California Southern University Reviews of Doctorates in Clinical Psychology

  • 16 Reviews
  • Irvine (CA)
33% of 16 students said this degree improved their career prospects
56% of 16 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Reviews - Doctorates in Clinical Psychology

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  • Reviewed: 9/24/2023
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"This is a diploma mill, plain and simple. There is no real instruction or interaction with teachers unless you request an appointment, and there do not appear to be any minimum standards in terms of the quality of work submitted by students, or quality control on the part of the school in general. I had one instructor who was engaged and actually gave me decent feedback on my work. That's it. I would highly recommend that folks interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology bite the bullet and take out students loans to attend an APA accredited school. I attended one years worth of classes, then decided I deserved better and transferred too an APA accredited program (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology). The difference is night and day in terms of the quality of the instructors and the amount that I am learning. If you can only swing an online program, look into Fielding."
Orinda Palmer
  • Reviewed: 5/16/2023
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"California Southern University mentors I have encountered lack professionalism and lack of communication. I have sent numerous emails asking for help, and the mentors lack providing me with the necessary assistance for the dissertation program. I was told when I enrolled in the program that I would obtain the necessary help from the mentors, and the program was guided to help me succeed in the dissertation program, which the mentors lack. California Southern University would need to look into whom they hired to teach their program because the mentors I encountered did not assist me very well in the program, and looking at the school’s online reviews confirms other students are experiencing similar issues with communication with the school. The school's mission statement, integrity, and values of the school did not meet my expectations, and I was expecting more from a higher-learner online education program. No one wants to take accountability for their actions or demonstrate to show me that they care as a paying student at California Southern University. I had no other choice but to withdraw from the program and pursue other endeavors."
Dr. W.
  • Reviewed: 5/1/2023
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I’m so sad to read all the negative reviews about the decline of CSU. I attended from 2014-2019 and it was an amazingly rigorous, compassionate, and thorough Psy.D program that I would recommend to anyone. There was turnover then but I had a wealth of support from my advisors, professors, and my doctoral project committee. This program truly helped me to carve out my area of focus and contribution for the remainder of my career."
  • Reviewed: 3/14/2023
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I was prompted by an associate who was thinking about attending the school. They were concerned about recent negative reviews. They asked if I would attend again. I thought, hey I want to read some of the reviews. I read about all sorts of positive and negative issues. In some cases people who had complaints seemed to be dismissing situational factors like covid or even personal choice of others, meaning that blaming a school for changing a case manager or for that employee leaving when we have no idea the reasons for that person's choice does not seem rational. I read reviews where someone attended school for over 10 years made comments about something shady and provided no concrete examples which in psychology is not really helpful for correcting behaviors. My all time favorite is the review that made an appeal for negativity and to not attend using the psychological term "known in psychology as "gaslighting"". I have not found that one in the DSM 5 yet. Please be objective and look at your own goals not some online postings to make choices. Or if you are looking at posts, be objective and read both sides. The school for me did exactly what it was supposed to do. Regionally accredited university that provided the necessary educational requirements for licensure as a psychologist in the state of California, online and for a fair price that I was able to pay over time without interest. That was the deal they made me when I started and they kept it. All the rest is background noise. If they moved, people left the University, or if they changed platforms, these are are changes that might occur in any business. What is the deal you want from this and make your choices based on what is right for you. The education I received advanced my career, challenged me, provided what was needed to register with the state to become a psychologist and not one person has ever said, you are not a doctor because your school sucked. I met good people in administration, my cohort and other students who are still attending. I have met people in my industry who also went to the school who we have a common bond. I was able to keep my own pace, work remotely and did not have to work with others unless I chose to. To me attending classes in person is not worthy of the time I have left on this earth when I can get the same thing online. By the way I told the person I would attend again if I had to do it all over again."
Jason S.
