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WAMC: What Are My Chances

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Therapist4Chnge, 12.15.09.

  1. PsyDInspired

    PsyDInspired

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    Hello Everyone,

    I'm new to this site and I'm really excited to know any insight or info you all might have!

    Well pretty much, I know I want to get into a Psyd for Clinical Psych program...but am nervous if I have the chances.

    If you don't mind i'll give a brief synopsis of my resume and any advice on how to improve my chances would be great!

    The killer is my undergrad GPA..
    --I graduated from UC Riverside with a 2.3 in film and media
    --Took prereqs for Psych at a community college
    --Graduating this summer from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a 3.8 GPA --it's the campus in LA, California
    --Started the first ever newsletter at our campus and was the Editor In-Chief for one year
    --Have T.A. experience for one year in classes: psychopathology, child abuse and domestic violence

    --Did practicum work and accumulated 750 hours at a counseling center for anxiety and depression
    --Volunteered and worked in Lima, Peru for 3 weeks with mentally and physically challenged kids
    --Volunteered in New Delhi, India for one month with women in poverty who don't know their rights
    --Worked in Sydney, Australia for 6 months with aborigional kids who suffered from low self esteem and had abusive homes

    --Now I'm planning to move to Sydney for one year and get some more work experience abroad.

    I want to apply for the Fall 2012 so that I can use this one year to build more experience and improve areas that are lacking to increase my chances for a PsyD program.

    --I have to still take the Gre's and I do have 3 letter of reccomendations,
    1. from the chair of our department
    2. from the dean of academic affairs
    3. Supervisor from Sydney, Australia

    Okay.. Sorry for it being so long.. but I just want to get real sound advice on my chances and what I can do to improve!! I'm just really scared because of my undergraduate GPA!

    I do believe in a more integrated approach rather than sticking to one theory. I do relate well to CBT and Psychoanalysis.

    My top two choices as of now are: Yeshiva University and Rutgers University. From what Ive heard and seen, GWU is too psychodynamic and barely has any CBT!

    Thanks everyone for their help!!
  2. psich

    psich

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    It sounds like you've done all you can to improve your application short of getting more research experience.
  3. lilchamor

    lilchamor

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    I'm new to this thread, and I'm sure there've been multiple posts about this kind of thing, but every situation is different, so I'll give you some pertaining to mine.

    I applied to eight clinical psych PhD programs this year. I'm specifically interested in pediatric/child health psychology, so I mostly focused on programs that had a focus or specialization in this. Since I considered my credentials to be excellent, I wanted to apply to only highly competitive schools, but at the advice of my mentor, I tried to apply to programs with a variety of competitiveness. Ironically enough, the least competitive programs rejected me first, while the more competitive ones took longer. I was actually put on the waiting list for the most competitive out of all the ones I applied to (University of Florida Clinical PhD), but as of today, 4/29, I received a letter of rejection. Thus, I've been rejected by every school except Kent State, but I've heard nothing from them and I've heard they already extended acceptance offers, so I doubt I got in there. Didn't get an interview anywhere.

    So, I'm hoping that those more experienced with the process of applying can give me some advice. What do programs value most? How can I increase my chances of getting in, either this year (does the APA still post a list of schools accepting applicants after May 1st?) or next? Should I apply to less competitive programs, more programs, PsyD or Master's programs? I did not apply to PsyD programs on the advice of my mentor, who stated that PsyD programs were "only moneymakers". Now, though, I'm thinking that might have been the way to go, especially since my interests are more toward clinical than research (although I don't mind research and do enjoy it to an extent, I would prefer to do 90% clinical work in my career and no more than 10% research). Admittedly, my dream job would be private practice, but saying that on a clinical PhD application would be a kiss of death, or so I hear. :(

    Here are my credentials:

