WAMC: What Are My Chances

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

  1. js90015p

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    WAMC of getting into clinical Ph.D. programs?:
    Undergrad GPA (at time of application): 3.6
    GRE Verbal: 156
    GRE Quant: 148
    GRE Writing: 4.0 (Retaking next month)

    Research Experience: Been a research assistant in a psycho-oncology research lab for the last year. First author on at least three poster submissions, including one thesis which will be submitted for publication (Maybe before application deadlines) and second author on one other publication/poster presentation.

    Clinical Experience: One year neuropsychology internship, and one year special education/ school psychology internship.

    LOR: Two amazing letter from professors, one who also was my thesis advisor, and one letter from my neuropsychology internship advisor.

    Do my grades and scores mean I won't get in? I feel like I have other things to offer, but my scores aren't that great. I will be applying to about 15 schools all over the country. Do I have any chance?
     
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  3. reticke

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    Thanks a bunch, psych.meout, this was exactly the kind of advice that I was hoping for! I really appreciate it.
     
  4. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    I didn't have much in the way of research products (1 poster and no publications), but I had over two years of research experience with a record of increasing responsibilities on multiple projects.

    To be competitive at the programs you mentioned you would almost certainly need more research experience than you have right now, and it would help to have experience in research on geriatrics or cognitive disorders. It's really helpful if you work for a PI who knows other faculty in the field and can help get your name out. I think that taking a gap year or two to get this experience is a great idea.

    Otherwise, keep your grades up and ace the GRE. My advice is stop volunteering and turn your attention to research, GRE, and grades.
     
  5. davidxavi

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    Thanks for the reply, Central_Perk
    Are admissions officers looking for research more to verify you're interested in research than just that you know the research process? I have heard that any research is good research because it teaches you the process, but I don't know how true this is.
     
  6. Evacsquared

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    Hey guys! Need some honest advice on whether or not I'll be competitive if I decide to apply this fall

    I'll be a senior this upcoming year
    GPA: 3.9 (Psych 3.9 as well)
    GRE: I'm getting around 155-158 on Q and V... Going to keep studying and it will improve to at least a solid 158s (aiming for 160s in both, though); Getting anywhere from 750-800 on Psych GRE
    LORS: Fantastic - I'm on a first name/meet the family/dinner with one of my Professors, very close/well respected by two other faculty members
    Research: Will have a year with one lab, and a half year with two additional labs when I apply (so a year and a half with one, a year with two once i graduate)...All I've done so far is recruit participants, go through a pilot study, learn to read the data, but will be much more involved this coming year... The only problem is I wouldn't count on any pubs (hopefully a poster though)... I have an internship this summer that is entirely research based and I will have another internship for the fall/spring where I'll be an RA learning assessment and/or imaging techniques (and it's at a well respected Research Foundation)
    Clinical: All I'll have is the internship and working with troubled kids at a summer camp for one summer

    Questions: Will my lack of publications/posters really hinder my chances at PhD programs?
    If the research I'm currently doing with all of my labs and internships don't match with the Professors of interest at the schools, even if I have a lot of good research experience will that limit my opportunities?

    Schools I'm applying to: Baylor, Rutgers, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Roosevelt University (PsyDs)
    UTSW, Houston University, Sam Houston State University, UNC Greensboro, VCU, Texas Tech, Eastern Michigan, San Diego/SDSU Joint Program (PhDs)
     
  7. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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    I don't see a huge problem with the GPA. The GRE could be an issue, although I don't know the percentiles of those scores and my ability to interpret them on the fly since they've been re-scaled is lacking. The best thing you can do, as you've already mentioned, is to apply broadly. If you're able to do better on the retake as well, that would be excellent; it's the biggest "rate-limiting step" in your application at present.
     
  8. PreDrANB

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    Hi All,

    Has anyone started an application thread for this round? I've seen APPIC application threads but none for the PhD/PsyD apps. I know its super early but I'm already anxious :nailbiting:
     
  9. Daisy444

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    I am currently at a 3.4 Undergraduate GPA. I had a rough first two years during the start of college but the last 2.5 years college I have been on Dean's List every semester. I am an international student seeking to apply to a PsyD and PhD psychology program. (I'm not really sure as to programs caring much about having diverse people in their programs) I have taken my GRE and am around the 150/170 for both sections. Reading past forums and speaking to professors, I can tell that my chances of actually getting into graduate school are very low. I briefly thought about going to a Master's route to gain more experience and better my GPA but I want to end up in a PsyD/PhD program so I thought that it may be a waste of time and money. I have many volunteer work in the mental health field as well as being a undergraduate research assistant. Before applying to graduate school, I am planning to get a job as a Human Technologist for a NIMH approved research study. Does any one have any recommendations? Anything would be helpful!
     
