Nov 26, 2018
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More research experience and/or products would be ideal. A publication or a presentation at a national conference would be nice to have on your CV. Local/regional conferences are fine but national-level presentations are viewed more favorably. However, I see no reason not to apply this fall, assuming you do well on the GRE and can secure strong letters of recommendation. Questions:

1. Would it be feasible in the meantime to submit an abstract to a national conference that people in your field regularly attend?
2. Does your mentor know anyone at these institutions, or elsewhere? If so, could they facilitate an introduction (eg, at a conference)?
Thank you for the advice! I've been looking up conferences and I think I'm going to apply to present a poster at this year's Association for Psychological Sciences. The other conference that I planned to attend was ABRCMS. I'm not sure if that counts as a national conference. Before then I'll talk to my mentors about their connections to the institutions that I wish to attend and hopefully, they'll be able to attend APS with me.

I'm also going to make contact with professors where I'm thinking of applying and set up interviews with them before the application period begins. It might be expensive traveling to different universities meeting people, but I think it'll be worth it.
 

MamaPhD

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The other conference that I planned to attend was ABRCMS. I'm not sure if that counts as a national conference. Before then I'll talk to my mentors about their connections to the institutions that I wish to attend and hopefully, they'll be able to attend APS with me.
I don't know what ABRCMS is. I would talk with your mentors about where you are most likely to have an opportunity stand out to potential future mentors.

I'm also going to make contact with professors where I'm thinking of applying and set up interviews with them before the application period begins. It might be expensive traveling to different universities meeting people, but I think it'll be worth it.
I would advise against this. You are unlikely to get many takers anyway.
 

psych.meout

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I'm also going to make contact with professors where I'm thinking of applying and set up interviews with them before the application period begins. It might be expensive traveling to different universities meeting people, but I think it'll be worth it.
Don't do this. Not only will there not be many takers on your offer to meet up, you may actually hurt your chances if someone finds this behavior to be unprofessional or presumptuous.
 
Nov 26, 2018
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Don't do this. Not only will there not be many takers on your offer to meet up, you may actually hurt your chances if someone finds this behavior to be unprofessional or presumptuous.
Oh, I didn't actually mean interviews, I'm sorry I used the wrong term. I mean just asking if I could meet with them to talk about their research and the university. I will read their publications so I have questions ready and ask about the field of sexuality research (my research interest) in general and ask about other researcher's whose work I might be interested in. When I email them I will try to present myself as a student who just wants to learn rather than one who's just concerned with applying to their grad program, in fact, something they say might make me no longer interested in that particular program, who knows. That's why I want to do this before the application period. I've heard of people who have done this and they've had good results.
 
Dec 6, 2018
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Oh, I didn't actually mean interviews, I'm sorry I used the wrong term. I mean just asking if I could meet with them to talk about their research and the university. I will read their publications so I have questions ready and ask about the field of sexuality research (my research interest) in general and ask about other researcher's whose work I might be interested in. When I email them I will try to present myself as a student who just wants to learn rather than one who's just concerned with applying to their grad program, in fact, something they say might make me no longer interested in that particular program, who knows. That's why I want to do this before the application period. I've heard of people who have done this and they've had good results.
Contacting a professor before hand can work out well, even if you only express interest in their work and ask if they are accepting any students. In fact, my advisor usually only invites those who do so for interviews.

I echo others in here - it would be weird to travel to see all of these people in person when a few questions over email would do the trick. In this process, anything that makes you look weird is not going to help you. Any sign of poor judgement likely will sink you. You should also remember these folks are usually pretty smart and have been around the block once or twice - trying to be tricky will only make you look bad.
 
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jdawg2017

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Oh, I didn't actually mean interviews, I'm sorry I used the wrong term. I mean just asking if I could meet with them to talk about their research and the university. I will read their publications so I have questions ready and ask about the field of sexuality research (my research interest) in general and ask about other researcher's whose work I might be interested in. When I email them I will try to present myself as a student who just wants to learn rather than one who's just concerned with applying to their grad program, in fact, something they say might make me no longer interested in that particular program, who knows. That's why I want to do this before the application period. I've heard of people who have done this and they've had good results.
Not sure who you heard this from, but this is not a thing to do and would make you look annoying and assuming to 99% of PIs out there. Imagine being a PI who is teaching, conducting research, mentoring their current students, trying to have a personal/family life. Talking to random people (i.e., you) about their papers and the field of sexuality is not gonna be high on their list of things to do.

The only scenario in which talking to a PI you might have interesting in working with in the future is a) at a poster or talk at a conference you are both attending or b) sending a brief email in the early fall of the application period you are applying in to introduce yourself and inquire about them taking students. Otherwise, it is highly unadvisable.
 
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Dec 11, 2018
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Hi guys!

I'm currently a sophomore undergrad and recently just switched out of pre-med to walk the PsyD path. It was too late for me to drop courses, but my current GPA is a 3.25 and will probably drop to around a 3.1 this semester due to the lack of preparation for my ochem final :cryi:

Considering that I am a sophomore, and considering that up until now I have taken mostly psych classes, what are the realistic chances of me pursuing a career in Psychology with a PsyD? Will I be able to get into a PsyD program with a 3.3 GPA by the time I graduate (considering worst case scenario if I am not able to bring it up any higher due to failing one class)?

Thanks! Any feedback or information at all would be super appreciated!
 

