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"Help me decide" mega thread

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by IcedBennu, Mar 23, 2012.

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  1. Hello,

    I have made many mistakes in my life and walked down the wrong path. I was a strait A student until I decided to walk with the wrong crowd. After having a child I've decided to start college and continue to educate myself for the rest of my life, as research, study, learning and debating are passions of mine

    I passed the entrance exams at CUNY and don't have to take any remedial classes (to everyone's surprise because I dropped out of school in the 9th grade). I was accepted into a 4 year senior college because my GED score is a perfect 4,000 so I wont have to be going to a 2 year college.

    After meeting with the academic advisers they recommend that I take double majors of Psychology and Sociology. I've also been thinking about a BSW.

    My original goal was a Psychologist or Psychiatrist. However after researching the licensing I'm not sure if I can get approval for a license to practice. I would like to stay in the mental health field so now I'm thinking Social Work or some form of Therapist or Counselor.

    I have 1 class D paper felony (meaning I never went to jail for it) for bail jumping, convicted in 2004. A misdemeanor conviction for possession of drugs in 2008 and another misdemeanor conviction of assault in the 3rd (domestic court not criminal) in 2012.

    Today I'm in the processes of being rehabilitated. I have completed anger management, parenting class and drug rehab at a Drug and Mental Health Center. I have not been diagnosed with any mental illness and the doctors are all routing for my success.

    After receiving help for my mental well being and becoming productive, I now wish to help save the lives of other misguided people out there in NYC. I know for a fact that many intelligent young people have been conditioned to be failures in life and I wish to help as many as I can change.

    Please help me decide what path to take to achieve these means based off the above information. I'm thinking;

    Path 1: BA Psych/BA Soc, MSW (to find a job), Ph.D Psych (for research and scholarship)

    Path 2: BA Forensic Psych/ CASAC-T, MA Forenic Psych, Ph.D Psych (clinical)

    Path 3: BS Pharm Sci, MD (Psychiatry)

    Path 4: BA Psych, MA Clinical Psych, Psy.D (clinical)

    Please give me any advise or criticism, I need a much help as possible in understanding the decisions I make for my future.
     
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  3. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Health Insurance Operations 10+ Year Member

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    If this is your primary motivation, then you will be dissapointed and frustrated by both your patients and the mental health system. "Saving" people is not what we do. You are a guide with (scientific) tools, nothing more. This isnt surgery. If you want to "fix" or "save" people, you should become a surgeon or an ER doc. Or an EMT.
     
  4. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    I'm glad to hear that you found a way to get the help you needed and to envision a different life for yourself. But I'm going to let you in on an open secret: many psychologists get uncomfortable when they hear that a student's motivation to enter the profession is based mainly on their desire to help people who have encountered similar life struggles. It's not that having struggled makes you less fit for the profession - far from it. But when your main motive is to "save" people like yourself, rather than to understand or develop the science in a certain area, you risk leading yourself astray and, possibly, shortchanging the people you wanted to help.

    It is true that sometimes we can use our skills to save people by way of preventing suicide, reducing risky behavior, etc. But in reality, a lot of people drop out of treatment or fail to benefit from it in the long term. When it comes to helping as many as possible, psychologists in direct service (ie, as psychotherapists) are not very efficient. Teachers, doctors, nurses, judges, nonprofit managers, and a host of other types of professionals can make a huge difference for many people too.

    An alternative to a helping career is to become gainfully employed in any field and then give your leisure time (as a volunteer, mentor, etc.) or your money to worthy causes. Give this some thought. Allow yourself to be a little selfish for a while. Wait to pay it forward. Do what fulfills YOU, try to be great at it, and then once you're great, figure out how to use your greatness to help others. By all means, take courses in psychology and sociology, but also enjoy everything else that college has to offer. If in the end you do decide to become a psychologist, don't do it because you want to make people better. Do it because you want to make psychology better.
     
    futureapppsy2 and smalltownpsych like this.
  5. PsychMajorUndergrad18

    PsychMajorUndergrad18 Future School Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    As some of you guys may know, I am currently a undergrad sophomore psych student. I have finally narrowed down my future career choices down into three options but am having trouble figuring out which would givec= me more opportunities in the future. I have done some research on these choices but I am not sure which one is the most versatile in the future.

    Option 1: Apply to Social Psychology PhD programs with the intention of working with professors who do research on work-life balance, leadership or group behavior. If I got this route I'd loved to be able to teach social psychology, research methods/applied statistics and intro to psych as a undergrad professor.

    Option 2: Try to get into a Industrial-Organizational Psychology PhD Program and work with professors who do research on work-life balance, leadership and/or training/development. If I go this route, I'd like to be able to teach intro to psych, research methods/applied stats and I/O specific courses and possibly teach a few classes in a business school or department and also have the opportunity to do some consulting before being a professor.

