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Ph.D./Psy.D. comparison

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by 50960, Sep 3, 2005.

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  1. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student!

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    Honestly, I look at the clinical training and support of the PsyD's at my school ( where I'm getting my PhD) and i am a bit envious. it is such a nightmare to balance mo much research and straight academic courses with clinical work. they work just as hard at us, but their classes are more clinically focused and integrated-- their training appears to be a bit more focused, whereas ours need to cover the bases for research oriented, mixed, and clinical mostly folks.
  2. psychmama

    psychmama

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    Yes, this is what I've been trying to say for a while now. There are some reasons to consider a Psyd program beyond "I hate research" or "I can't relocate." It actually is a better fit for some of us. Not to say that Phd programs don't also have many advantages. It's all about weighing the options against your personal and professional goals.:)
  3. scienceguy4

    scienceguy4

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    Therapistforchange writes:

    My response is that one can be an outstanding consumer of research without ever having published a single paper. ME: I have a Ph.D. in another discipline, have 50+ publications, and am now applying to Psy.D. programs. Several of my publications are in renowned Psychiatry journals.

    One other thing: Have you looked at APA survey of income for Ph.D. level and Psy.D. level practitioners versus MS or MSW level? If you don't see the differential, you are confused. OK, money doesn't matter in your world. Also, many states require Ph.D./Psy.D. for licensure in Psych. MS is not enough these days.
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    MOD NOTE: onelove....I moved your post HERE because it didn't fit in this thread. -t4c
  5. FollowUrBliss

    FollowUrBliss

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    In all of these threads, that cover several years, no one is asking what I consider the most important question "Are you able to do what you you want to do?" Regardless of PsyD or PhD......... Truly, when reaching out to others through what I support as the most intimate of health professions, money or prestige is not an object. Right?
  6. psychmama

    psychmama

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    As I see it, yes and no. I left a more lucrative career to follow my bliss, and agree that doing what you love and finding the training that allows that to occur is most important. But money is still somewhat important, both as a means to living a life that is comfortable and because it is one indicator of value of ones' work.
  7. krisrox

    krisrox

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    All I can say is even Paul Farmer found a way to make a living doing what he was passionate about. If I'm going to follow my dreams, I'm going to make sure I can still support myself and my family.
  8. PsychStudent1

    PsychStudent1

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    Hey all,
    I'm currently a senior psychology major, and I've been doing a ton of research on grad programs... and primarily deciding between a PhD and a PsyD, like everyone else. It just seems to me like there's so much bias against both -- is there really a better choice?

    My psych professor (who I'm guessing knows what he's talking about, as a professor at an Ivy League school) told me the PsyD is slowly replacing the PhD as far as the clinical psych degree goes. He told me the main difference is the money, which makes sense to me. Of course I'm not referring to some of the awful PsyD programs (and PhD programs!) out there, I mean the top ones (e.g. Rutgers). According to my prof, in the next 15 years or so there will likely be a major shift towards the PsyD (and some top schools have already shut down their clinical PhD programs - like NYU).

    And someone else made this comparison too: it's like an MD vs. an MD/PhD. Both are respectable as long as your program is of high quality. So can anyone tell me why all the bickering?

    Also, from my research it seems Rutgers is about the best PsyD program. Is this true? How is GW's program?

    Thanks!!
  9. thewesternsky

    thewesternsky

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    I'm not sure what you mean by 'the money' here... Can you elaborate, please?
  10. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    No thats not the only difference (reread this thread please). Large difference in the foucs , large difference in learning, large difference in approach to clinical practice. In regards to your professor.....everyone has their opinion about this or that. Frankly, I dont put too much stock in anyones opinion anymore, especially when the are trying to predict the future. read the thread, look at the evidence and advantages and disadvatages of either for your desired career. Period.

    PS: I dont recall ever hearing an employer/supervisor having a bias against the Ph.D degree, assuming the applicant has the appopriate amount of clinical experience for the position. The reverse however, is all too common in certain areas.

