C AREER PATHS IN P SYCHOLOGY from: www.apa.org/ed/graduate/faqs.html
T YPES OF GRADUATE PROGRAMS : MSW MA/MS PsyD PhD
P URSUING A M ASTERS OF P SYCHOLOGY MA/MS in General Psychology Take courses in many psychology subfields. Perform research. Good if you want to enroll in a PhD program or want a better understanding of psychology subfields. MA in School Psychology Might be housed in Dept. of Psychology or Dept. of Education Take courses in testing, intervention, counseling. Good if you want to work in school settings with students and parents.
P URSUING A M ASTERS MA in Counseling Psychology Mental Health Community Marriage & Family Career, Education, and School Rehabilitation & Substance Abuse Good if you want to counsel clients in one of these specific subfields.
M ASTERS D ETAILS Length of study: General MA/MS = 2 years of coursework. Counseling MA includes an internship during the 2 year program. School Psychology includes 1 year internship in addition to supervised fieldwork during coursework (3 yrs. total). Employment in a public school requires certification by the State Department of Education. School & Counseling requires certification or licensensure by the state. Benefits and Constraints: Quick and thorough, though fewer options than a PhD. May not receive reimbursement through insurance agencies.
M ASTERS D ETAILS Career Options: General MA/MS = prepares for PhD, research career (nonprofit, NGO), school settings. Counseling MA = independent counselor, counselor at hospital, group home, or school setting. School Psychology MA = prepare for PhD, work in school settings, private practice.
P URSUING A P SY D Good if you want to test, diagnose, and treat psychological disorders. Focuses on therapy. Does not involve a research component.
P SY D D ETAILS Length of study: 4-6 years, plus 1 year APA approved internship. Career Options: Hospitals, private practice, clinics. Benefits and Constraints: Usually full licensure, less competitive than PhD, limits options in academia.
P URSUING A P H D Clinical PhD Science/Practitioner Model. Research and clinical training. Research PhD Science Model. Research training. Does not relate to therapy or seeing patients. Social, Cognitive, Developmental, and Neuroscience. Good if you want to do research and/or clinical work.
P H D D ETAILS Length of study: 4- 7 years, including 1 year APA approved internship (for clinical). Career Options: Any! Academia (professors), researchers, private practitioner (clinical), hospitals and teaching hospitals. Benefits and Constraints: Most flexibility and money. Long and time-consuming.
C OMPARISON OF P SY D AND P H D P LACEMENTS from: www.apa.org/ed/graduate/faqs.html
T YPICAL ARCH OF A P H D P ROGRAM … Years 1-2: Take courses in broad areas of psychology (receive MA). Begin “apprenticeship” with advisor. Years 3-4: Take courses in specialization. Work as a research and teaching assistant. Design and defend dissertation proposal. Complete doctoral exams. Complete externship and/or practicum. Years 4, 5, 6, and maybe 7: Conduct dissertation research. Teach courses. Present at conferences & publish. Complete internship Defend dissertation
T HINGS TO C ONSIDER : Advisor (what is their research area/style?) Student Placements (do their graduates get good jobs?) Financial Aid (how much is available?) Admission Requirements (do you need certain courses or experience?) Accreditation (is it an APA accredited institution?) Location (do you want to live there?)
W HAT T HEY ARE C ONSIDERING : Personal Statement GRE scores Conferences/Publications Research Experience Volunteer Experience Recommendations
T HE P ERSONAL S TATEMENT Tailor each letter to fit the school. Do not just change the name of the school, actually RESEARCH the program. Demonstrate commitment. Mention a few faculty members you would like to work with and why. Convey the impression that you don’t just want to go to any graduate school. You want to go to THEIR school.
T HE GRE & S UBJECT E XAM Find out which schools require which exams. Most will require GRE. Some will require the psychology subject exam. Can find free practice materials (www.ets.org).www.ets.org
C ONFERENCES & R ESEARCH E XPERIENCE Research based programs (MA, PhD) prefer students who have some conference or research experience. Research methods and senior comps is very attractive. Can volunteer with a faculty member to gain more experience and/or a conference credit. Look in to presenting your work at conferences for the upcoming year (MPA, APA, SPSP, etc.). Can publish your work in Psi Chi Journal.
V OLUNTEER E XPERIENCE For more clinically based programs (MSW, MA counseling, PsyD, PhD), some volunteer experience is preferable. Work in the community, school, religious institution is viewed positively. Organizing and planning events around school, as well as general campus involvement, a plus.
R ECOMMENDATIONS Ask your professors in ADVANCE (at least a month). Meet with your professors to discuss your accomplishments and goals. Provide professors with envelopes, forms, and DEADLINES. Okay to get recommendations from internship or volunteer supervisors.
A LL THE “ LITTLE ” THINGS … Financial Aid & External Funding http://www.apa.org/apags/members/schawrdsintro.html Resources: www.apa.orgwww.apa.org – info about Psych programs, funding, careers, and membership. www.psichi.orgwww.psichi.org – info about upcoming conferences, awards and grants, & associations. www.socialworkers.orgwww.socialworkers.org – social work programs and research, social work publications, licensure issues. www.counseling.orgwww.counseling.org – counseling programs, scholarships. Organization
P REPARING YOUR CV CV ( curriculum vita ) is an academic resume. Longer, with more details. Showcase academic information.
C ONTACT INFORMATION Dr. Bettina Spencer 323 Spes Unica Hall phone: 284-4163 email: firstname.lastname@example.org