    -3.9 GPA, both overall and major-specific
    -1200 combined GRE (not great, I realize, especially for competitive clinical programs, but I studied intensively for 3 months, and I don't know if I could make my score any higher)
    -2 years research experience through the completion of an honors thesis, that was also submitted but not accepted for publication, and working on a project that was presented as a poster at the MPA conference of 2009
    -18 months clinical experience through volunteering at the local Children's Hospital and observing support groups for the National Alliance of Mental Illness chapter
    -Received Outstanding Student Award in the Department of Psychology, and also received a psychology-specific scholarship during my undergrad
  4. krisrox

    krisrox

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    Hate to burst your bubble, but there's not really anything that makes you stand out as an applicant. Unless you worked with somone famous or had a killer statement, there's a lot you can do to improve. GRE (yes, retake), first-authored posters, more research experience (specifically full-time experience), and applying to more programs will improve your application.
  5. caitlinelise10

    caitlinelise10

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    Still looking for a response :)
  6. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    I agree with kris. Two years of research experience, an honors thesis (are you planning to revise and resubmit the manuscript?), and one poster presentation, while a very good start, are NOT stand out in this (ultra competitive field). Definitely look for a full-time RA position somewhere and work on getting involved in (i.e., an author on) posters and publications (the higher the authorship the better). Also, retake the GRE--it seems that many programs unofficially "cut" at 1250-1300, so something in that range would be good.

    A university-based, funded PsyD (e.g., Baylor, Rutgers, Indiana U-Pennsylvania, Virginia Consortium) might be an option if you can find a research match but those are looking for much the same things as balanced clinical PhDs (with maybe a *little* less emphasis on research experience and a a little more emphasis on clinical experience . By the way, make sure you check the research/clinical balance of your schools--Kent State, for example, is VERY research-oriented.

    A final thought--have you considered School Psych PhD programs? You can still be licensed as a psychologist to work in private practice (except in Wyoming). My interests have some overlap with child clinical health psych, and I found quite a few professors who do work in this area at School Psych PhD programs.

    Good luck! :luck: You have a strong base to build on as an applicant!
    Last edited: 04.29.10
  7. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    ^
    IMO, if you want to get into a reputable PsyD program, you'll need to get SOME research experience, even if it's just a couple of semesters of volunteering in a lab.
  8. jnine

    jnine

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    I think you will be a very competitive applicant. Your stats look good to me. +1 to the couple of semesters of research experience suggestion. More than one awesome LOR would help. Make sure you understand what a graduate-level SOP is and spend lots of time on it. Consider Rutgers PsyD.

    Best,
    J9
  9. jnine

    jnine

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    The fact that you got no interviews suggests to me that you were cut because of your GRE's, or your statement wasn't strong enough. Did you take an (e.g.) Kaplan GRE course? If not I think you should make that investment. Also, make sure you understand what the SOP is supposed to be and spend a lot of time working on it. The first time I applied, I didn't understand fully although I thought I did. Also, I think Kris and Future gave some great advice above.

    Best,
    J9
  10. lookitssara

    lookitssara

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    I second looking into school psych phd programs for next year - a handful have a pediatric/child health focus (if not concentration) to them.
  11. caitlinelise10

    caitlinelise10

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    Wow! You think I will be a very competitive applicant even with a 3.25 overall GPA?
  12. progter

    progter

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    It was probably your LoRs and/or your personal statement.
  13. olychick65

    olychick65

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    You may want to consider asking a couple of the schools why you weren't considered, or whether you should attempt to reapply next year with a stronger application. Some DCTs or POIs are willing to discuss with applicants what the issues with their applications are, and so you might find out if you were cut because of your GRE, if one of your LORs was problematic (which you NEED to know), if your SOP didn't fit the schools, or if the field is simply too competitive this year for undergraduate experience with an 'okay' GRE to make it through.
  14. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    I'm going to disagree with others (while it's true that you weren't the most outstanding candidate) your academic record is strong enough to get interviews. I would look closely at the programs you applied to and your personal statement. There is a disconnect somewhere and I assume that 1 of three things happened.

    1. You applied to schools that were ultra-competitive only and just didn't stand out because you were not a perfect match.

    2. Your personal statement didn't make the grade, there was something that caused faculty to toss yours aside, because even with a 1200 GRE, your 3.9 GPA and other factors should have at least got you a look past the initial trashing of apps.

    3. You had a professor that wrote a letter of recommendation that sucked (I don't know, but I wouldn't discount it.) NEVER allow any one professor to write letters to all your schools unless you have personally seen the content of those letters. I know one professor who was screwed by a professor whom she thought liked her, that she worked hard for, and that she was invested in working with. She found out that he wrote a weak letter and as a result this very talented woman got 0 interviews and ended up giving up her dreams of a career in clinical psychology. (She's an experimental psych Ph.D. now.) YOU NEED LETTERS THAT ARE PERSONAL AND PREFERABLY ADDRESS YOUR SUITABILITY FOR EACH PARTICULAR PROGRAM YOU ARE APPLYING TO. These are the letters that make YOU as an applicant stand out.

