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Please tell me if I would be accepted or if I'm out of the running

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Hapmp, 08.23.09.

  1. Hapmp

    Hapmp

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    I've lurked here for awhile and decided to register to ask for some advice because I plan on applying to grad school (clinical psych PhD) this fall.

    I am in my last semester of undergrad getting my BA in psychology and wanted to know if my lack of publications or clinical work would essentially exclude me from the running for these programs.

    I'm from the Chicagoland area and will be applying to Loyola, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Northwestern, at least.

    My GPA is 3.85, my GRE is around 1300, I am interning at a Montessori school this semester, and I can get some great recommendations from some of my PhD psych professors.

    Based on these stats and this internship I'll be doing (and I'll be trying to get a recommendation from the head of the Montessori school), will I still be a good candidate to get into one of these programs, or will my lack of publication and clinical work exclude me in favor of students with either or both of these two qualifications?

    A related question is, my father is a graduate of University of Illinois-Chicago with a BS and an MD, would I be able to use this family connection to give myself a "leg-up" in the running for a clinical psych PhD program at the same school or are the two programs not closely related enough to warrant any advantage from the school?

    I would be forever grateful for any help and advice on these issues, especially if anyone has detailed knowledge of any of these programs at Loyola, UIC, and Northwestern.

    Thanks
  2. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Do you have any research experience whatsoever, even if it doesn't include publications?

    As for the last question, no, I don't think it will help.
  3. cmuhooligan

    cmuhooligan

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    I'll also add that only applying to 3 schools may not be the best strategy. I understand that some folks may have geographic limitations, but I think you will be significantly limiting yourself by only applying to 3 schools.
  4. Hapmp

    Hapmp

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    Yes, I conducted one study on territoriality in public spaces and one on aggression with video games.

    I also designed and validated a personality trait scale (conscientiousness) and conducted research by having volunteers take the scale and validation measures.

    None of these were published but they were all supported and supervised by full professors, as they were for classes (200 level and above).

    So I have good experience in research, I just didn't publish anything.

    How does this affect my chances of admission?

    Is there anything I should and can do with these between now and the December deadlines for applications?

    Anyone else with comments or advice on my eligibility?
  5. Hapmp

    Hapmp

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    Those are just the 3 I'd prefer.

    I also plan on applying to the three Psy.D programs in my area (Chicago school, Argosy, and Adler), even though I'd prefer a PhD. program.

    I know it kind of limits my chances but I have other obligations that require me to not go super far away for grad school. That said, I think Chicago is a pretty vibrant place for clinical psychology grad school.

    Edit: Those three PhD. programs are the only three clinical psych PhD programs in my area that I'm familiar with, does anyone have a recommendation for another, similar program in the general area that I'm not thinking of or noticing?
    Last edited: 08.23.09
  6. psy86

    psy86 Member

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    Realistically, no chance at UIC or NWU without substantial research experience.
  7. Hapmp

    Hapmp

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    Crap, that's kind of what I was thinking.

    The research I did was actually pretty good and I actually did write pretty through APA article-style analyses and summaries of the research (essentially unpublished research study articles).

    Should I try to submit them for publication now to the Psi Chi or other undergrad journals (They were both done within the past year) and then list them as "pending publication" on any grad school applications?

    Should I submit some of the other research based work I've done for publication (lit reviews and theoretical papers) and also list it as "pending publication?"

    Would any of this help me?
  8. cmuhooligan

    cmuhooligan

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    I would dissuade you from submitting to an undergrad journal--from what I've been told, such publications are not viewed positively from graduate schools' perspectives. But, if you (and perhaps more importantly, your professors) believe you have publishable papers (in traditional journals), then I think by all means you should submit them. Also, I wouldn't list them as "pending publications" but rather "manuscripts under review"--but that's splitting hairs a bit. Good luck!
  9. psy86

    psy86 Member

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    At programs like UIC and NWU, many if not most applicants will be completing a 2-year RA-ship between undergrad and grad school. It's less about publications and more about the depth and breadth of experience. If I were you I would seriously consider looking for an RA position if you really want to be competitive for those programs.
  10. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Hapmp: Be prepared to say why you're applying to PsyD programs in addition to some very heavily research-based PhD programs. Programs like consistency in what kind of training you are seeking.
  11. psychmama

