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?

California Northstate University is regionally 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?

Obtaining APA accreditation is one of our top priorities. The APA Commission on Accreditation acknowledged our optional “Intent to Apply” status on October 28, 2018. This is not an accreditation but rather a declaration of our intent to pursue accreditation.

The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology will submit its initial self-study for consideration of “Accredited, on contingency” by September 1, 2019. The following is an estimated timeline of events relating to accreditation based on APA rules and procedures:

• Submit initial self-study to the APA CoA by September 1, 2019.
• APA CoA review of self-study and all program-related written materials during the Fall of 2019.
• Assuming acceptance of written materials, we anticipate a site visit during the winter/spring 2020 cycle of program review.
• Based on these dates and events, we may obtain “Accredited on Contingency” status as early as the summer of 2020. Request from CoA for additional materials or clarification may result in postponement of a site visit and/or final decision.

Per the APA, “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.”

Also note that the timeline of accreditation varies and the CoA cannot guarantee a specific time-frame for the site visit or final decision.


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: $90,960 (source)

Average salary for Clinical Psychologist at Kaiser Permanente: $129,000 (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.