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Are you kidding me?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psyd42, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. psyd42

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    So, I have been rejected by two University based PsyD programs thus far, without even being granted an interview first. A couple of questions: Just who are these programs accepting exactly? And how could they not at least interview me?

    I just don't quite get it. Some of these programs accept 21 year old "kids" straight from undergrad because they've scored ridiculously well on their GRE's. But - and I really don't mean to toot my own horn here - I've got a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology, am LICENSED, and was trained and supervised in my graduate internship by Salvador Minuchin, the Grandfather of Family Therapy. I am currently counseling overseas for 4 years now in 2 different countries and have also done volunteer work counseling terror victims in Israel and in Palestinian Refugee camps. I have also made 5 different international presentations and workshops at conferences in Denmark, Finland, Israel, India, and France. I finished grad school with a 3.75. Granted, my GRE's are laughable - I just suck at the test - but still, how on earth could any program deny someone like me, an interview - AT LEAST an interview!? Just interview me and then tell me I suck - I'd be fine with that, really. And to add insult to injury, these programs accept kids straight out of undergrad with little or no clinical experience, but perfect test scores and perhaps a publication. (?)

    Could it be political? After all, a lot of the University based PsyD programs list on their website the mean GRE scores of their candidates. Publications and high scores are easily quantified and can make a school look good when you "run the numbers". However, apparently, loads of cool, neat clinical experience (and good looks) don't count for much. Actually come to think of it, they can't even tell that I'm good looking as they won't see me in an interview! wtf?

    Are admissions committees first looking at GRE scores and then deciding if they want to "open" the rest of the application packet according to the score? Are they getting too many applications to really even read CV's thoroughly enough?

    Or is it me? Do I just really suck that bad?

    I'm baffled.
     
  2. Dr.Maybe

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    I know where you're coming from. I was surprised to learn that I didn't get an interview at Rutgers' PsyD program. I know it's a great program, but I believe it's far less competitive - supposedly - than the PhD programs that have granted me interviews so far. I also have a Masters, a 4.0, clinical experience, research experience, 2 publications, and solid GRE scores, so go figure. This whole process is so baffling. :confused:
     
  3. psychanon

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    I actually think that the very top PsyD programs like Rutgers are similar in competitiveness to good Ph.D. programs (although perhaps they have different criteria). I helped read over applications for my program (ph.d) this year. The thing is, there are just so many super qualified applicants! After a while, you look for any reason to nix someone, just to reduce the pile. I know it's hard not to, but you should try not to take it personally when you're rejected from any one particular program. You never know what random factors went into decisions (and rest assured, if you had been accepted, it would mean rejecting some other amazing, seemingly perfect candidate).

    For the OP, I wonder if some programs would look down on someone who's already been trained and practicing-- they might think you'd be too set in your ways, or something.
     
  4. edieb

    edieb Senior Member
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    At my program (clinical, Ph.D.), applicants who have already earned their master's degreee are usually not admitted. The school, correctly or incorrectly, usually views these people as weaker academically because they had to earn a masters to be viable to apply for a Ph.D. program. Sorry but clinical phd programs are hard to get into
     
  5. chaos

    chaos Member
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    My guess is that they have a GRE cutoff and applications below a certain score don't even get looked at. Which totally sucks, but that's the way it is. You might just want to bite the bullet and take a GRE prep course and as much private tutoring as it takes...that's what I'm doing. Before I started any of that my quant score was pathetic. It's still not great but it's improving and I'm counting on being able to score over 600 just so my application doesn't get thrown out right off the bat. It's really the only thing to do...you don't have to score in the 90th percentile on all sections, just get good enough so that your scores don't exclude you and admissions can focus on your considerable strengths.
     
  6. amy203

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    Before you (or we) spend a lot of time over thinking things, you should probably consider the obvious: your GRE scores. For better or for worse, most schools use them to screen people out. If you aren't at least getting a few interviews, that's probably why.

    You have to consider that there are other applicants that look just like you (although not as attractive in person, I'm sure!), but have better GRE scores. Even for schools that don't have a cut-off and every app gets a thorough review, it's like psychanon said – you're giving them an excuse to remove another app from a (probably very large) pile.

