psych.meout

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PS. I removed all schools in TX from my list. I refuse to move somewhere that legally allows doctors to refuse to treat LGBTQ folks based on religious objections. It sickens me. Also won’t consider Alabama, Mississippi, or Arkansas. It’s hard enough to include Florida!
Doesn't this just perpetuate those problems, because more progressive-minded people avoid or leave those places, thereby reducing the voter base who would push for change?
I mean, civil rights activists didn't tell Black Americans to leave the South because of Jim Crow, they actively went there to push for change.
 

psych.meout

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My point was that you're writing off entire states when there are some really great schools there (e.g., UAB). You could be getting a great education while simultaneously be working towards a change in a topic that's important to you.
 
May 25, 2019
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Was hoping to get some additional advice from others, so I decided to join SDN! I'm planning to apply to clinical PhD programs this upcoming cycle after 3 years out of undergrad:

  • Undergrad GPA: 3.43
  • GRE: 160V/159Q/5AWA
  • Research Experience: 2 years at a lab as an undergrad working with maltreated youth (and what ultimately persuaded me to pursue a graduate degree), 2.5 years on a national-level, multi-site study exploring adolescent brain development (particularly how substance use affects brain changes), and 1 year in a neurogenetics and development lab also working with a high-risk adolescent population.
My biggest downside is not having a publication under my belt aside from 2 poster presentations. I understand that pubs are starting to become increasingly common in applicants so I am extremely worried this will keep me from being more competitive. It certainly would have made up a bit for my middling GPA. I tried my best to get that up to a 3.5 before my senior year so that I could do an honor's thesis but that first year as a biomedical engineer hit me hard. I've talked to several professors about my options regarding grad school and they have all told me that there is no reason to go the Master's route first, go straight for the doctoral programs. While that gives me some confidence I'm not quite sure what I'll be able to get into.

My top choices right now (in no particular order) are Penn State, University of Oregon, University of Denver, and Rutgers University. This list will most definitely expand with more schools that I feel I will have a better chance of getting into.
 

WisNeuro

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Dunno what's a better life choice for me right now. I really want to be a psychologist but I cant just keep working hard and putting all my effort and energy into something while my life is on standby with no results. Thanks
I would definitely sit down and sketch out some timelines and goals for the fully funded plan. A lot of the time we're looking at 1-2 years in the application cycles, 5 years in grad school, 1 year internship, 1-2 years of postdoc. These are all typically pretty busy years, especially those grad school years. It's a pretty big time and money sink. Are the time and money losses absorbable?
 
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WisNeuro

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Was hoping to get some additional advice from others, so I decided to join SDN! I'm planning to apply to clinical PhD programs this upcoming cycle after 3 years out of undergrad:

  • Undergrad GPA: 3.43
  • GRE: 160V/159Q/5AWA
  • Research Experience: 2 years at a lab as an undergrad working with maltreated youth (and what ultimately persuaded me to pursue a graduate degree), 2.5 years on a national-level, multi-site study exploring adolescent brain development (particularly how substance use affects brain changes), and 1 year in a neurogenetics and development lab also working with a high-risk adolescent population.
My biggest downside is not having a publication under my belt aside from 2 poster presentations. I understand that pubs are starting to become increasingly common in applicants so I am extremely worried this will keep me from being more competitive. It certainly would have made up a bit for my middling GPA. I tried my best to get that up to a 3.5 before my senior year so that I could do an honor's thesis but that first year as a biomedical engineer hit me hard. I've talked to several professors about my options regarding grad school and they have all told me that there is no reason to go the Master's route first, go straight for the doctoral programs. While that gives me some confidence I'm not quite sure what I'll be able to get into.

My top choices right now (in no particular order) are Penn State, University of Oregon, University of Denver, and Rutgers University. This list will most definitely expand with more schools that I feel I will have a better chance of getting into.
That GPA hurts, the GRE helps that somewhat. The research experience helps, but people may like to see more production turnover from those years in posters/pubs. Is there a reason you are picking those schools? FIt is probably going to be the best thing for you in applying, how much of a compelling story you can make as to why those programs are a good fit for both parties.
 

futureapppsy2

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Agreed with @WisNeuro that the mismatch between research productivity and research experience may hurt. It would make me wonder about your depth of experience with the research, especially in higher level tasks.
 
