Clinical Psychology Masters Programs in California

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by

As a graduate student in Clinical Psychology Masters Programs in California, you will be taught to develop and implement clinical interventions. You’ll learn how to formulate an assessment, how to interpret and analyze the data you collect, and also how to recommend changes based on your assessment findings. Many people are interested in getting into Clinical Psychology Masters Programs after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The reason for this is that clinical psychology utilizes both theories from experimental psychology as well as research about mental disorders and treatments.

As we all know, there are many different types of psychology degrees available as well as many different ways to study. One of these methods is by studying online. Online masters in clinical psychology programs are becoming increasingly popular with thousands of students enrolling each year. In this article, we discuss the details of Clinical Psychology Masters Programs In California, best clinical psychology masters programs, ucla clinical psychology, clinical psychology phd programs and behavioral psychology masters programs in california and more on collegelearners.

However, before you decide which program is right for you there are some things you need to consider first such as cost and location. If there is one thing that people hate more than anything else it’s paying too much money for something they don’t really need or want! Read on to know more about Clinical Psychology Masters Programs In California, best clinical psychology masters programs, ucla clinical psychology, clinical psychology phd programs and behavioral psychology masters programs in california.

This can be avoided by doing some research before choosing a program and making sure that it offers everything that you need at an affordable price! The article below provides some helpful tips on finding an online masters in clinical psychology program that will meet your needs without breaking your bank account!

Types of Psychology Degree Programs

Clinical Psychology Masters Programs In California

We begin with Clinical Psychology Masters Programs In California, then best clinical psychology masters programs, ucla clinical psychology, clinical psychology phd programs and behavioral psychology masters programs in california.


Alliant International University (AIU)

AIU is a private university with its main campus in San Diego and several satellite campuses throughout the state. AIU offers several options for students interested in clinical psychology, most notably two doctoral degree programs. The PhD in Clinical Psychology is designed for students seeking a career focused primarily on research or academics. The program is available on four California AIU campuses: Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. AIU’s PsyD in clinical psychology prepares graduates for careers in direct clinical practice. The PsyD program is available on five AIU campuses in the state: Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco. Each campus offers its own unique selection of emphasis areas within its PhD and PsyD programs that allow students to further tailor their studies to meet their own professional interests. All AIU clinical psychology programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association and prepare graduates for professional licensure in California and most other states.

Additional clinical psychology degrees in California include a postdoctoral MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology that qualifies licensed psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medications in state and federal jurisdictions where they have prescriptive authority. AIU also offers a Doctoral Respecialization Certificate in Clinical Psychology for individuals with a doctorate in another area of psychology seeking to respecialize in clinical psychology and become license-eligible psychologists. Both the MS and certificate programs are available online.


California Lutheran University

Cal Lutheran offers two graduate clinical psychology programs in California, starting with its Master of Science of Clinical Psychology. The MS program emphasizes practical research and clinical skills to prepare graduates for direct employment related to program evaluation or measurement of clinical outcomes in healthcare settings. This clinical psychology degree in California is also designed for students intending to continue their studies to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology or a closely related field. The 37- to 40-credit program is available on Cal Lutheran’s campuses in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village. Both full-time and part-time formats are available and the entire program can be completed in two to three years.

Also located on the Oxnard campus, Cal Lutheran’s APA-accredited PsyD in Clinical Psychology program combines academic coursework with comprehensive, hands-on clinical training to provide students with the practice and research skills needed to succeed in careers as licensed clinical psychologists. Clinical training in the program is comprised of three components: an internal practicum completed at one of two university-operated clinics (Oxnard and Westlake Village) that provide low-cost counseling services to patients in their communities; an external practicum in which students work with professionals in the field at community partner facilities; and a one-year, full-time or two-year, part-time internship. Among the best clinical psychology programs in California, this 114-credit program is typically completed in five years.


University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA’s PhD in Clinical Psychology is designed to produce graduates who influence practice, research, and policy development as leaders in the clinical psychology field. The program is six years in length and includes academic coursework, four-and-a-half years of part-time practical placements in the university’s Psychology Clinic or other local agencies, and a one-year, full-time internship. The program culminates with a dissertation presentation and defense. This PhD in clinical psychology program in California is accredited by both the APA and the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).

