Affording a Psychology Degree

A deciding issue for many prospective psychology students may be the cost of the education at the Professional School of Psychology (or other schools). The cost of pursuing the master’s-level degree is significantly less than the cost of the doctoral-level degree. To be sure, although the quality of a PSP education is very high, the cost for any of our programs is far less than what you would pay at a different school. In addition, master’s-level clinical education opportunities are plentiful, but doctoral-level clinical education is harder to find. And it is admittedly difficult to find affordable doctoral psychology programs.

What is ‘affordable’?

The typical PSP student is a mature learner, and on average the PSP student is 45 years old. Part of the decision process for any prospective student is how to amortize the cost of the education over the years you have left to work. At the master’s or doctoral level, the prospective student should look at the other schools that offer a program that leads to licensure. What is the cost per unit? Can you attend classes in a way that fits with your current lifestyle? How long will it take? What other requirements may that school have (certain undergraduate coursework, a thesis or dissertation at the end of the program)? Are there certain tests that must be passed in order to enter the program, for instance, the GRE? Does the school have access to federal student loan programs? The term ‘affordable’ relates to a variety of potential decision-making factors.

The typical PSP student is a person who cannot justify the significantly higher cost of the other available schools. For example, the only other graduate school that offers a doctorate in clinical psychology in the Sacramento area will charge about two and a half times the cost PSP charges, for an equivalent program. They would argue that their program is not ‘equivalent’ because their program is both accredited and APA-approved. Yet, we are certain that the prospective student will not receive a better education at this other school, so what will you get for the significantly higher tuition? The answer lies in the issue of accreditation and, in the case of this school, approval by the APA.

The Financial Legacy

If you are 25 years old, you may get out of the program and accumulate sufficient supervised professional experience (clinical hours) by the time you are thirty. In this case, you may have forty years to amortize the cost of the education (assuming you work until you are seventy). However, if you are 45 years old, you may get out of the program and accumulate sufficient supervised professional experience (clinical hours) by the time you are fifty. In this case, you may have twenty years to amortize the cost of the education (assuming you work until you are seventy). These are the kinds of rational calculations everyone must “perform” for themselves as part of the decision-making process when considering the meaning of “affordable.”

We offer the student an unparalleled educational experience in a collaborative, non-competitive environment, at a reasonable cost. Our programs are oriented to mature working professionals. Are you the kind of person who would benefit by what PSP has to offer?