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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. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2015
    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.
     
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  3. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    Psychologist
    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?
     
  4. ClinicalMan

    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?
     
  5. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 7, 2010
    Psychologist
    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.
     
    psych.meout likes this.
  6. LittleC

    LittleC

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    I've always enjoyed helping people and am super good at being non-judgemental, listening, and find my deepest satisfaction in helping people grow. This has always been the case and if If I didn't think this career was right for me I would go back to being a teacher in a heartbeat. Being a psychologist makes the most sense in the field because it allows for better pay with less debt (if any) along with a more competitive edge since I hear there is now an oversupply of mental health clinicians and psychologists in the field. I think it would be better to wait another year and build up my experience rather than try to get into a program as a mental health clinician.

    My personal areas of interest would be related to anxiety, depression, self-esteem/efficacy/motivation, and personal development since I have personally struggled in these areas and feel it would better suit me to help people who are going through similar processes as I can understand them better.

    If you have a better idea for what you think would suit me I'm all ears.

    Thank you
     
  7. undertoad

    undertoad 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 27, 2015
    Backstory: Non-trad (mid-30s, career changer). Currently working full-time, going to school full-time, and putting in approximately 10 hours research a week. Applying for clinical PhD programs this fall.

    First undergraduate degree (earned over 10 years ago): B.A. English, 3.8 GPA

    Second undergraduate degree (in progress): B.S. Psychology, 4.0 GPA

    Taking the GRE in September. I expect quantitative to be weaker than verbal, so I’m focusing on this as I study.

    I'm geographically flexible. Funding is a major concern.

    Current research experience:

    Two years (10-15 hours a week) with primary lab. Contribute to: administering research protocol, data collection/cleaning/analysis, lit reviews, study development, manuscript writing/prep, conference presentations.

    Two years auxiliary work with secondary lab (this lab and the primary lab were somewhat intermingled at one point). Mainly running research protocol and conference presentations.

    Past research experience:

    Eight months (approx. 5 hours a week) with lab. I tried it out for two semesters because one aspect of the research appealed to me. However, it turned out to be a poor match. Mutually parted ways under good terms.

    Research productivity:

    Honor’s thesis (in progress)

    Third author, one manuscript (in press)

    Fourth author, one manuscript (under review after R&R)

    First author, one poster, national conference

    Third author, one poster, national conference

    Fourth author, one poster, national conference

    Third/fourth author of symposia, national conference

    Second author, one poster, state conference

    Current work experience:

    One year full-time in residential services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Provide both direct services to individuals supported and supervisory/admin support to staff.

    Past work experience:

    One year part-time in residential services for adults with ID/DD.

    Six years active duty military. Advanced to E-6 in four years. Held leadership roles. Honorable discharge.

    Four years stuff that doesn’t matter (admin), but paid the rent.

    Research interests:

    Moral emotions, moral injury, PTSD. Trauma and stressor-related disorders among military and first responder populations. Resilience and adaptation to extreme conditions/circumstances (e.g., civil unrest, natural disasters, austere/harsh environments). Some interest in working with rural (United States) populations.

    My end goal is to work with the VA or DoD, either as a clinician or research (unknown which I’d prefer at this point).

    Questions:

    Will the fact that I’ve never worked full-time as an RA make me less competitive? I’m hoping that my unpaid experience as an undergrad research experience, plus my professional history, will compensate.

    Is there any point in applying to some experimental master’s programs as a backup? I’ve heard mixed opinions. Getting into a PhD program would still be the end goal.

    School list (I plan to apply to 15-20 of these):

    Auburn University

    University of Arkansas

    University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

    University of Colorado – Denver

    University of Connecticut

    University of Delaware

    Florida State University

    Northern Illinois University

    University of Kentucky

    USUHS – civilian track

    Washington University – Saint Louis

    University of Missouri – Kansas City

    University of Southern Mississippi

    University of Mississippi

    University of Montana

    University of North Carolina – Greensboro

    University of New Mexico

    University of Nevada – Reno

    Case Western

    Kent State

    Miami University

    Ohio University

    University of Toledo

    University of Tulsa

    University of South Dakota

    University of Memphis

    University of Houston

    University of Utah

    George Mason

    University of Vermont

    University of Washington

    University of Wisconsin – Madison

    University of Wyoming
     
  8. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Psychologist
    It's not uncommon for people to be drawn to things that have some degree of personal relevance, but be very careful about putting the above into a personal statement in an admissions application to be read by people who don't know you. Best of luck figuring out your path. If you primarily want to do therapy you could work directly with folks around those areas as an LPC or LCSW, both of which would require master's degrees, not doctoral degrees. That's why the question of why psychologist over other avenues of providing services.
     
  9. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Psychologist
    Hard to say exactly w/o GRE scores but your background looks competitive I think. geographic flexibility also works in your favor. Were research experiences/pubs related to your current research interests? Good luck whittling down that list of places to apply-- I found that part of the application process to be rather difficult!
     
  10. Swan_13

    Swan_13

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    Another career-changer here. Would you retake GRE to up the Q score? I'll address the GPA in SOP---did my first two years as a wayward teen, finished last two years as a responsible grown-up! (ETA I left college after two years, took a 15+ year break, and finished recently so last two years are indicative of current performance.)

