2021 Part Time PsyD Programs [Doctor of Psychology]

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A number of universities now offer part time PsyD programs that may allow you to earn your degree according to your own schedule.

PsyD Programs

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With a PsyD, you may advance your career in the field of psychology and even qualify for psychology licensure.

Part-Time PsyD Programs

Doctor of Psychology

With a PsyD, you may pursue a career in psychology. This professional doctorate may build upon your undergraduate or masters degree to advance your knowledge and expertise in this field.

You may earn your part time PsyD either online or in person on a traditional campus. If you attend a part time doctorate program that’s on campus, your classes may be at night or on the weekends. If you choose to enroll in a part time online program, you may have additional flexibility and can often take classes according to your own schedule.

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PsyD programs may include courses on child, adolescent, and adult development as well as case conceptualization. You may also complete an internship in the field, where you may work under supervision to gain experience. The final task of your doctorate may be a dissertation.

With the completion of a PsyD program, you may qualify for psychology licensure and likely increase your earning potential.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time PsyD Programs

If you are considering getting your PsyD, you can attend either part time or full time, depending on where you enroll. There are many program options available with various factors to consider.

Enrollment

Psychology students in university

Both full time and part time graduate school programs may have online and on-campus options. For a part-time program, traditional on-campus classes are often on weekends or evenings to allow you to have more flexibility with your schedule.

An online program may offer even more flexibility, as you can often access your classes any time of the day or night that’s most convenient to you. Part-time PsyD programs let students enroll in fewer classes each semester. The number of classes may range, depending on the program, but it will not be a full course load.

Full time students, on the other hand, must take on a full course load each semester to maintain their full-time status.

Time to Completion

psychology student studying online

Enrolling in a doctorate program part time means that it will likely take longer to complete the program. As a part time student, the number of courses you take is up to you. It can extend a 3 to 5 year program to 6 or more years, depending on where you enroll.

Full time enrollment is often a faster route to graduation since you are taking more credits each semester. Some online programs, though, may allow you to speed up the graduation process with 8 week classes and year-round enrollment.

Likewise, if your doctoral program requires an undergraduate degree in the field, you may want to consider earning one of the fast track online psychology degrees offered by some universities.

Pros and Cons

Part-Time PsyD Programs Full-Time PsyD Programs
Pros
  • Lesser cost per semester
  • More lenient pace
  • More time to work or maintain other responsibilities
  • Shorter time to complete degree
  • More opportunities to network
  • More likely to qualify for financial aid opportunities
Cons
  • May take more time to complete degree
  • May have fewer financial aid options
  • Full time commitment may make it difficult to also work
  • Higher cost per semester

PsyD Careers & Salaries

PsyD Careers & Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are many career paths that you can go into within psychology with a PsyD.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Psychologists, All Other $105,780
Psychologists, Government Positions $100,360
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists $96,270
Psychologists, Hospital Positions $90,640
Sociologists $86,110
Psychologists, Ambulatory Healthcare Services $85,970
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists $79,820
Postsecondary Psychology Teachers $78,180
Psychologists, Elementary and Secondary Schools $77,560
Training and Development Specialists $62,700

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for psychologists is $82,180. Those with a doctoral degree in an applied specialty may have the best job prospects.

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While postsecondary teachers often have a PhD, you may still teach at a postsecondary institution with a PsyD, especially if you’re teaching applied skills.

