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APA Accredited Masters Programs OnlineThe American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest psychological association in the United States. It is also the national accrediting authority for training and education in psychology. It accredits doctoral graduate programs, intern programs and postdoctoral residency programs. Three universities in Alabama are accredited by the APA. Additionally, three facilities offer internship programs that are accredited by the APA.
1. Auburn UniversityAuburn University was established in 1856 and today, is one of the largest universities in the South, with roughly 20,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students. Students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree that’s accredited by the APA can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology or a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. This program follows a scientist-practitioner model that allows students to explore the science of counseling and gain experience as a practitioner who is equipped to meet an individual’s mental health needs. Although the program doesn’t have any formal specializations, students can informally pursue a track that emphasizes the scientist or practitioner aspect of training that appeals to them most. Students may also participate in the Association of Counseling Psychology Students as well as offerings through the College of Liberal Arts. Course cover social psychology, cognitive behavior therapy, experimental design in psychology and ethical issues. To complete the degree, students must participate in an internship and pass the general Doctoral Examination, which includes both a written paper and oral defense of their thesis. PhD Candidates must also complete an internship in counseling or clinical psychology. Although the university doesn’t offer any specialization options, students are able to take additional courses in any area that interests them in order to focus their studies.
2. University of Alabama at BirminghamThe University of Alabama at Birmingham began as an extension school. In less than forty years, it’s become an academic medical center and a doctoral research university. The university offers an APA-accredited Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology as well as an accredited internship program available through the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology. Students interested in pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology can select from a specialization in behavioral neuroscience, lifespan development psychology or medical clinical psychology. The medical clinical psychology specialization is approved by the APA. Through the degree program, students have the opportunity to conduct research, teach and provide psychological services. The hospital has a Center for Psychiatric Medicine, where students can acquire real-world experience working with patients and applying their skills as practitioners. Students must also complete a written paper and oral defense in order to complete the degree process.
3. University of Alabama at TuscaloosaThe University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa is the state’s flagship university. It’s student-centered and emphasizes research. Founded in 1831, it was the first public college in the state. Students who are interested in pursuing APA-accredited psychology programs can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. The program has been accredited since 1959. The clinical psychology degree program prepares graduate for the research and the practitioner aspects of clinical psychology. Students can select from four specializations: psychology and law, clinical child, clinical health and clinical geropsychology. Through the course of their studies, learners have the opportunity to participate in the university’s psychology clinic and community training facilities. Together, these allow students to meet the required hours of supervised psychology work to become licensed psychologists. Students begin their clinical coursework their first year and complete research and practicums in subsequent years to attain their goal of completing their PhD.
4. Central Alabama Veterans Health Care SystemLocated in Montgomery, Alabama, the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System also offers an APA-accredited internship. Eleven full-time psychologists are accepted into the internship program every year. Any individuals who’ve completed an APA-accredited doctoral degree program are eligible. Students complete pre-doctoral training that allows them to acquire experience in several specialized settings. Psychology rotations are available in post traumatic stress disorder, primary care, neuropsychological testing, sexual trauma therapy, outpatient mental health clinic, rehabilitation psychology and Veteran’s industries. The Psychology Service also provides practicum training to students at Auburn University who are earning their doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.
5. Tuscaloosa VA Medical CenterThe Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center offers an internship program that’s accredited by the APA. Located only a short distance from the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, it has a has a Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Program that allows veterans to receive rehabilitation and treatment. The center is also affiliated with the University of Alabama Birmingham, allowing students from both universities are able to complete the required internships.
Accredited Online Psychology Master’s Degree ProgramsThose seeking a psychology degree don’t do it to see a few letters behind their name; they do it because psychology is an interesting field that allows them to help people while often making a very good living. But being able to help others starts with a great education. While there are many elements that play into a good education, accreditation is by far the most important. Accreditation is voluntary process by which a school is evaluated by an independent accrediting body and found to present an education that meets rigorous quality standards. Accreditation means that the degree a student earns from that school means something – it shows that the student has the education necessary to hit the ground running in their psychology career. Let’s dive into further detail on Master’s of Psychology Online Accredited programs.
