1. It’s Test Prep Week! Visit the Test Prep Forums to learn about test prep products and services, ask questions in test-related AMA threads, take advantage of exclusive SDN member discounts, and enter to win free stuff!
What can I do to get my MCAT, DAT, or OAT score up? Ask in the Test Prep Week AMA threads.

Advice from Prof for Applicants to PhD Programs

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by DrClinPsyAdvice, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Psych O

    Psych O 2+ Year Member

    15
    0
    Oct 20, 2007
    Dear Professor,

    I was hoping that you could lend some insight or advice on the feasibility of getting into PhD programs in clinical psychology with an MPH. I have the option of entering master's programs in either public health or psych in the fall (my BA is in an unrelated field). Although my ultimate objective is to obtain a PhD in psych and work in a clinical setting, I am starting to question the psych MA route for the following reasons:

    1) I have not heard very positive things about psych MA programs in general and although the school that I've been admitted to is reputable, I've heard very mixed feedback about the program itself. On the other hand, the MPH program that I've been admitted to is ranked very highly and well-regarded among everyone I've spoken to in the field.

    2) It is my understanding that PhD programs are looking for applicants who have solid research experience and care less about their clinical background. An MPH would provide me with substantial research experience, including a fieldwork practicum and opportunities to work with professors.

    3) The MPH program that I am considering would allow me to focus my coursework on mental health, e.g. psychiatric epidemiology. I would also be able to take an additional five courses in psychology to supplement my public health coursework.

    Although it seems more logical to obtain an MA in psych as a stepping stone to a PhD in psych, I am wondering whether an MPH wouldn't be just as beneficial. Although I want to work in clinical psych, both disciplines are of interest to me academically and I want to attend the best master's program possible, provided that it doesn't decrease my viability as a PhD candidate.

    My apologies for being so long-winded. Your advice would be truly appreciated. Thank you so much!
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. lavalubby111

    lavalubby111 2+ Year Member

    20
    0
    Feb 15, 2008
    How about if someone's cummulative GPA > 3.4 but is lower than the average of those applicants accepted in a given year to a particular school and is lower because the person had a year in which their average fell less than 3.4 and without that bad year the persons CGPA would be > than or at the school's average.
    Should the person then call attention to their bad year showing that without it it would meet the school's accepted average cgpa?

    Thank you professor clinpsyadvice!
     
  4. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    2,262
    19
    Nov 19, 2007
    Let's put it this way, the Navy, which is somewhat conservative took two of us with tattoos. Mine are hidden in uniform, but the other person has visible tattoos on her wrist and forearm. Didn't seem to be an issue. Other students on the civilian side are sporting tats as well. Not an issue it seems.

    Mark
     
  5. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    You are thinking about this in the right way. It will be important to get research done. However, if the research is too Public Health (Public Health profs and journals), then it won't help you too much. A Masters in Psych can help if you can demonstrate competence at the grad level. But if you don't get too much research done, then that may not help either.

    I guess another way to say it is that either one can work well for you, depending on what you get done when you are there.
     
  6. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    I guess it would depend how much below or above you are talking about. I don't believe that a difference of a tenth will make a difference one way or the other. Grades are usually looked at in a simple above or below threshold way (given the undergrad school).
     
  7. Psych O

    Psych O 2+ Year Member

    15
    0
    Oct 20, 2007
    Professor, thank you so much for your response to my inquiry. It's good to hear that my line of thinking makes sense! All the best to you.
     
  8. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007

    GPA 1st yr: 3.68; GPA 2nd yr: 3.54; GPA 3rd yr 3.31; GPA 4th yr 3.76; GPA 5th yr (anticipated): 3.91

    Given those marks, should I explain the GPA from 3rd yr? My CGPA = 3.61 (with the bad year included). If I don't include the bad year, then the CGPA = 3.69. So it's 3.61 vs. 3.69. Even though you said a difference of a tenth doesn't mean that much...the average for a school want to apply to has an average of 3.65 for clin students. So it's a matter of being a bit above vs. a bit below. I don't want to irritate you... I just want to make the best final decision about explaning vs. not explaning. Oh and if it makes any difference, the bad 3rd year included a lot of PSY credits and some schools ask me to report my PSYGPA.

