Hilary Sluis ’10 – Taking the Fast Track

Hilary knew she wanted to help people from the very start, so she chose Psychology as her major when she came to Menlo College.

Her timing was great—Menlo had just created a BA/Ph.D. Fast Track program with Palo Alto University, a local graduate school. This program was created for highly qualified and motivated students who want to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Students begin a challenging accelerated program during their freshman year and complete all of the requirements, including the senior thesis sequence, in three years. They participate in internships in human services agencies and clinical settings. Students apply to Palo Alto University during their junior year for matriculation to Palo Alto University during their senior year. Graduate units completed are accepted as electives to fulfill graduation requirements at Menlo.

From the Classroom to the Job

In her sophomore year, Hilary completed an internship as a Youth Commissioner for San Mateo County. The Youth Commission was formed to address the needs of teenagers in San Mateo County and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

Hilary’s topic for Senior Thesis project was: Gender Differences in Sexual Behavior. She has continued with this topic in graduate school. Her current focus is a project examining how minority stress impacts marginalized relationships. She is also working on a project concerning older LGBTQ adults and sexuality as compared to heterosexual older adults. 

Staying Connected

Staying connected to her Psychology professor, Mark Hager has been very important to Hilary. In addition to periodic updates about her career, she also connects with him on research projects and her own continuing education. A recent email shared, “I’m a professor at University of the Pacific! I’m teaching Abnormal Psych for the Spring semester.”

Small School, Big Opportunities

Being able to make a connection with faculty has been a key to Hilary’s success. Menlo’s small community has allowed her the support and individualized attention she needed to move from college to graduate school with ease.


A degree in Psychology can lead to many different environments. While many require further graduate education, some do not. Check out these pages for more info on Psychology jobs; PsychologyChild and Family StudiesCounselingEducationHuman Services and Social Work.