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DippinDot

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  1. Like
    DippinDot reacted to brainlass in Will I get into a Psychology PhD program?   
    The reason is that while PhD programs generally offer full funding (tuition waiver + stipend/assistantship to cover cost of living), Master's programs still make YOU pay tuition. Even though it's only for a couple of years, those expenses can really rack up debt. Moreover, different types of MA programs may or may not really make your application competitive. Some example scenarios of when a MA first would be helpful or not-so-helpful to your application:
    1. Your undergrad degree was NOT in psych or a related field. You do a psych MA to acquire a strong foundation of background knowledge and demonstrate that you're up to speed. The MA is helpful.
    2. Your undergrad degree was in psych or a related field. You do a coursework-based (non-thesis) MA because you think it will look good on an application. You do not acquire much more meaningful research experience or produce posters and publications. You end up footing the bill for the degree, and it is not very helpful to your application.
    3. Your undergrad degree was in psych or a related field. You do a thesis-based MA, and gain experience with (maybe) proposing and designing your own study, and following it through. You most likely get at least one poster presentation out of it. You maybe get a publication out of it. The MA was somewhat helpful, but whether the cost was worth the experience is debatable, because it is possible to get comparable credentials out of a paid research assistantship or lab manager job.
     
    This applies to many of the other "will I get in" case studies in this thread: Seriously, quality research experience is king. I got into great PhD programs this cycle straight out of undergrad. At interviews, some profs explicitly told me that the admissions committee generally rejects undergrad applicants immediately, on principle. My extensive research experience made me stand out enough to get me an interview, and from there, I had a real shot to impress in-person. I had quantity (four years of work in four different labs, sometimes two concurrent research positions). More importantly, I also had quality (three programs of original research which I proposed and designed, multiple poster and oral presentations, two first author pubs in process).
  2. Like
    DippinDot reacted to ✿Blossom✿ in Immunization Issues   
    Thank you. As a matter of fact, yesterday I went to the hospital where I had had my early childhood vaccines (not the ones administered to me when I was at school), but the employees told me that the hospital was obligated to safeguard the records for only 10 years - so there is a good chance that my records have been destroyed. We have also called the archive section of the hospital, but nothing came up. The people were also puzzled, in my opinion, and almost everyone I talked to expressed surprise, as - I presume - nobody had requested their vaccination records from 20+ years ago. So in my case, at least, it seems I will not be able to track my records down.
    I see that this is a viable option, but as you said - it is hardly ethical. I mean, technically it wouldn't be a lie, because if I've been vaccinated against varicella (which I have), the idea is that it is supposed to provide lifelong protection (which is not the case for all vaccines) and hence, the exact date on which I received this particular vaccine shouldn't matter. But still, I'd rather not do this. I feel uneasy about giving false info, even though it would practically not change anything as far as some vaccines are concerned.
    This is also the case at my school. You cannot enroll in classes, and nor can you stay in a dorm, unless you provide documentation of immunization.
     