  10. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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  11. RagingShadow

    RagingShadow BA Psych Applied Behavior Analysis + BS Human Dev

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    I'm going to be a senior in the Fall and will be applying to PhD programs in developmental psychology, hoping to do autism related research.
    -Applying to U Rochester, U Penn, U Pitt, U Conn, U Maryland College Park, Georgetown, Boston U, U Mass Lowell, U Mass Amherst, and Grad Center at CUNY. Also applying to the Yale Child Studies Center and the Emory University Autism post bac positions
    -GPA: 3.76 (BA Psychology (Applied Behavior Anlysis) and BS Human Development, Education Minor)
    -GRE (Expected) V: 156-160, Q: 154-156, Writing: 4.5-6.0
    -Planning on taking Psych GRE in September, but haven't taken practice test yet, so not sure on expected scores
    -Extra Curriculars: President of Psi Chi and our Student Psychological Association and am creating a mentoring program between psych grad students and undergrads. Editor in Chief for our undergraduate psychology research journal. Created a social group for students on the autism spectrum through the disability services offices
    -Research Experience: 1 year in a Neuroscience Parkinson's lab; 2 poster presentations (at poster events at my school) and a paper that will hopefully be in press come application season; 1 year in a clinical lab assisting on a dissertation on tele-education; 2 poster presentations (at a school poster event) and I will be continuing in this lab for the rest of my senior year. Beginning an Honors Thesis on stigma and autism that will hopefully lead to a first author paper, but not until after the app deadline and likely the interviews. I am trying to get in on a new study on autism and language processing, but we'll see if it goes anywhere...
    -Letters of Rec: Definitely two very strong letters from my research supervisors who I've also had 2 classes each with and a good to strong letter from the head of my program who is super renowned in his field (which is tangential to mine but not directly related) and I took a class with and did very well in (hopefully he will be on the committee reviewing my honors thesis).
    -Other/Clinical: Have worked in a special needs respite type center for 3 years and in a school for autistic children for 2 years; had internships at two other businesses that assisted disabled people and I will have to complete an additional internship this spring in a field related to disabilities
     
    #3760 RagingShadow, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  12. psych.meout

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    Admission to developmental psych grad programs is likely going to be substantially different than clinical programs, as will be the programs themselves, so I'm not sure exactly what you should look at for these programs.

    As always with the GRE, this is one of those "don't count your chickens until they hatch" situations. Don't bank on having certain scores on the actual test, even if you have taken practice tests, and especially if you haven't. There are so many other variables, e.g. anxiety, that can influence test performance that you should be as conservative as possible until you get the best scores you can.

    Again, I'm not exactly sure about developmental psych programs, but I would not put too much stock into poster presentations for a poster event at your undergrad. It's qualitatively different from having a poster at an international, national, or even regional conference. Some admissions committees might simply disregard it as padding.

    Otherwise, your research experience looks quite good, though I don't know exactly what developmental psych programs expect. They might want more research experience than clinical programs, e.g. as they are not licensable degrees.

    The first two letters sound great, but I'm not sure how much weight the latter provides if your main interaction with this professor is a single class.

    Do developmental psych programs put much weight on clinical experience?
     
  13. studentofthemind

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    Good morning!

    I hope to gain admission to either a Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology or a Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology. These are all public universities with funded programs. I made the first contact with a number of professors in the past month. Many of them have written me back, and two want to continue the conversation and set up times to speak on the phone.

    Academic background: I will be graduating with my BS in Psychology May 2018. I have a 3.64 GPA and will be taking the GRE in one week. My education is very broad, having taken classes such as Addictions, Crisis Intervention, Grief, and Bereavement, Ethics and Professional Issues, Physiological Psychology, Interpersonal Communication, Abnormal/Abnormal Child Psychology, etc.

