Advice from Prof for Applicants to PhD Programs

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

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  1. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Interviews are about matching to a lab, its activities, and the mentor. Read over some of the articles from the lab or advisor, but don't kiss-up by memorizing details. Ask questions about ongoing research that demonstrates that you will be a productive and enthusiastic researcher when you get there. Ask lots and lots of questions about the program to demonstrate that you are interested (for many of the interviews, it will be you asking more questions than answering). Remember that the students and staff will report to faculty how you acted with them too, so stay 'on' for your vsiit.

    Other than that, plain old social skills should do the trick. If you don't match at a site, it may not have been the site for you. You want to be happy for your 4+ years in grad school, so let the match work itself out and trust the process.
     
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  3. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Nope - not an 'automatic toss.' I bet that it would be looked at very seriously and a balance between all of the factors you have mentioned would be considered.

    Good luck!
     
  4. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    No! That would also be illegal and a terrible bias! You should disclose whatever you feel comfortable disclosing, and hide nothing that will affect your ability to assess whether this is the right site for you.
     
  5. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Sure, anything that demonstrates that you have some knowledge of psych and can succeed at the grad level is important. Sometimes the GRE scores are enough to demonstrate that. The Masters surely will not hurt, but it is not going to pave the road for an easier acceptance. It's just another piece of data for the committee to consider when determining overall academic merit.
     
  6. empathiosis

    empathiosis 7+ Year Member

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    I don't have a question for you DrClinPsyAdvice, but I just wanted to let you know that I think answering questions on the forum is very generous of you ... Here it is late at night and you've probably had a long day ... and you're taking the time to help us out. That's special. Thank you! :)
     
  7. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Remember that the committee will sadly be unable to spend a ton of time with each folder scrutinizing. So, what may seem to the applicant as a big red flag may not be evident or alarming to the reviewer of the applicant. A college transfer or CC background is probably fine. The overall GPA, institution where someone graduated, and GRE score play the biggest role at first, and then research, research, research experience for PhD programs.

    As for the low GRE, non-native English speakers do get some consideration, but sometimes there is a test for English as a second language that people look at to help interpret a low V score. The TOEFL, I think? I hate to seem pessimistic, but without a very strong justification and explanation, the chances of making it to the interview round with a V score below 400 are probably pretty low.
     
  8. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Ok, this type of Monday morning quarterbacking is very difficult to do because without the whole story, it is almost impossible to know how to give good feedback. So, please take this advice with many grains of salt....

    1. 1200 may be a bit low, especially for top programs like Temple.
    2. counseling, hospital volunteering, etc are not going to be a big help for PhD programs. It's all about research experience with someone who can attest to your skills as an investigator. Authorship is a nice plus, but it is so rare among applicants and often can say more about the generosity of the mentor than the contributions of the applicant.
    3. A MPH will not be as much of a help in getting into a PhD program as a good RA would (unless it is an awesome MPH experience in which you got a lot of research done that is psych-relevant).

    Ok, those are my best guesses!
     
  9. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    For a clinical PhD program, this will probably not 'get you in.' Clinical experience as a rule does not usually help one's application for PhD programs because it is not possible for undergrads to get experience that simulates what a clinical psychologist really does. So, it's nice to get experience with health-care settings, exposure to people with psychopathology, opportunities to be a listener, etc - but none of this is official therapy or assessment. So, it's more an experience to help you decide what you want to do, then it is an experience to get you into grad school.
     
  10. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Great question!
    getting letters from famous people just because they are famous usually is a bad idea. A letter from someone less well-known that raves about you is better than a faint praise letter from a Superstar.

    Ok, having said this, in your case, it sounds like the letter would be strong with lots of positives in there too. The comment about not being dedicated to that area of the field could go either way depending on how it is written. But if you have time to get more research experience with someone else closer matched to your interests who also writes something positive about your skills, then the 'not dedicated comment' will be put into an appropriate context and probably will cause no red flags at all.

