10 Best Online PsyD Programs – Accredited & Affordable [2024 Ultimate Guide]

By Lindsay Aldini
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on July 4, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?
Your guide to accredited Online PsyD Programs in 2023. Compare PsyD vs. PhD & get the answers you need: APA accreditation, Scholarships, and no GRE.

Your guide to accredited Online PsyD Programs in 2024. Compare PsyD vs. PhD & get the answers you need: APA accreditation, Scholarships, and no GRE.

best online psyd programs

Interested in taking your passion for psychology or counseling to the next level with an accredited online PsyD program?

  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) is an applied doctorate with a clinical focus
  • PsyD emphasizes therapy and counseling

If you’re considering a career in clinical psychology as a counselor, social worker, psychiatrist, or forensic psychologist, then a PsyD program may be a great option for you.

Related Guide: 40 Psychology Graduate Programs without GRE Requirements

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10 Best PsyD Programs Online

The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally or nationally accredited and offer PsyD programs online or in a hybrid format.

1. Alaska Pacific University

Alaska Pacific University offers students a Doctor of Psychology program, in large part to respond to a need in the state of Alaska for more higher-level training programs.

The curriculum culminates in a dissertation on a topic of personal interest and passion. This online psychology degree program design meets the educational requirements for licensure as a psychologist in Alaska.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? Yes
  • Focus or Specialization? None
  • Admission Requirements? Master’s

Benefits & Expected Outcomes

  • A program designed to help working professionals pursue doctorate despite restraints of traditional programs.
  • Hands-on experience through the required internship lets students apply newly gained knowledge and theory.
  • Deep understanding of evidence-based practices and how to use them in clinical settings.

Alaska Pacific University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

2. Alliant International University

Alliant International University provides students the opportunity to pursue a Doctor of Psychology in Educational Psychology. Course design mixes online and in-person components for an interactive, flexible learning environment. This program also ends with a final project in an area of professional and personal passion.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? No
  • Focus or Specialization? Education Psychology
  • Admission Requirements? PPS credential in school psychology

Expected Outcomes

  • Advanced skills in education psychology, in areas such as law, ethics and equity, psychopharmacology, multicultural counseling, and consultation.
  • Ability to conduct research in applied settings.
  • Career paths include: Educational Psychologist, Social Worker, Policy-Maker

Alliant International University is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

3. Capella University

Capella University offers students a Doctor of Psychology with a Clinical Psychology Specialization. The program centers on creating a combination of online coursework and in-person experiences to optimize the learning environment. Residencies and internships work to enhance the skills students learn in other coursework. A dissertation concludes the curriculum, but at Capella, dissertation mentors offer support and guidance during this process.

The Doctor of Psychology program at Capella offers numerous opportunities to begin preparing students for licensure. Residencies, practicums, and internships all offer places for students to apply their skills in the real world. In addition, Capella offers a support team to guide current students and alumni through the clinical psychology licensing process.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? Yes
  • Focus or Specialization? Yes
  • Admission Requirements? Bachelor’s and Master’s

Benefits & Expected Outcomes

  • Ability to provide effective psychological interventions to clients after careful assessment of needs.
  • Select, administer, and interpret proper psychological tests.
  • Career paths include: Clinical Psychology, Clinical Manager, Clinical Therapist

Capella University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

4. Meridian University

Meridian University offers students a Doctor of Psychology focused on Clinical Psychology. At some point during the program, students are required to have experience in personal therapy.

Core, clinical psychology and research-based courses all lead to a solid foundation for professional practice. This program also meets the educational requirements for licensure in California. It also meets the requirements for the California Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), following additional fieldwork.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? Yes
  • Focus or Specialization? Clinical Psychology
  • Admission Requirements? Bachelor’s or Master’s

Benefits & Expected Outcomes

  • Develop professional leadership abilities and engage fully with the profession.
  • Use appropriate psychological assessments based on knowledge of clients’ personal and cultural differences.

Meridian University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

5. Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University offers a PsyD in School Psychology. The program is designed to provide students with comprehensive training to prepare them for licensure and careers in diverse psychological settings. This hybrid program combines online learning with classes delivered in a hybrid-weekend model, offering flexibility for working professionals or those balancing other commitments.

