Jul 22, 2018
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hello gang! Hope you are all well. I want to become a licensed psychologist (I do not say that as if it’s an easy feat). However, I have a bit of an issue that I could use advice on. My GPA is less than stellar, I had a 3.1 cumulative and a 3.2 psych GPA from the university I graduated from. I attended another university for a year and had a 2.5. While the GPA can be explained it cannot be excused. See, from senior year of HS to about end of sophomore/beginning of junior year of college I went through serious family issues. Both my grandparents suffered from prolonged terminal illness. One suffered strokes and dementia and passed and the other had lung cancer and kidney issues and died unexpectedly (we expected him to pass soon, but he was doing objectively well when he passed. So it was a small shock). I don’t say this for pity but rather context. Due to the continuous unpredictable trips to the hospital and constant calls, it was hard to keep my grades up. Especially since I committed to one university and that also took its toll. After a brief period of situational depression I bounced back. Obtaining Bs and As in my end of junior and whole senior year. Courses like psychopathology, research, and statistics I received As and one B.
Now here is my dilemma, how do I become competitive for ANY PhD psych program? I have good EC such as clinical work but no real research since my university was very limited on that. I have found a good and affordable masters I may be able to get Into at the city university of New York, city college. They not only offer a thesis option, but also additional research Opportunities to bolster my resume. I should add I’m 25, I wasn’t the most traditional student. It took longer to complete because of the family issues and some financial issues I had. But I can do the work, I just didn’t fair well under the circumstances that weren’t controllable. I just need to show the universities I can do the work.
My interest is heavily into individuals in ADHD and how to enhance memory and learning. As I also have ADHD (now managed) but many don’t have it managed or diagnosed and suffer, it’s a shame because studies show they score higher than average in IQ but have issues in traditional schooling. Sorry for the digression at the end there.
Any advice would help and be appreciated!
 

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hello gang! Hope you are all well. I want to become a licensed psychologist (I do not say that as if it’s an easy feat). However, I have a bit of an issue that I could use advice on. My GPA is less than stellar, I had a 3.1 cumulative and a 3.2 psych GPA from the university I graduated from. I attended another university for a year and had a 2.5. While the GPA can be explained it cannot be excused. See, from senior year of HS to about end of sophomore/beginning of junior year of college I went through serious family issues. Both my grandparents suffered from prolonged terminal illness. One suffered strokes and dementia and passed and the other had lung cancer and kidney issues and died unexpectedly (we expected him to pass soon, but he was doing objectively well when he passed. So it was a small shock). I don’t say this for pity but rather context. Due to the continuous unpredictable trips to the hospital and constant calls, it was hard to keep my grades up. Especially since I committed to one university and that also took its toll. After a brief period of situational depression I bounced back. Obtaining Bs and As in my end of junior and whole senior year. Courses like psychopathology, research, and statistics I received As and one B.
Now here is my dilemma, how do I become competitive for ANY PhD psych program? I have good EC such as clinical work but no real research since my university was very limited on that. I have found a good and affordable masters I may be able to get Into at the city university of New York, city college. They not only offer a thesis option, but also additional research Opportunities to bolster my resume. I should add I’m 25, I wasn’t the most traditional student. It took longer to complete because of the family issues and some financial issues I had. But I can do the work, I just didn’t fair well under the circumstances that weren’t controllable. I just need to show the universities I can do the work.
My interest is heavily into individuals in ADHD and how to enhance memory and learning. As I also have ADHD (now managed) but many don’t have it managed or diagnosed and suffer, it’s a shame because studies show they score higher than average in IQ but have issues in traditional schooling. Sorry for the digression at the end there.
Any advice would help and be appreciated!
Mod Note: Merged into the WAMC thread
 
Dec 25, 2017
19
6
11
hello gang! Hope you are all well. I want to become a licensed psychologist (I do not say that as if it’s an easy feat). However, I have a bit of an issue that I could use advice on. My GPA is less than stellar, I had a 3.1 cumulative and a 3.2 psych GPA from the university I graduated from. I attended another university for a year and had a 2.5. While the GPA can be explained it cannot be excused. See, from senior year of HS to about end of sophomore/beginning of junior year of college I went through serious family issues. Both my grandparents suffered from prolonged terminal illness. One suffered strokes and dementia and passed and the other had lung cancer and kidney issues and died unexpectedly (we expected him to pass soon, but he was doing objectively well when he passed. So it was a small shock). I don’t say this for pity but rather context. Due to the continuous unpredictable trips to the hospital and constant calls, it was hard to keep my grades up. Especially since I committed to one university and that also took its toll. After a brief period of situational depression I bounced back. Obtaining Bs and As in my end of junior and whole senior year. Courses like psychopathology, research, and statistics I received As and one B.
Now here is my dilemma, how do I become competitive for ANY PhD psych program? I have good EC such as clinical work but no real research since my university was very limited on that. I have found a good and affordable masters I may be able to get Into at the city university of New York, city college. They not only offer a thesis option, but also additional research Opportunities to bolster my resume. I should add I’m 25, I wasn’t the most traditional student. It took longer to complete because of the family issues and some financial issues I had. But I can do the work, I just didn’t fair well under the circumstances that weren’t controllable. I just need to show the universities I can do the work.
My interest is heavily into individuals in ADHD and how to enhance memory and learning. As I also have ADHD (now managed) but many don’t have it managed or diagnosed and suffer, it’s a shame because studies show they score higher than average in IQ but have issues in traditional schooling. Sorry for the digression at the end there.
Any advice would help and be appreciated!
If you are set on a PhD, an MA first is a fine route. While I empathize with your struggles in undergrad, you'll need to excel in your masters to prove you are capable of handling graduate level work. Reach out to professors early on about volunteering on their research teams. Google ADHD research for opportunities nearby. Universities are obviously great places to get started but nabbing a paid position elsewhere is possible. Last I recall Syracuse has a couple researchers in that area as well. Read journal articles in your area. Start with a lit review if you have no idea where to start.

Keep in mind a clinical psychology masters degree is the best prep for a PhD program, but the masters is NOT licensable. If you decide against applying or don't get in to a funded doc program, your masters will have much less value. If you're more practice-oriented and aren't super interested in research, a masters in social work or mental health counseling may be a better route. Keep in mind you don't need to decide until next year. You can apply to a variety of masters programs in the fall, continue to get a feel for the field and your areas of interest, and then ultimately make a decision in the spring.

Regardless, buy the Norcross(?) prep book for clinical/counseling programs. It consolidates match rates, research interests, GRE, etc all in one place. Definitely was one of the most helpful resources for myself and many others.
 
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Jul 22, 2018
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If you are set on a PhD, an MA first is a fine route. While I empathize with your struggles in undergrad, you'll need to excel in your masters to prove you are capable of handling graduate level work. Reach out to professors early on about volunteering on their research teams. Google ADHD research for opportunities nearby. Universities are obviously great places to get started but nabbing a paid position elsewhere is possible. Last I recall Syracuse has a couple researchers in that area as well. Read journal articles in your area. Start with a lit review if you have no idea where to start.

