Psychology Graduate Programs in California

Nov 07, 2018

With a graduate degree in psychology, you could prepare for life in several different careers. You might find yourself practicing counseling in California or teaching at the university level. Using the guide below, you can learn which is the best campus location for you and your career. Each school has different degree offerings and requirements for completion.

California Schools Offering Graduate Programs in Psychology

University of California, Los Angeles

The graduate psychology program at UCLA does not offer a separate master's degree. You will enter directly into Ph.D. training in your elected area of specialization. You can choose from cognitive psychology, social psychology, or learning and behavior, among several other options. Some areas are only available with admission to certain areas of the program. Students who are accepted into the behavioral neuroscience or cognitive areas can study cognitive neuroscience, while students in the cognitive area can also choose a specialization in computational cognition.

Alliant International University

Alliant International University has several different branches located throughout California. Campuses are located in Fresno, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Students can also choose to take their courses online through the virtual campus. Two degrees are issued by Alliant: a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. Depending on which area you choose for a specialization, you will be required to attend a specific university branch. For example, correctional psychology is taught at the Sacramento location, while the psychodynamic emphasis for each degree is only found in San Diego.

University of California, San Diego

UCSD focuses on one Ph.D. program in psychology. If you are admitted to the program, you can also earn a joint interdisciplinary degree in their department of cognitive science. The UCSD graduate program in psychology offers five different areas of emphasis. Students can choose cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, sensation and perception, and social psychology. Each student admitted will receive five years of full funding.

California State University, Northridge

For CSUN, the program focuses on master's degrees. The graduate department offers three different degrees in psychology: An M.S. in applied behavior analysis, a clinical psychology program with an M.A., and an M.A. program in psychological science, which replaces the general experimental program. Their program emphasizes career opportunities for those without a doctorate. Each program emphasis track will result in a thesis.

California State University, Fullerton

At CSUF, you can find one graduate program. A Master of Science in Clinical Psychology combines clinical training and scientific education, which does not usually happen below the doctoral level. Between 18 and 20 students are admitted each year. Core courses such as substance abuse and research design make up the bulk of the 60 required units for the degree. After choosing electives from classes like psychopharmacology and human sexuality, a thesis will mark the completion of the program.

California Psychology Graduate Program Requirements

Graduate programs in psychology require applicants to have obtained a previous degree in either psychology or a closely related field. Typically, an undergraduate GPA over 3.0 is a minimum for admission to a master's or doctoral program. The general GRE is usually necessary to gain admission into a graduate psychology program. Some schools require you to also take the subject exam in psychology. Make sure you include your transcripts from all previous educational institutions with your application. Letters of recommendation, usually three, are needed from your previous instructors.

When looking for a psychology graduate program in California, you can find multiple levels of study. No matter what you want to specialize in, you'll be able to locate a program that suits your research interests.

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