List of Online PhD Child Psychology Doctorate Programs

Psychology students who want to work as private clinicians with children and adolescents need to earn their Ph.D. in child psychology. This doctoral program prepares you to treat children’s psychological, mental, and emotional problems.

According to the APA, of critical importance in this specialty is understanding children and adolescents’ psychological needs. Also, understanding how the family and other social factors affect children’s cognitive development, health status, and behavioral adaption is critical.

Some of the learning outcomes of a Ph.D. in child psychology are:

  • Study original, evidence-based research about mental and emotional problems related to children.
  • Understand advanced psychological theories on child development.
  • Administer various types of psychological tests and assessments on children.
  • Devise treatment plans for child patients at various stages of development.
  • Apply advanced psychological theories to the therapeutic needs of child patients

Obtaining a Ph.D. in child psychology is a path to a well-paid career in clinical psychology or academia. Today you can earn your doctoral degree online in four to six years. Below are four of the best online Ph.D. in child psychology programs.

#1 Capella University

Capella University offers an online Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Psychology. This accredited doctoral program is built to give you an excellent understanding of how people change and grow over time.

Students learn ways to encourage psychological health and well-being with children and adolescents as researchers, teachers, policy, or healthcare advocates. Your classes are enhanced by several face-to-face residencies to provide you with intensive, hands-on experience that will provide you with real-world experience.

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Required courses include:

  • Human Prenatal Development
  • Topics in Child and Adolescent Development
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Exceptional Children in the Classroom
  • Lifespan Development
  • Tests and Measurements
  • Qualitative Design and Analysis

This program requires several four-day residency experiences where the student will engage in psychological research with professors and fellow students.

  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Delivery method: Online
  • Headquarters: Minneapolis
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees offered: Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology
  • Expected total tuition: $57,780
  • Prerequisites: Master’s degree in psychology
  • Request Free Program Information: Visit School

#2 Walden University

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. In this accredited, four-year doctoral program, you will learn to apply modern research and theories on child development, abnormal psychology, health issues affecting children, and behavior analysis.

With a concentration on practical approaches to challenges in the real world, including obesity and bullying, students hone the tools they need to make a significant impact on children’s wellbeing in schools, at home, and in their communities.

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This program is available to students who enter with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. If you do not have a master’s degree yet, you will need to take some psychology prerequisite courses before you begin your doctoral work.

Required courses include:

  • Development in the Digital Age
  • Gender and Development
  • Language and Cognitive Development
  • Research Foundations
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Diversity in Child and Adolescent Development and Learning

The program requires four, four-day residencies, where you will work in person with your professors and fellow students on research and related projects.

  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Delivery method: Online
  • Headquarters: Minneapolis
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees offered: Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology
  • Expected total tuition: $35,100
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology
  • Request Free Program Information: Visit School

#3 Northcentral University

Northcentral University has an online Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) focusing on child and adolescent therapy. This accredited doctoral program will prepare you to work with children and adolescents in therapy settings and to view these experiences from a family systems perspective.

Students are required to focus their coursework, internships, and dissertation research on matters related to working with children. You will be challenged in the Northcentral program to develop skills and sensitivities to work with children and teenagers who face serious mental health and personal problems.

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Required courses are:

  • Program Development for MFTs
  • DMFT Portfolio I and II
  • DMFT Doctoral Practicum
  • MFT Supervision
  • Research Methods in MFT
  • Quantitative Research Design and Statistical Analysis in MFT
  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Delivery method: Online
  • Headquarters: Minneapolis
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees offered: Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Expected total tuition: $69,697
  • Prerequisites: Master’s degree in psychology or marriage and family therapy
  • Request Free Program Information: Vist School

#4 Liberty University

Liberty University offers an online Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology to focus on child and adolescent psychology. The accredited online program provides an in-depth study of human growth and development that provides students with an advanced understanding of social psychology.

With intense research training that will prepare you for a career in research and academia, this Ph. D. in developmental psychology is perfect for students who want to bring human behavior to their practice. It also is ideal for finding new ways to help children and adolescents grow and develop.

Students can attend on-campus residencies that allow you to meet professors and other students as you grow your research and professional skills.

Required courses include:

  • Theories and Research in Developmental Psychology
  • Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Social Cognitive Development
  • Child and Adolescent Development in the Digital Age
  • Advanced Child and & Adolescent Development
  • Language and Cognitive Development
  • Moral Development
  • Institution type: Private, non-profit
  • Delivery method: Online
  • Headquarters: Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Degrees offered: Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology
  • Expected total tuition: $35,700
  • Prerequisites: Master’s degree in psychology
  • Visit school: Click here

Ph.D. in Child Psychology Summary

Obtaining your Ph.D. in child psychology can be an excellent way to boost your career if you are interested in private practice or working in academia. Students interested in moving to the highest levels of the child psychology field with the best salary may find that earning this respected degree is worth the effort.

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