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It sounds like you have some very good credentials and experience. The main problem seems to be that you're not applying to nearly enough programs and you need to make sure they're diverse enough. Typically, the recommended of applications is at least 12-15 and half of your applications are in the NYC area. I know that seems like a lot of work and money, but when you're concerned about time and putting off other goals and milestones in your life, it really is just a drop in the bucket.
Thank you.

I really should have applied to more programs for the fall 2018 start but I was concerned not only with application fees but travel fees. I overestimated my ability to get interviews clearly and didnt want to apply to more programs than I could afford.

I also am from the NYC area and dont have a car which limits things...I wanted to stay in the area if I could and never considered leaving for college and never did, until PhD applications and at the time the idea wasnt very keen to me.

Now I'm considering being more broad if I apply again
 
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I would definitely sit down and sketch out some timelines and goals for the fully funded plan. A lot of the time we're looking at 1-2 years in the application cycles, 5 years in grad school, 1 year internship, 1-2 years of postdoc. These are all typically pretty busy years, especially those grad school years. It's a pretty big time and money sink. Are the time and money losses absorbable?
I honestly dont know, that's what I'm weighing right now. Becuase let's say I do get in somewhere after applying thos cycle, I'd be starting in 2020 at 28. So that's looking at mid 30s by the time I get licensed (if all goes according to plan, and since nothing has so far I'm not really expecting much) So I'll have virtually no money saved for a house or a wedding let alone kids by then. My partner is not in an income bracket to be able to put that much aside to cover everything really.

That's why lately I've been thinking of just doing a social work degree instead..so I can contribute and start a family sooner. It just sucks cause I did and do really want this.

I'm thinking maybe I'll apply to both kinds of programs next cycle and that way if I don't get into phds I will be able to just do that instead and say I do get in somewhere I can make that choice then
 

WisNeuro

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I honestly dont know, that's what I'm weighing right now. Becuase let's say I do get in somewhere after applying thos cycle, I'd be starting in 2020 at 28. So that's looking at mid 30s by the time I get licensed (if all goes according to plan, and since nothing has so far I'm not really expecting much) So I'll have virtually no money saved for a house or a wedding let alone kids by then. My partner is not in an income bracket to be able to put that much aside to cover everything really.

That's why lately I've been thinking of just doing a social work degree instead..so I can contribute and start a family sooner. It just sucks cause I did and do really want this.

I'm thinking maybe I'll apply to both kinds of programs next cycle and that way if I don't get into phds I will be able to just do that instead and say I do get in somewhere I can make that choice then
Definitely something to consider regarding long-term plans. From what you say, you're looking at your 40's sometime when you'd be ready to have saved a down payment on a home. And that's if you have no loans and presumably no kids. Childcare costs will eat up a college tuition type payment every year. My biggest advice at this juncture would be, if you are applying to doctoral programs, only consider fully funded, having a significant number of loans will just push out your family goals that much longer.
 

WisNeuro

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Last time I checked, U of Michigan and Central Michigan were still located in the state of Michigan. Did you mean to say you would not consider schools in MS instead of MI?
 

futureapppsy2

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@ExploringOptions:
You do realize that Wyoming is probably more conservative than Texas, right? Like, extremely conservative.

I’d might raise an eyebrow at your lack of research productivity for a second year masters student. One or two posters, no oral presentations, and no publications after a year and a half of grad school when you’re applying to non-clinical programs would worry me. It could definitely help if you could get that paper published.
 

psych.meout

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I’ve only done one year of grad school. I start my second year this fall. I’ll have another full project (my thesis) I am applying for my conferences next year. The main one falls in March, with a application deadline of 10/1, which is why i didn’t apply this year, but I have all my data to apply for next year. I had one local conference poster presentation and a talk as well. I am also applying to a brown bag symposium.