    So, if I were you, I would wonder: how strong will the positives be in this famous person's letter and how negative will this 1 comment be. If the balance is that this will be an overall strong letter, go for it!
     
  11. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    That's so nice of you to send a note expressing your gratitude! With this kind of positive reinforcement, I just may have to continue!

    Glad it is helpful! I can't promise that I'll have as much time every day, but I'll try to keep up with this for a while and see how it goes! There's so little out there to advise students on this complicated and stressful process. I was so excited when my student showed me this forum, and I am happy to pitch in!
     
  12. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

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    All I can say is AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW - You're wonderful. Just absolutely wonderful. Thank you again so very much for your help. And thanks for the answers to the questions I asked - particularly with reference to the LOR, it really cleared things up!
     
  13. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    LOL, I don't think any of us can believe that you're taking so much of your personal time to do this. Although I am already in a program, I came here to try to give back... You are a very welcome resource and the students in your program are quite fortunate.

    Mark
     
  14. shock-me-sane

    shock-me-sane RN, PhD to come 2+ Year Member

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    I laughed when I first saw you on here. The same day I had shown one of my letter writers and favorite professors this site. I thought it might be him, but alas, you had posted a few hours before the time I told him about it.

    But thank you so much for all you have answered! :D
     
  15. Elle7077

    Elle7077 2+ Year Member

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    Hi Professor,

    I think I have a pretty strong application (great GRE scores and research experience)

    I got married last year and am seven months pregnant. I heard that, however illegal, an interviewer would take one look at that and think "is she serious?"

    I don't want to come off as defensive during the interview, but will I be fighting an uphill battle?

    Thank you so much for your time!
     
  16. magpie77

    magpie77 2+ Year Member

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    I know everyone is thanking you, but I've got to jump on the bandwagon and say it too: THANK YOU!!! You really have no idea how much it means to me (and I'm sure the rest of us too) to hear things from your perspective. Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I would love to ask you a thousand neurotic questions about my applications, but I'll limit myself to two:

    1. All of my recommenders were kind enough to show me copies of the LORs they wrote. I have two really enthusiastic letters, and one decent letter. In the decent letter, my prof included a list of my research interests based on previous research I have conducted in undergrad. However, this list is very vague and covers about 5 different research areas, only one of which I am applying to do work in. My question is whether this will be viewed as a red flag for indecision in my application. I tried to subtly address it in my PS by saying something like 'although my prior research experience has covered many areas, I am now dedicated to ______ research interest for _____ reasons'. But I'm still worried that my POIs will view this as a signal that I don't know what I want to do. What do you think?


    2. Would you mind telling us what type of institution you work at? I definitely respect your privacy, and don't want you to reveal more than you are comfortable with, but I think this will help us put your comments in context, especially the comments you've made about GRE/GPA cutoffs. Are you at a more research or clinically oriented program? Extremely competitive top program or somewhere in the middle? Again, if you don't want to answer, that is completely ok.


    Thank you again for all of your help! You are seriously wonderful!
     
  17. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    I would hope that this will have no effect on your experience on other's evaluation of your readiness for grad school at all! But I suppose if you made a light hearted statement on interviews about how you have a plan in place to make this difficult transition with a newborn, it would help others rest easy (even though it should not be relevant and is none of their business!)
     
  18. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    As for #1, it sounds fine to me and it also sounds like you handled it perfectly!

    As for #2, I am DCT at a pretty competitive PhD clinical program that is research-oriented.
     
  19. airmont

    airmont 5+ Year Member

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    Hi Professor,


    Thanks for helping us all. I have a specific and unusual situation about which I have asked many of the programs I am interested in, and cannot get a straight answer. I would appreciate any help you can provide.

    My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor's of Talmudic Law from an accredited religious seminary. Subsequently, I attended a large university and earned straight A's in several psychology class. My GRE scores are at or above the median for most schools, and my Psych GRE was high in the 99%. I also worked for over a year in a clinical research setting. Will my unusual degree be a strong negative?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  20. immortalavalamp

    immortalavalamp 7+ Year Member

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    DrClinPsyAdvice,

    Thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate it. Residence Life definitely isn't anything like what I expect graduate school/clinical work to be, but it really confirmed my interest in becoming a psychologist--just like you said.

