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WAMC: What Are My Chances

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

  1. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Wait, you're not even applying to clinical programs?

    Are you even familiar with this board? This is primarily for clinical and counseling programs, which are far different from other psychology graduate programs.
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Without knowing career and research interests, can't really give recs. It's all about fit with a mentor in most programs. You can have stellar stats, but if you don't fit well, you won't get an interview/offer.
     
  4. GorgeyM

    GorgeyM

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    Thanks! This year is about finding my niche I’m currently enrolled in GWUs MPH in epidemiology program. I’m definitely more attracted to the research than clinical practice. I’m
    Research Interests (Culture):

    · Morbidity of personality and mood disorders among multiracial Asian - White adolescents in comparison to their non-minority peers.

    · Strength of maternal and paternal cultural identity and its impact on the prevalence of personality and mood disorders in multiracial adolescents

    · Multiracial marriages, cultural identity, involvement of extended family and risk of post-partum depression

    · Maternal vs. Paternal head of house hold, Head of house hold racial identity, adolescent racial identity and the prevalence of personality and mood disorder

    Research Interests (Development):

    · Level of reported bonding among post-partum mother and off-spring pre-and post treatment, type of child care and emotional development of toddler

    · Parental substance abuse, emotional resilience, coping mechanisms and positive youth and adolescent outcome


    I may be to all over the place with my research interests.
     
  5. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Yeah, that is quite varied, those interests could conceivably fit into many dozens of possible programs.
     
  6. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I don't see any glaring red flags in the background info you shared, so I don't think it's necessary to explain any extenuating circumstances. The only weak spot might be a lack of experience in research related to your chosen field (though maybe not, if your consulting firm RA work was relevant to your interests). A publication will be helpful and you should do everything you can to move that process along. Your GPA isn't perfect but it's fine. Assuming your research, GRE, and letters are all in good shape, it will come down to matters of fit and how you present yourself.

    The 12-month prevalence of mental disorders in college students is around 50%, so while the details of your experience are certainly unique to you, the experience of having academic performance affected by mental health issues is not. Your options are to (1) be so vague about your history as to invite more questions, (2) to try to convince the admissions committee that your statistically very typical experience is actually remarkable in some way, or (3) none of the above. Your achievements on paper are sufficient that you can choose (3) with confidence. Not having to explain extenuating circumstances is a good thing.
     
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  7. Infinite_Loop

    Infinite_Loop

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    Hello all. My hope is to apply to and be accepted to a psychology PhD program specializing in clinical neuropsychology for the 2019 cycle.

    For quick background, I currently work in Graduate Medical Education at a very well respected program. I also am completing an MPH in the spring in Health Policy and Management. For my internship I am working on research with a faculty member at the university I work at and I created, wrote, planned, and am currently executing a protocol that hopes to evaluate self-insight in graduate medical education. The goal of this is publication and presentation and we will complete the protocol by the summer.

    I do not have a background in psychology (I was a philosophy major ten years ago when I completed my BA at Indiana) but have a strong statistical background from my MPH. Over the next year I aim to complete at least 9-12 credits in undergraduate or graduate non-matriculated psychology courses.

    In undergrad I finished with a 3.4 GPA, but I expect to complete my MPH with a 4.0. Here are my GRE scores from 2015 when I applied to MPH.

    GRE Verbal - 167
    GRE Quant - 160
    GRE Analytical - 5.0

    I have two questions at this point, what are my chances now of getting into a program, and what should I focus on over the next year to improve my chances. Also, I must work full-time to get by so I can't really take a major pay cut to go work in a lab. I do have research opportunities with my job and school, but they may only be tangentially related to my true research interests. What should I do?
     
  8. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    The masters and statistical background will definitely help, as will the good GRE scores. The lack of any neuro research may be a hindrance, but may be overcome by the other two. If you can volunteer for a neuro-focused research lab in your spare time, it may be a big plus on an application. Once you get into grad school you will no longer plan on working full-time, correct?
     
  9. Infinite_Loop

    Infinite_Loop

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    Thanks for the reply. I think that's a good idea and I'll look into some labs nearby, and that's correct. I do not intend on working full-time if matriculated.
     
