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WAMC: What Are My Chances

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

  1. JoePianist

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    First of all, I'm glad to see you've found a career area that fits your interests better. And you may be surprised that many Clinical Psychology Ph.D students initially pursued medical school before finding their niche.

    To address your question, it's great to see you're already actively engaged in research - hopefully, you're working in a child-focused psychology research lab, since this seems to be your specific research interest. It's also good to see you've already been looking into programs and labs you'd like to apply for in the coming year.

    Your performance in your hard sciences courses, though, may raise some red flags among some admissions committees, especially for the more science-heavy programs like UCLA, Univ of Pitt, Univ of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), and Northwestern. Your current overall GPA also is a bit low compared to the typical applicants accepted at all the programs you listed, so there will be a greater importance for you to score well on your GRE.
     
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  3. Indiana_Jane0411

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    Hello! You want to do the following to maximize your chances: solid research experience (I.e., become involved and contribute via posters and/or publications), get your GPA up as much as possible, do really well on the GRE, and identify mentors that align with your research interests.

    Fit with a mentor is exceptionally important - ideally, you will develop a list of programs based on research match and area of interest (which is sounds like you still need to develop via lab involvement). Of note, most of the schools on your list are VERY competitive. Applying broadly and to 10 or so schools will also increase your chances.

    Right now, I would say you need to focus on your research experience and the GRE (in addition to doing well in classes). You’ll need to bring to develop your area of interest & if standardized tests and the GRE are scary, I would allow extra time to conquer that hurdle.




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  4. AcronymAllergy

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    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC thread
     
  5. aspiring-psychologist

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    I am looking for advice on how to improve my chances of getting into a Ph.D. program in psychology and wondering what my current chances are. I'm primarily interested in going into research. I am a 4th year undergraduate student at a top 15 university but I made the decision to go psychology very late into my degree so I will probably have an additional year of school. I originally pursued biochemistry and then briefly switched into cognitive science before deciding on psychology. I struggled with the biochemistry degree and I was dealing with untreated bipolar disorder and psychosis so it's pulled down my overall GPA to 3.111 due to failed math and chemistry courses at that time but my psychology major GPA is still 3.890. I have 3 years of research experience and presented at 4 symposiums but my research projects were in the natural sciences (neuroscience and developmental biology specifically).

    Have I done too much damage to my GPA to pursue a Ph.D? I would love to go to graduate school somewhere in California. What would you recommend I do to improve my application?

    I am interested in experimental psychology and neuropsychology.
     
  6. psych.meout

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    Are you interested in clinical psychology or another subdiscipline?

    With a 3.111 GPA, you'll probably need to complete a relevant master's program to be competitive unless you get stellar GRE scores.

    So would everyone else. California is a very competitive region and even candidates with amazing credentials can really hurt their chances of admission by geographically limiting their applications.
     
  7. aspiring-psychologist

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    I see. I've made all As and A+s in my psychology courses. I'm interested in cognitive psychology, health psychology, or cognitive neuroscience and I'm interested in either a master or Ph.D. program. My end goal would be to work in research.

    And no, I didn't say I was applying only to schools in California. I meant that would be my first choice state since I am moving to California next year but of course I'm open to other places as well.
     
  8. psych.meout

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    These are related, but significantly different career paths. You need to narrow down your interests.

    Didn't say you did, I was just cautioning against making a common mistake.
     
  9. tiy123

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    I disagree with you needing a masters. You're still in school, right? Get all A's and try to get above a 3.4, if possible. I would recommending taking a couple of extra (easy) undergrad classes to get your gpa before considering shelling out the money for a masters. That said, your gpa will still be on the low side for PhD programs, so you'll need to make up for it by crushing the gre and lots of research experience. Definitely consider a post-bacc to beef up your CV, especially if you want to apply to clinical science programs.
     
  10. ButterBrain

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    Hello generous people! Thanks in advance for any feedback you provide to me. My scenario:

    I am 29 years old and have a BFA in Electronic Media. Undergraduate GPA 3.3, major GPA 3.5, one year of introductory psych with a B average. Recently took the GRE with a 166 Verbal, 150 Quant, and 4.5 writing score. I spent summers in college as a full time youth camp counselor, and have other tutoring/volunteer experience, but no formal clinical or research experience. My professional experience is largely art and media, I currently manage a boutique art history and appraisal business and freelance as a video producer. My portfolio includes some award winning short films, documentaries, and music videos, which do show a solid range of life experience, writing skill, and creative ability. I've had some big name corporate clients and had my creative work published in various places.