PsyD Curriculum & Courses

Psychologist with mother and child

A PsyD program has a robust curriculum filled with courses and internships. Courses vary by university, but they may include:

  • Child and Adolescent Development: You’ll learn about the developmental processes that occur in childhood all the way through adolescence.
  • Clinical Internship: Your internship places you at a site with supervision and allows you to gain experience in the field.
  • Consultation and Supervision: This course gives you the tools you will need to do consultations and supervisions when you are working as a psychologist.
  • History and Systems of Psychology: This course goes into the history of psychology and how it grew to what the field is today.
  • Professional Ethics: This class teaches about the ethics of being a psychologist and discusses common ethical issues that psychologists encounter.
  • Adult Development: During this course, you can learn how human functioning works in adults.
  • Dissertation: A dissertation is a detailed research-based paper that you must propose, research, complete, and defend. It supports your candidacy for your doctoral degree.
  • Advanced Topics in Professional Psychology: This course introduces students to the clinical and research aspects of advanced concepts and skills related to professional roles in psychology.
  • Principles and Methods of Assessment: Assessing a case is the first step in deciding the tools you will use to help your patient. This course goes into the principles and methods of that assessment.
  • Group Counseling: As a psychologist, you may do individual, couple, or group counseling. This course help equip you with the tools to hold group counseling sessions.

These are only some of the courses and clinical work that you may encounter during your doctoral program.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologists in meeting

Clinical psychologists may work with individuals or groups who have mental health disorders. If you are interested in becoming a licensed psychologist, you can follow these steps:

  • Undergraduate degree. Get your bachelors degree.
  • Apply for doctoral program. Apply for full-time or part-time enrollment in a PsyD or PhD in Psychology program.
  • Choose a specialty. During your coursework, you may choose whether you want to learn within general clinical psychology programs or within a specialty.
  • Earn doctorate. Complete your coursework and internship requirements.
  • EPPP exam. Most state licensing boards require that you pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
  • Supervised hours. Complete the amount of supervised hours required by your state licensing board.

Upon fulfilling all of your state licensing board’s requirements, you may gain your license to become a clinical psychologist. You may work as a clinical psychologist in many different settings. You may work in a hospital or a school or even start your own practice.

Admissions Requirements

Psychology student studying in library

When applying for PsyD programs, there are a variety of admissions requirements you may encounter. The requirements vary by school, but they may include:

  • Undergraduate degree. Many PsyD programs require a bachelor’s degree from a 4 year, regionally accredited institution. Some programs may also require a master’s degree in a similar field or program.
  • GPA requirement. Some programs require a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 or higher from your previous programs.
  • Personal essay. When applying for a PsyD program, you might be required to write a personal essay based on your experience or your desire to join the program.
  • Letters of recommendation. Collecting letters of recommendation from prior mentors, teachers, and employers may boost your application.

These requirements might be required of you in addition to the application. Every school is different but will generally list admissions requirements on their website.

Accreditation

PsyD Programs Accreditation

When figuring out what program to get your degree in, regional accreditation is one factor you may want to consider. Regional accreditation is the recognition of a university’s high educational standard.

Accreditation legitimizes your degree, so getting your degree from an accredited school may help your job prospects. Most school websites have information about their accreditation status. You can also check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to find out if the programs you are interested in are accredited.

It may also be beneficial for your doctoral program in clinical psychology to be APA accredited, especially if you plan to pursue psychology licensure.

PsyD Licensure and Certifications

clinical psychologists in meeting

PsyD licensure and certification requirements may vary by state. You can still have a career in the field of psychology without a license, but a license is required if you want to be a clinical psychologist.

If you want to become a licensed psychologist, an APA accredited PsyD or PhD in Psychology is often required. You may have to complete an internship during your doctoral program as well.

Once you have your doctorate, you can apply to your state’s board of psychology for your license and fulfill their specific requirements. Each state typically requires a certain amount of supervised practice hours. That amount may range from 1,000 to 4,000 hours.

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Depending on the state, a portion of your supervised hours can happen while you are getting your degree while the rest must be done after you graduate. Some states may allow your doctoral internship to encompass some of your supervised practice hours.

Each state has different licensing exams that you take once the other requirements are fulfilled. Once you have fulfilled your state board’s licensing requirements and are a licensed psychologist, you may choose to continue on to earn a Board certification in a psychology specialty area.

