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Fall 2021 Quantitative Psychology


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I am most interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, but there are a few POIs who match my research interests in Quantitative Psych. The next time I apply, I am considering whether to add apps for a few quant programs to the list. I have a few questions about these programs, in relation to how it compares to Clinical, with the understanding that a lot this depends on my experience, faculty, program, etc.

1. We all know Clinical is hypercompetitive, but how much easier would it be to enroll in a quant program?

2. Are these programs typically funded?

3. This one is subjective, but how "impressive" would it be to a PI that I use SEM in my honors thesis? How about taking a near-graduate-level stats class where we learned multilevel modeling, factorial analysis, and some other higher-level stuff in R?

I guess I'm trying to gauge my chances for admission and the potential for taking on excessive debt. Feel free to speak about other significant differences between these two programs. I spent the past couple years researching Clinical programs, so I know nothing about Quantitative programs.

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I figured I'd start a gathering place for us quant folk, so hello! I'm a current MA student doing research in quant and I have a list of 12 programs so far. Once I email potential advisors, I'm s

I've heard that quant is different from other areas of psych admissions in that we're not expected to have as solid of a foundation due to the lack of training pre-PhD (like you mentioned). I have bro

I can't answer the first one because I don't think I have enough background.   As for PIs, I reached out to all of them last week and only one said he'd rather meet later. I know some people

4 hours ago, PsychBear92 said:

1. We all know Clinical is hypercompetitive, but how much easier would it be to enroll in a quant program?

2. Are these programs typically funded?

3. This one is subjective, but how "impressive" would it be to a PI that I use SEM in my honors thesis? How about taking a near-graduate-level stats class where we learned multilevel modeling, factorial analysis, and some other higher-level stuff in R?

I don't really know anything about clinical programs, but I will just say what I know about quant.

1) It is hard to gage this for quant as the application statistics for quant programs are either non-existent or often aggregated into some general "other" group (with other fields like health psyche) where the study doesn't supply the non-aggregated stats for these other psych fields. At least, this has been my experience. From what professors at these programs have told me, they say they get less applicants than other fields, but it doesn't mean they are necessarily easy to get into. I've had, in my interviews, people tell me they were interviewing about 10 other applicants. This year, however, is probably an outlier for an accurate representation of how it usually goes. A "difficulty" in Quant compared to other psyche fields would probably be the need for mathematical competence. Some programs expect more from your background than others, so you would need to know how you stack up on that regard and what your realistic options are.

2) Every program has offered me full tuition plus a stipend. Most have said they provide guaranteed funding for certain things like travel and conferences though some have said you need to apply. Again, this year has made it a bit harder for the programs in this regard, hence why most schools cannot admit the amount of students they usually would. I would say, I am guessing your funding is probably less reliant on research grants, at least initially, because it is often not even expected that you have a in-depth knowledge/skills of stats/math/coding to conduct research. So the schools are usually more generous earlier on. A lot of this is anecdotal based on the few programs I appleid, and I am sure other people have better info than I do. In general, quant produces good money for departments and it is cheap (no lab upkeep other than software licenses), so they will most likely have funding. 

3) I think it is helpful to demonstrate any background knowledge in these subjects as the opportunity to learn them in undergrad (which I assume you are) is less frequent. If you can demonstrate a more in-depth understanding of your PI's research, that will stick out because many applicants do not have this level of comprehension (nor is in-depth comprehension expected most of the time). It is common that most grad students have to take a while learning the topics before committing to research topics, so if you have some knowledge of what you can pursue past the point of vague ideas, this would probably stick out.

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So relaying more info on what I wrote above, after having talked to more professors, they said this year they received almost twice as many applicants as usual, where the average is around 20. So only 40 applicants for an extreme year seems more mild than what could be expected as something on the low end for clinical psych. 

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20 hours ago, wolmoth said:

So relaying more info on what I wrote above, after having talked to more professors, they said this year they received almost twice as many applicants as usual, where the average is around 20. So only 40 applicants for an extreme year seems more mild than what could be expected as something on the low end for clinical psych. 

Even so, I'm under the impression that quant programs generally (even in "normal" years) are smaller than clinical psych. So, there's less people applying, but I think there's less spots as well. Of course, I don't have that much experience with clinical programs so I could be mistaken.

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On 1/22/2021 at 1:49 PM, halo2masterq said:

I have been accepted to university of Minnesota without an interview which was kind of weird. 

UMN admits without interviews for all areas of psychology except counseling and clinical because the large body of research that suggests that interviews are not diagnostic of work or graduate school performance (or career success after graduate school) comes from the faculty at UMN. It would be a bit hypocritical for them to use interviews as tools for making decisions given that line of research which their faculty really put on the map. 

I do remember thinking it was odd when I applied until they explained it during their visiting weekend!  

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On 2/1/2021 at 1:53 PM, PsychBear92 said:

I am most interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, but there are a few POIs who match my research interests in Quantitative Psych. The next time I apply, I am considering whether to add apps for a few quant programs to the list. I have a few questions about these programs, in relation to how it compares to Clinical, with the understanding that a lot this depends on my experience, faculty, program, etc.

1. We all know Clinical is hypercompetitive, but how much easier would it be to enroll in a quant program?

2. Are these programs typically funded?

3. This one is subjective, but how "impressive" would it be to a PI that I use SEM in my honors thesis? How about taking a near-graduate-level stats class where we learned multilevel modeling, factorial analysis, and some other higher-level stuff in R?

I guess I'm trying to gauge my chances for admission and the potential for taking on excessive debt. Feel free to speak about other significant differences between these two programs. I spent the past couple years researching Clinical programs, so I know nothing about Quantitative programs.

1. It would be much easier than clinical. One of my programs only had 15 applicants to it ( atleast that is what they told me).

2. Yes they are all funded, none of the programs i have been accepted to did not have funding available, although sometimes these programs are the school of education so the funding may be a bit lower.

3. Yes. It is not common to have alot of experience with these topics as they don't present themselves often. I would say, if you are familiar with SEM, Item response theory, factor analysis, differential item functioning, mixed models, etc. IF you are interested in testing I would make sure you are familiar with some of those topics as well such as scale linking, and some IRT software such as IRTpro. You will be a very very competitive applicant. Many applicants just have a stats background and know R and not much past that.

I have a background in the topics i listed and have basically been accepted to every program I applied to (2 years working exp with a masters in same field).

Edited by halo2masterq
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On 2/12/2021 at 6:56 PM, philoquant said:

I applied to university of manitoba; but, now that I've gotten into a US school, I don't know if I would accept an offer if it was given. What about you?

nice! i'm from canada so only applied to schools here

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