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Going back for Psychology grad school, worth it to take some relevant undergraduate classes?


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Thanks for reading.  Since my undergrad in history sociology and religious studies I have been working in the mental health fields (crisis stabilizer, wilderness therapy, etc.) And was planning on going back for clinical mental health counseling.  After getting accepted to a few of those programs and sitting in on some classes/reviewing course lists I've decided that I wish to pursue a more academically rigorous path towards a PhD in clinical psychology, specifics to study evolutionary psychology as relevant to clinical work, behavioral biology, and impacts of supernormal stimuli on mental health disorders (esp depression).


Now, having little relevant undergraduate coursework, no research experience and a lower gpa than programs like (3.65), I realize it's potentially a long path forward, and a master's is in my future first.  I'm planning on taking a behavioral genetics undergrad course this summer in order to hopefully make connections to get some research experience, get a relevant course on my transcript and (most importantly) because I think it is interesting.

Does this make sense as a way to proceed? The class will cost me $1300, which is a lot and a hard pill to swallow but definitely won't put me in debt.  I suppose I just want to bounce this off of someone who has a better idea of the system than me, and if it sounds like a waste of money.  (Should I try and just sit in on the class?)


Thanks so much for any help!!!


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Honestly, the only coursework PhD programs will care about is if you have the required pre-reqs which will be listed on their program site. These are usually stats, abnormal psych, theories of personality, etc. Other classes probably won't factor in much. Clinical psych PhD programs are very competitive. Research experience (and products like posters and publications) is what will make you more competitive. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the reply.  Maybe I can see if I can just sit in on this class then.  Research experience is definitely a must.  Any idea how to break into that world? I've been trying to volunteer in a lab but have been met with many responses that only enrolled undergraduates are able to volunteer...

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