    Thanks Dr. CLINPSY! (Oh and I come from a very well respected undergrad place in Canada)
     
  9. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    21,088
    1,992
    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    Faculty
    0.01's in a GPA won't matter (in my eyes), I think he is talking about the difference between a 3.2 and a 3.6. Programs will probably look at your overall and the Psych GPA....they probably won't look at it by year unless they explicitly ask for this in their application.

    Instead of fretting over some .01's, I'd take that energy and put it towards your GRE's, etc.
     
  10. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    T4C you're probably very correct. I guess this is a big step for me, applying to grad school -- and I know that everything everything counts. My PSYGPA will be 3.65 with the bad year included, without the bad year included it will be : 3.79.

    So for PSYGPA it is 3.65 (w bad year) vs. 3.79 (w/o bad year) does that da'ya think make a big difference???? It seems big a bit, but of course who knows... 3.65 vs. 3.79
     
  11. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student! 5+ Year Member

    i transferred from one college to another after my sophmore year (w/in the same uni), so while my gpa on my transcript is 3.72, it does not include my 1st tow years, which i hated and during whic i had clinical depression -- with that it's a 3.62. Honestly, i don't think it made a difference which i put (some had me put the gpa of the school i graduated from, some specifically said cumulative including all schools). if it was, like T4C said a 3.2 vs a 3.6 that may make a difference. and you have a reason for your bad year, which you or a letter writer will breifly mention in some part of your app before going on to describe how awesome you are. it will be fine.
     
  12. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    Thanks for the extra detail. I truly believe these differences will not be noticed or be important overall. The cumulative score is good, and few use hard cutoffs. GPA is considered within the scope of all other factors (GRE, school, etc).
     
  13. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    PSY GPAs - How important are these really anyway? The schools that ask for them to be reported - are they just a formality, or are they really given any weight? *Shrug* Just curious.
    Besides which, from your last answer I guess I won't bring up the so-said bad year. It might hurt more than help? Unless maybe the PSY gpa is somehow important to getting in...maybe then...if a 3.65 [w bad yr] vs. 3.79 [w/o bad yr] PSY gpa would make any of the difference.



    Thanks DR.CLINPSY!
     
  14. lumpynerd

    lumpynerd

    1
    0
    May 3, 2008
    Hi Dr. C, so nice of you to be answering all of our questions. I am graduating from law school right now and plan to get a PhD in psychology as an aspiring jury consultant. I have a BA in psychology with a 3.9 gpa from a large, public uni and am approximately top 1/3 at a top 20 law school. I am wondering if, as long as I have direction which would incorporate both degrees, a JD would give me a leg up in the application process? Any chance that it could hurt (looks like I am floundering...)? I plan to do research with a jury consulting firm before applying to phd program. Thanks!!
     
  15. terpskins10

    terpskins10 PhD Student 5+ Year Member

    268
    2
    Apr 30, 2008
    Dr. C,

    I was wondering what types and how many hard science courses an applicant should take before applying to a Clinical program.

    Thanks.
     
  16. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    # 1. If one has so - so GRE scores, but has a lot of research experience with very well-known researchers, do the so-so GRE scores not get looked at as heavily? (Have yet to take the GREs - but curious as to how much buffer room I might have)

    #2. Can having a lot of research experience with well - known researchers place less emphasis on one's so-so CGPA [e.g. 3.61]?

    #3. Additionally, how important is having clinical research experience if one is applying to a heavy research focused clinical psychology PhD program?

    Thanks DR.CLINPSY!!
     
  17. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    #1. When contacting professors as to whether they will be taking students, should one attach one's CV? Can no harm come from it either way?

    #2. How early is too early to contact and ask Profs if they'll be taking students?

    #3. How soon should potential letter writers be asked to write letters?

    #4. Is it wrong to ask your letter writers to mention why you had a bad year or to ask them not to mention such a thing? (They all know I have MS and it was the diagnosis that threw me ~ awful 3.31 yr ~)

    #5. Can someone ever have "too much" research experience? As in, the POI might think that 'this person probably got (will get) acceptances at many other places, they won't come here, so there isn't a point accepting (interviewing) them.'

