What do I need to be competitive at clinical/counseling programs?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by futureapppsy2, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    #1 futureapppsy2, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  2. terpskins10

    terpskins10 PhD Student
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    It seems like you will be a VERY strong applicant. Your GPA is excellent, you have strong research experience, as well as clinical experience, and your GRE score is pretty decent as well.

    I can honestly say I wouldn't want to compete against you for a spot. :cool:

    Edit: Completely unnecessary to quote.
     
    #2 terpskins10, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  3. myelin

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    I hope you never loose this "steam" in your future PhD/PsyD program.

    P.S. what do you eat for breakfast and where can I get some? :cool:
     
  4. WannaBeDrMe

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    double post
     
    #4 WannaBeDrMe, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  5. WannaBeDrMe

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    Exactly. What they said...

    Um, absolutely... most applicants coming from UG will not have publications. Some masters level applicants will not have publications.

    I want to do undergrad over and I want to be you. Ok? :)

    Good luck with your process.

    PS, don't discount your psychopharm research. Of course I don't have any idea what area you are working on... but that was my UG research area as well and it is the only reason I had doors opened for me with a lot of people. Mine was heavily neuro-influenced but was still securely under the umbrella of psychopharm stuff. Also, the understanding I achieved through those years of lab study and reading everything there was to read on my topic have incredibly impacted me today (and I'm over 7 years out from it)... Drug labs are excellent teaching environments, I think... though animal disposal is the least fun thing ever in the history of ever... One of my UG mentors worked part-time in grad school doing nothing but gassing rats/breaking their necks for hours a day. Her hell will probably be nothing but rat heads floating around her for eternity. Ha.
     
  6. BorntoRun

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    From your post it sounds like you're coming straight out of undergrad. That sounds like the only potential weakness to your application; everything else really does sound phenomenal (including the psychopharm research, actually. From what I've seen and heard, neuro experience almost always helps.) I wouldn't give up on your chances just yet; plenty of people get in straight out of undergrad and it sounds like among them, you've got a great shot. I've also found that most people who've taken time off between their undergrad and their grad careers end up finding that the experience of doing a real full-time job for a year or two is really worthwhile. Either way, best of luck to you!
     
  7. thirdeye99

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    Or 10 years like myself.

    Seriously relax, take some time to decompress from school, do some full or part time research/clinical work, reflect about what you want to do, and maybe get a publication or two in the process. I never understand why undergraduates stress about needing to move on so fast and know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life. You're 21 years old! :)

    That said, you look to have great credentials, so I wouldn't worry too much about getting into a program.
     
    #7 thirdeye99, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  8. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Thanks for all the words of support! :love: I hope the adcoms next year are as friendly and impressed!

    I'm in an awkward, complicated position where it would be very hard for me to get a job with just a BA, unless I managed to get a paid RA position. I need a job where I can basically sit and talk to/listen to people (yes, I know that's an incredible over-simplification of clinical psychology, which includes assessment, possibly teaching/research, etc.). I can't do much physical work, so doing something like a psychiatric tech or home visits would probably be out. I'd also just like to go to grad school straight out if possible.

    My psychopharm research is in the area of drug development, particularly developing a new dual-acting SSRI (My supervising professor was actually an undergraduate psychology major himself, so he had surprisingly few issues with my switch from pharm to psych). My assessment work has been in neuropsych, though, so maybe that will help...?


    I guess a lot of my anxiety over my current lack of publications comes from the fact that so many applicants on this board seem to have publications
    or at least major poster presentations, neither of which I currently have.

    That, and one of my advisers here keeps strongly pushing me to get a publication, stating that he applied to grad school with 9 years of professional research experience (including a first-author publication), good GRE scores, and a 3.2 GPA and still got rejected from 10 schools, waitlisted at two, and into just 1! :eek: If someone who has that good of credentials can have that kind of outcome, well...

    Right now, the biggest question mark on my application seems to be the GRE. While I understand the importance of prep, part of me just wants to take it so that I can see my "real" score! :laugh:

    Thanks again for the input! :)
     
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    #8 futureapppsy2, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  9. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Also,
    What did you research? Luckily, the work we do is at the cellular/chemical level, so no rat killing for us.....
     
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  10. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Also, and one of my professors has brought this up to me, but will my application look too scattered with all my different research experiences (child psych, multicultural, DV, neuropsych, disability, and substance abuse)? Multiculturalism is definitely the strongest "trend," and I'm trying to tie things together (for example, my substance abuse project focuses a construct that is central to my multicultural thesis and substance abuse tends to be a BIG issue in the population in which I do multicultural work, and I'm doing multicultural child psych work this summer, so it's not completely disparate). I'm wondering if it might be best to leave parts of my research experience off my applications, or would that be a bad idea?
     
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  11. psychmama

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    I probably would not leave off any of your research. Assuming you can coherently explain the progression of your research interests, I think having such a varied background is a strength. The trick will be making the grad schools understand that you have reached a point at which you want to narrow and deepen your focus.
     
  12. blindblonde

    blindblonde U.S. citizen, Dutch Ph.D
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    Well, I think I may repeat a little bit of what others have said. You look like a pretty strong applicant to me. No pubs are really necessary. They are nice to have, but not expected. Just try to get a solid GRE score and you should be in the running. :cool:

    That being said, I do want to stress one thing. Be wise in your school selection. You can have the perfect credentials for schools, but if your research interests do not match well with the school, you will likely get rejected. So play your cards right, and with a little luck, you should be fine. :)
     
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  13. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Thanks for the input! Research match is always the first thing I look at (why would I go somewhere if I couldn't study what I want?), so that's definitely what I'm looking for first and foremost (followed by funding/match rates).
     
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  14. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    Having spoken with you before and knowing that you are preparing already and reading your qualifications, you are a great applicant. I truly hope you consider WVU as it sounds to me like any PhD program would be lucky to have you!
     
  15. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Thanks! WVU looks like an *excellent* program, so as long as my POI is accepting applicants in my research area, and I don't totally bomb the GRE, I'll definitely be applying.

    To be honest, I'm really bowled over (in a good way) by all your support--looking at the "Undergraduate Credentials" thread (and taking to one of my advisers here), I can't help but feel like I'm at the bottom the barrel.

    As for where I get my drive, it huge part of it is being born on to a playing field with the world tilted against me. I am, statistically speaking, hugely likely to fail (~80% chance of unemployment), so I know I must work hard to succeed. And loving what I'm doing helps a lot, too, as you all know!:)
     
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  16. HeyJude

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    I second the importance of match. While you may have "more" experience than many of your fellow applicants, you will also be competing with people who have experience closely related to research conducted by your POI. Instead of spreading yourself so thin, could you narrow your interests and invest time into 1 or 2 projects? This may also be your best route to publication.

    Not to be Debbie Downer, but i applied last year with VERY similar stats though somewhat less research experience (I did have one paper submitted for publication). I got into three programs, two of which were not fully funded. A few highly rated programs (we're not even talking UCLA here) did not invite me for an interview.

    With a 1250 GRE, certain schools are likely to rule you out in the first round, regardless of other good credentials. But you should get through teh first round at most schools and when you do, you can expect an interview.
     
  17. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Thanks for the input! I do have strong research match with the POI's I'm applying with (honors thesis in the are, etc.), so I'm hoping that will help. I have two areas of heavy concentration and then a lighter spread among other areas. Do you think I should leave some of my experience of my application?
     
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  18. psychgirl77

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    I wouldn't leave any of the research off your application. All research experience is a good thing.
     

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