    Clinical background: I work full-time for an outpatient addiction treatment facility. Along with being the admissions coordinator/office manager, I run four groups per week. These include Family Orientation, Relapse Prevention, and Step Group. I attend weekly individual/group supervision and treatment team meetings. I helped to design and apply an extension program that is now up and running (and I work full-time here now). This program is very specialized and has given me the opportunity to expand my competency in working with individuals who do not have the same belief system as me (which has furthered my interest in multicultural competency). I also sit in with our physician during some of her initial and follow-up assessments for our patients. I have also had positions working for sober-living homes.

    Research background: I volunteer in a lab that investigates how children learn about emotions. Right now I am helping with a follow-up study exploring how children respond to their mother's emotions (the mothers have a history of depression). I work with the kids during our 3-hour visits (interviewing them, helping them with questionnaires on Qualtrics, "training" them on how to use rating scales, etc.) and have experience with recruitment and coding. No publications or poster presentations.

    I'm interested to hear what you all think my chances are, considering my background and the enthusiasm I've gotten from faculty members!
     
    #3762 studentofthemind, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  14. psych.meout

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    How long have you been working in this lab?
     
  15. studentofthemind

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    Hello! Since January of this year. I'll continue working with them until I start graduate school.
     
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  17. psych.meout

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    You should post this in the WAMC thread
     
  18. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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  19. psych.meout

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    Your GPA is far from terrible and a 3.69 by the time of graduating is definitely competitive for doctoral programs. Focus on getting straight As in school, study hard and do well on the GREs, and get as much research experience as you can, especially with increasing levels of responsibility and productivity (e.g. publications and posters).

    From there, you need to focus on "fit" with the programs and POIs to which you apply, preparing good personal statements, and getting excellent recommendation letters.

    You'd definitely have a shot if you get all of this done, but even if you don't get in your first time applying, look for a full-time research position after you graduate to further bulk up your research resume.
     
  20. aln22

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently a post-bacc with the goal of one day pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I applied to programs last year, but was unfortunately rejected (I'm assuming because of my GRE score) However, I am planning on retaking the test in August to (hopefully) improve my score.

    Here is everything that I have so far:

    V: 148
    Q: 152
    AW: 4.5

    Undergrad Cumulative GPA: 3.67
    Undergrad Psychology GPA: 3.81
    Magna Cum Laude
    Dean's List for last 4 semesters of undergrad

    Research Experience: 3 years in a research lab that examines how the effects of biological responses relate to certain interpersonal stressors. I am also in the process of working on a poster presentation for this lab.


    Clinical/Volunteer Experience:
    ~1.5 years working as a crisis hotline counselor
    ~3 years volunteer at a Boys and Girls Club (here I have implemented a mindfulness intervention program and administered surveys and questionnaires such as the PANAS-C, CERQ)


    I know my GRE scores are pretty low..But I feel like everything else is pretty decent. Is there anything else that I should be adding/improving on in order to become more competitive this time around?

    Also, would it be smarter to focus on getting into a MA before I apply to a PhD if my GRE scores continue to be mediocre? Or should I take another year off and continue to do research? I know I'd have to pay out of pocket for a MA, but if it will improve my chances of getting into a funded PhD program, I will do it.


    Anything helps, thank you!
     
    #3768 aln22, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  21. psych.meout

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    Your GPA is fine, but your GRE scores need to come up a bit, probably a minimum of 75th percentile for each.

    What are/were your duties in this lab? Was it just data entry and cleaning or did you substantially contribute to the conceptualization and design, analysis, and any manuscript prep?

    Three years is kind of a long time to be in a lab and have no productivity unless it's a substantially long-term study.

    Um...what exactly is going on with this "mindfulness intervention program?"

    For what are you "intervening?" Based on the measures you listed, is this concerning some form of psychopathology or sub-clinical emotional distress/dysregulation? Are you doing this under the supervision of someone who has substantial training with interventions and ideally is licensed in some way, especially if this is concerning psychopathology?

    What is the purpose of using this measures? Is this some kind of research study or is it for QI? Did you go through some kind of IRB before doing any of this? Do you have the informed consent of these minors and their parents/guardians?
     
