Title

Now or Later? An Empirical Investigation of When and Why Students Apply to Clinical Psychology PhD Programs

Abstract

This study used a national sample of PhD students in clinical psychology (N = 1,034) to explore when students decided to pursue their graduate degree, reasons for their decisions, and associated satisfaction. Results indicated that immediately after completing their undergraduate degree, 57% of current graduate students reported postponing graduate studies, 10% went directly to a terminal master’s program, and 33% went directly to a clinical psychology PhD program. A variety of reasons for these decisions were documented. Individuals who postponed graduate school were significantly more satisfied with their decision than individuals who went directly to a terminal master’s program and reported less frequent thoughts of withdrawal from their program than individuals who went directly to a clinical psychology PhD program. Implications for undergraduate advisors are discussed.

Publication Date

4-2011

Journal Title

Teaching of Psychology

Publisher

Sage Publications

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/0098628311401585

Document Type

Article