    GPA:
    Last two years: 4.0
    Psych: 4.0
    Total: 3.2 (ETA might be 3.3)

    GRE: V 167 (98%), Q 158 (70%), AW probably 5ish

    One paper published, 2nd author
    One paper accepted, pending publication, 1st author (designed and implemented study)

    Poster and presentation at a division symposium at APA conference, student poster award winner
    Poster at regional conference
    Poster at state-wide university conference (nominated by professors)

    One year volunteering at program for teens with socioemotional issues (developed assessment tools, conducted interviews, compiled/coded data, taught instructional courses)

    Misc work: small business owner, freelance editing, tutoring

    Applying to funded programs in the fall; assuming some fit with faculty :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  11. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Your research experience looks pretty good, but a 3.2 GPA might hold you back. Your GRE scores will help compensate for this somewhat, but some programs might still screen you out, because of your GPA. Discussing it in your SOP might not help you, as it could easily be argued that other applicants were also "wayward teens" or otherwise from disenfranchised backgrounds, but did not let it affect their undergrad GPAs. The issue is that it's difficult to tell which programs and people within these programs would count your GPA against you and which would balance it against your other accomplishments.

    If you wanted to play it safe, you could complete a master's program where you would get additional research experience and a 4.0 GPA.
     
    Swan_13 and PsychPhDStudent like this.
  12. atroposlachesis

    atroposlachesis

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    Alright, another career-changer. I know I have two huge ticks against me: a low undergrad GPA and a low Quant score. I would have to study like hell to get my Quant score to a competitive place. If I were to get my Quant score WAY up, is there any chance a PhD program or good PsyD program would take me given my higher Master's and Post-Grad GPA?

    GPA
    Undergrad GPA: 3.2
    Graduate GPA (For Master's in Counseling): 3.9
    Post-Grad GPA: 4.0
    Total: About 3.5

    GRE
    Verbal: 169
    Quant: 144
    AW: 5

    Chapter co-author in textbook published by APA.
    Four years of writing literature reviews, assisting in experimental design, grant writing, and interpreting data as a Research Associate for a community mental health organization.

    3 years as a clinical therapist, focused primarily on treatment of First Episode Psychosis and ADHD.

    Thank you all!
     
  13. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Your verbal score is fantastic, but you definitely need to retake the GRE to boost your quant score. The 17th percentile is just too low to be competitive, especially when you are trying to overcome your lackluster undergrad GPA.

    Furthermore, your research experience is going to be a point of contention. Sure, you have quite a bit of experience in terms of time, which is generally an asset, but this may actually be somewhat of a detriment. Being a research associate for four years and not having a publication or poster presentation to show for it may throw up red flags during the admissions process. The admissions committees and your POIs might think that you are inflating your contributions to the research, which is why you were not made a co-author on anything published, or that the research you were part of was not good enough to get published. It will all be highly variable depending on how you discuss your research work in your personal statements and during interviews, as well as the perceptions of the admissions committees and POIs at the programs to which you are applying.

    My current position primarily has clinical duties, but we also do some clinical research. I didn't have any publications or presentations for it at the time when I applied or interviewed, but these studies are particularly massive (especially in terms of participant numbers) and very long-term (3+ years each), so it didn't really hurt my chances of admission. Well, at least I think it didn't, because I did get multiple offers of admission.
     
    atroposlachesis likes this.
  14. atroposlachesis

    atroposlachesis

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    Thanks so much for the response, psych.meout! Very appreciated! Interesting point about the research experience!I actually have had a co-author publication, several conference posters, written white papers for SAMHSA, and have a few manuals on topics like early psychosis published by various behavioral health divisions. So it's more extensive than I listed. But. Being involved in community mental health research duties is a bit different. The funding for gold standard experimental design just isn't there. Most of my work has been in writing-based projects for government agencies. If I do go this psych route, I think taking on a RA position in a different setting for awhile would help refurbish my skills - not just to make me competitive, but to an effective researcher/practitioner.

    Glad you had several offers! I've read extensively about how competitive the process is. Do you mind if I ask if you've found your doctoral program to be a good investment? I'm a bit worried about over-inundation and encroachment on psychologists' turf. While I know many psychs who are doing very well, I've heard a few also get very concerned about declining salaries, limited postdocs, etc. Sorry if this is too many questions, thanks again for your insight!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  15. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Psychologist
    Awesome for you going back to school after 15+ years! the life experience will likely be looked at as an asset by many programs. I think your quant score is reasonably strong. I prob wouldn't pay the money to retake it unless you were pretty sure you could bring it up significantly. Others may have different opinions but that would have been fine for the program I graduated from, particularly with the high verbal. FYI with your good verbal and writing scores, if you enjoy writing (especially if you enjoy writing manuscripts!) that would be worth mentioning at some point during the interviews.
     
    atroposlachesis and Swan_13 like this.
  16. JStiz

    JStiz 2+ Year Member

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    Jun 4, 2015
    Looking for advice on whether or not I would make a competitive applicant, planning on applying to University of Cincinnati Ph.D. or Xavier Psy.D.

