BEST DOCTORATE IN PSYCHOLOGY AND COUNSELING DEGREES ONLINE: STUDENTS BEFORE PROFITS AWARD 2019

This Online Doctorates in Psychology and Counseling Students Before Profits Award features 30 accredited nonprofit and public institutions of higher education offering fully online and online/hybrid programs of study leading to terminal level degrees in psychology, counseling, and related disciplines.  The award was created to promote nonprofit colleges and universities offering online degree programs that put students before profits and education before the bottom line.

For this 2019 edition of our Online Doctorates in Psychology and Counseling award winners, we selected online programs from accredited, nonprofit colleges and universities and have ranked the programs according to their affordability. Affordability has been determined utilizing each school’s per credit tuition rate for the individual programs. These tuition rates are run through a formula that compares the each school’s tuition rate to the other schools in the list as well as to another school that offers a similar degree program at the highest possible tuition rate we can find. Based upon these comparisons, our formula converts tuition rates into a score of 1-100 and our ranking is formed accordingly. Schools whose converted tuition scores are the same are ranked according to their actual tuition rates.

This ranking includes doctoral level programs in psychology as well as in counseling-related fields such as School Counseling Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy.  While this ranking represents a wide range of doctoral level academic programs, and not all included will qualify individuals as professional clinical psychologists, this does represent a fairly comprehensive collection of online and low-residency doctoral level programs for various areas of mental health practice.

As a fairly popular doctoral level discipline, many of these online psychology related degree programs will allow graduates to enter teaching careers in higher education. Working in academia allows for the conducting of individual research studies and thus is an attractive pathway for those interested in contributing to the growing body of knowledge around neuroscience, memory, behavior, cognition, and more. For those more interested in working in clinical settings, the Psy.D. programs may be a better choice than the Ph.D. as these programs tend to emphasize practical application over theory and research.

Psychology as an area of academic inquiry includes a wide range of schools of thought, and this ranking reflects that diversity.  Some programs included that fall on the higher end of the tuition scale offer unique programs of study emphasizing perspectives not available elsewhere.  Though these program are on the expensive side, we’ve included them here to represent a full range of possibilities for individuals seeking distance study programs for doctoral level study in  psychology or counseling professions.

#1. KEISER UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

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For an excellent online doctoral degree in psychology, Keiser University offers a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Founded in 1977, Keiser University began as a technical school in the town of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Then offering business and healthcare service training programs for the region’s growing workforce, the school rapidly grew, adding a wide range of new programs each year in areas that now span a comprehensive slate of offerings. In 2011 Keiser made the shift from a for-profit institution to a nonprofit institution when it was bought out by Everglades College. Keiser students have many opportunities to learn not only theory in the classroom, but experientially through hands-on experiences that support classroom learning.

Keiser’s online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology degree program is intended for experienced working professionals in mental health, business, and other disciplines that put to use the knowledge of organizational psychology.  The program enables students to contribute to the profession through independent learning, scholarship, and research. Students develop knowledge of research in topics including behavior, decision making, motivation, and more relating to aspects of business and industry that are affected by emotion. Additionally, students will develop original applied research that has potential to be utilized in the real world—particularly in settings where the discipline of psychology informs organizational decisions. Courses in the Ph.D. program are eight weeks in length, and students are scheduled for one or two courses concurrently. Dissertation courses are eight weeks in length, and students are scheduled for two dissertation courses per semester. Students will undertake the majority of coursework through an online platform that includes discussion forums and other types of mediated interactions between student colleagues and faculty.  This is augmented with short residency intensives on campus in Fort Lauderdale that provide students the opportunity to interact more directly with colleagues and peers to build cooperative skills and deeper experiences of shared learning.

Accreditation: Keiser University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 100

#2.  TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology

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Texas Tech University offers its Ph.D. in Educational Psychology as a hybrid program of study with convenient class meeting times and online coursework. The flagship of the Texas Tech system, TTU is located in Lubbock, TX. As central piece of its mission, Texas Tech is dedicated to vocation of teaching and to sharing knowledge to advance knowledge. As a flagship research school, TTU adheres to the highest possible standards of scholarship and provides its students a rich learning environment with opportunities to advance intellectually and personally while doing meaningful research and service work that impacts people locally, nationally, and globally. 

Texas Tech’s Ph.D. in Educational Psychology degree program is offered blended format that includes both online coursework and intensive residency periods on campus in Lubbock during summer semesters.  The program equips students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. Students will also learn to apply research skills to support development in educational practice with rooted understanding of social factors and a deep appreciation for diversity. An online Ph.D. program, this degree is will best serve students who aspire to work in academia or do independent scholarly research in the field of Educational Psychology in any number of professional settings. Students hone skills in writing and research throughout the program eventually authoring an original dissertation that is geared toward improving educational assessments the quality of education with sensitivity to the diversity of student bodies.

