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WAMC: What Are My Chances

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

  1. beyondnervous

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    She's interested in PhD Counseling, which to my understanding, are much more competitive than PsyD programs. Based on the content from the WAMC thread alone, some of the most senior members advise on having 1 1/2+ years worth of experience (and more than one poster presentation), which would serve as concrete evidence to the contributions she would've made to the several research laboratories she's been a part of. OP has some experience for her application to be considered (depending on her roles/leadership within the different labs and whether PIs can attest to this) and it wouldn't hurt for her to apply if she wants to commit to that process this application round. However, I'd personally wait to have a solid, competitive CV which reflects the experience of the candidates I'm being compared to. Perhaps others who've been accepted to fully-funded PhD Counseling Psych programs may be able to weigh in on the WAMC thread.
     
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  3. MCParent

    Faculty Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved

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    @metalpsychperson said funded PsyD, meaning Baylor or the like. Very hard to get into, as hard as any funded program.
    Amount of time in the labs isn't as important as content, which seems like it'd be good if OP's name is on a poster. 11 months of substantive involvement is better than 2 years of data entry.
    Seems competitive to me.
     
  4. psychgirl44

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    Hey metalpsychperson! Thanks for the advice, very insightful response. I could get a letter out of the social psych lab I'm in, but it would be from a psychologist not a counseling psychologist. I go to a very popular, well rounded college where a lot of top dog counseling psychologists do research/teach, so I'm in the process of trying to get cool with them bc they're well known in the field I want to get involved in, so I feel their letters will hold more weight.
     
  5. psychgirl44

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    This is good to know because despite my lack of time in labs, I certainly have a lot of responsibilities. The counseling psych lab I'm in is particularly unique, as it composed of entirely undergrads, no grad students. A counseling psychologist that teaches at my school supervises us, but other than that we do literally everything. We formulate study ideas, formulate study methods, write IRB submissions, conduct literature reviews, collect data, analyze data, work directly with SPSS, create posters ourselves, the whole 9 yards. So I really feel I'm getting hands on experience. Someone once told me that it does not necessarily matter how many labs you are in or how long you are in them, but that the work you are doing is meaningful and insightful. Nice to hear someone else validate this.
     
  6. psychgirl44

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    You do make a good point. I could potentially get accepted somewhere, but I'd have more options if I devoted more time to building my resume.
     
  7. wtfook

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    I did 2 rounds of applications before getting into a fully funded counseling psych PhD program and from talked with grad students in the counseling psych programs I interviewed at, I know it is possible to get in straight out of undergrad. It would be very tough though. Unlike clinical psych, counseling psych pools more heavily from people who already have masters degrees or extensive life experience in clinical and/or research areas. For example, NYU states on their application page that they highly favor applicants who already have master's degrees. If you think you are ready to apply now and have solid fit with advisors you hope to work with, go ahead. What do you have to lose right? If you don't think you can afford to apply more than once, then I might advise you to hold off and get more publications.

    One thing I saw in some threads on here that I noticed during interviews as well is that fit with a professor's current research is important, but you also want to see how your fit is with where their research is going. You might want to apply to someone because they have publications in one area and list it as a research interest but get to the interview and find they have changed their route and are now doing something slightly different that someone else is a better fit with. I found the best way to work with this is to email professors you want to apply to and ask them what their current and future projects are. Some might respond and some won't. It doesn't hurt to ask. Then you can make a more informed decision on who is a great fit with you.

    Again, as someone said above, it is possible to get in out of undergrad. It will just be VERY difficult. It doesn't hurt to try, but be prepared to apply again because it may or may not work out.
     
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  8. rerope

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    This year NYU Counseling accepted two students who had post-bac experience (I think 2yrs +) rather than holding a master's but either way I doubt acceptance would've been likely straight out of undergrad. If you want to apply and have the funds, time and 2 or 3 definite programs with very very good fit in mind then I would say try but I wouldn't go for 15 apps or something like that till you beef up your apps.
     
  9. wtfook

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    Yeah I remember when I interviewed at NYU during the 2016 cycle, one of their current students (who is still there I believe) was admitted straight out of undergrad. But she said herself she was a rare case. It's not like it's not possible but especially with counseling psych I feel like there's an emphasis on greater life experience and time out of school spent doing relevant work either in the form of additional degrees or research or something. I don't think it hurts to try if OP is really determined, but I definitely would just wait. Why rush? If you're straight out of undergrad, you're still really young. It doesn't hurt to spend some time out of school and grow as a person not just professionally but personally. It'll make you a better researcher, academic, and student in the long run.
     