    This cycle I applied to two reputable Master's counseling programs and was accepted to both for this fall. But I am especially drawn towards the existential-phenomenological and philosophical side of things, and have taken a great interest in Duquesne's PHD program for its unique focus in these areas. I'm especially interested in areas where psychology and media overlap in our tech-saturated world (how media can better communicate/educate regarding mental health, how we experience media saturation, media ethics, etc.)

    My main question is: Would I have any chance as a candidate there with my profile? I know my lack of formal psych experience and low quant score would get me immediately disqualified at most PHD programs.

    I may accept into a counseling program and apply to Duquesne this fall just to see how it goes. My overall goals require being able to professionally counsel, but am interested at diving into the research/academia side if the fit is right. Duquesne would provide both sides, but if I couldn't get in would probably finish my MA in counseling and could consider non-practice related PHDs down the road (mostly interested in interdisciplinary philosophy type stuff).

    Again, thanks for your thoughts!
     
  11. MamaPhD

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    I would not consider you to be competitive for doctoral training programs given your limited research experience and low exposure to psychology in general. Attending a counseling program won't make up for your lack of research experience. If doctoral training is your goal then you might consider an experimental (research-oriented) psychology master's program.

    How committed are you to clinical training? Some of your interests could fit within other areas (eg, cognitive or social psychology). Counseling programs tend to be practical and applied in their focus and may not meet your needs for academic/philosophical exploration.
     
  12. ButterBrain

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    I currently really want both the clinical and academic/philosophical training, but if I had to choose one I would take the clinical training, figuring it'd be better to be practicing as a licensed counselor and unlicensed philosopher than the reverse. The Counselor Ed Phd route is there, too, but the curriculums don't seem as focused on the science philosophy stuff. Duquesne seems to be a rare fit that would provide both a path to licensing and strong humanistic/qualitative/philosophical research that I dig. They seem to be more open to students with film/art/anthropology type backgrounds than your typical psych Phd, but I do still assume my lack of formal psych experience would require one hell of an application essay to even have a shot.

    Your suggestion to look at experimental psych MA's has crossed my mind, but feels like the riskiest route. At almost 30 now I'd hate to get stuck with an MA that does't directly provide employment opportunities, especially if I still can't get into a fitting or funded doctoral program after it.

    One of the master's counseling programs that offered me does have a thesis option, so perhaps it could provide me the clinical education while giving me some more opportunity to build my academic research portfolio? Lot to chew on. Thanks so much for thoughts thus far!
     
  13. psych.meout

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    You're joking, right?
     
  14. ButterBrain

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    Was just pointing out that a licensed counselor can still research/write/philosophize professionally without a PhD, it would just be outside of academia.

    On the flip side, a PhD social psychologist/theorist can't have a counseling practice, but they could still "coach" or "consult", just like anyone else.

    Right? Hence where Clinical Psych PhDs certainly seem to have the most flexibility.
     
  15. psych.meout

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    I think you're getting a bit hung up on the philosophy part of all this. Sure, logical positivism and other philosophical strains have influenced psychology, but it's currently a science, so that's where most of the focus is. You might talk about philosophy over some beers with your colleagues, but it's not really a part of daily practice. Maybe if you drink the third-wave Kool-Aide there's more philosophical elements, but even then, it's more about the applications as science than traditional philosophy.

    If you're going to be a master's-level counselor, it's going to be about therapy and that's pretty much it. Most counseling programs are very pragmatic and focused on training to do clinical work, not research. Even if you did get that training, you're not very likely to get any funding to do research in private practice, since you are not affiliated with any institution, e.g., a university or teaching hospital.

    Consulting is fine, but "life coaching" and other end-runs around professional psychology practice are dicey at best.
     
