How important is the reputation of your Undergraduate School for Clinical PhD?

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poshdoctor

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Hi :)

After a year of soul searching I have decided to persue Psychology rather than Medicine, because I was pressured by my parents to go into something that I lacked a passion for.......

I am currently a Freshman at UC Merced and I want to transfer to another school such as: USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, or Arizona State, in order to have a better chance of getting into a Clinical Psychology program.

Will transferring to a top university make me more competitive??

or should I just stay here in Merced...

btw I asked the same question when I was a pre-med and a I got mixed reviews.

THANKS :)

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Not directly it won't. While I'm sure undergrad institution plays SOME role in admissions, be it conscious or unconscious, it is unlikely to be a major factor.

However, indirectly it can play a critical role. While I'm not familiar with Mercer, I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to guess that research opportunities there are far fewer than at say...UCLA. This is one of (if not the most) critical part of an application.

That said, if you go to UCLA and don't get involved in research there, don't take advantage of those opportunities...than no, the name alone would probably not help very much.
 
Hi :)

I am currently a Freshman at UC Merced and I want to transfer to another school such as: USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, or Arizona State, in order to have a better chance of getting into a Clinical Psychology program.

Will transferring to a top university make me more competitive??

THANKS :)

Well the answers you'll get will be mixed because the truth is mixed...

Will a top university help, that depends:

1. Will you be able to network with the new professors sufficiently to get absolutely stunning recommendations?

2. Will your GPA suffer at the new institution? (Is a 4.0 at Merced worth the same as a 3.5 at ASU?) This is why they require the GRE.

3. Do you have ample or better research opportunities where you are currently or does the big name school have specific research opportunities that you can get that will affect your admission to a clinical program?

4. The strength of your little college's psych dept might be extraordinary while some big schools will leave you lost in the shuffle.

5. What about the difference in cost? Will the big name school be worth it if it is 4 times more expensive than the relatively unknown school?

Some simple truths.

1. Professors may be attracted to students from big name schools, but are smart enough to know that exceptional students go to all sorts of undergraduate programs.

2. Psychology is a small world, the professors reputation writing your letter or recommendation is far more important than the reputation of your school.

3. People do get accepted from relatively unknown schools to prestigious programs.

4. Having a great school for your undergraduate will certainly work in your favor if all other factors are held constant.

I know this doesn't directly answer your question, only you can really make the decision of what is important to you.

Mark
 
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