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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

    2+ Year Member

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    Sorry, I didn't do a master's before my current doctoral program, so I won't be much help here.
     
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  3. propsych

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    Ah no worries, thank again!
     
  4. artsyann

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    I am doing an experimental masters with a great record for doctoral admissions. I suggest talking to the program director and asking about alumni and talking to some if you can. My program also has the information posted in various places when their students get into doctoral programs. My program is a small cohort, something I also think is important. They never accept more than 12.
     
  5. propsych

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    thanks! I'll def. look into it.
     
  6. Temperance

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    Look at the faculty supervising master's students, and see where their alumni have gone. Ask the specific faculty with whom you'd like to work, as there may be variability within the department for student outcomes.

    Master's programs can be competitive, but, numbers-wise, it's less so than doctoral programs. From what I remember, the master's program I did had ~60 applications for 15 training spots. APA's Graduate Study in Psychology, published annually, has admissions statistics for some programs where the program director has disclosed them, which may be helpful for you in determining which master's programs for which you are competitive.

    State schools may be your best bet for affordability. See which programs offer assistantships to help defray the cost.
     
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  7. carty67

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    I’ve been studying for the GRE and just can’t seem to improve. Right now, I have a 296, 148/148 on the GRE. I’m applying for PsyD programs in the Fall. What are my chances of getting into these programs with this score? I have a 4.0 GPA and all A+ in Paychology classes. I also have 3 years of research and an honors thesis in the works for when I graduate. My recs will be from my mentor, the Chair of the psych department and my two psychology honors teachers. So, I feel like most of my other things are great, but I’m really stressing about this GRE score. What do you guys think?
     
  8. CCS424

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    Hi everyone,

    I've very recently decided that clinical psychology is my career path of choice, but a lot of what I'm reading has made the admissions process for a PhD program seem extremely daunting. I have not settled on aiming at any specific programs, but I would like to get some feedback on my current strength as a candidate and how I might be able to improve over the next couple of years. To be clear, I did my undergraduate study in the UK, but I am from the US and want to live and work in the US long-term.

    - Psychology BSc from one of the top ranked universities in the UK. I received an upper 2nd class honours degree - this translates to between a 3.33 and 3.67 GPA according to a conversion table. (A 2:1 is the minimum requirement for most UK DClinPsy courses)
    - I had straight As my senior year, but junior year was very up and down (think A, C-, B+, C, etc.). First two years don't factor into your degree in the UK, but they were average, probably Bs.
    - 1st class large (60-credit) dissertation/(A/A+) which was a research project in the area of face perception
    - Dean's List 4th year
    - Secretary for psychology society
    - Committee member for our department's psychology research magazine
    - Vice President of our mental health charity society for 2 years
    - Trained by a national charity to facilitate weekly eating disorder support groups for students
    - Listening volunteer and elected leadership position for our student support/suicide hotline
    - Paid summer internship in University counselling department - developed an on-campus peer support program, which I ran for a year (handling referrals, recruiting, training & supervising volunteers, and volunteering myself)
    - Summer internship in a behavioral neuroscience lab conducting research on a schizophrenia medication with animal subjects
    - Some research assistant work (coding, that kind of thing)
    - Elected by the student body to serve as a Sabbatical Officer for a year - essentially the student vice president for welfare, which involved a lot of management, sitting on the board of a charity, and serving on all university committees relevant to wellbeing, the student experience, equality (and much more that can't quite be summed up in a bullet point!)
    - I have not taken the GRE, so I do not yet know what my scores will be like, but I tend to do okay on standardized tests and my ACT/SAT scores were 95th percentile
    - I have been involved in other activities and employment, but kept this list psychology-relevant

    I've just been accepted into a 1 year masters program in applied psychology at a prestigious university in Ireland, and I hope to go and do well in order to add another year of solid grades onto my record. I also intend to hold an assistant psychologist job alongside the degree if I can find an opportunity.

    How am I shaping up as a candidate for a PhD program? What can I do to improve my chances? Please let me know if it would be helpful for me to elaborate on any part of the above - especially on the sabbatical year - it was difficult to summarize without it becoming too long or including too much clearly identifying information.
     
    #4207 CCS424, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  9. psych.meout

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    Why not apply to PhD programs as well?
     
  10. carty67

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    I was debating between both of them but with my GRE I find it unlikely I’d get into a clinical PhD program. What do you think about my PsyD chances?
     
  11. psych.meout

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    I don't think you should settle for expensive programs with questionable-at-best training quality and outcomes, because of a single hurdle like the GRE.

    I would say defer applications until you can get your GRE scores up, by whatever means. Change up your study methods, e.g., pay for tutoring or class if need be. The cost will be far, far less than that of an unfunded PsyD program.