Yes, I know about Wyoming. It’s not high on my list at all, but the program is one I would really like it, so I haven’t removed it. Everyone tells me it’s really awful to live there too, so it’s not super high, but part of ones I am considering. Basically, if I got in nowhere else and got in there I would go rather than not be able to go at all and if that makes sense.
Woah, now we're going off the rails, let's get back to the stated questions.
 
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Jun 7, 2019
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Was hoping to get some additional advice from others, so I decided to join SDN! I'm planning to apply to clinical PhD programs this upcoming cycle after 3 years out of undergrad:

  • Undergrad GPA: 3.43
  • GRE: 160V/159Q/5AWA
  • Research Experience: 2 years at a lab as an undergrad working with maltreated youth (and what ultimately persuaded me to pursue a graduate degree), 2.5 years on a national-level, multi-site study exploring adolescent brain development (particularly how substance use affects brain changes), and 1 year in a neurogenetics and development lab also working with a high-risk adolescent population.
My biggest downside is not having a publication under my belt aside from 2 poster presentations. I understand that pubs are starting to become increasingly common in applicants so I am extremely worried this will keep me from being more competitive. It certainly would have made up a bit for my middling GPA. I tried my best to get that up to a 3.5 before my senior year so that I could do an honor's thesis but that first year as a biomedical engineer hit me hard. I've talked to several professors about my options regarding grad school and they have all told me that there is no reason to go the Master's route first, go straight for the doctoral programs. While that gives me some confidence I'm not quite sure what I'll be able to get into.

My top choices right now (in no particular order) are Penn State, University of Oregon, University of Denver, and Rutgers University. This list will most definitely expand with more schools that I feel I will have a better chance of getting into.
A couple of tidbits that come to mind:
We actually have several students in our program who applied without publications and got in; posters are a measure of productivity and you should talk about them in your statements, especially if you are first author. If you can speak with your current mentors about turning one of those posters into a publication, at least you can show that you are proactive in moving things ahead, and it would minimally be in prep by the time you apply and something you can talk about more eloquently on interviews.
Re the GPA, it's good to have at least one letter writer address why it's on the "lower" end of what these programs typically accept (my program had an informal GPA cutoff of 3.5, but considered lower if a student started off in PreMed, had personal issues in undergrad, etc). Also good to include your Major GPA in your CV if it is better (helps as well to have good grades on your transcript for research-relevant courses, especially Stats).
You are applying to quite competitive programs, especially in the field of child/adolescent psychology; regardless of any perceived weaknesses, it's good to expand the list, especially given the popularity of your interests (which I assume are maltreatment, adolescence, neuroscience given your past experiences and programs you are applying to).
Don't forget to also add clinical experiences to your CV - many child/adolescent-focused programs take this piece seriously; they don't want to put someone in the room with a client without the ability to handle the challenges that come with it.
 
Jun 6, 2019
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Hi, everyone. I am an international junior student majoring in psychology and sociology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I have followed SDN for quite a while, searching for information about clinical psychology doctoral program. I could see that you are all distinguished members. Therefore, now I would like to seek suggestions from you guys. I will appreciate your help!

My resume includes one publication at a small journal (not SCI and conference), one combined research and clinical internship experience in a hospital (summer), one mixed research and clinical internship in an autism childcare center (summer), some volunteer experiences such as Crisis Text Line and volunteer counselor at a youth service and etc., one international psychology student organization (president and founder), as well as a bunch of additional training such as Essentials of CBT at Beck Institute, Substance Use Disorder Certificate, Grief Support Specialist and so on (they are essentially many courses). And this summer, I may have another lab experience and a job with behavioral intervention to children with autism.

However, my GPA is only slightly above 3.0. And I consider my research experience may be limited compared with others.

Do I get a chance to get into a fairly good PsyD program directly, as shown below? Do I have an opportunity to get into a relatively less competitive Ph.D.program such as Gallaudet University? Do I seriously need a Master degree to improve my performance?

I have attached a school list with those PsyD programs I consider decent, and I can have the opportunity to apply (not including Rutgers and Baylor since I think they are too competitive and huge cohorts since I have seen much negative information about them in SDN).


