General Psychology PhD in Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

A PhD in Psychology, designed for busy professionals

When you earn your PhD in Psychology, General Psychology from Capella, you’ll have the flexibility to live your life while you deepen your understanding of human behavior, expand on the work you’re doing now, and make an impact in your profession.

Focus on the topics that fit your professional interests. Choose from a wide range of electives to personalize your education to meet your professional goals, and prepare for a career as a university professor, researcher, consultant, or program administrator.

All of the courses and in-person experiences in this program are competency-based, designed to give you the knowledge of common core psychology and research.

Employment of psychologists is projected to grow 14% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

At a Glance

  • Online and in-person
  • 7 Core courses
  • 4 Specialization courses
  • 5 Elective courses
  • 3 Dissertation research seminars
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Dissertation
  • 104 Total quarter credits
  • 25 Max transfer credits

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth.

Classes Start September 14th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

PhD in Psychology program highlights

Scholar-practitioner faculty

Learn the latest in theory and practice from experienced doctoral faculty actively engaged in their professions.

Relevant, real-world learning

Your psychology coursework allows you to conduct research alongside Capella faculty.

Complementary coursework approach

Your online coursework is enhanced by face-to-face residencies designed to give you intensive, hands-on experience to successfully complete your program.

Our unique doctoral structure

Our PhD in General Psychology program is designed to remove roadblocks for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources will help guide you every step of the way. 

Meet your PhD in Psychology faculty

Our distinguished psychology faculty are industry leaders, bringing real-world relevance into the courseroom to enrich your education, and career.

Louis Kavar, PhD, MA

Core Faculty

Mark McCaslin

Adjunct Faculty

Get the support you need for success

Our dedicated support teams guide and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.

Doctoral advising

Doctoral programs are specific and challenging. That’s why you’ll have access to expert support at every step along the road to your degree.

Financial aid counselors

Our financial aid team knows how to run the numbers and help save on tuition.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$540 per credit, 104 total quarter credits, 25 max transfer credits

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

$20K toward your doctorate

Apply for a $20K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help you fund your doctoral degree.

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Employer & association discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

PhD in Psychology sample courses

Get set to explore a number of related subjects—including psychology, mental health, education, business, and public policy. Your coursework in this online PhD in Psychology, General Psychology program includes dissertation research seminars, which allow you to get an early start on your dissertation.

Show course with description
PSY7660 *
Survey Construction and Administration

Learners in this course explore the conceptual and applied aspects of survey construction and administration processes. Course topics include comparative study designs (crosssections versus panels); sampling techniques; data collection procedures and methods (face-to-face, telephone, paper, and Internet); survey question design that accurately measures behavior, attitude, and personality; data processing and analysis; results reporting; ethics of surveys; causal inference; and survey critiques. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864.

5 quarter credits
PSY8626 *
Multivariate Statistics: Theory and Application

This course focuses on the theory and application of multivariate statistics, including discriminant analysis, factor (components) analysis, multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), and logistic regression. Using SPSS, learners perform and interpret the results of these analyses. Learners also apply multivariate analysis, read and understand research results in peer-reviewed psychology journals, and utilize SPSS to produce output consistent with the correct parameters and assumptions of specific multivariate procedures. In addition, learners have the option of exploring the mathematical aspects of multivariate and inferential statistics theory and application. Prerequisite(s): PSY8625.

5 quarter credits
PSY8635 *
Advanced Qualitative Analysis

This course extends the topics covered in PSY7868 by further exploring the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research and inquiry and emphasizes effective execution of the six school-approved dissertation research methodologies: ethnography, case study, grounded-theory phenomenology, heuristics, and generic qualitative research. Learners examine primary source references, books, and journal articles written by the developers of the six methodologies and gain an understanding of their nuances and applications. This course is designed to prepare learners to develop and conduct their own qualitative study for a dissertation. Prerequisite(s): PSY7868.

5 quarter credits
PSY8763 *
Program Evaluation

This course provides an examination of the theories, techniques, methods, and processes of program evaluation. Learners synthesize knowledge and skills gained from prior coursework to design a program evaluation, plan its implementation, and communicate the results in appropriate and effective formats. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864.

5 quarter credits
Research in Psychology

Learners in this course engage in advanced study and research of a specialization-specific topic. Throughout the course, learners apply research, professional, and academic ethics through individual and group research tasks. The course includes participation in a faculty-directed research project. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSY7868.

5 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

  • Think critically in response to psychological challenges.
  • Lead the profession of psychology.
  • Perform ethically in personal and professional interactions.
  • Respect individuality and embrace diversity.
  • Communicate professionally in the discipline of psychology.

Psychology PhD career insights

PhD in Psychology—Which Specialization Is Right for You?

Learn more about Capella's PhD in Psychology program and available specializations.

PhD in Psychology vs. Doctor of Psychology

Need help deciding between a PsyD and PhD? Learn the differences between these doctoral degree programs.

The Expanding Role of Psychology: Interview with Dean Elizabeth Riley

Dean Elizabeth Riley returned to Capella University to help the School of Psychology grow its mission and program.

Psychology PhD professional paths

Your education can help you reach your goals, professionally and personally. Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to consider with a PhD in Psychology, General Psychology degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time psychology faculty
  • Full-time psychology faculty
  • Instructor
  • Program administrator/ director
  • Consultant
  • Dean of psychology faculty
  • Research coordinator/ administrator

Employment settings to explore

  • Community college
  • Residential care facility
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Hospital
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Human resources department
  • Market research firm
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Social service agency
  • Insurance carrier

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Three career paths to explore with a PhD in general psychology

While the psychology field offers a variety of career paths and focus areas, here are some of the more common paths:

Communicate concepts and principles of behavior analysis, including definitions and characteristics, using professional standards to identify behavioral problems.

Prepare for roles in hospitals or health organizations that focus on modifying behavior and developing and monitoring systems that support behavior change.

Design, plan, and conduct appropriate research in the field of psychology, identifying behavioral or emotional patterns that lead toward a better understanding of human behavior.

Prepare for research roles in a variety of local or federal government agencies or a land-based or online college or university within a public or private institution.

Identify problems and treat emotional, mental, and intellectual disorders as you help people through a range of problems, from short-term personal issues to more serious chronic conditions.

Prepare for roles in hospitals or in other health care organizations that place great emphasis on performing ethically in personal and professional interactions, while respecting individuality and embracing diversity.

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

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