WisNeuro

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Expand your search to Phd programs, narrow it to fully funded Phd/PsyD programs with good outcome data. Do very well in the rest of your classes in the next two years. Try to get involved in research labs at your university soon. Do well on the GRE (>80th%). Do that and you should be ok.
 
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MamaPhD

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Oh, I didn't actually mean interviews, I'm sorry I used the wrong term. I mean just asking if I could meet with them to talk about their research and the university. I will read their publications so I have questions ready and ask about the field of sexuality research (my research interest) in general and ask about other researcher's whose work I might be interested in. When I email them I will try to present myself as a student who just wants to learn rather than one who's just concerned with applying to their grad program, in fact, something they say might make me no longer interested in that particular program, who knows. That's why I want to do this before the application period. I've heard of people who have done this and they've had good results.
Still, no. You may be able to low-key stalk (some) PIs at national conferences (for example, at a poster session or a social hour), and even then you need to do this with tact. It is over the top to go visit potential PIs on their campuses. You got some bad advice. Generally speaking, this will not help you stand out in a good way.

Not sure who you heard this from, but this is not a thing to do and would make you look annoying and assuming to 99% of PIs out there. Imagine being a PI who is teaching, conducting research, mentoring their current students, trying to have a personal/family life. Talking to random people (i.e., you) about their papers and the field of sexuality is not gonna be high on their list of things to do.
This. Respect people's time and keep things in perspective. Remember it's easy enough for most faculty to get qualified grad school applicants through the usual channels. Stand out on paper or not at all.
 
Nov 26, 2018
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Still, no. You may be able to low-key stalk (some) PIs at national conferences (for example, at a poster session or a social hour), and even then you need to do this with tact. It is over the top to go visit potential PIs on their campuses. You got some bad advice. Generally speaking, this will not help you stand out in a good way.



This. Respect people's time and keep things in perspective. Remember it's easy enough for most faculty to get qualified grad school applicants through the usual channels. Stand out on paper or not at all.
I understand, thank you everyone for letting me know that I was thinking about this in the wrong way.
 
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I got the idea because I read in this guy's story at the webpage howigotintostanford (you'll have to search that if you want to see; the forum won't let me post links), that meeting with professors beforehand really gave him a leg up in the application process and thought I could do that as well.
 
Dec 11, 2018
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Expand your search to Phd programs, narrow it to fully funded Phd/PsyD programs with good outcome data. Do very well in the rest of your classes in the next two years. Try to get involved in research labs at your university soon. Do well on the GRE (>80th%). Do that and you should be ok.
Thank you for your reply! I am currently in a research lab, but it is in a cognitive lab. Would it be an issue if I want to pursue clinical but do research in a cognitive lab? Thanks!
 

WisNeuro

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Thank you for your reply! I am currently in a research lab, but it is in a cognitive lab. Would it be an issue if I want to pursue clinical but do research in a cognitive lab? Thanks!
Not really, getting a quality experience at how research with human subjects is done is key. If you can find a clinical lab in the next couple of years to get some more experience in a different area, that'd be best, but a cog lab could work well, especially if you're thinking of a similar area (e.g., neuropsych).
 
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Jan 19, 2019
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I go to a top ten undergrad institution, and am interested in getting a PhD in Clinical Psych. My GPA is around 3.4 (3.35, but should be able to hit 3.4 after this upcoming semester), and I have no psychology classes under my belt. I am graduating this May and don't have time to take any psych classes. As a philosophy major with financial industry experience, I was originally aiming to work in finance and have work experience in consulting and venture capital, but due to some recent life events I've decided I want to help people for a living and that clinical psychology is the way I can best achieve that goal. I have not yet taken the GREs, so that will be next on my list.

I have been in therapy for over five years, and have a lot of mental illness in my family (as well as my own history of mental health crises, years and years ago, none recently) so I am pretty familiar with the field. I have also read all the great psychoanalysts (Freud, Jung, Adler, Lacan, etc) for my philosophy classes, so I have some good familiarity with the philosophical/practical foundations of the discipline.

What are my chances? What can I do to have a good shot? I know it is very competitive... but I think that this is something worth dedicating myself to.

Thanks!
 

jdawg2017

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It sounds like you have interesting experience, but none directly relevant to clinical psych PhD programs!

Generally speaking, there’s a tried and true path to gaining admission to a clinical PhD program. First, you need formal coursework (preferably even a major or minor) in psychology. Second, you need research experience in clinical psych, ideally with at least a publication and a few posters to your name. Third, you need letters and mentors from the field who will write you letters of rec for your prospective program. Fourth, you need a good GRE score.

It doesn’t unfortunately sound like you have a lot of that, despite a decent gpa and a lot of finance experience. A post bacc or research masters in psychology may be advisable, but I’ll defer to more senior community members on this point.
 
Jan 23, 2018
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@jdawg2017 makes a lot of good points. I would also ask why you want a PhD in clinical psych specifically. What are your career goals? If you are interested in doing therapy, there are several MA level options that are quicker/easier that you can consider.
 
Jan 19, 2019
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Thank you, a lot of food for thought here. @Hk328 , my goals are to be able to competently and effectively serve clients seeking psychological help in a variety of settings. Ideally I would like to have my own private therapy practice, but I would like to have some versatility and be able to work in clinical settings, teach, etc.
 
