PhD in Psychological Sciences

The fully online Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences at Divine Mercy University provides rigorous training in the psychological sciences and social science research to prepare students for academic, research, consulting, and leadership careers. This degree is not intended or designed to lead to licensure as a professional behavioral / mental health provider, (i.e. clinical psychologist, mental health counselor, social worker, etc) in any state, province or local government entity/municipality. The program is uniquely designed to facilitate a deeper and holistic understanding of the flourishing person by integrating the wisdom of philosophy and theology with cutting edge research in psychology enabling students to make a difference in a variety of settings across the world. Students will acquire the necessary skills to engage in original research in their areas of interest, receive faculty support, interact with students and researchers from diverse areas of expertise, and present their research in a variety of settings to advance the field of psychology.

This 90-credit doctoral program builds on DMU’s Master’s in Psychology as a foundation. Students with graduate degrees in psychology or related fields from accredited institutions can transfer up to 30 credits into the PhD program depending on courses taken in their prior graduate programs. Graduates of and students in DMU’s MSP can apply their coursework (33 credits) towards the 90 credits of the doctoral program. With a Master’s degree in psychology or related field, full-time students may complete this PhD in 3 years. Those without a qualifying Master’s degree may complete the PhD in four and a half years of full-time study. Students may take more time to complete the program but must complete it within 7 years after enrollment.

The program consists of 33 core credits, 6 thesis credits which serve as a foundation for dissertation research, 27 credits in advanced research, theory, and integration methodology, and 24 dissertation research credits. The program is completely online with both synchronous and asynchronous learning modalities.

Possible Careers:

  • Administrator/director of a behavioral or mental health organization
  • Researcher
  • Professor
  • Director of family life
  • Consultant
  • Grant writer
  • Nonprofit organization leader
  • Program or department head
  • Project manager

Goal 1: Foundations in Psychology from a Catholic Christian Perspective.

Graduates will attain foundational psychological sciences knowledge of biological, cognitive, affective, social, and developmental aspects of the human person, as well as history and systems of psychology, psychological measurement, research design, and statistical methods. The study of the psychological sciences is deeply embedded in the Catholic Christian vision of the flourishing person.

 Goal 2: Independent Research in the Psychological Sciences

Graduates will gain extensive knowledge in quantitative and qualitative research methodology for the psychological and social sciences and acquire advanced statistical analyses skills. Graduates will obtain the competency necessary to conduct independent psychological research and to communicate concepts and findings clearly and effectively in a variety of formats and settings.

Goal 3: Integrity in Research and Leadership. 

Becoming experts and leaders in their field, graduates will be knowledgeable in the areas of ethics and cultural sensitivity, and display critical thinking, self-awareness, and self-care. Graduates will demonstrate responsiveness to supervision, collegiality, and professional comportment in professional settings.

Goal 4: Professional Roles.

Graduates will be able to function in a variety of required roles of professional psychologists to include consultant, educator, researcher, leader, supervisor, practice manager and program evaluator. They will be able to work collaboratively within interdisciplinary teams.