California Southern University


Psychology and Counseling Degree Programs at California Southern University

California Southern University appears in our ranking of the 15 Most Affordable Online Sport Psychology Programs

With a number of online programs available for students, California Southern University offers myriad opportunities for students with an interest in the social sciences. The university’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is a 120-credit hour program that is available on-campus and online. It allows students to transfer up to 90 credits earned at another regionally accredited college or university. It features psychology courses such as Introduction to Human Sexual Behavior, Psychology of Communication, Fundamentals of Research Methodology and Cognition and the Brain. Undergrads must also do a capstone project.

Graduate students can earn a Master of Arts in Psychology that includes 60 credits and accepts up to 12 credits of transfer classes. Some of its advanced classes include Counseling Theories and Strategies, Lifespan Development, Career Counseling, Group Counseling and Systems of Care in Community Mental Health. This program has an emphasis area in marriage and family therapy too. Students will also do three practicums and can do practicums away from the campus when enrolled in the online program. The university’s Master of Science in Psychology has several concentrations available, including general psychology, sports psychology and pastoral counseling. Students in the online M.S. programs will do a thesis rather than a practicum.

A doctoral program in psychology is also available, but this program features several different components. In addition to required classes, students will do practicums in a specific field and internships that let them use the skills they developed in the psychology program. The university asks that they do a final project that is similar to a dissertation, which helps students meet the requirements for becoming licensed in California. Doctoral students will also take classes that include Cultural Diversity, Advanced Theories of Personality, Research Methods in Psychology and Ethical and Professional Issues.

Six post-bachelor certificate programs allow students to use their psychology skills to earn certificates from the university. They can choose from addiction studies or advanced addiction studies, industrial psychology, healthcare services, sports psychology or pastoral counseling. Each certificate program includes six required classes. Those programs are all available online.

About California Southern University

California Southern University is a private university that operates on a for-profit basis. Founded in 1978 as a correspondence college, it opened as an alternative college for nontraditional students. Dr. Donald Hecht gained approval from the state’s Department of Education and launched plans for programs that allowed students to start and finish their degrees through the mail. As the popularity and success of its associate’s degree programs grew, the college slowly introduced new programs at the bachelor’s level and then at the graduate and doctoral levels. Known as the Southern California University for Professional Studies for many years, it became California Southern University in 2007.

Now called California Southern University as well as Cal Southern and CSU, the university has its headquarters near Anaheim. Instead of correspondence courses, students now take classes over the internet. They can choose from more than 20 options at the undergraduate level and several doctoral and graduate degree programs. The university’s Doctor of Psychology and similar programs are available from its School of Behavioral Sciences. CSU shares its name with a separate unaffiliated private university in Costa Mesa, which has a religious affiliation.

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California Southern University Accreditation Details

CSU is an accredited university that received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Any student who wants to transfer to a program from another school and those who want to apply for financial aid can both get financial assistance and transfer their credits because of WASC accreditation. The university also received recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

California Southern University Application Requirements

It takes just 10 steps in total for students to apply to CSU and enroll in classes. Undergrads will start with the university’s enrollment application, which lets the university learn more about each applicant. Students will scan a government ID and add that to the application, which CSU uses to prove the identity of each student. They will then pay the $75 application fee and wait for the university to send them an acceptance letter. CSU then asks that students review the plan associated with their degree choices, sign up for a payment plan or apply for financial aid, sign the university’s enrollment agreement and register for classes.

Students applying to a CSU online graduate program in psychology must meet the same requirements, including completing the application itself and providing transcripts to show that they finished a bachelor’s degree. Their transcripts should also show that the students have a strong background in psychology and other social sciences. They will write a personal statement that they upload to the application, which explains their backgrounds and interests. CSU also requires the payment of a $75 application fee. Those applying to the university’s educational counseling and post-bachelor certificate programs must meet the same requirements. USC asks for an official GRE score and the student’s resume too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

When students enroll in CSU, they receive information that shows them the total cost of attendance and how much it will cost to complete a psychology degree through the university. As the university locks in prices each year, it allows students to pay the same rate during the two or four years it takes to finish their degrees. This rate is $425 per credit hour for the CSU psychology and post-bachelor psychology certificate programs. Graduate students pay $545 per credit hour, which is the same rate that doctoral students pay for the university’s psychology program.

Though students can pay their total costs at the beginning of the semester, they can also pay for a semester’s worth of classes throughout the semester or sign up for a monthly payment plan. Monthly plans ask students to pay at least half of their costs each semester as they move through a degree or certificate program. Financial aid is also available to qualifying students. They must complete the FAFSA and make sure that they use the CSU code when completing the federal form. This helps them get the grants and loans that they need each year. Doctoral students and those enrolled in any of the other psychology and counseling programs at California Southern University can get financial aid.

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