Top 4 Online Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology Programs

In any one year, it is estimated one in four Americans will suffer from a mental health disorder or substance abuse problem. ( Because of this growing problem, the need for professionals highly skilled in behavioral health disciplines are needed.

This need is supported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: It is estimated there will be a 23% increase in jobs in the areas of behavioral health and disorders, mental health counseling and substance abuse by 2026. ( This is much faster than average compared to other occupations. If you have an interest in this field, an online Ph.D. in Behavioral Health could be a good fit for your career goals.

Below are our four recommended online Ph.D. in behavioral psychology degree programs.

#1 Capella University

You can make an impact in your community with Capella University’s online PhD in Psychology Behavior Analysis specialization . You will learn how to teach, consult and lead in various institutional, public and/or private environments. The program is focused on the most advanced human behavior research, leadership theory, behavioral health program development and evaluation, and how society influences human behavior. When you graduate from this four year, online program, you will be ready to be a change agent in behavioral health as an educator, administrator or consultant.

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Required courses in this Ph.D. program are:

  • Advanced Research in Adult Human Development and Behavior
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • The Family in Social Context
  • Fundamentals in Social Science Research
  • Advanced Program Design
  • Advanced Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Child and Adolescent Studies
  • Interdisciplinary Leadership in Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods and Human Services

To be considered for admission, submit the following:

  • Official transcripts of
  • Resume with behavioral health work history
  • Employment history and educational history
  • Writing samples
  • Three recommendation letters
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#2 Walden University

Walden University offers an Online PsyD in Behavioral Health Leadership that will provide you with the leadership and cross-disciplinary skills you need to manage and improve how integrated mental and behavioral healthcare is delivered. This degree is important because the modern healthcare system requires innovative healthcare leaders who are able to manage the delivery of high quality behavioral health and mental health services in an integrated care setting. This professional doctoral program in behavioral health leadership will help you to meet these needs.

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Highlights of this four year, online doctoral degree include:

  • Highly applicable to the workplace. This program is designed for licensed, practicing behavioral health professions, such as therapists, social workers, nurses and counselors who want more skills in leadership and management.
  • Six specializations. Students can take an added three classes and earn a specialization to enhance their career options.
  • Two residencies. These are intensive consulting skills retreats that give you hands-on practice.

Your required courses include:

  • Consulting for Organizational Change
  • Research, Theory, Design and Methods
  • Behavioral Health Social Entrepreneurship and Advocacy
  • Leadership and Leader Development
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Healthcare Financial Management and Economics
  • Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation and Coordination

Requirements for admission into this graduate program are:

  • Official transcripts of bachelor’s and master’s work
  • Resume with work history
  • Employment history and educational history
  • Writing samples
  • Two recommendation letters

#3 Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers a Ph.D. in Education in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in behavioral health. This four year, online program is designed for licensed behavioral health professionals. You will look at topics including clinical supervision in the behavioral health setting, intervention methods and leadership across diverse cultures. The innovative curriculum integrates the dissertation process, starting with the first class, and also offers on-campus residencies that will support your online learning.

Students will study business components of for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the industry of behavioral health. Also, you will student servant leadership, and prepare to be a change agent in your workplace. Further, students will perform critical reflections on existing behavioral health works and theories. Additionally, you will understand theories of leadership, psychopathology and clinical pathophysiology, behavior assessment, medical treatments and evidence-based interventions.

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Major features of this Ph.D program:

  • Study current behavioral health practices, including relevant theories
  • Learn how to lead ethically as you study ethical and legal standards in professional practice of human behavior
  • Conduct viable research in social and behavioral sciences
  • Create innovative solutions as you lead design, development and evaluation of programs and services to address vital behavioral health issues

Required courses include:

  • Progressions in Leadership Thought
  • Ethical Dilemmas and Stewardship
  • Strategic Planning and Change
  • Leading Across Cultures
  • Approaches to Research Design and Data Analysis
  • Psychopathology, Behavioral Assessment and Interventions

Requirements for admission to Grand Canyon University’s Ph.D. program are:

  • Bachelor’s and master’s degree in behavioral health, social sciences or a related field
  • Writing samples
  • College transcripts from bachelor’s and master’s program
  • Resume and detailed work history in the field of behavioral health

#4 Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an online Doctor of Behavioral Health degree with a concentration in management that is appropriate for future and current healthcare managers to be employed in the booming medical care marketplace. With this advanced degree, you will understand how to manage evidence-based, cost-effective interventions in human behavior that replace past treatments that resulted in overcare, undercare or misuse. ( This degree program is primarily online and focuses on management and behavioral care in the primary care environment.

This concentration includes 84 credit hours; students can get credit for 30 hours if they hold a related master’s degree. The industry-leading curriculum includes online courses that feature both live chats with students and instructors, as well as internship training via live video streaming. There also is a capstone research project that requires a business plan that is specific to your career goals.

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Required courses include:

  • Quality and Performance Measurement, Improvement and Incentives
  • Population Based Health Management
  • Healthcare Systems: Organization, Delivery and Economics
  • Models of Integrated Primary Care
  • Behavioral Health Management
  • Healthcare Information Management
  • Healthcare Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues
  • Financial Management in Healthcare
  • Cost Offset and ROI for Behavioral Interventions

Requirements for admission to ASU’s doctoral program are as follows:

  • 3.0 GPA
  • Bachelor’s and master’s degree in a related field
  • Writing samples
  • College transcripts
  • Resume

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