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Tons of questions, very confused and really need your help

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Garick, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Garick

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    Hi,

    For the intro - I am an undergraduate student majoring in psychology. I am finishing my first semester as a psych major and currently am a sophmore.

    After reading a couple pages of this forum I got a general idea about what psych major can lead into. But I don't know what should I choose for my future.

    I still don't know if I should be a BA or BS??? I know you will ask it depends on your interests but I am interested in everything and it doesnt really matter for me. But I know for sure that I don't want to go into education. I am more interested in Applied Psych, Counseling, Psychiatry, Clinical Psych. So I really want to know the differences between each and what are the perspectives for each one of them.

    Correct me if I am wrong but here are my conclusion about what I know so far:
    With a BA you can: go to grad school and get a PhD
    With BS you can: go to grad school and get a PdD or you can go to med. school and become a doctor.

    I did not find any significant differences in salaries between BA or BS. But I might be wrong. What about MA and MS??? And finally what are prospectives after getting MA or MS? And the same for PhD?
    The money matter is also important for me; therefore I am trying to find something that will suit me the best and get me good salary. I just need to figure out whether I should be a BS or BA.
    It is all confusing me and I am so confused right now that makes me wanna give it up.

    Also I think it is a stupid question but if I go to med school and after graduating from there, I will have MD right?

    That's why I am here asking experienced ppl for your advice.

    Thank You!!!
     
    #1 Garick, Nov 30, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
  2. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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    All of these questions are answered on various threads on here and in the Ph.D/PsyD forum.

    To go to med school you will have to take pre med requirements (consisting of alot of physical sciences and chemistry), but your actual major can be anything you want it to be. History, French, Psych, whatever, as long as you take the premed course requirements. BA/BS is not an issue.

    Yes, med school equals M.D. or DO. Grad school in psych is either a Ph.D or Psy.D at the doctoral level. You can do some couseling with a MA or MS, but exactly what kind and whether you have to work under a doctoral level psychologist varys by state. Psychiatry and clinical psychology, although they both treat mental ilness, are very different fields, with different repsonibilties, job descriptions, and orientations.
     
    #2 erg923, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  3. tears for susan

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    I dont believe that the distinction between a BS or BA is important at all. You can be eligible for any programs with either of them, it just depends what courses you take and how you focus your interests. Likewise, you choose your graduate degree based on area of emphasis or type (ie. MA in counseling, MA in school psych, MS in I/O psych, etc) without there being a super big importance in the distinction between MA and MS.
     
  4. WannaBeDrMe

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    There's a lot to be said for self-care in this field. If you are a sophmore overwhelmed with confusion abotu decicisions that are years away... you need to invest some of your energy into self-care.

    Get into your core courses and make sure you even like psychology before you decide on a long term career option. I took psychology originally because I thought it would be easy... it wasn't... but I stuck around anyway and found out I loved it.

    Still, I loved a lot of other areas too and my only regret is that I didn't explore those classes enough...

    You only get one chance to be an undergrad... use it to test the waters and see which curriculum it is that you truly enjoy!!!

    Good luck.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Garick

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    Well, it is my sophmore year and I am stressing out because I do not have a clear understanding of what I want to do when I get my degree. I am lacking information about numerous things therefore I don't know what to choose.

    Thank you for clearing that it doesn't really matter whether I do BA or BS. I think I would go with BS and take pre-med courses.

    I have another question which I couldn't find on the net. Do you guys know if psychiatrists are in high demand, and what about psychologists?
     
  6. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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    Demand depends on many factors. The short answer is that for psychiatrists, yes, there is generally high demand across the board. Psychologists, no, not so much, but I dont think any of us will have problems finding jobs either. Psychology has alot of subspecialties that are in demand however, or will be more so in the future, such as health psych and neuropsychology. All of this depends heavily on geographic region and the existing saturation of the market. Some places are saturated with psychologists, others (smaller, rural reas) dont have any. Then again, the demand for and openess to receiving psychological services is also decreaased in small town rural areas.
     
  7. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    +1

    Psychiatry and Psychology are also very different areas, so you may want to figure out which better fits your interests.
     
  8. Thrak

    Thrak RU experienced?
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    The best advice I can give is that at this point, you've got a lot of time ahead of you, so think broadly. Take the courses that will set you up well not only for a potential application to grad school, but that might help if you enter the job market. Classes in stats, experimental psych, etc., will give you a strong skill set (research, writing, problem solving) that will help you no matter what.

    I'd also suggest a minor, if you can fit it in. Marketing would be a logical choice, but so would biology.

    As a major, psychology really is what you make of it.
     
  9. thepsychgeek

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    Right now, I'd say think big. Honestly? I had no idea what I was going to be doing when I was a sophomore.

    That said, BA/BS doesn't really make a difference. Rather, if you're thinking you would like to go to med school, just take the pre-med requirements, it doesn't really matter which letters go after your name (at this stage in the game, at least! :laugh:). Then figure out where you're going.

    There isn't a ton of money to be had in applied psych, just to warn you. Livable income, definitely. Luxury, sometimes. School psych is pretty lucrative, if that's your think, and individual clinical work *can* be, depending on where you're working and they sort of people you're working with.

    Basically, don't worry. You have time.:)
     
  10. tears for susan

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    Relax a bit, you have alot of time to think about it! The best advice I can give you is to do internships, extracurriculars, TAing, join psychology club, etc.
    I thought I was set on what I wanted to do by sophomore year, but after trying it out by interning, I realized that I couldnt stand doing it! Understanding a particular field conceptually is one thing, but actually trying it out and seeing if it fits in application is also very important.
    You still have plenty of time, but start as early as you can.
     
  11. tears for susan

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    Also, I thought I would tell you that after I tried TA'ing for classes, I realized how much I like teaching and am likely going to head down that career path. So you never know what you might discover about yourself just by trying things out!
     
  12. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor
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    You're thinking too much about too many things at once... it (usually) doesn't make a difference if you go the B.A. or B.S. route. I went to Ohio State for undergrad, and the difference was only a few courses; however, as soon as I had finished the prereqs for med school, I realized I had already completed the requirements for a B.S.

    I had the same dilemma: I didn't know whether I wanted psychology or psychiatry. However, that was only until I realized that they were completely different. Personally, I don't think you will be able to appreciate those differences until you're a bit deeper into your psych major.

    As a side note: I have many premed friends who have around the same (or even higher) grades than I do. I have been much more successful in getting into (multiple) med schools. I really think my psych major made me stand out in a positive way. All my med school interviewers brought it up in one way or another and were VERY interested.

    Most people change their minds throughout med school about what they want to do their residency in, which is why most people recommended that I not mention anything about psychiatry in my interviews. However, whenever interviewers would ask me about my future plans, I would mention psychiatry, and you could clearly see that they respected my plans.

    As someone else mentioned in this thread: join a psych club, and try not to think too much. Most importantly, enjoy your major. Majoring in psychology is the best decision I’ve ever made. Best of luck!:luck:
     
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