Are you taking a student next year?
Yes, we are taking a student to begin in the 2014-2015 academic year. Drs. Herbert and Forman will jointly be admitting 1 doctoral student and possibly 1 Masters student. Note that Dr. Forman is scheduled to be the primary mentor, with the primary assignment to the Laboratory for Innovations in Health-Related Behavior Change, and a secondary assignment to the Acceptance-Based Behavior Therapy Program.
What type of applicant are you looking for?
Topics such as psychotherapy outcome research, cognitive-behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, psychological acceptance and mindfulness, and anxiety disorders are the focus of the lab, so an interest in one or more of these areas is important. In other words, we select students who we believe are the best "match" for our lab group. In addition, we are seeking an applicant with a strong academic record, as evidenced by their GRE scores (a quantitative plus verbal sum of 315, or 1300 for the old version, or greater and an analytical writing score of at least 4.5 is desirable), strength of undergraduate institution and GPA (3.5 or greater is preferred). In addition we look for outstanding letters of recommendation (from doctoral-level academic, research-oriented psychologists, if possible), high-quality research experience, and a statement of purpose that indicates an understanding of the realities of the field and a specific area of interest. Other qualities that are sought are strong writing skills, initiative, creativity, and ambition.
How does the admissions process work?
Applications are due December 1st; please review the application requirements and instructions. If you are interested in working in our lab group, be sure to indicate this on the Faculty Preference Form that you include with your application. Beginning in January, we review applications from those applicants who have indicated a desire to work in our lab (approximately 150-200 people). Out of this set, 10-12 students are invited to Drexel for in-person interviews and an opportunity to meet faculty and students. Normally, one student per year is admitted into the doctoral program for this lab.
Will contacting you help my application, or demonstrate my interest in the program?
No. We receive so many emails and phone calls per week (100s), and so many applications (700 total; 175+ to our lab), that we honestly do not have any way of remembering who has and who has not contacted us. We make decisions solely on the basis of the criteria described above. Please only contact us if you genuinely have a question that we can answer.
How does mentorship work?
The clinical psychology program at Drexel University operates on a co-mentorship system such that each entering student is assigned to a pair of mentors. Professors Evan Forman and James Herbert make up one such mentorship team, and, since 2001, have been working together to supervise and train students, engage in collaborative research endeavors, write grants, and publish chapters and scholarly papers. The co-mentorship process works especially well in this case because Herbert and Forman share a majority of their interests and research foci. Students participate in projects that are based in Herbert’s lab, projects based in Forman’s lab, and projects that are primarily joint enterprises, and enjoy the advantage of being advised by both mentors on matters relating to their thesis, dissertation, manuscript preparation and professional development.
What are your active lab projects?
We are currently conducting a randomized controlled trial to compare the effectiveness of two forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder: cognitive therapy (also known as traditional CBT), and a newer model of CBT known as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). We are interested not only in outcome results from this clinical trial, but especially in analyses of potential mechanisms of action of these interventions. Other projects include those evaluating remote-based treatments for anxiety disorders. For more information see our Lab Projects section. We plan to continue these projects for the immediate future.
What can you tell me about applying to the MS Program?
We use somewhat less stringent criteria for selection to the MS Program, but most of what is stated above still applies. The MS Program is a good option for applicants who are research-focused, but either do not want to attend a PhD program, or who are not yet competitive for a high-quality PhD program. However, we do not view the MS program as a likely vehicle for transitioning to our own doctoral program.
Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Current Students
Would you describe your program as more research-focused or more clinically-focused?
"The program takes both research and clinical work very seriously. Research is usually the top priority, but clinical work is extremely important and there are many great opportunities to gain clinical experience. Students are often able to combine the two through treatment outcome studies or research projects at practicum." –Stephanie
"As a Master's student, Drexel's program offers a great mix of clinical training and research work. While I would describe the program as more research-focused in general, there are definitely many clinical opportunities to be had. For example, our lab has many ongoing clinical research studies, so students are able to treat clients, conduct intake assessments and phone calls, and participate in the PhD students' research as well. Drexel is a great choice for those applying to Master's programs in order to gain more research and clinical experience before going on to doctoral programs." –Elizabeth W.
What are your roles as graduate students in the PhD program?
"We have many different roles as graduate students. First and foremost, we are involved in lab research –helping Evan and James with their primary funded studies, working on our own thesis and dissertation, and helping other students in the lab with their data collection. We all work together as a team on our research endeavors – and that's a sentiment we all share. Research duties include: delivering ABBT and CT treatments, analyzing data, and helping with grant submissions. As students, we also take classes each term (2-3 per term depending on where you are in the program) and are involved in year-long clinical practica of our choice throughout the Philadelphia area." -Lisa
"Graduate students attend classes, conduct research within their mentor's lab, and engage in clinical work. For most students, formal clinical work begins in the second year of the program, though some students begin clinical work sooner if this is a component of their mentor's lab. Most graduate students also work as teaching assistants for undergraduate psychology classes during their first year. Graduate students can also take on additional roles in the program if they are interested and have the time. For instance, students can work as Graduate Assistants and help with administrative aspects of the psychology doctoral program. Students can also teach classes once they earn their Master's degree. Students can also take on positions of leadership, which might include being a mentor to an undergraduate student, serving as a peer supervisor to junior graduate students, or serving as a class representative. Some of these additional positions are funded and thus provide financial perks in addition to leadership experience." - Liz G.
