Fastest PsyD Programs

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Updated: February 28, 2024, Reading time: 8 minutes

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Studying PsyD can be extremely time-consuming as most programs have an average duration of five years. Recently, I was ready to get started in this wonderful world, yet I wanted to do it as fast as possible, so I started to research the quickest PsyD degrees available.

After a long analysis, I found the best alternatives I was looking for. So, if you are interested in learning about the fastest PsyD programs, keep reading, as I will explain all my findings.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Exploring the Need for Acceleration: Fastest PsyD Programs

In this modern dispensation, the demand for skilled psychologists is higher than ever. As mental health awareness grows, professionals with advanced degrees become essential. The first step in accelerating your psychology career is understanding why speed matters. 

An image of a male student with backpack going outside

Fast-track PsyD courses are designed to meet the urgency of this demand, allowing aspiring psychologists to enter the workforce more quickly and make a positive impact. Accelerated PsyD programs recognize the importance of adapting to these challenges promptly. 

With a focus on relevant coursework, cutting-edge research methodologies, and hands-on clinical experience, these degrees equip students with the skills needed to navigate contemporary psychological issues.

The Changing Landscape of PsyD Education

Traditionally, PsyD programs followed a more extended format, ensuring a comprehensive education that covered theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and research. However, as the demand for mental health professionals rises, fast-track PsyD courses shorten time frames without sacrificing the quality of instruction. This change is in response to how psychology develops and the demand for more adaptable, highly skilled workers.

Unveiling the Fastest PsyD Programs

Now that we’ve established the rationale behind accelerated courses let’s delve into some of the top options available for those looking to expedite their psychology career.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology  

Location: Chicago

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology program has been a pioneering psychology and behavioral science force for almost three decades. By integrating intensive coursework with immersive clinical experiences, students can complete the program in a shorter time frame without sacrificing educational quality.

The Chicago School is a non-profit organization with nearly 4,200 students, both online and in person. Offering over 20 degrees, including its core PsyD programs like clinical and school psychologies. The TCSPP emphasizes innovation and provides a range of international experiences. With a low acceptance rate of 34%, the average graduate tuition for the academic year is $22,212.

Six multiethnic students standing in one line

The school boasts about its transformational impact on students and communities, and its psychology practice is focused on a new method called the Engaged Professional Model of Education. Under the tutelage of professional practice and community partnerships, they provide students with a wide range of clinical training opportunities in a variety of community settings.

Alliant International University

Location: California

With a focus on education psychology, Alliant International University allows students to pursue a Doctor of Psychology in this area and their professional endeavors. Alliant International University assists students in acquiring the abilities and information required for their fields by providing a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Online and in-person components are used in course design to provide a dynamic, adaptable learning environment. A final project in a field of both professional and personal interest completes this program. Alliant also strongly emphasizes experiential learning through community service projects, internships, practicals, and consulting to give students the necessary professional experience. The tuition fee is $14,000 per year.

Alliant Special Features

The expedited Doctor of Psychology in Educational Psychology online doctoral course Alliant offers is noteworthy due to its exceptionally short two-year completion period. The second year, which features an eight-week schedule, 11 terms, and four phases, is dedicated to the last phase of the PsyD project, which is anticipated to be finished by the program’s end. 

A male and a female student studying with notebooks

Those with a school psychology licensure or certification can follow the School Psychology Track; eligibility requires a master’s degree in psychology or a related subject. The course requires 50 credits to be completed in two years.

Meridian University

Location: California

The Doctor of Psychology program at Meridian University emphasizes experiential learning via individual treatment, focusing on clinical psychology. Research-based, clinical psychology, and introductory courses are all integrated into the curriculum to provide a solid basis for professional practice. 

This program satisfies the educational requirements for California licensure and conforms to the standards set forth by the California Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), with the addition of fieldwork. Graduates are granted licenses upon graduation. Entry prerequisites include a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The curriculum strongly emphasizes fostering leadership qualities, participating actively in the workplace, and using psychological tests skillfully in a way that considers individual and cultural differences. The tuition amounts to $21,500 for the academic program.

University of Arizona Global Campus

Location: California

One of the country’s biggest and most innovative virtual campuses is the Global Campus of the University of Arizona. Once a modest, traditional college, the UAGC has grown into a nationwide online learning community committed to helping adult learners realize their goals on the personal and professional fronts.

UAGC, well-known for its accelerated five to six-week courses, offers a faster route to degree completion while maintaining the same depth and rigor of the program. With a defined four-year timeframe, UAGC’s affordable PhD in psychology degree is one of the fastest online doctoral courses.

A female instructor writing on a whiteboard

Students take courses at a faster pace; they finish all requirements by the third year and spend the fourth year working on their Applied Doctoral Project. Designed for dedicated students hoping to improve community welfare, the program offers three concentrations: sport and performance psychology, health and wellness and psychology, and criminology and justice studies.

License and Credit

Walden University 

Location: Minnesota

Walden University offers a nurturing Doctor of Psychology program in Behavioural Health Leadership. The curriculum emphasizes enhancing skills for elevating the quality of mental health services. Case studies serve as interactive resources that link academic knowledge to practical implementation. Residencies incorporate a virtual doctoral project session and an in-person consulting skills retreat.

Licensing is not offered. Specializations include teaching, health psychology, public health, industrial/organizational psychology, international practice, and healthcare administration doctorate programs.

Admittance requires three years of professional or academic experience (recommended) and a Master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA.

Students choose course-based learning because it offers a speedier, more engaging curriculum, yet tempo-based learning gives flexibility. With a fast-track option, the hybrid PhD in psychology can be completed in four years instead of the usual eight. The tuition for this outstanding school is $12,000.

A group of five students discussing with each other

Pepperdine University

Location: California

Pepperdine University’s Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program is a comprehensive set of lectures that prepares students for positions as licensed psychologists committed to community service through practical clinical practice. It is ranked as the Sixth Best Grad School in Clinical Psychology by U.S. News & World Report and is accredited by the American Psychological Association through 2027. 

Pepperdine has an astounding 97% placement rate for internships overall, with 91% of students landing internships accredited by the APA, indicating a wide range of employment options.

The program combines research, clinical training, and academia in line with the practitioner-scholar paradigm. Three years of pertinent coursework and supervised clinical training are part of a demanding four-year course that ends with a year-long internship and a clinical dissertation. Immersion learning is ensured by the in-person method.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Typical Duration of a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) Program?

PsyD programs commonly take four to six years to complete, encompassing coursework, clinical training, and research. However, course lengths can vary based on individual pace, specialization, and dissertation requirements.

Are There Accelerated Options for Earning a PsyD?

Yes, some institutions offer accelerated PsyD programs, allowing students to complete their doctoral studies in a shorter time frame. These degrees often involve more intensive schedules and streamlined coursework without compromising educational quality.

Is Accreditation Important When Choosing a PsyD Program?

Yes, accreditation is crucial. It ensures that a PsyD program meets established quality standards and is recognized by professional organizations. Graduating from an accredited program enhances credibility and facilitates licensure eligibility for aspiring psychologists.

Fastest PsyD Programs - fact


These distinguished institutions illuminate diverse paths in psychology education, each offering unique approaches and emphases. From the Chicago School’s transformative impact to Pepperdine’s commitment to community service, these programs enrich aspiring psychologists, promising knowledge and a profound understanding of the human psyche.

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.