    Again, many thanks.
     
  21. psych2010

    psych2010 Junior Member

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    Thanks for doing this! It means a lot to all of us. My question is, if you were rejected from a program for low GPA, would it be wise to enroll as a non-degree student and take courses from the department to raise your gpa? Thanks again!
     
  22. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    It shouldn't be a problem. As long as there is some evidence of a good psych background (and that high GRE score is pretty good!), then it should be OK.
     
  23. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    A lot of places won't take someone who did their undergrad work at the same institution. So, taking more courses and raising the GPA is a good idea. But taking courses from a place that you will later be applying to may or may not be a good idea
     
  24. airmont

    airmont 5+ Year Member

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    Thanks that is reassuring to hear.
     
  25. chiachia

    chiachia 5+ Year Member

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    I, like everyone else, wanted to thank you so much for doing this. It is as deeply appreciated as could be.

    My question is, or more what are your thoughts on reading how well you are doing in an interview. I had a phone interview yesterday (who knows, could have even been with you...) and could not tell AT ALL how I was doing. I could not gauge anything about the person on the other end. I know in person is a bit different, but as someone who deals with patients, I know we can start to just not respond to what other people are saying.

    I know it is up to the person, but do you think that we can at least somewhat tell how we are doing by what responses we get back? How short or long a conversation is? If the interviewer laughs at things that could be funny? How much they just say OK and go on? Etc..?
     
  26. Cobblestone

    Cobblestone 5+ Year Member

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    Dr.ClinPsyAdvice ,

    I'm applying this fall to Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psych w/ an emphasis in Neuropsychology. I graduated with a B.S. in Psych in 2002, and I had a fair amount of undergrad research experience (worked as a research assistant, presented research at a poster session at the Midwest Psych. Assn. Conference in 2001 & 2002, completed a senior honors thesis, aced 2 experimental classes). However, I really haven't done much research since graduating. I have done some single case research designs as part of my job with children with autism (I'm a behavior analyst), but I haven't published any of that or even really written it up.

    My Question: Would I get asked about my old research during an interview? I really don't remember that much about it, though I think I still have my old papers in a file somewhere. Should I focus instead of my more recent single case research designs instead of my eight year-old large-N studies?

    Thanks! Sorry for my long winded-ness
     
  27. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    It's very hard to gauge this. Some interviewers will not want to give too much feedback. And frankly, some academicians are just not great at social skills and may not realize that they are being flat in response to questions. But for this most part, I'm afraid this is just something that is hard to read. Sure - good signs would be: someone who talks with you for a while, seems to be 'selling you' on their research and their program, flattering you, etc. But I would not feel the least bit bad if you get none of these signs. It is just too hard to tell.
     
  28. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    You may get asked about both. It's no problem if you haven't written anything up. It is very rare for applicants to have publications or posters.

    I'd say that faculty are interested first in whether a) you have any research experience at all and understand the process of doing research; b) whether you have research experience in a specific area that matches the lab you are applying to work in; and then c) whether you have produced anything from that research. You don't need all 3, and some faculty will be very happy just to hear that you have had 'a.'
     
  29. scienceisbeauty

    scienceisbeauty 2+ Year Member

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    I have 3 questions(!)... But before you answer, again, Thank you so so so so so much for doing this for us. As you can tell, we are all so very appreciative and lucky to have you.

    I'll be applying in 08 to start in 09, so this is somewhat a think-ahead question but:

    # 1 If someone gets an interview to a school, but then doesn't get into that school does it look funny to reapply to the school to work with the same prof the next year? Would they even remember? Or is it like once rejected at interview, rejected for life at that particular school? (someone told me that)

    Onto my current semester (year(s))

    #2 How important are the particular courses one takes as an undergrad? I took a mix within the offered Psych courses, ranging from clinical neuroscience to social attitudes. Would that strengthen my application or would they not even care?

