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"Help me decide" mega thread

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by IcedBennu, Mar 23, 2012.

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  1. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    This is a *huge* consideration. It would be crippling debt, particularly if you stay in CO, where the cost of living (COL) is higher than the national average, but the average psychologist salary is lower than other higher COL areas. Debt will follow you and impact you 10-20 years later.

    FWIW, the financial info in their Outcome Data is scary. $172,656 estimated cost for three years of tuition. I'm not sure what it costs for internship or other years, but that is NUTS. I attended a uni-based Psy.D. program (albeit awhile back) and five years of tuition was HALF of that and it was STILL too much when I look at it now…as I pay back Sallie Mae every month for another 10 years.

    Even with TA/RA-ship, unless it is 50-100% discount on tuition, it is waaaay too much debt to take on. Even if you have every single expense paid for by family, there are no other expenses your fourth/fifth years, that $172k+ is probably $200k+ once you compound the interest over 5 years (avg years to finish). I'd strongly advise you look elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
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  3. Platypus92

    Platypus92

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    Hi WisNeuro,

    Yes, I've seen you mention that before. Thank you for your input. I'm in the very tentative stages of looking around and I will continue to view both PsyD and PhD programs until I make my final decision. Ultimately, I know that I love studying psychology and I want to become a practicing psychologist in the end. So I will choose the program most likely to make that happen. However, another large factor in my decision making is that out of the many friends and colleagues that I have had who are in or have completed PhD programs, all of them sound miserable when they talk about it. Even if they love their research, they sound like they feel suffocated by it and constantly give some variant of the advice 'You need to have a regular hobby you can do to get your mind off the research or you'll go insane,' whereas those I've spoken with in PsyD programs don't sound so low. That could just be a reflection of the workload of each program. In that regard, I'm not intimidated by the rigor of a PhD program by any means, but the outlook of the participants are definitely worrisome to me. What are your thoughts? How did you feel going through your PhD program?
     
  4. Platypus92

    Platypus92

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    I know, I'm strongly advising myself as well lol. And as I mentioned to WisNeuro, my search has been cursory up to this point. I'm still exploring other options as well. Even though I'm pretty in love with their program (especially with their concentration in military psychology), the ramifications of that amount of debt would last wayyyyyyy too long. The cost for their internship year is actually next to nothing, but still, 3 years of coursework is just not worth almost $180k. Because of my nuanced interest in their military psychology program, I think I was hoping someone would help me justify such a high cost. Alas, here we are. I cri :'(

    Thank you for taking the time to reply! I really appreciate the input.
     
  5. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Sounds very program specific. I actually enjoyed my time in grad school quite a bit. If grad school had paid better, I could see having stayed an extra year or two :). But, it was nice to get through grad school with zero debt because I had full tuition remission and a decent stipend. In terms of outcomes, the vast majority of PhD students go on to clinical careers, and on average have better job prospects and salaries, according to the latest APA salary survey. Couple that with MUCH lower debt loads, and your after grad school years can look pretty good, indeed. There are plenty of balanced, or more clinically minded PhD programs out there. I'd suggest perusing the latest grad school guide from Norcross, it has rankings of how clinical or research oriented sites are.

    I'd also recommend that you not focus too much on programs that have a "military psych" component, but rather look to sites that have active practicum placements with VA's.
     
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  6. Platypus92

    Platypus92

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    Well jeeze when you put it that way... lol. This is all really great advice and gives me a great jumping off point. Thanks again for your input!
     
  7. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    No problem, good luck in your search.
     
  8. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    Hello,

    I applied to and was accepted to the Denver Psyd program for the fall 2015 application cycle . After being accepted, I looked into the finances of this program very closely because I also LOVED the program. Great interview experience. After this great experience, I spent over a month speaking with current students and learning about loans/funding options. I won't say much here but feel free to PM if you want more information.

    So on interview day they passed out a "projected cost of attendance". This number included things like tuition and books but not stuff like gas for your car. The number was $67,000. (Per year) Here are some ways they said you can possibly lower that number: First, after you interview you may be offered a scholarship. This is based on credentials, need, so on....I will say that even students who were awarded scholarships were still taking out loans. You can get a TA position or job working at the clinic or teaching but I was told by current students that with tuition being so high they still have lots of loans. Finally, if you are coming in with a masters, you can shave some courses off and save money.

