Quantcast

Loma Linda vs Alliant SD for PsyD

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1

Members don't see this ad.
I’m interested in hearing from people with experience at those two schools. I’ve already researched both schools. I’m wanting to apply for 2020 to the PsyD program. Can’t apply anywhere other then Southern California (husband has a job here) so these are my only two options I see - Pepperdine is 2 hours away and requires a masters that I don’t have.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
1,784
Reaction score
2,613
Both programs are incredibly expensive (~150k for Alliant and ~200k for Lima Linda). If you have to finance your training with student loans, you may end up with crippling levels of debt (e.g. $1500-$2000/month loan payments for 10-15 years). If you can afford to pay the tuition out of pocket, it could be a poor investment. Outcomes for both programs (attrition rates, internship match rates, and licensure rates of graduates) are historically poor (though internship rates were higher for at least the last year data was reported, one data point does not determine a trend). Attrition rates are very concerning, with ~1/4 of all students who begin the program not finishing (and presumably not getting a refund for whatever tuition they paid). Depending on your professional goals, doctoral training may be overkill and these programs way to expensive. Alliant is often described with terms such as “predatory” and “exploitative.” Some employers will not consider graduates form these programs.

In regards to moving, comprehensive doctoral training in psychology has several points where geographic inflexibility significantly limits your options/progress. Graduate program choice is just the first. There are also pre-doctoral and post-doctoral internships. Not being able to move (for pre-doc especially) can be very limiting and detrimental to your training and pocketbook if it results in adding another year to your training.

Overall, the objective data suggest that many people obtain training from these schools and become licensed psychologist. The objective data also indicate that the training is very expensive (some of the most expensive there is). It also indicates that many people who begin there training at these schools encounter barriers to completion along the way (e.g. not obtaining an APA approved pre-doc internship), and a high number of people don’t complete their training despite investing 30k-150k+. It can work out, but caveat emptor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 users

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Both programs are incredibly expensive (~150k for Alliant and ~200k for Lima Linda). If you have to finance your training with student loans, you may end up with crippling levels of debt (e.g. $1500-$2000/month loan payments for 10-15 years). If you can afford to pay the tuition out of pocket, it could be a poor investment. Outcomes for both programs (attrition rates, internship match rates, and licensure rates of graduates) are historically poor (though internship rates were higher for at least the last year data was reported, one data point does not determine a trend). Attrition rates are very concerning, with ~1/4 of all students who begin the program not finishing (and presumably not getting a refund for whatever tuition they paid). Depending on your professional goals, doctoral training may be overkill and these programs way to expensive. Alliant is often described with terms such as “predatory” and “exploitative.” Some employers will not consider graduates form these programs.

In regards to moving, comprehensive doctoral training in psychology has several points where geographic inflexibility significantly limits your options/progress. Graduate program choice is just the first. There are also pre-doctoral and post-doctoral internships. Not being able to move (for pre-doc especially) can be very limiting and detrimental to your training and pocketbook if it results in adding another year to your training.

Overall, the objective data suggest that many people obtain training from these schools and become licensed psychologist. The objective data also indicate that the training is very expensive (some of the most expensive there is). It also indicates that many people who begin there training at these schools encounter barriers to completion along the way (e.g. not obtaining an APA approved pre-doc internship), and a high number of people don’t complete their training despite investing 30k-150k+. It can work out, but caveat emptor.
I always figured I’d be in debt forever... I was going to go to med school for psychiatry but I do like therapy, wouldn’t want to just pass out meds. I’d like to be able to maybe teach one day, not really interested in research that much. I feel like Loma Linda would be better? Since they are not a professional school and have a good reputation with their med school and other schools (also used fo work there for about a year and liked the place).
 