    #6. In your opinion, what makes a particular Personal Statement stand out [in a good way] from everyone elses?

    #7. Does taking a certification course (outside of school) such as: "Data management and manipulation using SPSS" mean anything to professors? One of the grad students said that if I took such a certification course, I could put it down on my CV and it would make me look good. I'm not too sure. What do you think? - it costs money, it's not at my home university, is it worth my while for the purposes of looking more impressive, would it even do that?

    Thanks DR.CLINPSY!
     
  18. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    You have 30 students who want to work with you - mention your name on their Personal Statement - have similar interests as your own.
    They have all met the GPA cutoff/GRE required scores.

    With their Transcript, their Personal Statement, and their CV on your desk and at hand. And of course their 3 Letters of Rec.

    What happens? How do you choose who to call for interview? Generally - what happens? what factors become important? What's the first thing to look at? Is there something that "wins it", "sinks it"?

    (Feel free to answer in general terms, because maybe saying precisely what you look for is asking too much )

    Many thanks Dr. CLINPSY!! You have become a very valued resource. [On a side note, do profs generally have 30 students who want to work with them? More, Less]?
     
  19. timecoloured

    timecoloured 2+ Year Member

    52
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  20. ksskateboard

    ksskateboard 5+ Year Member

    21
    1
    May 8, 2008
    Hello DrClinPsyAdvice, I have been reading your replies for the last couple days and have already learned a ton about the application process. Thank you so much for taking your time to answer our questions, it has really been a huge help. I am currently nearing the end of my third year at a division 1 research institution as an undergraduate. I am going to be applying to Phd programs next fall, and I have two questions: first, when would it be a good time to start emailing faculty and introducing myself? Would now be appropriate, or would it be too early? Is it more appropriate to send emails during the summer, or would professors like to recieve emails earlier when they aren't as flooded? My second question is this: I am applying to clinical health psychology programs. This is a pretty narrow, specified field and I've done a good amount of research in order to locate these programs across the country. So far I've found about six, and I have hit a roadblock in my search. Are there any resources available online or in literature that would steer me in the right direction? I was thinking about purchasing a book online that would list each specified field and have all of the programs in existence listed. Specifically, I have been looking at Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology: 2008/2009 Edition. I'm not sure if anyone has heard about this book, but I have heard good things about it online. Anyway thank you for all of your help!
     
  21. michalita

    michalita New Member 2+ Year Member

    134
    0
    Aug 25, 2006
    New England
    Dear DrClinPsyAdvice,

    I realize that you are a DCT in a clinical program that is research-focused, so would it be unrealistic to ask you questions about admissions standards for Counseling PhD programs that are more practice-oriented?

    If not, how much does research (and to what extent/what role? how does social work research look v psych research?) play a part?

    I'm a potential MSW>PhD Counseling Psychology and I'd love to know how I can get a leg up in the process.

    Thank you so much for continuing to answer the many questions with which this board has provided you!
     
  22. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student! 5+ Year Member

    that book is basically a bible for people applying - although as some other threads have mentioned, the info on the schools many not be the most up-to-date, or relevant for you, depending on the researcher you want to work with. I'm going to the Clinical PhD with Health emphasis at Yeshiva University in NY, which is a seriously health oriented program-joint with the Albert Einstien College of Medicine, 128 credits, clinical work with bariatric patients your first year. For personal reasons I was concentrating on the NY area, but here Fordham has a health concentration, Rutgers PhD has an awesome health concentration, CUNY Grad Center has a health concentration, and I also applied to several other programs because there were researchers/profs in other Clin Psych programs who were doing health work.

    I know University of Florida has an amazing program, University of Missouri-Kansas has a new one, Pitt, East Carolina, Kent -- some ore Clinical programs with health concentrations, some of which are parts of the Clinical Program and some of which are interdisciplinary programs, and some of the Health Psych Programs out there are pure health Psych (sometimes called behavioral medicine), in which you will get very little training on working with the very mentally ill (comorbidity at the most) and will truly fpcis on how psychological factors impact health and illness. there are quite a few out there. Check Out Division 38 of the APA to find more profs who are working in that area, and of course our sweet friend Google. Good luck!
     