  16. wtfook

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    I can understand the desire to get a terminal master's degree with which you can at least work as a clinician if the PhD route doesn't pan out. I would consider where the master's degrees are housed that you were accepted. I chose to get a master's in counseling before going into a PhD program because I had the same thought process, that if I didn't get into a PhD Program I could still get my LPC licensure and practice as a therapist. I specifically chose to do my counseling master's at a research institution and did research with a professor at the university. I was able to present, go to conferences, and work on a manuscript in that lab. I would guess that it was the research experience primarily and NOT the counseling master's degree that ultimately got me accepted into a PhD program. Given your credentials, you will need to do some kind of additional coursework to prove that you can excel in psychology courses. A counseling master's degree is fine so long as you are somewhere where you can do research, get published, and present. Several people in my master's program were admitted into funded PhD programs after the 1st and 2nd year of the program so it's totally doable. And if it doesn't work out, you can still practice as a master's level clinical. But be aware, the emphasis is on the research experience. Ideally, you'd be able to work with a faculty member who is doing research at least tangentially related to what you'd want to do in your PhD program. I don't know where you were accepted but Boston College's Counseling master's program has someone who does research on social media and mental health.
     
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  17. PlatoPsychology

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    Hello!

    I am currently in my junior year as a psych undergrad. I am hoping to go straight into a COUNSELING PSYCH PhD program.

    My cumulative gpa is 3.55
    Psych GPA is 3.70

    By the time I apply (will be start applying starting THIS fall - Fall 2018), I will have
    - 1.5 years of research experience in a cognition lab
    - 1 year in a family relations lab
    - 2 poster presentations (one at a regional conference and one at my school's undergraduate research day)

    I am applying for a summer grant for undergrads at my school and I am now about to start studying for the GRE and I am planning on taking it by end of May, so I can retake it in the summer if needed.

    As of now, I am planing on applying for a terminal masters program in clinical mental health and find a RA position at a lab or volunteer to keep getting research experience.
    I thought about going for an experimental MA program but the thought of not getting into any PhD programs after I finish my MA with no license scares me :(

    What are my chances of getting into a COUNSELING psych PhD program right out of undergrad with my current stats?? If I do well on my GRE, would that offset my low cumulative gpa????
     
    #4116 PlatoPsychology, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  18. YoungFrancis

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    Your GPA is not prohibitive. If you can bump it to a 3.6, you are certainly in a comfortable range at plenty of schools. Hitting 160s on the GRE's will be helpful as well. Does the current research you're involved with align with your career goals? If it does, I would focus on expanding your role as much as you can (publications, etc).

    Hard to say what your chances are. Depends heavily on your fit with a faculty member as well as which schools you're applying to. Do you have people that can write stellar letters of rec. for you?

    You certainly have time to improve your application. I would prioritize your grades this semester (and in the summer) since this is your last opportunity to improve your overall GPA before apps are due in the fall.
     
  19. PlatoPsychology

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    Thank you for your response! One of the lab loosely relates to my career goals. One of the lab studies parent-child relationships focusing on structure parenting in terms of boundaries while my research interest is in parent-child relationships with a focus on stereotype stressors and intervention in family units for minorities. Would it be a hindrance if my research interest and my previous experience as an undergraduate researcher does not line up??

    I do have couple professors and PIs in mind that agreed to write me a letter of rec, so I'm pretty confident that those will be solid.

    UNT
    Iowa State
    Northern Colorado
    Georgia state
    U of Kansas
    Howard University

    These are some of the programs I've looked into. I'm not geographically limited at all so I'm open to any suggestions as well!

    Do you have any suggestions on how to study for the GRE?? I was never good with standardized testing so I'm really worried..
     
  20. wtfook

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    This is a pretty short list, although the geographic range is pretty broad. There are definitely other researchers doing parent child relationships in other counseling programs too. Is your list exhaustive in that you looked everywhere and these are only the few that you looked into? Or is there room for further research? Lehigh University, for example, has a counseling doctoral program. One of their faculty there (Susan Woodhouse) does attachment research but with infants.

    As for your stats, I would say it's not terrible. So long as you got at least 50% per section and ideally over 320, you'd have a shot. In order to beef up your chances outside of GRE scores, it'd probably be better to just do research in a lab as an RA, get some publications and presentations, and go from there. Your GPA really isn't so low that you'd get screened out, especially your psych GPA.
     
  21. PlatoPsychology

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    The list I have up there are only the few that I looked into! I've been going down one by one through the accredited programs list on APA's website and since there are a ton of programs, I was not able to look through every single one of them just yet.

    Do you have a suggestion on how many programs I should be applying to??
     
