Sep 3, 2011
69
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Psychology Student
Hey all, I have a little bit of an issue and was hoping some people could shed some light on the matter. I know it is very important to have research experience as PhD programs love it, but my question is will they not even bother to consider me if I don't have any research experience? I purposely took off a year after my bachelors to dedicate time at a research lab. Unfortunately, I have sent applications to 7 labs so far and they have all said we're at capacity, we prefer people with previous research experience, or if we need you we will contact you. I am a bit frustrated that my plan isn't panning out. I have a good GPA (3.96) and if I do exceptionally well on the GRE will the lack of research experience hinder me from getting accepted into a funded PhD program? Ideally my first choice program is stony brook but I know I should not put all my hopes into one school. Is there anyone out there that got accepted to a funded research heavy program without previous research experience? My only other option is to contact professors in nearby schools asking if they have a spot for a volunteer looking to gain experience, but I don't know how common it is for students to do that and if professors dislike that. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated.
 
Jan 3, 2013
48
0
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Psychology Student
My only other option is to contact professors in nearby schools asking if they have a spot for a volunteer looking to gain experience, but I don't know how common it is for students to do that and if professors dislike that. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated.
I think that a good rule of thumb when applying to PhD programs is having research experience is better than not. I have heard stories from people who have research experience not getting interviews at PhD programs, and I also have seen people with limited research get an interview. I think it depends on the strength of applications that a program receives in a given year, but expect that it will get more and more competitive as the years go on because people who do not get into a program this round may stick with their research labs an additional year and apply again next year.

As for myself, I was unable to gain paid work in a research lab because often on websites RA jobs are posted but they may already have a person in mind. Also, I did not apply to RA jobs with experience under my belt, so it made me less attractive as an applicant. I did contact a professor at the university closest to my home and have been working as a volunteer, and it's been REALLY rewarding and fun. I think volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door, and a stipend or paid job in that lab may follow! Good luck!
 

psycscientist

7+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2011
798
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Hey all, I have a little bit of an issue and was hoping some people could shed some light on the matter. I know it is very important to have research experience as PhD programs love it, but my question is will they not even bother to consider me if I don't have any research experience? I purposely took off a year after my bachelors to dedicate time at a research lab. Unfortunately, I have sent applications to 7 labs so far and they have all said we're at capacity, we prefer people with previous research experience, or if we need you we will contact you. I am a bit frustrated that my plan isn't panning out. I have a good GPA (3.96) and if I do exceptionally well on the GRE will the lack of research experience hinder me from getting accepted into a funded PhD program? Ideally my first choice program is stony brook but I know I should not put all my hopes into one school. Is there anyone out there that got accepted to a funded research heavy program without previous research experience? My only other option is to contact professors in nearby schools asking if they have a spot for a volunteer looking to gain experience, but I don't know how common it is for students to do that and if professors dislike that. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated.
It would be very unlikely for a program (especially a funded one) to consider you without any research experience, as you will not have demonstrated an aptitude for graduate study via experience with research (and also, how do you even know you want a Ph.D. if you have had no exposure to research?). This is a very competitive process and most applicants that are offered interviews will have at least 2 years of research experience under their belts. At clinical science programs (which Stony Brook is), you would need multiple years of high-quality research experience with exposure to the specific area you would like to work in in addition to having presentations and publications to be a competitive applicant.

If you want to get into a clinical science program, I would suggest trying to secure a full-time paid RA gig (preferably in the area you are interested in) for the next couple of years. One year of part-time volunteer research experience is not going to be enough for research-heavy programs. Alternately, you could look into applying to Master's programs in experimental or clinical psychology (specifically ones that require empirical theses and will give you good opportunities for research and publication).
 

Ollie123

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2007
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My opinion is that Stony Brook is very unlikely to even consider you without any research experience. Programs like that might not consider you if you "Only had a year" of research experience, depending on what it consisted of and how relevant it was.

Its certainly very rare for students to get into funded research programs without any research experience, but I'm sure its happened at some point. It may help if you've done an empirical honor's thesis even if you didn't work in a lab. Either way though, expect an uphill battle and that it is entirely likely things will not pan out this round.

From your post, I can't tell if you were looking for paid employment. You generally won't even be competitive for paid research coordinator gigs with no research experience so if that is the case I'm not surprised this hasn't panned out so far. Volunteering is a good route to go and will help get you started towards being more competitive for either paid positions or grad school. These can generally be smaller commitments (i.e. 8 hours a week) so its still feasible to work full time.

If you haven't considered it yet - remember to look outside psychology departments. Many medical centers or research institutes will also have opportunities that could be equal to or better than your average psych department and many may not think to look there. Depending on what you want to do, other university departments may also have relevant opportunities. If you are still in touch with faculty from your undergrad, talk to them too as they may be able to put you in touch with people.
 
Apr 16, 2012
174
0
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Psychology Student
Are you at all able to contact some of the professors at your undergraduate university and ask if you could volunteer in their labs? I know that's not ideal (and you would probably need to get a paid side-job), but I know a few students who ended up doing that after searching for paid RA jobs and not being able to find anything.

I think it's pretty uncommon to get accepted into a funded program without research experience, but obviously no one can say for sure what can or can't happen--maybe networking helps in some situations. Nothing is impossible, but I think it's going to be very hard given how competitive it is to get accepted into a fully funded program. Non-funded PhD programs might be different, but I think even those are still relatively competitive (I'm not talking about professional schools, more so private schools that don't have a lot of funding--e.g., St. Louis University, Marquette University, etc).
 
OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
Thank you all for your posts. I apologize for my ambiguity. I have applied as a strict volunteer (20 hours a week) with no compensation other than the experience I would gain. I wouldn't be able to afford leaving my job for a full-time RA position as I have a single mother and pay a decent amount of bills around the house. The plan was to rent the basement when and if I gained admission into a PhD program, but I am not willing to give up my 47k salary for a full-time RA program with no guarantees of getting into a funded doctoral program. I didn't think to contact past professors and labs outside of psychology so I will give that a try. Personally, I refuse to go into a program that does not provide some type of funding. With the way the field is presented I don't believe it would be cost effective to gather 200k in debt especially with the current expected and future salaries. Maybe this path was simply not for me. My other two back up plans were to become a NP or getting a LE gig with the county. I do have to admit I'm a bit depressed with the situation but I can only do what is within my means. I thought with a great GRE score, GPA and a year of research I'd be a decent candidate for schools like stony brook but it is what it is. Again thank you all for your input.
 

