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GPA measure meaningful in Doc Programs?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psychometric, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. psychometric

    5+ Year Member

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    Do you guys think it matters what GPA you get in your doctoral program, as long as you do not fall below B-, or do you not care?

    Does it matter in any way what we do gradewise at this time, and if so, why and to whom?

    Thanks for any comments !
     
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  3. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow
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    I think as long as you mostly have A's, you're good. Though some internship sites will scrutinize your grades. My site looked at all of the grad school grades and last 2 years of undergrad, and ranked the applicant based on if they got mostly A's (80% of the time or greater) or not. On the flip side, they looked if people got ALL A's and if the program they were coming from was known to hand out A's like handing out popcorn at the movies. I have no idea if other internship sites do this, but I suspect that mine isn't *that* unique.
     
  4. psydd

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    assuming the program isn't just handing them out like popcorn, as you said, how difficult is it really to maintain a 4.0, or at least mostly A's? right now it seems like an insane feat, considering it's a doctoral program. but maybe i'm mistaken.
     
  5. Cigolon

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    It depends on your program on how the grades are looked at. Like he said, if they hand out A's then it's not impressive if you have a 4.0. Some programs are competitive and half will always get A's and half will always get B's. Getting a 3.5 is a solid GPA in those sorts of programs. It also depends on the practicum site and so many other factors, such as your publication record, clinical record, etc. Don't aim for getting B's just because it's easier, but at the same time it happens.

    Graduate work isn't any different from undergraduate as far as the difficulty imho. It takes a little bit to adjust to the demands, but mostly it's just the quantity of work. Mostly it's time management and how to fit 37 hours into about a 24 hour period. It's not impossible to make mostly A's by any stretch. In undergraduate you have life outside of the program. In graduate, your life outside of the program involves thinking and talking about the program/classes. The people you are in school with are smart too and internships are aware of that. Even someone who makes straight B's in graduate school is in a different boat motivationaly & intellectually than people who do that in undergraduate.
     
  6. JockNerd

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    I can only speak for my program, but generally I find that faculty understand that coursework is not the focus of graduate school, having been through it themselves, and grade reasonably; as long as you're putting in effort you're going to do well in the course. I have a 4.0 right now, not to put too fine a point on it, doing what I consider the minimum amount of work for my courses and focusing on my research and reading for clinical stuff as soon as I'm done homework.

    Do internship sites really care about GPA? This is the first I've heard of that (beyond things like caring if you had to repeat courses or something like that).
     
  7. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student!
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    i just wonder how sites know that programs hand out A's easily or rarely. just across the classes i've taken this semester grading has been so diverse--we have some profs that are similar to what JN was saying--if you do the work and out in good effort, they have no problem giving you an A. other's were the total opposite, making their grading system obscure, trick tests, mindreading--just like undergrad. grrr. and some were hard graders but gave great feedback and pushed you, so if you decided to put in the effort for that A or A- you really learned something.

    i want to do well and set myself up for a great internship, but i also don't want to put in an tons more hours to get an A instead of a B+ (but not learn anymore than if i got a B+) when i can be developing my research or putting in extra clinical hours and gaining experience.
     
  8. Cigolon

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    just a note of curiousity, are your graduate programs giving out actual B+'s? We get either straight A's or B's in mine.
     
  9. Ollie123

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    It depends on the professor for us. Some give +'s and -'s, others do not.

    We were always told not to worry about our GPA, but then again I have yet to take a class where I found the grading to be overly harsh. Certainly its reasonable to get B's, but I haven't taken a class where I had to kill myself to get a good grade. I'd be interested to see where we fall on the spectrum of "grading harshness" - I don't really have any idea but it seems pretty chill to me. I've heard people complaining about grading at many different schools, but then other people at those schools think its fine so it can be hard to separate the school from one individual's opinion of it.

    Personal bias, but I don't see the point in looking at GPA. Even grad level courses are necessarily general and don't mean squat as far as an "expertise" goes. There's no way a single course can make you qualified to assess/treat/research ANYTHING regardless of whether you got an A+ or a B-, at best its just the first step down a 5 mile road.

    It may give you some background to get started, but that's about it. The literature is too deep, and even if the reading load was 10x what it typically is, the idea that you'll be anything beyond a beginner after a single semester is ludicrous. I think I've said it here before, but I think I learn more in lab in any given week then I have in all my coursework combined thus far.
     
  10. Neuropsych2be

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    Since the varience of grad school grades is so small, I can't imagine that GPA has that much of an impact on anything like internship sites. The program I go to gives plus and minus grades in addition to A's and B's. I got all A's in my courses so far and managed to snag a few A+ grades for coursework my profs thought was exceptional. So at this point my GPA is 4.18 or something like that. I frankly doubt that anyone at a prospective internship site or a licensure board will care one bit. I think publications and other factors such as progress on your dissertation would count more for internship. My 2 cents.
     
  11. psychmama

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    My program gives A, B, and B+ as passing grades. C and lower is no credit/must retake class.

    My impression is similar to others -- that few care if you have all As, as long as you manage a healthy dose of As along with a few Bs. I think the classes that give the most trouble are "Stats" and "Research Methods and Design". I know a couple of people who needed to retake these.
     
  12. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student!
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    this is comforting. i've put my all into my classes, but there are some, like my clin interviewing, that i'm likely to get an A-in even with all that effort, because my first grade was on my first ever clinical interview (i'm a research gal) and was a B. another class i've worked so hard and learned so much, but the teacher's grading scale is unfathomable as is thier teaching style, and even folks who have have doubtless excellent expreience, years of it, get B's on the assignments. it should mostly be A's, but in general my philosophy is to learn as much as i can, do my best, but if on top of that it takes away time from my research or clinical work, to think hard about working for a possibly impossible A. hopefully that will be okay for me. one semester down, 7 to go. we'll see!
     
  13. psychmama

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    I personally think you have the right attitude. The goal of graduate school is to absorb as much knowledge and experience as possible through the process. At the end of the day, this is what matters most.
     
  14. Therapist4Chnge

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    I think a 3.5 or over is fine (More A's than B's).
     
  15. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow
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    I forgot to include that the grade evaluation was part of a matrix of many things that were used to rank people for interviews. I can't say if it was the deciding factor on anyone's app. I agree with the aim for 3.5 or above and you'll be fine.
     
  16. psychometric

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    Thanks for all the infos. Interesting, but what sort of employer distinguishes between an A- and a B+, and if they exist, I think, they have severe personal issues. I would probably pass on these people. That's just my personal opinion though !;)
     

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