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Fall 2020 Clinical & Counseling PhD/PsyD

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4 hours ago, psycstudent2018 said:

How bad is it to go over the word limit on your personal statement? I'm at 544 right now for a school that requires 500.

Trim it back to 500. Not following basic directions is never a good first impression. 

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Hi Everyone!

I'm new to this page, new to this forum, and coming back into the anxiety of applying to schools (it feels like junior year of high school in my mind!).😣

I'm planning to apply to programs in Clinical Psych (PhD), but I've got loads of questions. Perhaps other current/past applicants can help out? 

I'll go in order of time:

Picking your programs/PIs: I'm not too far behind with all of the other components: I have my GRE, a CV that is complete, my GPA, three or four people who would be comfortable writing letters of rec for me and know that I will ask this year, and I'm working on obtaining my transcripts (the last one is a purely administrative step). I'm looking at many programs (mostly in Canada), but I want to know: what are the factors that help you decide? Is it the PI you hope to work with? Is it the topic? There are so many schools and so many topics, it's quite difficult to know which one is "the one".

The number of schools: I'm seeing people who apply to 15 or 20 schools.... personally, I am not sure to have the finances in order to do this (or the time). Is this absolutely necessary? When looking for a job out of my Master program, I was told that it's better to have 5 really well aimed applications than 10 that I wrote haphazardly. Is this applicable in this search process, in anyone's opinion?

On to the details of the application:

Concerning transcripts: I've read a few sites where they say that applications ask for unofficial transcripts and then ask for an official transcript upon admission. Can anyone confirm to me that this is/is not the case? I ask because my transcripts are scattered in different countries, and in some cases, I need to take the time to go fetch them personally if people want official transcripts. I need to plan ahead on this one! 

For the CV: Is there anyone here who's been out of school for a while? I completed a two year master's, then worked three years after my master's. Now I'm hoping to get back into a PhD program, as I'm now 100% sure that I want to be involved in this field in terms of both research and clinical work. If this is your case, is the rule for the CV, "put absolutely everything"? My CV is about 5 pages if I do this. After spending some time in the job search field, I'm feeling self-conscious about this.

For the interviews: This step is far away, but bear with me... I live in Europe, and the programs of interest are in North America. The interview weekends are a big deal, but I don't know if I need to plan to clear all of my weekends and weeks in February, take days of vacation at work, put aside over 3000 dollars for plane tickets... To make matters more complicated, my significant other will be defending his PhD around that time (he can move his deadlines around but we're trying to figure out what works for us). He obviously wants me to be present. I only have one example of someone like me- a person who was in my lab and had his interviews by skype for Vanderbilt neuroscience. Can anyone help me out?  Do I need to be present for in-person interview weekends as an applicant living on another continent? Will not being there in-person hurt me (if they've invited me to interview by skype, I suppose that means they're interested anyway)? For this one I think the opinion of those already in grad programs may be of value :) 

 

 

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Worried that I'm under qualified after reading all of these replies. I have a year of full time research experience (a combination of paid research coordinator and unpaid research assistant positions in three different labs), almost two years of clinical experience, an honors thesis, one poster presentation, one paper presentation. No publications.. I majored in psychology, 3.95 GPA (major and cumulative) and Q: 155 V: 157 4.5 Writing. I am working on some grants and potential publications but I am not sure if they will materialize by the time I submit my application. I have three amazing letters of rec, but I'm worried my low GRE scores and lack of long term experience will keep me from getting any interviews. It's worth mentioning that though my experience is over a brief period and I don't have publications, it has been extensive and I feel pretty knowledgable compared to others I work with and grad students I know. Is it a mistake to apply this round? 

I am planning to apply to the PhD Clinical Psychology Programs at: 

UMass Boston 

CU Boulder

Northwestern (Chicago) 

Feinberg School of Medicine 

KU Lawrence 

Clark University 

St. John's University 

Hunter's HPCS Program

University of Pittsburg

George Mason University 

Stonybrook University 

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Hi all,

For about the past 7-8 years, I have been active in the Miss America Organization. I held two titles as a teen and three as a miss. During my time, I raised money for children's miracle network, served as a spokesperson of two organizations, attended charity events, conducted toy drives, wrote articles about healthy dating, etc. Basically, I did a LOT of community service.

I'm going back and forth, though, about if I want to include this on my CV. I have a friend who chose to include her titles when she applied and she did get in. However, in the past I did have a professor made a negative comment about my competing in pageantry.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what I should do?

