California Southern Psy.D. Psychology Review

California Southern University’s Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program is unique among online Psy.D. programs in that it’s received the stamp of approval from the California Board of Psychology as meeting the state’s educational requirements for psychologist licensure in California.

What else do students need to know about this 100% online Psy.D. so they can decide if this program should make their short list?

About the Program

Here’s a look at the vital statistics surrounding CalSouthern’s online Psy.D.


  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Degree: PsyD (online)
  • Main campus: Costa Mesa, California
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission

Tuition & requirements

  • Per credit-hour tuition: $545
  • Total expected tuition: $35,970
  • Credits required: 66
  • Program length: 4-5 years (full time)
  • Maximum transfer credits: 30
  • Doctoral project: 14 credits
  • Internship: Optional (no credits)


  • Application method: Online
  • Application fee: $75
  • Admission requirements: Master’s degree in psychology or closely related field
Sponsored Content

Biggest Pros

What are the biggest factors that work in favor of CalSouthern’s Psy.D. for the average student?

Optional 100% online delivery

Students who don’t opt to add an internship or other supervised professional experience period will be able to complete their degree entirely online, which makes this program quite unusual, even among online programs. While some students will have to add a postdoctoral internship (more on that later), this method may be ideal for others.

SEE ALSO: 5+ Best Online PsyD Programs

California licensure

Many, though crucially not all, students who pursue Psy.D. education eventually go on to seek professional licensure in the states where they intend to practice. Every state does things a bit differently when it comes to what is required to receive this licensure, but CalSouthern’s online Psy.D. meets the educational requirements set forth by the California Board of Psychology.

Personal therapy requirement

Another unique requirement of CalSouthern’s Psy.D. is that all students intending to engage in internship or practicum experiences must go through personal therapy provided by a licensed clinician. The therapy requirement helps students gain valuable insight to personality or emotional factors that can impact their professional performance.

Biggest Cons

No program is perfect for everybody, so what issues or concerns might make students think twice about pursuing their Psy.D. through CalSouthern?


While it meets the educational requirements set forth by the state of California, CalSouthern’s online Psy.D. is not accredited by the American Psychological Association, which means that in some states, the degree is not accepted by state licensure boards.

Master’s requirement

CalSouthern’s online Psy.D. has a low number of required credits relative to most other Psy.D. programs, but that comes at a cost, which is that students must complete a master’s degree in psychology or a closely related field before applying. While this will be ideal for the subset of students who have such a degree, many students’ plans include beginning a Psy.D. program straight out of college, which would not be possible with this degree.

Few customization options

While students have a couple dozen elective course options, CalSouthern’s Psy.D. track doesn’t offer any specializations, whether in an area of psychology, such as forensics or health, or a population group, such as children or families.

The Bottom Line

So how can you decide if this program is right for you? While every learner’s needs are unique, here’s a quick chart to help you determine if the online Psy.D. from CalSouthern is right for your journey.

Is the California Southern Psy.D. Program Right For Me?
I need to take my classes onlinex
I’m interested in clinical psychologyx
I want to focus on a particular population groupx
I’m interested in applied psychologyx
I’m interested in school psychologyx
I’m interested in industrial-organizational psychologyx
I have a very limited budget for a Psy.D. programx
A well-established program is important to mex
I want to work in a real-world mental health clinicx
I want to contribute to cutting-edge research projectsx
I don’t want to take the GREx
Sponsored Content


Being able to earn a Psy.D. entirely online is perhaps the biggest draw of the CalSouthern program, and to be sure, this will be a crucial aspect for many students for whom relocation to Southern California isn’t an option.

Additional Resources