Prestige - how important is it?

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UhOh

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How important is the prestige of Clinical or Counseling PhD programs for students?
 

getitordietryin

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How important is the prestige of Clinical or Counseling PhD programs for students?

Someone answered this in another thread. I would say that you have to feel good about it personally. It does not matter what other people (peers) think. Of course, your program should not be a diploma mill but if it isn't notoriously known, it's ok. The school you select should have something special about it that you can mention, discuss and feel proud of. It may not be a "name brand" school but you make the most of your degree. I have seen people from less prestigious schools go on to do great and wonderful things. You should always aim high and shoot for the best, but realistically, everyone will not get into Columbia, Harvard, Cornell and NYU. My Masters in Counseling program was Fordham U. in NYC, a top tier school and I loved it. The doctorate that I have been accepted to is less prestigious, but I have done this for many reasons. However, I intend to make the best of my experience and shine.You may want to look at resumes and CV's of people that have graduated from certain programs that interest you and see where they are professionally. There are people from the school that I will enroll in that have gone on to train Psychiatrists at NYU and open up fantastic community agencies. Do your homework and Google the program, degree type and the word CV or resume. You will then find out what folks have done after graduation and the opportunities that their degree has afforded them.
 

arsesta

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What do you mean by prestige exactly? The ranking of ugrad programs (US news) is very different from the ranking/caliber of psychology grad programs. So for example, Columbia is a top tier, ivy school, and its psychology program (in social, dev, cog) is regarded highly. However, Teachers College (affiliated with Columbia)'s PhD programs are meh (Counseling is much better). Many people choose to go to TC for their Masters, and they don't get anything out of it (except 50K+ in debt!). Another example is Penn State for ugrad is OK/decent, but Penn State's clincial psych Phd prog is super competitive and well respected in the field (for research at least).

re: getitordietryin: Fordham's a good school (well recognized regionally), but the counseling PhD program can do better (not so stellar APA-accredited internship match rates) and I'm sorry and I mean no disrespect, but the Masters in Counseling Program isn't very strong at all (I've had personal experiences w/ classes in the prog). Like many MA in Csling programs, it's to make money for the school and after you come out, it's hard to find a job (unless you're bilingual) and get supervised hours for licencing. I don't think NYC is as friendly as the Bay area for MFTs/MA in Csling folks. The only saving grace for the program is Dr. Ponterotto who is an amazing professor!!!! However, the PhD program in Clinical Psych is very solid with great MATCH rates, solid rep/training, and competitive admission rates. So even within the same university, you can have programs with different reputations and varying quality of training.
 

getitordietryin

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What do you mean by prestige exactly? The ranking of ugrad programs (US news) is very different from the ranking/caliber of psychology grad programs. So for example, Columbia is a top tier, ivy school, and its psychology program (in social, dev, cog) is regarded highly. However, Teachers College (affiliated with Columbia)'s PhD programs are meh (Counseling is much better). Many people choose to go to TC for their Masters, and they don't get anything out of it (except 50K+ in debt!). Another example is Penn State for ugrad is OK/decent, but Penn State's clincial psych Phd prog is super competitive and well respected in the field (for research at least).

re: getitordietryin: Fordham's a good school (well recognized regionally), but the counseling PhD program can do better (not so stellar APA-accredited internship match rates) and I'm sorry and I mean no disrespect, but the Masters in Counseling Program isn't very strong at all (I've had personal experiences w/ classes in the prog). Like many MA in Csling programs, it's to make money for the school and after you come out, it's hard to find a job (unless you're bilingual) and get supervised hours for licencing. I don't think NYC is as friendly as the Bay area for MFTs/MA in Csling folks. The only saving grace for the program is Dr. Ponterotto who is an amazing professor!!!! However, the PhD program in Clinical Psych is very solid with great MATCH rates, solid rep/training, and competitive admission rates. So even within the same university, you can have programs with different reputations and varying quality of training.

I have already finished the MS.Ed in Counseling many years ago and I enjoyed myself and yes, I am efficient in Spanish as a second language. I am now on my way to a doctorate and have done quite well in education and as a school counselor. I am certified and fully competent, the intent in attending Fordham was not for mental health purposes. All of the professors that I had at Fordham GSE were fantastic and not just Ponterotto. His wife, Dr. Grieger is an outstanding professor as well. Do you like the clinical psych program at Fordham? I did not want a research based Ph.D. I am truly excited for you!
 
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FuturePhD2

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How important is the prestige of Clinical or Counseling PhD programs for students?

If you want to go into academic research, then I would say the relative prestige and respect within the field of your mentor is more important than the program as a whole. This gives you networking connections you may not have otherwise and if your mentor has the reputation for producing good students from their lab it will be easier to secure an internship and postdoc that leads to academic research.
 

getitordietryin

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If you want to go into academic research, then I would say the relative prestige and respect within the field of your mentor is more important than the program as a whole. This gives you networking connections you may not have otherwise and if your mentor has the reputation for producing good students from their lab it will be easier to secure an internship and postdoc that leads to academic research.

Excellent answer!! Thanks!:thumbup:
 

IT514

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I would say that the prestige of the program matters much less than having a mentor who is well connected in the field. I go to a relatively less prestigious progam, but my mentor is very well connected in the field, thus our internship match rates are just as good, if not better than those of more prestigious programs. We also tend to do very well in terms of securing good post-doc placements.

To assess for "mentor prestige," I would look for their bios, CV if you can find it online, and pubs to find out what they do on a day to day basis and where they get their funding, if that matters to you. When looking at their pubs you can usually find out where they get their funding, who they work with outside of the university and within it. Co-authoring with other disciplines like neurology and pyschiatry is a good sign, depending on your area of interest.

I would also look to see if the faculty member is boarded in his/her specialty. This is just a gross indicator that they have been reviewed by their peers and most likely have good connections with the rest of the field. Boarding is not a make or break thing, though, as there are many great faculty out there who are not boarded.
 

CharmedDiamond

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Prestige is also relative in terms of location. People from other states have heard of some of the schools here in Chicago (Loyola, Northwestern, DePaul, U of Chicago are our big ones) but in Chicago you might hear different things about which of these schools turn out better researchers or practitioners. And connections are definitely important in the field for post-grad employment. However, you can also do that work at conferences by chatting up presenters with similar interests to build your own network.
 
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