A certification may help you stand out as a professional specialist in a specific psychology field.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

PsyD Programs Financial Aid

For full-time and part-time doctoral degree programs in psychology, there are a few financial aid options you may qualify for:

  • Graduate assistantships. Graduate assistantships are provided per department and are based on merit. There are teaching, research, and lecturer assistantships. They often provide a tuition waiver or stipend.
  • Federal and state aid. Federal aid and state aid commonly come in the form of loans and grants. To apply, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Scholarships and grants. Need-based or merit-based scholarships and grants can range in amount and may be awarded by businesses and organizations as well as universities.
  • Fellowships. Fellowships can include a scholarship and can be used to fund research or other work projects.

If you are working while earning your PsyD part time, you may also see if your employer offers any tuition programs or scholarships for employees who are furthering their education.

What Is a PsyD?

Psychologist with patient during consultation

PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology. This is a professional doctorate that helps prepare its graduates for careers in psychology.

A PsyD program can take a few years to complete, depending on if you enroll full-time or part-time. This type of doctoral program will often include courses, an internship, and a dissertation or capstone project.

This doctoral program can help you advance your knowledge in psychology and apply your learned skills to counsel individuals, groups, and organizations.

Is a PsyD a Doctor?

Psychologist with patient

Yes, someone with a PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology. Having a doctoral degree, though, does not make someone a medical doctor (MD).

A PsyD cannot prescribe medication, but a medical doctor can. A medical doctor goes to medical school and has a different education and route to licensure that allows them to treat patients with medicine.

A Doctor of Psychology may become a licensed psychologist if they choose to work in a clinical capacity.

Do You Need a Masters to Get a PsyD?

Whether or not you need a master’s degree to get your PsyD depends on the university. What you can do with a bachelor’s in psychology is a bit more limited as some university programs require a masters degree in a related field. However, some universities may let you start your doctorate degree right after you have completed your bachelors.

Others may even offer combined masters and PsyD programs, letting you earn both degrees in less time than if you earn each separately.

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The admission criteria varies by university. When looking at programs to apply to, you may want to check their admission requirements to see whether or not a masters is needed to apply. This information is often readily available on schools’ websites or by contacting their admissions offices.

Can You Get a PsyD Part Time?

Many assume that getting your doctorate requires a full-time commitment, but a growing number of schools now offer part time PsyD programs.

The flexibility of a part time program may make obtaining your PsyD more accessible. With taking fewer classes at a time, you may be able to keep working, taking care of family, or maintaining other responsibilities. If you are considering getting your PsyD part time, you may talk to your university to see what part time options they offer.

Are PsyD Programs Hard to Get Into?

PsyD Programs student

Requirements for admittance into a PsyD program can vary by university. Some universities require GRE scores, an interview, and letters of recommendation while others do not. Some universities require a masters degree while others do not.

Whether the program is difficult to get into depends on the particular program as well as your expectations. Some universities request a written personal essay to better to get to know you, your goals, what you hope to get out of the program, and what you think you can contribute to the program.

The more you familiarize yourself with your prospective schools admissions requirements, the more prepared you may feel as you gather the necessary materials.

Can You Work While Getting a PsyD?

Psychologist with child during consultation

Yes, you may be able to work while getting a PsyD, especially if you opt for a part time program. Working towards your PsyD part time may allow you to have more flexibility when it comes to choosing your schedule and making it work around your job.

Part time PsyD programs that take place on campus will often have weekend or night classes available. Online programs, whether full-time or part-time, are often the most flexible option, depending on your preferences.

What Can You Do with a PsyD?

School psychologist with student

A PsyD may lead to a few different careers. Common careers for PsyD graduates include psychologist, school or career counselors, marriage and family therapists, and postsecondary teachers.

Licensed psychologists study groups or individuals, including their social processes, thought processes, emotions, and behavior. Psychologists then use their observations to see how those individuals or groups relate to others as well as their environment.

Within psychology, there are many specialized careers that a PsyD can lead to. Health psychology, neuropsychology, and child psychology are just a few specialties within this field.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PsyD?