PsychPhDStudent

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Sep 5, 2009
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The idea is that these programs are going to require you to do a lot of research -- they want to produce future psychological scientists. How can you know you'd be happy doing hours of research a week if you've never done it? You should want to be just as sure as the program would want to be.
 
OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
The idea is that these programs are going to require you to do a lot of research -- they want to produce future psychological scientists. How can you know you'd be happy doing hours of research a week if you've never done it? You should want to be just as sure as the program would want to be.
I completely agree with you. I understand that the school also invests a great deal of resources into their students. Seeking research experience was my plan not only for my admission into a program and personal edification but also to experience first hand what I would deal with for the following 5-7 years of my academic career. The problem is I am not getting any younger the path is long and if I can't get my foot through a door that would allow me to gain this experience it leaves me at a frustrating standstill. I hope I am not coming off as someone who is lazy and not willing to pay my dues to get into a reputable program. I know undergrad work is cake compared to graduate level work but I have worked hard to work full-time and go to school full-time. A portion of my post was also to vent...
 
Nov 21, 2012
934
3
Status
Psychologist
Thank you all for your posts. I apologize for my ambiguity. I have applied as a strict volunteer (20 hours a week) with no compensation other than the experience I would gain. I wouldn't be able to afford leaving my job for a full-time RA position as I have a single mother and pay a decent amount of bills around the house. The plan was to rent the basement when and if I gained admission into a PhD program, but I am not willing to give up my 47k salary for a full-time RA program with no guarantees of getting into a funded doctoral program. I didn't think to contact past professors and labs outside of psychology so I will give that a try. Personally, I refuse to go into a program that does not provide some type of funding. With the way the field is presented I don't believe it would be cost effective to gather 200k in debt especially with the current expected and future salaries. Maybe this path was simply not for me. My other two back up plans were to become a NP or getting a LE gig with the county. I do have to admit I'm a bit depressed with the situation but I can only do what is within my means. I thought with a great GRE score, GPA and a year of research I'd be a decent candidate for schools like stony brook but it is what it is. Again thank you all for your input.
Your dilemma is not uncommon. There are many people on this forum who spent years trying to get into a funded, PhD program, and others that had to apply more than once. Most people in my cohort had 2-3 years of full-time RA jobs prior to graduate school. As a single mother, its obvious that you have to prioritize providing for your family so I agree that you should avoid debt and probably can't survive on most RA salaries. Starting PhD licensed salaries in our field are around your current salary level (50-60K) while post-doc salaries are at 25-45ish so its a great idea to avoid debt. You would have to reduce your spending and quality of life even if you got into a funded program since the stipends are significantly lower than your current earnings (which is not bad for a recent college grad). I wouldn't recommend this field unless you cannot imagine doing anything else (maybe if you want a research/academic career). I would imagine with your scores you would be very competitive for NP programs and on the plus side you would be done after 3 years (NP salaries are generally higher than psychologists salaries as well from what i've seen).

I thought you meant single mother or do you mean that you take care of your mother?
 
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OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
Your dilemma is not uncommon. There are many people on this forum who spent years trying to get into a funded, PhD program, and others that had to apply more than once. Most people in my cohort had 2-3 years of full-time RA jobs prior to graduate school. As a single mother, its obvious that you have to prioritize providing for your family so I agree that you should avoid debt and probably can't survive on most RA salaries. Starting PhD licensed salaries in our field are around your current salary level (50-60K) while post-doc salaries are at 25-45ish so its a great idea to avoid debt. You would have to reduce your spending and quality of life even if you got into a funded program since the stipends are significantly lower than your current earnings (which is not bad for a recent college grad). I wouldn't recommend this field unless you cannot imagine doing anything else (maybe if you want a research/academic career). I would imagine with your scores you would be very competitive for NP programs and on the plus side you would be done after 3 years (NP salaries are generally higher than psychologists salaries as well from what i've seen).
I would like to clarify that my mother is single and I help out a lot with the bills. I didn't mean that I was a single mother as I am male :cool: sorry for the confusion. But without my support I don't believe my mother would be able to afford the house but that is a different subject. I honestly did not think 2-3 years of full-time research experience was a must. I guess it shows my ignorance. I will still try to gain some type of experience and do my best on the GRE and apply. Worst case scenario, I will simply fold my current hand and make another play to a different career. Thank you for your post.
 
Nov 21, 2012
934
3
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Psychologist
I would like to clarify that my mother is single and I help out a lot with the bills. I didn't mean that I was a single mother as I am male :cool: sorry for the confusion. But without my support I don't believe my mother would be able to afford the house but that is a different subject. I honestly did not think 2-3 years of full-time research experience was a must. I guess it shows my ignorance. I will still try to gain some type of experience and do my best on the GRE and apply. Worst case scenario, I will simply fold my current hand and make another play to a different career. Thank you for your post.
I don't think you necessarily need 2-3 years full-time. Its more about the quality of the experience and your ability to be productive/publish. Debt is a big problem in our field. Personally, I would take a BA degree over a PhD/PsyD degree with 200K in debt.
 

ResearchGirlie

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2006
297
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My opinion is that Stony Brook is very unlikely to even consider you without any research experience. Programs like that might not consider you if you "Only had a year" of research experience, depending on what it consisted of and how relevant it was.

I
Agreed.

I'm at a clinical science program and I just can't imagine a person getting in without research experience.
 
OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
although you are male, which I hear makes things easier :p
LOL, that reminds me of the thread that talked about the (unfair?) advantages due to ascribed statuses. I am also Hispanic I may not need any research at all! /s

But in all seriousness I do need to get my foot in the door of some research labs. Like a few posters mentioned how can I be 100% sure a PhD is for me if I have never done research. I could very well get into a lab and hate every second of it. I just shot a few more emails I hope someone decides to give me an opportunity. I guess I'll just sit back with my fingers crossed.
 

bpsydme

5+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2012
98
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Psychology Student
Some words of advice:

When you get "research experience", make sure it is something worthwhile. You may have to start out doing grunt work for some time, but be involved and get more responsibilities. I have a colleague who has been at my lab for over a year and doesn't have a lot to show for it. On the other hand, there are undergrads who has been at the lab for several months and have a lot of great experiences.

