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Justice4All

Racial/Ethnic Minorities Applying to Graduate Programs

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Hi all, 

 

Making this general thread to talk about some of the challenges of finding a POI/Adviser, looking for programs where we "fit", and the general stress of feeling like we've got so much to prove. I hope to go into clinical psychology to study resilience in racial minorities and immigrants as well as the use my degree as a platform for social justice advocacy and systems change. Finding an adviser in this space has been hard enough and I have been encouraged to pursue something "easier" many times. But the heart wants what it wants!  

I hope we can make a safe space for all minority applicants out there as our stress is a little more than the majority applicant. 

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1 hour ago, Justice4All said:

Hi all, 

 

Making this general thread to talk about some of the challenges of finding a POI/Adviser, looking for programs where we "fit", and the general stress of feeling like we've got so much to prove. I hope to go into clinical psychology to study resilience in racial minorities and immigrants as well as the use my degree as a platform for social justice advocacy and systems change. Finding an adviser in this space has been hard enough and I have been encouraged to pursue something "easier" many times. But the heart wants what it wants!  

I hope we can make a safe space for all minority applicants out there as our stress is a little more than the majority applicant. 

Hello, 4th year PhD Clinical Psychology student here who’s a minority (multiracial) student. I admire your tenacity to pursue this field in spite of some discouragement and apprehension, especially as it relates to being a cultural minority. 

I will say that your specific research interests may align more with PhD Counseling Psychology programs, who are basically the identical twin of Clinical Psychology with slightly different goals. Both “Counseling Psychology” and “Clinical Psychology” are perceived as evenly matched, though Counseling Psychology tends to have more focus on the broad multicultural issues than Clinical Psychology. 

In any case, I just wanted to let you know that it’s possible to make it into this competitive field! Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Edited by JoePianist

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It’s possible. I think you actually have an advantage as a cultural minority as many schools want to increase their diversity. As a black male, I’ve spoken to and even experienced situations where ignorance or micro aggressions come up in graduate school, but it’s all about how you navigate it. 
 

I know a couple clinical psychology faculty that focus on resilience in racial minorities if you’re interested. That happens to be one of my research interests too.

Edited by Troyyy

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7 hours ago, JoePianist said:

Hello, 4th year PhD Clinical Psychology student here who’s a minority (multiracial) student. I admire your tenacity to pursue this field in spite of some discouragement and apprehension, especially as it relates to being a cultural minority. 

I will say that your specific research interests may align more with PhD Counseling Psychology programs, who are basically the identical twin of Clinical Psychology with slightly different goals. Both “Counseling Psychology” and “Clinical Psychology” are perceived as evenly matched, though Counseling Psychology tends to have more focus on the broad multicultural issues than Clinical Psychology. 

In any case, I just wanted to let you know that it’s possible to make it into this competitive field! Let me know if you have any specific questions.

This was so sweet, thank you! Really encouraging to hear from someone who's a seasoned player in the game. I get what you mean 100% with the clinical vs counseling thing. I ended up applying to 2 counseling and 2 combined clinical/counseling programs out of my 11 applications so hopefully I'll find my fit somewhere!

Will reach out for sure when it comes to interviews (hopefully). I applied once before during my senior year (last application cycle) to 3 programs and did not make it to a single interview. This time I applied to way more programs and just got my first interview invite!

Thanks again for such positive words- I really appreciate it especially when this site can be so cutthroat.

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1 hour ago, Troyyy said:

It’s possible. I think you actually have an advantage as a cultural minority as many schools want to increase their diversity. As a black male, I’ve spoken to and even experienced situations where ignorance or micro aggressions come up in graduate school, but it’s all about how you navigate it. 
 

I know a couple clinical psychology faculty that focus on resilience in racial minorities if you’re interested. That happens to be one of my research interests too.

That's awesome! Are you in a clinical program now? I can honestly say I've only known two Black males in clinical psych grad school- the numbers are....rough. Glad to see you're thriving and successfully navigating those spaces.

Also wooohooo great choice of research interest lol. I love the minority community because instead of tearing each other down. we encourage those with similar interests because we know how important it is (not to say that I haven't been torn down by other POC, but screw them). I can definitely PM about which programs I applied to if you're interested :)

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Thanks for creating this thread - so important and is very much needed. 

Received my bachelors and masters from PWI and as a black female, I've have my fair share of micro-aggressions and experience with ignorance. I've learned to handle these situations better over the years, but admittedly it is something that I really struggled with initially.  Will be applying to doctoral programs (clinical, counseling, and joint programs) later this year for Fall 2021 entry. It's important for me to find programs where I fit both research-wise and personally. 

