Capella University Reviews - Doctoral in Psychology

3.02 out of 5 stars
(97 Reviews)
  • Multiple Locations
  • Annual Tuition: $14,987
54% of 97 students said this degree improved their career prospects
57% of 97 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
Jose Martinez - 10/18/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2004
"Capella University is fully accredited, and an academic institution that requires students to actively engage in academic work. If you do not make the cut, you simple get the letter grade that you deserve. To attend Capella University you need to be a serious student that is is self-directed, and self motivated. I encourage all of those that might be interested in online education to reconsider Capella University. The biggest mistake is that people tend to assume that Capella University is 100% Online. This is not the case, and as a matter of fact there are residences, colloquial, seminars, summer classes etc. You can certainly have the college experience, and much more, but you need to be a student in order to know. There is more to Capella University. ( Again, the academic institution is accredited, and it is just a fact of life that some students do not meet the requirements to receive an accredited college degree. Some students think that just because they are paying the tuition that they will pass a course at Capella University. Serious mistake. If you are interested in obtaining this type of education I encourage those seeking a college degree to look somewhere else. Also, take the time to explore the faculty that Capella University hires. Some of these professors are graduate from some of the finest universities in the United States, and some of them have obtained State Licenses in their chosen professions. On a final note, the name of the school, or the degree does not make the man, but the man must make the degree work for him, or her. Hit the books! JM"
2.1 out of 5 stars
David Vest - 10/12/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2015
"The school in itself is ok. There were good and bad instructors. The cost is inflated but it is what you get for being a distance learner. I had very few bumps in the road through my masters and doctoral programs but you must be prepared to pony up $10,000 out of pocket for "weekend experiences" which are not much of anything, and most importantly to be stretched out when trying to complete your dissertation. It is a money play. $2800.00 a semester while you jump through hoops. The IRB approval is a joke. My research was qualitative and nothing more than a few interviews of students and what their learning experiences were in secondary education. This is a greedy institution that I am still fighting. Worst of all, the name doesn't help you at all getting a good job. There is no respect for Capella or any other proprietary institution which is sad because some of them have good programs. Capella is not easy in any way. It is challenging and did help me get a solid education, unfortunately the name ruins your chances of being able to showcase what you know."
1.0 out of 5 stars
Psychology student - 10/6/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2014
"This school is not for those who think for themselves. I had an issue over Darwin's theory of evolution. I was asked to write a paper regarding the ascent of man. I don't believe in evolution and my paper was centered around that. I explained that fossil evidence is missing in regards to this theory. Also Darwin had doubts about his own theory. One of my professors said that he worked with a woman who did not believe in the evolution theory. The professor told her she should look for another profession. The other professor gave me a zero on my paper. We are told that we need evidence for everything. When fossil evidence is missing for Darwin's theory that is acceptable. The response from the professors was not professional."
1.3 out of 5 stars
MaggieMae - 8/22/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2016
"As one other review stated, since this is a "For-Profit" institution, they are more interested in getting your tuition than giving you the support and mentoring you need to graduate. After taking all the necessary coursework, Capella University ignored me and any support I needed to finish. Even when I applied for student loans at FAFSA, there was a warning that states Capella's graduation rate is low compared to their drop out and transfer rates. The only consolation is that if Capella looses its accreditation, I can get my money back. Caution is definitely advised before registering with Capella."
1.0 out of 5 stars
Positive Reviews of Capella are FAKE! DO NOT GO HERE! - 6/14/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2015
"If you want to loose over $120,000 and your sanity, perhaps your job and family too, then go to Capella....I hope to God every night that they get slapped with a HUGE lawsuit or either case, they have destroyed my life, and I am not the only one...I have nothing left and the strange part is I completed 100% of their curriculum yet did not graduate, and I'm not the only one, read more reviews on line!"
4.6 out of 5 stars
AlliMel - 5/29/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2014
"I loved Capella. The school was built with people who were concerned about my education and helping me excel. I was allowed to chose a mentor and she was amazing. She helped me all the way through and guided me to completion."
