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corbeau

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About corbeau

  • Rank
    Decaf

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    U.S.A.
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Clinical Psychology
  1. Hi. I'm planning to apply to clinical psychology PhD programs soon for Fall 2018 and I've decided to start on my personal statements. However, UC Berkeley's prompt (or rather multiple prompts) has me confused. On the psychology department's Application Instructions page and Berkeley's general Writing a Personal Statement page, it says to write a personal statement about... How you have overcome barriers to access in higher education. Evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others. Evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education. Evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality. Evidence of your leadership among underserved populations. However, the psychology department also has the FAQ - General Admissions page, which says... The personal history statement should discuss how your personal background influences your decision to pursue a graduate degree in psychology. For example, please include information on how you have overcome barriers; evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically under represented in higher education; evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups. Some questions to consider are: What hardships have you overcome? What have been your successes? What obstacles came up? Show how you persevered. How did you become interested in psychology? Were you in some way different from the majority of students in your class? Was your family supportive in your decision to choose psychology as a career field? Were you influenced by your parents’ education and career? Were you in a single parent family? Was much of your time spent taking care of your siblings? Did you work while going to school? Is psychology a common career field for people of your cultural background? Question 1: Which prompt do I write about? I will admit that I am a white, privileged person whose life has been financially stable. I have ideas about what I would write about if I chose the first prompt (working in a hospital + growing up in a racially diverse area), but they will pale in comparison with the statements of other applicants who have essays that are closer to home. I feel like I could write a better essay if I chose the second prompt (enduring and overcoming the consequences of a natural disaster), but I feel like that's a cop-out. I know Berkeley wants diverse applicants and I shouldn't beat around the bush. Also, when they say "What hardships have you overcome?", do they mean hardships exclusively concerning diversity/underrepresented groups, or would it be inappropriate to write about a natural disaster? Question 2: Where do I put my interest in psychology: the PS or the SoP? If you look at the FAQ - General Admissions page, it says to answer "What sparked your interest in psychology?" in your Statement of Purpose and to answer "How did you become interested in psychology?" I have a good story to tell about how I got interested in psychology, but I don't want to repeat myself. Do I answer in both statements? Maybe give a more lengthy answer in my SoP and briefly mention it in my PS? Can I assume that the AdComm will read one statement before the other so I could treat the two statements like two pieces of a longer work? Thank you for getting this far and reading my wall of text