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Oh, so many questions, so little time...

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by brightness, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. brightness

    7+ Year Member

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    I want to apply to a PhD program when I finish my undergraduate degree in psychology. I have a 3.75 GPA, but no research experience or even clinical experience- I am still two years from graduation, however. What I'd like to know is, 1. What can I do to make my application as strong as possible? 2. Is it possible to "pick" a location in getting accepted, or is it necessary to apply to many, many schools all over the nation? 3. Is it advisable to get a PsyD or an MSW, if one does not get into a PhD program? Just looking for some advice as I travel the road to a career in clinical psychology...
    Thanks! :D
    Linz
     
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  3. RayneeDeigh

    5+ Year Member

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    Get research and clinical experience ASAP.

    Take the GRE earlier rather than later.

    Figure out what your research interests are so that your statements of purpose come together more effectively.

    Apply to MANY schools. As you can tell from here, very few people get into their first choice on their first try. Also try to be open minded about geography. A lot of great schools are in places you wouldn't normally think of living.

    The PsyD/MSW debate is a personal thing. If you want a career that isn't much about conducting your own research, then it could work well for you. It's all a matter of what you want to do.

    If you can (and once you're doing research with a prof or something), see if they'll let you present the findings at a conference. Even a poster presentation will look really good on a CV.

    If I think of more I'll post 'em. lol
     
  4. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    That sounds pretty good. I would look at the advice thread we have going, it may give you some ideas. http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=379768. Definitely keep the grades up and try to get clinical and research experience. Also try to find what your passion is (in other words, basically what Raynee said).

    I also agree on not limiting yourself geographically. You can apply to a few for that perhaps, but in the long run match is what will get you in and match is what will help you keep your sanity once you are there. What good is it to be living in a town you love but going to a program that doesn't fit you and frankly you may start hating? As for what degree to get (PhD, PsyD, MSW) in my mind one is no better than other...it all depends on what you want to do. If you can remind me of your future goals I will try to answer that. PhD in my mind gives you the most flexibility, but that is debated. Good luck and let us know if we can help.
     
  5. brightness

    7+ Year Member

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    My goals are to do psychotherapy, to teach some classes at university, but never to be tenured or anything like that, and to write- not research oriented writing, but self help/informational writing- and maybe some research, too. So basically, I want to have a lot of options for myself.
    As far as limiting myself geographically, its not because I won't live in various areas but instead, because I really want to be close to my boyfriend and my family while in graduate school. Maybe it is pathetic, but I don't feel like I want to completely relocate and not know anybody where I move. I have a good geographical position, in that I can apply to chicagoland schools and schools in lower michigan and still be close to the people I love. Still, to make things extra complicated, my boyfriend is applying to medical school! We are struggling to not end up at separate ends of the country.
     
  6. perfektspace

    perfektspace Member
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    Generally speaking, if you "want to have lots of options" go the PhD route. It's great you have an idea what you want to do but odds are your focus will change (perhaps dramatically) as you gain research and applied experience in the next couple years. Look at programs with a balanced approach (e.g., a 4 in the "insider's guide").

    Hopefully your current school has some good ongoing research projects and you have a few options. Be politely upfront about wanting to gain meaningful exp. beyond data entry. Everyone has to "pay their dues" but 2 years of data entry doesn't make your CV look much better. Some prof's are good about giving UG RA's increased responsibilities, some are not. Ask around. If you can get clinical exp. as part of an RA position that's great (testing, interviewing etc.)...but research exp. is much more important if you go the PhD route.

    As far as the everpresent bf/gf issue and limiting your geographic scope... until you have a ring on your finger I would worry about your own future before anyone else. Could easily be the difference between getting into a program you love, one you hate, or not getting in at all.
     
  7. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    Given your goals and the fact that you may be limited geopgrahically a PsyD may be the best option. Unfortunately very few of them are fully funded, but I think you will be able to accomplish those goals with a PsyD. Just something to think about, but I think I would go for that over a MSW given your goals.
     

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