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WAMC: What Are My Chances

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Therapist4Chnge, Dec 15, 2009.

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  1. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with the above poster that even if you can't bring your GRE scores up by much, it's still worth giving it a shot, even if that means applying for multiple rounds. FWIW I've never finished a timed math test either, GRE included. Studying will probably help- re-learning really well those things you haven't done in a while. But if you keep practicing and keep studying and your time just isn't getting much better. That strategy worked well enough for me. I think you bring a lot to the table. So keep studying but don't get too discouraged about the GRE- GRE is only a part of the bigger picture

    Edit: I meant to say if your time isn't getting better then focus on accuracy. Didn't mean to leave that phrase out. And focus on what you can bring up (e.g. if math isn't budging maybe you can blow the other parts out of the water to compensate on your total score).
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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  3. jdawg2017

    jdawg2017

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    I, too, agree with what everyone has said, except that you may event want to shoot for a combined 320 to guarantee your application's success. You have awesome qualifications on paper, but given how some people (e.g., my undergrad PI who is the DCT) hamper on havina g good GRE scores, having bad scores can really torpedo an otherwise solid application. I get everone complaining about timed tests and the GRE but people need to realize that pursuing a Ph.D. puts you on track to take numerous timed tests (e.g., comps, the EPPP, etc.), so there's something to be said about doing well on the GRE. The LAST thing any program wants is to take a student who cannot pass the require exams to succeed later on.
     
  4. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    Hello, everyone. Here’s the scoop. I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have been providing direct clinical services for the last 11 years, 5 licensed. I currently work at a VA and do nothing but psychotherapy day in and day out. Seeing upwards of 7 patients in a day is not uncommon. I have a lot of great training in evidence based psychotherapies and practice a lot of trauma based interventions. I’ve been to multiple Beck Institute trainings to hone my CBT skills, etc. I also hold two certs in dual diagnosis and addiction treatment in the state of where I reside. The point….here is my goal and some of what I’ve been doing to try to accomplish it:

    Goal: Obtain my PhD in Clinical Psych (I’d consider a PsyD, but I’m not going into massive debt at this point in my life)

    Why? First and foremost, I want to become a great clinician and believe more knowledge and practice is never a bad thing. Also, I want to be involved in research and part of testing/creating/researching novel therapies and associated outcomes. I also want to teach. So, the PhD is clearly the best option for my goals, as a whole.

    What am I doing to accomplish my goals:

    GRE: So, I pretty much suck at these tests (Although I’m not sure I’ve ever given them their proper preparation) I’m studying often and plan to take a class this summer.

    Research: I’m volunteering for the next 1.5 years and helping with a study of PTSD, its effects on relationships and academic functioning. I’m going to be heavily involved with a mentor at a top rated institution who comes from one of the best PhD programs in the country. She is nearing tenure and this is a good way for us to sort of help each other. The plan is for me to help with the publication as well as present at conferences.

    Grades: Both degrees are in social work (BSW, MSW) but my grades are solid. (Close to 4.0 for both degrees) I was also awarded a scholarship in my undergrad for the most likely to do great things in the field…summarizing, of course.

    Clinical Experience: Variety of different forms of clinical work from inpatient, outpatient, DOD, VA, private practice, individual, groups, addiction, etc, etc, etc.


    Any feedback is helpful as I embark on this lifelong goal. Thanks for reading and replying.
     
  5. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Even with a PhD, are you ready to carve out 6-8 years of little to no pay to be in grad school/internship/postdoc? And also to go back top intermittently working 70+ hour weeks at times?
     
  6. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    I believe I am, yes. I'm prepared for 5-8 years of little/no pay and I'm okay with a high workload in the training phases. I'm not sure I'll embark on any career that means I'll HAVE to work 70 hours per week. That said, I enjoy research, both reading and conducting, so I don't look at that as "work" per se. This would be a big sacrifice for a period of time, but I guess I'm wondering if I'm a good candidate and have a good chance after I have more research experience, assuming I do well on the GRE.
     