    PSS: What does you mean by "major shift" to psyd? They already form about 50 percent of those getting doctorates in psych every year. I think your professor is a little behind, as that sounds like a substantial amount to me already. The thing that doesn't make sense to me though is..... if all these programs are being "shut down" because of lack of funding (as you assert) what makes you think that funding isnt being cut in clinical sectors that will effect those who coming into practice?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  11. PsychStudent1

    PsychStudent1

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    First let me reiterate -- I'm an undergrad, I'm pretty much going by what I've been reading and hearing from my psych professors, because I'm not sure where else to look for information. I keep hearing different things.

    I didn't mean the ONLY difference between the two programs is the cost (paying for the PsyD vs. not paying for the PhD -- that's what I meant by 'money'), that was poorly worded. I understand that these are two different tracks. I meant that the main difference in competition level between good PsyD programs and good PhD programs is the fact that one may put you in debt. And the bias is among the PhD's and PsyD's, not among those who hire them. Also, I didn't state a reason as to why Clinical PhD programs are shutting down, I just said some are -- and from what I hear, it's because that expense is not necessarily worth it for them anymore. And about what you said -- why do employers immediately reject PsyD's or claim they don't hire any of them when there is clearly a huge difference between different PsyD programs? That seems absurdly narrow-minded, and a clear inability to accept new things.

    And the shift I mentioned is regarding the respectability of the PsyD, not the figures: the numbers don't mean much if it's not a respected degree.
  12. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Because the world is an unfair place. Its just the nature of the beast. Humans use bias and hueristics to make complex decisions (ie., hiring) all day everyday. I do this. You do this. They know the ph.d better, the ph,d has a good rep,...they pick the ph.d candidate.....

    This happens less and less often nowdays, especially if its a 100% clinical postition. But its out there.
  13. aagman01

    aagman01

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    I have heard they are both outstanding psyd programs. I don't go there, but have a friend who went to Rutgers.

    I have heard that the GW program has very little funding for psyd students.

    I know more about rutgers. Rutgers, from what I have heard, has some funding, though its not guaranteed as at many phd programs. Also, I have heard that at Rutgers renumeration for those funded can vary. That can range from tuition only to an assistantship that provide tuition and a solid stipend commensurate with what is offered in phd programs.

  14. terpskins10

    terpskins10 PhD Student

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    So, someone I work with advised me specifically NOT to apply to PsyD programs because PsyD's tend to be less respected in the field. Because of this, I decided not to apply to the two PsyD programs I had planned on applying to. Does anyone think this was the right call, or should I have applied anyway?
  15. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Depends what your goals were, what schools they were, etc. I'd rarely recommend making any major decisions based off one person's opinion, but sometimes they are right. PhD vs. PsyD seems to be a lazy shortcut for many. For example, a Rutgers PsyD is probably going to be viewed far more favorably than an Argosy PhD. The proliferation of PsyDs at professional schools is really what clouds the distinction. Depending on what sort of schools you were applying to this may or may not be relevant to your situation
  16. terpskins10

    terpskins10 PhD Student

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    I had no intention of applying to Argosy or Alliant. The schools I was looking at were GWU and Loyola MD.
  17. futureboy

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  18. DrMC

    DrMC

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    Hi Everyone,

    I've grown to a place where I'm doing what I want to do. I have a definite purpose!

    I’m an African American who's lived with HIV for 25 years. I’ve worked, on a part-time basis for 10 years, as an experiential speaker & sole proprietor teaching HIV health education in underserved communities. I also help those affected/infected with HIV build positive self images through individual and group counseling. In 2009, I incorporated my sole proprietorship as a non-profit 501(c)3 community based organization. Having the community’s best interest at heart, I enrolled in Thomas Edison State College (TESC), pursuing the BA in Psychology, to acquire skills to better serve those in need. Currently, I hold a 4.0 GPA and I'm seriously thinking of applying to the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree program at the University of Pennsylvania. Positive Psychology is a new field and I currently help consumers build a positive self-image; and, training in the MAPP's program may arm me with tools to be of even greater service to the public. The PhD program at Howard University and the PsyD program at Rutgers University have piqued my interest.

