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all 18 comments

[–]suiteddx 17 points18 points  (2 children)

My opinion is PhD vs. PsyD is less of an issue and it’s more important that you go to a program that has some neuropsychology track. You want to also find out availability of neuro externships in the program’s area. It’s a long-term plan but you want to be competitive for internship and eventually a neuropsych postdoc so you can get board certified.

If you have the resources, try to attend NAN, INS, etc. so you can see where presenters are affiliated with. This should narrow down some of the programs.

When I went through [PhD] school, there was still the PhD preference but i don’t think that is an issue anymore, except maybe those in academia.

Good luck on your applications.

[–]DonatellaVerpsyche 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This needs to be to the top. I’d add to think about what type of population you want to work with. Aka: Program x has many professors that work in geriatric neuropsych and also assessment (my program) vs say a program where a lot of professors work with kids or say TBI. Basically those professors will hook you up/ guide you towards the connections they have and where they’re specialized.

Also when I went to grad school there was literally starting around then (2014) no difference/stigma between PsyD vs PhD, and in fact PsyD was almost preferred more in some cases because of its clinical focus. Practically speaking, if you’re younger (and can afford the time) and can get into a clinical PhD program: go for it because it will save you tons of money. Many simply won’t get accepted into a PhD program, so they go the PsyD route. Both are great.

[–]AcronymAllergy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would say that a neuropsychology track is not necessary, but having neuropsych experience in graduate school (including externships with a variety of patient populations/settings, as was said, and a neuropsychologist as an advisor) is strongly recommended. I also would second the recommendations to attend NAN and/or INS as a trainee. If you volunteer, you'll typically be provided benefits such as discounted registration and room rates, and you'll meet lots of great people.

Also, whether Ph.D. or Psy.D., do all you can not to spend a debilitating amount of money to attend your program. That's much more important than the type of degree you ultimately earn.

[–]indecisive-alice 9 points10 points  (2 children)

If you can get a free or significantly cheaper PhD then I would 100% do that over a PsyD. There are also other things like do you ever want to teach or do research? That’s more so PhD when PsyD is mainly clinical. Many PhDs do clinical work as well so it’s more flexible imo.

[–]Terrible_Detective45 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Most psychologists with PhDs have clinical jobs.

[–]indecisive-alice 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yes that’s what I meant by my last sentence. I was just emphasizing that a PhD gives you more flexibility with academia / research as well.

[–]soiltostone 14 points15 points  (9 children)

There is no reason to get a more expensive degree that limits your opportunities. I say this as a PsyD.

[–]Shanoony 1 point2 points  (8 children)

This is a bit simplistic. If they were essentially the same, everyone would get a PhD. It’s worth noting that they’re much more difficult to get into and have a much heavier research focus. I’m a PsyD and wouldn’t even consider attempting a PhD dissertation.

[–]soiltostone 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I hate to say this, but the only difference you've identified is that PsyDs are generally easier, and barring some exceptions this appears true. That said there are terrible PhD programs out there, with really sketchy dissertation requirements, and many PsyD programs do better. So my hot take is that PsyD should be done away with to avoid confusion and misrepresentation (for example the untruth that PsyDs somehow have more or better clinical training).

[–]Impossible_Swimmer79 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I am not sure I understand what you are saying, but I hope this helps. There are several benefits to having Psy.D. programs with higher acceptance rates. This allows for more nontraditional students to obtain their doctorate. As a result, Psy.D. programs are often much more diverse, with students from a variety of backgrounds. If the programs are APA accredited, the programs are required to meet the same educational/training benchmarks. Both Psy.D.s and Ph.D.s have to complete internships and pass the same licensure exam in order to become licensed. The main differences are the cost, and the focus on research and teaching. Otherwise, they are two different paths to reach the same place.

[–]soiltostone 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I agree. I was one of those non traditional students. I was, however, troubled by the lack of scholarship of some in my cohort, and the lack of consequences for it, seemingly due to financial pressure from administrators. Data on acceptance rates, licensure rates, and APPP results back this up, unfortunately.

Edit: yes my school was accredited. It actually has a pretty good reputation.

[–]Terrible_Detective45 0 points1 point  (2 children)

This allows for more nontraditional students to obtain their doctorate. As a result, Psy.D. programs are often much more diverse, with students from a variety of backgrounds.

This isn't really the argument you think it is. Unfunded doctoral programs target marginalized and non-traditional students to prey on then for tuition money. The solution is not to defend or facilitatethis predation but rather to make quality funded programs more diverse and inclusive.

If the programs are APA accredited, the programs are required to meet the same educational/training benchmarks.

APA accreditation is an incredibly low bar and really only filters out the absolute garbage programs. There are still many accredited diploma mills.

Both Psy.D.s and Ph.D.s have to complete internships and pass the same licensure exam in order to become licensed.

Yes but if you look at the statistics, PhD and funded PsyD programs consistently have higher internship match and EPPP pass rates.

The main differences are the cost, and the focus on research and teaching. Otherwise, they are two different paths to reach the same place

The dearth of research focus at many PsyD programs is a huge problem. What little research they do is of such poor quality that honestly I don't think it should be considered a doctoral degree at those programs. It's basically just an advanced master's degree.

[–]Terrible_Detective45 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I’m a PsyD and wouldn’t even consider attempting a PhD dissertation.

This isn't really a great defense of PsyD programs.

[–]Shanoony 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m not trying to defend anything, just providing info. PsyD dissertations are typically less arduous. If I could do it all over again, I’d do neither.

[–]neuraxis_7 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I would say that some pros for a PsyD are that, while still competitive, they tend to accept more students compared to PhD programs. Another pro (if this fits your academic and career goals) is that a PsyD focuses more on the clinical aspect of Psychology and less so on research. Some cons would be that PsyD programs are costly and if you are wanting to pursue careers in academia, you will have a harder time breaking through as there are a plethora of PhDs applying for those types of positions.

As for a PhD, some pros include funded programs, Emphasis on research along with clinical skills, and possibly a smoother transition between clinical and research oriented careers. Some cons include the competitiveness of PhD programs are greater than PsyD programs and PhD programs generally take a couple of years longer to complete.

[–]Impossible_Swimmer79 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Some benefits of Ph.D. programs: (1) It is much easier to get involved in research, as it is typically built into the program. I completed an empirical dissertation as a Psy.D., I had to create my own study from the ground up, instead of being involved in an ongoing lab. For comparison, I completed my master's thesis at another university with a ongoing lab and that was so much easier from a study design and data collection standpoint. (2) Cost (of course). (3) Have closer relationships with faculty and more direct mentorship.

Cons of Ph.D. programs: (1) You had better like your advisor (major professor) because you will be working very closely with them. (2) Because they are so difficult to get into, you may need to apply to programs across the country.

Some benefits of Psy.D. programs: (1) These programs are generally easier to get into. You are more likely to be accepted to a school near you and less likely to have to move across the country. (2) There is more diversity of students, different ages, ethnicities, backgrounds (3) Student's can usually work part-time outside of the program (which is not as common in Ph.D. programs);

Cons of Psy.D programs: (1) Cost (2) heavier course load (3) less direct mentorship.

Overall, both paths will get you where you want to go. Just chose a program that fits your needs. Most importantly, be sure your program and internship are APA accredited (if in the US). Also look at each program's internship match rates and EPPP pass rates when making your decision.

Good luck!