saybrook university

Saybrook University: A Deep Dive into the Humanistic Psychology Powerhouse

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Nestled in Pasadena, California, Saybrook University stands out as a unique institution dedicated to humanistic psychology. Founded in 1971, Saybrook offers a distinctive approach to education, emphasizing personal growth alongside academic rigor. This comprehensive guide explores Saybrook University’s core aspects, including its academic offerings, student experience, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you determine if it aligns with your educational aspirations.

Focus on Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic psychology forms the cornerstone of Saybrook’s educational philosophy. This school of thought emphasizes the importance of human potential, self-actualization, and the subjective experience. Saybrook’s curriculum integrates these principles into its programs, fostering not only intellectual development but also personal growth and self-discovery.

Academic Programs and Specialties

Saybrook University caters primarily to graduate students, offering Master’s degrees, Doctoral degrees, and professional certificates across various disciplines. Here’s a glimpse into their program strengths:

  • Mind-Body Health: Programs like Mind-Body Medicine, Health Psychology, and Holistic Health explore the connections between mind, body, and spirit, preparing graduates for careers in integrative health and wellness.
  • Counseling and Clinical Psychology: Saybrook offers programs in Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy, and Expressive Arts Therapy, equipping students with the knowledge and skills to provide therapeutic interventions. It’s important to note that while Saybrook’s M.A. in Counseling is accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), some of their other clinical mental health programs lack accreditation from major national bodies like the American Psychological Association (APA). This might impact licensure requirements in certain areas.
  • Organizational Leadership and Social Change: Programs like Leadership for Social Change and Industrial and Organizational Psychology delve into leadership development, organizational dynamics, and social justice issues, preparing graduates to create positive change within organizations and communities.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Saybrook embraces interdisciplinary learning, allowing students to combine interests from various fields like Depth Psychology and Ecopsychology.
saybrook university

The Low-Residency Model

Saybrook University is known for its low-residency model. This unique format blends online coursework with intensive on-campus residencies. Students complete most coursework online, allowing for flexibility and continued professional pursuits. Periodic residencies provide opportunities for face-to-face interaction with faculty and fellow students, fostering a sense of community and deeper exploration of course material.

Student Life at Saybrook

While Saybrook’s primary focus is on online learning, the university fosters a sense of community through its residency programs and online student forums. Students can connect with faculty and peers who share their academic interests and professional goals. Additionally, Saybrook’s location in Pasadena offers cultural and social opportunities for students visiting for residencies.


Saybrook University presents a compelling option for individuals seeking a unique graduate education rooted in humanistic psychology. The university’s focus on personal growth alongside academic achievement, its diverse program offerings in mind-body health, counseling, and social change fields, and its flexible low-residency model cater to a specific student population. Carefully consider your learning style, career goals, and the accreditation status of your desired program to determine if Saybrook University aligns with your aspirations.

Is Saybrook University reputable?

The reputation of Saybrook University can be dilihat (Indonesian for “seen”) from two sides:

Strengths and Recognition:

  • Accredited Institution: Saybrook holds accreditation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a legitimate regional accrediting body. This signifies that the university meets quality standards for educational programs.
  • Humanistic Psychology Leader: Saybrook is a pioneer in the field of humanistic psychology, offering unique programs that cater to those interested in this specific approach.
  • Respected Faculty: The university boasts faculty members with expertise in their respective fields.

Points to Consider:

  • Limited Program Accreditation: It’s important to note that while Saybrook’s M.A. in Counseling holds accreditation by CACREP, some of their other clinical mental health programs lack accreditation from major national bodies like the American Psychological Association (APA). This can be a significant factor if you aim for licensure in specific areas, as licensure boards often require graduation from APA-accredited programs.
  • Focus on Online Learning: The low-residency model with a heavy emphasis on online learning might not suit everyone’s learning style.

Overall Reputation:

Saybrook University has a niche reputation within the field of humanistic psychology. It’s generally considered a reputable institution due to its accreditation and faculty expertise. However, the lack of accreditation for some clinical mental health programs and the focus on online learning are crucial points to consider, especially if licensure or a traditional campus experience are important to you.


Before deciding if Saybrook is a good fit, delve deeper:

  • Research Program Accreditation: Make sure the specific program you’re interested in holds the necessary accreditation for your career goals (especially for clinical mental health programs).
  • Consider Your Learning Style: Assess if the low-residency online format aligns with your learning preferences.

Saybrook can be a valuable option for those seeking a unique education in humanistic psychology with a flexible learning format. However, carefully weigh the program accreditation and online learning aspects to ensure it aligns with your needs and future aspirations.

Is Saybrook University nationally accredited?

Saybrook University’s accreditation situation can be a bit tricky. Here’s a breakdown to clarify:

  • Nationally vs. Regionally Accredited: The United States has a decentralized system of accreditation. There’s no single national accrediting body. Instead, regional accrediting agencies oversee educational institutions within their designated areas.
  • Saybrook’s Accreditation: Saybrook University holds accreditation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC is a legitimate and well-respected regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This accreditation signifies that Saybrook meets established quality standards for educational programs.

So, while Saybrook isn’t nationally accredited in the strictest sense, its regional accreditation from WSCUC is recognized nationwide.

However, there’s another layer to consider, especially for certain programs:

  • Program-Specific Accreditation: While the university itself is regionally accredited, not all of Saybrook’s programs hold additional accreditation from specific professional organizations. This is particularly relevant for their clinical mental health programs.
  • Focus on Accreditation for Your Program: If you’re considering a clinical mental health program at Saybrook, investigate if it has accreditation from a relevant body like the American Psychological Association (APA). This accreditation is crucial for licensure requirements in many areas.

FAQs about Saybrook University

Is Saybrook University accredited?

Yes, Saybrook University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). However, it’s crucial to note that not all of their clinical mental health programs hold accreditation from major national bodies like the APA. This can affect licensure requirements in specific areas. Make sure to research the accreditation status of your desired program.

Is a low-residency program right for me?

The low-residency model offers flexibility but requires strong time management skills and self-discipline. Consider your learning style and lifestyle demands before opting for this format.

What are the career opportunities with a Saybrook degree?

Saybrook degrees prepare graduates for careers in various fields, depending on the program chosen. Some potential career paths include counseling, health and wellness, organizational development, social justice advocacy, and educational settings.

How do I learn more about Saybrook University?

Explore Saybrook University’s website for detailed information on programs, admissions, financial aid, and student life. You can also attend virtual information sessions or contact the admissions office for further inquiries.