  22. ZTG1992

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    Hello,

    I am curious if anyone can help me understand what types of PhD programs I should be applying for considering what I want to do. I am interested in becoming a clinical neuropsychologist eventually, but I am unsure if I should be applying specifically to neuropsychology programs, or clinical psychology programs and do a post-doc later. I am concerned I will not be as competitive for neuropsychology programs/faculty, and I am not sure what the best approach is.

    My stats are:
    UG GPA: 3.65 (Psyc 3.8)
    Grad GPA: 4.0 (I am finishing my master's)
    GRE: 161/157 (working on improving
    LoR: 3 very strong letters
    Research experience: 4 years in a community research lab; about 30 poster presentations (1st author on half, 2nd or 3rd on other half), 2 publications (2nd author on both; working on 3rd). My research was not strictly clinical, but I often incorporated measurements of depression/suicide. I have won a couple research awards from conferences, but nothing amazing.
    Clinical experience: Limited, a year of clinical-related with high school students, but nothing directly with clinical populations
    Teaching: I have taught an undergraduate statistics course (mostly ANOVA/Regression), and have worked as an aid in another stats course for 2 years
    Statistics skills: SEM, Regression (mediation/moderation), HLM (roughly), ANOVA designs, other stuff

    However, I am concerned that my neuroscience experience is going to prevent me from being competitive in a neuropsych program, and I don't think a traditional clinical program is right for me unless it offers at least a couple neuropsych/science courses. I don't mind doing research in anything clinical, I am just worried a strictly-clinical psychology program will eliminate my option to do a neuropsychology post-doc.

    If anyone has any advice on neuropsychology programs versus clinical I would appreciate it. Also, is it possible to go to a program with heavy neuropsychology courses and work with a faculty who does not do anything neuropsychology? That may improve my odds.
     
  23. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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  24. psych.meout

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    From the way you worded your post, I think you may be a little confused. If you want to get licensed and be a clinical neuropsychologist, you need to go to a accredited clinical psychology doctoral program first and foremost. There are no licensable doctoral programs in just neuropsychology, that's just not how things work in the US.

    You'll want to apply to clinical PsyD or PhD programs (preferably fully-funded ones with very high accredited internship match rates) with faculty who are doing neuropsych-related research and which have clinical practica opportunities in neuropsych. Some programs have neuropsych "tracks," but these are far from necessary and are often just branding. Having a track in neuropsych does not necessarily mean a program has a stronger neuropsych focus than those which do not. Conversely, many programs have very strong neuropsych foci without having any neuropsych tracks, e.g. University of Alabama-Birmingham.

    As for POIs, you can have a mentor who is not into neuropsych, per se, but you'll still want to get research experience and productivity in neuropsych. This is not really that hard to arrange, because neuropsych can relate to virtually any other psych research area. For example, you could have a mentor who is focused on pain research with no previous focus in neuropsych, especially as pain and cognitive dysfunction are both often symptoms/consequences of many medical problems, from head injuries to neurodegenerative diseases to cancer. Researching cognitive functioning in pain populations would allow you to overlap your neuropsych interests with their pain focus. You could study the character of the cognitive dysfunctions reported by pain patients (e.g. attention, working memory, executive functioning, etc.), perceived disability, pain catastrophizing, and cogniphobia (i.e. are reports of cognitive dysfunction signs of actual dysfunction or are they the consequences of other psychosocial issues, like anxiety and expectations of disability), malingering and response bias (there are already issues of overreporting or factitious symptoms in pain populations for the purposes of obtaining medications or disability/accommodations), etc.

    Regardless of who is your mentor, you want to make sure you get plenty of experience doing neuropsych assessment during grad school, as well as having the didactic experiences and coursework necessary to give you a solid foundation in neuropsych. That said, don't neglect other clinical experiences and opportunities. You want to have a solid generalist foundation in clinical psychology before you further specialize at internship and post-doc.

    The Houston Conference Guidelines are mostly a vertical, not linear, model. You need to get the didactic training and experiences in neuropsych, but you don't necessarily have to get them at the same stages as everyone else. The more you focus on these things during your grad program, the less you'll have to get done during internship and post-doc. This could even be to the point that you get a more generalist internship, because you already completed so much in your program prior to internship. The less you get done during your grad program, the more essential a neuropsych heavy internship is. Either way, you need to get a neuropsych post-doc in order to get boarded in neuropsych, and you definitely want to get boarded.
     