D

deleted656923

This is choosing between two bad choices
 
  • Like
Reactions: 9 users

Temperance

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
285
Reaction score
467
I always figured I’d be in debt forever... I was going to go to med school for psychiatry but I do like therapy, wouldn’t want to just pass out meds. I’d like to be able to maybe teach one day, not really interested in research that much. I feel like Loma Linda would be better? Since they are not a professional school and have a good reputation with their med school and other schools (also used fo work there for about a year and liked the place).
Debt is not inevitable. When @ClinicalABA refers to "crippling levels of debt", anything financial in your life is going to be impacted because you are making these large monthly payments on your student loans. Don't count on PSLF or income-based repayment plans to be around forever. The level of debt makes slightly more sense for medical school because the earning potential for physicians is much higher, whereas the debt-to-income ratio for psychologists is imbalanced if they do not go to a fully-funded program.

What about clinical work interests you? If you are not interested in research at all, then there are options besides the Ph.D. or Psy.D. that have lower costs than Alliant or Loma Linda and lower opportunity costs than pursuing a 5-year degree with no income.
 
Last edited:

cara susanna

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
6,761
Reaction score
4,560
I've heard that the San Diego Alliant PsyD program is terrible. The PhD one is better (although I still wouldn't recommend it)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Sanman

O.G.
Joined
Sep 2, 2000
Messages
3,896
Reaction score
4,830
I always figured I’d be in debt forever... I was going to go to med school for psychiatry but I do like therapy, wouldn’t want to just pass out meds. I’d like to be able to maybe teach one day, not really interested in research that much. I feel like Loma Linda would be better? Since they are not a professional school and have a good reputation with their med school and other schools (also used fo work there for about a year and liked the place).

I would suggest looking into MSW programs as well. You would be able to do therapy and it would be easier to find teaching positions in SW programs than coming from a less prestigious PsyD program in psychology.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
This is choosing between two bad choices
But these are literally my only options. So I have to choose one or the other. But what makes them so bad? I mean, besides the whole professional school thing alliant has, I feel like llu has a good reputation?
 

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Debt is not inevitable. When @ClinicalABA refers to "crippling levels of debt", anything financial in your life is going to be impacted because you are making these large monthly payments on your student loans. Don't count on PSLF or income-based repayment plans to be around forever. The level of debt makes slightly more sense for medical school because the earning potential for physicians is much higher, whereas the debt-to-income ratio for psychologists is imbalanced if they do not go to a fully-funded program.

What about clinical work interests you? If you are not interested in research at all, then there are options besides the Ph.D. or Psy.D. that have lower costs than Alliant or Loma Linda and lower opportunity costs than pursuing a 5-year degree with no income.
My husband has a really good job, so I’m not worried we won’t be able to afford it. I do like research, but not enough for a PhD. I feel like PsyD has just the right amount of research. If I did MSW, I feel like I’d be limited in what I can do. I want more experience and education. I don’t feel like I would be happy with a masters. I’d like more control and more intense patients.
 

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
I would suggest looking into MSW programs as well. You would be able to do therapy and it would be easier to find teaching positions in SW programs than coming from a less prestigious PsyD program in psychology.
I feel like I’d always be wanting more. I saw someone who was a LCSW and I’ve also been a patient of a PsyD and I feel like the amount of training and education was just, obvious.
 

Sanman

O.G.
Joined
Sep 2, 2000
Messages
3,896
Reaction score
4,830
I feel like I’d always be wanting more. I saw someone who was a LCSW and I’ve also been a patient of a PsyD and I feel like the amount of training and education was just, obvious.

There are doctorates in social work and they are easier to gain entrance to if you so choose later.
 
Members don't see this ad :)
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
1,784
Reaction score
2,613
...But what makes them so bad?...
See my post above. Take subjectivity out of the equation (though you shouldn’t, as it can have pretty negative impacts on your career) and you are left with relatively poor objective recent outcome data in regards to cohort sizes, attrition, internship, and level of debt. ~ 25% of students who started these programs over the past decade didn’t finish or experienced significant hurdles along the way (e.g. with internship match). Even if all goes well “on campus,” your geographic inflexibility will be a significant hurdle come internship time.

