Health Psychology or Biopsychology PhD programs in the US

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by ktanam, 05.18.14.

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  1. ktanam

    ktanam

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    Hello, I am looking for a psychology phd program with an emphasis on biology/ health. I am currently looking for health psychology and biopsychology phd programs in the US. I am looking for a career in research/ academia, so I am interested in a research program- not clinical. My research background and interests are in the stress research field, and particularly the effects of stress on biological (endocrine, immune, physiological) processes and (mental and physical) health. I am quite familiar with programs in California, but as an immigrant who lived only in the Bay Area, I am clueless when it comes to schools in the rest of the United States, so I would highly appreciate your advice.
     
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  3. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    OUHSC and UNO have Biopsychology Programs. Many PhD program with emphasis on Biopsychology are now Behavioral Neuroscience programs.

    I believe UC Davis and UW have Biopsychology programs.

    Actually, seems that the last 20 years most PhD Clinical Psychology program have emphasis in biopsychology and a number of faculty in Health Centers are Clinical Psychologist engaging in biopsychology, neuropsychology, and clinical psychology applied research.



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    Last edited: 05.18.14
  4. ktanam

    ktanam

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    Thank you so much for your advice. I knew about the program in Davis, but I will look into those other colleges right away. I have noticed that biopsychology programs are often called behavioral neuroscience. Interestingly, I noticed that most labs in behavioral neuroscience/ biopsychology tracks work with animal models, but since I would like to continue working with humans as my sample, I'm starting to think that perhaps health psychology is a more suited program for my research interests.
    Yes, you are right. Many clinical psychology programs have emphasis in bio and health, but unfortunately, I am not looking for a clinical program, only experimental.
    Thanks again!
     
  5. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

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    Healthy psychology programs are actually (more often than not) going to be clinical psych programs with emphases in health/medical factors. And while the majority of folks going through clinical programs will then go on to clinical careers, plenty choose instead to focus solely on research. However, if you know that you have absolutely zero interest in even learning information related to therapy (let alone practicing it), then getting through a clinical program would be a bit of a slog. Conversely, it's very possible that the therapy training could directly benefit your later research career.

    And yes, I agree with the other posters re: the behavioral neuroscience route. Given the interest in working with humans, another option might be MD/PhD with the PhD being in neuroscience; lots of those folks go on to do bench-type research with human subjects, which IRBs and hiring folks are typically much more ok with you doing (especially as the PI) when you have that MD. No clue how much extra work fitting in all that pre-med jazz would be for you, though.
     
  6. ktanam

    ktanam

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    Thanks for your advice! Yes, I was thinking about these options, but at this point in my life (at age 30), I'm trying to make this long journey as shorter as possible. Clinical psychology will add one year of internship to the 5-years PhD track, and MD/PhD will add many more years. Thus, I am looking for PhD only. Furthermore, I really don't think that I would like to be a clinician (although you are right that it might benefit my research), so I am planning to apply only to experimental PhD programs. Thanks again !
     
  7. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    You may need to assess employability for Experimental Psychologist in biopsychology. Normally employment is in Academia or Medical Training Programs. Competition is high for these positions as normally graduate programs may have only one or two experimental Psychologist. Since most current day Clinical Psychologist training programs students have a broadly based research emphasis many of these graduates have an advantage over a student with only Experimental Psychology Training. With all of the emphasis on empirical applied treatment, most clinical psychologist have a solid research knowledge. I have known individuals who were unable to acquire employment with their experimental psychology degree and then went through a re specialization program in clinical psychology. They were then able to acquire employment in a Medical School program. There are not many experimental psychology jobs, even in academia as in the past.

    About your age, 30. I was in my 40's before beginning doctoral studies. Seriously, when looking at the big picture one or two years is insignificant about these decisions.


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    Last edited: 05.25.14
  8. ktanam

    ktanam

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    Thank you so much for your advice. I will seriously considering applying to a clinical psychology degree. My concern with this degree besides what I have mentioned before is that they clinical psychology graduate programs are very competitive and my GRE scores are not so high. But since I often find faculty with similar research interests as mine at clinical psychology programs, I will reconsider applying to these programs. Thank you for your last comment about the age. It's very encouraging.
     

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