    Good luck, don't give up, and honestly evaluate what went wrong... Have the temerity to call the programs that didn't interview you and ask what was the problem... more than likely, you'll hear what I did, you just weren't a good fit... that means your SOP or LOR's sucked. Otherwise you'll hear that you need more research, higher GRE's, more experience, or some other reason. Ask how you could strengthen you package... this is a great question, rather than asking why you weren't interviewed, which makes programs defensive, approach it from the standpoint that whatever their reasoning for not interviewing you was because of a deficiency you can remedy and that you would like help in focusing on what you need to "fix" to get in... this usually will get you some more intel on what went wrong. If you get good information this way, act on it!

    Mark
  15. lilchamor

    lilchamor

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    While it was disappointing to read that I was not an outstanding applicant after all, I think I understand more now what went wrong. In answer to some of your questions, I did not take a GRE course due to price, but I did read and study from just about every book out there (Kaplan, Barron's, Princeton Review, etc.) that I could get my hands on from the library. I memorized all of Kaplan and Barron's suggested vocabulary words, reviewed all the math, and built my skills as much as possible. I started studying in January, and I took the test in August. (I studied on and off for about four months, then studied about 4-10 hours a week for the last three months.) If it will help me significantly improve, I would be willing to spend the money on a course, but what would they teach me that I couldn't learn from their books?

    As far as the statement of purpose, I worked on it for two months, revised it multiple times, and showed it to just about everyone I knew for review. I also have very strong writing skills (I have a second bachelor's degree in English and also worked for 18 months as a writing tutor). Although, one thing I did notice was that Florida was the one school that I significantly altered my "template" SOP for, since they had kind of a different topic to write on than the other schools. So maybe the second SOP was actually better, since I was waitlisted for that school and rejected from the others?

    I reviewed 2 out of 3 of my LORs ahead of time. The 3rd one didn't offer to show me hers, but she had written me multiple LORs before for other things, and all of them had been good. The LOR seemed good to me. My mentor even sent me her letter via email and told me to add in whatever I wanted!

    I think what you all are trying to tell me is that the PhD is a research degree, and if I don't demonstrate strong research skills through extensive prior experience, then I will be overlooked. That's precisely the problem, though- I'm just not that crazy about research. I'm not planning on revising my thesis for publication because I realize that there were so many flaws in the very structure of the experiment and the way the data was coded. I was so inexperienced when I started, and while I had some help from my mentor and a graduate student, everything about the experiment just wasn't up to the level of publication. The school where I did my undergrad doesn't hire RAs for psychology labs...they use undergraduates and graduate students...maybe I could look into a school nearby?

    I guess my real question is, considering my current credentials, would I be likely to get into less competitive PsyD or school Psychology programs, or would even those be beyond my reach with an average GRE score and less research experience than most?

    And I will call the schools Monday...but would it seem strange for me to call now, seeing as many of them sent me rejection letters three months ago?
  16. progter

    progter

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    I think your credentials would definitely get you in less competitive phd programs and into good psyd/school psych programs
  17. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    It's not like you sucked. You were a solid applicant, you just need to find a way to make yourself stand out!

    I thought my first SOP was pretty good, and so did everyone I showed it to... IT DIDN'T WORK. To me, that was the metric that defined the difference between good and not so good. My SOP was the ONLY thing that changed from year 1 to year 2, I went from crickets to getting asked to interview by nearly 1/2 the schools I applied to. While my experience may or may not apply to your situation, I would think about this carefully before dismissing it. Maybe you're right and your writing is great, your style impeccable, and the content moving... my argument is that if it was, you would have gotten more interviews. One question I found that was useful in writing my SOP was, what part of my SOP will compel this POI to want to interview me? Because my guess is that if you had accomplished this, you would have been interviewed more often.

    That's great, so if you know your LOR's knocked it out of the park, then it's not that, leading us back to your SOP. Although I still would never allow any one professor (unless I trusted them with my life) have the ability to tank all my applications.

