Initially founded in 1899 as the Training School for Christian Workers by a small group of Quakers, Azusa Pacific University has grown into a senior private inter-denominational evangelical Christian liberal arts institution. As the largest member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, APU enrolls over 6,500 undergraduates and 4,200 post-graduates annually. APU is located on a 105-acre suburban campus in the Azusa neighborhood outside of Los Angeles, California. Classes are also offered in San Bernardino, Murrieta, San Diego, Victorville, Orange County, and online. Holding a Wesleyan-Arminian doctrinal theology, Azusa Pacific follows the motto “God First.” APU has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1 and average freshman retention rate of 84.5 percent.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, APU is America’s 175th best national university and 139th top school for military veterans in 2015. With a financial grade of C, Azusa Pacific University was ranked the 75th best college in the West by Forbes magazine. Washington Monthly magazine named APU as the West’s 148th “Best Bang for the Buck.” The prestigious Princeton Review included Azusa Pacific among its list for the “Best in the West” schools. APU was distinguished for its civic engagement on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Azusa Pacific University also won the Beyond the Books Excellence in Service Learning Award.
Azusa Pacific University Accreditation Details
At the institutional level, Azusa Pacific University is formally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This regional accreditation is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). APU has also met the standards of the Commission on Accrediting Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Furthermore, academic departments have gone the extra mile to receive 12 programmatic approvals. The Doctor of Psychology program meets the standards of the American Psychological Association (APA). The School Psychology program is accredited through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
Azusa Pacific University Application Requirements
Even though Azusa Pacific University is less selective with an acceptance rate of 81 percent, incoming applicants must fulfill certain criteria. Prospective first-year freshmen must be in possession of a state-approved high school diploma or GED equivalent. Following a college-prep curriculum with four years of English, three years of math, two years of science, three years of foreign language, and two years of history is required. Students must have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.0. Freshmen must have scored at least 910 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT combined without writing. Involvement in church, school, and community activities is considered.
Undergraduate transfer students are accepted into the online bachelor’s in psychology program from another regionally accredited college or university. Transfers must have completed at least 28 units of acceptable college credit. Azusa Pacific has partnered with 65 California community colleges to facilitate smooth transfers for students with an associate’s degree. A maximum of 90 units can be transferred. Students must have maintained a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.2 for admissions. International students at APU must be entering the U.S. with a student visa. Scoring at least 5.5 on the IELTS or 80 on the TOEFL iBT is required for English proficiency.
Before the February 15th application deadline, interested students wishing to attend Azusa Pacific University must submit the following documents to the admissions team:
- Online undergraduate application
- Non-refundable $45 application fee
- Official high school and/or college transcripts
- College pre-admission test scores
- One letter of character recommendation
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency
- One to two-page personal statement
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate students taking 12 to 18 units will be charged $17,087 per semester at Azusa Pacific University. Undergraduates pursuing under 12 units must pay $1,424 per unit. It’s estimated that freshmen living on campus will pay $42,734 each academic year with housing and dining plans included. Online learners at APU follow a much different pay structure though. Students enrolling in an online bachelor’s program can expect to pay $562 per unit. Please note that online students are still responsible for paying the $580 university service fee annually. Experiential learning portfolio credits are assessed at $40 per semester unit earned.
Around 85 percent of degree-seeking students attending APU receive financial aid. Perhaps that’s why it was selected among Kiplinger’s “Top 100 Best Values in Private Colleges.” After filing the FAFSA, students can borrow money through Direct, Perkins, PLUS, or private/alternative loans. Certain students may qualify for free gift aid through the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents may receive the Cal Grant, Cal Grant Dream Act, or Chafee Grant for Foster Youth. The APU Grant ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 annually also. Military benefits are available in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Scholarships are abundant, including the Founder’s Award, Dean’s Scholarship, and Transfer Scholarship.
Online Degree(s) Available
Non-traditional students seeking added flexibility in their learning can take advantage of Azusa Pacific University’s 35 fully online degree programs. Online learners study alongside the same expert faculty to receive the same accredited Christian education. Online degree programs allow students to participate in assignments in a self-paced schedule without setting foot on campus. All that’s needed is a computer, high-speed Internet access, and a Web browser. Aspiring psychology majors can pursue the:
B.A. in Applied Psychology
Offered solely online, the B.A. in Applied Psychology program at Azusa Pacific University is designed to give undergraduate students a broad knowledge base for understanding the major fundamentals of psychological science. Through a distinctive Christian worldview, students develop practical skills in general psychology to evaluate ethical human behavior. The 120-unit curriculum is fully customizable with emphasis areas. B.A. students can specialize their studies in Applied Pastoral Counseling, Business Psychology, Child and Adolescent Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Criminal Behavior, Cultural Psychology, Educational Psychology, Health Care Management, or Human Services.
Using the undergraduate guidelines from the American Psychological Association (APA), the program spans four years to explore all of the field’s research methods and theories. Students will work with a success coach to design an individualized academic plan. Coursework can include social psychology, personality, abnormal psychology, crisis counseling, gender issues, forensics, conflict management, group dynamics, child psychology, and organizational behavior. BAAP students will have a strong liberal arts foundation for pursuing career opportunities from social service and government to counseling and education.
Graduate students at Azusa Pacific University may also be interested in pursuing the 36-unit Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology online.