  23. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    Like the poster before said: that book is the bible guide for applying to clin psych programs. If you don't buy it -- at least check it out from the library.
    You said that you want to locate good programs right? Well, one thing to do -- mind you, it doesn't always work -- is to look for peer-reviewed articles on the topic of Clinical health psych you are interested in. The author names generally have notations to indicate where the authors came from.
    If you see a lot of papers you're interested in...and they come from people from some concentrated universities...you can at least be assured that those people have some sort of program that you'd find appealing. But like I said - it doesn't always work out that way.
    I'm not well-versed in the field of clinical health psychology, else I'd throw out some names/programs. But keep looking, you have some time to narrow down your search. Best of luck :)

    Best of luck w/ apps. Dr.ClinPsy is a good resource.
     
  24. solar3000

    solar3000 2+ Year Member

    72
    0
    Feb 24, 2008
    Hi DrClinPsyAdvice,


    I have a few questions for you if you don't mind. What would you recommend for me to do in order to be competitive for adimissions to grad school in clinical psych or a neuropsychology program (experimental psych). I'll show you what I have as far as experience, etc.

    I have my bachelors in psych. gpa: 3.19
    I also have RA exp on:
    Clinical Psych lab: 2 semesters
    Developmental: 2 semesters
    Env. psych lab: 1 semester
    Cogn. NS lab: 1 semester, plus summer (this year)
    I am also starting part time work as a RA/study coordinator for a study at the University of utah's clinic. (the doctor and the developmental psychologist professor told me they'll write me LOR if I do a good job).

    Also, I took a Cognitive NS graduate level class as an undergraduate and was graded at the same level as the grad students. Received an A.

    Also, with my part time job as an RA I was told I have the chance to enroll and get Independent Study credit (upto 12) and I could also choose to have it labeled as a 6000 level (graduate level class) or as a 5000 undergrad level class.

    I was wondering if there was an advantage over taking the class as a grad level class or not? I don't have much $ and it'll be cheaper to take it at the undergrad level.

    When you look at all of what I have done, what would you recommend that I should do? What do you think about what I have done so far? I hope all this makes sense. I will really appreciate your imput on this and thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
     
  25. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    Clearly and humbly so, I'm not Dr.ClinPsy - but I was thinking it would be easier to evaluate your competitiveness if you provided a general idea of what you were applying to ... some people are asking about PsyDs and non-clinical programs ... so it's not always safe to assume a poster is talking about Clinical Psych PhD programs
    Plus I'm curious :p ~ also, I think there's a post somewhere earlier in this thread about taking grad level classes, you might find it helpful. (and hey - I might be applying to the University of Utah)
     
  26. solar3000

    solar3000 2+ Year Member

    72
    0
    Feb 24, 2008

    I'd like to apply to a clinical psych program OR neuropsych.
     
  27. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    2,262
    19
    Nov 19, 2007
    I am gonna submit that it's not going to matter. What will matter is the actual experience. Your CNS class probably won't matter as far as getting the interview, but the knowledge will matter in the interview.

    I'm just a student, not a prof, but that's my take on it. Who knows, maybe the DCT will think differently.

    Your GPA is a little weak, you should concentrate on getting a high GRE score and be prepared to talk about why your GPA is not higher. If your psych GPA is really good that will help a bit. Focus on the LOR's and personal statements. Once you get past the GRE/GPA hurdle, your transcripts (including graduate vs undergrad classes) will matter little.

    Mark
     
  28. psych83

    psych83

    1
    0
    Mar 29, 2008
    Hi DrClinPsyAdvice,

    I am new to this forum and would greatly appreciate your advice. I am planning on applying to Clinical Psych PhD programs for the fall of 2009 and am wondering if I have a chance of being accepted into a funded program.

    I graduated a few years ago with a B.S. in Psychology from an ivy league university known for its lack of grade inflation. I was also pre-med at the time, and unfortunately I think that organic chemistry and some other science classes hurt my gpa a bit. Do admissions committees look at where an applicant completed their undergraduate education when looking at his/her gpa?