    psychmama

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    Hapmp - what do want to do with the degree? Practice or research (or a combo). If primarily practice, are you interested in the Phd programs primarily due to better funding (understandable)? Your credentials probably make you competitive for the Psyd programs -- for the phd programs, would it make sense to wait 1-2 yrs and RA to get the research experience? Given your need to stay in the area, you'll need to be as competitive as possible.
  12. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Agree on the research, and also on the concerns about program variance. Were you able to find a research "fit" at all the PhD programs? I don't know enough about the programs to know how much overlap there is among faculty interests.

    I don't know to what extent these papers you did for class will count as research experience. Can you elaborate at all on what it involves? Was this an honor's thesis where you designed an experiment, wrote up an IRB, ran your own participants, etc.? There are always exceptions, but the typical competitive applicant at schools like UIC will have anywhere from 2-4 years of working at least 10 hours a week (and often full-time for part of it) on major grant-funded studies run by a faculty member. I would not bother submitting to undergrad journals.

    Your stats are good. Certainly good enough to be competitive for some great programs. I can't tell to what extent the research piece is there or not, but that is critical. Your odds for the PhD programs seem slim, but worth a try. If not, you can always get more research experience and try again in a few years. I don't know what obligations you speak of and if your situation might be different by then, but the geographic restriction is a pretty big handicap given it sounds like your research experience (arguably the most critical piece) might be lacking.

    Not trying to dissuade you from applying. As long as you can afford it, there's no harm in trying. However, I think its important to realize that there is a relatively good chance you won't get in given the circumstances, and that this is okay, the reasons why you might not get in can be corrected, and you will be in good company among the legions of applicants who don't get in on the first try, but still end up at good schools and do great things.
  13. Hapmp

    Hapmp

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    Thanks for all the great help and advice.

    A few comments and questions:

    Firstly, I've read the sticky on PsyD vs. PhD and learned more about it from other places and I really think that I would prefer PhD over PsyD.

    I mostly just threw the PsyD option in there for thoroughness, so that it would be readily apparent the I ultimately would like to get into clinical practice but definitely enjoy research and would probably miss not doing as much or as in-depth research as I would in PhD.

    And I'm aware that PsyDs do research, too. It's just that I feel I would be able to do more research in the PhD programs I've been looking at, including selecting a professor or two in each institution's clinical psych program that fits with my research interests.

    So it seems like the consensus is that my stats are good and make me competitive but the lack of really substantive research would handicap me enough to reduce any edge my other stats would give me. Correct?

    So I should be looking for a RA position for a couple of years and then reapply, right?

    Another question, I've already mentioned my internship at the Monessori school, but should I take some of the time out to try and get in some of the research on campus? I know the professor that does the animal research and will have a senior sem with him, should I try to get in on that, too, or will it not make a big difference in this cycle of applications and/or in the long run of pre-graduate RA stuff?
  14. thewesternsky

    thewesternsky

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    I think that getting involved with a professor's research (like your senior seminar prof) is a great idea at this stage and will be a definite advantage. Your chances of getting a full-time research assistant gig for the next year or two will be substantially improved if you can do quality work in a lab as an undergrad (and get a good recommendation from that prof on your research experience and ability!)

    Good luck!
  15. zdravo

    zdravo

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    In Chicago, there is also DePaul, the Chicago Medical School (I think it's called Rosalind Franklin now), and IIT has a Clinical Psych PhD. Don't forget too that Northwestern has 2 Clinical Psych PhD programs and also has Counseling MA program.
  16. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    Basic stats (GRE & GPA) seem fine to me. Like Ollie, I think this:

    is the crux of the question. For the first--you conducted. What does that mean? You read the lit, devised the project, ran it? Or, that you ran subjects?

    Same for the second. Did you rationally derive potential items, pilot them, conduct an EFA, a CFA, and run convergent and discriminant validity tests with a large sample? Can you can articulate how your work moves literature and research on the construct forward and doesn't overlap with (any of the many) existing measures of the same construct? Or, did you make up items and correlate total scores with total scores of other measures?

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