    Thank you for these suggestions. After some consideration, I have also decided to take all those vaccines, as this appears to be the only option that will work. 
    I'll just write down why I made this decision, as it might help someone else in the future who browses the forum to find an answer to a similar question.
    There are 5 vaccines that are required by my school, and these are MMR, Tdap, varicella, Hepatitis B, and meningococcal.
    First of all, Tdap is not a kind of vaccine that gives you lifelong protection, it protects you for 5-10 years, and your immunity to the diseases that this vaccine protects you from cannot be proven via blood tests (titers) - so I'll have to take this vaccine. (And I really should, because it's been over 5 years since the last time I received this vaccine.) 
    The same goes for meningococcal - the FAQ section of my school says that immunity to meningitis cannot be shown via blood tests, so unless I have proper documentation to prove that I have taken the vaccine (and I don't), I should take it (which I will).
    Technically, my immunity for measles/mumps/rubella, varicella, and Hepatitis B could be proven via blood tests, if antibodies are found in my blood. BUT, I have read online that the results of these blood tests can sometimes be "equivocal." And if this is the case, I will have to get vaccinated again. Now, such blood tests are not inexpensive in my country. I called a lab a couple of days ago to get pricing information, and it turned out that a blood test for checking immunity for measles, mumps (curiously enough, rubella is not included), and varicella would cost me several hundred dollars. "Several hundred dollars" may not sound like too much to you, perhaps, but considering the currency exchange rate in my country, this is like a small fortune for me. And at the end, there is always the risk that my blood tests will yield equivocal results, and I will have to re-take the vaccines anyway - in which case I will have just poured my money down the drain. All in all, it seems that taking these vaccines will be both cheaper, and much less of a hassle. And as you have pointed out, I may have the additional advantage of having them as "boosters" - which doesn't harm.
    Also, thank you @E-P, for your kind words. I am looking forward to coming to the US! 
    And also many thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread to help me - I appreciate your advice, and it has helped me make up my mind about this issue. 
  3. Like
    DippinDot reacted to rheya19 in Immunization Issues   
    When I started my PhD program in the fall, I had trouble finding official documentation of my vaccines too, just a piece of paper from my MA institution saying that they had record of receiving that documentation from me years ago. So I emailed the healthcare office at my current school  and explained to them my situation. They told me to send over the document that I had, and the woman I communicated with was very kind about it. She accepted most of the immunizations and just had me get an MMR booster (which was free). I would say email whoever is in charge of receiving your immunization forms, let them know what you are and aren't able to find, and see what they say.
  4. Like
    DippinDot reacted to E-P in Immunization Issues   
    First off, once you get what records you can, I'd call your university.  You're not the only international student they have, so they probably have a set suggestion for "How to deal with it if you can't get the documentation."  There may also be documentation in odd places.  I was looking at my high school transcript the other day, and it has documentation of vaccines on it.  Go figure.  Your various primary schools may be able to send you records too.
    Secondly, I'm surprised nobody has suggested this: Couldn't you also just re-get the vaccines that you don't have documentation for?  I'd be hard pressed to get physical documentation of vaccines at age 5, but I doubt there would be deleterious health effects if I got them again.  Presumably, your doctor could advice which ones would be "safe" to double up on.
    Welcome to the US!  I hope you enjoy it.  You're in a good place to get help adapting; I have found that everyone here really genuinely wants to help people get acclimated, both to their programs and to their new homes.
  5. Like
    DippinDot reacted to mm2995 in Psychology Masters (WFU), what's it like?   
    So I graduated from WFU a year ago and though I don’t know much about the outcomes either, I didn’t expect there to be as many “non-PhD” students. Though some cohort members did go on to get their PhDs, a surprising amount (to me) went on to just stop at the master’s level—especially since I really did think it was designed to be a pre-PhD sort of program. I do wish there was some sort of quantifiable data sheet though. The classes are challenging, but they are mostly time-consuming, especially when trying to complete TA/RA tasks. It’s not all completely unmanageable though but do be prepared to be very busy and consumed with work. I wish there was more of a focus on research though. My mentorship experience was good, but I have heard cases where it hasn’t been the best at all. Looking back on it, I could have probably just been an RA in a lab and been just as prepared for my PhD program.
