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Psychological Yam

Fall 2020 Industrial Organizational Psychology PhD

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Hello all!

I've read through almost all of the posts in the previous 2019 thread and noticed that no one has made a thread yet for fall 2020, so figured I'd go ahead and create it.

I'm looking for help in two things, for those who feel inclined to help.

1) Does anyone have good recommendations for initially reaching out to POIs? When to do it, what exactly to say or ask, etc. If I'm interested in multiple professors at one place, should I email them all at the same time or no? If no, what do you recommend?

2) I'm planning on applying for a PhD in I-O Psychology. Currently my "stats" are:

  • B.A. Psychology with minors in sociology and leadership from the University of South Florida
  • Undergrad overall GPA 3.67, Psych GPA 3.98, Minor GPAs both 4.0
  • 1.5 years of previous research experience in I-O labs, currently in an lab I-O lab (just started) at the University of Minnesota.
  • 1 year Honors Psychology Thesis about LGBT+ student leaders which I received a $3500 grant for from Psi Chi. I've presented it at 2 conferences at school, it's being published in a magazine at school, and I plan on submitting it to SIOP for a poster presentation.
  • Previous GRE score of 148 Q and 152 V. I signed up for the Kaplan course this summer and it's been helping a lot and I plan on retaking in mid August. I know these scores are my weak spot and are the reason I chose to take a gap year.
  • Rec letters from my thesis adviser who is in I/O at USF and has been for a long time, one from my thesis professor who is a social psychologist at USF, and one from a previous grad student at USF who I did research with / had as an instructor who now teaches at an I/O program in Georgia (this may be replaced depending on how my summer/early fall goes in the lab at UMN)
  • Research interests, broadly, are diversity practices and leadership.

I plan on applying to these schools (I plan on taking 4-5 off my list in a few months once I have more research done) and would love any feedback on thoughts about the programs!

  • Rice University
  • Penn State
  • Texas A&M
  • Depaul University
  • Florida International University
  • Portland State <- this is my top choice
  • George Washington University 
  • George Mason University
  • Baruch College
  • UConn
  • Michigan State
  • Saint Louis University
  • University of North Carolina
  • North Carolina State

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Hi good luck it's a tough process!

A) In terms of reaching out to professors, it's really a crap shoot. I have done this process twice and have sent probably 20 emails and gotten a response of 10. It's a busy job so of course, it makes sense. I think the most important thing is them telling you if they are taking students or not. I have had professors email me after I applied that I am not taking students this year 😕

b )  I have apply to some of those schools on this list and can tell it can be quite deflating seeing the number of people applying! I think the big thing is just finding out which professor there are taking students early on.

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I agree with @Joegeo emailing professors before hand is a crap shoot. I emailed some and mostly just asked if they were taking students. Some schools were clear on their website that faculty do not take individual students and student apply to the program and mentors are more fluid. So be aware of this when send emails!  I got into schools I never emailed, into schools I emailed and never heard back from, and declined from schools had a great convos with the POI. But knowing if they’re taking students is crucial! 

They often don’t know for sure if they’ll be taking students until after the new semester starts to see how funding shakes out. I’d say August/sept is a good time to ask! If they offer the chance to take to a graduate student TAKE IT. I had a couple of nice professors connect me to grad students right away to talk ask questions to it was super helpful. 

@Psychological Yam Are you referring to the university of North Carolina Charlotte? Those are all great school! I applied to 11 and it was so expensive but worth it to find a school that was my best fit. Just be prepared for the cost! 

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Can anyone provide a run-down of the differences between pursuing a Master's versus a PhD in IO? All of my internet searches have pretty much resulted with most jobs in this field require a master's, and having a PhD would just make you more competitive, but I haven't found much in terms of salary differences, grad program benefits/drawbacks between the two, or overall diversity of career options.

