APA-Accredited Psy.D. Programs

Written by: Psych Degree Starter Editorial Team   •  Mar 12, 2024

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If you’re considering a career in psychology, it’s essential to choose a program that meets the highest educational and ethical standards. This is where APA-accredited PsyD programs come into the picture. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what APA accreditation means, why it’s crucial for your career, and what you can expect from APA PsyD programs.

What Is APA Accreditation?

The American Psychological Association (APA) sets the benchmark for educational and ethical standards in psychology. When a PsyD program is APA-accredited, it signifies that the curriculum, faculty, and research components meet or exceed these rigorous standards.

APA Accreditation Standards

APA accreditation ensures that PsyD programs adhere to quality benchmarks like appropriate student-to-faculty ratios, comprehensive coursework, and adequate research opportunities. These standards ensure that you receive an education that prepares you for a successful career in psychology.

The Relevance of APA Accreditation in Online PsyD Programs

While online programs offer the flexibility many students need, it’s crucial to note that as of now, the APA does not currently accredit any online-only PsyD programs. Therefore, if you’re considering an online program, make sure it is at least affiliated with an APA-accredited institution.

The Road to APA Accreditation

Steps for a School to Achieve APA Accreditation

For a PsyD program to receive APA accreditation, the institution must undergo a rigorous review process. This process includes an in-depth examination of the curriculum, faculty qualifications, and research facilities.

Overview of the Accreditation Process

Once a program applies for APA accreditation, a committee of experts conducts a thorough review. They evaluate everything from the admissions process to graduation requirements, ensuring that the program adheres to the APA’s high standards.

Distinguishing APA-Accredited Online PsyD Programs

Given that the APA does not accredit fully online programs, you’ll want to be cautious when evaluating your options. Look for programs that are affiliated with APA-accredited institutions, and always check the program’s specific accreditation status.

Curriculum and Requirements

What Can You Expect from an APA-Accredited PsyD Program’s Curriculum?

APA-accredited PsyD programs offer a balanced curriculum that combines academic coursework with practical experience. You will typically find a blend of theoretical learning, research opportunities, and hands-on clinical practice. Courses often cover a broad spectrum of psychology’s sub-disciplines and practical applications.

Common Courses in APA-Accredited PsyD Programs

  • Behavioral Psychology: This course dives into the study of observable actions, offering insight into the behavioral patterns people exhibit.
  • Cognitive Psychology: Focuses on mental processes like “attention, language use, memory, perception, problem-solving, creativity, and thinking.”
  • Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis: Teaches the skills required to diagnose and assess mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
  • Research Methods: Offers an overview of qualitative and quantitative research methods in psychology.
  • Ethics in Psychology: A course aimed at educating students about the ethical considerations and guidelines in both research and practice.
  • Psychotherapy Techniques: This course focuses on various therapeutic techniques used in the treatment of mental health disorders.
  • Multicultural Psychology: An exploration of how cultural factors impact psychological function.

The Role of APA Accreditation in the Professional World

In most states, having a degree from an APA-accredited program is not just a strong recommendation but a requirement for licensure. By choosing an APA-accredited program, you’re setting yourself up for a smoother path toward your career in psychology.

Requirements for Completing an APA-Accredited PsyD Program


You must successfully complete all required courses. This often includes both foundational and specialized psychology courses, research components, and electives that allow you to delve into areas of particular interest.

Clinical Training

APA-accredited PsyD programs often require a specific number of supervised clinical hours. These hours offer practical experience and the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings.

Research Project or Dissertation

Students are usually required to complete a significant research project or dissertation. This project is meant to contribute to the field of psychology and demonstrate the student’s understanding and expertise on a chosen topic.


An APA-accredited internship is generally required for graduation. The internship serves as an additional layer of practical experience, often carried out in a specialized field of psychology.

Licensure Preparation

While the program itself will provide the academic and practical preparation for licensure, you will still need to pass a state licensure exam after graduating.

By comprehensively understanding the curriculum and requirements of APA-accredited PsyD programs, you can better prepare for a fulfilling and meaningful career in psychology.

