Gain the advanced insights and knowledge to positively impact lives with a PhD in Psychology from Walden.

With a focus on your post-graduation success, our online doctorate in psychology program can empower you to excel as a researcher, educator, or consultant. The PhD in Psychology is the highest level of graduate degree in the field. It’s geared toward those who wish to teach in academia or contribute original research to the field.

Why Pursue Your Online PhD in Psychology With Walden?

  • Gain sought-after competencies that can give you a career advantage: Develop advanced skills that are important to today’s organizations, such as teaching, research, consulting, and program evaluation.
  • Acquire hands-on training through an in-class practicum: Choose either the teaching or research practicum. The research practicum allows you to do a mini research study prior to your dissertation. In the teaching practicum, a virtual reality classroom allows you to further develop your instructional skills via realistic, interactive scenarios.
  • Build confidence for your dissertation: Embedded dissertation support starting early in your program positions you for success. This includes a built-in course to refresh fundamental research skills.
  • Get expert, one-on-one guidance from faculty: Prior to starting your prospectus, you’re assigned a chair who works with you to smoothly transition from coursework to your dissertation.
  • Pursue your PhD with or without a master’s degree: Choose from bachelor’s- or master’s-level entry points. Our doctoral program offers foundational psychology courses, making it accessible to individuals entering the program with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s in an unrelated field. If you have a master’s in a related field,1 you may be eligible to waive up to five courses,2 shortening your time to the dissertation phase of your program.

Walden Facts

Walden is the No. 1 granter of doctoral research degrees.3
Our faculty includes more than 300 honorees for excellence in teaching and mentorship

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 path to your PhD in Psychology, you will be eligible for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of certain program requirements, prior to completion of 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.

Save Time and Money on Your Degree

Walden offers a fast-track degree completion option that allows you to accelerate your doctoral coursework. Take additional courses and begin your dissertation early to expedite your path.

The ability to transfer credit at Walden can give you a more seamless and cost-effective way to continue your education. Complete your required coursework sooner by transferring applicable graduate credits into Walden’s PhD in Psychology program.

PhD in Psychology Specializations

Educational Psychology


This PhD in Psychology specialization focuses on classic educational psychology theory and how to use testing and measurement, with emphasis on adult learners.

Learn More

Broaden Your Impact

Transform countless lives—and the psychology field at large—by gaining next-level skills in research, consulting, teaching, and program evaluation. Tailor your coursework to the career you want with one of six specializations that combine classic theory with current application. Receive rigorous dissertation support from early on in your program, giving you an edge in completing your degree.

Learning Outcomes

As graduates of this program, students will be able to:

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

What’s the Career Impact of Earning a PhD in Psychology?

Master Skills That Can Transform Lives

Earning a “Dr.” in front of your name can open doors you never imagined. Achieve more credibility, respect, and influence and go further in your career. Whether you want to teach the next generation of psychology professionals or add to the field’s body of knowledge, Walden’s PhD in Psychology prepares you to make a difference.

What Can I Do With a PhD in Psychology?

By earning your PhD in Psychology at Walden, you’ll acquire lifelong skills for critical thinking, information gathering, inquiry, problem solving, advanced/academic writing, and innovation. Gain the real-world training and insights to change lives and make valuable contributions to government, nonprofit, and private organizations.

Your career options, depending on your specialization, may include:

  • Researcher
  • Consultant/subject matter expert
  • Teacher/professor
  • Manager/director
  • Program evaluator

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

Enhance Your Earning Potential

According to PayScale, the average annual salary for a professional with a PhD in Psychology is $85,000. Average annual earnings vary by job title:4

  • Research scientist: $77,245
  • Professor, postsecondary/higher education: $87,939
  • Research director: $78,793
  • Technical subject matter expert: $101,757
  • Program evaluator: $56,344


Linford Pierson

Linford Pierson

PhD in Psychology Graduate
I use everything I learned at Walden on a regular basis, whether in my teaching, research, or clinical practice. My PhD was the linchpin that allowed me to do what I do now.
Walden made it possible for me to pursue my doctoral studies through the flexibility of online learning so I could complete my classes, my residencies, and my studies on my time.

I have recommended Walden to several colleagues over the years. The flexibility that Walden offers is great and it’s respected for its accreditation.

Timothy Barclay PhD in Psychology Graduate
Timothy Barclay
Ricky Gujral PhD in Psychology Graduate
Ricky Gujral
William Ragan MS and PhD Program Graduate
William Ragan

FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Psychology Program

1Master’s degree in Psychology. Students with related master’s degree (e.g. Counseling, Human Services, or Social Work) may transfer up to five courses as appropriate.

2PSYC 8252 Themes and Theories of Psychology, PSYC 8215 Lifespan Development, PSYC 8701 Culture and Psychology, RSCH 8110 Research Theory, Design, and Methods, RSCH 8210 Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

3Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Database (IPEDS). Retrieved July 2018; includes 2017 preliminary data and all classifications of instructional programs (CIP) codes. A doctoral research degree is a PhD or other doctoral degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include EdD, DMA, DBA, DSc, DA, DM, or others, as designated by the awarding institution.

4Source: PayScale, retrieved June 2019,  Doctorate (PhD), Psychology Degree and Average Program Evaluator Salary. National salary estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual salaries, and are subject to change.

Note on Licensure

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

Note: 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.

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Questions about our PhD in Psychology?
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