theonlyexception Posted June 13, 2017 Share Posted June 13, 2017 (edited) Hello everyone Long time lurker, first time poster here. I am looking for some advice. I am an Australian with a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree. This means that I did a four year degree in which all of the courses were in psychology. At the end of my degree I submitted a 25 000 word Honours dissertation based on an individual research project. To become a psychologist in Australia, you need a four year degree like mine, plus either (1) two years supervised practice (this will allow you to register as a 'Psychologist'), (2) a two year specialist masters program (this will allow you to register as a Specialised Psychologist (e.g. 'Clinical Psychologist' if you did a Clinical maters program), or (3) a three year PhD in a specialised psychology field this would allow you to also be licensed as Specialised Psychologist, e.g. 'Clinical Psych'. Most people who just want to work in clinical practice complete only a masters, and those who want to work in research and/or clinical practice generally complete a PhD. My goal is to work in clinical research and potentially clinical practice. After I graduated from my Honours degree in 2010 I accepted a PhD position in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal - my research was in the area of eating disorders, which is one of my areas of passion. It was a dream project for me and I was offered full tuition and living expenses covered on very competitive scholarships and fellowships. Unfortunately I became very depressed after only about 6 months into my PhD program. The depression was not entirely related to the PhD - I have a history of depression and it kinda came out of nowhere for me I withdrew from that program, being unable to get out of bed or attend classes at that time. Recovery of my health has been slow but steady over the last four years. I have been in full time employment as a researcher (in drug and alcohol/mental health research) at a university for three years. I am now completely healthy and still have a dream of completing further education to be able to go into the area of research and practice that I love (drug and alcohol work is not at all my area of passion). I applied to go back to McGill but have been unable to find a supervisor with funding - it is not going to happen. I have been accepted into the Master of Psychology in Education program at Columbia University, but I'm not sure whether to accept the offer or not. It seems that there would be some (if not lots) of crossover in course material of things that I have already covered in my undergrad degree. However, there are also courses at Columbia that I would never be able to take in Australia but am very interested in (forensic psych, attachment, etc). Since the Columbia Masters program does not lead to licensure, I think it's a waste of money if it were not fully funded - I would only consider going if I could obtain a full external scholarship from my home country (this in itself is obviously no easy feat to obtain). I wonder for people who know about this program - is it a good/worthwhile program, if it was fully funded? I am applying for a Clinical Psych PhD in my home country whilst simultaneously seeking a scholarship for Columbia. I should note that in Australia, PhDs are basically free. If both become viable options, I am unsure which to take. My chances of getting into a PhD program in Australia are very high, even with my bumpy track record regarding my dropout - I graduated as the top student in my Honours degree and have three years of relevant research experience. Since a PhD will lead to professional licensure, I can see that logically that path will advance my career quickly. However, the lure of New York, Columbia and new experiences is also very strong. Am I crazy for considering a Columbia masters rather than going straight into a PhD at home? Thanks for any advice! Edited June 13, 2017 by theonlyexception Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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