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Alaska Pacific University Psy.D. Psychology Review

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Alaska Pacific University’s Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program is entering its 10th year of operation after enrolling students for the first time in 2011. While the program has yet to earn accreditation from the American Psychological Association, the Alaska Pacific Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology is an appealing option for one big reason — most of the degree can be completed online.

Let’s check out what students need to know to make their educational decisions about whether Alaska Pacific is right for them.

About the Program

Before we dip into the pros and cons of the program, let’s learn more about the university and this particular degree.

Basics

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Main campus: Anchorage
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities
  • First year of program: 2011

Tuition and fees

  • Full-time, in-state tuition: $22,680
  • Full-time, out-of-state tuition: $22,680
  • Per credit-hour tuition for part-time students: $840
  • Institution fees: $305

Student outcomes

  • Median years to completion: 3 (2013-15)
  • Percentage completing in <5 years: 100% (2013-15)
  • Percentage completing in 7+ years: 0% (2013-15)
  • Degrees conferred, 2013-15: 16
  • Percentage of students obtaining internships: 100% (2014-15)
  • Percentage of graduates earning professional licensure: 69% (2005-2015)

Degrees & requirements

  • Psy.D. degrees offered: PsyD in Counseling Psychology
  • Non-Psy.D. degrees offered: None
  • Number of credit hours required: 93

Admissions

  • Application method: Online
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor’s degree and transcript, completion of specific master’s level coursework; personal statement and essay; and letters of recommendation
  • Admissions office address: 4101 University Drive, Anchorage AK 99508

Biggest Pros

What factors are the most likely to belong in the “pro” column for the average student?

Mostly online delivery

For the most part, students are able to complete their coursework online, though a regular full-time schedule still applies. Additionally, every six weeks, students must attend three-day weekend intensives in-person. So while the program allows some flexibility, students should have the ability to get to Anchorage for the residency intensives.

Counseling focus

A degree that focuses on counseling is somewhat unusual amid the sea of clinical Psy.D. degrees offered by most programs. This makes the Alaska Pacific Psy.D. especially appealing for students who want to focus on population groups that don’t have major mental health problems.

Internship and dissertation

Both an internship and a dissertation are required to complete the Psy.D. at Alaska Pacific, and the internship requirement in particular will be important for learners who plan to earn professional licensure to practice, as supervised professional experience is required by every state before they will grant a license.

Biggest Cons

What aspects of Alaska Pacific University’s Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology are the least attractive?

Accreditation

Though it may be in the works, the lack of APA accreditation is a big knock on the Alaska Pacific program for many students. That’s because while all states require a psychology doctorate, most prefer that applicants earn their degrees from APA-accredited organizations, and a couple of states will only grant licenses to graduates of such programs.

Master’s prerequisites

Students intending to pursue their Psy.D. straight out of college may have a hard time getting into the Alaska Pacific Psy.D. program. That’s because a set of master’s-level psychology courses are required before granting admission.

The Bottom Line

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you decide whether the Alaska Pacific University Psy.D. program is right for you.

Is the Alaska Pacific University Psy.D. Program Right For Me?
Need Yes No
I need to take my classes online x
I’m interested in clinical psychology x
I want to focus on a particular population group x
I’m interested in applied psychology x
I’m interested in school psychology x
I’m interested in industrial-organizational psychology x
I have a very limited budget for a Psy.D. program x
A well-established program is important to me x
I want to work in a real-world mental health clinic x
I want to contribute to cutting-edge research projects x
I don’t want to take the GRE x

Conclusion

While it’s easy for students to see that this degree can be partially completed online and assume that’s enough for them, the reality is more complicated. Still, for those who live in the Anchorage area or have the ability to get there with some regularity, the counseling psychology Psy.D. at Alaska Pacific may be a good option.

Additional Resources