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Reviving the online PsyD and PhD discussion (oh yes I did)

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by iryancooper, 02.12.12.

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  1. Milk Milk Milk

    Milk Milk Milk

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  2. jxmagik

    jxmagik

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    I haven't read all the posts on this thread so my comment may be a little off mark....

    In undergrad I RA-ed at behaviorally oriented lab/clinic and one of my duties was scanning emails for potential RA's, practicum experience, miscellaneous, ect... I was explicitly told that if any of the CVs or resumes had professional schools listed not to even bother forwarding them to our lab manager or head psych.
  3. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks you Jx... I'm suprised, you are the second person to post who has been told to just can the CV based on the schools name. It's sad that nothing is looked at beyond the name, but if it's true, then it's true. Best to know that now. Thnx. Ps... you came in late, but you responded with exactly what I'm asking for.
  4. wigflip

    wigflip

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    Downtown has its charms, but doesn't provide a definitive view of the city, and certainly isn't the best gay hot spot. LA's film scene is terrific, the culinary and contemporary art scenes are on the rise, and you have desert, mountains, and ocean all within a 100 mile radius. There are also many progressive NGOs and activist organizations. Even our public transportation is getting better (I think later this year or next there will be a new train line extension to USC, which does have a combined MSW/JD program).



    Yep. I only recently heard about Smith's doc in SW program--don't know whether they have law (doubt it), but I get the impression that they are well-regarded for social work.
  5. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    A quick google shows that it's not an easy program and well known... I can't really make out the hybrid portion of it though... maybe I just need coffee. I bookmarked it and will look again when I get home. Maybe its a viable option to consider.
  6. wigflip

    wigflip

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    No worries. I do love the city and think it has a lot to offer, but I'm not personally responsible for the culture of LA, so there's nothing to be offended about. And I'm a terrible big city snob, so I probably deserve a little comeuppance in that arena once in a while ;)

    It turns out that I can't continue to avoid working on Project X forever, so I'm signing off. Good luck.
  7. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks!
  8. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    This is also true of applicants for internship to our local VA. Applications from FSPS students (which are arguably a step up from what you are looking at), are simply trashed and not considered.

    The reality is that where you train matters and this is especially true in a competitive field. This is a big part of why you seem to be getting the backlash that you are on this board - since regardless of how you actually feel, I do have to agree with others that it seems more like you've decided what you want to do and are looking for an anecdote that will help you feel justified in pursuing it. In other words, your responses come across as someone who is looking for data to support your decision rather than someone looking to make a decision supported by data. Perhaps I'm stereotyping, but that seems a very lawyer-esque approach to things. Many of us feel these schools are a major detriment to the field and their existence (supported by those who attend them) is damaging to the profession, so the reality is that you should expect people to be adversarial when they view you as someone aiming to contribute to the marginalization of the field. To expect to be able to dictate the exact types of comments you wish to receive on an internet forum is simply naive.

    I do also think you just need a better understanding of what psychology entails. I don't know enough about Pol. Sci research to know how they relate, but if it can be done exclusively online then it is not one in the same. We are laboratory trained. We conduct experiments in controlled environments. Surveys are a part of psychology, but that is just one of the tools in the tool-belt of any properly trained researcher. Heck, many do animal research as well. Similarly, you seem to think its possible for you to get training that will let you practice specifically with LGBT populations. That simply isn't how things work. LGBT individuals can have depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or whatever else just like any other population. This comes back to my earlier comment on ethics versus law. An individual who is "only" competent to practice with particular issues within LGBT populations is incompetent, and unfit to practice at all. Now, competence exists to varying degrees and we cannot all be experts in everything. However, you seem to feel you can get a psychology degree to study these issues in isolation.