    Option 3: D0 a research-oriented masters in social psych (or a I/o psych masters) and get a PhD in either I/O or Social Psych to be able to teach all the classes I would like to teach while also consulting on the side.

    Which one seems the most versatile and smarter choice to pursue?
     
  6. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    For the kinds of job functions and research areas that seem to interest you, an I/O Ph.D. would probably be most versatile.
     
  7. PsychMajorUndergrad18

    PsychMajorUndergrad18 Future School Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you MamaPhD. I'm just curious, are I/O Psychologist hired a lot to teach undergrad psych classes like intro to psych, applied statistics or research methods? I would rather teach undergrads mainly and do advisement of undergrads and teach some graduate classes on the side.
     
  8. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    My impression is that most I/O faculty positions support master's and/or Ph.D. programs in I/O and therefore have a mix of graduate and undergraduate teaching duties. For these types of jobs it seems unlikely that you would focus predominantly on undergraduates. However, institutions that focus mainly on undergraduate study (e.g., small liberal arts colleges) sometimes hire I/O psychologists to teach courses and lead undergraduate research, in which case you may not teach any graduate courses. The specific situation you described above seems less likely.
     
  9. PsychMajorUndergrad18

    PsychMajorUndergrad18 Future School Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you MamaPhD. I just don't know if I'd like to teach graduate students as much as I'd like to teach undergrad. I am guessing since I haven't experienced graduate school yet that is why I don't think I'd want to teach graduate students. But who knows, that may change in the future.
     
  10. PreDrANB

    PreDrANB 2+ Year Member

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    So a quick background:
    Standing: 5th year undergrad
    Double Major: Psychology and Child & Adolescent Development
    GPA: 3.9 psych; 3.6 overall (expect to have up to a 3.7 if I continue to get straight A's for the next two semesters)
    Research experience: I'm currently in two research labs (a clinical child lab focused on parenting and at-risk populations, and a 30-year longitudinal study lab), each with multiple faculty directors. I have incurred 5 months in each lab as of now, and am currently working on my own scholarly project to submit to multiple upcoming conferences.
    Clinical experience: I've worked as a clinical associate at a children's hospital for a year and a half, a semester-long internship at a non-profit organization working with at-risk children and families, and have additional experience working with children in an educational setting as a preschool teacher for 2 years. I'll also complete a 120-hour internship next semester in a yet-to-be-determined location, but closely related to my interests. (which brings me to...)
    Interests: Clinical child, child maltreatment, child trauma
    Goal: Ph.D. Clinical Child in a balanced program

    Whew. Mouthfull.

    Now onto my question.

    As I mentioned, I'm an RA in two different research labs. One is run by 4 research psychologists who have been researching for their entire careers, and are not clinically oriented (one is clinical but has only ever done research). The other is run by two clinical psychologists, one licensed, and is completely clinically oriented. We do neuropsychological assessments and collect physiological data, etc. The latter is definitely more my style, but the former is really great experience because they consistently get published.

    When I talk to my advisers in each lab, they tell me I should be doing different things. One (research guy) strongly urges me to get my masters degree in order to obtain more research experience and says that I will not be accepted to any doctoral programs unless I do so. The other (clinical guy) says that I can take a year off after I finish my bachelors to continue researching without having to worry about the coursework of a masters program. He also says that some phd programs may look at a masters as a negative point on my application because they want to train their students the way they want to train them without having to undo someone else's training.

    The year-off option sounds most appealing to me for many reasons, but I also feel that my interests more closely align with the professor who gave me that advice. On the other hand, the research guy has produced many students who were accepted to phd programs so I don't feel that his advice should be understated. However, when I told him that I was thinking of going the year-off route he told me I was making a HUGE mistake and that I will be throwing my chances away (yikes!) But the year-off option just sounds so nice! I'll be able to focus on researching and hopefully getting a couple co-authorships, and I'll be able to apply to phd programs without the stress of class. I'm also nowhere near ready for the GRE which is required for application to the masters program, and in addition, most of the phd programs I'm interested in report masters-holding students as the vast minority of accepted applicants.

    But again, I don't think research guy's advice should be completely overlooked.

    halp.
     
  11. thewesternsky

    thewesternsky 10+ Year Member

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    PreDrANB - My vote is to completely overlook it. Your GPA is strong and there's absolutely no reason you need a Master's degree. Work for a year doing research while you apply to PhD programs.
     
    Chalupacabra and Therapist4Chnge like this.
  12. Dr.Whocanhelpme

    Dr.Whocanhelpme

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    Hi everyone, I am a masters student applying to clinical psych doctoral programs this semester (who isn't right) and I keep going back and forth on whether I should take a year off to retake the gre since apps are due in 5 weeks. Basically, I have a high GPA (3.8-3.9) from both my undergrad and masters both from good schools. I also have both pretty good research and great clinical experience but my GRE scores suck and I did not retake them over summer (very stupidly) and now really don't have the time to.