    From the sounds of it, you're still in undergrad, so it's not like there's some clock ticking or the typical worries about being too old for grad school, which isn't even a thing. Take your time and do it right instead of rushing into something that might lead down a bad path.
     
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  12. Sharewithme

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    I like what psych.meout got at: Don't sell yourself short carty67! Whether you decide upon a PsyD program or PhD program ultimately, do it for reasons of interest not fears that you couldn't do what you needed to do to get into another kind of program.
     
  13. PschH

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    Currently entering my senior year and looking to apply to clinical Ph.D. programs for 2019 admission in the Chicago. (UIC, IIT, and Loyola are my top choices)
    • Had a horrible 1st few semesters when I started college at 18, took a break, began a full-time career for 15 years. When I returned to community college to complete my associates, I had a 3.93 GPA with graduation with honors. At my current university I have a 4.0 GPA, so my cumulative is 3.29
    • Member of the honors college and on the Deans list at my current university.
    • Will be working towards completion of an independent senior research project through the end of my final semester.
    • I'm an undergraduate research assistant for two substudies. One cognitive neuroscience basis, one is family dynamics.
    • All psychology and statistics courses have been 4.0
    • So far I've completed work in statistics (will be registering for advanced statistics in Spring next year), Community Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Abnormal Psychology, Research Methods, Developmental Psychology (2 courses: Lifespan, and Childhood), obviously intro to psychology, as well as sociology and ethics courses.
    • I will be completing Psychology testing, Psychology of Interviewing, and Clinical Psychology lab next semester. (In addition to the above-mentioned research projects and 2 sociology courses).
    • Also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and Tau Sigma
    The only thing I'm pending would be GRE, which I intend to take late summer/early fall. A bit nervous, since the last time I took the ACT was in 1999, so I'll be spending this summer with my nose in the prep books.
    It is very likely that I will have recommendations from previous Stats instructor, my Cognitive Neuroscience professor (I also completed honors supplement), and my honors fellow.
    My concern is the cumulative GPA, while my initial coursework prior to my academic break was honestly abysmal, my GPA since my return to school has been excellent.
     
  14. Sharewithme

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    Your research experience and letters of rec. seem good.

    I'm not sure what clinical psych programs will think of your GPA, but clinical psych programs have admitted applicants who went to master's programs to raise their GPA, so your raising your GPA with community college may be similar.

    Some programs require the GRE subject test, and I think Loyola's counseling psych program is one of them, so be sure to check with whether you need to take it to apply for clinical, too.

    Do you want to practice at all in your career? Do you have any practice experience?
     
  15. Kpari1

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    Hello again,
    I've been applying to research assistant positions across the country non stop since February, as well as looking into jobs like psychometrists. And I've had horrible luck tying anything down for next year. Since my last post (posted below) I've present a research poster, moved into a coordinator postion in my lab for fNIRS studies and had my supervisor at my behavioral therapist job say she would be more than happy to write me a letter of reccommendation (she brought it up herself, I didn't even ask).

    Would it be a horrible idea to continue my current job knowing I'd get a great letter of rec (along with my other ones) since I can't seem to get a research assistant position anywhere? Would this hurt my chances to apply in the fall?

    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
     
  16. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    A job is better than no job. It won't hurt you. It's not especially likely to help either.

    Great! Try to present at a national forum if possible. You have some good experience. Not everyone who gets into a doctoral program has a journal publication. Most don't.

    Since these are all very competitive programs, you should consider other programs that may not be quite as sought after but still offer solid training in areas that interest you.
     
  17. psychotheatre

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    Entering my senior year and intend to apply this upcoming cycle.
    • Background: low-income, Asian-American, gender/sexual minority
      • School: selective liberal arts college (acceptance < 20%)
    • Intending cognitive psychology PhD (I know this is more a clinical-bent forum)
    • GPA: 3.65 (upward trend)
      • Psychology GPA: 3.70
      • Junior Year GPA: 3.83. I intend to continue the upward trend.
    • GRE: TBD. I test well. Currently in the process of studying.
      • My "cold" score/no studying for an official practice exam was 159V / 160Q. I am aiming for 170 / 170.
    • Research/Internship Experiences:
      • One summer at ACT, Inc. (the testing company), less research and more experiential. Exposed to ideas about equity in learning, psychometrics, and socioemotional learning.
      • One summer research w/ professor at my institution. Will culminate in a manuscript to be submitted for publication. (Good letter of recc.)
      • Neither relate to my research interests in consciousness and the mechanisms of the mind (huge questions, I know)
    • Other:
      • Very informal research assistant (1-2 hrs a week) w/ my major advisor. He does institutional research so I can't be too much more involved for privacy reasons (Good letter of recc.)
      • Three In-class, semester long lab projects w/ human subjects and mock-psychological journal articles
        • Social psych, Cog psych, Longitudinal Time Series Analysis (LTSA)
      • Strong commitment to dance extracurriculars (8+ weekly hours, Good letter of recc. from the director)
    • Schools of interest:
      • Princeton, Mike Graziano/Sabine Kastner
    Mostly curious about my general shot at high (top 10/20), middle (top 50/100) schools.
    Thanks all~
     