Palo Alto University
Pgsp-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium
Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Loyola University Maryland
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
La Salle University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Widener University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Roosevelt University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
University Of Indianapolis
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
University Of Denver
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Loma Linda University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Wright State University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Pace University
Psy.D. In School-Clinical Child Psychology
Chestnut Hill College
Philadelphia, Pa
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Spalding University
Louisville, Ky
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Yeshiva University
Bronx, NY
Psy.D. In School-Clinical Child Psychology
George Washington
 

AcronymAllergy

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Hi, everyone. I am an international junior student majoring in psychology and sociology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I have followed SDN for quite a while, searching for information about clinical psychology doctoral program. I could see that you are all distinguished members. Therefore, now I would like to seek suggestions from you guys. I will appreciate your help!

My resume includes one publication at a small journal (not SCI and conference), one combined research and clinical internship experience in a hospital (summer), one mixed research and clinical internship in an autism childcare center (summer), some volunteer experiences such as Crisis Text Line and volunteer counselor at a youth service and etc., one international psychology student organization (president and founder), as well as a bunch of additional training such as Essentials of CBT at Beck Institute, Substance Use Disorder Certificate, Grief Support Specialist and so on (they are essentially many courses). And this summer, I may have another lab experience and a job with behavioral intervention to children with autism.

However, my GPA is only slightly above 3.0. And I consider my research experience may be limited compared with others.

Do I get a chance to get into a fairly good PsyD program directly, as shown below? Do I have an opportunity to get into a relatively less competitive Ph.D.program such as Gallaudet University? Do I seriously need a Master degree to improve my performance?

I have attached a school list with those PsyD programs I consider decent, and I can have the opportunity to apply (not including Rutgers and Baylor since I think they are too competitive and huge cohorts since I have seen much negative information about them in SDN).


Palo Alto University
Pgsp-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium
Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Loyola University Maryland
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
La Salle University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Widener University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Roosevelt University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
University Of Indianapolis
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
University Of Denver
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Loma Linda University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Wright State University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Pace University
Psy.D. In School-Clinical Child Psychology
Chestnut Hill College
Philadelphia, Pa
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Spalding University
Louisville, Ky
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Yeshiva University
Bronx, NY
Psy.D. In School-Clinical Child Psychology
George Washington
Mod Note: I've merged this into the WAMC sticky thread (which caused a deletion of the attached poll). However, as an alternative, you could edit your post to list out the options originally included in your poll.
 

psych.meout

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Hi, everyone. I am an international junior student majoring in psychology and sociology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I have followed SDN for quite a while, searching for information about clinical psychology doctoral program. I could see that you are all distinguished members. Therefore, now I would like to seek suggestions from you guys. I will appreciate your help!

My resume includes one publication at a small journal (not SCI and conference), one combined research and clinical internship experience in a hospital (summer), one mixed research and clinical internship in an autism childcare center (summer), some volunteer experiences such as Crisis Text Line and volunteer counselor at a youth service and etc., one international psychology student organization (president and founder), as well as a bunch of additional training such as Essentials of CBT at Beck Institute, Substance Use Disorder Certificate, Grief Support Specialist and so on (they are essentially many courses). And this summer, I may have another lab experience and a job with behavioral intervention to children with autism.

However, my GPA is only slightly above 3.0. And I consider my research experience may be limited compared with others.

Do I get a chance to get into a fairly good PsyD program directly, as shown below? Do I have an opportunity to get into a relatively less competitive Ph.D.program such as Gallaudet University? Do I seriously need a Master degree to improve my performance?

I have attached a school list with those PsyD programs I consider decent, and I can have the opportunity to apply (not including Rutgers and Baylor since I think they are too competitive and huge cohorts since I have seen much negative information about them in SDN).