    I don't know what schools you applied to, but that has a HUGE impact of where you might or might not get into. Some schools are MUCH more research focused than others. You need to be realistic about that and what your goals are. If you didn't focus on research in your SOP, you might as well have shot yourself in the foot at institutions that focus on that.

    I don't think you need to reach to programs that don't match what you want to focus on. Many (if not most) clinical psychology Ph.D.'s end up working in areas outside of research. You might consider counseling and less research oriented Ph.D. programs. If you are applying to schools like Arizona State University Clinical and you're not a hardcore researcher, you won't get an interview, however that same student would get an interview in the counseling psychology program at ASU. You should look carefully at counseling, clinical, and Psy.D. programs that meet your needs. Personally, I wouldn't be applying to anything other than funded programs, your situation may be different.


    Nah, you can always say that you didn't want to call them while they were busy with the application season, but that you are prepping for the next round of applications and value their advice. Many programs will be helpful, if my experience is any marker of what happens when you ask these questions.

    Good luck.

    Mark
  18. aspiringphD2011

    aspiringphD2011

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    I am an international student from India with an MD equivalent degree, doing research for about 6 months now, with 2 publications, 1 poster, now working actively and will have 2-3 more publications by this year end. Also have 1 n 1/2 months clinical obeservership in psychiatry. I will be applying for PhD or psyD for the fall of 2011. My question is, I have a GRE score 1100 total, V440 n Q660 with a GPA of 3.8. I am looking for high-rung or mid-rung schools mostly but would definitely need some financial aid. Can anybody please tell me if this GRE score is good enough or would I need to take it again before I apply. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.
  19. olychick65

    olychick65

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    I think it would help you to take it again- the rest of your application looks very strong, but schools throw out applications without looking at them if GRE scores are below a certain level. Many of the more prestigious/more research-focused PhD schools you might be considering will have cut-offs at 1200 or even 1250, so getting your score to that level (or higher) if at all possible is important so that all of your (impressive) credentials will be considered.

    As a side-note, if you apply to PhD programs, you will receive financial aid- the vast majority are funded through the university, grant funding, etc. Many PsyDs also offer financial aid to some or most students, particularly highly regarded programs (I'm thinking Baylor, Rutgers, etc.).

    Good luck!
  20. caitlinelise10

    caitlinelise10

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    First off, sorry if this is in the wrong place. I was just curious as to whether anyone has been through the admission process for Pacific University's PsyD program. I noticed on their website it says that their minimum GPA requirement is a 3.4 in the last two years of undergrad study, which made me wonder if they only consider your last two years. I have a 3.25 overall (yuck), but a 3.9 - 4.0 in my last two years (depending on where you consider the cutoff to be), so it would be greatly to my advantage if I could find a program that mainly considers your last two years/60 hrs of study (although I figured that was pretty much nonexistant with doctoral programs). I am just starting this process, so if anyone has any suggestions or info for me regarding different programs, I would really appreciate it. I am also very interested in Nova Southeastern's program, but don't know much about it other than what you can get from their website. I am mainly looking at programs that have a neuropsych tract/concentration. Thanks!
  21. dreamchase

    dreamchase

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    Well, my story may be a little complicated: I come from a China but finished my college in U.S. I applied for 7 places in clinical psych phd but did not get into any this year. However, I got into a counseling master program but I don't like it that much.

    The problem might be the grad schools I applied are too good for me. I already have high GRE (1400) and GPA (3.8) and publication but that time I was not sure what I really want to do.

    I can go back to China and work in a mental hospital for a year. Do you guys think that's a good idea for prepare for next year's application? Or do you think it would be better for me to attend the counseling master this year (I don't need to complish it)?

    Thank you, guys. I appreciate all your advices.:)
  22. DUintern

    DUintern

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    I am not sure about the admission process at Pacific University but if you believe that you are a good fit, I would contact them and ask them about the process and discuss your concerns about your GPA. Usually programs provide instructions for discussing a deficit in your application and you could discuss your GPA in this section. I would not allow it to deter you from applying, if they stand firm on the GPA all you have lost was the application fee! Keep in mind that other students applying to programs also have deficits (i.e., limited research experience, placed on academic probation, etc.).
  23. aspiringphD2011

    aspiringphD2011

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    Thanks @olychik55...but my problem is that I am fed up of exams, and don't wanna study anymore, moreover I think I have a valid reason why I happened to score less during that time, I was just recovering from a brain hemorrhage. So, does anybody still think I should retake the GRE? Any advice will be really helpful. Thanks!
  24. jnine

    jnine

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    Do you know what you want to do now? What are your short and long term goals?
  25. psychnic

    psychnic

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    Wow, I'm impressed you scored as well as you did, while recovering from a brain hemorrhage! I just want to second what olychick said: if you are planning to apply to highly competitive PhD programs, it is important to get as good a GRE score as you are able to. If the main issue was a medical condition, your score might go up just due to the fact that you are now healthier/not as stressed out.

