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Do know what to do? Advice please

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by DoctorJay123, 03.31.12.

  1. DoctorJay123

    DoctorJay123

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    Hey everyone,

    So I am have been reading previous posts on this forum and thought maybe I should get some advice on my situation.

    So I have been accepted in to 3 clinical ph.D programs (UCLA - funding with RA stipend, Syracuse - semi funing with RA stipend, Teachers College - funding). I was really surprised to get accepted because my credentials in undergrad are not as competitive as my friends who applied to the same programs and had better grades than I did. My GRE score was 1445 so I guess that made up for the GPA, anyways back to the topic lol :laugh:

    I have been having doubts about going into being a clinical psychology because I have been reading many different threads about the money, the long hours, the job market, etc. I am interested in being a clinician, but I want to be able to make money. I understand that if I really love this career than money shouldn't matter, but it is still stuck in my head. I hope to open my own practice (after a few years of experience) and maybe start buildering more income that way, but I still have some reservations about it. I applied and got accepted into other programs that are not clinical psychology (Biotech ph.D, Biomedical ph.D, Theatre and Performance Studies ph.D; I am a bio major with experience in Theatre Directing at my Uni), but I am still alittle sceptical about going into any of theses programs. I have alot of interests and skills so I just want to go into a career where I am happy and that can provide financial stability.

    I am sorry if sound shallow or spoiled, thats not how I want to be perceive. I just really want to step in the right directions and I have been going back n forth about how I want to spend my life. If any of you can give me any suggestions, insights, advice, opinions, etc, that would great. I just want to see what you guys think and maybe I will have a clear mind about it.

    Thank you for reading this really long post. I hope you all have gotten offers to the programs that you wanted :D
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  2. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    Nothing personal, but I just think it's really too bad that this field is so competitive that stats seem to matter more than dedication to the field itself. I'm just thinking about all of the people who have worked hard in the field for years just to get into a clinical psychology PhD program and because of one test (the GRE) were simply not competitive for that one reason, and who are unable to contribute their passion to the field. I think this is why people are so disillusioned by clinical psychology.

    If you don't want to do this, do something else and give someone else a chance. That's my advice.
  3. Tesseract18

    Tesseract18 Graduate Student

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    I think you are asking complete strangers for advice that only people who know you can give. Go ask your friends and family. Think this over for yourself. I doubt anyone on this thread is willing to convince you to either go the clinical psych route or not. We don't know you and few of us have the energy to advise you based on a single, rather uninformative post. What I can say is that it seems like you have many wonderful options so enjoy your good fortune and best of luck with your career!
  4. DoctorJay123

    DoctorJay123

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    If you dont have anything useful to say, then dont post anything. Keep the comments to yourself. I never said I didnt want to go into this career path. I am passionate about psychology and i wrote a great personal statement that maybe out shined some other applicants. I am just having some doubts about it and I just want some good and USEFUL advice. I am sure there are others out there that have the same doubts. I feel bad for the others that didnt get in a ph.d program, but I just want to see if its worth it after putting 5-7 years in school and coming out with a low paying job.

    Sorry you feel the way you do
  5. zensouth

    zensouth

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    ditto.

    Also to the OP- sounds like you could use some career counseling. Try looking into your university counseling center. You're not the only student who has gone through this. But the individual details of your life need to hashed out in a session. A message board might not be the best place to get the answers you need.
  6. GoPokes

    GoPokes Graduate Student

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  7. DoctorJay123

    DoctorJay123

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    Thank you for the response

    The thing is, I have already talked to my friends and family and they havent given anything that could help either. I am not asking anyone to tell me what to do. I just want someone to give me some insights on what they did, clarity that I am not alone in the matter, different experiences that a friend, family memeber, or ex-lover did to pursue there career, etc. I just thought since people are asking for advice on this forum (and its seems that some people give really good advice), I might as well do the same and see other peoples perspective. I guess this wasn't an appropriate question to ask on this forum.
    Thanks for the help though.
  8. zensouth

    zensouth

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    You could also look at the " would you do it again" thread. I would post a direct link but my mobile device skills are lacking.
  9. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    Go to ucla. Great program. Should have a good financial outcome. Lots of great networking opportunities and if nothing else it will be interesting. Congrats
  10. sacredrage

    sacredrage

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    Is a 1445 even possible? Aren't the scores in increments of 10?

    You claim to have gotten into a very wide range of PhD programs - it seems relatively difficult to me to have the prerequisite skills/research to get into Psychology, Biotech, Biomedical (Engineering) and Theater PhD programs.

    UCLA is one of the top programs in the country and judging by this post you don't appear to have the writing skills of even an undergrad and yet you claim an acceptance that was validated by a GRE score that's not possible to obtain?