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On 9/30/2019 at 2:43 PM, blacklab155 said:

Can anyone provide a run-down of the differences between pursuing a Master's versus a PhD in IO? All of my internet searches have pretty much resulted with most jobs in this field require a master's, and having a PhD would just make you more competitive, but I haven't found much in terms of salary differences, grad program benefits/drawbacks between the two, or overall diversity of career options.

Well the first question is do you have any interest in doing research. I am at a pretty industry focused PhD program but even the industry people are working on 3-5 research projects at a time. So if the answer is you don't like research a more applied masters program could be a good fit. From what I hear it's easier to get your foot in the door at a good company with a PhD but the downside is it takes an extra 2 or 3 year of being in school which can be time building up work experience.

Generally PhD holder start earning more than master after the first 5 or so years but it's not easy to get one so it's really a question about how much you want to do research. 

 

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I'm applying for Masters level, But still would love opinions!

 

 

Currently applying to Master level programs since I don't have any I/O program at my undergrad Uni.

 

STATS:

GRE: 168 V; 157 Q; 6.0 W

GPA: 3.78

Research XP: Worked as UTA in 2 labs (Perception research for 1 semester, Cognitive Dev. lab for 2 years), have worked as lab manager for a NIH funded Autism neuroimaging research lab for 2 years (current gig), no publishings but completed undergraduate capstone research - presented to lab, currently in midst of an Attention research project.

So, clearly, where I am lacking is XP in I/O psych. Luckily, my actual work experience gives a little boost.

Where I am applying:

University of Minnesota, Duluth: MAPS program, I/O track

Minnesota State University, Mankato: MA in I/O

University of Akron, OH: MA in I/O

Texas A&M: MS in I/O

George MAson: MA in I/O

IUPUI: MS in I/O

 

 

If anyone has any similar experience or is applying to similar programs I'd love to hear more. I hope I have a chance despite lack of I/O specific XP.

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On 10/11/2019 at 12:25 PM, arispawgld said:

I'm applying for Masters level, But still would love opinions!

 

 

Currently applying to Master level programs since I don't have any I/O program at my undergrad Uni.

 

STATS:

GRE: 168 V; 157 Q; 6.0 W

GPA: 3.78

Research XP: Worked as UTA in 2 labs (Perception research for 1 semester, Cognitive Dev. lab for 2 years), have worked as lab manager for a NIH funded Autism neuroimaging research lab for 2 years (current gig), no publishings but completed undergraduate capstone research - presented to lab, currently in midst of an Attention research project.

So, clearly, where I am lacking is XP in I/O psych. Luckily, my actual work experience gives a little boost.

Where I am applying:

University of Minnesota, Duluth: MAPS program, I/O track

Minnesota State University, Mankato: MA in I/O

University of Akron, OH: MA in I/O

Texas A&M: MS in I/O

George MAson: MA in I/O

IUPUI: MS in I/O

 

 

If anyone has any similar experience or is applying to similar programs I'd love to hear more. I hope I have a chance despite lack of I/O specific XP.

Honestly, I feel like you would have a good chance at many PhD programs as well - congrats on your super high GRE scores! I wouldn't worry too much about getting into a MA or MS program. Most people don't have I-O at their school so I feel like it isn't expected for acceptance.

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On 10/11/2019 at 12:25 PM, arispawgld said:

I'm applying for Masters level, But still would love opinions!

 

 

Currently applying to Master level programs since I don't have any I/O program at my undergrad Uni.

 

STATS:

GRE: 168 V; 157 Q; 6.0 W

GPA: 3.78

Research XP: Worked as UTA in 2 labs (Perception research for 1 semester, Cognitive Dev. lab for 2 years), have worked as lab manager for a NIH funded Autism neuroimaging research lab for 2 years (current gig), no publishings but completed undergraduate capstone research - presented to lab, currently in midst of an Attention research project.

So, clearly, where I am lacking is XP in I/O psych. Luckily, my actual work experience gives a little boost.

Where I am applying:

University of Minnesota, Duluth: MAPS program, I/O track

Minnesota State University, Mankato: MA in I/O

University of Akron, OH: MA in I/O

Texas A&M: MS in I/O

George MAson: MA in I/O

IUPUI: MS in I/O

 

 

If anyone has any similar experience or is applying to similar programs I'd love to hear more. I hope I have a chance despite lack of I/O specific XP.

