The Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Degree Programs

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As businesses seek to develop better processes and greater efficiency, organizational psychologists use tools and principles from psychology to improve communication and enhance working environments. An online Ph.D. in organizational psychology blends the theoretical coursework of a traditional graduate psychology degree with applied theory. With positions available in fields like corporate communications and education, an online doctorate in organizational psychology prepares graduates to work with companies in just about every industry.

Now is a terrific time to consider a graduate degree in psychology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to generate 189,600 new positions by 2026. With an estimated growth rate twice the national average, psychologists can expect diverse employment opportunities and strong job security over the next decade.

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The Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Degree Programs

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What Else can I Expect from an Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Program?

Online psychology doctorate degree programs prepare graduates for careers as practitioners, researchers, and consultants. Frequently required courses, such as the ones described below, emphasize theoretical and applied knowledge. Although courses vary from program to program, students can expect to complete some version of the following classes.

Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology?

Students complete their Ph.D. in psychology online in approximately five years. Programs that require an internship typically take six years to complete while those that don't generally require only four years in school. Most programs consist of approximately 60 credits with the final credits of the program comprised of dissertation and fieldwork hours. Your completion time will also vary based on elective requirements and whether you enroll full-time or part-time.

Online doctoral programs in psychology may also vary in their program structure. While some programs allow students to earn their degree at their own pace, other programs use a cohort learning model. Cohort programs admit a select number of students once or twice a year, and follow a structured program schedule while advancing together as they earn their degree. Students in cohorts also benefit from deeper group interactions and interpersonal communication. Conversely, students enrolled in individually-paced programs follow a personalized plan of study and may take time off between semesters if necessary.

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Accreditation for Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Degrees

Accreditation ensures that schools provide a quality education by adhering to a set of accreditor-approved regulations and standards. The most common type of accreditation in the U.S. is regional. Regionally accredited schools emphasize a strong liberal arts foundation and are typically nonprofit private and public state-funded institutions. Conversely, nationally accredited schools are commonly for-profit colleges that provide vocational training. While both accreditation types are recognized by the Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), many universities only accept credits earned from regionally accredited schools. Additionally, schools may also acquire accreditation through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, an organization that specializes in the accreditation of online programs.

When selecting a graduate program, online psychology doctoral students should seek APA-accredited online Psy.D programs. The American Psychological Association's accreditation process ensures that psychology programs adequately prepare students for licensure while also providing quality assurance for consumers.

All accrediting agencies are recognized through the ED and CHEA. These organizations require accrediting bodies to engage in ongoing reviews in order to ensure that accreditors hold schools accountable for the standards stipulated in the accreditation process. Not only do the ED and CHEA serve in an oversight capacity, they also advocate for consumers through the enforcement of quality control regulations. Both the ED and CHEA operate databases that list all accredited schools and programs in the United States. Students may find these compilations helpful as they evaluate prospective online Psy.D programs.

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Employment Outlook for Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Graduates

Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Careers

Graduates with a Ph.D. in psychology online have several marketable skills that prepare them for careers in fields like psychology, education, corporate consultation, and administration. Psychologists and similar professionals often have the freedom to create their own work schedules, and nearly a quarter of psychologists are self-employed. Professionals employed in the following occupations rely on their skills in analysis, observation, and communication. They are effective problem solvers and rely on compassion and patience to help facilitate change.

  1. Psychologist: Psychologists carry out different tasks depending on their speciality. Many psychologists work in clinical settings, helping clients overcome emotional difficulties and equipping them with tools to confront problems. Other job duties include conducting research, developing assessments, and supervising students and new professionals.
    • Median Annual Salary: $75,230
    • Projected Growth Rate: 14%
  2. Rehabilitation Counselor: Tasked with helping mentally, physically, and emotionally disabled clients become self-sustaining, rehabilitation counselors serve as therapists, advocates, and intermediaries. An advanced degree in counseling or psychology equips these professionals with skills needed for treatment planning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the administration of assessments.
    • Median Annual Salary: $34,670
    • Projected Growth Rate: 13%
  3. Postsecondary Teacher: Earning an online doctorate in psychology allows professionals to teach at the graduate level. Postsecondary teachers instruct courses, provide student support, create lesson plans, and grade assignments. In addition to instructional responsibilities, postsecondary teachers help students develop a plan of study and often serve on dissertation committees.
    • Median Annual Salary: $75,430
    • Projected Growth Rate: 15%
  4. Postsecondary Education Administrator: This occupation typically requires a master's degree for career entry positions. A Ph.D. in psychology online allows professionals to advance to higher levels of college administration, which often include developing school policies, creating programs to assist students, and overseeing student organizations.
    • Median Annual Salary: $90,760
    • Projected Growth Rate: 10%
  5. Training and Development Specialist: Organizational Ph.D. psychology online programs prepare graduates for careers as training and development specialists. These professionals work with organizations to improve employee productivity and job satisfaction. They assess current employee practices, develop and implement training programs, and provide personalized support as employees acquire new skills.
    • Median Annual Salary: $59,020
    • Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Salary

Using data from PayScale, the table below lists salary trends for five careers commonly pursued by graduates with an online Ph.D. in psychology. All five of these careers feature entry level salaries above $50,000.

Organizational Psychology Careers by Experience
Job Title Overall Median Salary Entry-Level Employees Mid-Career Employees Late-Career Employees
Psychologist $74,066 $65,000 $80,000 $98,000
Clinical Psychologist $75,196 $69,000 $78,000 $94,000
Human Resources Consultant $70,888 $60,000 $74,000 $100,000
Postsecondary Professor $87,552 $60,000 $71,000 $99,000
Scientific Researcher $62,692 $51,000 $60,000 $93,000

Organizational Psychology Professional Organizations

Students pursuing their Psy.D online can enhance their education by joining a professional organization. These organizations allow students to network at professional conferences, access the latest scholarly publications, and feature job forums and continuing education programs. Additionally, Psy.D programs online often require students to secure liability insurance prior to completing an internship, and these organizations allow students to acquire that insurance at a reduced price.

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Paying for Your Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology

Online Psy.D programs may seem expensive at first glance, but students can pursue a variety of financial aid opportunities to ease the burden of tuition. One of the most common ways students meet tuition costs is through federally funded programs. The Department of Education provides loans, work study programs, and grants for qualifying students. Students should take the initial step toward acquiring federal aid by completing the FAFSA, a free online application for federal student aid. Completing the FAFSA determines a student's eligibility for loans and other types of federal assistance.

When taking on student loans, students should select a federal loan before considering a private loan. Federal student loans feature low interest rates, deferment while in school, and income-based repayment plans that make them the best choice for students. Furthermore, professionals who meet certain employment requirements may be eligible for loan forgiveness. Teachers and other public service workers employed by the government or nonprofit organizations may receive full loan forgiveness.

In addition to federal aid, many organizations, schools, and private sponsors offer scholarships. These monetary gifts allow students to reduce their out-of-pocket costs without repaying a cent of the scholarship awarded. The American Psychological Association offers scholarships, grants, and research funding to psychology students.

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