    As far as living in Winston-Salem, it is a small city with not a whole lot to do. I wish there would have been more of a night life or outdoorsy things without having to drive more than one/two hours. It did get boring very quickly for me, but it was good to get exposed to a different way of living. As far as diversity, there really isn’t much in my opinion. Our cohorts are too small to have much variety in that department, but as you look around you can see how southern the campus really is. The WFU websites are kind of misleading on diversity, because I would say the campus is about 85% White, not to mention everyone seems to be really rich. Everyone looks like a model, and they dress very similarly! As I was here, I was taken back by how much support there was for Trump. There was this one case where students rolled the quad (a tradition done for celebrating wins in sports) when Trump won the election to celebrate his win. I don’t know if I’m biased because I have attended, but I have been hearing about recent cases that have been happening on campus regarding race and crime. I don’t want to speak too much on the diversity aspect, because I feel like I would be giving you biased opinions, so I would just encourage you to look up Winston-Salem/WFU news to get a better idea and come to your own conclusions. As far as cost of living, you can get a one-bedroom apartment close to campus for about $800 a month plus utilities. I had to take out loans to help with my living expenses, but I wouldn’t recommend going too far away from campus to save money, because it can get dangerous. Again, just do your own research on safety. However, there have also been some safety concerns on campus and close to campus that I have heard about from the university sending out emails. I guess safety concerns come with all places though, but it was also something I didn’t expect from Wake. Some incidents that come to mind are those dealing with violence like a knife fight and some gun incidents. Again, just do your research, because I feel like this is all at the forefront of my mind due to recent national incidents. I just want to give you honest information, but I realized I have gone on a couple tangents.
    I personally did not feel integrated to the campus culture, and I felt that more could be done to include graduate students; however, you are kept pretty busy, so I doesn’t really matter. My experience wasn’t bad, but I definitely wish I would have just saved my time/money and just have done more research prior to my PhD program and perhaps made/saved money instead of taking out loans to aid my living expenses. I also feel like I would have gotten more out of a different more exciting city, but I definitely got exposed to a different place, and I can’t complain about that! I didn’t mean to sound negative throughout the whole thing, because it was not a bad experience. These are just some of the things I wish someone could have told me before going. I hope I gave you some sort of insight. You can definitely PM if you’d like to chat more!
  6. Like
    DippinDot got a reaction from tj1864 in Psychology Masters (WFU), what's it like?   
    Hey @tj1864! Thank you for the info, I really, really appreciate it!
    The range of courses sound really balanced! And that's so cool that the people you know were able to get positions at such great schools. Yeah it seems like there's no publicly available information regarding placement, but I keep hearing about the good track record that you spoke of. I'm really curious as to where this comes from haha. I'm not doubtful though, I trust that people have gone off to great PhD programs from there. 
    Thanks for telling me about the campus culture!  yeah I imagine that the psych department/MA program tends to be liberal. Good to hear about the professors and students! It definitely reassures me that even if I'm not used to the conservative state of NC/the south, the area I'll be in might be a little closer to the sociopolitical climate of the west.
    I'll be sure to PM you if I have any further questions, thanks again!!
  7. Upvote
    DippinDot got a reaction from humymia in Do all school give the result by email?   
    Emails seem the most common, for all status updates (interview/acceptance/rejection). Phone calls are for interviews or acceptance. I think I've seen on here that some applicants received rejections through the mail, but it seems to be uncommon. This may vary from program to program, however. Most schools actually indicate on their website where you will receive correspondence regarding your application status. And yes, the application portal is always a good place to check on top of your email.
    This is info I've gathered from being an applicant this season, and from the posts I've seen in other threads on TGC. Hope that helps!
  8. Like
    DippinDot reacted to tj1864 in Psychology Masters (WFU), what's it like?   
    Hi! I’m a current student at Wake Forest so I might be able to answer some of your questions. I’m not in the MA program so I can’t answer a ton about it, but I am a senior psychology major and I do research with a few of the grad students.
    As far as the MA program itself, everyone I know enrolled in it has had very positive things to say. Seems to be a pretty good overview of a variety of psych classes (cognitive, bio, social, etc.) in addition to 2 psychometrics classes. Again because it’s not a “focused” degree it gives you an opportunity to experience a few different subsets of psychology you might not have gotten in your undergrad, and then decide what you want to specialize in if you are interested in pursuing a PhD.
    I also do not have any data on outcomes for masters students so I can’t say for sure where most grads end up following the MA program. I can say I know a few that have gone into professional research roles, and some have gone into PhDs at Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, NYU, and UNC in general psych, cognitive psych, or clinical psych. Again these are just the people that I knew personally so I can’t say this is the case for everyone. But I do know that this program has a fairly good track record of being admitted into some prestigious PhD programs.
    As far as the campus culture, it’s a bit hard to describe. I would say the campus typically falls about 50-50 in terms of liberal-conservative. A bit more conservative than you’d expect for a top 30 university, but less than you would expect for a school in the South. The MA program and the psych department itself tends to be pretty liberal. But overall the students in the program tend to be a pretty tight group of friends, and the psych professors here are great and genuinely take an interest in their research and working with their students.
    I hope that answers some of your questions/concerns. Feel free to PM me if there’s anything else you’d like to know!
  9. Like
    DippinDot got a reaction from Sherrinford in Might be a dumb question-- are the horror stories about multiple failed app cycles true? Is there more to it?   
    Hello all,