    It was not a content issue, I usually score very high on English standardized tests and I even knew the math pretty well, but I couldn't finish the test no matter how fast I went and I just don't think I devoted enough time to studying for it either. my scores are a really bad representation, but it's 150 on verbal and 152 on quantitative. I am so worried that I am going to go through the trouble of applying in the midst of all my work right now only to get rejected just based off my dismal GREs. UCSB is my dream school, can anyone tell me if I shouldn't bother applying because those scores will cut me off or if it is just ok enough to maybe get me an interview because of the rest of my application?
     
  13. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    Not an application question, but somewhat related. I'm trying to land a university counseling center internship at the masters level. I hear horror stories about how it is super competitive and have posted several times asking for advice (thanks to those who have answered). I now have some GREAT job opportunities and wanted to know - given my desire to work at an UCC starting fall 2016 - which one(s) I should accepted:
    • Mental Health Technician at an eating disorders clinic for adolescents
    • Mental Health Technician at a BPD clinic for adult women
    • Resident Advisor for an English learning / International college (that is, the college population is made up entirely of international students who attend the college purely to study English)
    The RA position would definitely allow me the most direct contact with college-age individuals, but it is a pretty big commitment. The MHT positions would give me more clinical practice (even if it's just milieu, at least I'm working in a clinical setting). Which would you choose and why?
     
  14. LauraH8214

    LauraH8214 2+ Year Member

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    Hello,

    I completed an internship at a college counseling center and worked at one my first year out of school. I sat in on interviews for new hires as well and so while I am not an expert I can tell you what they seemed to like about candidates. :)
    1) Clinical experience working with college age individuals- Since we seemed to have a lot of depression and GAD, we looked for people that had also worked with those disorders. We also use a lot of short-term treatments such as CBT and mindfulness was big so we liked if ppl had experience with those. Ask around at the counseling centers you are interested in ...what disorders to they treat the most?
    2) Research experience RELEVANT to college population- I had actually done some research on therapeutic techniques for working with college students so that helped.
    3) Flexibility and ability to engage in more than just individual counseling- college counseling is a job with a lot of variety. It involves some outreach programming, student advocacy, workshops, and consultation with campus officials.

    While I do not know based on what you said which will hit on these the most I hope this at least guides you in some way:)
     
    chicandtoughness likes this.
  15. ak1234

    ak1234

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    Hi everybody-


    I'm in a pretty unique (and crappy) situation and would love any feedback/suggestions ect.
    I'm currently in my third year of (Apa accredited) Psyd program and I'm considering transferring.

    Some background--

    I am a first generation student (Native Alaskan) with several Learning Disabilities. I am significantly dyslexia (so please forgive the typos!) and have mild ADHD but I also have a extremely high IQ. Additionally, I have a genetic Illness Cystic Fibrosis- which is extremely well managed and has had minimal impact on my academics thus far-

    With accommodations being met, I've been able to do exceptional academically- I started my undergraduate degree at Landmark College ( a college aimed at helping students with LD'S) got my Associates in psychology- 3.87- Class president.

    Transferred to an elite east coast college- graduated with BA in psychology, completed 2 senior thesis's, with a 3.9 gpa.
    I also worked a local psychiatric hosp. as a "mental health aid" - ie running groups, direct pt' care. (while in college) and strong faculty ties/letters of rec. The only thing missing was much/any research experience. Due to my disability, readings/writing takes me longer when compared with my peers and in order to have such a strong academic record I had to work almost double time.
    My first round of applications to Phd Programs in Clinical Child Psy and Clinical--- I didn't get in to anywhere--- (I mostly think it was due to my Cover letters--- )
    I spent the next year trying to gain more research experience but struggled to find much in the rural area in Alaska. So I ended up working and co-creating a program that helped Native families who were at risk of loosing there children (Due to abuse/neglect/drug/alcohol) to child services-
    Providing therapeutic support, parenting skills, family therapy ect- Lots of great hands on experience.

    So now you know a little bit of background-
    I've been struggling in my current school pretty much since day 1. The school has no-disability support what so-ever. Even getting something as simple as a "note taker" was a struggle and often not possible for all of my classes. I realize this now that i should have transferred right away- but I didn't and began to try figure it out on my own.
    Most professors have been understanding and accommodating (without the help of the "office") with a few exceptions. While I have several strong ties with professors and staff-- none have been able to talk with me/for me to the Dean about the lack of accommodations and it's impact. The dean has little to no empathy for the problem and has stated " maybe we should put on the schools website that we are not suitable to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities" (and yes I know what he is doing is illegal- but bringing a lawyer into the mix just seems like such a mess)

    I've been currently paying out of pocket for my academic accommodations. Not to mention the lack of cultural respect and understanding- Basically- it's been a bad bad fit for the entire time, and caused me so much stress.