    Graduated with a BS in neuroscience (took many psychology classes)
    GPA: 3.4
    Hispanic male
    Average GRE scores

    No authored publications, but was acknowledged in a manuscript pertaining to neuroscience (researched with this lab for about 6 months).
    Worked as a home health aide for a boy with autism and for a man with quadriplegia for 2 years.

    Also considering a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as a stepping stone to beef up my resume for Ph.D./Psy.D. (however I would obviously prefer to go in directly).

    What do you think?

    I also have around 5 months before I would need to submit an application, so if anyone has any suggestions on things I could do in that time frame to improve my above resume, let me know.
     
  17. mgraceg1

    mgraceg1

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    Hi all!

    I'm wondering what my chances of getting into a clinical psych Ph.D. are.

    I am currently an undergrad (just finished Junior year) at Stanford University.
    Undergrad GPA: 3.94
    Research experience:
    2 years in a clinical research lab, staying on for Senior year
    Writing an honors thesis for next year
    Name on conference poster, presented my own posters, likely a part of a couple other pending publications
    GRE:
    So this is the part I am worrying about. I take it next Tuesday, and I've been scoring between 155-157 in Quant and 157-161 in Verbal. I realize these are above average scores, but I am still concerned that they are too low. I have a very high GPA from a very good university, so I am thinking that will balance it out, but I am really unsure. Are these scores okay enough for good, top 10 programs? If I take it again, will I be discredited?

    *Note: I'm not actually planning on applying for another couple of years, but I have to take the GRE for the coterm program I want to get into, and would like to use that GRE score for psych as well. This does mean that I will likely have more research experience/publications under my belt by the time I am applying.

    Thanks!
     
  18. ebuddy

    ebuddy

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    Hi there!
    I'm a non-traditional applicant and would greatly appreciate insight from you all!

    In my mid 30's & career changing from similar work. A little complicated, but I was in a MD/PhD program, finished the PhD but not the MD (now definitely regret not pursuing psychiatry, but can't be changed). Since then I've been a preschool teacher and spent time volunteering (+ considerable amt of time seriously considering career options).

    Undergrad (top 5-10 school)
    General Honors Program
    Biology and Psychology double major (thesis and honors in each major)
    Overall GPA: 3.6
    Psych GPA: ~ 3.9


    Top 5 medical school/ combined MD/PhD program
    PhD Neuroscience
    -basic science research but developed an animal model of autism
    -10 publications
    -Presented talks and posters in US, Europe, & Asia (plus numerous co-authorship on posters)
    -aided advisor as peer reviewer for sev journals and in grant writing
    -awarded NIH fellowship (my own proposal for funding on top of that provided by program)


    GRE
    Psychology: 850 (99%)
    Studying for gen w/ practice scores: V: 164-169 Q: 162-166
    - will probably take in Aug when I'm more confident with quant score

    Current volunteer work: suicide hotline

    Goal school: Rutgers PsyD

    Reasoning: I want to be a practicing therapist, most likely private practice w/ a group in a major city in NE, but with the option of academics (leaving door open for a research component as a possibility). I don't want to do another PhD (w/ full dissertation), but want thorough training in clinical psychology in a strong academic setting. I know a masters is an option, but I'm not at all interested in the social work part of it and prefer in depth study of psychology as a foundation for my future practice. I have no loans, and due to family circumstances, a non-funded program and low earning for several yrs after degree is not an issue.

    Plan: Apply for fall 2018- Rutgers PsyD, maybe Yeshiva. Willing to re-apply & inc # schools next cycle if not admitted.

    Questions:
    1) WAMC for Rutgers PsyD?

    2) Presently I'm not working and am considering options for a job for the next year. I'm open to a few different directions.

    a) do I need clinical research in psych for Rutgers PsyD?
    -Did some in cardiology as undergrad and am very familiar w/ evidence based practice (interpreting & utilizing clinical research) from medical school.
    -This is not my first option if not required. I think it would be tricky as a kind of post-doc but not really since I haven't done clinical research in the field.

    b) would a position as a case worker at a shelter help for experience?

    c) do I need to immediately find a position or is it OK to take the summer to finish studying for GRE & volunteer while focusing on other parts of my life (will start IVF- requires sev doc appts/wk, learning to cook, taking a random acting class, etc.).
    I've done the 80-100 hrs/wk in lab & med school, am prepared to work like crazy again, but knowing what I'm getting into, would love to enjoy extra free time that I won't have again until I'm like 70 yrs old!

    d) A research position at Rutgers might be an option (positions listed as available). This would be a long commute that I'm willing to do for school, but would only want to do for a job if it would significantly help my chance for admittance. Is it worth it?

    3) Anything else anyone could suggest to help my application for this cycle?


    Thanks for taking time to help!
     
  19. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Psychologist
    I'm not real familiar with those two programs in particular but my initial thoughts are - why are you only appyling to either/or? And even if you were going to apply to both I'd be asking why only 2? That's very seriously limiting your chances. How do your GRE and GPA compare to the published averages in their program 9all APA approved programs should publish this info, or at least the GRE, I can't recall if GPA is also req to be reported). Again not speaking to these programs specifically, but in general, I'd suggest trying to bring up your GRE if it's squarely average (~50th percentile on all areas), try to get some pubs or posters.
     