  10. neonapple

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    I guess I don't know how counseling programs are, but I got in to several fully funded clinical PhD programs out of undergrad with one year of research experience at the time of application (no posters, no pubs, some work on an honors thesis). I'm pretty sure it was just my GPA (went to a highly ranked undergrad) and GRE scores that got me in, but it can be done.
     
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  11. metalpsychperson

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    Only one of my LORs was from a clinical psychologist. The other two were from experimental psychologists. I'd think you'd be better off with a letter from a non-counseling psychologist that knows you very well and can write you an excellent letter than a counseling psychologist who hasn't worked with you as much or seen you recently. At least that's my intuition
    Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. Should probably have at least one from a counseling or clinical psychologist, but you've already got that.
     
  12. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC sticky
     
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  13. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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    Agreed. You want somewhere around a year's worth at least, in general, but like MCParent mentioned, 11 months with productivity (e.g., involvement in a poster/publication) would probably be viewed more positively than 2 years of "just" data entry.

    However, reviewers also know that students aren't always able to control these factors. Two years of data entry is still two years' worth of research experience.
     
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  14. psychgirl44

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    I appreciate you taking the time to give me your input. I will definitely take it into consideration.
     
  15. singasongofjoy

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    I think that the person who can write the most detailed letter for you that includes specific examples that illustrate the qualities you need to be a successful grad student is way more important than the names on the letter, if the difference between the two is someone who knows you quite well versus someone who barely knows your work (though they may know you socially). In submitting letters, letter writers generally have to say how long they have known you and in what capacity (e.g., you were a RA in their lab, a student in their class, etc) and rate how well they know you (e.g., ranging from "very well" to the equivalent of "barely is a stretch; this person was a student in my 300 person intro class 2 years ago and asked me to write a letter for them even though I hardly remember them." ) The psychologists you will be applying to work with will be able to smell the difference. Now if you have someone fairly well recognized in the field who is ALSO quite familiar with your work (beyond "got an A in my class") then that may be different. But it might look weird if you worked fairly closely with someone in their lab and then didn't have a rec letter from them, but did have some from people who know you less well. People might suspect you were afraid to ask them for a letter because you screwed up something in the lab or left on bad terms or something.
     
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  17. Ochem 32

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    Hey everyone, this is kind of long, but I would be so appreciative of any sort of answers! This is regarding clinical psychology doctoral programs. I'm applying for medical school in the coming months, but was keeping clinical psychology graduate school as my back-up plan. (I just graduated from undergrad with a major in Neuropsychology and a minor in Psychology, so I believe I should have the prerequisites for both med school and psych grad school). I was researching schools today and found Northwestern's clinical psychology program offered through their medical school (Feinberg). Here are my questions:

    I also saw that Northwestern has another clinical psychology doctorate degree through their psychology department (as opposed to med/psychiatry). The med/psychiatry one's description appeals to me more, but I'm confused of why they have two different programs. I'd never seen or heard of anything like this until today. Is this common? Are there other schools that offer clinical psychology degrees through their medical school? The idea of being clinically trained for a health center environment is what attracts me most to it, and I haven't seen that in any other program I've researched thus far.

    Second, just curious what your guys' thoughts are on my prospective application. I have a 4.0 in my psych classes, 3.75 cumulative gpa. I haven't taken the GRE yet, and I know it could be bad to assume it will go well, but for the sake of this let's say I do well enough to be competitive. I was president of my school's NAMI on Campus chapter for 2 years (I know extracurriculars probably don't help much, but can't hurt). My main concern is my research experience. I did a semester of research as a RA my sophomore year, and a semester my senior year, and worked on a capstone paper my senior year also. I've heard that it is better to have continuous research, however I needed to quit my sophomore year. The faculty over the research had me analyzing spreadsheets to things that were really complicated to me at the time, and kept telling me I was doing it wrong being very rude about it. I'm not one to back out of something because someone hurt my feelings. This was my first time with research and I tried putting in the effort to make it better, and it got a little better, but I decided that lab wasn't for me. The topic didn't interest me and I was told (incorrectly) at the time by an advisor that research isn't required for med school, so I decided it was best to leave. Now flash forward 2 years later, I realize research is needed for med school (and psych), so I find another lab. This time it's with a really supportive faculty member and the topic is more relevant to what I want to do. It was great. The following semester though I just worked with him on my capstone and decided that being an actual RA didn't fit my schedule due to other pre-med requirements. So in summary, I have some research experience but no posters or publications. I'm working as a medical scribe during a gap year because medical school is still my top choice, but am looking into doing something clinically relevant to psych too.