The curriculum seeks to teach how to support the educational and emotional needs of students in school settings. It emphasizes diagnosing and treating mental illnesses among children and adolescents and promoting positive mental health and academic success within schools.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? Yes
  • Focus or Specialization? School Psychology
  • Admission Requirements? Bachelor’s degree, minimum GPA, specific coursework in psychology

Expected Outcomes

  • Mastery of diagnostic techniques for assessing student’s psychological needs
  • Preparedness for licensure exams
  • Skills to support mental well-being and promote academic success within school settings
  • Understanding of effective intervention strategies and consultation practices

Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

6. Southern California Seminary

Southern California Seminary‘s online PsyD Non-Licensure program combines psychology with Christian faith to prepare students for non-clinical roles.

The curriculum covers biblical integration, counseling techniques, and research methodology education and culminates in a dissertation. It is designed to teach how to apply psychological principles in ministry, educational, and organizational settings.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? No
  • Focus or Specialization? No
  • Admission Requirements? Master’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution.

Expected Outcomes

  • Integrates Christian principles with psychology for support in mental health and spiritual well-being
  • Prepares for roles in education, ministry, or leadership with a focus on ethical practices and research

Southern California Seminary is nationally accredited by the Transitional Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.

7. Touro University

Touro University offers students a Doctor Psychology in Human and Organizational Psychology. This program is specifically designed to help professionals learn the skills and obtain the tools necessary for their individual fields. The programs culminate in a dissertation designed alongside experienced faculty.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? No
  • Focus or Specialization? Human and Organizational Psychology
  • Admission Requirements? Master’s; Cumulative GPA of 3.4

Benefits & Expected Outcomes

  • Implement evidence-based solutions in the chosen profession using new skills and tools.
  • Technology and learning opportunities to further professional skills.

Touro University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

8. University of Arizona Global Campus

The University of Arizona Global Campus offers students a Doctor Psychology (PsyD) through online study.

You can choose from one of the following specializations: Criminology and Justice Studies, Educational Leadership, Health and Wellness Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, or Sport and Performance Psychology.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? No
  • Focus or Specialization? Six offered
  • Admission Requirements? Master’s; Cumulative GPA of 3.0


  • Offers 6 to 9 week online courses
  • Wide-range of specializations available

The University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

9. Walden University

Walden University offers learners a Doctor of Psychology program in Behavioral Health Leadership. The curriculum focuses on the skills and tools necessary to improve the quality of behavioral health and mental health services. Courses integrate case studies as interactive learning tools to help students apply the skills they learn to real-world issues. Two separate residencies also shape this program: an in-person consulting skills retreat and a virtual doctoral project residency, which aids the completion of a capstone course.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? No
  • Focus or Specialization? Choose from specializations in Teaching, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Health Psychology, Public Health, Healthcare Management, or International Practice
  • Admission Requirements? Master’s; Cumulative GPA 3.0; 3+ years professional and/or academic experience (preferred)

Benefits & Expected Outcomes

  • Gain skills in areas necessary for licensed and practicing behavioral health professionals, including leadership, management, financial management and procurement, instruction and training, and program evaluation.
  • Gain skills necessary to seek leadership or management positions in public or private organizations.
  • Career paths include: Behavioral Health Leader, Administrator, Project Manager.

Walden is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

10. William James College

William James College offers a Doctor of Psychology in Leadership Psychology. The program is primarily online. Three 4 day intensive on-campus residencies in Newton, MA are required each year. These provide an opportunity to work and engage with classmates and leaders in the field.

The curriculum explores how people function as leaders and followers to gain a better understanding of what makes a great leader. The program also requires 900 hours of supervised field training, which is comprised of 600 hours of practicum experience and a 300 hour internship. Help is given to find a placement that meets career interests and goals.

At a glance

  • Path to Licensure? No
  • Focus or Specialization? 4 program-specific and 5 college-wide concentrations offered
  • Admission Requirements? Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from accredited institutions

Benefits & Expected Outcomes

  • Gain skills needed to take on executive leadership roles
  • Learn how to be a leader and improve team performance
  • Potential career paths include Leadership Psychologist, Chief Human Resource Officer, Organizational Psychologist, Chief Administrative Officer, Strategic HR Partner, and Organizational Development Strategist.

William James College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology

Choosing between a PsyD and an online PhD in Psychology can be a tough choice. Ultimately, you have to decide which option offers you the most flexibility.

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between a PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology.

PsyD vs PhD

What is the difference between a PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology?

