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.
For career information, skip down:
- What Else can I Expect from an Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Program?
- Accreditation for Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Degrees
- Employment Outlook for Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Graduates
- Paying for Your Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology
The Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Programs
1. Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, California
Touro University Worldwide offers academic programs grounded in social justice and lifelong learning. This university's online Ph.D. in human and organizational psychology allows students to earn their degree entirely online with no residency requirements. Suitable for professionals with career interests in research, education, or consulting, this degree uses a scaffolding model to guide its curriculum. Students begin the program by engaging in theoretical coursework that provides a foundation for research and applied practice courses.
Examples of course topics include the psychology of human resource management and the scholar practitioner model. The remainder of the curriculum focuses on a dissertation. Students eligible for this online Ph.D. in psychology program have a master's degree from an accredited university and a graduate GPA of 3.4 or better. GRE scores are not required.
Touro University Worldwide is regionally accredited from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
2. California Southern University
Los Alamitos, California
California Southern University initiated its distance education programs in 1978 and continues to offer students a convenient and personalized learning experience. The university features a flexible PsyD online program that prepares students for clinical practice. One of the most pursued through Cal State, this degree consists of 66 credits, 30 of which may be transferred from another institution. Full-time students earn their degree in four years and complete an optional internship in their local community.
This program's curriculum contains 33 core credits, 18 elective credits, and 14 credits of doctoral research requirements. Students must pass a comprehensive exam prior to graduation that is worth one credit. Core coursework emphasizes a practitioner model with topics in areas such as theories of personality and psychopharmacology.
California Southern University is regionally accredited from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
3. Saybrook University
Emphasizing a humanistic approach to understanding psychology, Saybrook University began offering academic programs in 1971. Saybrook's Ph.D. in psychology online features a curriculum consisting of 68-83 credits and includes four concentration options in areas such as creativity studies or psychophysiology. While this program does not lead to clinical licensure, students gain the skills needed to pursue careers in consulting, education, and community outreach.
Students complete several courses that focus on humanistic psychology, including one examining the relationship between consciousness and spirituality and their place in integrative health. Although students complete the majority of their degree online, this program features some face-to-face requirements, including a new student orientation and two week-long residential conferences each academic year.
Saybrook University is regionally accredited from the Senior Commission of Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
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
- Organizational Psychology: This course prepares students to work with businesses to enhance work environments through the use of psychological principles. Topics include group dynamics, personality traits, and communication across organizational levels. Students examine multicultural issues in the workplace and develop strategies that promote conflict resolution and improved communication.
- Psychopharmacology: In addition to examining the ethical and cultural issues surrounding psychopharmacology, this course covers the neurological effects of pharmaceutical use. Students explore side effects, drug interactions, and the various types of medication used to treat mental illnesses. This is an essential course for students planning any kind of clinical practice.
- Psychophysiology: This course examines human behavior from a biological perspective. Students explore the relationship between the brain and behaviors, and acquire knowledge of neurological processes and biofeedback techniques. Students also interpret psychophysiological research and integrate it with theories of psychology. With an understanding of psychophysiology, students qualify for careers in clinical practice and research.
- Research Methods: In this course, students interpret research in the field and develop their own research projects. The course emphasizes the use of appropriate statistical methods to analyze data. Students gain skills in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research design, which prepares them for careers in research and consultation.
- Theories of Personality: This course familiarizes students with historical and contemporary theories of personality. Students examine modern approaches to psychotherapy and use theoretical knowledge to conceptualize human behavior. This course provides a foundation for advanced scientific inquiry and clinical practice, and online Psy.D programs often include it in their core curriculum.
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.
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 (DOE) 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 DOE 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 DOE and CHEA serve in an oversight capacity, they also advocate for consumers through the enforcement of quality control regulations. Both the DOE 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.
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.
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%
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%
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%
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%
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.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Entry-Level Employees||Mid-Career Employees||Late-Career Employees|
|Human Resources Consultant||$70,888||$60,000||$74,000||$100,000|
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.
- American Psychological Association (APA): The nation's leader among professional psychology organizations, the APA advances the psychology profession and the practical application of psychological tools in the daily lives of individuals around the world.
- American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP): Founded in 1947 with support from the APA, ABPP protects the public by ensuring that psychologists demonstrate clinical standards prior to licensure. In addition to certification, this organization hosts conferences and offers continuing education programs.
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP): SIOP provides several resources for industrial and organizational psychologists and educators. A division of the APA, this organization features a job forum, a publication database, and research grants.
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.