    I wanted to make individual replies but I didn't expect so many people to give such helpful responses!

    Thank you all for your valuable input and sharing your experiences. I understand the application/admission process a little better now and see how the factors you all mentioned come into play.

    @E-P Thanks again for your help!  I will definitely reach out and ask about the weaknesses of my application. I'm glad I have the opportunity of doing the MA as a means of improving myself as a researcher and applicant. @+ve regard I'll definitely try to be more proactive about getting connections with PIs this round too!

    @dr. bubbles Thank you for sharing the tip about SoP! I definitely need to work on that for next cycle. I'm in my senior year of undergrad and I totally approached it too much like an undergrad college essay. I also didn't know anything about the application process, and had little to no help from mentors (grad students/faculty/department or career centers). I don't really blame this on them (grad students, my professors) though as I imagine they're super busy. I also wasn't the most persistent in getting help from those people, for that reason. The career center and psych department advisers however....... haha. I totally wish we had the built-in infrastructure/resources med students (sometimes) do for their application process. This is besides the point though. I basically just wanted to say I definitely agree with you. After going through the process once I definitely have a much better handle on what to do to be more successful next year.

    And yes, I asked this question because I've been a little skeptical of stories where people not getting any admissions despite 3+ cycles, especially if they claim to have been actively doing appropriate things to improve themselves. I am aware that there may be outliers from time to time of people who truly have amazing stats and seemingly good fit yet are unable to get in a program after years of trying. I guess it's not so much being uncomfortable with the idea that not everyone can get what they want, but more that these people seemingly don't have any obvious issues as an applicant... yet they haven't been able to get in, year after year. It makes me wonder, what about me could possibly be so different from these individuals for me to believe I could get in and have a better outcome than them?

    I definitely resonate with @Sherrinford's piece about being taught all our lives that if one to work hard enough, one could succeed eventually. Especially from a western/cultural standpoint. However, I do agree that the way of the world is that sometimes, some people don't get what they want. I also see what @lewin is saying about some people just not being cut out for grad school. Who knows, anything could happen and I could find out that my talents lie elsewhere or am better fit for a different type of learning/growing experience than a PhD program.  @wnk4242  also touches on this, but in terms of specific psych disciplines. I completely see where you're all coming from and will keep what y'all said in mind. I guess all we can do is just try our best to gather as much knowledge about the process, to try as hard as we can, and give ourselves the best chance of achieving our dreams. Me asking this question/creating this thread is one way of doing that. I just want to know more and learn from other people's perspectives on this grueling experience.

    Thanks again for all the valuable advice and perspectives! Hearing from everyone on this forum has been really fun and helpful.




     
  10. Like
    DippinDot got a reaction from wnk4242 in Might be a dumb question-- are the horror stories about multiple failed app cycles true? Is there more to it?   
    Hello all,

    I wanted to make individual replies but I didn't expect so many people to give such helpful responses!

    Thank you all for your valuable input and sharing your experiences. I understand the application/admission process a little better now and see how the factors you all mentioned come into play.

    @E-P Thanks again for your help!  I will definitely reach out and ask about the weaknesses of my application. I'm glad I have the opportunity of doing the MA as a means of improving myself as a researcher and applicant. @+ve regard I'll definitely try to be more proactive about getting connections with PIs this round too!

