Looking into a masters in clinical psychology

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Aug 24, 2020
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So I am a premed post-bacc student who plans to apply to medical school in the next cycle, but I have also been realistic as I am not the strongest applicant, so I am also looking into a masters degree if things don't go as planned. I've been debating on applying for a mph, but also considered studying for the GRE over the summer and applying to masters in clinical psychology programs as well. I say this because either degree is something I am fascinated by, but I think I would enjoy clinical psychology much more. I think if after applying a few times to med school, I would at least have something that is a bit useful and I could also enjoy as well. Ultimately, if med school didn't work out the next best thing I could see myself doing would be a phd in clinical psychology, which I think getting a masters would be good as I lack psychology research experience and my undergrad gpa is a bit on the low side.

I live in Texas and have been looking at the programs in my state, but I would appreciate any insight on other programs and if a masters in clinical psych is worth it?

cumulative gpa: 3.3
psychology (major) gpa: 3.85

research experience: research assistant in an ecology lab currently. Also, have interviews at other psychology labs at my school coming up

experience volunteering at my local hospital assisting delirium patients, health fairs for dementia screenings, some experience shadowing a geriatric psychiatrist.

worked as a medical scribe at same hospital's emergency room

some leadership positions in student organizations (not psych or medical related)

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Don't have any insight into Texas programs but would encourage you to think about:
- Whether a program leads to a license or is only academic/research based and would not allow you to work as a master's level therapist is really important because I've seen plenty of people who were dead certain they wanted a PhD but ended up finishing their education at the MA/MS level for all types of reasons. And how portable that license would be should you not remain in Texas.
- What will distinguish you from other quality applicants should you apply? Backup plans are perfectly fine to have but if you do decide to apply to MA/MS programs, addressing fit will likely be very important in whether a program will make you an offer. The good thing is you've got time on your side to help clarify this, especially if you end up working on a psych research lab and continue to figure out your exact interests.

Good luck!
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It looks like the programs I am seeing in Texas at least are for licensure, but also have thesis options that you can do for electives or if approved a mentor. Im probably gonna branch out on some other ones in neighboring states. I've always wanted to be involved in psych research, but had no luck getting in a lab. So thats why I think maybe a masters program would be the best thing for me to do. I appreciate the feedback!