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graduate program from less prestigious undergrad program, jobs with undergrad psychology social work

Leah243Leah243 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I'm interested in psychology and social work. I can't really afford a good undergrad program and am insecure about my ability until I get into the practicum and do well there I'm not confident enough to take out loans even if I could get loans I am wondering what jobs are available with a bachelors degree in psychology or social work to pay for a masters and how good of a masters I can get into coming from California university (ranked 198th in social work usnews.com, no grad psych program to be ranked) to get into a masters if I get really good grades I am also wondering if psychology and cousneling is harder than social work in general
thank you

Replies to: graduate program from less prestigious undergrad program, jobs with undergrad psychology social work

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 3,112 Senior Member
    I am not particularly knowledgeable about psychology, but I know or have met LOTS of students who went to an inexpensive "good" undergraduate program and then went to a "prestigious" university for a Master's degree. They pretty much all had something close to straight A's in their undergrad.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,783 Super Moderator
    1) The name/prestige of your undergrad school doesn't matter that much in graduate admissions - some, but not enough to have it determine where you attend college.
    Let's be honest - professors, like most people, can be swayed by prestige. But it's not the sparkliness of the name; it's the familiarity with the department, the faculty, and the work and rigor that go into that program...However, this does not mean that if you go to East Carolina University, Cal State Northridge, UNC-Wilmington or Loyola Marymount that you have worse choices of getting into graduate school... t's simply a data point - one that's taken into consideration. There are lots and lots of people who go to excellent graduate schools from these schools and other smaller regional publics and lesser-known privates. What's more important is what you do.

    2) There are lots of jobs you can do with a BA in psychology or a BSW, but generally speaking you shouldn't expect to save up enough money to pay for a master's degree unless you are planning on working for a very long time. A master's degree even at a lower-cost in-state public university could end up costing you $70K+, and more realistically it'll probably cost around $90-120K total. If you do one part-time while you work, then you could maybe more realistically cover that with funds you make from working (and you wouldn't have to pay for living expenses). But a new grad with a psych degree or a social work degree can probably expect to make around $30-40K on average.

    3) Whether psychology is easier than social work depends on the individual person. Counseling is done in both fields.
  • BackNSchool83BackNSchool83 Registered User Posts: 457 Member
    I would look into case management work in some kind of behavioral health agency. The good news about California is that school is far more affordable. I'm looking at the same programs for grad school you are being either UC or CSU. If you are going for an MFT or Counseling Psych degree or an MSW, go to a CSU its like 8 grand a year. You won't get into a PhD program unless you gain research experience, those are mostly available at UCs. If you have decent grades you will be fine. The psych programs tend to care about research, social work tends to care more about experience. In terms of rigor I think it depends on the school, but in general I bet there is more in common than different, programs at the masters level will be similar. I'm going for the MSW and am finishing my undergrad in psych.
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