Why Cal Lutheran?

Outstanding Students, Faculty, and Staff

  • Diversity of strong students from all over the U.S. (e.g., UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara; Yale University; The New School) and abroad (e.g., University of London, University of Guadalajara)
  • Excellent core psychology faculty who value teaching, research, and service
  • Opportunities to develop mentoring relationships with the faculty as well as become involved in their research projects
  • Many faculty with active clinical practices and years of clinical experience and expertise in treating a variety of populations
  • Attentive and kind administrative staff who are easily accessible

Classes and Curriculum

  • Very small entering class sizes of 15-17 students per year that allow for personal contact and discussion with professors and opportunities to develop close relationships with classmates and colleagues
  • Optional focus areas such as dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and intimate partner violence with electives in topics such as attachment, trauma, crisis management, and mindfulness.
  • Clinically focused curriculum emphasizing the integration of diagnostics, assessment, and intervention with courses such as Diagnostic Interviewing, Child and Adolescent Interventions, Group Psychotherapy, ABA and CBT Interventions, and three assessment courses focused on children, adolescents, and adults.
  • Curriculum based on new professional standards of competency education developed by the American Psychological Association.
  • Technology-equipped state of the art classrooms: computers, projectors with writable capabilities, internet access, and video and sound equipment.

Clinical Training

  • Two onsite training clinics staffed by our second-year PsyD and M.S. Counseling (MFT) students (with 21 licensed supervisors) located in Oxnard and Westlake Village that provide extensive low-fee community services to underserved communities (almost 15,000 scheduled appointments last year). These centers have computerized scheduling systems, paperless client charting, computer workstations, digital recording in all 28 therapy rooms, the capability of streaming live therapy sessions, iPad kiosks for clients to complete the OQ-45 evaluation tool (which is recorded directly to our online database), fully stocked play therapy rooms, family therapy rooms, and group rooms.
  • Diverse external practicum settings include multiple placements at UCLA, Veteran’s Administration, university counseling centers, CMHCs, hospital systems, residential facilities, correctional facilities, schools, and specialized facilities for domestic violence, addictions, and eating disorders.
  • Ability to tailor training experiences to your unique interests in working with specific populations or within specific clinical settings.


  • Develop competence in research and scholarship while emphasizing clinical training
  • Dissertation classes taken throughout the program with structured tasks directed toward dissertation completion.
  • Faculty actively involved in publishing and presenting with many opportunities to join faculty research programs to present and publish with them
  • Funding available to student presenters to assist with conference travel


  • Updated technology and computer labs with extensive online and physical library resources.
  • Extensive updated resources for personality, cognitive, neuropsychological, and forensic assessment.
  • Student Council actively involved in program development, professional development, community service, and providing programmatic feedback to the Director of the PsyD Program and Dean.
  • Library access to 270 full-text online journals, 3795 physical volumes, 35,293 full-text e-books, and 9066 online videos for both students and faculty, all on psychology and psychology-related topics.
  • Interlibrary loan is easily accessible from computers on and off campus. 

California Lutheran University

  • Ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report in Best Colleges 2020 (Ranked 9th among Western Regional Universities and 4th among California Regional Universities)
  • Welcoming of diversity of all types: age, dis(ability) status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, language, nationality, political view, race, religion sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and spirituality.
  • Program benefits from the resources and support of the full university (online registration, computer support, academic support services, pool and fitness center, etc.)
  • Private, not for profit university
  • WASC accredited

Ventura County

  • Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and Westlake Village are located in Ventura County between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Oxnard campus is 15 minutes from Ventura beach, 40 minutes from Santa Barbara or Malibu. Or 60 minutes from Santa Monica. Temperature is between 60 and 75 year round.
  • Biking, hiking, running, swimming, surfing, and farmers’ markets – all possible during study breaks or days off!
  • In August 2015, Ventura County was ranked in the Washington Post as the most desirable county to live in America. This ranking was based upon natural amenities, such as mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.


  • Ten or more graduate assistantships available annually
  • Tuition reduced to less than $1,800 for full doctoral internship year
  • Designed to be completed in 5 years
  • View current tuition and fees