  18. Vulpespeculiosa

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    Hello lovely people,


    I just received all of my grade for this semester, it was the third year in my undergrad, and I’m seriously concerned about my GPA. It’s in 2.8 - 2.9 range now and I will be a senior next semester. I have chronic circumstances, including my own health issues and poor finance that lower my GPA. But the question is, would the admission committee like to listen to that? My remained credits are 44 and according to the GPA calculator I have to get straight As for 49 credits. Doesn’t sound so realistic though.

    I honestly have pretty good research experiences, a research mentor that will definitely write me a great recommendation letter, plus our research project will be published this September. Everything goes so amazing except for my GPA. I haven’t taken GRE but will take it next spring before I graduate. I saw some cases that people still get into their Ph. D programs (even medical schools) with a low GPA but a strong research experiences and GRE score. However, what I’m looking for here is a realistic feedback or advice based on one’s experience. I want to be a Psy.D or Ph.D in neuroscience.
     
  19. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Rankings don’t mean anything, Fit with your research mentor is key.
     
  20. YoungFrancis

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    3.0 is a significant benchmark. In some cases, committees may not be allowed to accept you because departmental policy requires at least a 3.0. I would focus heavily on hitting the 3.0 mark. If you're not able to make it, consider retaking a few courses. Even doing a masters may not be enough to compensate for it unfortunately.
     
  21. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    This goes in the WAMC thread.
     
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  22. saratoga37

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    Hi all,
    This is more of a "should I take 1 gap year or 2 gap years" kind of post.
    I've received a lot of conflicting information that makes me unsure if I'd be considered a competitive candidate for fall 2018 (Clinical Psych Ph.D.), or if I need to spend summer of 2018- fall of 2019 gaining more research experience, and then apply fall 2019. My professor (who sat on my school's Ph.D. admissions board for years) told me to take AT LEAST 2 gap years, but the idea of being out of school that long scares me. Would I be wasting my time applying this fall? Have been unsuccessful in getting a job (planning on just being a volunteer RA for now), so I'm not sure if that affects the gap year decision ***Sorry about this being long, didn't know what all to (not) include***

    I'm a senior who is going to graduate from UCLA in 2 weeks, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Applied Developmental Psychology
    GPA
    cumGPA: 3.745 // psyGPA: 3.856 (cumulative GPA will *probably* be 3.76 when I graduate) & Cum Laude
    GRE
    V: 156 Q: 156 and a 4 on writing..... because my scores aren't great, I plan on retaking the GRE (at the end of this summer if I'm applying this fall)
    Research/Clinical
    ~~~
    no publications/senior thesis, unfortunately~~~
    -
    entered/coded/standardized data, did lit reviews for 1.5 years at an ADHD lab
    -->conducted own hypothesis at ADHD lab and presented the project at a national conference
    -my minor required being in a fall/winter/spring cohort where I interned at an early childcare center while concurrently learning about child development in class; because of the classes/ECE center I:
    -->developed and implemented an emergent curriculum based upon the children's developmental needs and current interests
    -->collected data, analyzed, and wrote a case study on one child's development (in 3 domains)
    -->learned and applied a specific early childhood education approach
    -->I interned again at the center this fall (but was unable to come back due to having a lot of doctor appointments in the winter)
    -for 1 month I examined data available at an HIV+ lab and wrote a concept paper, but was unable to continue due to evacuation for a hurricane *(would I even include this on my resume?)*
    -senior year: selected as 1 of 12 students to be part of a *highly selective* (prof told me to write that in my resume) year-long intensive developmental psychopathology research program, where I:
    -->attended biweekly graduate level seminars (according to the description) in which research approaches (ie. interventions) in devel. psychopath. were discussed
    -->joined a lab about parent-child interactions in military families: coded P-C interactions from videotape, transcribed parent interviews
    -->shadowed at a stress/trauma/resilience clinic (clients were children/adolescents, but parents were active participants of the intervention) where I got to attend case conferences (providers would discuss the clients they were seeing today, what happened last session, and what they were planning on doing during their session that day; everyone gave advice on how to go forward--sometimes I got to chime in my opinion); also observed therapy sessions through a remote camera set up in the rooms
    -->from military lab, created hypothesis (along with another RA) and was able to present results at 2 undergrad research conferences at my college
    Extracurriculars
    -worked at summer camp for 5 years where I taught life skills to blind and visually impaired children/adolescents (does this count as clinical?)
    -liason for a program where I biquarterly presented (my) sorority chapter info on sexual assault awareness/intervention/prevention
    -campus tour guide for underserved elementary & middle schoolers for 1.5 years
    • will have 3 strong letters of recommendation
    **interested in child/adolescent trauma (and getting the parents/family involved in interventions) & anxiety (though have no clinical/research experience in the latter so I'm not sure if that would affect which professors I'd look into when choosing grad schools to apply to)
    Any help/advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!! I've been stressing so much over what to do
     