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14 hours ago, psycstudent2018 said:

Hi all,

For about the past 7-8 years, I have been active in the Miss America Organization. I held two titles as a teen and three as a miss. During my time, I raised money for children's miracle network, served as a spokesperson of two organizations, attended charity events, conducted toy drives, wrote articles about healthy dating, etc. Basically, I did a LOT of community service.

I'm going back and forth, though, about if I want to include this on my CV. I have a friend who chose to include her titles when she applied and she did get in. However, in the past I did have a professor made a negative comment about my competing in pageantry.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what I should do?

On one hand, I think having that much community service experience is terrific and definitely should be added; but on the other hand, like you said, unfortunately some people have a superficial perception of pageantry and may view it negatively. Also, I'm not sure it's worth risking it as clinical programs really only care about research experience and psychology-related work experience. If you do decide to include it, I would definitely exclude the titles and focus solely on the community service. But, perhaps you can touch more on it in your personal statement?

I do understand your dilemma though. I worked part-time as a sales associate and then as a supervisor at my uni's technology store for 3 years, giving presentations, training people & managing projects, receiving awards--but I decided to not even include it on my CV for the reasons mentioned above.

Edited by bri j.

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9 hours ago, bri j. said:

On one hand, I think having that much community service experience is terrific and definitely should be added; but on the other hand, like you said, unfortunately some people have a superficial perception of pageantry and may view it negatively. Also, I'm not sure it's worth risking it as clinical programs really only care about research experience and psychology-related work experience. If you do decide to include it, I would definitely exclude the titles and focus solely on the community service. But, perhaps you can touch more on it in your personal statement?

I do understand your dilemma though. I worked part-time as a sales associate and then as a supervisor at my uni's technology store for 3 years, giving presentations, training people & managing projects, receiving awards--but I decided to not even include it on my CV for the reasons mentioned above.

Hmm I was in the same dilemma and ended up asking my supervisor about his thoughts. He said it might be good to include a very very brief section on past work experience as sometimes people going into graduate school have never worked outside the university setting (e.g., focusing solely on school), so it's good to know that the applicant has held down a job (especially while going to school) and may speak to their work ethic. That being said, many will may disagree with my supervisor

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10 hours ago, tomatotomahto said:

John Jay doesn't list a word count or character limit in it's Clinical Psych PhD application. What would you do? 

First, double and triple check for a word or page count limit. If there really is none, 2 double-spaced pages is pretty standard.

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On 9/19/2019 at 9:37 PM, bri j. said:

Hi there everyone, new poster here! I am applying to clinical psych PhD programs this fall, and have my list of schools (this is my first time applying, so I have a list of 12 schools to better my chances of getting in the first time).

My list of schools are:

 

University of Missouri - Saint Louis (UMSL)
University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (UCCS)
Northern Illinois University
University of Kentucky
University of Delaware
Pennsylvania State University - University Park
Temple University
Vanderbilt University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Emory University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Minnesota

For some background, I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology in 2018 (I also graduated with a B.F.A in fine art). My cumulative GPA is a 3.9, and my Psych GPA is a 4.0. GRE scores are 162 V/160 Q/5 W, and I just took the GRE psych subject test (I anticipate it will be around 730-750, since my practice tests were around those scores). I took 2 years after graduating to gain some research experience in addition to working as an undergrad RA for 2 years--currently a research coordinator at a hospital, working on a validation study for a PTSD/Dep screener, and I am also a research coordinator at a behavioral genetics institute, working on a study analyzing PTSD, Alcohol abuse, and fear acquisition. I'm also 3rd author on a publication that has been submitted to a journal, I have 3 poster presentations (1st author on only one) , and 3 oral presentations (1st author on all). No real "clinical" experience although I do conduct clinical interviews with patients at the hospital, so not sure if I could spin that.

I'm hoping I could get some insight about a couple things: 1) obviously, I have a ton of research experience with trauma and PTSD and therefore, I'm applying to 8 schools that have faculty specifically working with PTSD; however, I am really interested in Schizophrenia-Spectrum DO & psychosis, and would love to study trauma risk factors. 4 of my schools have faculty working specifically with psychosis, but they are all top schools and I'm wondering what my chances would be to get into them? How can I word my personal statement to make me a competitive applicant without having any experience working with psychosis or schizophrenia? 2) I know for a fact all of my potential PI's are accepting students, so should I still email them? Is it too late to email them now?

Sorry for long post, and thank you in advance! 🙂

 

Never too late. I say email them now.