Admissions requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum 3.0 GPA. The degree major need not be psychology, but ideally applicants will have a solid background of coursework in psychology that includes lab courses and classes in research and statistical analysis. GRE Psychology Subject Test scores are typically required, though currently they’re waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Admission into the program is highly competitive, with selection based on academic performance, formal coursework in psychology, and research experiences and interests. Program costs are in line with similar programs offered by other public schools. Among the best clinical psychology programs in California, the program strives to provide all students with some form of financial aid such as stipends, fellowships, training grants, or program-related employment.

best clinical psych masters programs

Now we consider best clinical psychology masters programs, ucla clinical psychology, clinical psychology phd programs and behavioral psychology masters programs in california.

MA in Psychology, Emphasis in Counseling Psychology

Webster Leiden Campus

Webster Leiden Campus

Leiden, Netherlands

The mission of the MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology program is to provide its participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become competent in counseling psychology through academic and experiential learning. The program aims at educating future psychologists who have sound knowledge of the theory and practice of counseling psychology, who are competent consumers and creative producers of social science research, who are competent in counseling practice, and who are ethical and sensitive to the cultures, values, and worlds of various clients.

Master in Clinical, Social and Intercultural Psychology

University of Padova

Padua, Italy

The Master’s degree offers knowledge and practical skills in different sectors of Psychology, in order to diversify the psychologist’s toolbox across interventions regarding mental health, individuals at work, and societies. Contemporary societies are increasingly complex and multifaceted, requiring psychologists to deal with interculturality and multiple ethnicities in their work with both individuals and the community. 

M.Sc. in Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology (Research)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The two-year Research Master’s in Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology provides you with the best possible preparation for a Ph.D. research position.. Ultimately, the research at VU Amsterdam aims to further the development and innovation of preventive and treatment methods, in order to reduce the personal suffering of patients with mental disorders. This Research Master’s gives you the opportunity to contribute to that fascinating and important goal. 

Master in Clinical and Health Psychology

Universidade Europeia

Lisbon, Portugal

The Master in Clinical and Health Psychology lasts two years (120 ECTS) and is based on the pillar of a holistic training centered on competences, developing not only knowledge, but also skills and attitudes.

ucla clinical psychology

More details coming up on ucla clinical psychology, clinical psychology phd programs and behavioral psychology masters programs in california.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to advance knowledge that promotes psychological well-being and reduces the burden of mental illness and problems in living and to develop leading clinical scientists whose skills and knowledge will have a substantial impact on the field of psychology and the lives of those in need. Our faculty and graduate students promote critical thinking, innovation, and discovery, and strive to be leaders in their field, engaging in and influencing research, practice, policy, and education. Our pursuit of these goals is guided by the values of collaboration, mutual respect, and fairness, our commitment to diversity, and the highest ethical standards.

Information about the Clinical Psychology Graduate Major

UCLA’s Clinical Psychology program is one of the largest, most selective, and most highly regarded in the country and aims to produce future faculty, researchers, and leaders in clinical science, who influence research, policy development, and practice.

Admissions decisions are based on applicants’ research interests and experiences, formal coursework in psychology and associated fields, academic performance, letters of recommendation, dedication to and suitability for a career as a clinical scientist, program fit, and contributions to an intellectually rich, diverse class. Once admitted, students engage with faculty in research activities addressing critical issues that impact psychological well-being and the burden of mental illness, using a wide range of approaches and at varying levels of analysis. Their integrated training is facilitated by on-campus resources including the departmental Psychology Clinic, the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Our program philosophy is embodied in, and our goals are achieved through, a series of training activities that prepare students for increasingly complex, demanding, and independent roles as clinical scientists. These training activities expose students to the reciprocal relationship between scientific research and provision of clinical services, and to various systems and methods of intervention, assessment, and other clinical services with demographically and clinically diverse populations. The curriculum is designed to produce scientifically-minded scholars who are well-trained in research and practice, who use data to develop and refine the knowledge base in their field, and who bring a reasoned empirical perspective to positions of leadership in research and service delivery.

