Hello, my name is Elliot Flom, and I graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University in the spring of 2007. I graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology, and am starting a Master of Arts in Community Counseling at Argosy University in Atlanta, GA this coming fall. Before I graduated, I had decided that I was going to apply for the Psy.D., which is a Doctor of Psychology. I am going to briefly tell you about the application, interview, and acceptance process.
First of all, I will give you a slight briefing on what the major difference between the Psy.D. vs. the PhD. I was slightly confused myself at first, but honestly, the difference is simple. The PhD, as we know, is an academic degree. It focuses on research and teaching. The Psy.D., on the other hand, is more focused on practice of applied psychology out in the field. If you think you would like to go into the private practice, this may be the degree for you. Keep in mind though; you can also go into practice as a licensed professional with a Master’s degree. There are several avenues to explore and only you can make the decision which one is best for you.
Before you decide to apply to ANY program, I highly suggest you complete an internship in your chosen field, and listen to the “professional you aspire to be.” They can be a tremendous help in guiding you.
Now I will tell you about my experiences with the Psy.D. application process. First of all, the GRE will most likely be a required part of your application packet. Some schools also will accept the M.A.T., which is the Miller Analogy Test. I unfortunately can’t tell you much about that; I didn’t take it. If you are interested in this test as opposed to the other, find out if your PROGRAM of interest will accept it NOT the school. The specific programs generally have much stricter guidelines to follow. The next step is the personal statement and the resume. These are very important documents because this gives the school a chance to learn something from you apart from your transcript. Since they will be judging your application based on your numbers (GPA, GRE scores, etc), it’s a good idea to make a good impression “personality” wise on paper as well. This way, they can get to learn a little about you before they even meet you. Once your application packet is received by the school, they will review it and give you a call with their decision to interview you or not. If yes, you will receive a detailed letter explaining the date.
Next is the interview stage. If you have portrayed yourself in a positive way, the school will invite you to an interview. With the Psy.D. Applications, this is a requirement. You will attend what is called an “interview day.” During this time, you and about 15 other students come and learn about the school, the program, gain information, and lastly, get interviewed! At Argosy University in Atlanta, one of the most nerve-racking interviews was when there were two professors in a room, and four applicants in a room. What the professors would do is they would ask a question, and then the students would answer in turn. Then the other professor would ask a question to the students one by one. The professors would pit you against your fellow applicants. This actually became quite fun after a while. This is your chance to look better than your fellow applicants, so be sure you have plenty to talk about when you go for interviews. Hint, Hint: INTERNSHIPS!!!
After the interviews, allow two weeks or so to hear back from the schools. Don’t call them a few days later; they won’t let you know their decision. After a few weeks have passed, you will get a phone call from the admissions representative you have been talking with from day one. (At this point, if you are anything like me, you have the school’s number stored in your phone and you see it on the caller I.D. when they call. This is how you know you are about to get the news). They will tell you their decision and then inform you that a letter will be coming in the mail for you to look out for. If you were accepted, you will have to sign an enrollment agreement and mail it back before you can register for classes.
When I applied, I only applied to 4 PsyD. Programs. They were: Argosy/Atlanta, Argosy/Chicago, Argosy/Minnesota, and the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. I got interviewed at all 4 schools, so at that point I began to relax… a very good thing to do at this point, although you should remember, don’t get ahead of yourself. This is an invitation to interview, NOT an acceptance letter. Now to be honest with you, I didn’t get accepted into ANY of the programs. What did I do at that point? I reapplied to Master’s programs at other schools, and I got into the Master of Arts in Community counseling at Argosy University in Atlanta, GA. I will begin in the fall, and I am VERY excited! The overall message I am trying to say is go for your dreams. If you land where you intended to, congratulations. If not, don’t by any means feel inadequate. Keep going for what you want and remember, this is a journey and not a destination. In the words of Dr. Fisk, “Hang in there!” Good Luck, and remember, this is a very competitive and difficult task. Give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far!
Elliot D. Flom
Georgia Southwestern State University, Class of 2007