03-26-2010, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by summerssun
So, it's looking like I will not get in this round (applied to 7 phd clinical programs)... in fact, I didn't even get any interviews. how can I improve for next year (or the year after...)?
3.4 at a top 15 private university known for grade deflation. psych gpa is about the same, slight upward trend, double major (other major is not really relevant)
1300, taken only once. higher verbal than math
none. no presentations either
LETTERS OF REC:
One from advisor, one from lab supervisor, one from dean, very positive
3 years part time paid social psych research assistant, 1 year part time research assistant (different lab), 1 year full time paid RA in clinical psychiatry lab (all three institutions in top 15 schools), plus one summer internship in counseling setting, plus two years counseling hotline experience (a few hours per week)
Factors that I have considered that may have been a detraction... perhaps my personal statement did not emphasize the research match enough? (although, all profs were in the research area I want, currently one that I work on a study for, in fact) My SOP was also written in a more "personable" than "professional" style. And of course, my GPA is on the lower side. Two of my POIs let me know that I was "very competitive" and only being rejected for reasons of two many applicants/not enough departmental stipends. Still though, I find myself disheartened at the end of this process, with barely a nibble on my application. Advice appreciated!!
I think the personal statement is huge and is what I spent most of my time working on this third time around. I think some people have posted their personal statements on a few forums so you might want to check those out. I found AlaskanJustin's SOP in one of these forums and thought it was very impressive. It was very personable throughout but also had a very professional flare to it. I'd like to think that's how mine was too, but am not sure. I think making it interesting to read is important, but showing you have the skills to write professionally equally as important. So try to find that balance, that's about it. I didn't have any publications, but I did have a rejected attempt at a publication and they seemed to think it was good that I at least tried and was the lead in a study.