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What are my chances ?(PsyD/PhD Clinical Psychology)


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Hey guys, it's my first time here and I have a lot of questions in my head. So pardon me if this is going to be exhaustive, but I could do with any guidance/support I can get on here.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ME:

  • I'm a 26 year old, Australian National (well, third culture kid) that has grown up across three countries. As a disciple of Psychology this upbringing has allowed me to interact/develop a diverse clientele. I have the following qualifications/ GPA as accredited by  the World Education Service ( United States equivalence):
     
  1. - Bachelors in Psychology ( Honours), India : 3.21
  2. - Masters of Science in Psychology ( with Clinical Specialisation), India : 3.50
  3. - Masters of Professional Psychology, Australia : 3.80 ( Provisionally licensed therapist as per the Australian guidelines).
     
  • I have two unpublished academic dissertations : (1) The Phenomenon of Suicidal Ideation in Individuals Who Have Attempted Suicide Before  (2) A Study on the Risk Factors Among Individuals Exposed to Childhood Bullying and Suicidal Ideation.
     
  • I am currently in the process of formatting and publishing my second dissertation. 
     
  • My GRE score is 302 ( Verbal - 153 , Quant - 149, AWA - 3.5) on second attempt. I attempted the GRE a second time with a month's difference, after I had a horrible anxiety attack because I had interviews that suddenly rocked up on the same day as my GRE. On my first attempt I scored horribly but got a 5 on AWA.
     
  • I have over a year's worth of  clinical work experience and multiple short term internship experiences.
     
  • Given my performance academically and my diverse experience, I am really hoping to apply for APA accredited PsyD ( predominantly) programs offered by first tier universities in USA. I am thinking: Berkley, Rutger's, Baylor's,  Stanford consortium program, etc. I will also be applying to regional and second tier universities with good rankings to maximise intake & minimise disappointments balance the process out.


I am taking the year off to apply I am absolutely desperate to make it into a program by 2019.
I have 4 questions (one very big confusing question broken into 4 confusing parts ).

1)  I understand that, GRE is not everything and it depends on the holistic picture one presents through their applications. But having seen the outcome and admissions data across the fancy-schmancy universities, the GRE scores normally average to about 318 ( minimum). Should I retake the GRE a third time after putting in 3-4 months of diligent effort? 

2) Orrr should I just focus on smashing my SoP's , LOR's and getting published ?

3) What are my chances of being able to make it into a well ranked university ?

4) I can do a decent job with writing, sometimes I get carried away or mess up my tenses. Can I get enough help here with editting my SoP or should I sign up for alternative services ?

5) What else should I be focussing on ?
 

Thank you for taking the time out to go through this. I'd love to hear what you guys think :D

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One of the most important things to consider is research fit. Most schools work on a mentor model, meaning you are applying to work with a specific professor. Therefore, you want to look at programs individually and examine the research being done and how well it matches with your interests. That is how you pick schools. From there, you can look at their admissions outcomes: average GPA and GRE scores of incoming students and try to make sure you are within those ranges. Most programs look at your application as a whole, with research and publications and posters as the most important. Keep in mind, clinical psych programs are incredibly competitive, so even if everything is perfect, you may still not get into a program the 1st application cycle. 

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7 hours ago, Hk328 said:

One of the most important things to consider is research fit. Most schools work on a mentor model, meaning you are applying to work with a specific professor. Therefore, you want to look at programs individually and examine the research being done and how well it matches with your interests. That is how you pick schools. From there, you can look at their admissions outcomes: average GPA and GRE scores of incoming students and try to make sure you are within those ranges. Most programs look at your application as a whole, with research and publications and posters as the most important. Keep in mind, clinical psych programs are incredibly competitive, so even if everything is perfect, you may still not get into a program the 1st application cycle. 

Thank you. This really helped me recentre a bit.

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11 hours ago, Hk328 said:

One of the most important things to consider is research fit. Most schools work on a mentor model, meaning you are applying to work with a specific professor. Therefore, you want to look at programs individually and examine the research being done and how well it matches with your interests. That is how you pick schools. From there, you can look at their admissions outcomes: average GPA and GRE scores of incoming students and try to make sure you are within those ranges. Most programs look at your application as a whole, with research and publications and posters as the most important. Keep in mind, clinical psych programs are incredibly competitive, so even if everything is perfect, you may still not get into a program the 1st application cycle. 