    If you only answer one thing, answer this please: What are my chances at PsyD and/or phD programs with my credentials and experiences. Should I choose one over the other? apply for both? something else? Thank you so much!
     
  18. Neuro727

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    I'm not too familiar what the difference between the two programs are, but there are a few other programs which are housed in medical schools. Off the top of my head UT-Southwestern, UAlabama-Birmingham, Mercer (not yet accredited) and PAU-Stanford consortium (50% of the faculty are from Stanford's med school). Some schools like Rosalind Franklin and Pacific University-Oregon have their neuropsych students take a neuro course with the med students. That being said what department the program is housed doesn't make too big a difference in the training from what I understand. Any reputable clinical psychology doctorate program will provide you with practicum opportunities in a medical center setting. For neuropsych you should focus primarily on if the programs have neuropsych opportunities through research, practicum and coursework. Programs like Northwestern/UT/UAB are extremely competitive and typically take ~7% of the students who apply to them. Those students almost always have multiple poster presentations and a publication or two. Even for neuro focused Psy.D programs research is extremely important. If you decide that neuropsych is what you would like to pursue over medical school, then pursuing a RA position in a neuropsych lab for 1-2 years after you graduate would be extremely beneficial for your application. The vast majority of PhD/PsyD incoming students at the better programs have taken some time off after graduation to make themselves more competitive.
     
    #3666 Neuro727, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  19. psych.meout

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    It's probably not a good idea to have grad school in clinical psych be your "back-up plan," if only because fully-funded programs are more difficult to get into than med schools. The educations and careers between physicians and clinical psychologists are also very different, so one isn't really a good substitute for the other. You should probably look more into what the training and lifestyles are like for psychologists and physicians, as well as figure out what you want to do for a career.

    Regardless, you need significantly more research experience to get into a full-funded program. Two semesters of research and a capstone without any productivity will make it difficult to get into any fully-funded program. You also need to learn more about the overall admissions process. You need to emphasize fit, but not just with the program being located in a university medical school. The fit is more about with your mentor and more specific aspects of the program, e.g. coursework, practicum opportunities, research and clinical populations, etc. The more generically and less specifically you focus your applications, the less likely you are to gain admission to any program, regardless of how qualified you are.

    As to the Northwestern programs themselves, the program at the main campus in Evanston is more research focused and the program at the Feinberg medical school is more balanced between research and clinical work. The Evanston program is fully-funded, whereas the Feinberg program is only partially funded, with funding being more dependent upon your lab's funding. The average debt load for grads of the Feinberg program was about $60,000. The faculty at each program are doing very different things, e.g. forensic psychology at Feinberg, so, again, you need to focus on matching with the specific faculty there.
     
  20. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    It's not easy to be a competitive applicant for medical school and graduate school in psychology simultaneously. Both value good grades and research experience, but the latter is more essential to graduate school admissions. Other than grades and research experience, the med school and grad school admissions processes reward different things. Of course, they require different and non-comparable admissions tests (MCAT and GRE). Medical schools want to see volunteer and clinical experiences, whereas these matter little to the graduate school admissions process. Beyond grades and test scores, medical schools favor applicants who appear well rounded and community-minded, whereas graduate programs want to see evidence that you can adapt quickly and take on increasing responsibilities in a research setting, and stick with a problem or research topic long enough to have something to show for it. As you've surmised, this is your main liability right now - you have a semester here and a semester there of lab experience and that does not speak to a strong commitment to the field.

    A couple of more sensible "back-up plans" for medical school admissions would be either (1) beef up your application and re-apply a subsequent year or (2) choose another career in the medical field (eg, physician assistant).

    You'd probably need a more significant change in direction to make yourself competitive for graduate school in psychology, and that is true for both PhD programs and PsyD programs (I'm talking about accredited programs with good reputations, not programs that accept any middling applicant, because those aren't worth attending even as a fallback option). There's nothing holding you back from applying to see where you end up, but make sure it's what you really want. Medical school and grad school are apples and oranges.
     
