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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. Harry3990

    Harry3990 2+ Year Member

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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
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
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  3. Sentient_Taco

    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.
     
  4. Psy443

    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.
     
  5. js90015p

    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?
     
  6. pandapanda

    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…
     
  7. Harry3990

    Harry3990 2+ Year Member

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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.
     
  8. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    As has been previously mentioned, clinical PhD programs provide as good, if not better, training than PsyD programs and most grads end up in clinical practice of some kind. There is a paucity of tenured faculty and other predominantly research positions out there compared to the number of grads from PhD programs, let alone all clinical programs.

    You don't really need much clinical experience to get into good, funded clinical PhD programs. I had pretty extensive clinical experience in general before getting into grad school, but especially in comparison to my cohort. At least one has no clinical experience outside of assisting in research with clinical populations.
     
    Harry3990 likes this.
  9. sashie

    sashie

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    Hi everyone! I'm a Canadian clinical psychology (PhD) hopeful with plans to apply to both Canadian and American schools.

    Undergrad GPA - 3.9
    Psychology GPA - 4.0
    GRE - 155V/155Q/5.5W

    Research Experience:
    *Overall 4.5 years of research experience, will be 5 years by the time I apply
    - Paid full time research assistant for 3 summers in professor's lab (research on alcohol consumption and social norms among university students)
    - Paid full time research assistant for 1 summer at the Center for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto (research on smoking cessation)
    - Volunteer for a gambling research organization (will be 7 months by the time I apply
    - Volunteer in various research labs (3) at school during my undergrad

    Publications:
    - Will hopefully have two by the time I apply (one second author, one first author)
    - Will have 1-2 "in progress" manuscripts

    Letters of Reference:
    - 1 from professor I've worked with for the entire 5 years
    - 1 from my CAMH supervisor (research project scientist)
    - either 1 from another professor I've worked with OR my supervisor from the gambling organization (haven't decided yet)

    Canadian Schools - York, Ryerson, OISE, Concordia, McGill, Ottawa, Western, Queens

    American Schools - UoPittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, South Florida, UT Austin, Arizona State

    Research interests - addictions (primarily alcohol; psychological focus), mood disorders in general, trauma, social media and mental health

    Concerns:
    - My GRE scores aren't very competitive and my Psych subject score sucks (69th percentile; some schools don't require it). I'm hoping my research experience makes up for it
    - I don't have any conference poster presentations
    - I have clinical experience working at a children's hospital and a children's rehabilitation hospital but that experience is from high school. I don't have any recent clinical experience, will this be a drawback when applying? Should I try to find a placement for the Fall to put on my CV?

    Thanks :)
     
  10. MindfulStudent

    MindfulStudent

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    Hey guys, I wanted to hear your opinions.

    I am currently a senior psychology undergrad with a minor in statistics. I really would like to earn a clinical psych Ph.D. without taking a gap year. I am a transfer student, so I am not sure how that will appear to grad committees.

    Institution 1 GPA: 3.0 (I had a horrendous freshman year..I was 17 and not ready for college, but earned 3.2-3.5s every semester after)
    Institution 2 GPA: 4.0 --- I anticipate maintaining my 4.0 for my final year. I believe I have a solid work ethic.

    I still not have taken my GRE, but I plan on studying my butt off this semester and taking it in October-Novemeber. I would have taken it this summer, but I have been busy and had some medical issues.

    Research experience:
    -1 semester research internship with a social psychologist who's interested in mindfulness and social relations and health/well being. I offered to work with him this summer and the fall.. but he is horrible with emailing. I will track him down if I have enough time.

    -Volunteer summer research work with a highly esteemed professor in the field of addiction doing data entry. I plan on working with her again this fall and spring semester.

    -Volunteer summer research work with a business school professor who is interested in mindfulness and leadership. I will be doing IRB protocol for him soon. I will be doing federal work study research assistantship with him this fall and spring.

    -I am going to meet with a nursing school professor and do a lit review on mindfulness interventions with pregnant women with SUDs for her.