Keep in mind a clinical psychology masters degree is the best prep for a PhD program, but the masters is NOT licensable. If you decide against applying or don't get in to a funded doc program, your masters will have much less value. If you're more practice-oriented and aren't super interested in research, a masters in social work or mental health counseling may be a better route. Keep in mind you don't need to decide until next year. You can apply to a variety of masters programs in the fall, continue to get a feel for the field and your areas of interest, and then ultimately make a decision in the spring.

Regardless, buy the Norcross(?) prep book for clinical/counseling programs. It consolidates match rates, research interests, GRE, etc all in one place. Definitely was one of the most helpful resources for myself and many others.
Thank you for that advice! I was accepted into a MSW at my college. I ultimately decided against that as my program was HEAVILY into social justice and highly political to the point that it was less about helping the patient but rather fighting the system. A psychologist at my school agreed, and said if you’re into research aswell as the implementation of theories such a logotherapy proposed by frankl or the theories of archetypes by jung, then going PhD may be your best bet. I will certainly reach out to the master programs around me especially those in clinical. Thanks again!
 
Jun 24, 2018
6
4
1
Hi all,

Curious for some feedback as this will be my second (and hopefully last) time applying to clinical psych PhD programs. Here are my credentials:

uGPA: 3.91 (Psychology and Criminal Justice dual major)
Grad GPA: 3.91 (Clinical Psychology, thesis track)

GRE: 161V, 170Q, 5 AW (up from 153V and 163Q last time I applied). No psychology GRE as it looks like the schools I'm applying to do not require it.

Research Experience: 3.5-4 years total. This includes:
~1 year as a research extern at a private practice (data collection, entry, and statistical analysis but no write ups)
~2 years completing empirical thesis
~1.5 years as a study interviewer at a local university;
~2 years at my most recent position (further outlined below) which provided a combination of clinical, assessment, and research experience. My research experience here was largely independent. Study design, IRB proposal, data collection, analysis, and manuscript prep. I'll be first author on anything that comes of this (though I doubt any publications/poster presentations will come out of this by the time I apply this year).
4 poster presentations (2 at undergraduate institution, 1 at graduate institution, and 1 at APLS national conference).
No pubs yet but my thesis is in progress.

Clinical Experience:
~2 years pre-masters in mobile outreach and residential crisis work. Under the supervision of LCPC.
~6 mo. as an outpatient therapist.
~2 years as a psychology associate in a forensic facility, primarily working with sex offenders (my area of interest in clinical and research). Providing therapy and risk assessment under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

Professional memberships:
ATSA (clinical associate)

Teaching experience:
Graduate TA for a masters level assessment lab.
1 guest lecture for an undergraduate class (nominated by my director of masters training)

LOR(s):
3-4 strong letters. 1 from director of thesis track for my masters program, 1 from thesis advisor, 1 from thesis chair, and 1 from my most recent research supervisor.

I'm applying to PhD programs with faculty involved in forensic work. I'm not geographically restricted and plan to apply to a variety of programs (though all will be APA accredited with good match rates and strong faculty matches). I had 2 interviews last time with 1 wait list.

Any feedback?
 
Last edited:
Dec 25, 2017
19
6
11
Hi all,

Curious for some feedback as this will be my second (and hopefully last) time applying to clinical psych PhD programs. Here are my credentials:

uGPA: 3.91 (Psychology and Criminal Justice dual major)
Grad GPA: 3.91 (Clinical Psychology, thesis track)

GRE: 161V, 170Q, 5 AW (up from 153V and 163Q last time I applied). No psychology GRE as it looks like the schools I'm applying to do not require it.

Research Experience: 3.5-4 years total. This includes:
~1 year as a research extern at a private practice (data collection, entry, and statistical analysis but no write ups)
~2 years completing empirical thesis
~1.5 years as a study interviewer at a local university;
~2 years at my most recent position (further outlined below) which provided a combination of clinical, assessment, and research experience. My research experience here was largely independent. Study design, IRB proposal, data collection, analysis, and manuscript prep. I'll be first author on anything that comes of this (though I doubt any publications/poster presentations will come out of this by the time I apply this year).
4 poster presentations (2 at undergraduate institution, 1 at graduate institution, and 1 at APLS national conference).
No pubs yet but my thesis is in progress.

Clinical Experience:
~2 years pre-masters in mobile outreach and residential crisis work. Under the supervision of LCPC.
~6 mo. as an outpatient therapist.
~2 years as a psychology associate in a forensic facility, primarily working with sex offenders (my area of interest in clinical and research). Providing therapy and risk assessment under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

Professional memberships:
ATSA (clinical associate)

Teaching experience:
Graduate TA for a masters level assessment lab.
1 guest lecture for an undergraduate class (nominated by my director of masters training)

LOR(s):
3-4 strong letters. 1 from director of thesis track for my masters program, 1 from thesis advisor, 1 from thesis chair, and 1 from my most recent research supervisor.

I'm applying to PhD programs with faculty involved in forensic work. I'm not geographically restricted and plan to apply to a variety of programs (though all will be APA accredited with good match rates and strong faculty matches). I had 2 interviews last time with 1 wait list.

Any feedback?
Seems pretty darn solid. Only big factors left are research fit and personal statement. Not much you can do now about publications, but you have quite a bit of experience regardless.

Where are you thinking of applying? I know John Jay in NYC offers a forensic specialization and has a bunch of faculty in that area. Fordham has at least one researcher in that area if I recall. Both programs have good funding.
 
Jun 24, 2018
6
4
1
John Jay and Fordham are both on my list, as well as Drexel and a couple of others. A lot of my other schools are contingent upon my faculty matches accepting students next year, and it looks like most of them wont post that until August or September.
 

Sharewithme

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Mar 18, 2017
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I really want to ask these 3 questions of someone (training director and students) in Ph.D. counseling psychology programs before spending the money to apply, but if I do, will it look bad?

1) May I talk to alumni or current students in your program?

2) Would you describe the historic-present culture of your program as laid back (e.g. students regularly drink beer with their professor mentors and each other, on Fridays students tend to go to dance clubs) or more serious (e.g. students occasionally spend time with their co-hort at restaurants or movies but usually they're studying over the weekend, perhaps in the library)?

3) What are your views on ideal therapeutic/interpersonal skills (e.g., showing warmth, validation, and knowledge are the aims or diagnosing and providing strictly objective conversation are most important)?

Thank you,
Sharewithme
 

psych.meout

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I really want to ask these 3 questions of someone (training director and students) in Ph.D. counseling psychology programs before spending the money to apply, but if I do, will it look bad?
Clinical program, but I don't think it will vary that much.

1) May I talk to alumni or current students in your program?
Sure, though it might be a bit awkward, especially since this is typically what the social gatherings during interview sessions are for.

2) Would you describe the historic-present culture of your program as laid back (e.g. students regularly drink beer with their professor mentors and each other, on Fridays students tend to go to dance clubs) or more serious (e.g. students occasionally spend time with their co-hort at restaurants or movies but usually they're studying over the weekend, perhaps in the library)?
Depends on the program and the cohort, but typically grad students are fairly busy to be getting together every weekend and we're kind of poor, which limits the options.

3) What are your views on ideal therapeutic/interpersonal skills (e.g., showing warmth, validation, and knowledge are the aims or diagnosing and providing strictly objective conversation are most important)?
This is stuff for your assessment and intervention courses, but will also vary depending on who your clinical supervisor is during your practica.
 
