Would you describe your program as more research-focused or more clinically-focused?
Both. The psychology department provides training in the scientist - practitioner model, which involves the integration of research and practice. The program extensively trains in both research and practice, with significant emphasis on competencies in both areas. Graduate students receive rigorous training in research methodology, design, and statistical analysis through coursework and completion of thesis and dissertation research under the guidance of faculty mentors. Students are encouraged and supported in their efforts to contribute to research dissemination through publication and presentation. Clinical training is also strongly emphasized. PhD students are required to complete at least 1600 hours of clinical training through their practicum placements, with opportunities to pursue additional clinical training hours beyond this minimum. Additionally, classes and research often include substantial clinical components: many students' thesis and dissertation projects involve intervention and/or assessment, and several classes (e.g., Behavioral Assessment, Intellectual Assessment, CBT, Psychopathology) emphasize clinical skills and competencies. In addition, most of the faculty members are licensed psychologists, and many faculty members actively engage in clinical practice. The program prepares graduates to successfully pursue licensure as clinical psychologists.
Some Master's students have also obtained clinical experience through involvement in clinically- relevant research.
Would contacting you help, or demonstrate my interest in the program?
If you have specific questions that can be addressed pertaining to your interest in her research or the program, you are welcome to email Dr. Geller. We receive many emails during the application season, but will try to respond to your questions in a timely manner. However, please know that it is not necessary to contact Dr. Geller prior to applying for the lab if you do not have specific questions that you wish to discuss.
What can you tell me about applying to the MS Program?
The MS Program is a good option for applicants who are research-focused or who wish to gain more experience prior to applying to doctoral programs. The MS program is focused on training in scientific research methodology relevant to psychology and the behavioral sciences. There is no clinical training associated with the MS program; however, students will complete an empirical thesis as a culmination of their studies.
What are funding opportunities like?
All PhD students receive a stipend of $15,000 per year. In addition to this stipend, students in the PhD program may have the opportunity to receive loans, fellowships, Graduate Assistantships, and/or teaching positions (after PhD students earn their MS, they can teach undergraduate courses independently).
PhD students also receive a $500 travel subsidy per year (for being first or second author on a conference presentation). In addition, the department remits PhD students' tuition ($25,920 per year) and covers basic Aetna student health insurance (worth approximately $1,200/year) and student fees (worth approximately $750/year) for four years.
Students in the M.S. program have a number of supplementary income options as well. They may serve as CDAs (Course Design Assistants - this is an online TA-ship open to Master's students), take out loans, work part-time jobs, serve as Teaching Assistants or Graduate Assistants, and/or obtain Work Study positions. Master's students can also receive the $500 travel subsidy.
Please note that not all of these funding sources will be available to every student. Also, department funding for PhD students is not offered after the fourth year.
What's it like living in Philadelphia?
In many ways, Philadelphia is an ideal city for graduate students. The city has a vibrant cultural environment, which includes restaurants, museums, recreational activities, and nightlife. Philadelphia boasts many sports teams, including the Phillies, Eagles, and Sixers, which have large dedicated fan bases. In addition, because there are several universities in the area, Philadelphia has a large population of graduate students and young professionals. Philadelphia is relatively affordable in terms of housing: apartments ranging in price and size are available in many neighborhoods in the city and its surrounding areas. Philadelphia is easily accessible by public transportation and car, and is also very walkable.
In terms of professional development, Philadelphia has a rich history and active presence in the field of psychology, particularly in cognitive-behavioral therapy, and is the home of the Beck Institute. In addition, Drexel maintains strong relationships with numerous universities, hospitals, and treatment facilities in the Philadelphia area, which is evidenced by the practicum and research opportunities the department offers. Furthermore, the city has a diverse population in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and race. Therefore, students in our program have the opportunity to work with a wide range of individuals in their practica and research. Furthermore, the tri-state area provides numerous opportunities for clinical training- the Clinical Psychology PhD program currently offers nearly 50 practicum sites (with specialized options for students interested in Health Psychology).