APA-CoA- American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation

American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA) is the main accreditation agency that provides accreditation to programs that provide education in brain science or professional psychology. Find out more about the required standards and process of accreditation.

TCM Staff

29th September 2020

Have you heard of the American Psychological Association? If not, then the answer lies here.

What is the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA)?

The APA is an organization that works towards advancement in Psychology and how it can be used for the betterment of individuals and society. 

The accreditation body associated with APA called the APA-CoA is the national accrediting agency that accredits Doctoral and training programs in professional psychology.

APA-COA is recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. 

American Psychological Associationsource  - apa.org 

APA-COA accreditation scope

APA-COA does not approve Bachelor’s or Master’s programs in professional psychology. However, it provides accreditation to Doctoral degree programs. 

It provides programmatic accreditation as it does not accredit the entire university or college, but just the programs. Let us have a look at the degree levels and programs which fall under the scope of APA.

  • Doctoral graduate programs - Accreditation to Doctoral programs in Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology or a combination of any of these is provided. 

  • Internship programs - Pre-doctoral internship programs in Professional Psychology, for instance, Health Service Psychology are accredited.

  • Post-doctoral residency programs - Health Service Psychology programs that offer specialized and training and education in this field are accredited by APA.

Eligibility requirements for APA-COA accreditation

To receive accreditation, the programs must be offered for doctoral education and training of psychologists and the program’s standards must be within the accrediting agency’s scope.

  • The program should fall under the scope of APA accreditation.

  • The programs in Professional Psychology must comply with the standards laid down by the Standards of Accreditation in Health Service Psychology (SoA).

  • They should provide a broad and general training in Scientific Psychology and prepare students to practice the same.

  • The programs should be offered by a foundation that is broadly or territorially licensed by an authorizing office in the United States. 

What is APA-CoA?source - pixabay.com

How does a program become accredited?

APA accreditation is voluntary which means that the programs that wish to receive accreditation must apply for the same. The accreditation process is entirely confidential and only the results are made available to the public.

The accreditation process is as follows.

The university needs to submit a self-study for the program to be accredited via the online Commission on Accreditation (CoA) portal. To apply, a certain amount of fee is to be paid depending upon the degree level of the program.

This self-study then undergoes an initial review and the outcome of the review has two possibilities - either approval of site-visit or denial of site-visit.

The site visit team visits the site and forwards the report to the CoA. The institute is required to pay for the visit expenses. 

The CoA evaluates whether the program complies with the standards of Health Service Psychology (SoA).

It then awards accreditation if and only, if all standards and requirements are met. 

Application fees for APA-COA accreditation

The appropriate fee must be paid by the programs when they apply to apply for accreditation. Following is the fee schedule effective for applications/self-studies submitted on or after Jan. 1, 2017.

Full Accreditation Status
Program Fees

Doctoral Programs (1 - 50 Students)


Doctoral Programs (51+ Students)


Internships and Postdoctoral Residency


Guiding principles of APA-COA

APA endeavors to correspond and use psychological information to society's profit. Few guiding principles of the accreditation commission are given.

  • Enhancing the improvement and applying the information of psychology in the broadest way possible to benefit the lives of the general public.

  • Promoting the expansion of research in Psychology and developing enhanced methods for research.

  • Enhancing the instructive capabilities of clinicians and setting measures of morals, direct training, and accomplishment.

APA-COA accredited universities

You must always pursue a degree or a program that is accredited because it is a guarantee of quality education.

Some of the universities which offer APA accredited programs in Professional Psychology are given.

APA Accredited Universities

Texas Tech University

Oregon State University

Regent University

University of Georgia

Saybrook University

Felician University


American psychologist Association Commission provides accreditations to psychology programs that meet the standards and requirements set by the APA.

It strives to impart the knowledge of psychology worldwide and to raise the education standards in the field for the betterment of both individuals and society.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.What is APA accreditation?

    The American Psychological Association accredits doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology. You must always pursue an accredited program because it meets the required standards of the industry. 

  • 2.Does the APA accredit master's programs in Psychology?

    No, the APA does not accredit Master's or Bachelor's programs. It accredits only Pre-doctoral internships, Doctoral and Post-doctoral programs in Professional Psychology.

  • 3.Do you need APA accreditation?

    Yes, you must always go for accredited degrees and programs as accreditation ensures that the program complies with a set of standards and provides high-quality education. 

  • 4.Are there any online APA accredited programs?

    No. Presently, there are no online APA accredited professional psychology programs.

  • 5.Is Argosy University an APA accredited school?

    Yes, the Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology Program at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA).

  • 6.Is Capella University APA accredited?

    No, the various hybrid or online Doctorate programs offered by the Capella University are not accredited by the APA but are regionally accredited.

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