Top 5 Online Doctorate In Clinical Psychology Programs

If you want to enter a career that is both mentally and physically rewarding and you have an interest in the human mind, then opting to earn a doctorate degree in clinical psychology may just be the right option for you. This degree essentially means that you will work directly with patients of any type of background and assess their emotional and mental health issues. This can be done on an individual basis or in group settings.

A doctorate degree in clinical psychology can be either a Ph.D., which is a research degree, or a Psy.D., which is a clinical degree. Either way, it is a fascinating field of work and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one that pays well and that is showing strong growth. Because of this growth, more and more schools are now offering online doctorate degrees in clinical psychology. This accommodates working professionals, as well as those who do not want to relocate to obtain their degree.

Below are what we believe to be the top 5 online doctorate in clinical psychology programs.

1. Walden University

At Walden University, you can take part in an online Ph.D. in Psychology. This program has been designed to deliver graduates who are ready to take on complex problems on an individual, family and group level and, ultimately, improve the world.

The degree is designed to help people set up an independent practice, specializing in clinical psychology. Graduates can assess and diagnose their patients as well as provide interventions. Besides becoming practitioners, graduates can also choose to become researchers or consultants.

The degree requires completion of 159 credits. These include:

• 106 credits of core courses
• 15 credits of elective courses
• 6 credits for a clinical practicum
• 20 credits for the dissertation
• 12 credits for the internship
• One academic year in residence
• 4 four day sessions of PhD residencies

The range of core and elective courses is extensive and students are encouraged to work together with their advisor to choose the right one. The student advisor will also help identify community practicum locations.

Some of the core courses include:

• Social psychology
• Cognitive assessment
• History and systems of psychology

Some of the elective courses include:

• Child and adolescent psychology
• Couples and family
• Psychology as a business

To be admitted to the program, students have to provide:

• A good academic record through transcripts
• A goal statement
• Three years relevant work experience
• A master’s degree or higher, with exception of those who want to achieve their MS during their program

2. Capella University

The online Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology offered by Capella University is designed to prepare graduates who can become eligible for state licensure as clinical psychologists. The curriculum includes both the scientific and theoretical foundations of psychology, which include assessment and intervention.

The program consists of:

• 145 quarter credits, 125 of which are core and specialization courses, the other 20 being electives.
• 3 doctoral practicum series courses
• 2 clinical dissertation series courses
• 4 doctoral internship series courses
• Clinical psychology year in residence

Some of the core courses include:

• Multicultural perspectives in human behavior
• Lifespan development
• Advanced psychopathology

The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and costs $510 per credit.

The be admitted to the program, students have to:

• Have a GPA of 3.0
• Hold a master’s degree from an accredited university
• Submit letters of recommendation
• Provide a curriculum vitae
• Write an extended goal statement
• Complete an admissions essay and writing sample
• Have a faculty interview

3. Fielding University

Fielding University offers an online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology that is accredited by the American Psychological Association, the most respected accreditation body for psychology programs. The program uniquely services adults, which makes this a one of a kind program.

Another thing that makes the Fielding program unique is in their optional concentrations. Students can choose to concentrate in:

• Forensic psychology
• Health psychology
• Neuropsychgology
• Parent-Infant mental health
• Violence prevention and control

The program takes 180 semester credits to complete. It includes core courses in areas such as:

• Developmental bases of behavior
• Biological bases of behavior
• Multicultural psychology

It also includes clinical requirements in areas such as:

• Cognitive assessment
• Integrated assessment
• Intro to psychotherapy

And it includes research requirements in areas such as:

• Multivariate statistics
• Statistical methods
• Psychometric theory

Students must also complete:

• 12 elective credits
• 600 clock hours of residency at Fielding
• 2 days of attendance at conferences
• 5 cluster meeting attendances in the first year
• One week residential in each of the first two years of the program

Please note that after completion of the first two years of study, students are automatically awarded a master’s degree.

To be admitted to the program students must:

• Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university demonstrated through transcripts
• Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
• Complete psychology coursework
• Three letters of recommendation
• A curriculum vitae
• A statement of purpose
• A critical thinking writing sample

It is also recommended that:

• Students have supervised experience in a helper role
• Students have some professional experience in completing research work

Tuition for this program is $26,640 per year.

4. Saybrook University

At Saybrook University, students can take part in a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. It is the perfect program for those who are interested in both the academic study and clinical practice of the discipline. It combines research orientation with scholarly expertise and students are encouraged to take up a career in clinical practice. The degree is made up of interactive online coursework as well as intensive residential study.

The program requires 105 credits for completion. Students consult with their program mentor to tailor the program so that it is most suitable to their own personal needs. Some of the courses students will take include:

• Developmental psychology
• Systems of psychotherapy
• Clinical intervention I
• Cognitive assessment

Elective courses are completed during the second semester of the second year and the first and second semesters of the fourth year. The final year focuses on the dissertation.

To be admitted to the program, students must:

• Hold or be working towards completing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Social Work or Counseling
• Have a GPA of 3.0
• Provide transcripts
• Provide a resume or CV
• Provide a personal statement
• Complete an interview
• Provide two contacts for recommendation

5. University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands offers a hybrid Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The first year of study is offered completely online. This year can optionally be completed by a four week summer session at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The second year of study includes 40 weeks of on campus instruction. This is followed by a year of online instruction, a clinical practicum and a doctoral dissertation. The final year is a pre-doctoral clinical internship.

The program is accredited by Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Some of the classroom courses that students have to take part in include:

• Group psychotherapy
• Personality assessment
• Cognitive assessment

Some of the online courses that students take part in include:

• Ethics and legal issues in clinical psychology
• Personality theory in clinical practice
• Social basis of behavior

During independent study, students will look at areas such as:

• Psychotherapy practicum
• Assessment practicum
• Clinical internship

To be admitted to the program, students must:

• Have a GPA of 3.0 minimum
• Submit two letter of professional or academic reference
• Provide a 500 word statement of purpose
• Hold a bachelor’s degree
• Provide a CV or resume
• Be successful in an admissions interview