    @dr. bubbles Thank you for sharing the tip about SoP! I definitely need to work on that for next cycle. I'm in my senior year of undergrad and I totally approached it too much like an undergrad college essay. I also didn't know anything about the application process, and had little to no help from mentors (grad students/faculty/department or career centers). I don't really blame this on them (grad students, my professors) though as I imagine they're super busy. I also wasn't the most persistent in getting help from those people, for that reason. The career center and psych department advisers however....... haha. I totally wish we had the built-in infrastructure/resources med students (sometimes) do for their application process. This is besides the point though. I basically just wanted to say I definitely agree with you. After going through the process once I definitely have a much better handle on what to do to be more successful next year.

    And yes, I asked this question because I've been a little skeptical of stories where people not getting any admissions despite 3+ cycles, especially if they claim to have been actively doing appropriate things to improve themselves. I am aware that there may be outliers from time to time of people who truly have amazing stats and seemingly good fit yet are unable to get in a program after years of trying. I guess it's not so much being uncomfortable with the idea that not everyone can get what they want, but more that these people seemingly don't have any obvious issues as an applicant... yet they haven't been able to get in, year after year. It makes me wonder, what about me could possibly be so different from these individuals for me to believe I could get in and have a better outcome than them?

    I definitely resonate with @Sherrinford's piece about being taught all our lives that if one to work hard enough, one could succeed eventually. Especially from a western/cultural standpoint. However, I do agree that the way of the world is that sometimes, some people don't get what they want. I also see what @lewin is saying about some people just not being cut out for grad school. Who knows, anything could happen and I could find out that my talents lie elsewhere or am better fit for a different type of learning/growing experience than a PhD program.  @wnk4242  also touches on this, but in terms of specific psych disciplines. I completely see where you're all coming from and will keep what y'all said in mind. I guess all we can do is just try our best to gather as much knowledge about the process, to try as hard as we can, and give ourselves the best chance of achieving our dreams. Me asking this question/creating this thread is one way of doing that. I just want to know more and learn from other people's perspectives on this grueling experience.

    Thanks again for all the valuable advice and perspectives! Hearing from everyone on this forum has been really fun and helpful.




     
  11. Like
    DippinDot reacted to E-P in Might be a dumb question-- are the horror stories about multiple failed app cycles true? Is there more to it?   
    I tend to agree with @lewin's analysis on the "what if a person just isn't cut out for this."  I would add that sometimes you have to go away to come back.
     
    In general, though, there's a handful of things that institutions look for:
    - Performance in undergrad
    - Performance/writing in MA
    - GRE scores
    - Ability to articulate yourself
    - Letters of Rec
    - Research fit
    There's not much you can do about going back in time and changing past grades (e.g., the performance items).  You can't call yourself at age 18 and tell yourself that you should probably go to bed rather than to that frat party (not that I'm speaking from experience at all).  But you can work on the others. 
    If you're rejected, it's worth asking for feedback to figure out what you can improve over the next year before you start applying again.  Is it a research fit?  That's easy, apply to different programs, talk to POI in advance, etc.  Writing ability?  Talk to a writing coach at your MA institution, or perhaps take some academic writing classes to hone that skill.  Hell, ask one of your MA professors to help you write a paper for publication.  GRE scores?  I'm a believer (despite my own average-at-best scores) that that is something you can affect.
    Basically, even if half the institutions you apply to never respond with feedback, the others will!  Especially if you phrase it in a polite, respectful way that shows you're not mad, and you just want to be a more competitive applicant next year.
     
    Also not addressed: If you're going straight from BA to PhD, I gather that a lot of schools admit very few students straight from undergrad.  So consider applying for the MA program first.  Then they'll see how amazing you are and accept you for the PhD when you get done with the MA.  
     