    I call BS on this entire post.
  11. sacredrage

    sacredrage

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    Is a 1445 even possible? Aren't the scores in increments of 10?

    You claim to have gotten into a very wide range of PhD programs - it seems relatively difficult to me to have the prerequisite skills/research to get into Psychology, Biotech, Biomedical (Engineering?) and Theater PhD programs.

    UCLA is one of the top programs in the country and judging by this post you don't appear to have the writing skills of even an undergrad and yet you claim an acceptance despite other serious and self admitted deficiencies that were mediated by a GRE score that's not possible to obtain. Really?

    Further, for someone who has gotten into so many PhD/P.hD. programs, you sure seem to be behind on the proper use of academic acronyms (what, exactly, is a ph.D?)

    I call BS on this entire post.
    Last edited: 03.31.12
  12. Tesseract18

    Tesseract18 Graduate Student

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    Now that you mention it... I suspect the OP may be an undergraduate attempting to decide among potential career paths posing as an accepted applicant. Either that or certain standards appear to have fallen for the GRE Verbal portion and that's sad. Then again you never know... :rolleyes:
  13. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Wait.... you want to be clinician, you aren't even sure you want to be a psychologist, and you got into *UCLA*, one of the most research-oriented programs in the country? Something doesn't add up here,,,
  14. 4410

    4410

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    GRE range is 400 to 1600 with increments of 10. My guess is that a 1400 score would be close to the 80%ile for psychology students test takers. My sister was a high school math teacher for twenty years and she scored a perfect score on the quantitative seciton and she did very well on the verbal section as well. She received scholarship offers all over the country for PhD programs but she just wanted to attend a MS program in computer education to help with her math classes in the 80's when everyone started using PC's in school programs.

    If he/she actually has a score this high, he/she probably could get into any program that they applied to unless their GPA is a 2.50 or lower. Actually, this happens in college where very gifted students have no interest in classes and barely get by with passing grades.

    They have an analytical writng section that is scored 1-6 points so this is where the increment of 5 points may come from:

    The range of scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative

    Reasoning measures of the GRE General Test is 200 to 800, in

    10-point increments. The range of scores for the Analytical

    Writing measure is 0 to 6, in half-point increments. If you

    haven't answered at least one question within a measure, an NS

    (no score) is reported for that measure.


    Last edited: 03.31.12
  15. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    ....

    You don't really understand how clinical psychology PhD admissions work at all, do you? A GRE score (and/or GPA) alone won't get anyone in.
  16. MajorlyPsych

    MajorlyPsych

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    If you look at the person's post history, you will see that he/she also asked about MD/DO programs in a recent post. Just my added information.
    Last edited: 03.31.12
  17. sacredrage

    sacredrage

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    I hold graduate degrees from USC, Hopkins, and MIT and help with the recruiting for my program at MIT. I have seen plenty of people over the years with scores in this range and solid GPA's (3.45 +) get rejected from all sorts of programs. In fact, with self selection most applicants to top PhD programs are minimally in the 70% + range on the GRE anyways - so your starting pool is already the top 1/3 of applicants, most of whom will be rejected - and many of these rejected candidates are in the top 5% or better. There are always some people who take fliers, but most people know when it's not worth the app fee.

    Further, we are talking about PhD programs here - everyone at the top programs has a GRE in the 1360 - 1600 range. It's par for the course. Without serious and accomplished research relative to your POI (or one heckuva inside connection) you're not going to get admitted on a solid GRE score alone. Not by a long shot. NOT TO MENTION this poster didn't even offer an accurate GRE score to begin with. Anyone who got a score that high and chose to brag about it most certainly would not misstate their score and I highly doubt that they accidentally hit the 5 key that's allllllll the way over there away from the 0 on the keyboard. Many of the writing errors madeby this poster are common amongst non-native english speakers - but not common amongst non-native english speakers admitted to non-quant dominated PhD programs.
    Last edited: 03.31.12
  18. GoPokes

    GoPokes Graduate Student

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    This is incredibly sad
  19. dramaqueen616

    dramaqueen616

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    I actually have a 1410 evenly split between verbal and quant and my quant is nowhere near the 99th percentile, and I did not get showered with offers all over the country:) I think The other posters point about GRE was that a GRE score does not ever end in a 5 based on the old scoring system although it can now with the new version but those scores are reported in the 100s not the thousands. The OP's story does not make sense.
  20. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    This is my field, it has been for over 4 years and will continue to be my life's work. It's not personal to you. Many of us care deeply about psychology because we are so invested in it. This work is SO much more than a personal statement or making a high income. I stand by my statement. I don't see how anyone would have doubts if they truly wanted to be a clinical psychologist and got a fully funded offer from UCLA!! If you do, you owe it to the field and yourself to walk away, at least until you are sure!
  21. sacredrage

    sacredrage

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    I guess if I believed the OP's story I wouldn't begrudge them for being excellent enough to receive top offers in many fields. Good for them. Your "passion" for something doesn't make you good at it. If that was the case the average height in the NBA would be a whole lot less than it is now.

