PhD in clinical psychology student learning from faculty.

PhD in Clinical Psychology


Prepare academically for licensure while learning to work with a diverse mix of clients in various settings, including telehealth.
Prepare academically for licensure while learning to work with a diverse mix of clients in various settings, including telehealth.

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PhD in Clinical Psychology

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

  • Current 01 Step 1: About You
  • 02 Step 2: Contact Information

Why Choose Walden?

LICENSURE PREPARATION

Whether you want to practice, lead, teach, or consult, this program academically prepares you for licensure as a psychologist.1

ROBUST TELEHEALTH TRAINING

Learn how to choose psychotherapeutic interventions for clients at a distance and help communities access mental health services.

RESEARCH SKILLS LABS

Gain hands-on experiential research skills throughout your clinical psychology PhD program and prior to your dissertation.

RICH LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Engage in unique learning and mentoring experiences at every step of your program through scaffolded professional development.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Gain active experience through the Blended Academic Year in Residence (BAYR), doctoral residencies, supervised practicum, and more.

MS ALONG THE WAY

Earn your MS in Psychology with a specialization in Applied Psychology as you complete your online PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Program Details

Curriculum - General Program

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
  • Foundation course (1 cr.)
  • Core courses (54 cr.)
  • Professional Development Series (0 cr.)
  • Research Skills Labs (0 cr.)
  • Research courses (25 cr.)
  • Elective course (5 cr.: Not required for students residing in the state of Illinois)
  • Clinical practicum (6 cr.)
  • Internship (12 cr.)
  • Blended Academic Year in Residence (40 cr.; 45 cr. period for students residing in the state of Illinois)
  • Completion of Doctoral Dissertation
    • Doctoral Research Seminars (5 cr.)
    • Dissertation Writing courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
  • Four 5-day PhD residencies

View the COMPLETE CURRICULUM PLAN.

Walden students have up to 9 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Please refer to Walden’s catalog for more information about degree requirements.

For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-675-1041.

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations:  A bachelor's degree or higher.
General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the highest degree level you currently hold.

More information for completion programs. More information for international applicants.

Your Doctoral Journey

At Walden, we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line, including our Doctoral Degree CoachTM. Are you ready to reach a higher level in your field?

A smiling woman wearing a graduation gown.

 

A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your PhD in Clinical Psychology requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
  • Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
  • Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
  • Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

Tuition and Fees

CurriculumRequirementsCostTotal *
Tuition-Coursework143 quarter credits $525 per quarter hour for coursework credits$75,075^
Tuition-Dissertation 20–100 quarter credits$525 per quarter hour for dissertation credits$10,500–$52,500*
Program Fee $175 per quarter$3,500–$6,300*
Residency Fee Four Residencies$1,520 each (in-person: travel, lodging and other expenses are additional)$6,080
In-Residence Supplemental TuitionEight in-residence courses; two per quarter$1,930 per quarter$7,720
Estimated Range:  5-Year9-Year
   $102,875$147,675*+
   (assuming completion in a 5-year timeframe)(assuming completion in an 9-year timeframe)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in nine years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the nine year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

Based on a 5-year minimum completion requirement and an 9-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 9-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.

Program Savings

Looking to reach your potential with a doctoral degree? We want to support you by making your goals more achievable. Receive up to a $5,000 grant if you start this program on February 26, 2024. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Program Outcomes

Career Impact

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that, as a profession, clinical psychology is projected to grow 3% between 2019 and 2029.2 This increased demand for psychological services in medical settings, such as hospitals, schools, social service agencies, and mental health centers, will drive new job opportunities.

With a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Walden, you may move into a variety of positions, including:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • Faculty member/instructor
  • Staff psychologist
  • Administrator 

Career options may require additional experience, licensure, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this program.