Palo Alto University
Pgsp-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium
Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Loyola University Maryland
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
La Salle University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Widener University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Roosevelt University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
University Of Indianapolis
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
University Of Denver
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Loma Linda University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Wright State University
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Pace University
Psy.D. In School-Clinical Child Psychology
Chestnut Hill College
Philadelphia, Pa
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Spalding University
Louisville, Ky
Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology
Yeshiva University
Bronx, NY
Psy.D. In School-Clinical Child Psychology
George Washington
I don't know that I would consider Gallaudet University to be "less competitive" or that I would recommend applying there even if it were. It's pretty unique program as the university focuses on hearing impaired populations. I wouldn't go there unless researching and working with hearing impaired populations is something of specific interest to you.

As far as I know, the vast majority of the programs you cite are unfunded or just provide a pittance so they can claim that they are "funding" their students in advertising materials.

I get that you don't want to complete a terminal master's program if you don't have to, but your GPA is fairly low for doctoral programs. More importantly, unless you are independently wealthy, attending one of these unfunded programs is not a good idea. You're talking about a tradeoff between completing a terminal master's program vs. going into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from just tuition at one of these programs.
 
Jun 6, 2019
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Psychology Student
I don't know that I would consider Gallaudet University to be "less competitive" or that I would recommend applying there even if it were. It's pretty unique program as the university focuses on hearing impaired populations. I wouldn't go there unless researching and working with hearing impaired populations is something of specific interest to you.

As far as I know, the vast majority of the programs you cite are unfunded or just provide a pittance so they can claim that they are "funding" their students in advertising materials.

I get that you don't want to complete a terminal master's program if you don't have to, but your GPA is fairly low for doctoral programs. More importantly, unless you are independently wealthy, attending one of these unfunded programs is not a good idea. You're talking about a tradeoff between completing a terminal master's program vs. going into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from just tuition at one of these programs.
Thank you for your response! I am grateful for your suggestion about Gallaudet University. I will remove it from my choice list.
I also appreciate your concern about funding and debt. Luckily, I could have the capability to afford the tuition at those PsyD programs mentioned in the list. Therefore, I will prioritize program reputation as well as my chance of getting into those programs first. Then, I will consider the tuition. Do you have any idea about my chance of getting into those PsyD programs?
 
Jun 10, 2019
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Hi all,

I'm new but I've been enjoying this forum and wanted to give this a shot. How might my credentials fare for the coming application cycle?
  • GPA: 3.65, neuroscience major/psych minor (i'm not sure what my within-major GPA is, but probably closer to 3.5)
  • 1 manuscript in submission limbo (3rd of 3 authors), 1 poster presentation delivered recently
  • 1 year honors thesis investigating startle response in MBSR participants
  • 1 year in a decision-making EEG lab in Tel Aviv doing all data acquisition and pre-processing, helping design experiments, and assisting with literature review
  • 1 year in a lab at Yale as an RA on multiple projects - recruiting subjects, conducting interview, cognitive, and physiological assessments around stress and addiction. Also helped design and implement a study of MBSR for patients with autoimmune hepatitis.
  • 1 year spent at a buddhist monastery of sorts
  • currently 2 months into an RA position at the VA helping with a study of a mind-body intervention for veterans
  • A couple years working per diem as a mental health assistant
  • A (very infrequent) per diem position helping a PI set up and test an EEG system for studies of meditators
  • yet to take the GRE, but my practice tests yield high verbal and considerable room for improvement in quant (working on it)
I'm mostly interested in working in clinical labs that conduct psychophysiology/neuroscience research somewhere in the realm of affect, anxiety, stress, trauma, and mind-body interventions.

Some programs with labs that seem to fit the bill:
  • Columbia
  • Kent
  • The New School
  • Michigan State
  • SUNY Buffalo
  • Vanderbilt
  • Virginia Consortium
  • U Tulsa
  • SUNY Stony Brook

Thanks in advance!!
 
Apr 12, 2018
158
22
11
Definitely something to consider regarding long-term plans. From what you say, you're looking at your 40's sometime when you'd be ready to have saved a down payment on a home. And that's if you have no loans and presumably no kids. Childcare costs will eat up a college tuition type payment every year. My biggest advice at this juncture would be, if you are applying to doctoral programs, only consider fully funded, having a significant number of loans will just push out your family goals that much longer.
Yeah so a home before that will probably have to be a down payment entirely by my partner...