Dec 21, 2017
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Hi,

I go to a top ten undergrad institution, and am interested in getting a PhD in Clinical Psych. My GPA is around 3.4 (3.35, but should be able to hit 3.4 after this upcoming semester), and I have no psychology classes under my belt. I am graduating this May and don't have time to take any psych classes. As a philosophy major with financial industry experience, I was originally aiming to work in finance and have work experience in consulting and venture capital, but due to some recent life events I've decided I want to help people for a living and that clinical psychology is the way I can best achieve that goal. I have not yet taken the GREs, so that will be next on my list.

I have been in therapy for over five years, and have a lot of mental illness in my family (as well as my own history of mental health crises, years and years ago, none recently) so I am pretty familiar with the field. I have also read all the great psychoanalysts (Freud, Jung, Adler, Lacan, etc) for my philosophy classes, so I have some good familiarity with the philosophical/practical foundations of the discipline.

What are my chances? What can I do to have a good shot? I know it is very competitive... but I think that this is something worth dedicating myself to.

Thanks!
Do you have any research experience? That’s a huge part of what doctoral programs look for. Also, if you have zero psych classes, you are not really positioned as a competitive candidate, no matter what school you came from. Some schools will consider you, but you will most likely also have to take the psychology GRE in addition to the regular one.
In all honesty, your best bet may be to get an MA or MS in psychology to gain research experience. A good program in experimental psych or a clinical master’s with a reserved component are a good place to start.
Your familial history with psychology issues is not something you would put on your applications. The schools generally don’t want to hear about your or your family anecdotes.
My advice is to do a lot of research into programs you might like and what it takes to get into them. Reputable PhD and PsyD programs are highly competitive with acceptance rates typically 1-5%. Without any research experience or psych classes you will likely be wasting your time and money applying.
 

AcronymAllergy

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I go to a top ten undergrad institution, and am interested in getting a PhD in Clinical Psych. My GPA is around 3.4 (3.35, but should be able to hit 3.4 after this upcoming semester), and I have no psychology classes under my belt. I am graduating this May and don't have time to take any psych classes. As a philosophy major with financial industry experience, I was originally aiming to work in finance and have work experience in consulting and venture capital, but due to some recent life events I've decided I want to help people for a living and that clinical psychology is the way I can best achieve that goal. I have not yet taken the GREs, so that will be next on my list.

I have been in therapy for over five years, and have a lot of mental illness in my family (as well as my own history of mental health crises, years and years ago, none recently) so I am pretty familiar with the field. I have also read all the great psychoanalysts (Freud, Jung, Adler, Lacan, etc) for my philosophy classes, so I have some good familiarity with the philosophical/practical foundations of the discipline.

What are my chances? What can I do to have a good shot? I know it is very competitive... but I think that this is something worth dedicating myself to.

Thanks!
Mod Note: I've merged this post into the WAMC thread, and cleaned up a few of the related or double posts.
 

denimfan

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I got the idea because I read in this guy's story at the webpage howigotintostanford (you'll have to search that if you want to see; the forum won't let me post links), that meeting with professors beforehand really gave him a leg up in the application process and thought I could do that as well.
Well you do have to understand that this experience is very subjective. Perhaps that professor was really open to having in-person interactions. The best place to meet your POI is at conferences. So try to scope them out (usually APA Convention is a nice place) by looking up the programming and go to their presentations or even their students' presentations and introduce yourself briefly and your intention to apply.
 

MamaPhD

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I am graduating this May and don't have time to take any psych classes. As a philosophy major with financial industry experience, I was originally aiming to work in finance and have work experience in consulting and venture capital, but due to some recent life events I've decided I want to help people for a living and that clinical psychology is the way I can best achieve that goal. I have not yet taken the GREs, so that will be next on my list.
Why clinical psychology rather than psychiatry or social work or another helping profession?

I have been in therapy for over five years, and have a lot of mental illness in my family (as well as my own history of mental health crises, years and years ago, none recently) so I am pretty familiar with the field. I have also read all the great psychoanalysts (Freud, Jung, Adler, Lacan, etc) for my philosophy classes, so I have some good familiarity with the philosophical/practical foundations of the discipline.
I would caution you against generalizing your own experiences to a broader understanding of the field. Also, while psychoanalytic theory certainly has its place within the big tent that is psychology, I would not consider it to be foundational. Coursework in psychology should clarify that for you, if you do decide this is your career goal.
 
Jan 23, 2019
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Hey all.

I went to a fairly competitive university for undergrad (around 20% acceptance rate). I majored in psychology and then got minors in political science and legal studies. My final GPA was 3.06 and my final two years was about 3.5. I am in grad school now as a research assistant and have a 4.0. I currently have five publications with professors where I am an author (2 quantitative and 3 qualitative). I am going to be at two different conferences to present the studies. I am also writing a thesis.

I did talk to many schools and they said it was fine that I did not get my master's in psychology. I know my undergrad GPA is lacking. My GRE scores were 147 Q and 149 V, which I know are not very good. I am also going to take the psychology subject test. I am on the fence about retaking the GRE since a lot of professors I work with say it's not worth it and that I have other things that are more important than a score.

Just looking to get opinions on if I should retake the GRE and what other things I could do to make myself more competitive. Thank you!
 

Justanothergrad

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Hey all.

I went to a fairly competitive university for undergrad (around 20% acceptance rate). I majored in psychology and then got minors in political science and legal studies. My final GPA was 3.06 and my final two years was about 3.5. I am in grad school now as a research assistant and have a 4.0. I currently have five publications with professors where I am an author (2 quantitative and 3 qualitative). I am going to be at two different conferences to present the studies. I am also writing a thesis.

