psychmusic

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I saw that this thread was sort of posted a few years ago, but with somewhat different circumstances, so I thought I would ask it again (hopefully at least one or two other people are wondering these same things)

I'm currently a Junior looking to go on to PhD programs in Clinical Psych (emphasis on Neuropsych) that are more research focused (75-85% research to put an arbitrary number to it). Right now, I'll have three years in a Cognitive Neuroscience lab without any publications, and no presentations outside of my own school. My GPA is 3.9, and I anticipate very good GRE scores based on all the practice tests I've taken and how well I've been preparing.

While my credentials are solid, I know I will likely need 2 years of RA experience before applying realistically to the schools that I'm most interested in (particularly Boston U, Colorado Boulder, and SDSU/UCSD). Recently, though, I've really been considering doing Teach for America after graduation before going on to PhD programs. Ultimately I want to know whether this will help or hurt my application, and whether I would still need the 2 years of RA experience after TFA. I think its important to note that I have no desire to work with children or adolescents in Grad school (for some reason the idea of working with them as a teacher sounds great, but I just don't want to study that population...can't really explain why).

I'd really appreciate any input from people who have been in or heard about a similar situation.
 

4410

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One of my nieces did this. She taught for two years at Watts Public Schools in LA. She was a chemistry major and planned on going to Med School but felt she needed a break from school. She fell in love with teaching and eventually got a EdD in Educational Administration and never went to Med School. She moved from California back to her home State in Illinois and now in her middle forties she is a Superintendent for a small rural school district. She is divorced and her two kids are now in college. She is getting paid well but going through a mid life transition and thinking about reapplying to her first love or going to medical school.

Hind sight being twenty-twenty, I had the opportunity to go into a PhD school psychology program back in the early eighties but I had to decline due to family obligations and I have regretted that move. You may be different but if you can get into a PhD program now it may be a better option than waiting several years since you have a high GPA and high GRE.
 

snowcherries

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Especially since you're not a child psych or school psych person, doing TFA is very unlikely to help your application in any way. For the schools that you're interested in, you need more RA experience, and TFA won't get you pubs/presentations/recommendations. It's a bummer, sorry.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Especially since you're not a child psych or school psych person, doing TFA is very unlikely to help your application in any way. For the schools that you're interested in, you need more RA experience, and TFA won't get you pubs/presentations/recommendations. It's a bummer, sorry.

This.

TFA can be a great experience (or so I've been told), but it won't help you strengthen your application in a meaningful way when compared against other opportunities.
 
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