Accreditation: Texas Tech University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 98

#3. UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA MONROE

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

Louisiana Monroe

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Offering an entirely online Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, the University of Louisiana Monroe is a public University founded in 1931. The University of Louisiana at Monroe, is a member institution of the U of L System that comprises 9 independent institutions of higher learning across Louisiana. ULM prides itself on offering high-demand educational and experiential opportunities to meet the academic, cultural, vocational, social and personal needs of undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. ULM is often recognized as one of the more underrated higher ed institutions in Louisiana, offering high quality programs of study both on campus and online. The school enrolls over 8,500 students.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an online Ph.D in Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in Systemic Studies. The program heavily emphasizes theory and research and is specifically designed for professionals who aspire to the deepest level of study in the field of marriage and family therapy with the aim of advancing practice to improve outcomes of therapy. The curriculum for the program is delivered through an online platform in which students will engage in discussion and other learning experiences with colleagues and faculty. It requires between three and five years for completion depending on pace and how quickly the student is able to complete their original dissertation work. Coursework is developed in an interdisciplinary fashion and  aims to contribute to research around how creativity can contribute to systemic change. The program has a nonclinical focus and thus is designed more for those who seek academic faculty positions and positions as independent researchers in the field, but will not prepare students for MFT licensure. A minimum of 60 credits are required for completion.

Accreditation: ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 98

#4. UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA

Online Doctor of Education in Professional Counseling and Supervision

University of West Georgia

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The University of West Georgia’s Ed.D. in Professional Counseling and Supervision is a an excellent option for those seeking doctoral level work in Educational Counseling through a fully online program. Enrolling over 11,700 students, the University of West Georgia is a comprehensive university located in Carrollton, Georgia which offers extensive off campus study options in several locations throughout the state of Georia and at Georgia Highland College in Rome. UWG is committed to diversity and values community as it promotes growth and exploration beyond the bounds of limited possibility.

The University of West Georgia offers an online Doctor of Education in Professional Counseling and Supervision fully online. The program is designed for advanced counseling practitioners seeking to advance students careers as counselors through building on the knowledge they have already gleaned in prior graduate work. Students will develop skills and knowledge in diverse areas of counseling including advocacy, leadership, and evaluation in order to become experts capable of guiding the next generation of counselors into career success. With an online course load students have a great degree of flexibility to complete the program. Students will be required, however, to attend 2 half-day orientation sessions held in the summer for new students on UWG’s campus in Carrollton.  Following this initial visit all coursework is conducted through an online platform that supports student and faculty interaction through a flexible asynchronous system. The program requires 36 credits for completion and requires two years of continuous enrollment.

Accreditation: The University of West Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 97

#5. UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS

Online Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

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For a fully online Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, the University of the Cumberlands provides an excellent opportunity for those seeking credentialing to becoming licensed psychologists. Located in Williamsburg, the University of the Cumberlands was founded in 1889 by Kentucky Baptists in order to confront the lack of higher education opportunities in the Appalachian region. UC continues to in its commitment to providing students of all backgrounds, but especially marginalized students, liberal arts education that is supported by Christian values.  Today, Cumberlands provides a wide variety of online education opportunities with focus on graduate programs. The university enrolls over 10,000 students from all over the world.

University of the Cumberlands’ online Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology degree program is geared toward working professionals and provides all necessary credentials to become licensed psychology practitioners in the State of Kentucky. Within this doctorate in Clinical Psychology degree, students will be prepared for practice of integrated psychology in settings that serve general health needs  of  diverse populations, especially those that are traditionally underserved. The program is particularly interested in preparing students from marginalized groups to become licensed psychologists who go on to become leaders with a passion to expand health care opportunities in their own communities. The program uses a hybrid format to provide students with the convenience of online coursework with the support and clinical practicum of a traditional on-campus program. In the first year, students take 100% online coursework, and in the following years of the program will engage in a hybrid study with online coursework and supervised clinical experiences experience in Florence, KY.

Accreditation: The University of the Cumberlands is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 96

#6. OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling

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Oregon State University provides an excellent opportunity to earn a Ph.D. in Counseling through a flexible hybrid format. Located in Corvallis, OSU was founded in 1856 as the State’s first primary school.  OSU is the only public institution to be given land, sea, space, and sun-grant designations and is an international public research university that draws people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Designated as an institution having the highest level of research, Oregon State is also recognized for its service commitments locally and to improve the lives of people across Oregon. It has been designated as a Community Service institution by the Carnegie Foundation.

OSU’s hybrid Ph.D. in Counseling degree program prepares students to work at the highest level of clinical practice be it as supervisors, or counselor educators in academic and/or clinical settings. The program emphasizes student contribution to the counseling profession through research while understanding and addressing the societal changes of today’s communities. Designed with flexibility in mind to accommodate the schedules of working adults, the hybrid online Ph.D. program requires students to attend on-campus classes two times each quarter. All other coursework can be completed entirely online through OSU’s flexible asynchronous online course delivery system. Students are prepared for the highest level of counseling practice and for passing on their skills as faculty at the university level through in-depth study of counseling theory and research methodology that are needed to advance the field.  OSU’s online Ph.D. psychology program is especially concerned with issues of social justice and diversity and seeks to equip counselors who are passionate about both.

