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blacklab155

chances of getting accepted...

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Hi all,

I have been planning on applying for clinical psychology PhD programs for Fall 2020, and basically just wanted to ask around for some advice/opinions on how good my chances are of actually getting accepted somewhere (trying to be realistic and not completely waste my time). I graduated this past May with a BA in psych and a minor in sociology, GPA 3.95. I did a group poster/project and presented at my school's undergraduate research conference, and a senior thesis project and poster that I also presented at the conference. Otherwise my research experience is limited to class projects since I went to a small private university that doesn't have research labs of any kind. Since graduating I've been trying to secure a research position but have had no luck, and I only just received a tentative offer for a part-time registered behavior technician position that will start next month (just have to check references). I'll also take the GRE sometime in September. I'm really just worried about my lack of research experience compared to everyone else who I'll be applying alongside and didn't know if that would be a deal breaker for a PhD program. So far the schools I'm looking to apply for are CU Boulder, CU Denver, University of Denver, George Washington University, University of Virginia, University of Connecticut, Pennsylvania State, and Yale (obvious long shot, a professor in the psychiatry department is the head of the emerging adult interest group which is a research area I'm highly interested in). I'm not super interested in getting a Master's before going for a PhD, because of the money and extra time it would add to an already extensive process, but if I have a slim to no chance at a PhD it may be the next thing I look into. Thank you in advance!!

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I would definitely get more research experience because you will be competing against other applicants who have presented at national conferences and possibly have publications. Your undergrad GPA is great, so if you could secure a research position and work in it for at least a year (though 2 would probably be better), get great LORs and do well on the GREs, you'd be in great shape. 

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As I’m sure you already realize, your GPA is great! Although it’s good that you’ve done a research project and presented it, most of the schools on your list are extremely competitive (except for maybe CU Denver and UConn) and, as McMurphy pointed out, many of the applicants at those schools will have presentations at regional and/or national conferences (as well as possibly having lab experience at an R1 university) and this will probably put you at a big disadvantage. If you can’t get a paid job in research, have you thought about being a volunteer RA? Admissions committees will look favorably on this, and I know people who volunteered at CU Boulder, UCCS, and Metro State to get research experience before grad school. This would give you an opportunity to get on poster presentations at bigger conferences and/or be published.

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23 hours ago, psychochef said:

As I’m sure you already realize, your GPA is great! Although it’s good that you’ve done a research project and presented it, most of the schools on your list are extremely competitive (except for maybe CU Denver and UConn) and, as McMurphy pointed out, many of the applicants at those schools will have presentations at regional and/or national conferences (as well as possibly having lab experience at an R1 university) and this will probably put you at a big disadvantage. If you can’t get a paid job in research, have you thought about being a volunteer RA? Admissions committees will look favorably on this, and I know people who volunteered at CU Boulder, UCCS, and Metro State to get research experience before grad school. This would give you an opportunity to get on poster presentations at bigger conferences and/or be published.

Yes, I've been looking into volunteer RA positions the last couple weeks! Do you by chance know how those people got volunteer positions? I've just been emailing the labs directly to ask if they have any openings, I'm not sure this is the most effective way to get into one though.

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Yeah I'm about an hour outside of Denver and moving out near Boulder next month!

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