The program’s individualized supervision of each student in integrated research and practice roles provides considerable flexibility. Within the parameters set by faculty interests and practicum resources, there are specializations in child psychopathology and treatment, cognitive-behavior therapy, clinical assessment, adult psychopathology and treatment, family processes, assessment and intervention with distressed couples, community psychology, stress and coping, cognitive and affective neuroscience, minority mental health, and health psychology and behavioral medicine. The faculty and other research resources of the Department make possible an intensive concentration in particular areas of clinical psychology, while at the same time ensuring breadth of training.

Clinical psychology at UCLA is a six-year program including a full-time one-year internship, at least four years of which must be completed in residence at UCLA. The curriculum in clinical psychology is based on a twelve-month academic year. The program includes a mixture of coursework, clinical practicum training, teaching, and continuous involvement in research. Many of the twenty clinical area faculty, along with numerous clinical psychologists from other campus departments, community clinics, and hospitals settings, contribute to clinical supervision.  Clinical training experiences typically include four and a half years of part-time practicum placements in the Psychology Clinic and local agencies. The required one-year full-time internship is undertaken after the student has passed the clinical qualifying examinations and the dissertation preliminary orals. The student receives the Ph.D. degree when both the dissertation and an approved internship are completed.


PCSAS – Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System

The Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at UCLA was accredited in 2012 by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS). PCSAS was created to promote science-centered education and training in clinical psychology, to increase the quality and quantity of clinical scientists contributing to the advancement of public health, and to enhance the scientific knowledge base for mental and behavioral health care. The UCLA program is deeply committed to these goals and proud to be a member of the PCSAS Founder’s Circle and one of the group of programs accredited by PCSAS.  (Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, 1800 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20036-1218. Telephone: 301-455-8046). Website:

APA CoA – American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation

The Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at UCLA has been accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation since 1949. (Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE. Washington, DC 20002-4242. Telephone: 202-336-5979.) Website:

Future Accreditation Plans: 

Against the backdrop of distressing evidence that mental health problems are increasingly prevalent and burdensome, the field of psychological clinical science must think innovatively to address the unmet mental health needs of vulnerable populations. UCLA’s clinical psychology program remains committed to training clinical psychological scientists who will become leaders in research, dissemination, and implementation of knowledge, policy development, and evidence-based clinical practice. This commitment is firmly rooted in our overall mission of promoting equity and inclusion, adhering to ethical standards, and developing collaborations in all aspects of clinical psychology.

Increasingly, we believe that significant aspects of the academic and clinical-service requirements of accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA) obstruct our training mission. Too often, APA requirements limit our ability to flexibly adapt our program to evolving scientific evidence, student needs, and global trends in mental health. Like many other top clinical science doctoral programs, we see our longstanding accreditation by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) as better aligned with our core values, including advancement of scientifically-based training.

Accordingly, we are unlikely to seek renewal of our program’s accreditation by APA, which is set to expire in 2028. The ultimate decision about re-accreditation will be made with the best interests and well-being of current and future students in our program in mind. To that end, we will continue to monitor important criteria that will determine the career prospects of students completing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from programs accredited only by PCSAS. For example, we are working to understand the potential implications for securing excellent predoctoral internships and eligibility for professional licensure across jurisdictions in North America. Although the UCLA clinical psychology program has no direct influence over these external organizations, we are excited to continue to work to shape this evolving training landscape with the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS) and leaders from other clinical science programs.

Our ongoing monitoring of trends in clinical psychology training is encouraging for PCSAS-accredited programs. However, evolving circumstances could result in our program changing its opinion with respect to seeking APA re-accreditation in the future. In the spirit of transparency and empowering potential applicants to make informed choices for their own professional development, we are pleased to share our thinking on these important issues.

Notice to Students re: Professional Licensure and Certification

University of California programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the University of California and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The University of California has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether, if they complete a University of California program, they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

clinical psychology phd programs

A PhD or Doctor of Philosophy is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities. Once one attains a PhD he or she may often be referred to as a doctor.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology

Selinus University of Science and Literature

London, United Kingdom

Research within this academic programme should reveal the enormous potential of clinical psychology to help individuals, groups and society. Students should prove a broad understanding of this challenging field from a clinical perspective that integrates psychology, biology and chemistry focused on the treatment of various disorders. Besides, interesting issues to discuss are the roles and responsibilities of contemporary clinical psychologists, their scientific foundations and theoretical orientations.