    Edit: It should be noted that I'm not a psych person.  I just saw the post as "Recent" on the main page.  So, your mileage may vary.
  12. Like
    DippinDot reacted to bubble_psych in Might be a dumb question-- are the horror stories about multiple failed app cycles true? Is there more to it?   
    As someone, who just got into a Clinical PhD program in my second round of applying, I'd like to also say that knowing how to apply makes all the difference. In my first round, I wrote my SOP more like a undergrad college essay. I didn't know that there were unwritten (not in the prompt) rules of what should or should not be in the SOP. I googled what the essay should look like, but the samples available online were not of quality. It wasn't until I started reading more and inquiring on gradcafe and on sdn that I got a better idea of what was necessary. I've seen a lot of my friends apply for medical school, and in their undergrad institution there is a dedicated pre-med office for navigating the ins and outs of the application process. I haven't seen an office like that at my alma mater for applying to PhDs. So my advice is to reach out to people that have gotten in and ask as many questions as you can about the process.
    Edit: This thread helped me a lot with the SOP -
     
  13. Like
    DippinDot reacted to +ve regard in Might be a dumb question-- are the horror stories about multiple failed app cycles true? Is there more to it?   
    I applied to clinical psych MA/PhD combined programs directly out of undergrad, many, many years ago. The first year, totally shut out. The second year, I applied to everywhere again along with some terminal MA programs at smaller schools (as @E-P recommended). Got one. Phewf. 

    After working as a therapist for a while, I wanted to give the PhD program one last shot. I really researched the POIs and made contact in May of the application year. I attended a few local conferences and tried to meet as many as possible. I feel that there are so many excellent applicants on paper, this was my chance to make an impression and convince them to take a chance on me. They can go to bat for you when it comes to admission committee decisions.

    I feel like this is the advantage we have over medical school applicants, where so much of the pre-interview screening is purely numbers-based. I agree with @dr. bubbles that your statement is another chance to shine beyond the numbers. I spent a lot of time soul searching and thinking about why I wanted to do a PhD and why now. When I look back at my application materials from years ago, I wouldn't have admitted myself either!

    If you make those POI connections and really write a stellar statement of interest - this could be the bump you need to rise above the crowd of excellent applicants. There's always hope. 
  14. Like
    DippinDot reacted to FacelessMage in Might be a dumb question-- are the horror stories about multiple failed app cycles true? Is there more to it?   
    I definitely agree with the fact that a good amount of application success being due to luck (after you consider all the other important factors that have already been mentioned in this thread). You could look really good one year because the rest of your application cohort isn't as shining, but in a different year be utterly unremarkable the next year. A lot of success also depends on department politics in a given year. Some POIs will be prioritized in being able to accept students in different years (especially in clinical). If you're in a fairly niche area of research (like forensics, eating disorders, or sex research), you're going to have a much harder time since there's less spots for the amount of applicants than say someone doing general anxiety or depression research. 

    Clinical is definitely the hardest of the specialities to get into (in my opinion, it's harder to get into a clinical program than med or law school). Social psych and I/O are also hard specialities to get into, but most experimental programs are easier to be accepted into (at least from my Canadian perspective). 
    It took me 4 application cycles to be accepted into a clinical PhD program (niche research field). I just kept working on my application every year, making sure I was seeking out extra opportunities to improve my application, and it paid off! 
  15. Upvote
    DippinDot reacted to wnk4242 in Might be a dumb question-- are the horror stories about multiple failed app cycles true? Is there more to it?   
    I am an international applicant from China (got a masters in mental health counseling in the US). I applied to 13 clinical psych programs last year and got 13 rejections. I applied to 9 educational psychology programs (with a concentration in measurement and statistics) and 1 quantitative psychology programs and got 7 offers.
    How do you make of my experience? I think sometimes your choices are more important than your working hard.
    That said, I don't think switching from clinical psych to quant psych programs is the only reason why I am much more successful than last year.
    You should work hard but also work smarter.
    In my case, after the first failed cycle, I re-evaluated my strengths and weaknesses, and realized that quant might be more suitable for me. I've always interested in statistics and I'm good at coding, so why apply for clinical psych and fail again instead of working on my strengths? 
    I did an independent study using R and wrote a strong writing sample about it;
    I built a personal academic site and published my writing sample and CV on it;
    I rewrote my SOPs and customized them to each program;
    I contacted all of my POIs 1-1.5 months prior to the app deadline;
    I didn't retake and improve my GRE scores because they were already decent;
    I asked the same letter writers to write my letters.
    I think one of the reasons why some people fail repeatedly is that they haven't realized where their true strengths lie. They don't spend time talking to themselves and trying to figure out who they are. They just follow what other people do, like applying for clinical psych programs. Once they figure that out, things would become much easier.
     
