Jun 26, 2009
39
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
I have a few questions regarding getting ready to start the process of applying to graduate school (I'm applying to PsyD as well as MACLP and MSW programs).

1) The personal statement - Is it appropriate to include vignette like stories in this about my experience (for example, with the crisis hotline I work for)? Or are they just looking for more of my CV with additional details included as well as future goals etc?

2) Letters of Recommendation - When is it appropriate to ask professors for this? I'm also have difficulty deciding who to ask. I will definitely have the professor I work for in a research lab (and will take a class with in the fall) write me one, but I need two others and am having difficulty deciding between:

a) A professor who really influenced me who I took for 3 semesters. He probably doesn't know me that well, the smallest class I had with him was 30 people and he seems to have a poor memory.

b) A graduate student in French Literature who taught a writing for psychology course that I did very well in and wrote a 40 page research proposal for. He has already offered to write me one if I need it and I know it would be a very strong recommendation.

c) The faculty advisor for the crisis line that I work for, who also does not know me well at all but would probably write a generic and positive letter (I know he has done this for others in the organization).

3. Regarding the MACLP Program - Would this be easier to get accepted into than PsyD programs?

I am applying to Pepperdine's evening program for MACLP working towards a MFT. It's my first choice at the moment. I have a 3.86 GPA with the aforementioned experience of working at a crisis hotline, researching with a professor, teaching a group of adolescents with behavior problems about life skills/depression, and an internship at another counseling place. I haven't taken the GREs yet, but Pepperdine waives them anyway if you have above a 3.7.

The PsyD programs I'm looking into include Indiana U of Penn, Nova, and U Denver.

Thank you!
 
Jul 20, 2009
4
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
I have a few questions regarding getting ready to start the process of applying to graduate school (I'm applying to PsyD as well as MACLP and MSW programs).

1) The personal statement - Is it appropriate to include vignette like stories in this about my experience (for example, with the crisis hotline I work for)? Or are they just looking for more of my CV with additional details included as well as future goals etc?

2) Letters of Recommendation - When is it appropriate to ask professors for this? I'm also have difficulty deciding who to ask. I will definitely have the professor I work for in a research lab (and will take a class with in the fall) write me one, but I need two others and am having difficulty deciding between:

a) A professor who really influenced me who I took for 3 semesters. He probably doesn't know me that well, the smallest class I had with him was 30 people and he seems to have a poor memory.

b) A graduate student in French Literature who taught a writing for psychology course that I did very well in and wrote a 40 page research proposal for. He has already offered to write me one if I need it and I know it would be a very strong recommendation.

c) The faculty advisor for the crisis line that I work for, who also does not know me well at all but would probably write a generic and positive letter (I know he has done this for others in the organization).

3. Regarding the MACLP Program - Would this be easier to get accepted into than PsyD programs?

I am applying to Pepperdine's evening program for MACLP working towards a MFT. It's my first choice at the moment. I have a 3.86 GPA with the aforementioned experience of working at a crisis hotline, researching with a professor, teaching a group of adolescents with behavior problems about life skills/depression, and an internship at another counseling place. I haven't taken the GREs yet, but Pepperdine waives them anyway if you have above a 3.7.

The PsyD programs I'm looking into include Indiana U of Penn, Nova, and U Denver.

Thank you!
I am in the same position, just started to apply for the PsyD programs all over the country. I'm a clinical social worker and have been working for over 2 years with mental health adultoupatient population. I would suggest to go with the PsyD program, you'd be more experienced and have more doors open for you. I enjoy what I do, just wished I'd learn more in depth about peoples mental illnesses, their behaviors and personalities before I started treating them; during my years of work i've found out that I need more learning to do. Good luck to you.
p.s. by the way i'm applying to the same programs you mentioned and some more :)
 

psyed4clinPhD

10+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2009
107
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
I have a few questions regarding getting ready to start the process of applying to graduate school (I'm applying to PsyD as well as MACLP and MSW programs).

1) The personal statement - Is it appropriate to include vignette like stories in this about my experience (for example, with the crisis hotline I work for)? Or are they just looking for more of my CV with additional details included as well as future goals etc?

2) Letters of Recommendation - When is it appropriate to ask professors for this? I'm also have difficulty deciding who to ask. I will definitely have the professor I work for in a research lab (and will take a class with in the fall) write me one, but I need two others and am having difficulty deciding between:

a) A professor who really influenced me who I took for 3 semesters. He probably doesn't know me that well, the smallest class I had with him was 30 people and he seems to have a poor memory.

b) A graduate student in French Literature who taught a writing for psychology course that I did very well in and wrote a 40 page research proposal for. He has already offered to write me one if I need it and I know it would be a very strong recommendation.

c) The faculty advisor for the crisis line that I work for, who also does not know me well at all but would probably write a generic and positive letter (I know he has done this for others in the organization).

3. Regarding the MACLP Program - Would this be easier to get accepted into than PsyD programs?

I am applying to Pepperdine's evening program for MACLP working towards a MFT. It's my first choice at the moment. I have a 3.86 GPA with the aforementioned experience of working at a crisis hotline, researching with a professor, teaching a group of adolescents with behavior problems about life skills/depression, and an internship at another counseling place. I haven't taken the GREs yet, but Pepperdine waives them anyway if you have above a 3.7.

The PsyD programs I'm looking into include Indiana U of Penn, Nova, and U Denver.

Thank you!
Hi -

1) I am not an expert, but I think it is OK to include a short vignette about your experience (ex. such as how it inspired/furthered you interest in psychology, what you learned from it, how you sought out this specific training, or how it helped narrow down your research/clinical area of interest).