    I’m drawn to Howard University for two reasons: 1) Howard University, the Ivy League of Historically Black Institutions, has its finger on the pulse of the psychology of African Americans. The school’s philosophy deals with the psychology of African Americans and minorities, a very different disposition that resonates among minorities; and 2) one of the professors there specializes in alternative treatment, spirituality, HIV risks, and youth. The school does not offer a PsyD degree, though Howard University has always been my dream school since childhood.

    However, Rutgers University offers the PsyD degree and has a working relationship with TESC. I find that the research interests of several Professors at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, has piqued my interest as well. After reading many posts on this discussion board, it appears that Rutgers University has a sound reputation for producing Doctors of Psychology (PsyD) who are well respected in the industry. After reading this exhaustive discussion board, I was encouraged to write letters of introduction to the professors at Howard, Rutgers, and TESC to foster a working relationship seeking their guidance, direction, and academic support. Perhaps I can later request letters of recommendation as I petition graduate programs.

    I imagine geographic location, funding, and acceptance may ultimately be the determining factors for which institution I attend for graduate school. I’m not interested in securing a degree to compete in the workforce as I currently have my own business/ministry. The PhD appears prestigious but that doesn’t motivate my decision nor am I interested in producing heavy research articles. In addition to teaching HIV health education, advocating on behalf of those infected, and exercising individual/group counseling within my own company, I do have interest in teaching Psychology courses at the University—perhaps functioning as an adjunct professor. While, in the future, exercising clinical and/or counseling work as a Doctor of Psychology may prove beneficial as a business owner, will such a designation hinder or prevent me from teaching at a University in current times or in the future? What other highly respected institutions (other than Rutgers, Baylor, GWU, and Virginia Consortium) might one consider to pursue the PsyD degree? Lastly, I would appreciate any further knowledge and wisdom regarding the direction of my academic pursuits. Thanks everyone!

    Respectfully,
    DrMC

  19. medium rare

    medium rare Psychologist & Psych NP

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  20. TenaciousGirl

    TenaciousGirl so close, yet so far away

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    The only place I've felt discriminated against regarding degree type is right here on this forum. I keep coming back because I *know* that not everyone shares the same point of view or outlook on the topic. I also know that like others have said, it's impossible to please everyone all the time. Someone else will inevitably find something wrong with you, your credentials, or your experience. I am enjoying the pursuit of my education and I honestly don't think that my degree or experiences will prohibit me from doing what I ultimately want to do. Self determination is a huge proponent that gets thrown to the wayside whenever people talk about this debate. It is possible to get your Psy.D. and have just as an impressive vitae/resume as the Ph.D. person sitting next to you. Will that impressive resume ultimately help you get the internship/fellowship/JOB if the PD is prejudice against Psy.D.'s? Who knows. I like to think I'd still have a chance.
  21. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator

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  22. psychmama

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    Ditto. I certainly feel every bit as well educated and trained as my PhD colleagues. I say do what works for you, keep it moving, and don't fret too much about the letters after your name.:rolleyes:
  23. 2B Mind Doc

    2B Mind Doc

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    Well, I was originally drawn to this thread because I went through the same deliberation when deciding upon what type of doctorate I should pursue. I wanted to offer another positive Psy.D. experience to add to the mix.

    My extensive research background paired with an growing interest in direct practice led me to pursue programs with an equal emphasis on both. Further, given my research background, I preferred programs that emphasized evidence-based practice. Not just CBT, but the spectrum of treatments falling under that umbrella - including being capable of integrating treatments as empirically and clinically indicated. The bonus I sought was to be near high-quality practicum training sites - a student-run clinic in addition, would be nice. And I did not realize the importance of it at the time, but the program I ended up choosing had an 87% match rate (74% APA Accredited sites). My program helped me have 7 publications, 2100 clinical hours (900 face to face), LORs from Top Tier leaders in the field, and exceptional clinical skills. (info provided to assist in dispelling any myths)

    Perhaps I'm feeling a little "extra love" for my program as I prepare to complete my 5 years, but in the event that you are looking for another potential Psy.D. Clinical program - check out La Salle University (Philadelphia, PA). Just another option... :luck:
  24. cheeze

    cheeze

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    Majority of the faculty who have taught me at my University advise against a psyd. I don't think this is because of the prejudice or anything like that. I was actually advised to pursue a phd to keep my options open. phds can become a professor, researcher or clinician but psyds are often limited to clinical work. My supervisor whos a neuroclinical psychologist, actually suggested me to get a phd because its much easier to gain additional clinical training than it is to gain additional research training in the future.