    I know it sucks, but you've got to pull your score up.

    Edit: Hey chaos! I hadn't read your post when I posted this! psyd42 - you might want to read the thread chaos started on pulling up your GRE score - we've both been there!
     
  7. PsychoEm

    PsychoEm Member
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    ya welcome to my world...on paper i should be A-OK but i've had no luck (i've been an unsuccessful applicant before).
     
  8. RayneeDeigh

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    I have a 1410 on the GREs and I'm only 21 and haven't had a single interview offer... so I think in some ways it's just the luck of the draw and they don't always let in young people with high GREs. The problem is that there are so many good applicants and so few spots.
     
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  9. wumpus

    wumpus Midlife doofus
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    Perhaps the most *quantifiable* explanation for rejection is that many of the aforementioned *top schools* receive many more highly qualified applications in comparison to the actual number of seats available. Remember that psychology is a very popular major at this time.
    Good luck to you all.:luck:
     
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  10. Dr.Maybe

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    Wow, ouch. What about people (ahem, like this person writing) who were great students as undergrads, but didn't major in psychology? I got my master's because my previous academic work and professional experience was in sociology and human rights. Ah well. I wouldn't want to go anywhere that would unilaterally rule out master's students, anyway. Sounds like a silly policy to me, but whatever works for them, I guess.
     
  11. NYCPsych

    NYCPsych Clinical Psy.D.
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    Well, I am now freaked out about next year (planning to apply this Fall)...! Nerve-wracking.

    Since Rutgers is, of course, at the top of my list too, I thought I'd post a link to the admissions stats, just so people realize how absurdly competitive the Clinical PsyD program is: http://gsappweb.rutgers.edu/gsappweb/clincal.htm

    20 accepted/485 applicants = 4% acceptance rate. And this isn't a Ph.D. program.

    For people who say that PsyD programs are "easy to get into," well, I've also looked at LIU, Yeshiva, Loyola, & PGSP-Stanford, ALL of which have a rate of 25% or under (Loyola- 10%; LIU- 17%... etc). For references, check the schools' websites, [FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]"Graduate Study in Psychology 2007 (Graduate Study in Psychology)," and [/SIZE].[FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]"Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology: 2006/2007 Edition (Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical Psychology)." These are not the "60%" rates people seem to keep talking about. Additionally, applicants are more and more competitive every year.

    On a positive note, lots of luck to everyone. :oops:[/SIZE].
     
  12. GiantSteps

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    I was trying to think of something new I could add to this discussion and came up with the following. Everyone has mentioned how the schools weed out the large number of applicants and many fine candidates get the shaft. While I did not have much time this year to do what I am about to explain, I have had success getting interviews by playing the reverse game. I have written carefully crafted e-mails to professors at various types of programs to see not only if they or their program in general are accepting students but also to see what they think of me as an applicant. The professors, assuming they write back -some are rude and do not - are very candid about these issues. One professor once told me that my GRE math score was 40 points too low and would not be looked at further unless I raised it. Other professors have told me that they specifically like older more mature students. Some have told me they only take a few students who have advanced degrees already. One professor told me he thought I needed more research - although I think that was because I did not write enough of it down. Some professors simply say that they are not taking any students for the year but maybe in the future. While some are wishy washy and say they do not know. In the end, this process, while time consuming, can help make the application process more productive by eliminating poor choices and creating connections. Three different professors with whom I had communicated had told me to let them know when I submitted my application because they were going to personally pull my application from the pile. They did and I had the interviews I desired. I have found in life that there are back doors into most arenas (by the way in terms of schools, Ivy League schools have the most back doors). Professors are in charge and if they want to pcik up an application regardless of the age, experience, grades, or test scores, then they do.

    I also think that some schools get the sense that people are just applying with no real interest in coming so they do not bother pursuing it. Also, many schools tend to accept more people from their immediate region because they know it is more likely that those people will come. Sure, most people would leave their established home for Yale or Minnesota but how many would do the same for a more regional school.

    One final note. Yeshiva University's Ferkauf Psy.D. program, based on the many people I have met who have gone there, seems to have no problem with older students or people who mess up their GRE.

    Good luck to all. And if you need further inspiration, please read my 2/14 post of the Interview Thread.
     
