Deciding to go to Graduate School is a hard decision, but making the choice as to which program would be the best fit can be daunting. I obviously cannot make the decision for you, but I can let you know how I made my decision and ended up in the Clinical PsyD Program at MSPP.
MA, PhD, or PsyD, how to choose? All are great graduate programs that have their benefits and drawbacks. For me, though my professors suggested I look into MSW programs, it was just not for me. I have always had my heart set on obtaining my doctorate and above all being a psychologist. This was also the reason that I also decided against a Masters in Psychology. For those of you who don’t want a doctorate, the Masters Program here at MSPP is great! It’s also great for those who lack clinical experience and would like to participate in fieldwork before going on for your Doctorate.
The PhD vs. PsyD decision was much harder for me. As an undergrad, it took a lot of consideration before I decided on the PsyD. I obtained an internship at a local Psychiatric Hospital and enrolled myself in the Honors Senior Research Project to decide how important research was to me versus clinical work. Though I absolutely loved creating and running my own experiment, I loved working at the hospital more. I looked around for both PsyD and PhD programs that had more emphasis on clinical work and found that many PhD programs do not give candidates any training until later on in their graduate career. I decided against the PhD and took a year off to gain more experience and apply to various PsyD graduate programs. It was then that I came across MSPP’s PsyD program and knew it would be a perfect fit. I loved that right away students are thrown into clinical work. I also loved that though there was not a huge emphasis on research, it was something that I could still participate in. It was the best of both worlds and catered to exactly what I wanted/needed.
Another reason I chose the PsyD at MSPP was because of the time it took to complete. It is very difficult, at most graduate institutions, to complete a Doctorate in less than 5 years. MSPP understands that students want to get school done and get out into the field, so they designed their program to be completed in four years. It is nice to think that in just a couple of years I’ll be Dr. Morvillo instead of Ms. Morvillo. What a status change!
MSPP’s location is also great. Though it is not directly in Boston, it’s close enough where you can still get the Boston experience without hitting all of the Boston traffic (this also depends on where you live and what your commute is like). Not only that, but there are so many amazing training opportunities for psychologists in Boston. You’ll get the experience in this city that would be hard to find anywhere else.
So, that’s why I chose the PsyD here at MSPP. You may have trouble right now deciding what kind of program you like or even have your heart set on one, but it’s important to weigh all your options. Look at each program to see what you like and what you don’t. It may be tedious, but well worth it in the end if you want to end up in the right program. If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment or e-mail me. Good luck in your Graduate Program pursuit!