Also, when you are looking for experience, try your best to find a lab in which you may want to go to grad school for. It will make it much easier for you to write your SOP and to articulate what you want to do.

Lastly, don't be overbearing at the lab and don't make it so clear that you're there ONLY for the experience. You are there to learn and to get your foot into the field. We have some people who blatantly outright say they're here for XYZ and will leave at ABC time and that's always a huge turn off for me because it comes off as selfish and self-serving. Also, don't tell them that you're applying in a year, because one of the biggest factors we consider is how long someone can stay. They may not see you as being serious, or they may give you only grunt work since they know you're leaving soon. I had an applicant who is applying THIS cycle and is looking for research experience, promising to stay a year even if they got in. We're not stupid people, we know when you're trying to say whatever it is to get in and then leave when you have what you want.

Don't get too stuck doing ONE thing at the lab. For example, if you get into an imaging lab, don't only know how to run the scanner or collect data. At my current lab, I'm considered a second "guru" of this one technique, but i find that when I applied, I barely mentioned that technique. Instead, what I did mentioned (and what I will mention in the interviews) are general knowledge that shows I know what research is about and I know what I'm getting into. I'm seeing students make this mistake, so make sure whatever you learn is transferrable either to other labs or something you REALLY want to do.

Okay, just 1 more thought: be nice and courteous to everyone during your process of applying to a lab. Whether that is someone who picks up the phone, or an RA or grad student. Don't write flowery emails to the PI and then forget to capitalize your I's when you are writing to the assistant. You never know what kind of influence each person may have on your chances of getting in.

Sorry for the long post. I was in your shoes several years ago and was completely lost and didn't know what to do. Now, I have several interviews, all to top schools, all thanks to my research experience. Let me know if you have any questions. I don't know where you are located, but my lab is always looking for good students. If you happen to be in my area, I can give you a heads up, just PM me (although highly unlikely since you can be anywhere in the US!)
 
Apr 16, 2012
174
0
Status
Psychology Student
Some words of advice:

When you get "research experience", make sure it is something worthwhile. You may have to start out doing grunt work for some time, but be involved and get more responsibilities. I have a colleague who has been at my lab for over a year and doesn't have a lot to show for it. On the other hand, there are undergrads who has been at the lab for several months and have a lot of great experiences.

Also, when you are looking for experience, try your best to find a lab in which you may want to go to grad school for. It will make it much easier for you to write your SOP and to articulate what you want to do.

Lastly, don't be overbearing at the lab and don't make it so clear that you're there ONLY for the experience. You are there to learn and to get your foot into the field. We have some people who blatantly outright say they're here for XYZ and will leave at ABC time and that's always a huge turn off for me because it comes off as selfish and self-serving. Also, don't tell them that you're applying in a year, because one of the biggest factors we consider is how long someone can stay. They may not see you as being serious, or they may give you only grunt work since they know you're leaving soon. I had an applicant who is applying THIS cycle and is looking for research experience, promising to stay a year even if they got in. We're not stupid people, we know when you're trying to say whatever it is to get in and then leave when you have what you want.

Don't get too stuck doing ONE thing at the lab. For example, if you get into an imaging lab, don't only know how to run the scanner or collect data. At my current lab, I'm considered a second "guru" of this one technique, but i find that when I applied, I barely mentioned that technique. Instead, what I did mentioned (and what I will mention in the interviews) are general knowledge that shows I know what research is about and I know what I'm getting into. I'm seeing students make this mistake, so make sure whatever you learn is transferrable either to other labs or something you REALLY want to do.

Okay, just 1 more thought: be nice and courteous to everyone during your process of applying to a lab. Whether that is someone who picks up the phone, or an RA or grad student. Don't write flowery emails to the PI and then forget to capitalize your I's when you are writing to the assistant. You never know what kind of influence each person may have on your chances of getting in.

Sorry for the long post. I was in your shoes several years ago and was completely lost and didn't know what to do. Now, I have several interviews, all to top schools, all thanks to my research experience. Let me know if you have any questions. I don't know where you are located, but my lab is always looking for good students. If you happen to be in my area, I can give you a heads up, just PM me (although highly unlikely since you can be anywhere in the US!)
Do you mean that the OP should fine THE lab where they would want to go for grad school? Because I actually think that's not a good idea--it might prevent you from becoming a graduate student in that lab (I know some professors who don't want to take on their old RA's). I also know some professors who prefer taking on their old RA's, but it's just something to think about. I think that finding a lab that does research in the field you will want to go into, though, is a great idea and will help you write your SoP (sorry if that's what you were saying in the first place, bpsydme. Just want to clarify).

Also, I don't know that I would flat out not tell them that you only plan on being there for a year. A lot of places have a 2-year minimum time commitment, and if you basically lie to them by saying you will be able to keep that time commitment, they might be upset when they find out out of the blue that you are leaving after a year. You're also likely going to need a LoR from the professor in that lab, so they will find out that you're applying to grad schools either way.
 

bpsydme

5+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2012
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Do you mean that the OP should fine THE lab where they would want to go for grad school? Because I actually think that's not a good idea--it might prevent you from becoming a graduate student in that lab (I know some professors who don't want to take on their old RA's). I also know some professors who prefer taking on their old RA's, but it's just something to think about. I think that finding a lab that does research in the field you will want to go into, though, is a great idea and will help you write your SoP (sorry if that's what you were saying in the first place, bpsydme. Just want to clarify).

Also, I don't know that I would flat out not tell them that you only plan on being there for a year. A lot of places have a 2-year minimum time commitment, and if you basically lie to them by saying you will be able to keep that time commitment, they might be upset when they find out out of the blue that you are leaving after a year. You're also likely going to need a LoR from the professor in that lab, so they will find out that you're applying to grad schools either way.
No no that's not what I meant. I mean finding a FIELD that they may want to research, esp if he's volunteering at has that flexibility. I meant to say exactly what you said.

What I meant by the second thing you said is that don't tell them that you are only going to be there for 1 year and that's it. I originally told my lab that I would be there for a year or two, and ended up staying there for much longer. However, I kept my PI up to date each time my plans changed. I'm not suggesting LYING, I'm suggesting flexibility (if that is indeed something he can do).

