Where to get Doctoral degree in public health or psychology

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by tenbsmith, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. Bao

    Bao Member

    Hello Howard:
    I do agree with you that professional accreditations are important in many academic fields. I do not know much about the psychology field, and I have two questions would like to ask you. Have you ever think about working on the respecialization in Clinical Psychology with The Fielding Institute (or some other APA accredited schools)? http://www.fielding.edu/schoolpsy/rcp.htm
    Is this a route leading to a qualification similar of having a PhD degree from an APA accredited school?

    Best regards,
  2. tenbsmith

    tenbsmith New Member

    This is exactly the sort of feedback for which I was looking. Howard I can't tell you how much I appreciate this honest assessment. I can see the logic of what your saying. Degrees from any non-APA-accredited program are always going to appear suspect to others in your field, regardless of RA.
    (I beleive fielding is the only program that provides both APA accreditation and DL.) I'm not aware of other implications of getting a PhD from a non-APA-accredited school. Are there any?

    As I understand it, the key to counseling from a business perspective is the ability to be reimbursed by insurance. To be reimbursed you have to be licensed. Is APA accreditation required for that or do you just have to have a doctorate and pass the test?

    For me clinical stuff doesn't matter 'cause I'm a researcher. As far as I know the only real important thing to a researcher is the acceptance of my degree by my peers and potential employers. Therefore, the all or nothing strategy you outline above seems appropriate. Either get a degree from an APA school or save your money and go the research route at a non US school. I think other researchers would be more impressed with a degree from a known non-RA UK university than they would with one from Tuoro, despite the fact that Tuoro is RA.

    The benefit of RA is 1) guarantee of a certain general level of quality, and 2) recognition of classes and degrees at other RA schools. Given I'm not planning further education, transfer of classes/degree is not imporant. Given I will find a quality prof to work with and have good resources at work general quality is not so much of an issue (I'll look for quality in my specific area). Reputationaly, a schools contribution to a given field is more important than its RA status.

    Therefore: I see two choices, each with separate advantages:
    1) Go to an APA accredited school. Ideally an in-state school with low tuition. Possibly Fielding, but I don't know if I could afford that. For example, tuition at Georgia State University would be lower than at Capella or Fielding. To go the traditional University route I'd need to find a faculty member to serve as mentor and advocate, who would understand my situation and help guide me to a PhD.
    2) Go with a foreign research based PhD route, hopefully using my current boss and mentor to find a faculty member with reputational significance in my field to serve as my sponsor.

    If there are advantages to the middle ground I've overlooked, someone please enlighten me. Heck, all feedback is welcome. Any way I slice it, its a long, tough road to hoe, and I want to be sure I fully understand all my options before I make a decision.
  3. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Psychology isn't my field and I haven't closely studied all the previous posts in this thread. Nevertheless, I'm going to disagree with that.

    As far as I know, the APA only accredits doctoral programs in school, counseling and clinical psychology, along with programs in one of those specialties combined with work in scientific psychology. That makes me wonder what the relevance of the APA is to a psychologist studying something like perception, psycholinguistics, animal behavior or cognitive science.

    Stanford University has one of the most prestigious psychology departments in the United States, but I don't believe that it is APA accredited. (Stanford does have APA accreditation, but it is for its school counseling program offered by the school of education, not for its psychology department in the school of humanities and sciences.

    I don't believe that Harvard appears on the APA's accreditation lists at all.


    My layman's eye view of this is that students probably should start off by defining both their precise area of research interest and the career track that they would like to follow post-graduation. Then seek programs optimized in that research area which have the accreditations appropriate to that career track. I don't think that APA accreditation is critical in many research specialties, although it might be if your research is clinical or something.
  4. tenbsmith

    tenbsmith New Member

    Thank you Bill. That was an important point of clarification.

    Based on this I'm going to edit my last post replacing 'APA accreditation' in parts where I refer to my choices with something like 'strong reputation in my field of interest.'

    Its probably worth looking at this if your interested in psych grad school in North America:

    Graduate Study in Psychology, 2003 Edition
    Graduate Study in Psychology offers complete practical information about over 500 psychology programs in the United States and Canada. This edition provides current facts about programs and degrees offered, admission requirements, application information, financial aid, tuition, and housing.
  5. tenbsmith

    tenbsmith New Member

    Alright, I didn't know about the 10 minute rule on edits so I'm not going to edit my old post. I'll repost a slightly modified version of my two choices.

    Therefore: I see two choices, each with separate advantages:
    1) Go to a well recognized school, probably a traditional bricks and mortar school, but possibly something like Fielding Institute. Going to a state university on in-state tuition could be less expensive than Capella or Fielding. To go the traditional university route I'd need to find a faculty member to serve as mentor and advocate. This mentor would not only need to understand my situation, he'd have to help me with issues of not spending too much time on campus, and guide me through the perils of obtaining a PhD.
    2) Go with a foreign research based PhD route, hopefully using my current boss and mentor to find a faculty member with reputational significance in my field to serve as my sponsor.