  10. GorgeyM

    GorgeyM

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    Anyone familiar with the application process to non-clinical programs? I am more interested in the research, not clinical practice. How do the admissions requirements differ?
     
  11. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Largely the same, but you better have more research experience, and get used to the idea of having to move at some point to find a job.
     
  12. seb1996

    seb1996

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    Some honest feedback would be very appreciated!

    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
    Podium presentation at my undergrad institution
    Manuscript in preparation

    Clinical experience:
    -Interned for a summer at a residential home for women recovering from addiction
    -Currently involved in PTSD analysis and intervention for deployed emergency responders at the CDC

    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

    Current position: Laboratory coordinator at the CDC

    Programs I'm applying for:

    Temple
    UCLA
    USC
    Emory
    Washington U
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Drexel
    UC Boulder
    Temple
    Duke

    Research interests are eating pathology, eating behavior, and weight maintenance.

    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??
     
  13. seb1996

    seb1996

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    Aug 31, 2017
    Some honest feedback would be very appreciated!

    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
    Podium presentation at my undergrad institution
    Manuscript in preparation

    Clinical experience:
    -Interned for a summer at a residential home for women recovering from addiction
    -Currently involved in PTSD analysis and intervention for deployed emergency responders at the CDC

    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

    Current position: Laboratory coordinator at the CDC

    Programs I'm applying for:

    Temple
    UCLA
    USC
    Emory
    Washington U
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Drexel
    UC Boulder
    Temple
    Duke

    Research interests are eating pathology, eating behavior, and weight maintenance.

    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??
     
  14. PsychPhDStudent

    PsychPhDStudent 7+ Year Member

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    What kind of letters do you have? I think your personal statement and letters are going to be key this round. I'd also recommend perhaps adding a couple more schools to your list. If you had more time, I'd consider a re-take of the GRE (your quant is maybe a bit low for many of the programs on your list) and trying to get another poster or pub, especially on some sort of project on which you've taken the lead.
     
  15. Meregold

    Meregold

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    My problem is my primary interests are programs in which I can directly study EBT with war-affected populations (refugees), and I would also love a program that would allow me to do this with children. Career-wise I would love to work at a non-profit doing mental health research with war-affected populations or implementing EBT in low and middle-income countries, but I would also be happy at a University. Unfortunately,the only programs I can find with a Professor with a primarily refugee focus are at very competitive programs (I assume because they need more funding?). TC Columbia, U Wash, Harvard*, Fordham, UCSB. So I didn't fall into the trap of wanting a competitive school just because it sounds prestigious, but rather my major passion is rather hard to find except in very competitive programs.

    GRE
    V: 167 (98%)
    Q: 155 (59%)
    W: 5.0 (93%)

    B.A. Psychology (minors in Arabic and International Studies):
    GPA: 3.74 (Psych GPA: 3.93)
    Pursuing Arabic major currently.

    Pubs and Presentations: Chapter publication (3rd author) and Honors Thesis as well as a poster presentation. After graduating I spent a year abroad interning at a non-profit.


    I'm applying to about 20 programs, many of which are not big-name, and have a much broader focus on violence against women/ child abuse, so I haven't put all my eggs in one, ivy covered basket. While I would be more than happy at those programs, I am hoping to find a program that would let me work with war-affected populations.

    My concern is that I attended a large state University deep in the Southeast. While my letters are I think great, and I accomplished a lot during my time in undergrad, I did not have the networking opportunities that people who went to more expensive Northeastern/ West coast institutions may have had. Additionally, I also know my quantitative score is low (I was initially advised by mentors that is my scores were over 50% I shouldn't worry about retesting because most schools don't care, but now it seems that other posters here disagree). My pros are because I am technically unaffiliated/ graduated, the research data I collect at my internship now will basically be able to be claimed by whatever professor/ program I end up at which would potentially be awesome. But also I will be competing against masters students with more research experience and people from more prestigious schools which could make those advantages moot. So, what are my chances? Is there anything else I can do at this point to set myself apart?