    Therapist4Chnge likes this.
  25. PsychQEH

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    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 -- will plan to be in this position for about 18 months before starting grad school. 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 facilitation, 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 with collaborative relationship from members of SBM).

    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, cancer, 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.
     
  26. heydayday

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    Hi!
    I'm thinking of applying this cycle for clinical ph.d + a couple experimental masters programs and was hoping to get some insight on my standings!
    Stats:
    Undergrad GPA: 3.77
    GRE: 157 V/149 Q (dont have percentiles or writing score yet since i just took it last week)
    LOR: 3 pretty strong letters (all research mentors)
    Research experience: 2 years in labs at my university, 1 summer undergraduate intensive research program. Several poster presentations and 1 publication(first author)
    Clinical experience: 1 year ( 1.5 year by app due dates) working at a crisis hotline. 3 years working in a community psych clinic. 3 years of peer education/mentor program participation.
    No teaching experience

    I'm looking to apply regionally in the southwest (which i know is a risk but its for personal reasons). My top schools rn are U of Arizona, Southern Methodist University, UT Southwestern, Wake Forest, etc.

    Thanks!
     
  27. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
    Psychologist

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    That's an interesting set of choices. What is your career goal?
     
  28. coug46

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    Hey all!

    I just wanted to toss my stats out here and get some last minute advice before applying to PhD programs this coming cycle.

    GPA: >3.75
    GRE: >160 V / >160 Q
    Posters: 3 at national conferences; 2 from a local undergraduate conference (one of which is a first author presentation)
    Papers: 2 have been submitted and are in the review process, both of which I am the first author. I am anticipating the submission of two additional papers following the application deadline. All of these papers were legitimately my own, from start (IRB process) to finish (the analysis, writing, and submission).
    Grants: I have won four grants totaling more than $4,000 and a scholarship that will pay more than $10,000 towards tuition to a graduate program (of course, depending on whether I get accepted).
    Statistics background: I received my minor in statistics. I was trained in non-parametric and parametric SEM, Bayesian Methodologies, and can code in SAS, Stata, and R.
    Clinical Experience: Not of utmost importance, but I do have 1 year of clinical experience in a residential treatment center.

    I have reached out to some of the professors that I am interested in working with that I felt have have good fit, feel like I have good LOR secured, and am just wondering if there is anything that I could do that would bolster my application before this cycle begins? Is there anything else I can do that would help my chances? Also, what would you recommend talking about when writing in a personal statement?
     
    #3776 coug46, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  29. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
    Psychologist

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    It looks like your background is in good shape and I expect that you will get multiple interviews. Fit and interpersonal factors are going to be key. If you are attending a conference it's worthwhile to look for opportunities to interact with faculty you might want to work with. Hopefully your mentors can help facilitate some introductions for you. Good luck!
     
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  30. psychpotato

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    delete
     
    #3778 psychpotato, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  31. pandapanda

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    Hello guys!
    I’m a Psychology specialist, and I'd be greatly indebted if you could offer me some advice/point out some weaknesses.

    I'm applying to Psy.D. programs at:
    - Rutgers
    - PGSP-Stanford Consortium
    - LaSalle

    GRE:
    - V: 164
    - Q: 162
    - Analytical: 4.0

    Undergrad GPA:
    - 3.8

    Research Experience:
    - 1 year RA coding videotapes
    - 1.5 year RA running participants, ethics proposal
    - designing and implementing of study - no significant results
    - worked on an independent project: analyzing data & writing up a formal report

    Clinical Experience:
    - trying to get a volunteer position at the counseling/distress hotline
    - will have around 2 months of experience by the time I apply

    Thanks a lot!
     
    #3779 pandapanda, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  32. PsychPhDStudent

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    You didn't mention what kind of programs you're applying to. Regardless, I think you're in good shape. I'd highlight any empirical projects you've taken the lead on (or a really big role on), especially your thesis or anything that's resulted in a product (pub/pres).
     
  33. psychpotato

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    Thanks! I'm planning on applying to Clinical Psychology PhD programs. I haven't decided on the exact schools yet since it will depend on which professors will be accepting students. In general I plan on applying to programs with a larger emphasis on research than clinical training.
     
  34. PsychPhDStudent

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    Great -- put your efforts into a great personal statement and solid GRE score then. :) I'd aim for 70th percentile on both V and Q.
     
