California Southern University Reviews

  • 55 Reviews
  • Irvine (CA)
71% of 55 students said this degree improved their career prospects
69% of 55 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Dr. Bernard Klop
  • Reviewed: 5/5/2021
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"My five years as a student at California Southern University was a wonderful experience! The flexibility in programming and the quality and rigour of the courses are on par with any brick and mortar university. I had a fantastic team to support me through my dissertation journey, and was able to graduate summa cum laude. As with any university program and especially one with a distance learning format, to be successful requires a high degree of motivation and self-discipline. If you are passionate about furthering your education and establishing yourself as a leader in the field of psychology, Californian Southern University is a great option!"
  • Reviewed: 11/7/2020
  • Degree: Psychology
"I graduated about 8 months ago, paid my account in full, and still has not received my diploma, despite the fact I reached out to them several times and was left with no response. I am looking into my other options to escalate this issue. This is revolting and I feel indignant."
  • Reviewed: 10/31/2020
  • Degree: Psychology
"I can't recommend this school. Please don't choose to go here just because the tuition is cheaper than elsewhere. You truly get exactly what you pay for. My experience is that this school's #1 priority is taking your money. Period. End of story. Some of their policies are punitive and greedy. Once they have you locked in to the program, they don't really care much about accommodating any problems or issues that may arise for you. They also switched my academic advisor part way through the program. What I was told by the first advisor regarding how many breaks I could take in between courses, was not upheld by the next advisor. I was also given other false information by my academic advisor that ended up costing me more money in the long run. Instead of apologizing for giving me inconsistent, conflicting information, they treated me like I was the one who was the problem. In psychological terms, this is what is known as "gaslighting." Be prepared to be bullied. I find this school's policies and practices to be somewhat shady and not honorable. I was also treated terrible as a student during the Covid-19 crisis. When the stay at home order hit California, I lost everything and had no income for several months. Initially. trying to get a leave of absence from this school was like pulling teeth. Eventually I got one, but they treated me just awful in the process. They have no compassion for students. My final message to any prospective student is this: Buyer beware. They want your money more than they want to make sure you have a good education or great experience, and there is a gaslighting culture here."
James Byron Harvey
  • Reviewed: 9/25/2020
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"The experience had it's ups and downs, but at the end of my program where I needed to test for the qualification examination, the university was missing-in-action the entire time. No support by-the-way regarding internship and practicum placement. Plus, they do not support APEX placement at all! I studied for three months in preparations of for the qualification examination, and the resources the university provided was minimal. Did not pass by one point, and reached out for support for study materials to be successful, and the Assistant Dean of Behavioral Health directly refused to help me. At this point, do you really think after five years I am going to having any positive to say after thousands of dollars spent on this university? HEL NO! Find somewhere else, but do not attend this PSYD Program. You will regret the end."
  • Reviewed: 9/10/2020
  • Degree: Psychology
"I had 9 different advisors. They approved me to start my research project and in the middle of it told me that I had to take 2 additional courses. It always takes 5 to 6 emails to get anyone to respond from accounting or admin. When asked justification for a break down of an additional 1500 fee, no one could give a reasonable explanation other than " admin stuff" and "scheduling". I was told by the Dean " it is what it is". Education is decent, the admin and leadership is horrible. *Update... since complaining to the Dean about the services I was being provided, I was told that my chair will be replaced due to being on too many chairs. I am on the last 2 chapters of my doctorate project.. and they replaced my chair person. The person I have been working with the entire time on my project! I was told there would be a fair review process of my complaint and would have a student representative to talk to. No one talked to me to understand my complaint, rather I was sent a letter that stated that the "University is under no obligation to provide me with a consistent chair through out my education". There are many options for schools, pick any other option! The people at this university do not care about the students. The Dean of psychology told me that when they made the decision to replace my chair, that my perspective was not considered. In the letter I received, they literally told me what is "in my best interest" ...with out even consulting me about MY education. Do not waste your time and money"
  • Reviewed: 7/7/2020
  • Degree: Child Development
"I see some negative reviews on here, and I think each experience is different. Yes, academic advisors change really often, which can't be blamed solely to the university, because these are employees as well, who may chose to take other career paths. Other than that, the mentors are great, very rigorous and caring. Some of them, like any other university can be harsh and uncaring as well. I have been with this university as a student since 2012, but I can say that I have really enjoyed it so much. I have gained tremendous amount of knowledge and skills, and my professional performance has been way better since attending this university, and my supervisor and friends have noticed that to me. So, nothing or none is perfect, Calisouthern University is no exception. But it is really a great academic institution. I am preparing for my PsyD now, and I can't be happier for the support I have. Not to mention that is is affordable as well, and regionally accredited (although not APA accredited yet). Glad to be part of California Southern University. M."
