Becoming a student affiliate for APA/APS as an undergrad - worth it?

Jun 23, 2014
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Psychology Student
Does becoming a student affiliate for APA and/or APS make a difference on a resume for applications to clinical PhD programs? I definitely enjoy the perks of being able to access journals, but I can already do that through my university's library. I also heard that with APS you can peer review articles? I was told you edit 12 a year. That sounds like a good experience, but I don't fully understand how it works? Does APA have something similar to that?
 
Jun 23, 2014
58
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Psychology Student
A better question may be, why would you want to peer review 12 articles a year? :)
I really like looking at new research and what better way to do it than by simultaneously helping others, gaining experience working with articles that I will soon need to write myself, and building my resume.
 
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Jun 23, 2014
58
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Psychology Student
But does APA have student affiliates do the same thing? Because if so, then it comes down to a question of which would be more beneficial to become a member of?
 
Aug 21, 2015
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I researched about this like one year ago. A university I was looking for the psychology program said that joining APA as a student affiliate would be great to put on a college resume and especially if you stay in it for years, I'm sure that would be amazing. I'm thinking about joining maybe two psychology organizations to boost up my chances. So I say you should go for it but ask around first!

:)
 
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psycscientist

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Being a member of a professional organization can be good to get more info about the field, but will mean absolutely zero for your chances in terms of being admitted to a graduate program. Anyone can pay to join an organization.
 

futureapppsy2

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Being a member of a professional organization can be good to get more info about the field, but will mean absolutely zero for your chances in terms of being admitted to a graduate program. Anyone can pay to join an organization.
I thought this as well, but our former recent DCT here explicitly said that joining professional organization helps grad student applicants during the admissions process.

Source: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...s-to-phd-programs.489204/page-23#post-8783280
 

psycscientist

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I thought this as well, but our former recent DCT here explicitly said that joining professional organization helps grad student applicants during the admissions process.

Source: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...s-to-phd-programs.489204/page-23#post-8783280
I think they were saying that they help in terms of familiarizing with the field and gaining "inside access" via listservs and whatnot. Which I agree with. But I very much doubt that they give students any boost in the actual admissions process as far as a line on a CV goes.
 

futureapppsy2

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I think they were saying that they help in terms of familiarizing with the field and gaining "inside access" via listservs and whatnot. Which I agree with. But I very much doubt that they give students any boost in the actual admissions process as far as a line on a CV goes.
This line seems to suggest otherwise, though.

"1 - It looks good on the CV - helps to show your 'identity' as a clinical psychologist"

I doubt it's a big boost, but it appears that it is one, at least for some programs. And heck, faculty list organization memberships on their CVs, so it must matter to someone. ;)
 

PsychPhDStudent

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One of the perks of APS is the mentorship program. I mentored undergrads while I was a grad student and helped them identify programs, edit their SOPs, etc. So membership might have helped in a non-CV line way, too.
 

Ollie123

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Probably not a big deal either way. I wouldn't join unless you've got money to burn, are planning on going to the conference, or have some other explicit benefit you expect to garner (i.e. wanting to be on the listserv). It certainly doesn't hurt and might even help, but I can't imagine that ever being a "make or break" scenario.

I was an APS member for several years (recently let it lapse just because I'm in the midst of starting a new job and am reevaluating memberships across the board while I settle in). To my knowledge, they certainly don't hold any expectation that student members peer review 12 articles a year. That would be exceedingly bizarre (and quite counter to the purpose of peer review to mandate x number of reviews going to potentially unqualified reviewers?).
 

Existenz

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It's not a big deal at all. Contributing within an organization, like the student branch of whatever speciality area you enjoy, is more important (i.e. volunteering at conferences etc).
 
Mar 24, 2014
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In something as competitive as the funded programs are, why wouldn't you be a member of the APA so that you can put it on your CV? It won't make up for bad grades, low GRE, and lack of research, but when you have the requisites for admission and are going head to head with similar students, why risk the possibility of someone on an admissions committee seeing involvement in a professional organization as a factor? I have been a member of APA since undergrad and I wish it was as inexpensive now as it was then. On the other hand, my employer pays for it so I probably shouldn't complain. :D
 
Jun 23, 2014
58
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Psychology Student
Being a member of a professional organization can be good to get more info about the field, but will mean absolutely zero for your chances in terms of being admitted to a graduate program. Anyone can pay to join an organization.
One of the perks of APS is the mentorship program. I mentored undergrads while I was a grad student and helped them identify programs, edit their SOPs, etc. So membership might have helped in a non-CV line way, too.
Can you explain the mentorship programs? I'm having a tough time really distinguishing the benefits of different affiliations and deciding which one I should join.
 

PsychPhDStudent

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@mandak : As far as APS' mentorship program, I don't know quite how it works on the undergrad end, but my understanding is that you contact someone in leadership stating you'd like a grad student mentor, and you tell them a little about your interests and career goals (e.g., clinical psych with interest in adult anxiety disorders). That person then identifies a potential grad student member who matches your interests, and the mentor and mentee email back and forth. My experience is that there aren't a ton of clinical area grad student mentors, though that is hopefully changing. I probably menteed 3 undergrads during grad school. some of the things I helped them do included deciding what type of graduate programs to apply to (MA vs PhD, counseling vs clinical), refining their list of programs to apply to, outline and revise SOPs, and identify summer internships/research labs to contact for summer experiences.

I'd like to imagine this sort of service is helpful to undergrads who don't have very many grad students or faculty mentors who can help with the sort of thing.
 
Jun 23, 2014
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Psychology Student
Thanks for the info! It actually sounds like a good opportunity on both ends
 
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