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Mervin R. Smucker, Ph.D., is an Experienced Psychologist

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Millersville University’s Graduate Clinical Psychology Program

Dr. Mervin R. Smucker earned a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. He then completed a Doctor of Philosophy in the same discipline at Penn State’s University Park campus.
Millersville University offers two tracks for graduate study of psychology: clinical and school. In each case, students earn a Master of Science upon completion of the program. The department awards a certification in school counseling for students working on a Master of Education.

Each student decides how many credits to pursue toward an M.S. in Clinical Psychology. Those who plan to enter a Doctoral program, following their Master’s level work, need only finish 42 credits; those seeking to become professional counselors and enter the workforce are encouraged to earn 60 credits. All students studying the clinical discipline must complete three core classes: psychopathology, research design and statistical analysis, and child development in the family system. To become eligible for a degree, students must meet several criteria, including achieving a 3.0 GPA in core courses, passing three core competency exams, and receiving favorable ratings from the graduate committee.

In addition to attending classes, all students in the clinical psychology program at Millersville must complete 600 hours of fieldwork. While most states require this workload of candidates seeking licensure, the University’s faculty insists that students not seeking licensure also complete this training. Taking place in the spring, the hands-on experience may not occur at a student’s current place of employment. Degree candidates can begin looking for a site in the fall, when the University provides a list of resources. Upon completion of the practicum, students earn six credits toward their diplomas.

The department encourages graduates to keep indefinitely the records of their coursework, including syllabi. In some cases, licensing agencies will ask for additional information regarding an applicant’s training.

Penn State’s Graduate Program in Psychology

Psychologist Dr. Mervin R. Smucker earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), where the Department of Psychology, located at the University Park campus, only accepts application from candidates to the doctoral program; although in many cases students earn a Master’s degree in the course of their studies.

Each year, Penn State’s Department of Psychology accepts a select group of applicants. In 2010, the admissions officials allowed 22 students to join the program, which includes about 100 graduate scholars. At the start of their tenure, students must select a major from five choices: Social, Industrial-Organizational, Clinical, Cognitive, and Developmental. They can then select a minor if they so desire, but the program does not require it.

The graduate psychology program consists of a variety of learning methods, including practical experience, research, coursework, and a dissertation, which must be completed by the end of the fifth year. The usual path for students includes taking classes during the first few years and finishing a comprehensive exam at the end of the third year. To fund psychology studies, some students serve as graduate assistants, working about 20 hours each week. Other financial aid comes from collaborating with professors on grant-funded research, private scholarships, and training grants.

Dr. Mervin R. Smucker followed the clinical track while engaging in his graduate studies at Penn State. He wrote a dissertation entitled, “The Children’s Depression Inventory: Norms and Psychometric Analysis.” Unlike some graduate programs for psychology, Penn State’s clinical training serves professionals who seek to engage in research in addition to treating patients. The institution’s faculty dissuades students who wish to concentrate solely on private practice. The clinical section of the program includes the scientific method, as well as intervention and assessment. Upon completion of the dissertation and the awarding of the Ph.D., students should be qualified for licensure in most U.S. states.

For more information about Penn State’s graduate psychology program, visit