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New(er) program. APA-accredited on contingency. Any experiences with the program or insight that can be provided? Total tuition cost for the entirety of the program looks like it will be ~75k, might be able to get that down to ~55k through a corporate partnership. One thing I should mention is because it is a combined school program, some students chose not to pursue APA accredited internships and licensure as they are only looking to work in schools as school psychologists (that was what I was told by the program). I don't want to make a bad decision and attend a school that is a "diploma mill" or will leave with an absurd amount of debt and poor career prospects.
 
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55k a year?!? Plus living expenses? If it was the best program in the nation most people would advise strongly against it. Crunch the numbers on expected salary against those loan figures.
 
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55k a year?!? Plus living expenses? If it was the best program in the nation most people would advise strongly against it. Crunch the numbers on expected salary against those loan figures.
No, total cost of the program. Sorry I should have been more clear about that.
 
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Briefly checking out their program, some concerns are it's an unknown, always a risk as internships/postdocs like to go with what they know. Also, I'd be more than a little concerned that a handful of their listed faculty are master level individuals.
 
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I appreciate that insight. I am assuming those MA level adjuncts are professors for school psych fieldwork courses, but I will inquire about that in my interview. Thoughts on cost? I know its not a fully-funded PhD program, which obviously ideal, but it does seem much lower than the cost of some other PsyD programs. It is in a pretty low CoL area as well, so that helps. Another thing that I am concerned with is that it is a 4 year program, including internship. This seems extremely short, especially considering it is a combined program, also training you to be a school psychologist.
Briefly checking out their program, some concerns are it's an unknown, always a risk as internships/postdocs like to go with what they know. Also, I'd be more than a little concerned that a handful of their listed faculty are master level individuals
 

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I appreciate that insight. I am assuming those MA level adjuncts are professors for school psych fieldwork courses, but I will inquire about that in my interview. Thoughts on cost? I know its not a fully-funded PhD program, which obviously ideal, but it does seem much lower than the cost of some other PsyD programs. It is in a pretty low CoL area as well, so that helps. Another thing that I am concerned with is that it is a 4 year program, including internship. This seems extremely short, especially considering it is a combined program, also training you to be a school psychologist.

55k+ living expenses is still going to run up the bill a lot more than I would personally advise. 4 years for combined is also very short. I'd be prioritizing other options if I had them.
 

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New(er) program. APA-accredited on contingency. Any experiences with the program or insight that can be provided? Total tuition cost for the entirety of the program looks like it will be ~75k, might be able to get that down to ~55k through a corporate partnership. One thing I should mention is because it is a combined school program, some students chose not to pursue APA accredited internships and licensure as they are only looking to work in schools as school psychologists (that was what I was told by the program). I don't want to make a bad decision and attend a school that is a "diploma mill" or will leave with an absurd amount of debt and poor career prospects.
This is generally a red flag. Sure, those graduates may want to work in the school system, but there's no good reason to not do an APA-accredited internship and therefore limit your career prospects. A good program should be getting them to only do accredited internships.
 
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A good program should be getting them to only do accredited internships.
My department had an excellent school psych PhD program and all of the students match to APA internships even though I think many initially go on to work in schools.
One thing I should mention is because it is a combined school program
How interested are you in working in a school setting in the future? Given that there's a required yearlong school practicum in the 3rd year and you apply for internship in year 4, skills gained in this setting may not translate to other settings so there will likely be scenarios where you won't be seen as competitive if applying for adult population internships due to perceived poor fit and less non-school hours (VAs, many hospitals, forensics, BoP, etc).

If you're looking for pathway towards general practice, especially with adult populations, I'd be cautious because even if the program is top notch, you'll be spending less time in training (4+1 is pretty typical) while also splitting your focus.
 
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My department had an excellent school psych PhD program and all of the students match to APA internships even though I think many initially go on to work in schools.

How interested are you in working in a school setting in the future? Given that there's a required yearlong school practicum in the 3rd year and you apply for internship in year 4, skills gained in this setting may not translate to other settings so there will likely be scenarios where you won't be seen as competitive if applying for adult population internships due to perceived poor fit and less non-school hours (VAs, many hospitals, forensics, BoP, etc).

