Pacifica Graduate Institute's Accreditation Statement  

Regional Accreditation

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes six regional accrediting associations. The six associations are: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Accreditation Commission, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. These associations ensure quality educational standards throughout their respective regions. Pacifica Graduate Institute has been regionally accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC) since 1997. In 2010, WASC reaffirmed Pacifica’s regional accreditation through spring 2018. In this recent and in prior decisions, WASC endorsed the solid academic standing of Pacifica Graduate Institute overall, and all its programs, including its doctoral program in Clinical Psychology, which was founded in 1987.


In the U.S., all states have licensing laws as a consumer protection measure to assure that appropriate standards of education and training are met by practitioners who offer their services to the public in independent practice. These laws vary from state to state, and are subject to change. A degree from Pacifica’s doctoral program in clinical psychology qualifies a graduate to sit for psychology licensing exams and meets the academic licensure requirements of psychology boards in many states. Again, as of December 2010, according to an in-house study, nearly 80% of the states in the United States (including California) accept regional accreditation as a requirement for state licensure without APA accreditation. Licensure passage rates of Pacifica's Clinical Psychology Program graduates in California compares favorably and often exceeds passage rates of other California doctoral programs in clinical psychology that are APA accredited. Each state has varying and changing licensing requirements. Be sure to check with the licensing board for your state’s requirements. Currently-enrolled students with licensure questions should contact Pacifica’s Clinical Training Office at 805.969.3626, ext. 139. Prospective students with questions about licensure requirements during the admissions process should contact the Office of Admissions at 805.969.3626 ext. 304.


Pacifica is affiliated with two vital internship training agencies which regulate training standards for pre-doctoral internship training in clinical psychology. Pacifica is a Doctoral Program Associate with the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), and also a doctoral program member of the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC). The Clinical Psychology Program is dedicated to providing high quality clinical training in preparation for licensure and professional practice. Pacifica has a full-time Director of Clinical Training to coordinate practicum and internship placements throughout California and the United States. Pacifica continues to develop clinical training standards consistent with guidelines published by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

American Psychological Association (APA)

The APA process of self-study in academia is both rigorous and iterative allowing for the incorporation of ongoing advances in the field of Clinical Psychology, as well as alignment with national, state, and federal guidelines. This extensive preparation process continues to evolve at Pacifica through ongoing consultation with APA and further assessment of our curriculum. Pacifica voluntarily withdrew its APA application pending in February, 2010 in order to continue its APA self-study process and thus enhance its future accreditation application. Pacifica has committed significant resources to attain this goal, including its retention of highly proficient APA consultants, and hiring additional skilled faculty and professional staff to provide the necessary technical and analytic support to meet APA standards. Pacifica remains committed to seeking APA accreditation and we continue our self-study process in response to feedback and consultation with the APA. We offer a strong foundational curriculum in clinical psychology with a specialty in depth psychology and are doing everything possible to communicate the value of what we offer to APA. Prospective students with questions about licensure requirements during the admissions process should contact the Office of Admissions at 805.969.3626, ext.304.