  13. GiantSteps

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    RayneeDeigh,

    Please read my new post on this Thread (2/15). You should be getting interviews.
     
  14. NYCPsych

    NYCPsych Clinical Psy.D.
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    GiantSteps, did you apply to both PhD & PsyD programs? I'm curious. Mad props on your interviews!
     
  15. GiantSteps

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    I have never applied to Psy.D's only Ph.D.'s. Mainly, because in the end I would like to be a professor/ researcher myself. However, I have applied to programs other than clinical. I have had many friends/ aquaintances who went into Psy.D's, some used the connection method I described to various extents.
     
  16. GiantSteps

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    You know what is going on here (especially, the NY and NJ schools)? People in NY and NJ generally do not want to leave the area so they all apply to the same schools. When you have that many people plus the out of towners who think NY/ NJ would be a fun place to go to graduate school the number sky rocket. I agree that it is wrong to think that Psy.D's are easier to get into than Ph.D.'s, the emphasis is just different. I would be curious to see what the stats are like for Psy.D's in smaller towns or not at a prestigious place like Stanford, i.e. Kent State.
     
  17. NYCPsych

    NYCPsych Clinical Psy.D.
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    Sure; you're definitely right re: NJ/NY applicants. And even more importantly, since Rutgers is in-state (ie. sweet tuition), I bet that every NJ resident remotely interested in Clinical Psych applies there.

    But yeah, again, the Insider's Guide + schools' websites are informative as to admissions rates. It's true about "good locations;" I have ruled out a lot of schools because I am being picky.
     
  18. PsychoEm

    PsychoEm Member
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    what hurts the most is getting rejected by schools that have average GRE scores 300 points below your own! (and average gpas well below your own as well)
     
  19. RayneeDeigh

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    Oh I know! My ego's taking a beating. lol
     
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  20. GiantSteps

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    Maybe there is truth in the argument against applying to schools at which your credentials are too strong. The schools might assume that they will be nothing more than a place you want to stick in your back pocket to say: "Look where I was accepted". However, with the hugh number of applicants why would the schools not want people who can potentially raise their standards?

    Also, I wonder how many in state people a state school needs to accept vs. out of state? Would you increase your odds by moving to a state, establishing residence, and then applying?
     
  21. Lunabin

    Lunabin New Member
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    I really want to reiterate this point... I've heard professors comment on how hard it can be to RE-train students when they already have a Master's and significant clinical experience. Schools seem to want to produce their own professionals, and want you to become a product of their training. Previous training might (on the surface) make someone more resistent to changing current clinical practice/ideas.

    Given the experience you listed PSYD42, I would wonder why a doctorate? Why now? You seem to be doing just fine so far, so what are you looking for in getting this degree? And, why a doctorate from this particular school?

    These are all rhetorical questions, but something to consider in your personal statement (which you may have addressed) and interviews.

    Despite all this, I think all the points made here are valid. If you continue to pursue this, then definately get the best GRE score you can, and network the hell out of the places you apply to. This is done not only with emails, but follow their research, presentations (at APA or other conferences), talk to them at conferences, talk to current students/alumni about their work, etc.

    This field is getting very competitive, and many people won't take that kind of initiative. So much of grad school is just networking and standing out! You sound like a great professional, and someone who is meant for this field. Don't give up!
     
  22. PsychoEm

    PsychoEm Member
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    thats what i would assume to giantstep, especially since i tailored each essay specifically for that school! oh well.
     
  23. psycholytic

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    It's strange that you did not know about all of this prior to applying, or are you just that self-assured that you thought you would have an entitlement to getting in?

    Maybe that came through in your statement, like it does here?

    I applied to 14 programs and did not get in the first time around , and I had research experience on top of your credentials.

    Got in this year. You have to try several times. Master's degree means not much to programs, even though many prof's and students try to make you believe it does. It's BS.

    Minuchin means not much either, maybe more to social workers.

    And, no , they are not kiddin. This IS reality.
     
  24. PsychoEm

    PsychoEm Member
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    i dont feel i'm entitled to get in, but not to sound arrogant, i do think i deserve to based on merit.