  7. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    The background would be fine. But yes, a good GRE score and some research experience would be key. Are there any more research oriented DSW type programs out there that would shorten your time frame and give you some of the same options?
     
    jmiah717 likes this.
  8. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    No offense here, but studying for a month hardly says to me "I've worked so hard." I've been studying for months and will have studied for nearly a year, with a $1000 class included, by the time I take the test. It's just too crucial to only give a passing glance at the material. It's about commitment about ability to manage a large amount of information, which is essentially a major requirement in grad school/PhD programs. Doesn't mean you wouldn't do well but why would they take you if they have 300 other people who have your grades but better GRE scores? Something to think about...and I'm in the same boat as far as needing to do well on the GRE.
     
    Rashawn12 likes this.
  9. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    Possibly, but I'm not interested in furthering my social work education. If I were, I would just get a PhD in social work and teach/research, but I don't really think like a social worker. I've worked really hard on my craft over the years and pay close attention to the literature. Social work is just not scientific enough for me. I feel like I'm a good clinician in spite of my social work education, not because of it. I've worked really hard and used all of the available opportunities to become a better therapist. If I stay on my current course and do clinical work in this capacity for the rest of my career, that's fine, but not my main goal. I've been to war. I live with cancer. Those experiences shape my motivation and ambition. I want to experience or be part of moving the needle in a way that ONLY doing psychotherapy doesn't offer. I feel I have more to offer and that's what has led me back to this goal.
     
  10. lightwater

    lightwater

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    I used to work at a top-ranked academic medical center and individuals with a PhD in social work were doing the same exact work (re: co-PIs on very large grants) as researchers with a PhD in clinical psych, and even psychiatry MDs. If it matters, the area is cognition and neuropsychology in severe mental illness. Have you thoroughly looked into many doctoral social work programs? Some are indeed very "scientific", and will provide a sound foundation in research methodology and statistics, if that's what you mean. The clinical psychology field is extremely competitive and if there are other ways to get in the field and do the same kind of work, why not? I myself have looked into this, but I don't have an MSW. I also looked into PhD in public health, but I don't have an MPH. If I had known there are other ways to reach the same end goal, I would have taken it. Also, since you already have a social work degree, you already have the "clinical" basics, can always go back to it, and now it seems you want the research end. Just some food for thought.
     
    jmiah717 likes this.
  11. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    Your observations and recommendations are quite good. I can't disagree with much of what you wrote but there are a few considerations to take into account, at least for me. One, and it's probably petty and vain, I just don't identify as a social worker. The overall thought process, the way therapy is viewed, and in some ways, the way psychopathology is addressed, is just simply not terribly beneficial in my experience. Overall earning potential is higher as a clinical psychologist, on average, than a doctoral level social worker. It also allows the option for work in forensics, testing, consulting, etc. that the SW discipline just doesn't offer. The PhD in Social Work only really allows one to teach and of course conduct research as well. While not my only goal, one thing I won't sacrifice is the clinical "product" I provide. I may be overstating it. So, while I want to teach and research, I'd rather be teaching future psychologists than future social workers. I'd also want to have my research assistants be psychology students rather than SW students. Funding is also an issue as I don't think many SW programs, maybe any, offer much in funding. I may be wrong on that though. The other issue is related to publication. There aren't many well-respected researchers who are researching psychotherapy/psychopathology from the SW field. They are almost all psychologists or psychiatrists. But you have made some good points that I will certainly explore. I appreciate the feedback.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  12. lightwater

    lightwater

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    jmiah717 likes this.
  13. Rashawn12

    Rashawn12

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    I agree. I thought putting a couple hours aside per day to study would be enough. I now know I have to try much harder.
     
    jmiah717 likes this.
  14. Rashawn12

    Rashawn12

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    Thank you so much for the advice. I do believe it comes down to spending more time studying for the GRE. I love the suggestions of testing myself after the 3 month period to see if I score in the range I need to. If I don't I'll have to keep studying until I get where I need it.
     
  15. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    I'm right there with you, man. I naturally stink at the GRE and that kind of test. I have to spend a lot of time studying. Since I'm not in a hurry at this point, that's what I'm going to do. I'm jealous of your other experience though! That should really help you.
     
  16. Xay

    Xay

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    Apologies, wrong forum.
     