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futureapppsy2

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Clinical program, but I don't think it will vary that much.



Sure, though it might be a bit awkward, especially since this is typically what the social gatherings during interview sessions are for.



Depends on the program and the cohort, but typically grad students are fairly busy to be getting together every weekend and we're kind of poor, which limits the options.



This is stuff for your assessment and intervention courses, but will also vary depending on who your clinical supervisor is during your practica.
I seriously can't imagine anyone saying that rapport (including warmth and validation) *isn't* important in clinical work...
 
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Jan 19, 2018
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Hi All,

Applying to PsyD and PhD in clinical psychology, although mostly PsyD programs in the fall. I posted here a while ago, but wanted to see what you think about chances of getting into programs in the New York are. I unfortunately cannot relocate but have considered applying to schools in Philly.

Applying to: Rutgers, Yeshiva, Fordham, LIU Post, Wiedener, LaSalle, Chestnut Hill, Pace.

GPA: Started studying political science in Europe and left after 2 years to relocate to the US, horrible grades (GPA 2.3!!!) worked in publshing for 2 years and then decided to finish my undergrad in the US (chose a program where you could basically tailor your own curriculum) did mostly psych courses (GPA 3.9). Then applied for a Master's Degree in Counseling and graduated with a 4.0 this year. I am trilingual if that helps at all..

GRE: Haven't taken the GRE but I am anticipating a verbal score of 160 (hopefully) and quant I honestly don't think I can manage higher than 155.

Research: Have been working in 2 great research labs since January 2018, so almost a year by the time applications are due, currently one publication and hoping to get another one before applications are out

Volunteer experience: Unfortunately not much, I had a child 2 years ago so I haven't had much time (not an excuse I know) I do work as a crisis text counselor though

Letters of recommendation: One from the head of clinical phd programs at NYU who leads my research lab, another one from a former professor and the third from my former supervisor.

Clinical experience: Internship in a substance abuse outpatient clinic at Weill Cornell for one year and will be working in private practice as a limited permit mental health counselor starting in September. I have taken some training in REBT and DBT.

My biggest worry is my undergrad GPA and the GRE at this point... Any advice/input would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Sharewithme

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Clinical program, but I don't think it will vary that much.



Sure, though it might be a bit awkward, especially since this is typically what the social gatherings during interview sessions are for.



Depends on the program and the cohort, but typically grad students are fairly busy to be getting together every weekend and we're kind of poor, which limits the options.



This is stuff for your assessment and intervention courses, but will also vary depending on who your clinical supervisor is during your practica.
Thanks :)
 

Sharewithme

2+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2017
136
18
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Hi All,

GPA: Started studying political science in Europe and left after 2 years to relocate to the US, horrible grades (GPA 2.3!!!) worked in publshing for 2 years and then decided to finish my undergrad in the US (chose a program where you could basically tailor your own curriculum) did mostly psych courses (GPA 3.9). Then applied for a Master's Degree in Counseling and graduated with a 4.0 this year. I am trilingual if that helps at all..

My biggest worry is my undergrad GPA and the GRE at this point... Any advice/input would be greatly appreciated!
A master's program is partly for the chance to raise your GPA, and since you're undergrad GPA was outside the states, the comparison may be a little tough to begin with.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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A master's program is partly for the chance to raise your GPA, and since you're undergrad GPA was outside the states, the comparison may be a little tough to begin with.
So that is a bad thing? Sorry I don't follow. Just hoping to get a better idea on how my chances are since everyone here seems very experienced :)
 
May 4, 2018
25
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I just got back my GRE score: V161, Q157, AW4.5. I'm taking it again for a higher quant score. My question is should I consider taking the GRE Psychology test as well in October? My score from last year was 730/85th percentile. Will this be an important factor in admission and for future fellowship opportunities?

Thank you!

Hi everyone! I will be applying to clinical and counseling programs this Fall. Please see my stas and experiences below and let me know your genuine thoughts. Tough love needed LOL! Thank you!!! I will apply to 3-4 masters programs as backups, but I'm currently reconsidering applying to PhDs because I think my chances are slim...

Undergrad GPA: 3.85. I graduated in 3 years and currently on my gap year.

GRE: I haven't taken it yet, but I'll take it as many times as needed, so it won't likely to be an issue.

GRE Psych: 730/85th percentile. I will probably take it again in October.

LORs: I will ask two PhD mentors from research labs who know me well and are in the same field I want to pursue in grad school. I will ask my ABA employer who can speak highly about my therapy skills.

Research experience: I've worked in 6 labs since 1st year of college. I had experiences in almost every aspect of research, and I had built great relationships with two mentors. But I have no independent research experience or senior thesis.

Presentations/publications: I presented at one school conference (oral presentation, 1st author) and one national conference (poster, 2nd author). I'm currently helping one mentor write a manuscript and we plan to get it published, and I will likely to be 2nd or 3rd author. I'm also listed as the 4th author on two posters in a national conference.

Clinical experience: I volunteered at a psychiatric clinic for one year and interned at a pediatric clinic for six months. I'm currently working as an ABA therapist for kids with autism.
 

Sharewithme

2+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2017
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So that is a bad thing? Sorry I don't follow. Just hoping to get a better idea on how my chances are since everyone here seems very experienced :)
It's a GOOD thing. I was saying that going to a master's program could make sense because, logically, raising a GPA is a reason to do so. If the comparisons were hard to make, then they couldn't evaluate you negatively based on that, so that'd be one less thing to worry about.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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Psychology Student
It's a GOOD thing. I was saying that going to a master's program could make sense because, logically, raising a GPA is a reason to do so. If the comparisons were hard to make, then they couldn't evaluate you negatively based on that, so that'd be one less thing to worry about.
Thanks!!
 
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Aug 20, 2018
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Good afternoon everyone.

So I'm very new to this, but wanted to get some input into whether I have a chance to get accepted into a program or not. I'm currently active duty Air Force, and am separating in almost exactly a year. When I get out, I want to get into a PsyD program, but I don't have a background in psychology. I graduated college with a 2.8 GPA, but have since taken some classes at the local university and my GPA is around 3 now. I also took the GRE's and got a 153Q, 156V, and a 4.5 written.
I want to work with other vets who may be suffering from PTSD, but I realize my lack of a background in psychology is going to hinder me severely. Is there anything I can do, or that you would suggest to help me be a more competitive applicant?
Thanks in advance.
 

WisNeuro

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Good afternoon everyone.

So I'm very new to this, but wanted to get some input into whether I have a chance to get accepted into a program or not. I'm currently active duty Air Force, and am separating in almost exactly a year. When I get out, I want to get into a PsyD program, but I don't have a background in psychology. I graduated college with a 2.8 GPA, but have since taken some classes at the local university and my GPA is around 3 now. I also took the GRE's and got a 153Q, 156V, and a 4.5 written.
I want to work with other vets who may be suffering from PTSD, but I realize my lack of a background in psychology is going to hinder me severely. Is there anything I can do, or that you would suggest to help me be a more competitive applicant?
Thanks in advance.
The GPA will hurt, a lot. The GREs are ok, quant should be higher and verbal could be a touch higher, but not good enough to make up for the GPA and lack of any psych experience. To have a shot at reputable PsyDs or balanced clinical PhDs, your best bet is a master's program. You'll need to pretty much ace everything in the master's program and also choose one that gets you some research experience.