    I definately don't think my professors believe that one is superior to the other. It seems more like they want their students to have more opportunities in the future. (I read somewhere that people are employing MSWs over PsyDs simply because they cost less.)
  25. lamorena

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    .
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  26. lamorena

    lamorena

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    another question i have is this: i have heard that some psyd students, depending on where they go to school, are able to work part time to offset some of the tuition expenses. is anyone here currently doing this? how possible is this? i worked my way through undergrad and a very rigorous grad program, and feel i have the drive to do it through a doctoral program, if possible. everyone is talking about many psyd grads coming out with tons of debt.. so are there people who are able to work while in school to lessen this amount??
  27. psychmama

    psychmama

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    Regarding Widener, I've always heard their program is well-respected, and I think having the captive internship could remove a lot of stress and uncertainty. I think it ends up costing more because your'e still paying the school while on internship.

    As far as working while getting the doctorate. I attended Rutgers Psyd, and there were some students who worked 20-25 hrs/week while in school (after the first two years anyway). It's hard to do full-time because you need to do practica and research as well as classwork. I think it's hardest in a Phd program where you must be in the lab a lot and perhaps TA'ing as well. Then again, those types of programs usually offer good funding to their grad students, so working is not as necessary. Bottom line is: don't expect to be able to work full-time all the way through school, but it's possible to offset costs quite a bit with part-time work.
  28. lamorena

    lamorena

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    thanks. i wouldnt dream of working full-time. i guess i figured that in phd programs, you kind of ARE working part-time, doing RAs and TAs.. and in a psyd, you usually dont have that option, so maybe doing part time fee for service (or waiting tables, whatever) takes the place of that extra RA or TA work phds do.
  29. psychmama

    psychmama

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    Exactly. Some of the jobs people in my program have done: assessments for a research study; supervision/caregiving for autistic children; TA for undergrad psych courses; grad assistant or test librarian for the school clinic; behavioral assistant in a hospital.
  30. 2B Mind Doc

    2B Mind Doc

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    When it comes to the financial aspect of attending a PsyD program, this is the area that has caused me to question my choice of PsyD... Many of the individuals in our program (me included) worked part-time the entire time. Further, paying $800+ per credit (12 credits per semester, 3 semesters per year for 3.5 years...) we all have huge tuition/loan bills. Time-wise, it is difficult as my program specifically requires 25+ clinical hours per week, 3-5 hours per week doing research and/or dissertation, in addition to 4 classes. So, if you did not work throughout college or are not accustomed to 60+ hour work weeks, then this will require a significant adjustment. But it is definitely do-able... I did it - and I'm a mom, too.

    Regarding Widener's reputation, I have certainly heard positive things. Just be aware that one of the most important aspects to training in a PsyD program (in my opinion..) is to be aware of your position in the empirically supported treatment movement. My PsyD program is highly trained in EST's, such as CBT and those falling under the third wave umbrella (DBT, ACT, MI, FAP, CBASP, etc.). However (and anyone from Widener SHOULD correct me if I am mistaken), I have always been under the impression that Widener operated from a more Psychodynamic perspective. Clearly, this is an area of debate in the field (EST's a la Chambless's report), so understanding your beliefs on this issue are essential as the majority of programs operate/train from one side of the issue. But, being exposed to many treatment techniques and being encouraged to integrate them in a way that maximizes the benefits for your clients (as demonstrated in clinical practice AND empirical evidence) was the best lesson I took home from my program... and is a belief that many programs, including psychodynamic ones, also subscribe to. :luck:
  31. blacktofu

    blacktofu

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    Far too many people depend on the "prestige" of a school to determine their future success. No doubt online programs are suspect simply because you lack the support that faculty can offer. However, any program, including Forest, offers not only classes on research design, stats, and opportunities to publish and present at conferences, but also the guidance needed to do accomplish these well. This is what you get from an APA approved school. At the end of the day, how well you do or your success is in your hands. I spoke with the Navy's top psychologist who leads the board that selects interns. He clearly states that doing well at an "average school" (i.e. Forest) is better than doing average at a "great" school (perhaps Baylor). Furthermore, select a school that is known for something. Forest has a top Forensics and Neuropsych. program. Dr. Denney is the President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) and professor at Forest. The staff is split evenly between Ph.D's and Psy.D's, with all being board certified in their respective fields.

