California Southern University Reviews of Doctorates in Psychology

  • 18 Reviews
  • Irvine (CA)
88% of 18 students said this degree improved their career prospects
61% of 18 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Reviews - Doctorates in Psychology

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Steven Mendoza
  • Reviewed: 5/28/2022
  • Degree: Psychology
"After exploring many avenues to attend a PSYD program, I enrolled at California Southern University. This was the best decision, and I am delighted and motivated to participate in the Online classes. My experience in this academic institution has been phenomenal. Currently, I am taking Clinical Interviewing, and the assigned textbook comes with an access code to videos. The videos and the content are fabulous, and I find myself actively learning from the assigned text. Also, the videos and other activities included in the course are great! These clinically driven classes are of extreme help because the clinicians/instructors in these videos discuss essential skills that the scholar/practitioner needs to know to practice within the Professional Practice of Psychology. Also, there are other WEB SEMINARS that are available to all graduate students enrolled in the PsyD. Moreover, I was able to transfer 30 units into the PsyD program, and I have now completed a few more courses, and I continue to make progress. This University is fully accredited (WASC), just like any other major university in Southern California. The only difference is that the tuition is reasonable for those with no other means, or resources to obtain a graduate education. In addition, I have received a %15 percent tuition discount for my U.S. Army Service, and I have received a scholarship from California Southern University, which has undoubtedly assisted me with my educational goals. The clerical staff and the accounting department had been very ethical, and the contract from the university is within ethical and honorable standards. My experience with this University has certainly been positive. My professors read my work, and they provide feedback on time. If the work is not acceptable to meet the University's academic standards, then the work needs to be resubmitted. I know it is not easy, but it needs to be done to earn the grade effectively. If you want to learn because you are eager to learn, and apply your knowledge in a work environment, then enroll. But if you want an easy ride, then consider other options. I am trying to convey that this is not an easy program, and it is geared toward those serious about developing new knowledge for cognitive gain. This University is fully accredited and meets (United States) national accreditation standards. The professors have earned credentials from American Psychological Association programs. Now, I know there are many negative reviews about the professors, the University, the staff, and even Gardner, that takes care of the plants around campus, LOL. The truth is that there is always going to be an opinion. I certainly will recommend this academic institution to my friends because it was founded under the premise that "Knowledge Conquers Everything." If you want to create new knowledge, evaluate, and analyze information, consider your options carefully, as there are many options. It is up to you to understand, remember and apply your knowledge. Remember, "You make the degree work for you." Practicums and Internships are also available in the Curriculum of the PSYD. To enroll, you would need to pass all core courses and electives, including comprehensive exams. Then Internships. I would highly encourage you to speak to an advisor for guidance. Good luck in your endeavors…… S."
New student
  • Reviewed: 12/1/2021
  • Degree: Psychology
"I have completed a few online degrees and worked in higher education and this is by far the worst learning environment I have had. The library is a canvas course and I am currently in an “interactive” class of one. My resources were poorly explained to me as a new student, there is no such thing as live supports, and the learning systems are lacking."
  • 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: 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: 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: 9/16/2019
  • 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: 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."
  • Reviewed: 1/13/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"This was a fantastic choice for me. I already have a Masters degree and license and work experience. So, this was the perfect fit -- online, flexible, affordable compared to brick & mortars. I would only recommend it for those with real world experience or I think you will be lost. You must also be highly self-motivated! The mentors were usually great (except for 1 the whole time I was there). You will not get a ton of feedback on your work though and the doctoral project was hellish. However, I learned so much and they keep the classes cutting edge. I recently heard about some inappropriate behavior by the president/owner which is discouraging. There are a lot of changes going on due to this and I am glad I finished before it all started."
  • Reviewed: 9/18/2018
  • Degree: Psychology
"Endless essays where you read by yourself and write papers. Poor school with professors they call 'mentors' that grade your papers from their homes. They don't read papers and fake grades, no feedback. 5 Presidents in 2 years and my academic advisor changed 3 times. Gives degrees a bad name."
May Ahmed
  • Reviewed: 8/22/2018
  • Degree: Psychology
"This school is very unprofessional. They keep pushing you to apply to the school and once you do no one is contact with you. My "advisor" never answered back my emails. I submitted all the proper work I had to do, and all they would speak to me about is the monthly payments I had to make before I even got accepted into the school. I call one day to check up on the status of my application and they tell me that they aren't accepting anyone from New York. It would've been professional to get an email or something after I paid the fee and submitted all the proper paperwork. I wouldn't recommend this school at all!"
Ashleigh A.
  • Reviewed: 6/19/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"I have a masters in Clinical Counseling from an APA accredited school, and am currently working as a mental health counselor. I have attended both state and private schools and the curriculum and level of mastery expected by California Southern is by far the most challenging. I had reservations at first in obtaining my PsyD from an online school, however California Southern has exceeded my expectations. They have a plethora of online resources and data bases. I am currently enrolled in my third class and plan on continuing. That being said, this program is a fit for a person who is a self starter and is able to work independently."
  • Reviewed: 5/26/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"If you are able to withstand the rigors of a focused program with specific criteria that needs to be met this will be a good program to consider. With regional accreditation this program does meet the requirements in a number of states to sit for licensure as a psychologist. It is critical to determine if your state will accept this program as some do not. The doctoral project process is rigorous without the sacrifice of years of schooling focused on one topic as with PhD programs. I became a better clinician, met a primary life goal and have now had career opportunities that I would never otherwise had because of my education at CSU. If you need a lot of consistent feedback, socialization and assistance to stay on task this may not be the program for you. If you are a busy clinician who wants a flexible academic schedule that a full time doctoral program would not be suitable for CSU may just be exactly what you are looking for. The reasonable tuition rates don't exactly hurt either. Great experience all the way around."
  • Reviewed: 1/2/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"I have started the psychology program and it is very rigorous. There is a lot of work. Everyone in the school has been kind and ethical . I have a Master's degree from a highly regarded brick and mortar school and I find this school more challenging. It is well managed and organized. As an administrator of a behavioral health program, I appreciate being able to attend this school online with other mature students from all over the world who have substantial clinical experience."
  • Reviewed: 10/5/2016
  • Degree: Psychology
"After four years of intensive work and study I can finally say that I have completed a life goal of acquiring my doctorate degree in psychology. As an LPC with a practice, a teaching job and three children, returning to school as a traditional student where you are expected to give 100% of your life to a doctoral program was not an option. The self directive nature of the coursework was exactly what I needed at this time in my life and career. Now that CSU has become WASC accredited it has also opened up opportunities for licensure in some states that I would have never had before. The value for the time, money and clinical focus is extraordinary. I have and will continue to refer colleagues and friends to this program because it is a wonderful opportunity. The program is rigorous, focused and appropriate for anyone who would like to advance in their clinical work and open up new opportunities in areas of teaching. A+ for CSU!"
J from Virginia
  • Reviewed: 11/5/2015
  • Degree: Psychology
"I found the program to be robust and difficult while on par with the brick and mortar school I attended for my Master of Education degree. I would recommend this school if you want affordable, quality education. My state accepted course work for LPC."