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Need help

UAfutureUAfuture 28 replies18 threads Junior Member
Hi! Within the next following year, I will be an undergraduate at a community college to start my journey as a Psychology major. My goal is to one day achieve my P.h.D in Clinical Psychology. My question is, what are the steps and schools I need to achieve this? I know some people have said medical school, while others have mentioned that you only need medical school after your Bachelors. I have to pay for college myself, so for now, I am starting at Stark State Community College for two years under their Psychology program, and then I will transfer to Kent State University to finish my Bachelors. Where do I go from there? I know Masters and so forth, but should I apply to medical school after my Bachelors? Thank you!
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Replies to: Need help

  • TigerInWinterTigerInWinter 22 replies0 threads Junior Member
    After you get your bachelor's degree, you'll need to get a PhD or PsyD, which means you'll go to graduate school, not medical school. (You'd go to medical school and get an MD degree if you wanted to become a psychiatrist.)
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  • juilletjuillet 12724 replies162 threads Super Moderator
    ^Above is correct. If you want to be a clinical psychologist, first you'd complete your bachelor's degree in psychology, and then you'd get a PhD pr PsyD in clinical psychology from an APA-accredited clinical psychology PhD program. You can find a list of APA-accredited programs on the American Psychological Association website. PhD programs are usually funded, which means that your tuition and fees are covered by the program and you get a stipend (usually in the $25-35K range) to support yourself. PsyD programs are usually not funded, which means you have to pay yourself, usually with loans.

    Clinical psychology programs are fiercely competitive, by the way. In order to get admitted, you need to have research experience and also clinical volunteering hours, as well as a good GPA. Around your second year in college, I'd start exploring research opportunities. You can do them even if you are in community college - you just may need to reach out to universities in your area to do that, with professors that do research. (Community college professors don't do much, as they don't have time.) My lab at Columbia had at least one community college student in it.

    It's OK to wait until you transfer, but you may be a little less competitive if you begin in your junior/third year of college, and you may find a need to take time between college and graduate school to get more research experience as an RA or lab manager.

    Clinical volunteering hours can usually be gotten at a hospital or mental health clini

    You don't need to get a master's first - you can go straight into a PhD program in clinical psychology, and you'll get a master's on the way.

    You definitely do not need to go to medical school; the people who are telling you that don't know what they are talking about. You could go to medical school if you wanted to be a psychiatrist, but that's different from being a clinical psychologist.
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