If you're looking for pathway towards general practice, especially with adult populations, I'd be cautious because even if the program is top notch, you'll be spending less time in training (4+1 is pretty typical) while also splitting your focus.
I am applying to exclusively school psych programs. I do however, have more of an interest working outside of schools as a licensed psychologist with school-aged populations than in schools as a school psych. I am more so looking to be competitive for internships with child populations.
 
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This is generally a red flag. Sure, those graduates may want to work in the school system, but there's no good reason to not do an APA-accredited internship and therefore limit your career prospects. A good program should be getting them to only do accredited internships.
I do agree that the program should be requiring APA accredited internships, however, is there a way to verify that all students that sought out APA accredited internships secured them, or is that me just taking their word on that?
 
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55k+ living expenses is still going to run up the bill a lot more than I would personally advise. 4 years for combined is also very short. I'd be prioritizing other options if I had them.
As someone who is mostly applying to School Psych PhD programs and has interviewed at a few, it seems like full-funding this cycle is exceptionally hard to come by, limited to one or two students in each cohort. I know that Clinical psych phds are different, but I am not competitive for those, considering my background is more in education than psych.
 
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I do agree that the program should be requiring APA accredited internships, however, is there a way to verify that all students that sought out APA accredited internships secured them, or is that me just taking their word on that?
That would be a good question to ask current students at your interview. If you don't have access to current students on the interview day, that could be a red flag. It would be appropriate to ask for contact information for some current students if you aren't able to ask them questions on the interview day to learn more about their experience and verify the information the program has told you.
 
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I am applying to exclusively school psych programs. I do however, have more of an interest working outside of schools as a licensed psychologist with school-aged populations than in schools as a school psych. I am more so looking to be competitive for internships with child populations.
This seems like you're really more interested in peds psych than school psych. Combine this with the lack of funding you noted and it seems like might be better to defer this year in favor of applying to clinical PhD programs with a peds focus. Sure, you might not competitive now, but that doesn't mean you can't become competitive in a year or two. I wouldn't let taking more time to get into a clinical PhD program dissuade you from doing it or getting into a program that doesn't really fit your interests or involves you taking on substantial debt.
 
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This seems like you're really more interested in peds psych than school psych. Combine this with the lack of funding you noted and it seems like might be better to defer this year in favor of applying to clinical PhD programs with a peds focus. Sure, you might not competitive now, but that doesn't mean you can't become competitive in a year or two. I wouldn't let taking more time to get into a clinical PhD program dissuade you from doing it or getting into a program that doesn't really fit your interests or involves you taking on substantial debt.
School psych doctoral programs can certainly provide adequate training to work in clinical roles, outside of schools. There are many graduates from these programs that go this route, as well as many faculty who are graduates of school psych doc programs themselves who do clinical work on top of their academic positions. I will say, the biggest reason I am applying to school psych programs over clinical or counseling is because of my lack of psychology coursework experience. I have more of a background in education, and although I have some post-bacc experience in a psych lab, I am having a hard time gaining acceptance into school psych programs with my lack of psych background. I can't imagine the road it would take to get into a clinical psych PhD program, probably a terminal masters degree, and maybe more.
 
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School psych doctoral programs can certainly provide adequate training to work in clinical roles, outside of schools. There are many graduates from these programs that go this route, as well as many faculty who are graduates of school psych doc programs themselves who do clinical work on top of their academic positions.
That's not really my point. I wasn't saying that school psychologists don't get good training to do clinical work or that they don't have career options outside of school systems. Rather, my point was that your goals seem to be peds psych focused, not school psych, so it doesn't really make as much sense to do a school psych program. I.e., it's not about whether a given degree or path can get you to where you want to go, it's about whether it's the best path. This is doubly true when students from the programs to which you are applying seem to be having trouble matching to APA accredited internships and the programs are trying to spin this so it's not so problematic.