You can be successful with these programs. Somewhere around 1 out of every 4 students aren’t, with hefty financial and opportunity costs. Programs like alliance have reputation from preying on people such as yourself who (wrongly, I might add) feel they have no other options.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
8,647
Reaction score
4,113
If my quick review of the numbers is correct, between just those two, Loma Linda would seem to be the better choice. It's a bit cheaper ($30k/year vs, $38k), class sizes are smaller, licensure rates are higher, and match rates to APA-accredited internship (while not great) also look to be a bit higher. However, it does mention on their site that there is a "Christian environment emphasizing integrated learning and compassionate whole person care," which may or may not matter to you.

One very important additional point to consider is internship. Most students will end up moving for internship; if you're limited to only Southern California, you're going to be facing intense competition for a (relatively speaking) small number of accredited internship sites. If you pursue a non-APA-accredited internship, it will limit your job prospects with respect to prisons and, I would imagine, state hospitals.

With your geographic restrictions, other career/education options may ultimately be your best bet. As others have said, accumulating the same debt levels as a medical student when the median earnings of a psychologist are about 1/3 that of a physician can be financially crippling. Psychiatrists, if they buckle down, could probably pay their student loans back in 5 years, and could do so relatively comfortably on a standard 10-year repayment plan (which on $250k in loans at 6.6%, would work out to about $2850/month). Psychologists would ultimately likely need to rely on "forgiveness" (with the accompanying tax bomb) after 25 years, or hope PSLF is still here when you would eventually be eligible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
See my post above. Take subjectivity out of the equation (though you shouldn’t, as it can have pretty negative impacts on your career) and you are left with relatively poor objective recent outcome data in regards to cohort sizes, attrition, internship, and level of debt. ~ 25% of students who started these programs over the past decade didn’t finish or experienced significant hurdles along the way (e.g. with internship match). Even if all goes well “on campus,” your geographic inflexibility will be a significant hurdle come internship time.

You can be successful with these programs. Somewhere around 1 out of every 4 students aren’t, with hefty financial and opportunity costs. Programs like alliance have reputation from preying on people such as yourself who (wrongly, I might add) feel they have no other options.
Well I guess I just have to pick between the two programs and hope for the best since they are my only 2 options I have. People dropping/not finishing/having financial hardships don’t matter to me. I wanted information on people who have been to these programs to give me advice. Thank you though.
 

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
If my quick review of the numbers is correct, between just those two, Loma Linda would seem to be the better choice. It's a bit cheaper ($30k/year vs, $38k), class sizes are smaller, licensure rates are higher, and match rates to APA-accredited internship (while not great) also look to be a bit higher. However, it does mention on their site that there is a "Christian environment emphasizing integrated learning and compassionate whole person care," which may or may not matter to you.

One very important additional point to consider is internship. Most students will end up moving for internship; if you're limited to only Southern California, you're going to be facing intense competition for a (relatively speaking) small number of accredited internship sites. If you pursue a non-APA-accredited internship, it will limit your job prospects with respect to prisons and, I would imagine, state hospitals.

With your geographic restrictions, other career/education options may ultimately be your best bet. As others have said, accumulating the same debt levels as a medical student when the median earnings of a psychologist are about 1/3 that of a physician can be financially crippling. Psychiatrists, if they buckle down, could probably pay their student loans back in 5 years, and could do so relatively comfortably on a standard 10-year repayment plan. Psychologists would ultimately likely need to rely on "forgiveness" (with the accompanying tax bomb) after 25 years, or hope PSLF is still here when you would eventually be eligible.
Yeah, my husband has his career here and we cannot move. He makes a lot of money, so I’m not worried at all about student loans. I do think llu is better based on their stats as well. Thanks for your input.
 