    JStiz likes this.
  20. JStiz

    JStiz 2+ Year Member

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    Jun 4, 2015
    Thanks so much for your response! I have established my family near these two schools and unfortunately I am unable to relocate for this reason. Thanks for the information on published averages, I was unaware that those statistics were released!
     
  21. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2015
    That's fine, but just remember that you are severely limiting your options and your chances of admission. Applying to only two programs limits the kinds of research, the clinical training opportunities, and many other important factors to rounding out your training and experience. It's difficult enough to get into a good doctoral program without sabotaging yourself by restricting your applications.

    It's understandable that you don't want to relocate your family, but relocating is really part and parcel of doctoral training in clinical psychology. At the very least, you will likely need to relocate for your internship. If you restrict your internship applications like you are with your graduate program applications, you will be on the fast track to not matching with an APA-accredited site, which will severely limit your career opportunities and earning potential.
     
    Therapist4Chnge likes this.
  22. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2015
    You seem to have great qualifications, but as I replied to JStiz, applying to only one or two doctoral programs is seriously going to hurt your chances of admission. Competition for the few spots in clinical programs is so fierce that you are really limiting yourself by only applying to a couple of programs, regardless of your stellar background. This is compounded by geographically limiting yourself to the Northeast (i.e. Rutgers in NJ and Yeshiva in NYC), which is a highly sought after location for doctoral programs, thereby increasing the competition.

    All of this is not to mention that limiting yourself to one or two programs limits you training opportunities. These two programs might not have the practicum opportunities in which you are interested or may not have faculty doing research in your chosen area. Do you want to miss out on these things? It may seem like not a big deal and that you can just slog through it so you can get your degree, but doctoral programs are hard enough when you're super passionate about what you're doing for half a decade, let alone trying to do it when you are just tolerating it at best.

    Furthermore, if you are inflexible about moving for graduate school, how flexible will you be for your internship and/or post-doc? Do you want the best training possible or do you want to limit your chances of getting an APA accredited internship at all?

    And you say you want to work in a major city in the Northeast? Join the club. The competition is fierce in most metropolitan areas, but moreso in the same highly sought after areas for graduate school. If you don't have the best training and credentials possible, it will limit your job opportunities and earnings potential.

    Finally, your backup program, Yeshiva, is not a great option.

    https://www.yu.edu/sites/default/files/inline-files/2016_clinical_program_statistics.pdf

    The cost is huge, being over $37,000 in tuition alone before accruing compound interest. The modal time to completion is five years and if you are paying full tuition for at least four of those, then it will be nearly $150,000 for tuition. Then, you need to factor in living expenses, insurance, books, travel, etc. You're probably looking at paying at least $200,000 in tuition alone. Beyond costs, if we look at their APA internship match rate, it's not great. Sure, some years they have a match rate >90%, but every other year seems to fall off, with 68% matching in 2014-2015.

    Overall, I'd apply to many more programs, at least 10, and spread them out to programs across the country and with varying admission rates (e.g. not all those who admit less than 5%). I'd also recommend looking at PhD programs too. I know you don't want to do another full dissertation, but the programs who don't have you do one are probably those without good training, mentorship, etc.
     
  23. ebuddy

    ebuddy

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    Jun 22, 2017

    Thanks for your input!
    I was already a little wary about Yeshiva, so I will definitely take what you've said into account.

    Rutgers, on the other hand, appears to be a perfect match for me with regards to practica, internship match sites, several faculty focusing on research within my interest, as well as courses offered.

    I understand your point about competitiveness in the NYC area. Yet, it would be difficult moving my family for 5 years of school- my husband is in the NY bar (not sure of terminology) and would be willing to go through whatever needed to be admitted to practice in another state, but we would greatly prefer to stay in the city. His family is also in the NE, and due to illness of a parent, it is important for us to remain nearby. Also, we are starting a family soon and have priorities for the type of environment, particularly the educational opportunities, we want to provide for our children.
    That said, moving for a year would be manageable for internship or post-doc if necessary.

    I think I'm willing to take the risk with not getting in this cycle and then broadening my choices to 10 or more schools if required for the next cycle.

    But thanks, I do understand you're point that I'm limiting my chances of getting in the first try.

    I appreciate the time you took to respond!
     
  24. ebuddy

    ebuddy

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    Jun 22, 2017
    ***your point

    For some reason I wasn't allowed to edit after I hit send too quickly. I hate seeing that typo!
     
    singasongofjoy likes this.
  25. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Ok, but are any of the things limiting you now going to change in a year? Why is it that you'll be willing to apply to 10+ schools in a year, but not now? Is your husband suddenly going to be licensed to practice law in other states or will his family suddenly live somewhere else? Why not apply to Rutgers and 10 others this year?

    And again, remember that moving for graduate training is part and parcel of doctoral programs in clinical psychology. If you can't move somewhere for five years, how are you going to move somewhere for just one year of your internship?

