PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium vs. University of Denver PsyD

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I have been accepted to both of my top choices, the University of Denver and the PGSP-Stanford Consortium. I am staying up nights trying to figure this one out.

They both seem like very good programs with excellent faculty and I would love living in either city. Cost for both is about equal. I would love to hear from people in both programs about the pluses and minuses of each program.

I would like to know more about the cohorts in each program. During the interview I did not get a good impression of the DU cohort, but I am aware that I only talked to three students. I believe that the community of a school is important and would like to hear more about it from current and past students.

Also, I am wondering how important it is to consider the city a program is in. I am a Colorado native and have never lived outside the area. Part of the draw of the Consortium is the area, but I have no real information on how much that would matter once in school. If there is no time to do anything in the area I imagine it does not matter where the school.

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I would like to know more about the cohorts in each program. During the interview I did not get a good impression of the DU cohort, but I am aware that I only talked to three students.
It's interesting that you say that. I interviewed at DU (clinical PsyD) this year, and while the program sounded great on the surface, I left feeling 100% certain that I didn't want to go there. I still can't entirely say why that was; it was intuition/"gut feeling" telling me that I wouldn't be comfortable with the people in the program.

Part of the draw of the Consortium is the area, but I have no real information on how much that would matter once in school. If there is no time to do anything in the area I imagine it does not matter where the school.
The SF Bay Area is wonderful, but do check out the cost of living in the Palo Alto area before you make your decision. All of the areas/cities within commute distance are quite expensive, especially if you have a partner/family, pets, or just don't want roommates. Things are likely to have changed since I moved away from there (~5 years ago), but friends in the area tell me that it's still very expensive there.
 
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It's interesting that you say that. I interviewed at DU (clinical PsyD) this year, and while the program sounded great on the surface, I left feeling 100% certain that I didn't want to go there. I still can't entirely say why that was; it was intuition/"gut feeling" telling me that I wouldn't be comfortable with the people in the program.


I have heard this a few times. Can anyone else comment on their "gut feeling" during their interview at DU?:confused:
 
I have heard this a few times. Can anyone else comment on their "gut feeling" during their interview at DU?:confused:

I interviewed at DU too. I didn't get that strong reaction, but I know someone else who interviewed there who did, and I can see where it's coming from. One current student joked that you aren't allowed to make friends outside of the cohort. I think the program gives off a very close-knit vibe where you will be surrounded by your cohort/profs and everyone knows everything about everything about everyone. There may not be much room for personal space there?

That was my impression, anyway.
 
I interviewed at DU too. I didn't get that strong reaction, but I know someone else who interviewed there who did, and I can see where it's coming from. One current student joked that you aren't allowed to make friends outside of the cohort. I think the program gives off a very close-knit vibe where you will be surrounded by your cohort/profs and everyone knows everything about everything about everyone. There may not be much room for personal space there?

That was my impression, anyway.
Thanks for posting that, annel. That's an excellent description of one of the things that made me uncomfortable about the DU program. I've been struggling to put my feelings into words, and that captures it quite well. Interesting that the current student even joked about it like that... While I certainly expect and look forward to becoming close to my fellow students in grad school, I disliked that sense of forced intimacy; it's my choice to decide who/how much/how fast.
 
I am a first year in the Consortium. I didn't apply to Denver so I can't really offer a comparison, but I can tell you a bit about quality of life and cohort relationships in our program. Regarding QOL in the bay area, I will admit that it is expensive to live here, but there are plenty of affordable housing options near campus, particularly if you are willing to live 15-20 min away. There are also plenty of cheap coffee shops and restaurants, and since your classmates will be on a budget as well you can discover those places together. I lived in Atlanta before this, and I haven't noticed a significant difference in the amount of money I spend each month living here.

Our cohort model is, in my opinion, one of the strongest elements of our program. I am very close to all of my classmates, and we regularly socialize both as a group and one on one outside of class. I only knew one person in the area when I moved here, and I quickly felt at ease socially. Academically, I have found that I am constantly amazed by how much I learn from my classmates. We are all from really different professional, academic, and personal backgrounds and each have insight to offer. The atmosphere is very supportive and non-competitive; we all study together for exams and share notes, flashcards,etc. The cohorts above us are also friendly and supportive and often pass down study materials and advice on personal matters (restaurant and housing recs and other questions).

I hope this helps. Feel free to post again or PM me with additional questions.
 
Oops sorry I just realized I forgot to address your concern about making friends outside of the program. In our program, I really feel like that varies person to person. I've made several friends who are grad students in other disciplines or who work in the area. I've mostly met peope through clubs on campus, and I know several of my classmates have gotten involved with on campus cultural or athletic organizations as well. There are some people who have been living in the area for awhile and hang out mostly with non cohort friends, some who moved here knowing nobody who hang out primarily with cohort people, and some (like me) who do both pretty equally. There is definitely no pressure to make the cohort the center of your social life, but it's there for you if that's the experience you want.
 
I have been accepted to both of my top choices, the University of Denver and the PGSP-Stanford Consortium. I am staying up nights trying to figure this one out.

