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Pepperdine University Psy.D. Psychology Review

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The Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology has offered an APA-accredited Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree since 1990. As the institution enters its third decade of offering this degree, many prospective students may be interested in learning what aspects of the program would best appeal to them, or what might make them think twice.

So let’s learn more about Pepperdine’s Psy.D. degree and how students can decide what’s right for them.

About the Program

Before jumping into the benefits of the Pepperdine Psy.D., let’s learn a bit more about the school and this particular degree program.

Basics

  • Institution type: Private, not-for-profit
  • Main campus: Los Angeles
  • Accreditation: APA
  • First year of program: 1990

Tuition and fees

  • Full-time, in-state tuition: $64,200
  • Full-time, out-of-state tuition: $64,200
  • Per credit-hour tuition for part-time students: $1,605
  • Institution fees: $40

Student outcomes

  • Median years to completion: 5 (2009-2019)
  • Percentage completing in <5 years: 65% (2018-19)
  • Percentage completing in 7+ years: 0% (2018-19)
  • Degrees conferred, 2009-2019: 257
  • Percentage of students obtaining internships: 82% (2018-19)
  • Percentage of graduates earning professional licensure: 78% (2009-2019)

Degrees & requirements

  • Psy.D. degrees offered: Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
  • Non-Psy.D. degrees offered: S. and M.A. in Psychology
  • Number of credit hours required: 82

Admissions

  • Application method: Online
  • Application fee: $65
  • Admission requirements: 8-page autobiographical statement; GRE scores within past five years; resume; admissions interview; TOEFL test for non-native English speakers; two professional letters of recommendation
  • Admissions office address: 6100 Center Drive 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Biggest Pros

What factors are most strongly working in Pepperdine’s favor with the average Psy.D. student?

Immediate clinical exposure

Beginning in their first year, Psy.D. students at Pepperdine receive training in one of the university’s four community-based clinics, where they are exposed to real-world issues under the supervision of faculty. The Graduate School of Education and Psychology staffs three external clinics (in West Los Angeles, Encino and Irvine) as well as an on-campus clinic for students only. Students and faculty also provide counseling services to the homeless community through the Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission.

Internship flexibility

The program is designed to be completed in just four years, but the university also permits students to add a fifth year to accommodate a two-year half-time doctoral internship period. This flexibility is ideal for those who have families or other personal commitments that make a four-year full-time Psy.D. a particular challenge.

100% licensure rate

Though this differs from the official data the university is required to report to the APA, and which we’ve listed above, in more recent years, 100% of graduates have achieved state licensure five years after graduation, according to the most recent alumni survey.

Biggest Cons

We know what’s great about this program, but let’s learn more about what’s not so great.

Cost

For the average student, they’ll likely want to make sure they complete the program in four years, as designed. That’s because Pepperdine’s Psy.D. is among the most expensive in the nation on a per-year basis, with a single-year tuition rate of more than $64,000. This rate means the average student can expect to spend nearly $150,000 for the four years of their Psy.D. at Pepperdine.

No specialization areas

There’s no doubt the curriculum at Pepperdine is robust, modern and in-depth. But even with electives, it’s difficult for students to focus on a particular population group or therapeutic method through their classroom work. While many students may not find this problematic, for those who are passionate about a particular population group, that could be enough to dissuade them from pursuing a Psy.D. at Pepperdine.

The Bottom Line

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you decide whether the Pepperdine University Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology is right for you

Is the Pepperdine 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

Providing students with hands-on clinical psychology experience starting from Day One truly sets Pepperdine University’s Psy.D. program apart, as few schools have the resources or program design to put clinical work front and center in this way. It’s an expensive program, to be sure, but for those who can afford it, or find another way to pay for it, like a scholarship or grant, the diversity of populations helped by the clinics Pepperdine staffs should be squarely in the wheelhouse for a typical Psy.D. student.

Pepperdine University’s Psy.D program made our Editors’ Choice Best Accredited Psy.D. Programs for 2020.

Learn more today.

Additional Resources