  • Reviewed: 12/23/2022
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I see a lot of negative responses about communication and advising. I don't understand this. I have had great experience with my advisor. When there is a question the advisor is prompt and either answers the question directly or puts me in touch with the person who can. Communication with Professors has been amazing. Again, if I have a question the professors are quick to answer and even offer Zoom calls if requested. The subjects and assignments are engaging and the classes are designed for students to communicate and work together. My experience as a student and someone who has worked for almost a decade in the field of higher education has taught me that a University experience is dependent on what you put into it. So many of the comments on this thread really reflect more of the learners attitudes towards education more than the institution. If you were to attend an Ive League or any other school you would face some issues with communication and this is partly due to the fact that the expectation of any program is that you are educated and motivated enough to find answers when you need them. It's 2022 and access to information is easier now than any other time in history. Higher education overall is not designed to baby you. If anything it is to teach you how to teach yourself. The higher the degree the more onus there is on the student to be independent. This is an online degree program, you should expect that you will have to do some leg-work. I have friends in many institutions that are in the top 1% that face the same issues that are mentioned in many of the negative comments. The difference is the attitude and individual motivation of the student. Calsouthern has a lot to offer for those who are able to apply themselves and commit to doing the work. The school is accredited and transparent. I recently had a question regarding licensure and the advisor literally initiated a conversation with the Board of Psychology to find answers. The only weakness I have found are the library resources, but this is also the case at many institutions. At the end of the day your education is in your own hands and is what you make of it. Expecting a professor, advisor or any representative to be at your beckon call (regardless of the institution) is rather lazy and unreasonable. Those that have had negative experiences would have had the same experiences regardless of whether they attended Oxford or a vocational school. Gas lighting is usually the expression of someone that can not take responsibility for their own actions and that is what I am reading throughout these reviews. Don't be discouraged by what you are seeing in these comments. I am a student at CalSouthern a long with a lot of great classmates who come from diverse backgrounds, and yes, there are those that only put 5 or 10% into their program and those are the one's that are always complaining. You can see it in the discussion posts. At the end of the day your education is what you make of it. You don't like a bad grade, you don't like that someone didn't do your research for you, you don't like that you didn't read the catalogue to understand the requirements of the Uni? That's not on the institution. You feel that your advisor didn't "reach out" or isn't responding? Request a new advisor... I have never had that kind of experience. I have had two advisors and they have been absolutely amazing. I have had professors that I have had great connections with and even after the class they will check in and see how I'm doing. They have a wealth of educational and professional background and are always open to share their experiences and even their struggles. So I would HIGHLY recommend CalSouthern. As far as the school being, "only concerned about money".... This is laughable.. Institutions make money that's just the reality of any business whether it is education or retail. I have worked with Institutions in higher education that would blow your mind when it comes to getting money out of you. Textbooks, parking tags, activity fees, class notes, club fees, high prices on campus based diners or cafeterias, even down to ridiculous fees for transcripts. Calsouthern, will refer you to sites that sell textbooks but you are free to get them wherever you want. The fees are straight forward and are even less than most institutions. I have attended Institutions that actually required that you buy printed copies of class notes for $30-$50... These were prestigious institutions. Calsouthern has never charged anything like this. Overall, I spent several years looking for an accredited university with a good online program. I moved overseasd 12 years ago and have had limited access to Doctoral programs. When I finally found this University I had my concerns as anyone would looking at an online program for the first time. Calsouthern, for me, has been and continues to be a great experience. I work hard, stay in touch with my advisor and professors as any student should and have never been disappointed by the response. Jason Sullivan class of 2024"
  • Reviewed: 12/21/2022
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I started as just tipping my toes in there, but I ended up taking my PsyD degree. It was rigorous and worth it. Downfall, the academic advisors were in and out ( resigned or something). Another thing: The university waived my tuition, and it was reset to $0.00, instead of paying in $16,000.00s, I paid less than $2,000.00. I am glad for the decision I made. Good luck to you all."
Sara Russ
  • Reviewed: 10/14/2022
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I attended this school from 2012-22 for their PsyD program. The quality of the education is horrible. They eliminated all personal contact and students are completely on their own. They also moved to Arizona. What? Recently I tried calling three different numbers and extensions and got only voicemails, which is thought was odd. I also didn’t get a return call. They have made some incredibly shady changes in recent years, which is why I withdrew. I no longer have any faith in this PsyD program. Trust me when I say that you should look somewhere else because this place is seriously suspect. I spent over $10k and got nothing for it."
  • Reviewed: 6/17/2022
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I am completely dissatisfied with the level of administrative support I receive from the university. They switched from one platform to another (CANVAS) platform and the level of support I started with just vanished. I currently have no idea who my advisor is, nor do I know how to find that information. Also, I have left messages on the CANVAS board for advisement (as I'm almost done with coursework and want to prepare for the exam) and have had no return messages. The library is missing a lot of online journal subscriptions and I constantly run into roadblocks with finding research during literature reviews. The new library system is much less efficient and you have to click on individual searches with your search string rather than just one big meta search. It was much easier to find research in the old system. There also doesn't appear to be a lot of support yet for practicum preparation or internship preparation, and lack of the APA accreditation makes finding internships daunting. Though I'm not sure I'm going to get licensed as I don't intend to change my current career, it would be nice to have some flexible options. The financial system is such a mess, also, They just switched to a different company that handles the fee payment but there's also a balance due on the website, which is confusing. It just seems very fly-by-night with the new platform. The quality of instruction hasn't seemed too bad but there is a huge inconsistency in work demand between instructors, which some having more time devoted to smaller papers with one big project due in the last two weeks of the class that requires a great deal more time to complete."
