Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology: Planning Ahead

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1 Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology: Planning Ahead Kristen G. Anderson, Ph.D. Assistant Research Scientist & Lecturer UCSD Dept of Psychology

2 Overview Careers in mental health Ph.D. vs. Psy.D. Preparing yourself Choosing a program Applying

3 Money Magazine Top Ten Careers Career 10 yr job growth Average Salary 1 Software engineer 46.07% $80,427 2 College professor 31.39% $81,491 3 Financial advisor 25.92% $122,462 4 Human resources manager 23.47% $73,731 5 Physician assistant 49.65% $75,117 6 Market research analyst 20.19% $82,317 7 Computer/IT analyst 36.10% $83,427 8 Real estate appraiser 22.78% $66,216 9 Pharmacist 24.57% $91, Psychologist 19.14% $66,359

4 Careers in Mental Health Clinical Psychology Counseling Psychology School Psychology Community Psychology Clinical Social Work Psychiatry Psychiatric Nursing

5 Clinical Psychology: APA Requirements 1. Curriculum Breadth of scientific psychology Diagnosis/assessment and intervention Cultural and individual differences 2. Practicum Experiences (M = 700 hrs) 400 hours direct care 75 hours supervision 3. Internship 2000 hours hours Supervised Post-Doctoral Experience National Licensing Exam State Licensing Requirements

6 Clinical Psychologists Type % Involved %Time Psychotherapy Diagnosis/Assessment Administration Research Clinical Supervision 50 6 Teaching Consultation 47 7 Norcross, Karpiak and Santorro (2004)

7 Counseling Psychology Problems of normal living, career/vocational assessment Some differences between clinical and counseling programs 8% acceptance rate (counseling) vs. 6% (clinical) Mayne, Norcross & Sayette (2006)

8 School Psychology School-based work with children and families Less competitive than clinical/counseling doctoral programs Ph.D. level school psychologists have more flexibility Mayne, Norcross & Sayette (2006)

9 Community Psychology Prevention, broader community perspective, changing social policies Clinical community psychology, community psychology programs or specialty within clinical psychology program Mayne, Norcross & Sayette (2006)

10 Clinical Social Work M.S.W Independent practice and autonomy in some states 65% admissions rate Less comprehensive training Lower paying Mayne, Norcross & Sayette (2006)

11 Psychiatry M.D. Medical school 3 years specialized training 48% acceptance rates Prescribe medication Higher pay Mayne, Norcross & Sayette (2006)

12 Marital & Family Therapist 1-2 year program Practice focused Certification Supervised Most states now regulate MFTs

13 Psychology Doctorates

14 Doctoral Employment

15 Ph.D. vs. Psy.D. Scientist-practitioner or clinical scientist Emphasis on both research/practice (varies by program) University Practice oriented programs: 17% acceptance Research oriented programs:11% acceptance Equal emphasis: 57% fully funded Research-oriented: 84% fully funded $22,000 debt 6.1 years 96-98% matched Scholar/professionals Focus on clinical service/less research University depts./universityaffiliate school/free standing psychology school 3-4 times more students than Ph.d programs 41% acceptance rate 20% get full financial assistance (6% - 38%) $53-$60,000 debt 5.1 years 74% matched Norcross et al. (2004)

16 Prepare yourself How will I be evaluated? GREs/GPA Coursework Experiences Research Clinical

17 Importance of Criteria in Admissions Decisions (03-04) Criteria Master s Doctoral Letters of Recommendation Research Experience Work experience Clinically-related public service Extracurricular Activities Interview Personal statement GRE/MAT scores GPA Range = 0-3 Norcross, Kohout, & Wicherski, 2005)

18 Importance of Criteria in Admissions Decisions (03-04) Criteria Master s Doctoral Letters of Recommendation Research Experience Work experience Clinically-related public service Extracurricular Activities Interview Personal statement GRE/MAT scores GPA Range = 0-3 Norcross, Kohout, & Wicherski, 2005)

19 Importance of Criteria in Admissions Decisions (03-04) Criteria Master s Doctoral Letters of Recommendation Research Experience Work experience Clinically-related public service Extracurricular Activities Interview Personal statement GRE/MAT scores GPA Range = 0-3 Norcross, Kohout, & Wicherski, 2005)

20 Importance of Criteria in Admissions Decisions (03-04) Criteria Master s Doctoral Letters of Recommendation Research Experience Work experience Clinically-related public service Extracurricular Activities Interview Personal statement GRE/MAT scores GPA Range = 0-3 Norcross, Kohout, & Wicherski, 2005)

21 Minimum Requirements and Actual Scores of First Year Graduate Students (03-04) Measure Minimum Actual GRE Verbal 529 (580) 571 GRE Quantitative 538 (581) 626 Verbal + Quant Psychology 552 (587) 633 Overall GPA (3.5) Psychology GPA (3.6) Last 2 years (3.5) Norcross, Kohout, & Wicherski, 2005

22 60% require specific courses 15% require psychology major 10% minimum psychology credits Mayne, Norcorss, & Sayette (1994)

23 Experience Research 107, 199 opportunities Off campus research Any is good, clinical better Opportunity for mentorship Work for GREAT letters!

24 Experience Clinical Some experience working with disordered populations Paid or volunteer Supervised by psychologist Options: Crisis hotlines Homeless shelters/programs Schools for children with special needs Group homes Specialized summer camps Community mental health centers College peer programs Women s Centers Drug and alcohol treatment Mayne, Norcross & Sayette (2006)

25 Choosing A Program What are your interests? What is your emphasis? Research or clinical opportunities? Theoretical orientation? Financial Aid? Do you want to live there for 4-5 years? How much work are you willing to do? Do you have a partner?

26 Applying Know the program well programs Costs Application fees: $0-100 Transcripts: $3-5 GREs: $15 Ph.D. in Psychology: Priceless

27 The Application Plan Ahead! Be OCD! Application Form Curriculum Vitae (CV) Personal Statement Letters Transcripts/Scores

28 Waiting, Interviews & Beyond Most materials due in fall Many programs interview in winter On your dime Everything is part of the interview Dress for success Be Zen Must accept by April 15 th The fun begins following fall!

29 Suggested Readings Mayne,T.J., Norcross, J.C., & Sayette, M.A. (2006). Insider s Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. NY: Guilford Press. APA (2005). Getting In: A Step-by-Step Plan for Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology. Author: Washington, D.C.

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