May 12, 2009
12
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Today, I talked to one of my old professors that I did research with and told him my plan to wait to apply for grad school and how I'm contemplating getting a master's in SW first. He told me that I should still go ahead and apply this school year for fall 2010. I told him my concerns about my low GPA (3.2 it may go up after summer is over), but he said I should still continue studying for the GRE, take it and apply. Any advice?
 

krisrox

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2009
647
3
Status
Other Health Professions Student
How are your other numbers? How about research experience? To be honest, anything under a 3.5 isn't going to cut it unless you can make up for it in other areas. Also, if you don't have extensive research experience, PhD programs won't look at your file. If you need to boost your other qualifications, try getting an MSW or work in a research lab, then try applying.
 

twilson

10+ Year Member
Oct 3, 2008
290
0
31
wv
Status
Psychology Student
I am going to agree mostly with Krisrox only because I have heard various things from professors..I currently have 3.26 due to a bad freshman year but my grades after that have been pretty good, so I have been told that graduate schools will take that into account.. I also have been getting research experience
I think If your grades were an upward trend and you have a good bit of research experience you should take a chance and apply to some phd programs as well as MSWs
 

Therapist4Chnge

Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2006
21,580
2,581
The Beach
Status
Psychologist
Unless you are going for a Ph.D. in Social Work.....an MSW will not really help you get into a Ph.D. program. You'd be better served dedicating your time to building your CV and/or gaining more experience.
 
OP
J
May 12, 2009
12
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Thanks for all the help, guys. I'm trying to weigh some options and pick out the best one. I'm thinking of going ahead and applying to some programs this fall. I have tons of clinical experience and some research experience to balance my low GPA. I graduate in Dec. and was thinking of taking some Psych classes in the spring and next summer to help boost my psych GPA and to maybe hook up with a prof and do some research. Does this seem like a good plan?

I still really want to pursue a Phd in counseling psych. I'm going to talk to my old professor and see what other advice he has for me.

I'm still deciding on whether to pursue an MSW. Out of MSW, Master's in Counseling and Master's in General Psych, which is the best option?

Thanks for hearing me out and for your responses! keep 'em coming
 

psychmama

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2008
1,179
2
NYC Area
Status
Psychologist
I'm still deciding on whether to pursue an MSW. Out of MSW, Master's in Counseling and Master's in General Psych, which is the best option?
The best option has a lot to do with how much you enjoy research vs practice. Master's level programs are generally more geared towards therapy and, in the case of MSW, administration/case management as well. Where would you ideally like to end up within the mental health field?
 

aly cat

Medical Science Liaison
10+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2009
226
211
Status
Psychologist
How are your other numbers? How about research experience? To be honest, anything under a 3.5 isn't going to cut it unless you can make up for it in other areas. Also, if you don't have extensive research experience, PhD programs won't look at your file. If you need to boost your other qualifications, try getting an MSW or work in a research lab, then try applying.
I just wanted to add my 2 cents in.. under a 3.5 not going to cut it isn't really the whole story. I had a 3.2 due to a run at pre-med for my first 2 years, but my psyc GPA and Jr/Sr were 3.55/3.75 respectively. I did not have amazing stats, either.. solid but nothing magical. Also if you read the Advice from prof to students thread he says in a few posts that lackluster GPA is often overlooked because of the very reason that many clinical psyc students start off as premed, so it isn't always a deal breaker (and in my case, it wasn't). I got the impression that as long as you were above a 3.0 and had other solid credentials to back you up, you still had a decent shot.
 

krisrox

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2009
647
3
Status
Other Health Professions Student
I got the impression that as long as you were above a 3.0 and had other solid credentials to back you up, you still had a decent shot.
Solid credentials to back it up are key. If you're still fishing around for research experience, or your GRE's are also below the norm, I would wait. Most students who ARE qualified wait a year, so no harm done in doing that.

Also, you may want to address the issue in your personal statement to explain why, in fact, your GPA is a bit lacking.
 

socialcog

Neuropsychology predoctoral intern
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2007
425
35
Status
Psychology Student
How are your other numbers? How about research experience? To be honest, anything under a 3.5 isn't going to cut it unless you can make up for it in other areas. Also, if you don't have extensive research experience, PhD programs won't look at your file.

A strong GRE score (1300+) could demonstrate to an admission committee that you may not be a academic liability. That, along with solid LORs and a super SOP, will likely make you competitive.

Good luck.:)