UMUC to grad school?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ron_nicol, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. ron_nicol

    ron_nicol New Member

    Hello, I am currently knocking out my early classes through straighter line, and will be enrolled in a psychology program at UMUC by the end of the year hopefully. My question is this,

    is it realistic to think i can get into a reputable B & M grad school with a distance learning degree from a school such as UMUC?

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    The University of Maryland - University College is regional accredited; there should NOT be any problem for your future graduate school admission because of UMUC's reputation. However, the future graduate school admission depends on your undergraduate GPA, prerequisite courses, GRE/GMAT/MAT scores, professional experiences, recommendation letter, and etc. It also depends on the school competitive program, such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia's programs and etc.
  3. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    In which subject? Psychology? Possibly, but you should try to get some direct research experience under your belt, and be prepared to absolutely crush the GRE (general and psych). If all that fails, there's always Fielding University (the only online APA-accredited school w/ PhD in psychology program). Though at 24k/year (6 year average time to completion), you'll pay for it!
  4. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't say "If all that fails, there's always." I understand Fielding's PhD in Clinical Psychology admissions are competitive. Also for reference, Fielding's face-to-face meeting requirements are pretty high, though helpfully distributed at multiple sites across the U.S.
  5. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    I wasn't trying to disparage FU. If it wasn't for their exorbitant tuition fees, I might have applied to their PhD in Clinical Psychology program. That said, I doubt their as competitive as the least competitive APA-accredited B&M school w/ a PhD Psychology program. There might be the odd B&M PsyD program that is less competitive. This is all conjecture on my part of course. HOWEVER, as Fielding University does not require the GRE for admission to their PhD in Clinical Psychology at least partially proves my point. How many APA-accredited B&M PhD psych programs are you aware of that do not require the GRE?
  6. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    From what I know, I strongly disagree with the conjecture in the first sentence. For instance is Fielding clearly less competitive than the numerous branch campuses of Argosy, a for-profit, with APA approval? Fielding is non-profit, and the only hybrid program of its kind with APA. Exclusivity like this tends to coincide with competitiveness.

    I disagree extraordinarily strongly, unequivocally. Not requiring the GRE is for a doctoral program in professional psychology is nontraditional. Nontraditional admissions criteria ≠ easy, noncompetitive, less competitive, or fallback. Not requiring the MCAT or core premedical science coursework for admissions to a med school is nontraditional. If this relationship holds, we could conclude that the FlexMed program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai University is less competitive than other med schools because it doesn't require the MCAT or core premedical science coursework. But it isn't. It's not less selective. It just selects based on different criteria.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2014
  7. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    This pdf table shows the "Percentage of applicants offered admission among all applicants," between 2006 and 2011, to doctoral programs in clinical psychology.

    Fielding Graduate University offered admission to 31.23% of its applicants. So almost 70% were rejected. Still think we should describe this program in "If all that fails, there's always" terms? Nova Southeastern University (this program there is B&M) offered admission to 43.43% of its applicants. Antioch University New England, 54.29%. The New School for Social Research, 56.74%. Dozens of program didn't report data correctly and aren't compared, including programs one could reasonably guess were less competitive than Fielding's sui generis hybrid APA PhD. Of course, applicant pools are unequal.
  8. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Two of the three examples you've provided are PsyD programs NOT PhD programs, which of course is not the same thing, but for sake of argument we'll include them.

    Even when counting all three of these programs as being more selective than Fielding, that still places Fielding WAY down on the list (very close to the bottom) as far as selectivity is concerned. Okay, so I'll revise my original statement to read: "If all that fails, (and you're not able to attend a B&M program at Antioch, Nova or The New School) there's always Fielding University (the only online APA-accredited school w/ PhD in psychology program). Oh, and as aside, one would also need to be able/willing to spend $113,000 over 6 years for tuition at Fielding (not including travel and other expenses). Just sayin'.

    And let's stay on topic. I'm discussing graduate programs in clinical psychology with APA accreditation. You only have to go as far as the APA website to see what UNC itself answered to the question "What does your program evaluate in the first hurdle of the application process?" The answer? "Primarily two things: Academic potential as measured by grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and match to our program values and research."

    Now I'm sure you'll come back and cite examples where a handful of B&M APA programs do not require the GRE general exam (I'm not referring to the GRE Psych exam which is often not required for admission). In this case, I'll add a further addendum to my original statement.

  9. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Good point and very true. I don't think it changes anything else in our discussion.

    My disagreements are with these apparent premises:

    • that a program that rejects 69% of applicants should be framed as basically uncompetitive ("If all that fails, there's always")

    • and that because a program has nontraditional admissions criteria where less emphasis is placed on a standardized test – in this case no emphasis on either GRE – that this inherently supports the position that the program is less competitive ("at least partially proves my point"). Besides the counterexample of FlexMed at Mount Sinai, a good number of selective colleges that are SAT-optional at the undergraduate level would disagree. This includes Bowdoin, Sarah Lawrence, Sewanee, UT Austin, Wake Forest and others.

    But I think you're applying a principle – that because it doesn't ask for a widely-used test, this shows it's less competitive – that's broadly wrong, and analogies to programs other than in clinical psychology help show this.

    Fielding has chosen not to screen for one of the four criteria listed here. They still screen for the other three criteria. The screens they use are strong enough that for every three people who apply to the program they turn away two. This doesn't support characterizing Fielding as uncompetitive, which I think your framing above did.

    Really, even if Fielding's is the only program with this nontraditional twist to their acceptance criteria, this nontraditional twist ≠ acceptance being easy.

    Let's also remember that applicant pools are unequal between schools. I wouldn't be surprised if the PhD in clinical psychology at Fielding attracts a large number of excellent applicants who apply to few or no other programs because they can't fit in a B&M schedule and/or won't move. In many cases I expect these would be established professionals including master's-level counsellors, social workers, etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2014
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    But those "different criteria" still include standardized test scores. FlexMed requires the SAT or ACT.

    It's true that FlexMed, unlike other medical schools, does not require the MCAT. But FlexMed is also unlike other medical schools in that they only take applications from college sophomores, who have completed just 2 or 3 semesters of college-level work. The MCAT simply isn't appropriate for students at that level.

    These schools may accept applications without SAT or ACT scores. But in practice, most of the students who are actually admitted and enrolled at these schools do submit scores for the SAT or ACT (or both). Here are the percentages of enrolled students who took the SAT or ACT, from CollegeBoard:

    Bowdoin, 53% SAT, 27% ACT
    Sarah Lawrence: 47% SAT, 16% ACT
    Sewanee: 50% SAT, 51% ACT
    UT-Austin: 83% SAT, 55% ACT
    Wake Forest: 52% SAT, 40% ACT

    The combined numbers can exceed 100%, because some students take both tests.

    Incidentally, the numbers are lowest at Sarah Lawrence. According to CollegeBoard, Sarah Lawrence is considered "less selective", with a 77% acceptance rate. It is the least selective school on this particular list.
  11. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    I think the response from Tekman included something important, but frequently not given early enough consideration. One of the trickiest things to pin down about graduate school admissions is the letter of recommendation. If the University of Maryland’s distance learning program is an impersonal one, make a special effort now to cultivate relationships with those on your faculty who might be able to comment on your abilities in some meaningful way. If the most that can be said is that you turned assignments in on time and received such-and-such grade, that may not help you enter a competitive graduate program.

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