    You state that you want a PhD because you don't want to pursue a "lower" degree than your JD. I think most of us feel that an online PhD IS a lower degree than a JD, and that these have essentially been mislabeled "PhD" for marketing purposes. This sounds like the traditional post we see from students pursuing online degrees here, who essentially want an equivalent degree for less work. That's not going to win you much support, even if your reasons for wanting it are noble. Its great to want to be perceived as an expert with additional credentials to testify in a courtroom setting. You should get those for real, rather than simply trying to become better "informed" (which anyone can do) but have a degree that makes it sound like you have more qualifications than you actually do.
  9. matt30

    matt30

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    As a law student, and I mean that in the traditional sense, pursuing an additional degree will not help you in your professional life. You will, in practice, be required to make legal arguments and give legal counsel to your clients. Sometimes those judgments will be congruent with the current line of established medical thinking; sometimes it will be diametrically opposed. In a family law dispute (I assume this is really the area you might think it was necessary to get an additional degree), the parties will not look to your expertise to make a medical diagnosis. You won't need medical expertise to properly analyze the legal issues. If a medical professional is required, you would refer that client to the appropriate people. Since you won't be licensed as a clinical psychologist anyway, if you engage in the unauthorized practice of medicine (and the bar finds out about it) you will get disbarred. Regardless, you probably won't have time to keep abreast of both the legal and medical developments in both fields. Most programs that offer an additional degree are watered down versions of what you would get with just a focus on your particular field alone.

    Getting another degree to satisfy your intellectual curiosity is not financially responsible. Some schools will allow professionals to audit courses as necessary to become familiar with the field, but that practice is not common.

    I also think most JD/fill-in-the-black programs are worthless too. Including MBAs.
    Last edited: 02.15.12
  10. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    I do respect your position, and more than that, I can TOTALLY even see it from your eyes. I could see it before I posted. I even am ok with receiving information the way you just presented it to me. You were informative, polite, but still passionate about your position. I still contend that an online or hybrid program may work for my needs (gasp) but I haven't reached this conclusion yet. And all of the comments through all FOUR (lol) pages, even those I didn't ask for, are relevant to my decision (even though most are not to my question lol).

    Thank you for posting like this. It makes me WANT to absorb what you're saying...er... typing.
  11. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thank you Matt

    One of my law professors did a joint JD and PhD. She focused on medical law and her PhD was also in health. She loves her program and has been successful publishing (and co publishing) textbooks... but that's not psychology... so who knows.

    Good points you raised though. Thanks Matt.



    Oh yea... btw, come to think of it, I have a friend online who did a JD and an MBA through Duke. He has told me before that his MBA (even though he does acquisitions and mergers) was nearly useless and a waste of his time. He did admit that it looks good to potential employers. But hey, it IS duke!
    Last edited: 02.15.12
  12. matt30

    matt30

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    I would say that if you don't intend to practice, a Ph.D would not be a bad idea. Nevertheless, not having a Ph.D does not preclude a JD from doing research at a University. I will say that most Ph.D/JDs at my school got their Ph.D knowing full well they planned on doing research. I think the combo works only if focused appropriately though.

    One of my professors, Annelise Riles (MSc., London School of Economics, 1990; J.D., Harvard Law School, 1993; Ph.D., Cambridge University, 1996), teaches at both the law school and in the Anthropology department and specializes in comparative bureaucratization in and among financial markets (esp. as it relates to US-Japan). It's very specific and something she has a keen research interest in.

    That's one of the few exceptions I would acknowledge.
  13. matt30

    matt30

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    Just as a point of professional pride, I have to disagree with this statement. Just as doctors look for symptoms to support a preliminary diagnosis, lawyers look to research and law to support a legal analysis.
  14. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Yes, Dr. B knew full well that she wanted to teach, not practice, and work on medical policy. So in her case it works as well. She geared her JD (from a rather poor law school) and her PhD (from Texas Women's) toward medical... making the two work together in unison. That's "sort of" what I had in mind with a JD PhD... working toward one goal and how the two (law and psychology) relate to one demographic and those effects on society. BUT, the problem on this forum, is that the credibility of a PhD (even if used for teaching later on) would be lacking coming from any of the schools I've mentioned. And I'm not entirely in disagreement with that.

    I know two professors that teach with degrees from those universities (NCU, CSU, and Walden)... but they are at regular state schools, nothing fancy.

    I have much to think about, no doubt.