I’m in an IO PhD program, so I have seen both sides of the application process. You would be highly competitive for PhD programs. I didn’t have IO experience before grad school either. A masters in IO gives you more limited career opportunities and some programs make you pay the tuition. I have tuition waivers and a TA stipend for all 12 months. If you want to go academia, you need a PhD. If you want to go applied (and most in my program do), a PhD will let you do more and make you more money.

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4 hours ago, IOpener said:

I’m in an IO PhD program, so I have seen both sides of the application process. You would be highly competitive for PhD programs. I didn’t have IO experience before grad school either. A masters in IO gives you more limited career opportunities and some programs make you pay the tuition. I have tuition waivers and a TA stipend for all 12 months. If you want to go academia, you need a PhD. If you want to go applied (and most in my program do), a PhD will let you do more and make you more money.

I appreciate the input! I'm just uncertain that I do want to go to the PhD level. Currently MInnesota Duluth is my top Masters choice because they fund most students (at least partially) and they prep you to go onto PhD if you like. I think I'm just not 100% so Masters makes sense first!

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10 hours ago, Psychological Yam said:

Honestly, I feel like you would have a good chance at many PhD programs as well - congrats on your super high GRE scores! I wouldn't worry too much about getting into a MA or MS program. Most people don't have I-O at their school so I feel like it isn't expected for acceptance.

Oh gosh, thank you! I really appreciate it - just a good test taker I suppose! Do you think my Quant scores are still decent (157 seems iffy). I currently just to ensure I truly want to do a full PhD

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Your 

33 minutes ago, arispawgld said:

Oh gosh, thank you! I really appreciate it - just a good test taker I suppose! Do you think my Quant scores are still decent (157 seems iffy). I currently just to ensure I truly want to do a full PhD

My Quant Score was basically that and I did not feel it held me back. 

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13 hours ago, IOpener said:

I’m in an IO PhD program, so I have seen both sides of the application process. You would be highly competitive for PhD programs. I didn’t have IO experience before grad school either. A masters in IO gives you more limited career opportunities and some programs make you pay the tuition. I have tuition waivers and a TA stipend for all 12 months. If you want to go academia, you need a PhD. If you want to go applied (and most in my program do), a PhD will let you do more and make you more money.

Would you say that the extra time/energy is worth the PhD over just a master's? I'm looking to go into the applied field of IO and this is the first I've heard that a PhD is better than a master's in either case (I've asked professors and looked online, seems like everywhere says a PhD is really just if you want to go into academia).

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5 hours ago, blacklab155 said:

Would you say that the extra time/energy is worth the PhD over just a master's? I'm looking to go into the applied field of IO and this is the first I've heard that a PhD is better than a master's in either case (I've asked professors and looked online, seems like everywhere says a PhD is really just if you want to go into academia).

Well I heard from a program that I applied too from the last couple of years tell me they have no concerns over their PHD students getting an applied job but worry about their master students getting one. 

If it's worth it depends on if you are willing to give up 2 to 3 years of working salaries to do research on a cheap salary. So it's up to you on that regard. 

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Hi!

I am new in here. So, I am planning to apply for I/O psychology PhD programs. This week I will be contacting some professors I would like to work with. Penn State is one of my shortlisted schools and I am not sure how to contact professors since they mention it on their official website that the students would not be working with one professor but the whole department. Would contacting any one specific professor or maybe two of them will pose problems for me?

 

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On 10/18/2019 at 3:59 PM, Hellofellow said:

Hi!

I am new in here. So, I am planning to apply for I/O psychology PhD programs. This week I will be contacting some professors I would like to work with. Penn State is one of my shortlisted schools and I am not sure how to contact professors since they mention it on their official website that the students would not be working with one professor but the whole department. Would contacting any one specific professor or maybe two of them will pose problems for me?