  35. MHK2017

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    Hi,
    First time posting here. I'm in round two of the grad school application process currently. Last year I got into a few counseling programs and a Psy.D program but decided after going through the interview process that they were not for me. After a lot of research I decided that a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology is the route I believe is the best fit for me to take. However... like all on this thread, I am looking for advice.
    GRE: 152 on both quant and verbal, I will be re taking it soon though. Writing score 4

    GPA 3.2

    Major- B.S- Dual major in counseling and chaplaincy with a minor in Theology

    Research experience: 1 year volunteering in an experimental psychology lab at a nearby university. Will have potential 2nd or 3rd authorship on a publication shortly.

    3.5 years experience working at a community mental health center- 1.5 years as a full time case manager.

    Worked as a hospital chaplain responding to traumas at an inner city hospital for six months.

    My research interests include helping relationships, CBT, and children living with SED and adults living with SPMI.

    What are my chances of getting into a Ph.D program?

    Any recommendations on programs? Both PHD/Masters

    Any advice on how to be a stronger applicant besides study super hard for the GRE? ( that's what I'm currently doing)
     
  36. psych.meout

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    Your GPA isn't terrible by any means, but it's definitely on the lower side compared to the mean/median GPAs of admitted applicants. Unless you absolutely destroy the GRE, you might need to complete a master's program to make yourself more competitive.

    You mention that you've had a year of experience in a research lab and will have a publication soon, but what exactly did you do in this lab? Were you doing mostly data collection, entry, and coding or did you have any more substantive duties? Some people compensate for their lower GPAs and GREs with stellar research experience and productivity, but, depending on your duties, you may not have enough to give you enough of a boost.
     
  37. MHK2017

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    I did the data entry and coding and all of the general stuff, I was also a key player in designing the study that I am now writing the manuscript over and have done literature reviews over other potential research in the lab as well as helped give feedback for other study designs.

    What sort of GRE scores do you think would give me a good boost? If I get in the 160's range? Or higher?
     
  38. RagingShadow

    RagingShadow BA Psych Applied Behavior Analysis + BS Human Dev

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    I had some medical issues in undergrad, that have hopefully been resolved, that prevented me from doing summer internships or summer research experience. I did hold internships and do research during the school years. Where would I address this in my application/should I even bring it up?
     
    #3786 RagingShadow, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  39. psych.meout

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    Well, your research experience does sound good, but I'd still be somewhat skeptical of my chances if I was you, even if I had perfect GRE scores, i.e. 170/170/6.0.

    It wouldn't hurt much to apply and see where the chips fall if you can afford the time and expense of applying.
     
  40. singasongofjoy

    Psychologist

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    I probably wouldn't even bring it up. If you've got experience, you've got experience - whether it was during the summer, or during the school year.
     
  41. singasongofjoy

    Psychologist

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    Yes. It shows you know how to process works. It's still quite relevant to showing you will be able to do the work required to get publications in your field. Also, obviously I don't know the topic of your pubs more specifically, but cardiology can be quite related- health psychology, etc. As a psychology intern I rotated through a cardiology clinic.
     
    psych.meout likes this.
  42. gradstudent933

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    Hello, its my second round of applying to clinical psych PhD programs- all rejections last year- so I'm hoping to get an idea of whether my goal of getting in to a fully-funded research-focused program (like UPenn, Yale, Stonybrook, BU) is possibly attainable or whether I need to lower my standards or wait another year to re-apply. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    BS and MA in psychology
    Undergrad GPA: 3.6 (general) 3.8 (psych classes)
    Grad GPA: 4.0
    Masters thesis (a condensed version is currently under review at a decent journal)
    GRE: 155Q 162V 4.5W 780Subject - though I have been been aggressively studying all summer and will re-take in 2 weeks

    Research experience: 2.5 years as an RA, 1 year as a part-time coordinator, 6months as a full time coordinator
    Clinical Experience: 1 year

    Posters: 6 (2 as first author)
    Verbal Presentations: 2 (1 as sole presenter)
    Publications: 2 (1 as 1st author) - 2 under review (1 as 1st author)- though not sure if that's appropriate to cite on CV
    I'm co-authoring 4 additional papers in preparation right now but I'm not sure if there is a way to work that in to my app

    LoR: 2 will be outstanding from researchers I've worked with closely for 2.5 years and 1 will be good but weaker because I haven't worked with this professor since undergrad (btw can a postdoc fellow write a rec?- that would give me a better 3rd option)

    Standout skill: statistics (3 courses undergrad, 5 at the graduate level)- will be attested to in my LoRs

    Potential weaknesses: GREQ score, 3rd LoR, I'm applying to work with researchers who specialize in depression research (etiology, risk, comorbidity with anxiety) but the bulk of my research experience is in suicide risk

    Thank you for taking the time to read!
     
