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Low GPA, but want to pursue a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

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psychgirl9007

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I will be graduating at the end of the year from a large, competitive state school with a B.S. in psychology. I started my college career off majoring in biology and taking premed courses. Halfway through my junior year, I switched to psychology and decided to pursue counseling. I am very passionate about this.

However, my GPA is as follows: In-major ~2.7, Cumulative ~2.8. My last semester GPA was a 3.5

This is, in part, because I was taking difficult premed courses, and I ended up with about 5 BC's in my major courses, which included Research Methods, Statistics for biology majors, and two other psychology courses (one depth course) with BC's. The other three psych courses were B, B, and AB.

I really want to practice as a psychotherapist, and believe I have a great foundation for doing so, but not-so stellar grades. What can I do, and what are my options? Are any programs particularly forgiving?
 
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Dahresto

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Apply with good LOR and hope for the best.
Apply to many schools
 

psych_pa

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I really want to practice as a psychotherapist, and believe I have a great foundation for doing so, but not-so stellar grades. What can I do, and what are my options? Are any programs particularly forgiving?

If programs you are applying to require a letter of intent or letter of purpose (it's been a long time, my apologies) it is possible you could address your grade issue here, but minimally as to not tarnish the rest of your application. I would highlight any possible research studies you have helped with, any clubs you were apart of, any job that is relevant to the mental health field. In addition, obtain a stellar score on your GRE. If you are required to take a GRE with the psychology course content, also make sure to study for that as well. Discuss with your advisor on how best to make your application gleam. Go over your letter of intent several different times with several different people looking it over. Give yourself time to do this and do not do things last minute. Research programs you could be interested in before applying, and see what kind of research the professors of the program are interested in. If this is something that also aligns with your interest, highlight this in your application somewhere.

While not impossible to get in with that GPA it does make things more difficult. A very high GRE score can factor heavily into the decision making process. Make sure your LORs are impactful from professors or bosses, and make sure they know you well before asking anyone to write one for you.
 
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psychgirl9007

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If programs you are applying to require a letter of intent or letter of purpose (it's been a long time, my apologies) it is possible you could address your grade issue here, but minimally as to not tarnish the rest of your application. I would highlight any possible research studies you have helped with, any clubs you were apart of, any job that is relevant to the mental health field. In addition, obtain a stellar score on your GRE. If you are required to take a GRE with the psychology course content, also make sure to study for that as well. Discuss with your advisor on how best to make your application gleam. Go over your letter of intent several different times with several different people looking it over. Give yourself time to do this and do not do things last minute. Research programs you could be interested in before applying, and see what kind of research the professors of the program are interested in. If this is something that also aligns with your interest, highlight this in your application somewhere.

While not impossible to get in with that GPA it does make things more difficult. A very high GRE score can factor heavily into the decision making process. Make sure your LORs are impactful from professors or bosses, and make sure they know you well before asking anyone to write one for you.

Thank you so much. As of now, I am planning apply to many MSW and MHC programs, looking into about 15 and will narrow them down over time. I will take all of this into consideration.
 

Lisotka

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Thank you so much. As of now, I am planning apply to many MSW and MHC programs, looking into about 15 and will narrow them down over time. I will take all of this into consideration.

You have a lot of chances if you can prove yourself. Good luck to you!
 
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