    Thanks for taking the time to read all of this, and any future responses!



    *The Harvard Clin Psych program actually does not have faculty with a refugee focus, but their Psychiatry program does incredible work with refugees. I have corresponded with my PI asking if I could potentially use his work with refugee populations, and he kindly indicated were I admitted I would be encouraged to pursue that as a personal research interest, so I am counting it as one of my top choices.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  16. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure how you have presented yourself and your interests, but it's possible you could come across as a bit too narrowly focused and "mission-driven." You see yourself in certain setting and populations, but what is it that interests you from a scholarly perspective? What are the skills you might need to bring to these settings? Most programs don't offer a specialty focus in refugee mental health, true, but the foundation that many programs offer can help you build toward that specialized focus. It's nice to break into a career as the "star student" of a person well known in their area, but that is NOT the only way it's done (and it comes with some disadvantages).

    When it comes to your clinical training, again, you're going to start with theory and foundations and apply these to less distressed populations before anyone lets you get near a severely traumatized patient. After grad school, there are two further critical steps toward specialization, internship and postdoc, so there are at least two additional opportunities to gain more experience and to specialize in mental health of immigrants, refugees, trafficked persons, etc.

    I think you're overvaluing the idea of coming in with your "own data." Are you sure your research data will be portable and that there is not already someone who has a "claim" to it? The fact that you're collecting the data outside the US will also complicate matters. Your mentor/advisor in grad school will probably encourage you to wrap up your current research as soon as possible so that you can focus on working in his or her lab. Remember, you are a trainee, not a collaborator.

    Look, most incoming graduate students have not done extensive networking. It's a good idea to let your mentor guide you in this. Professional organizations are good places to network, but you usually need to be in grad school to join. For example, APA Division 56 has been promoting a lot of work in the area of refugee mental health, and you might consider joining as a student member once you start graduate school; see: Webinar Series | Division of Trauma Psychology

    These are pretty different paths. Don't rule out public health or public policy just yet, especially if it's not important that you provide the treatment yourself. Psychiatry is also not a bad way to go, though there are more hurdles to clear in that path for sure.

    It's the "more research experience" part that counts most here. The work you're doing for an international nonprofit sounds very interesting and fulfilling, but it may not necessarily be viewed in the same league as, say, two years of progressively independent research experience in a US university-based setting. Most faculty value competence over passion, which is not to say that you can't have both, but the former is absolutely necessary to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt.
     
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  17. SLB-CO

    SLB-CO 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 10, 2015
    PM me if you'd like to talk through options, and perhaps I can point you in a few directions, as this is my area of research and practice...and I'm a new faculty member in a Clinical Psych PhD program. I agree with MamaPhD that you need a program that provides you a good foundation in evidence-based treatment for trauma, oppression, and acculturation/adjustment - and that takes a contextual, strengths based perspective grounded in and responsive to diverse cultures. You'll also need a program that will provide you extensive supervision in providing therapy through interpreters (not many programs do this well, unfortunately). That said, your program doesn't need a label on it for you to necessarily get this training. For example, I was trained in a more generalist program, but I was connected to practicum sites where I could get these experiences and worked with a mentor whose research was in the area. I then matched at an internship that honed my skills further. There are a number of programs you might consider adding to your list and ones that might not have the label but are situated to provide you the needed foundational training and access to research/clinical opportunities to strengthen your skills. In addition to Division 56, check out the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs (NCTTP - Home) and the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers (Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers). See who is regularly presenting at their conference. Take a look at the Torture Journal (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims). See who is authoring pieces. I think you'll start to get more ideas. PM me if you want to talk more; I'm happy to consider directions with you.
     
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  18. Meregold

    Meregold

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    @MamaPhD Thank you for that super detailed response! I appreciate the time you took to do that. I did try to focus on the academic reason I wanted to study trauma in minority/ war-exposed groups (often under-studied, a fair amount of conflict in the literature, importance of creating culturally-relevant intervention techniques or training laypersons from the host community in gold-standard techniques). Honestly you're right, my major fear is that those other great 15-ish schools will be able to tell my main passion is trauma in multicultural settings, and won't see a match as a possibility. Though I think I would be sufficiently passionate about studying interventions in more "traditional" populations.