I did talk to many schools and they said it was fine that I did not get my master's in psychology. I know my undergrad GPA is lacking. My GRE scores were 147 Q and 149 V, which I know are not very good. I am also going to take the psychology subject test. I am on the fence about retaking the GRE since a lot of professors I work with say it's not worth it and that I have other things that are more important than a score.

Just looking to get opinions on if I should retake the GRE and what other things I could do to make myself more competitive. Thank you!
What authorship are you on the papers, what quality of journal did you publish in, what type of conference/what author, and and what is your graduate GPA?
 
Jan 23, 2019
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What authorship are you on the papers, what quality of journal did you publish in, what type of conference/what author, and and what is your graduate GPA?
My graduate GPA is 4.0. For the publications, I am the first author on two of them. I am the second author on one and third on two of them.
 
Jan 23, 2019
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My graduate GPA is 4.0. For the publications, I am the first author on two of them. I am the second author on one and third on two of them.
Oh and both of the conferences are for criminal justice. One is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the other is Criminal Justice Association.
 

Justanothergrad

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My graduate GPA is 4.0. For the publications, I am the first author on two of them. I am the second author on one and third on two of them.
That puts you (generally) in a very good position, but the GRE is really low so I suspect it will come down to a lot of the type of program you apply to. As you know, some (more frequently clinical than counseling) set hard cut points on GRE and it's unlikely that you will pass that and warrant a larger review. Not all programs do so. It's a step to cut down on applicant numbers and make it manageable on the review end to ensure a steady group of a certain quality are even considered (this is clearly not without flaws). In those cases, you throw money away and they won't necessarily even see your CV highlighting your achievements. Other programs will see it, so I guess the answer is 'it depends'. If you think your GRE will be substantially better/that you can pull it up then I would retake it.If not, I might focus on considering the type of program you are applying to and the geography of that program to maximize the chances. There is a lot of variability here because, ultimately, it depends on how you can do if you take it again.
 

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My graduate GPA is 4.0. For the publications, I am the first author on two of them. I am the second author on one and third on two of them.
I think the combination of your low undergrad GPA and low GRE may get you screened out at a good number of schools, unfortunately (the grad GPA will help a bit but not as much as you may hope). I’d re-take the GRE for that reason.
 
Jan 30, 2019
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Hey there! I'm an undergrad student thinking of going to grad school for school psychology. Looking at Yeshiva/Ferkauf's school-clinical child psychology program and Pace's school-clinical child psychology program in particular, but curious about any NASP-approved Ph.D or Psy.D programs. I know how competitive clinical psych Ph.D programs are, and that most people take a year or two off after undergrad to gain more research experience, but I was wondering if anyone knew if it was common for people to go right into school psych doctorate programs right out of college. I'm double-majoring in psychology and women's, gender, and sexuality studies and I have a 3.96 GPA. When I graduate, I will have 6 years of experience working with kids w/special needs, 3 years of experience teaching my own classroom at a religious school, 3 years volunteering at a crisis hotline, 3 years volunteering at a domestic violence shelter. I'm also a TA for a child development psychology class and am in a few honor societies.

I don't have much research experience yet, but do plan to gain some more, so Ph.D programs might not be as appropriate (but the funding is a big plus). Anyway, do people think applying to a school or school-clinical child psychology doctoral program right after college is feasible? I want to go straight to grad school, if possible.

Thanks!
 

psychtrauma

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Sounds like you're well equipped on the experiential side, well done. The high GPA certainly helps and matching that with a solid GRE score you sound like a great pick for most programs. As someone who went through to a clinical psych grad program right out of undergrad (and have many colleagues who have done the same) I'd say it's actually not the "norm" to take a couple years, but it certainly doesn't hurt. The largest prohibitive factor you might face with a clinical program would be the research experience as you mention. If you can get into a lab now, I'd try that and then shoot for what you want. The other nice thing about taking a couple years is it helps you figure out what you want in your career. If you're open to both school psych and a clinical program, it might make sense to wait until you know for sure. It's a long haul to get to the other side and wish you went another route. Best of luck!
 
Jan 30, 2019
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Sounds like you're well equipped on the experiential side, well done. The high GPA certainly helps and matching that with a solid GRE score you sound like a great pick for most programs. As someone who went through to a clinical psych grad program right out of undergrad (and have many colleagues who have done the same) I'd say it's actually not the "norm" to take a couple years, but it certainly doesn't hurt. The largest prohibitive factor you might face with a clinical program would be the research experience as you mention. If you can get into a lab now, I'd try that and then shoot for what you want. The other nice thing about taking a couple years is it helps you figure out what you want in your career. If you're open to both school psych and a clinical program, it might make sense to wait until you know for sure. It's a long haul to get to the other side and wish you went another route. Best of luck!
Thank you!! Do you mind my asking where you went to grad school?

I definitely plan to gain more research experience so hopefully that will help.
 
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Jan 30, 2019
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Sounds like you're well equipped on the experiential side, well done. The high GPA certainly helps and matching that with a solid GRE score you sound like a great pick for most programs. As someone who went through to a clinical psych grad program right out of undergrad (and have many colleagues who have done the same) I'd say it's actually not the "norm" to take a couple years, but it certainly doesn't hurt. The largest prohibitive factor you might face with a clinical program would be the research experience as you mention. If you can get into a lab now, I'd try that and then shoot for what you want. The other nice thing about taking a couple years is it helps you figure out what you want in your career. If you're open to both school psych and a clinical program, it might make sense to wait until you know for sure. It's a long haul to get to the other side and wish you went another route. Best of luck!
Just to add - while research does interest me, I don’t see myself doing it in the long-term. I see myself either working in a school or doing therapy with children/adolescents, so that’s why the combined school-clinical programs really interest me. And I don’t see myself being happy working full-time in a research lab for a year or two after college either. But then again, who knows!
 

