Nov 3, 2010
Psychology Student
I'm currently applying for graduate study in Psychology. I'm a senior in college with a minor in Psychology. My GPA is high, my GRE scores were decent (although unremarkable), and currently I need some advice as to the best track I should pursue as a grad student. I'm aiming to do more clinical work, however given the competitiveness of Ph.D programs, I do not think I am qualified enough to gain acceptance to a quality university, let alone scholarship funding.


What if I pursued a Master's in Experimental Psychology at Brooklyn College? As a NYC resident, I can finish in a year and a half for a cost of less than ten grand. From there, I was thinking I could apply for full-funded Ph.D programs, with a better chance of gaining acceptance given my experience. How would admissions panels respond to someone looking for clinical work with a background in experimental research design? Would I have to start from square one at a master's level if I choose to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology? Am I foolish for being okay with that?

Or would it be better to pursue a master's in Mental Health Counseling (I feel more resistant to this for some reason -- it sounds hokey).

I'd love for some outside perspective.


10+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2007
Post Doc
There are other threads on this topic, so you may want to do a search. In my experience, clinical Ph.D programs look favorably upon experimental masters because it means you have research experience. I obtained an MS in experimental psych before heading into a clinical Ph.D. program and nobody in my interviews questioned this path.

Make sure, however, that Brooklyn College allows you do to an empirical masters thesis involving you running your own study. I've heard that some programs only require a long literature review for the masters thesis, and I don't think that would look good to Ph.D programs.

You may also want to consider applying for some of the fully funded experimental programs out there if you are not geographically restricted.