Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Psy.D. an online program?

No. Some subjects lend themselves well to online didactics. We feel strongly that clinical psychology isn’t one of them. Graduate training in clinical psychology should include active engagement with the material and lively discourse. In addition, the relationships student forge in the course of their graduate studies will serve them well in the form of future professional collaborations. In on-campus programs, students have more opportunity to learn from each other and to develop personal mentoring relationships with faculty.


Is the Clinical Psy.D. Program accredited?

Yes. California Northstate University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001.


Does the Psy.D. Degree from CNU prepare me for licensure?

Yes. The Clinical Psy.D. Program at CNU meets the education requirements for licensure as a psychologist in California. Information regarding licensure requirements can be obtained by reviewing the California Board of Psychology’s website at:

Licensure requirements vary by state. Students who wish to pursue licensure outside of California should contact that state’s licensing board for further information.


Is the Psy.D. Program pursuing APA Accreditation? What is the timeline?

APA accreditation is an extremely important aspect of developing a quality training program and involves three steps over the course of about five years.

Below is our timeline and process for pursuing APA accreditation, per guidelines listed on the APA’s website:

Step 1: Intent to Apply status:

This step was completed in August, 2018. In October, 2018, the APA Commission on Accreditation voted to provide public notice of the Psy.D. Program’s intent to seek accreditation. The notice can be viewed here:

Step 2: Accredited, on contingency status:

We will submit our official application for accreditation in fall, 2019, the earliest we can do so under APA rules. The APA will then review our application and schedule a site visit. Programs that receive “Accredited, on contingency” status are considered accredited by the APA, and their students are eligible to participate in the APPIC internship match process and attend APA internships. We anticipate attaining this level of accreditation by 2021.

Per the APA’s website (linked above): “If you complete a program that is recognized as “accredited, on contingency” effective before your graduation date, you will have completed an APA accredited program.

Step 3: Full Accreditation:

The APA will continue collecting program data until our first class completes internship, at which time our program will be eligible for full APA accreditation.

We plan to have contingent accreditation by the time our first cohort is applying to internship. However, there is no guarantee that accreditation will occur on our preferred timeline.


Do I need a Master’s degree prior to applying to or starting your program?

You do not need a Master’s degree. Students may enter the program with a BA or BS degree.


What is the employment outlook for Clinical Psychologists?

When it comes to employment as a clinical psychologist, licensure is key; and employment prospects for licensed psychologists are excellent. In the next 7 years, it is estimated the US will need an additional 60,000 psychologists  (source). The profession is growing at 14% per year (source), with a current employment rate, pre-licensure, of 98.8% (Graduate Study in Psychology, 2017 Edition, APA).

With a license to practice professional psychology, you will have unparalleled flexibility with respect to employment and clinical specialization. Clinical psychologists work in business, organizations, hospitals, clinics, private practice, schools, universities, police departments, correctional facilities, government, and industry. They are authors, professors, therapists, researchers, assessors, program developers, administrators, entrepreneurs, and specialists.

The average salary data for Licensed Clinical Psychologists vary by source, location, and type of employment. However, here are some figures you may find helpful:

Average salary for Clinical Psychologist in California: $90,210 (source)

Average salary for Clinical Psychologist at Kaiser Permanente: $125,000 (source)

2015 APA report on salaries in psychology 


How does your program handle field training? Do I need to secure my own clinical training hours? 

The CNU College of Psychology Field Placement Office develops agreements with local training sites to provide supervised practicum training hours to CNU students. Students will be provided a list of potential practicum sites from which to choose and apply for their field placement in years 2, 3, and 4 of the CNU College of Psychology Curriculum.  Listed practicum sites have been approved by the Field Placement Office, with each site administering its own application and selection process.  Students are encouraged to reach out to multiple potential practicum sites as they cannot be guaranteed a position at their first choice of sites.  If a student is interested in a site not listed as a potential placement, they may request that the site be evaluated and approved by the Field Placement Office for practicum training.