They both seem like very good programs with excellent faculty and I would love living in either city. Cost for both is about equal. I would love to hear from people in both programs about the pluses and minuses of each program.

I would like to know more about the cohorts in each program. During the interview I did not get a good impression of the DU cohort, but I am aware that I only talked to three students. I believe that the community of a school is important and would like to hear more about it from current and past students.

Also, I am wondering how important it is to consider the city a program is in. I am a Colorado native and have never lived outside the area. Part of the draw of the Consortium is the area, but I have no real information on how much that would matter once in school. If there is no time to do anything in the area I imagine it does not matter where the school.


Hi there!

I'm actually a first year student at the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium and would be very happy to fill you in on our cohort dynamic. My class is extremely cohesive, collaborative, and bright. We all seem to work very well together despite such diverse backgrounds and interests -- which, in fact, only adds to the engaging academic discourse. Most of us spend a great deal of time together outside of class as well -- yes, we enjoy each other's company that much :)

As far as location goes, I believe it's extremely important; you'll be living there for 4 years! Grad school isn't just about going to school, it's about growing and maturing. What drew me to the bay area is that it's one of the most diverse locations in the states (important considering our changing cultural landscape) and san francisco is only a short drive from palo alto. Many of my classmates live in SF, so for those of us who live on the peninsula we alway have places to crash if we decide to spend an evening up there.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask :)
 
Thank you everyone! :biglove: This is amazingly helpful. I wanted to also ask some of the current students of each program how much introspection is emphasized in the programs. I keep hearing contrasting views and would greatly appreciate a little insight into each program's ideas on this subject and if you feel this path has worked for you.
 
Hi! Thanks for the original posting; I am having the exact same dilemma! I also had the same impressions of cohort and cohesiveness of the schools.

Is there anyone currently enrolled in either program who may have some insight into the academic experience overall? I like the evidence based-curriculum at PGSP-Stanford but really appreciate the opportunity at DU to take classes across disciplines. Also, what are the opportunities like for practicum work in Denver since it is a smaller city?

Thanks again to everyone for such great insight and support!!!!
 
I am deciding between the PGSP-Stanford Consortium and a couple PsyD programs on the east coast, where I'm from. Are any of you from the east coast too? How difficult is it to make the move, stay in touch with east coasters, get home for holidays, etc.?

Also, if you are willing to have a roommate (or 2), how bad is the rent in Palo Alto? Do some PsyD students live together their first year or do most people find random roommates off of craigslist or something?

So many factors to consider!
 
I am deciding between the PGSP-Stanford Consortium and a couple PsyD programs on the east coast, where I'm from. Are any of you from the east coast too? How difficult is it to make the move, stay in touch with east coasters, get home for holidays, etc.?

I'm also from the east coast and strongly considering PGSP-Stanford. From what I've heard with friends moving to CA for school, it hasn't been a big concern at all staying tied to home or going back for holidays. I think if it's an appealing program, the geography shouldn't be a huge obstacle.
 
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Hi All!

I am thrilled to find this thread, as I am choosing between these two schools as well. I have to admit, I left the DU interview with that same "gut" feeling. I can't put my finger on it, but my impression of the people in the program made me feel a little uncertain. So...here is my dilemma. I live in SF now, but moved from CO a few years ago, and would ultimately love to be back there in the long run. Let's say I stay in CA for school and then want to move to CO when I'm done. Am I shooting myself in the foot because I will be making contacts in CA as opposed to doing the same in CO, when I want to live there? Do most people end up where they go to school? Any thoughts would be helpful! Thanks! And good luck to all making their decisions!!
 
Hi All!

I am thrilled to find this thread, as I am choosing between these two schools as well. I have to admit, I left the DU interview with that same "gut" feeling. I can't put my finger on it, but my impression of the people in the program made me feel a little uncertain. So...here is my dilemma. I live in SF now, but moved from CO a few years ago, and would ultimately love to be back there in the long run. Let's say I stay in CA for school and then want to move to CO when I'm done. Am I shooting myself in the foot because I will be making contacts in CA as opposed to doing the same in CO, when I want to live there? Do most people end up where they go to school? Any thoughts would be helpful! Thanks! And good luck to all making their decisions!!

Humm,
I am still confused about that gut feeling. I have heard from a couple people about this, but to tell you the truth most people keep referencing these two students in DU's current consortium. I keep thinking that the fact that these two go to this school is frustrating but but that each class makes its own consortium. I really liked quite a few of the people that I interviewed with at DU and I think I would do well with those students.

Also, I have talked a lot to professional psychologists about your exact concerns. First I am told it is almost impossible to become a psychologist in California (the market is just that saturated). Second, many people move after school but it is about 5x easier to start in an area when you have connections in that area. Plenty of people do it, but you have to be prepared for it to be a bit harder.
 
Humm,
I am still confused about that gut feeling. I have heard from a couple people about this, but to tell you the truth most people keep referencing these two students in DU's current consortium. I keep thinking that the fact that these two go to this school is frustrating but but that each class makes its own consortium. I really liked quite a few of the people that I interviewed with at DU and I think I would do well with those students.