    Your contribution remains appreciated... and btw, WOW she has some impressive credentials.
  15. Marissa4usa

    Marissa4usa

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    I do admit that after reading your responses I am confused as to why poster's opinions count so little. Plenty of people have said that their mentors and employers (let it be in an academic or professional setting) do not take students from these universities serious. And even if, once in a blue moon, a graduate from these school succeeds, taking the risk and spending the money is really not a smart life decision.

    Having been in academia for a number of years, I have yet to go to a conference and see a single poster presentation by a student from these schools (hint: this *may* be an indicator of their productivity). I have seen a handful of publications (i.e. 2 or 3) and was discouraged by my mentor to even cite this article for something relatively unimportant in my literature review. All you need to do is compare the number of students/graduates from these programs and their publications to those from reputable programs. That should be overwhelming evidence in itself. So, unless I have been lied to by my mentors over the past 5 years, I think this is pretty convincing to not go this route. You'd literally be wasting your money and talent.

    I agree with the previous poster that an online PhD is a way lower degree than your JD, maybe not to the layperson but I doubt that you will find the recognition by people you seek to find recognition from. If anything, people will wonder about your unwise decision to obtain a degree from such a school when you were capable of graduating with a law degree from a highly respected school.
  16. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    They can take our accreditation... but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!
  17. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Wow I didn't even see that part of Ollies post. And I'd say SOME lawyer are guilty of her stereotype... especially when they know the legal research doesn't quite back up the claim they are trying to make. But I think Ollie was only intended to criticize me, not other lawyers. I'm only looking for one result, and trying to make the replies fit that result.

    Interestingly, I've asked for a specific type of data (good and bad), and have accepted (quite openly) all forms of that data... which has actually all been negative. But I still accept it and plan to use it.
    Last edited: 02.15.12
  18. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Cara, I like the earlier post that DL students should perhaps have a title OTHER than PhD or PsyD... To protect the level of "intimate" study that you B&M students enjoy. I think that's a great suggestion (can't remember who made it now though. I doubt any of the other other DLs will get your accreditation though. And the fact that APA won't, does say a lot about the caliber and intimacy of the program.
  19. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks for sharing your experience and your view. Please don't think that I don't heed any one's reviews of online education. Click number one, and read my first post. I was only looking to hear about the quality of the program from current students/alumni.

    I by no means disregard other poster's position on the degree. The problem is, we've filled up four pages of opinions that I already knew. I was hoping to get a new perspective (the actual students or those who have relevant closeness) in this thread. A few people have offered that, and it has of course been negative, but that's fine. It's what I asked for.

    What you say about "well if he could get a good JD why does he have honkey tonk phd" is very relevant. And I'm certainly considering that. I know the climate against these degrees. It just wasn't the subject of this thread. But I do appreciate (and consider) those views all the same. :)
  20. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Fair enough, and I suppose my comments are perhaps more related to what is done after legal research is completed.I would contend that in many contexts (e.g. criminal court, politics), the legal system certainly appears to be about advocating for your client rather than advocating for reality. That's not necessarily their fault - that's the nature of the system and I'm hard pressed to think of a better structure. A good doctor (or any healthcare provider) should look for evidence to support OR refute any preliminary diagnosis, and modify their case accordingly based on the results. I'm fairly certain a defense attorney who switches gears mid-trial and starts presenting evidence his client is guilty once it becomes clear the preponderance of the evidence points in that direction is an attorney who will find himself very unemployed, very quickly. Yet this is exactly what a good healthcare provider should be doing. It wasn't intended as a knock on lawyers, its just the nature of an advocacy-based versus scientific approach to a topic.
    Last edited: 02.15.12
  21. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    I was mimicking the "long-distance students coming out of the woodwork." My accreditation is just fine, thank you. :)
  22. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    I don't think you followed me.
  23. matt30

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    It's right to say I couldn't present evidence of my client's guilt (either in trial or out of trial) to the authorities - I would not only be unemployed but also disbarred. But (its a big but) if I didn't properly advise my client on the law I could open myself up to a malpractice lawsuit. For example, if I encouraged a client to go to trial under the pretense that a cheating spouse is a perfect defense to manslaughter, I would be in deep trouble. Lawyers need to be responsive to facts, but only as it concerns their clients potential legal benefits.

