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GoAskJo Said,
December 24th, 2010 @10:54 am  

good question, I often wondered this myself when making my decision between an MSW and a Phd or PsyD in psychology.

phD programs in psychology are open to anyone with an undergraduate degree, though having certain pre-requisites does help and may be necessary. You likely will need to take the GRE and have some statistics and experimental psychology under your belt as well as a certain amount of credits in psychology. Programs are very competitive, however, and going for a masters in psychology may prepare you better for competing for a phD spot. Very few people can go from an undergrad straight to a PhD program without lots of experience in the field, which is hard to come by with a bachelors degree.

You may also consider a PsyD, which sometimes does not require a dissertation and tends to be less research focused.

I am completing an MSW at the moment and I can tell you that there is no transferring credits from one program to another. Although the fields can have identical scopes of practice in terms of clinical work especially, they are considered two different fields of study.

Call be biased, but there are advantages to an MSW over a psych PhD, but the psych PhD will give you more prestige and in-school experience as well as a more medicalized quantitative approach to mental health. A psych PhD can run from 5-7 years of education not including externships, and can be very expensive.

An MSW is typically 2 years unless you have a BSW at which point it might be one year to complete. You then sit for licensing exams to become in most states a Licensed Master of Social Work. 2-3 years in the field fulfilling certain roles can get you a second clinical license which enables you to practice psychotherapy independently, including having a private practice. Outside of performing psychological testing, you are qualified to perform basically all of the roles a clinical psychologist can. The programs differ in approach and your interests in mental health, your pocket book ,and length of study can help you determine which program is best for you. There is more to consider about the differences in programs, feel free to e-mail me!

If you have any further questions, you can find my e-mail address at my blog
http://www.goaskjo.blogspot.com

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