PsyD student

A PsyD program generally takes between 3 to 5 years to complete when enrolled full-time. If you are a part time student, it may take longer. Part time students may take 6 or more years to complete their PsyD programs.

How long it takes you to earn your degree depends on how many credits you are able to take each semester. Some online programs offer 8 week terms that may allow you to finish more quickly if you stay enrolled year-round.

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Part time PsyD programs are generally flexible, allowing you to earn your degree at a pace that works for you.

What’s the Difference Between a PsyD vs. PhD in Psychology?

A PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology, and a PhD in Psychology is a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. These two psychology doctorates share similarities as well as differences.

PsyD PhD in Psychology
Curriculum Greater emphasis on practical skills and clinical work Greater emphasis on research
Student Cohort Much larger student cohort, possibly up to 100 Much smaller number of students, generally 10 or less
Completion Time Lesser completion time than PhD More completion time than PsyD, with extensive research required
Career Options Usually more clinically focused, such as licensed psychologist Usually more research-based or academic focused but can also become licensed psychologist

In so far as enrollment, you can attend part time psychology PhD programs as well as part time Psy.D. programs. The main difference between a PsyD and a PhD in Psychology is that the PhD program is more research-based.

This affects factors such as how long it may take to complete the program as well as the types of careers that the degree holder might pursue.

Is a PsyD Worth It?

Psychologist in office

Yes, a PsyD is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, community and social service jobs are set to grow at 12% over the next 10 years, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Common PsyD careers in this field include psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, postsecondary teachers, and school counselors.

Some of these careers require a doctorate and additional licensure, such as a clinical psychologist. For careers that only require a bachelors or masters degree, you may obtain a higher starting salary or acquire a management position with a professional doctorate.

Universities Offering Online Doctor of Psychology Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Alliant International University

Alliant International University

The PsyD in Educational Psychology from Alliant International University is an opportunity for students to pursue a career in helping others through strong leadership, evaluations, and research-based treatment plans. This degree has two paths for students to take. One approach is the School Psychology Track, and the other is the School Counseling Track.

Alliant International University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

California Southern University

California Southern University

California Southern University’s Doctor of Psychology degree program engages students in practical applications and theoretical methodologies in the industry. Students completing this program can apply for licensure as clinical psychologists. Communication, assessment, and cultural impact are some of the concepts taught in this program.

California Southern University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

Capella University

Capella University

Capella University’s Doctor in School Psychology blends coursework, internships, and clinical experience to give students a well-rounded education. Graduates can take on a supervisory role in schools, colleges, and other educational facilities. This program is offered online and on-campus.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Touro University Worldwide

Touro University Worldwide

Completing a Doctor of Psychology in Human and Organizational Psychology at Touro University Worldwide equips professionals with the tools needed to stand out in the business world.

Students will learn how to turn problems into solutions and how to increase efficiency and effectiveness in their profession. This program takes 66 credits to complete and can be finished in 3 years.

Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Walden University

Walden University

Walden University’s PsyD in Behavioral Health Leadership allows students to advance their leadership skills and improve the mental and behavioral branch of the healthcare industry.

This program can be completed online and offers six specialization areas for students to choose from, including international practice, public health, teaching, and more. Two residencies are required.

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Part Time PsyD Online

PsyD Online

If you’re interested in human behavior and helping others, then you may consider a career in the field of psychology.

Earning your PsyD online may allow you to gain expertise in this field and help you qualify for psychology licensure according to your own schedule. There are part time programs available on campus as well as online. With part time options, you may choose the pace of your own studies.

If you’re interested in furthering your education and career in the field of psychology, you can begin exploring accredited universities today.

Ready to start your journey?
Joanna Smykowski
WRITTEN BY
Joanna Smykowski
Joanna has a Juris Doctor degree from the CUNY School of Law and earned her Bachelor's in Communications from St. John's University. Joanna is a licensed New York State attorney and she focuses her research and writing on current trends in higher education.