It’s easy to confuse a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology.


The Psy.D. is practice-oriented.

If your end goal is to be a clinical psychologist working directly with patients, this may be the best path for you. Your coursework can help prepare you to apply advanced research in a therapeutic setting.

Ph.D. in Psychology

The Doctor of Philosophy is research-oriented.

If your plan is to enrich the field of psychology through scholarly research and publication, or by becoming an educator, pursuing a Ph.D. may be the best match for you. That being said, Ph.D. holders can also be clinical psychologists. It’s not either/or… it can be both.

PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology

Let’s compare the two programs head-to-head:

Psy.D. Ph.D.
Program Focus Practice Research
Acceptance Rate Around 40% Around 13% (APA.org)
Financial Assistance Around 20% receive aid Around 84% receive aid
Potential Jobs Clinical psychologist Teach, research or practice
In Demand Yes Yes

It is important to note, though, that PsyD graduates can cross over and pursue careers in research or teaching.

Online PhD in Psychology Programs:

  • Online PhD in Psychology (multiple concentrations available)
  • Online PhD in Developmental Psychology (multiple concentrations available)
  • Online PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology (multiple concentrations available)

There is some academic crossover, but career goals tend to differ.

Top Psychology Careers & Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for psychologists was $80,370.

  • Psychiatrist
  • Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Behavioral Health Director
  • Clinical Director
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Child Psychologist
  • Executive Director of a Nonprofit
  • Professor, Higher Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • School Psychologist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career field is projected to grow 3% over the next 10 years, as fast as the average rate of all occupations.

The outlook is best for those who have a doctorate in an applied specialty or concentration.

Getting a Doctorate in Psychology

Doctorate in Psychology program

Courses in a doctorate in psychology program focus on assessment and intervention, both through theory and practice.

Doctor of Psychology programs are usually heavily focused on real-world practice. Expect to have a mixture of coursework, clinical practicum, research, and internships.

Some examples of PsyD curriculum you may take include:

  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Adult Psychopathology
  • Professional Ethics
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Systems of Psychology
  • Lifespan Development
  • Advanced Biological Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • School Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Multicultural Perspectives in Human Behavior
  • Engineering Psychology
  • Counseling
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Advanced Research Methods and Statistics

If your college allows you to choose an area of concentration, you will also take unique classes relevant to that subject.

Most PsyD programs help prepare you for the licensure process. Licensure requirements vary by state, so be sure to do your homework if a clinical practice is your goal.

Currently, there are no PsyD online programs that are APA-accredited. However, reputable universities align their curriculum with APA standards to help prepare you for clinical psychologist licensure in a number of states.

What are the admission requirements?

When applying to an online doctoral Psychology program, you will likely need the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Master’s degree
  • Minimum GPA scores (varies by the college)
  • GRE scores (not always required)
  • College Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Other assessments as determined by the college (interviews, essay, etc.)

The scores and assessments will vary by education program, so be sure to check with the college you are interested in to see their specific admission requirements.

How long does it take to finish a PsyD?

The length of the program will depend on many factors, including your educational background, the exact program you have chosen, how many courses you are able to take at a time, and your career aspirations.

Generally speaking, though, it usually takes about 4 to 5 years to complete a PsyD program, especially a PsyD Clinical Psychology. When it comes to clinical counseling, there are additional criteria that must be met.

Are online programs accredited?

Doctorate in Psychology programs accreditation

Yes. Psychology online programs from reputable schools have the same accreditation requirements as their campus-based counterparts.

In the U.S., there are six regional accrediting associations, each named after the region in which it operates.

They are as follows:

It’s very important that you earn your degree from an accredited school for two reasons. First, earning your doctorate will likely require a lot of time and money. You want to make sure you are investing in a quality program. Second, in order to become licensed to practice, you will need to have completed an accredited program.

What is a PsyD?

Students often ask, What is a PsyD Degree? A PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology program, meaning you will earn a doctorate in the field of psychology. This professional degree covers both Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology.

While the PsyD program does include a number of research-based courses, the primary focus is on clinical practice and hands-on experience. You will likely become a consumer of research – applying advanced knowledge to help care for patients – rather than a creator of research.

In contrast, a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, like the one offered by Saybrook University, is more research-focused.

Are There Any APA Accredited PsyD Programs Online?

Accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA) is considered the ultimate “stamp of approval” in the field – the “gold standard.” In fact, in some states, students must have a degree from an APA-accredited program in order to become licensed psychologists.

But the criteria by which the APA evaluates and accredits online (and hybrid) programs are still being fine-tuned. According to the APA website, there is no online-only doctor of psychology programs that are APA-accredited at this time.

Certainly, though, there are APA programs that include online courses and can work around a busy schedule. Be sure to look for the program that is the best fit for your needs. And, of course, if your goal is to become licensed, be sure to check with the licensing body in the state in which you plan to practice to see what the specific requirements are.

How much does a Doctor of Psychology cost?

Doctor of Psychology cost

A doctorate can be pricey, but there are affordable options. Especially when you factor in scholarships, grants, and payment plan options.

Tuition costs may vary by tens of thousands of dollars from one school to the next. So, it’s a good idea to compare costs. We’ve also found that there are discounts to be had. For example, a number of universities offer more affordable tuition rates for those who have served in the military.

According to data collected in a recent American Psychological Association (APA) study, the median cost to earn your doctorate in Clinical Psychology from a public institution was just under $11,000 for in-state residents and about $24,000 for out-of-state residents. At private institutions, tuition was just under $34,000.

Does a PsyD require a dissertation?

Sometimes. While a dissertation is a standard requirement at the end of most doctoral programs, there are some programs that can be completed without dissertations.

Are there any schools offering the PsyD with no GRE requirement?

Many schools do require PsyD applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, but not all.

You can find this information, along with other admission requirements, on each program’s website.

Are there any fully online Doctor of Psychology programs?

There are only a few fully online programs. Due to the nature of the field, it’s imperative that you also get hands-on, in-person experience. This will require clinical hours.

This experience may be referred to as a residency, practicum or internship, and will take place at a hospital, clinic, school, community agency or organization in your local area.

Are there PsyD programs without a master’s requirement?

You will need to earn your master’s, like a master’s in psychology online, before beginning your PsyD program.

Even if a school were to admit you to the PsyD program without your master’s, it would not save you time. You would still need to earn those masters level credits before beginning the PsyD curriculum and you wouldn’t have the benefit of a master’s credential while working on your doctorate.

It may be worth noting that a growing number of universities offer on-campus and online dual masters and PsyD programs, which may allow you to work on both degrees at the same time.

Can I teach with a PsyD?

Yes, you can teach with a PsyD. The PsyD program is specifically designed for students who plan to go into clinical psychology, working directly with patients, but you will be qualified to pursue other career avenues, including teaching. In fact, the PsyD program at Walden offers an optional specialization in teaching.

Can I get a Doctor of Psychology in Forensics?

At the moment, no schools offer a PsyD in Forensics. But if you’re interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice or forensics, Walden offers a Doctorate in Forensic Psychology online.

Studying forensics can help you explore the bridge between the criminal justice system and psychology.

Doctorate in Psychology Program Details

doctorate in PysD programs

Many PysD programs allow students to choose an area of concentration, which will become their area of expertise and help them transition into their specific career.

Some examples of PsyD concentrations and fields of specialization include:

  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Behavioral Health Leadership
  • Child Psychology
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Couple or Family Therapy
  • Mental Illness
  • School Psychology
  • Social Work

Check with the school you are interested in to see which concentration areas they offer.

What financial aid is available for PsyD students?

financial aid for PsyD students

There are quite a few resources when it comes to financial aid for your PsyD!

First, most graduate schools, including many PsyD and master’s programs, offer scholarships. They are awarded based on financial need, academic merit, community involvement, minority status and other factors. To find out what scholarships are available at the school(s) you are considering, check the website or contact the financial aid office.

Second, look for grants, scholarships and other awards offered by state psychological associations. To find an association in your state, visit this APA directory. You may need to join the association to apply, but the fees are generally minimal (or free!) and the organization may provide other learning or networking opportunities.

Finally, the APA is an excellent resource for financial aid. They provide a searchable directory of scholarships, fellowships and other aid for students of all levels, including PsyD students.

Taking the next step

APA accredited PsyD programs online

If you are able to invest the time and money, a PsyD can open a lot of doors for you!

This program can be an excellent alternative to earning a doctor of philosophy that can help you to focus on hands-on training and move quickly into a career in clinical psychology.

Ready to start your journey?