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 http://psych.la.psu.edu/graduate/index.html.