Accreditation: Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Tuition Score 1-100: 95

#7. ENDICOTT COLLEGE

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Online Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College is an excellent option for students seeking advanced careers in scientific/research fields analyzing behavior to better match behavior to goals. Located in Beverly, Massachusetts, Endicott College was originally a junior college specifically for women and was built around the idea of developing increased career opportunities for women. Endicott provides career-focused academic programs to students that features the support and direct attention of a small school with low student/faculty ratios and small class sizes. Endicott began offering doctoral programs in 2014 and has since experienced a rise in reputation as a quality source of graduate education offering a variety of online degree programs.

Endicott College’s Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis degree program is offered is offered through synchronous online coursework in which students have regular class meeting times that are facilitated through video or other technology that brings students together in a simulated classroom environment. Students thus have no need to live directly in the vicinity of Endicott College, but benefit from many of the features of shared learning that a traditional classroom affords.This Ph.D. in Psychology is a research-based program preparing students to teach in academic settings, or work as a research practitioner that utilizes research in business and industry, disability studies, education, and public policy to bolster clinical practice. Students will be prepared to advance in careers in a range of settings and disciplines including business, public policy, education, and more where behavior analysis can be applied to produce positive change. To be admitted to the program prospective students should possess a master’s degree that is related to behavioral analysis and should ideally be an actively licensed behavioral analyst.

Accreditation: Endicott College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

Tuition Score 1-100: 95

#8. LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling and Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision

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Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University offers two options for those pursuing a Doctorate in Counseling. Liberty is a liberal arts university comprising 17 different colleges and schools. Liberty offers a wide range of degree programs and certificates in fields including counseling, law, religion, education, cinema, business, and more.  Liberty University has a long history of providing pathways for working adults to advance their education and was an early adopter of online education modalities. Enrolling over 90,000 online students, in addition to its students enrolled in traditional campus-based programs, Liberty is the largest private Christian University and one of the largest offerers of online degree programs in the country.

Liberty University offers two separate online doctoral programs in psychology and counseling. Liberty’s online Ed.D. in Community Care and Counseling program is built to equip students with refined skills in research, teaching, counseling, diagnosis, and treatment with optional clinical practicum experiences to build further competence in clinical settings. The program offers three specializations: Pastoral Care, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Traumatology. The Liberty online PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision is designed to equip graduates with the highest level of knowledge and skills in counseling as well as with skills in academic research and writing. Courses uniquely incorporate a biblical worldview that is woven throughout and prepares students for ethical and effective clinical service to a range of diverse peoples. To ensure that students have the experiences needed to advance their career options, the program includes advanced field experiences. These internships enable students to connect with professionals in the field and gain the kind of work experience employers seek. This program is offered through an online format with some intensive campus-based visits to enhance the shared learning experiences of students. Intensives are one week or weekend long classes that provide students the opportunity to collaborate with one another and take greater advantage of faculty and university resources in their studies.

Accreditation: Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 93

#9. ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Behavioral Health

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With an Online Doctor of Psychology in Behavioral Health, Arizona State University is an excellent choice for those seeking advanced education in psychology with a flexible format of delivery. Originally, a normal school for the training of teachers in the region, Arizona State University has grown to become the largest university in the US by student body and is an international leader in online education.  ASU has been ranked among the most innovative universities in the US due to its extensive development of online degree programming. ASU is located in Tempe, Arizona.

The ASU online Doctor of Behavioral Health degree program offered through the College of Health Solutions prepares students, with the skills necessary  for competent care in an ever evolving medical care industry. Students will develop evidence-based, and cost effective interventions as they learn to identify areas of care that are outdated or result in catastrophic undercare, or overcare.  The online DBH with clinical concentration requires a minimum of 84 credits for completion of the doctoral degree. Graduates will be prepared to take on leadership roles in settings that integrate primary and behavioral health. The curriculum consists of online courses in a synchronous format and is focused on healthcare interventions and management for integrated behavioral health programs.

Accreditation: ASU is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 93

#10. Pacifica Graduate Institute

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies

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Unique in its online offering of a Ph.D. in Psychology focusing on Jungian Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute is an accredited graduate school offering master’s and doctoral degree programs that draw on the tradition of depth psychology. Pacifica is committed to its mission of cultivating human creativity and imagination through free inquiry and intellectual exploration. It is likewise dedicated to the application of the insights of its intellectual approach to influence the personal, cultural, and planetary concerns of the current epoch.  Pacifica articulates this mission through its motto: animal mundi colendae gratia which translates to tending to the soul in and of the world. Pacifica is located on two campuses near Santa Barbara, California.