    Why am I thinking about transferring NOW...
    Because my clinical practicum (at a psychiatric hosp) was abruptly ended. My supervisor quit, of whom I had a good relationship with, and her replacement decided to eliminate my position due to my disability. She expressed that the " time it takes to accommodate you vs the work you produce isn't equal, you have to understand this is a cost benefit analysis" (I have all of this in email forms)
    Several attending psychiatrists- a fellow, as well as one of the medical directions offered to supervise me and help with accommodations ect. She refused and now I do not have a practicum.
    There is (pretty much) no way I can get a prac. now in the middle of the year --- and so my dean suggested I work on my dissertation.
    Beyond being able to get enough clinical hours and loosing this entire year--- I can't go to the didactics/case conferences/supervison and will have to essentially redue my third year. And explaining the gap-
    Also- the faculty who agreed to be my chair with has expressed a possible need for early retirement due to a health condition...

    When talking to peers in other Phd/psyd programs, there experience seems significantly different. Including a peer (who is in a top 10 phd program) who also has similar struggles - his experience has been the exact opposite of mine.
    So I figure since I'm already loosing a year- potentially my chair- I should apply to other programs. I know it's never really done but I feel I have to give it a shot- if there is a chance that I could be in a better program then I am alright taking more time to do it.

    I just can't tell how realistic it is- my feeling that it's so unrealistic.

    While I have good grades, significant experience, strong recommendations
    - I have pretty low GRE scores
    - still limited research experience
    - most of the applications don't have a space in which I could address why I am wanting to transfer-

    Additionally, I feel conflicted about directly addressing my Learning Disabilities. While my cv shows many poster presentations/talks at conferences about LD- as well as attending Landmark College. I honestly think that my only chance in getting my application seriously looked at is if a faculty or someone associated with the school is able to speak to my unique case.


    These are a few of the programs I'm considering---

    The New School
    Utah State University
    University of Denver Psyd (and Phd- I know it's such a reach)
    De Paul University



    So help me decide...? :S
     
  16. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    If you do decide to withdraw, a transfer to another doctoral program is probably not a viable option. However, it might be possible to take a master's at your current institution and re-apply to another program. At least you'd have something to show for your studies to date.

    When applying to a new program, all anyone can ever go on is the strength of their own record. You have the GPA but you lack the GRE score and the research experience. These factors probably mattered more than your cover letter in your previous round of graduate school applications. The good news is that both of these can be remedied.

    This is a good opportunity to think through how you will realistically balance your self-care/therapy needs, training needs, and disability accommodations to emerge at the end of your training as an autonomous professional. Of course you'll want to vet the disability services programs at each institution you are considering so that you don't find yourself in a similar situation.
     
  17. LauraH8214

    LauraH8214 2+ Year Member

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    Hello,

    I am very interested in the DU counseling program but I see tuition without aid is crazy. Does the program offer good aid to most people admitted? Thanks!
     
  18. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    <snip>
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  19. Meteora

    Meteora

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    I have several friends who went to TC. The chance to work with lots of great researchers doing really cool things at an ivy-league institution is the best thing about TC. However, I hope you really like research. Everyone I've talked to who attends TC have articulated that there is a very strong "research culture," but if that is what you want it'll be fine.

    Cost of living is something you really should consider. TC is very expensive, my friends have upwards of 100k in loans. Living in NYC is very expensive, that is another consideration to make. TC also does not have a MA thesis, but an "integrative project" which could even be a lit review.

    It's a tough decision, both schools have different pros and cons. Sometimes when I've had to make a really tough decision, I've made a literal chart of pros and cons, and then made value-rankings of each item and then compared them that way. Maybe that sounds silly to people, but doing that from the very process itself kind of helps you cognitively work through what variables are the most meaningful to you. Best of luck, let us know what you decide!
     
    AllTheCats likes this.
  20. psychologue

    psychologue 2+ Year Member

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    How do you decide whether or not to turn down an interview invitation? I'm fortunate enough to have a good spread of interviews, and I feel like this latest one is the least good fit. It's also expensive to get to from where I live. STILL it feels so wrong to withdraw, and yet very tempting...
     
  21. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    Would you attend if the program offered you a spot, and you had no other offers? If the answer is yes, schedule an interview if you can manage it.
     
  22. psychologue

    psychologue 2+ Year Member

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    That is exactly what my adviser said to me. You're not my adviser, right?? I decided my answer is no, so I withdrew. Kind of too soon to tell, but I feel okay about my decision. Hopefully this means that someone else who's really interested in the program will be invited to interview!
     