Sanman

O.G.
Joined
Sep 2, 2000
Messages
3,896
Reaction score
4,830
Well I guess I just have to pick between the two programs and hope for the best since they are my only 2 options I have. People dropping/not finishing/having financial hardships don’t matter to me. I wanted information on people who have been to these programs to give me advice. Thank you though.

Keep in mind that if you complete the program, but won't move for internship and do not match locally, you de facto drop out without a degree as you need to complete internship to get your degree.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

BorderlineQueen

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
348
Reaction score
360
I always figured I’d be in debt forever... I was going to go to med school for psychiatry but I do like therapy, wouldn’t want to just pass out meds. I’d like to be able to maybe teach one day, not really interested in research that much. I feel like Loma Linda would be better? Since they are not a professional school and have a good reputation with their med school and other schools (also used fo work there for about a year and liked the place).
You can do all the therapy you want as a psychiatrist if you have a cash pay private practice. Most of the psychiatrists who have cash pay private practices charge $300-600 per 45 minutes-1hr.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
1,784
Reaction score
2,613
Well I guess I just have to pick between the two programs and hope for the best since they are my only 2 options I have. People dropping/not finishing/having financial hardships don’t matter to me. I wanted information on people who have been to these programs to give me advice. Thank you though.
Ok then. Good luck with your choice. I (sincerely) wish you well.
 
Members don't see this ad :)

cara susanna

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
6,761
Reaction score
4,560
I know people who were in the PhD program at Alliant and, while they themselves were very good, they had to go to extra lengths to get research and clinical opportunities that were above and beyond what the program offered (ones that were easily accessible to more traditional programs in the area like UCSD/SDSU). They also had very negative opinions of some of their classmates and the bare minimum people could do and still get by. And, like I said, I heard very negative things about the PsyD program.

Money is definitely a concern. I know graduates from professional schools who are working multiple jobs right now (and they were the lucky ones who got APA internships and good fellowships).

I echo what people said above, as well: it's very difficult to stay in one city for internship, and your degree will be pretty useless if you don't get an APA internship.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

BorderlineQueen

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
348
Reaction score
360
I know people who were in the PhD program at Alliant and, while they themselves were very good, they had to go to extra lengths to get research and clinical opportunities that were above and beyond what the program offered (ones that were easily accessible to more traditional programs in the area like UCSD/SDSU). They also had very negative opinions of some of their classmates and the bare minimum people could do and still get by. And, like I said, I heard very negative things about the PsyD program.

Money is definitely a concern. I know graduates from professional schools who are working multiple jobs right now (and they were the lucky ones who got APA internships and good fellowships).

I echo what people said above, as well: it's very difficult to stay in one city for internship, and your degree will be pretty useless if you don't get an APA internship.
Some of these schools charge insane amounts of money William James College formerly known as Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology charges you around 60k per year with cost of living its 75k per year.
 

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
I know people who were in the PhD program at Alliant and, while they themselves were very good, they had to go to extra lengths to get research and clinical opportunities that were above and beyond what the program offered (ones that were easily accessible to more traditional programs in the area like UCSD/SDSU). They also had very negative opinions of some of their classmates and the bare minimum people could do and still get by. And, like I said, I heard very negative things about the PsyD program.

Money is definitely a concern. I know graduates from professional schools who are working multiple jobs right now (and they were the lucky ones who got APA internships and good fellowships).

I echo what people said above, as well: it's very difficult to stay in one city for internship, and your degree will be pretty useless if you don't get an APA internship.
What were the specifics of the negative things your heard?
 

cara susanna

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
6,761
Reaction score
4,560
What were the specifics of the negative things your heard?

Sorry, I can't remember the specifics. I do recall concerns about both the quality of the students and the training received. I believe that the research training was especially terrible (and even if you aren't interested in conducting research, you won't be a good psychologist if you aren't well trained in research).
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2014
Messages
1,012
Reaction score
1,539
Not for PsyD. PhD yes. I’m not super interested in research.

You don't like research enough to potentially save you $200-300k? You must really hate research.

