Which Doctoral Program in Psychology is for Me?

We have prepared the following brief checklist. Pick the score that best describes your own status or aspirations with regard to each of four factors and then multiple the four scores to obtain your own total score. We offer suggestions about potential graduate schools to contact based on your score.  Here is the formula:

N30 * $ * C * E = Your score

[These four factors are all multipliers – they are not factors that simply add to one another. The power of each factor multiplies the impact of every other factor. A “zero” in any one factor yields a “zero” for the entire equation.]

Using your total score as a guideline, we then offer suggestions of the doctoral program in psychology and graduate school that you might want to consider attending. In several instances, we offer links to specific graduate programs. Please note that none of these identified graduate schools have paid for this endorsement and that our recommendation is based on broad-based reputation and reports from some of their students. Obviously, much more careful review is needed before selecting any of these institutions.

The four factors

N30 = North of 30

  • 0= I am under 30 years of age
  • 1= I am 30-39 years old
  • 2= I am 40-49 years old
  • 3= I am 50-=59 years old
  • 4= I am 60-69 years old
  • 5= I am 70 years of age or older

Your score:  __________

$ – Cost Effective

  • 0= I have no financial concerns
  • 1= I can afford to pay $1,000 per month (Tuition) and/or expect to earn at least $80,000 per year income after graduation.
  • 2= I can afford to pay $900 per month (Tuition) and/or expect to earn at least $100,000 per year income after graduation.
  • 3= I can afford to pay $800 per month (Tuition) and expect to earn at least $120,000 per year income after graduation.
  • 4= I can afford to pay $700 per month (Tuition) and expect to earn at least $140,000 per year income after graduation.
  • 5= I can afford to pay $600 per month (Tuition) and expect to earn at least $160,000 per year income after graduation.

Your score:  __________

C=Convenience

  • 0= I am not working and do not have major family obligations. I could attend graduate school full-time and live in a geographical location where residential graduate education is readily available.
  • 1= I am working part-time and/or have some family obligations and live in a geographic area where graduate education is readily available. I could attend graduate school during the evening or on weekends.
  • 2= I am working full-time and/or have major family obligations. However, I live in a geographic location where graduate education is readily available.  I could afford to attend a graduate school on weeknights and weekends – though this would be quite a demand.
  • 3= I am working full-time and/or have major family obligations and do not live near an educational institution that provides high quality graduate education in professional psychology. At least some of my classes would need to be offered on-line and I could make arrangements for some travel to a graduate school in my general area.
  • 4= I work full-time and/or have major family obligations. I live in an area where high quality graduate educations is not readily available. I would need all of my classes to be offered on-line, though I could attend at least one extended (3-4 day) in-person session once per year (at some accessible area of the world).
  • 5= I work full-time in a very demanding job and/or have major family obligations. I live in an area where high quality graduate educations is not readily available. I would need all of my classes to be offered on-line and some of them would even have to be asynchronistic (recorded in a manner that allows me to participate at a time of my own choosing).

Your score:  __________

E=Emergent Field of Psychology

  • 0=I am not a professional psychology and currently have received little training in the field, but am very interested in pursuing a graduate degree in professional psychology that will enable me to obtain a license and earn a living working in an established area of professional psychology (e.g. psychotherapy, psychodiagnostic assessments, personnel assessments in organizations, school counselling)
  • 1=I have a degree in psychology and am now working in the field (providing well-established psychological services). I wish to obtain a more advanced degree and license so that I can serve a broader population of clients and/or provide services as a higher fee.
  • 2=I already have a license in a mental health field. I just want to upgrade my existing psychological practices (and perhaps do some writing and/or teaching). I don’t need another license.
  • 3=I am a human service professional working in an area that does not need a license (e.g. consulting, human resource management). I wish to add new areas to my existing practice. I don’t need a license.
  • 4= I am a licensed human service provider who wants to add an emergent field of professional psychology to my existing practice. I won’t need another license, though could benefit from receiving a certificate of completion/proficiency from a credible institution. This emergent field (such as health psychology, executive coaching, applied decisional sciences/behavioral economics, family permanence/adoption) should hold the potential of becoming a major area of professional psychology, but at the present time probably does not require a license.
  • 5= I wish to become highly proficient and a noted expertise in a newly-emergent area of professional psychology. I expect to devote full-time to work in this new field. This emergent field (such as health psychology, executive coaching, applied decisional sciences/behavioral economics, family permanence/adoption) should hold the potential of becoming a major area of professional psychology, but at the present time probably does not require a license.

Your score:  __________

Total Score

N30 * $ * C * E = Your score

  • N30 Score: _________
  • $ Score: _________
  • C Score: _________
  • E Score: _________

Multiple These Four Scores [For example: 3[N30] * 4 [$] * 2 [C] * 3 [E] = 72]

Your Total Score: ___________ [Between 1 and 625]

Decision Point

  • Total Score: 0-100
    If your total score is in this range then you might want to consider applying to a public university in your own state and consider full-time enrollment in a doctoral program in psychology. As a “residential” student (often attending classes held during the day-time) you will be able to fully immerse yourself in your graduate program.
  • Total Score: 101-200
    If your total score is in this range, you might want to consider an independent doctoral program in psychology that requires you to attend full-time, though often enabling you to work at least part-time and attend classes in the evening or on weekends. Typically, you will be looking for a graduate school that is located in your own city or a nearby city so that you can commute to school.

    • Here are several possible graduate schools for you to consider (depending on where you live):
      • California
        California School of Professional Psychology (at Alliant University) [Multiple Locations]
      • Illinois
        Illinois School of Professional Psychology (at Argosy University)
  • Total Score: 201-400
    If your total score is in this range, you might want to consider an independent doctoral program in psychology that enables you to attend on a part-time basis and even do a great deal of work at a considerable distance from the graduate school (provision of “distance education”). The following graduate schools are highly regarded and enroll students from many different locations.

    • Fielding Institute
    • Saybrook Institute
    • Capella University
  • Total Score: 401-625
    If your total score is in this range, you might want to consider one of the few independent doctoral program in psychology that provides either psychological degree programs that focus on a specific domain of psychology or a graduate school that provides a “global classroom” at an affordable cost to mature and accomplished students enrolling from throughout the world.

    • Specialized Focus
    • Pacifica Graduate School (Jungian Psychology)
    • Global Classroom at an Affordable Cost for Mature and Accomplished Adult Learners throughout the World
      • The Professional School of Psychology