  17. propsych

    propsych

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    Hello everyone, I am new to this site and would like to ask for your critique and guidance!

    I am an undergraduate student (going into senior year)majoring in psychology and minoring in survey research and natural sciences, who has had a rough few years in college(many reasons) and ended up with a 2.1 GPA. Since last semester my GPA has jumped to a 2.7 and within the next year I should be able to reach at least a 3.0 ( I am getting straight A's in every class thus far and have a 4.0 in my psych major).

    I have yet to take the GRE and plan to do so after I get my undergraduate degree, leaving a year between graduation and grad school.

    Since last semester I have also joined a research lab and have been working really hard there:
    and am now a co-team leader,
    am 6th author on an APS poster
    2nd author on an oral presentation at a smaller event
    3rd author on a poster at a smaller event at my college
    1st author on a poster at a smaller event at my college
    I will also most likely be 4th author on a publication (this is currently in the works ).

    This summer I am developing the new iteration of a study and will be working on the study next semester.
    Hopefully this will lead to more posters and ideally another publication. Currently I am also applying to the REU research program and will most likely be working in my current lab on a presentation for that/getting a stipend for my research work.

    Next semester I will also begin to volunteer at a mental health facility in my community.

    My goal is to be accepted into a Clinical Psychology Phd program that focuses on both research and clinical practice ( I don't want to go for a Psy.D as I won't be able to afford it)
    Ideally I want to avoid going to get a Master's after I graduate due to personal, monetary and time reasons.

    Based on what you see here, what do you think my chances are for getting accepted, and what are some suggestions you can give me to improve my chances.

    Thank you very much for all your time in reading this long and clearly very desperate for feedback post! haha
     
  18. EverHopeful

    EverHopeful 7+ Year Member

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    While you are doing great things like the research programs, I think you will likely struggle to even get your application a meaningful look with only a 3.0 GPA. The two areas that stand out as potential issues are your GPA and minimal research with you as the lead. A masters program that involves a research thesis (as opposed to something like a literature review) will allow you to show a strong, consistent GPA in graduate level courses while the thesis and related research can demonstrate familiarity with the research process. You may want to try for PhD and masters programs at the same time just to see if you can get a PhD spot, but it would mean a lot of time and money if you have to reapply later as well. In the meantime, I would also see if you can get 1st author posters at larger conferences (e.g., APA, ABCT). Many labs are generous with authorship when there has only been minimal work on a project. It would give me pause to see so many co-authored posters and only one 1st author at a college-level event.
     
  19. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I'll second some of this. That GPA is going to be an anchor on that application unless the GRE is absolutely phenomenal. As for the posters, after 1 or two less than 1st authors, it's diminishing returns, committees will want to see that you can also lead an undertaking, so I'd also push for some 1st author stuff. Depending on the GRE, a master's program may be the way to go.
     
    propsych likes this.
  20. propsych

    propsych

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    Interesting input. Thank you.
    It's a bit disappointing to think I'd need to earn a Master's first, but perhaps I should look into it more. I'm fairly confident that within the next year I'll be lead on more projects as my current team lead will be moving on and the professor in charge of my lab is shifting more responsibility to me. I'll keep you all updated, and hopefully I'll get some meaningful experience until then! :)
     
  21. wishfulthinker13

    wishfulthinker13

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    Hi guys, I'll be applying in the coming fall and was wondering what my chances are realistically. I'll be applying to mostly Canadian combined MA/PhD programs and a few US PhD programs (UT Southwestern Dallas, Schools in Chicago, Wayne State, etc.)