  21. Ochem 32

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    Thanks for the input guys! I think after thinking about it some, I really do want to have a clinical-based training and career, so maybe psychology is not the right route for me. My main focus overall is to help individuals suffering from mental illness (obviously there's more to it than that), but that's a general summary statement. I think I will continue to make my application stronger for med school (which I think it's not too bad right now), and apply broadly to that. To be honest, I have a lot more interest in the clinical side of things and barely any interest in research. So I think your comments about not doing psychology are valid.

    I just need to do more research on up plans to medical school (or things to strengthen application if I don't get in this year and want to reapply next year) since physician assistant programs recommend three years clinical experience, and I'm just not starting my first year in such a position. I don't think I can wait another three years to start grad school, 1 sure, 2 maybe, but not 3.

    Thank you for the super-quick responses! I appreciate it!
     
  22. psych.meout

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    Well, most graduates from doctoral programs in clinical psychology have careers providing clinical services, so it's not the case that a doctorate in clinical psychology means you have to have a career as a researcher or as faculty at a college or university.
     
  23. PsychPhDStudent

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    Totally agree, but I think they will likely still have to take a couple of years to get relevant research experience and take the GRE to be competitive for psych anyway; time to clarify their goals. I agree with MamaPhD's assertion that clinical psych and medicine are apples and oranges, and one shouldn't necessary be a fallback to the other. If the OP wants to go to medical school and a psych PhD is the "backup plan", they're better off spending the 1-3 years improving their med application, IMO.
     
  24. psych.meout

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    Right, which is what I wrote in my earlier post. I just wanted to dispel the notion that getting research experience prior to and during graduate school means that psychologists are going to inevitably have research careers. Wanting to help people with mental illness is perfectly consistent with graduate training and the modal career outcomes for graduates supports this path.
     
  25. Ochem 32

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    It seems a little bit illogical that while there are a number of clinical psych careers that don't involve research, the legitimate grad schools require/highly encourage somewhat extensive research experience, even psyD. Is there something I'm missing here or is that just the nature of it?
     
  26. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Well, many clinical careers have some amount of research. Additionally, it's important to understand how to conduct and evaluate research as our field (at least the good parts of it) value empirically supported treatments. If you just wanted to be a therapist, get a masters or SW degree and go at it. If you want a lot more flexibility and higher earnings ceiling, the PhD is the way to go.
     
  27. Neuro727

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    There is some variation between how much each PsyD program values research, but it's more the neuropsych aspect of PsyD programs that place additional emphasis on research. In order to be a neuropsychologist you need to match with an internship in your 5th year that offers a good amount of neuro training as well as a neuropsych post-doc after that. In order to by competitive for both of those you need to have a fair amount of neuro research during grad school on top of your neuro clinical practicum placements. Also, every PsyD program I interviewed at required their students to complete a dissertation as part of their doctorate, albeit the dissertations were less extensive than a typical PhD dissertation. If you want a program that offers neuro training, but is very clinically focused I'd check out Widener.
     
  28. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Ehhh, I'd look fairly broadly. I haven't been particularly impressed with the applicants I've had from this one. Small n, yes, but an observation nonetheless.
     
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  29. Neuro727

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    Perfectly fair. I just mentioned it off the top of my head because when I interviewed there they really emphasized that they don't do a lot of research.
     
  30. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Ah, well apparently that shows from what I've seen
     
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  31. Ochem 32

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    I think there might be some confusion. I don't actually want to do a Neuropsychology program, that's just my undergraduate major. I'm looking at just Clinical Psychology.
     
  32. Neuro727

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    My mistake I misunderstood you. Research is still important and its definitely weighed heavier than med school admissions. On the other hand GPA/GRE are less important for grad school than GPA/MCAT is for med school. Do you have any clinical experiences? Those can make up for less research for some PsyD programs. You have nothing to lose by applying though because you never know. I would definitely make sure that you only apply to quality programs though.
     