    As far as politics... Yeah. Cluster****.
  24. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    Psychology generally works with trends (e.g., stats about which approaches work with which clients, what most people will do when xyz, etc.) and law seems to work with particular examples (this case led to this standard interpretation, this client has these factors that should determine leniency/bail, etc.). I don't know but I think that that's why this thread got so heated so quickly, just different communication styles or ways of thinking about the world... Psychology students are saying, "For most people, this is a bad idea as evidenced by..." And the law studying person is saying, "So I have these examples that didn't turn out so well but has there ever been a case that went in the other direction?" Psychology-based people seem to view outliers as exceptions (perhaps worthy of study themselves, to see what patterns are causing that apparently exceptional behavior) while law-based people seem to view outliers as evidence of alternative interpretations (worthy of study to see the logic behind the outcome).

    I'm just thinking here...:)
  25. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    That is essentially a much less controversial way of saying what I was trying to say (and matt - we are in agreement now).
  26. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    Good, that's what I was hoping for. :)
  27. Kappadocia

    Kappadocia

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    I feel like our responses are positively reinforcing the undesirable behavior.
  28. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    I couldn't have explained this ANY better at all. You are right on the mark... at least for my side of things. "worthy of study to "see" the logic behind the outcome... but not necessarily that I would use that logic to justify a decision. (Which I think is what most users think I'm trying to do... and I'm not). I'm glad you explained it that way.
  29. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Kappa, I think that's how everyone has felt. Which leads to the frustration. Most of you want to make sure you in no way, shape, or form contribute to even the slightest idea that this path is a viable one. I can respect that; you all feel very passionately. But
    I at least think it's only fair that this board "could" be used for these type of students to share their stories. That's what a meant a few posts back - page three maybe - about feeling like the board and this thread being monopolized.

    If it makes you feel any better, I haven't misinterpreted one single post on here, not even ONE, to mean the poster supports online or hybrid psychology education. Promise! :) Everyone has been very clear (just in different tones lol) that they don't.
    Last edited: 02.15.12
  30. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Hey Matt, so are you a psych student or law student or both? Maybe I missed that... you just seem to have knowledge of the law (manslaughter and what can be used to statutorily justify it)


    Never mind I looked at your profile.
    Last edited: 02.15.12
  31. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    I know this is charged topic, but please keep it civil, everyone. :)
  32. eudaimonPsyD

    eudaimonPsyD Clinical PsyD Student

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    Well I don't think I need to contribute anything to this back and forth debate, as it is pretty clear how a staggering majority of those in the psych community feel about online programs (this coming from someone going to a professional school, which is associated with its own stigma).

    What I can contribute is I know someone enrolled in Capella, but are pursuing a masters as opposed to a doctorate, but perhaps their experience may be of some value to you. This person was rejected from both traditional and professional schools, but was adamant about pursuing education in this arena and "applied" for Capella (from what limited insight I have into that particular application process via this person, it was much more of an extensive formality than a true application, but perhaps this is different for a doctoral program. There was not even an interview required). This person has been in the program for one semester now (currently in their second) and have been dissatisfied with their education. The structure of the classes makes it that one can basically go the whole semester not really doing much work, and cram it all in at the end and easily come away with an A. The material is more like an undergraduate education as opposed to a graduate education. They have difficulty with getting administrative procedures and questions addressed, presumably because there is not a central location where they can directly speak with a mentor/professor/admin. Overall they are not happy with their experience thus far. But like I said, this is a different type of program but in the psych field. Perhaps a doctoral program will be different. All I know is that most graduate students live and breathe their doctoral psychology work (whether in academics, research, or practica) and likely have little to no spare time for regular social activities. This person is able to go out every night and hang out with friends and get a 4.0 for the semester. Perhaps they are just that good? I think it likely speaks to the low educational demands of the student body.
  33. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thank you very much for sharing. And best of luck with your program too!