    • Education - B.Sc. Life Sciences with a major in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, Canada.
      • Last 2 year GPA - 3.78
      • Cumulative GPA- 3.50
      • Psych GPA- 3.94
    • Research & Clinical Experience
      • 3 years of on and off research jobs in a clinical neuropsychology research lab
      • 1 year research assistant position in a psychological intervential research lab
      • A summer internship as a research assistant in the psychiatry research unit at a well known childrens hospital. Also gained clinical experience with children running neuropsychological tests during this period
      • A nearly complete honours thesis
      • A summer research assistant job in the chemical engineering field through which I am a coauthor on a published paper.
      • Crisis centre distress line volunteer for 4 months
      • Have volunteers as a classroom assistant for children with disabilities in a classroom setting
      • Have done a 3 month internship as a group home worker with seniors with developmental disabilites
      • 1 months of shadowing a clinical psychologist and psychometrist in a hospital setting
    I am currently studying for the GRE and will take it in July or August. I don't have any publications or poster presentations related to psych:/ However my LOR's from my internship and thesis supervisor will be strong. Will I be able to get in without any publications? As of yet I don't have plans on taking a gap year. Any suggestions/advice is appreciated!
     
  22. psych.meout

    psych.meout

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    Your GPA isn't bad, but you need to do well on the GRE and write really good personal statements.

    The thesis supervisor LOR is good, but I don't know how much mileage you will get from your internship supervisor's LOR. Three months is quite short and that kind of experience doesn't really lend itself much for your purposes here. Why aren't you getting LORs from the PIs of all this psych research you did? It might look a bit weird to have worked in a lab on-and-off for three years with no productivity and without getting a LOR from the PI, especially since one semester in the chem engineering lab got you coauthor on a pub.

    What exactly did you do in these psych research labs? Was this just data entry and grunt work or were you contributing to the research on a more advanced level, e.g. helping develop the study, analyze data, or write a manuscript?

    As far as where you are applying, are these programs with POIs doing things you are interested in working on and can feasibly write good personal statements demonstrating your fit with them? It seems like you are applying a bit based on geography, e.g. Chicago schools, which is generally inadvisable.
     
    wishfulthinker13 likes this.
  23. CPapplicant2018

    CPapplicant2018

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    Hello! First time poster, looking to get some feedback on my chances for admission into a top clinical psych/clinical science Ph.D. program. I'm an undergraduate junior and will be applying this year for admission in Fall 2018.

    Stats:
    GPA: 3.98
    GRE: 162 verbal, 166 quant, 6.0 writing. I'm debating retaking to raise the verbal score. Haven't taken the psych GRE yet, but most programs I'm applying to don't require it.

    Papers and posters:
    1 first-author paper
    1 second-author paper
    3 papers (2 first-author, 1 third-author) papers in prep -- all to be submitted before applications
    5 first-author posters at international and national conferences
    1 third-author symposium at international conference
    2 upcoming first-author posters, will be presented before applications

    Experience: 3 years of research experience in 2 different labs, my papers and posters are from both of these labs. Both are related to my area of interest (staying vague for anonymity). I will be doing research this summer at an extremely well-known lab in my field. I did a clinical internship this year at a nearby mental health facility.

    LORs: If all goes well with the summer research, I plan to have one letter come from the professor there (she is highly respected within the field), and the other 2 from the labs I'm in at school. Alternatively, I'll have the 2 letters from my research advisors at school, and the 3rd from a professor that I've taken 3 classes with and know well.

    Schools: I've identified 16 schools with professors doing research in my areas of interest. Many just happen to be on the west coast, which I know is a very popular and desirable place to live -- but some are in the midwest, the south, and the east coast. If all those professors are taking students, I will apply to all 16 schools. I know ranking (via US News & World Report) isn't overly important, but have heard from my professors that those lists do a good job of grouping schools by prestige and quality. Most schools I'm applying to are in the top 25 on that list -- I'm lucky that I have a good research match with at least one professor at those places.

    WAMC?? Any and all input appreciated!
     
  24. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent 7+ Year Member

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    Why would you retake the gre? Those are scores in the 90th+ percentile, yes?

    Do the papers you have reflect an empirical project? Have you done any original work (start-to-finish)?

    You look to be in pretty good shape. If you don't get in, get a full time RA job for a couple years, enjoy life, and hope for better luck next time.
     
  25. laymasterflex

    laymasterflex

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    I have a 3.3 GPA, Online Peer Counseling Experience, I got an Internship at the National Alliance of Mental Illness, and started a student organization, as well as helping develop a computer program that helps autistic kids. I am trying to join a lab next semester. Realistically what are my chances for getting into these programs?
     
  26. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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  27. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC thread/sticky.
     