    Ultimately, these are the choices you have to make and the consequences you have to live with. Good luck with everything.
     
    Lurking Oracle likes this.
  26. Lurking Oracle

    Lurking Oracle 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 20, 2014
    Psychologist
    Faculty
    I am at one of the NYC R1 AMCs that everyone here has heard of, and I have a lot of experience with graduates of the two programs that you are considering. Rutgers is definitely the stronger program IMHO, but I wanted to throw in an additional observation that I have had over the years that might be helpful in explaining (in part) Yeshiva's internship performance history. Rutgers, Baylor and a few others (i.e., single digits - sorry) are arguably the best of the PsyD programs. They attract and matriculate applicants from all over. They are in the category of PsyD programs that are, IMHO, as competitive as many funded PhD programs. While Yeshiva certainly has many national (and international) applicants, it has been my observation that most of their actually matriculated students are fairly local, i.e., native NYC'ers or the proximal NY/NJ/CT area, who have never truly lived or studied anywhere appreciably different for a significant period of time (a summer, or even a year, abroad does not cut it in my book) and they never intend to leave the locality (or they have adopted and proclaimed NYC as their permanent locus to live/train/work/retire/die). This latter part is particularly important. That may not seem to be an issue while in grad school classes or externships (because those experiences are almost exclusively local anyway), but things become very competitive at internship application time when one sees a concentrated number of folks applying only within a very geographically limited area. I mean VERY limited. I have had students state to me in total seriousness that Philly or even New Haven would be "too far away" to consider, even for a one-year internship or two-year postdoc residency. The bolus of local interns only applying to the finite number of internship positions in the immediate NYC area is at a disadvantage. Although there is no written mandate for geographic diversity, as someone who recruits for an APA-accredited internship, postdoctoral fellowship, and is an accreditation site visitor for APA, I will assert that many, MANY (Dare I opine most?) programs at least rank non-locals higher than the local talent, even if the training is comparable. Don't get me wrong: I have hired interns, postdocs and psychologists from Yeshiva's PsyD and PhD programs. The ones that I have hired have been exceptional and outstanding. They had to be, to even have a shot at being considered for an interview. Again, this is all anecdotal. I wish the OP all the best but would encourage flexibility in training options. I moved, and moved my family, multiple times at various levels of training and then career growth, and that flexibility delivered for me both professionally and financially (how else could I afford NYC?)... and this approach continues to deliver.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
    melat0nin likes this.
  27. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 4, 2014
    Psychologist
    It is nice to hear from someone who actually is/has been on the admissions side of things that geographic diversity is, in fact, appreciated in applicants. I've found myself making the same point to potential applicants rather frequently lately. I moved around a pretty good bit between college, masters, and doctoral programs, spending significant amounts of time in major metros, places too small to have a stoplight, and a lot of places in between spanning the country. Some places I didn't expect to love but totally did; others, I'm glad I spent the time to delve into exploring the pretty quirky local culture but now that I've moved on I have no desire to go back even to visit, and that's OK - I'm still thankful for the opportunity. I understand folks being loathe to move several times for various reasons, and you certainly incur costs each time you move (you learn to minimize and get efficient; save ideas of having nice things for after graduation). However, the practice of really delving in and getting to know places that are so different than the ones you're familiar with is great practice for getting to know people on an individual level clinically in any location, I think; having had all those different experiences makes it much easier to connect with people who come into my clinic. I think it makes it easier to find things in common and build rapport quickly. The geographic flexibility in applicants also speaks to the fact that they are willing to follow the best training they can get, prioritizing their formal training (which is time-limited; you've got the rest of your life to live in wherever place you pick after you're finished training). I think applicants more quickly grasp the idea of needing to be flexible in where they apply in order to actually up odds of acceptance just because of the statistics, but I think folks should also consider that if you're at the point in your life that you can move for a few years, just the act of being in a different and unfamiliar place is enriching both personally and with regard to your training. Even if it's definitely not a place you want to live the rest of your life. And if you end up in a place like that, embrace it, withhold the stereotypes and judgment that maybe you didn't even know you had about that geographic location/culture, and try new things. At the very least it'll give you some good stories and life experience, but you'll be probably surprised at how it enhances your professional work in the future as well. And you might even love it (I thought I would hate the midwest, but turned out to be one of my favorite places I've ever lived).

    tl,dr: applicants- keep an open mind geographically, not only because it ups chances of acceptance, but because training in a variety of locations is professionally and personally enriching (and valued by those looking at your applications in the future) -even if it's a location you don't like all that much. Be willing to go adventuring and be surprised.
     
    Lurking Oracle likes this.
  28. ebuddy

    ebuddy

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    Jun 22, 2017

    Thank you very much- and you as well, Lurking Oracle! I do appreciate that moving can be part of the training and can add a great deal to the overall experience. This is coming from someone who spent the first 10 yrs of life in Texas, then Atlanta, Philly for college, NYC for med school/PhD and had to move to Europe for a few yrs with my lab when my advisor decided to relocate back to a German speaking country half way through my PhD! I'll be 40 in a few years, so I'm more than ready to settle in a place that finally feels like home. I have a better idea now of the types of environments that more readily allow me to flourish, both academically and personally. So the 1-2 yr sacrifice of "home" for internship or post-doc is something that would be much easier for me compared to leaving for 5 yrs for grad school (and I would eagerly go to well regarded training programs in New Haven or Philly, so I'm not quite that rigid!).


