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M.A. Clinical vs. General? & more

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by goldenflash, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. goldenflash

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    I read one thread on this already that was extremely helpful, but I have a few different questions to pose -

    I have my B.A. in Psych, & while I did pretty well (wrote an undergrad thesis that's in the process of getting published, graduated with departmental honors, have three-ish years research background), my gpa was low for a PhD applicant (3.21 overall, 3.32 in major) so I didn't even try getting into any PhD programs & am taking time off from school to get my ducks in a row. Given that I don't have the best gpa, it was advised that I try going into a Masters program then apply to PhD wherever (I know that credits may not transfer, most states don't have licensure, etc.). I'd mostly be going to prove I'm capable of grad work, not to amp my research background (although that'd be a plus).

    Questions:

    1) I want to go into Clinical Psych for a PhD. Given this, should I strictly look for MA/MS in Clinical, or would General also be acceptable? Some of the MA programs in General Psych don't sound bad, from what I've found (examples: I like that SUNY Buffalo and The New School have heavy research tracks), but I wasn't sure if it would put me at a disadvantage.

    2) If I do an MA wherever, should I be looking at their faculty for similar research interests, or is that more of a PhD thing?

    3) Are Masters programs extremely difficult to get into? I have a list of 11 right now that I'm gradually narrowing down (both Clinical & General), but I wasn't sure how many I need to be applying to. I'm trying to go with "better" schools who have good rankings for their Clinical PhD programs in the hopes I'll get some of that same quality of education.

    4) Does the prestige of a school matter when applying from a Masters to a PhD for Clinical? (example: I want to apply for Columbia's MA program, partially because I'd love to say I went there & I'm assuming they have a great faculty, but another post said they're easier to get into so I wasn't sure if when applying to a PhD somewhere it could hurt my application)

    5) What exactly is a "terminal" program? & is this a better option than trying to go to separate schools for a MA/MS and PhD?

    6) Any school suggestions? I'm looking in Ohio & Massachusetts with potential for NY, IN, or other New England states.

    Thank you for the help!! Anything is greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. Stroop

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    I've lurked on this forum for awhile and I'm gonna take a shot at answering your questions.


    1) I believe that either would be acceptable. The point you are trying to convey to future phd programs is that you are capable of doing graduate level work (as you mentioned) and more research is never a bad thing to have. I know that clinical phd schools will most likely not accept any transfer credits from a master's level program. So, I do not think that having a masters in general psychology will hurt you.

    2) I am not really sure. I would think that similar research interests would be beneficial to both you and the professors, but it might not be as important as it is in a phd program. Sorry I am not sure.

    3) From what I have heard Master's programs are pretty easy to get into. I think you would definitely get into most of the programs, as they are not as competitive as phd programs. I would still apply to a range of schools though just to be safe.

    4) I have heard that the prestige is not what's important. It is how good you think the program and faculty are. If you think columbia has a great program then apply, but don't do it just for the name alone. I don't think that going to any master's program would hurt when applying to a phd program. Something to consider is funding. Master's programs generally have less funding than phd programs (all of which give you a decent monthly stipend). Although, there are master's level programs that have funding.I know that Ga state, Augusta state, and Ga southern will all give you a stipend and tuition remission (guess what state i'm in :laugh:).

    5) A terminal program is a program that is designed to prepare you for licensure as a licensed professional counselor (or licensed mental health counselor- it depends on the state). By a better option do you mean stopping at the master's level and practicing therapy as an lpc? or do you mean you do a terminal program and then go on to the phd? For the first, I have heard that if you only want to do therapy it is not a bad option to consider. As for the second, I think that it is the same as any master's degree in psychology (as long as you take the thesis track).

    6) Sorry, I haven't looked for master's programs outside my state (in state tuition is good haha). When I looked I used the graduate study in psychology book, which lists most programs in psychology. I also used wikipedia to look up the colleges in the states I considered going to school in and went to all of the college's websites and looked to see what programs they had. It took a while but I found every program in psychology that was offered.

    I hope I helped and good luck!

    -Stroop
     
  4. Passionista

    2+ Year Member

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    Hope my information helped!
     
  5. Treatments

    Removed

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    very nice information,
    Thanks for sharing this helpful information.
     

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