    With an mbbs plus the research experience/publications that you have, you are a very competitive applicant. It would be a shame to be handicapped by a low score on a standardized test, when your other credentials are so strong.
  26. dreamchase

    dreamchase

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    I want to do research in clinical or counseling psychology, especially in anxiety and depression area. I had a publication about anxiety, but I haven't have experience in depression. :( Any suggestions?
  27. eka2009

    eka2009

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    Generally I found most of the Psy.D programs focus on your last two years. They'll see your whole transcript so they'll be able to assess whether your GPA went up significantly as your undergrad education progressed. I've always been told an upward trend is definitely a good sign! You can choose to address it in an additional letter to the admissions committee with your application but I would also encourage you to make the main focus of that letter about why you're such a good fit for that program, degree, things that are unique about their school etc. One to two sentences is enough to gloss over if you really feel it's necessary to acknowledge your overall GPA.

    A personal note, I applied to masters and Psy.D and they have GPA worksheets to complete to show you what your last two years were for previous GPA. My number one choice listed on their website a 3.5 GPA cut off. I had an overall undergrad GPA of 3.4 not including some community college I did before I went. However, my last two years were 3.71. All of those transcripts are looked at and your major GPA may also be examined. Remember, it's just a number, if it's not representative of what you feel you can do then it's your job to show them other indicators in your application.
  28. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    MOD NOTE: Moving to the What Are My Chances Thread, which is where all questions about admissions/statistics are addressed. -t4c
  29. fdg2435

    fdg2435

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    Hello,

    I noticed this post on the forum and thought I would see if I could get some information. I suppose I could have posted this on WAMC but that's not the only thing I'm looking at.

    My girlfriend just completed her junior year at Pepperdine University and is working as an undergraduate assistant to a clinical psychologist who runs the comfort and pain management program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and is a professor at USC's Keck School of Medicine.

    She is very interested in attending a Christian psychology graduate program. I was wondering if anyone had information about the types of people accepted to these programs? GPAs GREs that sort of thing? What were your experiences? My girlfriend has a 3.2 GPA and a 3.26 GPA in psychology. She hasn't taken the GRE yet so I realize there's no way to truly predict her chances. But, is it possible for her to get admitted to one of these programs? Can she still be competitive with that GPA at schools like Fuller, Biola, Azusa, George Fox, or Seattle Pacific? She is interested in a PhD in clinical psychology but also likes the idea of getting a psyd.

    She worked as a research assistant during her freshmen year and has a poster presentation with the professor. In addition, she has been doing a research project that is going to end up in another poster presentation and possibly a publication.

    I guess I'm just trying to gauge where she would stand in terms of her competitiveness at these schools. She will have a lot of research experience and great recommendations. Our only concern is the lowish GPA. But, she does go to a solid university that is likely to be more difficult than other Christian universities. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  30. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    From their adsmissions data, these school appear to be on par with other university based programs in terms of what they expect in their applicants. The numbers of people applying to program is slighly lower, but the GPAs and GREs all appear to be the same as expected by other programs.

    Yes, 3.2 is on the low side and she will need something in her creditials/background to make her standout. I would rfecommkned she try to get that up to at least a 3.5 and get some stellar research expereinces in order to set her apart from the pack.
  31. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Since your main question is if she is competitive at (fill in blank school), then yes...WAMC is where it should be posted.

    MOD NOTE: Moved posts to their appropriate thread. -t4c
  32. Salience

    Salience

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    Last edited: 01.13.11
  33. eka2009

    eka2009

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    Writing "the BEST" in a recommendation makes me question that person's honesty and evaluation of that student. It's hard to believe that student is actually the most qualified, intelligent applicant this professor (assuming this prof has been teaching for quite some time) has EVER come across. It is far more believable that this student falls in an elite category of students (top 5%). Just my opinion.
  34. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Superlatives can be seen as exagerations, it is usually effective to describe someone 5% and/or when the writer speaks to their POTENTIAL. If you are great at everything...what can the program teach you?
  35. PhishGirl

    PhishGirl

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    Okay, here goes, in brief.