  22. wtfook

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    Personally I applied to 11 my first time and 10 my second. And yup! Don't be discouraged if you have to apply more than once! Many people I speak to who are in PhD programs had to. It's totally not a knock on you but just that maybe you needed more experience before trying again. Which is why I say go an RA position because your GPA isn't low enough where a master's would be necessary to prove you can do well in psych classes and it can be pretty expensive. The benefit of a master's in a research institution however, is that you'll get to work with a professor more easily, get in their lab, and theoretically publish. Many counseling/clinical psych master's programs are in such schools and share a PhD program within the same department. I'm only familiar with the east coast but on the east coast there's Lehigh, NYU, Boston College, and Columbia Teachers College. Sometimes students who work with their advisor get admitted from master's to PhD. Also, all the places I listed have a counseling psych PhD Program.

    As an addition to how many to apply to, I know some people even applied to 17 or 18. That, to me, is pretty intense. I would so apply to at least 10 and do more if you think you can make your personal statement customized enough that it would be apparent you applied to a million programs.
     
  23. PlatoPsychology

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    I'll definitely look into some RA positions!

    But also, do you think the nature of counseling psych programs may prefer applicants with clinical experience..? I know this is going to vary a ton from each programs, but the few people I spoke with, 3 out of 5 had had their masters in MEd or MA in counseling and some even practiced for couple years before they went back for their PhD. Of course, I understand research is important but it's hard to find a Masters level counseling program that comes along with research opportunities since they are terminal degrees.
     
  24. wtfook

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    Yeah you did hit on a salient difference between counseling and clinical psych programs. I would say based on my observations as well, counseling psych programs have a more favorable outlook on people with master's degrees. Clinical programs tend to recruit much more heavily from people who did ONLY an RA or are coming straight from their bachelor's. Average age of individuals in counseling programs may be older as well because they may have a master's and have worked a couple of years before applying for their doctorate.

    WITH THAT SAID, in group variation is always higher than out group variation. NYU, for example, has a statement on their website that they prefer people with master's degrees to apply to their counseling PhD program. However, when I interviewed there a couple years back I met doctoral students who were straight out of college or did not have a master's and did research for a couple of years. I'm in a counseling psych program and 3/6 in our cohort don't have a master's. One is straight out of college and 2 took 1-2 years off to research and get clinical experience. So honestly, do what is right for you. So long as you have relevant research experience with the advisor you hope to work with, some publications or presentations, and maybe some clinical experience, you'll look like a strong candidate.

    As for a master's level counseling program that comes with research opportunities, all of the institutions I listed in my previous comment will offer that. Lehigh, NYU, Boston College, and Columbia Teachers College all have counseling master's programs WITH counseling psych PhD programs in the same department. Many students who go there do research with faculty in the department and some even end up matriculating into the doctoral program. I'm sure there are others that exist outside of the east coast, but since I live around here I'm only familiar with these places.

    I personally got my master's in counseling from UPenn and did research with a faculty member in my department. Penn doesn't have a counseling psych PhD but since it's a research institution, all tenure track faculty do research and it's pretty easy to get into a lab.
     
  25. PlatoPsychology

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    Do you mind if I ask if you were fully licensed as an LPC or fulfilled any clinical hours for licensure after you got your Masters?

    Also, one of the lab I'm actually in - it sits in the same department as the Masters and PhD Counseling Psych program. The PI I'm working with right now is a tenured track faculty and her PhD in family studies. Would you say it would be a solid plan for me to apply for the Masters in Counseling program at the current institution I'm in (my undergraduate institution) and to continue doing research with the current PI I'm working with with a goal of getting pubs/presentations? (I'm thinking it'll be easier to build up my relationship with this lab so I can have a better chance of having pubs and presentations with this lab)

    Or should I apply for a Masters program (along with PhD) in different universities and see if I can get into a lab as a masters student that aligns a lot more closely with my interest?

    I'm just worried that it won't be enough time for me to build relationships and do research to publish and etc if I were to go to a different institution since Masters programs are only 2 years..

    Thank you so much for all your help!!
     
  26. wtfook

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    I got into a PhD program a year after I graduated from my master's program. I applied the year before but didn't get in. For that in between year, I practiced as a fee-for-service therapist and got LPC supervision toward clinical hours with an onsite LPC supervisor.