Additionally, if you are only interested in intervention/therapy type services, I would strongly consider social work, or master's level counseling degrees.
 
Aug 20, 2018
2
0
1
The GPA will hurt, a lot. The GREs are ok, quant should be higher and verbal could be a touch higher, but not good enough to make up for the GPA and lack of any psych experience. To have a shot at reputable PsyDs or balanced clinical PhDs, your best bet is a master's program. You'll need to pretty much ace everything in the master's program and also choose one that gets you some research experience.

Additionally, if you are only interested in intervention/therapy type services, I would strongly consider social work, or master's level counseling degrees.
Do you think that the military experience might help offset some of the damage created by the low GPA?
 

WisNeuro

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Do you think that the military experience might help offset some of the damage created by the low GPA?
Not when it is that low. You can get a small bump for that, but it won't offset big red flags. Once again, this is for reputable programs. The diploma mills (Argosy/Alliant/Albizu) will accept much lower, but you will pay a fortune for that degree and it will hurt your prospects at getting an accredited internship and many job opportunities in the future if you go that route.
 
Mar 27, 2018
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Hi all, as I'm getting ready (And anxious) for application season, I am looking into some more master's programs to add to my list of schools. I am planning on applying to MAPSS at U Chicago. It is a program specifically designed to help get you into a clinical psychology phd program later, are there any other reputable programs like that one?
 

psych.meout

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Hi all, as I'm getting ready (And anxious) for application season, I am looking into some more master's programs to add to my list of schools. I am planning on applying to MAPSS at U Chicago. It is a program specifically designed to help get you into a clinical psychology phd program later, are there any other reputable programs like that one?
I'd be somewhat less focused on this strategy (which seems more like marketing than anything) in favor of finding master's programs where you can do the kind of research that you want to continue studying in your doctoral program. E.g., If you're interested in language processing in autism, it's less compelling to faculty at doctoral programs that you received a master's degree from a program designed to get you into doctoral programs than it is that you formulated, implemented, and composed a thesis related to this topic under an investigator who is an expert in this area.

Remember, it's about fit, not simply that you can complete a master's degree. Unless you need to make up for a poor showing in undergrad, I'd recommend just getting more research experience applicable to your interests and fit with faculty.
 

jdawg2017

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If you are wanting to truly do a PhD in clinical, you should probably focus on research by either pursuing a research-oriented masters program or RAing for 2+ years. Lots of people RA to get some (limited) money and build experience, and they transition back into academic life just fine.

Getting an MSW or MA in counseling may speak to your clinical experiences, but not your passion for research. Most, but not all, reputable clinical PhD programs will emphasize the clinical-science side of things, where you are expected to be a great clinician but a leader in the field in your research area.

If you want to just practice, I would not advise pursing 6+ years to become licensed. You would not technically have the title "psychologist" in most states if you get a MSW or MA in counseling (the term therapist or social worker would be more appropriate legally), but you would be clinically practicing.
 

wtfook

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Hi everyone,

I was hoping to apply for PhD in Counseling Psychology this cycle, but I did NOT do well on my GRE enough to apply this fall (due to personal reasons)

I was thinking about getting a RA position post grad, but I do want to continue going to school AND do research in case I decide I want to get licensed with my masters and just practice instead. (And of course, I would prepare again for the GRE if I decide to apply for PhD programs afterwards)

The state I am in right now, has only one Masters in Counseling program, but we have TONS of Masters in Social Work program.

I was leaning more towards Masters in Clinical Social Work - because of the diverse background of training that a social work program would give me. I am hoping to become a psychologist that has a broader understanding of my client's environment, and I felt like an MSW would give me a good training in that aspect.

Question - Do you guys think the PhD admission committee will "care" if I either have a MA in Counseling or MSW? Or would they focus on my research experience more than anything else?
I don't know what state you live in, but it's possible to do research and get either an MSW or master's in counseling. You'd have to be getting a degree at an institution where there is a lot of research opportunities. For example, if you get a clinical master's or master's in counseling at the Teachers College (Columbia University), you'll have the opportunity to at least volunteer and research for many experts in the field due to the fact that both their clinical and counseling psych PhD programs are housed there. However, if you're at an institution where the MSW or counseling degree are being taught by faculty who are mainly clinically focused, you'll have to volunteer and research elsewhere or dig around the psych departments of the schools you're at for that research opportunity.

I got a master's in counseling while volunteering in a lab in my department because I'm older and I was worried if I didn't get into a PhD program I wouldn't have a viable degree with which to continue some kind of career I'd enjoy. It worked out as I got into a counseling doctoral program after I graduated and I'd still take that path again. HOWEVER, PhD programs (even counseling ones) do look heavily on research experience. They want to see that you've presented, published, made SOME kind of significant contribution to the labs you've been a part of. You need to have a clear focus of what you want to research and find faculty who share those interests. So if your undergraduate GPA is solid, you know you love research and want to get the doctorate, and are still in your early 20s, I'd do the RA route as it's WAY cheaper. Master's programs aren't funded after all.
 
Jul 22, 2018
2
0
1
Status
Psychology Student
What are my chances of being accepted into a Clinical Psych PhD program?

Undergraduate GPA: 3.45
Psychology major GPA: 3.39
Last 60 credits: 3.60

Graduate GPA: 3.95 (Master’s in Psychology with empirical thesis)

GRE: V 163, Q 158, AW 4.0, Psych 670

Research & Clinical Experience:
- Research Assistant @ VA Research Center (current position, will have been ~ 6 months in December): conducting studies that explore cognition in individuals with MTL lesions and individuals with PTSD. Will be first author on a manuscript that might be submitted by December.

- Empirical Master’s Thesis @ Master’s program (1 year): will be submitted for publication within the next month; used multilevel modeling to explore the long-term effects of trauma and resilience on cognitive functioning in adulthood.

- Clinical Research Coordinator @ Psychiatric Research Site (1.5 years): worked on clinical trials, focusing on MDD, anxiety disorders, and addictions. Conducted patient visits, administered psychological assessments and cognitive batteries, and managed data and regulatory aspects (i.e. data collection and entry, communication with CROs and IRB). Lead coordinator on a trial examining the efficacy of intranasal ketamine for treatment-resistant depression.

- Community Support Counselor @ Non-Profit Social Assistance Program (4 months): provided guidance and direct supports to individuals with severe mental illness living independently in the community.

- Research Assistant @ Undergrad, summer after senior year (2 months): language development in preschool-aged children. Collected/managed data.

- Research Assistant @ Undergrad, senior year (1 year): research project looking at the relationship between stress, faith and aging in older adults. Presented findings at departmental poster session.

- Research Project @ Undergrad, junior year (3 months): research project on prevalence and treatment options for co-occurring personality disorders and substance use disorders. Presented at departmental conference.

- Co-Facilitator @ Halfway house (3 months): volunteer position as part of junior year course; co-facilitated a psychoeducational group about relationships and conflict resolution.


LOR(s):
1. Advisor at Master’s program (thesis advisor & professor)
2. Director of current lab at the VA
3. PI at psychiatric research site
4. (if needed) Professor at Master’s program (2nd reader for thesis & professor for 1 upper level & 2 masters level stats courses)


Research interests: will be applying to programs that have faculty members studying trauma/PTSD/anxiety.