    I made an effort to ensure the data was unique. It's certainly not the first effectiveness study, but I think the population and treatment center is unique enough that it would be valuable to the literature. Of course, someone else could disagree. I did get IRB approval at the American University here so that using it in the US wouldn't be an issue. But that is good advice, especially if I am admitted somewhere that doesn't have a multicultural interest, so I will make sure to make as much progress as possible this Spring so it's not viewed as a potential distraction.

    I'll be sure to emphasize that experience in interviews, both here independently, and in labs back at my University. While staying and doing RA work there was certainly a more obvious choice, none of the Professors were currently doing any trauma research (my thesis advisor did some, but it was more focused on meaning/ purpose theory), so I thought perhaps doing this and having a trauma focus would demonstrate a better fit than staying in a lab without their focus. Though I of course could have been wrong. Thank you for your input! It is much appreciated.

    @SLB-CO Thank you so much for that advice and those resources! That is so great! I will definitely comb through them for any good programs I may have missed in my earlier searches. I'm also just on my way out the door to work (time zones are funny things) but I will send you a message when I have a minute!

    Thanks again to you both!
     
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  19. Karinni

    Karinni

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    Hi everyone! I am hoping to apply for Clinical Psych PhD programs this upcoming cycle. I currently have been in contact with a few different professors at the following universities and have scheduled pre-interviews. However, I am concerned that I will not even be considered due to my GRE scores....Please let me know your input on my chances!!

    Stats:

    Undergrad GPA: 3.56 (bio and psych)
    Psych GPA: 3.93

    This where I am worried...I just can't seem to get these up:
    GRE: 155V/150Q; 5.0 Analytical

    Research Experience:
    Honors Thesis
    4 years of undergrad research experience
    Presented 5 different posters
    2 publications in R&R, 4 more pending submission
    1 year post grad research experience in 2 separate labs

    Clinical Experience: 2 years working in a psychology clinic, and 1 years working as an undergraduate counselor.

    I have made sure each place I applying has a PI that my interests are a great fit for. Theses are schools I will apply to:

    Virginia Tech
    Florida State University
    Brigham Young University
    University of Colorado Boulder
    University of Utah
    Utah State
    University of Virginia
    Emory
    Penn State
    University of California San Diego


    My recommendation letters come from the clinical training director (who is also currently my PI), another post-graduate research mentor, and my undergraduate professor/mentor.

    Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.
     
  20. Karinni

    Karinni

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Hi everyone! I am hoping to apply for Clinical Psych PhD programs this upcoming cycle. I currently have been in contact with a few different professors at the following universities and have scheduled pre-interviews. However, I am concerned that I will not even be considered due to my GRE scores....Please let me know your input on my chances!!

    Stats:

    Undergrad GPA: 3.56 (bio and psych)
    Psych GPA: 3.93

    This where I am worried...I just can't seem to get these up:
    GRE: 155V/150Q; 5.0 Analytical

    Research Experience:
    Honors Thesis
    4 years of undergrad research experience
    Presented 5 different posters
    2 publications in R&R, 4 more pending submission
    1 year post grad research experience in 2 separate labs

    Clinical Experience: 2 years working in a psychology clinic, and 1 years working as an undergraduate counselor.

    I have made sure each place I applying has a PI that my interests are a great fit for. Theses are schools I will apply to:

    Virginia Tech
    Florida State University
    Brigham Young University
    University of Colorado Boulder
    University of Utah
    Utah State
    University of Virginia
    Emory
    Penn State
    University of California San Diego


    My recommendation letters come from the clinical training director (who is also currently my PI), another post-graduate research mentor, and my undergraduate professor/mentor.

    Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.
     
  21. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    1. Do any of the programs on your list specify a cutoff?
    2. How many times have you taken the GRE?
    3. How have you prepared for the GRE in the past?

    Your other stats and experience look great.
     
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  22. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Most of your stats look great, but what do these "pre-interviews" consist of?