    I would say it depends on what you're interested in researching. Then look at other master's programs and see if they have faculty you could work with who are doing THAT research. You could even send inquiries before you apply to see if that's a possibility before deciding to apply. However, if you are interested in parental relationships and the person you're with is doing just that, but in a slightly different area, I may not worry about it as much. There's a lot to be said of established relationships. It means they will trust you more to do more hands-on, publication heavy work and will write you a better recommendation letter. In other labs, you may have to start from the ground up and that could mean 1-2 more years of grunt work before you can build up to presenting and publishing with them.

    For example, perhaps you want to work with parent child relationships involving adolescents but your lab is with small children. That's pretty minute and you can definitely swing it in an application. But if the you want to work on family therapy techniques with a focus on addiction in the family system, perhaps you'd want to move to a different lab either that researches addictions or family therapy.

    These are also questions you could be asking the faculty member you are working with.
     
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  27. PlatoPsychology

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    Ah got it. I'll keep those in mind!

    Was there a reason why you didn't apply straight to a PhD program as an undergrad?
     
  28. wtfook

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    I originally planned to go to medical school so was working on that out of undergrad but that didn't work out. I was working as a lab technician and honestly was having a lot of fun traveling, doing things with my friends, and being a single adult with a steady paycheck. By the time I decided to go back school, I had been out too long to be competitive for doctoral programs so I decided to get a terminal counseling master's. I figured just in case the PhD thing didn't work out, I'd still have a degree with which I can practice and have a career in mental health.

    Honestly dude, really think about taking a break from school for a couple years to just grow and mature. I'm 29 and in my first year as a doctoral student and am pretty glad I waited. While I wish I hadn't waited as long as I did (maybe 25-26 would've been better), I just feel so much more prepared and ready as a human being for a PhD program. I don't suffer from academic fatigue the way people straight out of undergrad feel. Instead I am excited to learn, am more mature, am WAY more organized with my time and school work, and have so much more focus and understanding about what I want to research, study, and do for my career. I would never trade the growing (AND FUN) I did in my early 20s for saving time by going straight from undergrad.
     
  29. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
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    I can't speak for all of those programs but you would be competitive at some of those listed based on who I have seen come through and interview/marticulate in my affiliation with them or based on my conversation with faculty when I interviewed there for a faculty position. I suspect your success will be tied more to fit with the professor given your research experience at this point- I would consider you to have a fairly strong research background. For one school you named that I know very well, for instance, I am not sure where that interest is related closely to any of the faculty there and that may play a larger role with fit.

    It's not that counseling prefers clinical experience in an applicant. Instead, counseling tends to be more open with respect to how folks come to apply to the programs, and many times that may include other backgrounds. Research is still going to be weighted the most heavily and be the most preferred relative to clinical experience (given its scope) is not. I would continue to weight research experience more strongly than clinical opportunities as you evaluate your options, regardless of if you want a clinical of counseling phd.
     
  30. PlatoPsychology

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    Haha I'll definitely keep that in mind!! Thank you for all your help!
     
  31. PlatoPsychology

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    Would you say getting higher percentile GRE scores would also be another deal breaker in terms of my competitiveness?
    Also, would it be unethical(?)/unprofessional if I PM you to ask which one of the school I mentioned above doesn't lie closely with my interest?
     
  32. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    I took a detour after graduating and came back to psych after spending time in a different career. It really helped me get sorted and grow a lot. I found grad school much more manageable bc I had lived some life and more importantly learned how to navigate politics and personalities in “the real world”. I try to not bag on college/university life, but it is definitely in a bubble. Getting some life experience is often under-rated by the applicants.
     
    #4131 Therapist4Chnge, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  33. wtfook

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    Yup no problem! Good luck!
     
  34. wtfook

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    Seriously. When I was finishing college I was in such a hurry to finish schooling. I felt like 30 was so far away and so old and I needed to get things done. Now that I'm actually pushing 30, I realize there's a lot of time and it's good to spend those younger years figuring out who the heck you are first.
     
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  35. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
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    Without knowing your GRE scores, it would not be possible for me to make any sort of estimate about the degree to which that would be a deal breaker for competitiveness. For instance, I suspect if you perform in the 1st percentile there may be some substantial difficulties finding admission while the 40-60th would likely not be as detrimental. I think you'll find yourself in a good position for programs if you average or above for psych PhD applicants given your previous experience.

