Top Online PsyD Programs in 2020
One of the highest qualifications in its field, an online PsyD helps prepare you for expert-level work in psychology and mental health. This degree enjoys broad practical applications with encouraging job trends and salary potential. Recent data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that work for degree-holders will continue to increase much faster than average as people continue to turn to qualified professionals for assistance.
If you’re interested in earning a PsyD online, you have a number of schools and programs from which to choose. But which schools has the cost structure that works with your budget, and which program has the curriculum and learning outcomes you need to further your career? The following three schools offer students some of the best combinations of cost, quality, and flexibility today. See who stands out for online PsyDs in 2020.
Inside the Online PsyD
It’s important to get to know available programs before you apply and begin study. This section answers several common questions to help guide your decision-making process. It looks at popular curriculum offerings, discusses tuition rates, and details what to expect once you graduate and begin to consider job prospects.
Paying for Your Online Doctorate in Psychology
How will you cover all these costs? If you’ve made it this far in your academic career, then you know higher education is not cheap and that securing solid financial aid can make a big difference in the expenses you may have to shoulder. It all depends on knowing what’s out there and where to look first. Here are three solid financial aid options to help you reduce the costs.
Accreditation for the Online PsyD
You’re probably already aware of higher education accreditation at the institutional level and its use an independent quality assurance measure. Reputable schools with a rigorous academic focus receive regional accreditation, while for-profit colleges and those with technical or vocational programs usually obtain national accreditation. These credentials are administered by bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education.
Individual programs sometimes enjoy programmatic accreditation in addition to institutional accreditation. This supplementary credential accompanies regional or national accreditation and demonstrates that the program in question meets or exceeds discipline-specific standards of quality and excellence. Not all online PsyD programs will hold programmatic accreditation, but those that do receive it from entities like the American Psychological Association (APA).
Charting Your Path: After the Online PsyD
This section looks at some common opportunities available to you after graduation (if you don’t have a position lined up already). Now that you have earned your online PsyD, you can take full advantage of job prospects and earning potential. What next steps should you take? Will you need additional credentials or education? We answer these and other pressing questions below.
What can you do with an online doctorate in psychology?
Immediately entering the workforce or advancing an existing career are among the most popular paths, but they aren’t the only options. The chart below maps out several different trajectories that loosely follow two different paths: research or practice.
If you are interested in working as a practitioner then an online PsyD is really all you need other than state-level licensure. Professionals on this path often work as clinical, forensic, or school psychologists. They provide health services to individuals and other entities, and often work in nonprofits, mental health facilities, corrections agencies, and education outlets.
Just because an online PsyD is a practice-oriented degree doesn’t mean you can’t work in research settings, but it will require an additional step. If you are interested in using your expertise as a practitioner to inform other scholarly endeavors, you can pursue additional advanced degrees in psychology. Some degree-holders do this to become teachers or professors in postsecondary settings. Others may pursue it because it qualifies them for work as applied scientists and in laboratories, hospitals, and other research facilities.
How much do online PsyD holders make?
Salary prospects for this degree are commensurate with its status as a terminal degree and one of the highest levels of educational attainment in psychology. For example, BLS reports that clinical and school psychologists earn a median annual wage of $87,450. Both salary profiles exceed the national average for all occupations by more than 50%. Industrial and organization psychologists see an even greater boost, earning up to $92,880 each year on average. The table below lists additional careers along with their salary potential.
|Career||Median National Annual Salary (2019)||10th Percentile||90th Percentile|
Related Degrees to the PsyD
Many people earn an online PsyD as one of the last steps in their academic career. That said, there are still plenty of opportunities even though this is a terminal degree. In fact, if you are interested in interdisciplinary work or developing expertise in areas adjacent to psychology, this could be a good option. You can explore other disciplines or specialization in an additional psychology sub-field. Below we list a few possibilities for both.
This degree supplements the skills gained in your PsyD program by bringing the study of psychology into sharper research focus. Most professionals pursue this program because they are interested in producing original scholarly work or teaching psychology at a major college or graduate school.
Doctor of Social Work
This program draws on the same broad knowledge base as a PsyD but channels its applications in areas that promote social well-being, community development, and public health. Professionals with this degree often go on to work in clinical practice or nonprofit administration. They sometimes manage a staff of qualified case managers and may take on their own case load at times if it fits their skill profile.
PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology
Professionals in this course of study build additional expert skills that relate psychology to neuroscience. Graduates conduct experiments and engage in scientific research using innovative neuroimaging tools to develop new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Additional specializations may include neuroanatomy and neurobiology, psychopharmacology, and neuropathology.
PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience
This degree is similar to the previous one, but focuses on the more behavioral aspects of neuroscience. It applies principles derived from both biology and psychology to determine how normal and pathological behaviors develop and take hold. Degree-seekers often focus on sense perception, biological sleep rhythms, motivated behavior, and learning and memory.