California Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs
Several clinical psychology graduate schools offer graduate certificates, masters and doctorate clinical psychology degree programs in a residential format where students take class on college campus. One of the appealing things about working towards your graduate degree on campus is the variety of programs and psychology graduate schools to choose from. Some clinical psychology programs may lead to MFT or LPCC licensure, while others may be a step towards practice as a licensed clinical psychologist. Didn’t know there were so many options? Read on to learn more about locating schools for clinical psychology and determining which type of degree might align with your vocational and personal ambitions.
Types of Clinical Psychology Graduate Schools
While a Bachelor’s in Psychology may set your education in motion, a graduate clinical psychology degree can help shape career outcomes depending on the type of program you choose. You can certainly study psychology because you are drawn to personality theory and yet not end up as a licensed psychologist, which is why you want to clearly define your ideal career so you can support your decision with appropriate academics.
What is Clinical Psychology?
“Clinical psychology is the psychological specialty that provides continuing and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care for individuals and families; consultation to agencies and communities; training, education and supervision; and research-based practice”.[i]
Masters in Clinical Psychology Campus Programs
Masters in clinical psychology degree programs typically admit students who have earned a 4-year Bachelor of Psychology, or have an undergraduate major in another related field but have made up some of the required courses. While earning your degree could take around 1 to 2 years, this may vary between school and other requirements of your program such as a supervised practicum, capstone project od thesis. Some of the different campus-based master’s degrees in clinical psychology might include:
- Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Psychology
- Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Psychology –thesis or non-thesis options
- Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Psychology – Marriage and family therapy or counseling emphasis
Sometimes the same psychology school offers several options within the same program so students can choose between a program that could lead to post degree supervised work and a counseling license[ii] (a terminal degree) or working on a thesis and subsequent doctoral studies.
DID YOU KNOW? Requirements for license to practice in psychology are not standardized across states; some will license individuals with master’s degrees, but the majority requires a doctoral degree[iii].
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Campus Programs
Some doctoral clinical psychology programs require applicants to have a master’s in psychology although it is not uncommon for student’s with a bachelor’s degree to enter a doctoral degree program. Earning a doctorate could take at least 5 to7 years after your undergraduate years and could involve coursework, passing a comprehensive exam, writing and defending a dissertation. Those who seek to practice as a professional clinical psychologist must also completer a 1-year internship in their specialty area. Some of the different campus-based doctorate degrees in clinical psychology could include:
- Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology – practice oriented
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Psychology – research oriented
How to Choose a Campus-Based Clinical Psychology Degree Program
The factors you use to determine which psychology graduate schools to apply to are personal and likely practical too. Here are a few general things you might look for:
The variety of campus-based clinical psychology degree programs can be important for the student who is looking towards studying a particular area within clinical psychology (e.g. health psychology, neuropsychology). If you know what you want to learn, you can then look for a graduate school that offers this type of training.
In person learning is often based on demonstration, and dynamic classroom lectures where participation could be encouraged. You may also study or research a topic (e.g. biofeedback) where you receive hands-on training in the schools’ facilities (clinic, laboratories).
Some clinical psychology schools offer local internship placement.
Some psychology schools may have research grants and faculty who has published the type of articles that spark your interest and that you would like to have mentor you. On the other side of the coin, a potential faculty member could read about your research aspirations and consider your application.
The Campus as a Community
Earning a graduate degree on campus can provide a supportive community of like-minded students, the opportunity to meet students from other disciplines as you head of to the cafeteria or library. Meeting and interacting with others, participating in college activities and getting to know your professors may set a campus program apart from an online one.
Are you open to relocation? Do you prefer a local campus? Are you interested in studying clinical psychology abroad? Some campuses are located in the heart of a vibrating metropolis while others may be situated on a beautiful lakefront. Find clinical psychology degree programs and graduate schools by location. Use the city, state or country tabs to see what is available.
Accreditation indicates that an institution or program meets quality standards that have been set forth by an outside accrediting agency and that it is committed to upholding and improving the quality of education provided. The two types of accreditation are institutional and specialized programmatic. Institutional accreditation is provided by regional and national associations, while the American Psychological Association is a specialized accreditor; you can look for APA-accredited doctoral programs however they do not accredit master’s programs[iv].