    ^^ So much this. Life experience is so important and entails a certain maturity for the applicant. I really appreciate people who have been outside the bubble.
     
  36. PlatoPsychology

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    Oh wow. I was concerned with being out of the "loop" if I were to take a detour after undergrad if I wasn't constantly in a university research settings. I've been looking into different paid RA positions in my region but since I live closer to a big medical district, a lot of them are heavily science (bio, chem etc) based, which is not related to my interest and definitely not my area of expertise as a psych major :confused:
     
  37. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    Medical centers can have some hidden gems, so don't give up looking there. Check out opportunities in departments like psychiatry, public health, epidemiology, health services research, etc. Investigators are often looking for bachelor-level RAs to conduct interviews, administer and score surveys, assist with writing tasks (IRB, grant progress reports, etc.), and so forth. Depending on the hospital or institution these can be excellent jobs with better pay and benefits than most positions available to new college grads.
     
    singasongofjoy likes this.
  38. brainwrangler

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    Applying to clinical PhD programs with a focus on neuropsychology.

    Undergrad GPA: 3.9 overall from well-regarded SLAC, 4.0 in-major (excluding classes taken abroad)
    Major: psychology, minoring in neuroscience
    GRE: 6.0 writing, 170 verbal, 157 quant, 99th percentile psych GRE

    Research experience:
    2.5 years in psycholinguistics lab running participants, entering data, and generating stimuli
    1 summer internship in a big-name behavioral pharmacology/psychiatry program, running subjects 40 hrs/week
    7 months 20-30 hrs/week in cognitive psychology lab (while studying abroad)
    At this point my original PI in the psycholinguistics lab went on sabbatical and I transferred to a neuropsychology lab and was placed on data analysis for an ongoing project. I wrote my honors thesis based on this work.
    1 year (will be 1.5) of managing a cognitive psychology lab, including neuroimaging data analysis and programming experiments
    Overall I will have 5.5 years of research when I apply.

    I have one poster presentation at a professional conference, an authorship on 2 papers in the works (not yet submitted, at least one probably will not be by application day), and smaller (school-level) presentations and talks every year except freshman year. I also have my name on a lab poster I was unable to personally present (was studying abroad).

    Awards and Honors:
    Highest honors in psychology
    Dean’s List 3/4 years (ineligible when abroad)
    Various merit scholarships
    Psi Chi, Nu Rho Psi, and Sigma Xi student memberships
    A school-wide award for analytical writing (outside major, not sure whether to include this)

    Other miscellany:
    One semester TAing physiology and intro psychology. I was unable to TA for my first few years because that and the paid research position would’ve pushed me over the allotted # of paid hours.

    Edit: my primary concern is that I didn’t do a whole lot of experimental design—in my first lab I wasn’t as ambitious as I could have been (chalk it up to naïveté), and as a lab manager I’ve been asking for more responsibility but have mostly been assigned to other people’s projects. (The studies I consider “mine” were designed by my PI and built/analyzed by me.) I’m also worried that my cognitive-heavy experience will count against me.
     
    #4137 brainwrangler, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  39. PlatoPsychology

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    Do you think it'll matter a lot if it doesn't relate to my specific interest though?
     
  40. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    Of course, it helps if your job is related to what you'd like to study in graduate school. But if the alternative is a non-research related job, then it's OK to go a bit far afield of your specific interests. Just make sure the position entails skills or activities that might generalize to graduate school.
     
    PlatoPsychology likes this.
  41. cry879

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    Hi! Any advice would be helpful :) I think my advisors are way too nice to me and aren't being completely truthful so I need people who are willing to be brutal. I want to know if I have a chance of getting into any clinical Ph.D. programs.
    I'm graduating next December and I'm hoping to find a research assistant job before attending grad school.
    UG GPA: Currently have a 3.64. The highest I could get it to before December 1 Deadline is a 3.68, but I am more than certain I will graduate with a 3.7 (my last 40 credit hours I had a 4.0)
    Psyc GPA: 3.9
    GRE: V 158, Q 158, W 4.5
    Research experience: undergraduate research assistant for two research labs, independent research as well and presented research at the state conference and school symposium (I know this sucks), and I also was a TA
    Practical experience: Counseling center Intern, intern at a conflict resolution center, intern at a center for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities
    I was also selected by undergraduate faculty at my school to receive a scholarship award in psychology for exceptional performance and experiences amongst my peers (I'm not sure how, but extremely thankful).
    I also started a fund for a middle school program in my area for at-risk students, and I tutor student-athletes in psychology, and I just applied to volunteer for a crisis hotline.
    I go to school in NY and I would be willing to move anywhere on the East Coast... Is it worth trying to apply to doctorate level programs (even PsyD), or should I plan on shooting for Masters and even aim for a funded one such as William and Mary in VA?
    THANK YOU!!
     