    Case and point: Don't allow you're pride over prestige guide your life decisions. If it does, what does that say about your clinical skills? Finally, if provided with the correct resources and opportunities (a clinic to practice, community contacts, research opportunities), a school is what YOU make of it.

    Yes. I go to Forest.
  32. blacktofu

    blacktofu

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    Hmmm. The above quote is interesting. I think the question to ask is "why WOULDN'T a Ph.D. suggest a Ph.D?" As far as opportunities go, ANY school is what you make of it. You're always GIVEN the opportunity, it's whether you're prepared to take it (i.e. have published). If you've been trained by an APA school to design and understand research and practice empirically based treatments, then you've been given the tools you need. If you want to teach, go publish. If you want to practice, go get practicum hours. Universities need to be shown that you're competent- you're degree isn't an automatic "in". They need you to be competent to bring in money in the form of grants. That money then goes to pay for additional research to bring in more money....and so the cycle continues. In the meantime, if there is a doctoral program, some of that grant money pay's for students stipends. They also reduce costs with TA's. They don't have to charge you much because they get state funding (if a state school) AND they have free labor (aside from the stipend).

    Psy.D schools said, "heck, there's already good research being done, lets develop competent clinicians to practice all that good stuff". Problem was, they had to fund these new schools. And institutions (including govt.) aren't giving out huge sums of money to train clinicians. They might for research, but not for training. So, lo and behold, they have to charge a lot to keep their head above water.

    Finally, with so much good research coming out, and with such incredible increases in knowledge and access to knowledge, I believe that Ph.D are being replaced by Psy.D's because their skill set is needed in one area of the field, while the Psy.D's is needed in another. Their filling certain "economic" gaps that have "naturally" evolved. With lots more people in the U.S. and the growing acceptance of mental health, Ph.D's can't fill it all- nor would they be wholly qualified to do so (with their typically limited clinical experience in grad school as compared to Psy.D's).

    Finally, LCSW's can't do testing. They're not qualified nor have the training. Granted, and I agree with the post, if you want to simple practice talk therapy in your own clinic rather than participate in mild forms of research, join the military as a psychologist, or work in a hospital or prison, maybe you should think about an LCSW.

    Opportunities? They're there. Are you prepared to take them on?
  33. phillydave

    phillydave Doctoral Student

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    I agree with your bottom line, which seems to be "Your education is what you make of it." Buuuuut a lot of what you say is based on common misconceptions about how the PsyD and PhD differ. PsyDs are not replacing PhDs and are not simply clinically focused. Also... PhDs do not have "limited clinical experience compared to PsyDs..." that's entirely false.

    I'm a PsyD applicant. I've applied to no PhD programs, but I think it's really important to know what's what.
  34. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    Excellent post Philly.


    A stereotype begins to die? :)
  35. phillydave

    phillydave Doctoral Student

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    I'm not sure it will ever die. But we can change the world one poster at a time. :p
  36. Hi Everyone:

    I am in a top clinical PsyD program in California so I can share my thoughts on this one. First of all, please consider the cost of the PsyD and whether it is reasonable to afford. For example, most of my classmates are taking out between 100,000 to 200,000 loans. Even a PsyD can take you between 5-8 years to complete, depending on the program. Plus, internship salaries are only 25,000 and many post-docs pay in the range of 15,000-40,000 (i've seen some that don't pay at all).

    Basically, what i've found is that unless your family is wealthy or you don't mind living below the poverty line, this degree is not doable. Please don't make uninformed decisions.