    My research interests involve mindfulness. I am interested in clinical applications of mindfulness. How can clinicians engage depressed and or anxious populations to meditate or do yoga? Can technology be an aid in increasing mindfulness behaviors? Are mindfulness interventions effective for preventing SUDs? Can contingency management combined with mindfulness based CBT be effective for treating SUDs? etc.

    Letter of recommendation:
    I believe my research experience with various professors will lead to strong letters.

    I really would like to attend my current institution due to research interests match. If not I have thought about UCSD and UCB. I would like to stay in the south or head to the west coast. In my eyes, I don't see a point of applying to a program where there is not a concrete research match.
     
  11. Neuronerdery15!

    Neuronerdery15!

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    Good night, everyone. I have a Bachelor's in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology that emphasized Neuropsychology. I have done some research with two professors and am not published yet, but we will be working on that eventually. I'm desiring a PhD, but with my GPA and no GRE taking any time soon to predict how well I would do, do you think I'm screwed? I'm thinking of applying just to Clinical Psych programs given my background to see if that would be more favorable than to a Clinical Neuropsychology PhD program, but am not sure. I have had some amazing interviews( Mayo Clinic, the U of Minnesota), but am still waiting to hear back from some places. I'm also wondering about Argosy University Twin Cities PsyD program, what are the APIPC rates, as well as how graduates are doing after graduation from that program? I only have about 2 years of clinical experience( in in-home settings), 9 months in an outpatient program doing cbt and psych testing, and another few months in two different hospital settings doing group therapy sessions and psychosocial summaries.
     
  12. Temperance

    Temperance 2+ Year Member

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    From 2009-2016, the average percentage of placements in either APA-accredited or APPIC internships was 87.7%, with a range between 65% and 100% (source). More concerning is that they have poor APA match rates, ranging from 17% and 56%. Only 66% of graduates have gotten licensed. That's not yet going into how much it costs to attend.
     
  13. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC thread.

    Quick response: keep in mind that there's currently no need to obtain a Ph.D. specifically in neuropsychology, or to attend a program with a formally-identified neuropsychology track, in order to be a neuropsychologist. It can help in getting you training experiences in grad school, but I'd venture to say that even with the proliferation of such tracks, most neuropsychologists are still attending "regular" clinical or counseling psych programs. The key is just to get quality neuropsych training while in grad school (in addition to learning how to be a clinical psychologist more generally), and to then continue that training on internship and postdoc.

    And as Temperance mentioned, the APA-accredited internship match numbers for Argosy Twin Cities (which should be available on their website) don't seem promising.

    Based on what you've said, it seems like you're possibly restricting your geographic area to MN? If so, I'd strongly suggest widening it considerably. Most folks will end up moving for grad school, again for internship, and possibly once more for fellowship. Staying in the same location for 2 of those 3 isn't impossible, but you're stacking the deck against you in terms of obtaining admissions and subsequent quality training if you're geographically restricting yourself before even applying for a doctoral program.
     
  14. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    If you'd actually like to have some job flexibility, I'd stay away from Argosy in the Twin Cities. From my experience, their grads are stuck getting hired in the less desirable institutions within the Cities. It's a ticket into a lot of debt and diminished job prospects.
     
  15. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    I think when your thread got merged with the WAMC the gpa info was lost- your original thread title said your gpa is 3.3, yes? Is that your gpa from your undergrad, or your masters program?
     
  16. seb1996

    seb1996

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    Some honest feedback would be very appreciated! Here are my stats:

    B.S. in Psychology (May 2017)
    Undergrad GPA: 3.9
    Psychology GPA: 3.9

    GRE verbal: 158
    GRE quant: 156
    GRE analytical: 5.0

    Research experience: designed and managed my own project on implicit cognition. Did all of the data collection and analysis myself.
    Poster presentation: presented at an APS conference
    Currently working on getting a short report published

    Clinical experience:
    -Interned for a summer at a residential home for women recovering from addiction

    Work experience:
    -I lead the Peer Education team at my college. We did a lot of prevention research and programming on our campus.
    -I was a TA for a psychology professor one semester

    Current position: Laboratory coordinator for the CDC until next fall

    Programs I'm applying for:

    Temple
    Kent State
    Emory
    UCSD
    Duke
    Vanderbilt
    Notre Dame
    U of Albany

    I'm also applying to masters programs in experimental psych just in case!

