February 15, 2013
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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.