  43. singasongofjoy

    Psychologist

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    @gradstudent933 I think your stats look good (ideal to bring up the GRE quant but not a dealbreaker, you can still get into some decent programs with that percentile). But even for people who are super strong applicants, applying is still to some degree a numbers game, particularly at those programs that are inundated with applicants every year. My approach is it's always good to apply to a mix of places- your long-shot dreams, and an array of "the stats make this sound like a decent program but I don't know that much about it so it's worth applying and checking it out in person," You don't have to look at it as lowering your standards but more as like information-seeking adventures. I ended up loving a program I didn't know much about and wasn't initially that keen on until I went in person; ended up going there. But stick with the well-funded options for sure, wherever you apply.
    You might be able to find a way to weave into your application somewhere that you enjoy writing and mention generally papers in teh review process or currently working on. Or, if your letter writers are ppl you are working with on those projects maybe they could mention it; that would probably be easiest way to include that info pre-interview.
     
  44. RagingShadow

    RagingShadow BA Psych Applied Behavior Analysis + BS Human Dev

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    In all the CVs I've looked at from people I know who've gotten into grad school in the last few years (neuroscience program, behavior analysis masters, several psych phd programs I dont remember specifics of) they all had sections for Publications, Manuscripts in Preperation, Manuscripts Under Review.
    Is that not a good idea? Or a less common practice?
     
  45. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
    Psychologist

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    It's fine. Putting the "in preparation" and "under review" papers under one heading is OK too. Just make sure that anything "in preparation" is something that is really progressing and that you're prepared to discuss in detail. Don't use it for CV padding.
     
  46. gradstudent933

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    Thank you so much for the insight!
     
  47. Harry3990

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    I'd say you're definitely a competitive applicant for those programs. Any pubs or poster presentations? If not, that's the only major area that seems to be lacking to me. Even if you could submit an abstract for a poster presentation this year and put it on your CV as "abstract submitted/accepted," I would think that would help.

    My main other comment, which is not an uncommon response around here, is WHY are you only applying to PsyD programs? Your research experience and other stats make you somewhat competitive for funded Ph.D. programs. And if you already have some interest in clinical research (which it seems like you do based on your experience), why wouldn't you try for FUNDED clinical/counseling Ph.D. programs? Just a thought. Finishing with low/no debt because you were paid to complete the program as opposed to paying a lot of tuition for the schools that you list is a pretty tremendous difference in financial burden once you start working. You will get as good or better clinical training at most APA-accredited clinical Ph.D. programs compared to Psy.D's
     
    #3795 Harry3990, Aug 18, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  48. Sentient_Taco

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    Hey everyone!
    I recently graduated with my BA in psych and would be grateful for any advice with how to strengthen my applications.

    GRE: 160/155

    Undergrad GPA: 3.87 (I did drop research methods the first time I took it, but passed it next semester with an A)
    Magna Cum Laude
    I also won a department award for outstanding graduaring senior.

    Research experience:
    6 months helping conduct a study on an intervention plan for incoming college freshman with Autism. My role was essentially a peer mentor.
    1 year in a social psychology lab, coding and entering data and recruiting participants. I'll have 2-3 poster presentations by next summer, one being at SPSP.
    An honors thesis which didn't end up panning out, but I'm planning on running a second trial.

    LOR's:
    1 stellar, 2 very strong

    School's with research I've been interested in: UCLA, UCSD, Colorado-Boulder, DePaul, U-Washington, Pitt, U of I (MS in Psychology Science)

    My main concerns are how coming from a relatively unknown (tier 3) university with the research experience I have would affect my chances at a top-50 program and my general lack of neuropsychology lab experience (most of the labs I'm interested involve neuro). Basically, am I aiming too high right now?