    MamaPhD likes this.
  23. xyz212

    xyz212

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  24. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    Hello, I would like some help deciding what to do. I was accepted into a phd program with funding and a really good advisor (We will call this school number 1). I was surprised by the positive experience on interview day, as the school was actually my wildcard so to speak. My potential advisor was great and his research is in the realm of my interests. As I am sure many of you have experienced, I went into the application cycle with a top choice (we will call this school number 2). School number 2 is a private university in a pretty cool city. But.....When I interviewed at my top choice, it fell short of my expectations. Mainly, the POI was not what I was expecting. Additionally, funding is apparently not nearly as good as I thought and it would certainty be more expensive than school number 1 (we are talking 1200 a credit hour here). Also, the city is more expensive to live in. However, I will say I think I like some aspects of the curriculum better at school number 2. I was wait-listed at school number 2 and am essentially wondering if I should wait out the wait list to see what happens? I mainly would love advice about things to consider/ things people who have gone through this process wish they had known relevant to my situation. Thanks!
     
    Phanicus likes this.
  25. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Assuming both are APA-cared., whichever will result in less debt.
     
  26. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Based on the very limited information, school 1 would be my top choice.
     
  27. MadeHumanitate

    MadeHumanitate

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    I've had the great (mis?)fortune of being accepted to two PhD programs and waitlisted at a 3rd. I need to act quickly because I don't want to sit on the two offers for too long, as per good graduate school parlance.

    About me: I'm currently in a research-oriented MA, studying under a social psych advisor, though I've always been more fond of clinical and developmental psych. In undergrad I was involved in development and clinical research labs, and wrote a developmentally-oriented thesis. I have interest in maintaining my research-track, but have always loved the option of dipping out of the academy if things don't stay so rosy (the flexibility of a clinical psych degree is unparalleled, in my opinion). I spent a summer working in a residential treatment facility and have a year working in a clinical research lab, so I'm certainly into the possibility of being a clinician.

    Here are my options--
    School 1: Accepted at a top 10 social psychology PhD. This program is fantastic. The money is impressive; it's got great name recognition; the department and the lab both have great resources; it's very close to home; and it's in a place I've always wanted to live in. However, I prefer clinical to social psych. Our research fit is decent. There is one substantial red flag--I've heard and seen some questionable things about my potential mentor. The person with whom I would work is very dead set on researching a particular construct--one that I find to be interesting, but researched in ways that I find less-than-savory. I've read online and heard from former lab members/graduate students that they can be fairly inflexible on this, and at times hard to work with. I fancy myself an especially patient person/student/advisee (informant report, not just self-report), so I'm thinking with maybe enough preemptive communication (emails before committing?) and tactful patience I can navigate any potential discrepancies between my burgeoning research paradigm and their pre-existing one. I can always fall back on the fact that I was admitted to the program and not the lab and worse comes to worst, I can switch labs and still be in a great program.
    School 2: Accepted at a top 45 clinical psychology PhD. It's a solid program, decently close to home (6 hours by car). The money is there but it certainly isn't as good as School 1. The reputation is good (PI's lab alumni have all gotten faculty positions). Research fit is pretty solid; the department seems nice; it's in a pretty cool location. Perhaps the only drawback--and I know this seems gauche--is that it's not particularly flashy. It's a flagship state school, with *okay* name recognition and only a modest stipend.
    School 3: Waitlisted, at a top 10 child clinical program...I was told that 2 of the 4 spots have been filled, one more seems likely to be accepted, and a final spot may or may not be accepted. That person won't be letting the school know until 3/28. I really really love this program, but a.) the chances seem slim at this point and b.) it's far, far away from family. I currently live 8 hours by car, but this would be 16 (although obviously quicker and more inconvenient via airplane).

    It seems like each school offers a very convincing pro and an equally convincing con. As you can tell by the timestamp, it's literally keeping me up at night. So, do I go with the lavish, but risky school 1; the safe but not-so-flashy school 2, or do I say goodbye to family and gamble on waiting for school 3? Maybe y'all can help me figure it out...thanks!
     
  28. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Hard to give advice without knowing your career goals. Your career options between choices 1 and 2 are substantially different. Do you have any clinical career aspirations? Or is it academia all the way?
     
  29. polarbearscafe

    polarbearscafe

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    Hello. I have been offered spots at two APA accredited clinical psychology PhD programs and it is a tough decision. Any help and advice is really appreciated!

    School 1

    Pros: success in student publications and career outcomes, higher rank, better clinical training (has in house clinic), POI has more experience supervising students and has experience on journal review boards, I received a prestigious fellowship here, slightly better quality of life (bigger city)

    Cons: POI hasn't had a grant for the last few years, I have to TA the entire time (time consuming), funding only guaranteed for 4 years

    School 2

    Pros: similar funding but guaranteed for entire duration, POI has several (small) grants, more opportunities for interdisciplinary research, I don't have to TA that much (at least not for 1st and 5th years)

    Cons: has no student outcomes because the program is new and my POI is new, POI's previous students didn't have a lot of publications with them

    The two programs are comparable in terms of publication record of POIs, research interest fit, and cost of living.
     
  30. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Doesn't seem like much of a decision for me. School 1 would be my easy choice. Although I don't see why you would need to TA if you received a fellowship. In the vast majority of programs, fellowships pay your stipends, so you don't have to TA or RA.
     