It sucks cause I do really want it but idk if my heart can take any more rejection and delays.

And yeah I actually just dropped out of an unfunded program (adelphi). I went for a few weeks and it wasn't for me, plus the insane costs.

I'm looking a bit into social work programs too in my area and I really love and wanna go to Fordham but it's also really expensive (35k). Affordable alternative would be hunter..but I went there once (for an MA in psych) and literally just walking on the campus and going to financial aid I decided to not sign up and ended up going to another MA program I was accepted to. It was just too much a city high school atmosphere. I don't think they have a separate building for grad school, I have to do more research.

It sucks I think Fordham MSW would be a good fit but I already have I think 60 or 70 k in loans. I'm sure I could get some financial aid but still adding another 30k or so to that for SW? Idk. Although I'm sure Fordham could garner better connections and placements to higher paying positions? And they have concentrations in trauma which is my area of interest. Fordham would be a great fit but that cost on top of what I have already makes me a little nervous...upwards of 6 figures of loan debt for a social worker freaks me out but here they do pull like 75 k so it's not as income poor of a career choice as other areas...if you take enough clients or go clinical?

Idk at this point! I just want to do what's best for my career goals but it unfortunately seems really at odds with what's best for me financially :(

And either way I want to do practice and clinical work, academia is toxic as **** for me. I would love to run a lab and teach and do practice but the environment of grad school is so disgusting I really dont want to be apart of the elitist system.
 
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AcronymAllergy

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Hello,

I am writing to ask for advice around how to enhance my likelihood for admission into a PsyD program. I know that there are several things I need to do to become a solid candidate, but I am not exactly sure what those things are.

Stats:

I graduated in 2015 with a MSW from a school in NYC with a 3.6 gpa.

My GRE scores are: V-164 Q-147 A-5

My undergraduate degree is in a social science, but not psychology. I graduated with a 3.75 gpa from a state school.

Deficits:

Quantitative GRE Score

I have clinical experience but no research experience beyond the research methods courses I completed in grad school.

My only psych coursework was a general psychology course taken in undergrad.

Plan:

I know that I need to increase my quantitative scores and gain research experience. I also intend to take 15 credits in psychology.

I am taking a GRE prep course to help improve my quant score. I believe that I can improve all three as I took the test the first time with no prep to get a baseline.

I work in a clinical role at a university and can take 6 credits per term for free. The courses I am considering, based on the admissions requirements at several schools, are: Developmental Psych, Psychopathology, Learning/Cognitive, Statistics, and perhaps Social or Experimental Psychology.

I would love to find a part-time research position. I am definitely willing to do research work unpaid as I need the experience. I am also willing to leave my current position to get full-time paid research experience.


Questions:

First, does my plan seem appropriate or are there other things I should be considering?

Is there a best practice around calling people to inquire about research opportunities? I honestly have no idea where to begin with this part—for example, would I simply cold-call various places? As I mentioned, I work at a university. We recently moved here (>6 months) and I don’t have substantive professional relationships yet. Since I will be taking psych classes at the university where I am currently working, I am wondering if it would be appropriate to reach out to professors in the department to inquire about research opportunities? If not, what would be a better approach? Does it matter that I am not interested in pursuing doctoral studies here?

Any guidance anyone is willing to provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time and labor in responding to my post.


Notes:

From my research on the forum I have noticed that when people inquire about PsyD programs there are generally concerns raised about the large debt sometimes incurred from students attending unfunded PsyD programs. While my hope is to become competitive enough to gain at least partial funding, if this did not happen I would not have to take out any loans to pay for a PsyD. We are able to pay out of pocket without taking on any debt.

Since I mentioned that we recently relocated, I think it might be important to share that we are geographically flexible and not bound to this area. When it is time to apply, I will be doing a nationwide search. My husband’s field is incredibly flexible and we can be based anywhere with consistent internet access.
Mod Note: I've merged this into the WAMC thread.

