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WAMC: What Are My Chances

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Therapist4Chnge, Dec 15, 2009.

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  1. psychnic

    psychnic

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Your Psych GPA should be fine, though you might want to briefly explain the lower overall GPA in personal statements.

    GRE: I'm going to bust my butt to get over a 1350 on the GRE. So assume a 1350.
    ---Don't assume anything about your GRE score until you have seen it after the test. After you know your score, you can check the averages for schools you would like to apply to. In some instances there is a cut-off (usually around 1200).

    Extra Curriculars: 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.
    ---Think of it as icing on the cake, it can go near the end of your CV with a fancy heading like "Community Outreach." It is nice to have on there, but I had similar experiences in undergrad, and they never came up a single interview.

    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.
    ---This is the most important part of your application. Focus the bulk of your effort on the lab and on posters and publications. Cultivate a strong working relationship with the faculty that lead the lab.

    Job Experience: I've been a Teaching Assistant for 1 year now and I'm looking to continue that until I graduate.
    ---This is good experience and should help you some. Most programs aren't that focused on teaching (more on research and/or clinical experience), so it won't make or break your app.

    And a part time job at McDonalds (# of hours of work depends on how busy the campus is)
    ---Doesn't matter for applications, shouldn't go on a CV.
    [/QUOTE]

    Use your background in bio engineering to your advantage! That could definitely be an asset. Overall, it looks like you are headed in the direction of being a competitive applicant, and just need to focus on experiences that will help build your strengths even more.
  2. cdt5058

    cdt5058

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    Thanks for the feedback psychnic. It's good to hear some encouraging words and helpful thoughts since all I've been doing is worrying about this since I switched majors. I know that it's bad to predict the GRE because I haven't taken or looked at a sample exam yet, I just wanted to know how I'd fit in.

    I think you might be thinking of Biomedical Engineering, not Biological Engineering. There's a huge difference. Biological Engineering deals with soil treatment, waste water treatment, and so on. I originally started undergrad as Aerospace Engineering, then switched to Mechanical Engineering, and finally to Biological Engineering. I would definitely focus more on the Mechanical Engineering aspect considering I've taken Thermodynamcs, MATLAB for Engineers (which my psych lab uses!), and a lot of other science/math based courses.

    Do you think that Double Majoring in Science and Psychology is a good idea? Or should I just devote my time to Psych since I want to finish the program in 2 years. I only need ~10 more credits to get a Science degree.

    Would you recommend buying the Insider's Guide this early to compare schools? I just feel like I'm in the dark when it comes to this sort of stuff since I originally entered undergrad for engineering with no intention of going to grad school.

    What all do you recommend to do to help build my strengths? Just a bunch of posters and maybe (if I'm lucky) a publication?

    Sorry for the length of this post. But thanks so much for help and kind words, I appreciate it.
  3. PickMePickMe

    PickMePickMe

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    I think one of the things to be mindful of is to REALLY STAY with whichever degree program you choose in the end, whether it's psych or combined psych/science. While major/program-changing is not frowned upon per se, I think having three or four program changes on a person's transcript might make you come across someone with a "history" of being academically fickle. Since longevity is necessary for PhD programs, I think it's crucial that you show how committed you are to psychology.

    Also, I haven't heard you mention clinical experience. What kind of community service did you do? Organizing fundraisers or holding events would be very different from volunteering at a crisis centre, or caregiving work. When you apply to Clinical Psych PhD programs, the latter would probably be valued much highly than student government-type work.
  4. cdt5058

    cdt5058

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    Well I was never technically IN those listed majors. My first two years I was just in the College of Engineering. By the end of this past year I was technically in Biological Engineering. Now I am technically in Psychology and Science. Will it look so bad when I just switched after a couple months of being in Biological Engineering? I don't think it would, but I'm no admissions office.

    I do tons and tons of various types of community service. My group participates in several 5k walks/runs for hunger, march of dimes, child cancer, etc... We participate in the largest student run philanthropy in the world, THON, as well as Relay for Life. This coming year our focus is on overall health (mental or physical), so we are currently discussing planning an after school program or a health fair. Something of that sort. We also have volunteered at food shelters, homeless shelters, and retirement homes as well.