    It sounds intense. What POIs have time to do those with prospective applicants?
     
  23. luckyers

    luckyers

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    WAMC: Undergrad senior, graduating come spring with a Psychobiology B.S. and a Linguistics B.A.
    gpa at a very alarming 3.24, psych gpa 3.35
    2 yrs of research experience (including independent research) in neurosci and clinical psych, has only one poster but working on more/pubs
    Certified support group facilitator in a CBT research study (1 yr exp.)
    180+ hrs clinical volunteer exp. at a hospital
    President of a research journal club org
    Published co-author of a educational linguistics book
    Don't have a GRE score yet but have taken prep courses

    Looking to apply to Clinical Psychology PhD programs.
    I'm not applying this cycle, but want some insight on how I can use my gap year(s) to compensate for my low gpa and enhance my research experience. Thank you to whoever is willing to help!
     
  24. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Unless you kill it on your GRE, maybe you should look into a terminal masters program in experimental or clinical psych where you can shore up your GPA and get more research productivity.
     
  25. bumpkinbrain

    bumpkinbrain

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    Hi guys. I wanted some advice on whether if I should apply this year or next year. I am an undergraduate student interested in a PhD in cognitive psychology. If I apply next year, I will have more research experience and likely a 3.5+ GPA. Here is a summary of my credentials excluding my senior year:
    Major: B.S. in Psychology
    Minor: Applied Statistics
    Undergraduate GPA: 3.4
    Major GPA: 3.86
    (I did very bad my freshmen year, but there is a strong upward slope).
    GRE Verbal: 158
    GRE Math: 152
    I am going to take the gre one more time. My math score was a lot lower than my practice exams.
    Research experience: 1.5 years in a Developmental lab, 1 year in a Cognitive Psychology lab, 8 months in a Cognitive Psychology lab (all concurrently)
    I have no presentations, but my professor said that I will be a co-author in his next publication (which I am hoping will be done by the time I apply). I am also acknowledged in a publication for a previous experiment.
    Work experience: Worked as an Americorps mentor for 1 year - (helped children with low socioeconomic background and did community service work)
    3 strong recommendation letters
    Thanks in advance!
     
  26. tiy123

    tiy123 2+ Year Member

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    What types of programs are you applying to?
     
  27. kaygrimm

    kaygrimm

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    WAMC:

    Hello! I recently took the GRE and feel like I really fricked it up on the quantitative and analytical writing sections, and now I wonder if I should retake it. I have a B.A.in Film Studies and I'm applying to M.S. programs in Experimental Psych, so I was really hoping to slam dunk it.

    Undergrad GPA: 3.5
    V: 168
    Q: 155
    AW: 4.0 (That one's the ouch)

    Applying to Seton Hall, Villanova, and Fordham (Clinical Research Methods). I should have some strong letters of recommendation but not a ton of research experience. I do have direct experience working on a data project with my city's school district that I'm hoping may distinguish my application at least a little bit. All help appreciated!
     
  28. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Somewhere
    Post up in the sticky thread.
     
  29. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 7, 2010
    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC sticky.
     
  30. Karinni

    Karinni

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Thank you for your reply! So far with they have consisted of asking me about my future research interests, whether or not I have any questions about their program, and invitations to meet with them during ABCT. I am mostly concerned about my GRE scores. I just can't seem to get them up. I feel like as long as my other qualifications are actually looked at I will be fine, but I wanted to know my chances given at a lot of universities it's a numbers game.
     
  31. Karinni

    Karinni

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    Feb 9, 2017
    1) Thank you for your reply!! One program says the minimum is 60th percentile for both verbal and quantitative. However, it is my home institution at which I am also applying. There is another on the list that has cutoffs that I do not make by one point, but they mentioned they will seriously consider people who don't make it, but have other strong qualifications. I am just concerned I won't even be considered because my scores are so low.

    2) I have taken it 3 times. My scores are about the same each time.

    3) I have had a GRE tutor, and prepared with practice books, Magoosh, etc. It is the only test I have ever taken that makes me so anxious I blank out on everything.
     