 

I contacted a professor and she told me after the deadline she was not taking students. I imagine they still saw my application though so I am not sure if it is worth it or not sadly. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 6:29 PM, Joegeo said:

I contacted a professor and she told me after the deadline she was not taking students. I imagine they still saw my application though so I am not sure if it is worth it or not sadly. 

That is sad. I think I would contact the professors then because if the person I want to work with is not taking admits then it is not worth it. Thank you!!

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Hey!! I would love to get an honest feedback on my profile and if I should even apply this year for i/o psychology PhD. 

Here are my stats:

Undergraduate GPA: 4.0 ( was among top five students of my class).

Master's GPA: 4.0 (Silver medalist in my program)

TOEFL:110

GRE: Q-151, V-158, AWA-not yet received

RESEARCH: Have written thesis as part of my master's program which was awarded the highest scoring independent student research work my program. 

Done a seminar as well which was also the highest scoring work.

Lots of volunteering experience.

Three month internship with a scholarship program.

one month internship as an HR intern at a startup. 

Have been class representative for two years and have organized many college programs during undergraduate years.

I know how to work on SPSS and EXCEL proficiently (if that counts). 

I got a B+ in my stats exam

I have a historically never performed well on standardized tests and so I am skeptical of taking GRE again. Will the low scores lower my chances of getting in the programs ? Should I even apply ?

 

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11 hours ago, Hellofellow said:

Hey!! I would love to get an honest feedback on my profile and if I should even apply this year for i/o psychology PhD. 

Here are my stats:

Undergraduate GPA: 4.0 ( was among top five students of my class).

Master's GPA: 4.0 (Silver medalist in my program)

TOEFL:110

GRE: Q-151, V-158, AWA-not yet received

RESEARCH: Have written thesis as part of my master's program which was awarded the highest scoring independent student research work my program. 

Done a seminar as well which was also the highest scoring work.

Lots of volunteering experience.

Three month internship with a scholarship program.

one month internship as an HR intern at a startup. 

Have been class representative for two years and have organized many college programs during undergraduate years.

I know how to work on SPSS and EXCEL proficiently (if that counts). 

I got a B+ in my stats exam

I have a historically never performed well on standardized tests and so I am skeptical of taking GRE again. Will the low scores lower my chances of getting in the programs ? Should I even apply ?

 

Is your Masters in I-O and from a reputable program? This might be important as it would prove that you have a committed interest to I-O and that you are able to conduct I-O research.

I personally think it would be worth applying - your stats, aside from the lower Quant score, seem good to me. You have a breadth of quality skills and experiences. I think some schools would be able to overlook the lower Quant score.

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I have officially started all of my applications! Half are due December 1st, half are due December 15th. Fine tuning my personal statements is so difficult but it's nice to get the process started.

Hope everyone is doing well so far in the process!

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On 10/21/2019 at 8:23 AM, Hellofellow said:

Hey!! I would love to get an honest feedback on my profile and if I should even apply this year for i/o psychology PhD. 

Here are my stats:

Undergraduate GPA: 4.0 ( was among top five students of my class).

Master's GPA: 4.0 (Silver medalist in my program)

TOEFL:110

GRE: Q-151, V-158, AWA-not yet received

RESEARCH: Have written thesis as part of my master's program which was awarded the highest scoring independent student research work my program. 

Done a seminar as well which was also the highest scoring work.

Lots of volunteering experience.

Three month internship with a scholarship program.

one month internship as an HR intern at a startup. 

Have been class representative for two years and have organized many college programs during undergraduate years.

I know how to work on SPSS and EXCEL proficiently (if that counts). 

I got a B+ in my stats exam

I have a historically never performed well on standardized tests and so I am skeptical of taking GRE again. Will the low scores lower my chances of getting in the programs ? Should I even apply ?

