Linda Ann’s Answer
To Jessica's answer I would like to add the following:
- The course of training in a graduate program is the same whether pursuing a PhD or PsyD: about 5 years after completion of the BA or BS degree.
- Many PhD programs do not require a masters thesis as a part of the requirements for the doctorate. However, you will generally be doing more research in a PhD program than a PsyD program. Completing a masters thesis might add some time to completion time to the doctorate, as research can sometimes be prolonged due to issues beyond the control of any student.
- Admission rates to PhD programs are generally lower than PsyD programs, i.e., it is more difficult to get into a PhD program than a PsyD program. Given the competitive nature of doctoral programs in psychology, some students enroll in a masters level program, complete a thesis and THEN apply to a doctoral program. It seems to increase changes of acceptance as the student has proven they have both the intellectual rigor and character traits to complete graduate studies.
- It matters not, regarding licensing, if you have a PhD vs. a PsyD... Any differences in licensing are a function of the state in which you wish to practice.
Linda Ann recommends the following next steps:
- Look at many graduate programs before making application to them. Application fees can vary widely. The general rule of thumb is to apply to between 10 to 12 institutions.
- Compare your GRE scores to the minimum GRE score that each program requires...if it's not on the website, telephone the department and ask questions.
- Completing at least one, independent research project while an undergraduate will increase your chances of admission to a graduate program!
- Develop relationships with the psychology faculty outside of the classroom by assisting in their research projects. Why? Because you will need strong letters of recommendation from at least three faculty members. Unless I have worked with a student outside of a didactic classroom, I cannot write such a strong letter!