Also, I have talked a lot to professional psychologists about your exact concerns. First I am told it is almost impossible to become a psychologist in California (the market is just that saturated). Second, many people move after school but it is about 5x easier to start in an area when you have connections in that area. Plenty of people do it, but you have to be prepared for it to be a bit harder.


Thanks for your reply. It's good to hear some honest feedback about the importance of grad school location. Unfortunately, it doesn't make my decision any easier :)
 
Second, many people move after school but it is about 5x easier to start in an area when you have connections in that area.

Just for the record, that ridiculous. Certain areas certainly are becoming saturated, the LA area and Marin County for example, but Cal is a HUGE state and there are lots of small towns, rural areas, underserved areas etc. The fact the Cal has a huge correctional population, hundreds of colleges and universities, a huge underserved immigrant population, but also has very wealthy and rather liberal population in general makes it a great place to be for the practice of psychology. Getting a predoc internship here is thr thing that is super-duper competitive. Lots of great training sites, Semel, UCSF, UCSD, Sf and Palo alto VAs, etc. Plus its nice weather...:laugh:
 
Just for the record, that ridiculous. Certain areas certainly are becoming saturated, the LA area and Marin County for example, but Cal is a HUGE state and there are lots of small towns, rural areas, underserved areas etc. The fact the Cal has a huge correctional population, hundreds of colleges and universities, a huge undeserved immigrant population, but has also has very wealthy and rather liberal population in general makes it a great place to be for the practice of psychology. Getting a predoc internship here is area that is super duper competitive. Lots of great trainign sites, Semel, UCSF, UCSD, Sf and Palo alto VAs, etc. Plus its nice weather...:laugh:

I admit that this is second hand knowledge, but I am just quoting back what was said to me during Palo Alto's Interview. They stated that they did not recommend for any of their students to apply for the internship or consider opening a practice in California. I was not planning on doing this so I did not press the issue, but they seem to believe it. :cool:
 
I think thats because the predoc internship process in CA is indeed super competitive, as I stated before. It draws top notch applicants from all areas of the country, and since many of the APA accredited sites are also research powerhouses (Palo Alto VA, UCSF, Semel), professional school applicants often stand little chance at some of them. So I can understand that they are wanting to keep there match rate up by dissuading students from getting their hopes up about interning in CA. But I cant really understand why they would dissuade their students from trying to work in CA after the fact though.....
 
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It's great that many of us are tossing around these same ideas! I am also trying to decide between these two programs. Did anyone else receive a fellowship offer from the Consortium? I still have to crunch the numbers and find out if this would really make it more affordable than DU.

My gut reaction from the DU interview was negative, and I had a very difficult time determining why that was. (Am I just responding to how crowded and hot the main meeting room was? etc..)
I went into the application process thinking DU would be my top choice, but I left the interview day very unsatisfied. I felt like we applicants were treated... differently at DU than at the Consortium. For example, I picked up that "pre-frosh" vibe at DU, whereas I didn't get that from people at the Consortium. It might simply have been the particular students who were on the DU panel the day I was there, but it felt to me as if they assumed we did not know anything about PsyD programs and hadn't done extensive research about what we were getting into. Which, clearly, we have. Is this way off-base? I realize that I DON'T have a frame of reference for the experience of being a PsyD student, but I still have some pride and appreciate being treated as an informed consumer of a program, not as an ignorant newbie.

It helps me to type this out so I can organize my thoughts, but my hope is to hear some feedback from DU students. I share the cost of living concerns about the Consortium that others have posted here, and I think my partner and I might feel more at home in Denver, but I can't shake my reservations about the program!
 
Hello!

So, hopefully I can address some of these questions for you as I am a 4th year PsyD student at the Consortium.

1. Location: I moved here from E. Coast myself and found the adjustment smooth and the lifestyle in CA to be great. I have been more than able to stay in touch with family and friends, have been back to visit often, and the long breaks your first year allow for a decent chunk of time for a longer stay.

As far as being DIScouraged from applying to CA Internship sites, I would not agree that this is the message we have received from our faculty and executive committee. Instead, we are given a very realistic picture, fully based on statistics and numbers, of how competitive it is in general to get an APA accredited internship in general, and also in California (and especially SF Bay Area) given the ratio of students who apply to CA sites as compared to actual # of slots. We are encouraged and supported in applying to CA sites, while simultaneously given the information that we greatly increase our overall chances of matching if we can apply outside of California- but this is purely a numbers thing. If you are not geographically constrained, you have more options, and therefore more possibility of matching!

All of this said, I will say that my class just completed the Internship Interview process. We had a 95% Match Rate, with about roughly 1/2 - 2/3 being placed IN California, and 1/4 of those who matched matched in the SF Bay Area.

I personally matched in the Bay Area, at my top choice site, and wanted to stay in SF despite being from the E. Coast. However, I was able to interview at various E. Coast sites as well- and was well-received- and do not feel like my training in CA would at all hinder my career should I want to move back East following graduation. Of course, there are obvious perks and advantages to building a practice and career in the area where you train, or go on internship or post-doc, but this is true for any grad program. Similarly, we have not received the message that we should not open a practice here- not sure where this idea came from. I have felt supported in making what I want happen- had it been to move back East, I feel confident that the faculty would have supported me in making this happen.