The hybrid Ph.D. in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute is a unique offering in the world of psychology degrees that is built specifically for those interested in Jungian Psychology and theories of the human psyche. The rigorous academic program utilizes an in-depth exploration of Jungian psychology that equips students with the theory, skills, and proven best practices that they can both utilize in their personal lives as well as toward creative solutions to the challenges of the current epoch. The aim of the program is to continually push focus of psychology practice from the confines of clinical space into the real world. Campus residency is required of all students four times each year of the program, with all other coursework completed online. The program requires 90 credits for completion as well as an academic article suitable for publication in a major psychology journal and an oral examination and dissertation.

Accreditation: Pacifica Graduate Institute is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 93

#11. GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

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With an online Ph.D. in Psychology, Grand Canyon University is a private nonprofit Christian institution of higher learning and the largest Christian university in the world. GCU transitioned fully back to a nonprofit institution in 2018 after 14 years of operating as a for profit university. Grand Canyon University is committed to providing accessible educational offerings and as such has been continually expanding its online infrastructure since 2008. 

Grand Canyon’s online Ph.D. in psychology programs feature a range of degrees in psychology, counseling, and other related disciplines. Grand Canyon’s online programs provide both flexibility and affordability for students seeking a non-traditional pathway to complete their doctoral level studies. Five different options are available online with specializations in the Psychology Ph.D. program in areas including Cognitive Psychology, Performance Psychology, Counselor Education, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Psychology Technology. Ph.D. in psychology programs at Grand Canyon are available fully online with no campus visits and emphasize original scholarly work that contributes to the growing field of psychology.  All programs require approximately 60 credits for completion of the degree.

Accreditation: Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 91

#12. UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Online Doctorate in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education

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Offering an online Doctorate in Psychology in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education, the University of Georgia is a public university located in Athens, Georgia. Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia was the first public university founded in the United States. UGA is recognized as a Public Ivy – a public university with reputation and quality of education commensurate with that of the Ivy League Schools. As Georgia’s flagship institution, the university is recognized for its dedication to student achievement with particular attention to providing hands on educational opportunities through rigorous academic coursework and through learning opportunities that extend beyond the walls of the traditional classroom. The University of Georgia’s activities touch global issues while not losing sight of its land grant mission to hone in on issues that impact the well-being of the State and local economies. 

The online Ed.S. in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education degree program is rooted in the idea that giftedness and creativity are present in diversity of expressions among all peoples; that creativity is a potential that if left un-nurtured will not flourish; and that quality education relies on playing to students’ diverse and specific interests and learning needs in order to develop their creative potentials.  The program prepares teachers to become endorsed for gifted education in the state of Georgia. The degree requires a minimum of 31 credits and can be completed 100% online with no need for campus visits. Graduates will be equipped to advanced positions as faculty in a university setting, school teachers, school administration, state education departments, and in education consultation.

Accreditation: The University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 86

#13. NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis and Resolution

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With an online Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Nova Southeastern University is one of Florida’s most advanced institutions for health sciences, with programs in a comprehensive range of health disciplines including nursing, medicine, psychology, physical therapy, and more. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity”. NSU is also the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation to met the Department of Education’s standards to be designated as a Hispanic-serving institution.  Nova has additionally gained national notoriety for their extensive online degree offerings with mentions by multiple national publications. NSU is known as for being among the most diverse institutions of higher learning in the nation serving more minority students at the doctoral level than any other college or university in the U.S.

Nova Southeastern’s online Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution offered through the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies trains students in the skills and techniques of practice, interdisciplinary research, policy and program development, historical critique, cultural analysis, and theoretical foundations of the field. The online doctoral program is designed to contribute to the theory and practice of conflict analysis and resolution through mentorship and the development of trained practitioners with skills in research, teaching, and informed leadership in the field. Coursework is completed online, but students will be required to attend to intensive residential institutes each year of the program. Students can choose to focus their studies on areas of professional and personal interests with available concentrations in Global Conflict,  Community-Based Conflict, Interpersonal Conflict, and Conflict in Organizations.

Accreditation: Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 85

#14. AMRIDGE UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

Armridge University

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With an online Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy, Amridge University is a private Christian university founded in 1967. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, Amridge offers courses from its 650 acre campus, but its real wheelhouse is its online education offerings. Its primary delivery for all of its educational programs is a distance format and was one of the first 15 institutions chosen by the United States Department of Education in a pilot program that experimented with making distance education available at a broader level. Since that time, it has grown its distance programs, now offering a full range of online degree programs from the bachelor through doctoral level.