  31. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    I have the same question as WisNeuro - why would you have to TA if you also have a fellowship at School 1?

    Being a TA does take time, mostly concentrated around grading periods, but in the big picture I wouldn't consider it a major negative. On the plus side, it can be good experience, especially if you can lead a lab/discussion section or provide a lot of one-on-one support for small courses.

    I'd go with School 1 regardless. Unless you have no other options or the other school is just a significantly better fit, my advice is to choose an advisor and program with a good track record. Plus they're giving you a fellowship - presumably that's good for something other than a line on your CV?
     
    polarbearscafe likes this.
  32. polarbearscafe

    polarbearscafe

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    Thank you for your helpful advice! I should have clarified that the fellowship is a top-off, so I do have to TA for school 1.
     
  33. MadeHumanitate

    MadeHumanitate

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    The career options between the three schools aren't all that different -- all three are research/science programs; it just so happens that the clinical programs offer APA accredited training--they're clinical science programs, nonetheless. I've been trained for the past 4 years in research and academia -- my future career has been canalizing as a result. For the time being, I would say yes, academia (not at an R1, but probably more of an R2-type university). That being said, I love clinical-oriented research, I think I would enjoy the training, and feel it would enhance my understanding of human behavior. So let's say I'm 80-20 or 75-25 research/clinical as far as career goals...
     
  34. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    The career opportunities available to a Clinical Psychology PhD are very different than one obtaining a Social Psychology PhD. Social Psych programs will not prepare you for clinical work, and I imagine you would have an extremely difficult time obtaining an internship. I have personally never seen an application come across my desk from a Social Psych program in my review of over a hundred applications in recent years. If clinical work and research is in your career plans, then a clinical program should be the way you go.
     
  35. JacktheWolf

    JacktheWolf

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    This my first time seeking emotional support from strangers online, so bear with me here.

    Stats:
    UG: B.S. Psychology, 3.97 overall, 4.0 departmental, honors thesis, total of 1.5yrs undergrad research exp across 2 labs, clinical exp: "bereavement volunteer" at local hospice 1 year
    Post-Bacc (2013 - present): supervised kids in psychiatric residential tx facility, paid RA on multi-dept R01-funded project in school of medicine doing clinical interviewing, psychophysio data collection, and lots of research: 6 posters (3 first author, 3 co author) at national conferences (ADAA, ISTSS, SOBP), co-presenter at 1 symposium for small private college's conference (nothing major, but i thought it would be good CV fodder), 1 in-progress first-author manuscript, another 1 in-progress poster for ISTSS 2016
    Other details: amazing LOR providers (worked with me individually, not just "she was in my class, did x, y z., would be great for your school"), personal statement critiqued and approved by all 3 LOR writers, 2 post-docs who supervise me at my RA job, and 2 current grads students I worked with as undergrad.

    Story thus far:
    First time applying to research-oriented clinical psychology PhD programs. Applied to 11, interviewed at 2.5 (one was a phone pre-interview that did not turn into an official on-site interview), accepted into 1. Specifically, Temple University, my top choice, interviewed, waitlisted, and rejected me. I interviewed and was accepted into Fordham University's clinical psych phd program with full funding.

    Dilemma:
    I am in love with Temple's program. The POI's interests are pretty much a perfect match with mine, her grad students did nothing but rave about her as a mentor, overall grad students seemed really happy, the cameraderie is really great within cohorts, they just built a gorgeous, new community psychological services center 1 block from the psych building for practicum, Philadelphia is a beautiful city (walked around it a bit while I was there to get a feel for it) and surprisingly affordable on a grad stipend according all the students I talked to.
    Fordham's program seemed average to me. The students were a little more stressed out, POI's interests are close but not 100% match, POI also doesn't have a lab, grants, or projects - you basically come to them tell them what you want and you build a project from scratch, they don't have a in-house clinic but NYC also has alot of great externship sites, NYC-living is obviously expensive and difficult on a grad stipend, and I have some concerns, though not overly large, about their Jesuit history.

    I was devastated about Temple, and now I'm considering reapplying next year 1) for another shot at it, and 2) I'm not happy with Fordham and might go somewhere else even if it's not Temple. I just feel like I'd be really really happy at Temple, though, and I'm afraid if I go to Fordham, I'll just be doing it to get a degree and won't really enjoy the experience. It's kind of selfish when alot of people don't even get into a program at all, but I want to get a degree doing what I love and love the place/people I'm doing it at at/with. Essentially, i want to have my cake and eat it too. It's a purely irrational, emotion-based assumption, but I really want to be happy at my program for the next 5-6 years of my life, and I don't get that gut reaction with Fordham. I watched some of the grad students at my undergrad's clinical program deteriorate in health and spirit because they really didn't like the program, but didn't want to risk the uncertainties of re-applying. Another one had the exact same dilemma when she applied: had great stats, tons of research experience, was accepted into 1 school, and didn't love it, so she made the brave decision to re-apply and now loves where she is at. Half of the people I've talked to are basically saying that clinical psych is too cut-throat now to take chances at re-applying so I should accept - I can always post-doc at Temple, or collaborate in some other fashion in the future. The other half totally understands that grad school is a big decision and it's okay to want to be somewhere that you feel would make you happy and if I'm having that strong of a gut reaction about Fordham, it's okay to take some time to figure it out and apply again next year.