  33. Psychisfun43

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    Education - B.S. Psychology University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a minor in Leadership Studies
      • Cumulative GPA: 3.80
      • Psychology GPA: 3.70
    • Research
      • I did some Research for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for patient data and program effectiveness.
      • Three years undergrad research position in two different labs and I am joining the third lab for my last year. So in total four years of experience. One focusing on childhood development with math, another with addiction in regards to MJ/Cig. I was doing basic grunt work data analysis, scoring, etc.
      • Clinical Psychology testing experience (Shadowed and Learned): MMPI (Forensics), SIMs (Forensics), and PPVT (For developmental lab).
    Internships:
    • Two Summer internships at the RIC for chronic pain. In which I shadowed the program itself and learned what the patients learn and saw the therapeutic side. I also did medical history intakes and shadowed Clinical Psychologists, DO's and Observed Bio-feedback. I also sat in group psychotherapy and interacted with patients at the program.
    • Internship for a forensic psychiatrist which Reviewed medical/psychiatric/psychological reports and records, Assisted with online case related article research, Attended Fitness to Stand Trial hearing, Sat in on psychiatric depositions, Job shadowed a psychometrician during psychological testing
    • Internship at a teen mental health clinic and it was mostly basic intern work. I also hosted a club for students after school as a safe after-school program for at-risk teens. LGBTQ oriented, and I organized a domestic violence project for campers.
    • 150 Clinical ER Hours
    • GRE:
    • GRE I currently have a Q:165 and V:160, W:5.0
    • Psych GRE: 730
    LOR: This is a hard choice for me. I have two clinical psychologists who are willing to write recs for me from different internship experiences. Although, the third letter is a professor. I didn't do so great in his class, but he knows me very well because I always went to his office hours. I am going to work in his lab starting in the fall. Should I use his letter of rec or should I ask my boss at my job who knows very well for about two years? The job isn't related to the clinical psych, but he knows my work ethic and character. He also said he would write me a rec in a heart beat. Otherwise, I have back up's like Ph.D. student who I TA'ed for his class. We are very close, but he hasn't been doctored yet! I could ask my PI, but our relationship wasn't the best.


    Schools I am applying too:
    Northwestern University Ph.D. (Feinberg)
    Wash U in St. Louis (Ph.D.)
    Roosevelt's University PsyD
    School of Prof Psych Chicago Psyd
    Pal-Alto/Stanford University PsyD
    Yeshiva University PsyD
    Baylor University PsyD
    Indiana State University PsyD
    Rutgers PsyD
    University of Austin PhD
    Drexler PhD
    University of Penn PhD
    Duke PhD
    University of Kansas PhD
    Stoney Brook University PhD

    Are these schools in my ballpark or am I aiming too high? Also, anymore PsyD programs or even Ph.D. programs recommendations? I am Interested in Humanistic/existential and CBT framework but focusing on Geropsychology and neuropsychological testing. I am focusing on half Ph.D. and PsyD. I would prefer a scientist-practitioner model Phd school like Northwestern or Drexler but PsyD programs like Baylor and Rutgers are also very appealing.
     
    #3681 Psychisfun43, May 24, 2017
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  34. psych.meout

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    Your GRE scores and GPA are good, but you might be a little light on research experience if you were just doing "grunt work" and don't have any productivity (e.g. posters or publications) from it. It's somewhat less about how long you were doing research in a lab and more about what you actually did there. Admissions committees and POIs want to see higher level conceptual work like helping develop the design and protocol or composing the manuscript after analyzing the results.

    That said, I would definitely try to get recommendations from your research supervisors, especially if they are psychologists. Clinical experience like your internships can be good, but they are of diminishing returns for good doctoral programs. This is especially the case, because undergrads and those with bachelor's degrees generally can't really do the more advanced clinical work that's on the level of graduate training, which is likely why most of your clinical experience seems to observational in nature. I had a lot of clinical experience when I was admitted earlier this year and got a recommendation from one of the neuropsychologists I work with, but my position is quite unique and rare, so my experiences were relatively rare compared to those of the other students interviewing where I did.

    As far as the programs you've selected, I'd get rid of all the PsyD programs, if only due to their lack of funding. Baylor and Rutgers are solid programs, so you can keep them if you like, but I'd still get rid of the rest.
     
  35. Psychisfun43

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    The main reason why I don't have so much research compared to my clinical experiences is that I didn't know what population I would like to work with. To figure this out, I spent my summers and throughout the year I worked at places with clinical exposure. Some of the Psyd schools I picked are backups just in case if I don't get in. Although, I wouldn't mind going to a Psyd school even if I have to pay more like Yeshiva. What other Phd programs do you suggest and other top tier Psyd programs?
     