Also, I'm assuming he won't get a paid position. From my understanding, they are extremely difficult to get and as someone mentioned, often already has a candidate before the hiring process even begins. If he is going to volunteer, he has no commitment or requirement. Unless the PI tells him he needs to volunteer for at least 2 years, he has the right to leave whenever he wants. However, if someone asks you to volunteer your free time for that long...you may want to reconsider working there.

Overall, I think the OP should be flexible. Remember, YOU are the one that needs the experience. Some people think that just because they are volunteering, they get to demand certain things and get things handed to them on a platter. Nope. Even if you are volunteering, we can still reject you as an applicant.

Edit: of course, these are just my opinion. The OP can take whatever he wants and ignore the rest (or all of them). This is coming from someone with years of experience recruiting, training, and managing undergrads, and new personnel, including grad students. I've interviewed over dozens of people and have read too many applications to care for. These are some of the biggest mistakes that some people make and end up not getting into the lab (yes, as volunteers).
 

psypsypsy

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Jan 29, 2006
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A couple of things to add to everyone else's good advice. First, this is not really the opportune time of year to find good RA positions (volunteer or paid). At universities, they tend to look for RAs to begin at the start of the semester, or starting in the summer. So, you're sort of in between that right now...I'd put forth a lot of effort to reaching out again in maybe April or May, and getting started in the summer. A lot of undergrads leave in the summer, but labs still need help. Also, I'd not be as specific as looking for a "20 hour/week" volunteer job. When I was in grad school, we were happy to take either undergrads or people who recently graduated who wanted to volunteer, but we asked for about 6-8 hours per week of commitment. Occasionally we had a person who was already a volunteer take on more work, but for an unknown, they'd start with more of the "standard issue" RA job. If someone in their email asked for 20 hours, I'd probably honestly just say no, assuming they weren't interested in 6 hours. But, you could work at 2 different labs instead, and that could work for for you better. Labs in hospitals, in departments of psychiatry, etc, may be more flexible in when you can start and how much you can work, but again, the summer was the BIG turnaround period there.

Also, with regards to the year experience...you have to remember, that if you're applying next year, by the time you get started, you won't have a year's worth of experience by application time. I'd highly recommend thinking about postponing a year, so that you could have closer to 2 years of research experience under your belt. I do think under a year doesn't look great, especially if you're thinking about clinical science programs. And as other says, for a place like Stony Brook, fit with whoever you want to work with there is a key! That's a place where the mentor picks who they want to interview directly (no admissions committee, at least not when I applied), so who fits there and who you want to work with is key.
 

bpsydme

5+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2012
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A couple of things to add to everyone else's good advice. First, this is not really the opportune time of year to find good RA positions (volunteer or paid). At universities, they tend to look for RAs to begin at the start of the semester, or starting in the summer. So, you're sort of in between that right now...I'd put forth a lot of effort to reaching out again in maybe April or May, and getting started in the summer. A lot of undergrads leave in the summer, but labs still need help. Also, I'd not be as specific as looking for a "20 hour/week" volunteer job. When I was in grad school, we were happy to take either undergrads or people who recently graduated who wanted to volunteer, but we asked for about 6-8 hours per week of commitment. Occasionally we had a person who was already a volunteer take on more work, but for an unknown, they'd start with more of the "standard issue" RA job. If someone in their email asked for 20 hours, I'd probably honestly just say no, assuming they weren't interested in 6 hours. But, you could work at 2 different labs instead, and that could work for for you better. Labs in hospitals, in departments of psychiatry, etc, may be more flexible in when you can start and how much you can work, but again, the summer was the BIG turnaround period there.

Also, with regards to the year experience...you have to remember, that if you're applying next year, by the time you get started, you won't have a year's worth of experience by application time. I'd highly recommend thinking about postponing a year, so that you could have closer to 2 years of research experience under your belt. I do think under a year doesn't look great, especially if you're thinking about clinical science programs. And as other says, for a place like Stony Brook, fit with whoever you want to work with there is a key! That's a place where the mentor picks who they want to interview directly (no admissions committee, at least not when I applied), so who fits there and who you want to work with is key.
I agree with this psy on the second point. Also, even if you apply next year, you won't matriculate until the following August. So if you start soon, you'll be able to stay for almost 2 years. Of course, as mentioned, you'll only have a year by the time you apply though.

Regarding the first point, however, I think this is actually a great time to apply. The spring semester is nearing a close, so summer applications are starting to come in. You can apply now, if they don't need you right away, then say you can start in the summer. For most places, applications are assessed on a "rolling basis". The earlier you apply, the more chances you'll have. Most people wait until a month before the summer, when they fail to realize that we get tons of applications, so the chances of getting in is much slimmer.

Also, not sure about other labs, but in my lab, we are in NEED of people right now. RA's are leaving for grad school, grad students are graduating, so all that work that they do has to be transferred to someone. I would suggest you just start to look. Worse that could happen is they tell you to contact them at a later time.
 

psypsypsy

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Regarding the first point, however, I think this is actually a great time to apply. The spring semester is nearing a close, so summer applications are starting to come in. You can apply now, if they don't need you right away, then say you can start in the summer. For most places, applications are assessed on a "rolling basis". The earlier you apply, the more chances you'll have. Most people wait until a month before the summer, when they fail to realize that we get tons of applications, so the chances of getting in is much slimmer.

Well, I should clarify. I think it certainly doesn't hurt to apply now, but just to not get too discouraged if it doesn't happen now, as I think about 2 months from now is more high-time for RAs. I wish I could call early February the end of the spring semester....but at least where I am, we're not even a month in! The new RAs have just started to get settled and trained.
 
Dec 5, 2012
4
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Status
Pre-Psychology
To the OP, I am in the same boat but my job pays far too much and I have too many bills to quit and look for RA positions at this point. I am relatively sure I can't get into a fully funded program so I am only applying to a few and focusing more on decent programs with at least partial funding. I have consulted a few faculty members at programs and been told that my work/educational experiences may do some work to make up for my lack of research. So at the moment I'm looking to volunteer. Do I have a chance at a decent program? Not sure, but there's only one way to find out...pm me if you want to commiserate.