    ~ Psychology major/Philosophy minor
    ~ 3.85 overall GPA, 3.9 psych GPA
    ~ 1420 gre, 650 verbal, 770 math, 5.0 writing
    ~ 1 year research apprenticeship as a junior
    ~ 1 summer at another university working as a research assistant in their lab
    ~ 1 year as the PI on my honors thesis, for which I collected original data...going to work this year on re-writing it to submit for publication
    ~ 2 first authored posters, one presented at a professional conference in the field, 1 presented at a state undergrad conference
    ~ won my school's psych dept. award for outstanding research proposal for my thesis
    ~ no clinical experience, which I think is perhaps my biggest weak point
    ~ letters of rec from my professor at the university where I spent my summer, one from my honors mentor who is highly respected, etc.

    That's all I can think of right now. I plan on spending this year (hopefully) with a position as a research assistant, volunteering to gain clinical experience (or at least to gain face time with the populations I would like to study), taking the psych gre, and of course, working on my SOP. I am looking at clinical phd programs where I can capitalize on being a good fit with a potential mentor, as I know that fit is one of the most important factors that lead to admission.

    Any thoughts on areas where I can improve? Things I should be working on that I have not mentioned?

    You guys are fantastic. :)
  36. caitlinelise10

    caitlinelise10

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    SDN 2+ Year Member
    First of all, let me say, I am forever indebted if you read this entire thing and comment. It's horrendously long, I know. :D

    1. Antioch New England
    2. Widener (this is my big reach :p)
    3. George Washington
    4. Wright Institute
    5. University of Denver
    6. Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
    7. Immaculata
    8. Wright State
    9. Nova Southeastern
    10. Florida Institute of Technology
    11. Adler
    12. Pacific University

    This is the list so far in order of interest (at this very second). I'm sure it will change 100 times before December. :D

    What do you think my chances are for these schools with my stats:

    Degree: B.S. Psychology with minor in social work.
    Overall GPA: Will end up being 3.28-3.31
    Last three years GPA: 3.8
    Last two years GPA: 3.9 (made Dean's list last three semesters in a row, 4.0 last two semesters in a row)
    Psychology GPA: 3.92 (only B was in developmental, so As in intro, stats, research, biopsych, clinical, abnormal, personality, history & theory, social, learning and memory, etc.)
    Social Work GPA: 4.0
    GRE scores: I have only taken a practice test once, almost two years ago, with no preparation... just kind of goofing around. I got a 470 V and 540 Q. In my junior year I got a 1280 on the SAT the first time I took it and with no preparation. I know they say SAT and GRE scores usually correlate pretty well, so hopefully... I do plan on studying my butt off for the GRE and possibly even taking a prep course.
    EDIT: I just took a mini practice test online and scored 696 Q and 442 V (embarrassing!). I guess my goal is to improve my V score by at least 158 pts and maintain or improve my Q score so I have a 1300ish or better total.
    Research Experience: None :scared:
    Clinical Experience: 1 year as a psychiatric assistant. More of an internship. The doc let me interview patients, write prescriptions, write her notes, IPEs & APEs (psychiatric evals), etc... all under very close supervision of course.
    Volunteer Experience: Lots in high school. One semester volunteering/interning with CPS (got to review case files, go out on child/parent interviews, etc.)
    LORs: Will have one from Intro to Clinical Psych professor who is very well regarded in the field, one from my Research Methods professor, and one from the psychiatrist I work for. They should all be very strong.
    High school stats (I know they don't count much, if at all, at this point :rolleyes:): Graduated one year early, top 5% of class (I think I was somewhere around 20th out of 450ish), second highest PSAT scores in my class, letter of commendation from national merit scholarship program.
    And here's the kicker: My freshman year is going to kill me. I was at a top tier school and failed practically EVERYTHING. I transferred to a community college for a year and did extremely well, transferred back to my school, withdrew (was passing everything, but was about to have a nervous breakdown), and transferred to a different school (not top tier but not bad) for my last two years. BUT... at that top tier school, I was pre-med, taking a ridiculous course load (one semester example: Calculus, Physics, Biology, Organic Chemistry - 15hrs with labs). It wasn't until I transferred to my current school that I decided to major in Psychology instead. I was going to transfer back to my top tier school to finish because I made an A in the only Psychology class I had ever taken there, but a PsyD admissions adviser that I spoke to, advised against it. She said they didn't like to see applicants moving around so much, and I would be better off staying at my current school and rocking it (which I have). The reason I did so poorly my freshman year is not because of the difficulty... It's because I HATED physics and calculus, and didn't love chem either. I liked and did very well in all of my bio classes. I finally realized that I had absolutely NO interest in being an M.D. I also didn't "fit" well with that top-tier school. The class sizes were ginormous (smallest class I was ever in was over 300) and I commuted from over an hour and a half away every day, making it very hard to get involved in anything other than classes (it also contributed to my low grades).

