tuition for students completing the program in three years is $79,008 in total, while students who take five years will pay $121,648.


Course topics in this program include:

  • History of psychology
  • Transpersonal theory & therapies
  • Personality archetypes
  • Transpersonal finance
  • Psychology of emotion

Northcentral University

Northcentral University offers an online program that awards a Ph.D. in Psychology. The program is entirely self-paced, allowing students to fit learning around their busy schedules.

Information & Requirements

The program features a number of specializations, including addictions, gender diversity, and gerontology. The program features a focus on practical learning, with students taking part in case studies and scenarios designed to provide experience.

Tuition is $3,105 per course, and the school offers a number of financing options to help students afford the program. Applicants with a master's degree in either psychology, social work, mental health counseling, or marriage and family therapy may enter the program immediately, while students with a master's degree in a different field must go through the evaluation track before being admitted.


Students in this program can specialize in the following subjects:

  • Health psychology
  • Industrial organizational psychology
  • Trauma & disaster relief

Career Information

The Ph.D. program at Chicago School of Professional Psychology is intended for those who want to work internationally providing psychology services to victims of natural disasters and cultural crises, in addition to underserved populations. Graduates also might find work as researchers or advocates for international mental health reform, as well as with multinational corporations or mission-minded, faith-based organizations. Online doctoral students can choose one of two specializations: trauma services or systems and organizations. Both concentrations prepare students to adapt to different cultures and political and economic situations.

Continuing Education Information

It is important to note that the Global Ph.D. program at Sofia University is not a clinical program and will not help a candidate earn licensure as a psychologist.

Psychology Ph.D. programs are offered at Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Northcentral University, and Sofia University. These programs prepare students for work in mental health fields and allow for a number of different specializations.

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