Recommended prerequisite courses for entrance to doctoral psychology program

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by js1221, Jun 1, 2012.

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  1. js1221


    Mar 18, 2012
    I am wondering whether and which courses I have taken in my master's in rehabilitation & community counseling program (CACREP/CORE accredited) would be considered as acceptable prerequisite requirements for a doctoral program in clinical psychology?

    Below is a list of courses that through exploration I have come to understand are the main courses that psych doc programs would like to see applicants have completed:

    Most important:
    Experimental Methods/Research Design
    Lab Course
    Abnormal Psychology
    Developmental Psychology/Child Development
    Personality Psychology

    Other Important Courses
    Cognitive Psychology
    History of Psychology
    Social Psychology
    Psychological Testing and Measurement
    Psychology of Learning
    Sensation and Perception
    Physiological Psychology

    Now, here is a list of all the classes I took in my master's program. Which correlate, and what do I lack that would be worthwhile completing to boost my chances of acceptance to a clinical psych program? List below with course titles and credits:

    Introduction to Professional Counseling 3
    Foundations of Mental Health Counseling 3
    Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling 3
    Counseling Theories (history psychodynamic through contemporary theories) 3
    Counseling Assessment (covered major psych and intelligence tests, and scoring and statistical 3
    Group Counseling 3
    Research Methods 3
    Multicultural Perspectives in Counseling 3
    Lifespan Human Development 3
    Career Development (covered all career theories) 3
    Psychology of Disability 3
    Principles/Practice of Rehab Counseling 3
    Medical Info, in Rehab Counseling 3
    Vocational Placement Methods 3
    Family Systems & Therapy 3
    Psychopathology (DSM) 3
    Community Counseling Internship 3
    Counseling Practice 3
    Counseling Practicum 3
    Rehab Counseling Internship 3
    Rehab/Mental Health Counseling Internship 3

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
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  3. psich

    psich 2+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2009
    I'd say that most doctoral programs do not accept courses from master's programs. If they do, they would probably only take one to a few courses, but it's hard to say which...the best thing to do would be to email the programs.
  4. mewtoo

    mewtoo 2+ Year Member

    May 12, 2012
    I don't think he was wanting to transfer classes (at least that's how I perceived what he said). I think he was more seeking advice and our opinions on whether the classes he took for his master's would correlate to and be acceptable in place of the prerequisite undergrad courses that many doctoral programs want you to have. I could be wrong, but I think that is what he was trying to ask.
  5. busybusybusy

    busybusybusy 2+ Year Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Those classes would apply to/be more likely to transfer as credit to a Counseling Psych PhD program, especially with the vocational and family systems stuff - that's much more counseling than clinical.
  6. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student 2+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2011
    My understanding is that they want to see undergraduate classes taken in a psychology department. So, therefore, counseling classes won't count, even if it a psychopathology class (presented in lieu of abnormal psych). But I could be wrong. You should probably contact the individual department(s) of where you'll be applying to ask. It's possible that they may waive certain clinically-related prereq classes if you have a related master's degree, but I would think that abnormal or development may be the only ones that would be equivalent--everything else is very specific to the discipline of psychology (such as testing, cognitive, social, history, research/stats, personality, etc.). You may be able to take them after you are admitted, though.
  7. js1221


    Mar 18, 2012
    I'm not concerned about getting credit for any of my master's courses in a doctoral program. I'm more asking about admissions requirements... courses that programs want applicants to have.
  8. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2010
    Given that the pre-reqs are almost always assumed to occur at the undergraduate level, I'd say your only way of knowing for sure is to email each individual program and ask which (if any) of your classes would meet which (if any) of their pre-reqs.
  9. mcvcm92

    mcvcm92 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Psychopathology (DSM) would fulfill abnormal psychology & research methods would fulfill experimental psychology. Not sure about the rest...
  10. js1221


    Mar 18, 2012
    That is what I thought but wasn't sure. When I looked at the content of these two courses, comparing them in counseling programs and in psychology programs the contact is pretty much the same. Not sure either about the others.
  11. mcvcm92

    mcvcm92 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Yes, that's a good point, the curricula may differ more than I suspected.

    @OP: The best thing for you to do is pick programs you are interested in and talk to the actual program coordinators and send them your course information to see what they may say. Programs may differ in their responses, so contact all that interest you ... extra information can never hurt!

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