    Would it be beneficial to do this program? http://www.pickupthephone.org/IMAlive/home.php
    I've looked into participating in it for the past before even being so interested in Psychology or abnormal psychology. I would like to get this organization to come and give a talk about what the student body can do to help, what signs to look for, etc... Would that count towards clinical work?

    Thanks for the response PickMePickMe.
  5. Psychology 76

    Psychology 76

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    last bump :)
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  6. twilson

    twilson

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    As for switching majors, I technically switched my major 3 times, but on my transcript it showed my last major and the one I graduated with. I wouldn't worry too much about it. None of this was brought up during any of my interviews.
  7. psychnic

    psychnic

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    I was confused about the biomed/biological engineering distinction, thanks for clarifying that! I still think engineering (in general) is a helpful background to have, as it is science-driven and adds a little diversity to your application. Whether or not you want to get a dual degree, probably depends on your specific career goals. If, for example, you want to go to GA Tech's cognitive psychology phd and study how astronauts interact with shuttle equipment, then it might be really useful to go ahead and get your mechanical engineering credits. On the other hand, if you are interested in studying interventions for relationship distress at Baylor's PsyD program, an engineering double major most likely won't help you.

    Definitely buy the Insider's Guide! Even if you have some time left before applications, it doesn't hurt to get a sense of what different routes you could take. Getting a couple posters and (if you can) a publication out will look great in an application, plus it's a great learning experience. Aside from that, it's helpful to use the knowledge resources available in your lab. I found that current grad students were especially helpful for figuring out what I wanted to do, and what was the best way to get there.

    There are plenty of people who started out doing something else, switched to psych, and got into grad school. Changing majors in college is normal, it's fine as long as you now show your commitment to psych through dedication to classes and research.

  8. cdt5058

    cdt5058

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    Well I will be doing a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Psychology. Not quite an Engineering degree, but but a lot of classes count towards the Science degree. That Georgia Tech example sounds really interesting. Keep in mind, I'm only going to be a Junior in the Falls, so I have at least another year until the GRE. Yea I talked to my supervisor in my lab the other day and she went to undergrad for Math and the professor in charge of the lab actually has an engineering degree. So it's helping boost my confidence in being able to get 4 years of Psych classes into 2 years. Thanks for your help!
  9. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    I switched my major in sophomore year and added psych as a double major (w/ social work) in the second half of sophomore year. I'm actually not sure if this shows up on my transcript or not. The only questions I got re: majors/minors at interview was, "so, why did you minor in biology?," which was fairly easy to tie into psych.

    I agree with the sentiment of "don't think you WILL get something on the GRE until you see it," but your experience as an engineering major might be helpful on the quant section (the most important section for Psych PhD applicants)--I'd still prep for the GRE quant section a bit, though, just to get used to some of the common "tricks" and the format, etc.

    You seem like you're on track to get some great research experience! Try to get posters and publications. I had a publication (and a few posters) when I applied, and I think it probably helped. It can be really helpful in terms of getting publications and posters if a) you are good statistician or b) you're a good writer (especially if your lab contracts its stats stuff out to subcontractors and a) might not be such an advantage, though being strong in stats will always help you a good bit), as all projects will need good writers and a vast majority will need good stats people. Do what you are asked, obviously, but also do more! If you see a relevant call for proposals at a conference, ask your PI if your lab has travel funding and/or if you can submit something--the person who actually writes the abstract usually ends up with high-billing for a poster. See if you can take a data chunk and do your own analyses on it, potentially writing it up and submitting it as a poster or perhaps even a manuscript. Get involved, and to the extent, possible, make yourself available to help on projects. Make sure you know about the theoretical/scientific grounding of your projects as well, as you will be asked about this at interviews.

    I agree with psychnic on the importance and benefits of getting to know current grad students--they can be really helpful in the application process (and they're usually just nice, cool people, anyway)!
  10. HopefulClinical

    HopefulClinical

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    Thanks for replying. I have to admit the first time I took them I didn't study as much as I should have. I used the kaplan book. At that point I was still trying to decide if I really wanted to apply straight out of undergrad, and decided ii wanted to and used the book again to study for another month before retaking. I just hired a tutor to help me on the math section a few hrs a week, so I'm hoping it will help more this time around I'm afraid they won't improve and schools will see I got low scores 3 times.
  11. jnine

    jnine

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    I strongly suggest you make an investment in the classroom/online Kaplan course and really dedicate yourself to it. I took the course and improved my score by 150 points. I only studied for 5 weeks which is less than they recommend. If I can do it i think most people here can. You're just not performing well on the test and a course is the most direct and intensive way to address that. I think you understand what a 150 point gain would do for your competitiveness as an applicant.
  12. Harlie25

    Harlie25

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    What are my chances getting into a funded PhD program w/o research experience???