    #4221 saratoga37, Jun 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  23. Kadhir

    2+ Year Member

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    While I would typically discourage a standalone masters program, in your case it might be appropriate. But you have to commit to earning a 3.5ish to offset undergrad. Otherwise it could be a waste of money.

    Also, there are no PsyDs in neuroscience. Or even neuropsychology. You'll presumably be applying to competitive clinical psych programs, thus why those numbers need to be a bit higher.
     
  24. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    1. If you can get your GRE scores up, I think it's reasonable to apply this year if it is within your means. The process of applying helps you to clarify your goals and the things you need to do in order to be accepted.

    2. You've written some things that have not been presented or published. Try to make something out of those papers if you can. Getting an abstract accepted is better than nothing at all. However, focus on national conferences at this point.

    3. You've had a variety of experiences. People will not expect all of your undergrad experiences to be related to your own research interests, but when writing your personal statement it helps if you can organize some of these disparate experiences under common themes that relate your interests and training goals.

    4. A note on usage: one conducts a study that has a hypothesis.

    In academia we usually talk about a CV (curriculum vitae) rather than a resume. You might ask some graduate students for examples of their CVs so that you can emulate them. Another resource is here: Purdue OWL: Writing the Curriculum Vitae

    My rule of thumb is that you don't list any works that have not been presented or published, but you can include works that have been submitted (eg, to a conference or journal) and are pending review. You should have a separate section in your CV that lists your research training experiences including all of your previous RA roles and the extracurricular research program you mentioned.
     
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  25. PsychedUp313

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    Unfortunately that GPA will most likely be too low for competitive programs. Your best bet would be to apply to masters programs. Even then, a lot of PhD and PsyD programs look more at undergrad GPA then masters GPA. The best you can do is work your butt off and get all As and get a killer GRE score.
     
  26. saratoga37

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    Before I ask about your response, I just want to thank you for making me feel better about all of this. My professor was having me doubt that I was qualified enough to apply this fall.
    So you think I could be considered to be at least somewhat of a competitive applicant? Do you mean that going through the application process would help me figure out how to properly present my experiences/goals in a way that would make me more desirable to the committees?
    The only thing that wasn't presented/published was that concept paper, but I don't think I can do anything further with it because I had not ran an analysis before the natural disaster. I contacted the professor about furthering the paper, but she never responded. I presented a different finding at a national conference, and another at two undergraduate conferences. Should I try to submit the latter one to a national conference then? And how exactly would I go about submitting an abstract?
    This is so great to hear! I actually had an epiphany this morning about how all my experiences relate to my interests/training goals.
    Thank you for the correction, I feel a little embarrassed about that because I have enough experience to know the proper wording. I think the lack of sleep I've had this past month due to job applications/trying to figure out when to apply has been affecting my ability to think/write properly :smack:
    I actually do have a CV (that my professor reviewed and edited), but I've become used to saying "resume" because most of the jobs I have been applying to have been requiring a resume. Nonetheless, I'll make sure to check out that resource and make sure I have a proper CV!
    I'll make sure to not list that concept paper, then, as I have no way of analyzing the data. I'll make sure to have a research section that lists the labs I've volunteered at, as well as that developmental psychopathology program.
    Sounds like this summer I'll be studying for the GRE and attempting to submit (at the very least) an abstract.
     
    #4225 saratoga37, Jun 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  27. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    Being competitive comes down to a lot of factors beyond academic performance, but based on what you've shared, it sounds like you might be able to at least get a serious look at your application, maybe an interview. Even if you don't, actually having written and submitted a complete application will be a jump start toward making yourself competitive for a subsequent application cycle.

    Yes, it's usually acceptable to present the same work at a local/institutional conference and recycle it for a national conference. You might talk to your mentor(s) about where to submit an abstract since they would be the likely co-author.
     