    A more "personal" question for you:

    # 3 All advisors, supervisors, are different yes that's understood. But, if I may ask, and if you don't mind answering (you don't have to of course), but what would YOU look for in a grad student, what qualities are to you the most valuable? What is an almost automatic 'toss-out'?

    Thank you again!
    Science is Beauty
     
  30. jcam17

    jcam17 2+ Year Member

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    I think my credentials are fairly strong (1440 GRE, 3.44 GPA, 3.75 Jr/Sr GPA, honors thesis, 2 conference presentations, 1 year RA). As you can see, my last 2 years were a lot stronger than my first two. I took stats before I really got going academically and got a C plus. Although I have A's in three research courses and got a 760 Quant score on the GRE, I feel like my stats grade is going to hold me back. Would this stick out to you if you were reviewing my application?
     
  31. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Ok, as for #1, it is rare to get accepted at a school that already interviewed you and rejected you. But nothing is impossible, and it certainly could be that the only reason someone was rejected the first time is because funding did not come through for the position. So, I'd find out more about why someone was denied a slot the first time around before making a decision on whether to apply again.

    #2: People don't look too closely at the transcript to determine what specific psych courses you took. If you come from a reputable undergrad institution, people will assume that your requirements for the major allowed for sufficient breadth.

    #3: As for what I look for? Someone with a background in research and an ability to think like a scientist. Someone who seems 'hungry' to do research and hit the ground running. Someone who has some knowledge of the work in my area, and is excited about taking the work that we do in my lab and taking it in new directions that will help them develop an independent line of research by the time they graduate.
     
  32. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Nope. Lots of psych majors started pre-med and have a similar story, so this does not really raise a red flag at all in many cases. It sounds like you have quite a strong application!
     
  33. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    It's important to remember that some schools will let you reapply for free. 3 schools that I was not accepted to the first year interviewed me the second year... Including the one I am attending!

    While DCPA is right, it's unusual, the reasons it can happen are interesting. My personal examples below.

    School #1 (Michigan State U), I was unable to interview in person the first year and was waitlisted for 3 months. I reapplied and was interviewed, blew the interview and was DENIED. :) Oops.

    School #2 (University of North Texas), Some reason they screwed up and my application was considered incomplete. It wasn't, but I was offered an interview, turned it down for an interview at a more desirable school.

    School #3 (USUHS), turned down the first time for unknown reason. Have no idea why, don't really care. Applied again, interviewed, denied, then as luck would have it the spot opened and I was #1 alternate. I'm not looking the gift horse in the mouth!

    *** So the lesson is, if you really want it, don't let the first attempt stop you unless you know you don't have a shot!!!

    I have other examples of exactly what DCPA said, where reapplying didn't help and wasn't going to... but it was free so I did it anyway.

    Mark
     
  34. GiantSteps

    GiantSteps 5+ Year Member

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    DrClinPsyAdvice,

    There have been many people on SDN Psychology, who in trying to offer condolences to others who were rejected, hypothesized that perhaps the individual was overly qualified for the particular school in terms of test scores, grades, and research. In other words, the school may not believe that such a stellar candidate would come to their school even if accepted so the school does not bother with the person. Do you think or know if this is actually correct (i.e. have you ever rejected an applicant because the person's GRE scores or grades were too high or because the person had other amazing stats)? Of course, your program may be one of the top schools and you do not have to worry about this, so maybe you have heard of this happening elsewhere.
     
  35. thewesternsky

    thewesternsky 10+ Year Member

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    I have a couple questions about discussing research interests and clinical interests in statements of purpose. There are a few articles out there on what makes an effective SOP (e.g., Brown, 2004), and most of them imply that talking about research is by far more important than talking about clinical work.

    1) For students applying to high-ranked, research-focused universities-- Is it safe to devote most of the SOP to research and a mere sentence or two to clinical training/clinical interests?
    2) What if you're applying to more balanced programs? Can you be nixed from a program for expressing too *little* interest in clinical work in the SOP?
     
