Master’s in Psychology Degree Programs in California (D-L)

Becoming a clinical service provider in the “Golden State” requires a doctorate, but many Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California offer great doctoral prep or alternative licensing like the LMFT credential. Graduate students in California have unparalleled access to top-ranked mental health facilities, including Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, UCSF Medical Center, Stanford Health Care, and Jacobs Medical Center. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows above-average job growth for California’s 18,990 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists and 1,800 other psychologists like forensic psychologists. Post-grads can even join the California Psychological Association (CPA), which won the APA’s 2017 Diversity Award and Outstanding State Association Award. Here’s our next installment of master’s degrees in psychology for California graduates to open doors opening people’s minds.

Dominican University of California

School of Education and Counseling Psychology

Endowed for $26 million, Dominican University of California is a private, co-educational Catholic institution founded by the Dominican Sisters in 1890 that’s now serving 1,863 Penguins in the PacWest Conference from its 80-acre San Rafael campus. Ranked the West’s 30th top university by the USNWR, Dominican was placed 221st nationally for student outcomes in the Wall Street Journal. With an acceptance rate of 81 percent, the School of Education and Psychology was also named America’s 321st best psychology school on Niche.

MS in Counseling Psychology

Managed by Rani Devadasan, MFT, the MS in Counseling Psychology is structured for Dominican post-grads to spend 2.5 to 3.5 years mastering the techniques of case management for individual or group therapeutic relationships. Offering evening courses in Marin County, the 43-credit curriculum satisfies clinical and marriage/family counseling licensure like other Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California for $927 per credit. Mandatory courses like child abuse assessment and collaborative care are capped at 18 students for engagement. Fieldwork is also integrated at sites like Novato Youth Services and Progress Place before the capstone GMPP.


• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


Bertrand Hall, Room 108

50 Acacia Avenue

San Rafael, CA 94901

(415) 485-3266

Program Link

Fielding Graduate University

School of Psychology

Enrolling roughly 1,200 adult learners in distance, contract-based learning, Fielding Graduate University is a nonprofit, post-baccalaureate institution with WSCUC approval that’s grown from its 1974 founding by Frederic M. Hudson to deliver nine degrees online from its Santa Barbara office. Ranked 49th in America on, Fielding was given 4.4 stars on Niche and included among the top 100 schools for minorities by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. The School of Psychology was also recognized by in the nation’s 20 most affordable online human services master’s programs.

MA in Media Psychology

Currently priced at $585 per credit, the MA in Media Psychology accepts Fall applications until August 4th for Fielding post-grads from ages 21 to 81 with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Directed by Jerri Lynn Hogg, PhD, the 40-credit curriculum is the first among Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California to focus on how different public communication methods affect individuals and society. Available online with on-demand webinars, the degree covers courses like story psychology, social marketing, persuasion, cognitive psychology, and augmented reality with a student-faculty ratio of 6:1.


• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


2020 De la Vina Street

Santa Barbara, CA 93105

(805) 898-4026

Program Link

Fresno Pacific University

School of Education

Having produced alums like Ron Adams, Rev. Brian Fuller, and Pakisa Tshimika, Fresno Pacific University is a private, nonprofit school operated by the Pacific District Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church to enlighten 3,650 Sunbirds on its 40-acre, 16-building campus in Forbes’ 53rd best city for job growth. FPU was ranked the West’s 44th best college overall by the U.S. News and America’s 73rd top Christian university on Niche. With an 89 percent placement rate, the School of Education stands in the top 10 percent nationally according to College Factual.

Master of Arts in School Psychology

Featuring built-in BCBA courses, the Master of Arts in School Psychology at Fresno Pacific has a hybrid blend of online and on-site learning to prepare post-grads for the Pupil Personnel Services credential in three years. Starting each August for $610 per unit, the 71-unit degree integrates Christian values into the study of effective intervention models for children in multicultural K-12 schools. Two field practica and a year-long internship are completed at partnering schools, such as Leavenworth Elementary and Phoenix Secondary Academy. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree and CBEST completion with a GPA above 2.75.

School Counseling/School Psychology Dual Program

When searching for Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California that satisfy CTC standards for providing intervention, assessment, and support services that boost K-12 students’ mental health, don’t forget the School Counseling/School Psychology Dual Program at FPU. Priced at $610 per unit, the 84-unit curriculum admits cohorts each Fall in Bakersfield, North Fresno, and Visalia. Courses like early intervention, family-school collaboration, and career planning dominate the first four semesters. The third year is reserved for the 1,200-hour internship and master’s thesis or education research review.