  28. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    I would not waste time taking the GRE again. And prob not bother w the subject test either tbh.
     
  29. SmallTownPSY

    SmallTownPSY

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    I think you have a good shot, though I would add more "safety" schools. And remember that while the quality of the program is important, so is the quality of the POI.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
  30. pamplemousse926

    pamplemousse926 2+ Year Member

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    I might try and get post undergrad research experience which is often more robust and involved.
     
  31. libbeyloo

    libbeyloo

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    I would agree on the general test, but I would actually advise taking the subject test if you're aiming at top clinical science schools - while some of them don't "require" the subject test, a large proportion "strongly recommend" it, and there's no reason to limit your chances of success by not doing it. It's not going to be a deciding factor for admission, but it's one more box to check off, and an easy one at that.
     
    singasongofjoy likes this.
  32. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Good point. Depends on where you are applying. I took the subject test when I was applying - but none of the schools even "strongly suggested" it and I know it wasn't a factor where I ended up. But different schools are... different :) so good point!
     
  33. libbeyloo

    libbeyloo

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    Yeah, your mileage certainly may vary depending on the programs you're looking at, but it seems to be a trend among clinical science programs in particular. I applied alongside someone else from my lab who did not take the test, and noticed that schools who "strongly recommended" it extended me interviews but did not do the same for him. Obviously, other factors might have been at play here, but I know he wished he had realized that "strongly recommend" can mean "basically require unless your application is beyond extraordinary." The clinical science program I'll be attending in the fall requires it, so I'm certainly glad I took it!
     
  34. elbuck3l17

    elbuck3l17

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    Hi there! Feeling more than out of my league upon reading this thread but I'm going to give it a go.

    I'm a senior with a degree in biology (GPA 3.4) and about 9 hours in psychology (intro, abnormal, developmental, 4.0 for all).
    For the past year and a half, I've felt more and more certain that I want to head into the clinical psychology route and even have a few research interests in mind. Again, I was a biology major and have had no psych research experience and little experience with volunteer work involving my fields of interest. I understand that many graduate programs have pre-reqs, which I was already prepared to take at CCs and nearby state universities, but I was wondering what else I could be doing in the future in order to make myself a competitive applicant as I am fully aware of how limited spots in PhD programs.
    Should I head the masters route knowing I would be gaining the research experience I lack? Is there some way to gain research experience without having to do earn the masters? I live about 45 minutes outside of DFW, Texas so I'm truly not near many universities or hospitals that are looking for RA's (trust me, I have been searching). Am I just not looking in the right places? I see so many threads advising applicants to rack up more research hours but I am stuck on where and how.
    Maybe I've already answered my own question, but I am welcoming any advice that current or aspiring clinical psychologists have to offer. If the masters track is my best or only option, what type of psych masters would be best for going onward to a PhD program? Many thanks!
     
  35. jmiah717

    jmiah717

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    I'm no expert here, but I've spent the better part of the last year learning about this process. Others will certainly be able to help you more than I can but here's what I rank as important for admission (varying order for different places):

    1. Fit with your research experience and interests to the interests of the investigator to whom you are applying (you apply to specific people more so than just the department). Remember, they are bringing you in to help with their work and possibly help them achieve tenure, more funding for novel studies, etc. You have to think of it in terms of what you provide to them that might be better or different than the other 200-600 people applying.
    2. Grades/GPA - this is about risk. Higher grades generally means less risk. They are (at funded programs) spending a lot of money on you and don't want to take too many risks. Why admit students with lower GPA's when you don't have to? There may be reasons to do so but you'll have to check all the other boxes. Look up the some programs and check out their average GPA for incoming students. Some places literally have a 4.0 as the AVERAGE (U of Virginia) some years.
    3. Research experience - This probably belongs at the top. Quality research with respected faculty members really makes a difference. They are bringing you in to be a student researcher basically. It's like applying for a job and having no experience....more risk.
    4. Flexibility - If you restrict yourself in any way, you make this very difficult endeavor exponentially more difficult. Many of the top programs (and in many ways, depending on what you want to do, programs matter) get 300-600 applicants a year and usually offer less than 10 people a spot. Doing some quick math....that's a low % and means a lot of great people are going to get left out.
    5. Letters of recommendation - This really is more about #3 as it's like having references for a job. They have no way to know how you work without these. They matter ---- A lot.
    6. Luck - No way around it, there's some luck involved. You have control over many things but there are other things that are outside of your control. For example, not every faculty member accepts students in a given year. So if you were looking forward to working with so and so in his brain and behavior lab but he's not taking students...well, that school may now be off your list for that year.
    7. Patience - There are lots of people on this forum who have applied 3-4 years in a row before being accepted.

