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PsyD - 2.3 undergrad GPA - what are the options?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Amberite, Apr 30, 2013.

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  1. Amberite

    Amberite Junior Member

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Honestly speaking, what are the realistic chances of getting into a PsyD program ANYWHERE with a 2.3 undergrad GPA? If the chances are 0, are there any options (ie, masters - if masters is even possible with a 2.3 GPA) that will help to eventually get you into a PsyD program?

    Thanks
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  2. JeyRo

    JeyRo

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    May I ask.... how did you manage to get a 2.3 GPA?
  3. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    By getting low grades.
  4. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    It's a very valid question in that the potential advice could change depending on if the individual A) didn't take their classes seriously but perhaps could've done much better, B) had a variety of personal/family issues arise that would or would not continue to exist in grad school, C) worked their fingers to the bone studying, etc.

    Can you find a program, any program, to accept you with a 2.3? Possibly. The better question, though, is what type of program would that be, and would you actually be doing yourself a service by attending?

    Earning a 4.0, or thereabouts, in a masters program is typically the route people go to somewhat remedy a low undergrad GPA. Unfortunately, GPAs in masters programs (not just psych/mental health, mind you) are very often inflated, and admissions committees know this. However, it would at least show that you're capable of handling the workload of those grad-level classes.

    Also, having a very strong research background can go a long way to making up for a lackluster GPA...although 2.3 may be below departmental/university cut-offs at many doctoral programs.
  5. PHD12

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    Just don't allow your desperation to lead you to make poor decisions like attending a diploma mill or unaccredited program.

    This field is incredibly competitive. No offense, but someone with a 2.3 G.P.A is not really fit to be a doctoral-level provider.Undergraduate GPA's are so inflated these days it is quite difficult to get a 2.3 G.P.A.

    I'm sure there are MA programs in clinical psychology that will take you with those scores, but they usually lead to very poor job prospects. Same issue with a PsyD.

    I saw that you were on the MD forums. There may be some lower tier med schools that may take you with those scores?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  6. neuronic

    neuronic

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    If you could obtain stellar GREs, it may raise some eyes regarding your potential, but as others have mentioned, it may raise equal concerns regarding motivation level. Was your GPA consistently low, or was there improvement during your last year?
  7. erg923

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    Zing.

    And probably not. I think even the diploma mills have a cut of about 2.5 in most cases...i would hope, anyway.
  8. erg923

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    Seriously though, a C is equatable to an F in graduate school (two Cs and your booted from most programs). You have a C average. Think about that from the perspective of an admissions committee.
  9. Member6523

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    Chances are extremely low. I'd recommend an MA program that allows you to get licensed.
  10. PsyDHokie

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    It is possible... Few things I would consider:

    1) Getting in contact with director of MA/MS programs that are you interested in to have a conversation with them. I think the consensus will be that a 2.3 might not even meet their cut-off GPA, but it would be worth asking them if you can take a few courses as a "non-degree seeking student." If you can get A's in those classes, then perhaps you can apply in the next cycle and be admitted - those classes will probably transfer too. In my experience with friends, they were asked to take 2-3 classes - Stats, Research Methods, and one of their more difficult courses to see if you can handle graduate school

    2) Perhaps pursuing a MSW would be another good option, although many of those programs are competitive too. I would probably look for programs that are not in metropolitan areas, because those tend to be more competitive - not because they are any better, just because more students apply because they want to be in a city. If your thought is, "I just want to do therapy" this might be a better option anyways. Or like the person posted above me, an MS/MA program that allows you to be licensed as a LPC or something equivalent.

    3) You'll have to do very well on your GRE's...
  11. JeyRo

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    Yeah, it was really definitely a question asked to be helpful here - when you're applying to schools, you're trying to tell the best possible story about yourself. Not trying to reopen a wound or anything.