Also do men really have that much of an advantage in admissions? I know females far outnumber males at most schools, but I can't see gender making a huge difference...but what do I know...
 

psycscientist

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Feb 1, 2011
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Also do men really have that much of an advantage in admissions? I know females far outnumber males at most schools, but I can't see gender making a huge difference...but what do I know...
At good programs, it's considered more of a bonus than an advantage. I don't know of anyone who would select a male applicant over a more qualified (or better fit) female applicant.
 
Nov 21, 2012
934
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Status
Psychologist
To the OP, I am in the same boat but my job pays far too much and I have too many bills to quit and look for RA positions at this point. I am relatively sure I can't get into a fully funded program so I am only applying to a few and focusing more on decent programs with at least partial funding. I have consulted a few faculty members at programs and been told that my work/educational experiences may do some work to make up for my lack of research. So at the moment I'm looking to volunteer. Do I have a chance at a decent program? Not sure, but there's only one way to find out...pm me if you want to commiserate.

Also do men really have that much of an advantage in admissions? I know females far outnumber males at most schools, but I can't see gender making a huge difference...but what do I know...
I don't know what you mean by "decent programs." I'm asking because people get weeded out in this field at the end of training (internship/post-doc) so getting into an easier program usually makes it more difficult to land an internship/post-doc later on. I also wouldn't take out more than 50-60K in loans total in this field in light of earning potential and starting salaries (preferably none at all).
 
Dec 5, 2012
4
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
I don't know what you mean by "decent programs." I'm asking because people get weeded out in this field at the end of training (internship/post-doc) so getting into an easier program usually makes it more difficult to land an internship/post-doc later on. I also wouldn't take out more than 50-60K in loans total in this field in light of earning potential and starting salaries (preferably none at all).
When I say "decent" I guess I mean decent for me, and for me that means - a school in the geographic location that I need, with faculty doing research in my area, with a high match rate (preferably >80%), which offers at least some funding either in tuition remission or assistantships. I can afford to go to a school without full funding and not be in a huge hole at the end because I have been working for several years and saving money...the least I could spend would be preferable, however, I am realistic about the strength of my application, and I know that I have a very narrow focus in terms of research, so I am limited by many factors.
 
OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
I don't know where you are located, but my lab is always looking for good students. If you happen to be in my area, I can give you a heads up, just PM me (although highly unlikely since you can be anywhere in the US!)
Well first off i want to thank you for your detailed advice. I am located in Long island NY so i am currently only available in nassau and suffolk county. I also greatly appreciate the offer and even though it is unlikely we are near by it was a very kind.

Also, all the application i have had to fill out straight out ask me how long i will commit and what specific hours i am available. They even asked what my goals were for my future academic career and a predicted time-line (so i am forced to expose this information). I basically put a year and maybe more for the commitment and the hours that i am not at work. I just got back three more "sorry but we are not in need of any research assistants at this time" from directly emailing professors are local colleges, universities, and brookhaven national lab.

If I don't get into any research position I basically just wasted a year. Today I decided to ask a NP that comes to my job frequently, who i am comfortable with, what her salary was and her satisfaction within that field. She told me she makes 130k and is very content doing what she is doing (I believe acute care NP but I am not sure). I am strongly suggesting just going that route but am hesitant because I don't believe NPs get trained in psychotherapy (I may be wrong). I certainly would not feel like an ethical practitioner if i ended up being a pill pusher in mental health as i strongly believe in psychotherapy. I have considered this option in the past but decided i would be happier as a psychologist (as that is what I really want to do). I guess I will just take the GRE apply and then take it from there.

Thank you all for your advice and opinions as you are basically way more experienced and have helped me with my ignorance.
 
Nov 21, 2012
934
3
Status
Psychologist
If I don't get into any research position I basically just wasted a year. Today I decided to ask a NP that comes to my job frequently, who i am comfortable with, what her salary was and her satisfaction within that field. She told me she makes 130k and is very content doing what she is doing (I believe acute care NP but I am not sure). I am strongly suggesting just going that route but am hesitant because I don't believe NPs get trained in psychotherapy (I may be wrong). I certainly would not feel like an ethical practitioner if i ended up being a pill pusher in mental health as i strongly believe in psychotherapy. I have considered this option in the past but decided i would be happier as a psychologist (as that is what I really want to do). I guess I will just take the GRE apply and then take it from there.

Thank you all for your advice and opinions as you are basically way more experienced and have helped me with my ignorance.
If you don't get into a funded clinical program, I know that if you go the NP route you can always get psychotherapy training via workshops, extra supervision, and via postgraduate psychotherapy training programs while you are working as an NP. There are plenty of postgraduate therapy training institutes that don't require you to quit your job.
 

bpsydme

5+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2012
98
28
Status
Psychology Student
Well first off i want to thank you for your detailed advice. I am located in Long island NY so i am currently only available in nassau and suffolk county. I also greatly appreciate the offer and even though it is unlikely we are near by it was a very kind.

Also, all the application i have had to fill out straight out ask me how long i will commit and what specific hours i am available. They even asked what my goals were for my future academic career and a predicted time-line (so i am forced to expose this information). I basically put a year and maybe more for the commitment and the hours that i am not at work. I just got back three more "sorry but we are not in need of any research assistants at this time" from directly emailing professors are local colleges, universities, and brookhaven national lab.

If I don't get into any research position I basically just wasted a year. Today I decided to ask a NP that comes to my job frequently, who i am comfortable with, what her salary was and her satisfaction within that field. She told me she makes 130k and is very content doing what she is doing (I believe acute care NP but I am not sure). I am strongly suggesting just going that route but am hesitant because I don't believe NPs get trained in psychotherapy (I may be wrong). I certainly would not feel like an ethical practitioner if i ended up being a pill pusher in mental health as i strongly believe in psychotherapy. I have considered this option in the past but decided i would be happier as a psychologist (as that is what I really want to do). I guess I will just take the GRE apply and then take it from there.