  42. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Stats are fine to get over the cutoffs for a lot of places, GRE could be a touch better to be competitive at some of the top sites. It all depends on research POI match and how you sell yourself at this point. I'd be looking for RA type jobs and thinking about applying next December for some programs. May be tough the first go round, but you'll get a feel for interviewing hopefully, if you don't get any offers, beef up the CV with some more research work and give it a go in the next year. Also, consider applying to schools beyond the East coast. The coast schools get A TON of applications because everyone wants to be on the coast. Uphill battle there, might as well look a little more broadly if this is something that you really want.
     
    cry879 and PsychPhDStudent like this.
  43. cry879

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    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  44. Kpari1

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    Hello! I'm hoping to get an understanding of where I fall. Do you think a masters will be necessary for getting me into a funded program?
    I just finished undergrad at UCLA (I graduated a quarter early) majoring in Psych and minoring in Gender Studies
    GPA: 4.0 (community college) , 3.69 (UCLA)
    -I am a Regent Scholar at UCLA (800 incoming students are invited to apply for the scholarship and 100 are chosen)
    *GRE: I haven't taken it yet, will be taking it in June after giving myself all of next quarter to study for it

    Research Experience:
    2 years undergrad: 1 year in a lab, unable to get super involved due to a large amount of RAs, 1 year working hands-on with a project and I was able to conduct my own hypothesis and will be presenting a poster on the findings next quarter
    *I'm planning on taking a gap year to be a full-time RA somewhere to obtain more research experience

    Extracurriculars:
    I just started working as an ABA behavior therapist for students with developmental deficiencies at an elementary school
    I've been volunteering at a domestic violence shelter for the past 4 years
    I was a coordinator for a program that trained liaisons from sorority and fraternity chapters in sexual assault awareness, intervention, and prevention
    Part of a peer counseling network that facilitated weekly group meetings that used iCBT online training to help students with depression
    Aside from all this, I've held various jobs throughout college that I think provided me with other tools and qualities that are beneficial though not directly relevant (marketing assistant, pilates studio manager, etc.)

    I will be looking at programs/faculty who have an interest in PTSD/Anxiety and personal growth
    Some of the schools I'm currently interested in are:
    Columbia, Duke, USC, U of Washington, BU
     
  45. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    I don't see a good reason for you to pursue a master's degree. I agree with your plan to get an RA position (preferably paid!). You don't need to be concerned about getting more clinical experience. Assuming you perform well on the GRE, I think you are in a good position to apply this fall.

    You have a nice list of schools but I would suggest you apply to some less competitive programs too.
     
    Kpari1 likes this.
  46. Caps1001

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    Hi, I'm planning on applying for Fall 2019 matriculation, so it might be a little early, but I wanted to get an idea of where I stand in terms of competitiveness, especially to clinical psychology programs. I'm planning on applying to Clinical, Counseling, and stand alone Social/Health Psychology, Health Psychology, and Experimental Psychology PhD programs. I'm not purely set on just pursuing clinical psychology programs and becoming licensed since my interest is in research, but I don't also don't mind being licensed. It would broaden my career outcomes as I will be able to do both clinical and research work, which I am completely okay with. My research (and clinical if I pursue a clinical program) interest is working with sexual and ethnic minority groups.