    There were absolutely students there that said they have 200k in student loans from the program alone. I asked several students how they feel about their debt and got varied responses. Some said they have learned to laugh about it, others said they accept it but know it is a huge deal that they will be paying on for years to come, and others said it is "just a bill to be paid like any other". One man I spoke with said he can't handle looking at his statements and ignores the issue for now. I wish I could say the money will work itself out but it is a REALLY big deal and you will need a plan to pay. I know exactly what you mean by the pushing loans statement because they really do push the perception that taking out large amounts of loans is not a problem. It is and should not be taken lightly. I turned the program down because of the money. I attend a fully funded phd program and I am happy. Lots of opportunity for clinical work and research which is my primary interest as well (i.e. I can do applied clinical research).

    Denver psyd program was the only program in that area and only psyd I applied to so it is hard to mention alternatives. DU does have a counseling program that offers at least some funding. I think they just started taking people w/o masters. I do not want to sound discouraging (it is a great program!)...I mean you may have personal means to help with cost of attendance but I ultimately decided not to take out the money. I hope this helps...sorry so long but it is important that you know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
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  9. Platypus92

    Platypus92

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    Hey! No need to be sorry about the long post; this is the exact kind of info I was looking for, thank you!! In reality, any way I look at this I just can't seem to justify the cost. Especially when the tuition for other graduate programs within the same university are significantly lower (their PhD programs through their School of Psychology are estimated at $20k lower per year than the PsyD program). It kinda puts a bad taste in my mouth and makes me think they're just trying to milk as much money out of people as possible rather than giving their program a reasonable and accurate valuation. I'm gonna take @WisNeuro 's advice and start with Norcross's guide to help me figure out what kind of program I really want to join and go from there. Thanks again for taking the time to give a thorough response!
     
  10. Tinman88

    Tinman88

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    I worked in a setting where we would have practicum students from URI. I cannot tell you all the horror stories but I can tell you two of the three students I met had funding issues. One student lost after their first year, another after their second year. Both were forced to take out loans despite all their promises of "full funding for X amount of years". To give you an idea of the politics in the program, let's just say there is a student currently in the program who was able to bypass many objectives of the program. This student was currently working under the supervision of their parent. Typical RI fashion.
     
  11. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    No problem! Completely agree .....as nice as their program is and as great as they were on interview day...... I have some bad feelings about the way they talk about large amounts of loans so nonchalantly!


    Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile
     
  12. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  13. Gradgoal

    Gradgoal 2+ Year Member

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    Wow. Thanks for the heads up. If that's the case, i'd definitely like to stay clear!
     
  14. David117

    David117

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    Hello all,

    I have ambitions to get my Phd in Psych, most likely in a clinical program. I have personal experience with schizophrenia during my undergraduate time, and have what I would consider an incredible amount of insight into the disorder and have recovered tremendously. (I have been out of the psychiatric ward for 3 1/2 years now). Unfortunately, during my undergraduate time, my GPA dropped to roughly a 3.00, and I have a degree in Finance with minors in Psych and Economics. I am curious to hear what professionals in this area think a good route to take would be, as in schools to apply to and research to perform if accepted into a desired program. I am eager to help others who have been through the same or similar experience I have, and I feel I can bring a level of insight, introspection, and empathy to the field not commonly found.
    I appreciate any thoughts and opinions to be shared!
     
  15. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    The details:
    • Currently on leave of absence (medical issue) from Clinical Mental Health Counseling masters program (CACREP).
    • Was just offered the opportunity to transfer into a Psychology masters program (general, specifically designed to place students into research-oriented PhD programs).
    • Of the 5 courses I took at the masters level so far, 3 will transfer to the MS in Psychology program.
    • Time to completion will not change (MS is a 1.5 program, CACREP is a 2-year program and I have 1.5 semesters left).
    • My end goal is a PhD in Counseling Psychology, preferably an equal-emphasis program.
    Why a masters program:
    1. Need to fix terrible undergraduate GPA (3.o in an easy major)
    2. Gain more research experience
    3. Show dedication towards a specific area of Counseling Psychology (college mental health)
    The question:

    Should I leave the CACREP program and join the research-oriented Psych program instead?
    • My main concern is being left high and dry if I don't make it into a PhD program - the CACREP program allows me a good "backup" option (working as an LPC/LMHC).
    • However, the MS Psych program has a great track record of placing students in PhD programs, so my chances of getting to the PhD would be higher with them. They do not have an emphasis on a particular area of psychology, and most of the program is focused on research (you start working in a lab on day one).
    Thoughts? I'm having major analysis paralysis.
     
  16. K_Rose

    K_Rose

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    Hello!

    I am deciding potentially between two PsyDs at the University of Hartford & La Salle University (I was accepted into Hartford and have an interview at La Salle, but since that interview is late I'd rather have a good idea of a decision in mind soon).

    Doing a pros and cons list, they were both comparable as of last year's (2016) EPPP rates (UH Passing: 79%, LS: 94%) & APA accredited internship match (UH: 100%, LS: ~92%). Otherwise Hartford sounds like it would be ~$80k with limited stipend, whereas La Salle ~$100k with even more limited stipend (available only 1st year). Both CBT oriented. And a bunch of other little factors like La Salle having their own clinic in addition to practicum but Hartford potentially having better connection for externship/practicum & internship sites.

    But, theoretically taking away money factor, I am curious as to which one is more reputable. It's hard finding unbiased answers on either, but is one program better connected/more recognizable in the clinical world than the other? Does anyone have an idea for what are the general reputations for each?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  17. NotTheHoff

    NotTheHoff Faculty, Psychologist 5+ Year Member

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    La Salle has the better rep overall. I wouldn't consider Hartford's EPPP rates comparable to La Salle, particularly when you look at subsection performance (e.g., Hartford Assesssment: 61.38%, La Salle Assessment = 71.35%; Hartford RM/Stats = 53.72%, La Salle RM/Stats = 71.41%).
     
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  18. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Just a small clarification, I think you are looking at overall match rate rather than accredited match rates. Last year UH was at 88% and La Salle was 92%. At least as reported by APPIC itself. Still pretty close, though. Reputation wise, not sure, I've never come across an application from either.
     
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  19. Jet_Jaguar

    Jet_Jaguar

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    My girlfriend wants to go to a clinical psychology PhD program, but she's been having some trouble getting into them and she's at something of a crossroads. She applied to 5 schools last year, self admittedly didn't try too hard on the applications, and got waitlisted at one. This round she applied to 15 and really threw herself at the application process. She so far got one interview and will likely get no more.

    The problem is that the school she got interviewed at is not funded, and doesn't appear to be very good. It is Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. It is estimated that the PhD will put her 122k in the hole in tuition and fees alone; this does not take into account her living expenses which will also likely need to be covered in loans. The school appears to be very weak in terms of financial aid; one student snickered and said 'good luck' when asked about scholarships, and even if you work with the school in a TA type position you will only be compensated $1000 a semester. This school is also low-ranked, not even in the top 100 by the listings I looked up. When asked about the lack of funding, staff at the school tried to make it sound good by saying that at funded programs you are essentially 'at the mercy' of your advisor. They claim their program awards more freedom for independence, but I find this claim to be weak at best.

    She is worried that if this is the only school that accepts her this year that she will have to go. Admittedly, she likes the professors she met with, and their research focus is very specifically what she wants. So it isn't all bad.

    Here is some more background info to fill-in the situation:
    • She got a 3.9 GPA psych B.A. from a small, relatively unknown liberal arts college
    • She has one publication for which she is the second author out of 2. This publication is relevant to what she wants to study for her PhD
    • She has worked for 18 months as a clinical research assistant, though this research is not at all related to what she wants to study and what she's applying for
    • Her GRE scores are a little weak; I have no concrete numbers, though
    • She has some other work experience at a psych hospital from her undergrad years
    • She is 23 and has been out of undergrad for 2 years

    I think going to this school is a poor choice, especially since it is a mediocre program at best and she will be paying back this debt for more than decade. She's also interested in academia over clinical practice and I know that the quality/prestige of your school has a lot more sway in that realm. This also means a PsyD is not preferable.

    However, I am at a loss for what the next viable alternatives are since I myself am not in psych. What I've come up with is that she should perhaps try to get some research experience in her desired topic, whether that be by master's degree or a new job. She's very hesitant to do another cycle of applications given the time and financial burden of them, but to me it's clear that this headache would be astronomically smaller than the time and financial burden of paying back student loans until she's 50. But I also recognize that I can view her situation more clearly since I am not the one who is most acutely affected by it.

    Any guidance? I'm sure a million stories like these come through here. What are some good courses of action here?
     
  20. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    I agree with you. It's important to know how many graduates of a program are matched to an APA-accredited internship. Nova Southeatern's stats are better in recent years for the PhD program, but the PsyD program still doesn't have a strong track record. It was unclear from your message which program she was interviewed for, since you mentioned both. If it's the PsyD that is taking a huge gamble, at a hefty cost. I would still argue that the PhD isn't worth it when so many funded programs are out there.

    I look down on that kind of misleading rationalization. I'm not sure what they mean by "freedom" anyway -- freedom from accountability on their part is what it sounds like. This is a sales pitch, not a reflection of reality.

    1. Be patient.
    2. Re-take the GRE.
    3. Ask mentors for an honest evaluation of application strengths and weaknesses, and come up with a plan to remedy them.
    4. Consider whether poor fit or geographic inflexibility could have been contributing factors.
    5. Come up with a solid Plan B as an alternative to a risky/mediocre Plan A.
     
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  21. Lejla Woodman

    Lejla Woodman

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    I am pursuing a career in clinical neuropsychology. I recently gained acceptance into two clinical psychology PhD programs. The first is a joint-degree PhD program in behavioral neuroscience and clinical psychology. The second is a general PhD program in clinical psychology, but with a module in neuropsychology. The research between the two programs is very similar, so now I am perplexed as to which program I should attend. How necessary is the neuropsychology module for getting an internship in neuropsychology? Would receiving dual training in behavioral neuroscience and clinical psychology provide the same prestige (or more? less?) than a neuropsychology module?
     
  22. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    You need to look at more than just what is in the branding of these programs.

    What neuropsychology-related coursework do they offer, e.g. functional neuroanatomy, psychopharmacology, behavioral genetics, etc?

    What are the opportunities like to produce neuropsych-related research? Is your mentor a productive researcher in neuropsychology or related field? If not, is there a way to collaborate with other faculty who do this kind of research and to incorporate your mentor's interests in with neuropsychology? E.g. Your mentor is a health psychology/behavioral medicine researcher and you can research neuropsychological sequelae of obesity, CVD, etc.?

    What are the clinical opportunities like for practica? is there an in-house clinic for training and does it offer opportunities for neuropsych assessment? Are there neuropsych-focused external practica associated with the programs? If so, what kind are they (e.g. private practice vs. AMC vs. VA vs. forensic hospital OR rehab vs. inpatient vs. outpatient vs.), what populations do they serve (e.g. peds/adults vs. community vs. vets vs. forensic populations), and what kinds of issues would you gain experience in (e.g. TBI vs. dementia vs. neurological disease/degeneration vs. epilepsy and surgical evals)?
     
  23. Neuro727

    Neuro727

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    I just received my 3rd admissions offers a couple hours ago, so obviously I would like to get rid of one of them as soon as possible. I just would really appreciate everyone's input first.

    The three programs I have offers from are Palo Alto University (PhD), Widener University (PsyD) and Florida Institute of Technology (PsyD).

    I'm interested in neuropsychology and all three have neuro opportunities through tracks/coursework, research and practicums. I'd say right now FIT is the program I'm leaning towards the most, but I'd love to hear more about how everyone feels about the programs in regards to neuro training. Widener also has a captive internship, which I was originally excited about, but I've heard mixed things about captive internships in general recently.

    I know cost always comes up when talking about unfunded/semi-funded programs (for good reason), but I am incredibly fortunate that I will not have to take out loans to afford school, so I am mostly concerned about quality of training.


    Also to save everyone some googling, here are the outcomes for all of the programs:

    https://www.paloaltou.edu/graduate-...gy/student-admissions-outcomes-and-other-data

    http://www.widener.edu/academics/schools/shsp/psyd/studentadmissionsandotherdata.aspx

    http://cpla.fit.edu/clinical/outcomes.php
     
  24. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Just a reminder...tracks/modules/ concentrations....that's mostly marketing jargon. You need a program that provides solid foundational knowledge as a clinical/counseling psychologist and also have access to classroom, practica, and direct mentorship in the speciality area. Board certified mentors and a track record of placing students into quality fellowships and then having grads get boarded...that should be the bar.
     
