Dismiss Notice
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Working Together to Re/apply to Grad School

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Sharewithme, Apr 14, 2018 at 10:41 PM.

  1. Sharewithme

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Hello,

    For those who have been admitted this year to APA accredited programs that you've applied for and interviewed with, congratulations! I'm truly happy for you :) You've worked hard, and this is a major accomplishment.

    For those who haven't been admitted this year, I empathize. I didn't get admitted this year, and rejection feels lousy. You may be in a similar position. You probably worked hard, too. There can be a lot of disappointment getting rejected from graduate school, and please remember that you're not alone.

    At the same, I'm determined to try again and reapply for graduate programs. You may be, too. We may have similar or different research and practice interests. Whatever the case, I think there's a lot of value in helping in each other. This Fall 2018 I plan to apply for APA accredited Ph.D. counseling psychology programs and master's programs as a backup. I need more information on what APA is deciding to do about accrediting master's programs in psychology. I'd like to start a program in Fall 2019. What about you?

    People who are new to the APA application/admissions process are welcome to join in! I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea. Applying for programs is not doom and gloom. Some people do get admitted on their first try.

    I want to hear more about your programs of interest and goals. Please let me know if you want to work together. I know there are individual posts expressing interest in applying for grad school, and I contacted several of you via the personal message feature. It may be more organized and easier to manage if we kept our communications in one or a few threads rather than many different threads. What are your opinions? Thanks.

    Best Regards,
    Sharewithme
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. artsyann

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    37
    Status:
    Psychology Student

    Very nice post! I did not get into any doctoral programs. I knew my little research experience was probably not enough. I was correct. I am instead starting an experimental psychology master’s this Fall. I am excited to be working with my advisor on a topic I am thoroughly interested in. I plan to reapply for doctoral programs in 2 years. I was also limited by geography this application season because my younger child will still be in high school. We did not want to relocate her for her last two years of high school. I won’t be limited my geography the next time I apply, so I think that will help. I am also revisiting if I want to apply for clinical programs at all. I may focus more on Law and Psychology or Social Psychology.
     
    Sharewithme likes this.
  4. Sharewithme

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yes, applicants' research experience matters a lot if not most to Ph.D. programs in psychology. I'm glad you like your research, and it's great to hear your plan! Planning is very important, I agree. It gives we applicants some control in the application/admissions process. Because you mentioned law and social psych, I'm thinking you'd like to apply for Ph.D. and not Psy.D.? You can always apply to a mix, clinical Ph.D. and Psy.D. whatever your interests, law, and social psych.

    I do not have children, but my sister is in her junior year of high school. It makes a big difference if upper classmen can finish their high schooling where they started it, kind of earned their turf. I'm sure your child is grateful.
     
  5. FuturePsyD_

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    18
    Hello! This is a wonderful post. I was admitted to an APA accredited PsyD program and will be attending this fall, but I would love to share what helped me throughout the process in hopes it can be helpful for anyone else applying.

    First, I highly recommend purchasing the Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology if you haven't done so already. It was a lifesaver for me and really helped me narrow down programs and see what kind of chance I had at each school. The book gives a ton of info for every step of the process, but the part I liked the most was their description of each school. It gives them a rank of 1 (no research emphasis) to 7 (very research oriented) which was helpful for me because my experience is more clinically focused.

    Second, if you're having trouble finding research jobs or positions (as was the case for me) try looking for psychometrician/psychometrist postions. I currently administer neuropsych tests and I absolutely love it and it really helped me narrow down my interests in psychology.

    The application process was beyond stressful and I think it's a wonderful idea to try to form a group to work together to support one another. I would have loved that when I was applying. Good luck to you all and please feel free to reach out to me if there's anything I can help with!
     
    #4 FuturePsyD_, Apr 16, 2018 at 12:09 PM
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018 at 5:01 AM
    Sharewithme likes this.
  6. Psychologist_dreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2018
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    Love the idea of this post !

    I got into 1 APA accredited phd program but did not receive full funding.

    It really is a shame that with how many people are coming out of undergrad and MA that want to be in the field, there are so few spots.

    The biggest bit of advice I have for other people is to be really proactive about getting not only research experience; but authorship, publications, and conference presentations. The fully funded spots want academics and don't care about much else ,so you probably won't get a funded spot without indication on your resume you will be a productive academic. There are too few funded spots for them to gamble that you will, when others can prove they can.

    I didn't get those opportunities from my mentors or advisors, and I was too shy to keep hounding them about it when it seemed like they weren't that interested.

    So if I have any advice to other people this cycle, is to get into a lab and program where your advisors will help you on those endeavors. Ask students in that lab beforehand if they are successful in getting those opportunities, because you don't want to find out too late that you spent all this time helping mentors with their research, and they wont give you the time of day for yours. That will hurt you big time on applications.

