For Students Interested in Graduate Training in Geropsychology
The Council on Professional Geropsychology Training Programs (CoPGTP) is dedicated to promoting training in geropsychology on four broad levels: graduate school, internship, postdoctoral fellowship, and post-licensure. There are an ever-increasing number of graduate programs and pre-licensure training opportunities available throughout the U.S. for those entering the field of geropsychology. This section provides an overview for individuals who are interested in graduate training in geropsychology.
Here are some steps you can take to learn more about training opportunities in geropsychology and prepare yourself for graduate training:
- Look at each CoPGTP member’s website to check out curriculum, faculty, and training sites in geropsychology.
- Check out the website for the Society of Clinical Geropsychologists (APA Division 12, Section II) (http://www.geropsychology.org/). The Society website includes a student section containing resources for training, research, and practice in geropsychology.
- Consult the website for APA’s Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) (http://apadiv20.phhp.ufl.edu/) which has a Guide to Graduate Study in the Psychology of Adult Development and Aging and provides information on graduate programs offering specialization in adult development and aging.
- Consult the website for Psychologists In Long Term Care (PLTC) (http://www.pltcweb.org/) which is a network of psychologists who provide mental health services in long-term care settings, including skilled nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, and congregate housing. At this site you can learn about the types of services psychologists provide in long-term care settings and view publications related to this area of practice.
- Do well in your undergraduate classes (GPA) and on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as most schools look at these objective indicators during the admissions process.
- Accrue some research experiences and skills that will prepare you for graduate training in psychology. It is perhaps best if you can gain some research experiences in geropsychology, but this may not always be possible. Regardless of topical area, a strong research foundation is an important asset.
- Contact potential research mentors at these graduate programs to see if there is a good fit between your interests and your potential mentor’s interests. It is important to find a mentor who is doing research work which you are, or can become, interested in.
- Gain some clinical experiences in the mental health area. Again, it is perhaps preferably if your clinical experiences are in geropsychology, but this may not always be possible. In any case, having some clinical experiences will help you determine if becoming a mental health professional is a good fit for you and it may also help you determine which populations you do and do not want to work with.
- Refer to the geropsychology competencies evaluation tool (on the CoPGTP website) to get a sense of what geropsychologists might do professionally.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to your involvement in the field of clinical geropsychology.