100+ APA-Accredited PsyD Programs

Adler University - Chicago Department of Psychology, Psy.D. Program Chicago, IL
Alfred University Division of Counseling and School Psychology (School-PsyD) Alfred, NY
Alliant International University, Fresno CSPP Psy.D. Program Fresno, CA
Alliant International University, Los Angeles Clinical PsyD Program Alhambra, CA
Alliant International University, Sacramento California School of Professional Psychology Sacramento, CA
Alliant International University, San Diego Clinical PsyD Program San Diego, CA
Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay Clinical PsyD. program Emeryville, CA
Antioch University New England Department of Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Program Keene, NH
Antioch University Seattle School of Applied Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy Seattle, WA
Augsburg University Clinical Psychology Minneapolis, MN
Azusa Pacific University Department of Graduate Psychology Azusa, CA
Baylor University Department of Psychology Waco, TX
Biola University Rosemead School of Psychology La Mirada, CA
California Baptist University College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Riverside, CA
California Lutheran University PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology Oxnard, CA
California Northstate University College of Psychology Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology Rancho Cordova, CA
Carlos Albizu University, Miami Campus Psy.D. Program Miami, FL
Carlos Albizu University, San Juan Campus Psy.D. Program, San Juan Campus San Juan, PR
Carlow University Department of Psychology, Counseling, & Criminology Pittsburgh, PA
Chatham University Graduate Psychology Pittsburgh, PA
Chestnut Hill College Department of Professional Psychology Philadelphia, PA
Divine Mercy University The Institute for the Psychological Sciences Sterling, VA
Duquesne University Counselor Education and School Psychology Pittsburgh, PA
Eastern Kentucky University Psychology Richmond, KY
Felician University Counseling Psychology Psy.D. Lodi, NJ
Florida Institute of Technology School of Psychology Melbourne, FL
Florida School of Professional Psychology at National Louis University, Tampa Florida School of Professional Psychology at National Louis University Tampa, FL
Fuller Theological Seminary Graduate School of Psychology Pasadena, CA
George Fox University Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology Newberg, OR
George Washington University Professional Psychology Program Washington, DC
Georgia Southern University Department of Psychology Statesboro, GA
Hawaii School of Professional Psychology (HSPP) at Chaminade University of Honolulu Hawaii School of Professional Psychology (HSPP) Honolulu, HI
Hofstra University Department of Psychology, Psy.D. Program in School-Community Psychology Hempstead, NY
Holy Family University Doctorate of Psychology in Counseling Psychology Newtown, PA
Immaculata University Department of Psychology and Counseling Immaculata, PA
Indiana State University Department of Psychology, Psy.D. Program Terre Haute, IN
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Studies Indiana, PA
James Madison University Department of Graduate Psychology Harrisonburg, VA
Kansas City University Health Service Psychology Program Kansas City, MO
Kean University Psy.D. Program in Combined School and Clinical Psychology Union, NJ
La Salle University Department of Psychology Philadelphia, PA
Loma Linda University Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Program, Department of Psychology Loma Linda, CA
Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus Graduate Psychology Brookville, NY
Loyola University Maryland Department of Psychology Baltimore, MD
Marshall University Department of Psychology Huntington, WV
Marywood University Department of Psychology and Counseling Scranton, PA
Medaille College Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology/Division of Applied and Social Sciences Buffalo, NY
Mercer University Clinical Psychology Atlanta, GA
Michigan School of Psychology Clinical Psychology Farmington Hills, MI
Midwestern University Clinical Psychology Glendale, AZ
Midwestern University College of Health Sciences Downers Grove, IL
National Louis University Illinois School of Professional Psychology Chicago, IL
Northern Arizona University Frederick Wechsler Phoenix, AZ
Northwest University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Kirkland, WA
Nova Southeastern University College of Psychology/Department of Clinical and School Psychology Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University College of Psychology Fort Lauderdale, FL
Our Lady of the Lake University PsyD in Counseling Psychology / Department of Psychology /School of Professional Studies San Antonio, TX
Pace University Department of Psychology New York, NY
Pacific University, Oregon School of Graduate Psychology Hillsboro, OR
Palo Alto University PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium Palo Alto, CA
Pepperdine University Psychology Division Los Angeles, CA
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Psychology Department Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Department of School Psychology Philadelphia, PA
Point Park University PsyD in Clinical-Community Psychology/Psychology Department Pittsburgh, PA
Ponce Health Sciences University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Ponce, PR
Regent University School of Psychology and Counseling Virginia Beach, VA
Rivier University Combined Program in Counseling and School Psychology Nashua, NH
Roberts Wesleyan College Psy.D. in Clinical/School Psychology Rochester, NY
Roosevelt University Department of Psychology Chicago, IL
Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey Department of Clinical Psychology Piscataway, NJ
Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology Piscataway, NJ
Saint Elizabeth University Psychology Morristown, NJ
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology Minneapolis, MN
Spalding University College of Health and Natural Sciences Louisville, KY
Springfield College Counseling Psychology Psy.D. Program Springfield, MA
St. John's University School Psychology/Department of Psychology Queens, NY
The Chicago School Psy.D. in School Psychology Chicago, IL
The Chicago School TCSPP Clinical PsyD @ Xavier University New Orleans, LA
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - Washington, D.C. Campus Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Program Washington, DC
The Chicago School, Anaheim Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology Anaheim, CA
The Chicago School, Chicago Campus Clinical Psychology (Clinical PsyD) Chicago, IL
The Chicago School, Los Angeles Clinical Psychology Los Angeles, CA
The Wright Institute Psy.D. Program Berkeley, CA
Universidad Ana G. Mendez, Gurabo Campus School of Social Sciences Gurabo, PR
University at Albany Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology Albany, NY
University of Colorado Denver School Psychology Denver, CO
University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology, Psy.D. Program Denver, CO
University of Hartford Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology/Department of Psychology West Hartford, CT
University of Houston- Clear Lake Health Services Psychology Houston, TX
University of Indianapolis Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology/Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology Indianapolis, IN
University of La Verne Department of Psychology La Verne, CA
University of San Francisco PsyD Program/Department of Integrated Healthcare San Francisco, CA
University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Professional Psychology Minneapolis, MN
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Program West Chester, PA
Western Carolina University Department of Psychology Cullowhee, NC
Wheaton College Psychology Department Wheaton, IL
Widener University Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology/College of Health & Human Services Chester, PA
William James College Department of Psychology Newton, MA
William Paterson University Psychology Department, Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology Wayne, NJ
Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology Milwaukee, WI
Wright State University Wright State University School of Professional Psychology Dayton, OH
Xavier University School of Psychology Cincinnati, OH
Yeshiva University Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology Bronx, NY
Yeshiva University Department of School-Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Program Bronx, NY

