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Feb 23, 2021
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I'm currently planning on applying to PhD programs in clinical psychology for entry in Fall 2022, however I understand that there is extreme competition for these programs. Therefore I'm going to be applying to MS programs in clinical psychology as well. However, I'm interested specifically in clinical neuropsychology, as I have a great interest in neuroscience in general. Quite honestly, if I could get a PhD in neuroscience and still actually work with people as a clinical psychologist (obviously with all the psychological training necessary) there's a good chance that I might. That all being said, would getting a masters in neuroscience before a PhD in clinical psychology be a bad idea? Should I exclusively apply to PhD and MS in clinical psychology specifically? Or would the MS in neuroscience help for going into clinical neuropsychology? Thanks!


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Jan 7, 2010
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Quick take: I definitely think an MS in neuroscience could help strengthen an application to neuropsychology-focused advisors. The biggest factors will be that you can demonstrate some research productivity (e.g., a thesis at the least, and hopefully a paper or two) and, of less importance, that you make good grades (or maybe a better way of framing it: that you don't make poor grades).

The masters in clinical psychology could also help, particularly if the associated research is neuropsych-oriented.

But if your application is already decent, I'd definitely support your plan to apply for both PhD and masters programs concurrently.