Where to take psychology night classes in New York?
January 9, 2006 6:19 PM   Subscribe

New York collegefilter. I'm thinking about applying to grad school for psychology. I'm 27, live in New York, and have a BA in something that is not psychology. I'd like to start taking non-credit classes now to strengthen my application, meet professors who could write letters of recommendation, and not least of all, make sure I really want to do this!

So, taking into consideration cost, location (live in Bushwick, work in Soho), night-class-friendliness, and strength of psychology program, y'all have any suggestions?
posted by the jam to Education (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you contacated MA psych programs and asked them if you need to beef up your application?

Maybe they'll take you based on interest?

Might as well check first, right?

Also, are you definately staying in NYC or are you willing to go elsewhere?
posted by k8t at 6:22 PM on January 9, 2006

you usualy don't need a degree in a feild to get into grad school in that feild. I don't know about psych, though.
posted by delmoi at 6:25 PM on January 9, 2006

I know a lot about this but don't have time to post now -- send e-mail to me and we can chat about it. But let me just say this -- Hunter College may be your best friend.
posted by escabeche at 6:30 PM on January 9, 2006

The New School on 5th Ave and 14th always took people who did not have a psych undergrad background. It used to be v difficult to get through past the MA level. Some great faculty.
posted by madstop1 at 6:33 PM on January 9, 2006

Depending on the area of psychology you're interested in, the lack of undergraduate training may be more or less important. If you're applying to clinical psych or social psych, the undergrad coursework may matter more. Several of the students in the cognitive area of my program, however, don't have an undergrad degree in psychology.

Also, probably the best way to get a really good rec from professors is to get involved in their research. You could probably find a few in NY who are doing something you're interested in and would be happy to have the assistance in your lab. Even if you're not interested in doing research, it still looks good to have some for the application.
posted by logicpunk at 6:36 PM on January 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Not sure how it is in NY but in the Midwest a MA in Psych. has very little, if any, stature. A Ph.D. is essential for any serious academic or clinical career in Psychology. Often the MA in psych is offered to students who wash out of Ph.D, programs. Please make sure you are clear regarding you employment and/or academic objectives. If you hope to use the Masters in a clinical situation there are other Masters that may be more appropriate/useful.
posted by rmhsinc at 6:45 PM on January 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


An friend of mine was in a similar situation to yours (he had Philosophy B.A.) and he decided to go into a psychology certificate program at Columbia. That certificate helped him get into a Ph.D program for Social Psychology at U of Arizona and now he is publishing in the field and happy. (One thing to keep in mind is that this guy is a motivated workaholic with connections and money.)
posted by eighth_excerpt at 9:40 PM on January 9, 2006

Phd or MA.? I have a friend who started to get a MA in psych but then left the program. He said it was only training to give and score psych tests to school kids.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:37 PM on January 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you're interested in clinical psych (you don't say), I'd seriously consider a Master's in Social Work instead. It's a practical, terminal professional degree that is cheaper and certainly as useful as a PhD psych. MSWs can't do school testing in the same way, but everyone I know who has seriously wieghed the two degrees for clinical work ends up recommending the MSW (this includes people who've been through psych PhD programs). If you're interested in research, please disregard.
posted by OmieWise at 5:55 AM on January 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

I did exactly this a few years ago! My BA was in another field and I had no psych background. I took Intro to Psych at the New School for no credit. I liked it and wanted to continue so I then took Abnormal and Cognition at Fordham (this was a summer intensive, so I did them both in a month, one in the Bronx and one at Lincoln Center). In the fall I took Stats and Child Psych and started doing research with the Cognition professor. In the spring I took Research Methods, continued the research with the professor, and had a part-time job with a local psychologist, doing her billing and insurance submissons. So basically, by the end of 9 months, I had all the basic undergrad coursework, research experience, and a relationship with two professors and a professional for recommendations.

But in the end I decided not to apply to any grad programs (testing out the interest was a very good idea, in my case).

I had considered the Columbia post-BA program mentioned above, but it turned out that Fordham was cheaper and more flexible/faster with their summer intensives option. I never did look into Hunter because at the time I thought it was in Long Island.

For grad, one last thing I'll mention is that the New School has a unique psychology program where you apply for the MA (thus less competitive), and after two years if all goes well you can automatically proceed to the Ph.D.

One last, last thing: I have a bunch of books (circa 2002/2003) about careers in Psych and how to get into grad school. If you'd like them, email me (in profile) and I'd be happy to pass them on.
posted by xo at 9:39 AM on January 10, 2006

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