Deslok

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I've...

Taken both GREs
Contacted professors
Had GRE scores sent
Had transcripts sent
Given my letter writers the necessary information
Talked to a number of people about interviews
Filled out most of my applications (only submitted the online ones so far)
Paid most of my fees (online and a check)
Revised my vita and basic personal statement several times
The end.

I need a 500 word sample paper for a couple of my apps. None of the ones I've done are that short. Should I just shorten them or write a new one altogether? A couple schools want somewhat different personal statements too, so that'll take some time.
 

konrad

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You haven't written anything less than 500 pages?!! You really should work on your ability to write concisely... Outside of this, it looks like you are very much on top of things, enough to make me feel nervous about my own lack of progress thus far. Let me compare myself to your list:

Taken both GREs -- Yep
Contacted professors -- Yes, but 2/3 of them didn't write back, even though all I asked was if they were taking students and if I could contact one of their current students.
Had GRE scores sent -- No
Had transcripts sent -- To me, yes.
Given my letter writers the necessary information -- Yes
Talked to a number of people about interviews -- No, but that can definitely wait.
Filled out most of my applications -- I've filled out zero.
Paid most of my fees (online and a check) -- Nope.
Revised my vita -- I'm rollin' with my first draft.
Personal statement several times -- Started thinking about that today. Yikes.

So, you should be feeling good about yourself, and I should probably start acting in response to the dull and persistent pain in my stomach, the relative intensity of which is a pretty reliable indicator of my lack of progress. But I've had little opportunity to get anything done so far this fall, what with my current masters program kicking my ass.

How many places are you applying to? Shooting high in terms of reputation? I'm thinking aroud 10 or 11, with a couple of reaches and the rest solidly competitive. Maybe this will be the beginning of a current applicant thread, which I'm looking forward to.

-Konrad
 
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Deslok

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Well, I don't think it's that I can't write concisely. I think it's just that my professors never assign short papers :p

I'm applying to 10 schools. Mostly midrange I suppose. I looked at a lot of the top programs (well, I actually looked at ALL of the accredited PhD programs), but they didn't seem like a good fit for me.
 

joetro

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I'm definitely more in line with the second poster than the first one. Good luck to both of you!
 

Noah333

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LOL! Deslok, with the free time you now have, I would recommend writing a new paper for submission with your applications!

I am in bad shape! I just finished preparing a final list of schools this weekend (18 schools) and now I am trying to find the damn letter of recommendation forms online! I take the Psych GRE Saturday. The only thing I have done is prepared a statement of purpose and a CV.

I too contacted a few professors who never responded....so very encouraging.

I have known that I intended to apply this year for months!...somehow only the immediate threat of deadlines has prompted any action...
 

PsychoEm

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where is everyone applying????

i'm definitely not as far along as some of you...

i'm retaking the psych gre on saturday.
i havent started my statement.

but...
i fixed my resume.
took the general gre.
requested recommendations.
requested transcripts.

i have 11 schools on my list, mostly in the northeast, with a few southern schools thrown in for kicks. i wonder how many of us are applying to the same programs?
 

joetro

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UCLA, Texas, Colorado, Iowa, Yale, Notre Dame (counseling ... working toward clinical), Ohio State, Pitt, South Carolina, Vanderbilt (Peabody), Stony Brook.
 

UMAPsych

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I'm in okay shape I guess.

Psych GRE - Taking this Saturday
GRE - retaking next Monday
CV- Done
Requested recommendation letters - Done, but they haven't been returned yet
Requested transcripts - I have them all
Personal Statement - Working on my 5th draft at this point, but it's only for one school. I still need to revise it to apply to each of the schools I am applying for
Contacting professors - I have only emailed professors for one school, and they have also, as many of you are saying, not responded to me :(
Filling out Apps - I've done like 2 schools

I am applying to 11 schools, mostly in the northeast.
 

konrad

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It's clear that many of us have attempted to contact professors and met with little success. How much does this concern you all? I know these people are very busy and that they received a mountain of emails, but I am somewhat reluctant to apply to work with people that can't respond with a simple yes/no answer. And then there is the possibility that they aren't even taking a student, although I'm holding out hope that if that was the case, they would have a standard reply for all contact emails which would indicate as much. The problem is that I've only received responses from 4 or 5 people, which isn't much of a pool, so I can't just drop everyone who ignores me.

