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Psychology Ph.D. alumni survey results

A new survey of alumni of the University of Maine’s largest Ph.D. program — clinical psychology — finds more than 95 percent are licensed practitioners and most are researchers. The majority of those who graduated between 1995 and 2010 live in the Northeast and nearly 67 percent are involved in grant-supported research.

“These survey results provide further validation of our graduate training efforts and fact that we have established a real center of excellence here at the university,” says Doug Nangle, professor and director of clinical training in the UMaine Department of Psychology. “Excelling in both practice and research, our graduates are impacting the mental health profession in Maine and beyond.”

At UMaine, clinical psychology has the fastest time-to-degree and lowest attrition rates among doctoral programs, Nangle says. National studies rank the program among the very best in terms of student scores on the profession’s licensing examination and placement rates for highly competitive predoctoral clinical internships.

The survey of the 54 doctoral students who graduated from the program in the past 15 years was conducted as part of an accreditation review by the American Psychological Association.  In 1968, the first Ph.D. student graduated from UMaine’s Department of Psychology, which is recognized nationally for its scientist-practitioner doctoral program. Since then, more than 150 doctoral students have received their degrees in clinical psychology.

Of the 54 doctoral students who graduated from the program between 1995 and 2010, 48 responded to the survey. Among the findings of the survey:

Nearly 58 percent of the graduates live in the Northeast, and nine of them live in Maine.

More than 95 percent who applied have received licensure.

Particularly impressive in the current economic climate, 100 percent were employed in the profession. Clinical psychologist was the most frequently endorsed job title (19 of them), followed by professor (12), postdoctoral fellow (6) and research/scientific director (5).

Consistent with the program’s scientist-practitioner training model, respondents said they spent most of their professional time in clinical service and research.

Within the five-year period preceding the survey, more than 77 percent had published research and nearly 67 percent had been involved in grant-supported research.

The alumni viewed assessment and research training, faculty openness and role modeling, and presentation opportunities as particular strengths of UMaine’s program.

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