    Also, look at the APA internship match rates: they should be at 95% to 100% or else you may not find a post-doc to get the hours you need for licensure.
  37. psychmama

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    Janey makes some good points. Getting a PsyD can be an expensive investment when one considers the salaries/profits most psychologists earn. The applying to post-docs (which I'm trying to get through now) is rather depressing, to be sure. However, I'm close to getting my PsyD and my experience has not been as grim as Janey describes. My debt is manageable (much less than 100k) and I matched to an APA accredited internship. My program is university-based rather than a professional school. Also, it's not in California. From what I've heard, the competition among PsyDs is especially fierce in California due to all of the professional schools out there.

    Anyway, I just want to offer a slightly different perspective on the PsyD. I think some PsyD programs are worth the money you spend on them. Some are probably not such a great investment -- especially if the match rate for internship is low.
  38. phillydave

    phillydave Doctoral Student

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    This is really isn't the case at all. And many PsyD programs cost well below 100k. Also take into account paid (low waged) internships that help take some of the edge off of tuition costs.
  39. Sweet5

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    I am an "older" student pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology. I've read much of the forums on PsyD vs PhD. Your posts have been really insightful. I have applied to a PsyD program at a professional school. The program seems intense and really consistent with my career path. It is also APA accredited. I've even interviewed former students who have done VERY well after completing the program. I feel as though I am too old to be spending the majority of my time in a lab (although I LOVE research), and I ultimately wish to practice when I've graduated. I want to be completely prepared to pass the boards and practice psychology. The program to which I've applied will also allow me to do some research (though it is not research focused), and I will get a lot of clinical experience. Former students say that the program actually HELPED them be more competitive when pursuing opportunities after graduation. So...

    Question: When will the elitism end? Nevermind. You don't have to answer that one.

    I too, believe that the degree mills need to be stopped, but if you find a good program, interview everyone involved (counselors, current and former students), research any report you can find on matching, accreditation (and the process for accreditation), even textbooks used. If you like what you find, sign up!

    The only issue I have with the program I've been accepted to is the cost. Whoa! Maybe PsyDs should advocate for better and more scholarship programs and dollars. ;)
  40. Sweet5

    Sweet5

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    Excellent response PhillyDave! My sentiments exactly! Very encouraging.
  41. Sweet5

    Sweet5

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    Blacktofu! Great response!
  42. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    I wanted to add on to a comment I made awhile ago....

    I still believe if you know you want to be an academic, get a Ph.D. If during your Psy.D. training you develop a stronger interest in doing more research oriented work, you can try and play catch-up to make yourself more competitive, though it still isn't the recommended route. These recommendations are also appropriate for students at balanced programs that want to shift more towards a research focus.

    1. Increase your research/stats experience through classes and being more heavily involved in a lab/grant/project. This may also include securing Research Assistant positions. Research Coordinator positions are also good, but harder to get.

    2. Get publications. If you can get on as a 3rd author or higher, it is probably worth your time, particularly if it is aimed at a more competitive journal. Of course, the goal is 1st and 2nd author publications, so focus on getting a few of them. Also, if you can get grant writing experience/mentorship, that can be helpful.

    3. Look at internships that allow you to interact with academics and/or gain additional research experience. Academic medical centers, (some) consortiums, and (some) VAs would be good places to look. There are a handful of well known research internships, but those are ridiculously competitive.

    4. Look for fellowships at places similar to those listed above. You may or may not be a strong candidate for the more research heavy positions, but you can position yourself to be a strong candidate for more clinically-focused positions. (80% clinical/20% research, 70/30, etc). If you can get at least 20-30% of your time for research, you have a shot at showing some productivity during your fellowship. It is far from a sure thing, but it would be a tough sell to a university if you came from a fellowship/post-doc that did not have a research component.

    Obviously starting with a more research heavy Ph.D. program is the preferred route, but if you can't do that, there are still options. The earlier you start, the better off you'll be.
  43. JD7699

    JD7699

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    Regarding choosing PsyD. I think there needs to be a positive PsyD post on here.