Should we just apply and hope for the best?
 

Psychbird

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Taken both GREs - regular GRE yes, Psych GRE this Saturday
Contacted professors - yes, and heard back from all of them. Only one said no graduate students. One even had me call him.
Had GRE scores sent - will be doing this on Wednesday.
Had transcripts sent - will be doing this on Wednesday.
Given my letter writers the necessary information - today!
My vita's done and personal statement is in final outline form. I think I'm doing ok, but God, this is a nerve-racking experience.
 
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Deslok

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konrad said:
It's clear that many of us have attempted to contact professors and met with little success. How much does this concern you all? I know these people are very busy and that they received a mountain of emails, but I am somewhat reluctant to apply to work with people that can't respond with a simple yes/no answer. And then there is the possibility that they aren't even taking a student, although I'm holding out hope that if that was the case, they would have a standard reply for all contact emails which would indicate as much. The problem is that I've only received responses from 4 or 5 people, which isn't much of a pool, so I can't just drop everyone who ignores me.

Should we just apply and hope for the best?
I chose not to apply to any schools unless I knew for sure the professors were accepting new students. I e-mailed a few professors twice, called a few professors, left messages, and in some cases tried contacting other people in the psychology department to see if they knew. All in all, I only eliminated two schools because I couldn't find out. Whether faculty are accepting students is also sometimes listed on the school website, usually hiding in some dark corner.
 
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Deslok

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konrad said:
You haven't written anything less than 500 pages?!! You really should work on your ability to write concisely...
Haha, now I realize why you were so shocked. I meant to say 500 words.
 

Noah333

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I am applying to programs with an equal clincal/research focus so (I am told) there is less of a need for a match with a professor. Nonetheless, I would be a hesitant to apply to a program based on my interest in a certain professor when he/she could not see fit to reply to an email in which I expressed an interest in his/her work. The professors may be jaded by this process, but a quick email response does not seem unreasonable...
 

PsychoEm

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can not directly contacting professors hurt you? (besides the obvious that they may not be taking students)
 

twiggers

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Hey all,

I was in your spot last year so I know how you feel! By this time last year this is where I was:

GRE: yup in late October didn't need to retake
Psych GRE: November 13
Letters of rec: given out to 4 people with a deadline of 11/21 to return directly to me
Transcripts: received all
GRE sent out: about 50%
psych GRE: sent in request forms
contacted profs: that was done in summer, and I stopped contacting by september
applications: I did them one at a time..so at this point I had 2 december 1st dates I was worrying about
paid fees: I did this also one at a time
vita: complete and reviewed by about 6 people including career center at school and my letter writers
personal statement: I used the University of Minnesota's requirements as a basis for all my statements. I figured they are the hardest program to get into so I would use their standards (you can get it off their website). I had a draft statement written at this point, and basically had a chunk in the middle about my research interests that I would change for each school.


About contacting professors:

I can't stress enough how important it is! I eliminated over 20 schools based on the fact that the professors I liked weren't taking people. I also didn't apply to schools where there was 2 or less professors taking students. The match is extremely important in research emphasis programs. I also made sure my personal statement talked about how I would match so-and-so's program of research, etc. That way it gets to the right professor, etc.
Professors are super busy right now, and that might explain the lack of response. If possible email their grad students...they'll know if their prof is taking someone. Or take the chance and just put in about 2-5 professors names that you want to work with and hopefully a couple are taking students.

Sorry if I'm sounding like I'm lecturing....I had this emphasized to me last year and it really paid off!
 

Noah333

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I want to thank you all for scaring me into action. I now have dealt with my letters of recommendation, transcripts and GREs. Now if I don't tank the Psych GRE on Saturday, everything should be in order :D
 

mmonte4

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wow, i feel so far behind now. I have the GRE coming up on Nov 16 and ive been very focused on that. Also, Ive been working on a poster for an upcoming conference. So i havent exactly been putting in a lot of application time. I did contact about 8 professors that id like to work with in August, so i do know who is taking students and who isnt. After the gre ima try and do about 1 application per day. Wish me luck
 
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Deslok

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mmonte4 said:
wow, i feel so far behind now. I have the GRE coming up on Nov 16 and ive been very focused on that. Also, Ive been working on a poster for an upcoming conference. So i havent exactly been putting in a lot of application time. I did contact about 8 professors that id like to work with in August, so i do know who is taking students and who isnt. After the gre ima try and do about 1 application per day. Wish me luck
Good luck.
 

konrad

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Since the forum is surprisingly dead as we approach the first wave of application deadlines, I'll ask a minor question that is bothering me: what kind of length is appropriate for the personal statement? I've read that about 1000 words is acceptable -- mine is presently around 1250, and that is without an extended paragraph tailoring my research interests to specific faculty. I know I should edit it down, but it's hard to determine what should be cut: short academic biography (I've changed disciplines from English), extensive description of research experience, reasonable description of interests and goals. Any advice?

