Why is finding APA accredited PsyD programs so important? In many states, graduating from an APA-accredited school is required for licensure as a psychologist.i
Types of APA Accredited Doctorate Programs
There are two primary professional degrees that the American Psychological Association (APA) accredits. Both aim to ready students for the professional practice of psychology. These are:
- PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) - research degree
- PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) – clinical degree
While different from one another, accredited PsyD and PhD programs provide broad and general instruction in scientific psychology. PsyD programs typically include practical (clinical) work and examinations.
On the other hand, PhD programs may train students in theory and thought leadership, thus involve a final written dissertation.
written by Rana Waxman
List of 16 Grad Schools with APA Accredited PsyD Programs
Explore a list of sixteen grad schools with APA accredited PsyD programs compiled from our partners:
- Pepperdine University
- Chicago School of Professional Psychology
- Loma Linda University
- University of San Francisco
- University of Denver
- University of Hartford
- Nova Southeastern University
- Widener University
- Chatham University
- Duquesne University
- St. John’s University
- St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
- Loyola University Chicago
- Baylor University
- Regent University
- Argosy University
What Does APA Certification Mean?
It is the APA’s duty to ensure the programs they accredit are planned-out to comply with CoA published guidelines and procedures (shortened as G & A). For instance, they are supposed to feature:
- Sequential training curricula
- Qualified faculty
- Adequate number of faculty
- Supplemental resources (E.g. libraries, computers, office space)
APA accreditation is also date-stamped. The CoA grants accreditation for 3-7 years from the last date of the site visit.
Three Areas of APA Accreditation
The APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA) and Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation collaborate to assess and accredit doctoral, internship, and postdoctoral programs in the following three areas:
- Clinical Psychology
- Counseling Psychology
- School Psychology
Types of Non-Accredited Programs
On the flip side, there are a few terms that should be on your radar for programs that are not fully accredited by the APA. These are:
- On Probation: Program may not be consistent with G & A and is now red-flagged
- Revocation of Accreditation: Program was accredited, then on probation until the CoA decided it was no longer compliant with G & A
- Denial of Accreditation: Program is not up to CoA G & A
- Denial of Site Visit: The APA designates the recipient not ready for a site visit.
Father of Modern Positive Psychology
Martin Seligman, a past director of the clinical training program of the University of Pennsylvania, is widely seen as the father of modern Positive Psychology. He was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1988.
List of 6 PsyD Programs with APA Accreditation
We’ve extracted from the above list six popular APA accredited PsyD programs from partner psychology graduate schools.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers a Doctor of Psychology in Applied Clinical Psychology accredited by the APA. The ‘applied focus’ means that graduates could emerge ready to transition into private practice. Their PsyD program also has a robust focus in:
- Cultural Competency
- Observation and Assessment
- Clinical Interviewing
- Application of Principles into Clinical Situations
- Research Design, Statistics
A three-year full-time program, the curriculum aligns with degree requirements for licensure as a Psychologist in California. Eligible students may apply for a waiver of 200 hours off the 800-hour practicum rule though do complete a dissertation and internship as well as course work.
The PsyD in Clinical Psychology at TCSPP provides direction in marketing and operations. Graduates might thus take away the managerial knowhow to run a private practice or mental health clinic.
Farleigh Dickinson University students offers an APA accredited PsyD in School Psychology. Applicants to FDU have a choice between tracks. Both tracks share the objective of preparing graduates to be eligible to attain licensure for independent practice.
The two tracks are:
- 5-year full time for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field
- An advanced, abbreviated program for those who already have a master’s degree and certification in school psychology, which may take full-time students three to four years to earn their degree
PsyD Program Highlights at FDU
The curriculum at FDU’s PsyD in School Psychology program melds methodology and theory. It exposes students to the various practices needed to help children and adolescents in schools and school-related settings. Some of the potential topics include:
- Child Neuropsychology
- Applied Social Psychology
The program ends in a yearlong internship in a school or related clinical setting. Students are encouraged to apply for APA-approved internships. Other highlights include:
- Students could work while pursuing their degree as classes are held late afternoon and evenings
- A dissertation is required to complete the program
Other Types of Psychology Degrees
Some universities, such as Capella offers a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. These are typically accredited by another agency, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
The University of Hartford's doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD) is accredited by the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education and by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Hartford’s program stacks practitioner and scholarly elements. Students are exposed to a variety of courses and applied research issues. In their core curriculum, participants typically study the key areas of relationship, assessment, and intervention.
