dcsimg

Online Doctorate Degree in Psychology

Doctorate psychology programs help individuals develop advanced knowledge and skills for potential careers in a variety of concentrations, including clinical psychology, social psychology, forensic psychology, and developmental psychology. Students in doctorate psychology programs work toward either a PhD in psychology or a PsyD, and the type of degree they earn can impact their career choices. While PhD psychology programs are focused more on research, PsyD programs are geared more toward clinical work. The time it takes to complete a Social Science doctorate program in psychology depends on which type of degree a student earns and can take anywhere from four to seven years for full-time students.

Psychology

Online Doctorate in Psychology: Coursework and Overview

Doctoral programs offer a variety of advanced psychology courses. Examples of common coursework are highlighted below:

  • Psychopharmacology: Students study the purposes of medications as well as the psychological and behavioral effects that they have on users. One example of a potential topic discussed in class is side effects and medications used to treat different age groups.
  • Forensic Psychology: Courses educate students on the psychological aspects of crime and common responsibilities of forensic psychologists, such as criminal profiling and determining a person's psychological ability in criminal proceedings.
  • Psychotherapy: Courses explore various therapeutic approaches to improving mental health. Doctorate psychology programs often offer specialized courses in specific psychotherapy disciplines, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Health Psychology: Students discover how biological and psychological factors can affect one's health. Classes may cover the effects of stress, diet, and chronic illness on behavior and health.
  • Social Cognition: Coursework examines how individuals gather and utilize information about other individuals and social situations. Two course topics commonly discussed include social judgments and memory.

Potential Career Opportunities for Individuals with a Doctorate in Psychology

Although earning a PsyD or a PhD in psychology cannot guarantee one a job after graduation, doctorate-level education is often a prerequisite for both psychologist careers and licensing exams, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012). Some careers that doctorate degree holders can pursue are discussed below:

  • Clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Coursework for students on the clinical psychology track depends on the area in which they aim to concentrate their career. For example, students interested in becoming a health psychologist can apply concepts from health psychology and psychopharmacology classes. Those intending to work with child patients can gain an understanding of how to communicate with them through child psychology classes.
  • Developmental psychologists examine psychological progress and development throughout life. These professionals often focus on a life stage, such as childhood or adolescence. Students interested in developmental psychology can obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline by concentrating their degree or taking specialized classes in it.
  • Forensic psychologists help legal specialists, such as judges and attorneys, understand the psychological aspects of legal cases. These professionals may also appear as expert witnesses in court and may specialize in family court, civil court, or criminal court. Depending on the school they attend, individuals aiming for a career as a forensic psychologist may have the option of concentrating their doctorate degree in forensic psychology. Moreover, supplementing their degree with classes in forensic science, criminal justice, and legal studies can help students learn about the various subjects that contribute to the discipline.
  • School psychologists apply psychology concepts and practices to education-related matters. For example, they may assist with students' learning and behavioral problems or counsel students and families. Child psychology and developmental psychology courses can teach students about common issues that school psychologists come across as well as effective approaches to these issues. Counseling and education courses may teach additional skills in communicating with students and parents.
  • Social psychologists study how individual and group interactions influence one's thinking and behavior. Concentrating their degree in social psychology and taking related electives, such as social cognition, may provide students with a specialized skill set for a potential career in the subject.

As bls.gov states, clinical, counseling, and research positions typically require a doctorate degree, and opportunities should be best for individuals with a specialized degree in a discipline such as school psychology. Students interested in becoming a psychologist usually need related experience, which they can attain in the form of supervised work, internships, or residency programs.

Additionally, most states restrict the use of the title "psychologist" to licensed or certified individuals. Since licensing and certification requirements vary by state, students interested in a career as a psychologist should research state laws to find out which requirements they must meet. Potential resources on licensing and certification include the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Additional Resources for Students Pursuing an Online Doctorate in Psychology:
Psychologists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Pursue your Major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs and Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Financial aid is available for students who quality, with more than $1,000,000 through 10 scholarships.
  • Offers 24/7 student services, including financial aid help, course registration, and career counseling.
  • Students may opt in for a two week, risk-free trial period.
  • Active-duty military, veterans, and Veteran’s Administration employees can save 15% on tuition.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
  • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Several institutional scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
  • Features several learning model options, including online, residency, and hybrid options.
  • Offers graduate degree programs in organizational leadership, mind-body medicine, psychology and human science.
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • Three teaching locations in Seattle, Washington and Houston, Texas, with the university headquarters located in San Francisco, California.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses