Apr 2, 2010
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Hi all. I apologize in advance if this question is a nuisance, but I've read through everything I could find in search, and really hope to get some input on this. Of course it is ultimately my decision, but would like to see what you all have to say. I will include whatever relevant information I can.

I have a BA in Psych from Rutgers New Brunswick, GPA 3.57, GRE combined 1310 (640 verbal, 670 quant), with some research lab assistant and psychometric testing experience (but not a large amount), and 3 good letters of recommendation from PhD's. I have been accepted into Immaculata and Alliant CSPP-SD's Clinical PsyD programs, as well as Yeshiva's MHC MA and New School's General Psych MA. I am trying to decide if I should go straight into a PsyD, or go for my master's first at Yeshiva or New School, and then apply for either their PsyD or PhDs (along with other schools at that time). I am, however, concerned that it is foolish to not pursue a PsyD while I can since I've already been accepted, and that going for MA first might waste time. Yeshiva does transfer their credits to their doctoral programs, but they say it may not mean you finish the doctorate any sooner, and there is no guarantee I will even be accepted; and New School seems to be a tough situation in terms of actually getting into their PhD program.

I have read negative things here about CSPP, but have not seen too much about Immaculata. I love the San Diego area, but am concerned about all the negativity surrounding CSPP. Immaculata seems to be a respectable program, and I've gotten a good vibe from staff through my interview and visit there. The location is good, not hugely appealing, but not too far from home in NJ or from Philly, and some other nice PA areas. I am more of a NYC person, but I can visit NYC whenever I want as my family has an apartment there. But of course it could be great living there, but expensive (I most likely wouldn't be living at family's place, it is a small studio that my dad works out of during the week).

Reading through much of this forum, I see that it is really important for your program to have a good reputation, especially a PsyD program, in order to expand your opportunities and not limit them. While I have not seen much negative about Immaculata, other than their lack of funding, I want to be sure my opportunities will be sufficient during my studies and after graduation. Same goes for the other schools I've mentioned.

I know you cannot tell me what to do, nor do I want you too - rather, I would appreciate it if you would provide any positives and negatives you may have for any of the schools/programs in themselves or in relation to the others I've mentioned. Thanks in advance to anyone who provides their input, and let me know if you have any questions for me.

Thanks! :D
 
Mar 18, 2010
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Psychology Student
What are you looking to get out of the degree (regardless of level)? I feel like what you want to do is the biggest factor in deciding which avenue to purue. :)
 
Apr 2, 2010
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Very good point -- sorry about that, I realize I didn't mention my future pursuits. While I do not have an exact plan in terms of what I want to do, I have certain interests that I want to pursue and jobs that I am very interested in doing.

These include:

-Clinical work/psychotherapy with a wide range of individuals, those who have disabilities and illnesses, both physical and mental, and those who are just seeking positive mental health and overall wellness
-Comprehensive psychological evaluations and testing
-Working with individuals involved in the criminal justice system. This can mean working in therapy or assessment with prisoners or ex-prisoners, in or out of prisons; or working with lawyers and the court system for consultation, assessment, maybe even jury selection, etc. I double majored in Criminal Justice so forensics has always interested me, although it is not my only interest.
-I have an interest in research, but not a huge passion for it. I do not know that I would want to continue with much research in a career, but it is not something I have completely ruled out either, and would like the possibility of having more experience with it.

I realize this is not very specific, but I feel I can narrow it down as I continue my education.

Edit: Just a side note, I was recently notified that I am being awarded the CSPP Dean's Award of Excellence if I choose to attend CSPP-SD. This is $5,000 for the year. I am happy and honored to have received this -- although, I am not sure if this is common or not. Any ideas?
 
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Mar 18, 2010
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The psyd sounds like the most direct route to your interests.. Direct practic, terminal degree ( one that gives you a license), and the opportunity to perform testing. The masters as an avenue into a phd program can make you a stronger candidate for a phd program, but why spend the extra time if academia is not a goal for you.
 
Mar 24, 2010
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I don't know if this is helpful or not but one of my advisors is currently getting her degree at Immaculata and she loves it. She said the faculty is really nice and she has learned a lot.
 
Apr 2, 2010
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The psyd sounds like the most direct route to your interests.. Direct practic, terminal degree ( one that gives you a license), and the opportunity to perform testing. The masters as an avenue into a phd program can make you a stronger candidate for a phd program, but why spend the extra time if academia is not a goal for you.
Very good point, thanks for the input. While academia is not a goal, I guess I just want to prevent my options from being limited as I do have a variety of interests. Yeshiva is more well known and has a good reputation, so I thought this might be an important avenue to consider. I have heard good things about Immaculata, so that is very reassuring, and I got a good vibe from all of my interactions with people there. Everyone I met at Alliant CSPP was friendly and helpful, and the $5k award is great to have been offered, and I just love San Diego, but I haven't seen the greatest things said about CSPP here. I've heard New School is very stressful and cut throat, and that it can be an unpleasant situation for students looking to pursue their PhD, but it is a well-respected school and is in a great location. So, as you can see, I am just trying to weigh all my positives and negatives so I can make the best choice for me.

I don't know if this is helpful or not but one of my advisors is currently getting her degree at Immaculata and she loves it. She said the faculty is really nice and she has learned a lot.
That is VERY helpful, thanks! Would you be able to provide a little more info regarding what program she is your advisor for, and what program she is in at Immaculata (I am assuming Psyd)? If you don't feel comfortable sharing that info, no worries.

Thanks again everyone -- feel free to keep the input coming! :D