    I am trying to decide whether or not I have any chance getting into a funded PhD program, or should just focus on applying to the PsyD professional schools (which are of course much, much easier to get into).

    About me:

    B.A. Psych from a top-tier university.
    Overall Undergrad GPA = 3.2
    Psych GPA (last 2 years) = 3.95
    (I started in another major—hated it—then switched to psych and got straight “A”s)

    GRE: 660 verbal / 760 math

    Letters of Recommendation: Three, from top professors. Two are positively glowing. The third is OK but not great.

    Research Experience: Here’s the problem area—none. I *know* a lot about research methods (and general science) but have no official “research experience” working in someone’s lab. I don’t particularly want to spend a year (or two) inputting SPSS data or cleaning electrodes for someone, so I can say that I do. Research is not my central interest anyway—just thinking of a funded PhD program as it costs less and the degree is more prestigious.

    Clinical Experience: One year volunteer clinical placement at a top-tier site (a well-known psychiatric facility).

    Opinions on my chances, as is?
  13. krisrox

    krisrox

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    Unfortunately, you're gonna need research experience for a PhD or a PsyD. Even if you don't wanna do research for a career, it's important that you understand first-hand how research is conducted. No way around it, friend; you're gonna have to suck it up and either join a lab or write a thesis.
  14. HopefulClinical

    HopefulClinical

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    Was this course expensive? I've looked into the Kaplan courses and they are $1000. I'm not sure I can afford that. I was hoping working with a tutor would help, but if anyone else knows a cheaper course that helped them please let me know!
  15. TexaninDC

    TexaninDC

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    I'm not saying you can't get by without it, but if you think inputting data into SPSS or cleaning electrodes is not going to help you, so you'd rather not do it, then you're going to have a hard time finding a professor that's going to pay you with their grant money to have you do it for the first time. We all have to pay our dues if we want funded programs. I'm not sure there are many funded programs that don't require it.

    If you can find a lab you'd love to work in and matches your research interests, do your best to try to join that lab. Sometimes however you have to start at a lab that might not interest you b/c you don't have that under your belt. One solid year of working in a lab that's going to open doors and get you an even better rec than the third 'ok' one you have is worth it too. Taking two years b/c you changed your major and career track is probably going to require 2 extra years of you putting in the solid research work to land at a well funded program, regardless of your other stats.
  16. Your chances are, like, zero with PhD. Regarding the PsyD, the good ones not only require research, but they're also on par with PhD programs in terms of acceptance rates and thus are not easier (at least statistically) to get into.
  17. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    Like Tex said, you aren't going to get in without research experience and at an undergrad level you shoudn't think of yourself as above data entry. I still enter and clean my own data in grad school; no way would I let someone who's uninterested or uninvested touch my data at such a critical phase.

    Just like with clinical work, there's not a lot of "knowing" prior to *doing*.
  18. jnine

    jnine

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    Yeah my Kaplan course was about $1000. It went on the credit card and it stung. However, I considered the benefit/cost and it was an easy choice to take the class. When I weighed the $1000 with the probable importance of the GRE to the whole admissions scenario, it seemed foolish not to take the course.

    For me, the $1000 was paid partially for convenience, partially as a way to optimize my study time, and I saw it as an investment in my future. I had a FT job so the time-saving was important and I had an income to eventually pay off the charge.
  19. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    I "know" how to take out and replace a carburetor. Would you like me to practice on your car...?

