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Getting accepted to school/applied child psychology program?


SchoolPsych27
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Hi all, 

I am a Canadian undergraduate student completing my joint Honours degree (with thesis) in Sociology and Psychology. I am, however, writing my thesis on a sociological topic. 

I am really interested in perusing a career as a school or child psychologist in Canada, and I have several questions to ask people who have applied for psychology programs (anywhere in the world). 

1.) My undergraduate GPA is 3.82/4.30. Has anyone received admittance to psychology graduate programs with a similar GPA?  

2.) During my second semester of my fourth year (I am in my fifth and final year currently) I had several unfortunate things happen in my life, and I ended up tanking academically. I received a C-, a C+, a B+ and two A's. I usually get straight A's, and I a wondering how seriously this will effect my chances of getting in? I have since steered my ship back on course and have returned to getting straight A's. 

3.) I have worked as a research assistant for three different sociologist, I have worked in a psychology lab and I have help a few TA positions. Is it essential that I get a publication in addition to my current experience? 

4.) Is it normal to take a couple years off before beginning psychology graduate school? If I do this, I will be 25 when I begin graduate school, and that feels sort of too late? 

 

Thanks everyone! 

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1 hour ago, SchoolPsych27 said:

1.) My undergraduate GPA is 3.82/4.30. Has anyone received admittance to psychology graduate programs with a similar GPA?  

Your GPA is fine. It seems like most grad applicants have a perfect GPA, but that isn’t really the case. 

1 hour ago, SchoolPsych27 said:

2.) During my second semester of my fourth year (I am in my fifth and final year currently) I had several unfortunate things happen in my life, and I ended up tanking academically. I received a C-, a C+, a B+ and two A's. I usually get straight A's, and I a wondering how seriously this will effect my chances of getting in? I have since steered my ship back on course and have returned to getting straight A's. 

If it helps, I had some issues in my first semester of 3rd year and got a D and two B+’s. I retook the D and got an A-, got all A’s for the rest of my degree, and was accepted to two Canadian clinical programs. One concern is it could affect your eligibility for tri-council funding (SSHRC, etc) which requires 3.7+ in both of your last two years. 

1 hour ago, SchoolPsych27 said:

3.) I have worked as a research assistant for three different sociologist, I have worked in a psychology lab and I have help a few TA positions. Is it essential that I get a publication in addition to my current experience? 

Publications are not necessary, but I would recommend trying to get some posters/conference presentations if you haven’t yet. Also, you might want to get some more experience in psych. Most applicants will have substantive experience in psychology research and a psychology honours thesis. Think about how you’ll explain your interest in psychology if most of your experience is in a different field. 

1 hour ago, SchoolPsych27 said:

Is it normal to take a couple years off before beginning psychology graduate school? If I do this, I will be 25 when I begin graduate school, and that feels sort of too late? 

Very few people are admitted straight out of undergrad, and taking time off is the norm.  In my experience, most people are in their mid-20s when they begin. 

Edited by PsycUndergrad
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1& 2. If you're really concerned, there are sometimes ways of conveying this in your application or by your letter-writers. "In Winter, 20XX, I had a serious medical issue that has since been resolved [or 'family emergency that required a significant time commitments - insert vague but accurate and understandable phrase] and it affected my performance that term. As you can see, I had higher performance both before and after that term."  

3. Publications never hurt but if you're applying to school or applied programs (which are often not research-based) then it's less important. A publication is a research qualification and if you're not going into research...... For you the research experience is probably more useful to (a) gain some skills and (b) obtain strong letters.

4. Age won't be a problem. (Coincidentally, I was 25 when I started grad school.)   A potentially larger issue is that references can go stale and memories fade... I would talk to your letter-writers before you leave and keep in touch. It's hard to write a letter from someone you knew four years ago when it comes out of the blue.

 

 

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