Armridge University’ School of Human Services offers the Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy online. The 60 credit, research focused program  is not designed to prepare graduates for MFT licensure and practice as it is mainly focused on offering those who have already completed a Masters in MFT and who already work in the field an advanced doctoral education that provides both the highest level of therapeutic competence as well as academic skills in research and teaching for those who aspire to take on faculty positions at the university level.  The number of hours required for the completion of this doctorate will depend on the number of graduate hours the student has already taken before entering the program. This program is offered through a low-residency online format. Required residency periods are flexible, with fulfillment available through face-to-face options or synchronous online format with student teacher interactions transmitted in real-time. This flexibility provides the benefit of live interaction with faculty mentors without the necessary requirement of traveling to the Amridge campus.

Accreditation: Amridge University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 84

#15. LESLEY UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology

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Offering an online Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Lesley University is a private university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lesley was founded in 1909 as a teacher training school. Eventually it merged with the Art Institute of Boston and today is known for its world-class art and design programs, but also for related areas such as expressive therapy and counseling. Lesley prides itself as a community of scholars committed to helping others and as a laboratory for tackling issues of social justice.

Lesley’s low-residency Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology online degree program is designed to advance working clinicians and mental health professionals’ competence in social justice and health-promotion. This doctoral-level program is designed for licensed mental health professionals and school counselors and will equip graduates to meet the needs of society in range of clinical settings, in schools, and in higher education institutions. This is a cohort-based program in which students will gather together for intensive learning experiences at the Lesley campus one weekend per month. During these residencies, students will be directly mentored by faculty with decades of experience in the field who will equip students to bring meaningful change to the field. First year coursework takes place over one weekend each month on campus in Cambridge. The second year focuses on developing applied research in a supervised clinical setting.

Accreditation: Lesley University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 84

#16. FIELDING GRADUATE UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

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Offering its Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology online, Fielding Graduate University is an accredited, nonprofit post-graduate distance education institution. Founded in 1974  and conceived as a resource for mid-career professionals that were not able to take advantage of programs offered at traditional universities. Fielding has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification for its outreach and for its impact on higher education among marginalized student populations.

Fielding’s online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is dedicated to fostering inclusion of students from under-represented populations and to graduate entry level scholar-practioner psychologists who foreground social justice values in their work as licensed healthcare professionals. Fielding makes this online Ph.D. program flexible, convenient, and accessible for students who are typically not represented clinical psychology Ph.D. program, including minority students, students from rural and remote regions, and military students. Students glean a thorough understanding of academic research and analysis and are particularly trained with mindfulness in issues of social justice to provide high quality care for diverse populations.

Accreditation: Fielding Graduate University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 83

#17. EASTERN UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

Eastern University

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Offering its Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy online, Eastern University is a co-educational, comprehensive Christian university that integrates faith, reason and justice for its 3,500 students. Located near Philadelphia in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, EU offers nationally-recognized undergraduate and graduate programs. Eastern University is affiliated with the American Baptist Denomination and serves an ecumenical student body representing many Christian denominations and faith traditions. Eastern is dedicated to providing high quality education, scholarship, service, and spiritual formation opportunities to all students at every level of academic achievement. 

Eastern University’s Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy online is a 60-credit program specially designed for people looking to expand their hearts and minds while developing skills to meet the challenges of 21st century life through research and study in counseling theories and practice integrated with Christian theological inquiry. Students of the Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy program serve a variety of individuals, couples, and families through an integrated perspective that blends theological understanding with understanding of research on Marriage and Family systems in pastoral and/or clinical places of practice. This program is delivered online with residencies at the main campus in St. David’s. A minimum of 60 credits are required for completion of the degree, which will require 4 years of study.

Accreditation: Eastern University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Tuition Score 1-100: 82

#18. North Central University

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With an online Ph.D. in Psychology, North Central University is a Christian university that is Bible-based and rooted in the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition with a commitment to the highest levels of academic achievement. North Central seeks to prepare students to fill leadership roles with a biblical understanding of ministerial service to the nation and through the whole world. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, North Central is a comprehensive, primarily residential university owned and operated by the Assemblies of God denomination.

The online PhD in Psychology at North Central University requires applicants to possess a master’s degree from a fully accredited university. Students enter into one of three tracks: Direct Entry for those whose master’s degree is in an area of Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Social Work; Evaluation Track for those whose master’s degree is in an area not listed in direct entry; and Mental Health Policy and Practice Specialization—open to students who are licensed and practicing clinicians. Once admitted, students will choose an area of specialization from options available in: Gender Diversity, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, and Mental Health Policy and Practice. Students in this program will develop critical thinking skills and expand their knowledge of psychology to the highest level in order to effectively evaluate and formulate solutions to individual, social, and global problems with tools of behavioral health and psychology.