    If you want an offer to UCLA it's on you to get the grades, GRE score, and do the research/posters/publications that warrant such an acceptance. Your post reeks of jealousy and desperation. You're better than that. Besides, it seems to me that your problem isn't with the OP but rather with UCLA's ability to discern what you consider to be an appropriate admit.

    My problem is that the OP appears to be utterly and completely full of crap.
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  22. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    Maybe I AM smelling a rat, that's why I'm suspiscious? I never said that passion is all that is needed--it's not either-or, it's both. Maybe I am jealous. So what? I get tired of reading posts on his forum from people who are disgruntled and say they regret their choice and wish they would have gone another path. I don't want to be surrounded by these types as my career progresses due to my future colleagues' lack of attention to the reality of this field. If the OP is for real, s/he just needs to think long & hard because there are hundreds of people willing to take their spot--not me, though, I am secure.
  23. snowcherries

    snowcherries

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    Nicki Minaj sums it up: http://imgur.com/8I21m

    Seriously though, GRE scores do only come in increments of 10. Learn to troll, OP!
  24. 4410

    4410

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    I understand that many programs have a cut-off score in the 1100 to 1200 range. I was just making a statement that some gifted students do poorly in their undergraduate major as reflected by their GPA but still do very well on the GRE. A biology/physiology degree may be more challenging than the average psychology degree. Participation in research with faculty, letters of reference, and interview performance are also reviewed. I have also known individuals who have a lower GRE that is below the cutoff score but they worked with a particular faculty member during their undergraduate program and this faculty member has many connections with other universities faculty and the student was accepted at one of those universities. I've also known minorities who were accepted with lower scores on the GRE and GPA than the cutoff score as they had minority scholarships that paid for their education and they did not have TA or RA during their program of study. I've also known students where the military paid for their education as they had prior military services and they were going to return to a career in the military as an officer after finishing their doctoral degree. They also did not meet the cutoff scores but were accepted. I've also known students who had GRE verbal and quantitative scores at the 99% that did not get accepted to a clinical psychology doctoral program, so they applied to a MS degree program in student personnel and guidance and finished the program in less than two years while deciding what they wanted to do with their life. They then took the LSAT and scored very high and applied to law school at the University of Washington and was accepted, and now they are successful lawyers.

    I guess what I am saying is graduate school selection is a imprecise process. Similar to this student where there is some hesitation on what direction to pursue, outstanding students have been selected to top schools and lost interest their first semester in working on a doctoral degree. I've also known individuals who have lower scores on the GRE and GPA and become the top student in their graduate school program because of motivation and effort with help from faculty mentorship.
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  25. DoctorJay123

    DoctorJay123

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    Look up the scale of GRE scores and maybe learn alittle something about the GRE. Forethermore, why do you try doing a year of research in a biomedical lab, 2 years of development psych research, and 4 years of volunteering and assistant directing your uni's theatrical plays and musicals. After you graduate, do start applying to all these programs and see where it gets you, then come talk to me. I look forward to hearing how it turned out! :cool:

    Look up the scale of GRE scores. Maybe you can learns something as well. :laugh:


    If you think I am BSing, then thats fine. I dont have anything to prove to you. So why dont you do me a favor and get off this thread and let other people comment something useful.


    Okay, if you're soo "secure" why are you reading these posts? Don't you have better things to do than look at threads by random people about regreting their choice about going into this career path. If you dont regret it then thats AWESOME for you. Go read some psych articles or work on your dissertation or something. Good luck with your future endeavers!! :)
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  26. DoctorJay123

    DoctorJay123

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    It kinda worrys me that you like to stalk random people. Anyways, yes I have a post about MD/DO programs. Thats because I am doing a postbac program, as of right now, to try and see if there is a chance of me geting into an MD or DO school before I decide to accept one of the ph.D programs. So you "added information" was not needed. :laugh:
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  27. DoctorJay123

    DoctorJay123

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    For those that dont believe my post, I could give a flying f****!! I didnt want to brag or anything of the sort. I am just a young adult trying to find his way in the real world.