I'll let others respond in more depth, but broadly, I think your current plan is a good one. Getting the necessary psych coursework, improving the Quant score, and getting at least a year's worth of research experience should go a long way toward increasing the competitiveness of your application. I don't know if the 3.6 graduate GPA will necessarily hurt you, but the 3.75 undergrad GPA is fine.

And yes, I would say it's entirely appropriate to contact professors of your current program to see if any are taking RAs. Same goes for cold-calling professors/labs at nearby programs. You would probably just want to talk with any potential professors at your university about the fact that you also work there in a clinical role, just in case of the potential for any dual relationships.
 
Dec 25, 2017
22
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Note that your clinical role at the university will only minimally improve your application. Certainly the opportunity to take classes is great though.

Getting quality research experience and clarifying your research interests should be a priority. It's definitely doable for you to find a paid entry-level RA position. However you'll need to be clear with PI's about your goals -- landing your name on publications and presentations is often a long-term reward but is not always given.

Volunteering part-time with a professor and reading about areas that you're interested in researching is certainly a good start.

With regard to the PsyD -- the quality of training is not worth the time or financial investment. How will a doctorate help you achieve your goals? You'll need to be able to answer that clearly in a personal statement, particularly because you already have an msw.
 

evie24

2+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2016
4
0
1
Status
Psychology Student
Hi all! I'd love to get some feedback on my chances!

About me:
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.68
  • Major: Psychology, Minor: Human Development
    • Major GPA (I don't remember exactly, but I think this is it): 3.8
  • GRE: 155V/148Q/5W
    • (Note: I know my quant score is low, I took it in undergrad and recall giving up half-way through, but I intend to retake it and have been getting ~154 on the practice tests. Goal is to aim for 155-160 if possible)
  • Undergraduate research experience:
    • Approx. 1 to 1.5 years total
    • Labs included:
      • Suicidal Behaviors & Psychopathology
      • PTSD Assessment
      • [University name] Couples Study
      • a Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Psychological Education project
    • Volunteer experience:
      • Victim Advocate for the Rape Counselors of [Region]: 1 semester/approximately 5 months
      • Intern for the local VA's Clinical Psych Doctoral program director (helped prepare the data for their upcoming accreditation evaluation)
  • Professional research experience
    • 3+ years as a research coordinator for the US Department of Veterans Affairs
      • ~2.5 years working in a suicide (prevention), depression, PTSD, and trauma/TBI research lab
      • ~1 year working in a health services research lab (main projects include a quality improvement project aimed at increase opioid safety measures and a health psychologist driven tobacco cessation project)
  • Publications
    • 1 second-authored peer-reviewed article on PTSD in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders
    • 1 first-authored article submitted to New England Journal of Medicine
    • 1 second-authored book chapter on TBI
    • Possibly 4 more publications to submit before/by the fall (will likely be second-author on 2, and first on 2)
  • Presentations
    • 1 presented workshop
    • 2 paper presentations at AAS
    • 6 poster presentations (3 as an undergrad)
    • 1 invited talk/presentation
Schools I am thinking of applying to (Clinical Psychology, PhD):
  • University of Denver
  • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Auburn University
  • Harvard University
  • Boston University
  • University of Washington
So, what do you think?

My PhD-level friends, colleagues, and mentors think I'm a great candidate but I can't help but acknowledge there is some bias in how they feel about me given our personal relationships and worry there is something more I can be doing to make myself a competitive candidate (like get that GRE score up!) before applications are due.

Any insight or advice you may have will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you! :)
 
Dec 25, 2017
22
8
11
Your research experience sounds very good and your GPA is competitive for sure. Definitely focus on the GRE as I'm certain you would be on some initial cut-lists with your quant score -- despite your strong research experience. Also suggest you expand your list of schools to 15 or so. You have filled up your CV but once you make it to interviews, fit and personality matter just as much. Best to up your odds and apply to as many good fits as you can. Also seek guidance from as many mentors as you can on your personal statement. Trauma/PTSD/TBI are all hot areas and lots of applicants apply with those interests. Think hard about how you can distinguish yourself, what's missing in that area, and what you can to add to it.
 
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