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APA membership - Is it really necessary?

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ktwallis

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A previous post stated that in order to even be considered for graduate admission, you needed to be an APA member for at least a year and also a member of your state association (what does that even mean?).

So I have a few questions

1. Does everyone agree that this is important for admission?
2. Who was a member of the APA student affiliation or their state association when they applied? Have you heard anything about it after admission?
3. If I am a full year out of undergrad, and not a grad yet, what category of APA membership would I fit under? Will it be a big deal if I am only a member for (GASP!) 7 months when my app is reviewed?

~how can they have a "criteria" like this without telling anyone? that's so damn sneaky!~
 

Psyclops

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In answer to your questions: 1. NO; 2. NO; 3. Who cares, NO.

In answer to the last un-numbered question, they don't have this criteria. I don't know why this myth is even perpetuated. I would be willing to stake my life on the fact that it is not necessary anywhere. And if it is at some school you don't want to go there.

Having said all of that, I'm sure it couldn't hurt you. It might be converging evidence that you are an avid participant in the braoder field of psychology. The more relavant memberships you have at the time of applying the better you will look. BUt, it's not by any means a deal breaker.

I'll be the first to include myself in this group, but we, meaning CP grad hopefuls, and particular us losers who participate in internet based forums (fora?) like this are way, and I mean way too neurotic.
 

LM02

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Agreed.

In fact, given the direction that the APA has been moving in the past several years, most faculty members I know are not even APA members themselves. I'm only a member to get the cheap liability insurance.

Granted, if you have an interest in joining, go for it. But it is not a requirement, by any means. Also, if you join an organization (APA, APS, ABCT, etc.), you will get a discounted rate for conference registration. So if you're planning to submit a poster or to otherwise attend a conference in the next year, becoming a member of that organization is not a bad idea (if only to save some $$).
 

Psycycle

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I doubt that it made any difference as far as my application goes. However, it did make it inexpensive for me to attend the conference where I met several professors to whom I pitched my application a few months later, which gave them a face to put with the name when my application arrived. (I got in).
 

psychanon

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I agree that there's no purpose to joining APA, unless you want to go to their conference. I didn't join until my second year of grad school, and then only for the liability insurance. As far as joining to show that you're committed to the field, I really don't see why sending a check to a very general organization like APA would accomplish that. If anything, joining a more focused group like AABT/ABCT, or one more specific to your research interests (e.g., SRCD, Society for Neuroscience, SRA, etc.) would at least show that you know the field. But I would still only do that if you are planning to attend a conference-- which, as pointed out earlier, is a great way to shmooze.
 

psy86

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Absolutely not necessary. At all.

I think there is one person on this board who has that impression and the myth gets perpetuated again and again.

Not. Needed.

And given the opinion that the faculty at my program generally have of the APA, being a member might be more of a detriment than anything else.
 

lazure

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Even as a grad student I rotate memberships based on what conference I want to attend that year - makes life cheaper :)
 

Psyclops

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Yeah, if there is a conference you plan on attending just that year that makes sense. But, there are certain societies you might want to be a member of all the time (especially at student prices). The big thing is for $30 you can get the journal of some of these societies for a whole year. I see it as a delightfully good buy, for the most part.
 

psypsypsy

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Agreed...totally unnecessary to join. I don't know of any professor who takes is seriously if one has joined or not. Like everyone else said, it does give good discounted rates for journals, etc, so if you ever want that, go ahead. But otherwise....don't bother.
 

ktwallis

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thank you for all of your help!
 

psycecream

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ktwallis said:
A previous post stated that in order to even be considered for graduate admission, you needed to be an APA member for at least a year and also a member of your state association (what does that even mean?).

So I have a few questions

1. Does everyone agree that this is important for admission?
2. Who was a member of the APA student affiliation or their state association when they applied? Have you heard anything about it after admission?
3. If I am a full year out of undergrad, and not a grad yet, what category of APA membership would I fit under? Will it be a big deal if I am only a member for (GASP!) 7 months when my app is reviewed?

~how can they have a "criteria" like this without telling anyone? that's so damn sneaky!~


I agree with all who have said that no schools require it and it probably doesn't make a lick of difference. The only time I can imagine it coming in to play (possibly) is if you don't have a BA in psych and want to show that you are still involved in the field.

I also just wanted to point out that though some have issues with APA it is still undeniably the most influential psychology organization by far and generally, publishing an article in an APA journal is much more prestigious than publishing an article anywhere else (not that anyone was directly implying otherwise, just saying...).
 
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