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Top 10

Reasons to Attend Radford University's Program in Clinical-Counseling Psychology

A survey of graduates from the clinical program in psychology for the past 10 years reveals our list of the top 10 reasons to attend Radford University’s Clinical program in psychology (in no particular order) 

1. QUALITY OF PROFESSORS

  • Of all the comments received from alumni, the quality of the professors was the most often cited strength of the program.
  • Faculty were consistently described as extremely knowledgeable, professional, accessible, responsive, and supportive of students’ personal, academic, and professional development.
  • Students expressed appreciation regarding the diversity of the faculty’s teaching and research interests.  
  • Alumni valued the diversity of the faculty. Their core courses were taught by a wide range of doctoral level faculty, from Clinical Psychology, Experimental Psychology, School Psychology, and the doctoral program in Counseling psychology.  

2. PROGRAM SIZE AND ATMOSPHERE

  • Alumni consistently cited the relatively small number of students in the Clinical program and core classes as another major strength of our program.  
  • Students credited the size of the Clinical program as facilitating increased discussion among peers and professors as well as enhancing individual attention from professors.
  • Although every year brings a new cohort of students, alumni also consistently cited the friendly and supportive atmosphere among the students in the program. Faculty strongly encourage camaraderie and cooperation among our students, and a large number of our alumni commented on the lasting friendships they made through the Clinical Psychology program.
  • The program also attracts a diverse range of students, from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and geographic areas.

3. CURRICULUM

  • Alumni repeatedly praised the broad range of courses offered as well as the rigor of the courses.
  • Coursework provides a solid foundation for students entering the workforce or for those pursuing further graduate education.
  • Alumni emphasized the strong training and skills they had received in diagnosis, assessment, therapy, and research.
  • Students commented that classes are taught in an applied manner which enabled them to quickly translate skills and knowledge gained in the classroom into real-world settings.
  • Through elective courses, students can further explore and develop their areas of interest and expertise outside of the required courses.
  • The program only requires 4 semesters for completion.  Students have the option of completing elective courses during the summer.

4. INTERNSHIP/BALANCE OF CLASSROOM AND REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE

  • Graduates from the program consistently cited the Practicum and Internship experiences available as a major strength of our program.
  • They cited the balance between their classroom work and the real-world hands-on experience they received and their ability to apply the skills they had learned.
  • Alumni consistently reported that they were very pleased with the diversity of practicum and internship sites available, which provided them with the opportunity to gain clinical experience with the population of clients with whom they ultimately hoped to work.
  • Many students also cited benefits associated with the opportunity to complete a 2 semester internship.
  • Many graduates attributed their success on the job market to the experience they had gained on internship. Quite a few graduates reported that they had been hired by the organization where they had completed their internship.

5. RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES AND COLLABORATION BETWEEN STUDENTS AND FACULTY.

  • The program provides opportunities to conduct research with faculty from diverse backgrounds. For example, students can conduct research with faculty from the Clinical program, the Experimental program, the School Psychology Program, or with faculty teaching in the Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology.
  • Students who have a strong interest in research have the choice of completing the MA degree which requires a thesis. Students who are less interested in research may complete the MS degree which does not require completion of a thesis.
  • Many alumni who engaged in scholarship with faculty have been co-authors on peer-reviewed published manuscripts and/or have presented papers as regional, national, or international conferences.
  • Several graduates from our program reported that they had obtained funding from the university to present results of their research at regional, national, or international conferences.

6. SUCCESS OF OUR GRADUATES

  • Another strength consistently cited by our alumni reflected the high quality of education that they received in our program.
  • Students who went on to doctoral programs reported feeling very prepared to meet the demands of future graduate work.
  • Similarly, those who went on to pursue work in a clinical setting reported being well prepared to conduct interviews, formulate diagnoses, conduct intellectual and personality assessment, and to utilize a wide range of therapeutic techniques with a wide range of clients. 
  • High marketability of a RU clinical master's degree in the region, given its reputation for training high quality practitioners.

7. FUNDING/ASSISTANTSHIPS

  • Students consistently reported that Radford University provides excellent value at a very competitive price. The tuition at RU is very competitive.
  • Many graduate assistantship opportunities are available both within, and external to, the Psychology Department. Students may assist faculty with research, instructional or office duties or work in an administrative office.  Other students have obtained positions as a Resident Director or in the Office of Sexual Assault and Substance Abuse.
  • After completion of their first year in our program, students may apply for a Graduate Teaching Fellowship (GTF), which is described below.
  • Many students also are eligible for more traditional forms of financial aid. See the link to scholarships and grants at http://finaid.asp.radford.edu/grprog.html.

8. OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH

  • During the second year of our program, some students are awarded a Graduate Teaching Fellowship.
  • Students who receive this competitive assistantship teach two sections of Introduction to Psychology each semester.
  • Alumni who had served as GTFs consistently cite this as a very unique and highly enjoyable educational experience. 
  • Under the supervision of one of our senior faculty members, students receive extensive training in college teaching. This experience provides them with the opportunity to increase their general background in the field of psychology, develop their teaching and public speaking skills, and learn about a variety of educational technologies.
  • For many of our alumni, the GTF piqued their interest in pursuing a career in teaching.

9. INDIVIDUALIZED

  • Although students are required to complete a core set of requirements which ensure a very broad background and training in Clinical Psychology, many alumni reported that they were very pleased with the flexibility of the program and the opportunity to individually tailor it to match their academic and research interests.
  • Students can complete a thesis and earn the Master of Arts degree or they can complete an extra semester of internship and earn the Master of Science degree.
  • Summer school is available, but not required.
  • Students take classes from, and can conduct research with, faculty with a wide range of teaching and research interests.
  • There are a wide range of practicum and internship opportunities available to obtain valuable experience with the clinical population or clinical setting in which they ultimately want to work
  • There are a variety of elective courses available both in the Psychology Department as well as in other departments across campus, which allow students to gain additional information in topics of interest to them.

10. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

  • As any good real estate agent will tell you, location, location, location really is an important factor in people’s choices of where to live. Although typically we could not describe this as a strength of our program per se, it was so consistently mentioned that we cannot in good faith leave it off our list. 
  • Students consistently described the beauty and friendliness of the campus and community.  
  • They also consistently described Radford and the New River Valley as “a beautiful part of the country” that has a lovely river, nice parks, good hiking opportunities in the area and larger cities nearby for those who like to go shopping.
  • Is within easy driving distance to Blacksburg (15 miles) and Roanoke (45 miles). 
  • Alumni also cited the cost of living in the New River Valley as much lower than in larger cities.
  • Many alumni also indicated that they felt very “at home” on our campus of approximately 10,000 students.  The university is large enough to offer a wide variety of services and experiences but small enough that students do not “feel lost” as could be the case on a much larger campus.

So…why come to Radford University’s Master’s Degree Program in Clinical Psychology?

Great teachers, great size and atmosphere, great curriculum, great internship opportunities, great research opportunities, highly successful graduates, great funding opportunities, the possibility of teaching Intro to Psychology, a program that you can tailor to your individual interests, and located in a beautiful part of the country…..come visit us and see for yourself!

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