Planning to pursue a graduate degree in Quant Psychology but have some questions
As the title says, I'm interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the field of Quantitative Psychology. Right now I'm still at the undergraduate level, taking a major in Psychology, and about to begin a minor in mathematics. I've done some reading about Quantitative Psychology and what the graduate programs are looking for in applicants. According to the APA (http://www.apa.org/research/tools/qu...ve/index.aspx#) [p. 3], a background in statistics (big surprise) and mathematics is beneficial, along with experience in data-intensive research.
As I mentioned, I'm about to begin a minor in mathematics to complement the traditional quantitative classes that are included in a major in Psychology (At my university: Stats, Advanced Stats, Psychometrics, Multivariate Stats, and Research Methods) and I've just gotten a job as a research assistant doing tasks that focus on the data (for now its fairly simple data-management and analysis work in SPSS). I'm planning on completing an Honors degree, which would involve a thesis and presumably lots research focused around a topic that pertains to quantitative methodology in Psychology. Unfortunately, my school is quite small, and there isn't much support available from faculty regarding graduate studies in Quantitative Psychology. My statistics teacher, along with some other Psych professors, seemed to have little knowledge about the field as a graduate program.
My Honors thesis is a year or two away, but I'm still feeling a bit nervous about it. I don't really know where to begin in constructing a thesis about quantitative methodology. My knowledge of the field is still quite young, and unlike other Psychology journals I've read, journals that specialize in Quantitative Psychological issues seem to be rather esoteric. I feel like I'm on my own in my pursuit in Quantitative Psych at this point, and some sort of guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Also, programs like R, SAS and SPSS aren't taught at my university to my knowledge. Right now I'm planning to get a hold of the basics through reading guidebooks, but I'm not sure how much I am expected to know by the time I apply to graduate school (which would be in about two years.)
Thank you for reading, and in case you just skimmed to the end (which I don't blame you), in summary my questions are:
1) What would be an example of a realistic undergraduate Honors thesis one could do pertaining to Quantitative Psychology?
2) How much knowledge of R, SAS, SPSS, etc would be expected of me by potential graduate programs?
3) Is a major in Psychology all that necessary? Provided I take all the necessary Quantitative methodology classes, would it be more beneficial to major in something like Mathematics or Computer Science?
Thank you very much for reading all of this, I would appreciate any help/advice/answers you could give!
Re: Planning to pursue a graduate degree in Quant Psychology but have some questions
You are definitely on the right track. A general knowledge of SPSS and other stats programs is always good when you start grad school for psychology. I really think that you know what you're doing and you should start looking into a specific school and check out their requirements before you go any further. It sounds like you are pretty set on a career in psychology, so go for what you want. First, you should make sure you weigh your options and find a school and a program that you feel will fit your goals. If you need some help with this process, check out my website, socialsciencedegree.net. Good Luck! I know you will do great.