Thank you all for your advice and opinions as you are basically way more experienced and have helped me with my ignorance.
A couple of comments:

1) Again, if you CAN be flexible, then write that in your applications. Say you plan on applying next cycle, but still trying to work things out.
2) If you are looking for volunteer positions, make sure it is clear that you are willing to volunteer. When people with degrees ask to be an RA, most people will assume it is for a paid position. Most PIs don't have the time to write back and forth. My PI forwards all requests to me, and I do the asking. But the PI would usually not do that (unless something in your initial email really stands out). So just asking if they are looking for RAs may drive them to think you're looking to get paid.
3) How are your initial emails? Is it generic, does it contain typos? Did you address them correctly? All minuscule things that will dramatically affect your application. Your initial email should be concise, but all geared towards THEIR work. Don't be like "I'm looking for a position, please email me back to let me know if you have one".
4) Do you have the pre-requisites to go into nursing? If you don't, you'd have to take them.

Lastly, take these applications seriously. I've read some pretty atrocious applications from people who have degrees, and some pretty stellar ones from college freshman. Don't just write whatever and send it back. Try to be thoughtful.
 

psychpsychpsych

5+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2012
23
21
Status
Well first off i want to thank you for your detailed advice. I am located in Long island NY so i am currently only available in nassau and suffolk county. I also greatly appreciate the offer and even though it is unlikely we are near by it was a very kind.

Also, all the application i have had to fill out straight out ask me how long i will commit and what specific hours i am available. They even asked what my goals were for my future academic career and a predicted time-line (so i am forced to expose this information). I basically put a year and maybe more for the commitment and the hours that i am not at work. I just got back three more "sorry but we are not in need of any research assistants at this time" from directly emailing professors are local colleges, universities, and brookhaven national lab.

If I don't get into any research position I basically just wasted a year. Today I decided to ask a NP that comes to my job frequently, who i am comfortable with, what her salary was and her satisfaction within that field. She told me she makes 130k and is very content doing what she is doing (I believe acute care NP but I am not sure). I am strongly suggesting just going that route but am hesitant because I don't believe NPs get trained in psychotherapy (I may be wrong). I certainly would not feel like an ethical practitioner if i ended up being a pill pusher in mental health as i strongly believe in psychotherapy. I have considered this option in the past but decided i would be happier as a psychologist (as that is what I really want to do). I guess I will just take the GRE apply and then take it from there.

Thank you all for your advice and opinions as you are basically way more experienced and have helped me with my ignorance.
If you just want to counsel and such, have you considered going for a masters (either in clinical or an MSW)? Obviously you don't get funding, but it's only 2 years of your life as opposed to 5-6+, and it's not geared towards research (which is what the Ph.D. really is).
 

Doctor Eliza

7+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2010
898
144
Status
Psychologist
If you don't get into a funded clinical program, I know that if you go the NP route you can always get psychotherapy training via workshops, extra supervision, and via postgraduate psychotherapy training programs while you are working as an NP. There are plenty of postgraduate therapy training institutes that don't require you to quit your job.
I think this is a good point. People tend to over-estimate the amount of their psychotherapy training that occurs within their graduate program. Even if you attend a PhD program, so much of your formation as a therapist occurs outside of your formal education.

I have one friend who went to a very poor program that actually ended up losing its accreditation. However, I consult with him frequently and consider him a good therapist because he made up for that weak training by attending intensive seminars, workshops, getting extra supervision, researching, and reading on his own.

An NP is a powerful degree. You will have lots of opportunities if you earn that. I think it is worth considering.

Best,
Dr. E
 
OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
A couple of comments:

1) Again, if you CAN be flexible, then write that in your applications. Say you plan on applying next cycle, but still trying to work things out.
2) If you are looking for volunteer positions, make sure it is clear that you are willing to volunteer. When people with degrees ask to be an RA, most people will assume it is for a paid position. Most PIs don't have the time to write back and forth. My PI forwards all requests to me, and I do the asking. But the PI would usually not do that (unless something in your initial email really stands out). So just asking if they are looking for RAs may drive them to think you're looking to get paid.
3) How are your initial emails? Is it generic, does it contain typos? Did you address them correctly? All minuscule things that will dramatically affect your application. Your initial email should be concise, but all geared towards THEIR work. Don't be like "I'm looking for a position, please email me back to let me know if you have one".
4) Do you have the pre-requisites to go into nursing? If you don't, you'd have to take them.

Lastly, take these applications seriously. I've read some pretty atrocious applications from people who have degrees, and some pretty stellar ones from college freshman. Don't just write whatever and send it back. Try to be thoughtful.
All of my initial emails were very similar (save for the area the lab is researching) For example, this is what I sent to a lab that investigates the effects between interpersonal relationships and psychopathology.

Dr. so and so
I am a psychology major who recently graduated from SUNY college at old Westbury with my bachelors degree. I am seeking to gain research experience in the field of psychology. I am very interested in volunteering my time at your lab. I am interested in learning more on how relationships can effect an individual's psychological well being. I am hard working, dedicated, and eager to set up a meeting/interview. If you need any additional information or have an application for me to fill out please feel free to contact me. I appreciate your time and consideration.
Respectfully,
My name

I made it clear I was volunteering my time and felt I was not being too pushy. Please feel free to be as critical as you would like on my email. Maybe you can point out some red flags that could have caused these labs to avoid me like the plague :( Like i said they were all very similar but i tailored each one slightly to show I at least knew what they were researching and that I was interested in their topic. I purposely only picked labs with topics that I found interesting as that would make any time I spent there more pleasant.

I have a decent amount of math and science classes, but i am unsure of any pre reqs I may lack for a nursing program. I saw StonyBrook has an accelerated 2 year BSN degree for individuals who already have a BA or BS. I figure i can take two years to knock that out and then work as an RN to see if any other fields within health care interest me before specializing as a NP. Plus, I would like to get my feet wet as a nurse and think the experience and on the job training would be valuable. That is, if I don't get into any funded programs and go that route. I will probably head down to the RN/NP thread for additional guidance on that subject.

Thank you again for the additional pointers you have been very helpful.

If you just want to counsel and such, have you considered going for a masters (either in clinical or an MSW)? Obviously you don't get funding, but it's only 2 years of your life as opposed to 5-6+, and it's not geared towards research (which is what the Ph.D. really is).
While psychotherapy was part of my goal it is not what i wanted to do all day. My plans were to do some therapy but to focus more on assessments, testing, evaluations and teaching/research. As much as i believe in psychotherapy there is no way i would want to do that 8 hours a day. But then again my actual exposure to these things are non existent so how the hell do i really know what i would like/dislike. I simply had this desire to have my own practice, be the "boss", hire a few psychotherapists, and spend most of my time doing forensic evaluations and the such. So because of this i find that a masters level therapist gig would not be ideal for me and that I would personally prefer a NPs gig. However, I still appreciate the advice.