 

From my experiences, IO psychologists heavily rely on the GRE and use it as a cut score.  For example, some schools may take their stack of application and not look at GRE scores under the 75th percentile.  GPA and class rank vary widely from university to university, whereas the GRE is the same for everyone.  Since you're in a master's program, you may be able to argue for your previous performance as a grad student as more important than your GRE. Depending on the program, they may not look at your application due to the low GRE.  Professors only have so much time and cannot look at 100+ applications. I would look at programs and find ones that list their cutoff scores or average GRE scores and find ones closer to yours.  

I don't know what stats exam you are referring to, but IO psych prefers A's in psych stats courses, or showing interest in stats by taking other stats courses or even grad level stats courses.

Your experiences are very helpful.  Volunteering isn't as useful to IO psych. IO psych doesn't usually use excel, and advanced stats (e.g. MLM, SEM) will likely use SAS, R, or mplus.

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On 10/21/2019 at 6:15 PM, Psychological Yam said:

I have officially started all of my applications! Half are due December 1st, half are due December 15th. Fine tuning my personal statements is so difficult but it's nice to get the process started.

Hope everyone is doing well so far in the process!

 

On 10/21/2019 at 6:13 PM, Psychological Yam said:

Is your Masters in I-O and from a reputable program? This might be important as it would prove that you have a committed interest to I-O and that you are able to conduct I-O research.

I personally think it would be worth applying - your stats, aside from the lower Quant score, seem good to me. You have a breadth of quality skills and experiences. I think some schools would be able to overlook the lower Quant score.

Thank you for your feedback!! I have done my master's in general psychology. I am not a US  citizen and my country do not have any good quality I-O psychology program at either undergraduate or post graduate level. However, my master's degree as well as my undergraduate degree is from one of the top 10 universities of my country. 

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On 10/22/2019 at 6:41 AM, IOpener said:

From my experiences, IO psychologists heavily rely on the GRE and use it as a cut score.  For example, some schools may take their stack of application and not look at GRE scores under the 75th percentile.  GPA and class rank vary widely from university to university, whereas the GRE is the same for everyone.  Since you're in a master's program, you may be able to argue for your previous performance as a grad student as more important than your GRE. Depending on the program, they may not look at your application due to the low GRE.  Professors only have so much time and cannot look at 100+ applications. I would look at programs and find ones that list their cutoff scores or average GRE scores and find ones closer to yours.  

I don't know what stats exam you are referring to, but IO psych prefers A's in psych stats courses, or showing interest in stats by taking other stats courses or even grad level stats courses.

Your experiences are very helpful.  Volunteering isn't as useful to IO psych. IO psych doesn't usually use excel, and advanced stats (e.g. MLM, SEM) will likely use SAS, R, or mplus.

Thank you for your feedback!!

I took a few courses on research methods and stats at masters level along with economics and human resource management. For now I was planning to apply to Penn state(though it is very ambitious), IUPUI, USF, and Michigan state. I too believe that my quant score specifically can spoil my chances in most programs. Sill I am looking for more programs where I would stand a chance. Thanks again for your views!

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On 10/23/2019 at 8:33 AM, Hellofellow said:

Thank you for your feedback!!

I took a few courses on research methods and stats at masters level along with economics and human resource management. For now I was planning to apply to Penn state(though it is very ambitious), IUPUI, USF, and Michigan state. I too believe that my quant score specifically can spoil my chances in most programs. Sill I am looking for more programs where I would stand a chance. Thanks again for your views!

Penn state, USF, and Michigan State are some of the best in the country, so you may have trouble getting in with low GRE scores. There are a lot of other good programs that may still admit you.

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Hi everyone, 

I am also applying this cycle but I am primarily looking at Canadian programs like Calgary, Western, Guelph and Waterloo since i am doing my undergrad in Canada. I have taken the GRE general and my stats are amazing but they aren't bad (V: 156, 73 percentile; Q:167, 90 percentile, W: 5/6, 92 percentile), I also didn't have my GRE psychology done. I am really interested in the program at Minnesota, does anyone think I have a shot or my not-so-stellar GRE + lack of GRE psychology is going to bar my application from even getting looked at? Thanks!

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