A couple of questions:
1. When assessing my chances of being accepted, which GPA should I compare to the posted average GPA of accepted students for each school? If I use my Master’s GPA, I exceed most averages. If I use my Undergrad GPA, I am a bit below most of the averages. I’m tempted to just average the two GPAs and use that as a guide, but I am wondering if anyone has other suggestions.

2. Does my selection of letter-writers make sense? Writer #3 would write me a good letter, however it would be related to the work I did as a coordinator at a psychiatric research site. Writer #4 was the 2nd reader on my thesis and can attest to my abilities in three statistics courses, two that were required for the Master’s program and one upper level multivariate course that I elected to take. I received a 4.0 in all three courses, learned a lot of R, and was able to use multivariate analyses in R for my thesis. While this writer already agreed to write me a letter, I wasn’t able to assess how good the letter would be. Which would be a better choice as my third letter writer (as most programs ask for only 3)?
 

wtfook

2+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2015
182
108
81
Status
Psychology Student
What are my chances of being accepted into a Clinical Psych PhD program?

Undergraduate GPA: 3.45
Psychology major GPA: 3.39
Last 60 credits: 3.60

Graduate GPA: 3.95 (Master’s in Psychology with empirical thesis)

GRE: V 163, Q 158, AW 4.0, Psych 670

Research & Clinical Experience:
- Research Assistant @ VA Research Center (current position, will have been ~ 6 months in December): conducting studies that explore cognition in individuals with MTL lesions and individuals with PTSD. Will be first author on a manuscript that might be submitted by December.

- Empirical Master’s Thesis @ Master’s program (1 year): will be submitted for publication within the next month; used multilevel modeling to explore the long-term effects of trauma and resilience on cognitive functioning in adulthood.

- Clinical Research Coordinator @ Psychiatric Research Site (1.5 years): worked on clinical trials, focusing on MDD, anxiety disorders, and addictions. Conducted patient visits, administered psychological assessments and cognitive batteries, and managed data and regulatory aspects (i.e. data collection and entry, communication with CROs and IRB). Lead coordinator on a trial examining the efficacy of intranasal ketamine for treatment-resistant depression.

- Community Support Counselor @ Non-Profit Social Assistance Program (4 months): provided guidance and direct supports to individuals with severe mental illness living independently in the community.

- Research Assistant @ Undergrad, summer after senior year (2 months): language development in preschool-aged children. Collected/managed data.

- Research Assistant @ Undergrad, senior year (1 year): research project looking at the relationship between stress, faith and aging in older adults. Presented findings at departmental poster session.

- Research Project @ Undergrad, junior year (3 months): research project on prevalence and treatment options for co-occurring personality disorders and substance use disorders. Presented at departmental conference.

- Co-Facilitator @ Halfway house (3 months): volunteer position as part of junior year course; co-facilitated a psychoeducational group about relationships and conflict resolution.


LOR(s):
1. Advisor at Master’s program (thesis advisor & professor)
2. Director of current lab at the VA
3. PI at psychiatric research site
4. (if needed) Professor at Master’s program (2nd reader for thesis & professor for 1 upper level & 2 masters level stats courses)


Research interests: will be applying to programs that have faculty members studying trauma/PTSD/anxiety.

A couple of questions:
1. When assessing my chances of being accepted, which GPA should I compare to the posted average GPA of accepted students for each school? If I use my Master’s GPA, I exceed most averages. If I use my Undergrad GPA, I am a bit below most of the averages. I’m tempted to just average the two GPAs and use that as a guide, but I am wondering if anyone has other suggestions.

2. Does my selection of letter-writers make sense? Writer #3 would write me a good letter, however it would be related to the work I did as a coordinator at a psychiatric research site. Writer #4 was the 2nd reader on my thesis and can attest to my abilities in three statistics courses, two that were required for the Master’s program and one upper level multivariate course that I elected to take. I received a 4.0 in all three courses, learned a lot of R, and was able to use multivariate analyses in R for my thesis. While this writer already agreed to write me a letter, I wasn’t able to assess how good the letter would be. Which would be a better choice as my third letter writer (as most programs ask for only 3)?
1. The averages you see on those stats are almost always undergraduate GPAs exclusively. So you should use your undergraduate GPA to compare rather than averaging GPAs. However, they will see that despite your lower than average undergrad GPA, you have a solid master's GPA in psych. So I think you'll be fine.

2. This is harder for me to say. The first one for sure as you want a good academic rec. Then you want someone who can speak to your research potential. So whoever can do that best for you, go with that one. As for the 3rd one, I would lean more toward someone who can attest to your academic skills considering your lower undergrad GPA. However, if you're worried about that person, you could always suggest some things they should be sure to include on the rec letter. Perhaps other people have some other opinions.
 
Jul 22, 2018
2
0
1
Status
Psychology Student
1. The averages you see on those stats are almost always undergraduate GPAs exclusively. So you should use your undergraduate GPA to compare rather than averaging GPAs. However, they will see that despite your lower than average undergrad GPA, you have a solid master's GPA in psych. So I think you'll be fine.

2. This is harder for me to say. The first one for sure as you want a good academic rec. Then you want someone who can speak to your research potential. So whoever can do that best for you, go with that one. As for the 3rd one, I would lean more toward someone who can attest to your academic skills considering your lower undergrad GPA. However, if you're worried about that person, you could always suggest some things they should be sure to include on the rec letter. Perhaps other people have some other opinions.
That's good to know about the GPAs. Also, I appreciate your insight regarding the letters of recommendation. I think you're right, it makes sense to choose someone who can attest to my academic skills to help offset my undergraduate GPA. Thanks for your response!

Sent from my LGUS997 using SDN mobile
 
Mar 9, 2018
4
0
1
Status
Pre-Psychology
I've posted here asking for advice before, but have updated my profile and have some new questions.

5.5 years of research experience in a few different areas, with 1.5 as a full-time lab manager. Currently working in a cognitive neuroscience lab.

1 first authorship, two middle authorships, and a number of posters and presentations, mostly in cognitive neuroscience. Only clinical experience is a honors thesis (1 year in that lab).

GPA 3.9
GRE 170V/159Q/6.0W, psychology GRE 800

No clinical experience: I tried to volunteer at a hotline this spring and summer, but internal issues meant I never took any calls. Now looking into a 2nd crisis line, but won't have very much experience at all by the deadline.

One of my old PIs strongly suggested I consider neuroscience PhD programs instead, given my profile. Most labs fitting my interests (dementia, aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and the intersection of neuropsychology and neuroimaging) are housed in clinical programs, and I've been really missing the human aspect in my current lab.

Am I a viable candidate for clinical programs?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

psych.meout

2+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2015
1,556
897
81
Status
Pre-Psychology
I've posted here asking for advice before, but have updated my profile and have some new questions.

5.5 years of research experience in a few different areas, with 1.5 as a full-time lab manager. Currently working in a cognitive neuroscience lab.

1 first authorship, two middle authorships, and a number of posters and presentations, mostly in cognitive neuroscience. Only clinical experience is a honors thesis (1 year in that lab).