    Now you know how your Ph.D. program would feel.....
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  20. justme08

    justme08

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    I'd look into your local university's outreach courses they may offer a GRE course at a lower price.
  21. kalea

    kalea

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    Hi all... I am primarily applying for masters programs, although I am considering applying to maybe one or two PhD (UMass Boston Clinical) or PsyD programs, I just want to hear if you guys think I have a shot in hell.

    graduated with a BA Specialized Honours in Psych (spring 2010)
    cumulative GPA 3.5/4
    psych gpa - 3.7

    4th year counseling psych seminar course (learned skills & techniques for client-centered therapy)

    completed an honours thesis

    1 year research experience in a social cognition lab

    1 year (combined) experience at two psychotherapy/couples counseling programs as a transcriber/program assistant

    2 positions within two cultural student associations in university (VP, and cultural team consultant) -- experience w/ diverse populations

    1 year tutor for undergrad psych students

    6 years experience (as a dietary aide) with geriatric populations - working w/ individuals with dementia, alzheimers, cognitive challenges

    just beginning volunteering on a telephone support line for addiction/mental health issues with very large/well known organization/centre ( 1 year commitment)

    --Two of my reference letters will come from professors (one from the social cog lab, one from the professor of my counseling psych seminar class--she's written a ref for before and it was pretty good), for the third I will probably ask the volunteer coordinator/head from the telephone support line

    -- NO GRE score as of yet


    Please be honest and let me know if you think I have a shot at getting into any PhD programs.. I'm really just curious, because I'm fairly set on MSW/counseling masters programs but was still thinking about possibly applying to UMass Boston's clinical program to keep more options open as I'm still considering different career paths. Thanks!!
  22. jnine

    jnine

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    I think you have a good shot at a PhD program with a high GRE score (>1200)

    The GPA is fine and you seem to have a rich set of research/clinical experiences. The psych honors/thesis is good and seems to be something most successful applicants have. If your UG university is well known, you probably have a better shot.

    Suggestions for improvement: Can you/have you published or presented something? Can you try to ensure that all three letters are strong? In your SOP, tie your diverse experiences in to your current and future goals.

    Don't be intimidated by the PhD admissions process, I think you could be successful. :)

  23. Psychology 76

    Psychology 76

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    Okay, I've been on these boards since a freshman and now I'm going to be a senior so its time for me to actually start seriously considering the grad school process.:scared:

    The WAMC thread always seems to give valuable feedback so I'm hoping that's the case with me :)

    I don't have a final list of schools yet but I'm still working on it..
    Though I am planing on applying to funded clinical PhD programs with neuropsych an emphasis and neuroimaging research. I'll probably apply to more research heavy schools or at least balanced.

    Also, I might apply to cognitive neuroscience PhD programs as well..

    So here are my "stats"

    Overall gpa: 3.66
    Psychology gpa: 3.96

    GRE- not taken yet. though from practice tests i'm aiming for the 1200 cutoff and should get around there if i keep my studying up

    Extra curricular: psi chi and psych club president, aps student rep, 6 honors societies, lots of other psych department activities, a few other clubs, and I'm on my schools institutional review board.

    Research Experience: I've worked on nine different research projects at my school. Some of them were more involved then others and they have been for various professors, classes, and other students senior projects. I've coded data, ran participants, used psychphysiological equipment, programmed with experimental software, data coding, ran rats, performed rat brain surgery, data entry, data analysis, and wrote manuscripts for my classes. From these projects I have 4 poster presentations.

    I also am working on an honors thesis investigating the cognitive neuroscience behind decision making. I plan on presenting this also at some point.

    I also worked at a hospital administering neuropsychological tests to inpatients and outpatients for a summer. I learned many different neuropsych tests. I also completed 3 different research projects and helped with the lit review a published neuropsych book. For these projects, I wrote an IRB form, found the clinical data and analyzed it. One of the projects was presented at APA (i was a co-author)

    Finally, this summer I have an internship at an ivy league school doing social and cognitive neuroimaging research. Not sure specifically what i'll be doing but it seems like it will be an awesome experience.

    I should get good LOR since I know my professors pretty well and I"ve done a lot of work for them. I haven't read them but 2 of them must have been decent because I got into 2 REU's this summer. (I turned them down for my other internship)

    Also, for what it's worth I have a publication in the APS's undergraduate update.

    So SDN, first off thank you for reading all that, and secondly, what are my chances?

    Thank you very much!
  24. PSYCHgiiirl

    PSYCHgiiirl

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    Undergraduate GPA: 3.3
    Psych GPA: Roughly 3.5

    GRE Score: 1380

    Research Experience: Tons - Have worked in 5 different labs, 3 for credit, one over the summer between Sophomore and Junior year at a university near my home, one the summer between my junior and senior year for pay. No publications as of yet, but I am working on an independent project and will likely be presenting at a conference.

