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Q&A - PhD Programs in Clinical Psychology


Can I work while studying for my PhD in clinical psychology?

Traditional and online clinical psychology PhD programs have such rigorous demands that outside work is generally discouraged. On the other hand, if you currently have a masters degree, it is very likely that you are working in a setting where you may be able to do your clinical internship hours and still get paid. This may limit the stress of maintaining a professional workload and completing your educational requirements at the same time.

If you are in 1 of the best clinical psychology doctoral programs, you will have an opportunity to complete your internship on campus. Both professional counselors and doctoral student interns are on the staff at most school counseling programs. School counseling programs are often paid positions that provide the minimal hours and scheduling flexibility that is necessary if you must have a job outside of school.

Choosing a college that provides several online courses might also help you work while completing all the elements of your clinical psychology PhD program. Even so, a few online courses will not make a huge impact on the necessary time it takes to complete your PhD. This is the major reason why working outside of your studies may not the best choice.

Are there any scholarships for traditional or online PhD students in clinical psychology?

The American Psychological Association (APA) offers a number of graduate level awards each year including the Norine Johnson Psychotherapy Research Grant. This a single grant in the amount of $20,000 given to a doctoral level student who is studying the effects of individual psychotherapists on treatment effectiveness.

Since this award is given based on completeness of the grant proposal, history of competence in the area and research background, it is very possible that this would be a good grant to apply for students attending PhD clinical psychology online programs and who meet the requirements.

Another possible scholarship open if you are obtaining an accredited doctorate in clinical psychology is the Charles J. Gelso, PhD Psychotherapy Research Grant, which is open to you in 2012 (and other even number years) if you are a pre-doctoral intern in good academic standing. This $2,000 grant offered through the APA is designed to encourage students focused on psychotherapy research, and cannot be renewed for the same research project twice.

Many colleges also offer specific doctoral grants and fellowships only to enrolled students. University of Pittsburgh offers the David A. Lazovik Award, which provides students $1,000 towards the expenses of completing their dissertation.

Pepperdine University provides a $2,500 scholarship to Mexican and Mexican-American doctoral students in clinical psychology who have overcome significant educational barriers.

Are there any notable people who have earned PhDs in clinical psychology?

Although there are few notable people who have completed clinical psychology online degrees, many students with PhDs in clinical psychology from notable conventional colleges have gone on to radically change the field of psychology.

Alberta Bandura graduated from University of Iowa in 1952 with a PhD in clinical psychology. Considered the Father of the Cognitive Theory, his research with adolescents helped to form the Social Learning Theory, which is still the most comprehensive behavioral theory in regards to understanding motivations for deviance and aggression.

Carl Rogers graduated from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University, which is 1 of the top doctoral programs in clinical psychology. Through his research, the therapist-centered model became defunct and the psychological world shifted into a more client-centered approach. The theory that psychologically damaged people would begin to heal themselves if given a chance to explore their own experiences and shed “false selves” is an important underpinning of psychotherapy today.

Do you recommend any clinical psychology PhD student blogs that I should follow?

A very helpful blog if you are applying to PhD clinical psychology programs is How to Apply to Clinical Psychology PhD Programs. This blog is written by Emily Bell, a current Kent State University clinical psychology PhD Student. It is incredibly helpful as it documents her struggles getting into a PhD program, the best way to apply for PhD schools and tips and tricks to help you get accepted.

If you are attending Nova Southeastern University, Clinical Psychology Students in the News might be an interesting blog for you to read. This blog is dedicated to notable students in the NSU clinical psychology department, current research projects and professional development opportunities.

Psychology Today often provides great insight if you are gaining a traditional or online PhD in clinical psychology. Matthew Shanahan, a clinical psychology doctoral student at the University of Western Ontario, is a regular contributor to his blog Living It on the Psychology today website. It provides insight into the psychology world, and may interest you with its fresh perspective on research and data collection methods.

Laura Es writes the blog The Science of Romance. As a graduate student in psychology, she illuminates how chemistry, sexuality and psychology meet together to create attraction. Incorporating comics, recent research and her personal experiences as a psychology grad student, she makes this subject even more interesting than it already is.