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ZaidaLikeZeta

GPA and acceptance in school psychology doctoral program

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Hello everyone,

It is midnight and I can not rest until I have some feedback that may shine some light on my chances for getting into a graduate program Fall 2020. I would greatly like to know of others with low or average GPA to share their experience. I will be graduating this May. I hope to raise my GPA with this semesters coursework and gain more experience during my gap year. I reside in California and will most likely be applying to graduate programs in the state. Here are my current specs.

Overall GPA: 3.42

GPA in last 2 years: 3.68

Psyc GPA: 3.48

2 years working as a Behavior Instructor, one of which as a Registered Behavior Technician

1 year of research

1 year as a TA

I will also be attending WPA this year where I'll be presenting a poster presentation as a co-author for a study on impostor phenomena as well as a presentation with Philip Zimbardo on his Heroic Imagination Project and possible integration to CSU's,. The psychology department chair at my university has asked me to help her present addition research of hers on the impostor phenomena as well. 

 

Again, any feedback will help!

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8 hours ago, ZaidaLikeZeta said:

Hello everyone,

It is midnight and I can not rest until I have some feedback that may shine some light on my chances for getting into a graduate program Fall 2020. I would greatly like to know of others with low or average GPA to share their experience. I will be graduating this May. I hope to raise my GPA with this semesters coursework and gain more experience during my gap year. I reside in California and will most likely be applying to graduate programs in the state. Here are my current specs.

Overall GPA: 3.42

GPA in last 2 years: 3.68

Psyc GPA: 3.48

2 years working as a Behavior Instructor, one of which as a Registered Behavior Technician

1 year of research

1 year as a TA

I will also be attending WPA this year where I'll be presenting a poster presentation as a co-author for a study on impostor phenomena as well as a presentation with Philip Zimbardo on his Heroic Imagination Project and possible integration to CSU's,. The psychology department chair at my university has asked me to help her present addition research of hers on the impostor phenomena as well. 

 

Again, any feedback will help!

You seem to have good experience but your GPA is not extremely competitive (is almost exactly the same as mine, except for the last two years). Maybe having impressive GRE scores would compensate for that.

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A lot of programs have cut-offs of 3.5, so that may be a snag. If you get high GRE scores, that can counterbalance it a bit. You can also apply for some masters degrees, as an MA gpa will show you can do graduate level work. 

Also, if you're applying for PhD programs in clinical psych, I would strongly caution you against geographically limiting yourself. The statistical odds of getting into an individual program are about 1-2%, with an overall probability of about 8%-10%. It is very competitive. The biggest admissions factor is often research fit. If you start geographically limiting yourself, you decrease your odds of admission. You can always go back to California once you complete your educational requirements. California and NYC seem to be some of the most sought-after programs with significantly more applicants each year than other solid programs away from these areas. 

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4 hours ago, iamsotired said:

Did you take the GRE yet? 

Not yet, I’m focusing on my last semester right now. After I graduate I’ll be studying for the GRE and trying to get the best score possible before December. In previous standardized tests, I typically test above average on math and verbal, average in writing. 

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3 hours ago, Fabretti said:

You seem to have good experience but your GPA is not extremely competitive (is almost exactly the same as mine, except for the last two years). Maybe having impressive GRE scores would compensate for that.

What would be an impressive score? Scores in the 90th percentile? 

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2 hours ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

A lot of programs have cut-offs of 3.5, so that may be a snag. If you get high GRE scores, that can counterbalance it a bit. You can also apply for some masters degrees, as an MA gpa will show you can do graduate level work. 

Also, if you're applying for PhD programs in clinical psych, I would strongly caution you against geographically limiting yourself. The statistical odds of getting into an individual program are about 1-2%, with an overall probability of about 8%-10%. It is very competitive. The biggest admissions factor is often research fit. If you start geographically limiting yourself, you decrease your odds of admission. You can always go back to California once you complete your educational requirements. California and NYC seem to be some of the most sought-after programs with significantly more applicants each year than other solid programs away from these areas. 

The programs I’m looking into state a cut-off of 3.0 gpa and that typical competitive candidates have at least a 3.5 gpa or above. I’m hoping that this semester I can reach or be near 3.5 overall gpa, and I’ll be taking some additional courses like child development after I graduate. Do graduate programs consider that a university is on the plus/minus system? 

 

Yes, I have considered applying to the surrounding states. My main worry is licensure portability though. However, I have read that school psychology degrees tend to be easier to transfer between states. 

 

If worst comes to worst, CSU Fresno is a local college that has the Ed.S program. I believe my chances of getting into that are good. 

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2 minutes ago, ZaidaLikeZeta said:

What would be an impressive score? Scores in the 90th percentile? 

I think so... if your program of choice is extremely competitive, that's the only way to have your documents seen by the graduate comission.

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12 minutes ago, Fabretti said:

I think so... if your program of choice is extremely competitive, that's the only way to have your documents seen by the graduate comission.

Okay, thank you for the feedback. I think I can manage that with enough prep, but the writing might be hard. Do you have any study materials that really helped you with the GRE?

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1 hour ago, ZaidaLikeZeta said:

Okay, thank you for the feedback. I think I can manage that with enough prep, but the writing might be hard. Do you have any study materials that really helped you with the GRE?

I think that getting a tutor of some sort really helps. In regards to the writing, tutors who are trained to tutor the GRE will be able to give you strategies that help you better your writing. I personally used the vocabulary flashcards for the verbal section but I don't find them helpful, so I suggest you create a "vocab notebook" of words that you come across while taking practice tests and defining and putting them into sentences. I took the test after the flashcards and again after the notebook and I did much better on the GRE when I used the notebook. In regards to math, I feel like it's half knowledge and half strategy, so having a tutor help you with strategies will really help you! I hope this helps! :)

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5 hours ago, schoolpsychologyfan said:

I think that getting a tutor of some sort really helps. In regards to the writing, tutors who are trained to tutor the GRE will be able to give you strategies that help you better your writing. I personally used the vocabulary flashcards for the verbal section but I don't find them helpful, so I suggest you create a "vocab notebook" of words that you come across while taking practice tests and defining and putting them into sentences. I took the test after the flashcards and again after the notebook and I did much better on the GRE when I used the notebook. In regards to math, I feel like it's half knowledge and half strategy, so having a tutor help you with strategies will really help you! I hope this helps! :)

Thank you so much for that advice! I appreciate it so much. 

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On 2/24/2019 at 3:21 PM, ZaidaLikeZeta said:

Okay, thank you for the feedback. I think I can manage that with enough prep, but the writing might be hard. Do you have any study materials that really helped you with the GRE?

Magoosh seems to be the best prep tool as far as I'm concerned (based on people's review). I didn't use it though because I found it a little expensive (R$ -> U$ makes everything expensive). My GRE scores were pretty bad.

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