Can I Get a PhD in Clinical Psychology Online?


Martha Robinson

If you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology, you may be wondering if it’s possible to do so online. While some universities offer online doctoral programs in psychology, clinical psychology is a field that typically requires in-person training and supervised clinical experience. However, there are still some options available for those who want to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology through online programs.

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology is a field of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental illness and psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists work with patients to assess their mental health needs, develop treatment plans, and provide therapy.

Can I Get a PhD in Clinical Psychology Online?

While there are some online doctoral programs in psychology available, most of these programs do not offer clinical psychology as a specialization or require significant on-campus training. This is because of the hands-on nature of clinical work and the need for supervised training with real patients.

However, there are some hybrid programs that combine online coursework with on-campus residencies or internships. These programs typically require students to complete the majority of their coursework online and then attend in-person sessions for clinical training and supervision.

Some schools may also offer online courses for specific topics within clinical psychology, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychopharmacology. These courses can be helpful for current practitioners looking to expand their knowledge and skills.

How to Choose an Online PhD Program in Clinical Psychology

If you’re considering an online PhD program in clinical psychology, it’s important to choose a reputable program that meets your needs. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Accreditation: Make sure the program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or another recognized accrediting agency.
  • Faculty: Look into the faculty members who will be teaching the courses and conducting research. Make sure they have relevant experience and expertise in clinical psychology.
  • Clinical Experience: Find out what kind of clinical experience the program offers, whether it’s through internships, residencies, or other opportunities.
  • Curriculum: Review the program’s curriculum to make sure it covers the topics and skills you want to learn.
  • Cost: Consider the cost of tuition and any additional fees. Online programs may be less expensive than traditional on-campus programs, but make sure you understand all the costs involved.


While it may be challenging to find an entirely online PhD program in clinical psychology, there are still options available for those who want to pursue this field. Look for hybrid programs that combine online coursework with in-person training or consider taking individual online courses to supplement your education. With careful research and planning, you can find a program that meets your needs and helps you achieve your professional goals.