    Internship: Summer Intern on a research team, while not directly psychology-related, still falls in that realm.

    Clinical Experience: Worked for a Crisis Hotline and as a Planned Parenthood volunteer

    Clubs/Activities/Memberships: Psi Chi, Vice President of my university's psychology club, tutor for campus writing center

    Letters of Rec: Should likely be pretty strong.

    Can provide more info if needed, but I'm really concerned my GPA isn't good enough. I have gotten A or A-'s in the majority of my psych courses, but I do have a few B's (one in my Research Methods class which pretty much looks awful). And, I'm a B.S. Psychology major and many of my science courses have been B's, bringing down my psych GPA.

    Help? =/

    Thanks!!
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  25. krisrox

    krisrox

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    Your GPA is low-ish, but I've heard of worse GPA's getting in. You'll probably miss a few cut-offs, but also make a lot of them. Go for it.
  26. PickMePickMe

    PickMePickMe

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    That sounds pretty solid. I can't think of much to improve on. I would aim for a higher score on the GRE to go with the rest of your stats: good luck!

    I think once you find well-matched potential supervisors, you'd be a strong contender this cycle. :)
  27. beaconshome

    beaconshome

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    I’m really embarrassed to even post any information about my academic performance because it doesn’t even compare to any of these other outstanding applications I see. However, this inquiring mind would just like a little advice.
    Quick background info to keep in mind: I was a chemistry major for 4 years, midway through those 4 years I needed to take a leave from school because of a brain tumor. After returning from my surgery my chemistry grades went south very quickly and did not enjoy any of my classes anymore. This resulted in terrible grades, disappointment, and of course had an impact on my overall GPA. I decided just last summer to switch to a psychology major and have been thrilled ever since. I only have 1 semester left until I graduate (= 3 more psych classes).
    Anyways, I am looking at applying to masters counseling psychology, and counseling programs this fall.
    Here are my stats:
    Overall GPA: 2.76
    Psych GPA: 3.31 (need 3 more psych classes, and this is relatively good at my school since I attend a somewhat rigorous liberal arts college; and most psych majors average around 3.0).

    GRE- have not taken yet; I will soon.

    My college is very small and there are no research opportunities for me to apply to otherwise I would have.

    I did however present a research project at the school along with disciplines who presented research projects/posters. I was the first person from the psychology department to ever participate in this event! The event has been running for over 10 years.

    Since I switched majors late in the game I also haven’t had the opportunity to gain work experience in the short amount of time that I had. I plan on volunteering at the local mental health center, but when I apply to schools it will only show a few months of volunteer work.

    I am taking another research class next semester where we replicate a study, but I plan on asking the professor if I can do an original research project that relates to the class topic/material.

    Other than that I don’t have much to show for myself. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  28. jnine

    jnine

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    If you eventually want to attend a funded doctoral program, you're on the right track applying to master's programs. While a master's student get excellent grades and as much relevant research experience as you can handle. That should make you a competitive applicant. If I were you I might apply to a few doctoral programs now and see if there was any interest in my application. However, I think you're going to first need to improve your grades and gain psych research experience in a master's program. :luck:


    p.s. dont be embarrased. stuff happens. I hope you have the opportunity to redefine your academic self and take advantage of it.

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  29. psich

    psich

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    I think that you have a decent shot of getting into master's programs in counseling as long as you get a decent GRE score. Getting more coursework in psychology may also help as long as you do well in them.

    Do you plan on applying to terminal programs? Do you want to get a PhD afterwards? It might help to apply to doctoral programs just to see what happens. Some doctoral programs may weigh your experiences in the field (if you can obtain any positions) in your favor.

    By the way, don't feel embarrassed! You are making positive changes and that's what counts.
  30. beaconshome

    beaconshome

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    Thank you jnine! And psich, I was debating on what type of master's program to apply to. I would like to go onto a PhD or PsyD, but that may change by the end of the masters program. I was looking at master's programs that had either 48 or 60 credits, thesis or no thesis, CACREP accredited or not, and so on.

