So you've decided to pursue a graduate degree in psychology, but you cannot decide which program is best. Should you apply to a social psychology or clinical psychology program? Should you earn a Ph.D. or Psy. D. degree? As you begin to make plan for graduate school, it is important to consider these basic questions in order to find the right program
Consider Your Needs and Interests When Choosing a Psychology Graduate Program
Psychology is a broad field that draws upon a number of different topics, including science, philosophy, and statistics. Because of the diverse nature of psychology, it is impossible to say that one area of study is better than another. Your individual interests and talents should dictate which psychology graduate program is best suited to your needs.
Psychology graduate programs vary widely depending upon the type of degree, area of study and intended career goals. For example, a program might be focused on a specific sub-discipline such as social psychology, educational psychology or clinical psychology. Each program offers an education uniquely tailored to providing knowledge and skills in a particular area of interest.
Look at the Program's Theoretical Focus and Teaching Philosophy
Different graduate programs also vary considerably in theoretical focus and educational philosophy. Before you choose the graduate program that is best for your needs, spend some time researching and comparing different psychology graduate programs. Talk to program advisors, visit each campus if possible, and try to meet with faculty members. It is also a good idea to ask about student outcomes, such as where graduates of the program typically find employment. These factors can all play an important role in determining which psychology program is best suited to your needs and interests.
Evaluate Your Educational and Professional Goals
Before you choose which psychology graduate program is best for you, it is important to take stock of your personal, educational and professional goals. You can learn more about you own interests by researching different subfields of psychology. Consider which areas of psychology you find the most interesting. Talk to your academic advisor about possible career options and plans for graduate study.
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