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Ph.D. acceptance - plan B (International)

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PsyHike

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Hello! I'm an international student that recently moved to US (dependant visa). I've completed applications for Ph.D. and Psy.D. degrees in Psychology for Fall 2016 in several universities. I'm getting worried about my chances to be accepted, so I'd like to ask an opinion about plan B.
First of all, since I can't move around US too much, should I pursue online M.A. in Psychology? Will my chances to be accepted to Ph.D. suffer or win from having an online degree?
Second of all, I cannot officially work, only volunteer; if I want to gain more local research experience, whom do I write to and what do I say?
Overall, what is the optimal course of action? Also, when should I start to panic, if I don't get interview invitations? End of January?
Thank you in advance!
 
D

deleted343839

First of all, since I can't move around US too much, should I pursue online M.A. in Psychology? Will my chances to be accepted to Ph.D. suffer or win from having an online degree?

An online graduate degree is not a good use of your time and money and may be viewed negatively by an admissions committee.

Second of all, I cannot officially work, only volunteer; if I want to gain more local research experience, whom do I write to and what do I say?

Identify the faculty at nearby colleges or universities and send an email to each person with whom you'd like to work. Do not send the same form letter around. Make sure that you tailor each letter to the person and indicate why you are interested in serving as a volunteer research assistant in their lab or research group. Many faculty will not accept volunteers from the community, so you may have trouble finding a faculty member who would be willing to place you in a volunteer role. You might also inquire about opportunities with local healthcare organizations and community agencies. However, you will need some useful skills from the start as they will not provide much training, and there may not be many opportunities to help with data collection, research, or program evaluation.
 
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