  36. CPsyc

    CPsyc

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    DrClinPsyAdvice,

    Thanks so much for answering our questions. You have been a tremendous resource. I have two questions that I would like to ask you about interviewing.

    1) Should students bring a briefcase with them on an interview or is a really nice folder sufficient?

    2) Also, do you think students should emphasize how good of match they are with the program in their answers or should they not mention that and let faculty judge for themselves?

    Thanks so much.
     
  37. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    I suppose this is possible, but I never heard of someone being rejected for having credentials that were too strong. Perhaps the issue was that there was not a match to the program values or to specific research interests instead.
     
  38. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Yes, it's safe to focus on research with a mere sentence or two on clinical at top research places. This would apply for all types of programs. I doubt someone would be nixed for expressing too little interest in clinical work (although if someone has such little interest in clinical work, some concern regarding potential match with a clinical program may arise).
     
  39. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    1 - folder is fine
    2 - expressing the match is good if it can be done in a way that sounds excited and energetic rather than arrogant and off-putting.
     
  40. helden

    helden

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    Hello, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.
    My question is regarding preliminary screening interviews and official interviews.

    Three weeks ago, I was contacted by my POI at my #1 choice for a prelim screening interview, which, due to close proximity, I was able to do in person. I thought the interview went extremely well, except that maybe at the end I was a little nervous and my answers were not so clear. We met for an hour. Then, the next day, I had an interview with another faculty member from the same school who told me that I was being considered for a very competitive scholarship, and that if I were nominated for this, I would automatically be accepted to the program without needing the "official" interview, though I could come to get to know everyone better.

    Well, I found out today that I did not receive the nomination, but I was invited to come to the official interview. I am not sure what this would mean. I've already met with my POI and another faculty member, and I am sure they have a sense of where my application stands. So, is this official interview just a formality where I can be fairly confident that I will be accepted, or, was my POI not interested but thinks someone else on the faculty would be, given my credentials (I matched with three faculty, but clearly more with my POI)?

    This whole process is making me a nervous wreck, and I wanted that nomination more for the assurity that I've been accepted than for the funding. Plus, I have not heard from any of the other programs I've applied to, so this may be my only chance.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated (and any advice from anyone on the board as well). Thanks!
     
  41. CPsyc

    CPsyc

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    DrClinPsyAdvice,

    Another question that came to mind was about being offered to stay with a host during interview weekend. When I was offered to stay with a grad student, I opted to stay at a hotel. I was wondering if this decision at all impacts my admission to the program. I still plan on attending the grad student-hosted functions (there are 2) during interview weekend and spend the time talking with them and asking my questions--so will that be enough to mitigate not accepting an invitation to stay with a graduate student? I had a good reason for not accepting it (it was health-related). Thanks.
     
  42. FutureClinPhD

    FutureClinPhD

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    DrClinPsyAdvice,

    I have a question from another thread that I was wondering if you could answer. I recently found out my research was accepted at two pretty competitive conferences, and that I earned an internship placement that will give me some really good clinical experience. I'm not sure if this is significant enough to warrant an update, so.... Should I attempt to update my application, and if so, how should I do it?

    1. Email my POIs with the information, and attach an updated CV. (I'm worried that this might seem pushy or desperate, especially at this time of year)

    2. Email the graduate secretary the info, and an updated CV (I'm worried that the updates will never be seen, especially if my app has already been looked at)

    3. Or don't notify them at all?

    Also, some of my schools have already extended invites to others, but I've heard nothing from them. Should I send them the updates too, or don't bother? :confused:

    Thank you for all of your help through this stressful process!
     
  43. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    This won't get you turned down. It will however provide them with less opportunity to scrutinize your behavior and in some ways this can be a good thing. It also will limit the time that you can get inside info from graduate students though, which often is equally valuable. I don't think either choice is a poor one. You just decide what you are most comfortable with and go with it.