    Also I think having research publications, authorship, and at least conference presentations is more competitive than clinical experiece. I thought they would rank about the same, but they don't seem to unfortunately. So if you're in the position of choosing between using your time to get clinical experience, or focus on publication/conferences; I would use the time for research instead, because at the end of the day that's what's going to fund your spot.
     
    Sharewithme likes this.
  7. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    7,695
    Likes Received:
    5,646
    Status:
    Psychologist
    This is not accurate for balanced programs. They definitely want some research experience, but most people are coming in with a poster or two and more rarely, a pub or two. The R1 powerhouses definitely want to see an academic minded applicant, because they are in the business of training R1 researchers, but balanced clinical psych programs are far from this. I do agree that, in general, research experience is much higher yield than clinical experience. The types of clinical experience available to applicants are not very applicable to what they will be doing later as clinicians, whereas the research experience is usually directly transferrable skills.

    So yes, people should probably prioritize quality research experiences over some other things, get good GRE scores (>80%), and look around for good fits in balanced programs if they are looking for a clinical career.
     
    Sharewithme likes this.
  8. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
    Psychologist Faculty

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    645
    Research experience makes you stand out because it provides an opportunity to demonstrate important skills relative to the practice of scientific psychology. I would encourage folks to be very transparent about goals in working in a lab early on. Numerous students I talk to will say "can I work in your lab?" but not "I am wanting to get a graduate degree in [clinical, counseling, dog catching, etc.]. To do this I need to gain research experience and would like to work in your lab and contribute to your research because your research in XXX aligns with my interests and will promote my future training. I've got XXX background skills that may be of contribution and use, and I'm willing to learn others as needed. I'm willing to work hard to make sure my contribution level is of substance and would welcome any task or challenge given to me." After discussing length of time in the lab and agreeing to be part of it steady for a period of time (short experience is just us training you, which reduces how much contribution you can offer) perhaps even something akin to "My goal in volunteering for a research lab is to keep open a conversation about how my level of contribution can, at some point, result in my part of research products to demonstrate my capacity to graduate training programs." Getting clear expectations with research productivity is a huge part of it. Ask "Do undergraduates have an opportunity to be part of posters/manuscripts", "What will I need to do to be part of a poster/manuscript", etc.

    Being clear, upfront, and understand that you are there to prove you offer contribution to the lab. This means do a great job and not a 'good job'. Go above and beyond. Expect that you will commit time to it and that if you are unsure, seek resources and show your independence. If I am reading letters, I want to see evidence of (1) professionalism and maturity, (2) independence and a capacity to think through problem solving on their own, (3) a hard-working attitude of 'do more' rather than 'skip by', and (4) complex thought.

    Here is the rationale behind balanced programs valuing clinical knowledge: Having research-minded but clinically career-focused students provides an opportunity for the academic (research-focus) to balance and have the project conceptualized from the practical, boots on the ground level.

    Here is the rationale for wanting students with research experience: training students to engage in statistical practice and research methods (an important part of a scientific field) takes substantial work. The hours put into clinically training are substantial already (take a look at the prac contact hours for match, etc.) and are an introduction to a new set of skills that students weren't able to do before graduate training. Having the leg up and being able to engage in research is helpful because it (1) it reduces the length of time needed to train someone in that aspect of their training, (2) previous research engagement and production is directly transferable into the graduate research training domain, and (3) it provides a lens into your independence and graduate capacity because it entails thoughtful, concise, clear, and explicit comprehension and digestion of academic literature and concepts (being successful in academic level research is not the same as writing a 400-level paper or a psych research method proposal).

    The expectation and competitiveness will also vary by region. Geographic choice matters. I've known folks who have been very successful with less previous research experience based on openness in that regard.

    In my opinion, for whatever that is worth, there is a certain attitude which helps promote the most successful applicants, students, etc. Lots of people want lots of things in life. Not everyone gets what they want. This is both unfortunate and a natural part of life. If you want to be successful, be planful, mindful, and intentional in developing NOW what you want to be capable of doing in the future. You may not be able to do that exact thing (as WisNeuro mentioned with clinical experiences), but find out "what skill/knowledge translates into what I do want to be able to do" and then "how can I make sure I really know that thing so when it transfers I'm not just ok at it, I'm great at it.". Never assume that tomorrow or later is when you will learn something or have the opportunity to do something.

    And on that note.
     
    briarcliff and Sharewithme like this.
  9. Sharewithme

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thank you! Congratulations on the PsyD program admission!

    I've found this book, and you're right, it's golden.

    I think I've found a good research job, but thanks for mentioning the psychometrician/psychometrist option.

    Having support through all the stress is the point :) You got it right, again.

    I'll keep your name in mind as I'm planning to apply and preparing my applications. Thank you so much!
     