    I am currently working on applications for PhD programs in Clinical Psychology for 2018. I applied to 6 programs last year, hoping to start graduate school this fall, but I didn't even get any interviews. What do you think my chances are now that I've had a bit more experience and will have had a solid year working at the CDC??
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  17. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Good post. Just one thing to clarify....APPIC match rate shouldn't matter. APA-cred is the minimum standard in a growing number of states. APPIC membership is not an acred and it significantly limits a person in their career. It's important for prospective students to understand this difference in training and how it impacts their career options.
     
  18. Psychisfun43

    Psychisfun43

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    I’m a Psychology Major and Leadership Studies minor. Am I a competitive applicant to these programs? I posted before but I have updated information and have changed my schools.

    I'm applying to Psy.D. programs at:

    - Rutgers

    - PGSP-Stanford Consortium

    - Widener

    - Roosevelt University

    - U Indianapolis

    - Xavier

    - Prof school of Psych in Chicago

    - U Denver

    - Yeshiva

    - Baylor

    - University of Indiana Pen

    - Indiana State University

    I have visited most of these schools and have outreached to all of them. Emailed professors of interest.

    My Letters are from all Ph.D. Clinical Psychologists. One is a faculty member who knows me personally very well. The second one was my supervisor at the rehab clinic. The third one is a mentor who we know each other for years. Who I have always looked for advice and knows my work ethic.

    GRE: Taking it in 2 weeks! Wish me luck

    - V: Range is 159-164

    - Q: Range is 160-165

    - Analytical: Don’t know yet

    - Psychology Subject: Haven’t taken it yet

    Flagship University in my state

    Undergrad GPA:

    - 3.8

    - 3.70 Psych GPA

    Research Experience:

    - 1.5 year RA at a child development lab: Running participants, encoding data and grading tests

    - 1 year RA at a neuroscience lab: running participants, organized data and managed genetic material

    - 1 Year RA clinical lab: Evaluating similar symptoms between Autism and Schizophrenia. Running participants, weekly meetings and started from conceptualization.

    Clinical Experience:

    - Worked at a leading Rehab Center shadowed pain psychologists, biofeedback, psychiatrists, and psychologists. Worked with clients and interacted with them. Heard their stories.

    - Worked at a Teen Mental Health Clinic for LGBTQ. Held a club for teens who are at risk which was a therapeutic environment

    - Volunteered at the ER. Worked with physicians and Nurses.

    - Worked for a Forensic Psychiatrist managed medical records and shadowed testing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  19. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    GPA is good, research experience and clinical experience are good, just hinges on the GRE. I'd kick out a few of the diploma mills on your list there, cough *Chicago* cough. Also, any reason you are not widening the umbrella to include PhD programs? If your answer is something about not wanting to do research, the amount of research you'd do at a balanced PhD program is equivalent to what you would do in most reputable PsyDs.
     
  20. Psychisfun43

    Psychisfun43

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    Hey WisNeuro, It's been a while. Any suggestions in regards to the Ph.D's in which schools to look into?
     
  21. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Buy the insider's guide and cross reference programs that rate themselves as balanced with those which have faculty doing research in your areas of interest.
     
  22. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    It's literally dozens. And, that has to be narrowed down by your interests and career goals to find good fits.
     
  23. pandapanda

    pandapanda

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    Thank you so much again. And I have read a lot on this forum about the more balanced PhD programs. However, I looked into some on the Insider's Guide and did not like their structure. I also like the shorter duration of the PsyDs... :) A 7-year program just seems to be dragging it...
     
  24. pandapanda

    pandapanda

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    Thank you! That is a relief to hear. However, I've also read stories of people getting rejected (regardless of stellar GPA & GRE & even pubs) because of a lack of clinical experience. That being said, I know these are all anecdotes and am still glad to hear that it is not impossible to get it without any clinical experience.

