Life After Graduate School

For much of your graduate career, the prospect of graduating will seem dismally distant. Suddenly, however, you realize that you are close to meeting all requirements and the end seems frighteningly near. How quickly you complete the Program is affected by a wide variety of factors, including family responsibilities, health concerns, personal choices about when it is best to complete degree requirements, and how quickly you complete your master’s thesis. Since 2009, 76 students have matriculated through the Program; 73 of those students completed their degrees. Our attrition rate is 4%. The mean time to degree completion is 6.1 years.

In accord with APA Committee on Accreditation requirements implemented in 2017, we survey our graduates at 2 and 5 years post degree to solicit information about their post graduate professional activities as well as their satisfaction with their training. We have surveyed 45 graduates since 2017 and received information from 38 of them, for a return rate of 84%. The data suggest that our graduates obtain employment in a variety of clinical and research settings:

  • 40% of our graduates obtain positions at Medical Schools and Hospitals where they are engaged in a variety of clinical activities, assessment and treatment, supervision and research.
  • 14% are employed at universities or colleges where they are engaged in research and teaching.
  • 20% of our graduates provide clinical services, administration and supervision in community-based settings
  • 26% provide clinical services in private practice settings.

97% of our graduates are licensed psychologists; one graduate is employed as an assistant professor and did not seek licensure. Sixty- three percent of our graduates describe clinical services as their primary responsibility; 24% list research as their primary activity and 13% list research as a secondary activity. These data suggest that students in the program select from a variety of career paths and have training that prepares them for a variety of career trajectories. Many appear to combine clinical work, supervision, teaching and research in a manner consistent with the program’s commitment to integrated clinical and research training. Eighty-four percent of our graduates report that they provide consultation to other professionals; 69% report that they provide clinical supervision. Our students report that they remain active in professional organizations (84%) and attend professional conferences (82%). Many also contribute to the empirical literature.

Scholarly Contributions of Graduates: at 2 and 5 years post-graduation (% YES)

Published (peer reviewed) Articles: 63%
Conference Presentations: 61%
Received a Research Grant: 25%

Graduates report very high levels of satisfaction with their training across all professional competencies. Graduates were asked to rate the quality of their training and preparation in multiple areas on a scale of 1 (not at all prepared) to 6 (extremely well prepared). They report being especially satisfied with their training in research and clinical practice, including both assessment and intervention, and report high levels of satisfaction in their ability to apply research skills to clinical practice. They also provide high ratings on their ability to be reflective in both professional practice and interpersonal interactions and their commitment to life-long learning. A sample of ratings provided by graduates at 2 years post-graduation is listed below:

Research design 5.3
Critical reading of research literature 5.65
Synthesis and integration of research findings 5.75
Knowledge of psychopathology and diagnosis 5.6
Knowledge of appropriate psychological assessment tools 5.7
Ability to conceptualize case material for intervention 5.55
Ability to apply research skills to clinical practice 5.58
Use of empirically supported intervention tools 5.0
Assessment of efficacy of intervention efforts 4.85
Knowledge of ethical and legal standards 5.2
Ability to recognize and address ethical/legal issues in clinical practice 5.45
Ability to collaborate with professionals from other disciplines 5.0
Ability to provide clinical supervision 4.5
Ability to provide consultation to professionals 4.55
Ability to consult to community groups 4.4
Awareness of the role of cultural issues in clinical practice, teaching and research 5.10
Ability to work responsibly with individuals from diverse backgrounds 5.3
Awareness of the role of self-reflection in professional practice 5.55
Ability to use reflective practice in interpersonal situations 5.45
Ability to sustain lifelong learning and continuing education 5.75