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Fall 2019 Psychology PhD Applicants!

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3 hours ago, Sosorider said:

Thank you so much! I will start the hunt for a paid research position, and I didn't have a POI. The main reason I only applied to 4 was due to my current teachers saying I should be a top candidate since I've done so much in this field. 

Yeah, "fit" is the biggest metric for this process, even bigger than raw qualifications. Maybe your teachers were a bit overconfident this time around and this isn't usual but you...may want to seek out second opinions on some of these things the next time around?

3 hours ago, philopsych said:

I want to ask you (and everyone) about your comment that you should avoid masters programs if you can get a paid research position. Just as some background, I applied to Clinical Psych PhDs because a clinical psychologist that I know thought that my background (MA in Philosophy of Science with research in philosophy of psychology and MA in Mathematical Behavioral Science + a BA + 2 other MAs) would be sufficient for getting in. As I expected, I don't think I'm getting into a PhD. Now I'm waiting on 2 funded masters programs and a gazillion paid research assistant positions. I would assume that the coursework I'd get in an MA could be beneficial to me because, on paper, I don't have a degree that simply says "psychology." Am I misguided about that?   

Clinical psych is one thing and research psych is another. Clinical psych seems to really value students having a strong foundation in basic psychology that can only come from high grades and coursework. If you do decide you want to do research instead though (and indeed you can even do clinical research without a hard "clinical psych" degree!), then building a base of research experience in psych is more definitively most important. I said what I said bc I'm not interested in clinical at all.

3 hours ago, honeyrue said:

Was this for Boston University's clinical psychology program? If so... hmmm, this is really interesting news. It was my understanding that all clinical psychology interview invites had been sent to chosen applicants around the end of January. Did you hear from your POIs or the DCT? I am trying to decide whether I should get my hopes back up or not for a chance at my dream school. 

*side note... sorry for the ungodly amount of questions here... BU is my top pick!

No, not clinical sorry.

I just wanna say again for anyone potentially on the fence between research and clinical careers, though! If it's easier for you to build a strong research background than it is to achieve optimal grades, you might have a much easier time applying for a non-clinical degree while *still* being able to do clinically important research! The admissions culture surrounding the two degrees are night-and-day different and it's arguably counterproductive that we're operating in the same subforum given how much advice gets shared without qualifying whom it's aimed at.

Edited by paraent

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39 minutes ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

If you are interested in the PhD at John Jay I would caution you against getting your MA there. They actually are more stringent on who they interview from that program because they do not want to fill their PhD spots with alumni. 

Really? How did you hear about this? I really want John jay for my PhD is there another school you suggest for Masters?

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12 minutes ago, Sosorider said:

Really? How did you hear about this? I really want John jay for my PhD is there another school you suggest for Masters?

I'm a JJ alum. 

Honestly, as I said in a previous comment, I don't know if you really need a masters given your stats. Your time would be better spent honing your statement of purpose and targeting research fit. You already have a high GPA and many publications. Is your research related to your interests? If not, try to get more experience conducting research within that area. And you need to look for more schools that have POIs who share your interests. Since most programs follow a mentor model, research fit is one of the most important components of your application. 

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5 minutes ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

I'm a JJ alum. 

Honestly, as I said in a previous comment, I don't know if you really need a masters given your stats. Your time would be better spent honing your statement of purpose and targeting research fit. You already have a high GPA and many publications. Is your research related to your interests? If not, try to get more experience conducting research within that area. And you need to look for more schools that have POIs who share your interests. Since most programs follow a mentor model, research fit is one of the most important components of your application. 

Thank you. My career interest is forensic psychology, but my research listed on my C.V. were not specifically tailored that (though my research-in-progress and job entails correctional forensic psychology). Due to the critical and specialized nature of forensic psychology, I've had difficulties finding research and faculty. As for JJ, I really want to work with the IPRU as it is exactly what I want to do, but Dr. Salfati was not an option for advisors. Do you have any advice for wanting to go into a field that has limited opportunities with research and grad schools?