J. Yang
  • Reviewed: 1/8/2020
  • Degree: Psychology
"I love Calsouthern! Their online platform is perfect for me because it allows me to work and learn at my own pace. It is also a lot more affordable on my budget than competitive programs I looked into before enrolling. I am half way completed with my program and so far everyone I have been in contact with (Mentors, Advisors and the Librarian) have been extremely helpful and friendly. If you are looking for a program that allows you to get a degree on your own time and offer support, I recommend this school."
  • Reviewed: 1/4/2020
  • Degree: Business Administration
"I took the first course in the DBA program and dropped 4 weeks in. I should have dropped sooner. The instruction is horrible. The instructor is completely disengaged. Assignments are reading text book chapters, writing papers, getting a grade and posting a chat in the forum from time to time (these are graded). I learned nothing from the instructor because he relied on the text book to do the teaching. and referred questions to web sites so you can find your own answers. He used a bachelor degree level text book, so if you have prior instruction in business, you learn nothing new. The online system is proprietary, meaning I think they developed it in-house. It is really primitive and has only the basic functions of uploading papers, and posting in the forums. I give the program a grade of C-. Their DBA program has a high student attrition rate. You would think they would dig into the cause and work to improve. The instruction reflects either a lack of knowledge of how to teach or a lack of commitment to students. I felt like people in the program were basically buying a degree. If all that is important to you, then this is the place for you. But if you are looking to learn to excel in the competitive world of real business, go elsewhere. If you dicide go to CSU for your DBA, I hope to connect with you on a business deal because I will be taking advantage of your poor education and taking all your money!"
Great Option for Working Professional
  • Reviewed: 12/26/2019
  • Degree: Marriage & Family Therapy
"I started when the tuition was lower than it is now. Touro University Worldwide was the only other inexpensive online program at the time and so the choice was a toss up. WASC accreditation and affordability were the main reasons I chose this program. Like any school, some teachers were good, some were fair and some were pretty bad; overall most were good. My advisor was great! He did a great job selecting teachers that matched my learning style. It is a program only for those who are able to be self-directed. You are really on your own in the classes and for finding a suitable practicum site. I would recommend to any student who just finished a bachelor's degree that they attend a brick and mortar school with a cohort group and the chance to practice in a classroom setting. That was not me and this program for the price I paid was ideal. I also recommend a COAMFTE Accredited Program for most, but since I am planning on staying in California for the foreseeable future, that was not necessary for me. It seems that a COAMFTE accredited degree is more portable and accepted by more states without the hassle of jumping through a bunch of hoops. It is also much more expensive! In the end, for about $25,000 total (books, tuition & fees), I have an accredited degree, am now registered in CA as a counselor and am well on my way to licensing. I also already have a job and an offer for another job (both from sites where I did practicums). Overall, my experience was very good and I am 100% satisfied."
  • Reviewed: 12/11/2019
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"The advisers change weekly and no one knows what they are doing. One is told different things by whom ever you speak with. You have to self-teach. I would NOT waste my money because truly, that is all the school cares about, or so it seems. When I graduated, I had a credit of almost $1000.00 due to my over paying. Do you think I have my money???? Nope, still waiting. It is shameful they way they do business. They charge you for all these silly asinine things but can never explain why."
  • Reviewed: 11/27/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"I enjoyed my coursework and found the program challenging yet fair. I am frustrated, however, because Cal Southern does not participate in Degree Verify, an online site employers use to verify degrees. The other major online universities, such as Walden and Capella, do participate. I feel this makes a degree from Cal Southern appear less legitimate."
  • Reviewed: 11/18/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"My experience at California Southern University started off positive however, over the course of a few years getting my Doc Degree, I had 8 different advisors. Some times, I literally would get an email from a new one introducing themself, and then in a few weeks get a different one stating they were my new advisor. There is no way to ensure that you are getting the right information about your degree plan or have confidence that someone is keeping track and guiding your correctly. Case in point, I finished all my classes that were on my degree plan and then was granted permission to start my research. Half way through my research, a new advisor told me that I was missing 6 credits and never should have been able to start my research. After speaking to my advisor, their supervisor, and then the president of student affairs... I was told there was no other solution. No credits could be given for previous course work or my career experience in the field. I either had to take the course while I was doing my research or take them after. These were not core courses but merely random electives of my choosing. I then politely asked to withdraw and have my credits sent to another more competent university. I was told that unless I pay in full for the full program, I would not be allowed to have my transcripts sent. I then asked to withdraw and receive a refund for the 16k that I spent of a service that was not provided to me. I was told that wasn't possible either. I have read similar reviews online. The supervisors were not sympathetic and unwilling to find a solution. The course work is pretty much self taught. You can youtube and google the subject and pretty much teach yourself. You will have many different advisors, dont bother replying to their emails. It will be a different person the next month. Don't expect them to work with you, even if they make a mistake."