  34. LMK

    LMK

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    Ryan-

    I have read the entire thread and will first state, upfront, that I can't answer your specific question because I know no one who has gone to those schools. I would like to contribute a few suggestions/comments that you might consider:

    1. As stated before, any school, online or otherwise, should be able to put you in contact with both current students and alum. They should also be able to tell you what the rates for licensure are for their graduates and in what areas they are working.

    2. I did a practicum with a forensic psychologist who does a lot of child custody cases and other court ordered evaluations. He is generally well-regarded in this large metropolitan area. As others have stated, while maybe not in TX or in your experience, where you went to school absolutely matters. It may not come up in the courtroom, but it is a factor in who the courts refer cases to and the credibility that person receives.

    3. I hold an MSW and worked in that capacity for many years before returning to school to pursue a doctorate. From what you have said, one of your goals is to be an advocate for the LGBTQ community, and you hope to add a degree to your future JD that will both distinguish you from your peers and give you opportunity to do research. While the MSW does not, by default being a master's, offer the opportunity to do a dissertation, many schools offer the thesis, which is a smaller, but similar, project which may also become publishable depending on many factors. However, the MSW is THE premier degree for advocacy. As a degree focused on application and advocating for the marginalized, it would provide what you seem to be looking for, minus the prestige of a Ph.D. The two schools have different ways of focusing on diversity and the marginalized; psychology doesn't teach you to be an advocate in the same way. In fact, some of my profs have commented on this as being a shortcoming for the field of psychology. For these reasons, my unsolicited opinion is that an MSW/JD program would give you the most bang for your buck, while giving you the additional credibility as an advocate, which is what the MSW was created for.

    4. I did look at some of the online programs when I was researching returning for a doctorate, thinking maybe I could keep working full time for a while. I didn't think the curricula was particularly impressive at Capella or Walden, so I went another route.
  35. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    LMK, Thanks for taking the time to read the thread... I know it's a lot of reading (and drama lol)... It shows your really want to contribute and help. :)

    Again, thanks for providing what knowledge you have and what you found when searching for your own program. None of what I added is evidence (not by a long shot) that any online program is regarded as strong, and certainly not as capable as a B&M program. I have yet to decide what I want to do. I am going to speak with another professor in our Psych department. The dean of the graduate school said to continue asking questions and research, which I enjoy doing so I certainly won't be making any decisions yet. Thanks again to you!
  36. LMK

    LMK

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    Well, that depends. You do get a good amount of theory in an MSW program, but since they are two years of class time vs. 4 years of class time, it is less theory than a doctorate degree. You also get two field placements in those two years, which are similar to practica. So, yes and no on theory vs. application. That also depends on what psychology doctorate programs one is comparing an MSW to, as those vary in how application is taught. But, the feel is definitely more hands on and less cerebral in an MSW program vs. a psychology program.
  37. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks for that. I haven't talked to any schools directly about MSW programs... I do have a relative with an MSW who is thinking of getting her PhD in the future. I should probably sit down with her over coffee and talk a little bit more about her experience. I'll do that to help me decide my path.

    Thanks again for all your help too. AND, congrats on pursuing your doctorate!
  38. psychometric

    psychometric

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    Most faculty don't teach at "Fancy" school.

    The hype is overboard and most will find out later on ;-)
  39. Pragma

    Pragma

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    Oh no not this thread again...
  40. Ya Ya

    Ya Ya

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    +1
  41. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Locking this thread per PM by the OP.
  42. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

    Joined:
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    Cambridge, MA
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    Thanks to all SDN users for their feedback - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I made my decision a while back ago and will not be pursuing any online routes for my degree in psychology. I never thought to come back and report that decision - but since someone re-awakened this sleepy thread, that's the happy ending. If any students are considering the online route and are interested in my non-biased research, feel free to PM me as I have done a wealth of it (investigation) - and made a lot of internship-site contacts in the last few months to ask about specific stigmas. I'd be glad to share with those who care. :)

    Thanks again to SDN, especially those that offered constructive feedback and conducted themselves as professionals (or soon-to-be professionals) on this rather lengthy and heated thread.

    RC
  43. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Re-locking this thread per OP request
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