    #3683 Psychisfun43, May 24, 2017
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  36. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist

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    If a school is going to run you >200k in tuition, and/or has terrible accredited internship placement rates, they should not be a backup.
     
  37. Psychisfun43

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    Louis
    So like a Professional school of psychology? All the Psyd programs I picked at least have an 80% APA accreditation internship and 80% licensing rate.
     
  38. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist

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    Yeah, the Chicago school of professional psych is usually well below 50% on that one. Other than that, I always advise people against anything that would put them near or over 6 figures in debt. Run the loan repayment numbers against median income and see how much you have left after taxes and paying loans to live on.
     
  39. SKI+SUN

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    Hi all, I'm new to the forum and have been reading a lot of stickied threads and other advice. My situation is a bit different, and I'm looking for maybe some suggestions/advice along with my chances. I'm on the older side of most applicants. My high school GPA was something like a 3.6, SAT 1330, graduated with a bachelor's degree in a different field (3.51 GPA - I could have done better if I put more effort in), worked for a few years in my field, didn't like the low pay and little challenge it offered, so I moved West to pursue my "passion" career of music. I worked several part-time and temporary jobs, some in a corporate office setting, some challenging, some not while trying to make it as a musician. After some years, I did have a bit of success, and toured regionally with a couple of artists but found that as I got older and deeper into the business, the lifestyle was not sustainable for me. At the time, my interest had already been sparked in psychology and having always been considered an intellectual, I decided to complete my undergraduate psychology pre-requisites at local community colleges and a local state university. After applying to a 3 doctoral programs, interviewing at one, and ultimately getting rejected, I accepted a spot at a FSPS for a part-time Master's degree as a gateway to the PhD. At this time, I am reconsidering whether that was a wise decision or whether I should have searched for research work instead, but I will have my Master's next year and will be applying to School Psychology programs this Fall and am hoping to include some competitive and funded programs. I love testing and assessment, as well as working with kids and am confident of the School Psychology path. I'd like to have options to practice in other settings or teach as an adjunct on the side, so the doctoral level programs are the ones I'm looking at. An academic or pure research career is not for me, but I would like to do some research at least at the doctoral level if not afterward, and be able to be an informed consumer of published research while practicing.

    TLDR - Applying to School Psychology doctoral programs

    Education: B.A. in a different field, 10+ years ago, 3.51 GPA
    Undergraduate GPA in Psychology: ~3.9
    FSPS Master's program GPA: ~3.9

    Test scores: GRE-V 163 (650) 92%ile, GRE-Q 159 (740) 71%ile, GRE-AW 5.0 93%ile, GRE Psychology 650 (I'm sure this would be higher if taken again. Should I?)

    Work experience: Post-B.A., mostly temp and PT work for years while pursuing a music career. Worked more recently with kids and teenagers as a youth mentor and substitute teacher.

    Research experience: Just recently completed a 2-month temp position as an RA collecting data (1-1 assessment of preschool children) for a project at a non-profit. Currently looking for another research position in educational psychology. I'll be completing courses in research and statistics this Fall through next Spring which may include a research paper as a component. Would it be wise to include with my application? Should I aim for publication?

    Programs I'm considering:
    UVA (combined clinical/school)
    James Madison University (combined clinical/school, not NASP approved)
    UMD
    UNC Chapel Hill
    NC State
    Univ. of South Carolina
    Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville
    Univ. of Florida
    Univ. of South Florida
    UMass Amherst
    Rhode Island
    Univ. of Utah
    Cal Berkeley (not NASP approved)

    Edits: Added a program, corrected GRE scores, added the following text.

    I'm more strongly considering programs that will give credit (or waive the requirements for credit) for courses taken while earning my Master's degree. Anyone have experience with that?
     
    #3687 SKI+SUN, May 26, 2017
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  40. wtfook

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    You might need to take your GRE again? If your scores are reported via the old system, how long ago did you take the test? The scores expire within 5 years, but maybe you're still good? I think they need to still be ok by the time you apply.
     
  41. SKI+SUN

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    2014 for the general, and 2015 for the psychology subtest. My reported scores were actually 163V and 159Q according to the new scoring system, but I used a table to convert to the 200-800 format because that's what I've seen on this forum. That was my second time taking the general, and I actually just double checked and realized that my AW score was a 5.0! (I'll edit my previous post to correct and make it clearer.)
     