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!"
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: 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: 1/26/2019
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I have been enrolled at California Southern University working on a clinical psychology degree since spring 2018. I have maintained a 4.0 answering all of my questions with the answers I knew they wanted to hear. I requested to speak with the dean regarding the curriculum. In particular the social justice that was connected to every assignment. I told her that I grew up in a time when students were taught to pay attention to their prejudice. I learned that we should get to know someone before we judge them. What I am learning now categorizes people by their race, sex, and culture. I told her I found this inappropriate for a clinical psychology program and that I would like to start writing my papers in a manner that might be unpopular by challenging these ideas. I also told her that I have concerns with the way the text asserts that microaggressions can only be directed towards minorities, and since white males are not minorities they cannot experience microaggressions. I feel the new way of teaching tolerance is more harmful than the old way. Finally, I asked if her school would support a student that challenges these ideas in an academically cited dissertation. I didnt want to waste more time and money to be rejected later on. She told me that this school is not a good fit for me. She would rather remove a student with a different viewpoint than take my money and show that her school supports, or even tolerates, diversity of thought."
  • Reviewed: 12/4/2018
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"I just completed my first year in the PsyD program and am so glad I chose this school. I received my Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology from Vanguard University (wonderful and rigorous program for counseling/MFT work), and wanted to complete a PsyD for the doctoral level education, title, and option to become a clinical psychologist so that I may do psych testing in my private practice. I feel confident in my therapy techniques from my experience at Vanguard, and not sure I would feel as prepared for the clinical work with clients had I not already completed the grad psych program; I found the in-person feedback I received there to be invaluable in regards to practicing therapeutic techniques. However, if you are already a practicing therapist and would like to add a doctoral level of education to your resume, this is a challenging and informative program. I have had immediate responsiveness with any and all people in the registrar offices, my academic advisor, and all of my teachers, or "mentors." So far so good, and will update this after I complete my second year!"
Successful PsyD Graduate of California Southern University
  • Reviewed: 12/22/2017
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"California Southern University is a great University. My doctorate this year was the "capstone" to my career. Having been working in mental health for the past almost 30-years the University offered me an alternative way to learn and improve myself. The professors, who are called mentors were all great and highly qualified as they have experience in both the "real world" and the University which makes them more holistic individuals. Initially I started thinking it would be too much work to earn the PsyD, but focused on one class at a time with the intention of learning something new which made me a better clinician for the folks that I worked with. Ideally the clinician applies what they learn with their interactions with clients. So, yes for me the Degree was worth the hard work, believing that anything worth achieving requires an amount of effort helps."
PsychDoc 2017
  • Reviewed: 10/24/2016
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"Rigorous but designed well for independent work. As an educator I recommend the program as solid and good for licensure prep. Leveling program is worth it if your Masters is in another field, bit helps if you are a good writer with psych background. Some of the same teachers for classes so always keep good communication and email them with questions. Some are very open to phone support and a few of my teachers were the best I have ever had after earning several degrees. MA program seems to have more opportunities listed on community boards, as most learners are already in the field at the doctoral level. If you want an APA internship this is the main drawback as you may not get one since only Fielding is APA accredited in this type of online program, if you can pay 3x more at Fielding then just go to USC or Pepperdine, but if you want to learn and can do it on your own CSU is a great deal and you will learn your content! Ypu will not meet anyone unless you reach out via course participant lists BTW"
  • Reviewed: 9/25/2016
  • Degree: Clinical Psychology
"The attention to individuals is a huge aspect of CSU, and it is the reason I switched from Touro. While CSU is building a name, the program is solid and they have many protocols in place to address student needs. For instance, your academic advisor listens to you, and will help change things or adjust if you need to. Also, mentors and advisors are extremely well-educated, personable, and professional, unlike some other online programs out there. I am so very particular about instructional integrity, and I feel that there has been nothing I can complain about at CSU. That is actually amazing. The only thing I am wondering about is why they don't try to achieve APA accreditation, when it could be possible with a few days per year of meeting face-to-face, and then the graduates of the PsyD program would have complete access to jobs across the globe."