    If I reapplied, I'd essentially be reapplying to the same schools, this time with publications under my belt and would probably retake GRE to make at least 160s. So, should I reapply? If so, WAMC that I will get interviewed at Temple again? For that matter, WAMC that I will get more interviews (aka interviews to places that rejected me this round)?
     
  36. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Well, they waitlisted you, so you were under some sort of consideration. So, there is a chance that you could get in next year. Lots of ifs though. What if that POI isn't taking students next year, what if the same thing happens, etc? Also, you could apply next year and get no offers. Definitely a risk either way. Fordham has good stats for internship match rate, so I wouldn't worry about that. I guess the question is, is it worth the risk to not match at all next year and have to take another year off and/or look at other career options?
     
  37. MadeHumanitate

    MadeHumanitate

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    Yeah, I assumed that we were all operating under a basic level of knowledge that Social Psychologists can't become clinicians...that's not the part I'm trying to figure out--obviously I know that if I go to a social program I'm closing the door on a clinical future. My question was of a more holistic/gestalt nature, not just "does it check all the boxes." This is perhaps not the venue to have a philosophical conversation about the various psychology subfields. Far too many prefactuals...not good for the forums, haha.
     
  38. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    It's not as much of a philosophical conversation as it is a pragmatic "what do you want to do in your career" conversation. That should probably take precedence over things like how far it is away from home, or if it is lavish or not.
     
  39. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

    A fully-funded APA program has selected you. That is cause for celebration. There will be good and bad in every program so I would avoid too much second guessing and just dive in. There are mediocre programs out there, and I don't think a funded PhD program with a good match rate is one of them.
    edit to add: I didn't get my top choice either.
     
  40. Cantab109

    Cantab109

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    I didn't get my first choice either. It still gives me pangs when I hear someone talk about that school, but what can you do?
    A piece of advice I would give you is to ask the potential PI to speak to a student or two in the lab, or maybe a student in the lab and just a first year. Maybe that will give you a better idea about the environment and life there. That helped me when I was deciding.
     
  41. JacktheWolf

    JacktheWolf

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    How often does this happen to people who re-apply? I know a sizable minority of people who applied twice because they were interviewed first round without offers, and most get interviews again the second time although I don't know if it's to the same schools. Theoretically, it makes sense that if I got interviewed this time, I should be able to get interviews next time unless I severely f**k up and somehow my apps are worse off. But I know in practice, clinical psych is cut-throat enough that this might happen.
     
  42. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    No idea, I've never seen numbers on this. And, it would make sense that you would get an invite again, although that comes with caveats. If the POI cannot take students and you don't fit with another POI, it may cause them to not interview you. A couple other scenarios could play out as well. Hard to gauge.
     
    JacktheWolf likes this.
  43. TheTailor

    TheTailor

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    Hey, friends!

    I'm currently an undergraduate student in psychology. My plan is to do private practice in a highly religious area, which means I want to specialize in anxiety-related disorders and my research interests include LGBT issues.

    I'm having a bit of a dilemma, though. I like the idea of Psy.D. programs, because I much prefer the practical focus over research focus, but there are only five APA-accredited Psy.D. programs in counseling psychology. But at the same time, I really do want to ensure I am prepared for private practice for outpatient psychotherapy, and I don't know if a Psy.D. in clinical psych will be right for my career goals.

    So here is what it boils down to. Do I apply for Ph.D. in counseling or Psy.D. in clinical? What are the differences?

    Thanks!
     
  44. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent 7+ Year Member

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    Recommending you turn down school 1. Don't want to work with a difficult (personality wise) mentor.

    Social and clinical will be very different experiences. If you're game for clinical, I say wait out offer 3 and see what happens.
     
    nessa34 likes this.
  45. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Mostly, about $100k+ in debt. There are tons of Counseling PhD programs, that are fully funded, that mainly focus on practice, while also giving you a solid grounding in research so that you can properly evaluate treatments. The majority of PhD students, clinical and counseling, go on to primarily clinical careers, so that myth is not a problem if your career goals are clinical in nature (e.g., private practice). I'd focus on more of a match with your clinical and career options, and only looking at fully funded programs if I were in your shoes.
     
