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Capella University Online Psychology PsyD Review

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As one of the only fully online Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) programs in the United State’s, Capella University may be ideal for students who want to continue working or who aren’t able to relocate to pursue a Psy.D. degree.

What are the biggest benefits and drawbacks to this program, and what do prospective students need to know to make their educational decisions?

About the Program

Let’s take a look at some of the general statistics and important facts about Capella’s Psy.D. program.

Basics

  • Institution type: Private, for-profit
  • Main campus: Minneapolis; Psy.D. program is online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Tuition and fees

  • Per credit tuition: $540
  • Dissertation tuition: $2,780 per quarter (clinical psychology)
  • Comprehensive exam tuition: $2,780 per quarter (school psychology)
  • Weeks-in-residence (clinical psychology): $600 per week (four weeks required)
  • Residency (school psychology): $1,495 (six residencies required)
  • 2-week extended seminar: $3,290 per seminar (two seminars required, clinical psychology); $2,990 per seminar (two seminars required, school psychology)

Degrees & requirements

  • Psy.D. degrees offered: Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. in School Psychology
  • Non-Psy.D. degrees offered: None applicable
  • Number of credit hours required: 96

Admissions

  • Application method: Online
  • Application fee: $50
  • Admission requirements: Master’s degree; GPA of at least 3.0; letters of recommendation; resume; admissions essay/goal statement; faculty interview

Biggest Pros

What factors play the biggest role in making Capella’s Psy.D. program attractive for students considering this degree?

Fully online & flexible

Capella’s unique Flexpath degree approach isn’t available for this program yet, but students still enjoy a huge degree of flexibility that allows them to continue their lives and jobs while they pursue their education. This is largely a result of coursework being fully online. Some in-person seminars and other events are required, but the vast majority of both the school psychology and clinical psychology Psy.D. degrees that Capella offers are completed online. For many prospective students, this is the single biggest deciding factor, and many other schools either don’t offer any online courses or a severely limited number. So the fact that this program is done almost entirely online is the single biggest factor that sets Capella apart.

Cost

In a field where it’s not unreasonable for students to expect to pay upwards of $150,000 for their Psy.D., Capella’s program is refreshingly affordable. Depending on how long it takes to complete, the average student won’t need to spend much more than $50,000 to finish their Psy.D. and sit for licensing exams as they work to become licensed psychologists. Particularly for students who are interested in working with population groups or in focus areas that aren’t especially well-paying, being able to justify the expense of earning a Psy.D. is likely to be top of mind, and few schools are as affordable as Capella’s Psy.D. program.

Focus on working professionals

While some Psy.D. students are likely to be recent master’s degree completers or even very recent college graduates, the attention to working professionals is a hallmark of Capella’s program. Both the online experience and cost attest to this, as does the structure of the program, which mixes coursework and face-to-face experiences to ensure that graduates are well-prepared for the next step while not missing out on important events in their personal or professional lives while they earn their doctorate.

*Visit Capella University

Biggest Cons

To be sure, Capella’s Psy.D. programs are not for everybody, so what are the factors that might make a student think twice about pursuing a Capella Psy.D.?

Few degree options

With only two degree options, school and clinical, prospective Psy.D. students interested in studying forensic, industrial-organizational or other emerging fields of psychology might be better served at other institutions with a broader portfolio of degrees and focus areas.

Lack of APA accreditation

The American Psychological Association has accredited less than 100 Psy.D. programs in the United States, and Capella’s is not one of them. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that earning a Capella Psy.D. won’t be a challenge, students should understand that, depending on the types of employers in their field, attending a non-APA-accredited school could make them a less attractive job candidate.

The Bottom Line

Still unsure if either the Capella Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology or School Psychology are right for you? Check out this chart to learn more.

Is the Capella 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

*Visit Capella University

Conclusion

Other Psy.D. programs out there have a longer lineage than Capella’s, but few put the student’s pragmatic needs front and center in the way Capella does. By allowing almost all of the work necessary to earn the degree to be completed online, and by keeping costs quite low, Capella University’s Psy.D. degree options are aggressively tailored to adults and working professionals who need to level up their careers but who can’t put their entire lives on hold to do so.