    I wanted to be nice, but I guess it wont work on this type of forum. I am freakin SMART!!!!! I have accomplished alot in my college career and some of you probably didnt accomplish the same amount that I have. I am not going to go into detail about it because then this will be a long post. Yes, I should have focused more on my grades, but it doesn't really matter at this point because I got accepted into these programs. What matters is what I am going to do theses skills that I have accomulated while achieving these accomplishments

    English is not my first language so maybe it was kinda hard for peole to understand what I am asking or saying or doubt my grammar capabilities. For that, I am sorry. :oops:

    So can I PLEASE have USEFUL comments on this thread. I thought posting on this forum would be a good idea. I guess I was wrong. Dont comment if you dont have anything useful to say and save me the time I am I am wasting on this thread. :mad:

    For those of you that have said something useful to my post, I want to thank you full-heartedly. :)
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  28. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    Most of the complaining about things like internship match and whatnot aren't going to apply to you. While the bioengineering stuff is interesting and certainly useful (I've worked with lots of these guys), I'd rather be in the psych program because it gives you base to ask useful questions AND you can still pick up a lot of the bioengineering stuff. One of my former mentors is a professor in both psychology and bioengineering.

    Also, lots of folks combine arts with neuroscience. Bruce Miller, at UCLA, studies creativity and neuroscience and many people in the UCLA programs have an arts background. Now, you could choose to go a little different route. If you are able to get into these types of programs, you can easily get into medical school. Have you considered an md/phd program? There may be a financial advantage depending on what you specialize in, though perhaps not. I think medical school adds some monotony and I'd find it very boring. It also adds some different kinds of pressures later on that also I would find boring. But, the general bio/medical info can be useful and it opens some opportunities that the PhD does not.
  29. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    4410: Law school admissions work quite differently from clinical psych admissions. In law school, it's all about the numbers. In clinical psych doctoral programs, they may get you an interview but they won't get you admitted by themselves.
  30. 4410

    4410

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    You are fortunate to have been accepted at three highly reputable programs. If you are having second thoughts of going into psychology, and I think many students have similar thoughts, then it may be beneficial to visit your campus career counseling office. Graduate doctoral programs are a long hard road before you reach a point of being a licensed psychologists. Similarly, most doctoral programs and medical schools are long routes and there are many hoops you have to manipulate through to finish up. Many individual variable come into play and there are no guarantees. Even if you have a change of heart after beginning your doctoral program, a number of students obtain the MS degree without pursuing or advancing to work on the doctoral degree. One advantage is you will be several years older and wiser at that time and be more able to know what you want to do with your life.

    As one poster implied previously, you may be able to gain acceptance into medical school. Another factor is that many psychology doctoral programs are now in University Health Science Centers where you may pursue Health Psychology or Biological Psychology with focus on Behavioral Neuroscience and still work as a Licensed Psychologists when they graduate. Obviously you are still young and you have many options to look into at this point in your life.
    Last edited: 04.01.12
  31. GoPokes

    GoPokes Graduate Student

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    I feel pretty confident the old-scale GRE's are solely in 10 point increments. You keep yelling at us to learn more about the GRE, but how about you provide some documentation that says the old-scale GRE is in 5 point increments?

    It's neither here nor there to me if you're lying, but the least you could do is be civil.
  32. deliciousgoose

    deliciousgoose

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    Just to be scientific about it:

    GRE® General Test (tests taken prior to August 1, 2011)
    Measure Scores Reported*
    Verbal Reasoning 200 – 800, in 10-point increments
    Quantitative Reasoning 200 – 800, in 10-point increments
    Analytical Writing 0 – 6, in half-point increments

    GRE® revised General Test (tests taken on or after August 1, 2011)
    Measure Scores Reported
    Verbal Reasoning 130 – 170, in 1 point increments
    Quantitative Reasoning 130 – 170, in 1 point increments
    Analytical Writing 0 – 6, in half point increments

    From: http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores
  33. roubs

    roubs Ph.D. Student

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    If you get this worked up from the random internet people I'm afraid you're going to have a pretty hard time in either clinical psychology or medicine, though sadly I think both fields are full of people (who when they were 21) would have proclaimed "I am freakin SMART!!!!! " for the world to see.

    These fields require hefty amounts of smarts, maturity and interpersonal skills. Doesn't look like you have all three going for you yet.
  34. MajorlyPsych

    MajorlyPsych

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    As a researcher, I like to gather all necessary information especially in the midst of a debate! I do not know whether your story is true or not. I just thought the MD/DO information should be added to the discussion. I would think if you wanted advice, you would have mentioned that you're potentially interested in medical school as well.
  35. Member6523

    Member6523

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    deleted
    Last edited: 04.04.12
  36. smitten

    smitten

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    On the off chance that you're not a troll, the above seems to imply that you're hanging onto all three acceptances. It's considered improper to do this, especially this close to the decision deadline, as other peoples' decisions are now riding on yours. You need to decide which of them you prefer and turn the other two down STAT. It's bad enough to hang onto one acceptance while making attempts to go into a completely different field, but there's absolutely no reason for you to do that to three different programs. Then again...you're almost certainly a troll, so whatever. :laugh:
  37. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    :thumbup: Exactly.
  38. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    Agreed. At the least, decide which are the top two offers and turn down the third so that they can move on to their waiting list.

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