    I was also wondering if it would be too optimistic to apply to some of the more competitive programs. Here are my stats: I have a 3.5 overall gpa and a 3.8 psych gpa. I plan on taking the GREs this summer (and have no idea what my score will be). I had a summer internship abroad in a clinical setting as an undergraduate and I worked for a year after graduation in a psychologist's private office. And I am currently working as a full-time research assistant for a large university.

    Also, My current position has provided me with a lot of valuable experience in psych assessment (SCID training, etc) but provides little opportunity to publish. Do you think that a lack of publications will hurt my application?

    Sorry for the long post and all of the questions. Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  29. lavalubby111

    lavalubby111 2+ Year Member

    20
    0
    Feb 15, 2008
    I wonder where Dr. ClinPsyAdvice went. But I reckon he's superbusy. *WAITS PATIENTLY*
     
  30. WannaBeDrMe

    WannaBeDrMe 2+ Year Member

    296
    0
    Apr 14, 2008
    One area of research that interests me tremendously is most recently pursued/published by a prof in a school of nursing. This same school of nursing is housed within a university that also plays host to a well-respected PsyD program. Is there a way to present the idea of interdisciplinary research that wouldn't be offensive to the PsyD folk?

    So far, all of my research has been as a part of a multi-disciplinary team but I know that at least one of my advisors had a huge issue with me trotting around with other departments. Even my current project is taking shape with the cooperation of school of ed, poli sci, and social work (and the consultation of a prof in psych).

    I'm just not sure that I've ever been in possession of proper research etiquette... I sort of just follow the mixture of my interests and the community's need... and I get the impression that doctoral research is a bit more political.

    Thanks in advance. Hope your semester is wrapping up well!
     
  31. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    2,262
    19
    Nov 19, 2007
    I'm not DCT, but seeing how the process works... Yes, they absolutely consider your undergraduate education... You will need to do well on the GRE however if you want to be competitive at top programs. However given your profile, it would not be unreasonable to reach if you have good GRE's. Remember, more important than your GPA/GRE is that elusive "fit". Without that everything else means nada. Your (GPA 3.5 or better) should be sufficient for most programs to get a look provided your GRE's are solid.

    Mark
     
  32. lavalubby111

    lavalubby111 2+ Year Member

    20
    0
    Feb 15, 2008
    No, really though...I miss that Dr. ClinPsyAdvice. I like coming to this forum and reading his responses to my and other people's questions.
    *CONTINUES TO WAIT PATIENTLY*

    But Mark gives good advice too and a few other people in the interm
     
  33. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    I don't think many look at Psych GPAs at all.
     
  34. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    You will need to explain your decision to apply very clearly in a personal statement and cover letter. It is possible that people will think you are confused and without direction. But if you make your goals clear in a statement, then it should be fine. (It probably does not give you much of an advantage over others, except perhaps it demonstrates that you can succeed at grad level work)
     
  35. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    Whatever is required by your major and your school will be fine.
     
  36. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    GRE and GPA are looked at first and will determine who goes on to the next step at a lot of places. So, these are essential. Any research experience is great. Clinical research exp is better only if it happens to match what your potential advisor is working on.
     
  37. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    ......
     
  38. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    tough question - everyone handles this very differently. the applications are initially screened, so only those with exceptional GRE and GPAs and relevant research experience make it to someone's desk. Yes, there could be 30 left at that point, and many will look for someone with a match to their research interests, a true commitment to do research (publish, apply for grants, etc), and maybe someone with some knowledge of the procedures that are necessary to do that type of work. But other Profs may just look for someone with energy and not a specific match, figuring that they will train students in the methods and literature that is relevant when the student gets there. You have to assume that you will get a slot with the right person based on the natural sorting process that this Application Process provides.
     
  39. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    you will submit a transcript from the second school, and you should make reference to it in your cover letter and personal statement. by doing so, you can highlight that your grades in relevant courses have been higher. on applications, when asked for GPA, go ahead and offer a footnote or a cumulative total based on both schools to explain your situation. In other words, make sure that whoever is screening your application in the first round will clearly know to look at both schools.
     
