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#332 - 09/26/2004 17:53 PM Bridging the Gap: Am I ready for grad school?
GIBO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/26/2004
Loc: MD
I'm interested in pursuing an MS, or perhaps eventually a PsyD in Counseling Psychology but my undergrad is a BS in Liberal Studies from an online school, Excelsior College. My undergrad credits were compiled from military experience, several exams, and a few easy online courses scattered over the last decade. I feel very much unprepared to dive into graduate work, but I feel that going back for a second bachelor's might be a waste of time. On the other hand, taking more than one year of "catch-up" undergrad courses seems like a waste if I'm not at least pursuing a BA. I am not confident in my math skills and feel that I would be at a disadvantage if I didn't benefit from the dozen or so psychology classes that make up an average undergrad degree.
Aside from studying for the GRE, what other preparations do you feel are in order? Approximately how many additional credits might be needed to obtain another Bachelor's in psychology, and is that really time well spent? With children and a job, I would have little time to pour over extraneous text books and research papers.

#333 - 10/11/2004 13:01 PM Re: Bridging the Gap: Am I ready for grad school?

If you will have "little time to pour over extraneous text books and research papers" then you need to consider if obtaining a master's of
doctorate is something you want/need to pursue.

Going to graduate school is all about research, textbooks, papers, and study. You are even required to do your own research. The mathematics skills most needed for graduate study in psychology are in statistics. You will not only be required to study several levels of this math, but will need to use it for your own research project.

Your degree from Excelsior is regionally accredited. Your degree is "competitive" for admission to graduate schools, but selection is determined by the pool-of-applicants. Scores from your GRE, GP.A., and interviews all are
measured against all other applicants. I usually do not recommend that people complete two bachelor degrees. Usually taking the "pre-requisite" courses you will need to enter the field of psychology are adequate for admissions. To complete an entire B.S. in Psychology you will need 30-40 more credits. I'd ask the Admission departments of the schools for which you want to apply for graduate study their suggestions, and if a degree in psychology (vs. courses) will help you become more competitive over their other applicants.

E. Faith Ivery, Ed.D.
Educational Advisory Services, Inc.

#334 - 11/21/2004 13:16 PM Re: Bridging the Gap: Am I ready for grad school?
tcnixon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/2004
Loc: California, USA
Faith offers good advice, particularly if you are looking at a residential program. If you are considering one of the online universities, such as Capella University , then it would certainly be less competitive.

What you may discover about many psych graduate programs is that, if you don't have the undergraduate, they will require you to complete a number of B.A. level courses before admitting you (or they will provisionally admit you and you will need to complete those first). This is very common because many graduate students in psychology have degrees in other areas.

Tom Nixon
Author, Bears\' Guide to Earning High School Diplomas Nontraditionally Co-author, Bears\' Guide to the Best Education Degrees by Distance Learning
Author, Complete Guide to Online High Schools
Co-author, Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning

#335 - 12/24/2004 02:24 AM Re: Bridging the Gap: Am I ready for grad school?
Zon 7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/24/2004
Hi Gibo,

I understand how you feel and the way you want to pursue graduate studies.

Your best options are a private U.S. online university, as Tcnixon suggests, or a foreign nationally accredited school.

Looking beyond your neck of the woods at other countries, you may be amazed with what you can find. Most countries in Europe now offer fully online programs in English, many European universities will accept you for a master's program in psychology regardless of what you bachelor's major is. In most European and Australian universities, higher degrees, both masters and Ph.D's, are purely research degrees requiring a thesis or dissertation only, but not coursework.

And, don't worry too much about maths. Psychological statistics require only a knowledge of basic maths and, besides, today almost all statistical computations are done by computer software programs.

Zon 7


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