AcronymAllergy

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Hey there! I'm an undergrad student thinking of going to grad school for school psychology. Looking at Yeshiva/Ferkauf's school-clinical child psychology program and Pace's school-clinical child psychology program in particular, but curious about any NASP-approved Ph.D or Psy.D programs. I know how competitive clinical psych Ph.D programs are, and that most people take a year or two off after undergrad to gain more research experience, but I was wondering if anyone knew if it was common for people to go right into school psych doctorate programs right out of college. I'm double-majoring in psychology and women's, gender, and sexuality studies and I have a 3.96 GPA. When I graduate, I will have 6 years of experience working with kids w/special needs, 3 years of experience teaching my own classroom at a religious school, 3 years volunteering at a crisis hotline, 3 years volunteering at a domestic violence shelter. I'm also a TA for a child development psychology class and am in a few honor societies.

I don't have much research experience yet, but do plan to gain some more, so Ph.D programs might not be as appropriate (but the funding is a big plus). Anyway, do people think applying to a school or school-clinical child psychology doctoral program right after college is feasible? I want to go straight to grad school, if possible.

Thanks!
Sounds like you're well equipped on the experiential side, well done. The high GPA certainly helps and matching that with a solid GRE score you sound like a great pick for most programs. As someone who went through to a clinical psych grad program right out of undergrad (and have many colleagues who have done the same) I'd say it's actually not the "norm" to take a couple years, but it certainly doesn't hurt. The largest prohibitive factor you might face with a clinical program would be the research experience as you mention. If you can get into a lab now, I'd try that and then shoot for what you want. The other nice thing about taking a couple years is it helps you figure out what you want in your career. If you're open to both school psych and a clinical program, it might make sense to wait until you know for sure. It's a long haul to get to the other side and wish you went another route. Best of luck!
Thank you!! Do you mind my asking where you went to grad school?

I definitely plan to gain more research experience so hopefully that will help.
Just to add - while research does interest me, I don’t see myself doing it in the long-term. I see myself either working in a school or doing therapy with children/adolescents, so that’s why the combined school-clinical programs really interest me. And I don’t see myself being happy working full-time in a research lab for a year or two after college either. But then again, who knows!
Mod Note: Will move this thread to the WAMC sticky.
 

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I don't have much research experience yet, but do plan to gain some more, so Ph.D programs might not be as appropriate (but the funding is a big plus). Anyway, do people think applying to a school or school-clinical child psychology doctoral program right after college is feasible? I want to go straight to grad school, if possible.
I had very little research experience and received interviews and offers from several highly competitive school psych and combined school psych/clinical programs. Research experience certainly won't HURT you, but I found they were far more interested in knowing you had defined research interests and that those interests aligned with those of at least one faculty member. My current program regularly admits students who are straight out of undergrad and/or students with relatively little research experience, but you need to be able to demonstrate competency to meet the expectations and demands of the program in other ways (high GPA, GRE scores, etc.).

I see myself either working in a school or doing therapy with children/adolescents, so that’s why the combined school-clinical programs really interest me
I'd be curious to what draws you to working in schools and to know more about your clinical interests. If you're primarily interested in therapy, school psychologists actually do little to no therapy in many instances. If you're interested in completing therapy in a school setting something like an MSW program with school social work training may be a better fit (and save you some time).
 
Jan 30, 2019
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I had very little research experience and received interviews and offers from several highly competitive school psych and combined school psych/clinical programs. Research experience certainly won't HURT you, but I found they were far more interested in knowing you had defined research interests and that those interests aligned with those of at least one faculty member. My current program regularly admits students who are straight out of undergrad and/or students with relatively little research experience, but you need to be able to demonstrate competency to meet the expectations and demands of the program in other ways (high GPA, GRE scores, etc.).



I'd be curious to what draws you to working in schools and to know more about your clinical interests. If you're primarily interested in therapy, school psychologists actually do little to no therapy in many instances. If you're interested in completing therapy in a school setting something like an MSW program with school social work training may be a better fit (and save you some time).
I am also considering MSW programs! I am drawn to working in schools because of my interest in special education. I felt that school psychology would be a great way of combining my interest in special ed and mental health. I am possibly completing an internship this summer in the field of educational and psychological testing, which I know is a big part of school psych (so if I hate that, I can take school psych off the table). I'm interested in incorporating mindfulness into schools - both in research and practice. Do you mind my asking what program you're in?
 
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I had very little research experience and received interviews and offers from several highly competitive school psych and combined school psych/clinical programs. Research experience certainly won't HURT you, but I found they were far more interested in knowing you had defined research interests and that those interests aligned with those of at least one faculty member. My current program regularly admits students who are straight out of undergrad and/or students with relatively little research experience, but you need to be able to demonstrate competency to meet the expectations and demands of the program in other ways (high GPA, GRE scores, etc.).