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There's a decent number of forensic researchers around. Plus, even research related to persistent, severe mental illness can be forensic-adjacent. You need to be able to spin things in the appropriate way to show the connections. There are a lot of faculty at different programs that have forensic inclinations even though the program itself isn't billed as having a forensic specialization. You can get that specialization through practicums, internship, and most importantly post-doc. At the doctoral level, especially for clinical psych, a lot of it is a numbers game. I would recommend you look at papers of interest and see where those authors are at, and honestly just go to the APA accredited programs page and go to program websites and read up on faculty until you can find about 10 schools that have at least 1 research match and a program you are interested in. Applying to only 4 programs is just going to make it that much harder. Off the top of my head, I know University of Tennessee-Knoxville have some faculty, University of Houston, Sam Houston University. I think Texas A&M. There are definitely more than just the 4 you applied to. 

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20 hours ago, Sosorider said:

So I'm kinda freaking out right now.... its February and I haven't heard anything from John Jay, U of A, texas tech or Drexel. I applied to clinical psychology PhD. Should I start applying for my masters instead? My GRE was average, 3.91 GPA and 8 publications.

 

7 hours ago, Sosorider said:

Thank you so much! I will start the hunt for a paid research position, and I didn't have a POI. The main reason I only applied to 4 was due to my current teachers saying I should be a top candidate since I've done so much in this field. 

One thing I also found out the hard way, and it SUCKS because I'm kinda bitter right now, is that if you have a lot of research/clinical experience, you tend to have research interests that are pretty advanced or specialized. That being said, I'm pretty much in the same shoes you are in (GRE average/above average, 4.00 GPA, 1 presentation, 3 publications pending) and my research interest is specifically clinical neuropsychology and child/adolescent related. It's been difficult finding a program that fits my interests because its either neuropsychology related (with Alzheimer's and dementia being the main research topics) or child/adolescent related.

Basically I'm in the position where I have these shining research interests that I absolutely ADORE, but no one is willing to take a chance on me, and I really don't believe I should dramatically change those interests to meet the interests of a POI and end up getting stuck for 6 years doing something I was lukewarm on in the first place.

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3 hours ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

There's a decent number of forensic researchers around. Plus, even research related to persistent, severe mental illness can be forensic-adjacent. You need to be able to spin things in the appropriate way to show the connections. There are a lot of faculty at different programs that have forensic inclinations even though the program itself isn't billed as having a forensic specialization. You can get that specialization through practicums, internship, and most importantly post-doc. At the doctoral level, especially for clinical psych, a lot of it is a numbers game. I would recommend you look at papers of interest and see where those authors are at, and honestly just go to the APA accredited programs page and go to program websites and read up on faculty until you can find about 10 schools that have at least 1 research match and a program you are interested in. Applying to only 4 programs is just going to make it that much harder. Off the top of my head, I know University of Tennessee-Knoxville have some faculty, University of Houston, Sam Houston University. I think Texas A&M. There are definitely more than just the 4 you applied to. 

I was going to suggest U of Houston, Sam Houston State, and Texas A&M as well! Texas A&M is heavily involved with Brazos County Corrections Department and they do many of the assessments for the county. Dr. Edens at Texas A&M is the main professor with forensic research interests and he's a great individual (I interviewed with him while I was interviewing at TAMU). 

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8 hours ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

There's a decent number of forensic researchers around. Plus, even research related to persistent, severe mental illness can be forensic-adjacent. You need to be able to spin things in the appropriate way to show the connections. There are a lot of faculty at different programs that have forensic inclinations even though the program itself isn't billed as having a forensic specialization. You can get that specialization through practicums, internship, and most importantly post-doc. At the doctoral level, especially for clinical psych, a lot of it is a numbers game. I would recommend you look at papers of interest and see where those authors are at, and honestly just go to the APA accredited programs page and go to program websites and read up on faculty until you can find about 10 schools that have at least 1 research match and a program you are interested in. Applying to only 4 programs is just going to make it that much harder. Off the top of my head, I know University of Tennessee-Knoxville have some faculty, University of Houston, Sam Houston University. I think Texas A&M. There are definitely more than just the 4 you applied to. 

 

5 hours ago, anxiouscoffeedrinker said:

 

One thing I also found out the hard way, and it SUCKS because I'm kinda bitter right now, is that if you have a lot of research/clinical experience, you tend to have research interests that are pretty advanced or specialized. That being said, I'm pretty much in the same shoes you are in (GRE average/above average, 4.00 GPA, 1 presentation, 3 publications pending) and my research interest is specifically clinical neuropsychology and child/adolescent related. It's been difficult finding a program that fits my interests because its either neuropsychology related (with Alzheimer's and dementia being the main research topics) or child/adolescent related.

