Facts and Figures
The number of applications received by doctoral psychology programs in 1998-1999 was very similar to the previous year, with no significant changes.
APA's Research Office, in conjunction with APA's Education Directorate and various education and training groups, conducted the 1998-1999 Survey of Graduate Departments of Psychology in response to requests over the past year by faculty, advocacy groups and policy-makers for national-level data on applications and enrollments of graduate students.
The number of applications to terminal master's psychology programs decreased by 9 percent in 199899, according to new data from APA's Research Office. The largest decrease in master's applicants was seen in research subfields where the number of applications dropped 29 percent. This decrease could be attributed to several factors, including a decrease in the number of programs to which students are applying.
In addition to a lower rate of applications to terminal master's programs, the survey found that:
More than half of all students who applied to terminal master's degree programs in psychology for 199798 applied to departments that offer health-service provider (HSP) programs in clinical, counseling, school and health psychology programs. The remaining applicants were almost equally split between research subfields (such as developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and social psychology) and other psychology-related subfields (such as special education and marriage and family counseling).
Although the majority of departments reported that they did not collect or track minority information during the application process, those departments that did collect minority information reported that 14 percent of all applicants were minorities, with other psychology-related programs receiving more minority applications than HSP and research programs.
In 1997-1998, doctoral programs in the United States and Canada received more than 20,000 applications; 63 percent were for HSP programs, 32 percent were for research-related programs and the remaining 5 percent were for other psychology-related programs.
Minority applications accounted for 17 percent of all applications to doctoral programs of psychology. Sixteen percent of applicants to HSP programs, 17 percent of applicants to research-related programs and 15 percent of applicants to other psychology-related programs were minorities. Overall, there were 77 percent more minority applications to doctoral programs than terminal master's programs.
--TONJA M. KYLE