2. Cohort: I agree with the other students that this is one of the strengths of our program. We have a built-in support and friend network that goes through everything with you. That said, it is not imposed on you that you MUST be friends with each member of your cohort, or hang out with each other 24/7. I have good friends from my cohort, as well as other years' cohorts, but also have a good social network outside of the program.

3. Cost of Living: Yes, it is high! Painful as spending loan money can be, the SF bay area has treated me very well and I feel is money that I personally have not minded spending. The investment in my future for me includes the cost of tuition for my professional career, but it also includes being exposed to the diversity of experiences afforded because of California and SF. Roommates, living in nearby towns (e.g. Mountain View, Redwood City, San Mateo), and finding cheap options for enjoying your spare time all help to offset the cost of living in the area.

Hope this has helped!! Best of luck to all in making decisions that are the best fit for you- feel free to let me know if I can answer any other questions.



I admit that this is second hand knowledge, but I am just quoting back what was said to me during Palo Alto's Interview. They stated that they did not recommend for any of their students to apply for the internship or consider opening a practice in California. I was not planning on doing this so I did not press the issue, but they seem to believe it. :cool:
 
I admit that this is second hand knowledge, but I am just quoting back what was said to me during Palo Alto's Interview. They stated that they did not recommend for any of their students to apply for the internship or consider opening a practice in California. I was not planning on doing this so I did not press the issue, but they seem to believe it. :cool:

I am currently a fourth year student at the PGSP-Stanford Consortium Program and after reading this I felt it was really important that I clear this up! Our program DOES NOT tell students to not apply to internships in California or the Bay Area. This is just NOT TRUE! For my class, who has just gone through the matching processing, we had about half of our class match at sites in California. Due to the competitive nature of internships in California, and of sites in the Bay Area in particular, we are encouraged to apply to sites outside of the Bay Area (LA, San Diego). But in no way are we told that we cannot apply to sites in California.

Additionally, we have a lot of students that return to the Bay Area for post-doc (UCSF, Palo Alto VA, San Francisco VA, Kaiser, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford CAPS, San Jose State Caps, etc. . .).

Hope this helps clear up some of the confusion about internship and our program!
 
I admit that this is second hand knowledge, but I am just quoting back what was said to me during Palo Alto's Interview. They stated that they did not recommend for any of their students to apply for the internship or consider opening a practice in California. I was not planning on doing this so I did not press the issue, but they seem to believe it. :cool:

Hi Everyone---

I am a 3rd year PGSP-Stanford PsyD. consortium student. I would like to concur with my fellow consortium student's messages (they probably know a bit more than me as they are a year wiser). But, I would like to address three issues:

1. Regarding internship and private practice: a.) Our program highly stresses the importance of obtaining an APA internship our 5th year. However, there aren't enough APA sites as there are applicants, thus students who geographically restrict their searches and applications sometimes have more difficulty matching than other students. This rule generally applies to all PsyD programs. Thus, we are encouraged, that IF we want to obtain an APA internship site, to apply all over the US. However, if we are sure we want to stay in CA there is the option to apply to APPIC or KPIC. b.) I haven't heard anything from faculty or students regarding private practice difficulties. To my knowledge we have several alumni from our program who are currently working on post-docs or have employment at Berkley, Palo Alto VA, Stanford, SFVA and many other bay area locations. Typically, private practice occurs a few years later after you have established your specialty in the field and is usually aided by your prior employment or post-doc experiences.

2. Practicum: One of the reasons I came to this program was the wide variety and range of practicum options that are available to us as trainees. We have 5 VA hospitals (one of which is noticed as the leading psychology training site in the US), several community based sites, university counseling centers, LGBT-Q specialty clinics, jail psychiatric services, and many more. Sites for training is not a problem out here and its a great way to network!

3. FOR YOU EAST COAST FANS: I am originally from the east coast and have been out here in Palo Alto/SF for 7 years. I am happy to talk to you if you have questions about the "commute" home or if you are interested in my story in applying to grad schools, why I chose the consortium, and my future plans.
 
Just a general comment about completing internship out of state and/or in a place where you do not plan on practicing.....it is okay, you can still find a job! I had the luxury of not having a set place where I want to live (yet), so I tried to find the best "fit" for my goals, with the understanding that I'd most likely be moving again. I still landed interviews at top places around the country (CA was an option, but I nixed it from my final list). The applicant's background matters more than their geographic location.

California is a competitive place, no doubt. Many students leave CA to go on internship, and then go back for post-doc. Many students are from different areas and secure internships in CA...and never leave. Networking is important, but completing an internship outside of the state will not limit you from finding a placement back in the state*.

*This assumes that you find an APA-acred. internship site in another state, and that your training matches up with what you want to do if/when you relocate back to CA.

I moved to a place in the middle of the country, which as an East Coaster I only knew as "those states you fly over to get from the East Coast to the West Coast". When I started to look for positions after internship I didn't run into a problem of not being "a local". Networking for positions is now a national thing, and with the advent of listservs....it makes finding opportunities MUCH easier. I made more meaningful connections at conferences than I did being local.