Why is Accreditation Important for an Online Psychology Master’s Degree?It’s important to attend an accredited online master’s psychology program. But why does accreditation matter so much?
Licensure requires it.In most states, psychologists must be licensed. To become licensed, they must meet certain criteria, including scrutiny of their educational program. The required education element for licensing must be met by graduating from an accredited post-secondary institution.
Ensures it’s not a diploma mill.There was a time when online education was fraught with uncertainty, as accreditation hadn’t yet caught up with the new format of distance education. And even today, there are some colleges that will try to slip under the radar and offer programs that don’t meet the standards of a high-quality education. To avoid this, always look for an active accreditation status.
Boosts employment prospects.Accreditation sets a “floor” as to the level of training a professional should have and employers expect new hires to complete their education at an accredited school, even if not required by a certification or licensing body. Most job applicants will have graduated from an accredited school, so employers won’t even bother to look at the resumes of those who graduated from lesser institutions.
Required for further education.While a master’s degree is a higher-level degree, it’s not the highest. Should someone want to further continue their education with a doctorate degree in psychology, they will only get credit for their prior education if it came from an accredited school. If they did not attend an accredited institution, this could mean that all their hard work must be completed again in order to obtain a degree in good standing before embarking on the doctoral program.
Required for school transfers.Just as completing education at an accredited school is an eligibility requirement for a subsequent degree, it’s almost always a requirement for recognition of transfer credits. If students choose to change programs halfway through, they may have to start from scratch and all previous coursework will go to waste.
Get more financial aid.Most forms of financial aid, especially federal grants and loans, require applicants to attend an accredited school. By not enrolling at an accredited school, there will be little to no financial assistance available for most master’s students, even through many private scholarships.
Reputation matters.Another reason to attend an accredited program is for its positive and strong reputation and it imparts to graduates. Since an accredited school provides a high-quality education, students can rest assured that its reputation will continue with them through their long career. However, graduates from a non-accredited school might be seen as academically or professionally dishonest – and that’s not a good way to start any career.
Online Master’s in PsychologyWhen it comes to accreditation there are two types to consider: programmatic and institutional. Programmatic refers to the accreditation of specific degree programs while institutional (sometimes known as “regional” accreditation) refers to accreditation of the school itself. Ideally, a master’s student will earn a degree from a program and graduate from a school that are both accredited. However, this is not always possible because not all programs have an accrediting body. One example of this is psychology programs at the master’s level. When researching online master’s psychology programs, prospective students should ensure the program school has institutional accreditation. Students can locate that information on a school’s website, but sometimes it can be tricky or confusing to figure out. That’s why a good place to confirm accreditation is the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. Just remember that the U.S. Department of Education doesn’t accredit schools or programs; however, they do recognize the organizations that accredit schools. For those who decide to earn a doctoral degree in psychology, there is a programmatic accreditation to seek out. Specifically, the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA CoA) which accredits doctoral degree programs. The APA CoA is also tasked with accrediting doctoral internships and postdoctoral residency programs.
Accredited Online Psychology Master’s ProgramsThere are so many online master’s degree programs to choose from that it can be daunting to decide which school to apply to. To help master’s students narrow down their options, here are a few spotlight schools offering master’s in psychology programs that can give students an idea of what to expect from their programs.
|College Name & Address||Tuition||Graduation Rate|
|Capella University 225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-3389||$14,516||17.1%|
|Los Angeles Pacific University 300 N Lone Hill Avenue, #200, San Dimas, California 91773-1741||$10,800||–|
|Northcentral University 2488 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, California 92106||$16,864||39.3%|
|Walden University 100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401||$11,739||20.4%|
|Southwestern Oklahoma State University 100 Campus Dr, Weatherford, OK, 73096-3098||$8,300||35.5%|
|Touro University Worldwide 10601 Calle Lee #179, Los Alamitos, CA, 90720||$18,000||67.9%|
|McNeese State University 4205 Ryan St, Lake Charles, LA, 70605||$18,330||41.2%|
|Wayland Baptist University 1900 W 7th St., Plainview, TX, 79072||$23,040||33%|