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  28. AcronymAllergy

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

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    Mod Note: Merged (along with replies) into the WAMC thread
     
  29. wtfook

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    I would really like to emphasis that a 2-year gap is not very long at all. If you're just coming out of undergrad now I'm assuming you're 21? 22 at most? There is so much time and if you can RA somewhere, get some publications and presentations under your belt, and REALLY study for realz on the GRE, you could be a much more competitive candidate. Right now, as others have said, your GPA is strong enough that with better GRE scores you'd definitely at least get looked at, if not secure some interviews. HOWEVER, with some time off to do more RA work, perhaps get a second opinion with another faculty mentor, and really figure out what EXACTLY you want to research and why, you'll probably get interviews and offers from better funded schools that are a better match for you. Applying for PhD is a lot about the match you have with your advisor when it comes to research interests. It doesn't mean you're a clone. It means that your experiences match with where they're going or compliment their work. Give yourself time to figure that out because that will make you a lot more mature, self-assured, and prepared. Haste makes waste man, and it's also very common for people to do a 1-2 year GA position. When I was interviewing, a lot of the people I spoke with had done it. The research experience you can gain (SPECIFICALLY publishing and presenting) makes you a sexier candidate. NOT the clinical stuff.
     
  30. PlatoPsychology

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    This may be a weird question but... is there such thing as having too much "irrelevant" research experience?

    I've been involved in two psych labs (will have total of 2.5 years by the time I apply if I add all my experiences together), and one of them being pretty relevant to my own research interest.

    I started to work for a post-doc just for a part - time job this past semester with a different department and the PIs and I got along very well, so they even extended my contract to do "non-grunt" work but to help them with more quality research work.

    They are now offering me a chance to publish with them as an undergrad, which I couldn't turn down - but I'm starting to think if this may look "bad" on my cv for having a "irrelevant publication" from my desiring field? :bag:
     
  31. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Not at all--go for it! It can only help at this stage.
     
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  32. PlatoPsychology

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    A publication is better than no publication even if it's in a different field ... right?? :shy:
     
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  33. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
    Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    As long as it isn’t a sketch journal (some predatory journals accept almost everything and charge a fee to publish).

    Publishing in a different area would likely look good bc you are an undergrad. Going through the publishing process is a useful experience too.
     
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  34. PlatoPsychology

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    Would you say I should try to "tie it in all together" when I write my SOP for my applications - regarding how all these experiences lead me to my decision to applying to the program?

    Or would you say that look too "forced"?
     
  35. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Just limit the number of unnecessary air quotes and you'll be fine. :)

    All kidding aside, you can talk about how your general research experience has engendered a new appreciation for your pre-existing interests in psychology, and so on and so forth.
     
  36. psymate35

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    Hi everyone,
    If you guys could give me an idea of where you think I stand it would be great.

    Rising senior at top 5 university.
    Expected cumGPA 3.5, psychGPA 3.65+ when I graduate.
    (I probably shouldn't apply during senior year and maybe RA for a year after college bc my GPA isn't there yet, right? Also focus on school so push off taking GRE until that year?)

    Interested in social psychology PhD programs, intending to focus on social cognition as applied to moral reasoning and political psychology.

    Research Experience:
    Senior thesis on pro-social attitudes and values vis-a-vis political decision making (two year project) with one of the top 50 social psychologists today
    Worked in a socio-cognitive processing lab on my campus focusing on collective memory for a year (did data analysis, collection, and other research assistant level tasks)
    Worked for a consulting firm that does applied behavioral science/decision making research for a summer

    Other relevant experience:
    Tutor statistics and research methods
    Proficient in programming in R, STATA data analysis software
    Work at an education thinktank that seeks to create new models for socio-emotional and values based learning in K-12 schools for two summers (this summer and the previous)
    -some social/political activism related extracurriculars
     
  37. Alaska_Psychology

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    Hi everyone. I'm an undergrad that's hoping to apply for Counseling Psych PhD program this cycle, and I was hoping to get some feedback.

    My cumulative GPA is 3.6 and my psych GPA is 3.8.
    - I will have about 2 years of research experience from 2 of the labs I've been part of
    - 2 poster presentations
    - An undergraduate research grant

    Now, I have yet to take the actual GRE and I'm still in the process of studying, but it doesn't look so promising...
    After studying for 3 weeks now, and I scored a 148Q and 143V on the practice test :(

    Should I not even bother applying to PhD programs this cycle??? I've been hearing raising my verbal score in about 3 weeks (when I signed up to take the real exam) is impossible.

    What are the general cutoff scores for Counseling Psych PhD programs??
     