GPA 3.9
GRE 170V/159Q/6.0W, psychology GRE 800

No clinical experience: I tried to volunteer at a hotline this spring and summer, but internal issues meant I never took any calls. Now looking into a 2nd crisis line, but won't have very much experience at all by the deadline.

One of my old PIs strongly suggested I consider neuroscience PhD programs instead, given my profile. Most labs fitting my interests (dementia, aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and the intersection of neuropsychology and neuroimaging) are housed in clinical programs, and I've been really missing the human aspect in my current lab.

Am I a viable candidate for clinical programs?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
Well, what do you want to do for a career, because neuroscience PhDs are different from clinical doctorates. The former don't lead to licensure like the latter do, which means that their career trajectories can be quite different. If you want to do any clinical work (not research on clinical populations or topics), the neuroscience PhD isn't going to get you there.
 
Mar 9, 2018
4
0
1
Status
Pre-Psychology
Well, what do you want to do for a career, because neuroscience PhDs are different from clinical doctorates. The former don't lead to licensure like the latter do, which means that their career trajectories can be quite different. If you want to do any clinical work (not research on clinical populations or topics), the neuroscience PhD isn't going to get you there.
Thanks for the reply! I want to pursue a clinical career while continuing to do research, hence my original interest in clinical doctorates. I’m particularly interested in doing neuropsychological assessment and potentially collaborating with MDs and treatment teams. A neuroscience PhD would not help me with my career goals.

My main concern is that my profile as an applicant apparently doesn’t really reflect this, hence my old PI’s advice. As an undergrad I made some odd course choices and ended up with a heavily neuroscience-oriented CV. I’m worried, essentially, that I don’t really look like a good neuropsych candidate because I’ve done a lot of other things and haven’t got much hands-on clinical experience.
 

psych.meout

2+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2015
1,556
897
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Status
Pre-Psychology
Thanks for the reply! I want to pursue a clinical career while continuing to do research, hence my original interest in clinical doctorates. I’m particularly interested in doing neuropsychological assessment and potentially collaborating with MDs and treatment teams. A neuroscience PhD would not help me with my career goals.

My main concern is that my profile as an applicant apparently doesn’t really reflect this, hence my old PI’s advice. As an undergrad I made some odd course choices and ended up with a heavily neuroscience-oriented CV. I’m worried, essentially, that I don’t really look like a good neuropsych candidate because I’ve done a lot of other things and haven’t got much hands-on clinical experience.
Honestly, your PI is giving you bad advice. Your choice in degree should be based on the career you want, not what experience you already have. If you are deficient in certain areas, the goal should not be to settle with a degree and career you don't want. Instead, you should get supplementary experience to fill in any gaps and then pursue the degree and career you actually want.

In your particular case, I wouldn't worry about the lack of clinical experience. Most applicants for clinical programs don't have substantial clinical experience without already having graduate degrees, because you simply aren't qualified to get most jobs with that level of experience with just a bachelor's degree. You have a substantial research background in neuroscience, which is what many neuropsych faculty are looking for. I don't think you really need clinical experience with what you've posted here, but if you want to be thorough about it, look for psychometrist positions. They pay fairly well, provide great neuropsych experience, and are obtainable with just a bachelor's degree.
 
Mar 9, 2018
4
0
1
Status
Pre-Psychology
Honestly, your PI is giving you bad advice. Your choice in degree should be based on the career you want, not what experience you already have. If you are deficient in certain areas, the goal should not be to settle with a degree and career you don't want. Instead, you should get supplementary experience to fill in any gaps and then pursue the degree and career you actually want.
Thanks again for your time and for the reassuring answer :)

To clarify how much experience I have (or don’t), I never took a single call for the hotline I tried to work with from April-July. They were going through some internal reorganization at the time and a lot of balls seemingly got dropped. Some of the schools I’m looking at specifically request a paragraph or 2 about clinical experience in the SOP; should I take this as a strong indicator these schools aren’t a good fit for me?

Last night my current PI gently discouraged me from trying to get any real clinical experience at all for this fall’s application round. They’re probably right that it would look naive and desperate (my words), but I’m worried I’ve painted myself completely into a corner since I have functionally zero experience.

With these clarifications, do I still sound like a good candidate for this application round?
 
Oct 14, 2018
26
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daughter is coming from Penn State - undergrad Psychology degree.
3.5 GPA has not taken GRE yet. Wants to do a Psy D program
money not an issue.
how difficult are these programs to get into?
Should she apply to many schools?
Apply to some Masters Programs as a back up plan?
 

Justanothergrad

Counseling Psychologist
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2013
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daughter is coming from Penn State - undergrad Psychology degree.
3.5 GPA has not taken GRE yet. Wants to do a Psy D program
money not an issue.
how difficult are these programs to get into?
Should she apply to many schools?
Apply to some Masters Programs as a back up plan?
The best thing you can do for your daughter
1. Encourage her to be on here asking questions and taking note of the answers rather than you
2. Encourage her to figure out how to be involved in research, including taking a gap year if needed, in order to get into competitive funded programs that produce better outcomes. This is the critical component to training in psychology and any steps to help her with this will pay off 10-fold in her professional skills, professional opportunities, and personal satisfaction with training. I can't underscore how bad poor training is.
3. Encourage her to be on here asking questions and taking note of the answers rather than you.

Also see my answer below.
Bad training means worse job prospects. There are numerous threads on here about these programs and other PsyD programs. You are better to help support her for a year while she is volunteering in a lab and then applies to a funded programs with good training, if that is what makes her not competitive now. This is cheaper in the long run and better for career training. Programs that are easy to get into are easy to get into for a reason- no one wants to go.

You should encourage your daughter to do this research herself as well. I suspect she does not have a strong grasp of the difference between PsyD and PhD, nor does she likely understand the risks associated with poor training. Knowing how to apply and what it means is critical to ensuring that you (not someone you trust) knows the field you are trying to devote your professional life to.
 

JoePianist

2+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2014
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Psychology Student
Thanks again for your time and for the reassuring answer :)

To clarify how much experience I have (or don’t), I never took a single call for the hotline I tried to work with from April-July. They were going through some internal reorganization at the time and a lot of balls seemingly got dropped. Some of the schools I’m looking at specifically request a paragraph or 2 about clinical experience in the SOP; should I take this as a strong indicator these schools aren’t a good fit for me?

Last night my current PI gently discouraged me from trying to get any real clinical experience at all for this fall’s application round. They’re probably right that it would look naive and desperate (my words), but I’m worried I’ve painted myself completely into a corner since I have functionally zero experience.

With these clarifications, do I still sound like a good candidate for this application round?
Yes. Clinical experience really don't weigh as much as research experience for admission to doctoral Clinical Psychology programs. Your scores are stellar and your research experience is plenty. Don't stress too much. :cool:
 
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wtfook

2+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2015
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Psychology Student
Thanks again for your time and for the reassuring answer :)

To clarify how much experience I have (or don’t), I never took a single call for the hotline I tried to work with from April-July. They were going through some internal reorganization at the time and a lot of balls seemingly got dropped. Some of the schools I’m looking at specifically request a paragraph or 2 about clinical experience in the SOP; should I take this as a strong indicator these schools aren’t a good fit for me?

Last night my current PI gently discouraged me from trying to get any real clinical experience at all for this fall’s application round. They’re probably right that it would look naive and desperate (my words), but I’m worried I’ve painted myself completely into a corner since I have functionally zero experience.