    As a related example, I went to an undergrad institution that was notorious (at least at the time) as one of the last bastions of liberal arts education where we didn't do grade inflation, at all. So, noting things like lack of grade inflation at your particular institution or department (as long as that's true), citing family issues, or showing that you've otherwise accomplished impressive things (e.g., done research) will help to lessen the otherwise negative impact a low GPA would have on your application.
  12. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    Very much agreed. Although unfortunately, the things you've mentioned would likely be better-received with something closer to, say, a 3.3 GPA (marked by perhaps a year or two of ~2.0 to 2.5 activity followed by a couple years of near-4.0's) than a 2.3, which I fear may be below many programs' initial cut-point.
  13. PHD12

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    I have a question about grade inflation. I noticed that some recent graduates have 4.0 GPA or even above 4.0. Is this the new thing? We didn't have anything about 4.0 when I went to college. Stanford allows 4.3's (A+). They are notorious for grade inflation.
  14. bmedclinic

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    OP,
    That was my deal. I went to a good (but not great academically) university as an undergrad, had some maturity and decision making problems at 18, then grew up, started doing research and had a pub and a presentation and a 2.8 GPA coming out of undergrad. I used that to get into an MA program that set me apart from others to get me into a funded PhD program. To be honest, clinical psychology is just super competative, and coming from where you are (at 2.3 GPA) is likely to just be too low without something else. Post-Bac certificate? Volunteer in a lab for a few years? My hunch is a) your odds are stacked against you, so whatever you do, know that and b) you'll have to do something, if not a few things just to earn an oppourtunity.

    Good luck.
  15. Amberite

    Amberite Junior Member

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    Wow, thanks so much everyone for all the great advice. I know my chances and options are very slim, but the information everyone is giving here is really helpful!

    I'm thinking of studying from now until the next GRE dates (I believe in October 2013?), and take the GRE and see how I can do. If I can get a very high score, from what you all are saying here, I should at the very least be able to get into a good masters program, and then go on to PsyD if I can get close to 4.0 in the masters?

    Also, I know most people here have very low opinions of Argosy and Alliant. However, if I get a very good GRE score, is it possible to skip the masters and be accepted at one of those two schools for PsyD?
  16. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    Your best bet for finding an answer to that question would be to look for the average admissions statistics of incoming classes for the individual campuses of each of those companies. While there, you might also find what the minimum admissions criteria entail. Regarding the opinions of the programs, that's of course a separate matter, and one which has been discussed (quite vociferously) in other threads on this forum.
  17. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    I was just messing around.
  18. JeyRo

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    I'd be surprised if you weren't competitive for their PsyD programs right now. And yes, I would consult plenty of the other threads here before you made such a fateful decision.
  19. JeyRo

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    I have no idea if it's any worse or better than when I was in undergrad (about 15-20 years ago or something).... but I have heard Stanford is notorious for grade inflation, particularly if you major in education, ironically.
  20. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    No worries; just didn't want the question to end up not getting addressed at some point.
  21. briarcliff

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    I recommend the LPC or MSW route, especially when being compared to Argosy & Alliant. IMO, completing a more rigorous MSW program will be thought of more highly and a PsyD from Argosy or Alliant. Reimbursement rates for therapy are only slightly higher for PhD/PsyD practioners than for LCSW/LPC's, so I would take that into consideration. There is a whole slew of problems associated with attending Argosy & Alliant (APA internship; postdoc; getting licensed; etc.), and most (if not all) can be avoided by attending a rigorous masters program that will allow you to get licensed.

    Additionally, while completing an MSW program won't allow you to substitute any courses in a clinical psych PhD, it will help counteract your low UG GPA if you decide that you really cannot live with yourself without a doctorate degree, especially if you work on any research during school and get hands one experience with therapy. If you elect to go the masters route, I would be sure that you enter a program that will allow you to get licensed after graduating, because there really isn't any money to be made with just an MA in psychology.
  22. voyeurofthemind

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    Will MA programs really admit with a 2.3? That seems pretty low to be competitive for master's levels who prepare mid-level practitioners...
  23. TriagePreMed

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    There's no MD (average GPA 3.7) or DO (average GPA 3.5) school in the country that would take someone with a 2.3. Hell, not even one of the big 4 in the caribbean.
  24. racho

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    If you apply to any APA accredited program, your chances are slim (sorry). Argosy OC rejects 70% of applicants to the psyd program (APA accredited). It may be easier to get into the terminal MFT program and once you finish with your masters (with straight A's), you can apply to the psyd program. There is still no guarantee though, as I know a few people who did that and didn't get in and ended up going to non-accredited schools (i.e.,The Chicago School, which is blended-online and weekends, except for practicum which occurs during weekdays) for their psyd or chose to stop at the MFT level.

    Good luck in making a decision, that is best for you :)

    Sent from my cell. Please excuse any typos.
  25. JeyRo

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    Really? Where did you get those figures? Anyways, even if that's true, it's not like the people applying for Argosy are even close to being drawn from the same population of applicants that apply for funded and/or quality programs.
  26. racho

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    Thank you for asking. Upon joining this forum, I met with my dept head with my questions and concerns. He was not able to show me the figures since the info is confidential but this is what he told me (I know I will get slammed for this).