I will say, the biggest reason I am applying to school psych programs over clinical or counseling is because of my lack of psychology coursework experience. I have more of a background in education (undergrad degree is biology, a semester of a masters in education, work experience in schools), and although I have some post-bacc experience in a psych lab with one poster authorship, I am having a hard time gaining acceptance into school psych programs with my lack of psych background. I can't imagine the road it would take to get into a clinical psych PhD program, probably a terminal masters degree, and maybe more.
Again, this isn't really a good justification for going into school psych and you're just verifying my earlier point that school psych really isn't in line with your goals, but rather that you just feel more competitive with school psych programs and don't want to do the things that would be necessary to be competitive for the path that actually aligns with your goals.
 
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There's nothing to stop you from getting into a funded school psych Ph.D. program and focus on ped psych if you direct your practicum experience in peds.
I agree, that is the goal. I have interviewed at a couple of these programs and am hoping for an acceptance. But if I do not get in to them, and get into the program that this thread is referring to, then I would need to consider the practicality of this specific program.
 
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That's not really my point. I wasn't saying that school psychologists don't get good training to do clinical work or that they don't have career options outside of school systems. Rather, my point was that your goals seem to be peds psych focused, not school psych, so it doesn't really make as much sense to do a school psych program. I.e., it's not about whether a given degree or path can get you to where you want to go, it's about whether it's the best path. This is doubly true when students from the programs to which you are applying seem to be having trouble matching to APA accredited internships and the programs are trying to spin this so it's not so problematic.


Again, this isn't really a good justification for going into school psych and you're just verifying my earlier point that school psych really isn't in line with your goals, but rather that you just feel more competitive with school psych programs and don't want to do the things that would be necessary to be competitive for the path that actually aligns with your goals.
Yes, I feel that at 24 years old, as someone who is looking to start a family in the future and have a life outside of work, that doing the things that I would need to do to set me up for the optimal degree (fully funded clinical psych phd) is not in my best interest. I suppose I am settling in a professional sense, for a degree that is not perfect, but will allow me to do what I would like to do. I guess I would rather settle for that than sacrifice aspects of my personal life. If I could do it all over again, I would have done psych as an undergrad, worked in a lab these past two years out of school and would have set myself up nicely for an acceptance into a top program, but things didn't work out like that.

I was just looking for advice regarding the particular program mentioned. I appreciate your advice and recognize that it is not ideal compared to a funded clinical psych phd, but I am more so wondering if it falls in the side of an acceptable option or a terrible idea such as some of these diploma mill, predatory psyds that are out there, which I want zero part of.
 

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I agree, that is the goal. I have interviewed at a couple of these programs and am hoping for an acceptance. But if I do not get in to them, and get into the program that this thread is referring to, then I would need to consider the practicality of this specific program.

I really don't understand the argument against waiting and reapplying if you don't get in considering that the debt you'd accrue is roughly equivalent to someone's yearly salary. I don't recall if someone already said this, but match rates to APA-accredited programs are also not great, which is a red flag to me.


I wouldn't want to pay $55k to be someone's guinea pig.
 
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I really don't understand the argument against waiting and reapplying if you don't get in considering that the debt you'd accrue is roughly equivalent to someone's yearly salary. I don't recall if someone already said this, but match rates to APA-accredited programs are also not great, which is a red flag to me.


I wouldn't want to pay $55k to be someone's guinea pig.
These are good points and I appreciate them. I'm not one of these people that are starting a thread to only accept advice that tells me what I want to hear. So to pivot a bit here, I have two questions for you.

1. Do you feel it would be acceptable to reach out to PIs that rejected me, asking what I was lacking in my application?

2. Do you have any recommendations as to what would be good experience if I were to wait a year to reapply?
 

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These are good points and I appreciate them. I'm not one of these people that are starting a thread to only accept advice that tells me what I want to hear. So to pivot a bit here, I have two questions for you.

1. Do you feel it would be acceptable to reach out to PIs that rejected me, asking what I was lacking in my application?

2. Do you have any recommendations as to what would be good experience if I were to wait a year to reapply?

1. Probably not unless they have offered, but you could put out a request on this board for feedback.

2. I'd try to get some research experience in a lab focused on peds/children. I volunteered in a neuroscience lab entering data to get more research experience.
 