  16. Like
    DippinDot reacted to b_l91 in Gap Year? Job? Masters?   
    I have been working a full time research job the last two years. It's given me the experiences I need for applications that I didn't fully get as an undergrad RA and has also given me the opportunity to explore my own research and career interests. In clinical psychology, having evidence that you are committed to this type of program (often 5 years plus an internship year) as well as evidence that you can succeed as an independent researcher are key. I think taking time out of school but still doing work related to my ultimate goals helped me in this application cycle.
    Regarding post-baccs, I know some programs have formal post-baccs (e.g., a former roommate attended a post-bacc in math at the college we lived near) but from what I understand talking to fellow applicants this cycle, post-baccs for clinical applicants tend to be research positions that expect a two year commitment but in return they prepare you for acceptances into PhD programs. This is often a good route because your mentors are familiar with entrance qualifications and will help get you the experiences and preparation you need.
    I am not applying with a Masters so I can't speak fully to that or how it could be detrimental. However, there are a few reasons why pursuing a masters would be useful. If you have a low undergrad GPA, if you were not a psychology major, if you do not have any research experience, or if you don't yet have a defined area of interest particularly for research pursuits would all be reasons that taking the master's route may be beneficial. I met a number of applicants as well who are applying to PhD programs as they are completing their masters. From what I hear, like post-baccs, masters also allow for help in interview prep, letters of rec, and advice on statements and general application questions. One major downside to this is that the majority of masters programs are not funded (with a few notable exceptions).
    My experiences are all geared toward clinical applications, so I can't speak to how applicable this is to non-clinical programs. There were plenty of applicants applying out of undergrad, but there is no reason to fear taking time off and working on your CV and understanding exactly what you want--this application process is grueling and the more prepared you are the better off you'll be.
    Edit: Just saw your other post. Congrats on getting into Wake Forest! I met an applicant in that program at one of my interviews. Sounds like you already have a handle on the masters info I wrote about above.
  17. Like
    DippinDot got a reaction from E-P in If you Don't get accepted   
    @E-P Thank you! I was surprised this username was open haha.  ooo mint chocolate is great. My favorite is birthday cake! 
    And thank you for sharing your experience! It's nice to hear that people have been able to live their life/do other interesting things and still come back to school. I definitely hear you about being more prepared. I was talking to a grad student in my current lab that also took several years off between her undergrad and grad career. She said the same thing about feeling more prepared and experienced. Thanks so much for all your encouraging and reassuring words!!
     