Regardless, as a psychologist, whether you go PhD or PsyD, you will need solid research training to be good at your work. It is only for your benefit. Most PhD students go into clinical practice anyways. I'd strongly consider opening up your options, as others have suggested.

Also, enter this process assuming you will need to move away from California for at least 1 year during your training (internship), as this is likely what will happen. Postdocs are easier to get in a specific geographic area, but are often another 1-2 years elsewhere.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

Therapist4Chnge

Neuropsych Ninja
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
22,105
Reaction score
3,637
Well I guess I just have to pick between the two programs and hope for the best since they are my only 2 options I have. People dropping/not finishing/having financial hardships don’t matter to me. I wanted information on people who have been to these programs to give me advice. Thank you though.
There is a third option....don’t apply to program right now. Maybe in a few years you’ll be in a different position. You’d acquire crippling debt for a sub-par education and risk not getting licensed after all of that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

PsyDr

Psychologist
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2005
Messages
4,266
Reaction score
5,897
i think that determining EXACTLY what you want to do for work would be an extremely useful thought exercise.

If you’re wanting to be an employee, especially in a medical setting, those degrees will be a significant barrier. Not a hard no, but not a positive.

If you’re wanting to be in private practice, the degree will be less of a barrier. The market saturation will be an issue in that area. This won’t affect your hourly, but it will affect your total income. And before you say cash only, remember that if patients have a choice between a Harvard psychiatrist and a Lima Linda psychologist, they’re gonna go the former. You would also wise to to a SWOT analysis and be brutally honest with yourself. You’re investing $200k. That should warrant running numbers, including market details.

lastly: if you’re thinking entertainment industry services, it REALLY doesn’t pay well. You can make more money doing Medicare testing than doing reality tv testing.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Therapist4Chnge

Neuropsych Ninja
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
22,105
Reaction score
3,637
Research training is a cornerstone of doctoral training. It is vital to understand what actually works and doesn't in a clinical setting, and a strong understanding of research and stats is needed. Most clinicians (Ph.D. & Psy.D) don't continue to do research after training, but they build a foundational knowledge to critically evaluate research to inform their clinical practice.

As for working in prisons or state hospitals, these are some of the more complicated cases, with few resources available and often come with bad clinical outcomes. Turnover tends to be high on those settings, as does burnout, with those two factors often being strongly related.

RE: Entertainment work

To second PsyDr's comments, Entertainment industry work is not worth it. I've had friends in the industry pass along opportunities and the pay/hassle/liability is not worth it, at least in regard to screening applicants/contestants on reality tv castings. The view in the industry is that they would be doing you a favor to be associated with [insert show/network], but as a clinician...it's just collecting liability and being the target practice between a lawsuit and the studio/producers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

psych.meout

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
2,439
You can do all the therapy you want as a psychiatrist if you have a cash pay private practice. Most of the psychiatrists who have cash pay private practices charge $300-600 per 45 minutes-1hr.
Eh, that's a pretty shallow well. Most people can't afford to pay that much out of pocket for therapy and most providers would love to get on that, so the supply of patients who could do that is far outstripped by demand. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but rather that one should plan for the modal outcome, not to be at the upper extreme of the distribution.
 

Starbrighter

Full Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
43
I’m interested in hearing from people with experience at those two schools. I’ve already researched both schools. I’m wanting to apply for 2020 to the PsyD program. Can’t apply anywhere other then Southern California (husband has a job here) so these are my only two options I see - Pepperdine is 2 hours away and requires a masters that I don’t have.
Alliant SD student here in the middle of internship applications. I disagree with the above. I can tell you that I did worry about the reputation of the University, however have been proved wrong during my time there in the past three years. There are people from my cohort who were accepted for internship interviews at Ivy league university medical schools. I didn't apply for these, but the sites I'm interviewing at are very competitive. The PsyD program is much better for clinical work than the PhD if that is where your interests fall. Also, the practicum placements where you will learn your clinical skills are the top offered in San Diego (from hospitals to clinics). I have heard from multiple site supervisors that Alliant SD PsyD produces the best clinicians amongst the SD programs. I attended UC Berkeley undergrad, and feel adequately challenged in this program. (Note: there is a new program director for the PsyD track, perhaps this explains the improvement in this program?) Feel free to DM me with any questions. Good luck!
 
