Grand Canyon University Psychology PhD Review

Completing a doctoral program is a challenging-yet-rewarding accomplishment that represents reaching the heights of academic achievement. While many Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are based in traditional modes of education, some students may not be able to access the old forms of education.

Fortunately, an increasing number of colleges and universities are offering online Ph.D. programs, such as the online Ph.D. in Psychology offered at Grand Canyon University. Let’s take a look at what prospective students need to know about their options at GCU.

About the Program

Before diving into the benefits and drawbacks of earning an online Ph.D. in Psychology at GCU, let’s study the basic facts surrounding the institution.


  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Main campus: Phoenix
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition and fees

  • Total expected tuition: $41,700
  • Per credit-hour tuition: $695

Degrees & requirements

  • PhD degrees offered: Online PhD in Performance Psychology, Online PhD in Cognitive Psychology, Online PhD in Counselor Education, Online PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Online PhD in Psych Tech
  • Number of credit hours required: 60 (includes dissertation)


  • Application method: Online
  • Admission requirements: Master’s degree with GPA of 3.4 or higher, transcripts for all levels of education
  • Admissions office address: 3300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017
Sponsored Content

Biggest Pros

What factors make GCU’s online Ph.D. in Psychology programs appealing for the average student?

Online delivery method

Particularly for students who either have no educational options in their state or who simply cannot afford to relocate to another city or state to attend a Ph.D. program, online education is a very attractive prospect. Not only does an online Ph.D. program open education up to more students, but it allows learners a wide degree of flexibility, ensuring their education fits into their lives, not the other way around.

SEE ALSO: Most Affordable Online PhD in Psychology Programs

Several degree options

GCU students can choose from several possible online Ph.D. tracks — cognitive psychology, counselor education, industrial-organizational, performance and psych tech. Most of these programs represent rapidly expanding and very popular fields in psychology, particularly I-O and cognitive psychology. This means students can remain on the cutting edge of the field.


Compared to most other Ph.D. in Psychology programs, GCU’s online Ph.D. is quite affordable, with expected total tuition costs reaching to about $41,000. Other programs in the space, even many that are offered online, can cost upwards of $100,000 or more.

Faith tradition

GCU’s connection to the Christian faith is a very strong selling point for many students. While psychology scholars are not required to be Christians, all courses and programs center that faith tradition.

Biggest Cons

What factors work against Grand Canyon’s appeal to the average Ph.D. in Psychology student?

Lack of APA accreditation

Grand Canyon University’s online Ph.D. in Psychology program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, but it has not earned the stamp of approval from the American Psychological Association. The APA is the gold standard of accrediting bodies in psychology education, and graduates may have a hard time finding employment or earning state licensure, though how big a problem this is will depend on a student’s individual career ambitions.

No internship requirement

While students are required to complete a dissertation project as part of their online psychology Ph.D. from GCU, there are no requirements to complete an internship. So for students who want to go on to work directly with patients and clients, they will need to find another source of that hands-on experience.

Not designed for licensure

We’ve touched on this already, but GCU’s online psychology Ph.D. options are not designed to provide the foundation for licensure in any state, and the university makes this clear through its informational offerings.

The Bottom Line

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you decide if earning an online Ph.D. in Psychology from Grand Canyon University could be right for you.

Is the Grand Canyon University Online Ph.D. in Psychology Program Right For Me?
I need to take my classes onlinex
I’m interested in clinical psychologyx
I want to focus on a particular population groupx
I’m interested in applied psychologyx
I’m interested in school psychologyx
I’m interested in industrial-organizational psychologyx
I have a very limited budget for a Ph.D. programx
A well-established program is important to mex
I want to work in a real-world mental health clinicx
I want to contribute to cutting-edge research projectsx
I don’t want to take the GREx
Sponsored Content


An online Ph.D. isn’t ideal for every student, but for those learners who need a wide degree of flexibility and want to be able to fit doctoral education into their lives, GCU’s online Ph.D. options are attractive and affordable.

Additional Resources