Affordable PSYD Programs in California

Last Updated on December 22, 2022

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The Doctor of Psychology, abbreviated ‘PsyD, Psy D, or Psy.D. is an applied, clinically-focused doctorate degree somewhat like an MD in medicine. Earning a degree from a PsyD program typically prepares a graduate to fulfill the educational requirements for state licensure; licensure is a requirement for use of the title “psychologist” in most states. Psychologists study the human brain, cognitive functions, emotional and social behaviors through various techniques and interventions.

If you are searching for a terminal degree program in the field of psychology, you have options including the PsyD (Doctor of Psychology), the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology, and the Education Specialist degree. While academically similar, there are differences between these degrees – somewhat like different roads, that prospective doctoral students should clarify before embarking on a doctorate in psychology program.

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Most Affordable Doctoral Programs in Psychology | Grad School Hub

Affordable PSYD Programs in California

California has an abundance of affordable PsyD programs. Graduates of these programs excel in clinical and counseling psychology careers, and they also make excellent teachers at colleges and universities throughout the state.

According to a recent study, California is one of the best states for Psychologists, with a median salary of $79,160 and a top-10 job market adjusted score of 105.

The following ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares the top psychology programs in the U.S.

Read more on how this ranking was calculated.

15 Best PsyD Programs in Florida 2020 | Requirements, Cost, Admission

If you’re looking for an affordable PSYD program in California, you’ve got a list of options to choose from. In this article, we’ll tell you about five of them and give you the details so you can decide which one is right for you.

The University of St. Augustine in San Marcos has been offering a doctorate in clinical psychology since 1999. The university’s low student-to-faculty ratio allows students to really get to know their professors, who have themselves worked as clinical psychologists and have experience teaching at the university level. The university promises that all faculty members are committed to teaching and helping students succeed, giving them direct access to information and resources they use in their own practice. The degree is offered at both the San Marcos campus and St. Augustine’s south Florida campus.

The NCU’s PSYD program is designed to prepare students for leadership positions within the clinical psychology field by encouraging them to develop critical thinking skills and adaptability, which are crucial for those who want to be leaders in the field. The program offers two degree plans—a traditional plan for students who have already obtained a master’s degree, and an alternative plan for those who haven’t yet earned a master’s degree but are interested in pursuing one while enrolled in the PS.

Affordable Psyd Programs In California

A doctoral degree such as the Ph.D., Psy.D., and Ed.D. earned from an APA-accredited program may be translate into eligibility to sit for the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology examinations in one’s state.

The below chart is based on tuition information provided by the individual universities and excludes any additional university or program fees and costs. The chart shows the tuition rate for a single year in the program for full-time, in-state or out-of-state students, with these programs offering the lowest 1st year cost of APA-accredited schools in California.

SchoolLocationAverage 1st-year Cohort Cost (2019-2020)
California Lutheran UniversityOxnard, CA$28,560*
Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda, CA$30,300**
Fuller Theological SeminaryPasadena, CA$33,610***
University of La VerneOxnard, CA$37,600****
The Wright InstituteBerkeley, CA$37,650*****

Sources: CLU*, LLU**, Fuller Theological Seminary***, ULV****, The Wright Institute*****

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California Lutheran University

California Lutheran University’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program requires 114 credits and is designed to be completed in 5 years. In this program you could take coursework on different topics, such as the biological aspects of behavior, ethics, diagnostic interviewing, group psychotherapy, and social psychology. You are also required to complete a second-year project or competency exam, qualifying exams, and a dissertation. Your clinical experiences include internal practicums at Cal Lutheran clinics, external practicums, and a full 1-year internship.

Fuller Theological Seminary

Fuller Theological Seminary has a 242-unit PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program where you also earn a Master of Arts in Psychology when you complete 88 units. This program’s coursework includes classes on general and clinical psychology, theology, and the integration of theology and psychology. Research requirements include a dissertation of original scholarly work and placement in a research lab where you work with a faculty member on your dissertation. Throughout your 5 years in this program, you will receive clinical training in the university’s in-house clinic, be placed at a training center in the Los Angeles County area, complete a pre-internship practicum, and complete your 1-year internship.