  46. bburr

    bburr

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    This isn't helpful but when I was looking at your "top 10 program" and "top 45 program" I just realized that they updated the super meaningful rankings on us news

    interesting
     
  47. psychologue

    psychologue 2+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure I have a decision to make yet. Basically I'm holding an offer from a great program, great fit, etc. (Program 1), but I haven't heard back yet from another great program, great fit etc. (Program 2). I visited Program 1 at the very beginning of the process, and while I really liked it, I didn't have anything to compare it to yet. Also, when I didn't get an offer soon after, I assumed it wasn't likely and turned my attention completely to the next visits. I visited Program 2 at the very end of the process (almost exactly a month later), with all of the knowledge and experience and focus of having several other visits to compare it to, and I came away thinking it was my first choice of the schools I considered still "on the table" (again, without ever comparing to Program 1 because I assumed it was off the table). When I received the offer from Program 1 a week or two later, I was totally shocked, but gradually let myself remember what I liked about it. Now I feel ill-equipped to compare the 2 programs, but it could just be because they both would be great? In any case, I've been trying to figure out if I would actually rather go to Program 1, because if so I might as well withdraw from Program 2 and end this terrible saga of waiting. On the other hand, maybe it's too hard to compare an offer in hand with an imaginary offer, and I have to just wait and see if maybe receiving an offer from Program 2 brings reality and clarity? What would you do?

    P.S. I know this is a good problem to have, it was hard-earned, unexpected, and a strange new kind of stress.
     
  48. MadeHumanitate

    MadeHumanitate

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    I would have to politely disagree with you here--I think career choice is very much the opposite of a pragmatic, black/white decision. Where you live, with whom you work, what kinds of financial sacrifices you have to make are all intertwined within the question of "your career choice." To sprint through this decision process as if it can be isolated from all other life considerations is to devalue their importance. Call it just a case of me wanting to "have my cake and eat it, too" as the cliche goes, but I think it's foolish not to consider life outside the office. There are 168 hours in the week: we spend roughly 56 hours a week sleeping (assuming we sleep enough-ish); assuming I work 68 hours a week on career-related responsibilities, that still leaves 44 hours a week of unfilled time. Those 44 hours are a substantive part of my life and as important as the 68 hours I spend "in the office." Neglecting to envision what those 44 hours a week look like while at a given program is really failing to encapsulate a lot of the variance in program-fit. Then again, I'm also in the minority of people who don't believe in the false dichotomy of work-life balance, so maybe I'm just approaching this whole process based on idiosyncratic philosophical underpinnings. As I think my professional record indicates, I am an ambitious careerist just as much as the next person -- I just can't look at my career ambitions as independent from my personal values and aspirations.

    After taking into account much of what my advisor thinks, as well as my entourage of social support--I'm going to wait it out and if School 3 offers I have to pounce on it (despite the fact that it's across the country). If School 3 doesn't offer, then I will have to soul-search even more because I'm still not sure. I'm tending to lean towards School 2 though.

    Thanks for all the help internet compadres.
     
  49. MadeHumanitate

    MadeHumanitate

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    Haha, yeah -- one school didn't change, one school went up, and another school dropped a bit. I'm not sure I value these rankings outside of their ability to group schools into approximate quartiles; just doesn't seem like a metric that's any more sensitive then that.
     
  50. octodanger

    octodanger

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    Hi all, I hope this is the right thread. My ultimate goal is to become a board certified neuropsychologist--as such, I am starting to look into Clinical Psychology programs. I have a BA in Psychology with a 3.6 GPA. My GRE scores are 155/152/5.5 Verbal/Math/Writing, and I have 5+ years of experience working in a clinical setting (substance abuse centers). I have also worked for two research labs in college as well as a medical device research company currently. I am most interested in researching and ultimately using neuromodulation techniques such as biofeedback in a private practice setting. I think the Clinical Psychology programs I am currently looking at may be a bit out of my league: Yale, Drexel, and Northwestern specifically piqued my interest. From an outsider's perspective, are these programs within reach?

    I also have a very unique opportunity right now to work for a prominent neuropsychologist in NYC and make some good money while gaining both clinical and research experience. However, I can only pursue this opportunity if I am in a graduate program. As such, I have been looking at neuroscience and social work MA/MS programs. Would it be more advisable to pursue an NYC master's program and apply for a PhD later on? Does anyone have advice for a program that would be within reach in NYC? Thank you!
     
  51. Schroedinger's dog

    Schroedinger's dog

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    So, I have quite a bit of clinical experience and some research experience, but I know I need to beef up my research a bit before I apply to any of the programs I'm interested in, especially getting some posters and pubs. I may have an opportunity to switch jobs to a research coordinator/assistant position in a neurology lab at a medical school near me, but I'm uncertain of how much working there would contribute to resume/profile. I'm really interested in pursuing clinical neuropsychology research in grad school, so it seems like this neurology research position would be in a similar wheelhouse, but I'm still uncertain.

    Would neurology research be helpful and applicable enough to neuropsychology to improve my resume or should I shoot for something more specifically psychology-related, if not neuropsychology-related? Would anything more specifically in clinical psychology, but not in neuropsychology, be inherently better than neurology?

    Thanks!
     

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