The only time I think securing a position will be a problem will be if you are looking for an informal post-doc or job, outside of a hospital, counseling center, or medical facility. The private practice jobs and some of the smaller centers (rehab, halfway houses, some substance abuse places, etc) prefer "locals" because it is less hassle to recruit. In a saturated market some of those places won't even consider an out of state person because it just further complicates things when you consider relocation, licensing, etc.

Overall you should be fine, but because we are talking about CA...there will be more competition, and you'll have to stick out. My friends who landed in CA for internship and/or post-doc were all accomplished grad students with presentations, publications, and solid training. The Pal Alto VA (great place to work, or so I'm told), UCLA, Stanford, and related look nationally for their positions. If you are a competitive applicant, it won't matter if you are from the SF Bay area or the Tampa Bay area. Two of my three friends were from out of state, and the third secured a position after interning in the area.
 
I am a first year student in the Consortium; there are a lot of great questions on this thread, and I'll try to address them all! I can't really offer any comparisons with Denver's program because I didn't apply there and don't know much about it. Please feel free to PM me if you have additional questions or need clarification.

1. Someone asked about introspection and how much it is emphasized in the Consortium. I think that the Consortium faculty and clinical supervisors really encourage us to get to know ourselves and to become aware of the biases and values that may impact our clinical work. We are very much encouraged to identify areas in which we may need to improve in order to become effective clinicians. I am not sure if this answers your question or if you were referring to introspection in a different context.... if I didn't answer it, let me know!

2. The academic experience here has been incredible. I love the structure of the curriculum because it allows us to get a strong foundation for generalist practice. I believe that even to be a specialist, we need to know a bit of everything because it's so rare to see patients with only one presenting problem. While I think the idea of taking cross disciplinary classes is interesting, I did a great deal of that in undergrad and really wanted to focus my learning more on clinical psych in grad school. The professors are really excited to be teaching in our program and are great resources if you are interested in a more esoteric or tangential topic. I have heard people say they've requested additional reading resources on topics they were interested in that aren't covered in our curriculum.

3. I am a native Californian but I went to college on the east coast, so most of my friends live in the northeast. I have not found it difficult to keep in touch at all, and I have traveled back east twice since school started to see friends and family. It's not difficult to get home for holidays since school breaks are structured to accommodate holidays. Several people in my cohort have family and/or long distance relationships on the east coast, and they travel back and forth with relative ease.

4. Many PsyD students live together; in my cohort, there are 6 students who live with other people in the program. We have a roommate matching system and everyone who wanted a roommate in the program got one. Rent is not that bad in the bay area, especially if you are willing to drive an extra 5-10 minutes to campus (instead of living right near campus in palo alto) and you are willing to have a roommate. Most people pay between 800-1000 for 1/2 of a 2 bedroom, but some pay more or less than that depending on the area and the amenities offered in the building. I have heard of people renting rooms in houses for as little as 400/month with utilities included.

5. With regard to going to school somewhere other than you want to practice, I don't think it's much of an issue. Since you can go anywhere in the country for internship and postdoc, and that is where you make a lot of your professional connections, I don't think where you go to grad school is going to severely impact your job opportunities. I think it's more important to choose a school, internship, and postdoc with appropriate accreditation and a strong reputation and to allow those credentials to get your foot in the door.

6. Finally, it is patently untrue that the Consortium discourages students form applying to internships or practicing in the Bay Area. The reality is that there are not that many internship slots up here, and there is a lot of competition. The program wants everyone to have a successful internship experience, and thus encourages people to consider all of their options. Many people from our program have successfully matched in the Bay Area and all over California, and if you want to apply for internships in state you won't be discouraged from doing so. I just went to an alumni panel with several alums of our program, all of whom were practicing successfully in the Bay Area. We are in no way discouraged from completing postdocs or getting job in this area, and many of our grads do decide to stay here.
 
My gut reaction from the DU interview was negative, and I had a very difficult time determining why that was. (Am I just responding to how crowded and hot the main meeting room was? etc..)
I went into the application process thinking DU would be my top choice, but I left the interview day very unsatisfied. I felt like we applicants were treated... differently at DU than at the Consortium. For example, I picked up that "pre-frosh" vibe at DU, whereas I didn't get that from people at the Consortium. It might simply have been the particular students who were on the DU panel the day I was there, but it felt to me as if they assumed we did not know anything about PsyD programs and hadn't done extensive research about what we were getting into. Which, clearly, we have. Is this way off-base? I realize that I DON'T have a frame of reference for the experience of being a PsyD student, but I still have some pride and appreciate being treated as an informed consumer of a program, not as an ignorant newbie.

Your perspective is so interesting to me, and makes a lot of sense. I actually think I liked the program for the reason you are saying because in a way I would love to go back to college, and DU and the way we were treated on the interview day very much reminded me of that. But grad school isn't college, is it?

And yes, I got a pretty bad taste of the school from one specific current student at DU who was involved in the whole interview day. He did a great job of trying to intimidate all of us/treat us like we didn't know anything about the program.