  18. Like
    DippinDot reacted to E-P in If you Don't get accepted   
    You have the most awesome screen name ever.  My favorite Dippin' Dots flavor was always mint chocolate.   And for whatever it's worth, I took 11 years off between my BA and starting my MA, and I don't regret it at all.  I worked a completely unrelated job and kind of figured out who I was.  I feel way more prepared now for graduate work than I was at age 20.  So no matter what way you go, I'm sure it'll be awesome and amazing.
  19. Like
    DippinDot got a reaction from whitmanic in Psychology Masters (WFU), what's it like?   
    @Applicant4788 Hi! Yeah those are good places to get info. I actually spoke with a director previously to ask about where people go after the program and the answer they gave was kind of vague, while retaining that this MA is known as a top psych masters for those trying to get into PhD. They also didn't offer to send me any specific data on outcomes. I got the vibe that they just wanted to keep the answer vague so I didn't push it further. I think this question might be a little awkward to ask faculty/directors because I don't know how they might interpret me asking, although I feel like this a reasonable curiosity considering that people do this type of MA to get to a PhD.  As for the current students-- yes, I've been trying to get in contact. The director said they would refer me to students soon so I'll update on here if gather new insight about the living experience/campus culture. Maybe I'll ask them about how previous cohorts have done in terms of PhD offers as well. Thanks for the suggestion!
  20. Like
    DippinDot reacted to whitmanic in Psychology Masters (WFU), what's it like?   
    Thanks for posting this! I'm in exactly the same position. 
  21. Like
    DippinDot reacted to FutureResearcher in Gap Year? Job? Masters?   
    I did a clinical psychology master (Marriage and Family Therapy) after undergrad. Because I was worried that if I am still unable to get accepted by the PhD program afterwards, at least I can get a master-level license. During my master year, I was very involved in research, and my CV is full of research experience. I manage to get 6 posters, and a manuscript (currently under review). I get accepted by a Counseling Psychology PhD program this application cycle:) Based on my interview experience, I see many candidates with master degree. I am not sure if it is true about clinical psychology program. If you are gonna take a gap year and want to maximize your opportunity to get into a PhD program, focus on research, get paper published. There are some lab manager and paid research assistant jobs. 
  22. Like
    DippinDot got a reaction from whitmanic in Psychology Masters (WFU), what's it like?   
    Hey everyone,

    I was just accepted to Wake Forest's psychology research masters program. It's a 2 year funded program that's designed for those who need more time to narrow down their research interests and gain research experience before applying to a PhD program. I applied to the program as a means of making myself a more competitive applicant for future PhD application cycles. I've heard things through word of mouth, and on some forums, that WFU has a good track record for placing students in quality clinical and non-clinical PhD programs. However, I feel like there's not a whole lot of threads on gradcafe talking about this program. I was wondering if this rumor is true-- that WFU's MA is known for getting students into good PhD programs, and if so, where I could get a sense of this placement data. I don't see any information anywhere regarding what kind of programs people go into after WFU's MA program-- whether that be the actual names of the PhD schools, the location, or the type of psychology PhD (social, cog, clinical, dev, etc.). I'm just curious about where people get this information on WFU's supposed track record. I also wanted to hear about what it's like to live in winston-salem and that area of North Carolina in general. I'm from the west coast and this would be a big change for me, should I end up going. I was wondering about people's experiences with the diversity (or lack of) in the area, the living costs (especially relative to the stipend they give), the campus culture, and just whether or not you enjoyed being there. So yeah! Any and all input about the program or the school is welcome. I just feel like there's almost no threads talking about the program or the school despite the all the good things it's supposedly known for.

    Thanks in advance!
  23. Like
    DippinDot reacted to E-P in If you Don't get accepted   
    Hi.  This message is for everyone who has the sinking feeling that they won't be getting accepted this season.
    I don't know you.  I wouldn't be able to pick you out of a crowd, and we've never met.  But by the fact that you're here, I know that you're driven, and you're not afraid of change and sacrifice in your life.  So know this: It will be okay.  You will get through this.  Your value as a scholar, student, or just a human being has nothing to do with you not getting an acceptance.  Maybe it wasn't the right program, or the right year, or a good fit, or something else entirely.  That's okay!  There's next year, if you want.  Or, if you're out, you will have an awesome career and life, simply because you are driven, and you aren't afraid of change. 
    I heard a fable (if you're a historian, maybe you know the truth of this?) there was once a king who was prone to high-highs, and low-lows.  It made his kingdom erratic  He sent for his advisors and said, "I need something to even me out.  I can't rule like this; either extreme is bad.  Help."
    The advisors went away and deliberated for weeks.  Finally, they returned to the king and presented him with a metal ring, unadorned, that simply said, "This too shall pass."  And from that day, whenever he was too up or too down, he'd look down at his ring and remember...this moment is fleeting.
     
    You're a pretty awesome human.  If you want to comment and tell me how you're feeling down, I will be happy to tell you all the reasons that I, a stranger, think you're awesome.  I imagine others will tell you too!
     
    This too shall pass.
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