  38. wtfook

    2+ Year Member

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    Average scores for counseling programs can be (but is not always) lower than clinical programs but I've also seen the opposite. Generally speaking, most programs have average accepted student scores of around 155 per section, if not higher. You have only been studying for 3 weeks and plan to take the test in another 3 weeks. 6 weeks is not nearly enough time to prepare for a standardized test. You should be giving yourself at least several months. Your GPA and research experience look solid and applications aren't even due until early to mid December so why take the GRE now? Why not study the summer and take it in September? Or even October? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense why you're doing it so soon.... I would also say that HOW you are studying can make a huge difference. Taking a practice test after 3 weeks of studying is basically like taking an initial diagnostic. If you've been been studying for 2 months and take another in August and it's still not better, THEN I would start to worry.
     
  39. Alaska_Psychology

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    When I FIRST started studying, I told my self I won't take a practice test until I finish going over all the content lesson videos (I'm using Magoosh) - but I kept seeing on forums that I should take a practice test ASAP so I know where I stand.

    I think I just felt the "need" to take it early as possible, since so many people around me (aka PhD students in my labs) have been telling me that they either barely studied, or they just took the test and they somehow made it through --- so I thought I'd just have to tell my self that I'm not "good enough" to apply for PhD programs if I give my self full month and a half to study for it and don't do well :(

    Do you have any time on how to improve my verbal score in particular? I think I can manage to pull my quant score up with more practice, but I'm not sure what else I need to do different other than keep on studying the vocabs and practice with more questions :oops:
     
  40. wtfook

    2+ Year Member

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    Everyone is different. Just because you study more than someone else doesn't mean you are less worthy of a PhD program. Objectively, it makes little sense. Standardized tests measure a very small subset of skills that may or may not (the jury is still out) be indicative of success in a doctoral program. Like there is literally no point in your doctoral training when you will have to do more than algebra or prove your reading comprehension skills by reading something for 10 minutes and answering some questions. Being an ace at standardized tests is a useful skill and can be telling of doctoral success, but success on the GRE can also be achieved through methodical work and there's no shame in either route. I personally studied about 2 months but planned my days very intentionally. created a schedule for myself of what I was going to cover every weekday, when I would take my practice test, and when I would analyze my practice test results to diagnose my problems. Rinse. Repeat.

    I would recommend taking a practice test every week. You can find them online if you're savvy or just spend hours at a B&N and use them for free. This not only helps you get used to the structure of the test but also will desensitize you to the timing and anxiety provoking nature of the test. I'm not familiar with Magoosh but usually GRE textbooks have their own strategies for how to do a verbal question well. When I studied, I tried out a couple different strategies and settled on an amalgam of them that got me the best results for me. Again, if you can't find the textbooks for free online, you can stalk a B&N and read through them. Generally speaking, it's about diagnosing exactly what you are doing wrong, what types of questions you have the most problems with, what types of passages you have the most issues with, and what specific mistake you just keep making. In this way, I would say that studying for a standardized test is a lot like a research project and is very analytical in nature.
     
  41. psy_ch

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    Hello! Thank you in advance for reading. I'm very much still in the exploration / consideration phase and am looking for some guidance. I am 26, having worked for a few years in a completely non-Psychology related field and am considering going back to school with the intention of eventually going into private practice.

    Academic Background:
    3.85 GPA from an Ivy League school (H/Y/P), but I majored in History (I took only a couple Psych classes, received As).
    Planning on taking a few evening courses in Psychology at a local college this summer and fall.

    GRE:
    Verbal 170, Quant 162, Analytical Writing 4.5

    No research experience, I've been volunteering at a crisis hotline for the past 2 years.

    My main questions are:
    1. Given my lack of Psych background, would you recommend applying Fall 2018 or taking more classes and applying Fall 2019?
    2. With my background and career goals, would you recommend pursuing a Masters or a PsyD (I assume a PhD is out of the question given my lack of research experience)?
    3. Can I directly pursue a PsyD or would you think I need to obtain a Masters first?

    Thank you so much! Really appreciate the wisdom!
     
  42. psych.meout

    2+ Year Member

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    If you just want to do private practice therapy, you should look into master's degree programs that lead to licensure (e.g., counseling, MFT, social work). It will be easier and far cheaper in terms of time and money than a PsyD program.

    If you're also interested in assessment, research, teaching, specialties (e.g., neuropsych, forensic) then you should be looking at funded doctoral programs. Unfunded or minimally funded doctoral programs of any kind are prohibitively expensive, easily amounting to more than $100,000 in tuition costs alone before factoring in cost of living and other expenses.

    Why is it that you are not considering getting research experience and applying to funded PhD programs?
     
  43. aybha19

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    Hello everyone! Wanted everyone's honest thoughts. I'm still putting a list of Clinical Pysch PhD schools together and would love to get y'alls input!