Your comment about how hot and crowded the room was made me think. We were apparently being evaluated throughout the entire day(our interactions with students, other interviewees, professors) so that little room might have been uncomfortable for that reason as well...

Glad to hear other people's take!
 
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CaliPsych, thanks for answering these questions so thoughtfully! It really helps to have some feedback as I'm trying to make such a big life decision. Besides being expensive, I have heard nothing but great things about the Consortium. I live in the Bay Area, and every time it comes up, I feel like someone has something nice to say about it.

I also find it interesting that so many people on the site had the same reaction to DU's interview. Also..where are all the current DU students? It seems weird that no one has come on here to stick up for their school!

Anyway, good luck everyone! Look forward to being in a future cohort with some of you:D
 
I also find it interesting that so many people on the site had the same reaction to DU's interview. Also..where are all the current DU students? It seems weird that no one has come on here to stick up for their school!

I am making a similar choice, but I have to stand up for DU here. Just because they are not responding to this post does not mean there is anything wrong with the school. I have been following this post for a while and when I did not see any responses from DU students I emailed the ones who were at my interview. They were all very helpful and extremely friendly. After looking over this site I believe there are quite a few Consortium students on here and not a lot of DU students but I don't believe that says anything about the program in itself.

As a person with similar concerns about what it means to be in a cohort for the next 4-5 years, I made a point of asking many current DU PsyD students about their experience. I am lucky enough to live in the area and have a few friends of friends plus I heard a lot about the social gatherings after the interviews. They all seem to feel that it is a great experience with good fellowship and bonding. I wish some were here to talk but I would remind everyone that at most interviews you are going to met a very small minority of the current students, and not necessarily an accurate representation.
 
I am all for having a nice environment, but I really think you guys are making too much out of the cohort/social aspect here.

I am not at either program, and maybe people who attend my program are a different type, but we simply dont have time for much of this stuff.... and we never really did. Like I said, maybe we are differnt type, but there were only 12 of us, 5-6 of us were married, the others had relationships, a few had kids, none of us lived together, and while we of course became friends, we each maintained our own lives. I think we were an older cohort too (lots of late 20s), so it possible much of this just wasn't an issue for us. I'm not sure I would really factor this social perception into your decision to attend, as its likely not as bad as it sounds. After your 1st 2 years, you wont be seeing your classmates much anyway unless you choose too.
 
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I am making a similar choice, but I have to stand up for DU here. Just because they are not responding to this post does not mean there is anything wrong with the school. I have been following this post for a while and when I did not see any responses from DU students I emailed the ones who were at my interview. They were all very helpful and extremely friendly. After looking over this site I believe there are quite a few Consortium students on here and not a lot of DU students but I don't believe that says anything about the program in itself.

As a person with similar concerns about what it means to be in a cohort for the next 4-5 years, I made a point of asking many current DU PsyD students about their experience. I am lucky enough to live in the area and have a few friends of friends plus I heard a lot about the social gatherings after the interviews. They all seem to feel that it is a great experience with good fellowship and bonding. I wish some were here to talk but I would remind everyone that at most interviews you are going to met a very small minority of the current students, and not necessarily an accurate representation.


I definitely agree with you! Didn't mean to sound like I was saying anything against DU just because no one has responded on this forum. We are all getting such good feedback from current consortium students, it is a shame that we haven't been able to get that from current DU students. I too have emailed one DU student in particular who has been very friendly, helpful, and supportive. So again, didn't mean to come off as saying anything against DU students as much as saying it's funny that we haven't heard a response...and also too bad. It would be great to hear both sides!
 
I am all for having a nice environment, but I really think yoiu guys are making too much out of the cohort/social aspect here.

I am not at either program, and maybe people who attend my program are a different type, but we simply dont have time for much of this stuff.... and we never really did. Like I said, maybe we are differnt type, but there were only 12 of us, 5-6 of us were married, the others had relationships, a few had kids, none of us lived together, and while we of course became friends, we each maintained our own lives. I think we were an older cohort too (lots of late 20s), so it possible much of this just wasn't an issue for us.


Valid point

On that note I was hoping to ask the Consortium students about a few concerns I have with the school. I am interested in the Consortium but I am worried about an education that does not allow for electives. Although I agree that having all your classes planned and figured out for you could be helpful I have very specific areas of interest and at this point in my schooling I feel that we should become more focused when we can. I also don't know how I will be competitive in my area of interests without being able to focus on it.

A big part of me is concerned about paying so much for an education and not being able to receive the information I need.
 
I have to disagree with the poster who felt that the social aspect of both programs was not important. I think for those who are older and/or in long term, committed relationships, the social life within the cohort may not be as important. But the majority of people in my cohort are in their 20s and moved to the area not knowing anyone. I think the social element has definitely helped me adjust to living in the Bay Area, and our cohesiveness has positively impacted both my academic and personal development. I think that the social environment within a cohort can greatly impact adjustment to grad school and ongoing professional and personal development, and thus I think it should be a significant factor in choosing a program.