    I don't know if your statement about the applicant pool is true or not....

    Sent from my cell. Please excuse any typos.
  27. NeedMoreSleep08

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    Why is that info confidential? When i was applying, most programs posted the number of applications they received and the number of students in each entering class by year with the rest of the disclosure data (internship match rates, attrition, etc)
  28. JeyRo

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    OK... so... can you articulate why you might get "slammed" for citing a figure that has no actual verifiable source?

    I admit I have no hard data to say why the OP might be competitive for the Argosy programs. However, I do realize your program has (relatively speaking) gargantuan cohort sizes, really quite poor APA match rates, poor licensure rates, and a blistering, exorbitant cost structure. I really don't have much reason to believe that your program is particularly selective, and that's the case even after this little nugget you've shared with us.....
  29. Pragma

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    I agree with you about them not being selective in general. I recall them not even requiring the GRE at one campus.

    However, in the other thread, I noted that Argosy OC's Psy.D. program reports incoming class sizes ranging from 19-38 on their website. By my calculations, that would mean that they get between 63-127 applications per year if they have the 70% rejection rate that racho noted. That doesn't seem far fetched for Orange County (based on location), and 30% acceptance rate is nothing to brag about at all. Data on the applicant pool would be interesting for the purpose of discussion, but obviously isn't going to be accessible.
  30. racho

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    I agree that it is not as selective as other programs.
    I will look for the applicant data or will request it again.
    I stated I would be slammed bc I cannot provide a document that show the data at this time. Thats all.

    Sent from my cell. Please excuse any typos.
  31. racho

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    Also, to not minimize...the program is very costly and internship match rates are not great -54% (a contributing factor to this is that it became APA accredited in 2009 and so historical data represent the years the program was not APA accredited and the years that follow).

    Sent from my cell. Please excuse any typos.
  32. MBellows

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    From looking at the Insider's Guide, there are a number of counseling psychology programs (and maybe a clinical or two) that have close to that in the south. Then again, I think their reasons are different.
  33. Pragma

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    Counseling programs usually aren't as selective as clinical programs, right? Location definitely plays a role as well.

    I wouldn't mind a 30% acceptance rate if it meant it was a small pool of excellent applicants. But our only window into identifying the quality of the applicant pool is by examining the stats of people that got in. Interestingly, I couldn't find those figures for Argosy OC. I thought APA programs had to release those? That was a major factor to consider as an applicant.
  34. JeyRo

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    Part of what I'm saying is I'm not going to assume that a 30% acceptance rate represents any degree of meaningful selectivity for this program, not at least without thoroughly discussing how this figure fits in with other factors (e.g., characteristics of the typical applicant pool for Argosy schools, comparisons with other schools, etc).

    To be fair, we got the same song-and-dance about PGSP-Stanford's selectivity (although I believe the figure I got quoted was more like a 10-15 percent acceptance rate, IIRC).... "I heard it from an administrator, unpublished figures"..... but in contrast, for what its worth, PGSP-Stanford has some things going for it that Argosy clearly does not (relatively smaller cohorts, much better APA match rates, much better licensure rates).
  35. MBellows

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    I would think that varies from program to program and probably with the amount of applications received. When you're accepting 5-10 of 30 apps....
  36. Pragma

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    Actually if you can believe it, PGSP seems to have a slightly bigger cohort on average compared to Argosy OC. But both admit too many students.
  37. Pragma

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    The quality of the apps matters though. We don't really know that for any program, but stats for incoming student measurables helps us to at least infer a little.
  38. JeyRo

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    Exactly. I believe when figures are published about acceptance rates, don't schools typically list applicant characteristics to a certain degree? Like, average GRE scores, average GPA, maybe other stuff?

    Even assuming these unverifiable acceptance rate figures from schools like PAU and Argosy are accurate, there's no way to know it's reasonable to compare their acceptance rates to, say, the acceptance rates from a quality, funded program (e.g., because they could be drawing from different populations of applicant pools).

