how to handle "what other schools are you applying to" question

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by joetro, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. joetro

    joetro Senior Member
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    I’m making an application out for a school, and they need to know what other schools I’ve applied to. I am supposed to list them all because they need to know "who their competition is" - according to the administrative assistant.

    A friend who applied to this school got turned down after the interview because they thought she would be going to a slightly more higher-rated place close to home, and I'm hoping not to have this happen to me. Can anyone offer any advice as to how to handle this? Should I list all my schools, or leave some out? Do you think they would communicate my list and/or preferences to other schools?

    Thanks.
     
  2. UMAPsych

    UMAPsych Member
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    I had this on one of my applications as well. I left it blank. I felt really uncomfortable listing what other schools I am applying to for that same reason. Also it was unclear to me whether that was an optional question or not. I'm hoping that I will be contacted to answer it if it is a big deal to the school. I hope that wasn't a bad decision. :(
     
  3. mmonte4

    mmonte4 Senior Member
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    does this question come up during interviews?
     
  4. psych101

    psych101 Member
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    Yes, it will come up during interviews. It's a crappy question. They might even ask you if they are your first choice. You can try to say something like "I'm considering your program very strongly" (otherwise you wouldn't be at the interview, right?). If you mention other programs, you could mention only a few that are in the same "league" (and/or are ranked "lower" in your mind) as the program where you're interviewing. Think about it -- they can learn a lot from your answer. If you say you're applying to 15 or 20 schools, they're going to think their program is just one of many and not very important to you, or that they’re your “safety” school (even if that's not true). If you say you're applying to PsyD and PhD programs, they're going to think you really don't know what you want to do as far as a career. Some may even consider the overall orientation of the programs you're applying to (cognitive behavioral, psychoanalytic, etc.) -- they might think you don't know what you want or haven't done your homework to know enough about the programs' training philosophies. Just be prepared for the question. They KNOW you’re applying to multiple schools. For each interview, be prepared to mention a couple of other similar schools to which you’re applying, and be ready to say why their particular school stands out and why you’re such a great fit for that program. I would definitely advise running through a list of sample interview questions (you can find lots of lists online by doing a general search). Good luck!
     
  5. RainbowTVP

    RainbowTVP Member
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    I was thinking one reason they ask this is to see where your interest truly lies...

    For instance, if I tell school A I want to work with Prof Brown because I am so interested in his Schizophrenia research... then list schools that aren't doing schizophrenia research... it will appear that either I haven't really narrowed down my interests or I haven't done a great job researching programs.

    Tara P
     

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