Skye18

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Jul 31, 2018
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Hi folks,

I am a hopeful clinical PhD applicant this cycle, and have so far received one interview invite. This is great, although I do have a few reservations. The program was accredited only last year, so I am lacking in some of the usual metrics in determining its quality (e.g. licensure rates, alumni employment, etc). It also isn't quite fully funded after the first two years, but there are assistantships available. On the plus side, it does offer coursework in my intended specialization and it is also located in a major metro area, so it's connected to plenty of internship locations. Of course, all programs have to start somewhere. With that said, I was hoping the professionals here could give me some pointers as to what criteria/questions I can keep in mind for my interview so as to best ascertain whether the risk would be worth taking if I ended up being offered a spot. I do intend to practice after graduation, with no intent of ever becoming a faculty member. Given the next-level craziness of this cycle, I doubt I'll end up having a better option, and I don't know if it's worth taking the risk of waiting for the next cycle. I have been post-BA for a while already.

Any help appreciated!
 

summerbabe

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I'm sure I'm missing stuff but here are some initial thoughts:
- Assume that you won't have any funding beyond the first 2 years so figure out how to establish in state residency and what type of debt load you'd be comfortable taking on.
- Is there a program-run clinic? That will likely provide you with the best and most in-depth clinical supervision, especially early on in seeing patients and especially if the faculty are seasoned.
- Some programs only arrange for pre-vetted practicums while others put the burden on students to find their own independently. If you're required to find your own practicums, the quality of supervision, balance between training and providing clinical services, assurances that you'll get steady hours, and what happens if problems arise can vary widely.
- How will they support students when they apply for pre-doctoral internship? What's their match data like? Is everybody getting an APA internship? In general, a DCT of a longstanding program will have a lot of experience guiding students through that process to include reviewing personal statements, doing mock interview prep, making sure your dissertation is proposed in time, etc.
- How have they transitioned during COVID? What's the plan for the future?
 
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DrBakedGoods

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If you could list or pm me the specific school you're thinking of, might be able to help. It sounds like a program that might be my undergrad institution.. If it's in NJ, definitely PM me
 
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DynamicDidactic

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I like this guessing game. By "last" year, does that mean 2019 or 2020?

Here are the programs from 2019 that were awarded initial accreditation, on contingency and are clinical PhDs with my thoughts.
City University of New York: probably fine. And, if one could get residency in NYC then the costs at the end should be small (of course cost of living is very high and I recommend having a longer public transit commute for lower rent)
Rowan University: wouldn't consider this a large metro but good. This school got a bunch of money from Rowan and has been hiring quality faculty. Same for costs since its a state school

Here are the programs from 2020 that were awarded initial accreditation, on contingency and are clinical PhDs with my thoughts.
Montclair State University - hmmm... not sure
Maybe Puerto Rico State University since it was granted initial Full Accreditation. - also, not sure

Is it one of these programs?
 

DynamicDidactic

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Ah, sorry if I wasn't clear! It's Montclair actually, in 2020.
It seems fine with the new faculty they have. Talk to the students and get a feel for their experience. Don't interrogate them but ask important questions about their commutes and what their weeks look like. This will give you an idea if they are unhappy or enjoying the opportunities.
 

boomshakalaka

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I see Montclair becoming a top-notch forensic program. Their new faculty, particularly those with forensic interests, are great.
 
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DrBakedGoods

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I see Montclair becoming a top-notch forensic program. Their new faculty, particularly those with forensic interests, are great.
Echoing. The forensic faculty are amazing professionals, great mentors, and awesome people to talk to. Think a lot of great work will come out of these labs.

I think neuro will also do well here with the connection to Kessler and other great labs in the area.
 

boba_psych

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I'm a current student there, just wanted to chime in that all of the current students are fully funded with stipend for all years of the program. We have a research GA for the first 2 years, then mixed research GA and TA for second 2 years. It's been a good program so far and the faculty are great.
 

Skye18

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Jul 31, 2018
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To everyone who replied, thanks for your thoughts! :)

I'm a current student there, just wanted to chime in that all of the current students are fully funded with stipend for all years of the program. We have a research GA for the first 2 years, then mixed research GA and TA for second 2 years. It's been a good program so far and the faculty are great.

This is super great to hear! I won't bore you with a bunch of questions, but overall, do you feel that the program is definitely worth serious consideration then?
 

boba_psych

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To everyone who replied, thanks for your thoughts! :)



This is super great to hear! I won't bore you with a bunch of questions, but overall, do you feel that the program is definitely worth serious consideration then?
I would seriously consider the program. Be sure to ask lots of questions on interview day, and most of all, evaluate whether you see yourself fitting in with the culture of the program (and any other programs you're interviewing at).
 
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