PhD in Psychology from Grand Canyon University (GCU)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by DoctorPhD, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. DoctorPhD

    DoctorPhD New Member

  2. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    Grand Canyon is a fine school, they have a B & M campus in Arizona, a nice plus. I considered them for my Ph.D sometime ago. If I do ever decide to obtain a doctorate degree, GCU will be on my list. Other members here will probably give you a better perspective on Grand Canyon, I know that some members here are currently, or have pursued, degrees from this school. Good choice!
  3. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    GCU is not APA accredited, so you'll need to determine whether having a non-APA doctorate will end up limiting your future options. If you determine that having an APA accredited degree isn't necessary, then GCU sounds like a decent school.
  4. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I don't think APA accredits I/O psych programs anyway.
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    The GCU program is in general psychology which doesn't qualify for licensure in any state, so the lack of APA accreditation isn't that big a deal.

    They don't....clinical and counseling programs only.

    If one is interested in licensure, there is an interesting option; earn the Ph.D. in general psychology from GCU (or any other RA school), then later go through a respecialization program in clinical psychology at an APA-accredited school, such as offered by one of my alma maters;
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2012
  6. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Ah thanks for the clarification!
  7. DoctorPhD

    DoctorPhD New Member

    I'm not too concerned about the APA accreditation, as I am not pursuing a clinical psychology track. However, the bit about re-specialization is very interesting...provides a great avenue in the future if I change my mind. Thanks!

    Basically, I did a search for distance learning or very limited residency psychology PhD programs. GCU was the only one with a campus and NCAA sports team. The cost seems reasonable, too, relatively speaking. I can't help but think there is some kind of catch?

    I don't like the fact that GCU is owned by a for-profit corporation (it used to be non-profit, but the trustees had financial problems and sold out). Also, it looks like only about 4,000 students are on-campus, and the other 36,000 are distance-learning students. Furthermore, I'm not too fond of the school's very sales-oriented/telemarketing recruiting tactics. Additionally, the Department of Education's Financial Aid website shows that the graduation and retention rates for all students combined is in the 25-29% range.

    Any thoughts?
  8. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    The Commonwealth of Virginia offers licensure, and in many situations requires state licensure, for psychologists even if they aren't clinical or counseling psychologists.

    DoctorPhD expressed an interest in industrial/organizational psychology. Virginia puts I/O psychologists in the category of applied psychologists for purposes of licensure. Graduation from an APA approved program is not required (for the reasons previously mentioned). The education requirements for each state is available online. Here are Virginia's as an example of what states may require.

    18VAC125-20-55. Education requirements for applied psychologists.
    A. The applicant shall hold a doctorate from a professional psychology program from a regionally accredited university which meets the following criteria:
    1. The program is within an institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or publicly recognized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada as a member in good standing. Graduates of programs that are not within the United States or Canada must provide documentation from a credential evaluation service acceptable to the board which demonstrates that the program meets the requirements set forth in this chapter.
    2. The program shall be recognizable as an organized entity within the institution.
    3. The program shall be an integrated, organized sequence of study with an identifiable psychology faculty and a psychologist directly responsible for the program, and shall have an identifiable body of students who are matriculated in that program for a degree. The faculty shall be accessible to students and provide them with guidance and supervision. The faculty shall provide appropriate professional role models and engage in actions that promote the student's acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies consistent with the program's training goals.
    4. The program shall encompass a minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study or the equivalent thereof.
    5. The program shall include a general core curriculum containing a minimum of three or more graduate semester hours or five or more graduate quarter hours in each of the following substantive content areas.
    a. Biological bases of behavior (e.g., physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, sensation and perception, health psychology, pharmacology, neuroanatomy).
    b. Cognitive-affective bases of behavior (e.g., learning theory, cognition, motivation, emotion).
    c. Social bases of behavior (e.g., social psychology, group processes, organizational and systems theory, community and preventive psychology, multicultural issues).
    d. Psychological measurement.
    e. Research methodology.
    f. Techniques of data analysis.
    g. Professional standards and ethics.
    B. Demonstration of competence in applied psychology shall be met by including a minimum of at least 18 semester hours or 30 quarter hours in a concentrated program of study in an identified area of psychology, e.g., developmental, social, cognitive, motivation, applied behavioral analysis, industrial/organizational, human factors, personnel selection and evaluation, program planning and evaluation, teaching, research or consultation.
  9. DoctorPhD

    DoctorPhD New Member

    Posted in error.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2012
  10. DoctorPhD

    DoctorPhD New Member

    Thanks for the info on re-specializing in clinical psychology - that leaves another option down the road!

