Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

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Updated January 4, 2023

Looking for the best Doctorate Degree in Psychology in Virginia? You should consider these top-tier PhD programs and jobs in the psychology field.

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Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

Earning a Doctoral Degree in Psychology in Virginia

Our list of schools that offer the right balance between academic prestige and flexibility will help you find the best degree programs in Virginia for psychology. After earning a doctoral degree, graduates can pursue diverse career paths. Doctoral students gain the skills required to move forward in their field.

For those with a doctoral degree, unemployment is at 1.5%, versus 6.2% for those with a high school diploma.

Psychology PhD Programs for You

Working and Living in Virginia in the Psychology Profession

In order to earn a degree in psychology, students must complete a number of common courses. These include classes on research methods, human development, abnormal psychology, and statistics. In addition, students must also complete a practicum or internship in order to gain experience working with clients. After completing a psychology degree, many graduates go on to work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, private practices, and businesses. Common jobs for psychology graduates include psychotherapist, counselor, teacher, and researcher.

The state's median annual wage is $47,200, or $22.69 per hour. This number includes the total of 3,753,230 employees in Virginia. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the lowest-earning 10% of people make $23,190 annually and the highest 10% make $125,820 per year. The following shows the earnings for psychologists in Virginia compared to other states.

Key

Psychologists in Virginia
Psychologists Nationally
All Occupations in Virginia
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Psychologists in Virginia and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Based on the cost of living index, Virginia is ranked number 32 out of 51 states (including Washington D.C.) on the list of states with the lowest cost of living. There is a cost of living index that measures the average cost of living in specific states of the country. The U.S. average is based on 100, with all locations in the U.S. either exceeding (more expensive) or falling below (less expensive) that average. In comparison with the national average, Virginia's cost of living index is 103.2, which is 3.2% higher. Learners interested in relocating to Virginia can use the cost of living comparison to determine the right fit for their situation.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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There is a projected 2% growth in the psychology profession over the next decade. Based on BLS projections, the total employment in the occupation will change from 55,200 in 2020 to 56,300 by 2030. Having a doctoral degree is sufficient to qualify for these positions. The most common job titles are:

Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

#1 Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

University of Virginia-Main Campus

  • Charlottesville, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The Ph.D. in psychology program at University of Virginia-Main Campus enrolls online learners. With its flexible format, the public university helps degree-seekers complete a doctorate. Enrollees receive research support and participate in scholarly events.

Doctoral candidates pass comprehensive examinations and conduct research for their dissertation. Graduates with a doctorate in psychology may work in academic, research, and industry positions.

The accredited institution meets federal requirements for financial aid support. Contact the program to learn about the application process and start dates.

University of Virginia-Main Campus at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 2,601

Online Master's Programs: 8

Online Doctoral Programs: 1

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,578

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,772
Out-of-state
$49,819
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
23%
Students Enrolled
25,628
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • Blacksburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online Ph.D. in psychology program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ranks among the best in its field. With its flexible format, the public university helps degree-seekers complete a doctorate. Learners receive library access, research support, and career services.

The program requires passing scores on a comprehensive examination and the successful defense of an original dissertation project. As the terminal degree in psychology, the doctoral program trains graduates for roles in academia, research, and industry.

Doctoral students qualify for several forms of financial aid at the accredited institution. Contact the program to learn more about doctoral admission requirements.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 11,760

Online Master's Programs: 9

Online Doctoral Programs: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,701

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,420
Out-of-state
$29,960
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
37,024
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

James Madison University

  • Harrisonburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Doctoral students seeking an online program benefit from the Psy.D. in psychology program at James Madison University. At the public institution, degree-seekers complete a doctorate in a flexible environment. Doctoral students receive research support and participate in scholarly events.

After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates complete a dissertation that contributes original research to the field. As the highest degree in psychology, the doctorate trains graduates for academic, research, and leadership careers.

