4 Cheap Online Doctorates in Psychology for 2021

Updated December 5, 2022

Online PHD programs offer great flexibility as well as value. Find out more on our 4 Cheap Online Doctorates in Psychology here.

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We drew up this list of 4 cheap online PhD in psychology degrees that aid those taking academic, educational, and/or research paths. Study toward licensure is another likely career path. Guidance provided by the schools on this list comes from experienced faculty with practical experience and applied study.

Due to the limited number of online doctorate programs in psychology, we were only able to make a limited ranking based on fewer factors than longer, more scientific lists are. We compiled this list of the top 4 cheap online doctorates in psychology by looking at their online hourly tuition rate and ordering them from least to most expensive.

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4 Cheap Online Doctorates in Psychology for 2021

  • Capella University

    Minneapolis, MN



    Capella University's online doctor of philosophy in psychology degree offers six specializations: general, behavioral, addiction, developmental, educational, and industrial/organizational. The 104 quarter credit program seeks a $50 application fee and a minimum GPA on previous coursework that is set by the department. Capella University offers graduate tuition at the rate of $530 per academic unit for the 100% online PhD in psychology. According to the university's online fact sheet, 19% of Capella University's students were enrolled in the Harold Abel School of Psychology. Also, the site cites projected growth of 14% in the employment of psychologists between 2016 and 2026.

    • Graduation rate: 11%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost: $$$
    • Number of programs offered: 50+ programs
    • City location: Minneapolis, MN
    • Admission requirements: Master’s degree, GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • Contact: 866-933-5902
    • Website
  • Chicago School of Professional Psychology

    Chicago, IL



    An online doctor of philosophy in business psychology, industrial/organizational track degree from Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers the following coursework: business and financial literacy, strategic and organizational planning, and change management. $1449 per credit is the tuition rate for Chicago School of Professional Psychology's online PhD in business psychology, industrial/organizational track. Admission requirements include a GPA of 3.2 or higher, 36 previous hours in psychology courses, an application fee of $50, and a current resume.

    • Graduation rate: 47.8%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost: $$$$$
    • Number of programs offered: 30+ programs
    • City location: 7 Locations
    • Admission requirements: Master’s degree, undergraduate degree of 3.0, professional resume, personal essay, coursework in psychology, letters of recommendation, official GRE score
    • Contact: 800-721-8072
    • Website 
  • Grand Canyon University

    Phoenix, AZ



    The online doctor of philosophy in general psychology with an emphasis in cognition and instruction degree at Grand Canyon University includes such coursework as theories of inquiry and ethical issues in psychology and doctoral residencies. Tuition for the 60 credit hour online PhD in general psychology offered by Grand Canyon University is $650 per semester hour. The program asks for a GPA of 3.4 or higher, GRE or GMAT scores, and official transcripts. Though once a for-profit institution, Grand Canyon University has returned to its non-profit roots while maintaining a strongly Christian faith-based viewpoint.

    • Graduation rate: 33%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost:$
    • Number of programs offered: 200+ programs
    • City location: Phoenix, AZ
    • Admission requirements: Master’s degree, Overall GPA of 3.4
    • Contact: 855-428-5673
    • Website
  • Regent University

    Virginia Beach, VA



    The 100% online, doctoral degree in counseling and psychological studies-research, presented from a Christian worldview by Regent University in a 51 credit hour program provides experience in data analysis, grant writing, and research. Admission requires a $50 application fee, a GPA of 3.5 or higher, an academic writing sample, and a resume. Graduate tuition to Regent University is $650 per hour for the online PhD in counseling and psychological studies, research. Regent University has regularly innovated Christ-based education but remained Christ-based while creating its first online component in 1997 (according to their website timeline).

    • Graduation rate: 43%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost:$$$ 
    • Number of programs offered: 150+ programs
    • City location: Virginia Beach, VA
    • Admission requirements: Master’s degree in a mental health field, graduate GPA of 3.5, one year of experience in the mental health field, professional resume
    • Contact: 800-373-5504
    • Website

How long does it take to get a doctorate in psychology?

The time it takes for you to graduate with your doctoral degree in psychology will depend heavily on the program you enroll in, the requirements of your specific program, the amount of classes you take per semester, and other factors. That said,dDoctorate programs in psychology typically take between four and seven years to complete, including both the coursework and the dissertation and fieldwork.

What can you do with a doctorate in psychology?

A doctoral degree in psychology opens up a wide range of career options in this field. For example, a doctoral degree in psychology can allow you to work as a licensed clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, or psychology professor, or you can pursue employment in a number of other related fields or positions.

How much can you earn with a doctorate in psychology?

The pay you’ll earn with your doctorate in psychology will depend on your experience, the type of employment you seek out, where you live, and other factors. In general, though, the median annual salary for a psychologist was about $82,180 per year as of 2020, and those with a doctoral degree have the potential to earn even more.

Can you complete a doctorate in psychology online?

You can certainly complete a doctorate in psychology online, and your degree will be worth just as much as it would be if you’d completed it in a brick and mortar program. In fact, plenty of schools offer online doctoral programs, making it easy for busy professionals to complete their degrees remotely while juggling their other work and life responsibilities.

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Erin Gobler


Erin Gobler is a freelance writer who covers education topics for Best Value Schools, Graduate School Hub, and Criminal Justice Degree Schools, among others. Her work has been published on sites like Fox Business, Rocket Mortgage, and The Balance.

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Angelica Leicht


Angelica Leicht is the schools editor at Best Value Schools who oversees our college rankings, school profiles, and other higher education coverage. She previously served as an education reporter at Kearney Hub, and an editor at the Dallas Observer and Houston Press. Her writing has appeared in Affordable Colleges Online, Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and elsewhere.

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