Alas, I may just be tragically long-winded.

On that note...
 
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Deslok

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konrad said:
Since the forum is surprisingly dead as we approach the first wave of application deadlines, I'll ask a minor question that is bothering me: what kind of length is appropriate for the personal statement? I've read that about 1000 words is acceptable -- mine is presently around 1250, and that is without an extended paragraph tailoring my research interests to specific faculty. I know I should edit it down, but it's hard to determine what should be cut: short academic biography (I've changed disciplines from English), extensive description of research experience, reasonable description of interests and goals. Any advice?

Alas, I may just be tragically long-winded.

On that note...
A couple of the schools I'm applying to ask that it be no more than 500 words long. However, I think most expect a little more than that. I definitely wouldn't go over 2 pages, and I've heard a number of schools and faculty say this. I assume they mean single spaced, since double spaced would only be maybe 100 words more than 500. I don't know though...
 

twiggers

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When I applied I did double spaced (easier to read), and I kept it around 3 pages. What I really did was go to University of Minnesota's website (since they're the hardest school to get into) and follow their guidelines for the personal statement. They are very specific about what they want included and not included.
Basically I had an intro paragraph describing how I switched from premed to psychology (thus explaining why I had so many chem and bio classes). I then described my research experience (not lengthly since this should be in your vita), and then my research interests. I spent an entire long paragraph discussing who I wanted to work with and why. I concluded by explaining my low GRE quant score and supplemental stats courses to make up for it. Final paragraph was spent describing why I would be a good choice/good fit with program, and why I would be a good grad student.
I made sure to mention if a school was a first choice program and why I wanted to be there (strong emphasis on research, research matches with faculty, etc.).
I am typically long winded but I fit all of that in. I think the key is to be concise and not be writing as a narrative story. I redrafted several times, eliminating redundant words/sentences, but all while trying to avoid being too choppy.

Hope that helps :)
 

konrad

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Thanks to both of you for the helpful advice. Triggers, I think you hit my problem right on the head when you advised not to write a narrative. I probably devoted too much space to describing how I ended up in psychology, even though I mostly limited this to the progression of interests and ideas. I'm still looking at a first draft, though, so there is plenty of room for revision.
 

twiggers

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hey Konrad,

I wa sin the same position....I wanted to explain why I went away from medicine to a focus on psychology. I ended up fitting that into 4 sentences (less than a paragraph)...down from 3 paragraphs in first draft :)

Good luck....I'm sure you'll be able to trim it down and still have it look good :)
 

joetro

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Submitted my only Dec 1 application today, but I'm still needing recs to come in for that, I think. Strangely, I also still need to send in immunization records that show I'm vaccinated against MMR ... I thought we had eradicted that! Oh well.
 
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Deslok

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Submitted the last of my materials for one Dec. 1st deadline last week... submitting the last for the other tomorrow. Eeesh.
 

konrad

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I'm customizing my statement for the 3 programs with Dec 1 deadlines right now. This whole thing is making me simultaneously nervous, relieved, and excited for the spring. The waiting is going to be awful. Where is everyone applying, anyway? I might as well throw out my list.

To be fedex-ed tomorrow:

Duke
U Mass Boston
Boston U.

Over the next couple of months:

Temple
Drexel
Berkeley
Oregon
Vermont
Texas
American

I imagine we all have a good deal of overlap. When it comes down to it, this is a rather small world we're operating in.
 
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Deslok

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konrad said:
I'm customizing my statement for the 3 programs with Dec 1 deadlines right now. This whole thing is making me simultaneously nervous, relieved, and excited for the spring. The waiting is going to be awful. Where is everyone applying, anyway? I might as well throw out my list.

To be fedex-ed tomorrow:

Duke
U Mass Boston
Boston U.

