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APA Accreditation at prestigious universities


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Good morning,

First time poster and newbie to this process.  I am hoping someone can help me understand the role of APA accreditation a little bit better. 

As I begin to look into school programs, I was surprised to find Stanford, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Princeton all offer PhD programs in Psychology (two may arguably be psychology-adjacent slightly?) but their programs are not APA accredited.  I had a few questions regarding this as I found it surprising. (Note- I'm only interested in one of these schools which I know will be a reach, I just went looking to see how common this was.)

Do these schools not participate in accreditation because they are more research-focused programs and students who attend these programs are less likely to pursue state licensure?  That's really the only reason I can think of for why they wouldn't pursue accreditation.  I read elsewhere non-APA accredited schools are no longer able to participate in the internship match process either (please correct me if I'm wrong).

If any past or current students of these programs read this too, I'm curious if this has impacted your prospects after you completed your PhD?  

And I guess my question more broadly would be why would one attend a non-APA accredited institution, as reputable as it may be?  From what I've researched thus far, the APA has a firm grip over the field, not unlike the American Bar Association in law.  I'm just trying to figure out what I'm missing here!

Thank you to any and all :)

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APA accreditation is only for PhD/PsyD programs in Clinical or Counseling Psychology (and School Psychology to some extent), as those are the ones that lead to clinical licensure. I don't know about all the schools you've mentioned, but for instance, Princeton does not have a Clinical or Counseling Psychology PhD program. Their psychology PhDs are strictly research focused. A Clinical or Counseling Psychology program has specific courses related to clinical practice and practicum experiences interwoven into the curriculum, which research only PhDs (like Social or Developmental) do not. 

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Thank you so much!  That makes sense, I did notice they didn't list Clinical or Counseling in their PhD titles.  All of those institutions appear to be heavily research focused, some focused on a neuroscience overlap or utilizing computational methods in their research.

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13 hours ago, BDD4343 said:

Thank you so much!  That makes sense, I did notice they didn't list Clinical or Counseling in their PhD titles.  All of those institutions appear to be heavily research focused, some focused on a neuroscience overlap or utilizing computational methods in their research.

What PsyDuck90 said is true, however, don't think that just because other programs are APA accredited that means they are less-research focused or don't include neuroscience or computational methods in their research. Because of various ideological perspectives, some programs prefer more of a clinical-science identification and that's why PCSAS was founded. Harvard for example, initially only had PCSAS accreditation, but they did get APA accreditation, because the APA one is very important for future practicing clinical psychologists (and so it was probably important for their students as well, to not limit their future opportunities).

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that many older APA accredited programs may be more research-heavy, so don't discount them if that's what you are looking for. As things stand right now, and if you know you definitely want to practice as a clinical psychologist in the future, make sure your program is APA accredited at a minimum.

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On 9/1/2021 at 8:37 AM, PsyDuck90 said:

APA accreditation is only for PhD/PsyD programs in Clinical or Counseling Psychology (and School Psychology to some extent), as those are the ones that lead to clinical licensure.

APA accreditation is definitely important for School Psych doctoral programs!!! Same accreditation process for all Health Service Psych programs, which includes Clinical, Counseling, and School. Attending a non-APA accredited school psych doc program would be just as unwise as attending an unaccredited clinical or counseling program - limits internship options and career options outside of a public school setting. 

There are a lot of Masters/Specialist level-only School Psych programs and APA does not accredit those - NASP does. Just want to clarify the difference in case anyone is looking at school psych! :)

 

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