Top 5 Online Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programs

Earning your doctoral degree in clinical psychology is an attractive option if you want to work in a financially and spiritually rewarding career. Being a clinical psychologist today means you will have the opportunity to help a diverse group of patients to deal with their mental and emotional issues. Your patients will be of all backgrounds, and could include families, couples, children and teenager.

Whether you decide to earn your PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology, this field pays well and is in strong demand throughout the US. Because of the higher demand for clinical psychologists, there are a multitude of high-quality, online doctoral programs in clinical psychology.

Our extensive research has determined that the five online doctoral programs below are worth your strong consideration:

Capella University

Capella University offers an online Doctor of Psychology, or PsyD in Clinical Psychology that will ready you to take your state licensure examination at the end of the four year program. This program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is one of the six regional accrediting bodies that is recognized by the US Department of Education.

In this program, you will learn how to practice professional psychology through the latest theories and skills. Also, you will discover how to integrate science, theory and practice into your professional work.

Doctoral candidates must complete 145 credit hours to graduate.

Classes include these:

  • Lifespan Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Orientation to Professional Psychology
  • Advanced Biological Psychology
  • Multicultural Perspectives in Human Behavior
  • Inferential Statistics for Professional Psychology

You also must take four elective classes, which can include Advanced Psychopathology, Theories of Psychotherapy, and Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice.

After you have completed at least 15 credits of doctoral classes, you then can begin your year in residence. This involves seminars in Scottsdale AZ and weekend in-residence programs in Minneapolis MN.

You also must complete at least 1000 practicum hours and 2000 internship hours. You will do both of these in your local community under the supervision of your academic advisor.

For admission you must have:

  • A master’s degree in psychology or a related profession.
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA in your previous coursework, or 1000 or higher on the GRE
  • Three letters of recommendation by psychology professionals.
  • Writing sample and goal statement.
  • Current resume.
  • Faculty interview may be required.
  • Full transcripts from previously attended universities.

Walden University

Walden University offers a PhD in Psychology online, which will prepare you to make important contributions to many organizations while also helping people from all backgrounds to improve their quality of life.

This PhD in clinical psychology will prepare you to work as a clinical psychologist in private practice, a professor or instructor, researcher, administrator or consultant.

All doctoral candidates must complete 159 credit hours, which includes core classes, clinical practicum, dissertation and internship. Classes to take include:

  • Foundations of Graduate Study in Clinical Psychology
  • Psychotherapy from a Clinical Perspective
  • Research, Theory, Design and Methods
  • Tests and Measurement
  • Biopsychology
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Personality Assessment

You will work with your student advisor to determine what is the most suitable location and type for your practicum in your community. You must complete at least 1000 practicum hours.

Note that some students may be able to complete a Master of Science in Psychology currently with their PhD in some specialties. In clinical psychology, you can earn your PhD as well as a master’s degree in applied psychology.

For admission, you must have the following:

  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA in your previous coursework.
  • Three letters of recommendation by psychology professionals.
  • Writing sample and goal statement.
  • Current resume.
  • List of any transfer credits.
  • Full transcripts from previously attended universities.

Fielding Graduate University

Fielding Graduate University offers a four year PhD in Clinical Psychology that is completed both online and face to face with faculty and other students several times per year during the program.

You will be an active member of a highly diverse and dynamic group of students, faculty and alumni. During your four years, you will work with a local faculty mentor who will meet with you each month in a cluster group that includes other learners in your region.

After you are admitted and complete an online orientation, you will then be invited to attend a five day in person orientation in Santa Barbara, CA where you will become more familiar with your colleagues, professors and the entire program.

You will take classes in the areas of academic, research and clinical training. The foundational courses in the academic section will give you the foundation of behavioral sciences and also clinical practice skills. In research, you will learn how to understand and critique research, and create your own studies, papers and research. The clinical training aspect is mostly completed in person in your practicum in your community. You must complete at least 1000 practicum hours.

For admission, you must have the following:

  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA in your previous coursework.
  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Coursework in psychology
  • Supervisory experience in a volunteer role in the community
  • Three letters of recommendation by psychology professionals.
  • Writing sample and goal statement.
  • Current resume.
  • List of any transfer credits.
  • Full transcripts from previously attended universities.

Saybrook University

Saybrook University has a PhD in Clinical Psychology program that is the ideal choice if you are interested in the practice and academic study of clinical psychology. This online doctoral degree provides the student with the research skills and the scholarly expertise along with the clinical skills that will ready you for an exciting career in clinical psychology.

To earn your degree, you need to take a total of 105 credit hours. All students work with an academic advisor, faculty mentor and the director of clinical training to best tailor their education to their needs and interests.

Required classes include:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Humanistic Psychology
  • Theories of Personality
  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Theories of Personality
  • Psychotherapy and Diagnosis
  • Systems of Psychotherapy
  • Methods of Research
  • Multicultural Psychology
  • Clinical Interventions
  • Clinical Practicum in your area

To be admitted, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s and master’s degree from a regionally-accredited university.
  • You should have extensive coursework in psychology, counseling and social work.
  • 3.0 GPA in master’s degree work
  • Sufficient professional experience
  • Demonstrated writing skills
  • Updated resume
  • Transcripts from all previous college work
  • Three educational and/or professional recommendations

Note that this is an online hybrid program. You will need to attend a residential conference each August in San Francisco, as well as another in March.

University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands offers a hybrid online/campus PhD in clinical psychology. This program stresses a broad general take on clinical psychology. Part of the program can be completed online, and the other part completed on campus.

Specifically, in the first year, all classes are online and held in the evening. In year two, there is on campus clinical instruction, which is 40 weeks of classroom instruction, clinical practicum, and a doctoral dissertation. Year three consists of online instruction, a clinical practicum in your area, and continued work on the doctoral dissertation. Year four is spent in your pre-doctoral clinical internship near campus.

Some classes you will take include these:

  • Ethics and Legal Issues in Clinical Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Personality Theory in Clinical Practice
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Etiology and Diagnosis of Abnormal Behavior
  • Social Basis of Behavior
  • Biostatistics
  • Neuropsychology

Admission requirements are as follows:

  • Official transcripts of all previous university work
  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • Two letters of recommendation; letters should be from professors who had you for several classes
  • Personal statement
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Resume.

An interview by phone or in person also is required.