Frequently Asked Questions – Doctorate in Educational Psychology (PsyD)

What is the difference between a PhD and a PsyD?

A PhD is more research based and is designed for those that want to focus more on teaching and conducting research. Although a PsyD degree holder can and do teach and conduct research, the emphasis is on applied clinical work.

What is the format of the courses?

The program is offered with online hybrid format courses. An on-ground component is required for program completion through our California campuses in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

What is the advantage of earning a PsyD in Educational Psychology?

A PsyD in Educational Psychology will broaden the career opportunities of current school psychologists. Graduates will be able to teach and conduct research. Graduates may also apply for the California Board of Psychology licensure as a clinical psychologist after completing additional coursework and state requirements, which allows for independent practice beyond school environments. And although a doctorate is not required to pursue licensure as an Educational Psychologist, a doctorate can offer a competitive advantage for those seeking this licensure or for those who already have obtained it. A licensed educational psychologist (LEP) may work in private practice conducting assessments for families and private schools that do not have a school psychologist on staff.

Can I work throughout the program?

The majority of students are working full-time throughout the program. Courses are designed for working professionals.

What kind of support is offered throughout the doctoral research project? How long will it take?

Students take a three-course sequence that walks the student through the process. The majority of students complete their project within three semesters.

What are some examples of projects that students are working on?

Development of a Handbook for Educators; Addressing Working Memory Capacity in Elementary Students; Understanding and Responding to Adolescents Who Self-Injure; Re-Conceptualizing the Student Study Team within a Response to Intervention Framework; School-based Assessment of ADHD; Empowering Spanish-speaking Parents of students with Emotional Disturbance; Visual Supports for the Learning Disabled: A Handbook for Educators

How long is the pre-doc internship and why is it optional?

The pre-doc internship is 1500 hours and is an optional activity for those that wish to pursue licensure as a Clinical Psychologist. For students who do not wish to pursue their Clinical Psychologist license, they can opt out of the internship requirement or pursue other means of accruing the necessary hours for the license.

I don’t have my PPS credential in School Psychology but I have worked in the K-12 sector for a number of years. Can this requirement be waived?

A PPS credential in School Psychology is a prerequisite and cannot be waived. Students can apply for the master’s program or the PPS credential-only program (if they already have a master’s degree in a related area), and apply for the PsyD in the second year of the program. The application process for internal applicants is much more simplistic. Students who are accepted into the PsyD can begin taking doctoral level classes while concurrently starting internship.