    One concern I've had is wanting to start to establish professional connections early on. In your opinion, when is it best for networking with colleagues to be located in closer proximity to your desired future location? Grad school, or later yrs for intern and post-doc?

    Also, I've seen some rankings, but what other psyD programs, besides Rutgers and Baylor, are held in high esteem?

    It is definitely important for me to obtain the best training possible. And while I'm (admittedly still) resistant, what you all are advising does make a lot of sense and has given me a lot to think about! I think I'm slowly starting to come around!

    I really appreciate it!
     
  29. gene_halpert

    gene_halpert

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    Feb 25, 2016
    Hi everyone,

    I am posting to get a sense of my chances (obviously) and see what deficiencies I may have regarding pursuing a (funded) PhD in clinical psych. I am focused specifically on clinical health psychology. I have a lot of experience, passion, and interest in this area.

    My background, briefly:

    Currently work as a full time genetic counselor. This primarily includes talking to patients about testing and screening options, helping with decision-making regarding important life events (like pregnancy termination) and making psychosocial assessments and providing patient centered counseling. I also am involved in a few different social/behavioral science research projects.

    Education:
    ScM genetic counseling, well known research institution (GPA 3.75)
    BS biology and writing, top 25 university (GPA 3.37)

    Tests:
    GRE Verbal: 163
    GRE Quant: 162
    Writing: 4.5

    Research
    One publication submitted
    Multiple poster presentations
    Masters thesis; original data focusing on patient-provider communication

    I truly enjoy my job as a genetic counselor, and I find it rewarding. But, I'd like to pursue a PhD for two reasons; 1. To broaden my research capabilities and expertise, and 2. To conduct psychotherapy.

    Concerns
    I don't have a classic "psychology" background. My related coursework has been focused on clinical theory and orientations, abnormal psychology, grief and loss counseling, and of course stats/research methods.

    Any insight greatly appreciated!!
     
  30. Temperance

    Temperance 2+ Year Member

    31
    10
    May 27, 2015
    Hi! Seeking some advice for the upcoming application cycle.

    BA psychology, GPA 3.40
    MA clinical psychology, GPA 3.70

    GRE General Test, practice: 164-167V (94th-98th), 158-160Q (70th-76th), 4.5AW (82nd)
    GRE Psychology Test: 780 (96th)

    Research experience:
    • 1 year in Lab 1 conducting independent research as part of undergraduate team; two posters (one first author)
    • 4 years in Lab 2 analyzing and collecting EEG and EKG data, recruiting subjects (subject pool), training new RAs; five posters (one first author)
    • 1 year in Lab 3 analyzing and collecting EEG data, recruiting subjects (community), training new RAs
    • currently lab supervisor in Lab 4 analyzing and managing data, training new RAs, launching new project this fall; one poster to be presented, manuscript in preparation
    Teaching experience:
    • 1 year as TA in undergraduate research methods, presented two guest lectures; additional summer in introductory psychology, created midterm exams
    • currently doing one-term community college teaching internship
    Clinical and human services experience:
    • 2 years of CBT practicum
    • 1 year of assessment practicum
    • 6 months as bilingual crisis counselor on suicide crisis line
    • 5 months as crisis counselor on general crisis line (currently)
    I'm applying primarily to clinical science programs (scoring 5-7 in Norcross & Sayette's book), looking at ~10 applications with no geographic restrictions. What are the chances that my application will be screened out for my GPA? Are there any concerns that I should address? Apart from my empirical thesis, none of my research experience is in my area of interest; I plan on mentioning it in my statement of purpose.

    I'd appreciate any insights you have. Thanks in advance!
     
  31. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent 7+ Year Member

    998
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    Sep 5, 2009
    I think your GPA is fine. Depending on the program, 3.7 is a little low for a masters, but with good letters, it should be fine. My recommendation is to spend your time (1) moving that publication along, and (2) crafting really good personal statements and cover letters to explain why a clinical science program is your goal now and what you hope to gain from training. I'd also encourage you to apply to closer to 15 programs, if possible. Good luck!
     
  32. Temperance

    Temperance 2+ Year Member

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    May 27, 2015
    Will definitely work on those recommendations. Thank you so much for your input!
     
  33. Fali1991

    Fali1991

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    Jul 5, 2017
    Hello! I wanted to get some input.

    I am 26 years old, finishing up my BA in Psychology at a UC, work in 3 research labs currently and have been for the past year.
    GPA: 3.82
    GRE's are in progress but am not a good test taker so that might not be competitive
    Have received 2 research grants so far. Authored 3 UROPS, first author on 2 of them.
    Will have 3 excellent letters of recommendation.

    Thank you!
     