With these clarifications, do I still sound like a good candidate for this application round?
When I interviewed at clinical programs, many people outright stated they don't care about clinical experience. When you start your clinical training in a PhD program, almost everyone assumes by default that you have never been in a space with a client before. They might ask you what experience you have with such and such population and it can be helpful to have worked with people to some clinical capacity, but clinical programs especially assume they're building your clinical skills from the ground up. It is infinitely more a danger to not have any research experience. Since you have plenty of research experience and even some publications, you're fine. You want your research experience to at least be tangentially related to the research you want to do in the future, which is also helpful.

Honestly, the only thing you should REALLY be focusing on rather than stressing over your lack of clinical experience, is what specifically you would like to focus your research on in a doctoral program and which advisors in which programs you'd like to apply to work with based on those interests. Your acceptance into a clinical program will depend WAY more on the fit you have with an advisor than on whatever clinical experience you'll be able to amass between now and next year when interviews start coming in.

As a side note, it's probably good to relax a bit. It's great that you're passionate about the work and really want to succeed, but sometimes being too critical of your experiences and finding holes where there are none in your qualifications can reflect in your performance at interviews. It's good to find a balance between realistic criticism of your qualifications and recognizing your strengths. If you come off too high strung at an interview, sometimes people will wonder about your ability to handle a significantly more stressful doctoral environment. It's totally fine to be worried but also your stats look great. You seem to have a strong chance of getting in somewhere so long as you pick a geographically diverse range of schools with advisors who fit your interests. But also if it doesn't work out this year it really is fine. It's actually quite normal to apply a couple times before getting in, and it really says nothing about your ability to succeed in a doctoral program.
 
Last edited:
Oct 19, 2018
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Hi everyone, I'm applying for Fall of 2019 straight from undergrad. BS in Psych, will be graduating Summa Cum Laude.

GPA: 3.81, psychology GPA: 3.94
GRE: 154V and 149Q

Research experience: 3 years of research experience (started my first semester freshman year) 5 labs. All research positions have been for at least 1 year. I also have lab manager experience and am currently working on an independent project that I managed to get a grant for. None of my research has been low level (data entry). I have a balance between quantitative research and qualitative research.

-I've presented two posters (one at a national conference and won an award for my presentation), three posters with my name on it.
-I have one first author publication in a high impact, top 10 journal. In November I'll be presenting another poster and in the works of writing another publication.

Awards:
-Research award from my department.
-Poster presentation award

Clinical experience:
-I have a certification in the interdisciplinary assessment and treatment of neurological patients where I worked with a team of healthcare graduates (I represented clinical psychology) where we had a patient and had to assess and develop a treatment plan.

-I have 3 strong diverse letters of recommendation.

-I know my GRE's are the weak point in my application, but I am hoping my research experience and GPA can overlook this aspect. I do have advanced math and statistics coursework. I received A's in Calculus I , Psychological Statistics, Advanced Research Design and Advanced Research Statistics I. As well as A's in quantitative related fields such as Programming Abstractions, Healthcare Epidemiology and Economics.
 

psych.meout

2+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2015
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Pre-Psychology
Hi everyone, I'm applying for Fall of 2019 straight from undergrad. BS in Psych, will be graduating Summa Cum Laude.

GPA: 3.81, psychology GPA: 3.94
GRE: 154V and 149Q

Research experience: 3 years of research experience (started my first semester freshman year) 5 labs. All research positions have been for at least 1 year. I also have lab manager experience and am currently working on an independent project that I managed to get a grant for. None of my research has been low level (data entry). I have a balance between quantitative research and qualitative research.

-I've presented two posters (one at a national conference and won an award for my presentation), three posters with my name on it.
-I have one first author publication in a high impact, top 10 journal. In November I'll be presenting another poster and in the works of writing another publication.

Awards:
-Research award from my department.
-Poster presentation award

Clinical experience:
-I have a certification in the interdisciplinary assessment and treatment of neurological patients where I worked with a team of healthcare graduates (I represented clinical psychology) where we had a patient and had to assess and develop a treatment plan.

-I have 3 strong diverse letters of recommendation.

-I know my GRE's are the weak point in my application, but I am hoping my research experience and GPA can overlook this aspect. I do have advanced math and statistics coursework. I received A's in Calculus I , Psychological Statistics, Advanced Research Design and Advanced Research Statistics I. As well as A's in quantitative related fields such as Programming Abstractions, Healthcare Epidemiology and Economics.
Your stats are more than competitive and you shouldn't worry about some middling GRE scores with the rest of your resume. Realistically, what would hold you back are the things you can easily control from here. Just make sure your personal statement is stellar and avoids the kisses of death, don't geographically restrict your applications, make sure your recommenders write great letters and get them in on time, make sure you're applying to programs and POIs with excellent fit, and prep well for interviews.
 
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wtfook

2+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2015
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Your stats are more than competitive and you shouldn't worry about some middling GRE scores with the rest of your resume. Realistically, what would hold you back are the things you can easily control from here. Just make sure your personal statement is stellar and avoids the kisses of death, don't geographically restrict your applications, make sure your recommenders write great letters and get them in on time, make sure you're applying to programs and POIs with excellent fit, and prep well for interviews.
I don't know. A 149Q seems pretty low. What is typically the screening score for the GRE? I think mid 150s is generally ok so long as everything else is fine (154V is probably passable), but some programs might screen out a 149Q. I would recommend the OP try and take the test again but that might not happen in time for this round of applications. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to apply this year and see.
 
Oct 20, 2018
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Okay, so I have been reviewing the "WAMC" thread for a few days now. I want to see if I have any kind of chance at the moment. I want to note my scores V:144, Qual: 142, writing 3.0. I hold a B.S in Criminal Justice, minor in Psych (GPA 3.65); MS in Criminal Justice (GPA. 3.84). I also have am currently enrolled in a MS in Clinical mental health counseling, current GPA 3.63. I took the GRE one time in 2014 and basically did not study for it at all. I was working full-time, taking care of my ill father, who passed in 2017 and applying to the MS program for CJ. I just took the GRE because my school told me I needed to. I think I took it about two or three weeks after I was told I had to. I know I have to retake the GRE to be considered for "reliable" Ph.D. or Psy.D programs.

I know my scores are well embarrassing compared to others who have posted on here. I do not have basically any research experience; however, I have what you would call extensive work experience. I have work for a County Correctional facility as a correctional officer (CO) for two years while in school; then a Federal Prison as a CO for 6 months. I then obtained a state job as a police officer. My father ended up dying last year and I had to resign from my job because I was basically a mess and could not do such a high-stress job with the passing of my father. I worked 6 hrs away, the family had to come first at that time

Honestly, I have a few specific interests one is to work at a county, state or federal jail or prison as a psychologist. I have the Masters and Bachelors in CJ, so I think with the psych background it would work out perfectly. I also have aspirations to teach at a college somewhere (community college or small or large university), I do not have children, or a significant other to hold me back geographically. I have identified a few schools and I think they would be what is considered the "lower" to "lowest" tier of Psy.D and Ph.D. schools in counseling psych. I am realistic and believe I will have to take the GRE just because of the 5-year rule for test scores. I am just wondering if I can get in anywhere with my work experience, CURRENT GRE scores, and High GPA. I have gotten another job in engineering until I am done with my current MS program, anticipated graduation is less than eight weeks away!