3.4 out of 5 stars
Anonymous me - 5/19/2015
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2015
"I just graduated from Capella with my PhD in general psychology. I believe there are an equal amount of pros and cons to Capella. My overall experience was positive, however, like any degree program I would suggest doing a lot of research. In particular, when reading reviews ensure that you also consider the context, e.g., some negative reviews are from people who were upset that their program wasn't easy and weren't prepared to take on doctorate studies regardless of where they pursued their degree. Please note, this is only my opinion, based on my experience. Overall: I began my doctorate studies Fall 2011, and it took me from Oct. 2011 to Feb. 2015 to essentially finish (I defended my dissertation Feb. 2015). I was able to pursue my degree more or less full-time. I was only working part-time, so I was able to devote myself to full-time study. I also opted to make monthly payments so that I could pay out of pocket rather than take out loans. I realize that I was incredibly lucky to have my spouse's support, which helped. In turn, I worked incredibly hard, and I sacrificed a lot in terms of not spending as much time with family and friends. I pretty much lived and breathed my courses, then my research, and finally my dissertation. I believe that overall, the program provided academic rigor, particularly with the required original research, and subsequent dissertation process. I am basing my opinion from my previous academic experiences. I have a BS, MS, & MSc from brick & mortar universities, and I began my doctoral studies at a brick & mortar (I didn't finish due to an international move for my spouse's work & I wasn't far enough along in the program to solely work on my dissertation, I.e., finish from a distance). Bottom line: I still had to come up with a research study that was feasible and met the criteria for original research, online courses meant I had to be self-motivated and show up since twice-weekly postings were required in order to pass (in addition to other required assignments), and I still had to design, conduct, analyze and write a dissertation based on my research, on my own. I found the process exhausting, difficult and at times emotionally draining, however, the process shouldn't be easy, because this is after all, the process of earning a doctorate. I love my field of research, and I hope to continue with research in some capacity in my chosen field. However, this brings me to the cons (and pros) of earning a doctorate at Capella. I do think some negative reviews for Capella are from people who expected it to be easy, because it was online, but in reality this isn't the case. Also, a reviewer mentioned being required to pay $4,000 while deciding if he/she should continue with a dissertation. Once I was in the dissertation process, my tuition was $1,700. Cons & Pros: *There are 3 required residencies, which is actually a pro in the sense that Capella isn't 100% online. These are 4-day intensive *classroom* sessions. I found these to be expensive (travel expenses plus the cost of the residency itself) and even though I gained a lot from the first and third, I found the second to be useless, for me. *At brick and mortars, the research opportunities are greater. You're also a part of a research group, and you participate in weekly journal club presentations/meetings, have opportunities for collaboration, etc. *Comunicatng online can be difficult. At times, I wish I could've walked into my professor or mentor's office and speak with them in-person. This is also a prim though, because it forced me to problem-solve on my own, and to think independently, so that I was more prepared to have discussions with my mentor during the dissertation process. *Having to post two discussion posts per week, in addition to being required to respond to others' posts in addition to coursework was a pain, and required more work than I was used to putting in for a course. However, this is also a pro, because it wasn't easy-I couldn't skate by- so that indicated, to me, that the school valued academic rigor. I didn't find my courses to be anymore cookie cutter than a brick and mortar that has to follow a set curriculum.blike any institution, I had some great courses, teachers and classmates, but I also had a few terrible experiences. *My PhD studies did help me become a better scholar, writer, communicator, researcher, and the online portion aided me in keeping up with computer technology in real-time, in my opinion. However, the most profound con for me, and I think the one that people should be aware of, is that for-profit schools don't have the best reputation. Capella has the same accreditation as a brick and mortar, online courses/distance education is offered by a plethora of brick and mortars and Capella isn't 100% online so Capella and brick and mortars have that in common, and my dissertation had to go through the same approvals process for publication with UMI as a dissertation from a brick and mortar. Those three things are important similarities that are shared amongst academic institutions regardless of type, and therefore pros of attending Capella in my opinion. Yet, Capella is still discriminated against. Therefore, my eligibility for certain jobs is hampered. My PhD does not hold the same weight as if I'd earned it at a brick and mortar. Even though the accreditations are the same, the dissertation approval process and publication review are the same, and in many cases the course format is the same between Capella & brick and mortars, my PhD will likely be viewed as inferior to a PhD earned at a brick and mortar. Unfortunately, people judge and are biased, and often do not give you the chance to show that your accomplishments have equal merit (in my opinion). That is the biggest con people should consider, in my opinion. I don't think it would matter if I were already employed and using my PhD for resume enhancement or for a promotion in the job that I already had with a company that was familiar with my work, etc. finally, do your research, ask questions and then ask some more. Push back if you feel like you're being pressured or taken advantage of. By the same token, be realistic and don't expect the academic process to be easy, but this is just my opinion, and I do hope that this review helps others. My next steps: since I was not in a position whereby I was using this degree for resume enhancement or promotion in my company, I must consider alternatives. I want my degree to be taken seriously. I know how hard I worked. However, I fear I must consider alternatives. So for me at age 45, I will most likely pursue a psyd at an APA-accredited institution. Then, hopefully my PhD will also be taken seriously because I was able to pursue a doctorate from an APA institution. Looking back, I probably should've gone that route in the first place. Even still, I got a lot out of Capella, and my experience was, overall, positive. I hope this review helps!"
4.5 out of 5 stars
Michelle - 11/8/2014
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2013
"I really loved my professors and had better relationships with them than I did with professors at my undergraduate land based school. All the professors I had were really very seasoned professionals and many of them also taught at land based schools as well. They genuinely cared and it showed. I think the biggest disappointment for me has been the bias and harsh opinions people form about the school without having any true or direct experience with the school or the academic team. Some companies boast of their discrimination against people from online schools. It's sad to see and makes me really question the quality of the schools they attended - particularly, since a good program will teach you about the importance of critical thinking, substantiating your work, minimizing bias by leveraging logic and sound analysis. I stand by the quality of my degree and my own capability, because I know how good my professors were and feel proud to be representing their teaching efforts. I'm very good at what I do."
4.0 out of 5 stars
Walter S - 10/18/2013
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year:
"Great education, outdated technology, poor service. In a nutshell, that describes Capella. I obtained my Master's from Pepperdine and believe that the level of education at Capella is comparable. Unfortunately, actually getting the education has become a tedious and frustrating process because the online technology is out of date and doesn't work well with the most current operating systems and browsers. Further, no one at their Learner Support appears capable of providing an adequate solution. One person suggested that I purchase a new computer when their course room was the only place I had any problems at all. I had my computer checked, there was nothing wrong. The latest problem is with the library which has lost all the reference lists I had stored in their system pertaining to my dissertation and other work. Two weeks into the quarter and I've accomplished exactly nothing because of these issues. Yet I'm still being billed $2780 for the quarter."
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