    I believe a thesis would be a very good option if I do plan on going onto a doctorate program. However, if I want to practice just as an LPC (or its equivalent), I believe a 60 credit CACREP accredited program would be best. Do you have suggestions? Should I try and find a 60 credit thesis program? That way I could become licensed if I want and be prepared for a PhD or PsyD. I've been having a hard time deciding on what to do.
  31. PhishGirl

    PhishGirl

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    Honestly, I think that's a poor attitude to have going into this. All of us want to be in prestigious programs that are fully funded, but some of us really love research and are willing to work in labs to get the experience to be prepared and to have earned our spots in prestigious, fully funded programs.

    When you apply, programs are NOT going to be impressed by this attitude. A clinical PhD program, generally, would want someone who doesn't look down upon "cleaning electrodes," but someone who has paid their dues and knows how to conduct research, which absolutely involves the things you've tried to avoid.

    Not to mention the fact that if you don't like to do research, you likely won't be happy in a research-heavy clinical PhD program.

    You know, I would love to make the money that an MD does and to have the prestigious job title of MD. But that program isn't for me and I wouldn't be happy completing that type of schooling. I think that you should also try to be a bit more realistic about your future.
  32. psich

    psich

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    Generally speaking, many states require a 60 credit graduate program in psychology/counseling if you want to be a master’s level clinician. Going to a CACREP accredited school will only make your life easier. In that case, I agree that going to a 60 credit CACREP accredited program is the best way to go if you want to be a master’s level counselor.

    I have not seen many 60 credit experimental programs (most programs I have come across have been 48 credits) in psychology, and even if you did find a 60 credit theoretical master’s program you will probably run into difficulty when trying to become licensed as a counselor if you changed your mind about going to a doctoral program. The curricula for a theoretical and applied master’s are vastly different, so it would be important to look into the exact licensure laws in your state if you think you may go into counseling.
  33. OneAtATime

    OneAtATime

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    Another option would be a 48 credit CACREP program + a 12 credit specialization. In states that only require 48 credits for a license, it seems that a lot of programs offer interesting ways to accumulate the extra 12 credits.
  34. WJPSYCH

    WJPSYCH

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    I hear a great number of people discuss publications as a requirement (or almost) for a PhD program. I was wondering about poster presentations. I have presented a poster at a regional psychology conference (as a 2nd author) and have a publication in the works, but it likely will not be edited and accepted before I apply. I also have given an oral presentation (with one of my professors) at a state psychological conference, participated in my school's poster presentation, and have been a co-author on a few posters presented nationally and internationally. Do poster presentations or oral presentations mean much to graduate schools, or is it truly the doctoral applicant's version of "publish or perish" ?
  35. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Yes, presentations and posters matter; no, if you don;'t have you won't "perish" in the application process. Presentations and posters maybe aren't "as good" as publications (it's somewhat context dependent, though), but they'll still boost your application a good deal. As nice as they are to have, publications aren't required to get in nor are they a guaranteed someone will get in.
  36. Syzygy117

    Syzygy117

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    Hello,
    I have been reading through this forum the last couple of weeks and I thank everyone who has posted such valuable information. Particularly the thread on admissions statistics: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=637708

    My goal is to be accepted into a quality university Psyd program.
    I am hoping I can get some advice on what to focus on in my final 2 years of my undergrad at the University of Rhode Island.

    My cGPA is 3.52, being slightly higher in major courses, psychology. I will be finishing the requirements for my psychology major this upcoming fall (junior year) so my Major GPA is somewhat firm around 3.6.
    According to the admissions statistic thread, the average Psyd admittance was 3.53, so I feel pretty good there.

    I have a teaching assistant gig lined up. And I am currently looking out for a research opportunity with a faculty. Then I plan on doing some sort of group home work as an internship for next summer.

    Given I complete these things do you think I have a good chance at a school like GWU or Baylor? :confused:
  37. krisrox

    krisrox

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    The advice I got was that publications are so rare that they're not expected. If you have them, great, but if not, it doesn't put you at a disadvantage.
  38. psich

    psich

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    The advice I got was that publications are so rare that they're not expected. If you have them, great, but if not, it doesn't put you at a disadvantage.

    I got the same advice, too. I don't think it will be held against you if you do not have publications (and I don't think that not having presentations will actively hurt your application). Having either one of these things, though, can only help IMO.
  39. skeletor06

    skeletor06

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    Hi there! I'm apologizing in advance for the length of this post, but I could use some advice. :)

    I have a B.A. in English and a M.S. in Child/Youth Development (thesis option) from a public, Tier 1 research university. I have gone back to the same university to finish up my pre-reqs for Psychology, and I am trying to figure out if it's worth it, given my stats, to apply this Fall (to start in Fall 2011), or wait another year and apply then.