-Marshall University (#1 choice)
-Chicago School of Professional Psychology
-Indiana State University
-Adler School of Professional Psychology
-Alliant International University -Fresno, CA (Ph.D.)
-California Lutheran University
-Marywood University
-Spalding University

I know this is not an inspiring list, but based on my scores this is what I have come up with. If anyone has other suggestions for program that would be greatly appreciated. I basically am only striving for a "accreediated" APA program and I can work with it from there. Anything would be greatly appreciated.

I also would appreciate GRE tips people might have I plan on re-taking the GRE in December of this year and will actually be studying for it this time (I know terrible that I did not do this before) I kind of only took the GRE before because it was required. I now needless to say understand the importance of the GRE and the way people actually need to study and prep for the test.
 

wtfook

2+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2015
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Psychology Student
Okay, so I have been reviewing the "WAMC" thread for a few days now. I want to see if I have any kind of chance at the moment. I want to note my scores V:144, Qual: 142, writing 3.0. I hold a B.S in Criminal Justice, minor in Psych (GPA 3.65); MS in Criminal Justice (GPA. 3.84). I also have am currently enrolled in a MS in Clinical mental health counseling, current GPA 3.63. I took the GRE one time in 2014 and basically did not study for it at all. I was working full-time, taking care of my ill father, who passed in 2017 and applying to the MS program for CJ. I just took the GRE because my school told me I needed to. I think I took it about two or three weeks after I was told I had to. I know I have to retake the GRE to be considered for "reliable" Ph.D. or Psy.D programs.

I know my scores are well embarrassing compared to others who have posted on here. I do not have basically any research experience; however, I have what you would call extensive work experience. I have work for a County Correctional facility as a correctional officer (CO) for two years while in school; then a Federal Prison as a CO for 6 months. I then obtained a state job as a police officer. My father ended up dying last year and I had to resign from my job because I was basically a mess and could not do such a high-stress job with the passing of my father. I worked 6 hrs away, the family had to come first at that time

Honestly, I have a few specific interests one is to work at a county, state or federal jail or prison as a psychologist. I have the Masters and Bachelors in CJ, so I think with the psych background it would work out perfectly. I also have aspirations to teach at a college somewhere (community college or small or large university), I do not have children, or a significant other to hold me back geographically. I have identified a few schools and I think they would be what is considered the "lower" to "lowest" tier of Psy.D and Ph.D. schools in counseling psych. I am realistic and believe I will have to take the GRE just because of the 5-year rule for test scores. I am just wondering if I can get in anywhere with my work experience, CURRENT GRE scores, and High GPA. I have gotten another job in engineering until I am done with my current MS program, anticipated graduation is less than eight weeks away!

-Marshall University (#1 choice)
-Chicago School of Professional Psychology
-Indiana State University
-Adler School of Professional Psychology
-Alliant International University -Fresno, CA (Ph.D.)
-California Lutheran University
-Marywood University
-Spalding University

I know this is not an inspiring list, but based on my scores this is what I have come up with. If anyone has other suggestions for program that would be greatly appreciated. I basically am only striving for a "accreediated" APA program and I can work with it from there. Anything would be greatly appreciated.

I also would appreciate GRE tips people might have I plan on re-taking the GRE in December of this year and will actually be studying for it this time (I know terrible that I did not do this before) I kind of only took the GRE before because it was required. I now needless to say understand the importance of the GRE and the way people actually need to study and prep for the test.
What exactly is it that you want to do in these facilities? Because if your ultimate goal is to practice therapy, you can do that with an MSW or Master's in Mental Health Counseling. You don't actually need a doctorate. You can also teach with those degrees as well. In my master's in counseling program, we had adjunct master's level instructors. You DEFINITELY can teach adjunct with a master's at a community college. Doctorates require a lot of research and if you're not that interested in research, you can honestly achieve your career goals for a lot less money and time.
 
Oct 20, 2018
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What exactly is it that you want to do in these facilities? Because if your ultimate goal is to practice therapy, you can do that with an MSW or Masters in Mental Health Counseling. You don't actually need a doctorate. You can also teach with those degrees as well. In my master's in counseling program, we had adjunct master's level instructors. You DEFINITELY can teach adjunct with a master's at a community college. Doctorates require a lot of research and if you're not that interested in research, you can honestly achieve your career goals for a lot less money and time.
So, yes you are right I basically want to do therapy. Basically, work at a correctional facility and use it as a good basics to gain experience, along with the required hours to get my LPC. I will be done with the Mental Health Counseling degree this year and wanted to see if I should waste any time trying to apply for this cycle of Ph.D. programs. The main reason I would want to get a doctorate is to try and get a tenure-track position somewhere. I assume that I could do this with a Masters degree, but thinking that a "professional" Psy.D school is the realistic goal if I want to do this. Honestly, I think I am just weighing my options to see if I should retake the GRE and if it would even be worth it.
 

Justanothergrad

Counseling Psychologist
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Mar 2, 2013
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So, yes you are right I basically want to do therapy. Basically, work at a correctional facility and use it as a good basics to gain experience, along with the required hours to get my LPC. I will be done with the Mental Health Counseling degree this year and wanted to see if I should waste any time trying to apply for this cycle of Ph.D. programs. The main reason I would want to get a doctorate is to try and get a tenure-track position somewhere. I assume that I could do this with a Masters degree, but thinking that a "professional" Psy.D school is the realistic goal if I want to do this. Honestly, I think I am just weighing my options to see if I should retake the GRE and if it would even be worth it.
A masters degree isn't going to get you a tenure-track position. A PsyD is not the ideal either. Although it's possible with a PsyD, most TT have a PhD. This is because part of the job is publication and most PsyD programs exclude that as part of their training. I don't hire an accountant who has never done taxes to do mine. Same reason they don't hire folks without research experience. If you can get one, it will be at a small liberal arts school where you aren't expected to do as much research. You will still have difficulties there even without research.
 

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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The main reason I would want to get a doctorate is to try and get a tenure-track position somewhere. I assume that I could do this with a Masters degree, but thinking that a "professional" Psy.D school is the realistic goal if I want to do this. Honestly, I think I am just weighing my options to see if I should retake the GRE and if it would even be worth it.
You could teach at some colleges with a master's degree, but only as an adjunct (low pay, no job security, no benefits). To get a college or uni tenure-track position you will be at a real disadvantage with a PsyD.

Honestly, I have a few specific interests one is to work at a county, state or federal jail or prison as a psychologist. I have the Masters and Bachelors in CJ, so I think with the psych background it would work out perfectly. I also have aspirations to teach at a college somewhere (community college or small or large university), I do not have children, or a significant other to hold me back geographically.
Going back to your earlier post, it would be helpful to think about what you would most like to do with 75-80% of your working hours as a psychologist. It would be hard to hold a TT job and a position as a psychologist in a correctional setting simultaneously (most of these jobs will be full time). You could work as a psychologist and adjunct a course on the side, though - much more doable. Conversely, you could hold a full time faculty job and have a small private practice on the side (though you would need to focus on attracting a clientele that is not incarcerated).