Financial Support

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PCSAS's annual operating budget of about $250,000 is modest when compared to the budgets of other such agencies. Nevertheless, generating financial support for this new accreditation system presents a challenge.  Expenses include administrative personnel; travel costs associated with Board of Director and Review Committee meetings; the cost of site visits to applicant programs; and the basic overhead costs of operating the corporation.

During initial start-up, PCSAS could not possibly generate enough revenue from its accreditation activities alone to cover these costs. To meet its budget goals, PCSAS initially depended on the generous underwriting support of educational institutions, individuals, corporations, and granting agencies who share PCSAS's values and support its mission:

For additional information about PCSAS's finances, please contact Alan G. Kraut, PCSAS Executive Director (

Founders' Circle Fund: For Universities

PCSAS invites all universities to contribute to the PCSAS mission of advancing public health through the promotion of science-centered education and training in clinical psychology by joining the PCSAS Founders' Circle and contributing to the Founders' Fund.

The Founders' Fund represents a "pay forward" approach to building a financial foundation for PCSAS. To become a member of the Founders' Circle, a pledges $15,000 per year for five years to the Founders' Fund.  Seventeen universities (below) joined the Founders' Circle.  In addition, PCSAS has received financial support from the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (PCSAS's parent organization), and from many other generous donors. 

Duke University
Harvard University
Indiana University
Northwestern University
Purdue University
Stony Brook University
The Ohio State University
University of Arizona
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Delaware
University of Illinois--U/C
University of Kentucky 
University of Missouri
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Wisconsin
Washington University in St. Louis

Pledges to join the Founders' Circle provide critical support to the ultimate success of PCSAS.  As the number of accredited programs increases over time, PCSAS should become self-supporting through application fees and dues. Until then, however, science oriented universities are encouraged to step up and support PCSAS by joining the Founders' Circle.


Q. Why should a university care about PCSAS and why should it consider contributing?
A: PCSAS's accreditation criteria are focused primarily on "outcomes"--i.e., the production of high quality clinical scientists--rather than on "inputs"--e.g., specific course requirements. PCSAS's focus is aimed at liberating universities from arbitrary requirements, with the intent of promoting innovation, improving scholarly quality, and enhancing public health. Moreover, PCSAS-accredited programs will be designated publicly as successful science-centered doctoral programs. As a result, these programs should benefit from being able to differentiate themselves from other types of doctoral programs in clinical psychology. This should help PCSAS-accredited programs attract the best science-oriented graduate students and faculty. Ultimately, the public at large should benefit from having improved access to top-quality mental and behavioral health care. 

QHow will the Founders' Fund be spent?
A: Funds go directly toward PCSAS operations. As PCSAS's operating revenues grow, we are working to establish a more permanent funding base by seeking gifts from patrons, benefactors, and other sources. The long-term goal is to build an endowment, which not only should sustain PCSAS for the long haul, but should help ensure the integrity of PCSAS's accreditation decisions by isolating them from the pressure to accredit more programs simply in order to raise operating funds.

Q: What do Founders' Circle members receive in return for contributing to the Fund?
A: Doctoral programs in psychological clinical science at universities that have joined the Founders' Circle pay no application fees or site visitor expenses when they apply for PCSAS accreditation; and if accredited, they pay no annual dues for their first five years. These contributions do not influence the PCSAS Review Committee's evaluations, as all applicant programs are reviewed on the same basis. However, contributing universities may move to the head of the review queue when they apply for PCSAS accreditation, if they wish. In addition, institutions in the Founders' Circle are recognized publicly by PCSAS in appreciation for their pioneering support. Above all, Founders' Circle members can take pride in knowing that they were leaders in the effort to advance public health through the promotion of science-centered doctoral education and training in clinical psychology.

Q: How will PCSAS support itself in the longer term?
A: In addition to fees and dues, PCSAS relieson gifts, grants, and foundation support. In addition, we are seeking to build an endowment to ensure long-term viability.

Q: What if fundraising efforts fall short, either initially or in the long term?
A: PCSAS represents the best opportunity in our lifetime to create a new, science-centered accreditation system in clinical psychology aimed at reforming doctoral education and advancing public health. It cannot be allowed to fail. If necessary, PCSAS will continue to operate on the available funds until it succeeds.

Q: Will doctoral programs be forced to choose between APA and PCSAS accreditation?
A: Many programs are likely to be dually accredited for some time--at least until PCSAS is well established. The two accreditation systems serve very different purposes, so they should be construed as complementary, rather than competitive.

Q: How does an institution pledge its support and join the Founders' Circle? 
A: Typically, the process begins with the faculty of the clinical science program meeting to discuss its readiness to request support. The next step is for the program's leadership to ask for the department's backing. Finally, the program and departmental leaders would meet with the appropriate university administrator(s), present their case, and ask the university to pledge its support. If the university agrees, its pledge is documented in writing to avoid future misunderstandings, and the university transfers its pledged funds to PCSAS annually for five years.

The Patrons' Fund: For Private Individuals and Personal Estates
Benefactors' Fund: For Corporations and Institutions

PCSAS also is eager to tell its story to the business community and other entities that may have an interest in contributing funds to the improvement of public health and to promoting science-centered education.  These gifts may be eligible to be treated as tax deductible, within the applicable tax code and individual circumstances.

Grant Funds

Finally, PCSAS is interested in possible grant support from federal agencies, from private foundations, and from other sources of grant support.