    My personal suspicion (with no basis) is that a typical PGSP-Stanford and Argosy PsyD applicant are probably more similar to each other than they are to applicants of typical quality funded programs. However, I'm not basing that on much besides personal experience - chiefly because I have nothing else to go on.
  39. JeyRo

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    Is that true? Wow.
  40. Pragma

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    Every program I considered listed that info for the incoming cohorts. I don't recall ever seeing public data about the whole applicant pool aside from how many people applied.
  41. Pragma

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    I think PGSP usually has around 30. Argosy OC seems to average mid 20s.
  42. JeyRo

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    Now, is that figure arrived at by combining both the PhD program and the PsyD program at PAU?
  43. Pragma

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    IIRC, it was just the PsyD program.

    ETA:

    I was wrong - they look similar actually (both around 30). I think I had remembered the actual students retained number from the other thread about Argosy OC. Just look at the past 5 years or so:
    http://www.paloaltou.edu/sites/default/files/PsyD c-20 Data Complete_FINAL 9.27.12.pdf

    http://www.argosy.edu/documents/psydinfo/OrangeCounty-psyd-outcomes.pdf
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  44. PHD12

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    Actually you were right in terms of the PGSP PHD program. They have been admitting 80-90 students each year lately. Wow, in 2010, they admitted 91 students and in 2011, 86 students. With the PsyD program, they altogether admit over 100 students each year. Check out the numbers under attrition. They used to admit under 50 but have increased it lately. I'm sure they admit 70% of applicants.

    http://www.paloaltou.edu/sites/default/files/u10/2012-Sept PhD IRC-20 Final_1.pdf
  45. Pragma

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    oh I wasn't wrong about PGSP. I was wrong about the Argosy OC estimate. I said mid 20's, but they actually admit more like 30 per year. Same as PGSP Psy.D.
  46. PsyDSoccerMom

    PsyDSoccerMom

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    Just to give you some hope, it IS possible to get a doctorate if you had a 2.3 GPA, but you have to play your cards right. Your story sounds personally familiar.

    I am going back to 1994-95 which is an ancient time to you but not to many of us. I was told at that time by my "not so enthusiastic" but realistic advisor that there was no chance I would get accepted to a doctoral program. I went to one of the top 25 national liberal arts colleges (still ranked up there) and did not earn above a 3.0. I worked hard but my undergrad education was tough...tougher than my graduate education in many ways.

    However, this did not deter me from pursuing my hopes and dreams. I took a year off after graduating undergrad in order to work then applied to a master's program. Because the coursework was clinically based and tapped into my personal interests and abilities, I did very well and earned nearly a 4.0 in 1998. It's been so long that I'm estimating the GPA. I agree with other earlier posts that this is where you want to "shine" and show that you can handle graduate level work.

    Near the end of ny master's, I decided to apply to a doctoral program in clinical psychology that required applicants to have a master's degree in an area of counseling. I was initially wait listed but quickly accepted a few weeks later. I was so happy about this that I almost went about contacting my old advisor in undergrad to tell her that I made it (more like rub it in)! But, I let that one go.

    It took me a while. But in 2007, after years of didactics, comprehensive exams, practium, internship, and dissertation, my dream became a reality. Although age 21 was a long time ago, this is when my doctoral quest began.

    For me, the key was getting into a master's program and getting as close to a 4.0 in order to be considered for doctoral program. I would suggest eventually applying to a reputable institution as this would "up" your chances of having the proper requisite number of pre-doctoral supervision hours needed to go towards licensure and also provide you with the amount of informational rigor needed to eventually pass the EPPP exam if you want to get licensed. You could shoot for a professional program at this time but this may be demoralizing, and a waste of energy and time if you are below a set minimum GPA.

    If you don't envision yourself spending the next 7-10 years in graduate study with a lot of emotional ups and downs, I would advise you to consider getting a terminal master's in clinical psychology or social work in order to obtain an LPC or LCSW. No shame AT ALL in that.

    Good luck!
  47. PHD12

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    Wow, long road. Are you talking about funded or unfunded program?
  48. PsyDSoccerMom

    PsyDSoccerMom

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    Unfunded. I was very fortunate that my family had the means to cover my tuition costs. Also, the majority of students had been in the workforce, were married, and had children. Classes ran from 4:15-10 pm because we all had day jobs! I took an 15 month leave of absence in the middle of it all to have two children. Long road indeed but I got through it!
  49. briarcliff

    briarcliff Gold Donor

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    Do you feel like your current career/position would not be possible as an LPC or LCSW?
  50. Phipps

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    Hm. So, classes ran from 4:15 - 10pm ~ does that mean online? It sounds convenient but since my classes are during the day, this sounds different

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