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On 9/22/2019 at 7:57 PM, psycstudent2018 said:

Hi all,

For about the past 7-8 years, I have been active in the Miss America Organization. I held two titles as a teen and three as a miss. During my time, I raised money for children's miracle network, served as a spokesperson of two organizations, attended charity events, conducted toy drives, wrote articles about healthy dating, etc. Basically, I did a LOT of community service.

I'm going back and forth, though, about if I want to include this on my CV. I have a friend who chose to include her titles when she applied and she did get in. However, in the past I did have a professor made a negative comment about my competing in pageantry.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what I should do?

If this is something personally important to you, seriously include it in your CV and briefly mention it in your personal statement if it relates to your interest in mental health. Mental health clinicians advocate for pursuing personal passions – if you come across a professor who holds your participation in Miss America against you, then they aren’t worth your time. 

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On 9/21/2019 at 9:46 PM, mh11554 said:

Worried that I'm under qualified after reading all of these replies. I have a year of full time research experience (a combination of paid research coordinator and unpaid research assistant positions in three different labs), almost two years of clinical experience, an honors thesis, one poster presentation, one paper presentation. No publications.. I majored in psychology, 3.95 GPA (major and cumulative) and Q: 155 V: 157 4.5 Writing. I am working on some grants and potential publications but I am not sure if they will materialize by the time I submit my application. I have three amazing letters of rec, but I'm worried my low GRE scores and lack of long term experience will keep me from getting any interviews. It's worth mentioning that though my experience is over a brief period and I don't have publications, it has been extensive and I feel pretty knowledgable compared to others I work with and grad students I know. Is it a mistake to apply this round? 

I am planning to apply to the PhD Clinical Psychology Programs at: 

UMass Boston 

CU Boulder

Northwestern (Chicago) 

Feinberg School of Medicine 

KU Lawrence 

Clark University 

St. John's University 

Hunter's HPCS Program

University of Pittsburg

George Mason University 

Stonybrook University 

Hi there this is my first time posting, I am in a similar situation with lack of publications.

I am exclusively interested in PhD programs with neuropsychology specialization or at least one PI

and I am interested in research of cognitive aspects of movement disorders (Parkinson's disorders).

 

I have narrowed my list down to six programs:

- U of Florida

- U of Connecticut

- Washington State U

- U of Texas Southwestern

- CU Denver

- U of Iowa

 

I have a BS in Biopsychology (3.68 GPA) from a top 50 school, I a year of post-bac research experience, and I was a psychologist assistant for a year.

My GREs V 160, Q 158, and Writing 4.5 I have one poster presentation at APS, and two manuscripts in preparation.

I am worried about the lack of publication at the time of publication, unlikely that I get published before Dec 1st, but doesn't hurt to be hopeful. 

 

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On 9/20/2019 at 10:36 AM, LJN said:

Hi Everyone!

I'm new to this page, new to this forum, and coming back into the anxiety of applying to schools (it feels like junior year of high school in my mind!).😣

I'm planning to apply to programs in Clinical Psych (PhD), but I've got loads of questions. Perhaps other current/past applicants can help out? 

I'll go in order of time:

Picking your programs/PIs: I'm not too far behind with all of the other components: I have my GRE, a CV that is complete, my GPA, three or four people who would be comfortable writing letters of rec for me and know that I will ask this year, and I'm working on obtaining my transcripts (the last one is a purely administrative step). I'm looking at many programs (mostly in Canada), but I want to know: what are the factors that help you decide? Is it the PI you hope to work with? Is it the topic? There are so many schools and so many topics, it's quite difficult to know which one is "the one".

The number of schools: I'm seeing people who apply to 15 or 20 schools.... personally, I am not sure to have the finances in order to do this (or the time). Is this absolutely necessary? When looking for a job out of my Master program, I was told that it's better to have 5 really well aimed applications than 10 that I wrote haphazardly. Is this applicable in this search process, in anyone's opinion?

On to the details of the application:

Concerning transcripts: I've read a few sites where they say that applications ask for unofficial transcripts and then ask for an official transcript upon admission. Can anyone confirm to me that this is/is not the case? I ask because my transcripts are scattered in different countries, and in some cases, I need to take the time to go fetch them personally if people want official transcripts. I need to plan ahead on this one! 

For the CV: Is there anyone here who's been out of school for a while? I completed a two year master's, then worked three years after my master's. Now I'm hoping to get back into a PhD program, as I'm now 100% sure that I want to be involved in this field in terms of both research and clinical work. If this is your case, is the rule for the CV, "put absolutely everything"? My CV is about 5 pages if I do this. After spending some time in the job search field, I'm feeling self-conscious about this.