    I have a 3.4ish GPA from my undergrad (3.6 in last 65 hours), 3.85 in my M.S. program. My thesis (research on respite care and family functioning with a therapeutic camp for children with autism, Down Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities) has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Therapeutic Recreation, and should be in press in a few months. I am also working as a RA for the Pediatric Psychology research team as I am taking my pre-reqs, and will have at least one and more likely two other publications in press by December. I am also volunteering for the student crisis line this year.

    I am taking Developmental, Social, and Cognitive Psych this summer, and Abnormal, Bio of Psych Disorders, Physiological, and Learning this fall. I will probably also be able to take Experimental, as well. I will also most likely take another 12ish hours next Spring (not sure what, yet). I also took grad-level intro Stats in my M.S. program, along with Pediatric Psychology, Child Psychopathology, Research Methods, and other assorted similar ped psych classes.

    I spoke with several grad students in the department, and their consensus is that I should give applying a shot for next year, with the thought that if I don't get in, I don't really lose anything and can apply next year (minus the cash for applications and transcripts, etc.) However, if I don't have enough classes to show that I can handle the work, or not enough research experience, then I'd rather not apply now, and just wait for next year. I am interested in doing a Ph.D. program in Clinical; I'm looking to work with mood disorders, most likely, and would like to be in a program that's somewhat middle of the road in terms of practice vs. research oriented career focus.

    So, any ideas on whether I should give it a shot and apply for 2011? Or wait until 2012? I'd love to start in '11, but I don't want to throw cash down the drain if I've got a snowball's chance of getting in anywhere.

    Thanks for reading this uber-long post, and I appreciate all your advice!
  40. BuckeyeAlum

    BuckeyeAlum

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    Skeletor-

    I think you should wait another year. Explanation below:

    First, I think you're doing a great job in making yourself a strong applicant. Your research experiences and (future) clinical volunteering are all clutch.

    My first concern for you is that programs will not be necessarily satisfied that you have not completed enough psych courses. Most Clinical PhD applications are due prior to the time your Fall grades will come out, so the grad schools will only see your performance on the classes you are taking this summer. When competing against many applicants who have all/most of their psych requirements done, this may be a disadvantage. I think it is possible that grad programs may think A) that they don't have enough to evaluate you re. psych. or B) that you haven't had enough psych experience to really demonstrate your commitment to the field (and their research topic).

    Second, you may want to get some kind of experience related to mood disorders. If you're interested in child clinical, then you may have enough with your peds work. However, many people I met on the interview trail had past experiences very tailored to their stated research interests. (In other words - why does this person w/past experience in MRDD and ped psych want to study something totally different?).

    Lastly - think about the GRE. Do the schools you want to apply to require the Psych GRE? While this test isn't generally difficult if you've taken all your psych classes, you may find you aren't ready to take it by October (the general time you will need to make the application deadlines). I don't know how your other GRE scores were, but you will want to make sure those are competitive too.

    I'm not trying to bring you down. Believe me, I thought I would never hold out for 2 years before going back to school. I think by waiting another year, you will have a better shot at getting into your top choice schools.
  41. beaconshome

    beaconshome

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    Ok so I really think I made up my mind. I would like to go for a counseling psychology PhD. But given my stats from above I would like/need to get my masters degree first.

    My question is, what masters degree is best for counseling psych Phd programs? A general psych? A counseling psych? Any ideas?

    Thanks
  42. BSWdavid

    BSWdavid

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    Ok, need some advice. I am considering applying to a local PsyD program. It is a university based, APA accredited program. Last year, they had 250 applicants and only accepted around 25.