I'd be curious to what draws you to working in schools and to know more about your clinical interests. If you're primarily interested in therapy, school psychologists actually do little to no therapy in many instances. If you're interested in completing therapy in a school setting something like an MSW program with school social work training may be a better fit (and save you some time).
I would definitely second this. As a school psychology doctoral student now, I found that my program did not have a big enough focus on therapy for me. I've sought out experiences for therapy to strengthen my skills but the base coursework/practicum requirements focus more on the role of a school psychologist as an evaluator/ consultant with teachers and parents. If I were to go back and redo my choice of degree, I would consider a combined program (unfortunately, I did not apply to any). However, if you are interested in things like integrating mindfulness curriculum in schools and the special education system school psych is a great field! Ultimately, I love working in schools and am hoping my doctoral degree will give me flexibility going forward.
 
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wtfook

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I am also considering MSW programs! I am drawn to working in schools because of my interest in special education. I felt that school psychology would be a great way of combining my interest in special ed and mental health. I am possibly completing an internship this summer in the field of educational and psychological testing, which I know is a big part of school psych (so if I hate that, I can take school psych off the table). I'm interested in incorporating mindfulness into schools - both in research and practice. Do you mind my asking what program you're in?
I'd recommend looking into counseling psych programs as well. There are some programs that have faculty working in schools doing research on mental health with school aged children. A counseling psych program would offer you more experience in therapy training. School counselors (Master's in counseling) also conduct therapy with students in schools, particularly therapeutic schools, and have a big role in designing programming for social and emotional learning. It's a tough job though. You're usually the only counselor in an entire school.
 
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Hi all! I am planning on applying to clinical psychology graduate programs this upcoming fall. I've been trying to figure out what my chances are and there are a lot of conflicting resources. I'm just trying to see realistically how I might stack up. I have a B.A. in psychology and neuroscience. I am also hoping to apply to programs that have an equal emphasis on practice and research rather than a clinical science program.

  1. GPA - 3.84
  2. GRE - Quant 156, Verbal 163, Analytical 5
  3. Research experience - I worked for one social psych lab for one year while in college kind of just doing grunt work and data entry and getting the hang of research. I know my college research experience was not enough so now I am taking 2 gap years gaining experience. I am now working at a clinical research lab working in addictions. I've gained significant experience conducting neuropsychological testing and clinical interviewing (SCID E, SCID A&B, ASI). I did not complete a thesis in undergrad. And I don't currently have posters or publications but I am hoping to have one in the works by the fall.
  4. Clinical experience - I have some experience interning in a neuropsychology practice and hope that some of my clinical interviewing and current patient-oriented research may be okay as experience.
I am considering applying to the following programs (the list is long right now I'm still working on narrowing down schools)
Baylor (PsyD)
Drexel University
Farleigh Dickinson University
Indiana State University (PsyD)
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Northwestern University, Fienberg School of Medicine
Southern Illinois University
UMASS Boston
Suffolk University
UNC Greensboro
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
University of Toledo
UT Knoxville
Depaul

Any advice would be very helpful, thank you!
 

jdawg2017

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Hi all! I am planning on applying to clinical psychology graduate programs this upcoming fall. I've been trying to figure out what my chances are and there are a lot of conflicting resources. I'm just trying to see realistically how I might stack up. I have a B.A. in psychology and neuroscience. I am also hoping to apply to programs that have an equal emphasis on practice and research rather than a clinical science program.

  1. GPA - 3.84
  2. GRE - Quant 156, Verbal 163, Analytical 5
  3. Research experience - I worked for one social psych lab for one year while in college kind of just doing grunt work and data entry and getting the hang of research. I know my college research experience was not enough so now I am taking 2 gap years gaining experience. I am now working at a clinical research lab working in addictions. I've gained significant experience conducting neuropsychological testing and clinical interviewing (SCID E, SCID A&B, ASI). I did not complete a thesis in undergrad. And I don't currently have posters or publications but I am hoping to have one in the works by the fall.
  4. Clinical experience - I have some experience interning in a neuropsychology practice and hope that some of my clinical interviewing and current patient-oriented research may be okay as experience.
I am considering applying to the following programs (the list is long right now I'm still working on narrowing down schools)
Baylor (PsyD)
Drexel University
Farleigh Dickinson University
Indiana State University (PsyD)
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Northwestern University, Fienberg School of Medicine
Southern Illinois University
UMASS Boston
Suffolk University
UNC Greensboro
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
University of Toledo
UT Knoxville
Depaul

Any advice would be very helpful, thank you!
Your main stats are good (GRE quant could be a little higher, but I am not sure if its worth the retake honestly... if you could get 6+ more points, then yes). However, you will want at least 1-2 accepted, ideally first-author, poster presentations on the docket by the time you apply. Having no publications or presentations will hinder your chances, even at "balanced" programs. (Notably, many clinical science programs also produce clinicians, too, so I wouldn't toss them out.) Getting a publication would be even better, but I am not sure realistically if you can get a meaningful one accepted in 8 months... it's possible if you talk to your boss about this now.
 

Justanothergrad

Counseling Psychologist
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Mar 2, 2013
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Hi all! I am planning on applying to clinical psychology graduate programs this upcoming fall. I've been trying to figure out what my chances are and there are a lot of conflicting resources. I'm just trying to see realistically how I might stack up. I have a B.A. in psychology and neuroscience. I am also hoping to apply to programs that have an equal emphasis on practice and research rather than a clinical science program.