PhD in Medical Psychology and Psychopathology

Charles University First Faculty of Medicine

Prague, Czech Republic

The doctoral study program Medical Psychology and Psychopathology is concerned with basic as well as applied research in the areas of biopsychosocial relations. The proposed studies open the possibility for interdisciplinary doctoral education not only for graduates of medical faculties but also for graduates of one-field studies of psychology at faculties of art as well as graduates in some allied fields. The field builds upon the rich tradition of education in psychological and psychiatric sciences at First Faculty of Medicine, represented by the work of founders of the field, such as Josef Riedel, Mihajlo Rostohar, and Vladimír Vondráček. The bias to the biopsychosocial paradigm of recent modern medicine (enriched with the ecologic, environmental dimension), in the aspect of its theoretical base, reflects the recent state of knowledge achieved by modern science in contemporary developed societies. The theoretical base of the study program includes the knowledge systems of theoretical psychological fields (developmental psychology, psychology of personality, etc.), but also that of applied fields, particularly clinical and medical ones. Psychiatry and behavioral sciences, in turn, represent a complex of scientific disciplines that are concerned with understanding human psychology and behavior. These include not only psychological but also genetic, biochemical, or physiological approaches and their interactions. Important is the possibility of use of this most recent knowledge in the care of the mentally as well as physically ill.

behavioral psychology masters programs in california

Psychology Schools in California

The following guide to psychology schools in California provides important information that will allow you to choose the best psychology program for your career goals. California’s colleges and universities offer psychology degrees focused on such areas as behavioral psychology, clinical psychology, and cognitive psychology. Online programs, because of their flexibility, are often a viable alternative to traditional on-campus programs. Southern California University, for example, allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology entirely online.

Quick Facts

  • There are 203 not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in California.*1
  • 106 schools offer an associate’s degree in psychology.1
  • 82 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1
  • 76 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
  • 21 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values for 2019.2
  • 10 schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018.3
  • No schools ranked in PsychologyDegree411’s Top Schools with Online Psychology Programs.4
  • 7 schools ranked in Times Higher Education’s Best Universities for Psychology 2019.5

*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs.

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019*

  • California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo (#86)
  • California State University-Long Beach (#184)
  • Claremont McKenna College (#62)
  • Loyola Marymount University (#230)
  • Occidental College (#127)
  • Pepperdine University (#199)
  • Pitzer College (#53)
  • Point Loma Nazarene University (#292)
  • Pomona College (#6)
  • San Diego State University (#196)
  • Santa Clara University (#112)
  • Scripps College (#82)
  • Stanford University (#20)
  • University of California-Berkeley (#64)
  • University of California-Davis (#256)
  • University of California-Irvine (#170)
  • University of California-Los Angeles (#84)
  • University of California-San Diego (#155)
  • University of California-Santa Cruz (#289)
  • University of San Diego (#223)
  • University of Southern California (#83)

*Institution-wide ranking.

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018

  • Mills College
  • Pitzer College
  • Stanford University
  • University of California-Davis
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of California-Riverside
  • University of California-Santa Barbara
  • University of California-Santa Cruz
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Southern California

Times Higher Education Best Universities for Psychology 2019

  • Stanford University (#1)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (#8)
  • University of California, San Diego (#31)
  • University of California-Irvine (#101-125)
  • University of California-Riverside (#126-150)
  • University of California-Santa Barbara (#56)
  • University of Southern California (#43)

Continue reading to learn more about the psychology programs offered in California, including profiles of several popular programs at California’s leading universities.

A masters program in clinical psychology is a great way to learn more about the field and prepare yourself for a career as a clinical psychologist. It is also important for any student who wishes to pursue a career in this field to have a good understanding of what a masters program looks like and what it entails.

A masters program in clinical psychology will help you gain knowledge about the field and how to become a clinical psychologist. A masters degree will also give you access to internships and other opportunities that can help you land your first job after graduation.

There are many different types of masters programs available for students interested in becoming clinical psychologists. These programs are typically offered at accredited universities and colleges throughout California. Some of these programs may be online, while others may only be offered on-campus.

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