Mar 30, 2010
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Psychology Student
Hey all,

I'm planning to apply to graduate school soon and I was wondering if anyone could give me some insight to what my chances are.

I already took my GRE General and got 740Q/660V but 4.0 AWA :( ... I scored in the 92 percentile for the Subject Test. My current GPA is 3.2/4.0 but I'm hoping to raise that after my last year (it's low because I slacked during my first year).

I am working with a sociology professor and a psychology PhD candidate at the moment so I'll be guaranteed at least 2 reference letters (I also did some work with another professor but he has moved since then so I don't know if I will be able to get a recommendation letter from him).

From a bunch of the schools I've looked at, it seems most want 3 reference letters so should I try to see if I can get more experience? I'm also worried about my GPA so I want to take a look at some back up schools to apply to in case I don't get accepted to the ones I want.

Does anyone know any back up schools in the US? I live in Canada and from what people have told me, it's easier to get into US schools because there's a lot more of them.

Thanks for your time.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
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51.2%....:)

Serioulsy, graduate for.... a ph.d, masters, psy.d, clinical, couseling, school psych, basketweaving......what?
 
Last edited:
Mar 30, 2010
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Psychology Student
Lol, sorry. Graduate for Masters, ultimately trying to get a PhD. Area of focus will be on social/cognitive, specifically want to do something with forensics. Would have posted in the other section if I was into clinical. :oops:
 
Jan 23, 2010
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The program you apply to will decide what your chances are. Sometimes if you are lucky, schools will list how they weigh certain parts of your application in order to give you a good idea of where you stand. Experience is definitely a good thing to have, especially if you need to add some "oomph" to your grades. But....keep in mind not to dip into too many different things. Being a "jack of all trades" isn't what you are necessarily going for. Focus on developing an extremely good rapport with the people who you are working with already, and the letters of recommendation will fall into place. Also, I have noticed that while most schools require 3 letters, usually only 2 of them have to be academically based. The 3rd is typically what they call a "character reference" which is someone who can attest to your personality as well as your work morals and ethics. I strongly recommend a character reference if the school allows.

Also, some schools ask for a minimum of 3 references. So, if you know someone who is capable of writing an extremely good recommendation for you, it might not hurt to include that as well.

I hope this answers your question a little bit. It appears as though I have veered slightly off topic. :)
 
Mar 30, 2010
3
0
0
Status
Psychology Student
The program you apply to will decide what your chances are. Sometimes if you are lucky, schools will list how they weigh certain parts of your application in order to give you a good idea of where you stand. Experience is definitely a good thing to have, especially if you need to add some "oomph" to your grades. But....keep in mind not to dip into too many different things. Being a "jack of all trades" isn't what you are necessarily going for. Focus on developing an extremely good rapport with the people who you are working with already, and the letters of recommendation will fall into place. Also, I have noticed that while most schools require 3 letters, usually only 2 of them have to be academically based. The 3rd is typically what they call a "character reference" which is someone who can attest to your personality as well as your work morals and ethics. I strongly recommend a character reference if the school allows.

Also, some schools ask for a minimum of 3 references. So, if you know someone who is capable of writing an extremely good recommendation for you, it might not hurt to include that as well.

I hope this answers your question a little bit. It appears as though I have veered slightly off topic. :)
Thanks, those are some great tips.
 

jnine

5+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
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hey Dav, I am not sure I would bother with the master's degree if i were in your shoes. I think I would probably take a year off and continue conducting research with my professors* while also taking (and getting A's in) a few more classes. I would try to publish and or present the research.

*assuming the current work matches with what I want to do as a phd student. if not, i'd look for those opportunities.

as far as schools in the US, you're right about there being a lot of them. :)