I think this is a good point. People tend to over-estimate the amount of their psychotherapy training that occurs within their graduate program. Even if you attend a PhD program, so much of your formation as a therapist occurs outside of your formal education.

I have one friend who went to a very poor program that actually ended up losing its accreditation. However, I consult with him frequently and consider him a good therapist because he made up for that weak training by attending intensive seminars, workshops, getting extra supervision, researching, and reading on his own.

An NP is a powerful degree. You will have lots of opportunities if you earn that. I think it is worth considering.

Best,
Dr. E
Interesting, i would have thought the clinical training would be just as intensive as the research training. After all, PhD programs are suppose to be designed on the 50/50 model right? If what you say is correct then i guess there is no reason for me to find it too difficult to develop my psychotherapy skills (while staying up on the lit) and also handing out some meds. Thank you for your input.
 

bpsydme

5+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2012
98
28
Status
Psychology Student
All of my initial emails were very similar (save for the area the lab is researching) For example, this is what I sent to a lab that investigates the effects between interpersonal relationships and psychopathology.

Dr. so and so
I am a psychology major who recently graduated from SUNY college at old Westbury with my bachelors degree. I am seeking to gain research experience in the field of psychology. I am very interested in volunteering my time at your lab. I am interested in learning more on how relationships can effect an individual's psychological well being. I am hard working, dedicated, and eager to set up a meeting/interview. If you need any additional information or have an application for me to fill out please feel free to contact me. I appreciate your time and consideration.
Respectfully,
My name

I made it clear I was volunteering my time and felt I was not being too pushy. Please feel free to be as critical as you would like on my email. Maybe you can point out some red flags that could have caused these labs to avoid me like the plague :( Like i said they were all very similar but i tailored each one slightly to show I at least knew what they were researching and that I was interested in their topic. I purposely only picked labs with topics that I found interesting as that would make any time I spent there more pleasant.
One red flag is "effect", it should be affect (the verb tense) not effect (the subject tense). You never know how minor errors like these could affect one's perception of you. (For me, it plays a very important part.) Also, I would just say that you're interested in pursuing grad school and would like to learn more about research and gain experience in XYZ field. In terms of what you're interested in, maybe add how it relates to that professor's research (but DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT just simply rephrase what's on their website).

In my initial email when I was contacting professors, most of them responded back to me, and of the ones who responded, all offered an interview, and of those who interviewed, all offered a spot. Now i was looking to volunteer and I had a BA similar to you. My initial email was very honest and straight forward (however, longer than yours). I told them I studied this and that in college, and recently got interested in clin psych but understand I have no research experience in this area. I want to pursue grad school in XYZ and was hoping to volunteer in their lab to learn more about how this type of research works and to ultimately decide if this career is for me. It may not work, but personalized, honest emails always stand out. Also, do you have anything good to say? Mention your GPA, or mention how many other labs you've worked. Anyone can type the words "dedicated, motivated, smart, etc." but that doesn't mean we have to take your word.

Honestly, if I received that email, the only thing that would stand out is that you're not an undergrad. But otherwise, you're just another person looking for research. Some people stand out because their email was very personalized and honest. Others stood out because their resume had something interesting. My lab alone has gotten dozens of emails in the past several months, all of them almost identical to what you have. Also, attempting to say "I really like your study on ABC" can backfire because it is sometimes so painfully obvious that you just read their profile online, changed some words around, and pretend like you understand their work. If you want, cite one of their papers.

Sorry for the long responses, I have an issue with details.
 

Doctor Eliza

7+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2010
898
144
Status
Psychologist
Interesting, i would have thought the clinical training would be just as intensive as the research training. After all, PhD programs are suppose to be designed on the 50/50 model right? If what you say is correct then i guess there is no reason for me to find it too difficult to develop my psychotherapy skills (while staying up on the lit) and also handing out some meds. Thank you for your input.[/QUOTE]

I would say it varies a lot school by school. At some places, there is more balance than others. It is not a given that it will be 50-50 though.

But honestly, even in places where training is "balanced" there is only so much you can learn in a few years in a classroom and with a few clients. You get a foundation, yes. But so much of your growth will happen after you have your degree in hand (or on internship). I would say I learned more on my internship year about clinical work than during the entirety of all the years preceding it. I also learned a ton more during my 1st year of work. And a ton more during the 2nd...

Dr. E
 
OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
One red flag is "effect", it should be affect (the verb tense) not effect (the subject tense). You never know how minor errors like these could affect one's perception of you. (For me, it plays a very important part.) Also, I would just say that you're interested in pursuing grad school and would like to learn more about research and gain experience in XYZ field. In terms of what you're interested in, maybe add how it relates to that professor's research (but DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT just simply rephrase what's on their website).

In my initial email when I was contacting professors, most of them responded back to me, and of the ones who responded, all offered an interview, and of those who interviewed, all offered a spot. Now i was looking to volunteer and I had a BA similar to you. My initial email was very honest and straight forward (however, longer than yours). I told them I studied this and that in college, and recently got interested in clin psych but understand I have no research experience in this area. I want to pursue grad school in XYZ and was hoping to volunteer in their lab to learn more about how this type of research works and to ultimately decide if this career is for me. It may not work, but personalized, honest emails always stand out. Also, do you have anything good to say? Mention your GPA, or mention how many other labs you've worked. Anyone can type the words "dedicated, motivated, smart, etc." but that doesn't mean we have to take your word.

Honestly, if I received that email, the only thing that would stand out is that you're not an undergrad. But otherwise, you're just another person looking for research. Some people stand out because their email was very personalized and honest. Others stood out because their resume had something interesting. My lab alone has gotten dozens of emails in the past several months, all of them almost identical to what you have. Also, attempting to say "I really like your study on ABC" can backfire because it is sometimes so painfully obvious that you just read their profile online, changed some words around, and pretend like you understand their work. If you want, cite one of their papers.