Take the Next Step: Reviewing Clinical Psychology Graduate Schools
Finding a university or psychology school where you can take your education in clinical psychology to its next step can be an exciting adventure of visiting campuses, meeting alumni and potential professors or advisors, checking out the neighborhood surrounding a prospective school or planning your commute route from home. Take some of the guesswork out of your process by reviewing sponsored listings for clinical psychology degree programs on our site. You might find options such as campus Master of Clinical Psychology; Master of Science in Clinical Psychology; PsyD Applied Clinical Psychology; PhD in Clinical Psychology; Master of Arts in Clinical; Mental Health Counseling. Request info directly off our site to find out about the interesting features of each program and how you can proceed with your application.
sources: [i] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/clinical.aspx |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm |[iii] apa.org/education/grad/faqs.aspx[iv] apa.org/education/grad/faqs.aspx |
- Belmont, CABelmont, CA
Notre Dame de Namur University
Notre Dame de Namur University has long been known for the quality of psychology therapy programs leading toward MFT licensure.
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Chicago School’s Applied Clinical Psychology Doctoral program teach students about directive, non-directive, and systematic approaches. ...
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Irvine, CA
- Costa Mesa, CACosta Mesa, CA
The Master of Science in Clinical Psychology Program equips its students to serve with excellence as Christian mental health professionals by providing rigorous academic training, guided professional development, and integrative faith-based learning i...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
At the University of San Francisco, PsyD students are trained to translate thought to action, through practice-oriented training that emphasizes the mental, emotional and physical health needs of underserved communities.
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
If You Are a Clinician and a Scientist, We Have a Degree for You.
- Palo Alto, CAPalo Alto, CA
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D) in Clinical Psychology On-Campus Program The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology degree program at Sofia University provides formal training in the science and practice of clinical psychology. It is an o...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - Berkeley
The scientist-practitioner ideals of the "Boulder Model" shape the graduate program in clinical psychology.
- Culver City, CACulver City, CA
The MA in Clinical Psychology program is a professional course of study that prepares students for clinical practice and/or...
- Pleasant Hill, CAPleasant Hill, CA
John F Kennedy University
Offers advanced, individualized training to clinicians who have completed a master’s degree in psychology or a related field.
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
Alliant International University
The Clinical Psychology PhD program in San Francisco is a scholar practitioner program that gives students the knowledge, skil...
- San Francisco, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Sacramento, CA
- Fresno, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Bernardino, CASan Bernardino, CA
California State University, San Bernardino
The principal objective of the clinical/counseling program is to provide students with practical skills in counseling, through supervised training and...
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
Huron International University
An applied program designed for the working adult, our Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology meets the educational requirements for...
- Arcata, CAArcata, CA
Humboldt State University
The Psychology Department at HSU offers 2 Master of Arts programs designed to enhance your careers and satisfaction in Psycholog...
- Pasadena, CAPasadena, CA
Fuller Theological Seminary
- Thousand Oaks, CAThousand Oaks, CA
California Lutheran University
This program expands students’ knowledge on both the development of research and counseling skills in clinical psychology.
- Thousand Oaks, CA
- Oxnard, CA
- Oakland, CAOakland, CA
Holy Names University
Counseling Psychology programs reflect a rich diversity and are unique in integrating spirituality with sound theoretical and field-based learning.
- Encinitas, CAEncinitas, CA
California Institute For Human Science
The core curriculum of the General Psychology M.A. program is designed to provide the entry level graduate student with a solid grounding in the basic...
- Santa Barbara, CASanta Barbara, CA
University of California - Santa Barbara
APA-approved Combined Psychology Program. Ph.D. program adopts a scientist-practitioner model. In-house training clinic.
- Berkeley, CABerkeley, CA
The Wright Institute teaches the scientific knowledge base of clinical psychology, and enriches that learning by exploring the meanings of students' o...
- Fullerton, CAFullerton, CA
California Union University
- La Verne, CALa Verne, CA
University of La Verne
The core mission of the program is to train scholar-practitioners who think critically & practice ethically and compassionately.