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  25. lightwater

    lightwater

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    Hi everyone, I would appreciate advice on a couple things. I'm interested in neuropsych. I was accepted into a clinical psych PhD program that does not have a neuropsych track (which I realize through reading many SDN threads is not a deal breaker!). For anonymity I'd rather not say the school.
    • So I looked at the specific courses to see whether I would have the "foundation" at least to prepare me to apply to neuropsych externships and internships down the line. These seem to be the relevant courses at the school: Biological Bases of Behavior, Cognitive Testing, Behavioral Pharmacology & Psychopharmacology, Behavioral Medicine, Neuropsych Assessment. Does this seem sufficient, or lacking? There is no "functional neuroanatomy" which seems to be needed? I have taken Neurobiology in the past, though I'm not sure that would be enough.
    • I have had experience with neuropsych assessments in the past, as well as fMRI, but again, I don't know if pre-doctoral RA work would seriously be considered for internship apps? (Though I do have a few 1st author posters/pubs from this work) I will most likely be able to have my masters/disseration include neuropsych/cog testing, but not fMRI, with my POI.
    • There are no outcomes data for this school yet-- the program is only a few years old and is in the process of becoming APA accredited. During interview days, they emphasized they were active in the APA accred process, and one of the main faculty works for the APA and his job is to survey other schools for accreditation. He has gone through this with another school before. School has a decent number of FT faculty (around 10 or more) who have all come from APA accred institutions, and many have externally funded grants including NIH.
    My boss is a director of several divisions at an R1 university, and she advised me to accept the offer if I do not hear positive news from other programs. She assumes the school will be accredited by the time I apply for internship. In case it's relevant, said school is a medium-sized, public university that has seen a lot of growth in the past decade or so. I'm seriously considering this because, for a variety of reasons, I am not excited about the other schools. Well, I am anxious about just one other school, but I have been waitlisted there and am not hopeful about it (when I followed up for status, adcom encouraged me to take my other offer given long waitlist... I reiterated my strong interest and said I'd wait).

    If the mentioned program is my only choice, does it seem like it could be a decent/good fit for a neuropsych career? Or should I apply for a 2nd cycle and take the risk? (not preferred) Thank you in advance!! :)
     
  26. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    1. Are you talking about counting your RA work before grad school on your hours for internship applications? If so, that's a no-go. If you're talking about it in terms of research, then it will only help if the they are quality pubs in good journals (e.g. no vanity press).

    2. What's the funding like? I'd be pretty wary about attending any programs that aren't fully funded, let alone ones that aren't yet accredited.

    3. The coursework sounds good, but what kinds of clinical practica do they offer? Are there any good neuropsych assessment sites?
     
  27. lightwater

    lightwater

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    Thanks for the response!
    1. In terms of research experience, not hours. The pubs are in peer-reviewed journals that I have been told are moderately competitive to competitive. (I was lucky to work at an academic medical center that had way more existing data than they knew what to do with, so they were happy to have someone do something with it.)

    2. It's not fully funded. I agree it's definitely not ideal, but it's also not my biggest concern as there are guaranteed fellowships and potential grants. I have money saved, have never taken out loans/had debt, so I'm okay with very minimal loans if need be. Cost of living is not high in the area. I also have an amazing partner whose career is financially (much) more attractive than what mine will be for the next five years!

    3. They have an on-campus clinic and they are affiliated with a couple hospitals. Students will start seeing people Year 2. I don't know much other than that. I suppose I should ask the DCT more specifically about neuropsych sites.. I googled its nearby city and there are definitely neuropsych externships available for doctoral students, if I'm fortunate enough to get one.
     
  28. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Sounds good to me!

    Ok, but I personally would find the lack of full-funding plus a pending accreditation to be untenable for a program.

    But there's a difference between externships being available to grad students in general and you being able to get them in that specific program. It's difficult to tell with you playing coy about which exact program you're alluding to, but being such a new program means that it likely doesn't have the long-term established relationships and history to demonstrate with much certainty where exactly students will go for externships.

    We also don't know what the situation in that area is like. In some places, there are not many grad programs available, so there isn't much inter-program competition for these spots. In those cases, there often isn't much of an application, interviewing, and/or matching process. For others, there are multiple programs in the area, which makes competition much fiercer. This latter case might put you at somewhat of a disadvantage being in the program so early in its development and before it's fully accredited.

    This is not to say that the program is bad one, just that it's somewhat of a gamble at this point. Yes, every program goes through this as it's getting its initial accreditation, but it's just not a position I would put myself in when there are so many other programs out there with established track records. I guess I'm just more risk averse and don't want to bet my money and future on anything but a sure thing.
     