    Again, if you read this whole hideous thing and comment, you are awesome!
    Last edited: 05.23.10
  37. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    At the programs you are applying to.. I don't think this is as big of a deal.

    NO ONE IS GOING TO CARE.. they will look at your GPA and move on. Your GPA should be high enough... they don't care about freshman vs senior grades UNLESS you are trending downward and not upward. Plus for some of the schools listed they substitute having a pulse for the GRE.

    Mark
  38. caitlinelise10

    caitlinelise10

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    SDN 2+ Year Member


    Thank you for taking the time to read all of that! And thanks for your feedback. That is such a relief for me. :rolleyes:You have no idea how much I have been stressing about my freshman year debacle. I feel sooooooo much better.
  39. Hopefulhokie

    Hopefulhokie

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hi all! I’ve been stalking SDN for a while now, and thought I’d finally join as this is the year I’m going to be applying! Bring on the stress! I’m going to be applying to primarily PsyD programs in the Fall, and I’d like to know what my chances of admission are.

    Here are the programs I’m (tentatively) applying to:
    PsyD programs:
    -Rutgers University
    -Loyola College in Maryland
    -Virginia Consortium Program
    -Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    -Indiana State University
    -Pepperdine University
    -PGSP-Stanford Psy.D
    -La Salle
    -Nova Southeastern
    -Baylor

    I’m also thinking about applying to 2 or 3 equal-emphasis PhD programs whose research interests match my own (e.g., VCU, DePaul).

    GPA: 3.89 (in-major: 4.0)
    I’m in the honors program, and am planning on taking 1-3 graduate-level courses this year, including Psychopathology and a year-long sequence in Stats/Research Methods (the stats would be P/F probably- does this matter?)

    GRE: Haven’t taken these yet, but am predicting 1200-1300 (hopefully higher, but I suck at “high stakes” standardized testing)

    Research exp:
    1. I worked in a developmental lab for a semester helping a graduate student work on her dissertation investigating working memory in 3-year-olds (did some coding, data entry, EEG stuff)
    2. For over 2 years, I have worked in a trauma/stress-related lab that deals with PTSD in children, adolescents, and adults. This year I will head the lab (it's all undergraduates though).
    3. For 1 year (1.5 by the time I apply), I have worked at a Child Study Center that specializes in the assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders in children. Its two main studies deal with children with conduct disorders and those with anxiety disorders (mainly phobias)

    In addition, I’ve given one presentation at a SURF (summer undergraduate research fellowship) symposium at my school, and, by the time I apply (hopefully!), will have one first-author poster on an independent research project I’m carrying out this summer/fall.

    Clinical exp:
    -2 years (~250 hours) working at a local crisis/suicide hotline
    -Internship at a large private practice (where I get to sit in on actual sessions based on my interests in a certain population, theoretical orientation of the clinician, and/or type of disorder(s) the client has)
    -I sometimes do child supervision at one of my research labs, if that counts

    Other stuff:
    -Psi Chi member
    -APA student affiliate
    -Work at my university’s Writing Center
    -Play violin/used to give lessons to children

    Finally, I know many students enrolled in PsyD programs are usually older; will my young age and my lack of “real-life” clinical experience put me at a disadvantage?
  40. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    This isn't accurate.