Available PsyD Tracks at Hartford
In addition, there is an option to focus one’s studies. The Child & Adolescent Proficiency Track builds competency in:
- Clinical Child Development
- Child Psychotherapy
- Programmatic Interventions W/Children
- Clinical Aspects of Adolescence
This track also allows students to have specific practicum experience in child and adolescent work. Graduates might take away both a solid theoretical foundation and strong therapeutic, assessment and program development skills in working with this special population.
Loma Linda University offers an APA accredited PsyD in in the areas of health psychology, clinical child psychology, and neuropsychology.
The five-year (including internship) program is planned out on the scholar-practitioner model. PsyD students are expected to take key courses in:
- The Scientific Bases of Psychology
- Empirically-supported Treatments
At the same time, the curriculum is built so that PsyD students could begin working in supervised clinical settings at the end of the first training year. In year two, they may work with individuals, couples, and families in the psychology clinic.
During years three and four, students often work in a variety of clinical settings at Loma Linda University Medical Center and throughout the community.
Argosy University offers an APA accredited PsyD program in clinical psychology at multiple campuses. Their learning model may feature faculty mentorship, engaging classroom discussions and experiential learning.
In class, students work to build a strong knowledge base of theory and research and how to translate this information into professional practice. Out of class, students may be able to gain hands-on proficiency through an in-house clinic.
For instance, the Psychological Services Center at Argosy University, Chicago, may provide extra practicum training opportunities for students.
Many of Argosy’s PsyD students may complete their practicum in the second and third years of the program and their pre-doctoral internship in the fifth year of the program.
The University of San Francisco offers a PsyD in Clinical Psychology that was recently granted “accredited, on contingency” status by the American Psychological Association. This status is available to new doctoral programs.
For USF, it is in effect from July 22, 2018 and was granted for five years. After this period, the APA will revisit it and review it for full accreditation status.
SFU’s practice-based PsyD program aims to ready graduates to work with marginalized groups and underserved communities. A full-time program, it is comprised of academic coursework and practicum training for the first four years.
During this time, students need to be available in the San Francisco Bay Area. The fifth year is a full-time internship and students may be able to complete this component in another state.
Are There APA Accredited PsyD Programs Online?
Are you a busy professional, looking into distance education? Do you wonder whether the APA accredits online PsyD programs? Find apa accredited online psyd programs here.
In short, the APA says, "there are no APA-accredited programs available that ONLY use online methods of instruction." That stated, they note that there are accredited programs which may offer a small portion of content via web, such as hybrid PsyD programs.
Also, there are online PsyD programs that are not APA accredited, but do follow their guidelines. These programs may still ready graduates to pursue licensure as psychologists, but you should check with your state board of psychology to see if they fulfill specific licensure requirements.
What are the advantages of APA Accreditation?
State psychology boards accept the APA as the gold standard for quality programming. While state licensing laws vary, eligibility for board exams requires:i
- A doctoral degree in psychology
- APA (or CPA) accreditation
Plus, the APA only accredits PsyD programs at regionally accredited grad schools. This double layer of approval may provide a measure of assurance. After all, you want to receive a quality education that may lay the foundation for your continued success!
Common Admissions Requirements of APA Accredited Schools
Anticipate that criteria for admission into an APA accredited PsyD program varies from school to school. A completed application form may consist of the following:
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae
- Previous coursework in statistics (Post-Bachelor’s programs)
- Minimum GPA of 3.0
- Official College/University Transcripts from accredited schools
- Letters of Recommendation
- Statement of Goals
- Certification as School Psychologist (PsyD in School Psychology)
- GRE scores (General and Subject Test in Psychology)
- PRAXIS scores (PsyD in School Psychology)
Keep in mind that while the APA does not accredit Bachelors or Masters programs and any prior degrees do need to be earned through a regionally (or nationally) approved institution.
Search for Graduate Schools That Offer APA Accredited PsyD Programs
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