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** What I've learned--SCHOOL PSYCH **


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Hi everyone, 


I went on a number of interviews this application season, and I just thought I'd share my thoughts about each of the school psychology programs that I visited, and some general tips. I'm doing this because there seems to be a lot of general advice but not a lot of specifics on schools. 


Feel free to add your own!


University of Wisconsin-Madison

School Psychology PhD



-This school is really well-known in school psych circles, for good reason!

-They have a 100% match rate for APPIC internships, and prepare you from Day 1 to be extremely competitive for these sites

-They have a great relationship with the surrounding schools

-The Waisman Center gives grad students opportunities to work with kids with autism and other developmental disorders

-Madison is a liberal, healthy, and cool place to live, and is pretty close to Milwaukee

-You don't have to write an official Masters thesis: they have you write a lit review which serves as your "thesis" and is considered the first step in writing your dissertation



-It's COLD there!

-The facilities really leave something to be desired. Not a lot of natural light, and there's a lot of beige and brown

-A lot of the current faculty is graying, which means that they'll be retiring in the near future (though this could be a positive because they are going to get some AMAZING young faculty to replace them)

-No guarantee on funding, though the students that I talked to said that in general, almost 100% of students are funded after the first semester


University of Washington

School Psychology PhD



-Great location. Who doesn't love Seattle? Plus the campus is gorgeous.

-Really great faculty with diverse research interests

-Facilities are beautiful

-Job security after getting your Ed.S. degree



-You HAVE to complete the Ed. Specialist degree first, which amounts to the first 3 years. Additionally, when you're getting this degree, you're in a "self-sustained" program which means that you pay per credit which means that there is NO FUNDING

-May I repeat: NO FUNDING. I believe they have one fellowship for each incoming cohort of about 35 students. The odds are that you will be paying out of pocket (or through loans) for the first three years. After you become a PhD student (last 3 years) it's likely that you will be funded

-Their program is 6 years as opposed to the traditional 5


University of California- Berkeley

School Psychology PhD



-Location! Berkeley is super liberal and the Bay Area is a great place to live when you're young

-The students are really close, and care about each other

-The Grad School of Education has its own choir, directed by the head of the School Psych program (adorable!)

-Opportunity to work with diverse student populations

-Berkeley has a great reputation and is considered an incredible research university


-Their M.O. is to train school psychologists. That means that if you're planning more of an academia route, this is likely not the place for you

-They require two part-time internships, as opposed to the traditional full-time APPIC internship. This makes it much harder to submit these hours for licensure. 

-Not the best relationship with schools in the area

-Cost of living is incredibly high

-No guaranteed funding, though all students are funded by their second year in the program


Columbia University

School Psychology PhD



-It's Teachers College, Columbia. This name carries a lot of weight in education circles.

-The faculty is extremely well-connected, so if you express your career goals early on they can get your name out to the right people

-Small program, so lots of individual attention and support

-You start meeting with individual clients starting your first semester (with a lot of support, of course!). Most schools have students meet with clients in pairs or wait until the second year.

-New York is awesome!

-Their clinic is exceptional, and they have access to every test/assessment you can think of.

-Their APPIC match rate is great.



-That Ivy League superiority really came through when I was meeting with the faculty--a turn off.

-It's extremely expensive to live in New York, so you'll almost certainly have to live in an outer borough or have a roommate.

-The most they really offer in terms of funding is 50% tuition (and that's for all 5 years)

-Seems to be a big focus on assessment--if that's your thing, then it's probably great


I'll add more later, but these are just some thoughts for now :)

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