    Actually, another factor for not applying for PhDs is that I don't wanna have to lie about my relative lack of interest for research during the interview or on the statement of purpose.
     
  25. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    It's ok if you aren't super enthused by research and ok that you don't want a career as a researcher. Most graduates even from clinical science programs are in some kind of clinical job, if not doing exclusively clinical work. There are just aren't enough tenured faculty positions for even just the grads of clinical science programs to have them. Really, the only issue is if you want to just do therapy, because completing a doctoral program is far too expensive in terms of time, money, and energy for the lackluster remuneration you'd get doing therapy alone.

    That said, research experience is still really important. Actually doing research provides a profoundly better education in being a good consumer of research that not doing so. Your ethics and professionalism require you to use the best evidence-based practices possible and you need to be up to date on the latest research, which includes being able to fully understand and critique it. This is not as simple as being able to read peer-reviewed journal articles. You need to really understand methodology, statistics, and clinical psychology to fully comprehend these articles, especially when there is sketchy stuff going on that most non-experts would miss.

    Thus, maybe you need to rethink your perspective about research. This is not to say that you should convince yourself that you want to be a researcher or faculty. Rather, consider what utility research has for your future goals and how having some degree of focus on doing research in grad school serves those goals and your values of being the best psychologist you can.
     
  26. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    The extra year you spend will come in handy when you don't have to re-apply for internship and are much more competitive for more jobs. Also, most PhD programs are 5+1, 5 years of grad school and 1 year internship.
     
    psych.meout likes this.
  27. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

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    Yes, 7 year program does seem to be dragging it. But the only (very few) people I know who took that long, well, it was more an effect of them dragging it out themselves for whatever reason. Like WisNeuro said, most programs are going to have 5+1.
     
  28. pandapanda

    pandapanda

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    Do hospitals/private clinics/other employers still prefer PhD over PsyDs these days?
     
  29. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Depends on the institution/practice. There is a big practice in town here that almost exclusively PsyD, but there compensation/benefits package is.....not good. The VAs I've been at were definitely very PhD heavy. And, the two AMCs that I have been affiliated with were almost 100% PhD. So, answer is, depends. I'm somewhat biased, but the numbers speak for themselves PhD, on average, leads to lower debt, more career flexibility, and higher salary.
     
  30. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    It's not so much that some places are preferring PhDs over PsyDs out of principle, bias, or some other factor. The real issue is that many PsyDs are from large programs with poor clinical and research training, poor match rates, and other inferior outcomes. This is not to say that there are no great PsyD programs (e.g. Rutgers and Baylor) or crappy PhDs (e.g. Alliant), but rather that there are more good PhD programs than bad ones and vice versa for PsyD programs. Thus, the preference for PhDs over PsyDs is more about a preference for better training than a preference for a particular kind of degree.
     
  31. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    5 or 6 years is typical for most programs. If you are concerned, every accredited doctoral program's web site includes a page that lists their stats, including average # of years to complete the program. Some of these might surprise you.
     
  32. pandapanda

    pandapanda

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    Hmm... Based on the advice so many of you have given me (and the looks when I told my Profs that I was applying for PsyDs), I have decided to apply for a mix of PsyD and PhD programs, in case I change my mind down the road. However, I gave up the chance I had at completing an undergrad thesis... Is not having one going to seriously hurt my chances?
     
  33. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    No. It's a nice thing to see especially if you can turn your thesis into a poster presentation or something, but it's not going to make or break your application.

    Choose wisely.
     
  34. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Nope. I didn't do a thesis in undergrad and I got into my top choice program and received offers from several other programs as well.
     
  35. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    BTW, off topic, but is this your first year? Is it everything SDN prepared you for? ;)
     
  36. Indiana_Jane0411

    Indiana_Jane0411

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    Same for me!


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
     
  37. Indiana_Jane0411

    Indiana_Jane0411

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    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile[/QUOTE]



    I butchered this multiple quote post. I was in the same boat at psychmeout, so you definitely don't have to do an UG thesis.
     