2) I would ask as soon as possible. I asked mine a few months ago and one recommender said she would like them in August while another gave me no deadline. It helps them to know that they are comming and they are great to ask advice as you continue through this process!!The advice I was given my multiple professors is that they look for recommendations from people with PhDs and who know you. They also said a big turn off is getting just an OK recommendation and that they can clearly tell. With that in mind, I would e-mail professor a) and let him know you took three classes with him, are applying to programs and would like to know if he has time to meet with you. This will allow him to get to know you better! I would also recommend doing the same with c).

Good luck!!
 

krisrox

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2009
647
3
Status
Other Health Professions Student
What is the general consensus on getting a letter from a non-psych PhD (ie. the French professor)? I always thought this was a no-no.
 

JockNerd

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2007
1,810
9
Status
Psychology Student
What is the general consensus on getting a letter from a non-psych PhD (ie. the French professor)? I always thought this was a no-no.
Think in terms of what the letter-writer can say about you. You want someone who can talk about your ability to work in a team, to juggle multiple roles, to handle academic tasks like research and writing, etc, but especially as they apply to what you'll be doing in grad school. It sounds to me as thought the French instructor in the OP's post would be able to comment on writing skill and maybe research idea development, but not a heck of a lot else.

Also, I was advised by a senior professor in a class in undergrad to never have a grad student write a letter. Her reasoning was that grad students really have much much less to compare you to, and aren't able to honestly give you a ringing endorsement; she stated she was not impressed by letters from grad students. YMMV
 

TenaciousGirl

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2009
263
0
Status
Psychologist
I have a few questions regarding getting ready to start the process of applying to graduate school (I'm applying to PsyD as well as MACLP and MSW programs).

1) The personal statement - Is it appropriate to include vignette like stories in this about my experience (for example, with the crisis hotline I work for)? Or are they just looking for more of my CV with additional details included as well as future goals etc?

2) Letters of Recommendation - When is it appropriate to ask professors for this? I'm also have difficulty deciding who to ask. I will definitely have the professor I work for in a research lab (and will take a class with in the fall) write me one, but I need two others and am having difficulty deciding between:

a) A professor who really influenced me who I took for 3 semesters. He probably doesn't know me that well, the smallest class I had with him was 30 people and he seems to have a poor memory.

b) A graduate student in French Literature who taught a writing for psychology course that I did very well in and wrote a 40 page research proposal for. He has already offered to write me one if I need it and I know it would be a very strong recommendation.

c) The faculty advisor for the crisis line that I work for, who also does not know me well at all but would probably write a generic and positive letter (I know he has done this for others in the organization).

3. Regarding the MACLP Program - Would this be easier to get accepted into than PsyD programs?

I am applying to Pepperdine's evening program for MACLP working towards a MFT. It's my first choice at the moment. I have a 3.86 GPA with the aforementioned experience of working at a crisis hotline, researching with a professor, teaching a group of adolescents with behavior problems about life skills/depression, and an internship at another counseling place. I haven't taken the GREs yet, but Pepperdine waives them anyway if you have above a 3.7.

The PsyD programs I'm looking into include Indiana U of Penn, Nova, and U Denver.

Thank you!
1) I think it is okay to include small stories from your work experience, especially if it has made you interested in a specific research topic/area.

2) all of my LOR profs had deadlines. Try to ask them ASAP. I agree that you shouldn't have a current grad student write you a LOR. One of my LORs was from someone who I worked with at a hospital. She was in a different clinical field but she could still comment on many things grad committees look at. So ... I don't think the LOR HAS to come from someone in psychology (although that is preferable) as long as that person can comment on the things that matter during evaluation. I hope that makes sense.

3) It sounds like you have fairly good stats, try to apply to as many programs as possible that you'd be interested in going to. Everyone has a first choice school, but try to create options for yourself. I don't know if it would be "easier" to get accepted to a MACLP program vs. PsyD because they're different.

hope this helps you out.

TG
 

PsyGirl262

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2009
34
0
Status
Psychology Student
One of my letter writers was a grad student and I got interviews at every program I applied to, so I tend to think that a well-written letter from a slightly less than ideal candidate can still be okay. I definitely recommend doing everything possible to make the job easier for your LOR writers, I believe makes a difference in getting a strong letter. Give them info on where you're applying, why you've chosen the route you have, refresh them on the courses you've taken with them and your grades, give them your CV, your personal statement, and any other helpful information. Then give them plenty of time to write and thank them profusely for their time every step of the way.
 
OP
S
Jun 26, 2009
39
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Hmm, it seems like I'm getting mixed advice on the grad student LOR.

My dilemma is that I know he would write me a very, very strong letter. I did very well in his class and I know that he would say I am strong in all areas, which does include things like group work as well as the research/writing part of it.

The other two would probably be lukewarm at best. I did very well in 3 of professor a's classes, but he is really scattered and disorganized, and well to be blunt, flaky, and I'm scared that he won't remember me and therefore won't give me a good recommendation despite my performance in his classes. He also definitely will not put the time into it that the grad student would, who still contacts me asking me about becoming a writing tutor/publishing my paper in a textbook he's writing, etc.

So, which would be better? A really strong recommendation from the grad student or a lukewarm one from that professor? Also, would they even know that he was a grad student in French Lit? Do they ask that on the forms?

Thank you for all the input!
 

psychmama

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2008
1,179
2
NYC Area
Status
Psychologist
I wouldn't get a recommendation letter from a grad student, for the reasons already stated. One thing to keep in mind is that profs sometimes ask students seeking a rec letter to provide them with a summary of their accomplishments, cv, or similar materials. In this way, you the student get to highlight things the prof may not know about or remember clearly. Some profs may also suggest meeting with you for a similar purpose -- to help them write you a better LOR.

Hope this helps in thinking through your options.