  40. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    you can start contacting professors in sept/oct.
    check out division 38 of APA (I think that is the Health Psych one), and also Society of Behavioral Medicine. If they do not have their own directory of Health Psych programs, then you can look at the affiliations of the folks who are presenting at their conferences, etc to get a sense of which programs may have Health Psych tracks.
     
  41. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    Sorry - don't know much about Counseling programs
     
  42. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    GPA is a little low, but the graduate courses with high grades could help.
    Paying for the independent research may not be worth it, however, unless you think you could list a graduate GPA somewhere and show that you are getting high grades in these courses.

    GREs will be very important for you to help show high level of academic achievement.

    the research experience sounds great IF you have done work in these labs that allow you to write a personal statement reflecting your knowledge of the scientific aspects of your work (i.e., it's good to have experience as an assistant, but you also need to start demonstrating your ability to be an independent researcher).

    The RA position sounds like a GREAT thing to do!
     
  43. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    ....
     
  44. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008

    If your interests seem to be headed in that direction, you may want to consider that career path instead. It will be hard to get into a program without a strong match to a core faculty member in the program you are applying to
     
  45. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    Hi all,

    It has been fun to answer all of your questions, and I am happy this has been helpful.

    I'd like to mention a couple of things...

    1. As the application cycle starts again, please do be sure to read through this thread before posting a question. It is highly likely that your question already has been answered. I know it is a long thread, but it will be easier if the new posts address new issues that have not been addressed previously.

    2. I will be out of commission for a couple of weeks at a time, so thanks for your patience. Each time I return, I will answer every question posted. In the meantime, the email messages generated by this list seem to come somewhat inconsistently. So, if it has been a while since you have heard from me, please send me a private message reminder to log back in (please continue to post your actually questions publicly so all may benefit). The private messages seem to generate an email each time. That will help me tremendously.

    Thanks, all!

    Take care, and good luck!
     
  46. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    21,088
    1,992
    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    Faculty
    *MOD NOTE: I added the above post to the beginning of the thread for newcomers, hopefully that will help with repetitive questions. -t*
     
  47. Ilovecows

    Ilovecows 2+ Year Member

    82
    0
    Feb 3, 2008
    I'm curious as to know:

    I have quite a bit of research experience behind my name. This comes from research engagement with several faculty members. All of whom have offered to write me LORs. What factors should I use in deciding who to ask? They have all told me that they can speak very highly of my research abilities, my "go get 'em attitude", creativity, etc. I have a choice, so ...in selecting 3 people:

    a) length of time worked with?
    b) prestige of individual in general (famous Psych professor)?
    c) prestige of individual within the domain of interest (very well known in X research)?
    d) who they know (A knows B and frequently publishes with B, and I want to work with B)
    e) what I've done with them? (Research Fellowships vs. co-authored on 2 peer-reviewed papers)
    f) how closely my work with them models the work I want to do in graduate school (not the same as e)


    If I ask someone with whom I will start full-time work with in Aug 08. They'll only have had 3 mo full time with me before they write for me. But then they are very known in the domain I want to work in and they have published with the prof I want to work with. (3 mo seems so short a time)

    If I ask the famous professor, then I'll have worked with him for 3 yrs by that point but his research has no real overlap with my interest. (I wouldn't ask him just because he's famous, but more because of the amount of time we've worked together)
    ~ the other professors range from working with them from ~1 yrs - 3.5 yrs ~


    I'm not stressing. I'm not worried. I'd just like to ask for my LORs as soon as possible to give them sufficient time. I want my LORs to 'rise to the top', and I figure, hey, if I'm lucky enough to have the choice to pick, as they'll all they nice things, I might as well make the best of the opportunity.

    Can you help me decide which factors to use - or if you have additional insight into what's important?

    Thank you. I look very much forward to your response - I shall be obliged. :)
     
  48. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

    374
    0
    Jun 2, 2007
    I swear I don't know the answer anymore!