  32. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    It sounds like the problem may be less related to knowledge/ability than to anxiety. I don't know how much time you have, but perhaps you'd benefit from a different kind of "test prep" focused on the central issue.
     
  33. MHK2017

    MHK2017

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    I'm curious if anyone knows anything about University of Alaska Anchorage's Community-Clinical Psychology Ph.D Program/ my chances of being a good fit for this program.

    GRE- 150's and writing score 4.
    GPA 3.2
    Worked the past three years in community mental health working with SED youth and their families.
    Worked as a chaplain for a year working with people going through various traumatic situations and providing culturally and religiously sensitive emotional support.
    Volunteered in a psych research lab for the past two years. This lab explores race/gender/bias issues.
     
  34. wtfook

    wtfook 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 29, 2015
    Have you looked on their website for basic information? I don't know about them at all but it appears as though GRE scores are optional for their application and you need a minimum of a 3.0 to be considered. Seems like you at least wouldn't get screened out. Outcome data seems ok and they are APA accredited which is good.
     
  35. psych.meout

    psych.meout 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 5, 2015
    I could be confusing them with another program I reviewed, but I seem to remember them not taking any students last year or the year before, because they were supposedly retooling their program to improve it. That was enough to ward me off of it.
     
  36. eovx3666128895

    eovx3666128895

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    I'm going to try to keep this as brief as possible. I've condensed my blurb to the most quintessential details. I'm new to this website so if I posted this in the wrong place, my apologies.

    I graduated in 2013 from a decently ranked university (US News ranking between 45 and 60), with a general GPA of 3.43 and a psych GPA of 3.16. I participated in two labs during my junior and senior year. One semester in a language lab and three semesters at a neuropsych lab. I have a good standing at both labs (I'm a hard worker), however, I have no publications or poster presentations from my time there. A little after graduation, I volunteered at another university lab for a few months before the PI did not keep her word and I did not receive the training I had been promised. After leaving, the PI said I could reach out to her for a LOR.

    I've also took the GRE three times and the last time I scored the following: Verbal Reasoning 160; Quant 147; AWA 4.0. Second time I took it I got 157, 162, 3.5 respectively.

    Fast forward to 2017 and I'm working as a community college adviser in the math department--been doing it for three years now. I have applied to clinical psychology PhD programs twice and a family and couple's counseling master's program once since I graduated. I was rejected by all 7 PhD programs I applied to (four 1st round, three 2nd round). The professional psychology master's program, no surprise, accepted me; I did not accept the offer. I've also applied to over 30 labs and emailed 16 PIs I would be interested in working with but to no avail.

    I have a strong interest in research. You might say my past does not show it. And you're right. However, during my undergrad years I wasn't sure if I wanted to do research or practice. I got interested in Psych my junior year. I changed majors from biology to psych that year. I eventually found my interest moving more towards research in developmental psychopathology but only after I had graduated.

    Being an adviser isn't getting me anywhere and the pay is too low considering I have a child on the way. I am currently in the process of opening a preschool. I doubt I'll have time as the director of the preschool to volunteer part-time in labs. I don't want to do the preschool thing long term, but it's an opportunity I don't think I can afford to pass by.

    So with psychology LOR more than two years old, no publications or posters, and my opening of a preschool, is it possible I could still dream of obtaining my PhD? I'm about to be 31; could I strengthen my CV/experience in a few years? Again, I would highly enjoy doing research. I'm into the stats, research methods, doing literature reviews, etc. I took part of a research program with medical students and really enjoyed it. Not to mention my interest in developmental psychopathology.

    Thanks for reading. Hope to get some advise, input.
     
  37. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC sticky thread.
     
  38. wtfook

    wtfook 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah it looks like from the outcome data they didn't take anyone for the 2016-17 year but did take some for the 2017-18 year. They have had what appears at least 1 drop out nearly every year but about a 100% APA internship match rate for the last few years. The GRE optional thing is weird to me though....
     