  42. wtfook

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    Oh ok I was confused. Yeah you don't need to post the old scoring system. Pretty much all the recent WAMC posters have been using the new scoring system. 2014 is totally fine. I think the general consensus for most is that if you can get something published or present in some way it looks better than not doing it. It just shows there's a product you can present from your research, rather than just number crunching or something.

    School Psych is a little different from clinical or counseling though. I'm unfortunately not as well versed in what the admissions criteria are for that area. Although, I do think research fit will continue to be relevant. Your GRE scores are good so it wont get in your way most likely. However, even strong candidates can get turned away if their fit with the advisor they're applying to isn't great. So think less about the school you want to go to but the person you want to work with and if what you want to do is where their research is going or is currently exploring.
     
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  43. JenNeuro

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    Hey all!

    I am a psychology major finishing my B.A. in psychology in the fall at California State University, Sacramento. I am in the process of deciding on applying to a predoctoral master's program or a PhD. I am interested in clinical psychology programs and/or neuroscience. I haven't made my decision yet, but will soon. Hoping I can just get some opinions on my stats as an applicant:

    Overall GPA:3.55
    Sac State GPA 3.7 (I was a transfer student from community college so this is my GPA for the last two years)

    I have taken all required statistics and advanced statistics & research methods and received As in all of them. I am second author on a couple posters that I have presented at the Western Psychological Association conference this past spring as well.

    I have been a research assistant in 2 labs for the last year and will finish out being in them for a year and a half each by graduation. One in neuroscience and one that focuses on data collection and SPSS entry. Non academic work wise I do not have any previous experience as I have been a veterinary technician for 11 years and as you can now guess, I am not a traditional student.

    My extra curriculars also include being a peer mentor in the psychology department, being a lead mentor in the peer mentoring program, as well as putting on psychology workshops for students in the major, and volunteering at a youth crisis line.

    Is it worth it to apply to PhD programs right now? Obviously, I know how competitive these programs are and I do not have the GPA numbers to hang. I am currently about to study this summer for the GRE. If I did stellar on the GRE is there any chance I might be considered a candidate?

    Thank you so very much for your time! I cannot express my appreciation enough!
     
  44. SKI+SUN

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    I've heard about poster presentations here on this forum. What does one have to do in order to present a poster (or present in some other way) at a conference? Does your research need to be published in order to present it? Do you need to apply or be invited?
     
  45. PsychPhDStudent

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    You don't need to have published; usually posters happen once you have results from a study. You apply to present. I suggest you see where your PI usually presents at conferences and ask them what you can do to increase the odds of getting on a poster. National conferences are best but regionals are ok for undergrads (like Eastern/western/Midwest psychological association).
     
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  46. PsychGal70

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    Hi everyone!

    Looking for some insight into my chances of being accepted to a phd program in counseling or clinical psychology this next round. I did apply last year and wasn't accepted to any doctoral programs.

    I graduated with my bs in psychology and neuroscience in may 2016 with a cumulative of roughly 3.5 and major gpa of about 3.6 though my gpa my last 60 credits was more like a 3.85. I'm currently in a MS program in Psychological Research with a GPA of 3.95 for my first year set to graduate in may 2018.GRE of 65th % quant, 80th% verbal and 4.5 analytical.

    Research experience: roughly 3 years with applied and basic research experiences in counseling psych, social psychology, community psych, and health psych.

    Research outcomes: currently three pubs, with 4 more in prep which should be under review throughout the summer. 6+ oral presentations and 12+ poster presentations.

    Clinical experience: two internships, one in an outpatient mental health clinical and one in a hospital based domestic violence program for survivors of domestic violence. We also worked with the prison and jail systems as well.

    Work as a TA for undergrad Research Methods and graduate statistics.
     
  47. studentofthemind

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    Updated further in the thread!
     
    #3695 studentofthemind, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  48. LittleC

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    Hey everyone,

    B.A. honors-psychology 3.49/4 (2013)
    -Independent research project
    -Lab Assistant
    -Teacher's assistant
    M.A psychology 3.59/4 (2014)
    -Lab Assistant

    Worked as an RA one year at a non-profit (2014-2015)
    -Unfortunately, my personal life fell apart which led to my doing very poorly in my job here. A golden opportunity most likely wasted.

