Online Doctorate Degree in Counseling Psychology
Graduate study in counseling psychology can prepare you to become a clinical psychologist or postsecondary educator. Although online doctoral programs are not available, there are many on-campus options and online master's programs. Read on to find out about coursework and different types of programs.
What Are My Options for a Doctoral Degree in Counseling Psychology?
Online doctoral degree programs in counseling psychology are not usually offered in online formats. More than likely, you would need to pursue the degree in a traditional on-campus setting.
On-campus doctoral programs in counseling psychology take approximately 5-6 years to complete, though some programs may take longer. The first 2-3 years typically consist of classes that train you in psychology concepts and research methods, while the later years are commonly reserved for work on a dissertation. Additionally, you may have to complete clinical hours before graduating. The following are examples of classes you might find in the curriculum:
- Abnormal psychology
- Group counseling
- Group dynamics
- Social psychology
- Drama therapy
- Theory and research methodologies
- Child development
|Common Courses||Group counseling, social psychology, research methods, abnormal psychology|
|Possible Careers||Clinical psychologist, postsecondary teacher|
|Online Program Options||Master's degrees, post-graduate certificates|
|Online Program Requirements||Computer with internet access and basic technical proficiency|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||14% growth (for clinical, counseling and school psychologists)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$76,990 (for clinical, counseling and school psychologists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Jobs Could I Get with this Doctorate Degree?
With a doctoral degree in counseling psychology, you could pursue a career as a postsecondary educator or clinical psychologist. Postsecondary educators, or professors, teach classes and conduct research. In this profession, you may also have administrative responsibilities, including attending departmental meetings and participating in committees. You may also choose to work as a practicing psychologist, where you may find yourself working in hospitals, schools or rehabilitation centers; you could also work in a private practice.
Are Any Graduate Degree Programs Available Online?
You can find both master's degree programs and post-graduate certificate programs in counseling psychology in distance-learning formats. The flexibility of an online master's degree program may allow for graduation in anywhere from 1-4 years; a certificate program will take less. Certificate programs may be suited for those who hold a master's or bachelor's degree in psychology and have some experience in the field; one reason for pursuing this kind of program might be to fulfill additional educational courses required by state licensing bodies. Online master's degree programs may not require a thesis, though both programs typically include a clinical training requirement. The courses required to sit for state licensing exams are usually included.
How Does an Online Degree Program Work?
Online courses are often administered using digital classroom software, with online material supplemented by your instructor's lecture notes. You might also listen to audio recordings of lectures or watch recorded versions on video. Some programs allow you to participate in video conferencing, Internet-based discussion forums and chat rooms. Papers, assignments or digital exams usually determine grades. You need basic technical proficiency and access to the Internet to participate in an online degree program.