Members don't see this ad :)

Starbrighter

Full Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
43
Also, if you consider a professional school, please make sure it is APA accredited.
 

psych.meout

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
2,439
Alliant SD student here in the middle of internship applications. I disagree with the above. I can tell you that I did worry about the reputation of the University, however have been proved wrong during my time there in the past three years. There are people from my cohort who were accepted for internship interviews at Ivy league university medical schools. I didn't apply for these, but the sites I'm interviewing at are very competitive. The PsyD program is much better for clinical work than the PhD if that is where your interests fall. Also, the practicum placements where you will learn your clinical skills are the top offered in San Diego (from hospitals to clinics). I have heard from multiple site supervisors that Alliant SD PsyD produces the best clinicians amongst the SD programs. I attended UC Berkeley undergrad, and feel adequately challenged in this program. (Note: there is a new program director for the PsyD track, perhaps this explains the improvement in this program?) Feel free to DM me with any questions. Good luck!

Maybe it's "improved," but the match and attrition rates are still fairly alarming.

 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Justanothergrad

Counseling Psychologist
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
2,172
Reaction score
2,487
I know many people who toss applications from people who attended alliant because of the schools reputation. It simply will not give the same openings as other programs. Fair or not.

Being APA acccredited is not the bar to determine a good program. Ask Argosy... nevermind, they closed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

CompleteUnknown

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
38
Reaction score
21
Hi, reporting in as someone who had a lot of similar sounding clinical goals as you but also felt pretty research-phobic -- look into funded PhDs in Counseling Psychology near you. There are of course very research-centric Counseling Psych programs but overall I felt that Counseling Psych world is more clinically-focused than the Clinical Psych world. The distinction is not huge, but perhaps different enough to fit your interests better.

You are likely smart enough to learn enough about conducting research and analyzing data to get through a program/finish a dissertation and then start your career on your terms and with much less debt. In my experience, this has felt worth it.

Did I bemoan the hours I spent staring at SPSS and learning stats stuff that felt unrelated to my true goals? Yes. Was some of it genuinely interesting and enjoyable? Yes. Did I get a lot of support and guidance along the way? Yes.

I'm sharing to hopefully introduce another option to your list. Feel free to message me with questions. Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

dontknowanything

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Hi, reporting in as someone who had a lot of similar sounding clinical goals as you but also felt pretty research-phobic -- look into funded PhDs in Counseling Psychology near you. There are of course very research-centric Counseling Psych programs but overall I felt that Counseling Psych world is more clinically-focused than the Clinical Psych world. The distinction is not huge, but perhaps different enough to fit your interests better.

You are likely smart enough to learn enough about conducting research and analyzing data to get through a program/finish a dissertation and then start your career on your terms and with much less debt. In my experience, this has felt worth it.

Did I bemoan the hours I spent staring at SPSS and learning stats stuff that felt unrelated to my true goals? Yes. Was some of it genuinely interesting and enjoyable? Yes. Did I get a lot of support and guidance along the way? Yes.

I'm sharing to hopefully introduce another option to your list. Feel free to message me with questions. Good luck!
Hey! I didn’t even know that was an option. I’m going to look into that, thank you!!
 

futureapppsy2

Assistant professor
Volunteer Staff
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
6,974
Reaction score
4,759
Hi, reporting in as someone who had a lot of similar sounding clinical goals as you but also felt pretty research-phobic -- look into funded PhDs in Counseling Psychology near you. There are of course very research-centric Counseling Psych programs but overall I felt that Counseling Psych world is more clinically-focused than the Clinical Psych world. The distinction is not huge, but perhaps different enough to fit your interests better.