 

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the PhD in Clinical Psychology program will be prepared to:

  • Evaluate the origins and development of major ideas in the discipline of psychology, as well as major theories of psychology.
  • Critique the basic content areas of scientific psychology including the breadth, range, and depth of the affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social aspects of behavior.
  • Apply integrative knowledge in scientific psychology including the ability to integrate, evaluate, analyze, and conceptualize multiple discipline specific content areas.
  • Integrate advanced knowledge and applied skills in psychometrics, research, quantitative, and qualitative methods.
  • Synthesize the principles of research methods in order to independently formulate, conduct, and disseminate research and related scholarly activities.
  • Critique and apply relevant research in the development and implementation of evidence-based interventions in clinical decision making, as well as evaluate treatment effectiveness, goals, and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
  • Communicate competency in the application of APA ethics and codes, as well as the relevant laws, regulations, policies, rules, professional standards, and guidelines in the practice of clinical psychology.
  • Model professional values and attitudes including integrity, comportment, identity, accountability, lifelong learning, self-reflection and care, and concern for others welfare in all relationships.
  • Demonstrate professional competence, including professionalism, respect for diversity, and relational competency.
  • Demonstrate competence in the profession specific clinical competencies, including diagnosis, assessment, and psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Integrate knowledge of individual and cultural diversity in professional practice.

 

Resources

FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Clinical Psychology

Is a PhD in Clinical Psychology worth it?

A PhD in Clinical Psychology is worth it if you want to become licensed and if you want to pursue certain careers. A PhD in Clinical Psychology prepares you for licensure as a clinical psychologist so that you can become a clinical psychology practitioner and work with clients. If you want to teach clinical psychology or conduct original research in the clinical psychology field, earning a PhD in Clinical Psychology is not only worth it, but it’s also a requirement for most teaching and research roles.

How do you choose the best online university for your PhD in Clinical Psychology program?

When it comes to finding the best online academic institution, reputation is key. Walden University has been leading adult learning and developing distance education programs for 50 years. Now more than ever, working professionals can benefit from quality online programs at an accredited university that provides the support they need, from enrollment through graduation. At Walden, students and graduates have access to ongoing assistance as they work to earn their degree, advance their career, and effect positive social change.

How long does it take to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology?

The amount of time it takes to complete your PhD in Clinical Psychology will depend on how long you work on your dissertation. The minimum amount of time required to complete the coursework, clinical practicum, internship, Academic Year in Residence, and dissertation is five years. Students have up to nine years to complete their PhD in Clinical Psychology degree requirements.

Are online PhD programs respected?

Many employers value a prospective employee who has earned a PhD, whether it is from an online university or a campus-based college. It’s important to choose an accredited institution, like Walden University.

What is an academic residency, and why is it important to my PhD in Clinical Psychology program?

Academic residencies, skills labs, and pre-practica are face-to-face or virtual learning experiences that align with your online coursework to enhance your skill development, scholarship, and professional practice. Required for most PhD programs—including Walden’s PhD in Clinical Psychology—residencies also provide students with the opportunity to collaborate and network with other students, staff, and faculty members. Academic residencies can be held virtually or at any location around the world.

What is the difference between a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program?

There are some key differences between the two program types. In general, PhD-based psychology programs are plentiful, though competitive. Because of the strong focus on research, it’s an ideal track for students not only interested in clinical practice but also in academia and research. PhD programs also provide valuable training for those who want to practice psychology in clinical settings. A PhD in Clinical Psychology can open up a multitude of career paths—from research to administration to consulting.

PsyD programs were developed as an alternative to PhD psychology programs and are usually the choice of individuals interested solely in the hands-on, straightforward practice of psychology. Like a PhD program, a PsyD program prepares students to practice psychology in a wide range of clinical settings. A PsyD, however, focuses more on clinical practice and less on research and academia. As a result, this degree requires fewer research and statistics courses and typically takes less time.
 

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1Clinical psychology positions may require state licensure, additional experience, or other factors beyond successful completion of the degree program.

Note on Licensure: The PhD in Clinical Psychology program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for psychology licensing exams. This program is designed to meet the academic licensure requirements of some state psychology boards. However, Walden University’s PhD in Clinical Psychology program is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and has not received designation by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register (ASPPB/NR), which are requirements for licensure in some states. Learn more about professional licensure