Over the next couple of months:

Temple
Drexel
Berkeley
Oregon
Vermont
Texas
American

I imagine we all have a good deal of overlap. When it comes down to it, this is a rather small world we're operating in.
Only an overlap of one with you. I was going to apply to two of the others but ended up eliminating them.
 

psych-in-va

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i'm applying to 11 psyd programs and 3 phds:
antioch new england
argosy u., dc
university of hartford
indiana u. of pennsylvania
univ. of indianapolis
loyola in md.
rutgers univ.
va consortium
widener univ.
wright state univ.
wright institute
curry school of education, uva (phd)
george mason univ. (phd)
american univ. (phd)
i got 580V/700Q on the GRE. took the psych gre in Nov, but haven't gotten my scores yet. 3.3 GPA from the university of virginia. graduated in 2004 and in the meantime have gotten excellent clinical experience working as a counselor at a rehab program for the seriously mentally ill in virginia.
just curious if anyone's applying to the same programs or has any advice/recommendations/complaints about any of them.....
 

PsychoEm

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oh Konrad, I'm applying to several of the same schools as you! our overlaps: duke, boston u, temple, american
im also applying to: uconn, yale, umass-amherst, miami, vanderbilt, rutgers, albany.
cant wait until all the applications are in.
 

Forensic M.S.

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i am applying to

psy.d
antioch new england
MSPP

i am gonna have to next day deliver these things, i am still not finished.

msw
southern connecticut state university
university of connecticut

ma
university of new haven (done and sent)
northeastern university (almost done)

ms
american international college (done, also is in forensic psychology :p)


i must say the application process has been one of the biggest pains in the ass in my life. i hope i get some luck.
 

bluegirl

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I am almost done with all of my applications, just need to customize a few essays and receive my last installment of recommendations.

I'm applying to
PsyD:

Rutgers
Widener
Wright state
Xavier
ChicagoSOPP
Wright
CIIS
PGSP-Stanford

and
University of Michigan MSW (just in case and I live there now)

It's going to be forever until we find out though... :(
 

clinpsychgirl

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we have just a few weeks of nothingness to enjoy before we (hopefully) start to hear about interviews...
Konrad and psychoEM- we have some overlaps- temple, yale, and bu... we'll have to keep eachother posted:) good luck!
 

konrad

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The Temple website notes that interviews are planned for February 3rd and 6th, and that those invited should hear something by January 17th, so we don't have long before we get our first result. I'm already checking my email at a completely irrational rate. Good luck...
 

psych101

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psych-in-va said:
i'm applying to 11 psyd programs and 3 phds:
antioch new england
argosy u., dc
university of hartford
indiana u. of pennsylvania
univ. of indianapolis
loyola in md.
rutgers univ.
va consortium
widener univ.
wright state univ.
wright institute
curry school of education, uva (phd)
george mason univ. (phd)
american univ. (phd)
i got 580V/700Q on the GRE. took the psych gre in Nov, but haven't gotten my scores yet. 3.3 GPA from the university of virginia. graduated in 2004 and in the meantime have gotten excellent clinical experience working as a counselor at a rehab program for the seriously mentally ill in virginia.
just curious if anyone's applying to the same programs or has any advice/recommendations/complaints about any of them.....

Sounds like you'll be fine. My personal opinion is to be cautious about Argosy. Curry at UVA is a good program, as is the VA consortium. Not familiar enough to comment on the rest. Might want to avoid mentioning on your psyd interviews that you have applied to phd programs and vice versa...even though many people do it, some faculty will directly question you about whether you have a clear idea of what you want to do. Good luck!
 

clinpsychgirl

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konrad said:
The Temple website notes that interviews are planned for February 3rd and 6th, and that those invited should hear something by January 17th, so we don't have long before we get our first result. I'm already checking my email at a completely irrational rate. Good luck...
Hi Konrad,

I noticed that- it's pretty amazing to think that the whole process will be behind us by April! In the meantine, I'm glad I found this forum to tide me over while we wait to hear!
 

twiggers

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Hey...Temple will start notifying early (they're one of the first), but they also take a long time to notify (last year it was around 2 weeks before they had notified everyone).
I found it helpful (and it reduced stress): When you hear on here about a school notifying for interviews, wait a couple of days and call the department secretary and ask if they're finished inviting. That way if you haven't heard then you can cross them off of your list. For me it really helped to alleviate ALOT of stress. I hate waiting for things!!!