California Southern University Reviews - Doctoral in Psychology

3.31 out of 5 stars
(27 Reviews)
  • Irvine (CA)
77% of 27 students said this degree improved their career prospects
70% of 27 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

1.0 out of 5 stars
Nafi - 11/7/2020
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"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."
2.0 out of 5 stars
Steven - 9/10/2020
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"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"
3.3 out of 5 stars
Cd - 11/27/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2019
"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."
1.9 out of 5 stars
Steven - 11/18/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"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."
5.0 out of 5 stars
K.M. - 9/16/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"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."
2.8 out of 5 stars
N.E - 7/11/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2022
"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."
4.6 out of 5 stars
MichaelH - 5/12/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2019
"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."
4.0 out of 5 stars
Stephen Wise - 4/23/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"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."
3.7 out of 5 stars
DrMF - 1/13/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2017
"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."
1.4 out of 5 stars
Heather - 9/18/2018
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2018
"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."
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