For the interviews: This step is far away, but bear with me... I live in Europe, and the programs of interest are in North America. The interview weekends are a big deal, but I don't know if I need to plan to clear all of my weekends and weeks in February, take days of vacation at work, put aside over 3000 dollars for plane tickets... To make matters more complicated, my significant other will be defending his PhD around that time (he can move his deadlines around but we're trying to figure out what works for us). He obviously wants me to be present. I only have one example of someone like me- a person who was in my lab and had his interviews by skype for Vanderbilt neuroscience. Can anyone help me out?  Do I need to be present for in-person interview weekends as an applicant living on another continent? Will not being there in-person hurt me (if they've invited me to interview by skype, I suppose that means they're interested anyway)? For this one I think the opinion of those already in grad programs may be of value :) 

 

 

Hi I can answer a couple of questions as an International applicant myself,

 

I am selecting PIs mainly based on research match, and whether the program offers some specialization in my area (neuropsychology).

I am applying to 6 programs in US, and 9 programs in the UK. I am told anywhere between 8-15 is ideal, while having range of program selectivity.

Check the program's website, some require you request your school to mail transcripts directly, others only require copies until you're accepted.

I am in a similar situation, years out of my bachelor's. I'd say emphasize relevant experience, try to aim for 2-3pgs, use 1-2 lines for irrelevant jobs.

I cannot speak to whether it would hurt you not to be present, some programs require it, so it would depend on the program, being an international myself, I think it would not hurt to ask if they would accommodate Skype interviews, especially for financial burdens.

 

Best of luck, hope you stay in touch.

 

 

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2 hours ago, MuRhythms said:

Hi there this is my first time posting, I am in a similar situation with lack of publications.

I am exclusively interested in PhD programs with neuropsychology specialization or at least one PI

and I am interested in research of cognitive aspects of movement disorders (Parkinson's disorders).

 

I have narrowed my list down to six programs:

- U of Florida

- U of Connecticut

- Washington State U

- U of Texas Southwestern

- CU Denver

- U of Iowa

 

I have a BS in Biopsychology (3.68 GPA) from a top 50 school, I a year of post-bac research experience, and I was a psychologist assistant for a year.

My GREs V 160, Q 158, and Writing 4.5 I have one poster presentation at APS, and two manuscripts in preparation.

I am worried about the lack of publication at the time of publication, unlikely that I get published before Dec 1st, but doesn't hurt to be hopeful. 

 

Having your manuscripts as “in-prep” on your CV is perfectly acceptable and encouraged. Most people don’t have publications when they’re applying. 

I would also consider expanding your list to closer to 10 schools to increase your odds. Also, Washington State doesn’t use neuroimaging if you’re interested in that for your training. 

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Okay so somehow this fell off my radar...

No judgement, but were we supposed to be applying for fellowships and funding PRIOR to applying to schools? Are there any funding sources that hasn't closed applications?

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19 hours ago, hopefulgrad2019 said:

Having your manuscripts as “in-prep” on your CV is perfectly acceptable and encouraged. Most people don’t have publications when they’re applying. 

I would also consider expanding your list to closer to 10 schools to increase your odds. Also, Washington State doesn’t use neuroimaging if you’re interested in that for your training. 

Thanks for that, was feeling bummed about reading elsewhere that chances are slim without a publication. My experience is with EEG so lack of MRI is not a deal breaker

I initially had 14 schools, but to my misfortune the PIs I am interested in are not taking grad students this cycle. I will keep on searching.

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2 hours ago, MuRhythms said:

Thanks for that, was feeling bummed about reading elsewhere that chances are slim without a publication. My experience is with EEG so lack of MRI is not a deal breaker

I initially had 14 schools, but to my misfortune the PIs I am interested in are not taking grad students this cycle. I will keep on searching.

I was accepted to a R1 school with 2 pubs in prep (I’m a first year now) and still neither of those in prep manuscripts are published. Schools just want to see that you have that ability but faculty understand how long it takes to get an actual manuscript published. 

Also, if you submitted any posters for conferences that weren’t accepted yet, you can add those to your CV too with the abstract citation then “poster submitted for presentation at the blah blah conference”. 

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16 hours ago, MuRhythms said:

Thanks for that, was feeling bummed about reading elsewhere that chances are slim without a publication. My experience is with EEG so lack of MRI is not a deal breaker

I initially had 14 schools, but to my misfortune the PIs I am interested in are not taking grad students this cycle. I will keep on searching.