    Undergrad School:
    Big Ten School
    Undergrad GPA/Psych GPA: 2.749/3.2 -- I had a rough sophomore year, but from that point it was only trending upwards (switched majors from pre-med/science to psych after sophomore year)
    Major/Minor: BS Psychology, Minors: Stats and Bio
    GradGPA (if applicable): 3.9
    Grad Studies (if applicable): MPH Global Health at Emory, Certificate in Mental Health
    GRE: Q-162, V- 157, W- 4.5 (thinking of maybe retaking to get my verbal and quant up a few points to make up for my low undergrad GPA- thoughts?)
    Experience/Research:
    - 1st Author of Abstract, poster presentation (national and local conference) and publication (Research for 2.5+ Years in Echo Lab)
    - 1st Author of another Abstract/poster presentation (national and local conference) for same echo lab
    - Summer research on Mental Health for nonprofit- currently using data writing masters thesis and will be submitting to poster presentations
    - Summer research at major Childrens Hospital- will end up with 1st author abstract, poster presentation, and authorship on publication (projected goal for summer)
    Special factors???
    - Current Researcher at Emory Hospital (1 year)
    - Volunteer at a mental health org
    - Volunteer at a Crisis Center for 2 Years
    - Intern at a Crisis Center for half a year
    - High up position of a National Organization and position on grad school's mental health org
    - asking LORs from Thesis Professor (PhD), Research Coordinator Echo Lab (Pediatric Cardiologist Head, MD), and Intern Supervisor at Childrens MN (Researcher, PhD)
    - SAS, R, EpiInfo Background

    Research Interests: South Asian and Cultural Mental Health, Depression/Anxiety Mood Disorders, Suicide, and Schizophrenia (Undergrad Thesis was on Schizophrenia)

    I know my undergrad GPA is a bit of a mess, which is what is really worrying me but I have really found passion and my way, and really want to get in somewhere. Any thoughts on what I should be doing or my profile? Thank you!
     
    #4242 aybha19, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  44. jdawg2017

    jdawg2017 Doctoral Student of Clinical Psychology

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    Overall you sound like you have done a lot of good work since your undergrad. Nonetheless, as you say your GPA in undergrad was poor. You sound like a strong applicant, but you will definitely want to explain the poor GPA in your statement of purpose. Don't spend a ton of time going into the details of what was going on, but give some context on what caused the grade slip, and then really hit home your experiences since then.
     
  45. zaahman

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    Hi all - applying to clinical/counseling programs in the fall. I haven't finalized my list of programs at this point, but was hoping to see where I could best apply my efforts based on my disposition. Only interested in university based phd or psyd programs with at least partial funding. Definitely not on the R1 level, but thinking I may have a shot at R2,R3 universities and maybe some high regarded PsyD programs.

    Undergrad School:
    Umass Amherst
    Undergrad GPA/Psych GPA: 2.76/3.1 - Undergrad was not my shining moment, hopefully made up for it in grad program
    Major/Minor: BS Psychology, Minor: Comp Sci
    GradGPA: 3.98
    Grad Studies (if applicable): MA Psychology (Clinical Research Focus)
    GRE: TBD - taking in late July. Based on practice tests, should hover around the 310-315 mark for Quant/Verb
    Experience/Research:
    - 4+ total years of professional work experience in healthcare administration
    - 2 of which in Electronic Medical Record Analysis/Support/Implementation (Major New England Health System)
    - 2+ In Healthcare Design Research (Institutional research projects using Human Centered Design to improve patient exp -Large Academic Medical Center in Los Angeles)
    - 2 Professional conference presentations
    - Graduate research thesis being submitted to journals/poster presentations currently
    - Professional training/teaching experience (EMR, Design)
    - 3 Professional Recognition Awards
    - 1 Formal Program Evaluation of integrative mental health facility
    - Co-authored a $50,000 grant for mental health facility
    - Dozen or so institutional research projects (not submitted for publication, but used to implement changes in medical center)
    - Volunteer experience at LA food bank, LA Incubator School System
    Special factors???
    - Professional advancement in each role
    - 2 Recommendations from UCLA Clinical Psych phDs
    - MA program was very heavy on clinical/counseling theory and techniques, but didn't explore direct contact due to pursuing licensure on doctorate level

    Thank you for your time! Hoping I have a shot getting in somewhere that isn't Agrosy/Alliant/Chicago School
     
  46. Ink-Nut

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    So I was thinking to apply to both PhD and PsyD programs this coming cycle but after looking at some of the posts here I’m thinking another year of experience will probably be needed. As of now here are my stats. What do you guys think are my chances? If any...

    Undergrad Gpa: 3.75 (BA Psychology)

    GRE: haven’t taken yet

    Research exp.: I work in a Lab as an RA doing basic tasks, I’m also working on a poster for a conference.