Basically I'm in the position where I have these shining research interests that I absolutely ADORE, but no one is willing to take a chance on me, and I really don't believe I should dramatically change those interests to meet the interests of a POI and end up getting stuck for 6 years doing something I was lukewarm on in the first place.

Thank you I'll keep that in mind GRAD90 and anxiouscoffeedrinker I feel for you. One day at a time I guess. I'm going to look for a POI that fits me for my next round of applications.

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16 hours ago, Sosorider said:

Thank you. My career interest is forensic psychology, but my research listed on my C.V. were not specifically tailored that (though my research-in-progress and job entails correctional forensic psychology). Due to the critical and specialized nature of forensic psychology, I've had difficulties finding research and faculty. As for JJ, I really want to work with the IPRU as it is exactly what I want to do, but Dr. Salfati was not an option for advisors. Do you have any advice for wanting to go into a field that has limited opportunities with research and grad schools?

I’ll just jump in here and say that I am a very forensic focused applicant – 7/8 of the programs I applied to (all Clinical Psychology PhD) sported a formal forensic “track” or specialization. See my signature for the complete list! UNR is the only one that doesn’t have the formal track. Personally, I didn’t want to attend a program for 4-5 years and never take a class in what I’m passionate about.

Additionally, I just completed my undergraduate degree two months ago and all my research experience and clinical experience thus far has been with forensic populations. While the opportunities do differ depending on the area, there are ways to get this experience! For the OP, feel free to PM me if you have any questions about how I did this.

 

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Is it appropriate to ask a PI who accepted me (yay!) whether they made any other offers? They currently don't have any students, so knowing who else (or at least how many others) I might end up working with will play into my decision. My current PI and the grad students in our lab actually encouraged me to ask this, but I'm not quite sure how to word it. I don't want to come off as if I'm asking because I want reassurance that I'm special and the only one they picked or something, ya know?

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3 minutes ago, ItPhBeLikeThatSometimes said:

Is it appropriate to ask a PI who accepted me (yay!) whether they made any other offers? They currently don't have any students, so knowing who else (or at least how many others) I might end up working with will play into my decision. My current PI and the grad students in our lab actually encouraged me to ask this, but I'm not quite sure how to word it. I don't want to come off as if I'm asking because I want reassurance that I'm special and the only one they picked or something, ya know?

You can ask "how many grad students do you plan on taking for 2019/2020?" I would not ask about other offers specifically.

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23 hours ago, Sosorider said:

Really? How did you hear about this? I really want John jay for my PhD is there another school you suggest for Masters?

I am a child/forensic applicant and I applied to 10 forensically focused Clinical PhD programs this round (including interviewing at John Jay). PM me if you want more info or to talk with another forensic focused applicant! Definitely a harder field to get into and to get relevant experience, but there are a ton of options at the grad level!

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5 hours ago, ItPhBeLikeThatSometimes said:

Is it appropriate to ask a PI who accepted me (yay!) whether they made any other offers? They currently don't have any students, so knowing who else (or at least how many others) I might end up working with will play into my decision. My current PI and the grad students in our lab actually encouraged me to ask this, but I'm not quite sure how to word it. I don't want to come off as if I'm asking because I want reassurance that I'm special and the only one they picked or something, ya know?

I'd feel fine asking if anyone else was "likely to join the lab soon" and even explicitly saying it'd be cool if there were people around in the lab. Also, this is totally a question you can ask the PI who recommended you ask in the first place.

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2 hours ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

The Student Doctor Network Psychology Phd/PsyD forum

With the assumption/hope that by 4th year you will have the balls to tolerate the drastically different environment of SDN vs GC ;)

It's really an exercise to separate out the fluff on that site.

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24 minutes ago, dancedementia said:

With the assumption/hope that by 4th year you will have the balls to tolerate the drastically different environment of SDN vs GC ;)

It's really an exercise to separate out the fluff on that site.

Agreed. It can definitely be...different. I feel like there is a lot of really good information to be gleaned though. I'm only a 1st year but I feel like I have come in with a lot of information that people get through experience by reading through SDN. 

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18 minutes ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

Agreed. It can definitely be...different. I feel like there is a lot of really good information to be gleaned though. I'm only a 1st year but I feel like I have come in with a lot of information that people get through experience by reading through SDN. 

I honestly stopped looking there after I asked a question and the answers were so confusing.

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2 minutes ago, ResilientDreams said:

Got my official rejection from Duke today. :( Knew it was coming but still sad.

when did you get the email?

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