  10. Sharewithme

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    This is excellent advice for we prospective students and applicants, thank you! The research/clinical experience question is exactly what I was wondering about. I'm just getting involved in both as much as I can. I feel like if I focus on one and not the other, my applications, and if I'm fortunate to be invited, interviews won't come across as well as if I did both. Congrats on your PhD program admission! Do you have some form of financial assistance? What are you going to be studying? Are you going to a clinical or counseling psych program?
     
  11. Sharewithme

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    R1 researchers being in the business of training R1 researchers is a good way to think about it! I like when logic is pointed out in terms of practicality, how it really is on a daily, weekly, yearly, etc. basis in addition to theory. Not everyone who attends an R1 school comes out an R1 researcher, though. I know you know this, I just wonder if when applicants are applying to R1 schools the ones who admitted all mentioned wanting to be a researcher or professor at an R1 school for their career? When the phrase "balanced programs" is used, does that mean R2, R3, or simply not R1 automatically?

    "Quality" research experiences, "good fits" in balanced programs, and "GRE scores (>80%)". It sounds like GRE scores can be very important, and in terms of the clinical career, I wonder what the scores of ABPP members were?

    Thank you for this post! With each of the replies, your points are excellent, and you all are getting me thinking further, which I really like and am thankful for.
     
  12. Sharewithme

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Attitude matters so much! I'm glad you mentioned this. I'm the type of person who works hard naturally, and remembering to convey this in research experiences is important. Thank you!
     
  13. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    7,695
    Likes Received:
    5,646
    Status:
    Psychologist
    Balanced just means that the program focuses just as much, if not more, on clinical training than research focus. Even R1s can be balanced/clinically focused. My doctoral institution was R1 and I'd consider it balanced/flexible in that regard. My advisor knew from day 1 that I had never planned on an academic career.

    GRE scores are important in that it's what gets you in the door. When programs receive >100 applications for 5-10 spots, they need quick and easy ways to cut some applications, GREs are a good way to make a first cut as they are generally the only standardized numbers across all applicants. After getting in, they don't mean much, just an indirect measure if g, which in itself is only so predictive.
     
  14. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
    Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    6,963
    Likes Received:
    1,249
    Status:
    Psychologist
    Agreed with all of the above. My program was an R1 and I would've classified it as slightly more research-focused, but it provided a lot of clinical training for those interested, and has still churned out a fair number of clinically-oriented graduates (myself being one).

    And yes, GRE scores help in getting your foot in the door. As predictive or non-predictive as they may be, they provide a standardized metric to compare across applicants, particularly when coupled with other less-standardized metrics (e.g., GPA, letters of rec).
     
  15. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
    Moderator Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,939
    Likes Received:
    786
    I think that truly research-intensive students are relatively rare in clinical/counseling psych doctoral programs overall, honestly. APPIC data shows that most internship applicants don't have any peer-reviewed publications at all when they apply for internship, and even when you take out PsyD students, a solid third of internship applicants from PhD programs still have no publications at the time of internship application. Having 5 publications at internship applications puts you in the top 7%-10% of all applicants in terms of publication productivity. Keep in mind that this is all after 4-5 (or more) years of doctoral study.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
    Psychologist Faculty

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    645
    Agreed with others. The R1 designation is a better gauge of how research is added to training rather than clinical experience is subtracted from it. Most R1s are balanced programs (in my view) because a majority of R1 graduates go on to become clinicians, and very solid ones. There are exceptions to this and R1s are more likely to produce academics than non-R1s (again, speaking to the addition of research experience), but this does not reduce the clinical expertise not does it represent a majority of R1 graduates.

    The pressures at a R1 are more research focused because of the tenure demands for the academics. This isn't a bad thing. It means that instead of having one dimension of training (clinical), models emphasize two (clinical,research). The result of being a R1 is that (speaking for my state specifically here although I suspect the same is true for other states) the research intensive universities get access to a larger pot of state funding, which results in greater funding for students, the department, and the university as a whole. The end result is that the faculty want to recruit students who can help in that domain, and emphasize a training model which is inclusive of those skills - because the end result is a more funded, larger, and more vibrant training. At no point does this result in a discussion where folks devalue clinical training or say anything akin to "they aren't good at clinical work but its ok because their research skills are great".
     
    #15 Justanothergrad, Apr 19, 2018 at 7:39 AM
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018 at 7:45 AM
    psych.meout likes this.
  18. psych.meout

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    583
    Status:
    Pre-Psychology
    From discussing this with faculty after we interviewed and selected applicants for admission, GRE scores may have further uses beyond this. One was that they were used as somewhat of a "tie-breaker" to help to decide between two candidates who otherwise appeared relatively equivalent and seemed to be equally goods matches for the program and POI. Another use was for funding. Our university has graduate fellowships for which programs compete across disciplines. These fellowships provide larger stipends than the assistantship, come with extra funding for research purposes, and don't require any work commitments (e.g., TA or RA).

    If remember correctly, those numbers don't specify that they be first author publications. They are technically for any level of authorship, which really casts it in a different light.
     

Share This Page