Accreditation: North Central University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 82

#19. REGENT UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision, and Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology

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Offering an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Regent University is a private Christian institution that began in 1977 as the Christian Broadcasting Network University, under the tutelage of Pat Robertson in order to expand the reach of evangelical Christian content through television broadcasting. Regent has garnered nationwide recognition for its expansive degree program offerings and for its commitment to meeting the educational needs for working adults.  What was initially its outreach programs for teachers in the Washington, DC, area, Regent’s flexible nontraditional programs began to grow in the late 80s to what is now an extensive distance education program in addition to its on-campus degrees. Regent is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Regent’s online Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision degree program comes from the School of Psychology and Counseling. This online program is notable for its dual inclusion of the Christian value system and up-to-date scientific knowledge in psychology. Regent’s program integrates these two perspectives seamlessly to provide one of the best Christian-based doctoral programs in counseling available. With fully online coursework, Regent’s online Ph.D. psychology program is designed for working professionals and features three convenient week long intensive residencies on Regent’s campus that provide the support and connections that traditional programs of study offer without the need to relocate or disrupt the student’s career while pursuing their doctoral work.

Accreditation: Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 81

#20. ALASKA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology

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Offering a hybrid online Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology, Alaska Pacific University is a public university located in Anchorage. Founded by a Methodist minister, in 1957 Alaska Pacific University is a small liberal arts college. Alaska Pacific University has a strong emphasis on the needs of Alaska’s native population in education. APU is part of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the largest native organization in Alaska, which focuses on educational and cultural programs to improve Alaska’s health and well-being. APU is dedicated to the provision of engaged and culturally sensitive education that partners with local communities and Tribal bodies. APU has also focused significant resources into developing its online education programs.

Alaska Pacific’s hybrid Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology degree program is built with the needs of working adults in mind and provides a flexible pathway to career advancement with the ability to gain the necessary credentials to work as a licensed psychologist in Alaska. The Psy.D. at APU is an applied research program that provides rigorous training in psychological practice. The program utilizes a developmental understanding of psychological function and prepares individuals to work across the spectrum of functioning.  With a focus on skills and competencies, this program is designed to equip counselors  with the vital skills and knowledge that are standard credentials to become licensed psychologists and to work in clinical settings. Most coursework is delivered online, but students will additionally be required to attend some weekend intensives on campus. The program follows a cohort model so students will build meaningful connections with each other through the duration of their studies, which provides additional support to their learning experience.

Accreditation: Alaska Pacific University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Tuition Score 1-100: 81

#21. MOUNT MARY UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Art Therapy

Mount Mary

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Offering an online Doctorate of Art Therapy, Mount Mary University is a private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded in 1913 by the Sister’s of Notre Dame. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the university was the State’s first degree-granting Catholic college for women. Today, the university provides undergraduate education to women and is co-educational a the graduate level. The university enrolls nearly 1,500 students and provides a wide range of academic and professional programs at the bachelor’s  through doctoral level. 

The Doctorate of Art Therapy program offered through Mount Mary University is a low-residency program designed to prepare certified art therapists to utilize their artistic passion to build valuable therapeutic competencies at the highest level. The program features a highly rigorous curriculum designed to integrate the practice of therapeutic advocacy with the development of artistic and creative skills and identity. In addition students will engage in participatory and critical research projects which directly involve the subjects of research in the process of designing methodology and defining the aims of research. This approach is consistent with the programs social justice emphasis. A minimum of 40 credits are required for completion of  the degree. The program lasts three consecutive years and requires one 12-day colloquium at the beginning of each year to satisfy residency requirements.

Accreditation: Mount Mary is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 76

#22. SOFIA UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

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Offering an online Ph.D. in Psychology, Sofia University is a private university that is built on the tradition of transpersonal psychology. Located in Palo Alto, California, Sofia is committed to pursuing personal growth, cooperative learning, and community/global service and these values are present across all of its programs of study. Additionally, Sofia includes a nonsectarian spiritual component to its learning. Sofia gained university status in 2012 and in 2014 expanded its program offerings to speak to is locality in the heart of Palo Alto, California a major hub for technological innovation and advancement. Sofia pursues academic excellence with authentic, inclusive, humble service to fellow human beings and is equally dedicated to developing programs that center ecological stewardship as an utmost value.  It features curricula that focus in six areas of inquiry: the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social and creative aspects of life.

Sofia’s online Global Ph.D. in Psychology degree program provides a flexible, hybrid/online format with a focus on transpersonal psychology. Through a combination of online classes and residential seminars, program courses feature a specially designed research methods training track, dissertation process support, and a system of individual advising. The program trains students in the integration of spiritual and psychological understandings of experience and utilizes research methods that complement further development of their particular school of thought. Concentrations are available in: Transpersonal Education and Research, Applied Transpersonal Psychology, Whole Systems Approach to Health and Wellbeing, Consciousness and Creativity Studies, and Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience. A minimum of 75 credits are required for completion of the degree.