    Some Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs lean older, and some lean younger, and some are all over the place. For example, I know the Wright Institute tends to attract some older applicants, but that doesn't mean someone in their early/mid 20's won't make it.
  41. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    You have picked out some good programs, the key I think for you, to get to the upper tier is to nail that GRE. Good luck, and a 1300 was enough to get me an interview at Baylor with less clinical and research experience. Nice breadth of programs, you should have good luck with a few even if you flub the GRE some.

    Mark
  42. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Very nice research experience, great GPA, and solid clinical experience. A 1250-1300 on GRE should get you past the screening point at the programs you have listed. I might consider dropping some of the unfunded programs from your list, unless you have the financial resources to cover them, as you have the stats to be competitive at funded programs. Also, keep in mind that Pepperdine requires a Masters (or they did as of last cycle, anyway), so if you don't have one, you can't apply.

    Good luck! With solid GRE scores, you should have a strong app!
  43. OneAtATime

    OneAtATime

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    (edited to delete personal information - thanks for the advice!)
    Last edited: 11.20.10
  44. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    You might need a research methods course and some proof of a basic psychology education, but I expect your graduate work and GRE scores to be a big help.

    Mark
  45. psychnic

    psychnic

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    You might be able to get some pre-reqs waived, if you have masters level psych courses that could be used as credits. This is probably pretty program-specific, so since you have some favorites already, it would probably be helpful to see what their websites say. In general, what Markp suggested is pretty standard (research methods + some other basics--abnormal, child, etc.) Some programs list the specific courses required in the information for applicants, as well.
  46. Psychology 76

    Psychology 76

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    bumped :)
    Last edited: 06.02.10
  47. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Your excellent research experience will really be a boon to your application! I agree that should address the pre-req thing on a program by program basis, especially seeing if some of your grad school courses might count. :luck:
  48. cdt5058

    cdt5058

    Joined:
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    Location:
    State College, PA
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm relatively new to these forums and Psychology in general. I recently switched from Biological Engineering to Psychology. (I know it's a huge switch) I've always been interested in the brain, human behavior, and helping people. But I figured I would just give this WAMC thread a go. Most of my information will be projected since I am going to be a Junior in the Fall. My projected graduation date is May 2012 and I'll be graduating from one of the top 30 Psychology Undergrad schools according to the Gourman Report Ranking. (<-- if that helps)

    I don't quite have a list of schools yet because I'm still only a Junior and I just switched so I'm not really sure where to look for the best schools. I've looked into Maryland, George Washington, and a couple others. I would like to get a PhD, since it is more research oriented, in Clinical Psychology or Cognitive Neuroscience. (any help on what schools to look into would be awesome!)

    Here's my info:

    Overall Projected GPA:
    3.35
    Psych Projected GPA: 3.8
    Science Projected GPA: 3.2??
    Last Two Years GPA Predicted: 3.9

    I'm graduating with a B.S. in Psych (neuro option) and B.S. in Science.

    GRE: I hear the SAT and GRE sorta correlate in regards to scores. I got a 1260 on the SAT without ever studying for it. I'm going to bust my butt to get over a 1350 on the GRE. So assume a 1350.

    Extra Curriculars: President of a 40+ person community service group, I was the Projects Director for that same group last year. Out going Vice President of Engineering Projects in Community Service, Member of a couple other basic organizations. I've been recognized at the District level for my amount of community service (over 300+ hours last academic year) and the work I've put in as well. Next year I'm looking into a Community Service/Student Government Position.

    Research Experience: Since I'm relatively new, I've only just begun my research assistant position. This position is for the whole summer (10 hours per week) in a visual, memory, computational neuro lab. And then in the fall I will be in another lab for the next 2 years.

    Job Experience: I've been a Teaching Assistant for 1 year now and I'm looking to continue that until I graduate. (So a total of 3 years.) And a part time job at McDonalds (# of hours of work depends on how busy the campus is)


    I know that these are mainly all projections, but I really like to know my chances ahead of time and how hard I'll need to work in order to make this happen. If you all want more info, just let me know.

    Thanks for reading all of this! I'm looking forward to any sort of response.
  49. HopefulClinical

    HopefulClinical

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    Deleted
    Last edited: 12.21.10
  50. RejectClinical

    RejectClinical

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    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I would never say doomed. However, having higher scores would make you an incredible applicant given your experiences and GPA. How did you approach the GRE when you took it the first 2x? What did you use to study (ie test prep class, princeton review books, etc)?

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