  1. GPA - 3.84
  2. GRE - Quant 156, Verbal 163, Analytical 5
  3. Research experience - I worked for one social psych lab for one year while in college kind of just doing grunt work and data entry and getting the hang of research. I know my college research experience was not enough so now I am taking 2 gap years gaining experience. I am now working at a clinical research lab working in addictions. I've gained significant experience conducting neuropsychological testing and clinical interviewing (SCID E, SCID A&B, ASI). I did not complete a thesis in undergrad. And I don't currently have posters or publications but I am hoping to have one in the works by the fall.
  4. Clinical experience - I have some experience interning in a neuropsychology practice and hope that some of my clinical interviewing and current patient-oriented research may be okay as experience.
I am considering applying to the following programs (the list is long right now I'm still working on narrowing down schools)
Baylor (PsyD)
Drexel University
Farleigh Dickinson University
Indiana State University (PsyD)
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Northwestern University, Fienberg School of Medicine
Southern Illinois University
UMASS Boston
Suffolk University
UNC Greensboro
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
University of Toledo
UT Knoxville
Depaul

Any advice would be very helpful, thank you!
I would echo what he said above (not worth a retake, focus on products like posters). I would expect those from someone after gap years since the point was to demonstrate a more advanced involvement, skill set, etc. The bar is higher in many cases for those with extra time because the thinking is 'they should show it now with time', in my experience. You may also want to consider some in the midwest, or less competitive areas in general, that may be without those. It's not clear what area you want to focus in so it may be that there are some to consider which would be well suited to your needs while also being slightly less competitive
 

hs2013

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So I currently have a bachelors in biology, graduated in 2017, and have a 3.78 GPA. I know there are a few psychology courses i would have to take at the undergraduate level such as developmental, abnormal, research methods, and stats. But I could do those pretty easily.

Main issue for me is I have 0 research experience, not even in biology, and I feel like that really hurts my application for these programs.

So considering that I have a good GPA, will probably do well on the GRE, will take some more psych courses, what do I need to do or can I do to improve my chances to get into a good PhD/PsyD program?

Is it just research? (IN WHICH CASE HOW DO I POSSIBLY GET PSYCH RELATED RESEARCH NOW THAT I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL AND HAVE 0 PRIOR RESEARCH EXPERIENCE????)
Are there psych related jobs that I could realistically get right now?
Any other out of the box ideas?
 

psydstudent2020

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Research experience is recommended but not necessary for a PsyD program, although I’m not sure how much they value it because I did have three independent studies and an honors thesis when I applied to PsyDs. I would take a year off to join a psych research lab and to get a years worth of clinical experience (volunteer for a crisis line, psych tech at a hospital, etc.) which you could do while you’re taking those psych classes so it’s not truly like taking a whole year off. Also keep in mind that it’s not about the reputation of a program but the internship match rate to APA-accredited sites that is important. Hope that helps!
 

hs2013

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Research experience is recommended but not necessary for a PsyD program, although I’m not sure how much they value it because I did have three independent studies and an honors thesis when I applied to PsyDs. I would take a year off to join a psych research lab and to get a years worth of clinical experience (volunteer for a crisis line, psych tech at a hospital, etc.) which you could do while you’re taking those psych classes so it’s not truly like taking a whole year off. Also keep in mind that it’s not about the reputation of a program but the internship match rate to APA-accredited sites that is important. Hope that helps!
Do you have any recommendations to actually join a psych research lab? Especially considering that I have no research experience, or psych experience.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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If you want to get into a good (university-based w partial or full funding w stipend) you need research experience, similar to PhD programs.

Reputation is quite important, though “ranking” USNWR or similar doesn’t mean much.

Internship match rate post-internship imbalance should be 85-100% for APA-acred. No other match statistic matters besides APA-acred; don’t be fooled by “APPIC member”, etc.
 

hs2013

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If you want to get into a good (university-based w partial or full funding w stipend) you need research experience, similar to PhD programs.

Reputation is quite important, though “ranking” USNWR or similar doesn’t mean much.

Internship match rate post-internship imbalance should be 85-100% for APA-acred. No other match statistic matters besides APA-acred; don’t be fooled by “APPIC member”, etc.
Any advice on how I could attain research experience in my current situation having already graduated college and having 0 research experience so far? I would imagine it would be difficult to secure research or lab positions w/o having any experience during undergrad, let alone psych research because I am a bio major.
 

Sanman

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Any advice on how I could attain research experience in my current situation having already graduated college and having 0 research experience so far? I would imagine it would be difficult to secure research or lab positions w/o having any experience during undergrad, let alone psych research because I am a bio major.
Are you looking for paid or unpaid research positions? Plenty of research labs would love free labor. I found this especially true in the summer months.
 
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I second the above- if you can swing it, volunteering for even just 3 mos can set you up to get a paid position afterwards (either in that lab or elsewhere). Worked for me! Also, in my observation, psych labs seems to like ppl with bio/basic science backgrounds, so your major may be advantageous. @hs2013
 
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Feb 7, 2019
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If you have no research experience, you will need to volunteer for a research lab. Basically find a university or hospital near you, see if there are web pages about research labs there, and see if they have a volunteer application process and/or a lab manager that you can contact. You generally don't need much, or any, experience to volunteer. Once you have a bit of experience, you'll be in a position to either find a paid research assistant position, and/or get involved in more specialized interests. (In my experience, the paid research gigs are where the funding is and not necessarily where your favorite topic is, so many people have to choose between getting paid and getting on their favorite project.)

Another thing you'll need to think about is getting letters of recommendation! So when you do take those psych classes and join a research lab, get involved and ask a lot of questions! Go to the prof's office hours, do rockstar papers. Do not half-ass it just to get the credits.