    If you know for sure you want to just be a clinician, get a graduate (master's) degree and get licensed. If you think you definitely want to get into a PhD program you have a couple of options: volunteer in a lab and work hard, getting as many pubs and posters out (quality ones) as you can. You can also do what you're doing: try to find an RA job. Get a master's in a clinical field with lots of great research to get some pubs and good letters of reference, and get great grades (near 4.0 is the rule in grad school, not the exception). You can also go to a post bacc program and get some research experience (those will likely be expensive).

    I have an MSW and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. While I have lots of great clinical experience from my career, I have very little research experience. I am volunteering at a local lab in a great university and putting off applying for almost 2 years while I gain this necessary experience. I also plan to crush the GRE, both general and psych. The other thing I have done is start a spreadsheet with over 60 schools and 1-3 PI's at each I may want to work with. That way, when it's time to apply, I can look them all up and tailor personal statements to their interests and weave them with mine. Oh yeah, and I work full time as a therapist at the VA. THIS IS A LOT OF WORK just to get in and even more once you start. But if you really want to do it...these are things that can help. Like I said, others will be maybe even more helpful. This is a labor of love for me and I'm willing to take my time to better my chances. At the very least, find a way to read some research in a field you're interested in and immerse yourself in the language and writing style. Use your time wisely. Many PI's give PDF links to their most recent or relevant work on their faculty webpage. Good luck.
     
    elbuck3l17 likes this.
  36. wtfook

    wtfook

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    In order to find RA jobs, you might need to move. They are often a 2 year commitment and they're usually in cities with large universities. You're young. It might be a good time to relocate in order to reach your goals. Moving for a job is way better than moving for a Master's degree, at least with regards to money.
     
    elbuck3l17 likes this.
  37. elbuck3l17

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    Thank you SO much! I'm definitely interested in saving money so being able to avoid the masters would be great if I was able to gain the experience outside of that. Definitely seeing more now that I need to relocate, which is my plan for after graduation.
     
  38. elbuck3l17

    elbuck3l17

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    Thank you for your extremely thorough answer. I truly appreciate any extensive advice. It's inspiring to know you're entering this field with a good plan and patience for it in order to get where you want to be. Definitely heading into DFW, Austin, or Houston after graduation to get research where a plethora of universities and better research possibilities exist. You've given me a lot of helpful things to think about! Good luck in your endeavors!
     
  39. wtfook

    wtfook

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    Dec 29, 2015
    Honestly, if I was in your shoes back when I was graduating college, I would've done the RA route. Commit to 2 years. Do some research. Live in a big city. Publish and present. It's WAY more cost effective than a master's and you'll get lots of research experience, which is the biggest thing for clinical psych programs. Many clinical psych programs care more about the research experience than the clinical experience. They basically expect you to have little to none and that they'll be training you as a clean slate. As for where to find these jobs, major hospitals, schools, and labs are often hiring but the postings aren't always in traditional places. Check out university hiring websites or email professors directly! I also get random job opportunity listings through the APA division list serv I'm on. Maybe think about joining APA (it's cheaper for students) and see if anything pops up there too.
     