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  39. wtfook

    wtfook 2+ Year Member

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    If you were able to get interviews it means you aren't a weak candidate. The biggest issue is probably figuring out what your actual specific research interests are and then being able to communicate that to a program. You could also look into clinical and counseling as the training is essentially the same but with faculty who have varied research interests. I assume you're geographically limited, which might be contributing to why you've had a hard time. You could also apply to more than 7 schools. Biggest thing though is fit. It's not enough to just be interested in research. You need to have research goals and interests in line with what an advisor is doing RIGHT NOW so one thing to do is find those people and then email them to see if they're accepting students.
     
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  40. hpxb

    hpxb 7+ Year Member

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    This is a bit odd, I know, but I wanted to take a moment and voice my appreciation for your encouragement during a very difficult time in my academic journey! I am happy to report that I did indeed apply (thanks to the encouragement of people like yourself), and I actually graduated last semester with my PhD in clinical psychology. Looks like you were right :) Again, thank you and I hope all is well!
     
  41. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    Hey folks.

    So for the past couple of years I was trying really hard to get into a PhD program, but I've realized that research is... not my thing. I like translational research, and I enjoy the process of making my clinical practice research-informed... but I do not want to focus 6 years of my on churning out a large body of research at the expense of additional clinical experience. I'm much more interested in specializing in clinical work, but at a level beyond what a masters degree can offer (*cough*Iloveassessments). As a result, I've decided to aim for a (at least partially) funded PsyD program. I know they are few and far between, but I feel like I can make an argument for the ones I have chosen. (Rutgers PsyD is my top choice. There is a prof there I am dying to work with ahhh x___x)
    • Undergrad in economics, 3.0 GPA (ick)
    • Dual masters degree in Counseling and Experimental Psychology, 4.0 GPA in both, thesis track in both
    • GRE: 164 V / 163 Q / 5.0 AW
    • Research experience: 3 years in behavioral economics, 1 year in vocational psychology lab, 2 years in ED lab, 1 year in hospital setting, 2 years in anxiety disorders lab, 1 year in social psychology lab (I was... really gunning for a research PhD haha...)
    • Publications: 1 co-author (in prep), lots and lots of poster presentations, possibly seminar presentation at APA (waiting to hear back)
    • TA experience: statistics for psychology majors, 2 years
    • Clinical experience: hopefully 1 year university counseling center (interviewing now), 1 year community mental health clinic, 1 semester ED clinic, 1 semester career services
    Any major gaps in my application? Any ideas on how I can emphasize that I actually want to attend a PsyD program and not a PhD (given my pile of research experience)? I'm just super panicking that my stats are not good enough to get in anywhere that isn't an Argosy/SPP/Alliant, and I'll have to take yet another year improving my application. I did the two masters degrees to improve on my undergrad stats, and I don't want to have to keep jumping through more and more hoops to get where I want :(
     
  42. wtfook

    wtfook 2+ Year Member

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    I'm sure you're gonna get this from someone here but there really is no difference in research rigor between a quality PsyD and a PhD. If you get into Rutger's, you'll have to do a dissertation. Clinical and counseling PhD programs vary on how many publications you need to churn out generally speaking based on what your overall goals are. There are lots of funded/partially funded PhD programs where many of their graduates end up in clinical positions rather than faculty positions. In fact, as someone who's fairly active in a couple of divisions of APA, I've seen the job postings and it's pretty 2:1 clinical jobs vs faculty positions. The number of publications you need to be competitive for these jobs aren't as many as if you're applying for a faculty position.

    I would say it's more about the fit for you and the program so it honestly wouldn't hurt you to apply to both PhD and PsyD programs and do more digging into the PhD programs with a more clinical focus. I've heard Long Island University and Yeshiva are like this and from interviewing at St. John's, it appears to be like that there as well. Why pay for a program when you get can funded? And if you aren't worried about paying either way, why not expand your search? When you get an interview, you can scope out the spot and see what the students say about the program. They are frequently very honest (because I've asked the same questions) about whether the program is more research or clinical focused and whether faculty advisors are amenable to having advisees with a more clinical leaning. Some programs will flat out state on their website they are a research driven program. Don't apply to those in that case.

