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Clinical Psychology


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What to Expect

Clinical psychology students get to apply their knowledge to real human situations.

That's why Caroline Pukall chose the program. "I knew that I always wanted to work with people -- counseling them, being involved with people, running groups and stuff," she says.

However, Pukall also wanted a good foundation in research.

"I didn't want to be in a clinical program where it would be very, very clinical," she says. "I also wanted to have a very strong research component because I'm a researcher at heart."

Pukall took a combined master's and doctoral program. After her undergraduate degree, she took a year off to do a research assistantship. Then she started her graduate training.

Her research work gave her the opportunity to be sure this was what she really wanted to do before making the commitment. "I really just enjoyed very much the subject I was working on and I had my own ideas and I wanted to pursue them."

Angela Wahler took a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Maine in preparation for graduate school.

Because she took a liberal arts degree program, Wahler did not take just psychology courses. In addition to courses in child psychology, methods in psychology, and history and systems in psychology, she also took philosophy in the modern world and religions of the world.

But Pukall says the graduate program can be tough even for psychology majors.

"It's very demanding in the first two years," Pukall says. "At the same time, the classes are not impossible. There are lots of presentations and they're quite interesting."

The internship can also be an opportunity to get away from all those books, at least for a while. Pukall worked briefly in an institution, seeing patients referred to her by a psychiatrist.

How to Prepare

Pukall suggests you take math, chemistry and biology courses.

"Biology is very important because even in psychology, we are trying to look more and more into the organism, into the person."

She suggests getting related volunteer experience first -- just to be sure this program is for you.


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