I have another question. 

So I get that I should be  shortlisting universities based on research fit. Ideally for PhD I may even have to speak to faculty before hand and find myself a supervisor. Is that required/entertained when applying for a PsyD too ? 

Edited by Susheetah
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It depends on the program, but the PsyDs with a better reputation follow that model as well. Even if they don't, you will need to pick a mentor and research lab at some point in the program, so you still want to make sure people are doing what you're interested in. Otherwise, you may have a hard time when doing your dissertation. 

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On 4/11/2018 at 12:43 PM, Susheetah said:

Hey guys, it's my first time here and I have a lot of questions in my head. So pardon me if this is going to be exhaustive, but I could do with any guidance/support I can get on here.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ME:

  • I'm a 26 year old, Australian National (well, third culture kid) that has grown up across three countries. As a disciple of Psychology this upbringing has allowed me to interact/develop a diverse clientele. I have the following qualifications/ GPA as accredited by  the World Education Service ( United States equivalence):
     
  1. - Bachelors in Psychology ( Honours), India : 3.21
  2. - Masters of Science in Psychology ( with Clinical Specialisation), India : 3.50
  3. - Masters of Professional Psychology, Australia : 3.80 ( Provisionally licensed therapist as per the Australian guidelines).
     
  • I have two unpublished academic dissertations : (1) The Phenomenon of Suicidal Ideation in Individuals Who Have Attempted Suicide Before  (2) A Study on the Risk Factors Among Individuals Exposed to Childhood Bullying and Suicidal Ideation.
     
  • I am currently in the process of formatting and publishing my second dissertation. 
     
  • My GRE score is 302 ( Verbal - 153 , Quant - 149, AWA - 3.5) on second attempt. I attempted the GRE a second time with a month's difference, after I had a horrible anxiety attack because I had interviews that suddenly rocked up on the same day as my GRE. On my first attempt I scored horribly but got a 5 on AWA.
     
  • I have over a year's worth of  clinical work experience and multiple short term internship experiences.
     
  • Given my performance academically and my diverse experience, I am really hoping to apply for APA accredited PsyD ( predominantly) programs offered by first tier universities in USA. I am thinking: Berkley, Rutger's, Baylor's,  Stanford consortium program, etc. I will also be applying to regional and second tier universities with good rankings to maximise intake & minimise disappointments balance the process out.


I am taking the year off to apply I am absolutely desperate to make it into a program by 2019.
I have 4 questions (one very big confusing question broken into 4 confusing parts ).

1)  I understand that, GRE is not everything and it depends on the holistic picture one presents through their applications. But having seen the outcome and admissions data across the fancy-schmancy universities, the GRE scores normally average to about 318 ( minimum). Should I retake the GRE a third time after putting in 3-4 months of diligent effort? 

2) Orrr should I just focus on smashing my SoP's , LOR's and getting published ?

3) What are my chances of being able to make it into a well ranked university ?

4) I can do a decent job with writing, sometimes I get carried away or mess up my tenses. Can I get enough help here with editting my SoP or should I sign up for alternative services ?

5) What else should I be focussing on ?
 

Thank you for taking the time out to go through this. I'd love to hear what you guys think :D

Hi There,

I think you have a lot of great clinical experience, especially since you're interested in PsyD programs, this will really help you in making it through some barriers. I would say that you should re-take the GRE's. We all say that programs "look at the whole package" which is true, if you make it to a certain point. As poster before said, Clinical psych programs are extremely competitive, especially for the higher tiered programs that dont take on a bunch of students. So you may be applying against 300-400 other applicants. What is one way that the programs can possibly cut this in half? - having a minimum cut off score on the GRE. I think you should have a minimum of at least a 310 to even be considered. Take a few months to study and retake the exam. I would suggest using Kaplan, it really is an amazing program and helped me study/prepare for the GRE in about 3 months and getting me into a great PhD program. Also to answer your other question about if you should reach out to professors. I would say you should always reach out to professors... make an impression on them. Again, you will be one out of hundreds applying. Best of luck!!