• California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC)

• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


1717 S. Chestnut Avenue

Fresno, CA 93072

(559) 453-3690

Program Link

Golden Gate University

Graduate School

Conferring 15 post-bachelor’s degrees in 24 concentrations, Golden Gate University is a private, nonprofit evening and online school originally formed by the YMCA in 1901 that’s now educating 5,300 Griffins in San Francisco with its $50.2 million endowment. Located in Forbes’ fourth best U.S. city for education, Golden Gate was crowned America’s #1 institution for adult learners in Washington Monthly. Reporting a median alumni salary of $64,200, the Graduate School was also placed 226th nationally for faculty productivity by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Chaired by Tom Wooldridge, PhD, the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology bills GGU post-grads $3,045 per three-unit course for practicing holistically through a relational lens in community mental health settings. Delivered solely in San Francisco, the 60-unit degree opens LMFT and LPCC pathways in California with 350+ traineeship hours. Past placements have included Sierra Family Services, Sunset Mental Health Services, Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital, and The Access Institute. Before submitting the $70 application, students need a bachelor’s, 2.5 GPA, and satisfactory GRE score.

Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Requiring 14 courses costing $3,045 each, the Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Golden Gate is a skills-oriented program preparing post-grads for consulting gigs where improving businesses’ employee productivity is foremost. Available online on Moodle or in San Francisco, it’s one of the shortest Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California with managerial career applications boosting team collaboration. Given the Super Scholar Smart Choice badge, the 42-credit, non-thesis program has placed alumni at Morgan Stanley, Apple, LinkedIn, Intuit, and other big names.


• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


536 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 442-6618

Program Link

Holy Names University

Graduate Division

Attracting 1,353 Hawks from 36 nations, Holy Names University is a private, Catholic AACU member that’s been co-educational since 1971 and endowed for $11.2 million under President Dr. William Hynes to educate from 60 acres in the Woodminster district of Oakland. Ranked America’s #1 most diverse university in 2014 by the U.S. News, HNU is named the 195th best Western value in Washington Monthly. The “College of Distinction’s” Graduate Division houses another of the Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California with a 13:1 student-faculty ratio.

Master of Arts in Counseling & Forensic Psychology

Directed by Perri Franskoviak, PhD, the Master of Arts in Counseling & Forensic Psychology at Holy Names offers two tracks for post-grad practitioners to improve human experiences through evidence-based behavioral strategies and empathy. Graduates take evening courses Monday through Thursday in Oakland for $1,003 per unit to finish the 63-unit Counseling Psychology track for LPCC credentialing, 39-unit Forensic Psychology track, or both. Fieldwork is integrated into all options with the on-campus Counseling and Psychological Services Center, Alameda County Crisis Support, Bay Area Women Against Rape, and others.


• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


Heafey Hall, Room 624

3500 Mountain Blvd.

Oakland, CA 94619

(510) 436-1465

Program Link

Hope International University

College of Psychology and Counseling

Established as the Pacific Bible Seminary in 1928, Hope International University is a nonprofit, Christian CIC member of the Restoration Movement that’s endowed for $5.7 million to serve 2,000 Royals at its Fullerton, Anaheim, and Everett locations. Declared America’s 92nd best online college and 87th most conservative university on Niche, HIU is placed as the 88th most value-added school by The Economist. Coordinated by Chair Susan Hastings, PsyD, the College of Psychology and Counseling was also ranked in the top 10 percent for social sciences courses by College Factual.

Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

Another of the Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California that upholds BBS requirements for producing LPCCs who can empower clients to thrive against adversity is Hope’s Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. Grounded in Christian principles, the 61-unit degree presently charges $600 per unit for online courses lasting eight to 16 weeks for two-year completion. At the Anaheim Campus’ Hope Counseling Center or off-site, post-grads complete 280+ direct client hours. Alumni have excelled with Star View Community Services, Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission, Solidarity, and more.


• Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)

• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


Anaheim Campus 948

2400 E. Katella Avenue

Anaheim, CA 92806

(714) 879-3901

Program Link

Humboldt State University

College of Professional Studies

Included in The Princeton Review’s “Colleges with a Conscience,” Humboldt State University is a public, master’s-level CSU constituent opened in 1913 that’s serving 8,503 Loggers from 733 acres on the rugged North Coast. Deemed the 305th top public university nationally on Niche, HSU landed in America’s 91st percentile for master’s education according to Washington Monthly. Chaired by Dean Dr. Chris Hopper, the College of Professional Studies confers 12 master’s options to 545 post-grads with an average class size of eight and internships from Lakeport Unified School District to HCAR Sequoia Center.

M.A. in Psychology

Accepting applications via CalState Apply from October 1st to February 1st yearly, Humboldt State’s M.A. in Psychology is one of the most specialized Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California for post-grads to prepare for academic research or applied practice. The 30-60 unit program currently charges $270 in-state and $396 out-of-state per unit for concentrations in MFT Counseling, School Psychology, Social and Environmental Psychology, Developmental Psychopathology, Biological Psychology, or Behavior Analysis. Hands-on learning is provided in state-of-the-art facilities like the Cognition Lab and Community Counseling Clinic.


• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


BSSB Building, Room 410

1 Harpst Street

Arcata, CA 95521

(707) 826-3755

Program Link

John F. Kennedy University

College of Psychology

Belonging to the National University System, John F. Kennedy University is a private, nonprofit institution founded in 1964 that’s split into three colleges under President Debra Bean to educate 1,600 students and employ 60 full-time academics from its three campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area. Achieving a 92 percent recommendation rate on, JFKU is ranked in the United States’ top 5 percent for psychology and ethnic diversity on College Factual. Featuring a 5:1 student-faculty ratio, the College of Psychology was also placed 129th nationally on for clinical psychology.

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Directed by Robbin L. Rasbury, PsyD, the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology is the first of JFKU’s Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California where post-grads follow a Professional Clinical Counseling track for state licensing. Consisting of 90 units costing $665 each, the curriculum prepares therapists with the theories, models, and techniques to provide culturally sensitive mental health treatment systematically. Along with morning or late afternoon courses at one of three campuses, aspiring LPCCs and LMFTs complete three quarters of clinical practicum and an oral master’s exam.

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology – Holistic

Strengthened by JFKU’s 50-year legacy, the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology – Holistic is an alternative post-grad mental health option led by Doreen Maller, PhD, at the Pleasant Hill, San Jose, and Berkeley campuses for whole-person treatment. Taking 91-92 units priced at $665 apiece, the program includes collaborative projects at the Holistic Research Center (HRC) with several research groups, such as Meaning, Mindfulness & Marginalization (MMM). Evening courses are specialized for Somatic Psychology, Expressive Arts, Depth Psychotherapy, or Transpersonal Psychology before internships with the Sunnyvale Community Counseling Center.

Master of Arts in Sport Psychology

Immersing full-time graduate cohorts in 77 units for $665 each, JFKU’s Master of Arts in Sport Psychology delivers the training for utilizing psychological assessment tools to create action plans for athletes, performers, coaches, and teams. Whether taken online or at the Pleasant Hill location, the program led by Alison Pope-Rhodius, PhD, offers thesis research, applied project, or comprehensive exam tracks. Online students must complete four town hall meetings for face-to-face professional development too. After finishing 682 internship hours via the Life Enhancement through Athletic Participation program, post-grads qualify for AASP credentialing.

Master of Arts in Sport Psychology – MBA Dual Degree

Earning an IACBE-accredited Master of Business Administration with one of the Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California is possible with the MASP/MBA Dual Degree at John F. Kennedy University. The scholar-practitioner degree is coordinated by Gail Lynam Dutcher, PhD. Without a GMAT requirement, the 103-unit program takes three years full-time to practice the organizational and entrepreneurship skills for sports business. At the Pleasant Hill campus, students can further specialize the MBA in Leadership, Strategic Management, or Program Management before the mandatory Speaker Series and 682 clinical hours.

Master of Arts in Sport Psychology – Clinical PsyD Dual Degree

Offered with an optional Advanced Certificate in Trauma Studies, the Master of Arts in Sport Psychology – Clinical PsyD Dual Degree meets APA approval for JFKU post-grads to expand career opportunities by concurrently learning to work with clinical and athletic clients. The accelerated, five-year curriculum requires 222 units total with some costing $665 and others charging $809 each. Expect courses from performance enhancement and kinesiology to psychopathology and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Organized by Douglas C. Haldeman, PhD, the scholar-practitioner option includes at least 3,000 internship hours for California licensing.


• American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA CoA)

• International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


100 Ellinwood Way

Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

(844) 890-6912

Program Link

2956 San Pablo Avenue, 2nd Floor

Berkeley, CA 94702

(510) 647-2052

Program Link

3031 Tisch Way, 2nd Floor

San Jose, CA 95128

(408) 236-1120

Program Link

Loyola Marymount University

School of Education

Affiliated with alumni like Carol Codrington, Gregory Boyle, and Kate Micucci, Loyola Marymount University traces back to 1911 as a nonprofit, co-educational Jesuit AJCU member that’s now endowed for $440 million to educate 3,133 post-grad Lions in LA’s Westchester district. Named the 117th best private university in Forbes, Loyola is ranked 12th for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service” on The Princeton Review. Applauded as America’s 62nd best education school by the USNWR, the School of Education houses another of the Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California open for admission until February 15th yearly.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Educational Psychology

Renewed for NASP approval in 2008, Loyola’s Master of Arts (M.A.) in Educational Psychology is directed by Catherine M. Foote, EdD, to prepare for full-time, post-bachelor’s cohorts for earning the California Pupil Personnel Services Credential for K-12 intervention in three years. Emphasizing social justice, the 63-unit curriculum charges $1,167 per unit before financial aid to ensure graduates pass the Praxis exam with a 165 or higher for NCSP credentialing. Beginning each Summer, the program blends courses like school violence prevention with practica and a 1,700-hour traineeship.


• Council on Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP)

• WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)


University Hall, Suite 2100

1 LMU Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90045

(310) 568-6854

Program Link

We’ve only breached the first half of regionally accredited psychology schools opening average master’s-level salaries of $57,446 to $145,485 according to PayScale. Continue shopping through the rest of the Master’s in Psychology degree programs in California here.

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