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ph.d. standards for ma applicants

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by moondreamer9989, May 5, 2007.

  1. moondreamer9989

    2+ Year Member

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    I was rejected this year from all 10 of the clinical ph.d. psych programs I applied to. I did not get invited to any interviews.

    Does anyone have any idea what ph.d. programs are looking for from ma applicants?
    I am coming from a behavioral program with a large research focus.
    I have a ridiculous amount of research experience.
    2 publications and 2 in submission (when I applied)
    GRE-1200
    GPA 3.5 (when I applied)

    Was it my GRE's?
    Was it my GPA? What do you think cutoffs are for behavioral clinical programs?
    What do you guys think?
     
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  3. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    It can also be people were a better match with your specific POI's....that is a tough break. I was the 2nd person for a few places, and that stung...because I would have made it otherwise.

    -t
     
  4. Ollie123

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    Your GRE and GPA are on the low side. I had a 1250 and that is considered quite low, though I did squeak in one place. 1300+ is ideal. I'd aim for 1400.

    GPA isn't bad, but is also on the low side.

    Are you applying to research-focused or clinically focused PhDs? Research ones notoriously have higher average starting stats....you can get by with less at clinically focused programs.
     
  5. JockNerd

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    GRE's a tad on the low side. Is that GPA on a 4.5 or 4.0 scale? Doesn't seem prohibitively low on its own, either way.... were the lower marks in psych classes (particularly research methods)?

    How was fit with programs and with particular profs? You app sounds super-competitive to me; not getting an offer seems odd.
     
  6. KillerDiller

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    Try not to take it too hard (easier said than done, I know). I honestly believe that after a certain point, admission into Ph.D programs becomes about luck. Case in point, two years ago I was rejected straight out from all 9 schools I applied to. This year, I was accepted by three and interviewed by 5 out of 8. What changed about my credentials? Nothing at all significant.

    Anyway, I encourage you to try to improve on some little things about the application process you may have learned from this experience. Did you feel good about your time table for contacting profs? Did you apply to apply to only certain geographical areas? Did your statement of purpose convey what you needed it to? If you feel your GREs were a weakness, then re-take them. Otherwise, I would just polish up the way you went about the process this year, try not to take it too hard, and be confident that your luck will improve next time around.
     
  7. spyspy

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    E-mail your POIs and ask why you didn't get in. That's what I did.

    I was told my stats were fine and to just get full-time research experience...and be older. :p
     
  8. moondreamer9989

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    Wow, thanks for all the helpful feedback. I will definately contact a few of those programs to see if they give me info.

    I pulled myself up from 990 on the gre's to 1200. So I've pulled myself up as far as I believe I can. Keep in mind my 3.5 gpa is a GRADUATE gpa (on a 4.0 scale) and I was told by my profs that it was the bottom of the barrel. If anyone has any idea what some cut-offs are for graduate gpa I would greatly appreciate it.

    I applied all over the US, I contacted all pois in october (who were very compatible with my research interests), my letters were strong (I read all 4), and my statement was stellar.

    I am once again applying to programs which are equal in clinical and research. Is 3rd time a charm?
    And I can't afford to miss this next round or I'm out of the game.

    It really feels like I didn't make round 1 cut-offs so my file never actually reached anyone.
     
  9. phd2006

    phd2006 Life is a Highway
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    Does your MA school have a PhD program? If not, why did you chose to go to a school with an MA as the terminal degree? You'd have to make a very strong statement for now wanting a doctorate right after completing the MA Actually, I'm assuming an immediate temporal sequence -- but (I'm generalizing) most people that pursue a terminal MA, graduate, work a few years and then apply for their doctorate. If the goal was to use the MA as a stepping-stone to the doctorate, it is 'usually' better to pursue your MA at a school that also offers the PhD (like a feeder track....although this is not always the case).
     
  10. LadyInRed

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    One thing your original post didn't mention is clinical experience (which might come with your MA, I'm not sure). Even in the research-heavy programs, which it sounds like you might be most interested in, showing strong clinical or volunteer experience would probably strengthen your case.
     
  11. KillerDiller

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    Maybe this is true for the MA, I'm not sure. I come from a terminal MS program, though, and almost everyone was using it as a stepping stone to obtain a Ph.D elsewhere. Consequently, I don't think it's odd to apply directly after receiving a Masters. I found I didn't have to do any extra explaining on that front. But again, my experience is with the MS.
     
  12. nononora

    nononora Dis Member
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    moondreamer9989 - a potential problem could've been the programs you applied to. Were they mostly top-tier programs like Wisc-Madison/Yale/Washington or did you have a good mix? I'm sure we can help you further if you let us know which 10 programs you applied to. No pressure of course.
     
  13. phd2006

    phd2006 Life is a Highway
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    One of the best features of forums....we have different experiences and have taken different paths which worked.

    I didn't mean to imply there was only 1 way from MA to PhD -- just referencing some of my observations.
     
  14. moondreamer9989

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    I have always intended to get a ph.d.
    When I wasn't accepted after my bachelors I took my back up ma program as a stepping stone (which does not offer a doctoral degree).
    I do have 6 mo of clinical experience with a neuropsychologist.

    I may have applied to schools out of my league I suppose - I'm not sure.
    I just applied to where people and programs were good matches.
    Washington State (dream school, a long shot I expected)
    U of Houston (dream school, a long shot I expected)
    Drexel
    Suffolk U
    U of Rhode Island
    U of North Dakota
    U of Kansas
    South Florida
    Idaho State U
    U of Nebraska
     

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