What clinical opportunities are there? What is the clinical training like?
"Drexel's practicum opportunities are arguably one of the program's greatest strengths. Students are required to complete practica during their second and third years of the program and have the option to complete a practicum during their fourth year as well. There are close to 50 practicum sites that have a relationship with our program, so students have the opportunity to complete practica in a variety of settings in the Philadelphia metropolitan area (such as the University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, etc.). Students in the Herbert-Forman lab frequently do a practicum at Drexel's Student Counseling Center (Hahnemann campus), as it houses the ACT/CBT trial and provides the opportunity for students to learn both CBT and ACT." –Katie
"One of the biggest strengths of the practicum is the vast number of practicum opportunities available to the doctoral students. Students are required to completed practica during their second and third years in the program, and most also complete a practicum in their fourth yeah as well. We have over 50 options for practica, and the program also allows you to create your own practicum to best match your interests. The large number of placements allow you to match your interests well, while still getting a large variety of experiences, which makes our students competitive for internship. The practica are typically two days a week (16 hours), but some students do up to three days a week or as few as one day, and many students do more than one practicum at once to maximize their experience. " –Adrienne
Recent Practicum Training Experiences of Lab Members:
- Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, University of Pennsylvania
- The Renfrew Center
- The Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center
- Student Counseling Center, Drexel University – Center City campus
- Student Counseling Center, Drexel University – Main campus
- Friends Hospital
- Delaware Valley Community Health
- Institute for Addictive Disorders, Drexel University College of Medicine
- Delaware Psychiatric Center
- Rehabilitation, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
- St. Christopher's Hospital
- CHOP Immunology Family Care Center
- Division of Hematology, Division of Neuro-Oncology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
What is the joint mentorship experience like? How does it work?
"I think one of the greatest benefits of our lab group is having two very supportive, productive mentors that truly work harmoniously together. While officially each of us has only one primary mentor, in practice both serve as active mentors to all of us and the amount of time spent working with either of them is largely based on the student's interests and needs which can shift over time." - Jena
"Having two mentors is definitely a positive aspect of the Herbert/Forman Lab. James and Evan work very well together, and their styles are complementary. They have a great system down for mentoring students, so it basically means twice the support and guidance. It's also helpful to hear multiple opinions on research and clinical work, and lab meetings and supervision are both fun and productive. Although each student is assigned a primary mentor at the end of the first year, in practice, James and Evan both serve as primary mentors to all of the students in the lab." - Adrienne
What are the funding opportunities? How does this affect your quality of life?
"Everyone is guaranteed a base stipend for four years. However, there are other funding opportunities around Drexel and the community that are usually available each term. These opportunities can help you bring in extra money above that base stipend. For example: extra TAing, online TAing, being a Graduate Assistant, TAing in your second year for graduate classes, teaching as an adjunct professor after you receive your masters degree, international and national travel awards for conferences, and department/university fellowships." – Lisa
"Funding opportunities are limited in the master's program, but available if you search hard enough. If you have been awarded any work-study money through your loans, you can apply for a work-study position within the psychology department. Some faculty members have more positions available than others." –Amanda
"My quality of life is great--I have been able to enjoy my work in the program as well as maintain my personal life and engage in non-academic interests while at Drexel. There are, of course, periods of high stress, but that can be expected in almost any type of academic program. Both our lab members and my general cohort in the program honestly like each other and enjoy hanging out with each other, which really can make a big difference during stressful periods. Additionally, both of our mentors recognize the fact that we have personal lives and are interested in us as individuals outside of our academic development. Both have been understanding and accommodating of personal issues that have arisen for students in the program and truly care about their students' well-being." -Jena
What is it like living in Philadelphia?
"Philly is a great city! I live right in the middle of Center City and I walk or take SEPTA everywhere--I don't need a car. There are tons of restaurants, museums, bars, and other fun things to do that are all within walking distance. Philly is also conveniently located for people who travel to New York, DC, or other Northeastern cities. My only complaint is that rent is a little high in Center City! Lots of people choose to live outside the city for that reason, and just drive or take SEPTA in every day. There are also tons of clinical opportunities in Philadelphia." –Stephanie
"Philadelphia is a vibrant urban area. There are numerous cultural and recreational opportunities, several kinds of museums, and live music events. Some areas/places to visit include the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Italian Market, the Schuylkill river path (for bikers and joggers), Wissahickon Valley Park, Reading Terminal Market, Independence Hall, Rittenhouse and Washington Square, Penn's Landing, and Old City. Philadelphia is also known for its fantastic restaurant scene and there are several wonderful places to eat in and around Center City. Additionally, Center City is very walkable and few people living here need a car to get around. The city is laid out on a grid system and so it's difficult to get lost when exploring the city." –Liz G.
"So much fun! Philly is a fantastic city with a really unique vibe. There is always something to do- museums, sports events, happy hours, restaurants, and plays or concerts. Living in Center City is great because I am able to walk anywhere, including both campuses, and everything I could need or want is pretty much within a few blocks." - Elizabeth W.