The availability of online doctorate in organizational psychology degree programs is on the rise as the demand for non-traditional methods of education continues to grow. Organizational psychology is a specialization within the psychology field that prepares graduates to work in a business setting. Practitioners in this field address workplace issues and challenges with the goal of enhancing the overall success of the business. If you have a background in psychology and you desire to continue your education and have a career making a difference in the corporate world, this path might be right for you. Today, with so many online programs available, you can earn your terminal low-cost doctoral degree in organizational psychology in a way that is convenient for your lifestyle. In this ranking, we explore the top 6 affordable online doctorate degrees in organizational psychology, ranked simply in order of tuition with #6 being the most expensive and #1 being the least expensive. In the original 2019 ranking, only schools under $25,000 out-of-state tuition made our cut, as listed on the National Center for Education Statistics.

#6 Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Graduate Enrollment: 1,618

Keiser University’s eCampus offers an affordable online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The low-cost online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is designed for graduates to work directly with businesses and organizations. Students will learn how to address issues in the workplace and use their knowledge to facilitate change. Keiser offers a unique class schedule, where students take one class for four weeks, enabling students to focus on only one course at a time. KU is also a military-friendly university that offers scholarships for military services members (and their dependents), active and retired. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Keiser University is a student-centered and hands-on curriculum university located in Florida, complete with 19 campuses and an eCampus division. Graduates of this low-cost online doctoral program in organizational psychology will be ready for high-level careers in various business, government, non-profit, or industry settings.
Graduate Tuition: $27,162

#5 Ashford University

San Diego, California

Doctor of Psychology with a specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology Online

Graduate Enrollment: 6,009

Accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), Ashford University offers a low-cost online doctor of psychology in industrial-organizational psychology degree. The program is designed for graduates to excel in careers where they can improve their patients’ mental health and be a part of the culture of change in this field. This 62-credit online PsyD degree includes ten core courses, seven concentration courses, and a capstone seminar. AU’s program is one of the few available that do not require a dissertation, but an applied doctoral project instead. However, students can opt to write a dissertation if they choose. Classes are presented in a 6-9 week format. Sample course offerings in this affordable online doctorate in organizational psychology include Advanced Topics in Organizational Consulting, Current and Global Issues in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Professional and Business Ethics in Organizational Leadership, and Influence, Motivation, and Persuasion in the Workplace.
Graduate Tuition: $12,060

#4 Northcentral University

La Jolla, California

Online PhD degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology

Graduate Enrollment: 10,465

Accredited by the Senior College and University Commission, Northcentral University offers a cheap online PhD degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. In this 60-credit program, students will learn assessment and evaluation strategies that aid in hiring, training and improving performance with employees. The program utilizes an applied experiential learning method through case studies and real-life situations. Of all the programs on this list, Northcentral University’s is perhaps the most flexible, as it offers start dates every Monday and a one-to-one learning model that provides support for all online students. Note that there are no GRE or GMAT test requirements for admission. Because Northcentral University is strictly an online graduate university, they have the opportunity to hone in on specific groups of studies and provide a quality, innovative education that prepares passionate professionals to excel in their respective careers. Graduates of this low-cost online doctorate in organizational psychology will be prepared for various careers in settings like industry, government, consulting, and education.
Graduate Tuition: $16 , 983

#3 Capella University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Online PhD in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Graduate Enrollment: 27,356

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Capella University offers a 104-credit cheap online PhD in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The program operates on a unique 10-week, synchronous quarter system called GuidedPath, where students can take anywhere from 1-3 classes per quarter, with a $5,000 quarter tuition maximum. Unlike many online programs, CU provides purposeful structure to fit the needs of students who thrive in that atmosphere. While the coursework can be completed fully online, keep in mind that this program does require face-to-face residencies for hands-on experience. Coursework includes Principles of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Psychology of Leadership, Consultation Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology Practices in Human Resource Management. CU’s low-cost online doctorate in Organizational Psychology prepares graduates for high-level careers as a Director of Organizational Development, Evidenced-Based Coach, Director of Labor Relations, Director of Training and Development, Full-time Faculty, or an Organizational Consultant.