I strongly advise against this, and at my r1 school this practice is highly discouraged.  it is unethical to put unpublished work on a cv.  not saying your work is shite, but one could literally put any kind of crap research they did on their cv as something like "publications in progress". 

Another reason you don't want to do this is b/c you could undermine the peer review process.  chances are youre applying to people who have published similar research you've done in your pre-doc programs.  the blinded review process could be 'un-blinded' if faculty at a uni youre applying to serve as journal reviewers to the journal you have stuff submitted to, they could recognize your "under review" work b/c they might be the ones reviewing it! 

Just explain in detail about your research experiences in your letters and statements, most faculty are not naive about CVs w/ stretched out truths

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38 minutes ago, tomatotomahto said:

Some programs allow you to upload a writing sample; is this advised? Would it be more harmful than helpful to upload my 70 page thesis? 

Guaranteed nobody will read that much... Any shorter version? I would not submit anything longer than a typical paper length in the field (maybe a max of 20 double space pages, not including references). 

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On 7/23/2019 at 8:07 PM, clare b. said:

Hi everyone, 

I was planning on applying to John Jay CUNY Clinical Psych program AND Hunter College Clinical-Health Psych, however I just saw a note saying, "Students are not permitted to apply to more than one program within the CUNY Psychology doctoral programs." Does anyone have any intel on this? 😕 Pretty bummed!

Yes, exactly what @psychdgrad90 said above, you can only apply to one of the 10 CUNY graduate psychology programs, as they are all administered out of the same college, The Graduate Center [this excludes City College's Clinical Psychology PhD program]. And as a current John Jay PhD attendee, I can tell you that the Hunter HPCS and JJ Clinical programs are diversely different in focus. Perhaps narrow down your interest a bit more and that can help you decide which one is a better fit. Hunter students tend to have interests in overlaps between mental and physical health, palliative care, and hospital work. John Jay students all have some sort of interest in forensic psychology. The #1 thing that matters in applying for clinical psych PhD programs is your fit with a potential mentor and alignment with the program mission. Take a look at faculty research interests from each school and pick the ones that pique your interest most! I'm happy to chat more about this in DMs if you're interested. Best wishes in the upcoming cycle!

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Hi everyone! 

Would you send a second email to someone you are applying to if they haven't responded to your inquiry? I could not find any information (on their lab website or program website) about whether they are admitting students this year.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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On 9/23/2019 at 1:06 PM, tomatotomahto said:

John Jay doesn't list a word count or character limit in it's Clinical Psych PhD application. What would you do? 

I'm pretty sure there is a limit listed on the GC application portal [at least there was when I applied], but I agree that 2 pages is a pretty standard guideline to follow.

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6 minutes ago, citrus17 said:

Hi everyone! 

Would you send a second email to someone you are applying to if they haven't responded to your inquiry? I could not find any information (on their lab website or program website) about whether they are admitting students this year.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

I personally would not! Often faculty get so many email inquiries that it is impossible to address them all. I got into and ended up attending a school that I had no prior contact with, so I don't think having a response from faculty will make/break your application.

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On 10/2/2019 at 12:02 AM, psycstudent2018 said:

Okay so somehow this fell off my radar...

No judgement, but were we supposed to be applying for fellowships and funding PRIOR to applying to schools? Are there any funding sources that hasn't closed applications?

For most funded PhD programs, you are automatically considered for internal fellowships/funding and they do not require a separate application to be considered. For government-sponsored fellowships, they all close before the end of the government fiscal year (September) so you would have to wait until next year to apply for those. Other options would be to look through APA funding search engines, and other professional organization sponsorship. Best wishes!

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1 hour ago, humanisticPOV said:

For most funded PhD programs, you are automatically considered for internal fellowships/funding and they do not require a separate application to be considered. For government-sponsored fellowships, they all close before the end of the government fiscal year (September) so you would have to wait until next year to apply for those. Other options would be to look through APA funding search engines, and other professional organization sponsorship. Best wishes!

It's a bit challenging for clinical/counseling, but if you are doing research that consists of basic science vs. clinical (I.e., intervention), you might be eligible to apply for the NSF GFRP (deadline is rolling up fast on October 24). If provides a large chunk of funding for yourself for 3 years. It doesn't hurt to apply for this (especially if you win your future mentor will be grateful haha), but in the U.S. typically most PhD programs that are reputable offer some time of funding. 

Edited by Clinapp2017

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