  40. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum 5+ Year Member

    14,352
    13,799
    Jun 25, 2012
    Cornfield
    WAMC:

    BA in English
    Getting MA in clinical/counseling psych

    Grades:
    Undergrad ~3.7
    Grad School ~ 3.8

    GRE:
    Verbal ~95th percentile
    Quant ~65th percentile
    Writing ~98th percentile

    Research Experience:
    -2nd author on one paper about to be published in a psychotherapy journal
    -author on another paper that might be submitted by the time I apply
    -first author on another paper that definitely won't be submitted by the time I apply: master's thesis, my mentor will likely write that it's publishable in her LOR
    -lab manager for a psychology lab with 7 undergrad research assistants
    -potentially a poster

    Teaching Experience:
    Graduate TA - actually taught a lecture
    Undergrad TA
    Guest- Lecturer in a medical school

    Other Psych Experience:
    - 40 hour practicum doing therapy
    - A metric butt-ton of hours doing assessments, competent in the wechslers and MMPI
    -will be starting at an internship this summer, not sure where yet - potentially a prison or a crisis facility

    LORs:
    -Fantastic

    Not sure if I am missing anything else that schools are looking for but was wondering what programs might match these stats. Locationwise I want to be in the midwest, west coast, east coast, canada, new zealand, or australia. So basically English speaking countries that aren't the south. Also debating retaking the GRE to get the quant up, or taking the psych GRE since I wasn't a psychology major.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  41. sabine_psyd

    sabine_psyd

    70
    25
    Mar 2, 2017
    I can't give good feedback if you are looking at PhD schools (I'm starting my last year of my PsyD/internship year), but I can say that if you plan on getting licensed eventually in the US, it would be best to attend schools in the US or Canada.
     
    singasongofjoy likes this.
  42. psych.meout

    psych.meout

    667
    314
    Oct 5, 2015
    It sounds like you have some great qualifications, but it doesn't seem like you are approaching this the right way. Generally, you want to be selecting programs based on your particular research interests, career goals, clinical interests, etc., not what programs would "match your stats." Regardless of how good your qualifications are, most programs are based on mentor models, so the point of applying is to maximize your fit with the POI(s) and then specific aspects of the overall program (e.g. specialized external practica). Applying to programs more generically simply because you exceed their admissions statistics by healthy margins is a great way to get denied admissions, let alone get interviews in the first place.

    And what exactly do you want to do with your doctorate?

    As @sabine_psyd pointed out, if you want to get licensed and do any kind of clinical work whatsoever in the US or Canada, you need to attend an APA- or CPA-accredited program in the US or Canada, respectively. If you just want to be a researcher, geography and accreditation aren't quite as important.

    You should probably buy a recent edition of the Insider's Guide, read some articles from your area of interest and look at the programs where some of the authors are faculty, and/or just individually look at programs and their faculty through their websites.
     
    singasongofjoy likes this.
  43. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum 5+ Year Member

    14,352
    13,799
    Jun 25, 2012
    Cornfield
    Wow I hadn't even considered the license issue, thanks for letting me know.


    And I apologize, I should have been more specific. I realize most PhD programs are the mentor model. I do have a specific area of research I'm interested in, and know how to go about finding faculty members who might be a good fit. I have a great mentor in my masters program whose helping me with that, and for anonymity sake id rather not say my area of interest (my cv is tailored to it though for the record) I was more so wondering if my statistics/research experience would be good enough if you make the assumption that the content of my research lines up with a potential mentor. Are there schools where my scores would be a hindrance even if I was a good match in terms of research interests (real talk, my dream school is the university of minnesota)? Or am I totally not getting the core concept of how this selection process works?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  44. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

    1,544
    1,309
    Aug 2, 2010
    Psychologist
    1. Score well on the GRE this time.
    2. Don't apply outside the US and Canada unless you want to practice and live in those countries.
    3. Ruling out large swaths of the country geographically will not move the odds in your favor.
    4. Do everything you can to get that other paper submitted before your application, esp. if it is an empirical paper (original research).
    5. Your clinical experience is much less important than your research productivity. You might have committed to a summer internship already, but you'd be better off using the time to crank out another paper or get other research experience.
     
    psych.meout likes this.
  45. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum 5+ Year Member

    14,352
    13,799
    Jun 25, 2012
    Cornfield
    Is my GRE not good? I'm not trying to be defensive about taking it again for the record - my "studying" for the GRE just consisted of going over some vocabulary words like 2 days before I took it, I'm sure if I actually prepared I could get a higher score, I'm more so wondering if where I'm currently at is like total garbage or just could be better.
    Yes all the research is empirical.
    I've got no ties keeping me in the states, if I went overseas for school I would assume I would practice there.
    I'll try and reach out and see if I can get more research experience over the summer. The internship is a requirement for my masters, so I can't just not do it.
    - but it doesn't start until August so I've got time.
    Thanks for the information :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  46. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician

    76
    52
    Mar 19, 2016
    You typically need a work visa to work overseas and those are not always easy to get. Before considering international programs, look into the requirements to work abroad first once you have the degree. Degrees are usually not transferred from international to US, at least not clinical doctoral degrees.
     
    sabine_psyd likes this.
  47. wtfook

    wtfook

    71
    41
    Dec 29, 2015
    The percentile on your verbal and writing look great. The quant is kind of low. You might wanna take it again JUST to see if the quant could be higher. However, I know there's generally a cutoff for most schools and they usually set it at 50%, which you're well above in all sections. Doesn't hurt to take it again, especially if you barely prepared before. Focus on the math this time. Otherwise, as everyone said, you'll get interviews based on match with regard to research interests and overall fit. The stats will prevent you from getting screened out and with your stats you should be fine.
     
    touchpause13 likes this.
  48. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

    1,544
    1,309
    Aug 2, 2010
    Psychologist
    Sorry - just the quant section and, as WisNeuro explained, it's not terrible but could be higher.
     
  49. psychgirl44

    psychgirl44

    13
    1
    Apr 22, 2017
    Hey all,
    I want to apply to PhD programs in counseling psychology at the end of this year, and I want to know what my chances of getting in are. I currently have a 3.94 GPA. I became an RA in 2 labs (one social psych lab and one counseling psych lab) in January of this year. I'm also joining a 3rd lab this summer. Applications are due around December 1st, so basically I'll have 11 months of research experience in 2 labs and 7 months of research experience in 3 labs. I won't have any publications, but I will definitley have my name on 1 poster that I am going to present at a conference. (possibly 2 posters, but we'll see). I've volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and since January I've been a phone counselor for a suicide/crisis hotline. I have one letter of rec set in place from someone who holds a very prestigious position in the counseling psych world. His letter is probably the strongest part of my application. Working on finding people for my other 2 letters. I take the GRE this summer, but I'm planning on getting tutoring for that. So if I do well on the GRE, do you think I have a shot of getting in? Any recommendations on applying and what makes an application stronger?

    Edit: I am also a TA for personality psychology and taught a 2 hour lecture that I prepared myself. I plan on being a TA again for at least one more semester.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  50. beyondnervous

    beyondnervous

    12
    6
    Jan 30, 2017
    There's a thread titled "WAMC: What Are My Chances" at the top of this forum where this post can be placed and receive lots of feedback. You will notice other candidates with similar backgrounds to yours have gotten insightful feedback on how to improve their application/experiences.

    To provide brief feedback though- only 7-11 months of research experience by application period is not considered competitive, especially if you only have your name on 1 poster. There will be numerous candidates who will be applying with 2-4+ years experience, excellent recommendation letters/GREs and numerous poster/oral presentations (and possibly several publications) to the same exact laboratories/schools you'll be applying to work with. Take at least a year off and apply Fall 2018.
     
  51. metalpsychperson

    metalpsychperson

    9
    8
    Mar 20, 2017
    I disagree. I had a little over a year of RA experience and just one poster presentation with no pubs, yet I got into a fully funded PsyD program off the waitlist, and got a first offer from a partially funded PsyD program. If I had broadened my scope I might have gotten into more (I only applied to 4 programs because I really wanted a balanced program which was rare with my interests - I would've applied to more if I had to do a second round). I did have an honors thesis just about finished by interview time + stellar GRE scores, and I think that's what got me in, but I also didn't have any clinically relevant experience like OP (with the suicide hotline volunteering). If OP has solid letters and applies to programs that are an excellent fit, I think they have a shot. I'm not saying it's likely, but there's a good enough chance. Unless OP can't afford to apply twice, or decides they want some more time before applying.

    OP, will the social psych lab PI not write you a letter?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
    sabine_psyd and psychgirl44 like this.

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