    I was a masters level licensed therapist in California when I decided that I really wanted more training. I had a mortgage and a job and needed something that would work for me. I have taken classes at Johns Hopkins and been left with utter disappointment. I ended up going to Alliant CSPP in a Psy.D. program. I know individuals that completed their doctorates at Columbia (Teacher's College)and Boston College who served as gophers for their chairs and had no choice in their research. One from USC who was delayed 2 years due to his chair's extended sabbatical. We could go on forever about the perceived quality of a program but on here I see most are concerned with perceived reputation. Most think CSPP is a for profit institution which is untrue. It is noon-profit institution. It was started by the California Psychological due to the lack of doctoral education in clinical psychology available at the time California (now there are too many schools). People are sure that PsyD students only have to complete a literature review or doc project to graduate. Not true at my campus as a full dissertation was required though qualitative research was allowed. I seem to see a lot of people talking about the professional schools in California, but the real problem in California has been a licensure law that allows those who go to non-regionally accredited schools(the real diploma mills) to obtain a psychologist license.

    Regarding income, the reality for me is that 1 1/2 years from graduation, I earn 100,000 with many other PsyDs from Alliant who are earning the same living. The alumni network over here for CSPP is great as most of my co workers also went to Alliant(and employers). It is easier to get a psychologist job for CSPP grads at many institutions. Also, I have already received 50,000 in student loan repayment for working in an underserved area (NHSC) and can continue until my loans are paid off. There are these types of opportunities across the country.

    I think my point is that I have found no stigma and a great career. If you have a good feel for a program don't listen to what a few people on this thread say as they are often uninformed on some important facts.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  44. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    Johns Hopkins, not John's Hopkins. . . As far as I know, they don't have a psychology program.


    Sure, ok, but this is anecdotal and possible at any program. . . not good evidence in support of pursuing a Psy.D.
    Both matter.
    Non-profit, profit. . . these are tax designations, essentially. It's a business, either way.

    That's good. Though, in Cali, depending on where, not great. Further, factoring in debt from said program, it's the equivalent of a much lower income.

    Very smart.
    I don't think "uninformed" is generally an accurate criticism of the folks here that have suggested bad things about Alliant/Argosy.
  45. JD7699

    JD7699

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    Well thanks for the break down Jon. I definitely concede that the PsyD. will limit research options, work in academic settings, etc. I also believe that it is different for someone like me who enters a PsyD program following years of work in mental health as opposed to someone fresh from undergrad. When I interview for a job I bring my PsyD along with a lot of other experience in the field. If I was choosing as a 23 year old, might be different. A solid career is definitely possible with a PsyD.
  46. MightyPSYD

    MightyPSYD

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    Hi, you have a good list started already, Pepperdine is very expensive but they do have a good program.
    In terms of PsyD programs they are going to be very hit or miss, I can mention a few programs that are better in than most in CA although all will be more expensive tuition wise than a Ph.D
    Pepperdine
    Stanford Consortium- look out for $
    Biola-Rosemead
    Antioch University, Santa Barbara and New England
    Fuller-
    If you are about Psychoanalysis
    it might also be worth at least glancing at Wright
    I sugget you check out class size, cost, APA involvement, and Orientation of the programs you are looking at. Find a school you feel comfortable in, tiny classes? Cohorts? Research? Practice? good luck
    [/QUOTE]
    Also, it's quite clear that PhD programs are looking for students with interests that "fit" a particular professor. How about PsyD programs? What do they tend to look for? Previous clinical work experience (and how do you get that if you don't have the qualification the the first place... does volunteering at a inpatient psych ward help for example)?[/QUOTE]

    PsyD programs are going to interested in experiences with human contact- if that means a clinic, a suicide hotline.. etc. At the same time a research background almost never goes a miss. They are looking for well rounded individuals with a good presence, and relevant experiences. The best programs would prefer you are a driven student with at least a decent GPA to stand behind. They may also request writing samples and life experiences that steered you into the line of mental health work.
    -Hope this is helpful
  47. MightyPSYD

    MightyPSYD

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    Hello all,
    The PsyD degree is a great fit for some people just as the Ph.D is a good fit for others. Are there more "bad" programs with PsyD degrees granted? Perhaps.. are PsyD degrees more expensive? They can be, and they are a lot of time, but not always. Are Ph.D programs longer on avg.? Generally speaking they are. Does this mean that living expenses are higher? Depends on the stipend etc, but generally a Ph.D student will be paying rent longer to go to school (Does not mean they will have more debt).