    English teacher in China (2015-2017)
    -got my personal life together

    GRE (2016)
    Verbal 157 (75th; 560)
    Quant 157 (67th; 730)
    Total 314 (1290)
    Writing 5.0 (93rd)

    I was looking to apply for a Psy.D., Ph.D. in counseling or become a mental health clinician if there is a 99% chance I won't get in anywhere. I was even thinking of taking 6 months to work at a licensed orphanage in India at the end of the summer as a volunteer. Would this be considered beneficial to a committee or should I suck it up and find work at a hospital or another lab. However, I would still be in India for the application time in December 2017 and I don't want to wait another year.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  49. psych.meout

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    Well, it looks like you've got a lot of great research experience with substantial productivity, though what exactly were your duties in these projects and how do you talk/write about your responsibilities and contributions? You should probably retake the GRE to get a higher quant score, but you also need to reevaluate how you applied to programs this past time to see if there's anything you have done differently. Did you geographically restrict your applications? Did you apply to enough programs, e.g. >12? restricting your applications in these ways hurts even the most competitive applicants. How good was the fit between you and your prospective lab, program, and POI?
    Firstly, you need to apply to more than six programs.

    Secondly, why are you seemingly restricting your applications to PsyD and counseling PhD programs? What are your professional goals and aspirations and how do these kinds of programs help you achieve them? Are you applying to these programs based on your fit with them and your prospective labs and POIs? Have you considered funded PhD program in clinical psychology?

    Thirdly, how long have you worked in this lab? Recruiting participants and running them through a study are pretty good, but data entry and coding are pretty basic, menial tasks. Doctoral programs want to see more substantial contributions (e.g. study development and manuscript prep) and with some kind of productivity, especially peer reviewed publications, over a longer term, preferably from start to finish of a study. Do you have any other research experience?
    It might be a good idea to reevaluate your goals, priorities, and interests. Based on what you've written, it seems you're more focused on getting things done as soon as possible rather than doing them the most rigorous way possible. You don't even seem that enthusiastic about graduate school. You seem more interested in working abroad, which is great, than getting a job which would get you the tangible experience needed to get into a quality grad program. If getting a psych-related clinical or research job is "sucking it up" to you, maybe this is not really what you want.

    Regardless, teaching English in China or working at an orphanage in India wouldn't help your application much. You need to retake the GRE, as your scores, BA GPA, and MA GPA are all middling. You need more applicable experience, primarily research, especially as you can't use one of your previous research experiences as a reference, because you performed "very poorly." This additional experience will need to be more than the five or six months you have until applications are due, and that's assuming you get a position immediately.
     
  50. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
    Psychologist

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    You'll be more competitive with experience as a paid research assistant (and a letter of recommendation that attests to strong performance). Volunteer work would not carry nearly the same weight.

    Do you have a specific reason for wanting to be a psychologist versus another type of mental health clinician?
     
  51. ClinicalMan

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm from Canada and have been entertaining the idea of becoming a School Psychologist. My GPA through two years of undergraduate university (honours degree in psychology) is 3.9 out of 4.0. What kind of grades will i need to receive to get into a PhD program in either Canada, the USA or Europe, and what else will help my application?
     
  52. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
    Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Mod Note: I've merged this into the WAMC "sticky" thread.

    Quick answer--for the US and Canada, if you maintain a 3.9, you'll be fine. I believe 3.6+ tends to be around the average at most programs. Other factors that will help (and there are other stickies about this as well, related to getting into grad school for clinical/counseling/school psychology) include a high GRE score, a couple years' worth of research experience (particularly if with accompanying poster presentations or a manuscript publication), and strong letters of recommendation from psychology professors. Even with all that, you'll want to cast a wide net when applying (e.g., apply to 10+ programs), and will want to focus on maximizing the "match" between your research/clinical interests and those of your potential doctoral advisors.

    None of this directly applies to Europe, though. Europe has different credentials and training for practicing psychologists relative to the US and Canada, and which I would imagine also has different entry exams and average incoming student characteristics. If you plan ultimately plan on practicing in Canada or the US, I would train in Canada or the US. Same goes for Europe. If you aren't sure and want to maximize flexibility, I would tentatively say that training in the US or Canada would do so more than training in Europe.
     
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