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Preparing to Apply to PhD/Psyd Programs (2022/23 Start)

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Popcorn Yogi

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Hi,
I was wondering if you could offer advice to prepare for Psyd Programs. I am about to start my Junior year of undergrad, but here is my profile so far. I know that this is a little broad, I hope to begin looking at schools in early 2021. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Doctoral Program Preferences: Ph.D. in clinical psychology or PsyD concentrated in clinical neuropsychology, preferably in CA
Majors: Psychology (BS) with an emphasis in biopsychology and Biology (BA)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.6 (aiming for 3.7+)
GRE: n/a *working on that
Research Experience: Annual Summer College Program for Adolescents on the Spectrum, Program Partner for Summer College Program on the Spectrum, and Academic Research Capstone (Fall and Spring 2022)
Current academic interests: neonatal and infant neuropsychological development, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and neuropsychological assessment
Clinical Experience: part-time ER Medical Scribe at a local comprehensive stroke, trauma, and cardiac care center since 2018 to present
Volunteering: Aut2Run, and former assistant dance teacher at special needs dance studio
Hobbies: Yoga, baking, cooking, and dance
 
D

deleted343839

Start here: *DOCTORAL APPLICANTS READ FIRST* Helpful Threads

And take a look at this web site: Clinical Psych Grad School

Glancing over the info you shared, here are my thoughts:

1. You need more research experience. Specifically, you need more of the kind of experience that shows that you can work on an investigator's research project, follow directions, assume progressively greater responsibilities, and contribute to presentations (or, if you're lucky, manuscripts). Many colleges and universities offer these kinds of experiences for course credit. Your junior year is a great time to start working as a research assistant - two years of experience in the same lab, with a strong letter of recommendation from the faculty PI, is great to see on an application.

2. It is helpful if your doctoral program provides exposure to neuropsychology, but neuropsychology is a postdoctoral specialty, so given the choice between a strong generalist doctoral program and a more specialized but less rigorous doctoral program, choose the stronger program. Consider tuition remission and future debt in weighing these decisions.

3. Your clinical experience, volunteer work, and so forth are relatively less important to your application, and carry less weight overall than they would for, say, a medical school application. Keep your scribe job if you need the money, but look for opportunities to get paid to help with research (to be fair, these opportunities are more likely to be open to someone with a degree).
 
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Popcorn Yogi

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Start here: *DOCTORAL APPLICANTS READ FIRST* Helpful Threads

And take a look at this web site: Clinical Psych Grad School

Glancing over the info you shared, here are my thoughts:

1. You need more research experience. Specifically, you need more of the kind of experience that shows that you can work on an investigator's research project, follow directions, assume progressively greater responsibilities, and contribute to presentations (or, if you're lucky, manuscripts). Many colleges and universities offer these kinds of experiences for course credit. Your junior year is a great time to start working as a research assistant - two years of experience in the same lab, with a strong letter of recommendation from the faculty PI, is great to see on an application.

2. It is helpful if your doctoral program provides exposure to neuropsychology, but neuropsychology is a postdoctoral specialty, so given the choice between a strong generalist doctoral program and a more specialized but less rigorous doctoral program, choose the stronger program. Consider tuition remission and future debt in weighing these decisions.

3. Your clinical experience, volunteer work, and so forth are relatively less important to your application, and carry less weight overall than they would for, say, a medical school application. Keep your scribe job if you need the money, but look for opportunities to get paid to help with research (to be fair, these opportunities are more likely to be open to someone with a degree).
thank you! I will be sure to take a look at these
 

jdawg2017

PhD Student in Clinical Psychology
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Hi,
I was wondering if you could offer advice to prepare for Psyd Programs. I am about to start my Junior year of undergrad, but here is my profile so far. I know that this is a little broad, I hope to begin looking at schools in early 2021. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Doctoral Program Preferences: Ph.D. in clinical psychology or PsyD concentrated in clinical neuropsychology, preferably in CA
Majors: Psychology (BS) with an emphasis in biopsychology and Biology (BA)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.6 (aiming for 3.7+)
GRE: n/a *working on that
Research Experience: Annual Summer College Program for Adolescents on the Spectrum, Program Partner for Summer College Program on the Spectrum, and Academic Research Capstone (Fall and Spring 2022)
Current academic interests: neonatal and infant neuropsychological development, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and neuropsychological assessment
Clinical Experience: part-time ER Medical Scribe at a local comprehensive stroke, trauma, and cardiac care center since 2018 to present
Volunteering: Aut2Run, and former assistant dance teacher at special needs dance studio
Hobbies: Yoga, baking, cooking, and dance

A couple of things:

1. From your first intro sentence, I just want to clarify that PsyD programs are a different type of program from PhD. I think you meant “psychology doctoral programs” and just default abbreviated to PsyD, but that’s a type of degree.

2. I agree with MamaPhD on all points, mostly. Clinical child neuropsych is an intensively competitive and specialized field. I actually think you really need to be in a strong program with speciality labs and training in that area to be set up well for internships and post-docs in that area. Do your research on programs; unfunded PsyD programs are generally not good, not to mention massive, life-altering debt that is not going to be made up for by your earnings potential. Balancing generalist and the speciality training you’ll need is important.

3. It’s rare to go straight from undergrad to a good doctoral program; it can happen, just not common. I think a 2 year RA position in a child cognition research lab (ASD, etc) would be invaluable given you haven’t gotten any publications or posters yet, right? You’ll really need to be immersed in a more long term research lab to be truly competitive. Bare in mind you are going up against people that may have 2+ years of formal paid research experience, 1+ First author publications, etc. This field, especially neuropsych, is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you got accepted you are going to basically be in training for a bare minimum of 7-8 years (doc program, internship, 2 year post doc consistent with neuropsych guidelines).
 
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