  34. CWard12213

    CWard12213

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    Apr 2, 2016
    My input is that you might want to be more clear on what you are wanting, as this appears to just be a list of your accomplishments with no question or context
     
  35. Fali1991

    Fali1991

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    Jul 5, 2017
    My apologies, the question is in the title. What are my chances of being accepted into a UC Clinical Psychology PhD program.
     
  36. Ollie123

    Ollie123 10+ Year Member

    4,561
    929
    Feb 19, 2007
    As good as anyone's?

    I'm not really sure how to answer that. It sounds like you are doing what you need to do to be competitive. No one can pin a number on anything because it all depends on who you want to work with, who else is applying in a given year, what KINDS of experience you got in those labs and how that maps on to your goals, whether those faculty members are even taking students that year, etc. You could be an all star who applies to the wrong lab and doesn't get in because they don't have experience with xyz that happens to be what is needed at that time.

    No idea what a UROPs is or what it means to author one (is it an undergrad research journal?). If it's not an actual publication in a legit journal, I'd be careful using words like "authored" in application materials.
     
  37. rerope

    rerope 5+ Year Member

    You should post in the WAMC thread with more details. you'd properly get more help there.
     
    Justanothergrad likes this.
  38. Temperance

    Temperance 2+ Year Member

    31
    10
    May 27, 2015
    What is your research area of interest? What would you want to do once you complete your PhD?

    If you're concerned with average GPAs and GRE scores, then the "Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data" documents should include it, as the University of California campuses have been including those statistics (e.g., UC Berkeley, UCLA). As Ollie123 stated, those numbers aren't going to be nearly as important as fitting with your potential mentor's research.
     
  39. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 5, 2009
    What kind of grants and what is a UROP? What have been your responsibilities in those labs?
     
  40. Fali1991

    Fali1991

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    Thank you, the grants I received were $800 and $750 respectively towards the labs I work for as well as for participant recruitment.
    UROP is an undergraduate research program at the school. You have a faculty member mentor you and you can receive funding for your research.
     
  41. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2015
    It has already been asked, but what did you do in these labs and how long were you in them? What were your responsibilities and contributions? Did you mostly perform data entry and cleaning or did you contribute more profoundly in designing the study, doing more advanced data analyses, writing the manuscript, etc? Were you a co-author on any publications or poster presentations from research in these labs?

    As far as the "UROPs" are concerned, be careful to be crystal clear about what they are when discussing them, whether its in personal statements or at interviews. Don't exaggerate or inflate their importance by not emphasizing that they are just undergraduate research programs in your undergrad program. Discussing them as being "first authors" could give the false impression that these were publications in peer-reviewed scholarly journals or presentations at national or regional conferences.

    It's understandable that you would not want to have to move to go to grad school, no one really likes doing that, but it's a reality for grad school. Restricting your applications to programs in California and especially to UC programs is the fast track to getting denied any interviews, let alone any admission offers. Even the most competitive applicants will only hinder their chances by being geographically selective in their applications, but especially so when you are talking about a high-demand region like California. Furthermore, trying to match to a program, because it is in the UC system or California in general misses the point that the admissions process is about fit. No matter how much you like the UC system or living in California, if you don't have a strong match with a POI and the overall program, your chances will be substantially lower. And don't make the mistake of trying to shoehorn yourself into a lab in which you aren't interested simply because it is at a UC program. You could be quite miserable for the better part of a decade.
     
  42. atroposlachesis

    atroposlachesis

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    Oct 27, 2016
    Just to throw in another question...for the past year I've been taking courses at community colleges. These are:

    General Biology: A
    Medical Terminology: A
    Anatomy and Physiology I & II: Both A's

    I'm facing an uphill battle with my application, but am wondering if these classes would at least give me a small boost. Both in terms of demonstrating my passion for the biological science components of psychology and in showing my grade improvement. My undergrad GPA is very low (3.2) due in large part to an undiagnosed neurological condition. After I received a diagnosis and treatment, I went on to get a 3.9 during my M.S. in Counseling program, and I'm hoping that my improved cognition and dedication will be further evidenced by these additional post-grad scores.

    However, I know that undergrad scores weigh very heavily and the fact these courses were taken at a community college may diminish their value in the eyes of admissions teams. Thank you for reading my inquiry and I strongly appreciate any feedback.
     
  43. psych9595

    psych9595

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    0
    Jul 9, 2017
    Hello everyone! I am a recent grad from an NYC private college, and was pre-med there. I actually have put in applications for medical schools, but I am also wanting to apply to PhD or PsyD programs here in the city. I am interested in working in geriatrics, trauma, or childhood psych, and wanted to know with my GPA, little research experience, and lower MCAT scores (I know they don't take MCAT scores, but I wasn't sure if they'd come up on my record ??) whether or not I could make it.

    I'm taking a gap year now to work & work in research, but what kind of research also would be best?

    Looking for: yes/no on whether I can make in into a grad program, recommendations for programs, and what type of research I should get into :)
    1. Psych GPA: 3.3 | Overall GPA: 3.2
    2. No GRE yet
    3. MCAT: 501 & 499
    4. Mixed races
    5. Private NYC undergraduate college
    6. One year-long internship with a research child & mother psychology program based in a pediatric practice; no research through school
    7. Volunteering: one year in a geriatric unit, non-profit fundraising for 4 years
    8. Activities: worked two jobs during undergrad & participated in orchestra
    9. One withdrawal of a class (was part of the neuroscience undergrad curriculum, but then i switched to psych)
    Thank you!!!
     