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/13/2018 at 8:54 PM, nycgrad14 said:

Hi There,

I think you have a lot of great clinical experience, especially since you're interested in PsyD programs, this will really help you in making it through some barriers. I would say that you should re-take the GRE's. We all say that programs "look at the whole package" which is true, if you make it to a certain point. As poster before said, Clinical psych programs are extremely competitive, especially for the higher tiered programs that dont take on a bunch of students. So you may be applying against 300-400 other applicants. What is one way that the programs can possibly cut this in half? - having a minimum cut off score on the GRE. I think you should have a minimum of at least a 310 to even be considered. Take a few months to study and retake the exam. I would suggest using Kaplan, it really is an amazing program and helped me study/prepare for the GRE in about 3 months and getting me into a great PhD program. Also to answer your other question about if you should reach out to professors. I would say you should always reach out to professors... make an impression on them. Again, you will be one out of hundreds applying. Best of luck!!

Thank you, this was very helpful. I will be doing the same, taking 3 months off for the GRE. 

I am currently caught up in the publication process. I know PsyD programs are few and the debtloads are massssssive. So I will also simultaneously try out for PhD programs. How important is it that I have published research work to show on my resume ? I do have 2 unpublished work and experience with data collection and methodology for research I did part of my clinical internship. 

Another apprehension I have is that, when I was applying earlier most universities in australia openly stated I have to have a supervisor before my application. So i used that to structure my email and get in touch with them. Now, when I contact professors what do I say - "Hey, I am interested in SO and SO area, and i've read your articles, they reasonate with me. And I am hoping to apply for the 2019 fall session". Do I also ask now, if they'd be open to supervising me? Because no where in the admission pages do I find it as a pre-requisite to have a supervisor before admissions, so I don't know how to structure the context/ start the conversation. Also since research doesn't begin until the uni opens, do I just have to only have identified people I'd like to work with OR am I supposed get ahead of myself and say " I am applying for the 2019 program, and I love your work. I am interested in so and so field and really hope you can supervise me"?

Edited by Susheetah
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21 hours ago, Susheetah said:

Thank you, this was very helpful. I will be doing the same, taking 3 months off for the GRE. 

I am currently caught up in the publication process. I know PsyD programs are few and the debtloads are massssssive. So I will also simultaneously try out for PhD programs. How important is it that I have published research work to show on my resume ? I do have 2 unpublished work and experience with data collection and methodology for research I did part of my clinical internship. 

Another apprehension I have is that, when I was applying earlier most universities in australia openly stated I have to have a supervisor before my application. So i used that to structure my email and get in touch with them. Now, when I contact professors what do I say - "Hey, I am interested in SO and SO area, and i've read your articles, they reasonate with me. And I am hoping to apply for the 2019 fall session". Do I also ask now, if they'd be open to supervising me? Because no where in the admission pages do I find it as a pre-requisite to have a supervisor before admissions, so I don't know how to structure the context/ start the conversation. Also since research doesn't begin until the uni opens, do I just have to only have identified people I'd like to work with OR am I supposed get ahead of myself and say " I am applying for the 2019 program, and I love your work. I am interested in so and so field and really hope you can supervise me"?

My understanding of this is that you want to make sure that the prof is actually gonna take new students in his/her lab. Not all professors will have incoming students every year - so you'd need to confirm that. It's also good to check in with them what projects they're currently working on and to confirm mutual interests. I've had contact with a fair share of people whose papers I loved - but they had changed topics over the years, so our research interests didn't match anymore. I also know some people who already got 'interviews' or chats with professors before they even applied.

I usually wrote something like dear prof X, I'm Y, a Master's student at uni A, and will apply to PhD programs this fall. My research interests are Z (usually relatively specific - some project I'd like to do and something more general) and I believe these overlap with yours. I'm emailing you to ask if you plan on taking on any PhD students this application season and if you could direct me to other people researching this topic and relevant readings in this area. Sincerely Y. - Not exactly those words of course, but this was the gist.

Got a good number of other names and great papers in this way :) Don't get discouraged if you don't get a reply - usually you can also ask the administrator or the like who are willing to take students. I never got in touch with my new advisor before I applied - but things have been great ever since.

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