  38. pandapanda

    pandapanda

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    Wow, I'm surprised. I was so worried seeing how people on sdn have 1+ pubs during their undergrad and still don't make it.
     
  39. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Yup, I just started.

    It's going quite well and I honestly have to thank all of you for your help getting into grad school. Your advice has helped in everything from picking programs to applications to interviews to getting started in the program. And I'm still getting some great advice about practica, pubs, internships, post docs, etc.

    I think one or two people in my cohort have pubs of some kind and some have posters. One has a master's degree coming into the program. I have none of these things, but I have pretty extensive clinical experience. I received several offers, including from multiple clinical science programs.

    Honestly, it's really about how you talk about what experience you do have. Someone could have tons of productivity, but totally blow it with their personal statement or interview. You need them to see that you're a mature, critical thinker who will be able to handle the demands and expectations of grad school, but you also have to be personable. These people will spend the better part of a decade with you and maintain relationships afterwards, so they aren't going to want to be around a jerk, regardless of how prolific they are. It's ok to be a weirdo, most of us are. Just be the right kind of weirdo.
     
  40. WannaBPsyd

    WannaBPsyd

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    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  41. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    I'm not really seeing where you're getting "almost perfect except my gpa."

    Your GPA is a full point below the average GPAs of admitted students at many programs. Typically, you need stellar (i.e. near-perfect) GRE scores and maybe a masters degree to compensate for that. Without those, grad programs would justifiably question your ability to handle their coursework.

    What exactly did you do in your two labs? Do you have any posters or publications from them? Just having been in two labs for two years isn't really enough. You need to have made substantial contributions beyond data entry and other grunt work. Posters and publication are the most salient demonstrations of these contributions.

    Being a public policy advocate is nice, but it doesn't really involve the skill set that is required for grad school. Yes, psychologists may do that kind of work later on, but that's an added layer that comes later and isn't really part of the core skills of grad school. It's like saying that your experience with EMR coding makes you qualified for grad school.

    Being a personal care attendant and TMS tech are nice, but at some point they have diminishing returns, because you can't do the more substantial work with your level of training. Maybe if you were looking to do related research in grad school, it would make for a good addition to your personal statement, but, again, it doesn't add all that much. What looks promising is that the TMS stuff could lead to a paper, but will you be one of the co-authors? What are you doing for it besides being the tech and recording data? I would also refrain from saying that you "treated patients." You "assisted" in treating patients, but were not the one doing the treatment, because you are not a licensed provider.

    As much as you don't want to, I would advise going for a master's degree in experimental psychology or some other focus that will allow you focus on research. When you finish the program, you'll have research experience that will be highly applicable to admissions and you'll have a 4.0 GPA to demonstrate that you can handle advanced coursework.
     
  42. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    Are there extenuating circumstances that would help explain your GPA? A really bad (early) year followed by an improving trend looks a lot better than C's and B's across the board. More to your question, it won't hurt to try, but I think your options will open if you do a master's to establish a solid record of academic performance and generate some research products (posters, maybe a publication if you can).

    Attending a program that sets a low bar for admission will lock you out of a lot of opportunities later on, so as tempting as that option might seem, I would recommend strongly against it.
     
    psych.meout likes this.
  43. GorgeyM

    GorgeyM

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    I am in the middle of a career change. I have worked for 3 years in the accounting industry. After a bout of depression, I realized that it is not my passion and I want to perform mental health research. Specifically, I am interested in the mood and psychotic disorders. I want to research there causes and prevention techniques. The closer I can get to understanding societal influence on individual behavior the better! I am especially interested in childhood intervention and learning how family dynamics impact the likelihood of future disorders.

    Past:
    Master of Accountancy - University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    GPA: 3.50/4.00

    Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Major: Accounting and Psychology
    Minor: Statistics
    GPA: 3.52/4.00
    Psychology GPA: 3.8/4.0

    Present:
    I am currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in Biostatistics at George Washington University. My current GPA is a 4.0 (based on 9 credit hours).

