Have a hard time deciding on a professor in SDSU/UCSD Joint Program

bluebluesky

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I admit that my interests are pretty broad. For example, I am interested in both PTSD and schizophrenia. However, I noticed that in the SDSU/UCSD program, the schizophrenia research is highly physiological and neuropsychological, which I couldn't even understand their articles easily.

I found it a dilemma to choose a professor to work with, and I am really interested in the program partly due to its reputation, location, and quality. I am wondering what kind of people will be applying? I mean..do they have to have strong neuropsychological backgrounds? If I don't quite understand the professor's articles and all the physiological and neuropsych stuff, do I stand a chance at all? Or just choose something that I am familiar with, such as behavioral research. But none of the professors with an interest in schizophrenia seem to be doing behavioral research.

I am very curious as to what backgrounds applicants need to have in order to be competitive. I feel that although I have taken some science classes I still found their research methods very new and somewhat intimidating to me. :confused::eek:
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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Apr 6, 2007
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I admit that my interests are pretty broad. For example, I am interested in both PTSD and schizophrenia. However, I noticed that in the SDSU/UCSD program, the schizophrenia research is highly physiological and neuropsychological, which I couldn't even understand their articles easily.

I found it a dilemma to choose a professor to work with, and I am really interested in the program partly due to its reputation, location, and quality. I am wondering what kind of people will be applying? I mean..do they have to have strong neuropsychological backgrounds? If I don't quite understand the professor's articles and all the physiological and neuropsych stuff, do I stand a chance at all? Or just choose something that I am familiar with, such as behavioral research. But none of the professors with an interest in schizophrenia seem to be doing behavioral research.

I am very curious as to what backgrounds applicants need to have in order to be competitive. I feel that although I have taken some science classes I still found their research methods very new and somewhat intimidating to me. :confused::eek:
Dont worry, you're not be expected to be knowledgeable about all that stuff, especially the stats and certain highly specialized physiological research methods at this point.

That said, the UCSD/SDSU joint program is one of the top in the nation and is especially well known for neuropsychology and neuropsychological research. It is very competitive and highly academic. Its applicants are likely some of the "cream of the crop" and would be expected to have considerable research experience beyond the undergrad level...or at least some stellar undergrad research accomplishments/involvement.
 
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bluebluesky

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Thanks for your reply. However, without fully understanding their articles, i feel that it may not be easy to write the personal statement. Or shall I just write the broad area, such as early detection of markers for schizophrenia? Since a lot of faculty are MDs or are working in med school, I am not sure if I understand what they are doing.

Another problem is that although I had some research experiences, I did not get a chance to do research on schizophrenia. I am wondering if I should apply to this area or apply to something that I have done before, which I am also interested in by may not be as interested as in schizophrenia?

Oh...I am confused...to summarize...since it's a competitive program, I am just wondering if I should apply to an area I have done something similar before to increase the chance or an area that I am interested in but haven't done research on (but have some clinical experience). I don't want to waste money if they will not accept someone without similar research experiences.

I am an international student btw...and this school did not report data on acceptance of international student...so I don't even know what their view is toward international applicants. :scared:

I know it's very competitive but i have applied and all is left is to figure out the personal statement.

Dont worry, you're not be expected to be knowledgeable about all that stuff, especially the stats and certain highly specialized physiological research methods at this point.

That said, the UCSD/SDSU joint program is one of the top in the nation and is especially well known for neuropsychology and neuropsychological research. It is very competitive and highly academic. Its applicants are likely some of the "cream of the crop" and would be expected to have considerable research experience beyond the undergrad level...or at least some stellar undergrad research accomplishments/involvement.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
9,834
3,545
Louisville, KY
Status
Psychologist
Thanks for your reply. However, without fully understanding their articles, i feel that it may not be easy to write the personal statement. Or shall I just write the broad area, such as early detection of markers for schizophrenia? Since a lot of faculty are MDs or are working in med school, I am not sure if I understand what they are doing.

Another problem is that although I had some research experiences, I did not get a chance to do research on schizophrenia. I am wondering if I should apply to this area or apply to something that I have done before, which I am also interested in by may not be as interested as in schizophrenia?

Oh...I am confused...to summarize...since it's a competitive program, I am just wondering if I should apply to an area I have done something similar before to increase the chance or an area that I am interested in but haven't done research on (but have some clinical experience). I don't want to waste money if they will not accept someone without similar research experiences.

I am an international student btw...and this school did not report data on acceptance of international student...so I don't even know what their view is toward international applicants. :scared:

I know it's very competitive but i have applied and all is left is to figure out the personal statement.
My understanding is that its a mentor model program, no? That is, you apply to work with a specific professor/lab.

I would think that you should have some kind of experience in the area to which you are applying for a program like that. Many of those labs are highly specialized, and although you dont need to have experience in the specific thing they are doing, they are looking for people whose background and experience has given them some knowledge of the overall area.

It is increasingly common for applicants to these kinds of highly competitive, research-oriented programs to have been RAs for a couple years following their bachelors degree.
 
Jan 22, 2010
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I don't want to waste money if they will not accept someone without similar research experiences. . . .

I know it's very competitive but i have applied and all is left is to figure out the personal statement.
I am a bit confused too. You mentioned that you don't want to waste money. Then, you state that you have already applied and only have to write the personal statement.

If you have already paid your application fees and sent in your transcripts etc., then it makes little sense, at this point, to worry about your competition. Just focus on writing the best personal statement that you can.

Who do you want to work with the most? Whose research is of greatest interest to you? That's who you should want as a mentor. And, do your best to make a connection between your interests and research experience and the research that the professor is doing.

Does the "physiological and neuropsych stuff" interest you? If they don't, then those professors may not be the best fit for you.

But, again, at this point, if you have already spent the money, I would not worry about your competition. Just focus on writing the best statement of purpose that you can.