California Southern Univesity Accreditation

  • Last Post 06 June 2014
ALaura posted this 06 March 2014 - Last edited 14 March 2016

Hello, I am planning to do a PsyD (Psychology Doctorate) at the California Southern University. Has anyone heard of this online university? When I searched in the website, 235 online degrees in psychology appeared, but "none" from the California Southern University. Am I missing something? Why is that it is not in the listing? The university claims (and shows in their website as well as a governmental website) they are fully accredited. Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated! ALaura

Kayleigh posted this 06 March 2014 - Last edited 14 March 2016

Hi Laura!

First off, don't panic! GetEducated's online degree database is not 100% complete and we are always adding new schools and degrees. If a school is not included it does not necessarily mean they are not accredited, it just means we haven't gotten around to them yet.

However, IF a school is included we guarantee that that school has proper accreditation.

California Southern University is a nationally accredited school through the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

FAQ—Online College Accreditation

Consider that there is also another type of accreditation, regional, often considered the gold standard.

More information on regional accreditation vs. national accreditation.

If you have any inkling you may transfer at any point during your doctorate degree you may have some trouble transferring the credits you earned from California Southern University to a regionally accredited school.

We currently have 15 online Psychology doctorate degrees in our database that are regionally accredited if you'd like to explore.

Best of luck!


Get Educated BEFORE You Enroll!

ALaura posted this 07 March 2014 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Thanks Kayleigh! Your response is of great help. I did get confused with the national vs. regional accreditation dilema. If as you say "the gold standard" is attending a program that has "regional accreditation" then the options are quite limited, at least in my field.

Let me ask you another question... For what I researched the difference between a PhD and a PsyD is that with the former one cannot actually practice as a clinical psychologist but only do research and teach at universities, while with the later you can only practice. Could you please clarify this point to me? I am looking for a degree that would allow me to open my own practice or work as a consultant with schools...

Also, all other viewers of this message... any comments on NCU PhD Psychology program?

Many thanks! Laura

SpiritMachine posted this 06 June 2014 - Last edited 06 August 2015

If a psychologist has a clinical or counseling PhD, they can practice psychotherapy. Both PhDs and PsyDs are valid, and B&M PhD students generally get more clinical hours despite the misconception that they have little to none. There are applied research-based PhD programs out there where one would require additional study to become a clinician (e.g. most that are online), but there are also PsyDs where one would be unable to practice independent care (e.g. University of the Rockies). Generally the former are non-clinical areas of psychology such as sports, general, experimental, etc, and even then: one could still become a practitioner after a clinical respecialization. It really depends on the state one lives in and the type of work they are interested in. Most online PhD programs in non clinical/counseling areas of psychology make one ineligible to practice on their own, but it's because very few are of a psychotherapeutic speciality: Not because they are solely or mostly about independent research.

CSU is iffy because of its accreditation. Regional accreditation is a prerequisite for independent practice in most states, and for those where it is not, you have to prove equivalency in training. Some even require APA accreditation on top of that! But again, you may end up all right with a clinical respecialization. Though I am still not sure how that works with online programs. You may have options depending on where you want to practice, however.

It sounds like you subtlely hinted at school psychology, and that is a bit different. Was that your intention? You can become one with an education specialist certification in school psychology.

In short: - PhDs can practice psychotherapy with a clinical/counseling specialty or respecialization - Regional accreditation is the silver standard in psychology. NASP (school) and APA are the gold standard. California has its own certification process though with some schools not even having national accreditation. So in that aspect, CSU may be mid-tier if you want to practice in California. - If you graduate with a PhD in a non-clinical area of psychology, you may be able to clinically respecialize. But you have to accrue hours of training, licensure, etc.