  29. psy young

    psy young

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    Hi Everyone! At the moment I'm torn between two PsyD programs and would love your input!

    The two programs are the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium and Loyola University Maryland.

    I'm well aware of the financial benefits of going to Loyola over PGSP-Stanford, so I'm looking for more information about clinical training, how happy students and alum are, reputation of the program in terms of the likelihood of being competitive in the job market after post doc, any big red flags I missed on interview day (minus high costs of tuition and living) etc.

    Thank you!
     
  30. nole_neuro

    nole_neuro

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    Hi all,

    I was recently admitted to Nova Southeastern University's Ph.D. program which I was very excited about as my mentor's research is a perfect match to my own, and the program's curriculum and clinical focus directly align with my career goals. However, after reading forums on this website I am a bit disheartened.

    The financial burden that comes along with this program isn't a major concern for me, but I am worried about the internship match rate. This year and last year, NSU's Ph.D. students have had 100% APA-accredited match rate- however 2015 was 89%, 2014 57%, 2013 53%, and 2012 70%. Should I be worried about these numbers?

    Also, I see various comments about the Psy.D.'s reputation, but was curious as to whether anyone knows about the Ph.D.'s current reputation. From what I've gathered, it has a better rep than the Psy.D. program, but I want to know if attending the Ph.D. program at NSU will hurt my chances of obtaining an APA accredited internship and my likelihood of being employed in the future. There are several well-known professors at NSU and I am wondering why it is continuously bashed online.

    Overall, I've been told that "fit" with a program is the most important factor in making a decision- and if that's the case, NSU is the perfect fit and is the school for me. I know every program has its pros and cons, but do you think these red flags can be overshadowed by my great fit with the program and opportunity to work alongside mentors with my exact research interests? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated- I want to be confident in my decision before making this 5-6 year commitment.
     
  31. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    It's not terrible, but it's not great. Biggest problem really is, in certain areas, all of the students apply to the same places for internship. We get those apps, and the letter writers essentially write form letters that are almost the exact same for every student, hence, we really have no way of differentiating them out at times since the letters and curriculum are essentially identical. I've been out of the region for a few years, so I'm not sure if it's still the case, but it used to be.
     
  32. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Well, you might want to find out about these specific years. Obviously, 100% match is great and 89% is not terrible at all, so it would behoove you to ask them what between those years and the previous ones where the match wasn't significantly lower. Did they bring online a captive internship program? Did they substantially change something about their program, e.g. courses, practica, what student are admitted, etc?

    It would be good to see whether the recent good stats for the past two years are part of a trend that will continue for the future or if they were flukes and the match rate will regress to the mean match rate of 50-60% that they had for four of the reported seven years.

    Having well-known faculty isn't necessarily indicate of a great program. Sure, they are often indicative of the quality of a program, but when other, more quantitative data is not commensurate with the qualitative aspect of having famous faculty, it should make you curious about why this discrepancy exists. Is this a mentor model program or is it more of a general admission-style program like some PsyD programs with large cohorts tend to be? Are these famous professors actually taking students as advisees or are they more like emeritus faculty that are being paid to be on staff to bring in that cache from their name recognition? Are these famous faculty actually productive and have substantial ongoing research projects or are they more established and tenured, possibly at the end of their careers where they don't care all that much about producing the kinds of research any advisees might need to be competitive for internship and post-doc?

    Again, ask questions about the possible trending of the match rates and any recent changes that have been made to the program. Ask for more hard data, like how many publications and posters students are getting before applying to internship. Ask about the practica opportunities and how successful students are at getting the better sites, especially compared to competing programs in the area. Ask about the outcomes for your particular POI to see whether the outcomes are heterogeneous and vary more between faculty members.
     
  33. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    You have to take the good with the bad when considering NSU. Solid training is available, but it is far from guaranteed. Some of the classes are great, others are meh. The well known professors are active and take students, but you still need to fight over resources and time. Practica placement is a crapshoot. They have a good Uni-based clinic (one of the largest providers of affordable mental health in S Fl), but some of the off-site placements are a crapshoot. If you land at Jackson Memorial you can get great training, but you can also land at a meh clinic. Generally the top students do well and the bottom students probably should have been cut. I typically tell students it isn't worth the high cost unless the funding has drastically improved.
     