Accreditation: Sofia University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 76

#23. ARGOSY UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Education in Counseling Psychology

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Offering an online Doctorate in Counseling Psychology, Argosy University is private nonprofit university located in Orange, California. Founded in 2001 with the goal of providing flexible and convenient educational opportunities for working adults as well as traditional students to advance themselves in job marketplace, Argosy came to make a reputation for itself in the world of distance education and online study. Argosy has only recently transitioned from a for-profit institution to a nonprofit. It continues to invest heavily in the promise of online education to expand opportunities for higher education to all people.

Argosy’s online Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology degree is built to equip school counseling professionals with the necessary skills and expertise to move into leadership and supervision positions or to take on academic careers, teaching at the university level. Students will focus scholarly work on the application of advanced research methodology and findings real-world counseling and clinical psychology scenarios. The program is geared toward students who already possess a master’s level degree in counseling, or a degree in related mental health fields including social work, school psychology, and more. The Ed.D. degree will prepare students for leadership roles or teaching positions in a variety of settings. Students benefit from focused studies on application of current research to real-life counseling needs and scenarios. The curriculum requires students to complete 15 graduate level courses and produce an originally researched dissertation. Coursework can be completed 100% online and no campus visits are required throughout the course of the program.

Accreditation: Argosy University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 74

#24. FELICIAN UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Counseling in Psychology

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With its Doctorate of Counseling Psychology degree program, Felician University is a private Franciscan University founded by the Felician Sisters in 1923. Felician University was established as school for teacher training in the New Jersey region. Felician has since grown its academic and professional program catalogue  to encompass a full range of academic and professional disciplines and has earned a particular reputation in areas such as computer science, nursing, and health sciences. Felician is home to approximately 2,300 students and as a small institution provides students with a highly personalized educational experience that draws on faculty mentorship and features many opportunities for one-on-one attention. With full-time, part-time and online offerings, Felician provides a highly accommodating educational experience for all. Felician University is located in Lodi, New Jersey.

Felician University’s online Doctor of Counseling Psychology degree program prepares graduates for clinical practice in the ever evolving health care system by providing mental and behavioral health services as an integral piece of primary care. Felician believes this to be the “health care system of the future” that many institutions will adapt to over the coming years. This type of collaborative care connects behavioral and physical health, often leading to more cost-effective treatment and increased access for underserved people. The program is a blended format with online and intensives on Felician’s campus in Lodi. Students will complete coursework during the first two years of the program and during the final years be immersed in a supervised clinical practicum as well as complete an original dissertation.

Accreditation: Felician University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 73

#25. MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Education Psychology and Educational Technology

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Offering an online Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, Michigan State University is a public land-grant institution located in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU started as an experimental educational program that aspired to bring inaccessible higher education to the masses and forged paths bring scientific inquiry and innovative advancement into the grasp of ordinary folk. MSU is counted among the top universities globally by multiple publications. It features one of the largest campuses in the nation with the widest expanses of green space and is hub for a diverse student and faculty population dedicated to producing the highest quality scholarly work.

The MSU online Ph.D. in Education Psychology and Educational Technology degree program is a hybrid program of study that is substantially online. The program is intended to develop the new leaders in education to fill the wave of opening positions. Graduates of the program will have an awareness of the need for creative and technologically advanced pedagogies and will be able to develop these through sound research and knowledge of educational best practice. Students will develop a thorough understanding of how theories of learning and development can inform the design of learning environments. Graduates of this program will be prepared to fill leadership roles in K-12 school systems, virtual schools, community colleges, and higher education institutions, especially those that require rigorous preparation in research and evaluation of learning with technology.

Accreditation: Michigan State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 67

#26. NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

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Offering its Ph.D. in Psychology online, Northcentral University in San Diego, California is an online doctoral research university and among the first 100% online universities in the world. Northcentral was founded from the beginning with the goal of providing a comprehensive array of degree and certificate programs from undergraduate through the doctoral level and making those programs accessible to students who typically do not have access to higher education opportunities. Northcentral enrolls over 10,000 students in a wide range of online undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level degree programs.

Northcentral’s online Ph.D. in Psychology degree program has been designed to meet the need for the highest level of advanced training in the field of psychology. The program supports students in honing critical thinking skills, expanding their knowledge in theory of psychology, and in learning and practicing research methodologies to move from student to a competent researcher in the field of psychology. Graduates will be able to assess and address challenges and problems at the individual through community and global levels from a psychology perspective and will be prepared for faculty positions at accredited four year degree granting colleges and universities. A variety of specializations options are offered in the program including: Addictions, Gender Diversity Studies, Gerontology, Health Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Mental Health Policy and practice, and Trauma and Disaster Relief.