Doctoral students who enroll online at the accredited institution qualify for fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid. Contact the program to learn about financial aid opportunities, admission requirements, and start dates.

James Madison University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,832

Online Master's Programs: 3

Online Doctoral Programs: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,848

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,250
Out-of-state
$23,564
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
21,594
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Richmond, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The Ph.D. in psychology program at Virginia Commonwealth University appeals to doctoral students seeking an online route to their degree. With flexible enrollment options, the public school helps degree-seekers earn a doctorate. Learners receive research support, library access, and career advising.

The program also requires passing scores on a comprehensive examination and the successful defense of an original dissertation project. A doctorate may lead to job opportunities in research, academia, and leadership.

Online doctoral students at the accredited institution pay for their degree with scholarships, fellowships, and loans. Contact the program for more information about financial aid and the admission process.

Virginia Commonwealth University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 9,276

Online Master's Programs: 16

Online Doctoral Programs: 5

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,701

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,179
Out-of-state
$32,827
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
29,070
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Doctoral Degrees in Psychology in Virginia

George Mason University

  • Fairfax, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The Ph.D. in psychology program at George Mason University appeals to doctoral students seeking an online route to their degree. At the public university, degree-seekers engage in online classes to earn a doctorate. Enrollees conduct research and participate in academic conferences.

After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates conduct research for their dissertation. With a doctorate in psychology, graduates can pursue academic, research, and industry roles.

Doctoral students attending the accredited institution online qualify for several forms of financial aid. Contact the program for information about research support and financial aid.

George Mason University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 12,614

Online Master's Programs: 14

Online Doctoral Programs: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,144

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,510
Out-of-state
$32,970
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
38,541
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Doctoral Degree in Psychology

College costs can be offset by a variety of financial aid programs. Opportunities for financial aid include scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Along with scholarships and grants, some students qualify for federal and private student loans. A college's financial aid office is a great resource for applicants who need help determining their eligibility for aid.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Virginia

Each college in Virginia charges a different tuition fee. There are some similarities that exist among institutions in both the public and private sectors. Take a look at the information below to decide whether attending a public institution is right for you.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Virginia vs. National Average

Key

Virginia
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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How about attending a private university? There is usually a higher cost associated with private colleges. Here is a graph that provides information about attending private colleges in Virginia.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Virginia vs. National Average

Key

Virginia
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Are you considering taking out student loans to fund your education? You should consider certain things before taking out a loan.

Take a look at the data below to determine how much students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The main difference between an online degree and a degree completed on campus is the amount of money you pay and the class sizes. Obtaining an online degree program has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. Due to on-campus fees and the fact that distance learners can choose whether or not to pay those fees, on-campus degrees are generally more expensive. However, in-person classes provide many advantages that can't be found elsewhere.

Top Psychology Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, phD
Florida Bachelors, Masters, phD
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
Illinois Bachelors, Masters, phD
New York Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
North Carolina Bachelors, Masters, phD
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters
Washington Bachelors, Masters, phD

Private vs. Public

Private colleges and public colleges differ in a number of ways. There are many factors that will determine how much it will cost for you to attend either a public or private school. For students at public universities, grants and scholarships help them lower the cost of tuition and fees. Students attending private schools are often eligible for merit scholarships.

Students attending private colleges are often able to have more one-on-one time with their professors. A comparison of the pros and cons of attending a public versus a private institution is offered below.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the salaries of psychologists in the state of Virginia?

Psychologists make a mean annual salary of $104,670 in Virginia.

In general, are psychology graduates in high demand?

The total number of psychologists is projected to increase by 2% from 2020 to 2030.

Are there any opportunities to earn a doctoral degree in psychology online?

A doctoral degree in psychology can be obtained online. As part of their program offerings, most schools now deliver at least some online courses.

How long does it take for you to complete a doctoral degree?

The average completion time for a doctoral degree is 4-6 years. There will be a difference in completion times between part-time and full-time students.

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