What to Look for in a Psychology Program
The field of psychology can be exciting and interesting, but also highly competitive. Similarly, just being accepted into such a program can require intense competition and dedication. On the other hand, schools today exist in a very competitive market and are increasing their degree offerings daily. This means that you have a wide variety of choices when deciding where to pursue a graduate degree. While it can be challenging to get into some of the best psychology schools, there are a great deal of less famous, but equally effective and accredited programs to choose from.
Choosing a psychology program is similar to choosing a job; you need to find a place where your skills meet what they are looking for and where you are interested in what they offer. In short, embarking on graduate education is a mutually beneficial relationship: Universities want to choose the right students as much as you want to choose the right university.
The right school for you is one that meets your needs as far as degree offering, costs, geographical location, degree requirements, entrance requirements, research requirements, academic support, career support and other areas of interest to you. It is important that you look into all of these areas when choosing a school, considering if your needs fit with the mission of the school and faculty and if this is a place where you will want to spend your time over the coming years.
Choosing Between Online and Traditional Education
Today students have a choice they did not have in the past: Whether to attend an online university or a traditional "brick and mortar" school. A traditional psychology program, one where students actually attend class on campus, are good choices if you do not yet have a lot of psychology experience, or do not have access to a place to do an internship or earn practical experience. The instructors and staff at an on-campus university can help you get such experience due to geographical proximity.
Online universities can be a welcome option for working professionals who have some experience working in the field, but also have family and career obligations which make driving to and sitting in traditional classes less than optimal. For these busy people, online education offers a flexible way to achieve their educational goals. Whether you choose traditional or online, be sure to choose a school that has regional accreditation.
A Sampling of Traditional Psychology Programs
If you decide that a traditional university with on-campus courses is best for you, then you have dozens, if not hundreds, of program to choose from. Among some of the most prominent to offer a regionally accredited degree in psychology are the following:-Argosy University, Los Angeles, California, offers a variety of MS degrees psychology with an emphasis on their MS in marriage and family counseling.
-Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, has a very competitive PhD in psychology.
-The University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, has the distinction of graduating students who have the highest scores on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
-The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, has a well respected, APA accredited psychology program.
-Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, has a program designed to produce scientists-practitioners, and is heavy on psychology research.
A Sampling of Online Psychology Programs
For those who are already so immersed in the responsibilities of life that embarking on a full time, on campus graduate program is simply unrealistic, online education offers a welcome opportunity. There are a variety of well respected online universities who have the same regionally accreditation as traditional schools. Among the most respected online counseling psychology programs are the following:-Capella University offers a PhD in psychology with a variety of specializations, along will full financial aid and courses that are taken exclusively online.
-Fielding Graduate University has a PhD in psychology, which requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission.
-Union Institute and University has a fully online PhD in psychology which uses a cohort model to provide students with support and a sense of engagement.
-Walden University offers an exclusively online program specifically in clinical child psychology, for those interested in working with children.
When you are considering a degree in psychology you have a wide variety of options available to you. It can be quite difficult to choose who to apply to among the best psychology schools, but with some research and self-searching you can find the right program for you.