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Post-bachelor experience before applying to Ph.D in Educational Psychology advise ?

Nghi Nguyen

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Hi, I am actually an international student and will soon step into my OPT time. The OPT time is (the temporary working visa/ employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study). 


Since I want to apply to the Ph.D program in Education Psychology, I decide to gather more research experience after my graduating from college. Thus, I hope to work as research specialist/coordinator or lab manager position for my post-bachelor experience. So, do you think this is a good idea for a candidate in the EdPsych program ?

 Also, I wonder for the EdPsych program, are there any norms/expectation in this field ? I just want to make sure that I am getting the right type of experience, not just any research experience. 

 Thank you all and I look forwards to hearing all your opinions!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey there

I am also considering applying to a post-bacc program in psych to gain research experience and take psych classes since I'm not from a psych background. 

What I've been doing is short listing programs and finding labs/professors within them that I am interested in working with so that my interests can match with their research as well. But I'm also very new to this so if others have some more input that would be great.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey Nghi,

Hope you are doing well in your search for post-bacc research positions! Your plan was almost exactly the same as mine when I graduated with a bachelor's in psychology in 2017 hoping to apply to PhD in clinical/counseling psychology one or two years after working in a full-time research position. I do not mean to discourage you, but I would want you to know that you are not alone if the job application process gets rough. I, too, am an international student on F-1 visa, and I found the job application process extremely frustrating because of visa issues. My OPT lasted for one year, but most labs would prefer hiring someone who would stay for two years. I got very close to landing a few positions, but the labs were not allowed to hire me because HR refused to apply for H1b for me. I sincerely hope that you will have an easier time getting a job, but I would recommend having a plan B of applying to master's programs that helps for future PhD applications in addition to applying to PhD programs if getting a post-bacc position is not a viable option.

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