    I majored in social work as an undergraduate (3.2 gpa), many withdraws, and no science electives. Currently, I am an MSW student, 3.8 graduate gpa, and have taken one graduate level psych class so far (CBT). My question is: do I have a chance of being admitted into a PsyD program (pending my gre scores)?
  43. skeletor06

    skeletor06

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    Buckeye,

    Thanks for the reply. That's what I was assuming, which is fine. The problem re: my research focus is that there is no one at Texas A&M who does bipolar research, or major depression, or clinical anxiety, for that matter (strange, since it is a top 25 research university...you'd think at least one person would... :( ) So, if I could find something to do, that would be great...but it's not really an option at this point, given that I'm staying here until the Spring to finish classes. Any ideas on what to do? Thanks again for the help!
  44. justme08

    justme08

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    I'm new to my RA position; however, even though there are a couple of overarching areas my lab is mainly concerned with if I can provide a tie-in for something else, they seem very receptive. You might be able to make the case for some type of research in clinical anxiety with your pediatric lab. Or, maybe look at the problems you are interested in, in the parents and see how that impacts the child?
  45. Psych4Lyfe

    Psych4Lyfe

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    Hi all I am new to this thread so please forgive me as I navigate it and learn how to use it appropriately.

    I am applying to Clinical psychology PhD programs that are more clinically oriented (i.e.: Feinberg, UCSB) as well as PsyD programs. Below is my resume in a nutshell. Any advice is much appreciated.

    Masters GPA in Clinical Psych: 3.97

    Undergrad GPA in Psy: 3.45

    GRE Total: 1250
    Verbal: 550
    Quant: 700

    GRE Subject: 600

    Research:
    -Undergrad: 2 yrs as an RA
    -Grad: 1.5 yrs as an RA
    -Publication: 1 first author publication this past year and 2 more first author publications in process
    -Conferences: 1 presentation; 2 poster sessions

    Clinical Experience:
    -Currently in a post masters internship doing school based child therapy. (gaining about 400hrs )
    -Case management and clinical work doing therapy in a foreign language
    -2 years clinical experience in my masters program working with children with autism using family systems

    I also been involved in many mentoring programs and volunteered at various organizations.

    Okay I think thats all I can think of including but let me know if I am missing anything.

    Thanks for all your help and I look forward to hearing the truth and nothing but the truth :)
  46. bruinpsych

    bruinpsych

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    Hi,
    I just recently stumbled upon these forums (with the help of google) and had a very quick but important question (and yes I did use search and have found little to nothing :( ).
    I recently applied to PhD and PsyD programs in the field of counseling psychology. I did not gain admittance from any of the schools due to my lower GPA (UCLA graduate: 3.1 GPA, 1270 GRE). So at the advice of the professor I do research under I applied and gained admissions into a general psychology MA program specializing in research. Under her advice she said that if I gained a good GPA, that many graduate schools would take that into account. However, as of recent, many college faqs say they do not take masters into account, or that graduate GPA was not applied to undergraduate GPA in the determining of admissions. I am from a smaller area with no college in the vicinity, so coming upon professors to ask has been very hard. Any advice would be great, thank you.
    Also if it helps I have improved my undergraduate GPA to 3.27, because I know sometimes there are cut offs.
  47. jnine

    jnine

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    Some programs care about more about graduate GPA, some less. If I recall correctly USC states they care very little, but they were the only program I recall stating that explicitly (on their website i think). However, when I contacted the Dir of Clin Training about it, he downplayed that statement.

    What will make you a more competitive applicant is gaining relevant research experience. The masters program will give you opportunities to gain research experience while also getting a high GPA. The research experience is what will help out your application most.

    Without considering the rest of your application, the stats you mentioned should be sufficient to get you into a middle tier funded PhD program.

    Just my .02
  48. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    MOD NOTE: This is more appropriate for the WAMC Thread. Moving. -t4c
  49. bruinpsych

    bruinpsych

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    thank you for answering my question.
  50. nancynyc

    nancynyc

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    Hi all! I just took the GRE a few days ago so I can finally post here :) I haven't taken the Psych GRE yet but will do that in November... I'm hoping to go to a clinical PhD program in/ around NYC in 2011.

    -Cum. GPA: 3.94
    -GRE Verbal: 600
    -GRE Quant: 690
    -graduated from a top 20 university
    -completed an honors thesis and received highest honors
    -member of phi beta kappa and psi chi
    -volunteered on my school's anonymous helpline for 3 years
    -volunteered in a developmental/ narrative psych lab for 1.5 years as an undergrad
    -volunteered at two different psych labs at NYU over two summers
    -will begin working as lab manager of a clinical psych lab at the school from which I graduated starting in July

    As of now, I think my top choice is Columbia TC, which accepts very few students per year... but I'd be happy at any PhD program in the NYC area. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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