    Clinical exp.: I work at a drop in center with clients who have survived sex trafficking/exploitation, I also volunteer at a non profit clinic for undocumented immigrants, I spent a semester as a student mentor for refugee kids too?

    Other exp.: I’m a communication coordinator for a student organization that advocates against human trafficking. I also hold the communications manager position for an organization that creates a safe space for people with ID’s to socialize and create friendships. Im also joining the psych honor society this coming semester?

    I also have three really good recommendation letters from professors/clinicians I got the chance to work with.

    I genuinely don’t think I have a chance at a PhD program because I lack research so I’m leaning towards a PsyD. However, only the best well rounded programs. (Less than 20 cohort size, Won’t drown me in debt, so a competitive and short list) does anyone have any advice on getting into these programs or if I should take a gap year to work up my CV?


    (Thanks to anyone who actually read through that btw I’m not even sure I posted in the right place, I’m fairly new to this site...)
     
    #4245 Ink-Nut, Jul 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  47. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Any reputable PsyD will want a similar amount of research exp as a balanced clinical PhD, so I wouldn't look at it as dichotomously as you currently are. If the poster gets accepted, that will be a solid addition to the CV. The biggest wildcard is the GRE. It's nearly impossible for anyone to give you anything near accurate prediction-wise without knowing those scores. Also, what area are you thinking of specializing in, and do you plan to apply widely, or limited to a certain area?
     
  48. Ink-Nut

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    Thanks for responding! I would have taken my GRE sooner but my graduation date was moved up a semester witch turned out to be more of a bad thing for my application to graduate school this cycle. I am not fully sure what I want to specialize in yet, I definitely want to be a clinician and I'm interested in topics around substance abuse and trauma. I've learned that this is doable through various path, I'm using the limitations of what I can and can't do to choose a degree based in Texas, I am willing to go any where in the country if the program is good enough. Honestly I am questioning what the reason of getting a doctorates in other states is outside of academia and research? I apologize if any of this is silly to ask... I am still in the start of looking into all of this information because I was not expecting to apply this cycle due to my change of graduation...
     
  49. ClinicalABA

    Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    None of this is silly to ask- this is a place for these types of questions.

    There may not be enough graduate programs appropriate to your areas of interest in your current geographical area. The main reason for moving elsewhere for graduate school is simply because that is where the best school you got accepted to is located. Where you train does not have much bearing on where you'll end up. You should only be considering APA approved doctoral programs, and these will all meet a minimum standard for licensure in most, if not all, places you'll eventually end up. You'll also likely have to relocate again for internship, as it's very unlikely that there will be an appropriate and APA approved internship site where you are. Some states may have quirky local course requirements for licensure that you might not get in a different state, but these are rather uncommon nowadays. Good funded programs are very competitive, and limiting yourself geographically SIGNIFICANTLY lowers your chances of acceptance.

    As an example- There were 7 students in my graduate school cohort (cohort= group of students who started in the same year). The school was in Western Massachusetts. 2 students were from California, 1 was from New York, 2 were from Connecticut, and 2 were from Massachusetts. 6 of us completed our training, with 2 of us are still in Mass, 1 returned to CA, one is in Illinois, 1 in PA, and 1 in CT. (I'm the very unusual case of someone who went to a Ph.D. program where they went to undergrad and already lived and, after moving away for internship and post-doc, is back in the area I went to grad school).
     
  50. Chessy

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    I am currently a senior in college, getting my BA in Psychology. I want to be a clinical child psychologist but I'm not sure if I have the credentials to be accepted into a phd program.

    Here's my credentials:
    3.025 GPA overall and a 3.102 GPA in my major
    I am minoring in Children's Studies
    I have taken General Psychology (A-), Human Development-Child (C), Human Development-Adolescent (B), Research Methods (B+), Psychological Statistics (C+), Social Psychology (A-), Theories of Learning (B+), and Theories of Personality (A-) so far.
    I have some experience with children (babysitting, working at camps, etc)
    I am president of my school's Psychology Club (even started it)
    Also on the executive board for other clubs at my school

    I haven't taken the GRE yet but I plan to in a couple more months. I also don't have any research experience outside of class.

    I was planning on getting a Masters first (either in Social Work or Clinical Psychology) and then apply for a PhD program. But I heard it was cheaper to just get a PhD and I would still be getting a Masters if I get into one. I am aware that PhD programs in Clinical Psychology are super hard and that they only accept a small percentage of people who apply but I am still hopeful. Would I still be able to get into a program with my credentials so far? Am I on the right track?
     
    #4249 Chessy, Jul 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  51. AcronymAllergy

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

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    Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC thread.
     

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