    If there are advantages to the middle ground I've overlooked, someone please enlighten me. Heck, all feedback is welcome. Any way I slice it, its a long, tough road to hoe, and I want to be sure I fully understand all my options before I make a decision.
  6. I think you need to look at the middle ground. I don't know the schools you are considering, but your two choices seem to be to (1) go to well-recognized U.S. school or (2) go to crappy foreign school. This doesn't make sense to me. I think you should aim for the best you can afford (and can be admitted to). Many half-baked English, South African, and Australian postgraduate programs are not worth pursuing (even if they were free). My advice: consider a foreign institution only after considerable investigation of the specific program and your proposed research supervisor (and considerable thought about how they match your own goals).
  7. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Bill's correct in this regard. None of the Harvard psychology degrees are APA accredited. I believe that the APA accreditation is reserved ?exclusively?primarily for clinical/counseling programs. If you're more interested in methodology, etc. then APA shouldn't mean anything. However, RA continues to have significant meaning (IMHO). The only possible reason to disregard RA is if you are absolutely certain that you will never plan on moving forward in your career track. Of course, if this were the case, I'd wonder why you would bother with the doctoral degree at all. Good luck,
  8. David Williams

    David Williams New Member


    APA accreditation is something we've discussed at length. I'm a licensed psychologist and I generally weigh in so if you were to do a search on my name you could access these threads retrospectively. I've never looked at the Northcentral website but all of the people I know who identify themselves as health psychologists are licensed and engage in applied clinical work and were trained in either counseling- or clinical psychology programs. There is a health psychology division within APA and it might be worth your while to go to the APA website, look it up and see what it says. It seems to me that the sort of research skills you wish to acquire might be obtained in doctoral programs other than public health or psychology; sociology, epidemiology or even educational research come to mind. I don't know about GSU but if you can make the commute (which lots of folk do) UGA in Athens has a very strong ERS program. Best of luck,

  9. simon

    simon New Member


    The impression is that you are experiencing a significant level of internal pressure to reach your goal of acquiring a doctorate. It may be advantageous to proceed in a more methodical and sequential manner that involves initially defining what specialization would be most congruent with your future goals. Subsequently, you may be in a better position to begin the process of searching for appropriate schools that parallel your academic interests.

    Scatter gun approaches to educational/career planning usually result in a loss of time and effort. Therefore, it may be feasible to meet with a credentialed career specialist who understands your professional, personal and academic needs and who can assist in clarifying and prioritizing the steps needed to develop a realistic and viable plan eventuating in the accomplishment of your goals.
  10. tenbsmith

    tenbsmith New Member

    In terms of accreditation, I was under the impression that all non-US schools were unaccredited. I've start another thread on this topic. Really, the idea of a degree by research is what I was referring to, and I assumed that all 'research' degrees were unaccredited. Is this the case?

    The degree by research appeals b/c I could make the a lot of that work dovetail with my current responsibilities, and I have plenty of good data at my disposal for writing papers. If I can get degree by research from an accredited school, I'll choose that route.

    Thanks all for the clarificatoin about APA accreditation connection to clinical stuff.

    David Williams: I agree, I could probably make a degree from one of these other areas work for me as well. I will continue to look at GSU for possibilities since it is literally 15 minutes fromwhere I live and work (UGA is more like 90+ minutes, and the + can be big with atlanta traffic being what it is).

    I would love to find a career specialist who could help me, but I'm so specialized I don't see that as feasible. Really, I don't view my approach as scatter-shot. I need a doctoral level degree that will be accepted in public health research settings.

    The bad news, the prof I knew at GSU just took a job at datmouth. Damn! No more strong connections at GSU.

    Finally, I want to thank all who have participated. I'm finding this
    discourse very useful.

    Happy thanksgiving to all the other yanks out there. I'll check in again monday.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2002
  11. DWCox

    DWCox member

    When I was enrolled in NCU a policy existed that a students' tuition never increased from the first date of enrollment as long as the student remained actively enrolled. Call NCU and ask to speak with Susan Penn to clarify this information.
  12. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    Out of curiosity, I called and spoke with Ms. Penn and another Admissions Counselor. They both confirmed that the only way to ensure that a student's tuition does not go up is to pay tuition for the entire degree program upfront. They both speculated, as we have in this thread, that tuition will likely increase once NCU is fully accredited.
  13. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    The new U of Phoenix doctorate is a Doctor of Health Administration. I just received an e-mail from UOP re the program which they plan to start via DL next year.
  14. tenbsmith

    tenbsmith New Member

    Thanks Ian. I'll keep an eye on it. Though at this point I'm wanting a more research oriented degree, and this is not a perfect fit. Always good to have more info though.

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