The online PhD in general psychology enables individuals to apply clinical methods and practices to promote the health and well-being of diverse groups of people. General psychology PhD online students engage in theoretical textbook studies coupled with real-world training experiences that develop and strengthen their cultural fluency and broaden their worldview. Through coursework that refines their research, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, students enrolled in online doctoral programs in general psychology are prepared to transition into careers such as counseling, research, teaching and human resources that require such expertise.
Online PhD in General Psychology Requirements
Online doctorate degrees in general psychology reflect individuals’ broad knowledge in all areas of the field rather that in one specialized niche, thereby demonstrating their holistic understanding of the various aspects of human behavior and mental processes, including cognition, emotion, decision making and personality development.
Admission to online doctorate programs in general psychology typically requires a Master’s degree in psychology from an accredited institution. Those who have Master’s degrees in other disciplines may be subject to a transcript evaluation to assess what, if any, previous coursework meets admission requirements. For some online PhD general psychology programs, applicants may have had to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in their Master’s studies. This degree may be in disciplines such as:
- Education; and
- Health services
In addition, online general psychology PhD programs may require students to submit a statement of purpose that outlines their aspirations relative to the program, and they may also need to demonstrate two to three years of relevant professional experience. Examples of professions in which individuals who seek an online doctorate in general psychology may have worked include school guidance counselor, social worker and therapist.
Online PhD in General Psychology Education
Coursework for online PhD general psychology programs prepares learners to enter the profession with the therapeutic, diagnostic and evaluative skills essential to work with diverse groups. It integrates conceptual and experiential instruction, allowing students to hone their observational and analytical skills. In addition to classes and hands-on learning activities, students enrolled in online doctoral programs in general psychology may be required to participate in campus-based residencies that will facilitate knowledge exchange with peers as well as in-person consultations with faculty who serve as academic advisors. They will also acquire and showcase their research abilities through their completion of a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with their advisor. As an outcome of their studies, graduates of online PhD programs in general psychology will be equipped to effectively practice on behalf of individuals and families as well as organizations and businesses.
Information on General Psychology Courses
Top online PhD programs in general psychology enable students to establish careers in the field based on comprehension of scientific methods, data-driven research and evidence-based practice. They are expected to identify connections between theory and application so that their understanding of this interdependency guides their roles in and contributions to the workplace.
Individuals seeking online PhD degrees in general psychology have classes such as:
- History and Systems of Psychology
Students trace the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the discipline through their studies of concepts such as structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis and existentialism. Diversity and multiculturalism are also discussed as they relate to these studies.
- Lifespan Development
Online general psychology PhD students learn about human development through childhood, adolescent and adulthood phases, as well as study aging experiences. Physical, emotional, social and cognitive issues are discussed, as are attachment theory and brain research.
- Psychology of Personality
This course provides an overview of the major theories of personality and personality assessment approaches. Major topics discussed include the psychoanalytic, humanistic, social-cognitive and behaviorist aspects of personality, as well as individual, gender and cultural differences that influence development.
- Dynamics of Contemporary, International and Virtual Organizations
The changing nature of organizations is examined, particularly within the context of the global economy. Students are encouraged to think about how the skills and knowledge acquired across all of their coursework for the online general psychology doctorate can be practically applied within various types of organizations, e.g., non-profit, government, corporate, international and virtual entities.
- Human Communication—Interviewing Skills
Candidates for online doctoral degrees in general psychology develop skills in effecting change process through study of the theory, practice and application of communication techniques. Emphases are placed on understanding the personhoood of client and counselor and conducting the counseling interview.
Specializations and Concentrations
Students who wish to specialize in the online PhD in general psychology have the opportunity to focus their knowledge of the discipline in areas of specific interest. Areas of specialization include:
- Educational Psychology, which deepens students’ knowledge of educational development and psychological research on child and adolescent development, teaching and instruction.
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology, which examines adult, social and group psychology, as well as testing, statistical and research methodology to facilitate understanding of workplace and organizational behavior.
- Counseling Psychology, which leverages doctoral candidates’ backgrounds in professions such as social work, school counseling and psychiatric nursing to prepare them for appropriate client interaction and intervention tactics.
- Clinical Psychology, which emphasizes the skills and knowledge required for professionals in the field who work as clinicians and counselors.
Careers in General Psychology
Accredited online PhD degrees in general psychology enable graduates to help others manage everyday issues in both their personal and professional lives. Training rooted in theory, practice and research equips them with the essential skills needed to work with diverse populations on behalf of their health and positive sense of self.
Individuals who earn an online doctorate in general psychology can transition into occupations such as:
- Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologist
These professionals diagnose and treat mental disorders, learning disabilities and cognitive, behavioral and emotional problems. They utilize individual, child, family and group therapies to deliver care.
- General Psychologist
Graduates of accredited online PhD programs in general psychology study mental processes to understand how people relate to one another, and they diagnose and treat conditions such as substance abuse, learning disabilities and detrimental behaviors.
- Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
Individuals can practically apply their knowledge as professionals in the field to address personnel, administration, management and marketing challenges. Specific responsibilities may include policy formulation, employee training and organizational analysis to better ensure workplace productivity.
- College/University Professor
General psychology PhD online graduates may opt to pursue a career in the academy in a role that includes both course instruction and research.
The best online doctoral degrees in general psychology position graduates as expert practitioners who can enhance the efficiency of the organizations in which they work concurrent with supporting the health of others. Earning an online doctorate in general psychology allows professionals to effect positive change by devoting attention to the correspondence between individuals’ well-being and their surrounding environment so that they may promote shared understanding among peoples, institutions and cultures.