I think your best bet, if it's available for you, is to find a university near you that has a good psych department, and see if you can take psych classes with some profs that also have research labs. That way you can really forge some good relationships and make the most of your time there. And if at all possible, see if you can present a poster from your research volunteer work.

Even if you just volunteered for one year (without ever finding a paid gig), if you worked closely with one professor in their class/lab, and got a good letter of rec and one poster, you'd be in EXCELLENT shape. And that might be a better route than switching around a lot and never getting to know one lab really well.
 

hs2013

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If you have no research experience, you will need to volunteer for a research lab. Basically find a university or hospital near you, see if there are web pages about research labs there, and see if they have a volunteer application process and/or a lab manager that you can contact. You generally don't need much, or any, experience to volunteer. Once you have a bit of experience, you'll be in a position to either find a paid research assistant position, and/or get involved in more specialized interests. (In my experience, the paid research gigs are where the funding is and not necessarily where your favorite topic is, so many people have to choose between getting paid and getting on their favorite project.)

Another thing you'll need to think about is getting letters of recommendation! So when you do take those psych classes and join a research lab, get involved and ask a lot of questions! Go to the prof's office hours, do rockstar papers. Do not half-ass it just to get the credits.

I think your best bet, if it's available for you, is to find a university near you that has a good psych department, and see if you can take psych classes with some profs that also have research labs. That way you can really forge some good relationships and make the most of your time there. And if at all possible, see if you can present a poster from your research volunteer work.

Even if you just volunteered for one year (without ever finding a paid gig), if you worked closely with one professor in their class/lab, and got a good letter of rec and one poster, you'd be in EXCELLENT shape. And that might be a better route than switching around a lot and never getting to know one lab really well.
I really appreciate the insight and will definitely look into doing those things!
 

AcronymAllergy

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Mod Note: Hi all, now that there have been a few replies, I'm moving this to the WAMC sticky for any further discussion.


So I currently have a bachelors in biology, graduated in 2017, and have a 3.78 GPA. I know there are a few psychology courses i would have to take at the undergraduate level such as developmental, abnormal, research methods, and stats. But I could do those pretty easily.

Main issue for me is I have 0 research experience, not even in biology, and I feel like that really hurts my application for these programs.

So considering that I have a good GPA, will probably do well on the GRE, will take some more psych courses, what do I need to do or can I do to improve my chances to get into a good PhD/PsyD program?

Is it just research? (IN WHICH CASE HOW DO I POSSIBLY GET PSYCH RELATED RESEARCH NOW THAT I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL AND HAVE 0 PRIOR RESEARCH EXPERIENCE????)
Are there psych related jobs that I could realistically get right now?
Any other out of the box ideas?
Research experience is recommended but not necessary for a PsyD program, although I’m not sure how much they value it because I did have three independent studies and an honors thesis when I applied to PsyDs. I would take a year off to join a psych research lab and to get a years worth of clinical experience (volunteer for a crisis line, psych tech at a hospital, etc.) which you could do while you’re taking those psych classes so it’s not truly like taking a whole year off. Also keep in mind that it’s not about the reputation of a program but the internship match rate to APA-accredited sites that is important. Hope that helps!
Do you have any recommendations to actually join a psych research lab? Especially considering that I have no research experience, or psych experience.
If you want to get into a good (university-based w partial or full funding w stipend) you need research experience, similar to PhD programs.

Reputation is quite important, though “ranking” USNWR or similar doesn’t mean much.

Internship match rate post-internship imbalance should be 85-100% for APA-acred. No other match statistic matters besides APA-acred; don’t be fooled by “APPIC member”, etc.
Any advice on how I could attain research experience in my current situation having already graduated college and having 0 research experience so far? I would imagine it would be difficult to secure research or lab positions w/o having any experience during undergrad, let alone psych research because I am a bio major.
Are you looking for paid or unpaid research positions? Plenty of research labs would love free labor. I found this especially true in the summer months.
I second the above- if you can swing it, volunteering for even just 3 mos can set you up to get a paid position afterwards (either in that lab or elsewhere). Worked for me! Also, in my observation, psych labs seems to like ppl with bio/basic science backgrounds, so your major may be advantageous. @hs2013
If you have no research experience, you will need to volunteer for a research lab. Basically find a university or hospital near you, see if there are web pages about research labs there, and see if they have a volunteer application process and/or a lab manager that you can contact. You generally don't need much, or any, experience to volunteer. Once you have a bit of experience, you'll be in a position to either find a paid research assistant position, and/or get involved in more specialized interests. (In my experience, the paid research gigs are where the funding is and not necessarily where your favorite topic is, so many people have to choose between getting paid and getting on their favorite project.)

Another thing you'll need to think about is getting letters of recommendation! So when you do take those psych classes and join a research lab, get involved and ask a lot of questions! Go to the prof's office hours, do rockstar papers. Do not half-ass it just to get the credits.

I think your best bet, if it's available for you, is to find a university near you that has a good psych department, and see if you can take psych classes with some profs that also have research labs. That way you can really forge some good relationships and make the most of your time there. And if at all possible, see if you can present a poster from your research volunteer work.

Even if you just volunteered for one year (without ever finding a paid gig), if you worked closely with one professor in their class/lab, and got a good letter of rec and one poster, you'd be in EXCELLENT shape. And that might be a better route than switching around a lot and never getting to know one lab really well.
I really appreciate the insight and will definitely look into doing those things!