  34. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    This seems to be a pattern with these unfunded or partially funded accredited programs. It's not that they never produce great graduates or that good training is impossible. The issue is that it's wholly inconsistent, so you can't really rely on simply being a graduate of the program to establish that you received quality training. You'll basically have to prove that you were well-trained, whereas the quality is more assumed of grads from quality programs that are well-respected and consistently produce great psychologists.
     
  35. nole_neuro

    nole_neuro

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    Thank you for the advice! These are definitely important factors to consider... I did ask several of these questions during my interview day, but I am worried that I got a biased opinion by asking the faculty and students themselves.

    Would you recommend that I contact the admissions office or my POI (or both) to answer these questions?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  36. nole_neuro

    nole_neuro

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    Understandable. I definitely do not have the mindset of relying on this (or any) program to produce me into a well-trained clinician and researcher- I know that the work that I put in is what I will get out, and I am ready for that commitment. I'm happy to hear that there is possibility for great graduates and good training even if it is inconsistent.
     
  37. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    I don't know if the admissions office would really know those program details. You could maybe ask again or ask someone different, but be a bit more direct or "forceful" about it now that you actually received an offer from them, though I don't know if you'd receive any different answers from what you already received from anyone in the department.

    Pay attention to the way they answered or will answer these questions as well. If they are at all evasive, hedging, deflect with other program strengths, or otherwise don't give you straight answers to your questions, I would probably take that as a warning sign.

    E.g. I've mentioned this elsewhere on the forums, but a person I know interviewed for a clinical program several years ago and the response from the DCT to questions about funding was to hem and haw about it evasively and ultimately ending the topic by saying, "Well, no one has ever had to drop out because they couldn't pay." Look for similar, though less absurd, versions of this kind of thing.

    But see, it's kind of like the lottery. Is it possible that you could receive good training in this program and be competitive for the future? Sure, and it's possible to win the lottery, but what is the probability of this actually happening? If the recent good match rates, 89% and 100%, are flukes and the more typical outcome is 50-60% match, then I would not really take for granted that I would definitely receive the training necessary to match me with an internship. At that point, a 50-60% match rate is an unacceptable crapshoot and I'm risk averse enough and skeptical enough to avoid this, especially as there are so many other variables that would be out of my control regardless fo how hard I worked or how talented I was, e.g. the program's reputation, the availability of quality external practica, etc.
     
  38. thedoobz

    thedoobz

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    Hi everyone!

    I just had a hell of a day and got 2 over the phone acceptances; one for University of Denver PsyD, and the other from PGSP-Stanford PsyD. Hopefully somebody can help me out in terms of deciding the best fit for me. I applied exclusively to PsyD programs and am confident it is the correct degree for me. I am blessed financially and paying for either program will not be a problem. What is a problem is that I loved both programs for different reasons. Both have really good APA internship match rates, good attrition, and a good reputation in my opinion. Here are some differences...

    PGSP-Stanford:
    Comes with the Stanford name, swanky area, full year to focus on classes before placement. Beautiful weather and nice/very smart people. When they called they said they voted unanimously to let me in so that was flattering. Felt like a more relaxed pace, sort of coddling in that way?

    Denver:
    LOVED the area, more affordable due to cost of living and program cost itself, felt better "vibes" from students and professors. Worried accelerated pace and immediate placement is going to stress me out.

    Has anyone had to choose between these schools? I'm a residential counselor living in Boston right now working at McLean hospital and if I'm gonna make the move, I really want it to be to the school that's the best fit for me.

    Thanks!
     
  39. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Wasn't that the point? Didn't the PsyD program pay Stanford a huge chunk of money for the cache of being associated with Stanford, i.e. to convince (trick?) applicants and students that it had the rigor of Stanford?
     
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  40. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Based solely on what you've said above, Denver would be an easy decision for me. You want to go to a program that is both rigorous and also where the people (students AND faculty) seem relatively happy and well-adjusted (that "good vibe" you referred to). Yes, seeing clients the first year will be stressful. But starting to see them in second year would probably be just as stressful too; you're always going to have that initial "omg, what am I doing?" feeling and the classes you take first year (at least in my program) are the general foundational ones (e.g., stats) that aren't as immediately clinically applicable (though idk, maybe it's different at that program at you take classes on cbt/therapy during first year). As long as you've got good supervision and appropriate cases, which you should if you go there, then you might as well just go ahead and jump in feet first. You'll find your footing and ultimately get more hours of clinical training. And I think the general vibe from current students and staff is huge. Plus, personally, flattery makes me suspicious, but maybe I'm just a cynical person :)
     
  41. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Don't get swayed by a name, take a close look at the training programs, mentors, types of practica, and where their students land after training (including internship & post-doc, not just jobs).
     
    psych.meout likes this.
  42. Honor20

    Honor20

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    Hey guys, I am a first time user deciding between two schools. This can be summed up quickly: One school is a phd program at a private university, so it is roughly 1450 per credit hour with about half tuition remission. The other is a public university, with full funding. The problem is that the private school feels like a better overall fit, but would obviously require me to accumulate debt. Do people typically turn down a funded offer?
     