    Major: B.A Psychology
    Minors: English and Philippine Language & Culture
    Undergraduate GPA: 3.71
    Psychology GPA: 3.60
    GRE: V=157 Q=138 W=4.0 (This was my first time taking the GRE and I only studied the week prior to taking it & I do plan on retaking it as many times as I need until the Dec 1, 2018 deadline for the programs)

    EXPERIENCES:
    - I am currently working as a Research Coordinator for Neurology at a medical center. By Fall 2019, I would have been working at this position for 2.5 years.
    - Conducted 2 independent studies while in undergrad (one led to a poster presentation at national conference and an oral presentation at a local conference, the other was an oral presentation at a different local conference)
    - Co-author to a poster by a grad student I worked with that was presented a national conference
    - Co-author to a poster by the PI's I work at my job with that was presented by a national symposium.
    - 2 years as an undergraduate research assistant (will have a total of 4.5 by Fall 2019 when including my position as a research coordinator)
    - Will complete a graduate certificate in Clinical Research Methods by Spring 2019.
    - Work as a substitute teacher teaching GED preparation classes to adult students. Working with individuals with intellectual abilities for a non-profit, worked as an editor for my college newspaper, was involved as a peer mentor/academic tutor in the LGBT center, counseling center, and various departments while I was in undergrad.
    - Leadership positions: Vice President & Treasurer for Psi Chi, Treasurer & Fundraising Chair for Mortar Board (Senior Honor society), Committee chair for Colleges Against Cancer and helped organize Relay for Life
    - Honor Societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi, Mortar Board, Golden Key
    - I was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. while in elementary. I am fluent in English & Tagalog.
     
  47. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
    Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    That’s a wide spread of types of programs. I suspect your cover letters will vary quite a bit, which makes me wonder if you are looking too broadly?
     
  48. Caps1001

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    I’m looking up programs by faculty research match. My interest is in psychoneuroimmunology, cardiovascular psychophysiology, and stress and I want to focus on miniority groups. I’ve found faculty in clinical, health, and occasionally in experimental and social psychology programs who all do research within this area. I think my chances increase if I apply to the non-clinical programs since it’s less competitive and I’ve built my experiences mostly in research, but I also don’t want to put down the possibility of getting into a clinical program if I can since I don’t mind the clinical aspect as well. I’m equally interested in both clinical and research. if I had to pick one, I’d pick research, but if I could do both, that would be fantastic. When I’ve looked at the faculty with similar interest who are in clinical programs, it seems like they’re not as active in the clinical aspect of their career as other faculty who primarily do research on interventions, obesity, tobacco, marriage, etc.
     
  49. jenny311a

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  50. jenny311a

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    Hello I am currently a senior and in my last semester of senior year. I am applying to a couple of MA programs my psychology undergraduate major GPA is at a 3.1 and have been a RA for two years in a neuropsych lab. I have presented at two conferences.
    As for experience, I have volunteered at a mental health clinic as a translator and have volunteered at a crisis hotline.
    I also minored in biology and my GPA for the minor is a 3.0.

    I did not take the GRE for the reason that the program I am applying to does not require it.
    Do I have a chance at an MA program? also what else can i do to become a more competitive applicant?
    I appreciate any advice ,thank you!
     
  51. psychhopeful121

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    Hi there! So, reading board this has really made me question any chance I had at getting into any kind of doctoral program in clinical psych- but, figured I throw if out there and see what you guys think!! I was thinking of applying to primarily psyD programs; I am not fond of research, and honestly don't think I have sufficient experience be even somewhat competitive for a PhD program. I was planning on applying to a bunch of the top ones (Baylor, Rutgers, LaSalle, Denver) although, like I said, am now questioning my chances after seeing the high quality of applicants on here. I also may apply to some PhD programs just for the sake of it despite my lack of quality research experience. Okay, here goes:

    GPA (top undergrad institution): 3.68, graduated cum laude
    GPA in psych: ~3.8-3.9 (don't remember exactly), awarded distinction in major upon graduation
    GRE: 165 V/158 Q/5.5 writing
    Research experience:
    -Spent a summer during college as a research assistant in a psych lab at NYU
    -As part of a 4-person research group, was the recipient of an internal grant from my college for psychology research that we ultimately presented at a conference
    Other experience:
    -Psychology tutor for two years in college
    -Member of the Psi Chi Honors Society
    -Volunteered for ~1.5 years during college at a nonprofit for victims of domestic abuse
    -In the process of applying for a volunteer position at a crisis hotline
    Current experience: Since graduating from college (almost 4 years ago), I have worked as a grant writer at two large hospital (one extremely highly ranked) where I help PIs prepare and write federal and foundation grant applications

    Of possible note, I would be applying for Fall 2019 so there is still time to gain additional experience/re-take tests if needed. Thank you in advance!!
     
    #4150 psychhopeful121, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018

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