You are likely smart enough to learn enough about conducting research and analyzing data to get through a program/finish a dissertation and then start your career on your terms and with much less debt. In my experience, this has felt worth it.

Did I bemoan the hours I spent staring at SPSS and learning stats stuff that felt unrelated to my true goals? Yes. Was some of it genuinely interesting and enjoyable? Yes. Did I get a lot of support and guidance along the way? Yes.

I'm sharing to hopefully introduce another option to your list. Feel free to message me with questions. Good luck!
Balanced clinical PhD programs can also give you the same experience. Plenty of people from balanced, funded clinical PhD programs just complete a masters thesis and dissertation and don't do any research outside of that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

foreverbull

Psychologist
5+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
1,393
Reaction score
2,015
My university had both clinical and counseling programs, and there wasn't any difference in terms of research productivity (predissertation and dissertations were required from both programs, and anything else was our choice to do above and beyond), so I'm not sure that I would agree. The coursework was pretty close, with a few differences here and there. But perhaps there is some individual variation within programs.

Generally speaking, I wouldn't encourage research-disinterested folks to go into counseling psychology vs. clinical; they'll hit the same roadblocks in counseling psychology that they would in clinical. That said, I encourage folks to really consider whether the "hatred" of research is fear of the unknown rather than actual loathing of the research process.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

NeuroPsychosis

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
107
Reaction score
13
Speaking of Socal and debt not being an issue: have you considered starting an MA and then applying to Pepperdine? I would rather do that route than Alliant or LLU. Pepperdine (& in fact other local schools aka Fullerton, state schools) offers 1.5-2yr MA programs where you can actually start there before making a large decision that is ought to be bad. However, Pepperdine's PsyD is more competitive compoared to LLU or Alliant (& hence require a dissertation, so you have to let research slap you for a while) and they make it clear that getting admitted into their MA is no guarantee to their PsyD (aka separate app process).

Speaking of research, now do you completely hate research? or you just don't want to continue research as a career? If you seriously and completely hate research, then in my opinion, even a PsyD is a bad idea. Whether clinical or traditional, psychology is a field that is informed by scientific research. As a PsyD student, the overall goal of the program is to train you to become a consumer of research and that is important for informing clinical practice later on.

Some folks suggested counseling degrees (aka PhD) now, I don't know how they function compared to clinical psych. But in my opinion if you are seeking clinical/client only environment maybe with some teaching (e.g. at CC), an MFT or LCSW should make your dreams. Doctoral programs covey intense scientific rigor where knowledge of statistics and research design are critical.

Good luck !
 

msc545

Clinical Psychologist & Neuropsychologist
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
115
Reaction score
102
Loma Linda is heavily oriented toward Seventh Day Adventist theology. If you are OK with that, it's not a bad school. Alliant has been around for 50 years, and has graduated over half of the licensed Psychologists in California. It is also not a bad school.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Psycycle

Psychologist, ABPP
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2006
Messages
776
Reaction score
627
My university had both clinical and counseling programs, and there wasn't any difference in terms of research productivity (predissertation and dissertations were required from both programs, and anything else was our choice to do above and beyond), so I'm not sure that I would agree. The coursework was pretty close, with a few differences here and there. But perhaps there is some individual variation within programs.

Generally speaking, I wouldn't encourage research-disinterested folks to go into counseling psychology vs. clinical; they'll hit the same roadblocks in counseling psychology that they would in clinical. That said, I encourage folks to really consider whether the "hatred" of research is fear of the unknown rather than actual loathing of the research process.
Yes, I would caution against advising people to go to counseling psychology to do less research. It definitely wasn't the case at my university. And agreed on the fear of the unknown. "Research" can sound intimidating but in reality be quite interesting and dare I say... fun. I have a full clinical/supervisory job now with some program evaluation and I do miss it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Top