I agree with the above writer that in sometimes being a minority can be advantageous as there are schools and programs who are trying to increase their diversity efforts. Are you familiar with APA's Minority Fellowship Program? Plan to apply if I get accepted to a doctoral program. 

Our research interests are very closely aligned - also interested in studying trauma and resilience in children/youth and families from marginalized communities (specifically racial minorities and immigrants/refugee) and groups that, historically, have been underserved by traditional clinical psychology. 

Would be interested in knowing which programs you applied to.

Wishing you the best during this application season! 

 

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9 hours ago, PsycAdvocate said:

Thanks for creating this thread - so important and is very much needed. 

Received my bachelors and masters from PWI and as a black female, I've have my fair share of micro-aggressions and experience with ignorance. I've learned to handle these situations better over the years, but admittedly it is something that I really struggled with initially.  Will be applying to doctoral programs (clinical, counseling, and joint programs) later this year for Fall 2021 entry. It's important for me to find programs where I fit both research-wise and personally. 

I agree with the above writer that in sometimes being a minority can be advantageous as there are schools and programs who are trying to increase their diversity efforts. Are you familiar with APA's Minority Fellowship Program? Plan to apply if I get accepted to a doctoral program. 

Our research interests are very closely aligned - also interested in studying trauma and resilience in children/youth and families from marginalized communities (specifically racial minorities and immigrants/refugee) and groups that, historically, have been underserved by traditional clinical psychology. 

Would be interested in knowing which programs you applied to.

Wishing you the best during this application season! 

 

Wow- I also would like to work with 1st and 2nd gen immigrants. We have so much in common- I'll send you a PM!

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On 12/17/2019 at 5:49 AM, PsycAdvocate said:

Are you familiar with APA's Minority Fellowship Program? Plan to apply if I get accepted to a doctoral program. 

Our research interests are very closely aligned - also interested in studying trauma and resilience in children/youth and families from marginalized communities (specifically racial minorities and immigrants/refugee) and groups that, historically, have been underserved by traditional clinical psychology.

 

Sorry to nose in on a older conversation, but I just wanted to mention that I am applying for this fellowship right now (or I assume what is a sister fellowship- I'm applying for the AAMFT SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program), and that I was advised not to wait to apply if I was to a doctoral program, but to apply while applying to doctoral programs (as in, I am literally taking a break from drafting an essay for this fellowship right now and, of course, came and search gradcafe to see if anyone else was doing the same).

I also have a focus on trauma and resilience in underserved populations (specifically focused on LGBTQ+ and poverty, domestic violence/ipv/child maltreatment).

Anyways, best of luck whenever you choose to apply!

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2 hours ago, andhowdoesthatmakeyoufeel said:

I'm Ashkenazi Jewish and have briefly talked about support available at programs where I'm applying. It's an interesting experience.

Congrats on all those interviews! I don't  even know what kind of support I'm expecting programs to tell me they have. Every program has some sort of diversity statement/initiative yet it's not always upheld unfortunately. I'd love to hear more about your experience directly asking about support for students of your background/identity!

 

As minorities, I guess we're all pretty good at discerning between bullsh*t and genuineness. I hope we all find programs that adequately support us!

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9 hours ago, Justice4All said:

Congrats on all those interviews! I don't  even know what kind of support I'm expecting programs to tell me they have. Every program has some sort of diversity statement/initiative yet it's not always upheld unfortunately. I'd love to hear more about your experience directly asking about support for students of your background/identity!

 

As minorities, I guess we're all pretty good at discerning between bullsh*t and genuineness. I hope we all find programs that adequately support us!

LMAO @ their diversity statements. When I was doing research to figure out which schools to apply to, I saw so many diversity statements. Even schools with zero to 2% diversity among staff and students would have a diversity statement. 🙄. They seem not to understand that you cannot provide support when you don't know about your students' culture or have anyone who is about it on your staff. They may have a statement but they have no plan to implement it.

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9 hours ago, Justice4All said:

Congrats on all those interviews! I don't  even know what kind of support I'm expecting programs to tell me they have. Every program has some sort of diversity statement/initiative yet it's not always upheld unfortunately. I'd love to hear more about your experience directly asking about support for students of your background/identity!

 

As minorities, I guess we're all pretty good at discerning between bullsh*t and genuineness. I hope we all find programs that adequately support us!

Yeah, I find those statements so frustrating when they clearly aren't implemented in any way.

 

The school I just interviewed at, the lab I was looking at had a fair amount of minority students, so I asked them about their experiences. I have found that to be much more useful than asking the faculty, who may or may not have personal experience. 

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