As for the question about electives, I have said before on these forums that I believe the structure of our curriculum is one of the greatest strengths of the Consortium. I think it is important to specialize, but I also believe that psychologists must have a strong generalist background in order to practice effectively. The best analogy I know of (which one of our program directors initially shared with me) is if you went to see an internist who specialized in diabetes, you wouldn't want them just to know about diabetes. They'd have to know general medicine in order to understand potential complications, medication side effects, etc. I am interested in behavioral medicine, but my patients may also have comorbid psychiatric diagnoses that I need to understand and treat. I am utilizing my research position to gain expertise in my area of interest, and I will likely later select a practicum that is focused on behavioral medicine. I am taking advantage of the opportunities to learn about other areas both in class and in practica, however, so that I can become a well-rounded clinician. I think that our curriculum is designed to give you a broad base of knowledge, with opportunities to specialize and develop areas of interest outside of class.
 
I have to disagree with the poster who felt that the social aspect of both programs was not important. I think for those who are older and/or in long term, committed relationships, the social life within the cohort may not be as important. But the majority of people in my cohort are in their 20s and moved to the area not knowing anyone. I think the social element has definitely helped me adjust to living in the Bay Area, and our cohesiveness has positively impacted both my academic and personal development. I think that the social environment within a cohort can greatly impact adjustment to grad school and ongoing professional and personal development, and thus I think it should be a significant factor in choosing a program.

I think social cohesiveness is cohort-specific. The social feel you got about a program on interview day, while informative, might not necessarily pre-determine what you are going to get if you choose to go there. Either way, it should be a fairly important factor to consider.
 
For all people with questions about DU there seem to be some people with answers here http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=712000

And CaliPsych, although I agree that the cohort can be important I have also come to the conclusion that each year probably makes its own cohort and if I end up and DU or the Consortium I think I would be happy to be in a cohort with any of the people who are on this thread! I am no longer worried that one school might have a better cohort then the other or that this is a matter of life and death for the next four to five years.
 
I have decided on PGSP-Stanford, but part of the reason I was having difficulty deciding was the caliber of the incoming DU cohort. I had the opportunity to meet at least 8 individuals ( who I have kept in touch with from different interview days) who are accepted and going to DU in the fall! They are all extremely bright, dedicated, social, down-to-earth and interesting people who I really wish I could call my future class-mates. I live in Denver and I plan on visiting them when I come back to Colorado next year.

If anyone is thinking of not attending DU because of the incoming cohort, rest assured, your classmates are exceptional people.:love:

Thank you to everyone for your advice on this forum; it had really helped me put into perspective what was important to me as a future psychologist. What a hard decision! And if you have decided on PGSP-Stanford next fall PM me: I know lots of incoming people at DU but no one at the consortium!
 
Hello,

I would really appreciate any information someone may have of the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. A friend of mine looked into the program and told me it was mainly if you wanted to work with children? it this true...?
 
I'm curious why nobody has mentioned the tuition cost or funding as a factor in deciding between the two schools. PGSP has a quarter system so I think you will be paying even more so for your education than other PsyD schools. Plus, the cost of living is way higher than colorado. Do you guys have some funding in place or family help? I wouldn't recommend anything over 80K in loans as a psychologist given future income. We are not MDs. Taking out 150K plus in loans is going to be a huge burden.
 
I am all for having a nice environment, but I really think you guys are making too much out of the cohort/social aspect here.

I am not at either program, and maybe people who attend my program are a different type, but we simply dont have time for much of this stuff.... and we never really did. Like I said, maybe we are differnt type, but there were only 12 of us, 5-6 of us were married, the others had relationships, a few had kids, none of us lived together, and while we of course became friends, we each maintained our own lives. I think we were an older cohort too (lots of late 20s), so it possible much of this just wasn't an issue for us. I'm not sure I would really factor this social perception into your decision to attend, as its likely not as bad as it sounds. After your 1st 2 years, you wont be seeing your classmates much anyway unless you choose too.

I agree with Erg here. The social aspect is only one factor. I can attest to the fact that after your first year, you won't see your classmates much because you will be working at different practicums 2-3 days a week. Plus, its important to have friends outside your program and you will meet people from other programs at practicum. The people that helped me the most through graduate school were students that were 1 to 2 years ahead of me.

I would recommend taking time and comparing programs on a) APA internship match rate and post-doc placements; b) reputation of the program; c) funding and cost. I wouldn't take out more than 85K in loans, ideally less. Trust me, i know psychologists who took out more than 100K in loans and it isn't rosy. Apa internship match rates should be online and you should be able to get information from the program on the percentage of people who got jobs and post-docs following graduation. My program secretary has this information each year and keeps a record for APA. Make sure you are getting a good return on your investment.

I thought people had to notify by April 15???

Good Luck.
 
If anyone who knows much or has an opinion about PGSP wants to share it, I'm interested in hearing it. It seems to have pretty good matching rates, but it's much more expensive than other PsyD programs & I don't know why. Also its admissions standards don't appear to be higher than other local schools so I'm not sure if it provides a better education.

I attended an open house & they talked heavily about research, but it was a customized kind of research rather than the more typical research you find at larger Universities. I wasn't sure what to make of it. I don't know if this would be a decent investment or a better one than other local PsyD options.
 
Customized type of research?