    Questions:
    Do I need to complete the MPH first?

    What GRE should I shoot for?

    What other suggestions do you have for me?

    I am thinking that I will postpone my application until next year. Help me get there please!

    My programs of choice:
    Johns Hopkins University - PHD in Mental Health
    University of Maryland College Park - Clinical Child and Pediatric
    Virginia Commonwealth University - Clinical (child focus)
     
  44. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    MPH? Keep going. Quitting looks bad and it's a good opportunity to show you can handle graduate level coursework.

    GRE? As high as possible

    Do you have any research experience? It's quite necessary to get into a good program.
     
  45. GorgeyM

    GorgeyM

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    I should keep going even with a past masters degree?

    No research experience. I working my hardest to find something as soon as possible.
     
  46. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I'd keep going with the MPH. The clinical psych PhD admissions process is long. At this point, you wouldn't be applying until fall 2018 at the earliest, to start summer 2019. That's assuming you get an offer in the first go round. At least with the MPH, you've got some options in the unfortunate circumstance that things don't work out. Another thing, you need to cast a WIDE net in grad school options. At least in clinical psych programs, the acceptance rates are usually like 2-5% of applications received. This is not like applying to undergraduate or many masters programs. And, as was mentioned, you'll need some research experience, especially if you are trying to get into a more research focused program.
     
  47. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    Yes, I'd go ahead and finish the MPH especially since you are concentrating on stats. That's a great skill set to have going in to grad school.

    Shoot for the highest GRE scores you can manage. Try to get involved in research with one of your master's program faculty. If you have a thesis option that requires you to conduct original research, go for it. As others have noted, you'll need to apply more broadly to Ph.D. programs. Many factors influence grad school admissions such that even highly competitive applicants can't always be accommodated. Limiting yourself geographically greatly lowers your chances of admission.
     
  48. laulee728

    laulee728

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    Aug 16, 2017
    Hi all,

    I am in my senior year of undergrad at a college in New York City. I had a quick question about general admissions into colleges or universities that offer Masters or Doctorate programs in Psychology and/or Mental Health Counseling.

    I will be working as an assistant to a psychiatrist who is also a professor at NYU School of Medicine. I recently became super interested in the field of psychology after spending some time with cyclists and others who experienced some type of condition that required attention from a psychologist or psychiatrist. However, I currently possess a 3.0 solid GPA and unfortunately, I think it may slightly drop this semester (I'm trying my best to keep it where it's at or raise it up this semester!).

    I just wanted to know what the likelihood would be if I were to receive tips and recommendation from a psychiatrist from NYU School of Medicine.

    Let's say that my GPA is a 3.0 solid or slightly below but I happen to study hard and do really well on the GRE/GMAT/MCAT or whatever test I need to take to get into graduate school. On top of that, I have some experience working in a clinic and recommendations from the psychiatrist I will be working with. What would my chances be - if you had to roughly take a guess?
     
  49. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Psychologist
    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC thread.
     
  50. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2015
    If you don't know which standardized test is required for graduate school in clinical psychology and haven't narrowed it down (and possibly don't understand the differences) between masters and doctoral programs in clinical psychology, assessing your chances to get into grad school is probably getting a few too many steps ahead of yourself.
     
  51. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    Psychologist
    Your chances would be low. Unless you are working as an assistant in a research setting, a recommendation from a psychiatrist is not going to carry a great deal of weight. Research experience is much more strongly favored than clinical experience for admission to psychology doctoral programs. Even with a good score on the GRE (that's the test in question) your academic performance and lack of research experience are major weak spots.

    My advice to you would be to learn more about careers in the mental health field and take some time to narrow down your choices. You should have some interaction with working psychologists (academic and/or practitioners) and perhaps other types of professionals (eg, social work) before you settle on a career path. If ultimately you decide that psychology is the right career for you, then a master's degree may be a useful next step to improve your academic record and gain knowledge and experience in research.

    More information can be found here: Ph.D. or Not? - Clinical Psych Grad School
     

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