    Ultimately, even with PsyD programs, it comes down to fit. Research skills are important and necessary to be a quality clinician and assessments is all about analyzing dense data. Thus both quality PsyD and PhD programs will be interested in a candidate who values those skills. Think more about your research and career interests and how that might fit with the faculty there and then look into both types of programs. As for your stats, your undergrad GPA may be low but the other stuff is very strong. Your GRE scores are solid and will definitely off set your undergrad GPA. I don't see why you wouldn't get interviews so long as you don't limit yourself geographically and make sure you're a fit for that program (faculty and research interests) rather than worrying about whether it's a PsyD vs. PhD. Apply to both.
     
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  43. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    Great, thank you so much for your help! I had a question about the above. A lot of current students I've spoken to said I should have a good answer for "why PsyD and not PhD" or vice versa. For those of us who are applying to both, what is a good answer to this question? Or even for individuals who are applying for only PsyD programs, what is a good answer besides the obvious ("I prefer the Vail model to the Boulder model")?
     
  44. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Honestly, being that reputable PsyDs are about the same as balanced or more clinically minded PhDs, there really is no good answer to the question. The right answer should be along the lines of "X program offers excellent training in X and Y, which align with my future career goals, yadda yadda yadda"
     
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  45. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I was never asked that question. But if I was, I'd answer as WisNeuro suggested above- that would show you'd really done your homework on the program.
     
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  46. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Yeah, just focus on the experience and training. If I was interviewing someone for an internship or postdoc position and asked about why they went to X (not that I would) and they answered with something along the lines of "I prefer the Vail model" I would throw that application in the trash can as soon as they left my office because they have no concept of doctoral training in the past 20 or so years.
     
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  47. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    I'm mainly thinking of schools who have both a PsyD and a PhD option (Rutgers, PAU, Yeshiva, etc.) who want to understand why you want the PsyD over the PhD. I suppose I could cite particular professors, coursework, or specialized training? I don't want to seem like I'm grasping at straws haha.
     
  48. wtfook

    wtfook 2+ Year Member

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    I applied to both counseling and clinical programs (all PhD) and when asked the question of why for either, I basically said that I applied to work with whoever I wanted to work with most, regardless of program type, and to programs that fit best with my values. Then I listed specific examples, like focus on multiculturalism or a clinic in house, etc... I think the same applies for PsyD and PhDs. If you have a specific research interest (which you should regardless of where you apply) then that could be the focal point of your response. Does the program have faculty who specialize in your field of interest or does the program itself focus on that area. For example, if you like health psychology, there advisors who specialize in that and programs that emphasize preparing trainees for health psychology clinical work.

    I would steer clear of an answer like, "I don't enjoy research and so felt a PsyD would offer me more clinical vs research experience" because I think PsyD programs consider themselves at the same rigor as PhD programs and would want applicants to see their research and clinical demands are analogous to any other program. UNLESS of course the program website itself states it focuses more heavily on training clinicians and so then you could point that out as a selling point for you. But don't necessarily discuss your lack of love for research. Maybe talk more about your greater interest in clinical work.

    I'm not sure if others on this board would have other opinions counter to mine.
     
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  49. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you so much for your input. A lot of this comes from trying to navigate the territory and "learn the language", so to speak, of adcoms. You've been super helpful!
     
  50. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    Yes. Make it about the particular training and experiences that that particular professor/coursework offers and how that fits with your interests/long term goals. That's not grasping at straws at all - that's showing you know what you want and you've thought carefully about it.
     
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  51. PsychHopeful1991

    PsychHopeful1991

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    Hey everyone,
    It looks like there hasn't been a thread here on Fuller and Rosemead in a long time. I'm applying now, and I'm just wondering what my chances are. My GPA is 3.91, but my GRE is only 308- which is what Rosemead has stated on their website as a "competitive" score, but I'm assuming that most people score much higher. I have strong letters of reference (I'm told), plus research + clinical experience. My practice GRE scores were higher, and I was really disappointed with my score. I'm thinking of reapplying next year if I don't get in this time. If anyone has ideas for how to make my application more competitive, or would be willing to share their own GRE scores/GPA, I'd love to hear!
     

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