They offer a PhD, but I think that because it's an independent professional school rather than a research institution (with a full time faculty seeking grants, setting up their own research etc.), the kind of research students do is different than if they were graduate phd students. You don't necessarily work in a lab under any particular professor's guidance-I don't think. I believe they called them 'projects.' I can't describe it better than that but I was hoping someone else could.

It didn't seem like a very credible research environment, but their matching #'s are better than other psyd programs in the area.
 
The PhD program at PGSP and PsyD program (PGSP-Stanford) are actually entirely different entities. As someone who works closely with students in both programs, both the clinical and research training are much stronger in the PsyD program. It is not mentor-model, but the PsyD program has excellent connections with all the labs in the Stanford Psychiatry department (half the classes are taught by Stanford faculty), so more times than not, if someone's work in the Stanford Psychiatry dept interests you -- you can work with them. All the students I know who go or have gone there (10+ people) have been extremely satisfied with their education and opportunities provided to them. At the same time, if you want to exclusively be a researcher, neither the PhD nor PsyD programs at PGSP are really a good fit for you. Research opportunities exist, but neither program specializes in research training.

The cost, however, is prohibitive. I think it's gotta be the most expensive PsyD program in the country. I can't tell you if it's "worth it" because only you can answer that, but in my opinion, PGSP-Stanford's PsyD program is the way to go if you have to take out loans for a clinical psychology program in the Bay Area.


They offer a PhD, but I think that because it's an independent professional school rather than a research institution (with a full time faculty seeking grants, setting up their own research etc.), the kind of research students do is different than if they were graduate phd students. You don't necessarily work in a lab under any particular professor's guidance-I don't think. I believe they called them 'projects.' I can't describe it better than that but I was hoping someone else could.

It didn't seem like a very credible research environment, but their matching #'s are better than other psyd programs in the area.
 
The PhD program at PGSP and PsyD program (PGSP-Stanford) are actually entirely different entities. As someone who works closely with students in both programs, both the clinical and research training are much stronger in the PsyD program. It is not mentor-model, but the PsyD program has excellent connections with all the labs in the Stanford Psychiatry department (half the classes are taught by Stanford faculty), so more times than not, if someone's work in the Stanford Psychiatry dept interests you -- you can work with them. All the students I know who go or have gone there (10+ people) have been extremely satisfied with their education and opportunities provided to them. At the same time, if you want to exclusively be a researcher, neither the PhD nor PsyD programs at PGSP are really a good fit for you. Research opportunities exist, but neither program specializes in research training.

The cost, however, is prohibitive. I think it's gotta be the most expensive PsyD program in the country. I can't tell you if it's "worth it" because only you can answer that, but in my opinion, PGSP-Stanford's PsyD program is the way to go if you have to take out loans for a clinical psychology program in the Bay Area.

I thought a PhD program specializes in research training by definition (with clinical PhD programs emphasizing research & clinical work as equally important). I assumed that would apply to the clinical PhD program at PGSP. Is that not the case? Are you on the faculty here?
 
When PGSP/Pal Alto University Psy.D. was pursuing APA-acred, they really leaned on their affiliation with Stanford for credibility and access to top-notch training sites. Since being APA-acred. in 2008(?) they have been able to develop a pretty decent reputation because of some well know faculty members and continued access to very good practica sites. I believe the Ph.D. was already APA-acred, though I'll defer to someone more familiar with that particular program.

I think the tricky thing about PGSP/Pal Alto U is the cost (ridiculous tuition, particularly when you consider the cost of living in/around Pal Alto, CA) and the variance in mentorship. I have been told that you can get solid training via places like the Pal Alto VA, but you also may land somewhere that is not nearly as good. There are also training differences between the Psy.D. and Ph.D., though I don't know the particulars. The match rates also differ, with the Psy.D. programming matching a slightly higher rate for APA-acred. internship sites.
 
They have an association with stanford which builds in access to faculty that other professional schools in the area don't have automatic access to. Networking is the name of the game.

I believe you were the one who didn't like PsyD programs all that much? Do you think more highly of this one because of its connections? It seems a steep price to pay to access them.
 
Thought this would be a good thread to bump for 2013.

I'm interested in both these schools.
-PGSP-Stanford PsyD supposedly received 100% APA match rate in phase I for 2013, verses their PhD had an 85%.
-DU hasn't released their match rates yet, but they think they will be on track from previous years. They also have discussed reducing cohort sizes for this upcoming admission cycle, which is a positive.

I'm interested in learning more about these programs, specifically Palo Alto U PhD as I couldn't find much information besides that long thread on the front page.

Obviously I understand the high cost of attendance for these 3 programs.
Some benefits of DU being not a FSPS, is they only charge tuition for credits you actually take. Therefore, while doing doctoral paper, extra practicums, etc, you just pay university fees vs. Palo Alto which charges flat rates each year, making it much more expensive in the long run.

Just wanted to get thoughts from current and prospective students and also the knowledgable community of SDN.

Thanks!
 
I just interviewed at DU yesterday and I fell MORE in love with the program! The faculty is so amazing and you're really able to create your own track which I thought was amazing!
 
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