Professional Roles for Graduates of APA-Accredited PsyD Programs

Upon completing an APA-accredited PsyD program, graduates are equipped to take on a variety of roles in the field of psychology. Below, we outline some of the most common career paths, along with salary and job outlook data sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Clinical Psychologist


Clinical Psychologists assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They typically use psychological tests and psychotherapy to aid in their diagnostics and treatment plans.

Salary and Job Outlook:

According to the BLS , the median annual salary for psychologists, which includes clinical psychologists, exceeds $80,000. The job outlook for psychologists is expected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031 , about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Counseling Psychologist


Counseling Psychologists help people recognize their strengths and resources to cope with everyday problems and serious adversity. They work in various settings, including educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and private practice.

Salary and Job Outlook:

Counseling Psychologists can expect a median annual salary similar to that of clinical psychologists, averaging more than $80,000. The job growth rate is also similar.

Forensic Psychologist


Forensic Psychologists apply psychological principles to the legal system. They often evaluate individuals involved in criminal cases to determine their mental state or credibility, and may also provide expert testimony in court.

Salary and Job Outlook:

The salary for forensic psychologists can vary widely based on experience and location, but they often earn similar salaries to clinical psychologists. Based on the overall job growth projections for psychologists, the outlook is generally positive, with expectations of modest growth.

School Psychologist


School Psychologists work within educational settings to help children with emotional, social, and academic issues. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and school administrators to find constructive solutions.

Salary and Job Outlook:

The median annual salary for school psychologists is approximately $80,000, according to the BLS . The job outlook is favorable, with a projected growth rate of 6% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS .

Health Psychologist


Health Psychologists are concerned with understanding how biological, psychological, and social factors affect health and illness. They often work in healthcare settings and may work on teams with other healthcare professionals.

Salary and Job Outlook:

The median annual salary for health psychologists is generally consistent with other psychology roles. Assuming the job outlook is comparable to other roles in psychology, with moderate growth expected.

By exploring these roles and their potential salary and job outlook, you can make a more informed decision about your career path after completing an APA-accredited PsyD program.

Frequently Asked Questions about APA Accreditation

Duration and Renewal of APA Accreditation

APA accreditation generally lasts for seven years. After this period, the program undergoes a reaccreditation process to ensure that it still meets APA’s high standards.

Why Opt for an APA-Accredited Institution?

Choosing an APA-accredited institution guarantees that you’re getting a quality education that’s respected and recognized within the psychology community.

Time Frame for Obtaining an APA-Accredited Online PsyD Degree

Although the APA does not accredit online-only programs, many APA-accredited institutions offer blended programs that take approximately 4-6 years to complete.

APA Accreditation in the Context of Entirely Online Programs

As mentioned, the APA does not accredit fully online programs. Be vigilant and make sure your program of choice either has APA accreditation or is affiliated with an APA-accredited institution.

Are There Other Accrediting Bodies for PsyD Programs?

Yes, but the APA is the most respected and widely-recognized accrediting body for psychology programs in the United States.

Cost Implications of APA-Accredited Programs

While APA-accredited programs may sometimes be more expensive, the additional cost is often justified by the higher educational and ethical standards they meet.

By understanding the importance and implications of APA accreditation, you can make an informed decision about your educational path in psychology. APA-accredited PsyD programs offer an unparalleled education that prepares you for a rewarding career in the field.

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