    I did a search for psychology PhD programs with little to no residencies. GCU is the only school with a B&M campus and NCAA sports teams. The tuition is also the lowest. There has to be a catch - what is it?

    While I am attracted to the program, things I'm not too happy with are:
    - Owned by a for-profit corporation
    - Heavy sales-oriented/telemarketing-type recruiting tactics
    - Only about 4,000 students are at the B&M school; the other 36,000 are distance learners (and this relates to the above two points)
    - The FAFSA website shows graduation and retention rates in the 25-29% rate (this also relates to the above points)

    So, what do you all think? What are some reasons for choosing other schools, such as NCU, Capella, or Walden? I know about Fielding, but unfortunately, it's not viable for me since I work full-time and because the program is too expensive.
  11. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    It would help to know what your goals and objectives are for earning a psychology degree. For example, clinical psychology programs that don't require a residency will still require a practicum for state licensure, which typically can't be completed via distance learning. So, if counseling others is your goal then a DL degree might not be your best option. Depending on your goals, there may be other degree options worth considering.

    What are your interests? How do you foresee yourself using your new psychology degree?
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    If those are the only requirements, Virginia is the only state I've seen that doesn't require supervised internship hours for licensure.
  13. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    That's a great point, Bruce. These are by no means the only requirements for licensure as a psychologist in Virginia. To be licensed in Virginia, psychologists must also complete a supervised internship / practicum and pass a national exam. The list I posted showed only the education requirements for applied psychologists. Clinical and school psychologists have even more requirements for the kinds and numbers of courses they are required to pass.

    Licensure is important if someone plans to get paid while calling himself a psychologist. The state law, § 54.1-3606, under the heading, License required, reads: "In order to engage in the practice of applied psychology, school psychology, or clinical psychology, it shall be necessary to hold a license." There are limited exceptions for people working as military psychologists, for the federal government, as ministers or clergy, or volunteering their services, but the exceptions are very limited. This is why I asked DoctorPhD what his goals were for using this degree after graduation.
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Ah, okay....that bolsters my point that the GCU program isn't intended for licensure, so APA accreditation shouldn't be a factor.

    As for the term "psychologist", the Massachusetts title is "Licensed Psychologist", and it's typical to see them list their name, degree title, and then "LP". For example, "Joe Blow, Psy.D. LP" to differentiate them from other people holding a doctorate in other fields of psychology.
  15. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    These are the requirements for Applied Psych (e.g. Psychologists who do not intend on seeing patients). I would imagine that that is the reason for the lack of internship requirements. Interesting though. I've never seen anything like this before. Most states only license clinical, counseling and school psychologists.
  16. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    If someone doesn't intend on and doesn't meet with clients for therapy, I can't think of a single reason why they would want to be "licensed" to begin with.
  17. DoctorPhD

    DoctorPhD New Member

    Thanks for the replies so far. Steve King asked how I intend to use the PhD in I/O psychology, should I be fortunate enough to attain one. It would mostly be a personal achievement. It may also provide some type of post-retirement opportunity in training research/management (more likely) or HR/business consulting (much less likely), but that's not my main motivation for seeking a PhD. I am not looking to provide therapy or counseling to individual clients.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2012
  18. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    To clarify, for Tom and Bruce, anyone who wishes to "engage in the practice of...psychology" must be licensed in Viginia. This includes applied psychologists who don't see patients, like industrial/organizational psychologists. The exceptions, which I mentioned previously, are very limited.

    DoctorPhD mentioned "personal achievement," which I can relate to because I considered an online psychology degree several years ago. It is very important to look at your state's regulations regarding the profession. Otherwise, you might not take enough of the right courses to meet your state's licensing requirements. Without licensure, you might not be able to even use the title "psychologist" in any professional setting (depending on your state's regulations). I can't imagine the frustration of successfully completing a PhD in psychology and then being barred from calling yourself a psychologist in any professional settings.
  19. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    I would like to suggest that you look into options outside the U.S. For example, University of South Africa (UNISA) offers a number of masters and doctoral programs in I/O psychology and Consulting Psychology. Tuition is extremely inexpensive.

    Best of luck,
  20. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    Great suggestion! UNISA is a terrific option to consider. It's a reputable school and the tuition can't be beat when compared to other accredited universities. DoctorPhD won't have to take a lot of classes prior to beginning the dissertation, which is both good and bad. I learned a lot about how to conduct and evaluate research from my doctoral coursework (in addition to our discipline-specific classes in information systems). I can't imagine successfully completing a doctoral dissertation without those courses.

    The admissions requirements for UNISA's PhD in psychology program require applicants to have a master's degree in psychology or a closely related field. I'm not sure of DoctorPhD's educational background, so I don't know if this requirement will pose a problem.

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