Sorry for the long responses, I have an issue with details.
Yea, making myself seem dumb doesn't help getting a position : -/ I actually thought it would be better to not go into a crazy amount of details and keep it short sweet and to the point. I figured they wouldn't want to read my resume and if they were interested they would ask for it. I also see how my attempt to "tailor" each email may have come off as a half @ssed regurgitation of their page. Sheesh! I should have asked for tips prior to sending my mass emails. Thank you again for pointing those things out. I guess even things that seem subtle can make a major difference. These are some mistakes I wont be making in the future! Hopefully other students read this thread prior to following in my footsteps foolish. You live and you learn I guess. On a positive note one lab contacted me back and said they may need me in a few weeks depending on a grant. Lets hope I have some luck behind me.
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
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Interesting, i would have thought the clinical training would be just as intensive as the research training. After all, PhD programs are suppose to be designed on the 50/50 model right? If what you say is correct then i guess there is no reason for me to find it too difficult to develop my psychotherapy skills (while staying up on the lit) and also handing out some meds. Thank you for your input.
I would say it varies a lot school by school. At some places, there is more balance than others. It is not a given that it will be 50-50 though.

But honestly, even in places where training is "balanced" there is only so much you can learn in a few years in a classroom and with a few clients. You get a foundation, yes. But so much of your growth will happen after you have your degree in hand (or on internship). I would say I learned more on my internship year about clinical work than during the entirety of all the years preceding it. I also learned a ton more during my 1st year of work. And a ton more during the 2nd...

Dr. E[/QUOTE]

I do think it's going to vary significantly by program, and also by the pursuits of the individual student within that program.

That being said, most people I know who've gone the clinical route have mentioned the same thing Dr. E says above--that a LOT is learned during the first year of full-time employment. I don't do much psychotherapy myself currently, and am on a formal post-doc rather than in an actual job, but can say that I learned quite a bit on internship if for no other reason than the faculty and populations were different than grad school (owing to it being in a different state and all), and I've picked up an exponential amount of new information while here on fellowship.

However, where the grad school experience becomes particularly important is in helping you to build the foundation on which to hang that practical/clinical knowledge. I can say with certainty that I wouldn't have been able to pick up what I've learned here (and on internship) nearly as quickly without the foundational knowledge and skills I acquired in grad school. Thus, while it's certainly possible to acquire proficiency in therapy outside of a doctoral program, it's not going to be quite as seamless as it might for someone who already had that theoretical and foundational exposure.
 

Terapueta24

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Feb 20, 2008
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Since you are looking specifically at Stony Brook and are from that area it seems like you are interested in a specific geographic location, and I think that is an important thing to consider for your future in clinical psychology as well. Beyond whether or not you like research and clinical work I think that it is extremely important to recognize your interest/ ability to be flexible in where you live. This is going to affect you for many years to come. 1) It's very hard to geographically limit yourself when seeking a clinical PhD 2) 4-6 years later you will find yourself needing to decide if you geographically limit yourself for internship (which tends to make options a lot harder and may lead to not matching) 3) the same issue will come up when looking for post-docs. There is a lot to consider when embarking on this degree and even those in our program that love clinical work and loved research still bemoan the years of low salaries, travel for interviews (3 times! - grad school, internship, post-doc), and the need to move. It's another reason to consider a career as an NP if that interests you.
 
OP
futurepsych0
Sep 3, 2011
69
3
New York
Status
Psychology Student
Since you are looking specifically at Stony Brook and are from that area it seems like you are interested in a specific geographic location, and I think that is an important thing to consider for your future in clinical psychology as well. Beyond whether or not you like research and clinical work I think that it is extremely important to recognize your interest/ ability to be flexible in where you live. This is going to affect you for many years to come. 1) It's very hard to geographically limit yourself when seeking a clinical PhD 2) 4-6 years later you will find yourself needing to decide if you geographically limit yourself for internship (which tends to make options a lot harder and may lead to not matching) 3) the same issue will come up when looking for post-docs. There is a lot to consider when embarking on this degree and even those in our program that love clinical work and loved research still bemoan the years of low salaries, travel for interviews (3 times! - grad school, internship, post-doc), and the need to move. It's another reason to consider a career as an NP if that interests you.
I appreciate your input as staying in a geographical location is a necessity for me. The more I look into both fields the more I see NP fitting into my needs. I only need three classes and can apply to a 12 month bsn program at stony brook and take it from there. I will still apply to some doctoral programs and keep my fingers crossed but as I see now my acceptance seems very unlikely. I wouldn't mind NP as their salaries are great and are gaining quite a bit of autonomy. However, I know this is going to sound stupid, but the only thing that is making me very hesitant is the lack of "prestige" with the nursing route. I know it is silly and it doesn't really matter at the end of the day.

I would say it varies a lot school by school. At some places, there is more balance than others. It is not a given that it will be 50-50 though.

But honestly, even in places where training is "balanced" there is only so much you can learn in a few years in a classroom and with a few clients. You get a foundation, yes. But so much of your growth will happen after you have your degree in hand (or on internship). I would say I learned more on my internship year about clinical work than during the entirety of all the years preceding it. I also learned a ton more during my 1st year of work. And a ton more during the 2nd...

Dr. E
I do think it's going to vary significantly by program, and also by the pursuits of the individual student within that program.

That being said, most people I know who've gone the clinical route have mentioned the same thing Dr. E says above--that a LOT is learned during the first year of full-time employment. I don't do much psychotherapy myself currently, and am on a formal post-doc rather than in an actual job, but can say that I learned quite a bit on internship if for no other reason than the faculty and populations were different than grad school (owing to it being in a different state and all), and I've picked up an exponential amount of new information while here on fellowship.

However, where the grad school experience becomes particularly important is in helping you to build the foundation on which to hang that practical/clinical knowledge. I can say with certainty that I wouldn't have been able to pick up what I've learned here (and on internship) nearly as quickly without the foundational knowledge and skills I acquired in grad school. Thus, while it's certainly possible to acquire proficiency in therapy outside of a doctoral program, it's not going to be quite as seamless as it might for someone who already had that theoretical and foundational exposure.
I agree with this completely. I would not expect to gain the insight of a psychologist fresh out of school (if NP turns out to be my option) but I hope with additional training and practice I would be able to get close to it. I was also considering applying to the few well funded psyd programs. Since they are suppose to be more clinically based maybe my lack of research wouldn't be so much of a hindrance when applying there. I may be completely wrong though.
 
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