    For what it's worth, I've tried applying for about 6 RA, RS jobs but nothing has worked out so far.
     
  49. Psy443

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    Your stats are solid, but the competition at those programs is incredibly high. I'd recommend adding some programs that have neuro opportunities/research, but are either newer programs or in a less desirable location. Toledo, Eastern Carolina U and Florida International U are all potential ones that you might be competitive for if your fit is good. Also depending on your financial situation there are some PsyD programs with neuro opportunities that I think you'd be competitive for. I definitely think the paid RA route would be great to make you more competitive like you said. I'd reccomend leveraging your connections and asking some of the PI's in the neuro labs you work in if they know of any opportunities, and maybe they'll help put you in contact with someone. Also, I wouldn't worry so much about the name of your undergrad university, it's such a small factor. As for the whole "top-50" thing I'm not sure where that comes from. If it's US News I wouldn't put any stock in their rankings at all for what university provides good neuro training. You want to focus more on Access to diverse neuro practicum, neuro reaserch, neuro coursework and APA match rate.
     
  50. js90015p

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    I am updating my previous post as some of my stats have changed:
    GPA: 3.6
    Psych GPA: 3.9
    GRE Q: 157
    GRE V: 156
    GRE Writing: 4

    Research: 2 years experience in two separate labs. 1. a social psychology lab which I am involved in a number of research projects, one of which is my thesis and an article for publication in progress. 2. a neuropsychological lab that focuses on pediatric cancer research in which I have been involved in a few projects, all within neuropsychological research. I have 2 poster presentations and a manuscript in progress.

    Clinical: I have worked with a neuropsychologist in a hematology/oncology clinic for a year, where I learned to administer, score and report neuropsychological evaluations.

    I am looking to apply to Clinical Ph.D. programs and I am not limited by location, or number of schools I can apply to. I hope to find a school with a strong health psychology focus, however, that hasn't seemed to be a problem in my search so far. What are my chances of getting in this application cycle?
     
  51. pandapanda

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    Hello Harry 3990, thank you so much for your reply and advice!

    I had indeed been aiming for Ph.D. programs (in social psychology) during my first few years of university, hence the multiple research experience and lack of clinical experience. However, I had a change of heart towards the end of my third year, and decided that I did not want do research for the rest of my life. Instead I wanted a career in clinical psychology (not counseling because I’m personally less interested in what it entails daily). Since that’s the case, I did not see any reasons attending programs that are heavily research-oriented.

    That being said, I was rejected by the distress line. I am currently looking elsewhere. I doubt that I’d get into any of the aforementioned programs if I have 0 clinical experience by the time I apply…
     
  52. Harry3990

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    My rebuke to this, which you will see repeated many times by others on this forum, is that many funded clinical psychology Ph.D. programs consider themselves to be rather balanced in terms of clinical and research experience. It is the difference between a scientist-practitioner model and a scholar-practitioner Psy.D. model. I'm generalizing here, but much of the time this means that you will get comparable or better clinical experience and training from clinical Ph.D. programs with the added research experience (where in a PsyD program you will might get similar clinical training but without the research). Most graduates from clinical Ph.D. programs end up going on to primarily clinical jobs as opposed to research jobs because (1) there are more clinical jobs as opposed to tenure-track jobs, (2) many people discover they feel similarly about preferring to do a primarily clinical job (academia isn't for everyone), and (3) people are also sometimes willing/interested in doing research for 4-5 years as a way of paying for graduate school but really always intended to go into clinical (not a bad trade off for saving $150-200k). See this thread for discussion about why student load debt sucks really bad and for a cautionary tale of what not to do: Psychologist with $385,000 in student loans . Clinical psychologists do not make enough money to justify the tuition expense at some of these schools.

    That said, if I were you, I would focus this next year on getting a poster or two or a publication out before applying the following year. With that, you would be moderately competitive for clinical phd programs with your GPA and GRE scores (both are pretty solid).

    HOWEVER... if you are REALLY set on applying to the programs on your list and are not concerned about the expense (or happen to have a trust/college fund that will mean that you will not be going into crippling debt), you are pretty competitive for those programs even without any clinical experience. I know of people who got into some of those programs with negligible clinical experience and worse GPA/GRE.
     

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