    750V, 750M, 750 psych on GRE, 3.78gpa from top 30 school, 2 years working in the same lab at prestigious research university, 1st author of article in well regarded journal, sole author (and only student author) of chapter in a psych text book, conference presentations, excellent recommendations (each author offered a copy for me to read after applications), relevant volunteer experience, personal statement specific to relavent professors and each school (and proofread by psychologist coworkers).....what else can one do??!!! if i dont get in this time around i might just have to give up.
     
  25. psycholytic

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    This was about PsyD 42, not a response to your statement, I don't even know what it was.
     
  26. Pia Getty

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    How were your letters of recommendation? These can be pivotal. Though often times you don't have access to the letters that have been written on your behalf (though many times letter writers who you have a good solid relationship with have no problem sharing the letter with you), you should have a feel of the quality of the relationship you have with your letter writer. Have you discussed your situation with these individuals? Is there anything in your letters that are bland and that could potentially work against you? Just one more piece of the puzzle to consider.
     
  27. mpino

    mpino Member
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    psyd42,
    dont be upset.
    university psyd programs tend to work like PhD programs, dont flip out Dr. Snow, i have a point :) what i mean is that they look at fit (i.e. teh type of research that they do and how you would fit into the program, it is possible that, although you have excellent credentials, there were no faculty that had similar research interests. just a thought



     
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  28. joetro

    joetro Senior Member
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    It is just really hard to gauge these things. Sometimes professors are looking for a very particular skill, interest, previous research experience, etc. You just can't predict these things. And, of course, there is always the politics of who is accepting and how these things change over the year.
     
  29. WaitingKills

    WaitingKills Rockstar
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    Maybe you just applied to the wrong schools. THere are people in this forum who have been accepted to Yale and other Ivy League schools who have been rejected/not interviewed at lower ranked schools. The admissions process, in my opinion, is a game. Obviously those that are picked have great credentials, but they are also VERY lucky. The majority of us here have a similar background to yours and we would all be very good psychologists. It's the luck of the draw.

    I'm with the other people who said to look at your GRE's though. In my opinion, they are used as the major 'weeder'. Could you imagine being on an admissions committee looking through some 160-200 applications. Whatever they have to get rid of some they will use. Typically, the first thing to go is low GRE scores.
     
  30. GiantSteps

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    Are you serious? That is bizaare (assuming you are telling the truth about your scores, grades, and research)! Did you actually contact professors at the school to which you applied? If you applied to lower level schools, they probably thought you would not even bother to come to them. Also, how on earth could all the psychologist with whom you worked not have any connections to get you in somewhere? Even at their research university? Maybe you should just go to medical school. If you are such an oustanding test taker, you could ace the MCAT and get in no problem. All they care about are numbers. Something stinks in suburbia!
     
  31. perfektspace

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    Regardless of qualifications there are going to be schools you are not invited to that do not make sense. My two best matches did not interview me this year...but five other schools did. Some are close matches and others are a stretch. Even more bizarre I received an offer to one of those programs that is completely out of my sphere of experience. I can't explain it and I would drive myself crazy trying to figure it out. In short, being bitter about not getting a couple invites is silly because this whole process is very bizarre and inconsistent.

    By the way, if your GRE's are a bit low so what!? Mine are fairly crappy too and I have done just fine this year. The people with high scores will tell you they are very important and people like me will say get a decent score and move on. Your experience and ability to come off as a humble, yet highly competent, applicant is far more important. Flaunting accomplishments and name-dropping is a big turn off. I realize you are just trying explain your situation and hopefully you didn't come off that way in your statement and correspondence. You sound like you deserve to get in to a good program.
     
  32. PsychoEm

    PsychoEm Member
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    perfektspace- if that comment was directed towards me, i didn't mean to flaunt anything...my original post was just to show that this process can be so random, that even if you have reasonable credentials, s**t happens
     
  33. perfektspace

    perfektspace Member
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    No, sorry I was directing towards the OP. I don't think there is anything wrong with talking about credentials on the board to explain your situation. There is also nothing wrong with being pissed a good match didn't look at you in spite of great qualifications. I was just thinking that if the OP had unknowingly come off as too cocky in their statement or correspondence it could have made a difference.

    I wish I had your GRE scores!
     

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