This is a sponsored guest post.
As you are nearing the end of your bachelor’s degree program, you may be contemplating pursuing a doctoral degree, but how do you choose one? If you are thinking of pursuing an online Psyd program, know what it entails and therefore be well informed on how to pick the best program that will work for you. There are many programs to choose from and you can research online for the best available programs while keeping in mind factors like location, requirements, goals, affordability, and internships. This is a doctor of psychology degree and it prepares a student for clinical practice. It is different from a Phd which often prepares a student for a career in research.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online program is the program’s level of quality. Check if the college or university is accredited by the American Psychological Association. So far, this is the best resource for checking the accreditation status of a program. By working with APA accredited programs, you ensure that you best prepare yourself for your career chosen path.
Check the Location of an Online Psyd Program
Some people will want to study for their programs within a brick and mortar structure while others would prefer to complete their programs online. Your choice will depend on things like your marital status, or if you are working part-time. Online Psyd programs are advantageous in that a student is not required to attend any class on a physical campus and one can log in from any part of the world at any time convenient for them.
All APA-accredited programs are not available that use only online methods. A program may offer online courses and also utilize traditional/ distance education methods. However, the Commission of Accreditation does not provide full information on the courses offered on such programs or their modality. Regardless of the method of the instruction used, it is mandatory for all the accredited programs to meet the provisions of the SoA.
If you want to attend a program in person, there is a set of schedule of classes which you will be expected to attend. Big cities such as New York have several APA accredited programs to choose from. You will also look at your ability to qualify for these programs. This will play a vital role in choosing the types of programs you want to get into. For instance, some universities list the following as its requirements:
- Candidate must possess a baccalaureate degree
- Submit transcripts of undergraduate work
- Complete a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in psychology. This should include courses in statistics, introductory psychology, and a lab course
- Submit two papers from psychology courses; one a term appears and one a laboratory paper
- Submit up to 5 letters of recommendation. One of these letters must be from an individual who will be ready to attest to the applicant’s research potential
- Provide a written statement of educational and professional goals
- Complete an interview process with the committee of departmental admissions
The Importance of Looking at an Institution’s Goals
You will realize that each different program has its own set of goals and objectives. The main thing here is to find out if these goals align with your own. For instance, a schools’ goal may be to prepare professional psychologists as certified health providers with expertise in clinical psychology. These students will receive the best preparations to develop, provide, supervise and research a wide range of psychological services that are evidence-based.
The program often uses a training model which prepares psychologists to provide direct services from a range of theoretical perspectives. It would be helpful if you spend some time to get a clear perspective on your own goals in mind before you start to research on programs. This makes it easier to determine whether the goals of a certain program you are interested in best fit with your own goals.
This should also be a factor in your decision-making process. You might also want to know if there is any financial assistance offered to help you afford a degree program. A university may assist its students through a variety of resources such as grants or scholarships, loans, and working while studying which might help you cater for the cost of your education.
You might also want to consider fellowships and assistantships. Fellowships are awards based on merits such as scholarships. Assistantships function just like work-study programs and will often require a commitment to teaching or researching in exchange for a reduced tuition of free education.
There are some institutions which will award some doctorate fellowship annually to qualified graduate students. These students work for some hours each week in support of faculty research. The recipients are expected by the university to maintain a full-time course study and also work for specified hours per week.
It would be better if the financial assistance you receive is not in the form of a loan so that you can have an easier life after the completion of the program. Otherwise, you might end up using your future salary paying for loans, resulting in a stressful life.
The availability paid or unpaid of internships is another factor to consider. Student show participates in internships have the opportunity to gain professional experience in their chosen field. They gain:
- A head start in their specific chosen careers
- Academic credit towards their majors
- Written skills and oral communications, leadership skills, critical thinking and flexibility
- Introduction to the job market
- Networking opportunities
- Experience in resume building
Research the programs of each program because each college will have its own set of rules. Internships are the best way to get a head start on your carrier path, so taking the time to choose a suitable program is worth the time and effort. There are many online resources to help you arrive at an informed decision.