Graduate Tuition: $14,767

#2 Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Online PhD in Psychology with an emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Graduate Enrollment: 36,114


Through the College of Doctoral Studies, Grand Canyon University offers a cheap online PhD in Psychology with an emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology. In this 60-credit program, students will take core courses like Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Theory, Humanistic, Transpersonal, & Existential Psychology, Principles of Industrial and Organization Psychology, and Psychology of Consulting and Coaching. Students will also take classes in research, residency, and dissertation. Utilizing the 8-week class model, the coursework at GCU is geared toward the modern, non-traditional online student in efforts to offer a flexible and convenient delivery method. The dissertation is integrated into the curriculum and allows students to begin working on it during their first course. In addition, students will also participate in two hands-on residencies and can finish their degree in as little as 39 months. Grand Canyon University’s low-cost online doctorate in organizational psychology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Out-of-State Graduate Tuition: $10,175

#1 Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, California

Online PsyD in Human and Organizational Psychology


Graduate Enrollment: 1,163

Touro University Worldwide’s affordable online psychology degree results in a PsyD in Human and Organizational Psychology and focuses on these three fields: organizational psychology, leadership psychology, and industrial psychology. Unique features of the program include no GRE scores required, no residency during the program, and a fully online curriculum. Specific core courses include The Scholar-Practitioner Model, Applied Media Psychology, and Evidence-Based Practices. Students will then spend time developing a research topic before refined and writing their dissertation. A concentration in organizational leadership is available and is designed for students desiring to work in the business arena. This specialization will give students the knowledge to understand the psychology behind organizations and their human resource management systems. In addition, a unique specialization in performance psychology is also available. Touro University Worldwide is a Jewish sponsored non-profit educational institution that is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Graduates of this cheap online doctorate in organizational psychology will be ready for careers like faculty, researcher, consultant, or staff psychologist.
Graduate Tuition: $9,000

Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Online Doctorate Degrees in Organizational Psychology

Q: What is an online doctorate in organizational psychology?
A: In order to understand organizational psychology, let’s first look at general psychology. General psychology provides intense and advanced study in human behavior and mental health. Practitioners of this field evaluate individual, social, organizational, and global problems all while helping people better cope with their life circumstances.

Within general psychology is a sector called organizational psychology that is focused on the study of human behavior in the workplace and the interior and exterior factors that affect that behavior. The goal of this work would be to increase efficiency among individuals, groups, and ultimately institutions as a whole.

Q: What degrees are available for a low-cost online doctorate degree in organizational psychology?
A: As you are considering affordable doctoral programs in organizational psychology online, the actual degree type you choose is vital to the process. And because the options will determine what career path you take, you’ll want to get a good handle on your goals before you apply. We mention two different types of degrees in this article: Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Below is a description of each to help you decide what path is best for you.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Five to seven years in length, this degree path is geared more towards the students who desire to become an expert in the field as a professor or researcher. Typically, graduates will not necessarily pursue a clinical career, but will instead focus their efforts on data and research.
  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD): A PsyD is an alternative degree for students seeking to work in clinical practice. Graduates will be prepared for professional practice, but it is important to note that the degree does not guarantee licensure, as you should check with your respective state licensure programs for that information. In contrast to the PhD, an affordable online doctorate in PsyD program could be a little shorter in length, anywhere from 4-6 years. Depending on the program structure, you may replace the traditional dissertation with a doctoral project.

Q: Are there any specializations in the field of organizational psychology?
A: Not really. Industrial and organizational psychology is a specialization within general psychology already, so by getting a cheap online degree in organizational psychology, you are pursuing a career in a niche psychology area.

Q: What is the difference between organizational psychology and general psychology?
A: General psychology, the study of human behavior and the mind, is the umbrella term for all concentrations that fall within that field from forensic psychology to educational psychology to counseling psychology. Organizational psychology is one such concentration and focuses on studying human behavior and relationships in the workplace.

Q: Will I need any additional certifications or does my degree allow me to practice?

A: Whether you get your PhD or your PsyD, if you are working with clients as a clinical psychologist, you will need to be licensed in the state in which you work. Check with your states licensing guidelines, as those vary state by state. Though certifications aren’t required to become a psychologist, you could enhance your credibility and job potential by getting some. Check out the American Board of Professional Psychology for more information. It might even be important to look up that information before applying to a program to make sure your school’s accreditation is accepted as valid for licensure. Either way, you’ll need to pass your boards, an exam called Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology .

Q: How long does it take to get a low-cost online doctorate in organizational psychology?
A: Getting a doctoral degree usually takes much longer than a master’s degree, ranging anywhere from 3.5-7 years. Keep in mind that shorter programs might require a more significant course load, while more extended programs will spread the coursework out a little more. The benefit of dedicating that kind of time to a discipline is that you become an expert in your field, holding the highest degree possible. Most programs have mandatory time limits for finishing the degree, with some as generous as 7-8 years. If you plan to take your time getting your doctorate, make sure to check your given program to confirm that it fits within your timeframe. In addition, one distinction to consider is that an online PsyD in Organizational Psychology might take less time than a traditional PhD. Deciding your career goals upfront will help you make that decision.