Accreditation: Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 67

#27. SAYBROOK UNIVERSITY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology

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Offering an online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University is a private institution focused on humanistic psychology and somatic studies. Saybrook University was founded on a philosophy of holistic integration that challenges the idea that human beings are best understood when directed into manageable parts that are disintegrated from the whole and from world. Instead, Saybrook’s operates under the assumption that people are complex and unified creatures that are best understood through a thorough understanding of the whole being and all that it experiences. Saybrook is dedicated to bringing students opportunities to reach their full capacity as scholars and as people through a thoroughly humanistic education. It is one of the most progressive and experimental institutions of higher learning in the world offering unique, interdisciplinary low-residency programs in a variety of areas including psychology, counseling, medicine, and more. Saybrook University is located in Oakland, California.

Saybrook University’s online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology degree program is designed to equip counselors and other psychology professionals to acquire the necessary credentials to become licensed practitioners in states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Students benefit from hands-on training at residential conferences and close mentored relationships from Saybrook faculty so that upon completing the degree, graduates will be adequately prepared and confident in their capacity to enact positive change in whatever professional setting they move into. Saybrook utilizes the hybrid format of study with core psychology courses online, creative use of technology in increasing clinical skills, hands-on training at residential conferences, and close consultation from faculty who are active and experienced in the field as licensed clinical practitioners.

Accreditation: Saybrook University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 65

#28. LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO

Online Doctor of Education in School Psychology

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With an online Doctor of Education in School Psychology, Loyola University Chicago is a private Jesuit university founded in 1870 by Jesuit priest Arnold Damon. Today Loyola Chicago enrolls over 15,000 students, making it one of the largest Jesuit schools in the United States. Loyola University Chicago is located across four campuses: three located in Chicago, and one international satellite center located in Rome, Italy. Loyola comprises  and 13 different schools, colleges, and institutes.

Loyola Chicago’s hybrid Ed.D. in School Psychology degree program is designed for already practicing school counselors and psychologists who aim to move forward in careers by pursuing the highest level of doctoral training. The program was developed to provide practicing school counselors and psychologists the tools to make more informed and effective decisions to meet the needs they confront in educational settings.  Consisting of 72 credits, the program consists of two tracks: Data-Based Decision Making, and Mental Health. Students attend evening class sessions several times during the fall and spring semesters on the Loyola Water Tower Campus in downtown Chicago. During the summer sessions, courses are either fully online or are blended with in-person class sessions meeting during the day and/or evening. So while this is not a solidly online program, the flexibility of evening classes and blended online/on-campus study provides for much the same sort of educational experience that online students look for. Students can complete all coursework in 2 years part-time.

Accreditation: Loyola Chicago is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition Score 1-100: 56

#29. WILLIAM JAMES COLLEGE

Online Doctor of Psychology in Leadership Psychology

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Offering a Doctorate of Psychology online, William James College is a private nonprofit graduate-level college of psychology located in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1974, today the college enrolls over 700 students in graduate degree programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, organizational leadership psychology, and school psychology. William James College offers professional continuing education for social workers, psychologists, school counselors, nurses, mental health counselors, educators, businessmen and women, psychotherapists, and more. The college also provides community based education that extends educational opportunities to those who are not necessarily enrolled in formal coursework.

William James College offers a Doctor of Psychology in Leadership Psychology through an online format. The program is designed for professional psychologists and those working in leadership positions in human resources, nonprofits, consulting or other professional sectors. The focus of program is on the art and science of leadership framed upon the foundation of understanding of human behavior and psychology. Graduates will be able to apply the theory and practice of psychology, and an understanding of behavior to craft interventions and support leaders in organizational settings to improve the conditions of work and the productivity of workers. Coursework can be completed at the student’s own pace through online lectures, readings, and discussion boards. In addition, students will come to campus three times a year in the fall, spring, and summer for four day intensive residencies. A minimum of 98 credits are required for completion of the degree.

Accreditation: William James College is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 52

#30. CHICAGO SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

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Offering a Ph.D. in Psychology online, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a private nonprofit institute focusing on psychology and related professional disciplines. TCSPP enrolls nearly 4,500 students at in major U.S. cities including Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and more. In addition to its campus based programs, TCSPP provides high quality online programs through the doctoral level. The institute has been at the forefront of innovation and has been an integral party in advancing the discipline since its founding in 1979. The school offers over 20 different degree programs and  has garnered a reputation for itself in recent times for the quality of its online programs, offering numerous degrees in fully online or hybrid formats. 

The Chicago School’s online doctoral programs in psychology offer graduate students a wide range of specializations and formats for learning. Nearly all of the school’s psychology degrees are available in fully online or online low-residency format. Available online doctoral programs include a Ph.D. in International Psychology, Ph.D. in Business Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis. Online students benefit from the same access to faculty mentoring that on-campus students benefit from such that online students will be adequately prepared for professional licensure with vital theory and research skills applicable to real-life scenarios.

Accreditation: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition Score 1-100: 51

BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMS: STUDENTS BEFORE PROFITS AWARD

BEST ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN PSYCHOLOGY: STUDENTS BEFORE PROFITS AWARD

This concludes our 2019 Students Before Profits Award for Online Doctorates in Psychology and Counseling.