PhD in Psychology graduate speaking with a patient.
PhD in Psychology graduate speaking with a patient.

Online PhD in Psychology

Build a versatile, doctoral skill set in Walden’s PhD in Psychology program.

Build a versatile, doctoral skill set in Walden’s PhD in Psychology program.

Why Walden?

Walden Facts

Learn From a Leader

You can feel confident earning your doctorate from Walden, the No. 1 granter of PhD in Psychology degrees in the U.S.1

Get the Support You Need

Our integrated doctoral support services are designed to help you stay on track and excel at every stage of your program.

Tailor Your Studies

Focus your coursework with one of six PhD specializations, including Educational Psychology and Teaching in Psychology.

Go Beyond Theory

Prior to starting your prospectus, you’re assigned a chair who works with you to smoothly transition from coursework to your dissertation.


Program Details

Learning Tracks

TRACK I: Choose this track if you have a master's degree in psychology or related field.

TRACK II: Choose this track if you have a GPA of 3.0 on bachelor’s degree or master's degree in unrelated field.

FAST TRACK: With our Fast-Track Option, you increase your course load each term and begin your dissertation early to expedite your path through the program.

Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way

Earning your doctoral degree is the ultimate intellectual challenge. To signify how far you’ve come in your journey to your PhD in Psychology, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of certain or advanced program requirements prior to completing your dissertation.

Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for this doctoral program, you must have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in a related field from an accredited school and meet the general admission requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. 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 online PhD in 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.

Program Outcomes

Impact the Psychology Field at a Higher Level

Change people’s lives—and the psychology field at large—by gaining next-level skills you can apply in teaching, research, program evaluation, and consulting. Tailor your PhD in Psychology coursework to the career you want with one of six specializations that combine classic theory with real-world application. Take advantage of robust dissertation support from early on in your program and get an edge in reaching the doctoral finish line. Prior to your dissertation, you have the option of choosing between a teaching and research practicum to gain intensive practical experience.


Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this online PhD in Psychology program will be prepared to:

  • Apply principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  • Apply relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA) to decision making with diverse populations in various settings.
  • Promote social change through the integration of principles of psychology in scholarly and/or professional activities.
  • Communicate effectively to a variety of stakeholders and audiences.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of psychology-specific knowledge and theory to improve the condition of individuals, groups, and organizations.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in utilizing empirically supported models for teaching, consultation, and research.
  • Develop a professional identity appropriate to one’s professional goals.

Career Outlook

Earning a “Dr.” in front of your name is a way forward, helping you achieve more credibility, respect, and influence in your field. With a PhD in Psychology degree, you’ll also have versatility when exploring career opportunities. Build valuable, lifelong skills in critical thinking, information gathering, problem solving, and scholarly writing.

While many psychology doctorate holders pursue careers in academia, a good number seek paths in nonacademic settings, such as nonprofit organizations, foundations, and research institutes. Gain the practical training and insights to impact lives and make valuable contributions as a researcher, consultant, or organizational leader.

A PhD in Psychology degree can prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Government offices and agencies
  • Hospitals and healthcare organizations
  • Corporations and nonprofit organizations
  • Schools and universities

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


FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Psychology

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

There are some key differences between the two programs. PhD psychology programs are plentiful, but also fairly competitive, with more rigorous admission criteria. Because of the strong focus on research, it’s an ideal track for students interested in academia and research.

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

What can you do with a PhD in Psychology?

Pursuing a PhD in Psychology can equip you with the expertise to qualify for a range of professional opportunities and enjoy a purposeful, long-lasting career helping others. Some of the positions possible with a PhD in Psychology include:

  • Educational consultant
  • Researcher
  • Political strategist
  • Professor

A psychology PhD can also prepare you to work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Social service agencies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Government agencies
  • Healthcare organizations

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

1Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Based on the most recent year of completions survey data available, using CIP code 42.01 “Doctorate degree - Psychology, General.” Available at (Retrieved January 2021; may consist of or include provisional release data.)

Note on Licensure:
The PhD in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

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; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.