Q: Can I take my organizational psychology doctoral classes entirely online?
A: Yes! Some programs follow a 100% online format, which don’t require you to visit campus at all. Some programs, however, have face-to-face seminars that require you to come on campus for a period of time. Other programs even offer blended or hybrid models where certain classes are offered on-campus as well. There is no right answer for the “best” program. The best program is the one that fits your schedule, lifestyle, budget, and career goals.

Q: Can I work while I get my low cost online organizational psychology doctoral degree?
A: It really is dependent on the program that you choose. If you are getting your online PsyD, you could find a program that fits with your lifestyle and allows you to work simultaneously. Some PhD programs allow you to teach or assist in research for a stipend or even for the cost of your tuition.

Q: Are there any affordable organizational psychology doctorate programs that do not require a GRE/GMAT for admission?
A: Yes, some online psychology programs do not require a standardized test like the GRE or GMAT for admission. Programs on this rankings list that do not require testing include Touro University Worldwide and Northcentral University. If that is an important detail to you, consider one of these mentioned schools, or double check the application process of the program you are interested in to make sure. It may be important to remember that most master’s degree programs require the GRE, so if you’ve already taken the test for admission to that program, you might be eligible to use that score towards admission to a doctoral program. Most doctoral admission requirements state that students should have taken the GRE or GMAT within in last five years or so. With that in mind, you might be able to use your score from admissions to your master’s degree program when applying for your doctoral program.

Q: Are there any doctorate degrees in organizational psychology that do not require a dissertation?
A: This seems to be a complicated and controversial topic, but the short answer is yes, there are some doctoral programs that do not require a dissertation. While most of the programs on this list require a dissertation in the last few semesters of the curriculum, you could potentially find a related program that does not require one. The thought process here would be that these programs are designed specifically for professionals in the given field, and therefore, the dissertation is replaced with research or capstone projects instead of a dissertation. However, you will want to consider what your goals are. Is it important to your career aspirations to have a well thought out and targeted dissertation? Does that give you merit or specific credit in your desired field? Do you feel like your degree will be taken seriously if you don’t have a completed dissertation? There isn’t a right or wrong answer here; this will be a decision that’s entirely up to you.

Q: Do I need a Master’s degree for admission to an affordable online doctoral program in organizational psychology?
A: Yes, all online and traditional doctoral programs require both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Double check the details of your program to make sure you current degrees will be the right fit for admission.

Q: How can I pay for my online doctorate in organizational psychology?
A: Making room in your budget for school costs can be daunting. But luckily, there are many scholarships and financial aid options available. Most schools have information on their website to help guide you in that process. For military service members, many schools like Touro University Worldwide have tuition discounts or special scholarships available, so make to sure to look for those in your search. Another option is to talk to the institution where you currently work. Some have tuition reimbursement programs, where they will pay for your education, and you can pay them back through working contracts. Other schools, like Capella University, have tuition caps per semester or quarter, a strategy that could help cut down the cost of education if you are able to take multiple classes at a time. Lastly, many doctoral programs offer assistantships or stipends for teaching or researching. Look at your program’s details to see if that option is available for you.

FAQ Career Questions

Q: What careers can I get with an online organizational psychology doctorate?
A: Generally, graduates who hold a PhD or other doctoral degree in psychology can work in business organizations, government positions, school systems, higher education, research, or in clinical practice. A doctorate in psychology can take you down many paths, and because there are so many options available, you will be able to match a career with your passions in life. It might be wise to determine what your career goals are before enrolling in a program, so you can make to choose the specific degree and school that will best fit your post-graduate goals.

Q: How much can I earn with an affordable online doctorate organizational psychology degree?
A: According to payscale.com, the average salary for a PsyD degree is $81,000 and the average for a PhD is $98,000.
Salaries for common Psychology Careers:

  • Industrial/Organizational Psychologist: $74,992
  • Clinical Psychologist: $79,914
  • Higher Education Professor: $88,102

Q: Are there professional associations for organizational psychology professionals?
A: Yes! Organizational psychology professionals can join the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists (SIOP). https://www.siop.org A few general associations include American Psychological Association (APA), American Board of Professional Psychology, and Association for Psychological Science (APS).

This article was updated in June 2020.

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