    Mark
     
  44. childphdapp

    childphdapp 2+ Year Member

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    Dear DrClinPsyAdvice,

    Do schools look down on applicants who do not attend interviews because of financial difficulties? I am attending most of my interviews, but one of the schools I applied to across the country does not provide any sort of financial reimbursement for traveling to interviews. I opted to do a phone interview instead. Do you think this will hurt my chances of getting accepted to this particular program?

    Thanks in advance for your insight.
     
  45. psypsypsy

    psypsypsy Member 7+ Year Member

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    Of course, I will let DrClinPsyAdvice answer this one (who knows far more than myself), but I just wanted to throw out my knowledge on this. I know some professors where if they like you enough over the phone, then it's no problem and they'll accept you. However, I know other professors (my mentor specifically) who really refuses to take people that he doesn't meet. His argument is actually quite a clinical one, despite being a heavy duty researcher. He says that you can't get a sense of their social skills and how they interact with others, which is paramount in a program that's training clinical psychologists. If they can't make eye contact, and don't have basic conversational skills, then they're not going to make a good clinician. He stated that over the years, he (or a close colleague) had done a few times, and had at least 2 very bad experiences of people that had no real ability to be a clinician, but had been able to fake social skills on the phone. I don't mean to be a downer and I completely understand that wouldn't be your reason for not making the interview. And, like I said, I know certain professors do. However, at least from my knowledge, it's a bit of an uphill battle to get in because you're much more of a wild card.
     
  46. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Not being nominated for the fellowship could have to do with a whole host of factors that have nothing to do with you or your performance on the screening interviews. Usually the university has only a few slots and the department must debate internally on whether those will go to clinical or another sub-discipline. So, I would not worry about this at all. The fact that they still invited you for an interview suggests that you are still in the running for a slot. I think this is a good sign, and you can now feel relaxed that you have a little more familiarity with the faculty there.

    Good luck!
     
  47. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 22, 2008
    Not a problem at all. This is a personal decision. If you attend the other functions you will have plenty chance to meet the grad students.
     
  48. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    Well, it is slightly late to be sending updates. My guess is that most decisions have been made by now. You can send to the program secretary or the faculty, but it may be a little pushy or desperate at this point. Then again, you may not have anything to lose.

    This sounds like a good record accumulating for an application next year, if it comes to that!
     
  49. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008

    Whew - tough one! It *shouldn't* matter, but I am afraid that sometimes it does. Nothing replaces the rapport and connection that you can get from a face to face. Plus, the faculty probably feel more focused on Interview Day than they will during a random phone call in the middle of some other day. But I think there is so much individual variability on this that it is hard to tell.

    Many people have been accepted via phone interview, so this is a perfectly acceptable and OK solution. And if it will break the bank, then that is a very fair and appropriate reason to skip the visit.
     
  50. ducle7

    ducle7 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    53
    0
    Mar 31, 2005
    Dr. ClinPsych,
    What are the important aspects to consider in a program if you are like me, and are interested in an academic career. How much do the following things matter for being competitive in the future for tenure track positions:

    -Having a mentor that is newer vs. more established (or famous) faculty
    -General program reputation in terms of rankings by Matson, Stewart and the Higher Ed Chronicle


    Thanks!
     
  51. DrClinPsyAdvice

    DrClinPsyAdvice SDN Advisor SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    487
    26
    Jan 22, 2008
    Great question!
    When you continue through your career, you will be evaluated by your pedigree, which includes both (equally) where you went to school and who your mentor was. A "famous" faculty member can be good for name recognition and access to resources. However, some famous faculty are not publishing as much these days, and/or do not publish with their students routinely. You will want to check these things out before signing on with someone simply because they are famous. A new faculty member often publishes a lot in pursuit of tenure. If they become a rising star, then you get the benefit of both worlds (prolific and a star).

    As for program rankings, be very careful about these lists. They each use general methodologies and DCTs generally agree that none of the methodologies used are appropriate. But I think that if one looks at many of these lists, you will notice that the same programs are always within the top quartile, second quartile, etc. I think that using these lists to see which programs are in the top, second, etc groups is a fair way to use these data. But I would give no credence to the difference in a #14 vs 15 for instance.
     

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