    Does APA accredit bad and good programs for both PsyD and Ph.D ? I think so.

    Should one go to Ph.D if they can get in and not a PsyD?
    This is going to depend on several factors.
    1. Is your priority Practicing? Academics? Research?
    2. What orientation to feel suits you, are you looking for a program with an integrative approach a psychoanalytic, CBT.. ETC
    3. Can you plan out what kinds of debt you are going to have and how you should handle those? E.G. are you going to 80K in student loans? Are you going to take 3 more years to finish a program? Are you going to get to explore your own interests or would you prefer to work under a professor for their interests.
    There is no right or wrong to this, in many cases people chose a program because they can be near to loved ones, or have special needs, or would like to network in a state they will eventually be practicing in. My advice is to figure out what YOU want and need out of a program, after that the PsyD vs. PhD thing is purely semantics.
    In short great clinicians derive from both models- we should look positively on the fact that there is now greater access for people to treat mental health conditions, and that the field is getting a boost of excitement out of the new models.
  48. Hi Everyone:

    As someone who recently graduated from a top clinical PsyD program that has an excellent reputation and is part of a university based program, I can tell you a bit about the PsyD from an insider's perspective. First of all, let me put all the facts on the table:

    Cost of clinical psyD: $100,000- 250,000 plus (depending on the program and whether it is private or public)
    Length of program: 5 years-7 years plus. Typically, 4 to 5 years of school, and 1 year internship. The average to complete my program is 6 years, and it took me 6 years.
    Internship salary: $0 -$25,000 (yes, some are unpaid)
    First job after graduate school: $25,000-30,000 for a clinical post-doc

    Right now, I am getting paid $25,000 as a recent graduate in a clinical post-doc position. I work about 50-60 hours per week so I end up making less than minimum wage. My salary comes out to about $1600 per month, and my loans come out to about $900 per month so I am unable to make ends meet, and thus have taken on an additional job as a waitress on the weekends just to make additional income. Plus, I don't eat out and live with roommates. Do you think getting this degree is worth it? That depends on how much you are willing to sacrifice and how comfortable you are living in poverty for a while.
  49. phillydave

    phillydave Doctoral Student

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    Are you actually asking if it is worth it? Judging from your last two posts it sounds like you've already made up your mind. Your economic situation seems less then satisfactory, and I hope it changes for you soon; however, what are you getting at?
  50. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Ouch.

    Even with an income based repayment plan, that is still really rough. Internship pay is suprisingly bad. Being at a VA I make the top end of internship pay (excluding military and BOP), and it is still barely enough to live on.

    As for post-doc pay, here is what I've seen in my search and on the listservs for the past couple of years:

    -2-yr neuro fellowships mostly ranged from $36k-$45k, with a couple of outliers around $33k and $55k+.
    -2-yr neuro fellowships at most VAs are $41k-$43k.
    -2-yr rehab fellowships at universities seem to range $36k-$50k.
    -1 yr Post-doc fellowships in the VA seem to be in the low $40k's.
    -1 yr Post-docs at hospitals seem to be $30k-$40k
    -1 yr Post docs at counseling centers seem to be $25k-$35k
    -Psychologist-I jobs in the VA are in the $50k's (GS-11, step 1, unlicensed), and after your post-doc it goes to GS-12, step 1, licensed.
    -Private practice assessment jobs seem to be $20-$30k, though I'm sure people have worked out better deals. (I know the least about this area, since I only looked at formal fellowships.)
    -The research fellowships I've seen are close to NIH recommendations, though some have been better, particularly out in CA.

    All of the formal 2 yr fellowships above and many of the 1 yr fellowships are very competitive, so I would not consider them average or what someone should expect to get. On average, the vast majority of people coming out of internship do informal post-docs or get jobs.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010

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