Loma Linda University

At Loma Linda University, you can earn a 168-credit PsyD in Clinical Psychology in 5 years. The curriculum for this program features classes on psychopharmacology, spirituality in clinical psychology, and personality assessment. Starting in your second year, you will be placed in LLU-affiliated and non-LLU practicum sites. Along with coursework and clinical training, you must pass a comprehensive exam and complete a doctoral project. A pre-doctoral internship is also required.

University of La Verne

University of La Verne offers a 5-year PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program that requires 120 semester hours. Over the course of this program, you could take classes on such subjects as psychopathology, professional issues/ethics, biological bases of behavior, and personality assessment. A dissertation is also required. Your clinical training occurs during your 2nd and 3rd year in the program, and you could be placed at two different sites in order to amass 1,500 training hours; an elective 4th year practicum experience is also available. In addition, your 5th year consists of a 1-year internship.

Online Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs 2021 | Best Value Schools

The Wright Institute

The Wright Institute’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology degree program features coursework that centers on such topics as cognitive behavior therapy, group therapy, sociocultural issues, lifespan development, and intervention. Your practicum experiences begin in your 1st year, and by year 2, you will be placed in one of the Wright Institute’s clinics or at a site in the community. You gain more clinical experience in year 3, and complete your dissertation in year 4. Your final year in the program is spent completing your internship. Last, a portfolio review that includes assessments of your academic performance, clinical training performance, and two qualifying exams is also required.

Typically, affordable PsyD degree programs in California take about 5 years to complete. During your program, you will take coursework, complete clinical and practicum training hours, and complete a 1-year pre-doctoral internship.

university of california psyd program

Located in Berkeley, the institution is known in the States and across the globe for its outstanding performance in courses like electrical engineering & computer sciences, economics, political science, business administration, and psychology.

It offers a Doctor of psychology program which is one of the best in California. Basically, the program curriculum is designed to aid students to enter the mental health field successfully. To complete this course, students are expected to take 12-15 units of credit each semester.

For full-time students, this program can be completed within 3 -6 years though they must submit a dissertation and a one-year internship program.

Accredited by APA, COA and WASC, students may pay a tuition of $37,940 (in-state) and $53,042 (out-of-state) annually.

california southern university psyd reviews

“I graduated about 8 months ago, paid my account in full, and still has not received my diploma, despite the fact I reached out to them several times and was left with no response. I am looking into my other options to escalate this issue. This is revolting and I feel indignant.”

“I enjoyed my coursework and found the program challenging yet fair. I am frustrated, however, because Cal Southern does not participate in Degree Verify, an online site employers use to verify degrees. The other major online universities, such as Walden and Capella, do participate. I feel this makes a degree from Cal Southern appear less legitimate.”

“Course content was interesting and engaging. Like any other school, some professors are phenomenal and others had expectations that were not clearly outlined. With that said, the program is appropriately challenging. I earned a masters from a university that has APA accreditation for their doctoral program, so the rigor of that prepares me for this. I am not looking to get licensed, but as a California resident its nice to know I can (with extra hoops without APA accreditation). Regional accreditation suffices for my career needs.”

“I loved the school till I completed my pre-doc; although, I am very disappointed for not being able to change my chair. I have requested a change in chair more than once and they rejected it every time. I do not find him helpful/supportive, he is unclear and unmotivating. I have started feeling extremely saddened, but I have no choice to continue to graduate with this tough situation. I did not feel supported by school and that’s not professional and condescending to me.”

“I am now in the dissertation phase (officially called Doctoral Project) and I have found this program to a great fit for a working clinician in full time private practice. If you don’t reside in CA are not concerned about licensure, this is a relatively affordable and convenient way to obtain a regionally accredited doctorate in psychology. You have to be very self directed, and a lot of the assignments feel like busy work (I think true in many bricks and mortar places too), but overall my experience has been good.”

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