  44. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

    1,603
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    Aug 2, 2010
    Psychologist
    I don't think this helps you. One might question why you are taking these courses if psychology is your interest. It looks more like you've been preparing for nursing school.
     
    psych.meout likes this.
  45. atroposlachesis

    atroposlachesis

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    Oct 27, 2016
    Thank you for your feedback, MamaPhD. The perceived irrelevance is confusing as it seems many of the current psychology programs emphasize neurobiology/physiology, especially in relation to behavioral neuroscience and cognition/perception. But I do see where you're coming from and could see the admissions teams reacting similarly.
     
  46. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

    819
    366
    Oct 5, 2015
    Ok, but there are specific courses that relate to these neuroscience and psychophysics areas, e.g. Behavioral neuroscience, sensation and perception, cognitive psychology, etc.

    The courses you took aren't necessarily bad to have, it's just that they don't add much compared to more psychology specific courses. They might help a bit depending on the research being done by your POIs at given programs, but not universally.
     
  47. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

    1,603
    1,376
    Aug 2, 2010
    Psychologist
    I didn't mean to imply the courses were irrelevant. But in context (BA psych --> master's in counseling --> extra bio/pre-health professions courses) it doesn't strike me as obvious that you're aiming for a doctoral program in psychology. I don't think it hurts you, but I don't think it helps all that much either. A better use of your time would be to re-take your GRE and get some more research products (posters, pubs) out.

    A 3.2 undergraduate GPA is on the low end but it's not going to eliminate you from consideration if in other respects your application is strong.
     
  48. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent 7+ Year Member

    998
    194
    Sep 5, 2009
    Agree with the others, the CC courses don't add anything.

    With a 3.2 GPA, you'll have to knock the GRE out of the park. MCAT is irrelevant. When I see that (especially a very recent one), I see an applicant that thinks psych is a backup to med school. I wouldn't report it.
     
  49. atroposlachesis

    atroposlachesis

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    Oct 27, 2016
    MamaPhD and PsychPhDStudent, you are awesome!! I can't thank you enough for your honest feedback. Thanks to you two, I can plan out my next steps (taking GRE classes, pursuing more research opportunities). I'm also perceiving that this circuitous route - while allowing me to gain relevant knowledge - could actually be a disadvantage, and that it's especially important to evidence my specific intent towards psychology.
     
  50. PsychQEH

    PsychQEH

    3
    0
    May 12, 2016
    Hi Everyone!

    Long time reader and I've finally found enough confidence to share my experiences/qualifications in hopes of my success in getting accepted into a PhD program in either Clinical Psychology (with a health focus) or Counseling Psychology. Please read away and any honest feedback is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

    Undergraduate degree from R01 university: B.A. Psychology, 3.81 Cumulative GPA, 3.95 Psychology GPA

    GRE General Test as of June 2017: 151V (52%), 151Q (43%), 5.5AWA (98%)

    I'm geographically flexible. Thinking my research experiences and GPA will carry more weight than my GRE scores.

    Strong personal statement and 3 letters of recommendation from my current PI and 2 faculty members at undergraduate institution.

    Current research experience:

    Six months with current lab as a Research Coordinator (40 hours per week) in academic medical center. Contribute to: administering research protocol, data collection/cleaning/analysis, lit reviews, study development/recruitment/retention, IRB submissions and adherence, manuscript writing/prep, conference presentations. Trained in administering the SCID-V and QIDS.

    Past research experience:

    Three years in lab as undergraduate partaking in a plethora of research programs funded by NASA, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Institute of Environment Health Sciences pertaining to mind/body and behavioral health interventions for disaster workers and emergency responders. Data entry, study development, workshop administration, IRB submissions, manuscript writing, conference presentations.

    Research productivity:

    2 publications (1 in press from undergraduate lab as second author; 1 manuscript in preparation as first author).

    1 poster presentation at national conference (second author).

    1 seminar given at regional conference on empathy and meaning-making following critical incidents.

    Research interests:

    Constructive/illusory post-traumatic growth, meaning-making interventions, mind/body medicine, emergency responder/humanitarian aid worker health and resilience, integrated primary care psychology. Personality characteristics, cognitive restructuring processes, and emotion regulation skills that contribute to the maintenance of PTG and amelioration of physical health conditions comorbid with traumatic exposure (PTSD, HIV/HCV, hazardous substance use, unexplained medical symptoms).

    My end goal is to work with the VA, in a primary care clinic or academic medical center doing both research and evidence-based practice.
     
  51. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

    1,603
    1,376
    Aug 2, 2010
    Psychologist
    It's not necessarily a disadvantage as long as you also take the time and effort to bolster the parts of your application that count most (esp. research). People frequently "wander" a bit before committing to a doctoral program. Your wanderings are OK. It's more a matter of making sure you do the things that must be done given finite time, energy, etc.
     
    atroposlachesis likes this.

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