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Yes, I feel that at 24 years old, as someone who is looking to start a family in the future and have a life outside of work, that doing the things that I would need to do to set me up for the optimal degree (fully funded clinical psych phd) is not in my best interest. I suppose I am settling in a professional sense, for a degree that is not perfect, but will allow me to do what I would like to do. I guess I would rather settle for that than sacrifice aspects of my personal life. If I could do it all over again, I would have done psych as an undergrad, worked in a lab these past two years out of school and would have set myself up nicely for an acceptance into a top program, but things didn't work out like that.

I was just looking for advice regarding the particular program mentioned. I appreciate your advice and recognize that it is not ideal compared to a funded clinical psych phd, but I am more so wondering if it falls in the side of an acceptable option or a terrible idea such as some of these diploma mill, predatory psyds that are out there, which I want zero part of.
No one can tell you what to do, but I'd challenge your expected timeline of starting school and getting a degree. 24 is still very young. While some people go directly to grad school after undergrad, especially in clinical psych many are in their mid to late 20s when they start a program. I would be almost 29 if I'm able to start a program this fall. Obviously your personal circumstances, current relationships, and future family goals are important, but I'm not sure they're as restrictive as you might think right now. Many people start a family in grad school, and an extra year or two before a likely 5+ year degree isn't a huge deal in the long run.

In terms of not being a psych major, this is fine as long as you have research and/or clinical experience and have taken all of the classes required for a program. I studied engineering undergrad and have been fortunate to receive multiple interview invites for fully funded clinical PhD programs this cycle. Instead of pursuing a masters, which would have been very expensive, I took undergraduate-level required classes while working to ensure I met requirements at all of the schools to which I wanted to apply. This ended up being 4 classes for me (intro to psych, statistics, research methods, abnormal) and was reasonably easy to fit into my current lifestyle and prepare me for the admissions process.

Best of luck in whatever you decide!
 
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Yes, I feel that at 24 years old, as someone who is looking to start a family in the future and have a life outside of work, that doing the things that I would need to do to set me up for the optimal degree (fully funded clinical psych phd) is not in my best interest. I suppose I am settling in a professional sense, for a degree that is not perfect, but will allow me to do what I would like to do. I guess I would rather settle for that than sacrifice aspects of my personal life. If I could do it all over again, I would have done psych as an undergrad, worked in a lab these past two years out of school and would have set myself up nicely for an acceptance into a top program, but things didn't work out like that.

I was just looking for advice regarding the particular program mentioned. I appreciate your advice and recognize that it is not ideal compared to a funded clinical psych phd, but I am more so wondering if it falls in the side of an acceptable option or a terrible idea such as some of these diploma mill, predatory psyds that are out there, which I want zero part of.
Not to invalidate your concerns, but for a different perspective, many folks in my grad program were at least a few years older than you when entering a doctoral program and did so with families or started families during grad school. And many dated during grad school if they weren’t in relationships (heck, I met my spouse while I was in grad school). It can be done and is done. You do not have to sacrifice growing families or relationships while in grad school.
 
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I have nothing to hide, so at the risk of making myself not that anonymous...I go here. I am going to an APA accredited internship and got 11 postdoc interview invites so you can be a competitive applicant and the program has prepared me for the work. So you can definitely be successful in the program. It is rather pricy for sure and carries the risk of the unfunded programs. That's as clear as day. However they are definitely going about building a program the right way. Feel free to PM me if you have questions.
 
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Whether that program matches your goals or not is another question entirely that I’m not well equipped to answer, but $55k all in is a GOOD price for a PsyD, especially compared to programs that are 55k a year (more so the norm). I assume you’re late enough in the cycle that you’re done applying, but if not, James Madison is also Clinical/School and provides full tuition reimbursement. William Paterson emulates a faculty-match program and used to be full reimbursement (not sure if they are right now d/t COVID).
 
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