    One question this time:

    #1 We have to take an advanced lab course to graduate. Some of my friends who took this course, put it down on their CVs as part of research experience. They did nothing more than what was required by the course (neither did I do anything more than that).
    To me, putting a course that's required to graduate on one's CV is like CV padding.

    I started a thread about this topic. People answered.
    Now I don't know how I feel about it.

    What say you? Is putting a course that's a requirement for graduation just CV padding or is it a legitimate thing?

    THANKS Dr.ClinPsy!
     
  49. lavalubby111

    lavalubby111 2+ Year Member

    20
    0
    Feb 15, 2008

    Hey, how many people do you have a choice amongst? Maybe you could tell like who your options are? Like person a, person b did this. As long as it's not like 20 LOL. Cause some schools let you send 4 you know. Er but other schools only 2. I think you def do the person you wrote articles w/. just my opinion.
     
  50. Ilovecows

    Ilovecows 2+ Year Member

    82
    0
    Feb 3, 2008
    sure, 7-8 professors .

    Well, without sending a CV it's hard, but

    I did 2 independent projects with the person I have 2 publications with (remember they haven't been accepted) she is a top level researcher at a major hospital, we'll have worked together 3.75 yrs by the time she writes

    I did a supervised mini thesis + 2yrs of research work with a professor and we're talking about writing it up for publication me being 2nd author of 4 - he's the famous one (so 3 yrs total)

    I worked on developing a coding scale and an extensive lit review with a professor for 1.5 years - he's applying for tenure, he really thinks highly of me and nominated me for a tuition award that I got with his rec. He wrote a couple papers that got 25 hits..so he's pretty much going to be known in the general area but not in the focused area I want

    I won a SSHRC fellowship and did work under this for a professor for last summer, we're currently finishing up a last study, so we'll have worked together for 1 yr by end aug - I did backflips for her and worked superextra hard staying almost everyday in the lab until 11 pm and she always praises me for my hard work and determination. She calls me a rising star. She's an assistant professor...not known in the field I want really.

    I got a research fellowship awarded mostly to grad students under a prof with whom I started work with Dec 07, we're working on an idea that I proposed and we're starting to collect data with a goal of publishing results - he's given me SO much liberty with the study, and considers me his grad student (gah!) but we're doing a lot of what I'd want to do in grad school. He's a new hire. He's going to be big I think.

    I started work part time this month with a clinical researcher at one of the most highly coveted clinical research placements - this reasearcher is super well known in the research I want to do almost exactly for grad school, he has published with a friend of the person I want to work with

    I also start full time work come Aug with a clinical researcher who actually IS the person I'd want as an advisor for gradschool (too long a story) but in all his publications, he publishes with a person who I'd also love to have as a mentor in grad school, he told me that well pretty much if he wrote me a letter, I'd be in at the school where the person he publishes with works. He is doing exactly what I want. But if I start with him in Aug, it'll be only 2-3 mo that we've worked for full time. So yeah I might get in where his friend is, but what about elsewhere?



    Yeah I think so too...but then I'm just wondering about who else. SIGH.
     
  51. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    2,262
    19
    Nov 19, 2007

    Don't be afraid to have different writers for different programs. It's one way of making your professors feel included and additionally I would send 4 letters to each program (UNLESS it specifically stated to send only 3.) This prevented my applications from getting held back because of a missing letter or late letter.

    I also found my first time through that one of my rec writers had some personal problems that precluded her from writing powerful letters (and probably killed my chances at some schools.) While the letters were all sent blind, sometimes you can get feedback to identify weak writers, hopefully you won't experience this... DO NOT ALLOW A SINGLE PROFESSOR THE CHANCE TO TANK YOUR ACCEPTANCE TO ALL PROGRAMS. This happened to one of my professors who was undone by one professor despite thinking she had a good research relationship with him.

    By using 5 profs across multiple applications you can prevent one professor from being able to sink your chances everywhere. I was very careful with the second year picks. Some offered to let me see the letters prior to sending... these letters I would send to any program since I knew the content, despite being "blind". It was the truly "blind" letters that I was careful with. Trust me, this is important. Mix it up and use your best judgment.

    Mark
     

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page