  43. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I'd want to see the stats of the two schools (APA-accredited match rate, EPPP pass rate, etc) before making a decision. But, I'd personally lean towards the full funding.
     
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  44. HMarie

    HMarie

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    Hello,

    I have been accepted to Xavier's PsyD program and I am on the waiting list for La Salle's PsyD. Based off of past years it looks like I may hear back from La Salle very close to April 15th, and I would like to have an idea of which program I would choose if I do receive an acceptance. I am hoping for opinions on both programs - especially from any previous or current students.

    My ultimate goal is to provide CBT therapy as well as neuropsych assessments. The schools have nearly identical outcomes in terms of internship match and licensure, and seem to be ranked very similarly. I was impressed with both schools on the interview days but I can only have so much insight from one day! Any thoughts on which school you would choose?

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  45. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    I'm not familiar w the stats for those programs but you said they're pretty equivalent. So assuming they are decent stats / outcomes data and all else being equal ( including how happy the current students seem there overall) I'd go with the option that incurs the least amount of debt (don't forget to count cost of living).
     
    HMarie likes this.
  46. wtfook

    wtfook

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    Xavier is near Cincinnati and La Salle is near Philly. It looks like tuition is about the same so it might come down to cost of living. I don't know what cost of living is like in Cincinnati but Philly is a relatively affordable city compared to NYC and DC but can still be expensive compared to the midwest. The midwest gets a lot more snow than the east coast. As someone who has gone to school in both regions, I prefer the east coast. There's more to do, weather is generally nicer, and there are overall more opportunities both personally and professionally. HOWEVER, that is me. The midwest has a vibe that can be very appealing to other people. It's more laid back. People might be more personable up front. Some people freakin' love winter so they'll prefer Ohio. Xavier's class sizes appear to be slightly smaller, which could be a plus. Philly is also a saturated region so it might be harder to get a good practicum and externship compared to Cincinnati. Those are just some factors that come to mind. Let me know if you have more questions about Philly.
     
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  47. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Cost would be part of my consideration. But other than that, if neuropsych is your goal, I'd be looking for a place that I could do a high quality original data dissertation in neuropsychology, and a place that has external practicum for neuropsych at high quality sites. That's what will make you competitive for neuro focused internships and postdocs that adhere to HCG.
     
    HMarie likes this.
  48. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    If CBT is one of your goals and you have the chance to live and study in Philly, I'd take it. The Beck Institute is in Philly and you can't get much better training opportunities than learning CBT from the creators of the therapy. I can vouch for the learning experience there. Philly also has a plethora of hospitals, universities, and other opportunities for internships, etc. So while it may be saturated, it also has a lot of opportunity in general. I'm not sure I agree with it being affordable though. It really depends on where you live in the area. Nicer/safer area usually means more expensive, as it does in most places. I would guess Cincinnati would not be much different though. Congrats on the acceptance.
     
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  49. wtfook

    wtfook

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    Well I said it's "affordable compared to NYC or DC but still expensive compared to the mid west." You can get rent at around 900 a month if you have a roommate. I got less in Center City (without utilities) from rooming with someone. That's WAY better than NYC where anywhere you go you'll be paying at least 1200 a month. But I'm guessing might still be expensive for Cincinnati? Dunno. You made a good point about the Beck Institute though. If CBT is the goal, you can't get better than Beck.
     
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  50. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    Even going to Cincinnati, Beck isn't too far away for training conferences and they take a lot of them on the road now too. I'd just keep an eye out for those if CBT is your interest. I've found them invaluable and motivating.
     
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  51. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    If they want to do neuropsych, I'd focus on that instead. It's a lot easier to get foundational training in CBT most places than to get in depth neuro training. And, in the vast majority of careers, neuro will be the bulk of your workload, not the other way around. If you want to do neuro assessment anyway.
     
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