  • Reviewed: 9/27/2019
  • Degree: Business
"The school is out right unethical and dishonest. When I enrolled, we agreed on what courses I would need to complete the program. Once I sent them in my application fee, I was informed I had to take additional course work.... typical bait an switch tactic... so unethical and illegal. When I challenged them, there response was we can break and change the rules at any time, and we do not have to honor our word or agreements- even written ones. Stay away....they do not want to educate you...they just want to rob you."
  • Reviewed: 9/16/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"Course content was interesting and engaging. Like any other school, some professors are phenomenal and others had expectations that were not clearly outlined. With that said, the program is appropriately challenging. I earned a masters from a university that has APA accreditation for their doctoral program, so the rigor of that prepares me for this. I am not looking to get licensed, but as a California resident its nice to know I can (with extra hoops without APA accreditation). Regional accreditation suffices for my career needs."
  • Reviewed: 9/3/2019
  • Degree: Child Development
"I have been quite pleased with my experience at Cal Southern. I was looking for a doctoral program that was reasonably priced, allowed me to study at home and gave me relative freedom in my learning and my schedule. I work full time in a management position in health care and needed a flexible program. I found the work was challenging. I did +++ reading on my own, studied hard, mastered computerized learning and now am mid way through my doctoral project. The work was challenging. I found one course was questionable and have provided feedback to the university. Funny though--that is one of the courses that made me really "think!" The coursework was at times cumbersome and perhaps "busy work" but I found I learned from each course and have applied my learning at work. For those who complain about the social justice aspect --I didn't experience that and am a little confused by the comments of others on the reviews. The course on cultural diversity was excellent! Over the years, I have contacted my mentors when needed and found replies very helpful. I would say that I would like more feedback from the mentors on my work submitted but have found that is the case with masters programs and other doctoral level courses that I have taken previously. And my advisor (who has changed several times in the years I have been studying) has always responded quickly and been helpful. I think this is a good program if you are watching the costs, want to update and expand your knowledge and want to have some degree of control in your studies."
Edward Kennsington
  • Reviewed: 7/17/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"Horrible school. Extremely unorganized. Ran by almost all women. If youre a man, good luck. LaSharnda Beckwith is in charge of student affairs and lacks the ability to help students succeed. The school has a very large turnover with faculty. The school lacks credibility and highly urge people to run!"
Ryan Nathan
  • Reviewed: 7/16/2019
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"Great educational experience that was rigorous as it was transformative. My studies at Cal Southern pushed me out of my comfort zone in many ways, and shortly after was able to apply for licensure with the state. I highly recommend this university for those who enjoy being distant learners."
  • Reviewed: 7/11/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"I loved the school till I completed my pre-doc; although, I am very disappointed for not being able to change my chair. I have requested a change in chair more than once and they rejected it every time. I do not find him helpful/supportive, he is unclear and unmotivating. I have started feeling extremely saddened, but I have no choice to continue to graduate with this tough situation. I did not feel supported by school and that's not professional and condescending to me."
  • Reviewed: 5/12/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"I am now in the dissertation phase (officially called Doctoral Project) and I have found this program to a great fit for a working clinician in full time private practice. If you don't reside in CA are not concerned about licensure, this is a relatively affordable and convenient way to obtain a regionally accredited doctorate in psychology. You have to be very self directed, and a lot of the assignments feel like busy work (I think true in many bricks and mortar places too), but overall my experience has been good."
Stephen Wise
  • Reviewed: 4/23/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"I am in my second year in the Psyd program at California Southern University, and I am thrilled with my progress. At the end of Aug I will have completed all of my required courses and will sit for the Comp Exam in Oct. I know that choosing an online school is not easy, and that 'responsiveness" seems to be a concern. I have had no probems in this regards. My mentors return emails in a timely manner, and I have a friendly and active academic advisor. I am getting a PsyD as a career change from many years in HR. Thus, I have no clinical experience. I would like others like me to carefully evaluate whether the PsyD is right for you. Perhaps in my case the PhD would have been a better choice. This is not to say that I can never be licensed, but rather it may take quite some time."